Sunday, November 2, 2014

Government Social Welfare Programmes 2014-15

The Central Government under the leadership of Narendra Modi has launched various social welfare programmes with ambitious targets to address critical issues of the country.
Some of the programmes announced by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while submitting his maiden budget for the financial year 2014-15 are yet to be launched.

Here we are providing the highlights of such social programmes for the current year, as Government welfare initiatives are areas where the examiner prefers to ask as part of general studies in all kind of competitive exams.

Swatchh Bharat Abhiyan
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ' Swatchh Bharat Mission' or 'Clean India Campaign' from the Valmiki Basti in New Delhi on 2 October, 2014.
  • The basic objective behind Swachh Bharat Mission is to create sanitation facilities for all and eliminate completely the unhealthy practice leading to unhygienic surrounding.
  • This campaign aims to accomplish the vision of 'clean India' by 2 October 2019, 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The urban component of the Mission is proposed to be implemented over 5 years starting from October 2, 2014 in all 4041 statutory towns.
  • The urban component includes elimination of open defecation, conversion of insanitary toilets to pour flush toilets, eradication of manual scavenging, municipal solid waste management and bringing about a behavioural change in people regarding healthy sanitation practices.
  • The total expected cost of the programme is Rs 62,009 crore, out of which the proposed central assistance will be of Rs 14,623 crore.
  • The "Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan" (NBA) is restructured into "Swachh Bharat" Mission (rural).
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan YojanaIn his first Independence Day speech on 15th August’2014, Prime Minister of India had announced the National Mission on Financial Inclusion titled, ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’(PMJDY).

The Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana is launched on 28 August, 2014, across the nation simultaneously.

The programme core development philosophy is "Sab Ka Sath Sab Ka Vikas".

Important features of the Jan Dhan Yojna
  • Under the scheme, account holders will be provided zero-balance bank account with RuPay debit card, in addition to accidental insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh.
  • Those who open accounts by January 26, 2015 over and above the Rs 1 lakh accident, they will be given life insurance cover of Rs 30,000.
  • Six months of opening of the bank account, holders can avail Rs 5,000 loan from the bank.
Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY)
  • The scheme was launched on 11th October, 2014 on the occasion of birth anniversary of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan.
  • The goal of the programme is to develop three Adarsh Grams by March 2019 of which one would be achieved by 2016. Thereafter, five such would Adarsh Grams (one per year) will be selected and developed by 2024.
  • Under the scheme, each MP will take the responsibility of developing physical and institutional infrastructure in three villages by 2019.
  • The MP would be free to identify a suitable Gram Panchayat for being developed as Adarsh Gram, other than his/her own village or that of his/her spouse.
  • A Gram Panchayat would be the basic unit. It will have a population of 3,000-5,000 in plain areas and 1,000-3,000 in hilly, tribal and difficult areas.
Labour Reforms introduced by the Government:
  • The Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Shramev Jayate program was launched to emphasise the dignity of labour, especially that performed by blue-collared workers referring to them as “shram yogi”.
  • The Universal Account Number scheme (UAN) or 'Shram Suvidha' for all Provident Fund (PF) contributors will allow portability of PF benefits and online tracking of PF benefits. The UAN is provided for all 4.17 crore PF users.
  • To support the graduates from Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) across the country, who undergo vocational training after completing class X, the government will reimburse 50 percent of the stipend paid to apprentices during first two years of their training. There are 2.82 lakh apprentices undergoing training against 4.9 lakh seats. The program will aim to increase this to 24 lakhs apprentices.
  • The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), which insures families of unorganised sector workers for up to Rs. 30,000 of medical care, is to be transferred from the Ministry of Labour and Employment to the Union Health Ministry.
Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana
  • Government has introduced a new scheme called Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, which will help in generating awareness and improving the efficiency of delivery of welfare services meant for women with an initial corpus of Rs 100 crore.
  • Under the scheme, government would focus on campaigns to sensitize people of this country towards the concerns of the girl child and women.
  • The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways will spend Rs. 50 crore on pilot testing a scheme for Safety of Women on Public Road Transport.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs will spend Rs. 150 crore on a scheme to increase the safety of women in large cities.
  • The Government under the scheme will set up Crisis Management Centres in all the districts of NCT of Delhi this year in all government and private hospitals. The funding will be provided from the Nirbhaya Fund, the Minister added.
Housing for All by 2022
  • With an aim to provide housing for all by 2022, the government will soon launch an urban housing mission named after Sardar Patel by merging and improving existing housing schemes.
  • The focus of the mission is Low Cost Affordable Housing to be anchored in the National Housing Bank with a view to increase the flow of cheaper credit for affordable housing to the urban poor.
  • Currently, there are several schemes including Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, Rajiv Awas Yojana, Indira Awas Yojana, Rajiv Rinn Yojana meant for providing housing facilities to economically weaker sections.
  • Thirty million houses would be built by 2022, mostly for the economically-weaker sections and low income groups, through public-private-partnership, interest subsidy and increased flow of resources to housing sector
  • An investment of about Rs 22.50 lakh crore would be required for the project.
Soil Health Card Scheme for Every farmer
  • Government has launched Soil Health Card Scheme to provide every farmer a Soil Health Card in a Mission mode. The card will carry crop wise recommendations of nutrients/fertilizers required for farms, making it possible for farmers to improve productivity by using appropriate inputs.
  • The Soil Health Card is used to assess the current status of soil health and, when used over time, to determine changes in soil health that are affected by land management.
  • A sum of Rs. 100 crore is allotted. An additional Rs. 56 crores has been allocated to set up 100 mobile soil testing laboratories across the country.
Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana
  • “Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana” for feeder separation will be launched to augment power supply to the rural areas and for strengthening sub-transmission and distribution systems.
  • Its long-term aim is to provide 24×7 uninterrupted power supply to all homes.
  • The Govt has earmarked Rs.43, 000 crore for the Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana for feeder separation to supply electricity through separate feeders for agricultural and rural domestic consumption, aimed at providing round-the-clock power to village households.
  • According to the World Bank, India’s per capita power sector consumption of around 800 kilowatt hours is among the lowest in the world. Around 600 million Indians do not have access to electricity and about 700 million Indians use biomass as their primary energy resource for cooking, according to the Planning Commission.
Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana
  • The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs on 28 October, 2014 launched Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana (VKY) for welfare of Tribal people and particularly to lift human development indices of tribal people.
  • The scheme was launched on pilot basis in one block each of the States of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
  • Under the scheme, Union Government will provide 10 crore rupees for each block for the development of various facilities for the Tribal people. These blocks have been selected on the recommendations of the concerned States and have very low literacy rate.
  • Initially the blocks having at least 33 percent of tribal population in comparison to total population of the block will be targeted under the scheme and later expanding it to the entire community.
National Heritage City Development and Augmentation YojanaThe programme called Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) is to be launched for conserving and preserving the heritage characters of the cities.

The beginning programme is launched in the cities such as Mathura, Amritsar, Gaya, Kanchipuram, Vellankani and Ajmer. A sum of Rs. 200 crores is set aside for this purpose. The Project will work through a partnership of Government, academic institutions and local community combining affordable technologies.

Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban MissionShyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission will be launched to deliver integrated project based infrastructure in the rural areas. The scheme will also include development of economic activities and skill development.

The preferred mode of delivery would be through PPPs while using various scheme funds. It is based on the example of Gujarat that has demonstrated successfully the Rurban development model of urbanization of the rural areas, through which people living in the rural areas can get efficient civic infrastructure and associate services.

The Govt has set up an 11-member committee, chaired by the additional secretary in the ministry of rural development, to study in detail the reasons for failure of similar initiatives in the past and recommend ways to ensure that this mission succeeds.

Neeranchal SchemeTo give an added impetus to watershed development in the country, a new programme called “Neeranchal” with an initial outlay of ` 2,142 crores in the current financial year. Pashmina Promotion Programme (P-3) and a programme for the development of other crafts of Jammu and Kashmir is also to be started. For this a sum of Rs. 50 crores is set aside.

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