Kolkata: After Mishti Hub, Muslin Hub and similar other clusters, the state government is likely to lay the foundation stone for the construction of the long-proposed ‘lighting hub’ in Chandannagar on February 22.Speaking to the Press on the sidelines of a seminar organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday, the minister of Technical Education, Training and Skill Development Purnendu Basu said: “Chandannagar is famous for its lighting displays worldwide. But the workers who are involved in this segment have training of the traditional kind and they learn the craft by observing others. Unfortunately, the number of these workers is plummeting.” Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose”The foundation stone of the lighting hub is most likely to be laid on February 22, when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will visit the Hooghly district. The government has sanctioned Rs 12 crore for the project and the site of the project has also been decided,” he added. Last year, the Bengal government had announced funding for the proposed lighting hub, to give a structured boost to the industry by creating a special zone. Basu further said: “Apart from the lighting hub, the state government has also decided to open an institute in the area. This will be an industrial training institute (ITI) which will train people in electrical work, wiring and use of digital medium, helping the workers learn the craft better. Teachers who want to provide training in this institute are welcome to come and teach these workers.” Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataSpeaking at a seminar on ‘Way forward to skill Bengal: Reforms, Challenges and Imperatives’, Basu also said that India faces a serious shortage of skilled workers and only about 2 percent of workers have received skill training. A large section of the workforce lack skills and are hence unemployable. There is a need to identify the skill gap and bridge the gap with help from experts. Apart from the West Bengal Skill Development Mission, the Bengal government had also launched the flagship scheme of ‘Utkarsh Bangla’ in 2016, to deliver skill development training and to create an industry-ready workforce. Capacity building is taking place through the programme, which aims to train at least 6 lakh youths annually. The portal has been a success and it has allowed convergence of different stakeholders. The government is providing training at ITIs, as well as other institutions including private-public partnerships, he maintained.