1. Digital India Scheme
Digital India is an initiative of Government of India to integrate the government departments and the people of India. It aims at ensuring the government services are made available to citizens electronically by reducing paperwork. The initiative also includes plan to connect rural areas with high-speed internet networks. Digital India has three core components. These include:
The creation of digital infrastructure
Delivering services digitally
The project is slated for completion by 2019. A two-way platform will be created where both the service providers and the consumers stand to benefit. The scheme will be monitored and controlled by the Digital India Advisory group which will be chaired by the Ministry of Communications and IT. It will be an inter-ministerial initiative where all ministries and departments shall offer their own services to the public Healthcare, Education, Judicial services etc. The Public-private-partnership model shall be adopted selectively. In addition, there are plans to restructure the National Informatics Centre. This project is one among the top priority projects of the Modi Administration.
The initiative is commendable and deserves full support of all stakeholders. However, the initiative also lacks many crucial components including lack of legal framework, absence of privacy and data protection laws, civil liberties abuse possibilities, lack of parliamentary oversight for e-surveillance in India, lack of intelligence related reforms in India, insecure Indian cyberspace, etc. These issues have to be managed first before introducing DI initiative in India. Digital India project is worth exploring and implementation despite its shortcomings that can be rectified before its implementation.
9 Key points of Digital India Programme are as follow -
Universal Access to Phones
Public Internet Access Programme
e-Governance – Reforming government through Technology
e-Kranti – Electronic delivery of services
Information for All
Electronics Manufacturing – Target NET ZERO Imports
IT for Jobs
Early Harvest Programmes
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said his company would invest Rs 2.5 lakh crore across different Digital India heads, which have the potential to create employment for over five lakh people.He also announced setting up of the 'Jio Digital India Start Up Fund' to encourage young entrepreneurs who are setting up businesses focused around the Digital India initiative.
2. Skill India Mission
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s launched ambitious Skill India mission is expected to be a mass campaign involving the youth to encourage them to take up skilling and vocational training to improve their employability.
The Skill India mission, which is being launched on the World Youth Skills Day, will also be simultaneously launched by state governments.
Data from the Census 2011 and 68th round of the National Sample Survey revealed than an estimated 10.4 crore fresh workers would enter the labour market and require skill training by 2022, and 29.8 crore of the existing workforce will require additional skill training over the same time period. Accordingly, the government now plans to skill 40.2 crore workers by 2022 and a number of schemes including the new National Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and the skill loan scheme will be launched. The Prime Minister will also unveil a new logo and slogan for the Skill India mission and give out letters of employment to some of the students who have successfully undergone skill training.
The PM also launched the new National Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Policy 2015, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and a skill loan scheme to encourage more youth to take up vocational training. Pointing out that 65 per cent of the country’s population is under the age of 35, Modi said the key priority is to create employment opportunities for the youth as well as create avenues to skill them in a structured manner to improve their employability.
Several Chief Ministers, State Ministers, Secretaries to the Government of India and other representatives from central and state governments were also present at the event. Foreign dignitaries, including Ambassadors and High Commissioners, senior industry leaders, representatives of multilateral organizations and from industry associations also attended the two-hour long main function. ITI faculty, skill trainers and trainees from a range of training programs also participated.
During the event, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi unveiled the Skill India logo and launched four landmark initiatives of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship: National Skill Development Mission, National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) scheme and the Skill Loan scheme.
The Skill India logo depicts a clenched hand in which a spanner and pencil are firmly held, exemplifying the empowerment of the individual through skilling. The spanner and pencil are held together, suggesting that both skill and general education are at parity and aspirational for India’s youth. The tagline, ‘Kaushal Bharat, Kushal Bharat’ suggests that skilling Indians (‘Kaushal Bharat’) will result in a happy, healthy, prosperous and strong nation (‘Kushal Bharat.’) A short film unveiling the logo was shown, which featured the Sanskrit chant ‘SarvadaVigyataVijaya,’bmeaning ‘Skill Always Wins.’
The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), the Ministry’s flagship, demand-driven, reward-based skill training scheme will incentivise skill training by providing financial rewards to candidates who successfully complete approved skill training programmes. Over the next year, PMKVY will skill 24 lakh youth, across India. For the first time, the skills of young people who lack formal certification, such as workers in India’s vast unorganised sector, will be recognised. Through an initiative known as ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ (RPL), 10 lakh youth will be assessed and certified for the skills that they already possess.
Prime Minister also launched the Skill Loan scheme. Loans ranging from Rs 5,000-1.5 lakhs will be made available to 34 lakh youth of India seeking to attend skill development programmes over the next five years.Sanction letters for the first ever Skill Loans were handed out by the Prime Minister to aspiring trainees.
During the function, Shri Narendra Modi awarded Skill Cards and Skill Certificates to trainees who had recently completed training through the Pilot Phase of PMKVY, which started in May 2015. Such Skill Cards and Skill Certificates will allow trainees to share their skill identity with employers. Each Skill Card and Skill Certificate features a Quick Response Code (QR Code), which can be read through a QR reader on mobile devices. Trainees can use these to share their skill qualifications with employers in a quick and reliable way during the job search process.
The Prime Minister addressed the audience, articulating a clear overarching vision for Skill India. He highlighted the centrality of skills to India’s development and called on government, private sector and India’s youth to work together to make this vision a reality. The Prime Minister also highlighted the potential for skilled Indian youth to be recognized around the world. He congratulated six award winners from WorldSkills Oceania, an international skill competition and wished them success as they go on to compete at the World Skills Competition in Sao Paolo next month.
Across the country, 2,33,000 youth were awarded certificates from ITIs, and 18,000 plus graduating students received job offer letters on the occasion of World Youth Skills Day. The Prime Minister personally presented industry job offer letters to five female ITI graduates at the event.
The Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information & Broadcasting Minister Shri Arun Jaitley shared his vision and commitment for Skill India and highlighted the importance of coordination of skill development efforts across Ministries through the National Skill Development Mission.
3. School Nursery Yojana
Union Government launched the School Nursery Yojana, an initiative to bring students closer to nature. The Yojana seeks to engage class VI to IX in raising of saplings in nurseries created in schools.
The Yojana was launched by Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi. The underlying theme of the Yojana is to plant a tree for sustainable future and to make the nation clean and green.
Urging every student to plant a tree each, Javadekar said that every school must earmark space to prepare a small nursery where the saplings could be planted.
The Minister also presented a sapling and a packet of seeds to students from each school for planting in their school. He exhorted the students to take the grown sapling planted by them along with their annual results to their homes.
About School Nursery Yojana
• The Yojana in its first phase would cover 1000 schools and would be extended to 5000 schools in 2016 and 10000 schools the following year.
• Under the Yojana, students will grow saplings as part of practical exercise for biology classes and extra-curriculum activities.
• The schools will have eco clubs and school principals will maintain the nursery for at least five years.
• Each school will initially receive first time financial grant of 25000 rupees for creation of the nursery with essential facilities.
• The state forest departments will guide and provide technical support to schools under the scheme.
4. PM launches smart cities, AMRUT, housing for all by 2022 schemes
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled three mega flagship schemes aimed at developing cities and towns as "new engines for growth".
The three projects -- 100 smart cities, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Housing for All - will ring in a new urban era, which will entail an investment of over Rs 3 lakh crore in the next five years.
The prime minister also unveiled logo of the housing mission, which has his personal touch in the finalisation of its design. Housing for All programme, now named as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)
The main focus to launch this scheme is to provide Decent and affordable houses to transgender, windows, low-income groups/SC communities. This inform of providing affordable house under this PMAY is provided by official of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Ministry.
Under this scheme Indian Government is planning to make approximately 22 crore Houses by 2022.In this scheme central government will contribute around Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2.30 lakh per house. So for the Urban Housing Scheme total contribution will be around Rs 3 lakh crore. During the launching of PMAY PM Modi will address Mayors, municipalities, Municipal Commissioners and heads of 500 corporations. In this scheme it will be mandatory to include the name of Wife or Mother in the registry of House under this Decent and affordable housing scheme.
While the Smart City and AMRUT projects will draw Rs 48,000 crore and and Rs 50,000 crore, respectively, in central grants over five years .
The Smart City project seeks to enhance quality of life in 100 selected cities with 24 hour water and power supply, world class transportation system, better education and recreational facilities, e-governance and environment-friendly atmosphere, among others. The Smart City project will be based on PPP model.
AMRUT seeks to ensure basic infrastructure for 500 cities with a population of above one lakh. Ensuring water supply to each household, sewer connections, sanitation and solid waste management, provision for roads and public transportation beside implementation of reforms in urban governance would be the focus under the scheme.