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Urban Development

Urban Development

Education

  • There has been a three-fold increase in the outlay for Education in the Ninth Plan over the earlier Five Year Plan.
  • The period 1991-97 has shown remarkable increase in female literacy. The literacy rate for women increased from 39.3% in 1991 to 50% in 1997.
  • Elementary Education accounts for 65% of total outlay allocated for Education sector.
  • Large scale innovations have been carried out in field of elementary education by State Governments and NGOs.
  • The Mid Day Meal Scheme has been a major factor in increasing attendance in schools and a reduction in drop-outs of students.
  • Due to various initiatives taken drop-out rates have shown a declining trend from 45% in 1992-93 to 39.58% in 1997.
  • During the Ninth Plan, in the field of Adult Literacy, area specific approach in a campaign mode were adopted in respect of women and unorganized sectors of Society.
  • The programmes of total Literacy Campaign and Post Literacy Campaign have faced some difficulties in low literacy States, mainly due to absence of voluntary organization.
  • The literacy rates in all NE States are higher than national average.
  • Special emphasis is being laid during the Ninth Plan on strengthening teacher education in the North-Eastern States.
  • In Secondary Education specific action plans have been initiated for revisions of curricula, Vocationalisation of Education, Distance Education, etc.
  • During the first-half of the Ninth Plan quality improvement was sought to be brought about by setting up Inter-University Centres and modernization of syllabi.
  • Polytechnics have been upgraded to help the disabled students in the technical education sector.
  • Efforts have been initiated to increase students in-take in undergraduate and post-graduate courses in computer disciplines at Regional Engineering Colleges.
  • Apart from increasing intake and upgrading facilities in existing institutes to meet the increased demand for IT professionals, there is urgent need to increase the number of Institutions for which action has been initiated.
  • The Indian Institute of Information Technology has been set up at Allahabad. The Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management has been set up in Gwalior and the IIM has been set-up at Indore during the period under review.
  • States are to be persuaded vigorously to implement 73rd and 74th Amendments of the Constitution as these facilitate the states to transfer the management of Primary Schools and Upper Primary Schools to Panchayats / Local Bodies.
  • Lack of adequate training programmes in the area of Information Technology and software development.
  • The Technology Development Missions have successfully created links between institutions and industries which need to be further strengthened.
  • Fees for all courses in universities and colleges need to be increased to a reasonable level. Meritorious as also poor students could be given suitable concessions and freeships.

Art and Culture sector

  • The scheme of financial assistance for strengthening of regional and local museums has been revised. In order to seek international standards museums require face lift with aided attractions in terms of display of artifacts, curio counters and kiosks. Museums have been directed to give emphasis to digitization and documentation of works of arts objects as part of the plan activities.
  • The National Culture Fund has been set up in 1997. The private sector is being involved to support the activities of the cultural sector by making contributions to this fund.
  • There is a need to constitute a National Commission on museums which should be given the mandate to review the current status of museums in the context global developments in this area as well as well as recommend steps to improve their conditions.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India needs additional funds for maintaining existing monuments as well as for undertaking protection of new sites.

Youth Affairs and Sports sector

  • The Deptt. of Youth Affairs and Sports has formulated a scheme known as the National Reconstruction Corps (NRC) in 1999-2000 for the benefit of youth. This has been started on a pilot basis.
  • Various schemes of the Deptt. relating to Sports have been revised and financial norms upgraded keeping in view the need and changing circumstances.
  • To encourage sports persons, the scheme of Special Award to `Medal Winners in International Sports Events and their Coaches has been revised.
  • One of the weak aspects of Nehru Yuva Kendras has been the lack of proper linkage with other development activities at the operational level (district/ block). This needs looking into
  • To encourage participation of weaker sections in activities of NYKS, the programme contents have to be suitably structured to meet their requirements.
  • The progress of sports infrastructure development in the States has been slow.
  • There is a need to prepare a new sports policy where high priority is given for promotion of sports in rural areas.
  • The mass media needs to be mobilized more imaginatively and effectively for introducing a sports culture in the country.
  • For excellence in sports a backup of improved technology is necessary.
  • Specific efforts should be made for tapping indigenous potential available for swimming in coastal areas, archery in tribal areas.
  • Sports schools should be set up in States in collaboration with private sector by providing them with attractive incentives.
  • Better incentives are needed for sportspersons.
  • Sports and physical education should be integrated effectively in the educational curriculum .
  • A policy for promoting the participation of NGOs and industries in sports should be evolved.
  • There is need to promote Research and Development in sports. There is need to initiate research in sports medicine.
  • The Deptt. of YA and S should formulate a special scheme for the promotion of sports and games among the disabled persons.
  • There is critical shortage of coaches in the N.E. Region. Persons from North Eastern Region itself should be trained and appointed as coaches on contract basis, so that they take more interest in making their sportsmen perform better.

 


Empowerment of Women and Development of Children

The Ninth Five Year Plan is committed to - i) ' Empowerment of Women' through creating an enabling environment for women to exercise their rights, both within and outside home, as equal partners along with men and ii) ' Development of Children ' through placing the young child on the top of the country’s development agenda with a special focus on the Girl Child.

Empowerment of Women

Towards empowering women, efforts are being madei) to finalize the draft ‘National Policy for Empowerment of Women’ ; ii) to legislate reservation of not less than 1/3 seats for women in the Lok Sabha and in the State Legislative Assemblies and thus ensure adequate representation of women in decision making; iii) to adopt an integrated approach towards empowering women through effective convergence of existing services, financial and human resources, and infrastructure in both women-specific and women-related sectors; iv) to adopt a special strategy of ‘Women’s Component Plan’ to ensure funds / benefits flow to women from other relevant sectors; and v) to organize women into Self-Help Groups and thus mark the beginning of a major process of empowering women.

Action Taken / Progress Made

A Committee on Empowerment of Women was constituted in March 1997 by Lok Sabha to review the progress of empowering women from time to time. The Committee has, so far, reviewed the progress of the development schemes for rural women.

A Group of Ministers was set up in July, 2000 to examine/finalise the proposal of the formulation of a National Policy on Empowerment of women.

A Task Force on Women and Children was constituted in August, 2000 to review all the related aspects of empowering women, besides drafting a programme for celebrating 2001 as ‘ Year of Women’s Empowerment ‘ .

A review of the implementation of Women’s Component Plan in August, 2000 has brought forth that – i) a few Central Ministries / Departments like Health and Family Welfare, Education, Labour, Agriculture, Rural Development, Urban Affairs and Employment, Small Scale and Agro Industries, Non-conventional Energy Sources, Science and Technology are already channelising the flow of funds/benefits to women; and ii) States like Karnataka, Kerala, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh also made initiatives of earmarking funds under Women's Component Plan.

To organize women into Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and equip them with the services of awareness generation and income generation through training, employment, credit and marketing linkages to small women entrepreneurs etc., programmes like Indira Mahila Yojana (IMY) and Rural Women's Empowerment and Development (RWDEP) have been launched. Of the total Ninth Plan target of 50,000, more than 37,000 Groups were set up benefiting about 8 lakh women.

Towards promoting employment and income generation - programmes like Support for Training and Employment (STEP) , Training-Cum-Production Centres (popularly known as NORAD), Socio-economic Programme (SEP) and Condensed Courses of Education and Vocational Training (CCEVT) have been benefiting more than 5 lakh women both in traditional and non-traditional sectors.

On the suggestion of the Planning Commission, action has already been initiated to merge all the training-cum-employment-cum-income generation programmes under one single umbrella programme viz., Integrated Programme for Training and Employment for Women.

Welfare and Support Services are being extended through programmes like Hostels for Working Women , Short Stay Homes and Family Counselling Centres etc. So far, 840 Hostels have been constructed all over the country to provide accommodation for more than 75,000 working women and their dependent children. Around 360 Short Stay Homes all over the country are taking care of 12,000 women and girls in distress, at present. The mid-term appraisal recognizes the increasing demand for these services and suggests expansion.

The Ninth Plan attaches great importance to the awareness generation and gender sensitization programmes to change the mind-set of the people, besides projecting positive image of women and the girl child. Efforts are also being made to gender sensitize the policy makers, planners, administrators, implementers, enforcement machinery etc.

The other enabling measures like - i) safeguarding the rights and interests of women through the efforts of the National Commission for Women ; ii) extending micro-credit to poor and assestless women through the efforts of Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK); and iii) extending grant-in-aid to NGOs to promote voluntary action through Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB) are being strengthened and expanded to reach the un-reached.

Development of Children

The Ninth Plan reaffirms its priority for the development of early childhood as an investment in the country’s human resource development with a priority for the younger children below 2 years. To this effect, implementation of the two National Plans of Action – one for Children and the other exclusively for the Girl Child underlining the importance of ‘Survival, Protection and Development’ has been further reinforced.

Efforts are being made to strengthen and expand the on-going approach of converging the basic services of health, nutrition and pre-school education through the nation-wide programme of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS). Around 26.5 million pre-school children below 6 years and 5.6 million expectant and nursing mothers are being benefited under this programme .

Towards Universalisation of ICDS , the programme is being expanded to cover another 851 Blocks during the Ninth Plan. Of these, 461 Projects are funded by the World Bank. Besides this, the programme of UDISHA which extends training for ICDS personnel also receives assistance from the World Bank.

Balika Samridhi Yojana (BSY) is another national level programme launched in 1997 to improve the status of the Girl Child belonging to the BPL Groups. Based on the recommendations of a Group of Ministers, BSY was re-cast in 1999 to extend - i) a post delivery grant of Rs.500/- ; and ii) annual scholarships ranging from Rs.300/ to Rs.1000/- between Classes I to X. These amounts, at the option of the guardian of the girl child, can also be deposited either in the Post-office or in the Bank in an interest bearing account in the name of the girl Child and to be paid to the girl child in lump-sum on attaining the age of 18 years , if she remains unmarried till then.

The non-expanding scheme of Creches and Day Care Centres for children of working / ailing mothers maintained the continuing level of 12470 Creches benefiting 3.12 lakh children. To this, 2455 more Creches benefiting 0.61 lakh children were added with the assistance from the National Creche Fund.

Critical Issues / Concerns

The Mid-term review identified the following critical issues / concerns which are standing as the hurdles on the path of the progress of these target groups viz., - i) high rates of illiteracy, low rates of enrolment and high drop- outs ; ii) high rates of IMR,CMR and MMR, despite their declining trend; iii) high rates of macro and micro nutrient deficiencies; iv) feminization of poverty ; v) invisibility of women's contribution to the national economy; vi) persistent problem of gender discrimination; vii) ever increasing violence against women and the girl child; viii) ineffective implementation of both women-specific and women-related legislations etc. Special efforts are, therefore, being made during the Ninth Plan to address these problems.

State Sector

A critical review of the State Sector programmes demands the following interventions - i) focused attention on women and children through exclusive machineries; ii) rationalization / minimization of the on-going programmes; iii) prioritization in allocating the limited resources; iv) extend in-service training to equip the staff with the latest developments on the subjects; and v) develop mechanisms for effective co-ordination, both vertical and horizontal.

Voluntary Sector

The country wide net work of voluntary efforts need to be streamlined and re-directed into more effective channels of operation , besides ensuring an even spread of the voluntary organizations all over the country in the field of women and child development.

Resource Position

An analysis of the resource position reveals that there is an imbalance in the utilization of plan funds, as 88.6% of the total Ninth Plan outlay of Rs.7810 crore is being spent on the child development and the rest of the 11.4% on women's development and other grant-in-aid programmes. This, however, does not go in conformity with the priorities/objectives set by the Ninth Plan.