A sum of Rs. 400 lakhs and a total of 24000 beneficiaries covered under the STEP Scheme till date during 2014-15

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STEP Guidelines revised to considerably increase scope of skills for training women

27-February-2015: The objectives of Support to Training and Employment Programme (STEP) of Union Ministry of Child and Development aims to provide skills that give employability to women and to provide competencies and skills that enable women to become self-employed/entrepreneurs.

As per the Revised Guidelines of the STEP Scheme-2014, assistance will be available in any sector for imparting skills related to employability and entrepreneurship, including but not limited to Agriculture, Horticulture, Food Processing, Handlooms, Tailoring, Stitching, Embroidery, Zari etc, Handicrafts, Computer & IT enabled services along with soft skills and skills for the work place such as spoken English, Gems &Jewellery, Travel & Tourism, Hospitality.  This information was given by the Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in reply to a starred question in the Lok Sabha today.

The cost of providing refreshments may not exceed Rs. 40 per day per beneficiary. The      Project costing may include heads like mobilization of beneficiaries, preparation of curriculum, equipment, raw material, and teaching aids. Acquisition costs of equipment may form a part of the project, but may not exceed 10% of the project cost supported by the Ministry of Women & Child development. Further, the financial assistance to meet a maximum of 90% of the project cost can be sanctioned by the Government of India. The remaining 10% will have to be borne by the implementing agency from its own resources.

An amount of Rs. 400.22 lakhs was released under the scheme during the year 2014-15 (as on 20/02/2015).  Similarly, an amount of Rs. 701.86 lakhs was released in 2013-14 and Rs. 883.30 lakhs during 2012-13.  A total of 24037 beneficiaries were covered under STEP Scheme during 2014-15 (as on 20/02/2015), 31478 beneficiaries were covered in 2013-14 and 30481 in 2012-13.

Replying to a supplementary, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that it will be useful to get a follow-up on how many trained women got jobs or started their own ventures and this follow up should be added to the programme.  Although there are other Ministries/Departments looking after the training and employment of tribal women, it will be useful to include programmes for tribal women under the STEP Scheme, she added.

The Minister said that the scheme also aims to train women at home especially rural women who may not be keen to leave their place of stay. In reply to another supplementary, the Minister said that another scheme of the Ministry, Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) gives seed money to women at low rate of interest as part of financial assistance for economic activities.