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Vacation an opportunity to build toilets in schools: PM to CMs

Asking Chief Ministers to make ‘Clean India’ a continuous exercise across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said states should use upcoming vacations to build and upgrade toilets in schools.

Addressing the first Governing Council meeting of newly- constituted NITI Aayog, Modi also announced setting up of a sub-group of chief ministers on ‘Clean India’ programme.

He also suggested that a portion of the funds under the Member of Parliament Local Area Development scheme (MPLAD) and Member of Legislative Assembly Local Area Development (MLALAD) scheme can be earmarked for cleanliness-related activities until 2019.

The sub-group would “decide on institutional mechanisms to be evolved, and technological inputs, for ensuring that commitment to Swachh Bharat (Clean India) becomes a part of our life in perpetuity,” he said.

The decision to set up the sub-group on Swachh Bharat was taken during meeting of the Governing Council, which was chaired by Modi with all chief ministers on its board.

In his concluding remarks, Modi asked “all states to use the upcoming school vacations as an opportunity to build and upgrade toilets, so as to ensure that the target of toilets for all schools is achieved”.

Another sub-group of chief ministers would be set up to recommend how NITI Aayog can promote skill development and create skilled manpower within states.

Modi has also asked all states to create two task forces each under the aegis of NITI Aayog.

One task force would focus on poverty alleviation, and the other would focus on future development of agriculture, and how the Centre can assist states in this regard.

Members of the sub-groups will be decided later, after Chief Ministers indicate their preferences, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after the meeting.

The interaction during the Governing Council meeting was co-ordinated by Jaitley, while opening remarks were made by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya.


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