POLICY WATCH

Policy Watch – August 17th, 2017

Important policy updates from 11th August 2017- 17th August 2017

Sports

Sports University in India

Government has taken a major step to encourage sports in India. On 10th August 2017, Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha to set up a National Sports University. The aims and objectives of the Bill states that the National Sports University will be the first full fledged sports university in India of international standards. It is proposed to be set up the university Manipur with focus on the creation of a high standard infrastructure for the development of sports sciences and training of athletes apart from offering multidisciplinary studies and award of degrees and certificates. It will also conduct research and training of athletes in various areas pertaining to sports.

For more information: Deccan Herald

Youth Opportunities

National Skills Training Body

Skill Development Ministry is to strengthen its skilling framework plans to establish a national-level standards body for skills training. The body will be equivalent to its main education body, the Central Board of Secondary Education. Skill Minister Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy while talking to media persons mentioned that there would be central certification system that will allow youth to move from skilling to education and vice-versa.

For more information:  Economic Times

‘SheMeansBusiness’ programme for women entrepreneurs

Odisha government has launched ‘She Means Business’ programme of Facebook for women entrepreneurs. The aim of this programme is to reduce the digital divide and empower nearly 25,000 women entrepreneurs and SHGs by giving them training on digital marketing skills within next one year. Facebook will also make a database of entrepreneurs in the state and will monitor their growth, turnover and profit after one year. Women entrepreneurs will get hands on training on digital marketing free of cost and they need not create their website to promote their business. The platform will also facilitate vertical integration.

For more  information: Times of India

Education

Madhyamik and Uchchtar Shiksha Kosh

Cabinet has approved a single corpus fund for secondary and higher education with the name of Madhyamik and Uchchtar Shiksha Kosh. All the proceeds of secondary and higher education cess will be credited and utilised for the government’s schemes in education sector. The expenditure from MUSK will be financed only after current Gross Budgetary Support to Education is exhausted. The  Human Resource Development Ministry will be responsible for administration and maintenance of the account.

For more information: Economic Times

Economics

Economic Survey

The Economic Survey 2017, tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, projected that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by 6.75 per cent to 7.5 per cent in in 2017-18. The mid-year survey of the economy was released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s chief economic adviser, Arvind Subramanian.  According to the Survey, redistribution by the government is far from efficient in targeting the poor. However, at the level of the states, competitive populism is more in evidence than competitive service delivery. Also, there has been an improvement in the financial position of states over the last few years. The Survey has advocated the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI) as an alternative to the various social welfare schemes in an effort to reduce poverty.

For more information: Economic Survey

Financial Data Management Centre

The Law Ministry has approved a revised Cabinet proposal on the creation of the Financial Data Management Centre (FDMC) that would subsequently collect raw data directly in electronic format from the (financial) regulators. Over time, it will gradually build capacity to collect data from the regulated entities i.e. Financial Service Providers. FDMC will be set up through an Act.  However, it has received opposition from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as it would now no longer be the sole collector and custodian of financial data. The RBI is also against sharing raw data that it gets from banks and other market sources with FDMC as it is not obliged to share confidential client information of banks with anybody.

For more information: The Indian Express

Transport

Metro Rail Policy

Cabinet has approved a new Metro Rail Policy that defines the relationship between Centre and State for a new Metro Project. According to the  policy, States should have private participation and ensure last-mile connectivity through feeder services for a catchment area of 5km. States will need to adopt innovative mechanisms like value capture financing tools to mobilize resources for financing metro project. states will get powers to make rules and regulations and set up permanent fare fixation authorities.

For more information: The Mint

NHAI launches mobile applications

National Highways Authority of India launched two mobile Apps – MyFASTag and FASTag Partner to facilitate the availability of FASTags for Electronic Toll Collection.  The mobile Apps will ease the process, making it possible to buy or recharge FASTags at the click of a mobile button. A consumer can purchase or recharge FASTags on this App. The App also helps to keep track of transactions and provides for online grievance redressal. In addition to the above, FASTag can now be purchased online from Issuer Banks websites / NHAI website / IHMCL website and will be delivered by courier at the door step of the purchaser.

For more information: PIB Release

Defence

Website for Gallantry Awardees since Independence Launched

On 70th Independence Ministry of Defence launched an online portal dedicated to the gallantry award winners, bestowed since Independence. The website gives details of the Chakra Series awardees i.e., Param Vir Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra, Vir Chakra, Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra. The Ministry has welcomed feedback or suggestions. The portal  can be accessed at http://gallantryawards.gov.in.

For more  information: PIB Release

National Cyber Coordination Centre

The first phase of National Cyber Coordination Centre, set up to scan the country’s web traffic to detect cyber security threats, has been made operational now. NCCC, a multi-stakeholder body, will be implemented by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) at Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. NCCC scans internet traffic coming into the country to detect real-time cyber threat and alert various organisations as well as internet service providers for timely action.

For more information: The Indian Express

Agriculture

Information Network on Animal Health and Productivity Database

Pashu Sanjivni component under National Mission on Bovine Productivity scheme was initiated by the Government in November 2016. Under the scheme, as on date 85 lakh milk producing animals have been identified and their data has been uploaded on Information Network on Animal Health and Productivity (INAPH) database. Under the scheme, 88 million milk producing animals out of 300 million cattle and buffaloes are being identified using polyurethane tags with 12 digit unique identification (UID) number. The Pashu Sanjivni is crucial for control and spread of animal diseases, scientific management of animals, enhanced production and productivity, improvement in quality and increase in trade of livestock and livestock products.

For more information: The Indian Express

GIS-enabled land-related information

The Centre has brought out an online database of more than half a million hectares of land assisting industry. The Geographic Information System-enabled database also has details of close to 3,000 industrial parks/clusters, as well as area-wise availability of agricultural/horticultural crops, and mineral production. The database is being developed by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and the National e-Governance Division in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology as well as the BISAG – an institute for space applications and geo-informatics under the Gujarat Government. The exercise is to eliminate the information asymmetry that is currently adversely affecting the country’s industrial policy-making and investments in the manufacturing sector.

For more information: The Hindu

Health

Telemedicine

A telemedicine project started by an Odisha-based social entrepreneur is slowly going national after the Central government adopted it as a model project two years ago. Through this micro-entrepreneurship programme the government attempts to tackle unemployment and bad health. Started in 2009, the unique model that focuses on sustainability involves training of local youth in e-medicine services and enables them to set up e-health centres in government-run primary health-care centres (PHC), community health centres (CHC) and subdivisional hospitals. These centres have created job opportunities for over 500 youth in Odisha and reached out to over five lakh patients. Under the project, local youth are trained for a month in an e-health assistance programme, after which they can apply for a bank loan to start an e-health centre in PHCs and CHCs. These telemedicine centres also create a database of personal health records of every patient walking in for future reference.

For more information: The Indian Express

 

 

 

Policy BootCamp in Srilankan Media

IMG_7216

The PBC ’17 delegates with Admiral Dr. J Colombage

Pathfinder Foundation Centre for Indo-Lanka Initiatives Director, Admiral Dr. Jayanath Colombage, delivered the keynote address titled ‘Indo-Lanka Strategic Ties’, at Vision India Foundation’s Policy BootCamp 2017, in New Delhi.

The complete coverage by Daily Mirror is on their website.

Policy BootCamp 2017 – A Delegate’s Perspective

Vikramshila

Members of the classroom Vikramashila, after the last debriefing session at PBC ’17

“It was such a great experience that I am not able to make a decision as to where I should start telling my experiences. Meeting new people from all parts of the country, renowned speakers sharing their experiences and knowledge with us. It seems that these 21 days of knowledge and experience will take at least one or two years to assimilate.”

Read a complete account of Ritambhara Singh’s experience on her blog. She was a delegate at the Policy BootCamp 2017.

 

Solid Waste Management Rules 2016: How well they have been implemented on ground?

 

 

Apula_SWMR_May01

The 2016 Solid Waste Management Rules supersede the Municipal Solid Waste Rules, 2000, and expand the ambit of application to every urban local body, including outgrowths in urban agglomerations, census towns, areas under railways and airports. The question is, how empowered are the implementation agencies?

Dr. Nomesh Bolia, co-founder and mentor to VIF, and Apula Singh, research associate at VIF, share their analysis on how the effectiveness of these ‘too good to be true SWMR’ is dependent on the empowerment of the agencies.

Read the complete article published on The Indian Express.

The Pendency of Cases in High Courts: Hitting the Nail on the Head

 

 

Shobhit Mathur_High Court Pendency

Identifying where the problem lies with judicial pendency in the High Courts of India is a challenge. Civil Writ Petitions in 17 High Courts are the major problem. Knowing the exact problem and location can help customize the solution. With the limited resources (judges) we have, we should allocate them in an optimal manner.

Shobhit Mathur, VIF Executive Director, and Ram Prasath V R, VIF Research Intern, share the results of their simple analysis which can serve as a starting point.

Read the complete article published on The Indian Economist.

Thank You, Varun Gandhi, But We Don’t Really Need The Right To Recall

Narasimha_Right To Recall

The proposed ‘Right to Recall’ bill, even though aiming for the noblest of goals, would wreck widespread damage if ever it is made into law.

Narasimha Donthineni, VIF Campus Ambassador, IIM Rohtak, shares his thoughts on this move in which Varun Gandhi moved a Private Member’s Bill in the Parliament proposing an amendment in the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Read the complete article published on Swarajya.

Judicial reforms: Why lower courts should be the first in the line

Shobhit+Ram_Judicial Courts

Judicial delays are often understood to be due to a shortage of judges. But this is not the sole reason.

Shobhit Mathur, Executive Director VIF, and Ram Prasath, Research Intern VIF, show that lower courts can horizontally replicate best practices using the available resources and enhance their performance. Since 80% of the cases are pending in the lower courts, this is the fastest way to reform the judiciary.

Read the complete article published on IndiaSpend.com

Find reposts of the above article on The Business Standard, The Economics Times, Bloomberg Quint, The QuintFirst Post, Millennium Post

Modi’s Neighbourhood First Policy Must March on, With or Without Pakistan

When Narendra Modi took oath as the 14th Indian Prime Minister in May 2014, he made an unprecedented diplomatic outreach to India’s neighbours by inviting their heads of government. It was the very first initiative of what later came to be known as the ‘neighbourhood first’ policy of the Modi government.

Kamal Madishetty, VIF Research Associate, shares his thoughts on the audacious move generated great euphoria and excitement, especially among the observers of South Asian politics and relations.

Read the complete article published on CLAWS.