The Gist of Press Information Bureau (PIB): June 2015

The Gist of Press Information Bureau: June 2015

Digitalisation of Universities

MHRD is presently implementing the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) to leverage the potential of ICT, in teaching and learning process for the benefit of all the learners in Higher Education Institutions in any time any where mode. Under the Mission, more than 810 courses in various disciplines in engineering and science are available on-line under National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL).

E-content for eight undergraduate subjects has also been generated by the Consortium of Educational Communication (CEC) in collaboration with its Media Centers. Over 126 Virtual Labs in nine Engineering & Science disciplines, comprising more than 770 experiments are currently ready for use and available. 1500 Spoken Tutorials are available on line.
A large number of courses for design have also been created. Under the NMEICT scheme, 1 Gbps Optical Fibre connectivity to 403 universities/ university level institutions in the country including Maharashtra State has also been provided.

Rising Unemployment: Steps by Government

The Reliable estimates of employment and unemployment are obtained through labour force surveys on employment and unemployment conducted by National Sample Survey (NSS) Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. Last such survey was conducted during 2011-12. According to the last 3 such surveys, the workforce grew from 45.91 crore in 2004-05 to 47.41 crore persons in 2011-12. The unemployment level decreased from 1.08 crore to 1.06 crore during the corresponding period.

Government has taken various steps for generating employment in the country like encouraging private sector of economy, fast tracking various projects involving substantial investment and increasing public expenditure on schemes like Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) run by Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) scheme run by Ministry of Rural Development and National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) run by Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation. Government has also decided to strategically promote labour-intensive manufacturing and expand employment opportunities by promoting tourism and agro-based industries. The 12th Five Year Plan projects five crore new work opportunities to be generated in the non-farm sector and provide skill certification to equivalent numbers. The National Manufacturing Policy of the Government targets to create 10 crore jobs by the year 2022.

To provide employment oriented skils, a new Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has been established to coordinate the skill activities across Ministries. In order to improve the employability of youth, around 20 Ministries run skill development schemes across 70 sectors. According to the data compiled by National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), about 76.37 lakh persons were given skill development training in the year 2013-14 under these schemes. Ministry of Labour & Employment is also contributing in this direction by enhancing the number of ITIs to 11,964 (Govt. 2284 and Pvt. 9680) which impart Vocational Courses certified by National Council for Vocational Training. It has also revamped apprenticeship training scheme.

Socio Economic Upliftment of Tribals

Over the years, the Central and State Governments have been taking various initiatives for socio-economic upliftment of tribal population of the country. This includes the Tribal Sub Plan Strategy (TSP Strategy) implemented since 1974-75. These efforts have brought out some improvements for Scheduled Tribes in terms of various indicators relating to literacy, health, livelihood, etc. as reflected in Census 2011 and other socio-economic survey reports. However, there are still considerable gaps in the human development indices between Scheduled Tribes and general population. Government through various interventions has strategized the overall development and welfare of tribal people across the country, which takes care of necessary support for education, health, sanitation, water supply, livelihood, etc. to improve their economic, educational and social conditions. The major part of development activities is carried out through various schemes/programmes of concerned Central Ministries and the State Governments, while the Ministry of Tribal Affairs provides additive to these initiatives by way of plugging critical gaps.

The erstwhile Planning Commission had issued revised Guidelines during 2014 for implementation of Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) by the States /UTs and Central Government Ministries/Departments keeping in mind the holistic development of tribal people. The Guidelines, inter alia, reiterate the resolve of the Government for allocation of funds under TSP out of total Plan Outlays of the State not less than the population proportion of STs in State as per Census 2011. The Guidelines further stipulates for non-diversion of funds meant for tribal areas and comprehensive monitoring framework with well-defined indicators, covering provisioning, service delivery standards as well as outcomes. The Guidelines recognizes respective Tribal Welfare Department in the States as the nodal department authorized to lead the process of TSP development.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has also issued “Operational Guidelines for Formulation, Implementation and Monitoring of Tribal Sub-Plan and Article 275(1) grants” in the month of March, 2014 for effective implementation of schemes administered by the Ministry wherein issues related to allocation of funds, priority areas, need for nodal department in States, judicious utilization of TSP fund, institutionalizing the instruments for ensuring transparency, accountability and social audit have been addressed. The Operational Guidelines have laid special emphasis on strengthening of institutions viz. Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) / Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP), Tribal Research Institutions (TRIs) through which tribal welfare programmes are implemented in the State. Further provision has been made for appraisal and approval of the proposals received from the States by a Project Appraisal Committee (PAC) consisting of Secretary (Tribal Affairs) as chairman with representatives of NITI Aayog, Financial Advisor and representatives of the State as members/invitees. As per Section 4(5) and Section 5 of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, the decision of the Gram Sabha is required before diversion of forest land for non- forest purposes. Also, welfare schemes are formulated based on the requirement of tribal areas and the tribal people. Government from time to time identifies the lacuna in policy and implementation and makes recommendations to correct or effectively implement the programmes to benefit the target group.

New Guidelines to Tackle Acid Attacks

The Ministry of Home Affairs is working on preparing a web based application for regulating and tracking sale of acid. The Ministry of Home Affairs has also approached the nationalised insurance agencies to develop a mechanism for providing cashless treatment facility to acid attack victims throughout the country. Fast Tracking of all cases of crimes against women has always been priority of the Government. Necessary steps have been taken in this regard. The Ministry of Home Affairs has also moved a proposal for creation of Central Victim Compensation Fund including compensation for the Victim of acid attacks. As per the provisional data furnished by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 309 number of acid attacks cases have been registered during the year 2014 across the country.

Zero Effect, Zero Defect Model

The Ministry of MSME is implementing a number of Schemes and Programmes for the benefit of local manufacturing in the MSME sector across the country. These Schemes include National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme, Support for Entrepreneurial and Managerial Development of SMEs through Incubators, Cluster Development Programme, Credit Guarantee Scheme, Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme and Marketing Assistance Scheme. These Schemes are aimed towards upgradation of technology, creation of infrastructure, making available collateral free credit, provision of capital subsidy and provision of marketing assistance which in turn lead to creation of high quality local manufacturing. Especially, the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme (NMCP) Scheme highlights the needs for enhancing the competitiveness of Indian manufacturing sector by reducing the manufacturing costs through better space utilization, scientific inventory management, improved process flows, reduced engineering time etc.

The funds allocated towards these Schemes are aimed towards overall development of the Sector including inducing high quality local manufacturing. It is worthwhile to mention that the 12th Five Year Plan allocation for the NMCP Scheme is Rs.860.70 Crore, which is primarily geared for promoting quality local manufacturing. To achieve the targets of the recent “Zero Effect, Zero Defect Models”, the Ministry has not only aligned its schemes like Lean Manufacturing Competitiveness Scheme, Quality Management Standards (QMS) and Quality Technology Tools (QTT), Technology and Quality Upgradation (TEQUP) Schemes in particular but also with Quality Council of India (QCI) has worked out a ‘ZED Certification’ model encompassing an array of quality parameters in manufacturing.

The Ministry of MSME is providing skill development training in rural and urban areas in the widest range of skill sets, from those required for the khadi and village industries to the skill sets required by the globally competitive industries such as auto-components, electronic items, pharma products etc. Efforts are now being directed for a more co-ordinated approach in the areas of skill development i.e. accredition of institutions, certification, curriculum development, industry linkage, training of trainers, trend spotting etc through various training outfits of the Ministry, such as National Level Training Institutions, Tool Rooms and Technology Development Institutions.

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