New Delhi, 17 September 2014: “Employment creation is a national challenge, and it is time for us to institute a system of awards for those employers who focus on creating livelihoods while simultaneously augmenting national wealth,” said the Union Minister of Labour & Employment, Mines and Steel, Narendra Singh Tomar at a function held in Vigyan Bhawan here today. The minister presented the prestigious Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar (VRP) awards and National Safety Awards (NSA) for Performance Year 2012 involving 215 employees from across the country. The Minister of State for Labour & Employment, Mines and Steel, Vishnu Deo Sai, the Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Employment, Smt Gauri Kumar, Additional Secretary (Labour & Employment) AK Sinha were among others present on the occasion.
Appreciating the role of workers in the industry, Tomar said that a nation’s growth depends more on the working class than the ruling class, for that is where the collective strength lies. In this context, he expressed his faith in the people of India, asserting that if properly channeled, “Human resource is our asset, and not burden.”
On the occasion, Vishnu Deo Sai reiterated that the fruits of development should always be shared with the workers of the country, and that such recognition is an inherent part of Indian culture. Congratulating the awardees for their feat, Smt. Gauri Kumar stressed upon the importance of preventive approach for safety, and called for a “Work culture where safety is a norm, not an after-thought.”
VRP and NSA were instituted in 1965 by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, with an aim to humanize industrial activities, augment productivity and promote a culture of safety. The award schemes are operated by the Directorate General Factory Advice Service and Labour Institutes (DGFASLI). Shortlisted from hundreds of applications received from all corners of the country, the awards are adjudged by a Tripartite Committee having representatives from employers’ organisations, employee’s organisations and state and central govt. Besides, the committee also has experts and academicians from the fields of safety, health, environment, productivity and quality.
For Performance Year 2012, 142 applications were received for VRP, out of which 28 were awarded and these awards were shared by 126 winners. The VRP is given in recognition of excellence in all aspects of performance and productivity, with special focus on workplace ergonomics and workers’ well-being. The awards are given in categories A (five awards), B (eight) and C (15), carrying cash award of Rs 75,000, Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000 respectively. For NSA, out of 144 applications received, 89 were selected for the award, in recognition of outstanding safety performance of industrial establishments, construction sites, ports and installations.