Vadodara, Sep 11 (UNI) Automobile major Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government of Gujarat to set up Gujarat Regional Automobile Training Institute (GRATI), the first of its kind for tribals in the country.
The MOU was signed by MUL managing director Jagdish Khattar and Gujarat government's tribal welfare department secretary A M Tiwari in the presence of chief minister Narendra Modi.
Briefing newsmen regarding the MOU here, Mr Khattar said this was a unique initiative taken up jointly by his company and Gujarat government not only to impart driving training to tribals but also to provide them necessary technical training through different courses and place upto 60 per cent of the successful trainees in Maruti networks.
State tribal welfare secretary Mr Tiwari said the institute, to be set up at Gajadara village under Wagodia taluka in Vadodara district at a cost of Rs 16 crore, would be fully funded by his department as part of the 10-point Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana (VKY) undertaken by his government for uplift of the tribals.
The VKY was aimed at creating 500,000 meaningful employment in the tribal belt of the state in the next five years, Mr Tiwari said, adding that the proposed automobile training institute would be able to provide employment opportonities to more than 12,000 unemployed tribal youths in five years.
Mr Khattar said his company which runs 25 driving schools in 23 different locations across the country, had planned to set up 25 more such training schools in the next six months as there was a shortage of technical and trained manpower which was essential for road safety and safe driving in the country.
Maruti driving schools had already trained more than 3.5 lakh people, he informed.
The Gujarat project, expected to be completed within one year, is very special for Maruti as the company here would provide technical training to the trainees for the first time in addition to driving.