In an effort to map the skills of workers returning to India from overseas, the government will conduct a skill mapping exercise under SWADES (Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support) initiative. The exercise, kick-started under the Vande Bharat Mission, aims to create a database of qualified citizens based on their skillsets and experience, which can be tapped into to fulfil demand of Indian and foreign companies.

The top countries from where the citizens have returned in maximum numbers are the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. These have been primarily employed in sectors such as oil and gas, aviation, construction, tourism and hospitality and IT & ITeS. Most of these belong to states of Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.

Lakhs of citizens have registered at the various international missions seeking help to return to the country and so far more than 35,000 people have returned back to the country. One of the focus areas of Vande Bharat is the gulf region, where more than 80 lakh Indians currently reside.

The ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship (MSDE), under the Skill India Mission, has partnered with the ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) and the ministry of external affairs for the initiative.

Under the programme, the returning citizens are required to fill up a SWADES skill form following which the SWADES skill cards will be issued. The ministry will share the collected information with the companies for suitable placement opportunities in the country.

“The card will facilitate a strategic framework to provide the returning citizens with suitable employment opportunities through discussions with key stakeholders including state governments, industry associations and employers,” the skills development ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. So far, close to 7,000 registrations have been made so far.

The spread of COVID-19 pandemic across the globe has led to the closing down of several companies globally as a result of which thousands of Indians working abroad have lost their jobs and have thus opted to come back to India under the Vande Bharat Mission of the government of India.

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