Expenditure Finance Committee Current Affairs - 2020

EQUIP: 5-year Vision Plan on Quality Education by HRD Ministry

The Higher Education Department of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development has finalized and released a 5-year Vision Plan titled as Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP).

About EQUIP

This Vision Plan by HRD Ministry is in accordance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s direction for finalizing a 5-year Vision plan for each Ministry.

10 Focus Areas: EQUIP report has been prepared after a detailed exercise done by Experts covering following ten areas:

  1. Strategies for expanding access
  2. Towards global best teaching/learning process
  3. Promoting Excellence
  4. Governance reforms
  5. Assessment, Accreditation & Ranking systems
  6. Promotion of research & innovation
  7. Employability & entrepreneurship
  8. Using Technology for better reach
  9. Internationalisation
  10. Financing higher education

Expert Groups: For aforementioned focus areas 10 Expert Group drawn from senior academicians, administrators and industrialists suggested over 50 initiatives that would transform country’s higher education sector completely.

Goals set for Higher Education Sector by Expert Group are-

  1. Doubling Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) and resolving geographically and socially skewed access to higher education institutions in India.
  2. Promoting India as a global study destination.
  3. Upgrade Quality of Education to global standards.
  4. Positioning minimum 50 Indian institutions among Top-1000 Global Universities.
  5. Promote Research & Innovation ecosystems for positioning India in Top-3 countries globally in matters of knowledge creation.
  6. Introducing governance reforms in higher education for well-administered campuses.
  7. Accreditation of all institutions for assurance of quality.
  8. Doubling employability of students passing out of higher education.
  9. Harnessing education technology for expanding reach and improving pedagogy (method and practise of teaching).
  10. Achieving a quantum increase in investment in higher education.

Way Forward

For each of the initiatives mentioned the Expert Groups have recommended modalities for implementation, investments and timelines. This proposal would now be taken for inter-departmental consultations and appraisal through EFC (Expenditure Finance Committee) mechanism before being taken to Cabinet for approval.

Government extends timeline of Dam Rehabilitation & Improvement Project

The meeting of Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) has revised cost and deadline of World Bank funded Dam Rehabilitation & Improvement Project (DRIP) to Rs.3466 Crore till June 2020. The meeting was held under Chairpersonship of Secretary, Department of Expenditure to consider proposal of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. It was attended by officials of Ministries of Power, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Environment and Forest, NITI Aayog and officers of Central Water Commission (CWC).

Dam Rehabilitation & Improvement Project (DRIP)

DRIP is a state sector scheme with central component to improve safety and operational performance of selected dams, along with institutional strengthening with system wide management approach. The project was launched in 2012 by Central Water Commission (CWC) under Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation with assistance from World Bank. Originally the scheme was scheduled for six years with closure in June 2018 with total original cost of Rs. 2100 crore with state component of Rs. 1968 crore and central component of Rs. 132 Crore.

Objectives of DRIP

  • Rehabilitation of old dams in country experiencing distress and are in need of attention for ensuring their structural safety and operational efficiency.
  • Strengthening institutional capacity and project management in this area.
  • Bring greater awareness on dam safety issues and finding novel solutions to address them by pooling best knowledge, technologies and experience available around world.