BHUBANESWAR: The higher education department has asked vice-chancellors of state-run universities and principals of degree colleges to register with the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) under which paid apprenticeship is provided to students passing out of in the state.

Officials said the initiative, which aims at honing the professional skills of students, will be implemented under the Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills () by the ministry of human resource and development to be launched on February 27.

“SHREYAS proposes to tie-up higher educational institutions with the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme in order to provide paid apprenticeship training to students passing out of non-technical higher educational institutions,” , additional secretary of the department, said. “A web portal of SHREYAS will be made functional for the programme from February 27 for a period of 30 days. The authorities of the universities and colleges will have to register through the SHREYAS portal within the stipulated time to successfully implement the scheme,”Mishra added.

Earlier on February 13, the secretary of the ministry of human resource development R Subramanyam had written to about the upcoming scheme, seeking the support of the state government for the training programme. Besides asking the chief secretary to direct all higher educational institutions to register for the scheme, Subramanyam had in his letter also requested to issue necessary direction to the Skill Development Council and industry associations engaged in different services to provide apprenticeships to students.

“The state government may write to the district collectors and hold meetings with the chambers of commerce and skill councils to register themselves as a third party to identify more apprenticeship opportunities,” the Union minister further wrote in the letter. “The students of non-technical institutions often find it difficult when it comes to coping with current demands of the industry. I hope such a professional training will sharpen their skills and boost their confidence,” Basant Sahu, a retired schoolteacher, said.

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