Bengaluru: Skilled workers in gram panchayats will be given recognition and respect as the Union skill development ministry has launched a pilot project to formally certify already skilled workers. This will enable them to use their expertise in government and private industries, reports Times of India. 

The project has seen the light of day in 167 GPs including Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi and neighbouring Chandauli district.

As of now, over 900 candidates were awarded the certificates. 2,250 have been enrolled for training.

“About 70% of our country's population resides in rural India. The inclusion of gram panchayats is crucial for the success. This programme will be used to align the competencies of an already pre-existing workforce of the country to the standardised framework. The certification will help build confidence, respect and recognition to the candidates in the society," Union skill development minister Mahendra Nath Pandey as, as reported by the website.

As of now, the target for the project is to issue certificates to 7,500 such skilled workers in Varanasi and Chandauli under the programme in the pilot. 

The certification process will also involve a 48-hour to a week-long workshop to help eliminate bottlenecks and use of craftsmanship with the help of trainers.

"The RPL training has helped me immensely in understanding the significance of following standard practice to maintain cleanliness of our surroundings. Such as me and other sanitation workers learnt the importance of segregating wet waste from dry and even received a kit which had a uniform, mask and gloves required to stay safe," the website added Sangeeta from Phoolpur in Varanasi, as saying.

"I have been working as a carpenter for 15 years and have finally been recognized with a government certificate. At least I can find better livelihood prospects in society," said Sanjay Vishwakarma, carpenter, Jivnathpur in Chandauli.

To make matters easy, the Union ministry has tied up with Panchayti Raj department of UP government.

"No fee will be charged by the candidate and Rs 500 will be given at the end of certification as a travel and workshop allowance," said an official.