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    Skill development scheme for textile sector approved

    New Delhi: To help create more jobs in the labour-intensive textile sector that has been hit by demonetisation and the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST), the Union cabinet on Wednesday approved a Rs1,300 crore scheme that will impart skills to a million people.

    The scheme, cleared in a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will provide demand-driven and placement-oriented skilling programme across the textile value chain, an official statement said. The approved outlay is for the years FY2018-FY2020.

    The cabinet also decided to bring in a new consumer protection law, repealing the existing Consumer Protection Act of 1986, that will provide better protection and an alternative dispute resolution facility for consumers. The Consumer Protection Bill, 2017 will seek to address “new-age consumer protection challenges,” a person informed about the development said on condition of anonymity.

    To create a trained workforce in the rail and transport sectors, the cabinet also decided to set up the country’s first National Rail and Transport University in Vadodara, Gujarat. The university will commence its first academic programme in July.

    The cabinet also approved extending the term of the commission headed by retired Delhi high court judge G. Rohini that has been set up to examine the issue of sub-categorization of other backward classes (OBC), by twelve weeks up to 2 April, 2018.

    “The extension of tenure will enable the Commission to submit a comprehensive report on the issue of sub-categorization of OBCs, after consultation with various stakeholders. Keeping in view the voluminous data involved and the time required for its analysis to prepare a comprehensive report, the Commission had sought extension of its term by twelve weeks,” the centre said.

    The commission was constituted under article 340 of the Constitution in October, with President Ram Nath Kovind formally signing off on the proposal to set up the commission to revisit the quota norms for OBCs to ensure a more equitable sharing of benefits.

    The commission has been tasked to identify the sub-categories of OBCs on a scientific basis.

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