Toilets in Government Schools

Toilets in Government Schools 

Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) programme annual maintenance grant @ Rs. 5000/- per school per year for schools with three classrooms and Rs. 10000/- per school per year with schools more than three classrooms, for the maintenance of school infrastructure including toilets, is provided. In addition to this school grant is also provided @ Rs. 5000/- per primary school per year and @ Rs. 7000/- per upper primary school per year. Similarly, under the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) programme school grant @ Rs. 50,000/- is provided in secondary schools. In pursuance to the national call to provide functional toilets for girls and boys in the schools, the Public Sector Undertakings / Private corporate have committed re-construction of 69083 dysfunctional toilets. Rs. 56.51crore has been allocated from the Swachh Bharat Kosh for re-construction / repairs of 5245 dysfunctional toilets till February 28th, 2015. 

This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Irani in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha question. 


Budget for Girls’ Education 

The Gender Budget of the Ministry of Human Resource Development provided for a total budget of Rs. 19985.47 crore for the year 2014-15 (RE) for girls’ education. 

The Centrally sponsored scheme, “National Scheme of Incentive to Girls for Secondary Education” provides Rs. 3,000/- which is deposited in the name of eligible unmarried girls below 16 years as fixed deposit, who are entitled to withdraw it along with interest thereon on reaching 18 years of age and after passing class X. The scheme covers (i) all girls belonging to SC/ST communities, who pass class VIII and (ii) all girls who pass class VIII from Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) and enrol in class IX in Government, Government-aided and local body schools. 

This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Irani in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha question. 


Digital Gender Atlas for Girls’ Education in India Launched 

The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of School Education and Literacy, presented the Digital Gender Atlas for Advancing Girls’ Education in India to the media in New Delhi today. The Secretary, School Education and Literacy, Ms. Vrinda Sarup was also present on the occasion. The tool, which has been developed with the support of UNICEF, will help identify low performing geographic pockets for girls, particularly from marginalised groups such as scheduled castes, schedule tribes and Muslim minorities, on specific gender related education indicators.

The Atlas is placed on the MHRD website and available and ready to use by States/Districts/Blocks education administrators or any other interested group. In order to plan and execute educational interventions, the purpose of the Gender Atlas is to help identify and ensure equitable education with a focus on vulnerable girls, including girls with disabilities. To ensure this is feasible, the Gender Atlas has been developed as a hands-on management tool to enable critical decisions and actions in pockets where gaps are to be met.

The Atlas provides comparative analysis of individual gender related indicators over three years and that enables a visual assessment of the change and an understanding of whether some intervention introduced in a geography at a particular point in time has worked or not. It is constructed on an open source platform with an inbuilt scope of updating data by authorized persons to retain its dynamic character.

Using available Government data such as the Unified District Information System for Education (U-DISE) data (2011-2014), Census 2011 data and District Level Health Survey (DLHS) 2007-08, the Gender Atlas enables the user to navigate between geographical representation and numeric data at state, district and block levels and gives information on key indicators for girls’ education at primary, upper primary and secondary level. No primary data has been generated for the development of the atlas.

India has achieved high enrolment rates for girls at primary and upper primary levels of schooling. However, at the secondary level girls’ enrolment remains lower. While in upper primary the representation of girls in the total enrolment is 48.66%, the percentage in secondary is 47.29%. Girls comprise half the population of school age children, and therefore, it is important to understand the multiple vulnerabilities they face in different areas in order to plan and prioritise inclusive interventions. Also present on the occasion were Additional Secretary (School Education and Literacy), and other senior officers and dignitaries from the Ministry of HRD as well as the UNICEF. The Media persons from various newspapers organisations also attended the event.

Components of the Digital Gender Atlas
1.      The main components of the Gender Atlas are : (i) Composite Gender Ranking (ii) Trend Analysis of Gender Indicators (iii) Vulnerabilities based on educational indicators in districts with substantial tribal, schedule caste, minority population in educationally backward blocks and in left wing extremist districts, and the low sex ratio districts seleced uner Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme. 

2.      Composite Gender Ranking: Selected gender related indicators have been identified for primary, upper primary and secondary education. A composite gender index has been developed using the formulae that are used for calculating the EDI in DISE. But for gender elated indicators. Accordingly, the selected gender indicators have been grouped into four – Access, Infrastructure, Teachers and Outcomes.  The Atlas provides an aggregated picture of performance through a comparative visualization of composite gender index based quartile ranking of gender related indicators at National, State, District and Block levels.

3.      Trend Analysis for Gender Related Indicators: The Atlas enables a trend analysis and tracking of performance of individual gender related indicators (that have been used for the composite gender ranking) across a period of three years

4.      Spatial Display of Pockets with Multiple Disadvantages Related to Education: Spatial identification of pockets in states or blocks in districts where juxtaposition of key relevant gender indicators reveal maximum disadvantages, viz., education development

5.      Vulnerabilities: This component of the Atlas visualizes the vulnerability status of an area based on a composite index of three broad indicators (i) rural female literacy – from Census 2011 (ii) percentage girls/boys married below the legal age of marriage – DLHS and (iii) working children (bifurcated by gender and age groups of 5-14 years and 15-19 years – Census of India 2011. These maps are available up to the district level.

6.      Children with Disabilities: This part of the Atlas visualizes the performance status of a single indicators related to children with disabilities, particularly girls, based on quartile ranking across three years i.e. 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14.  The performance status of an individual indicator can be visualized at state and district level.


Government to establish cross cultural linkages with 39 Indian Ocean Countries under Project Mausam

The Government has proposed to establish cross cultural linkages and to revive historic maritime cultural and economic ties under ‘Project Mausam’ with 39 Indian Ocean countries. The 39 countries include Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Iraq, Mauritius, Singapore, Thailand , Yemen, South Africa, Philippines, Pakistan among others.

Project ‘Mausam’ was launched in the 30th Session of World Heritage Committee meeting which was held at Doha, Quatar in June, 2014 and since then it has received positive response from countries such as China, UAE, Qatar, Myanmar, Iran and Vietnam. Archaeological Survey of India in collaboration with State Govt.of Kerala organized a National Conference on Project ‘Mausam’ in Kochi in November 2014.Indira Gandhi National Centre for Art (IGNCA) has constituted an Academic Committee and a temporary research unit in this regard.

The Government has formulated action plan for achieving a World Heritage transnational nomination for ‘Indian Ocean Maritime Routes. The Plan envisages joint initiative of India and various member states for implementation of UNESCO Cultural Conventions of World Heritage and Intangible culture. It further promotes joint research and selection of appropriate sites to prepare application of trans-national nomination of Maritime Routes & Coastal Cultural Landscape sites. The Standing Financial Committee (SFC) memorandum is under consideration.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge), & Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in reply to a question in the Parliament today.


Repair/Restoration work of Sher Shah Gate in Delhi likely to be completed in 2015-16

The necessary repair/ restoration work of Sher Shah Gate in Delhi has been taken up and it is in progress. The work is likely to be completed in the next financial year 2015-16. After collapse of the said portion of the gate, a brick wall was raised to support the structure and detailed documentation was done.

A small portion of Sher Shah Gate had collapsed due to heavy rainfall in 2012.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge), & Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a reply to an unstarred question in the Lok Sabha today.


Conservation and promotion of Culture through National Culture Fund

A large number of projects, both in the form of tangible projects like restoration, conservation of old ASI monuments , provision of Tourist Amenities at the historical sites; and intangible projects like capacity building of artisans, training programmes, books publications , cultural events , etc. have been undertaken through the National Culture Fund (NCF) of Ministry of Culture.

The contributions to NCF are made by the corporate houses to undertake development of Tangible & Intangible heritage on a project mode basis.

NCF already has such partnerships with some Corporates like NTPC, ONGC,SAIL , HUDCO , REC , Apeejay Group etc. who have provided funds for such heritage projects.

The National Culture Fund was established by the Government of India (Ministry of Culture) as trust under the Charitable Endowments Act, 1890 vide notification published in the Gazette of India dated 28th November 1996.

NCF’s primary mandate is to establish & nurture Public Private Partnerships in the field of heritage and mobilize resources for the restoration, conservation, protection and development of India’s rich , natural , tangible and intangible heritage

The proposals received under NCF from the state of Kerala include Restoration and conservation of Synagogue Clock Tower, Cochin, Conservation of Sivanarayana Temple , Angamalli and conservation of Koothattukulam Mahadev Temple among others.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge), & Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a reply to an unstarred question in the Lok Sabha today.


Rs. 19,338 lakhs spent on conservation of protected monuments in the year 2014-15

A sum of Rs. 19,338 lakhs has been spent in the year 2014-15 (up to 02.03.2015) on the conservation and maintenance of protected monuments against an allocation of Rs 23575.90 lakhs for the year. An amount of Rs. 16,963.86 lakhs was spent in the year 2013-14 for the same purpose, while Rs 14866.80 lakhs was spent in 2012-13.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge), & Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in reply to a starred question in the Lok Sabha today.

Replying to supplementary questions, Dr Mahesh Sharma said that there are 3685 protected monuments under ASI. The Minister said that conservation and maintenance work of protected monuments is attended regularly by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and due to all these continuous efforts, they are in a good state of preservation.

Dr Mahesh Sharma also disclosed that the Ministry is committed to the development of heritage sites in Tribal areas which also include theNorth-east and Chhattisgarh.


Women Scientists Of Drdo Have To Play Greater Role In Girl Education – Smriti Irani

Minister of Human Resource Development Smt Smriti Zubin Irani has asked the women scientists of DRDO to play a greater role in promoting girl education and bringing a change in rural lives. Inaugurating a National Workshop on “Women Innovators for Excellence in Research and Science” Winners-2015 on the occasion of International Women’s Day, here today, she said women scientists can be a source of inspiration for countless girls who seek opportunities to realise their dreams. She said her Ministry has launched the Udaan initiative to prepare girls coming from disadvantaged sections to excel in competitive exams to enter IITs and IIMs. Some of the brightest minds in DRDO can interact with girls who are trying to take flight.

The Minister said the women scientists of the premier research organization can also contribute to the success of the ‘Unnat Bharat Abhiyan’ mission and address issues confronting women in rural India. The programme was launched last year piloted by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and the National Institute of Technology (NIT) across the country with an aim to improve the lot of rural India through technological interventions.

Speaking on this occasion, Distinguished Scientist & DG (Aero Systems) Dr. K Tamilmani said that there is growing realisation that limitations of women’s access to resources and decision making also limits their ability to develop and exercise their full capabilities for their own benefit for the society. This realisation has prompted efforts to equalise opportunities for men and women, he said.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Outstanding Scientist and Director, Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES) Dr. Chitra Rajagopal said “Innovation grows in an environment, where one is free to experiment and learn by trial and error.” She further added “Innovation is the process of translating an idea or invention into products or services that create value.” The two–day National Workshop was hosted by Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES) and over 200 women scientists from different laboratories of DRDO participated.


Wreath Laid by Honorable President of India at Amar Jawan Joyti as Part of Centenary Commemoration of World War-1

            The Centenary Commemoration of First World War(1914 - 1918) was inaugurated by a wreath laying ceremony by the Honorable President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate on 09 Mar 15. The President of India endorsed his remarks in the visitors book, stating “ On the centenary commemoration of World War-I, I join my fellow countrymen in paying homage to the brave and valiant sons of mother India, who laid down their lives on the line of duty. I am sure that our great nation will continue to draw inspiration from the sacrifice of these bravehearts”.

The Commemoration is in memory of the 1.5 million Indian Soldiers who fought in the war and over 74,000 who made the supreme sacrifice, whose names are etched in stone on the walls of India Gate. The period 2014 to 2018 is being commemorated as the Centenary of First World War.

Wreaths were also laid by Raksha Mantri, Rajya Raksha Mantri, Service Chiefs, French Army Chief and Diplomatic representatives of 14 countries  in an impressive ceremony at India Gate. Other events  marking the occasion  on 10 Mar will be  the wreath laying at Amar Jawan Jyoti by the Honorable  Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi  and inauguration of an exhibition at Manekshaw Centre by the Honorable President of India. The exhibition would be open to the public and Schools and Colleges from 11 to 13 Mar 15.

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Second and Final Batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants Worth Rs. 36,952.86 Crore Presented In Parliament; Not to Impact the Fiscal Deficit Target Of 4.1 % 

Second and Final batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants (Excluding Railways) for the Year 2014-15 were presented in Parliament today. These mainly include 72 Grants and 4 Appropriations. Approval of the Parliament is sought to authorize gross additional expenditure of Rs.36,952.86 crore.

The Second and Final Batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants mainly include:

·         Cash out-go of Rs. 19229.61 crore;
·         Technical supplementaries of Rs. 17722.04 crore. These will be matched by savings in different section or by enhanced receipts/recoveries;
·         Rs. 121 lakh token supplementaries to facilitate reappropriation of funds in the same section.

Supplementaries, which are technical or token will not impact fiscal deficit as they are only reallocation of funds. Cash Supplementaries will be matched by surrender of savings in different demands of the Budget and as such the Fiscal Deficit target of 4.1% will remain unaffected.

Major items of Cash Supplementaries:

·         Rs. 7389.61 crore for food subsidy, payment of interest subvention to sugar undertakings and incentive on marketing and promotion services of raw sugar production;
·         Rs. 10761.41 crore for CST compensation to States and other expenditure of Revenue Administration;
·         Rs. 687 crore for pensionary benefits of civil employees;
·         Rs. 241.56 crore for CST compensation to UTs.

Major items of Technical Supplementaries:

·         Rs. 5340.47 crore for meeting additional establishment and wroks related expenditure of Indian Army;
·         Rs. 1925.43 crore for meeting additional establishment and works related expenditure of Indian Air Force;
·         Rs. 350.37 crore for meeting additional establishment and works related expenditure of Indian Navy;
·         Rs. 1011.87 crore for meeting additional establishment and works related expenditure of Central Paramilitary Forces;
·         Rs. 2399 crore for Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve;
·         Rs. 3476.71 crore for interest subvention for short term credit to farmers;
·         Rs. 996.48 crore as subsidy to State Governments on decentralized procurement of food grains.


Involve public representatives in communicating best practices and features of schemes to people: Shri J P Nadda 

“Will meet MPs soon to benefit from their insight and suggestions on Mission Indradhanush” 

While there is substantial amount of good work being carried out in various institutions under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, there is need to communicate this to the people. The people’s representatives can be involved to carry the message of schemes of the government, the best practices evolved and the work undertaken by the different institutions. Health & Family Welfare Minister Shri J P Nadda stated this at the 38th Annual Day celebration of the National Institute of Health & Family Welfare, here today. 

Speaking at the occasion, the Health Minister said that the people’s representatives not only represent the people but also interact closely with them on a regular basis. They are among the best medium to spread the message of the schemes and benefits that people can avail of under different schemes of the government. He added that in keeping with this philosophy, he is soon meeting various MPs to seek their suggestions and views on the implementation of Mission Indradhanush which the Health Ministry will shortly launch. The Mission Indradhanush aims to cover all those children who are either unvaccinated, or are partially vaccinated against seven vaccine preventable diseases which include diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis B. He informed that a Mission Mode has been adopted to achieve target of full immunisation coverage by 2020. 

Pointing out that health is a subject which is significantly influenced by various socio-economic determinants, Shri Nadda urged the faculty and staff at the Institute to think in a holistic manner while conducting research, and evaluation or monitoring of schemes. Convergence of knowledge from diverse sectors will make the research and monitoring outcomes rounded and more realistic, he stated. While one can always learn from best practises around the world, the Health Minister encouraged the faculty and staff at the NIHFW to contribute to the emerging best practises in the health sector. He urged them to be attentive to the quality of research, training and other services that provide to the various healthcare providers across the country. 

The Health Minister also inaugurated the National Cold Chain and Vaccine Management Resource Centre (NCCVMRC) and a Skill Lab at the Institute. The NCCVMRC will function as the nodal institution for supporting, facilitating and coordinating the cold chain and vaccine management functions of the Immunization Division of the Health Ministry. Whereas, the Skill Lab will provide training to improve the skills of healthcare providers and to enhance their capacity to provide quality RMNCH+A health services. 

Present at the function were Director General Health Services Dr. Jagdish Prasad, Jt. Secretary (RCH) Dr Rakesh Kumar, Director NIHFW Prof. J K Das and senior officers of the Ministry and faculty and staff of NIHFW. 


MHA reviews mobile/telecom connectivity for Amarnathji Yatra 2015 

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs reviewed mobile/telecom connectivity for the upcoming Amarnathji Yatra 2015 and is taking necessary steps to ensure better connectivity this year. 

After detailed deliberations on various issues, the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is preparing an action plan for improved and uninterrupted Telecom connectivity for Yatra 2015 including providing satellite phones. BSNL is also working on augmentation of VSAT capacity and increase in bandwidth. BSNL will also enhance number of Base Transceiver Stations and their configuration to take care of congestion where pilgrims will be halting for night stay/en-route. 

Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board has identified Camps located at the Holy Cave, Panjtarni, Sheshnag and Sangam as the Camps where Satellite Phones and VASAT connecitivty is crucial for the conduct and regulation of the Yatra. 

Other private operators were asked to make their action plan for providing reliable telecom services in the Yatra areas. 


Work Force Opportunities of Employment 

Reliable estimates of employment and unemployment are obtained through labour force surveys conducted by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). Last such survey was conducted during 2011-12.  As per results of the surveys, conducted during 2009-10 and 2011-12, the Labour force participation rate (LFPR),   worker population ratio (WPR) and unemployment rate  as per usual status (principal and subsidiary) are  enlisted.

Self employment is included in employment and therefore it is reflected through WPR.

 The 12th Five Year Plan projects 5 crore new work opportunities to be generated in the non-farm sector and skill certification to equivalent numbers.   National Skill Development Agency has been set up to coordinate action among Central Ministries and around 75 lakh persons have been skilled in 2013-14 to enhance their employability. The Apprentices Act, 1961 has been amended to provide more opportunities for youth and to engage more number of apprentices by industry.  The skill upgradationprogrammes are intended to produce skilled labour force in order to minimize the mismatch between demand and supply so as to cater to the needs of the skilled manpower requirements of the industries in the backdrop of innovative and technological changes.
This was stated by Shri  Bandaru Dattatreya, the Minister of State(IC)  for Labour  and Employment in response to a written question in Lok  Sabha  today


Increasing Pension Limits Under Employees Pension Scheme 

The Government is not considering to enhance the age limit for Employees Pension Scheme (EPS).The Pension implementation Committee (PIC) has recommended to increase the short service pension entitlement age from 50 years to 55 years. The proposal is under consideration of the Central Board of Trustees (CBT),Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF).The proposal, if accepted is likely to decrease the reduction of pension due to short service. 

This was stated by Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, the Minister of State(IC) for Labour and Employment in response to a written question in Lok Sabha today. 


Cashless Insurance Coverage under RSBY 

The Government has decided to transfer Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna(RSBY) from Ministry of Labour and Employment to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with effect from 01.04.2015 pursuant to Government decision make it a part of the National Health Assurance Mission to be implemented by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. 

This was stated by Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, the Minister of State(IC) for Labour and Employment in response to a written question in Lok Sabha today. 


Disposal of Commerical Disputes 

The Government has accorded high priority for improving the ease of doing Business in India to facilitate the Make in India campaign. ‘Enforcing contracts’ is one of the areas which affects India’s ranking on ease of doing business index. The ranking on the ‘enforcing contracts’ indicator is based on the assessment of the procedures, time and cost involved in resolving a commercial dispute. 

The Law Commission of India has recently submitted its Two Hundred and Fifty Third Report titled “Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts and Commercial Courts Bill, 2015”. The Report, inter-alia, defines commercial disputes and recommends the establishment of commercial Courts and Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division in the High Courts in order to ensure speedy disposal of high value commercial suits. At present commercial disputes fall within the broader category of civil cases. No separate data on commercial disputes is maintained centrally. 

The Government has adopted a co-ordinated approach for phased liquidation of arrears and pendency in judicial administration by providing support for better court infrastructure including computerisation, encouraging increase in the strength of subordinate judiciary, promoting dispute resolution through alternative mechanisms and initiating policy and legislative measures in the areas prone to excessive litigation. 

This information was given by Union Law & Justice Minister Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda in reply to a written quesition in the Lok Sabha today. 


Gram Nyayalayas 

            In terms of Section 3(1) of the Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008, it is for the State Governments to establish Gram Nyayalayas in consultation with the respective High Courts. State-wise progress of setting up of Gram Nyayalayas and the financial assistance provided to State Governments during the last three years and current year is as under:

Majority of States have now set up regular courts at Taluka level. Further, reluctance of police officials and other State functionaries to invoke jurisdiction of Gram Nyayalayas, lukewarm response of the Bar, non-availability of notaries and stamp vendors, problem of concurrent jurisdiction of regular courts are other issue indicated by the States Which are coming in the way of operationalization of the Gram Nayayalayas.

            The issues affecting operationalization of the Gram Nayayalayas were discussed in the Conference of Chief Justice of High Courts and Chief Ministers of the States on 7th April, 2013. It was decided in the Conference that the State Government and High Court should decide the question of establishment of Gram Nayayalas wherever feasible, taking into account their local problems. The focus is on setting up Gram Nayayalayas in the Talukas where courts have not been set up.

This information was given by Union Law  & Justice Minister Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda in reply to a written question in the Lok Sabha today.

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