Another feather has been added to Didi’s cap. After the unique conditional cash transfer scheme for adolescent girls, Kanyashree, the West Bengal state government has once again received global recognition, with its Utkarsh Bangla programme being acknowledged by the United Nations.
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), a United Nations arm, had conducted a vote worldwide, and as per the reports, Utkarsh Bangla has been ranked among the top five programmes in the capacity building segment.
Utkarsh Bangla, Bengal’s flagship skill development programme designed under the guidance of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was launched on February 16, 2016, ahead of the Assembly Polls. The West Bengal Skill Development Society was formed in this regard to conduct training under the scheme.
Within three years of commencement, the programme was successfully inducted at the block level. According to the Department of Technical Education, Training and Skill Development (TET&SD), almost 4.5 lakhs unemployed youth of the state have been trained till date under 23 various trades like wiring, tailoring, plumbing etc. Many of them are now self-employed in their concerned trades.
A total of 1,062 programs from around the world were nominated in 18 segments for the acknowledgement. The ranking was based on the votes which were counted around 2 million. For the final call, 143 schemes were shortlisted, and based on the maximum number of votes cast, Utkarsh Bangla managed to make in to the top five finalists.
The champion will be announced and awarded on April 9 at the headquarters of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Geneva, Switzerland.
The news of this international recognition has brought much enthusiasm to the department. Purnendu Basu, Minister-in-charge, TET&SD Department, Government of West Bengal, gave the entire credit for the success to Mamata Banerjee who conceptualised the program.