All that was discussed in the House through the day
More than 150 million households have job cards under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in the country as of December 18, 2021, Niranjan Jyoti, minister of state in the rural development ministry, told the Rajya Sabha.
Uttar Pradesh had a maximum number of households having job cards (21,125,892) and Goa had a minimum number of households with job cards (34,459).
The highest average wage rate per day per person (Rs 312.68) was paid in Haryana and the lowest average wage rate per day per person (Rs 172.73) was paid in Telangana, as of December 18, 2021.
Cost norms for supplementary nutrition
The cost norms for supplementary nutrition in 2017 were revised with reference to the average consumer price index-rural labour index for May 2016, Smriti Zubin Irani, child development minister, told Rajya Sabha.
Recipes prepared for beneficiaries under the Supplementary Nutrition Programme mainly consist of foodgrains such as rice, wheat and millets. These food grains are supplied at subsidised rates of Rs 3, Rs 2 and Re 1 respectively to the states.
These amounts fixed for various categories of beneficiaries have been found to be sufficient to meet the requirements as provided under Schedule-I of the National Food Security Act, 2013.
Status of Van-Dhan Scheme
The tribal affairs ministry, under the scheme Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP, has so far notified MSP for 87 minor forest produces. The scheme was catering to only 10 MFP items in 2014, Arjun Munda, tribal affairs minister, told the Rajya Sabha.
Munda added that Van Dhan Vikas Karyakram, a demand-driven initiative under the MSP for MFP scheme, targets livelihood generation for tribals by harnessing the wealth of forest, that is, van dhan.
Under this programme, community-owned MFP-centric multi-purpose Kendras are set up in predominantly tribal districts which act as common facility centres for procurement cum value addition to locally available MFP.
A total of 3,110 Van Dhan Vikas Kendra clusters have been sanctioned till date since its inception in 2019-20, wherein about 0.9 million MFP gatherers have benefitted.
Villages adopted under SAGY
The Members of Parliament have adopted 2,477 Gram Panchayats under Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana(SAGY), Jyoti said.
The development of Gram Panchayats is envisaged through effective convergence and implementation of existing development schemes of both central and state governments besides resources pooled from multiple other streams under the SAGY guidelines. No separate funds are allocated for this purpose.
Lack of funds for MGNREGA
The MGNREGS is a demand-driven wage employment programme and funds are released to states / Union territories on the basis of “agreed to” labour budget and performance of the states / UTs during the financial year.
The funds allocation has increased more than 18 per cent in the current financial year 2021-22 from the previous financial year 2020-21 at Budget Estimate stage from Rs 61,500 crore to Rs 73,000 crore.
Recently, an additional fund of Rs 10,000 crore has been allocated for MGNREGS as an interim measure, Jyoti said.
Fund release to the states / UTs is a continuous process and the central government is committed to making funds available keeping in view the demand for work on the ground. The available funds are sufficient to meet the current wage liability.
Status of implementation of vehicle scrappage policy
The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has formulated Vehicle Scrapping Policy that includes a system of incentives / dis-incentives for the creation of an ecosystem to phase out older, unfit polluting vehicles.
The policy is based on the criterion of fitness of the vehicle. In order to enforce provisions of the policy, rules have been issued / amended under the framework of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and are applicable to all states / UTs, Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, told the Rajya Sabha.
Mental health as part of school curriculum
The education ministry has undertaken a proactive initiative, ‘Manodarpan’, which covers a wide range of activities to provide psychosocial support to students, teachers and families for mental health and emotional wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond, Subhas Sarkar, minister of state in the education ministry told the Rajya Sabha.
Sarkar added that the working group comprising experts from the fields of education, mental health and psychosocial issues, has been set up to monitor and promote mental health issues and concerns of students and to facilitate providing of support to address the mental health and psychosocial aspects during and after COVID-19.
Death of school teachers due to COVID-19
At least 327 teaching / non-teaching staff of Kendriya Vidhyalaya, Jawahar Navodaya Vidhyalaya and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) died due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). None of these teachers died during COVID-19 duty, said Sarkar.
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