Mokokchung, 27 September (MTNews): The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) has made a fervent call for the immediate passage and implementation of the Women’s Reservation Bill, which seeks to provide 33% reservation for women in both Parliament and State Assemblies. According to a press release issued today through its communication department, the party has “unequivocally and consistently advocated for the rights of the women of our country.” The party believes that the Women’s Reservation Bill is the central missing piece in the efforts to empower women in the country.


The NPCC highlighted the historical context of the issue, noting the introduction of the Constitution Amendment Bill in 1989, which sought one-third reservation for women in local bodies. Although it passed in the Lok Sabha under the leadership of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, it faced roadblocks in the Rajya Sabha. However, in 1992-93, it was successfully reintroduced and passed in both houses of Parliament under the leadership of Prime Minister Narasimha Rao.


The NPCC acknowledged the challenges faced by successive union governments, particularly due to coalition politics, in passing the Women’s Reservation Bill up to the UPA tenure. The dynamics changed with the Modi government’s substantial majority. The NPCC expressed disappointment that despite having this advantage and the Congress Party’s unconditional support, the Modi government did not take the initiative, missing an opportunity to address a historical injustice against Indian women.


Against this backdrop, Congress Party leaders entered Parliament when the BJP called for a special session to discuss the Women’s Reservation Bill, hoping that “Modi Government has finally found the moral currency to pass and implement the Bill, and do right by the women of India,” it said.


However, during the discussion, according to the Nagaland Congress, what unfolded was another “management theatrics of the BJP” which not only insulted the collective intelligence of the August House but also added insult to injury for the women of India.


The NPCC criticized the BJP’s argument that the Bill could not be implemented until the completion of the Caste Census and Delimitation Exercise as a deceptive tactic. It warned that if this rationale were accepted, the bill might remain unimplemented for at least a decade.


In a strong condemnation of the BJP’s approach, the NPCC stood in full support of Congress leaders, including Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, and former Presidents Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. They urged the Modi government to swiftly implement the Women’s Reservation Bill, incorporating provisions for sub-reservations not only for SCs and STs but also for the OBC community, positioning itself on the right side of history.


NPCC PGD demands timely stipend disbursement for ITI trainees

In a separate press release, the NPCC Public Grievances Department (NPCC PGD) expressed concerns regarding a recent clarification issued by the Directorate of Employment, Skill Development, and Entrepreneurship dated 11 September 2023, regarding the delay in disbursing stipends under eight districts for the Industrial Training Institute’s academic sessions spanning 2021-22, 2022-23, and 2023-24.


The NPCC PGD demanded the immediate release of stipends for students of the Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in eight districts. In response, the Directorate of Employment, Skill Development, and Entrepreneurship clarified that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) had been signed between the Department and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).


The NPCC PGD underscored that if an MOU had indeed been signed between the Department and the NIC for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), the responsibility for ensuring the prompt execution of this agreement lies squarely with the department or authority involved.


Expressing dismay, the NPCC PGD also criticized NIC’s purported server issues, which, according to them, have been cited as reasons for delaying stipend payments for several years. This delay has affected trainees who enrolled as early as 2021 and those from subsequent academic years up to the present.


In light of these concerns, the NPCC PGD has fervently appealed to the authorities and third parties that have signed MOUs for Direct Benefit Transfer to expedite the process and ensure that trainees receive the stipends they deserve without further delay.

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