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Cabinet gives approval for introduction of Common Norms across all skill development schemes being implemented by different Ministries / Departments of GOI
Common Norms Committee to be set up to bring uniformity & standardisation among the skill development schemes of the Central Government

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval for introduction of Common Norms across all skill development schemes being implemented by different Ministries / Departments of Government of India.

Currently, over 70-odd Skill Development Programmes (SDPs) are being implemented by Government of India, each with its own norms for eligibility criteria, duration of training, cost of training, outcomes, monitoring and tracking mechanism etc. This multiplicity of norms and parameters has created a diffusive effect of SDPs, which need to be streamlined in order to achieve the final outcomes envisaged. Common Norms seek to rationalise the whole spectrum of skill development processes and systems including inputs, outputs, funding/cost norms, third party certification and assessment, monitoring/tracking mechanisms, and empanelment of training providers.

Common Norms define the activities constituting ‘Skill Development’ in the country, skill development courses and their alignment with the National Skills Qualification Framework, broad input standards for training programmes and the outcomes expected from these programmes. The outcomes of skill training programmes have been defined in terms of placement achieved in wage and self- employment, both for fresh trainees as well as existing workers who have undergone Recognition of Prior Learning. Since the common norms are aimed at being outcome focused, the cost norms and fund flow mechanism for skill development programmes have also been linked to specific outcomes achieved. Cost norms include support for components like mobilisation of candidates, trainers’ training, placement expenses, post-placement tracking/monitoring and infrastructure costs.

The proposal envisages the creation of a Common Norms Committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to bring about uniformity and standardisation among the skill development schemes of the Central Government. The Committee will also consist of eight other representatives from relevant Central Ministries/Departments, State Governments, National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), with a provision for inviting experts and other significant stakeholders who may be necessary in the decision making process. It will be empowered to revise/amend the common norms, schedules of the notification, training costs and funding norms for skill development programmes.

While the common norms would be applicable to the skill development schemes of the Government of India being implemented through various Ministries/Departments, the State Governments are also expected to align their skill development schemes with the common norms so as to bring in uniformity and standardization.

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INDIA-EU LEADERS' MEETING
May 08, 2021
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At the invitation of the President of the European Council Mr. Charles Michel, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting today.

The meeting was held in a hybrid format with the participation of leaders of all the 27 EU Member States as well as the President of the European Council and the European Commission. This is the first time that the EU hosted a meeting with India in the EU+27 format. The meeting was the initiative of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

During the meeting, the leaders expressed their desire to further strengthen the India-EU Strategic Partnership based on a shared commitment to democracy, fundamental freedoms, rule of law and multilateralism. They exchanged views on three key thematic areas: i) foreign policy and security; ii) COVID-19, climate and environment; and iii) trade, connectivity and technology. They discussed forging closer cooperation on combating the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery, tackling climate change, and reforming multilateral institutions. India appreciated the prompt assistance provided by the EU and its member states to combat its second COVID wave.

The leaders welcomed the decision to resume negotiations for balanced and comprehensive free trade and investment agreements. Negotiations on both the Trade and Investment Agreements will be pursued on parallel tracks with an intention to achieve early conclusion of both agreements together. This is a major outcome which will enable the two sides to realise the full potential of the economic partnership. India and the EU also announced dedicated dialogues on WTO issues, regulatory cooperation, market access issues and supply chain resilience, demonstrating the desire to deepen and further diversify economic engagement.

India and the EU launched an ambitious and comprehensive ‘Connectivity Partnership’ which is focused on enhancing digital, energy, transport and people-to-people connectivity. The Partnership is based on the shared principles of social, economic, fiscal, climate and environmental sustainability, and respect for international law and commitments. The Partnership will catalyse private and public financing for connectivity projects. It will also foster new synergies for supporting connectivity initiatives in third countries, including in the Indo-Pacific.

India and the EU leaders reiterated their commitment to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and agreed to strengthen joint efforts for mitigation, adaptation and resilience to the impacts of climate change, as well as providing means of implementation including finance in the context of COP26. India welcomed the EU’s decision to join CDRI.

India and the EU also agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation on digital and emerging technologies such as 5G, AI, Quantum and High-Performance Computing including through the early operationalization of the Joint Task Force on AI and the Digital Investment Forum.

The leaders noted with satisfaction the growing convergences on regional and global issues, including counterterrorism, cybersecurity and maritime cooperation. The leaders acknowledged the importance of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific and agreed to closely engage in the region, including in the context of India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative and the EU’s new strategy on the Indo-Pacific.

Coinciding with the Leaders’ Meeting, an India-EU Business Roundtable was organised to highlight the avenues for cooperation in climate, digital and healthcare. A finance contract of Euro 150 million for the Pune Metro Rail Project was signed by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and European Investment Bank.

India-EU Leaders Meeting has set a significant milestone by providing a new direction to the Strategic Partnership and giving a fresh impetus for implementing the ambitious India-EU Roadmap 2025 adopted at the 15th India-EU Summit held in July 2020.