A 48-member team will represent India at the global skill competition, WorldSkills Kazan 2019, to be held in Russia this month, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) said on Sunday.

India is the sixth largest team that will take part in the skill competition in Kazan, Russia, during August 22-27, the ministry said in a release. Nearly 1,500 participants from 60 countries will compete in 56 skill competitions at this mega event.

The Indian team will participate in 44 skills, including mobile robotics, prototype modelling, hairdressing, baking, confectionary & patisserie, welding, brick laying, car painting, floristry, etc, it said.

Forty-four experts and 14 interpreters are also accompanying the participants to Kazan.

In 2017, a 28-strong contingent took part in the WorldSkills International at Abu Dhabi, winning one silver, one bronze and nine Medallions of Excellence.

Addressing the candidates during a ceremony organised by national Skill Development Corp (NSDC) here, Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Mahendra Nath Pandey said, "Participating at events of such scale adds to the larger cause of skill development which is integral to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of a Skilled India.”

"I also hope with Team India's participation at WorldSkills, the event will gain the same level of popularity in the country, as the Olympics and the Asian Games,” he said.

The contestants have been shortlisted through a series of contests conducted at district, state, regional and national levels over the past year. Over 50,000 youth had registered for the IndiaSkills Competitions that were organized across several legs last year, the statement said.

Candidates have been exposed to international training with industry support from over 100 companies.

About 75 per cent participants come from tier II and tier III cities, with 25 per cent from rural areas. Most belong to humble backgrounds, parents work as farmers, coolie, daily wage labourers and security guards.

Among states/UTs, Maharashtra tops the chart with seven contestants participating in the competition, followed by five from Karnataka and four from Uttar Pradesh. PTI NAM SVK

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