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Cabinet approves national policy on skill development

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New Delhi: The union cabinet has approved India’s first integrated National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015, this Thursday.

The National Skill Development Mission, which is aimed at providing a strong institutional framework for implementation of skilling activities in the country, has also got cabinet’s approval.

The policy acknowledges the need for an effective road map for promotion of entrepreneurship as a key to a successful skills strategy.
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“The vision of the policy is to create an ecosystem of empowerment by skilling on a large scale at speed with high standards and to promote a culture of innovation based entrepreneurship which can generate wealth and employment so as to ensure sustainable livelihoods for all citizens in the country,” an official statement issued here said.

Skill development and entrepreneurship programmes for women are a specific focus of the policy, it said.

To achieve this vision, the policy addresses key obstacles to skilling, including low aspirational value, lack of integration with formal education, lack of focus on outcomes, as well as low quality of training infrastructure and trainers.

It also seeks to align supply and demand for skills by bridging existing skill gaps, promoting industry engagement, operationalising a quality assurance framework, leveraging technology and promoting greater opportunities for apprenticeship training.

Equity is also a focus of the policy, which targets skilling opportunities for socially/geographically marginalised and disadvantaged groups.

The National Skill Development Mission will have a three-tiered, high powered decision making structure.

At its apex, the mission’s governing council, chaired by the prime minister, will provide overall guidance and policy direction. The steering committee, chaired by minister in charge of skill development, will review the mission’s activities in line with the direction set by the governing council.

The previous national policy on skill development was formulated by the Ministry of Labour and Employment in 2009 and provided for a review after five years to align the policy framework with emerging national and international trends.

The cabinet’s meeting, held on Wednesday here, was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

(IANS)

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Epidurals Can be Cut Into Half, with the Help of a New Labour Pain Relieving Drug

It did not cause any negative effects for the mother or baby.

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Labour pain relieving drug may cut need for epidural: Lancet
Labour pain relieving drug may cut need for epidural: Lancet. Flickr

Prescribing women a new drug called remifentanil to help manage their labour pain may halve the need for an epidural than the traditional pethidine, claims a study.

The study, published in the Lancet, suggested that using remifentanil instead of pethidine could reduce the need for epidurals, instrumental deliveries and consequent morbidity for large numbers of women worldwide.

Epidurals — injections of pain relief drugs around the spinal cord — provide effective pain relief but increase the risk of needing instrumental delivery (forceps or vacuum) during birth.

It can also increase the risk of trauma and long-lasting problems for the mother, such as incontinence and sexual dysfunction.

“Our findings challenge the routine use of pethidine for pain relief during labour,” said lead author Matthew Wilson, from Britain’s University of Sheffield.

"Remifentanil reduced the need for an epidural by half and there were no lasting problems for the mothers and babies
“Remifentanil reduced the need for an epidural by half and there were no lasting problems for the mothers and babies. Pixabay

“Remifentanil reduced the need for an epidural by half and there were no lasting problems for the mothers and babies in our trial, although the effect of remifentanil on maternal oxygen levels needs to be clarified in further studies,” he added.

Remifentanil is rarely offered routinely in labour and its use restricted to women who cannot receive an epidural for medical reasons (such as blood clotting disorders).

Conversely, pethidine has been in widespread use since the 1950s, even after long been known not helpful to all women.

The study included 400 women aged over 16 years old who were giving birth after 37 weeks.

Only half as many women in the remifentanil group went on to have an epidural (19 per cent) than in the pethidine group (41 per cent).

Remifentanil instead of pethidine could reduce the need for epidurals. Flickr
Remifentanil instead of pethidine could reduce the need for epidurals. Flickr

These women rated their pain as less severe and also had less likely to need forceps and vacuum during labour than women given pethidine (15 per cent vs 26 per cent).

Also Read: Obesity During Pregnancy May up Kid’s Risk of Epilepsy

However, remifentanil was associated with twice as many mothers having low oxygen levels than pethidine (14 per cent vs 5 per cent)

But, despite this increase it did not cause any negative effects for the mother or baby, but more research in larger groups will be needed to confirm this, the researchers said.(IANS)