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Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY): Empowering Rural Youth Through Skill Development

 In a country like India, where a significant portion of the population resides in rural areas, empowering the rural youth with the necessary skills and providing them with sustainable employment opportunities is crucial for the overall development of the nation. Recognizing this need, the Government of India launched the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) as part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM). This ambitious scheme aims to skill rural youth who are economically disadvantaged and provide them with jobs that offer regular monthly wages or even exceed the minimum wage standards.


Understanding DDU-GKY

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) is a flagship program of the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. It was launched in 2014 with the aim of transforming the lives of rural youth by providing them with market-relevant skills and linking them to sustainable wage employment opportunities. The program follows a 3-tier implementation structure, involving the central government, state governments, and project implementing agencies.


Objectives of DDU-GKY


1.       Skill Development: The primary objective of DDU-GKY is to provide skill training to rural youth in order to enhance their employability and enable them to secure sustainable livelihoods. The program focuses on both short-term and long-term skill development programs across various sectors, catering to the demand for skilled manpower in the market.


2.       Wage Employment: DDU-GKY aims to ensure that trained rural youth find employment opportunities that offer regular monthly wages or higher than the minimum wage standards. By linking skill training with wage employment, the program aims to reduce the cycle of poverty and uplift the economic conditions of rural households.


3.       Inclusive Growth: The scheme specifically targets individuals from socially and economically marginalized sections of society, including scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, women, and people with disabilities. By promoting inclusive growth, DDU-GKY aims to bridge the skill and employment gap among different segments of the rural population.


Key Features and Implementation


1.       Mobilization and Counseling: DDU-GKY starts with mobilization activities to identify and reach out to potential beneficiaries. Counselling sessions are conducted to create awareness about the program and provide guidance on the available skill training options.


2.       Skill Training: Once identified, the selected candidates undergo skill training programs that are designed to meet industry standards and demands. The training covers a wide range of sectors, including agriculture, construction, healthcare, hospitality, tourism, retail, and more.


3.       Placements and Post-Placement Support: After successful completion of the training, candidates are assisted in finding suitable job placements. The program also offers post-placement support to ensure the long-term sustainability of the employment, which may include entrepreneurship development, career progression, and continuous skill upgradation.


4.       Convergence with Other Programs: DDU-GKY promotes convergence with other government programs to maximize the impact and reach of skill development efforts. It collaborates with various stakeholders, including state governments, industries, training providers, and financial institutions, to create a robust ecosystem for skill training and employment generation.


Benefits and Impact


Enhanced Employability: By providing industry-relevant skills, DDU-GKY enhances the employability of rural youth, enabling them to compete in the job market and secure sustainable employment opportunities.


1.       Income Generation: Through regular monthly wages or higher-than-minimum-wage employment, the program helps rural youth generate a stable income, leading to improved living standards and reduced poverty.


2.       Empowerment of Marginalized Sections: DDU-GKY plays a vital role in empowering marginalized sections of society, such as women, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and people with disabilities, by providing them with equal opportunities for skill development and employment.


3.       Economic Growth: By addressing the skill gap in rural areas and creating a skilled workforce, DDU-GKY contributes to the overall economic growth of the nation. It promotes rural entrepreneurship, encourages local development, and reduces migration to urban areas in search of employment.


4.       Project Funding of DDU-GKY: DDU-GKY provides funding support for placement-linked skilling projects that address the market demand with funding support ranging from Rs. 25,696 to over Rs. 1 lakh per person, depending on the duration of the project and whether the project is residential or non-residential. DDU-GKY funds projects with training duration from 576 hours (3 months) to 2304 hours (12 months).



Funding components under DDU-GKY fund a variety of skill training programs covering over 250 trade sectors such as Retail, Hospitality, Health, Construction, Automotive, Leather, Electrical, Plumbing, Gems and Jewellery, etc. The only mandate is that skill training should be demand based and lead to the placement of at least 75% of the trainees.




Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) has emerged as a game-changer in rural skill development and employment generation in India. By focusing on economically disadvantaged rural youth, the program has not only empowered individuals but also contributed to the overall socio-economic development of rural communities. As DDU-GKY continues to bridge the gap between skill training and sustainable employment, it brings us closer to a more inclusive and prosperous India.