Meghalaya institutes to be ‘centres of excellence’

Biplab Kr Dey

TURA, Jul 10 – The Meghalaya Government is mulling ambitious skill development courses in the three State-run polytechnic institutions that will train 7,500 students from Meghalaya and other NE States.

Speaking at a gathering in the SMELC building in Tura, State Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said the current polytechnics in Jowai, Shillong and Tura would be upgraded to ‘Centres of Excellence’, at a cost of Rs 500 crores, with 10 per cent investment from the government and the rest coming from Multi National Companies (MNCs).

“Investors have assured to work with the State Government to set up the centres of excellence”, he informed. In each of the three polytechnic institutes, a total 2,500 students will be admitted, totalling 7,500 from across the Northeastern States. Courses will be designed in such a manner, which can fill in the job space available by harping on the potential youth energy. It will be attractive not only for the students of Meghalaya but for other NE States”, said Sangma.

Giving a brief idea on the problems facing China, he said, three decades ago, only five per cent of the population of China was over 65. Today, 123 million people or 9 per cent of the population, are over this age. A report released by a government think tank forecasts that China will become the world’s most aged society in 2030. Further, by 2050 China’s older population will likely swell to 330 million, or a quarter of its total population.

“China’s aging population has posed a threat to the economic giant and India has to take the opportunity to woo investment in different sectors like textile, construction and manufacturing”, he added.

Talking on the scope that the ageing population of China provided, Sangma said, “Meghalaya and NE can fill the gap, which will open a new vista for growth and job opportunities. We need to take advantage of the situation in China and create a workforce which will attract investors to look beyond Delhi and Mumbai, when they think of India”.

Focusing on the trends, which indicate that there will be a drop in the productive labour force in China by 2020, he said “India under its National Skill Development Council headed by the Prime Minister and CMs at the State level must prepare the required qualified workforce and Meghalaya has been working towards this end”.

“Investment is bound to happen as Meghalaya will have the workforce, skilled labour and land available for setting up of an industry or a manufacturing unit”, he said.