‘Nai Manzil’ is a scheme initiated by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India to provide education and market-driven job skill training to poor youth from minority communities. The scheme has been widely assisted by World Bank. The scheme has been launched for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir and is aimed to benefit girls from minority communities.
Minister of Minority Affairs, Dr. Najma Heptulla informed the media that the scheme was launched in three institutions on January 20, 2016 for girls. Skill Development Centre, University of Kashmir has been selected as the institution to provide skill training under Nai Manzil scheme while two madarsas, namely, Madarsa Shahi-i-Hamdan, Pampore and Madarsa Imam Sadique, Shadi pur, Bandipora, are other two institutions where the training will be provided.
Seven sectors have been distinguished in which the skill development training will be provided to girls of Jammu and Kashmir. The sectors are : training in saffron processing, food processing, embroidery, computers IT (both software and hardware), Tourism/Hospitality, electronics and plumbing. The government has also decided to pay a stipend of Rs.4500 to the students. Girl students will be given three month skill development training in the course of their choice.
The Government of India classifies six communities, namely, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis as Minorities. Together minorities comprise almost 18 percent of total country’s population. Government of India created Ministry of Minority Affairs in the year 2006, to focus on development of minority communities to achieve overall development of the country.
The Nai Manzil Scheme is a comprehensive education and skill development program that was launched by government on August 8, 2015. The scheme aims towards offering an integrated program for education and market relevant skill training to youths of minorities communities. The scheme has been designed to engage with poor minority youth and help them obtain sustainable and gainful employment opportunities that can facilitate them to be integrated with mainstream economic activities. The scheme has been initiated to counter the problem that students face when they move out of educational institutions like madarsas.
The Nai Manzil scheme has been initially launched in Bihar and Maharashtra and the government is also planning to introduce the scheme in other religious educational institutions to further widen its reach.