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UPA govt completes six months
November 17, 2004 18:05 IST
Having completed six months in power, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government has drawn up a performance report card listing out its achievements, despite opposition from its allies in the Left.
The hike in foreign direct investment in the civil aviation sector from 40 to 49 per cent, a decision that was initially opposed by the Left parties, which subsequently decided to go along with the government, has been included in the list.
Another major decision, according to the report card, is the launch of the national food-for-work programme by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on November 14 in Andhra Pradesh. The NFFWP envisages creating employment opportunities in 150 most backward districts in the country.
The government's six-month rule also saw it embarking on several steps in the field of human resource development. The Central Advisory Board of Education was reconstituted after a gap of a decade. Seven committees on different aspects of education had been set up to address critical issues in the vital sector.
A major Union budget decision was to levy an education cess to mop up funds for development of education in the country. The government has set up a National Monitoring Committee for Minority Education to lay special focus on minority education institutions.
Continuing with its "detoxification" exercise, the government directed the National Council of Educational Research and Training to initiate action for the renewal of history curriculum in schools, a subject that came under severe criticism during the previous Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance regime.
Besides restoring autonomy to the six Indian Institutes of Management, which were engaged in a legal wrangle with the government over the issue of fee reduction during Murli Manohar Joshi's tenure as HRD minister, the government also successfully launched the Education Satellite, an exclusive satellite aimed at providing quality education to children.
In the field of rural development, the government hopes to introduce the Employment Guarantee Bill in the coming winter session of Parliament, which should provide a legal guarantee for at least 100 days of employment for one person in each rural family, a promise made in the coalition's common minimum programme.
The rural development ministry also worked out the requirement for providing shelter to homeless families living below poverty line within five years. About 118 lakh houses have been constructed so far under the Indira Awas Yojana.
In the vital civil aviation sector, the government has begun implementing a limited Open Sky Policy from November one, 2004 to help foreign airlines to mount additional services to take care of peak season rush. The police will be in place till to March 31, 2005.
The restructuring and modernisation of Mumbai and Delhi airports were taking place through joint venture participation. An Empowered Group of Ministers has been monitoring the progress.
In the field of social justice and employment, the government has initiated dialogue for job reservation in the private sector for scheduled castes and other weaker sections.
The government has asked all non-governmental organisations receiving grants from the social justice and employment ministry to implement the job reservation policy for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes and disabled persons.
The government also extended the term of the Safai Karamchari Commission for a period of three years up to 2007 to monitor and evaluate the progress made in eradicating manual scavenging.
In the health sector, the government will soon launch a National Rural Health Mission to bring about an integrated health delivery system in rural areas with special focus on the primary healthcare.
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