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India Flounders Big On The Social Security Arena: ILO

India has performed poorly in providing social security protection to its people until recently with "very high vulnerability" to poverty and informal labour practices in the world, according to the International Labour Office.

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India has performed poorly in providing social security protection to its people until recently with "very high vulnerability" to poverty and informal labour practices in the world, according to the International Labour Office.

In its first comprehensive 'World Social Security Report', which was released on Tuesday, the ILO has suggested that Indiahas not done enough in the arena of social security protection, which is reckoned as the "human face of globalisation, in line with its fiscal status".

The social security programmes include proper health care, pensions, social assistance and unemployment benefits.

In India, much of these benefits are extremely limited with a large majority of population ineligible for these benefits.

"Clearly, this is one side of the coin [story] where India performed below its capacity in coverage and expenditure for broad social security measures until recently," said Krzysztof Hagemejer, one of the authors of the report.

"But the other side of the coin is that there are new schemes such as national employment guarantee scheme and the health scheme for 300 million people and their effects yet to be captured," he said.

Both Chinaand Indiawhich has now become the global hub for production of goods and services respectively have not paid much attention to social security protection measures because of their increased preoccupation with "Washington Consensus" that emphasised growth without redistribution, said Michael Cichon, director of ILO Social Security Department.

"There is considerable change in these two countries in the recent period," he argued.

Historically, social security measures played an important role in western countries and they reduced the degree of pain during serious economic crises.

It is now estimated that only about 20 per cent of the world's working age population and their families have effective access to comprehensive social protection systems

Only, 17.2 per cent per cent of global GDP is allocated to social security and these expenditures are concentrated in higher-income countries.

Further, 40 percent of the population of working age is legally covered by contributory old-age pension schemes with Asian counties having only a 20 percent share.

More disturbingly, less than 20 percent of the elderly people receive pension benefits in

Indiaand elsewhere as compared to 75 percent of people aged 65 or over receive some kind of pension.



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Consultations Begin on the New Industrial Policy

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Commerce and Industries Minister Suresh Prabhu set off a series of nation-wide consultations with the industry on the proposed new Industrial Policy. The first consultation was held at Guwahati on February 02. The event, organized by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in partnership with Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), was attended by more than 120 industrialists from the North East in addition to government officials from the North Eastern States.

In his speech, the Minister emphasised that this exercise is done after 25 years truly listens to and objectively equips Indian industry for the future. The prior attempts in 1956 and 1991 were formulated at a time of financial crisis.

The minister underscored how the government was coming to the industry to understand their concerns rather than the other way around. The Minister stressed the focus of the government to make business easier for the industry.

Mr Prabhu highlighted multiple initiatives of the government to reduce the burden of regulations for the industry. He also talked about the importance of centre-state cooperation and the need for change even at the district-level.

The event was also attended by Mr Chandra Mohan Patowary, Minister of Industries & Commerce, Government of Assam. In his remarks, Mr Patowary emphasized the North East region’s potential as a gateway to South East Asia.  He  highlighted the need for an  Industrial Policy for the North East

Ms Vandana Kumar, Joint Secretary DIPP, made a detailed presentation on the key highlights of the future policy. She mentioned the dual challenge of dealing with existing issues and in preparing the industry in the wake of global mega-trends such as servification, industry 4.0, responsible industrialization and rising protectionism.

The New industrial policy envisions to create a competitive Indian industry that is equipped with skill scale and technology.

Ms Kumar also highlighted some of the key ideas such as a single ID and digital platform for all G2B services across the business lifecycle, paradigm shift toward self-certification and third-party certification, plug and play infrastructure for SMEs, privatizing maintenance of industrial estates and creating a national R&D vision.

Puneet Dalmia, Chairman FICCI Manufacturing Committee stressed the need to bridge the trust deficit and further the ease of doing business. Mr Atul Chaturvedi, Additional Secretary DIPP, Dr Sanjay Baru Secretary General FICCI, Dilip Chenoy Director General of FICCI were also present.

The session concluded with a vibrant Q&A session moderated by Dr Sanjay Baru SG FICCI with the industries, who highlighted their wishes and concerns.

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NCERT Proposes Uniform Syllabi for Sr Secondary Maths, Science

The National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) has developed core syllabi in Science and Mathematics at the higher secondary level and a core syllabus in Commerce would be completed by next month.

The idea is to provide a level-playing field to all students to join professional courses, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said in Rajya Sabha today. 

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The National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) has developed core syllabi in Science and Mathematics at the higher secondary level and a core syllabus in Commerce would be completed by next month.

The idea is to provide a level-playing field to all students to join professional courses, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said in Rajya Sabha today. 

He said 21 educational boards had earlier agreed to adopt a core curriculum in science and mathematics at secondary level following a consensus arrived on this issue at the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) meet in August 2009 to bring uniformity in these streams.

"Accordingly, NCERT has developed core syllabi in Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics at higher secondary stage in collaboration with Council of Boards of Secondary Education and CBSE," he said.

Sibal said the core syllabus for Commerce stream is likely to be completed by next month. 

In August 2009, CABE had emphasised the need for all states to modify their curriculum, syllabi and textbooks on the basis of NCF-2005. 

"It also endorsed the need for a core curriculum in science and mathematics at secondary and higher secondary levels across all Education Boards in the country, so as to provide a level playing field to all students to join professional courses," Sibal said during the Question Hour. 

However, he once again made it clear the government has no proposal to enforce a uniform school curriculum. 

Sibal had earlier said all the 30 boards in the country have their own points of view and in such circumstances it was difficult to implement a uniform school curriculum at secondary and higher secondary level.

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Renowned Sportspersons to Suggest Ideas On Sporting Infrastructure

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The Sports Ministry has constituted a committee of renowned Indian sportspersons to suggest the ways for best utilization of sporting infrastructure created by the Sports Authority of India( SAI) for the Commonwealth Games. This was disclosed by Shri Ajay Maken , Sports Minister , while briefing the media persons after taking round of five Stadia of SAI , here today morning.

Disclosing the composition of the Committee, Shri Maken said “ the Committee consisting of renowned sports persons and veteran sports journalist has been asked to suggest , how best we can utilize the existing sporting infrastructure .” He further informed that the Committee will be chaired by Sports Secretary and comprise of Ms P.T.Usha , Mr Bhaichung Bhutia, Ms. MC Marykom, Mr Dilip Tirkey and veteran Sports Journalist Mr K. Dutta. It has been asked to give its recommendations within four weeks. The Committee would be holding its first meeting on Monday, Shri Maken added.

Today morning , Shri Maken accompanied with Sports Secretary, DG ,CPWD and senior officers of SAI & CPWD has visited Dr SPM Swimming Complex , National Stadium, IGI Complex, JNL Stadium and Dr Karni Singh Shooting range to see himself the status of maintenance of above sporting infrastructure .

Responding the question of media persons about the utilization of Sports infrastructure , Shri Maken categorically stated that SAI stadiums would used for following three purpose only,

          (a) For running Sports Academies for imparting training to children.

          (b) hosting National & International competitions , for which annual calendar will be prepared .

          (c) National teams training for London Olympics.

Commenting on the state of maintenance level in the Stadiums, Shri Maken said the Sports Ministry has decided to hand over three stadiums to NDMC for cleaning and scavenging and other two stadiums would be maintained by the SAI. In response to a question regarding training of National Teams for London Olympics , Shri Maken said ‘ What we can’t do at the time of CWG , we should do for London Olympics and for this SAI is in active discussions with Sports Federations and with DDA also for teams stay arrangements. Very soon, we will come out with blue print.”

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