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Govt. of West Bengal

Department of Women & Child Development and Social Welfare

Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women (STEP)


Introduction And Need for the Scheme

Government of India has set an ambitious plan training 500 million individuals by 2022 which translates to training 42 million a year. For this purpose, India’s vocational training infrastructure needs to be expanded to meet the diverse and many skill requirements of the population. There has been recent concern about the decline in women’s workforce participation in India. Simultaneously, women have become more aspirational and are ready to contribute equally to the economy.

MWCD, through its STEP Programme, has been addressing special situation of poor women and women in remote areas who are not in a position to move out of their immediate surroundings and go to a formal skill centre to acquire training. The STEP Programme a 100% Central Sector Scheme is under implementation since 1986- 87. Training is provided to poor and marginalized women in traditional trades which are largely in the informal sector. The programme strives to build upon the traditional knowledge of women and convert it into sustainable livelihood capacitation.

rigorous process of scrutiny of thousands of proposals that were received in response to the 2014 Guidelines as well as the Gazette notification issued by the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and NITI Aayog’s Guidelines for implementation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes/Central Sector Schemes through NGOs. A separate section has been added as guidance to the applicant organizations.

Objects of the Scheme

The scheme has 2 fold objectives viz.

  1. To provide skills that give employability to women.
  2. To provide competencies and skills that enable women to become self-employed/entrepreneurs.

Target Group

The scheme is intended to benefit women who are in the age group of 16 years and above.

Eligible Organization/ Project Implementing Agencies (PIAs)

Grants-in-aid under the STEP programme may be given to an institution having a distinct legal entity as under:

  1. Institutions or organizations set up as Autonomous Organization under a specific statute or as a Society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or Indian Trusts Act, 1882 (Not for profit) or other statutes.
  2. Voluntary Organizations or Non-Government Organizations registered under the Societies Registration Act, Indian Trust Act carrying out activities which promote the objectives of the STEP programme, with adequate financial and other resources, credibility and experience of the type of activities to be undertaken.
  3. Co-operative Societies.

Criteria for Selection of Project Implementing Agencies (PIAs)

  1. The NGO should have signed up in the NGO-Partnership (NGO-PS) Portal of the NITI Aayog with all self-declared details and should have obtained a Unique ID. The Unique ID should be mandatorily quoted by the NGO at the time of application for grants. NGOs shall update their data base in the Portal every year.
  2. The NGO should also have signed up in the portal of this Ministry with the Unique ID of NITI Aayog.
  3. The organization must be in existence at least for 3 years and have carried out activities for imparting skills related to employability and entrepreneurship during last 3 years. At the time of filing the application, the organization must have a positive net worth in at least 2 previous years.

Trades Covered

(a) Assistance under the STEP Scheme will be available in any sector for imparting skills related to employability and entrepreneurship as identified by the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) including but not limited to the following :

  • Agriculture
  • Horticulture
  • Food Processing
  • Handlooms
  • Traditional crafts like Embroidery, Zari etc.
  • Handicrafts
  • Gems & Jewellery
  • Travel & Tourism, Hospitality
  • In case any other specific course is conducted in any trade which is not included in the list given in Schedule II of MSDE’s notification dated 08.08.2015 and amendments thereto (attached below), consultation with the industry and thereafter approval of Common Norms Committee will be required for giving approval to it.

(b) Soft skills (which would include computer literacy, language and workplace inter-personal skills relevant for the sector/trade) would be an integral part of the skills training process and must be suitably integrated into the course modules.

(c) All Skill Development courses offered under the scheme framework must conform to the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) notified on 27.12.2013(attached below). Government funding would not be available for any training or educational programme/course if it is not NSQF compliant.

Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women (STEP) - Revised Guideline-2016