Government Policies Current Affairs

Union Government releases National Action Plan for Children, 2016

The Union Ministry of Women & Child Development (WCD) has released National Action Plan for Children (NPAC), 2016  on the occasion of National Girl Child Day (24th January).

It was released by Union Minister of Women & Child Development Meneka Sanjay Gandhi in New Delhi. The NPAC has been developed by the Ministry of WCD.

Features of NPAC, 2016 
  • The Action Plan has four key priority areas. They are survival, health and nutrition; education and development; participation and protection.
  • It defines objectives, sub-objectives, strategies, action points and indicators for measuring progress under the four key priority areas. It also identifies key stakeholders for the implementation of different strategies.
  • It puts focus on new and emerging concerns for children such as children affected by natural and man-made disasters, climate change and online child abuse etc.
  • Its strategies and action points largely draw upon the existing programmes and schemes of various Ministries and Departments.
  • It takes into account the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and provides a roadmap towards achieving them though co-ordination and convergence with different stakeholders.
Background

The National Action Plan for Children (NPAC), 2016   was prepared as per the mandate of the National Policy for Children (2013). The policy provides for formation of a National Co-ordination and Action Group (NCAG) under the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development for coordinating and implementation of the plan and monitor the progress with other Ministries concerned as its members.

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Draft steel policy anticipates Rs. 10 lakh crore investments

The Steel Ministry has released new draft National Steel Policy of 2017, envisaging to double India’s domestic steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2030-31.

The draft policy anticipates a requirement of Rs. 10 lakh crore of fresh investments to meet production goal and expects creation of at least 11 lakh new jobs in the process.

Key Features of Policy
  • Two alternatives vision: (i) Create a globally competitive steel industry that promotes inter-sectoral growth (ii) Create a self-sufficient steel industry that is technologically advanced, globally competitive and promotes inclusive growth.
  • Focuses on: Impediments like high input costs, import dependency, availability of raw materials and financial stress plaguing the sector. Couple of factors such as the demand and production of sponge iron are still under discussion.
  • Gas-based steel plants: Proposes gas-based steel plants and technologies such as electric furnaces to bring down use of coking coal in blast furnaces in order to cut down reliance on expensive imports of coking coal.
  • Public sector firms in the steel sector: They should aim for economies of scale. The will be encouraged to divest their non-core assets through mergers and restructuring.
  • Greenfield steel plants along India’s coastline: These plants will be set up under the aegis of Sagarmala project to tap cheap imported raw materials such as coking coal and export the output in a more cost-effective manner.
  • Cluster-based approach: It will be pursued, especially for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to ensure easy availability of raw materials, optimum land use and economies of scale.

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