National Current Affairs

Cabinet approves creation non-lapsable Madhyamik and Uchchtar Shiksha Kosh

The Union Cabinet has approved creation of a single corpus fund non-lapsable known as Madhyamik and Uchchtar Shiksha Kosh (MUSK).

Under it, all proceeds of secondary and higher education cess will be credited and utilised for the government’s schemes in education sector.

Madhyamik and Uchchtar Shiksha Kosh (MUSK)

The funds arising from MUSK will be utilised for schemes in education sector, which will be available for benefit of students of secondary and higher education all over the country. It will be administered and maintained by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.

The MUSK will be maintained as a Reserve Fund in the non-interest bearing section of the Public Accounts of India. It will be operationalised as per the present arrangements under Prarambhik Shiksha Kosh (PSK) wherein the proceeds of cess are used for Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Schemes.

The expenditure on ongoing schemes of the HRD Ministry will be initially incurred from the gross budgetary support (GBS) in any financial year and the expenditure will be financed from MUSK only after the GBS is exhausted.

Background

During the 10th Plan, an education cess of 2% was levied on all central taxes from 2004 to make available additional resources for basic education/elementary education to augment the existing budgetary resources. Later in 2007, additional cess of 1% on central taxes (called Secondary and Higher Education Cess) was levied through Finance Act, 2007 to give fillip for universalizing access to secondary education and expanding the reach of the higher education sector. In February 2016, HRD Ministry had sought the approval of the Department of Economic Affairs for creation of non-lapsable fund in the Public Account called MUSK.

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GeM and CII sign MoU to establish GeMSamvad

The Public procurement portal Government eMarketplace (GeM) and industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) have signed a MoU to establish GeMSamvad, a GeM -Industry forum.

GeMSamvad aims to create awareness about online purchase of goods and services by government agencies and departments,

Key Facts

GeMSamvad will be a participative and collaborative approach with the industry for promoting Indian industry and entrepreneurship.  The MoU will facilitate GeM and CII to work together to create GeM related awareness across the country.

The MoU facilitates establishment of GeM-Industry Forum for collaboration with the Indian Industry for seeking inputs on the technical specifications of products and service-level agreement of services to be procured by government agencies. It also calls for improving the quality of products procured from the MSMEs and organize annual Public Procurement Convention of all stakeholders. It also calls for setting up of GeM Resource Centres at CII Regional Offices.

About Government eMarketplace (GeM)

GeM is an online market platform to facilitate procurement of goods and services by various Ministries and agencies of the Government. It was established by Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal (DGS&D), Ministry of Commerce and Industries.

GeM aims to enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement. It provides the tools of e-bidding, reverse e-auction and demand aggregation to facilitate the government procurement. It is a completely paperless, cashless and system driven e-market place that enables procurement of common use goods and services with minimal human interface.

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