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Flagship missions’ revamp on cards in runup to state polls


New Delhi: The Centre is working to revamp its flagship missions, including Smart City Mission, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and all educational scholarship schemes, to ensure improved implementation and beneficiary outreach.

The government has adopted a goal-oriented approach and the new contours of the flagship missions and welfare programmes would be in place by March. A senior official who did not wish to be identified told ET: “The revamped schemes would be rolled out by April 1.”

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), the government’s flagship housing initiative, is likely to revamp its underperforming vertical of In Situ Slum Rehabilitation (ISSR). While the affordable housing component has been the mainstay of the programme, the government had expected to garner private participation to redevelop slums. The model involves inviting a private developer to demolish slum on government land, build residential accommodation, rehabilitate slum dwellers in newly-developed flats and allow private developer to use 10% of the land commercially. With very little visual difference to urban landscape as far as slums are concerned, the government has proposed to double 10% commercial use to 20% commercial use by the private developer. So far, this component of PMAY (Urban) has seen the lowest achievement with 4.54 lakh houses sanctioned.

Smart City Mission, which involves smartening of 100 cities on an area-based development model, is also likely to see a revamp. The ministry of housing and urban affairs is actively considering the proposal to employ a carrot-and-stick approach to reward better performing cities and encouraging laggards to catch up. The ministry is working out a plan which would mean holding back central assistance to laggard cities. This would, in turn, be given to those cities that are performing better and need that extra push to excel.

The government would also revamp the disbursal of all scholarship schemes for the deprived sections. At present, there is no uniform system being followed by states to disburse scholarships to meritorious students from Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. Most schemes follow a 60:40 formula with the states identifying the beneficiary student. The schemes would be revamped to ensure that they are Aadhaar based and the transfers are made to the beneficiary student and not the institution.

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