Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Monday voiced support to the government's demonetisation move, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a "very important step" to curb black money.
"Demonetisation was very much needed for the country. He (Modi) has taken a very important step. It was badly needed," The Art of Living Founder told reporters.
He said "people are very happy" by the move to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, adding, "they are facing some inconvenience which is temporary".
The spiritual guru was in New Delhi to attend an MoU signing event between the Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC) and The Art of Living Digital India Movement, which aims to skill youth, create employment opportunities, encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship and support Skill India initiative.
Highlighting the importance of skill development, Ravi Shankar said it is "badly needed in the country".
"If we do it (skill development) we can surpass China," he said.
Asked why West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal were opposed to demonetisation, Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy retorted: "Find out from them. Why are they so desperate? What is pinching them so hard?"
On the government's move, Rudy said: "This is a common man's dream which the Prime Minister has achieved. Demonetisation has made the common Indian happy. Well, it has made certain politicians unhappy, can't help it. But nonetheless, the country is happy, people are thinking that Mr Modi's move is for the poor man."
Addressing the agreement signing ceremony, Rudy told Ravi Shankar: "A person like you coming on stage in a small function is giving that respectability to the aspirations of millions of Indian youth.
"You are our brand ambassador for skills. Prime Minister will be more than happy to have you as a part of the skilling ecosystem," Rudy said.
The MoU envisages taking skilling and digital education in telecom sector to the remotest part of India through The Art of Living Digital India Movement's network of centres.
Stressing the importance of skill development training in improving employability, Ravi Shankar encouraged the youth to take steps to boost their self-confidence.
"Digital technology is one of the areas where India has proven its capability. Since the majority of our population is young, vocational skill training in this sector can strengthen India's position in this field globally," he observed.
Rudy said the partnership will provide scale and speed to the Skill India programme and help in bridging the employability gap and creating a specialised, skilled workforce.
TSSC will focus on utilising the centres of The Art of Living Digital India Movement for training and assessment of youth in telecom sector skill development ecosystem.
Telecom Sector Skill Council is a Not for Profit public-private-partnership between National Skills Development Corporation and the Telecom Mndustry.