Modi holds Dharamshala dialogue with chief secys


Photo Credit Niti Aayog

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, June 16: Mid-way in his second term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking to take the states onboard for policy slogs to give a push to the economic growth at a time when the world is staring at the prspects of recession.

Kicking off the three brainstorming with the chief secretaries of all the states and the Union Territories (UTs) in Dharamshala, the winter capital of the poll bound Himachal Pradesh, Modi spelt out his priority – implementation of the National Education Policy, crop-diversification, expansion of the aspirational district model to the block levels, besides rolling out a dedicated TV channel for training of the teachers (Union Budget this year had proposed launch of 200 TV channels for improving access to education).

“Had fruitful deliberations at the Chief Secretaries conference. We discussed ways to further accelerate progress of aspirational districts, National Education Policy, crop diversification, reducing compliance burden and other such topics,” tweeted Modi on Thursday evening.

The three-day-long national conference of chief secretaries will lead to next month’s Governing Council meeting of the NITI Aayog, which will be held in the national capital, to take forward the Dharamshala agenda.

Modi, incidentally, has shown in the past desires to nudge the states to embark on the reform roadmap in lines with the Cente’s policy directions.

Also, the chief secretaries in Dharamshala discussed the possible ways to help India gain self-sufficiency in oilseeds, pulses and other agri-commodities.

India had to cut down the import duties on palm oild last month after the inflation sharply shot up even while the food inflation continues to be beyond the comfort levels.

The National Education Policy is a key agenda of the Modi government in its second term, as the ruling Bharatiya Janata party’s ideological mentor the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) is growing impatient with the snail’s pace over the execution at the ground levels.

“Lauding the success of the Aspirational Districts Programme, the Prime Minister said the government should strive to make these the ‘Inspirational Districts’ of India and extend them to the block and city levels,” said the Prime Minister’s Office in an official statement.

The Aspirational Districts programme is conceptualized with the idea for the convergence of the resources of the Central and the state governments to improve the socio-economic indicators in the backward districts, with special emphasis on education, health and nutrition.

Also admitting the learning gaps in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic, Modi called for strengthening of the teachers’ training by leveraging digital technology and learning mobile apps.

“Award winning retired school teachers could also be roped in for visiting schools and training teachers. There could be a dedicated TV channel for teachers’ training,” said Modi.

The Union Budget this year had announced that 200 TV channels would be launched for improving access to high quality education in the remotest part of the country.

Modi also suggested that competitions could be held among young entrepreneurs, start-ups and youth across states for preparation of quality content in various mediums such as drama, animation, mono-acting, etc. in regional languages.

On the issue of reducing compliance burden, the conference also dwelt upon the ideas for reforms while strategies for a digital mission in agriculture too was discussed.


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