Swachh Bharat to get Rs 15,000 cr more, 1.5 cr rural households to benefit

The Union cabinet on Wednesday approved extra-budgetary resources (EBR) to the tune of Rs 15,000 crore for the Swachh Bharat Mission (gramin) for the financial year 2018-19.

“The funds will be utilised to achieve and sustain open defecation-free (ODF) status in villages across the country,” said law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

He added that the decision will benefit around 1.5 crore rural households eligible for an incentive under the mission and also Gram Panchayats for Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) activities.

The Swachh Bharat Mission (gramin) was launched on October 2, 2014, with the goal to achieve universal sanitation coverage in rural areas by October 2, 2019. The EBR funds will be raised through NABARD by way the government’s fully serviced bonds.

The cabinet also decided to expand the scope of work of the society named “International Centre for Drinking Water Quality” to authorise it for receiving EBR funds. The government also changed the name of the society to “National Centre for Drinking Water, Sanitation and Quality”.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also approved the proposal for opening of 13 new KendriyaVidyalayas (KVs) in seven states and a second Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya(JNV) in Alot of Ratlam district in Madhya Pradesh.

The proposal for new KVs was examined by a committee under a “challenge method”, where those scoring the maximum weightage points were recommended for approval. The move will benefit 13,000 eligible students. The KVs have more than 12 lakh students.

Amendments to Transgender Persons Bill approved

The Union cabinet on Wednesday approved the amendments to the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, according to an official privy to the developments. The ministry of social justice and empowerment had moved amendments to the Bill. They came after a Parliamentary standing committee suggested changes vis-à-vis the definition of transgender.

It suggested the changes from “neither wholly male nor female, a combination of female or male, or neither female nor male and whose sense of gender does not match with the gender assigned to that person at the time of birth” to “a transgender means a person whose gender does not match with the gender assigned to that person at birth and includes trans-man or trans-women (whether or not such persons has undergone sex reassignment surgery or hormone therapy or laser therapy or such other therapy)”.

First Published: Aug 01, 2018 23:42 IST

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