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Modi's secretaries call for health, education push

They will suggest ways to boost growth across setors with departmental action plans

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Mar 17 2016 11:50AM | Updated Date: Mar 17 2016 1:52PM

Modi's secretaries call for health, education push

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set up eight Groups of Secretaries in January to suggest ways to boost growth across sectors with departmental Action Plans for "implementation in a timebound manner".

The Final Group Reports, accessed by ET, call for higher spending on health and education, better budgeting systems and major e-governance initiatives. 
Good Governance: All central departments' services to move to e-services mode, in local languages and with online payment options by December 2016. By December 2017, digitisation of government records for electronic workflow with eSign facility for document authentication. All documents issued to a citizen to be pushed to 'digital locker', which will be on a par with original physical documents.
Reduce, restructure 685 autonomous bodies by December 2016 Simplified one-page forms, selfdeclaration instead of affidavits and SC/ST/residence certificate by a web portal.
To ensure 50 per cent of rural households are digitally literate by December 2018.
Employment Generation: Spare infrastructure at public institutions, private engineering colleges, religious and cultural institutions to be used for skilling. Uniform national standards of training, a National Assessment Board by to be established by March 2017. 'Gujarat model' to make vocational training "equivalent to formal education 
Education: Increase public expenditure on education to 6 per cent of GDP from 3.85 per cent and on health to 2.5 per cent from 1.2 per cent. Introduce new scheme- Unique National Initiative for Quality and Universal Education (UNIQUE)-from 2016 for outcome-based funding to states to upgrade teaching in Classes 1-12. Phased exit from existing schemes to route funding through UNIQUE, with 20 per cent allocation based on performance.
Entrance exam for teacher training quality institutions from 2017-18. Vocational education to be part of regular curriculum after Class 8 with mobility to and from conventional streams. 
Health: Rs 10,000 crore Universal Life and Health Assurance Scheme (ULHAS), with life insurance of Rs 2 Lakh and health coverage of Rs 50,000. Free for 10 crore deprived families. Empanelled public and private health providers, cashless service with biometric authentication. New vaccines for diarrhoea and pneumonia with 75 per cent coverage and strengthened school health programme with 90 per cent coverage in 3 years.
Innovative Budgeting, Effective Implementation: Present provisional budget for subsequent year while presenting annual budget. Greater powers to ministries to reappropriate funds across schemes. Give states freedom to formulate projects within stated parameters. 
Design MIS to monitor schemes using GIS from 2017.
Inclusion and Equity: In 2017, a real-time operating centre to track major government programmes and Public Financial Management Systems (PFMS) to track government spending. 'Digital Nagrik' for free bundled services like e-Kisan, e-Vidyarthee, e-Mahila. 
GoI and state benefits and subsidy payments on JAM platform between 2017-19. E-payment mobile apps for all government programmes by 2017 and SMS alert on all direct benefit transfers in 2016.
Swachh Bharat and Ganga Rejuvenation: Swachchta Diwas on first working day of every week, Swachchta Geet to be sung in schools assembly/lunch breaks. Credits to school students' practical projects on recycling, reduction, reuse of biodegradable and dry waste. Diploma courses with water, sanitation and solid waste as career option.