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Administrative Council okays Public Universities Bill; approves Targeted Public Distribution System Order to end pilferage

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Every Panchayat, ULB, Municipal ward to have a FPS

Srinagar: The Union Territory administration on Saturday gave nod to the Jammu and Kashmir Public University Bill, 2022, with a view to address the issues regarding a wide variety of varsities and separate Acts governing each of them, an official spokesman said.

The Administrative Council (AC) which met here under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha gave nod to the Jammu and Kashmir Public University Bill, 2022, the spokesman said.

Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, and J&K Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta attended the meeting.

With the view to address the issues regarding a wide variety of universities in Jammu and Kashmir and separate Acts governing each university or group of universities with existing regulations, the government intends to frame a common Public University Bill which would apply to all public universities of the Union Territory, the spokesman said.

He said the National Education Policy-2020 (NEP-2020) envisions an education system rooted in Indian ethos that contributes directly to transforming India, sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society, by providing high-quality education to all, and thereby making India a global knowledge superpower.

Moreover, the NEP 2020 envisages fundamental transformation in the structure of higher education by mandating the transformation of all affiliated colleges to either multidisciplinary research or teaching universities or degree-awarding autonomous institutions by 2035.

The salient features of the current draft include emphasis on uniformity and flexibility in working of all the higher educational institutions, the spokesman said.

A number of new provisions have also been introduced to make the functioning of universities transparent and accountable through transparent procedures and public disclosures. In order to make the recruitment process fully transparent and merit-based, screening by the Public Service Commission and reduction in weightage to interview has been proposed for gazetted positions, he said.

For non-gazetted positions, it has been proposed to do away with interviews altogether and conduct recruitment through the Service Selection Board.

Screening/recruitment by Public Service Commission’s/Service Selection Boards have been introduced in varying measures by other states like Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand etc, the spokesman said.

In yet another decision, administration approved the Targeted Public Distribution System Order which will help put an end to pilferage, an official spokesperson said.

The new policy is a result of the reformation of the existing system and permits diversification of commodities and services other than those distributed under the TPDS at fair price shops (FPS), he said.

It will also make FPSs economically viable, which will help in putting an end to pilferage, the spokesperson added.

The Administrative Council (AC) that met here under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha approved the Jammu and Kashmir Targeted Public Distribution System (Control) Order, 2022, the spokesperson said.

The policy will significantly revise the existing provisions pertaining to opening of new FPSs and their licensing. It will ensure at least one FPS in each panchayat/municipal ward and for this purpose new FPS will also be established, he said.

The number shall be based on the population of the panchayat/municipal ward, he said.

Opening of new FPSs shall generate livelihood opportunities for unemployed youth as well as destitute and separated women, orphan girls, as they have been given additional weightage by virtue of this scheme, the official said.

In deference to the position of PRIs in the governance structure, the policy stipulates that the location of the FPS and transfer of license to dependent family members shall be done in consultation with the concerned Gram Sabha, he said.

The spokesman said the licensing authority shall consider the opening of new FPS to cater to the needs of people needing ration in an area, satisfying the indicative norms under the order.

The present FPS dealers shall have to obtain a license under this order within four months so that uniformity in the licensing system can be ensured.

The provisions concerning ration cards, portability, maintenance of records, e-PoS, penalties, monitoring, inspection and removal of difficulties, have also been introduced in the order, he said.

The new policy is in consonance with National Food Security Act, 2013 and the guidelines of the Union government.

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