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PM Action Plan: Government Aims to be Better with 60-point Action Plan

  • Category
    Governance
  • Published
    25th Oct, 2021

Context

The centre has prepared a comprehensive 60-point action plan following the Prime Minister’s meeting with secretaries of all departments and ministries.

Background

  • Prime minister in consultation with secretaries of all the union ministries and departments has identified 60 ideas and suggestions across the sectors.
  • Accordingly, the cabinet secretariat has identified the lead ministries to take these suggestions forward and work for their implementation.

Analysis

A closer analysis suggests that the 60-point action is targeted at specific ministries and departments which fall under three broad categories:

  1. Leveraging IT and technology for governance
  2. Improving business climate, and
  3. Upgrading the civil services

Let us look at them closely.

Leveraging IT and Technology for Governance:

  • Streamlining disbursement of scholarships- It will bridge the digital divide for underprivileged students by developing indigenous tabletsand laptops.
  • Digitisation of land records: It aims at digitising all land records by 2023 under the ‘Matribhumi’ central database. This will result in the creation of an accurate and comprehensive record with appropriate database linkages, that can be updated in real-time.
  • All schemes and programmes of the government of India should have a digital component.
  • Linking of Birth certificates to citizenship: As there is no proof of citizenship in India, a plausible solution came from the action plan, which talks about linking citizenship with birth certificates through the use of technology.

Improving Business Climate:

  • It talks about doing away with certain permissions, reducing the cost of starting a business in 10 sectors and bringing Indiato par with Vietnam and Indonesia.
  • Comprehensive “Environment Management Act” (subsuming various laws in the sector): As there is considerable overlap among various laws, it suggests a new “umbrella” law to simplify the process of environment clearances for the development of infrastructure projects in India.
  • Minimise the number of clearances required: The DPIIT, and Ministry of Environment and forests have been tasked to chalk out an action plan to minimise the number of clearances required and provide for automatic notification of the clearances required when a unit registers.
  • Provision for incentives to states for timely land acquisition and forests clearances by incorporating a “ranking framework for states in giving clearances”.
  • Establishment of National Mentorship platforms for start-ups: This will provide mentors with a single point of contact for entrepreneurs and start-ups, where they could be assisted by securing early finance.
  • Skilling programmes for emerging sectors: Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has been tasked to work towards skilling programmes for the emerging sectors.
  • The action plan includes the appointment of more Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) in order to ensure the effective use of data.
  • Use of Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping for decision-making to boost the country’s GDP.
  • Pushing for jobs while negotiating trade pacts.

Upgrading the Civil Service

  • Capacity Building (Mission Karamyogi):While imparting training to the officers, stress must be given on various aspects of infrastructure in both the Centre and states. It can be further improved with the infusion of expertise and exposure to the latest technologies to higher civil services.
  • Performance-Based Working: Clear and specific targets for ministries and departments, the ways it works in public sector undertakings. Well-placed Institutional mechanisms for addressing issues of states given their limited capacities.
  • Restructuring of departments through re-engineering the government processes every 10 years.

    Re-engineering forces bureaucrats and the government to completelyrethink the way business is conducted and react tothe demands made by their constituents.For example,modified methods of metre reading,billing(process)can increase the accuracy of generated bills, less power-cuts and reliable and uninterrupted power. This can help to improve the distribution network resulting in operational efficiency.

The action plan also asks the concerned ministriesto borrow from the successes achieved by others. For example:

  • The Department of Sports has been asked to adopt the Odisha model for the promotion of sports at a national level.
  • The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances has been asked to organise all government circulars like the Reserve Bank of India’s Master Circulars.

Other points in the Action Plan:

  • Eradication of poverty: NITI Aayog must target the eradication of poverty in the next five years.
  • Prevent formation of slums: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs must plan for the residential facilities for people engaged in construction to prevent the formation of slums.
  • Use of Aadhaar for bringing together beneficiary oriented schemes: It will not only help in scrutinising the penetration of the concerned welfare scheme but will also save government efforts from getting duplicated.
  • Promotion of “Family database design”: It has been developed by the ministry of social justice and empowerment that “maybe promoted like Aadhaar.”
  • The action plan for the Ministry of External Affairs talks about Institutionalising inter-ministerial groups on the “Neighbourhood First Policy”.

Inter-Ministerial Group is a committee consisting of members from different ministries. Such committees can be set up by Prime Minister to look into specific issues pertaining to the ministries.

  • The culture and tourism ministrieshave been tasked with identifying and developing 100-200 famous structures and locations.
  • Centres of excellencecan be established in rural regions through public-private partnerships (PPP), considering Singapore as an example.
  • Opening of beach sand minerals (only Department of Atomic Energy-DEA can do this kind of mining) and offshore mining (currently only through PSUs)for exploration and production by the private sector.

Additional Information: Monazite (Monazite is the mineral from which Thorium is extracted) and other minerals such as garnet, ilmenite and zircon are commonly known as beach sand minerals as they are found along the coastal regions of peninsular India are refined and used in stages of the country’s nuclear power programme and hi-tech defence electronics applications.Thorium is an important ingredient of India’s three-stage nuclear programme that can be turned into nuclear fuel after being combined with a fissile material such as plutonium.

Conclusion:

After passing a tumultuous year, India next growth story would hinge on righteous planning and direction. The 60-point action plan holds the roadmap for India to achieve new heights in the area of ease of doing business and will push India in the direction of good governance. The implementation of the mentioned“ actionable inputs”requires an “immediate action” in a “time-bound manner” to ensure its success.

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