Programmes and policy need effective monitoring and evaluation - Rao Inderjit Singh

Programmes and policy need effective monitoring and evaluation - Rao Inderjit Singh 

One of the major objectives of the new Government is “Minimum Government Maximum Governance” and the governance implies ensuring that requisite social and economic services reach all sections of the society in an effective and efficient manner, which would be possible only with a strong and robust system of monitoring and evaluation. This was started by Shri Rao Inderjit Singh, Minister of State for planning while inaugurating EvalWeek, a five days event featuring consultations on strategies to spread awareness about and use of evaluation as a tool for enhancing result from policies and programmes of good governance here today. The event was jointly organized by National Institute for Labour Economics Research and Development (NILRD) and Programme Evaluation Organization of the NITI Aayog. The Minister pointed out that the new Government has taken a number of new developmental initiatives such as Make in India campaign, Swachcha Bharat Abhiyan, Digital India campaign, Jan Dhan Yojana, etc which have need to be monitored regularly for better delivery. 

Shri Rao said that a major task before the NITI Aayog, constituted recently, is to actively monitor and evaluate implementation of programmes and initiatives. The Minister stated that with Central Plan expenditure of the order of Rs. 5.75 lakh crore (i.e. about US$ 92 billion) were being channelized per year for development, it was absolutely necessary that there is concurrent, comprehensive, credible and reliable evaluation. 

He stressed the need for time-bound, ethical and credible evaluations based on ground level evidence and feedback, and conducted by independent organisations without any conflict of interest. The minister pointed out that in spite of the long history of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in the country, somehow, a national evaluation policy had not come into existence. It was time to consider developing a National Evaluation Policy that would provide direction to M&E activities in the country, laying stress upon quality standards and sound, ethical procedures and provide for appropriate institutional mechanisms. 

The Minister observed that United Nations was in the process of developing a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which would build upon the MDGs and would form the basis for global development for the next 15 years. A robust system should be in place to monitor progress towards these goals of gender equality, social equity and protection of environment. 

The Minister congratulated NITI Aayog and NILERD for coming together to take this timely initiative to organize this Evaluation Week, which coincided with the declaration of the year 2015, as the International year of Evaluation. He hoped that EvalWeek would deliberate upon all important issues that would contribute to generating awareness, learning strategies for evaluation and creation of a culture of evaluation. 

A number of technical sessions of presentations discussions on the theme of evaluation have been programmed for the five days of the Evalweek. Other events include interactions of delegated form other countries with various divisions of NITI Aayog, Round tables on gender-responsive and equity focused evaluations, case studies, emerging challenges, participatory approaches to evaluation and so on. 

The EvalWeek will conclude on 23rd January 2015 with a summing up on the outcomes and valedictory address by the CEO, NITI Aayog. The Evaluation Torch will also be formally handed over to the next event of the International Evaluation Year. 

On the occasion a compendium of articles on evaluation policies and practice contributed by various evaluation researchers and evaluation practitioners titled “Evaluation for Sustainable Development- Experience and Learning” was also released by Minister to mark the EvalWeek. 

The Union Minister for Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu addressing the 15th National Seminar o¬n "PPP and FDI in Indian Railways" organised at IRISET, in Secunderabad on January 19, 2015. The Governor of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Shri E.S.L. Narasimhan and other dignitaries are also seen.

Indian Railways needs Investment from All Possible Sources for Speedy Development of Infrastructure: Suresh Prabhu 

The Centre for Transportation Research and Management (CTRAM), New Delhi, an autonomous body of Transport Professionals, organized the 15thNational Seminar o¬n “PPP and FDI in Indian Railways” today i.e. 19thJanuary, 2015 at the Indoor Auditorium of Indian Railway Institute of Signal Engineering and Telecommunication (IRISET), Tarnaka Road, Secunderabad. Shri E S L Narasimhan, Hon’ble Governor of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh was the Chief Guest. Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister of Railways presided over the inaugural session of the Seminar. Shri Devi Prasad Pande, Member Traffic, Railway Board, New Delhi & President, CTRAM and Shri P.K.Srivastava, General Manager, South Central Railway were amongst those present. 

Addressing the audience comprising of delegates from across a wide spectrum of the Corporate sector, Public sector and senior Railway officials etc., Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu made a strong pitch to formulate the growth plans for Indian Railways o¬n the basis of new ideas and innovative decisions to suit to the current realities. The need of the hour is to understand the symptoms ailing the organization first, correct identification of the problem areas next and then drawing up the required prescription for solution, he stated. 

Noting that there are large number of demands from people/public representatives for new rail lines and more number of train services, the Hon’ble Minister stated that the present infrastructure of Indian Railways is inadequate to cope up with these demands. The immediate requirement is to enhance the capacities o¬n railways to decongest the routes and vertical expansion in cities towards upgrading the network / infrastructure, he added. As money is needed to modernize Indian Railways and also keeping in view the present fiscal constraints, Railways has to explore all possible means to mobilize resources to develop a high class infrastructure to cater to the future needs, stressed Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu. He highlighted that Indian Railways needs investments – both financial and technological - from various sources both within and outside. Towards this, Railways is exploring to draw investments from new sources such as foreign pension funds and other institutions, he stated. 

The Hon’ble Railway Minister categorically stated that Indian Railways is never going to be privatized and that it continues to be owned by the Govt. of India. The driving wheel of Indian Railways will firmly be in the hands of Railway Ministry o¬nly, he stressed. Describing the task of upgrading and modernizing Indian Railways as a National challenge, Shri Suresh Prabhu stated that it is in the interest of Indian Railways and its Employees that investments from all sources should be mobilized for this task. He emphasized that any decision being taken by the Govt. o¬n PPP / FDI etc. is clearly aimed at enabling growth of Railways and the economy. He cautioned that there should not be any communication gap with the employees o¬n this subject and that the interest of railways will be paramount in any new policy decision. He further stated that efficiency and productivity in railway working shall also be improved to generate more revenue. Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu also spoke of plans to induct the best of technologies to modernize Railways duly involving scientific and research organisations such as DRDO and ISRO. 

Shri E. S. L. Narasimhan, Hon’ble Governor of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh stated in his address that Indian Railways has come a long way from the earlier days to evolve as a modern transport system offering improved options and facilities. However, keeping in view the need to meet the future demand, it is rightly in the interest of Indian Railways that PPP and FDI should be encouraged, he stated. Noting that the FDI guidelines clearly identify the key areas for investment, the Hon’ble Governor stressed that prioritization is very important so that the resources are spent in areas which fulfill the needs of common man. He stressed that removal of Unmanned Level Crossings, providing safe and secure travel, cleanliness and hygienic catering services o¬n Railways should be given due priority. 

Earlier, Shri D.P. Pande, Member/Traffic, Railway Board and President, CTRAM in his address stated that Indian Railways is at the crossroads, unable to meet the present demands due to resource crunch. He said that a staggering amount of Rs 1.18 lakh crores are needed for the completion of 359 major sanctioned railway projects. The need of the hour is for a fresh outlook and innovative thinking to generate required resources, he added. 

Shri P.K. Srivastava, General Manager, South Central Railway, in his address expressed confidence that the day-long seminar will present a broad framework to aid in policy making o¬n the issue of PPP/FDI in Indian Railways as a large number of eminent personalities representing the Public sector, Private sector and Railways are participating in the deliberations. 


Commodity-Wise Freight Revenue Earnings of Railways goes up by 12.23 per cent during April-December 2014 

The Indian Railways has generated Rs. 75986.04 crore of revenue earnings from commodity-wise freight traffic during April-December 2014 as compared to Rs. 67705.11 crore during the corresponding period last year, registering an increase of 12.23 per cent. Railways carried 808.57 million tonnes of commodity-wise freight traffic during April-December 2014 as compared to 769.74 million tonnes carried during the corresponding period last year, registering an increase of 5.04 per cent. 

During the month of December 2014, Railways generated Rs. 9775.45 crore as compared to Rs. 8635.38 crore during the same period last year, registering an increase of 13.20 per cent. Out of which, Rs. 4595.42 crore came from transportation of 48.91 million tonnes of coal, followed by Rs. 751.07 crore from 9.15 million tonnes of iron ore for exports, steel plants and for other domestic user, Rs. 778.12 crore from 9.08 million tonnes of cement, Rs. 723.46 crore from 4.37 million tonnes of food grains, Rs. 501.64 crore from 3.59 million tonnes of petroleum oil and lubricant (POL), Rs. 556.47 crore from 3.37 million tonnes of Pig iron and finished steel from steel plants and other points, Rs. 627.05 crore from 4.86 million tonnes of fertilizers, Rs. 162.86 crore from 1.56 million tonnes of raw material for steel plants except iron ore, Rs. 471.80 crore from 4.29 million tonnes by container service and Rs. 607.56 crore from 6.29 million tonnes of other goods. 


TVoA register an increase of 421.6% during December, 2014 over the same period last year 

TVoA register an increase of 92.4% during January-December, 2014 over the same period 

The Government has launched Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) enabled by Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) on 27th November 2014 for 43 countries. Prior to it, only the normal TVoA scheme was in operation for 12 countries. The following are the important highlights of TVoA (including ETA enabled) issued during December, 2014: 

(i) During the month of December 2014, a total of 14,083 TVoA were issued as compared to 2,700 TVoA during the month of December 2013, registering a growth of 421.6%. During January –December 2014, a total number of 39,046 TVoA were issued as compared to 20,294 TVoAs during the corresponding period of 2013 registering a growth of 92.4%. This high growth is due to introduction of ETA enabled TVoA for 43 countries in November 2014. 

(ii) The percentage share of top 10 source countries for TVoA, in India during December 2014, were as follows: 

USA (24.26%), Russian Federation (15.06%), Republic of Korea (11.01%), Ukraine (8.16%), Australia (7.98%), New Zealand (5.08%), Japan (4.30%), Singapore (4.27%), Germany (4.05%) and the Philippines (3.10%). 

(iii) The percentage share of different destinations for TVoA, in India during December 2014, were as follows: 

New Delhi (35.78%), Mumbai (21.05%), Goa (18.24%), Chennai (7.17%), Bengaluru (5.76%), Kochi (4.54%), Hyderabad (3.13%), Kolkata (2.35%), and Trivandrum (1.98%). 


Toilet use shall be promoted as a life style choice of all, says Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu 

Suggests a three pronged strategy for success of Swachh Bharat Mission 

Fresh sanitation based ranking of cities to be done by March this year 

Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu has called for ‘making use of toilets as a life style choice by all and particularly, the poor as part of achieving total sanitation in the country’. Addressing the inaugural session of ‘World Toilet Congress’ here today, Shri Naidu elaborated on a three pronged strategy of promoting awareness about the need for cleanliness, ensuring necessary infrastructure and resorting to penal measures to ensure total sanitation in the country. 

Reflecting on the sanitation scenario in the country, Shri Venkaiah Naidu noted that none of the 7,135 cities and towns qualifies to be a ‘green city’ in terms of sanitation in the country and only four cities viz., Chandigarh, New Delhi Municipal Council, Surat and Mysore scored 66 as against 90 required for being a green city, when the last ranking was done in 2010. He informed that fresh ranking of cities based on sanitation conditions would be completed by March this year. 

The Minister lamented that about US $ 54 billion worth GDP is being lost every every year on account of inadequate sanitation in the country. In urban areas over one crore toilets are required to be built in urban areas alone and the Government would be spending over Rs.2 lakh cr in both urban and rural areas in the country over the next five years to ensure cleanliness. He further noted that about 13% of urban people defecate in the open. 

Shri Venkaiah Naidu felt that after generating awareness about cleanliness and providing infrastructure like individual and community and public toilets, penal measures should be introduced for violating sanitation norms. 

The two day World Toilet Summit is being organized by the World Toilet Organistion and World Education Foundation under the aegis of the Ministry of Urban Development. 


Shri Baba Ramdev meets Shri Venkaiah Naidu and lends support to Swachh Bharat Mission 

Yoga Guru Shri Baba Ramdev today met Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu and assured of his whole hearted support to the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ launched by Prime Minister Shri Naredra Modi. 

Terming the Cleanliness Mission as ‘a very noble initiative by the Government’, Shri Ramadev said that ‘purity of mind and soul are closely linked to a clean environment’ and ensuring total sanitation is a sure way of promoting clean minds. He assured the Minister that he would promote awareness about the need for total sanitation as a part of all his campaigns across the country. 

Shri Baba Ramdev also appreciated the Government’s efforts to associates icons from different walks of public life with Swachh Bharat Mission to motivate people. He expressed happiness over the United Nations Organisation declaring June 21 as the ‘International Day of Yoga’ at the behest of the Prime Minister. 

Shri Venkaiah Naidu thanked Shri Ramdev for coming forward to support the Cleanliness initiative across the country with the objective of achieving total sanitation by October 2, 2019. 
Programmes and policy need effective monitoring and evaluation - Rao Inderjit Singh Programmes and policy need effective monitoring and evaluation - Rao Inderjit Singh Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 9:00 PM Rating: 5

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