500 rural self-employment training institutes in the offing

With Centre's plan to launch National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) by the end of the year, the Ministry of Rural Development has decided to set up 500 Rural Self-employment Training Institutes (RSETI), almost one in each rural district of the country.

The Centre has already granted approval for setting up 110 such institutes in 14 States. The institute will train rural people keen to set up their own business and help them in raising fund.

The decision to establish RSETI was taken after realisation that despite availability of funds there were few takers for self-employment schemes and money were either being swindled or lying unspent in the States. It was also found that the political leadership has also done little to draw the people to take advantage of such schemes.

The creation of the institutes would help run the poverty alleviation programmes and equip the district with personnel to fulfill the enormous task, an official said.

According to sources in Rural Development Ministry, in the first phase such institutes would be opened in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.

Central funds of Rs 15 crore have been released for setting up 32 such institutes in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand.

These institutes aim at providing "dedicated" training to the people belonging to below poverty line (BPL), in an effort to bring more BPL households in the network of swarojgari (self-employed) groups. The proposed NRLM aims at reducing poverty in rural areas through promotion of diversified and gainful self-employment and wage employment opportunities.