To evacuate Indians from abroad in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of India has taken up the Vande Bharat Mission. Another initiative has been launched to aid the homeward bound Indians from abroad, the SWADES (Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support) Scheme. The Ministry of External Affairs, that of Civil Aviation, and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship have come together to make a database of the citizens focusing on their skills and experience. The primary aim of this scheme, according to a press release by the government of India, is to fulfil the demands of both foreign and Indian companies. The data will then be forwarded to the companies for employment opportunities.
How to sign up
The process is simple. The SWADES Skills Card has to be filled up online by the citizens. This card is the gateway to a host of resources and opportunities that are being provided by the stakeholders such as the State Governments, Industry Associations and Employers. According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, support is being extended by the NSDC.
The Union Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey, said that the whole country should come together and support the initiatives of the Centre at such a critical juncture. The economic crisis caused by the COVID – 19 pandemic requires to be dealt with immediately, and the skill mapping under the SWADES Scheme will be beneficial to the country. The gap between demand and supply will be bridged hopefully by this initiative inspired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of growth and security for all Indian citizens.
Who does it apply to?
A lot of Indians who lived abroad had to return to the country in a state of flux. Many lost jobs and some are uncertain about their employment status. The SWADES Scheme is designed to help those citizens in distress. The pandemic has shattered the worldwide job market, and this scheme is just a small move in the direction of recovery. Under the Vande Bharat Mission, around 57,000 people have returned home safely.
Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Civil Aviation Minister, observed that this influx of international skill set and experience might add substantial value to the domestic market. An online portal has been prepared by the MSDE to keep a record of the Indians returning to the country and looking for new opportunities. Flights under the Vande Bharat Mission, Air India, and Air Indian Express, are continually making in-flight announcements about the new scheme. Banners and digital signages have been put up by the Airport authorities to spread awareness among the migrants.
Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister, said that plans had been made to promote the skill card through Embassies, High Commissions, and Consulates of different countries. The form is available online at www.nsdcindia.org/swades. The website has received many applications after it was made live on 30th May.
Qatar, Oman, UAE, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia are the top countries from which people are returning home, and they were primarily employed in the sectors of oil & gas, tourism & hospitality, construction,
Automotive, and Aviation. The migrants belong to the states of Karnataka, Kerala Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Telangana.
This scheme is serving as a ray of hope for the panic-stricken citizens of the country in the middle of the pandemic.