Advisor to Governor, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai today urged the youth to take advantage of the immense resources and schemes launched by the government to accelerate economic growth. He asked them to explore opportunities in traditional skills and new age technologies as both are relevant and equally capable of generating sustainable livelihood.He said it is the endeavor of Governor’s Administration to provide access to quality skill training at the local levels through short term courses as well as long term training, the Advisor added.The Advisor was addressing students at valedictory function of two day “Skill development Art and Craft Mela” organized by Government College for Women, Parade in collaboration with Buddha Art and Painting Studio to commemorate 150th birth anniversary of Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi.The aim of organizing Mela was to provide an environment to flourish purposeful creative activity, to demonstrate the students’ mastery in aesthetics and to display fine arts and amazing crafts made by experts and students. Lauding the initiative of government to celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Advisor said that series of programmes and seminars are being organized across the country to popularize Gandhian philosophy and ideology among people.He quoted Mahatma Gandhi's vision about the need for skill training that ‘Only by imparting education through crafts can enable India to stand ahead of the world'.He said that efforts at rectifying the imbalance in our education system through empowering potential of skilling, finds a deep connect with Gandhian principles of craft-centered education.“Craft-centered education creates a balance between theory and monotonous learning through creative stimulation and self-expression, " the Advisor maintained.He said that in the present age of globalization and technically mutated world, skill building is an important weapon to boost the efficiency and the quality of services for advanced productivity and economic growth. He said that skills and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and social development for any country.The Advisor said that there is a need to improve policies which can give fillip to skill development programmes at colleges, schools, skilled centres to produce skilled population for our nation. He exhorted upon the policy makers to put more efforts into linking education with employment and entrepreneurship through skill development to ensure that our skilled youth can get jobs.Earlier, the Advisor inspected the Art and Craft stalls put up by students of GCW Gandhi Nagar, GGM Science College, MAM College, GDC Paloura , GDC RS Pura, College of Education, GDC Akhnoor, SPMR College of Commerce, GCW Parade, Food Craft Institute besides students of five schools and other stakeholders.The Advisor examined different models exhibited by the students depicting proper management of waste to reduce its adverse effect on environment.Appreciating the models, the Advisor underscored the need to save ecology and environment from pollution and other hazardous effects. He stressed on recycling of solid waste and Bio degradable waste to tackle pollution including disposing of the garbage and all kind of wastes in a scientific manner.Reiterating Gandhiji’s vision of women empowerment , the Advisor said that women are the flag bearers of nation’s development and their empowerment means the empowerment of the nation. Women’s empowerment plays a key factor in achieving economic growth and social development and without it, the agenda of sustainable development cannot be fulfilled. He called for collective efforts by all during the strenuous journey of women to achieve empowerment. There is no individualistic approach to it and society as a whole needs to understand its constructive aspect, he added.Commissioner Secretary Higher Education, Sarita Chouhan, Director Colleges Principal GCW Parade, Hemla Aggarwal, Director School Education, Rakesh Kumar Srangal, Director Social Welfare, Director Tourism, Principals of various Colleges, students and prominent citizens were present on the occasion.Later, the Advisor gave away prizes among the winners and participants of the mela. The live display of painting by renowned artist, Mr. Nityam Singha Roy was the major attraction of the mela.