Committess Current Affairs

NITI Aayog constitutes Expert Task Force on Employment and Exports

The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has constituted Expert Task Force to provide major thrust to job creation by enhancing India’s exports. It will be headed by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar.

The task force will give sector-specific recommendations in key employment sectors for policy interventions and suggest measures to enhance trade in services with high employment potential.

Background

Majority of Indian workforce are still employed in low-productivity, low-wage jobs in small, micro and own-account enterprises. There is urgent and sustained expansion of organized sector to address India’s unemployment and under-employment issue also jobless growth issue. Moreover considering importance of exports in generating formal sector jobs, India also needs to create favorable environment in which globally competitive exporters emerge and flourish. So, it has become necessary to devise strategy to enable shift towards more labour-intensive goods and services that are destined for exports.

Terms of References

The expert task force will propose comprehensive plan of action to generate employment and alleviate under-employment and low wages by boosting India’s exports in key labour-intensive industries. It will recommend sector-specific policy interventions in key employment sectors and suggest measures to enhance trade in services with high employment potential

It will identify key macroeconomic factors constraining exports and suggesting methods to address these constraints. It will assess effectiveness of existing schemes to promote exports. It will also suggest measures to address issues related to logistics, export credits and trade facilitation.

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Government approves Shekatkar Committee recommendations to reform military

The Union Defence Ministry has approved most of the proposals of a committee of experts, headed by Lt. Gen. D.B. Shekatkar (Retd) to bring host of reforms in the military and improve financial management.

Around 90 recommendations have been of the committee were approved. Most of these recommendations are measures to increase coordination among the three Services and cut down flab in Army to make it lean and agile.

Some recommendations of Committee
  • Capital expenditure: Roll-on defence budget must have enough capital expenditure available for modernisation.
  • It must be against the present practice of surrendering unspent capital budget at the end of each financial year.
  • Performance audit: It must be conducted of non-combat organisations under the Defence Ministry.
  • It must include those dealing with defence estates and accounts, Director- General of Quality Assurance, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and National Cadet Corps (NCC).
  • Downsizing or rationalisation of manpower: It will lead to significant savings.
  • Joint services war college: It must be established for training middle-level officers.
  • Reduce deployment of active-duty soldiers in avoidable postings: They will be replaced by retired officers and jawans in the running of NCC.
  • Comprehensive reforms in the running of NCC: Transfer of NCC out of the Defence Ministry to the HRD Ministry: NCC can be run by re-employed or on-contract ex-service personnel.

Implications

If recommendations of committee are implemented over the next five years, government can save up to Rs. 25,000 crore from the current defence expenditure.

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