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02 September 2016 K2_CATEGORY IAS Blog

Nai Manzil Scheme – An initiative to Strengthen Minority Communities by Providing Skill-Based Training

In August 2015, central government launched “The Pradhan Mantri Nai Manzil Scheme”. It is a skill development programme which benefits girls from minority group. Government identified seven sectors for which assistance will be provided. Based on the recommendations of Sachar Committee to improve the social welfare and educational programmes of India, Government has kicked off the programme. The first institutions to be benefited by the programme were Madarsa Imam Sadique in Shadipur, Skill Development Centre at the University of Kashmir and Madarsa Shahi-i-Hamdan in Pampore. The seven sectors where training will be provided may be enumerated as below:

  • Electronics
  • Embroidery
  • Saffron processing
  • Food processing
  • Tourism and hospitality
  • Computers and IT (both software and hardware)
  • Plumbing

Nature of training

Training programme has been designed considering the skills which will be relevant to a particular state. This means that beneficiaries will acquire skills which can be put to use where they are residing. This further implies that programme intends to meet the requirements of local industries for skilled labour. Besides training, beneficiaries will also receive INR 4500 per head.

Beneficiaries

In several other locations such as Motihari and Patna in Bihar and Bhandup in Mumbai, the programme has been launched. In a gradual manner, the programmes will be introduced in other madrasas as well. The Indian Government has described the programme as “ an integrated Education and Livelihood Initiative”. In addition to girls and women, the programme also aims at empowering minority youth who have received their education in madrasas or other alike community educational institutions. Those who have been dropped out of their schools will also be immensely benefited by the programme. It is believed that the training provided in this programme – along with the money- will greatly assist the attendees, especially one who come from economically-backward families and communities. The age limit for people is 17-35 years.

Educational component

After finishing the training, the attendees will have formal education that is equivalent to either Class 8 or 10. The programme aims to impart skills training and certification to prove their authenticity. It is believed that the scheme will help attendees get job in the organized sector and do away with qualification-related inferiority among them. The programme will be applicable to whole of India.

Financial assistance from World Bank

An agreement between union government and world bank in which global financial body will provide credit worth $50 million to carry out the programme has provided much-needed financial boost to the programme. Experts believe that this agreement will certainly improve India’s status in international circles and when there is a need for skilled workers in domains mentioned above arise, India will be considered as a viable alternative.

Importance of Sachar Committee

The Sanchar Committee has played a crucial role in conceptualization of the programme. High-level committee had scoped ways to elevate socio-economic and educational status of Muslims in India and submitted its report to Manmohan Singh, who was the-then Prime Minister. Report revealed that Muslim kids in the age group of 6-14 were either school dropouts or had never gone to a school in the first place. Only 3% children in these families went to madrasas and received some primary education.

According to the report, ever since the 1970s, the gap in rates of general attainment in higher education has been widening between Muslims and other religious communities in India. The percentage of graduates and post-graduates in the top colleges were 4% and 2% respectively. The committee recommended the institution of an equal opportunity body so that Muslims could be brought at par with other communities.

Government view of the programme

This programme is an endeavor to achieve the objective of development for all. Ansari said that the recommendations are worthy of implementation but the programme is more influenced by the ideals of Modi and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, who trusted in the principle of elevating even the last person in the queue.

Rounding up – importance of the programme

Scholars like Mirza Asmer Beg, a professor of political science at the Aligarh Muslim University, are of the opinion that the high-level report has revealed that Muslims are not doing well but if given the opportunity and right direction, they can excel. Analysts describe the programme as a good initiative by the government, but at the same time they showed concerns about its possible results.

02 September 2016 K2_CATEGORY IAS Blog

The article analysis the issue of delayed justice and present deadlock between judiciary and executive over judicial appointments.

  • The CJI holds vacancies responsible for creating delays, bringing justice delivery to a grinding halt for several litigants. This is unacceptable for any state that promises the rule of law to its citizens.
  • By all accounts, the judicial system is painfully slow — as of December 31, 2015, 51.2 per cent of all cases pending in the subordinate courts have been pending for more than two years and 7.5 per cent for more than 10 years; in the high courts the corresponding figures are 68 per cent and 19.22 per cent.

Long-standing vacancies

  • The government and the collegium have been unable to agree on a Memorandum of Procedure for appointment of judges for the better part of this year.
  • The government has neither cleared nor returned the files sent by the collegium regarding several high court appointments and transfers, unlike Supreme Court appointments and some transfers which were cleared earlier this year.
  • According to the apex court’s own publication, as of May 2016, there were 2 vacancies in the Supreme Court (out of 31 sanctioned posts) and 432 vacancies in the high courts (out of 1,065 sanctioned posts). This constituted a vacancy rate of 6.45 per cent and 40.5 per cent, respectively.
  • However, looking at figures from December 2012, much before this stand-off, may provide some perspective. At that time, there were 4 vacancies in the Supreme Court (out of 31 sanctioned posts) and 281 vacancies in the high courts (out of 895 sanctioned posts). This constituted a vacancy rate of 12.9 per cent for the Supreme Court, higher than the present, and 31.3 per cent for high courts.

These figures point towards two fundamental propositions:

  • First, high vacancies are not solely caused by the stand-off — they are endemic to the higher judiciary.
  • Second, even if the current impasse between the executive and judiciary were to end, vacancies would not be even substantially filled, let alone delays being significantly reduced.
  • This is because vacancies are a product of a systemic lack of incentives for persons of high quality and integrity to take up judgeships. Judicial pay is poor, pensions are poorer.
  • Further, the collegium which selects judges and elevates them to the Supreme Court is a closed brotherhood.

Delays as a multifaceted problem

  • Vacancies are not the sole reason for debilitating judicial delays. Delay in the judiciary is a multifaceted problem which differs also from court to court, State to State.
  • However amongst some common factors is the pressing concern that law, as laid down by the Supreme Court and high courts in a large number of areas, is unclear and inconsistent. This necessitates constant and overlapping appeals clogging the system.
  • The potential for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, such as arbitration, to reduce judicial delays has not been explored owing to the constant interference of courts. Constant interference has not been limited to ADR but is endemic.
  • It is little surprise that litigants take a chance before the higher judiciary since securing an admission is often perceived as a game of roulette. This is especially so since the quality of justice, particularly in the lower judiciary, is often perceived as unsatisfactory.
  • These factors are merely illustrative of the multifaceted nature of delays. They are however united by a common thread that, unlike filling of vacancies, they are all within the remit of the judiciary’s self-correction.

Power struggle over appointments

  • The complexity of causes responsible for judicial delays should make it amply clear that it is merely a by-product when it comes to the vexed question of judicial appointments.
  • The current stand-off is a power struggle between the government and the judiciary over judicial appointments, which is not unprecedented.
  • In 1998, the current impasse too is primarily the product of an inadequately reasoned judgment that is less an expression of constitutional law and more an assertion of judicial self-belief.
  • In an uncommon and unnecessarily strident majority view, the Supreme Court not only struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) but also criticised the government and the political class as a whole.
  • In the process, it missed a genuine opportunity of reforming a system that it itself recognised as flawed — neither did it institute safeguards into the NJAC that would have made it constitutionally valid nor did it substantively reform the collegium itself to satisfy concerns that were shared by some petitioners, the government and the Supreme Court itself.

Time to walk the talk

  • As per news reports, the government proposed a screening committee for all judges-elect comprising eminent persons and retired judges to ensure criteria-based selections; second, the government has asked for a national security veto. The collegium apparently has rejected both proposals.
  • The first suggestion appears unobjectionable. In the NJAC judgment, some judges advert to a similar committee; its importance in order to ensure accountability and citizen participation cannot be disregarded. The collegium’s objections to such a proposal, if true, are perplexing and should be made public.
  • As far as a national security veto is concerned, the judges are rightly concerned about national security (or national interest) becoming a fig leaf for state unaccountability. Given this possibility, rather than national security being a ground for veto, a healthy convention should be adopted by the collegium that ordinarily a rejection by the government on these grounds will be heeded, provided they are subjectively satisfied.
  • But without entering into matters of detailed disagreement, the entire process of formulation of the Memorandum of Procedure is deeply discomforting.
  • First, it appears that the role of the collegium is limited to accepting or rejecting reform suggestions given by the government. If true, this is disturbing.
  • Second, a combination of the secrecy of the process and the apparent hostility between the judiciary and government means the reform agenda is lagging behind. There is a need to make all further correspondence public in order to bring transparency.

Question:

Vacancies are not the sole reason for debilitating judicial delays. Delay in the judiciary is a multifaceted problem which differs also from court to court, State to State. Discuss. Also suggest measures to eliminate these problems.

Suggested Approach:

  • Multiple reasons of delays in judicial processes.
  • How it is creating problems for society (in brief).
  • Suggested measures.

Link:http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/the-road-to-genuine-reform/article9061090.ece

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