National Current Affairs

First Meeting of EAC-PM held in New Delhi

The first-ever meeting of newly-constituted Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister (EAC-PM) was held at NITI Aayog, in New Delhi. It was chaired by Dr. Bibek Debroy, Member NITI Aayog.

The meeting took stock of the current economic, fiscal and monetary policy environment and identified key issues that it would focus on. It identified major priorities for accelerating economic growth and employment over tnext six months, with greater last mile connectivity.

Ten identified themes

The EAC-PM identified ten themes around which Council Report will be structured in the coming months The ten themes identified are Economic Growth, Employment and job creation, fiscal framework, informal sector and integration, public expenditure, monetary policy, institutions of Economic Governance, Patterns of Consumption & Production, Agriculture & Animal Husbandry and Social Sector.

The EAC-PM also developed Theme Groups led by its members, through consultative processes involving sectoral Ministries, States, experts, institutions, private sector and other key stakeholders. It also recognized for effective tracking of key economic parameters, through possible mechanisms for instituting Economy Track Monitor, using lead indicators and triggers for action, based on informed assessment and analysis.

EAC-PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has constituted five member EAC-PM in September 2017 as an independent body to provide advice on economic issues to the government, specifically to the Prime Minister. It consists of economists of high repute and eminence. It serves as an independent institutional mechanism, to provide informed advice to the Prime Minister on addressing issues of macroeconomic importance and related aspects.

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CCEA approves SANKALP & STRIVE Schemes to boost Skill India Mission

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved two World Bank supported schemes Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) and Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) to boost Skill India Mission.

SANKALP is Rs 4455 crore centrally sponsored scheme including Rs 3300 crore loan support from World Bank whereas STRIVE is Rs 2200 crore central sector scheme with half funding will be World bank loan assistance.

STRIVE scheme

STRIVE scheme will incentivize ITIs to improve overall performance including apprenticeship by involving SMEs (Small Scale Enterprises), business association and industry clusters. It will develop robust mechanism for delivering quality skill development training by strengthening institutions- National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), State Skill Development Missions (SSDMs), Sector Skill Councils, ITIs and National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) etc.

It will support universalization of National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) including National Quality Assurance Framework (NQAF) across skill development schemes. It will provide required push to National Skill Development Mission 2015 and its various sub missions. It is also aligned to flagship Government programs such as Make in India and Swachhta Abhiyan.

SANKALP scheme

SANKALP scheme envisages setting up of Trainers and Assessors academies with self-sustainable models. Over 50 such academies are to be set up in priority sectors. It will leverage institutions for trainingtrainers in both long and short term VET thereby bringing about convergence. Additional trainer academies will also be set up.

It will focus on greater decentralization in skill planning by institutional strengthening at State level which includes setting up of SSDMs and allow states to come up with State and District level Skill Development Plans (SSDPDSDP).

It also aims at enhancement of inclusion of underprivileged and marginalized communities including women, Scheduled Castes (SCs)/Schedule Tribes (STs) and Persons with Disabilities (PWD). It will also develop a skilling ecosystem that will support the country’s rise in Ease of Doing Business index.

Comment

SANKALP & STRIVE are outcome focused schemes aimed at institutional reforms and improving quality & market relevance of skill development training programs in long and short term VET. They will address need for national architecture for promoting convergence, ensuring effective governance and regulation of skill training in vocational training space. They also have mechanism for national bodies for accreditation & certification for regulation, accreditation and certification in both long and short term VET.

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