NEEM Scheme – AICTE revisits for enhanced process

In addition to Apprentice training under Apprentices Act -1961 and trainees engaged as per Standing order provisions, a new initiative was notified by AICTE (All India Council of Technical Education) on 15/4/2013 in the name of NEEM  (National Employability Enhancement Mission) with an objective to offer “on the job practical training” to enhance employability of graduates/diploma holders or students pursuing graduation/diploma to increase their employability and these regulations was subsequently revised on 15/06/2017. Any Society/trust/Company registered under section 25 of Companies Act, 1956/Bodies of Central Government/Bodies of State Government are eligible to obtain the NEEM Agency and further having the training experience in the industry at least for five years, their financial turnover and their network with employers of different industries like factors are evaluated by AICTE to award NEEM Agency.

These “NEEM Agencies” are so-called “NEEM Facilitators” are expected to be tied-up with the employers of different industries to place the trainees for “on the job training” with more flexibility in terms of finalizing the period of training from 3 months to 36 months, number of trainees engaging as per their accommodative factors and with the wide range in age limit of 16 years to 40 years and qualification part to consider from 10th passed to pursuing post-graduation and with a condition of providing stipend which is not less than the notified unskilled category of employee wages in that particular industry which made the ample opportunity in placing trainees in the industries. Since the procedures followed in terms of engaging NEEM trainees are more flexible and easily adaptable by the employers while comparing with procedures to follow in engaging Apprentices trainees and Standing order trainees.

This scheme got populated slowly in the initial phase and subsequently geared up more successfully in the industries by accepting the real cause of this mission. There are around 30 NEEM Facilitators, Aparajitha Foundations is one of them,  identified for its PAN India skill development. The data related to trainees like period of training, industries where engaged, the stipend paid are updated by the NEEM Facilitators in the prescribed Portal every month to apprise AICTE about the training part turnover. AICTE also ensured the effectiveness of the training through “Expert visit Committee” (EVC) Inspection periodically advises the NEEM Facilitators based on observations made by EVC for any improvements warranted.

Besides, this well-defined scheme also undergoing hiccups in availing the exemption from Labour law provisions at par with Apprentice trainees which are explicitly accommodated wherein the category of NEEM trainees are not, except the AICTE regulations, this becomes a hurdle in the way forward, and also now AICTE  is required to revisit this existing pattern of training. The expected new pattern which is yet to be notified to induct through higher educational institutes wherein all future trainees shall be students who are pursuing studies at higher educational institutes ( bachelor level and higher level) for developing their skills to enhance their future employability. Still, AICTE to notify the revised terms for the NEEM Facilitators in this regard, in meantime advised all NEEM Facilitators not to enroll any recruits and to phase out the existing trainees as per their existing contractual period of training and been informed on 19/09/2019, which brings the end of this more purposeful mission rather than successful one.  The NEEM is winding up within this short period. A sad note to say “bye” to “NEEM” at this stage is only a heartfelt thought of without even attempting on regularizing the shortfalls in the existing clueful pattern, this mission is withdrawn for unknown reasons. Hoping for eventful happening from AICTE on time.

Coordinator – NEEM
Aparajitha Foundations

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