On March 28, 2018, Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved following initiatives:
Cabinet approves NSDF, NSDC restructuring
Union Cabinet has approved the restructuring of National Skill Development Fund (NSDF) and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).
- The approval will now make way for restructuring the composition of the Boards of NSDF and NSDC in order to strengthen governance, implementation and monitoring framework.
- The restructuring will not only ensure better corporate governance, transparency and accountability in operations of NSDC but will also strengthen the oversight role of NSDF.
Quick Facts about NSDC:
♦ Founded in – 2008
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Founded by – Union Ministry of Finance
Cabinet gives nod to amendments in NMC Bill
Union cabinet has approved certain amendments to the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill. NMC is expected to replace the much criticised Medical Council of India.
Important Amendments to NMC Bill:
- Punishment for any unauthorised practice of medicine has been made severe by including a provision for imprisonment of up to one year along with a fine extending up to Rs 5 lakh.
- Besides, a bridge course for AYUSH practitioners that would have allowed them to prescribe allopathic medicines has also been scrapped.
- Final MBBS examination would be held as a common exam throughout India and would serve as an exit test to be called the National Exit Test (NEXT).
- These amendments are based on recommendations made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare.
Cabinet approves continuation of Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Education Loans
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for continuation of Credit Guarantee Fund for Education Loans (CGFEL) Scheme and continuation and modification of Central Sector Interest Subsidy (CSIS) Scheme.
- 6600 crore has been allocated for these schemes for period from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
- During 2017-18 to 2019-20, nearly 10 lakh students will get education loans through these schemes.
About CGFEL & CSIS:
Under CSIS (launched in April 2009), full interest subsidy is provided for the education loan taken from Scheduled Banks under the Model Education Loan Scheme of Indian Banks’ Association.
- CSIS scheme is available for all the professional/technical courses in India. Students with annual gross parental income up to Rs. 4.5 lakhs are eligible for this scheme.
- CGFEL provides guarantee for the education loan under the Model Education Loan Scheme of Indian Banks’ Association for a maximum loan amount of Rs. 7.5 Lakhs.
- Under both the above mentioned schemes, loans are disbursed without any collateral security and third-party guarantee.
Cabinet approves Export of all edible oils in bulk (except mustard oil)
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry for removal of prohibition on export of all varieties of edible oils except mustard oil.
- Removing of restrictions on export of all edible oils will provide additional marketing avenues for edible oils and oilseeds and will benefit the farmers as oilseeds will fetch better price owing to export demand.
- Higher export demand may also result in utilization of idle capacity in India’s edible oils industry.
- However, Mustard oil will continue to be exported only in consumer packs up to 5 Kgs and with a minimum export price of US $900 per tonne.
CCEA approves formulation of new Integrated Scheme for School Education
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the proposal of Department of School Education and Literacy to formulate a Integrated Scheme on School Education.
More information about Integrated Scheme on School Education:
- As per the proposal, Integrated Scheme on School Education will subsume Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE) from 1st April, 2018 to 31st March, 2020.
- CCEA has also approved financial allocation of Rs 75000 crore for this scheme.
- The scheme will be geared towards ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education from nursery to senior secondary stage in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goal for Education.
- This integrated scheme will lay emphasis on two T’s – Teacher and Technology.
Cabinet approves enhancing the coverage of Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana
On March 28, 2018, CCEA gave approval for enhancing the scope of Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY).
About Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY):
- PMRPY has been in operation since August, 2016.
- Under this scheme, Government is paying the 8.33% contribution of Employers to the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) for new employees (who have joined on or after 1st April 2016), who have a new Universal Account Number (UAN) and who draw salary up to Rs. 15000/- per month.
- Based on approval given by CCEA, Government of India will now contribute the Employer’s full admissible contribution for the first three years from the date of registration of the new employee for all the sectors.
- This decision will benefit informal sector workers as they too would get social safety net.
Cabinet approves strengthening of Krishi Vigyan Kendras
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of the Department of Agricultural Research and Education for continuation/strengthening (up to 2019-20) of 669 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) that were established till March 31, 2017.
- CCEA has also approved strengthening of 11 Agricultural Technology Application Research Institutes (ATARIs), support to the Directorates of Extension Education (DEEs) of Agricultural Universities (AUs), establishment of 76 spill over KVKs approved under 12thPlan and all special programmes associated with the Scheme.
- Total financial outlay for this purpose shall be of Rs 282400 lakh spanning across 2017-20.
- During these years, KVKs role would be to act as knowledge and resource centre in the field of agriculture in the district, build models of technology uptake and farmers’ empowerment and thereby contribute in Government of India’s target of doubling farmers’ income.
Cabinet approves subsidy rates for P&K fertilizers
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the proposal of the Department of Fertilizers to fix Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) rates for Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) Fertilizers for 2018-19.
- Subsidy for nitrogen is Rs 18.9 per kg, for phosphorus it is Rs 15.2 per kg, for potash its is Rs. 11.12 per kg and for Sulphur it is Rs 2.72 per kg.
- During 2018-19, Government will be spending Rs 23007 crore for release of subsidy on P&K Fertilizers.
- Subsidy is released by government to ensure the availability of P&K fertilizers to the farmers at affordable price.