Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governance reforms in the last 8 years have enabled “ease of working” for women and are actually, in a broader sense, huge social reforms aimed at providing women employees an opportunity to perform to the bets of their potential with a high level of dignity and self-esteem.
Addressing the women officers and staff of DoPT, DARPG and Department of Pensions on the occasion of Teacher’s Day, dedicated to Matrashakti, Dr Jitendra Singh said, his Ministry has taken concerted efforts to increase the representation of women in Central Government jobs and to provide them a balance between professional as well as family life.
Referring to Prime Minister’s 76th Independence Day speech, wherein Modi said, “I can see the manifold contribution of ‘Nari Shakti’, my mothers, sisters and daughters, in the next 25 years compared to the contribution in the last 75 years of India’s journey”, Dr Jitendra Singh said, right from his 1st Red Fort address in 2014, Modiji has announced several schemes for empowerment of women, be it building of household toilets, Ujjawala, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, Mahila E-haat or Working Women Hostels. He said, even STEP (Support to Training and Employment Programme) for Women Scheme aims to provide skills that give employability to women and to provide competencies and skill that enable women to become self-employed/ entrepreneurs.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that only three days back, DoPT has taken a historic decision to grant a 60-day special maternity leave for women Central government employees in case of stillbirth or death of an infant within a few days of birth. He pointed out that various instructions have been issued by DoPT from time to time highlighting the special provisions in the rules/regulations for the benefit of women employees for increasing representation of women in Central Government jobs and ease the difficulties being faced by them.
Referring to some of the major reforms / initiatives taken towards women welfare, Dr Jitendra Singh said, steps like continuation of grant of 730 days CCL, facility of Leave Travel Concession (LTC), while an employee is on CCL, removal of the limit of 22 years in case of disabled child for the purpose of a Government servant availing Child Care Leave and Special Allowance @ Rs.3000/- p.m. to Women employees with Disability has been granted for child care have resulted in better output, besides bringing ease of living for women employees.
Dwelling on Pension Reforms, Dr Jitendra Singh said, a number of revolutionary reforms including relaxation in the provision of Family Pension for divorced daughters and Divyangs, introduction of Face Recognition Technology through mobile app for ease in submitting Life Certificate by elderly pensioners, Electronic Pension Pay Order, assistance from Postal Department to facilitate pension process etc and steps like extension of Family Pension to differently abled child of a deceased Government employee/Pensioner or giving a major hike in the Family Pension emoluments for Divyang children of a deceased government servant/pensioner are not only pension reforms but these are social reforms having wide socio-economic implications.
The Minister said, in May this year, DoPT relaxed family pension rules for missing central government employees and the new rule has done away with seven-year mandatory wait and, in all cases, where a government servant covered by NPS goes missing during service, the benefits of family pension will be immediately paid to the family of the missing Government servant.
Speaking on the issue of Capacity Building and Empowerment of Women, Dr Jitendra Singh informed that Institute of Secretariat Training & Management (ISTM) extensively covers topics relating to the women, their empowerment, protection from domestic violence and prevention from sexual offences, in all its major cadre training programmes. It organizes women issue specific training courses also, ranging from two-day to five-day long durations at ISTM and outside. The Minister added that during the last five years, about 800 officers of different grades and positions have been covered in as many as twenty-five (25) courses, which have been organized at ISTM on the topics of, Gender Sensitization, Gender Budgeting, Protection, Prevention and Redress of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace, and Protection of Women from Domestic Violence.
Dr Jitendra Singh concluded by saying that in the last few years India has graduated from women participation to women led leadership and today they are an equal stakeholder in the nation building. He said, in the next 25 years of Amrit Kaal, women folk will contribute their might in making India a frontline state in 2047 in an enabling milieu and they will confidently assert their rightful place, when India celebrates 100th year of Independence.