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Meeting the needs of Aspirational India in which all the sections of the society seek better standards of living with access to education, health and better jobs is one of the key themes of the Union Budget 2020-21. The Budget lays special emphasis on the employability and quality aspects of education.

Presenting the Budget for the financial year 2020-21 in the Parliament today, the Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman said that a total outlay of Rs.99,300 crore has been earmarked for the education sector in 2020-21 and Rs.3000 crore for Skill Development. “By 2030, India is set to have the largest working age population in the world. Not only do they need literacy but they need both job and life skills”, the Finance Minister explained.

Smt Nirmala Sitharaman announced that about 150 Higher Educational Institutions will start apprenticeship embedded degree/diploma courses by March 2020-21. This will help to improve the employability of students in the general stream (vis-a-vis services or technology stream). The government will also start a program whereby urban local bodies across the country would provide internship opportunities to fresh engineers for a period of up to one year. National Skill Development Agency will give special thrust to infrastructure-focused skill development opportunities, the Minister explained.

The Finance Minister, in her speech also said that the New Education Policy will be announced soon. Smt Nirmala Sitharaman stated that steps will be taken to enable sourcing External Commercial Borrowings and FDI to ensure greater inflow of finance to attract talented teachers, innovate and build better labs.

Degree level full-fledged online education programme will be started to provide quality education to students of deprived sections of the society as well as those who do not have access to higher education. However, these shall be offered only by institutions who are ranked within top 100 in the National Institutional Ranking Framework.

The Finance Minister observed that India should be a preferred destination for higher education. Therefore, under its “Study in India” programme, an Ind-SAT is proposed to be held in Asian and African countries for benchmarking foreign candidates who receive scholarships for studying in Indian higher education centres.

In order to meet the requirement of qualified medical doctors, it is proposed to attach a medical college to an existing district hospital in PPP mode. Viability gap funding will be made available to the States that fully allow the facilities of the hospital to the medical college and provide land at a concession.

The Government will also encourage large hospitals with sufficient capacity to offer resident doctors DNB/FNB courses under the National Board of Examinations. Smt Nirmala Sitharaman stated that a huge demand exists for teachers/nurses/para medical staff and care givers abroad. Therefore special bridge courses may be designed jointly by the Ministries of Health and Skill Development along with professional bodies to match the employer’s standards as well as meet the language requirements of various countries.

A National Police University and a National Forensic Science University have also been proposed in the domain of policing science, forensic science, cyber-forensics etc. in the Budget.

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PM chairs high level meeting to review preparedness to deal with Cyclone Jawad
December 02, 2021
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PM directs officials to take all necessary measures to ensure safe evacuation of people
Ensure maintenance of all essential services and their quick restoration in case of disruption: PM
All concerned Ministries and Agencies working in synergy to proactively counter the impact of the cyclone
NDRF has pre-positioned 29 teams equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipments etc; 33 teams on standby
Indian Coast Guard and Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief, search and rescue operations
Air Force and Engineer task force units of Army on standby for deployment
Disaster Relief teams and Medical Teams on standby along the eastern coast

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi chaired a high level meeting today to review the preparedness of States and Central Ministries & concerned agencies to deal with the situation arising out of the likely formation of Cyclone Jawad.

Prime Minister directed officials to take every possible measure to ensure that people are safely evacuated and to ensure maintenance of all essential services such as Power, Telecommunications, health, drinking water etc. and that they are restored immediately in the event of any disruption. He further directed them to ensure adequate storage of essential medicines & supplies and to plan for unhindered movement. He also directed for 24*7 functioning of control rooms.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that low pressure region in the Bay of Bengal is expected to intensify into Cyclone Jawad and is expected to reach coast of North Andhra Pradesh – Odisha around morning of Saturday 4th December 2021, with the wind speed ranging upto 100 kmph. It is likely to cause heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha & W.Bengal. IMD has been issuing regular bulletins with the latest forecast to all the concerned States.

Cabinet Secretary has reviewed the situation and preparedness with Chief Secretaries of all the Coastal States and Central Ministries/ Agencies concerned.

Ministry of Home Affairs is reviewing the situation 24*7 and is in touch with the State Governments/ UTs and the Central Agencies concerned. MHA has already released the first instalment of SDRF in advance to all States. NDRF has pre-positioned 29 teams which are equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipments etc. in the States and has kept 33 teams on standby.

Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief, search and rescue operations. Air Force and Engineer task force units of Army, with boats and rescue equipment, are on standby for deployment. Surveillance aircraft and helicopters are carrying out serial surveillance along the coast. Disaster Relief teams and Medical Teams are standby at locations along the eastern coast.

Ministry of Power has activated emergency response systems and is keeping in readiness transformers, DG sets and equipments etc. for immediate restoration of electricity. Ministry of Communications is keeping all the telecom towers and exchanges under constant watch and is fully geared to restore telecom network. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued an advisory to the States/ UTs, likely to be affected, for health sector preparedness and response to COVID in affected areas.

Ministry of Port, Shipping and Waterways has taken measures to secure all shipping vessels and has deployed emergency vessels. The states have also been asked to alert the industrial establishments such as Chemical & Petrochemical units near the coast.

NDRF is assisting the State agencies in their preparedness for evacuating people from the vulnerable locations and is also continuously holding community awareness campaigns on how to deal with the cyclonic situation.

The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary to PM, Cabinet Secretary, Home Secretary, DG NDRF and DG IMD.