A new department for skill development under HRD minister Smriti Irani and the launch of the Clean Ganga project are among the major announcements expected to be made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his first ever Independence Day speech on August 15.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has issued instructions to complete formalities for a nodal office each for the two key projects of Modi. Officials say this would provide fillip for implementation and quicker results as both the programmes are spread across different ministries.
While the skill development for youth is handled by as many as 21 ministries, the programme to clean Ganga is handled by at-least three ministries. And because of the spread, the government was not able to make a department functional even two months after the new government took charge.
Skill development was with the sports and youth affairs ministry headed by Sarbananda Sonowal and Clean Ganga with water resources minister Uma Bharti.
The slow pace in transfer of work has apparently irked the Prime Minister’s Office.
“We have been told at the meeting that August 14 is the deadline for creating the new department for skill development,” a senior government official said, adding that Modi was keen to showcase creation of the department is a big deliverable in his Independence Day speech.
Sources say transferring of National Mission for Clean Ganga to the newly created Department for Ganga Rejuvenation was also facing hurdles as the water resources ministry. There is also no clarity on how the Ganga related projects in the Tourism and Shipping ministries would be handled by the new department headed by water resources minister Uma Bharati.
Notwithstanding these hurdles, the PMO has asked the respective ministries to finalise a clean Ganga plan before Modi’s Independence Day speech.
The execution of the plan is to start before end of this year, officials said.