UPA's flagship programmes like NREGA progressing well: Manmohan Singh

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New Delhi, May 24 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on the occasion of completion of one year of the UPA Government in its second term said on Monday that the flagship programmes launched by his government are progressing well.

"I will briefly highlight some of the important steps we have taken over the past year and also the pressing challenges that confront the nation,' Dr. Singh said during his opening remarks at the national press conference held in New Delhi.

"Our flagship programmes such as the Bharat Nirman, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the National Rural Health Mission and the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission are progressing well. We are on a learning curve and we can and will do more to strengthen these programmes and improve delivery," he said.

Dr. Singh said that the Right to Education Act enacted last year is a historic step forward in making every Indian a literate and empowered citizen.

"We are undertaking a comprehensive review of our system of higher education, including medical education. A draft National Council for Higher Education and Research Bill has already been put in the public domain," he said.

To strengthen political inclusion, Dr. Singh said that the government has introduced bills to provide 50 percent reservation for women in all panchayats and urban local bodies.

"Nearly one crore scholarships have been granted last year to students belonging to the SCs, STs, other backward classes and minorities. A large proportion of these scholarships have gone to girls," he said.

"We launched the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission in January this year. It aims to create a capacity of 20,000 MW grid solar power by 2022. We have decided to set up a National Social Security Fund for workers in the unorganized sector with an initial corpus of Rs. 1,000 crores.

"A draft National Food Security Bill is under preparation," Dr Singh added. (ANI)

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