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Social sector will take a hit if govt falls

If the UPA Govt fails to prove its majority in the Lok Sabha following Left's withdrawal, its reforms agenda for the social sector would be the worst-hit, reports Chetan Chauhan.
Hindustan Times | By Chetan Chauhan, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 10, 2008 01:11 AM IST

If the Congress-led UPA government fails to prove its majority in the Lok Sabha following withdrawal of Left support, its reforms agenda for the social sector would be the worst-hit.

Different ministries have lined up series of programmes for betterment of the socially and economically weaker sections for Cabinet approval. Failure to prove its majority would be a deterrent for the government to approve these plans.

Leading the show would be the HRD Ministry, which has its vast education expansion plan ready for the Cabinet’s approval. The ministry has already circulated Cabinet notes for approval of the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, which is a programme similar to the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan for secondary education, seeking approval of six new IITs for which admissions have been done and additional funds for higher education institutes to implement the OBC quota.

The ministry has also prepared Cabinets notes for a new special scheme for disabled children in the age-group of 14-18, a revamped madrassa modernisation scheme, a plan to open 2,500 model schools in educationally backward districts and a Rs 5,000 crore scheme for vocational education. The ministry has already received approvals for these schemes from the Finance Ministry.

To improve the nutrition level in Indian children, the Women and Child Development Ministry has sought the Finance Ministry’s approval for a restructured Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). For the girl child, the ministry will soon seek the Cabinet’s approval for the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme of Empowerment of the Child Girl.

The social sector agenda has more from the Social Justice Ministry, which would soon seek the Cabinet’s approval for increasing the income limit to define the creamy layer to Rs 4.5 lakh per year.

To provide better facilities in rural India, the government would be finalising the National Rural Housing Policy soon.

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