Bengaluru, 2nd November 2023: Addressing the Mahatma Gandhi National Fellows across nine IIMs on their convocation day celebrations, the Hon’ble Union Minister for Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, today announced that credits will be granted to the 581 fellows based on their two years of their learnings at IIMs including district immersion. Their certificates in Public Policy and Management will be officially recorded in their Academic Bank of Credit. This marks a pioneering step in the implementation of National Credit Framework as envisioned under the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
The Hon’ble Minister virtually addressed the convocation ceremony of our Mahatma Gandhi National Fellows Program, a collaborative initiative of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and our nine prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). This day marked a significant milestone in the lives these fellows who have completed this rigorous and transformative program.
The Hon’ble Minister extended his heartfelt appreciation to Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and all nine IIMs for organizing the convocation on ‘National Unity Day.’ He congratulated all fellows in Public Policy and Management from the IIMs, after completing this two-year fellowship program. He said that the Mahatma Gandhi National Fellows are the modern-day Vishwakarmas, holding the potential to shape the 21st century. “I have high expectations and unwavering belief that my young friends will embrace skills as their mission to contribute to the realization of a developed India” – Shri Pradhan said.
“To achieve the ambitious goal of a developed India by 2047, it is imperative that we expand, skill, re-skill and up-skill our workforce. Our aim is to position India as a global hub for skilled manpower. I firmly believe that the young talents emerging from the MGNF program will become ambassadors of the Skill India Digital Portal”, Shri Pradhan added.
This is the first ever instance where 9 IIMs (including Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Jammu, Kozhikode, Nagpur, Ranchi, Udaipur, and Visakhapatnam) have supported in co-delivering a program for the Government of India that ensures common learning and participation across State/UTs governments with inputs from the Central government.
The unique design of the program has provided fellows with the right academic insights across thematic areas like Economics, Management, Public Policy, Research, Finance and learnings from these were applied for strategizing and implementing some of the unique programs at district levels during their district immersion. The Fellows are also given a monthly stipend both in the first and the second year by Govt of India. The Program is a testament to the power of education and skill development coming together in a synergistic manner. This is also an integration between the vocational /streams of education as envisaged under National Education Policy 2020.
The physical convocation ceremony of the fellows was conducted at the respective locations. Chairperson, NCVET, Dr. Nirmaljeet Singh Kalsi, Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Shri K Sanjay Murthy, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Shri Atul Kumar Tiwari, Senior Economic Advisor, Shri Nilambuj Sharan, Chairman, AICTE, Prof. T G Sitharam, Directors and Program Directors of respective IIMs along with the fellows from the joined in for the virtual address.
Launched in October 2021, phase 2 of the Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship Programme deployed 657 fellows in districts across 33 states and UTs of India in collaboration with nine IIMs as academic partner. Conceptualized under the World Bank Funded Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) Programme, the objective of Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship is to identify and train a group of young, committed, and dynamic individuals who would work with the district administration in strengthening the process of skilling and help create a vibrant local district economy. Its unique design allowed the Fellows to assimilate academic learning at IIM and use it in the field under faculty mentorship to understand the challenges and identify barriers that the district ecosystem faces in raising employment, economic output to foster growth and development.
During their fellowship, the fellows made great progress in implementing innovative projects in the districts they were deployed in and also contributed towards events of national/international relevance such as Rozgar Melas and G20 Working Group meetings. To showcase their achievements, a report, on the achievements of the Fellows named ‘Stories of Change’ was also released during the virtual ceremony.
Further, the fellows actively implemented initiatives and programs aimed at offering training and upskilling opportunities for those who may have limited access to formal education. This outreach extended to marginalized communities, rural regions, and underprivileged individuals who encounter obstacles in embracing technology.