Cabinet approves MoU between India and South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and South Asian Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP) has been approved by the Union Cabinet.
- The MoU intends to promote closer cooperation between India and other maritime nations comprising the South Asian seas region for protection and preservation of marine environment in the region esp. cooperation on the response to Oil and Chemical Pollution in the South Asian Seas Region.
- Indian Coast Guard (ICG) will be the Competent National Authority and national operational contact point for implementation of “Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan” under the MoU and shall respond to oil and chemical spills on behalf of Government of India.
- The ICG Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs) will be the national emergency response centre for marine incidents.
- In order to promote and support protection, management and enhancement of the environment in the South Asian region, the Governments of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka established the SACEP in 1982 in Sri Lanka.
- The SACEP jointly with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) developed a “Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan” to facilitate international co-operation and mutual assistance in preparing and responding to a major oil pollution incident in the seas around the Maritime States of Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Re-structuring of NSDF and NSDC
- The Union Cabinet has given its approval for restructuring of National Skill Development Fund (NSDF) and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to strengthen governance, implementation and monitoring framework.
- The restructuring will also ensure better corporate governance, transparency and accountability in operations of NSDC besides strengthening the oversight role of NSDF.
- The approval would lead to restructuring of composition of Board of NSDF and the NSDC to strengthen governance, implementation and monitoring framework.
- NSDC and NSDF were set up by the Ministry of Finance and registered in July, 2008 and January, 2009 respectively for implementing coordinated action for skill development.
- NSDF trust was incorporated to act as a receptacle for financial contributions from Governmental sources, bilateral/multilateral and other agencies.
- Its main objective is to enhance, stimulate and develop the skills of Indian youth force by various sector specific programmes.
- NSDF entered into an Investment Management Agreement (IMA) with NSDC for utilization of its corpus to meet the desired objectives of National Skill Development Mission and encourage skill development in the country.
- Provision of supervisory role of NSDF over NSDC’s functions is also included in the IMA between NSDC and NSDF.
New Integrated Scheme for School Education
- A new Integrated Scheme for School Education has been approved by the cabinet committee on economic affairs.
- It has approved the proposal of Department of School Education and Literacy to formulate a Integrated Scheme on School Education by subsuming SarvaShikshaAbhiyan (SSA), RashtriyaMadhyamikShikshaAbhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE).
- It will be implemented from 1st April, 2018 to 31st March, 2020.
- The scheme comes in the backdrop of PM’s vision of SabkoShiksha, AchhiShiksha and aims to support the States in universalizing access to school education from classes pre-nursery to XII across the country.
The objectives of the Scheme, across all levels of schooling, are:
- Provision of quality education and enhancing learning outcomes of students;
- Bridging Social and Gender Gaps in School Education;
- Ensuring equity and inclusion at all levels of school education;
- Ensuring minimum standards in schooling provisions;
- Promoting vocationalization of education;
- Support States in implementation of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009; and
- Strengthening and up-gradation of State Councils for Educational Research and Training (SCERTs)/State Institutes of Education and District Institutes for Education and Training (DIET) as nodal agencies for teacher training.
- The Scheme gives flexibility to the States and UTs to plan and prioritize their interventions within the scheme norms and the overall resource envelope available to them.
- It will help improve the transition rates across the various levels of school education and aid in promoting universal access to children to complete school education.
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