The Union Ministry of Rural Development implements Special Projects for rural youth with a view to equip them with marketable skills which would enable them to secure placement in the industry. Placement Linked Skill Development of BPL rural youth is applicable in the age group of 18-35 years and the Project Implementing Agency has to ensure that out of the total beneficiaries covered under a project, a minimum of 50 percent will be from SC/ST community. The information was given by the Minister of State for Rural Development Shri Pradeep Jain in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.
He said, special Projects can be implemented in any district, including the Naxal affected district of the country and the Ministry is in the process of approaching Empowered group of Officers in Planning Commission for relaxing the guidelines for special projects and seeking additional funding for 60 IAP or Naxal affected districts. Relaxations sought will help in improving the (i) Inclusion criteria, (ii) Financial outlay, (iii) Training models and (iv) Geographical Spread. The Minister informed that this initiative will give a boost to development works there as it would complement other initiatives under IAP( Integrated Action Plan) by constructively engaging the youth.