These proposals are expected to figure among the recommendations that sectoral groups of secretaries (SGoS) are readying to submit to the council of ministers in the next two weeks, people aware of the matter told ET.
They said SGoS are likely to recommend lateral entry of private sector experts in central government services at director and deputy secretary level, with “horizontal entry” or free movement of officials in CPSUs. Besides, in line with the Jawahar Wattal committee recommendations, the panels are likely to favour merging of boards of CPSUs with similar objectives by March 30, 2020.
The Narendra Modi government had set up 10 SGoS in June, within a fortnight of returning to power, and tasked them with finalising the 100-agenda and five-year vision documents of ministries and departments. SGoS are also likely to recommend creation of an All India Judicial Service, a new modern and technology backed legislation on emigration, pre-departure orientation training for more than 500,000 Indian emigrant workers, a Bharat Drive on the lines of the Google Drive and dedicated central prabharis or in-charges for the Northeast.
The recommendations are expected to include convergence of more ministries, as was done in the case of jal shakti ministry, which was formed in May by merging water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation ministry, and drinking water and sanitation ministry.
Recommendations of the second Administrative Reforms Commission, which advocated bringing down the number of ministers to 25, are being considered favourably, said a person in the know.
Also among the likely recommendations, according to the people cited earlier, are 10 mega social sector campaigns and scaling up of Ayushman Bharat to open up the national health insurance scheme to every citizen.
A key element in recommendations of the SGoS, which held several rounds of meetings chaired by the cabinet secretary, is an attempt to better the life of the citizen by improving governance, said a person aware of the guiding principles behind the exercise.
The external affairs ministry has proposed a new legislation for emigration in 2020, biometric-based immigration and integration of e-Migrate application system with that of the systems of five ECR (emigration check required) countries by 2021.
The ministry envisages opening ‘Protector of Emigrants’ offices in most states by 2022, besides ensuring pre-departure orientation training to Indian emigrant workers. By 2024, the ministry also proposes to set up ‘Videsh Bhawans’ in ten state capitals and sign up extradition treaties with several other countries, said the people.
On the legal side, the high-level panels are expected to recommend an integrated legal division in the All India Judicial Service, facilities to inform litigants about their next court date through text messages on their mobile phones, ‘nyaya mitras’ (legal friends) to help in mediation, pre-institutional mediation to resolve commercial and financial disputes, and repeal of obsolete laws.
SGoS are expected to propose removal of “dead wood” from the government system through the premature retirement clause, FR 56(j), after an officer is 55 years old.
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