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Union cabinet approves changes in rural livelihood mission framework


New Delhi: The union cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval for expanding benefits of interest subvention under the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) to 100 more districts.

The cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also approved flexibility in the allocation to the Himayat program and the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushal Yojana.

An official release said the cabinet also approved easing existing criteria for allocation of funds to make adequate provision for the northeastern states, other than Assam, to cover under NRLM all vulnerable rural households — estimated at two-thirds of all the rural households — by the year 2023-24.

The use of SECC data would enable the government targeted intervention in poverty reduction in rural area programs. The NRLM will use SECC data to undertake planning for poverty-free Panchayats involving Panchayati Raj institutions and self-help groups (SHGs),

Changes in the implementation framework of NRLM include planning for the targeted reduction of poverty using the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) database and convergence with other social sector interventions.

The changes in the NRLM framework also include extending interest subvention in 100 more districts.

The interest subvention to all women SHGs to avail loans up to Rs.3 lakh from banks at the interest rate of 7 percent per annum and also an additional subvention of 3 percent for prompt repayment, bringing the effective rate of interest to 4 percent is being extended to 100 more districts from the current financial year,

It said all new districts declared as Integrated Action Plan (IAP) districts, which were not covered in the earlier list of 150 districts, will be included in the list.

The remaining districts will be allocated to the states on a pro-rata basis in proportion to the total number of districts in the state/UT.

The states will identify the eligible districts from among the IAP districts of NRLM. They have been granted flexibility to have only a single allocation under NRLM based on poverty ratio,


Referring to the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana, the release said the cabinet has approved the removal of an existing restriction which limits the allocation of DDUGKY to 25 percent of NRLM allocation.

It said the move will enable covering training courses of longer duration for placements in foreign jobs, captive jobs, industry internships, training by accredited institutes and champion employers, and re-skilling and up-skilling of rural poor youth.

The cabinet also approved enhancement in the existing ceiling for the professional management cost (administrative expenses) to six percent of NRLM allocation.

On the Himayat program being implemented in Jammu and Kashmir, the cabinet approved the move to replace the existing cap of Rs.235.3 crore on the total outlay with a demand-based allocation and target within the overall budget provision of NRLM.

The scheme will be funded entirely by the central government.

Himayat was launched by the central government in 2011 in Jammu and Kashmir to train and give jobs to over one lakh youth from poor families over five years.

(Inputs from IANS)

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Could National Health Policy Bill 2017 become a new milestone in healthcare? Find out Yourself

The policy is expected to reach healthcare to all corners of the country, particularly the underserved and underprivileged


New Delhi, March 16, 2017: The union cabinet on Wednesday gave the green light to the National Health Policy Bill 2017 two years after a draft copy of the bill was circulated among stakeholders. After considering suggestions from the public, state governments and others, the new policy will replace the previous one, which was framed 15 years ago in 2002. The upcoming policy’s objective is to raise the public expenditure to the 2.5 percent of GDP with more than two-thirds of those resources going towards primary healthcare.

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The policy, which desires to cater healthcare services in a “guaranteed way” to all, will contemplate current and impending difficulties emerging from the constantly evolving financial, technological and epidemiological scenarios.

The policy is expected to reach healthcare to all corners of the country, particularly the underserved and underprivileged.

“National Health policy will provide free medicines and ‘assured’ health services to all and aims to reduce out of pocket health expenditure,” Health minister J P Nadda said in Lok Sabha.

This new health policy will work along the lines of Digital India. The Health Minister said that under the policy, family health card will be made which will be connected to Public Healthcare facility so that a patient’s history can be digitally accessed.

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  • The government aims in shifting focus from “sick-care” to “wellness”, by promoting prevention and well-being.
  • It aims to ensure availability of 2 beds per 1000 population distributed in a manner to enable access within the golden hour.
  • * To strengthen health systems by ensuring everyone has the access to quality services and technology despite financial barriers. The policy proposes increasing access, improving quality and reducing costs. It proposes free drugs, free diagnostics and free emergency and essential healthcare services in public hospitals.
  • * To focus on primary health care: The policy advocates allocating two-thirds (or more) of resources to primary care. It proposes two beds per 1,000 of the population to enable access within the golden hour (the first 60 minutes after a traumatic injury).
  • * To reduce morbidity and preventable mortality of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by advocating pre-screening.
  • * To promote Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative by using drugs and devices manufactured in the country.
  • * It highlights AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) as a tool for effective prevention and therapy that is safe and cost-effective. It proposes introducing Yoga in more schools and offices to promote good health.
  • * Reforming medical education.

The policy also lists quantitative targets regarding life expectancy from 67.5 to 70 by 2025, reduce Infant Mortality Rate to 28 by 2019, Under Five Mortality Rate to 23 by 2025, and maternal mortality rate (MMR) from current levels to 100 by 2020.

The series of benefits doesn’t just end here. While talking to, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson and managing director of Biocon Hospitals, said policy’s aim could become a huge driver in creating millions of jobs.

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“The policy’s aim to ensure availability of 2 beds per 1000 population within the golden hour is addressing the opportunity for 2 million hospital beds. It will turn the hospitals into huge job creators as it will help in generating nearly 6 million jobs,” said Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.


 -prepared by Ashish Srivastava of NewsGram Twitter @PhulRetard


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Cabinet approves Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) to make 6 Crore Rural households Digitally Literate

Urja Ganga Project,an ambitious Gas pipeline in the eastern region of the country
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Wikimedia

New Delhi, Feb 8, 2017: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) to make six crore rural households digitally literate, according to an official statement.

“The outlay for this project is Rs 2,351.38 crore to usher in digital literacy in rural India by March 2019. This is in line with the announcement made by the Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2016-17. The PMGDISHA is expected to be one of the largest digital literacy programmes in the world,” read the statement.

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Under the scheme, 25 lakh candidates will be trained in 2016-17, 275 lakh in 2017-18 and 300 lakh in 2018-19.

Each of the 250,000 gram panchayats would be expected to register 200-300 candidates to ensure equitable geographical reach, the cabinet statement said.

“Digitally literate persons would be able to operate computers/ digital access devices (like tablets, smart phones), send and receive emails, browse internet, access government services, search for information, undertake cashless transactions, and hence use IT to actively participate in the process of nation building,” it underlined.

The scheme would be implemented under the overall supervision of the Ministry of Electronics and IT in active collaboration with states and Union Territories through their designated state implementing agencies and, District e-Governance Society. (IANS)

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Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi approves signing of Air Services Agreement between India and Fiji

The Agreement is for updating of the existing Air Services Agreement (ASA) between the two countries which was signed on 28th January 1974

PM Narendra Modi with PM of Fiji Frank Bainimarama.

NEW DELHI, August 24, 2016: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of new Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Fiji.

The Agreement is for updating of the existing Air Services Agreement (ASA) between the two countries which was signed on 28th January 1974. The update is as per latest ICAO template keeping in view the latest developments in the civil aviation sector and with an objective to improve the air connectivity between the two countries.

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A draft text of Air Service Agreement has been finalized in consultation with Ministry of Law & Justice (Department of Legal Affairs), Ministry of Finance (Department of Economic Affairs, Department of Revenue), Ministry of External Affairs, Department of Commerce and Ministry of Tourism.

The essential features of the Air Services Agreement are as follows:

i. Both countries shall be entitled to designate one or more airline.

ii. The designated airlines of either country shall have the right to establish offices in the territory of the other country for the promotion and sale of air services.

iii. The designated airlines of the two countries shall have fair and equal opportunity to operate the agreed services on specified routes. The routes and frequencies shall be decided subsequently.

iv. The designated airline will be free to decide tariffs in respect of the agreed services at reasonable levels based on the commercial considerations.

v. The designated Airline of each party can enter into cooperative marketing arrangements with the designated carriers of the same party and another party.

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vi. Apart from the above, the ASA also has the provisions relating to Revocation or Suspension of Operating Authorization, Principles governing operations of agreed services, commercial opportunities, safety related clause etc. that were incorporated in the line of Indian model ASA.

vii. The existing Route Schedule annex to the ASA has also been revised and new points of call have been added for enhanced connectivity. Now Indian carriers can operate to any points in Fiji from points in India whereas the carriers of Fiji can establish a direct operation to Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai in India and by code share with Indian carriers to Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad apart from points given for direct operation. Besides this, Kochi, Varanasi, Ahmedabad and Amritsar may be served through domestic code-share operations.