Government’s major thrust on livelihood security, health: President

March 12th, 2012 - 2:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha Patil New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) The government will work for providing livelihood security to the vast majority of the population and will continue to work for the removal of poverty, hunger and illiteracy from the country, President Pratibha Patil said Monday.

Addressing a joint session of parliament on the first day of the budget session, the president said the the objective of livelihood security is best achieved through a process of rapid and inclusive growth based on empowering citizens through education and skill development.

“My government aims to provide skill training to 85 lakh people during 2012-13 and 800 lakh people during the 12th Plan. The government will set up 1,500 new industrial training institutes and 5,000 skill development centres under public-private partnerships at an estimated cost of Rs. 13,000 crore,” she said.

Emphasising that the teacher is at the core of the educational system, Patil said: “My government intends to launch a National Mission for Teachers aimed at improving teacher education and faculty development.”

She said the government also intends to set up a Higher Education Credit Guarantee Authority for providing limited credit guarantees through risk-pooling for educational loans.

Expressing concern over the low expenditure in the health sector, Patil said: “In spite of the increased investment in health sector over the last seven years, public expenditure on healthcare continues to be low.”

To attain the goal of universal healthcare, the government would increase the spending to 2.5 percent of the GDP by the end of 2017.

Patil said the government is also working to end the shortage of human resource in the health sector.

“Malnutrition has been seriously impacting children, affecting their chances of gaining education and earning sustainable livelihood. The government will restructure and strengthen the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) during the 12th Plan. Besides, a nutrition programme will be launched in 200 high-burden districts to address maternal and child nutrition needs,” she added.

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