Showing posts with label GOVT. POLICIES AND SCHEMES. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GOVT. POLICIES AND SCHEMES. Show all posts

Saturday, January 16, 2016

SCHEMES & PROGRAMMES

  1. Digital India

Digital India Program was launched in August 2014 to change the face of India digitally and electronically.  This would in turn pave way for a digitally empowered nation and economy.  As per this campaign, all offices and departments of Government of India would be digitally connected to each other and to the target population, thereby making the government mechanism smoother and malpractices-free.  This would also ensure effective governance in the country.  Digital India Program would reduce paperwork to a significant level.  The program which started in 2014 would complete by 2019.
  1. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana

On his first speech of Independence Day in year 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the famous Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, which ensures a bank account for every Indian.  In this mass drive, more than 15 million saving accounts were opened across the length and breadth of the country with almost all public sector banks participating in it.  It was the first ever financial inclusion program launched in the country and has seen success so far.  More than Rs 1,500 has been deposited in banks so far by the account holders.
  1. Swachh Bharat

This type of campaign was not really new to India, however the name and intent may be new.  Previous governments have already worked on similar campaigns like Nirmal Bharat Program.  However, nothing has been achieved significantly so far and thus the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan comes with a new hope to clean the country’s mess.
The campaign was launched in 2014 with almost every big and small personality of the country taking to the streets and taking part in it.  In fact, the cleanliness drive has more to do with self publicity, whether it is the Prime Minister himself, or other ministers, or film stars or the general public. All have taken pictures of cleaning their locality and posted it on their social media account to ensure that people see that they are involved with a noble cause.  The evaluation of the campaign has to be seen in a longer run.
  1. Make in India

This was more of a slogan than a campaign coined by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure self sufficiency in the field of mass production.  The vision has been to attract global investors to invest in domestic market and thus create India a manufacturing hub for the entire world.
Make in India would also ensure that there are sufficient job opportunities for the national youth who are struggling to get a decent job in order to compete with their international counterparts.  The Make in India campaign is being run and administered by the Central Government and the government has identified a total of 25 different sectors on which it would focus.
  1. Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana

Inclusive governance is one of the core visions of Shri Narendra Modi.  As per Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, each MP would take out some part of their funds for the development of their constituencies.  Physical and institutional infrastructures are some of the way through which the villages of the country can reach up to their empowerment, as a whole.
The Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana ensures the same.  The campaign which started in year 2014 is said to be successfully concluding by year 2019.  The guidelines for rural development under the scheme have already been issued by the honorable prime minister in October 2014.
  1. Atal Pension Yojana

Low cost benefits have been the core guiding principles of the Narendra Modi lead Central Government in almost all the schemes they are launching.  Atal Pension Yojana too is one such scheme, which ensures old age pension to those who are not covered under any other pension or social security scheme.
This way, those people who have been working in unorganized sectors and enjoying no pension scheme would be covered and can ensure a healthy and comfortable old age.
  1. Awas Yojana (PMAY)

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana is primarily a welfare housing scheme launched by the central government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  With PMAY, the intention is to provide housing to all by year 2022.  In order to make the scheme a success and reality, a total of around 2 crore houses would be constructed across the length and breadth of the country by year 2022.
The houses would be distributed to the needy sections of society and a subsidy on loan would be provided by the central government, thereby making housing an affordable thing for the economically weaker people of the country.  Special preference would be given to senior citizens, women and SC/ST in allotment of these houses.
  1. Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY)

The PMJJBY is a term life insurance policy that goes a long way in ensuring a safe financial future for the policy holder and comes with lowest cost on a yearly basis.
Anyone who is within the age group of 18 years to 50 years can get enrolled for PMJJBY, provided they have a functional saving bank account.  Within the scheme, the policy holder would have to pay as a premium is Rs 330 per year and they would be covered with a life insurance of Rs 2 lakhs.
  1. Suraksha Bima Yojana

Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana targets social security through insuring accidental deaths and partial or permanent disabilities.  A large number of population in India live in rural areas and these people do not have access to insurance schemes.  PMSBY is an initiative to cater to such a population so that they can enjoy the insurance benefits at minimum contributions.
In order to get PMSBY scheme for anyone in India, the subscriber is required to just pay Rs 12 per year and enjoy a carefree insured life of up to Rs 2 lakhs insurance cover.  One of the best things about these social security schemes is that they require an insignificant level of paperwork and this leverage has been provided considering the fact that a large number of people living in rural areas do not have all the validation documents available with them.
  1. Krishi Sinchai Yojana

India is primarily an agricultural country and irrigation defines the success of agriculture.  This is why it is important for any agricultural economy to have a proper irrigation channel throughout the country.  Prime Minister Modi has identified this need and thus started this new scheme.
As per the scheme details, just 45 per cent of the farm lands in India are accessible to the irrigation channels with remaining 55 per cent depending on traditional methods of irrigation.  This is a huge opportunity and the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana would ensure that adequate infrastructural arrangements are made so that maximum fields in the country are connected to the irrigation system properly.
  1. Kaushal Vikas Yojana

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana would facilitate necessary arrangements so that the younger lot of workforce in India is provided with world class training as far as technical expertise is concerned.  The skills training would be in line with latest technologies coupled with personality development and management skills that would ensure that our youth compete well with their international counterparts.
  1. MUDRA Bank Yojana

This is yet another aggressive scheme launched by the Narendra Modi government.  MUDRA stands for Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Ltd., which was initiated to bring into the general public into the normal banking system.  Facilities and benefits like credits, loans, and insurance are not reachable to many in India, especially to those living in rural and far flung areas.
MUDRA bank is not exactly a bank but a banking regulator which would regulate the micro finance to the rural and needy population.
  1. Garib Kalyan Yojana

Under this scheme, the government would run several micro campaigns to ensure that that the welfare needs of the poor population are met and taken care of.  It would conduct workshops to meet its agendas.
  1. Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is one of the most promising and relevant schemes launched by the Narendra Modi Government.  SSY lays special emphasis on financial empowerment of the girl child.  Through this scheme, the parents of any girl child below 10 years can open a saving account for their daughters and operate it till they attain an age of 21 years.
After that time, they can withdraw the money and use it for her marriage or higher education.  The scheme offers a high rate of return, even much higher than PPF and the depositor gets complete tax exemption for whatever amount invested under 80C of income tax.  Ever since the scheme has been launched, lakhs or parents have already got an account opened for their daughters and enjoying the benefits. Read more about this yojana.
  1. DigiLocker Scheme

Just like you have a locker to secure your valuable belongings, Digilocker is a facility through which you can secure and keep your valuable documents secure.  Now, when everything has turned out to be digital, online documents are required in order to submit forms and other activities.
Digilocker is a space provided by Government of India where you can upload all your important documents in digital format and use them whenever you have to furnish it anywhere to government authorities.  This drive has paved way for paperless environment and would also curtain the possibilities of corruption to the significant level.
  1. Ebasta Scheme

eBasta Scheme is very much similar to the concept of DigiLockers.  eBasta provides an online learning space for the students in the form of digital books.  With this service, students would no more have to go and buy their books from the book shops and neither would publishers need to worry about pirated versions or supply channel flaws.
The content and curriculum of the students can be decided by the school and its teachers and students will have to just login and download their study material, which they can use for learning at their computers and tablets.  This kind of initiative would initiate the era of interactive learning in India.
17. One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme: 
Under the OROP scheme the government said it would revise pension every five years where the veterans protested and demanded that it should be revised every two years.
The government announced that OROP will be implemented from July 1, 2014 and the base year would be 2013 but the ex-servicemen objected and said it should nbe implemented from April 1, 2014 instead of July 1. The veterans even demanded that every person in the army should be a benefiaciary under the OROP scheme. The estimated cost to implement OROP will be between Rs 8,000 crore to Rs 10,000 crore.

18. Pradhan Mantri Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana

This programme was launched by PM Narendra Modi on 22 January 2015 in Panipat, Haryana. It is a very significant programme and campaign because of country’s poor record on women related indicators such as child sex ratio, female infanticide, female foeticide and female education etc; especially alarming is the data for child sex ratio i.e. the sex ratio of children 0 to 6 years. The census data of the year 2011 shows child sex ratio at 918 which is lesser than the previous census (2001) data of 927. Thus, child sex ratio (0-6 years) is showing a declining trend which is not a very healthy sign for social development of India. Therefore, ‘Beti Bacha Beti Padhao’ campaign is one of the most important programmes being initiated by the new Government.

19. Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana:
Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) has been launched in September 2015 for the welfare of tribals and other affected persons in mining areas. Under this scheme, the mining companies will need to contribute 10 to 30% of royalty for welfare of people directly or indirectly affected by mining.
This scheme is a follow up to Prime Minister’s promise of Rs. 6000 Crore for the development of tribals in mining affected areas in his Independence Day speech. However, the proposal to establish the District Mineral Foundations had come in November 2014 from Union Government side. The idea was to levy additional royalty and then use that fund on welfare of the people / infra development in mining affected areas. For this purpose, on January 12, 2015, President Pranab Mukherjee had signed an ordinance to amend the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act (MMDR Act), 1957. This was followed by parliamentary approval to amendment of MMDR Acr 1957 on 26 March 2015. On August 18, 2015; Odisha became the first state in India to issue rules for the District Mineral Foundation.

20. Integrated Power Development Scheme:
Integrated Power Development (IPDS) scheme launched by Modi Government is basically a new avatar of Restructured Accelerated Power Development Programme of UPA. This scheme focuses on improvement of T&D networks across India. It promises help in reduction of AT&C losses, establishment of IT enabled energy accounting / auditing system, improvement in billed energy based on metered consumption and improvement in collection efficiency.


The scheme has been launched with an outlay of Rs. 44,011 crore for 12th and 13th plans. All discoms including private discoms and state power departments are eligible to get financial assistance under it. The discoms can prioritize what fraction of their infrastructure work is to be strengthened and can apply for assistance with their detailed project reports. The projects supported under this scheme need to be completed within 24 months. Like R-APDP, Power Finance Corporation is nodal agency for this scheme. The grant portion of this scheme is 60% for normal  states and 85% for special category states. They can also get 15% additional grant if they do the work within prescribed milestones viz. timely completion of the scheme, reduction in AT&C losses as per trajectory. The discoms need to enter into tripartite agreement with PFC and State Government to be enable to get all support.

21. Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP):
DELP programme has been launched in several states (Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi) to replace the regular bulbs and CFL lights with LED lights. The programme is being implemented by  Discoms in association with Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). LED lights are given at lower than market price in this scheme.

22. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana:
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi  approved the New Crop Insurance Scheme,‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’ to boost the agricultural sector.
The theme of the Scheme is One Nation – One Scheme. In this, all shortcomings and weaknesses of all previous schemes were removed and incorporated with the best features of all schemes.



Sunday, October 4, 2015

National AYUSH Mission

The Government has launched the National AYUSH Mission with the objectives to promote AYUSH medical systems through cost effective AYUSH services, strengthening of educational systems, to facilitate the enforcement of quality control of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani & Homoeopathy (ASU &H) drugs and sustainable availability of ASU & H raw-materials.
The Mission has been launched(NAM) with an aim to address the gaps in health services through supporting the efforts of State/UT Governments for providing AYUSH health services/education in the country, particularly in vulnerable and far-flung areas. Under NAM special focus will be given for specific needs of such areas and for allocation of higher resources in their Annual Plans. The mission also has provision for 20 per cent of financial resources for flexible components to be proposed by the State/UT Governments.
This Mission will help in the improvement of AYUSH education through enhancement in the number of upgraded educational institutions ,in providing better access to AYUSH services through increase in number of AYUSH hospitals and dispensaries, availability of drugs and manpower , providing sustained availability of quality raw material for AYUSH systems of medicine, supporting cultivation of medicinal plants by adopting Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) so as to provide sustained supply of quality raw-materials and support certification mechanism for quality standards, improving availability of quality of Ayurvedic, Siddha, Unani and Homeopathy (ASU&H) drugs through increase in number of pharmacies, drug laboratories and improved enforcement mechanism of ASU&H drugs.
The Mission at National level will be governed by a National AYUSH Mission Directorate headed by secretary as Chairman and at State level Mission will be governed and executed by a State AYUSH Mission Society headed by chief Secretary acting as Chairperson.

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.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

RGESS (Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme)


Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has expressed the need revisit theRajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS) to make its provisions more retail investor-friendly. It was felt by the minister that the in current form the scheme is too complex for the small investor to understand and that complying would be difficult. He is expected to bring necessary changes to in the coming Budget.
The finance ministry is set to notify the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS).
  • Finance Minister P Chidambaram had approved the RGESS on September 21, 2012.
  • Implementation delayed due to the deliberations on inclusion of Mutual Funds (MF) in it. Thus, further consultations with the RBI, SEBI and the law ministry on the coverage of RGESS.
  • It might be so that only MFs fitting in specific conditions would be allowed.
  • Tax benefits for investing up to Rs 50,000 in the capital markets for first-time retail investors with an annual income of Rs 10 lakh.
  • The scheme initially announced in Budget 2012 had allowed tax benefits for investments in stocks. Later, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and MFs were included under its ambit.
  • Open to retail investors who have opened demat accounts but have not made any transactions in equity or derivatives till the notification of the scheme.
  • All those opening fresh accounts would also be eligible to participate in RGESS.
  • Investments can be made in various installments during a year,
  • Total lock-in period: 3 years, including an initial lock-in of one year in the stock/ETF/MF in which the money has been invested.
  • Stocks listed under BSE 100 or CNX 100 or those of PSUs which are Navratnas, Maharatnas and Miniratnas would be eligible.
  • Investment in follow-on offers of these companies would also be eligible for tax deduction.

Monday, November 26, 2012

New National Water Policy

The Ministry of Water Resources has evolved the Draft National Water Policy (2012) to meet the present challenges in the water sector.
State Governments have been actively involved while drafting the Policy. The National Water Board comprising of Chief Secretaries of all the States and Secretaries of related Union Ministries considered the draft National Water Policy (2012) at its Meeting held on 7th June, 2012. Thereafter, the National Water Resources Council with Chief Ministers of all States as members is to consider and adopt the draft National Water Policy (2012) arrived at as per deliberations in the National Water Board.


SALIENT FEATURES OF REVISED DRAFT NATIONAL WATER POLICY (2012)

1. Emphasis on the need for a national water framework law, comprehensive legislation for optimum development of inter-State rivers and river valleys, amendment of Irrigation Acts, Indian Easements Act, 1882, etc.

2. Water, after meeting the pre-emptive needs for safe drinking water and sanitation, achieving food security, supporting poor people dependent on agriculture for their livelihood and high priority allocation for minimum eco-system needs, be treated as economic good so as to promote its conservation and efficient use.

3. Ecological needs of the river should be determined recognizing that river flows are characterized by low or no flows, small floods (freshets), large floods and flow variability and should accommodate development needs. A portion of river flows should be kept aside to meet ecological needs ensuring that the proportional low and high flow releases correspond in time closely to the natural flow regime.

4. Adaptation strategies in view of climate change for designing and management of water resources structures and review of acceptability criteria has been emphasized.

5.A system to evolve benchmarks for water uses for different purposes, i.e., water footprints, and water auditing be developed to ensure efficient use of water. Project financing has been suggested as a tool to incentivize efficient & economic use of water.

6. Setting up of Water Regulatory Authority has been recommended. Incentivization of recycle and re-use has been recommended.

7. Water Users Associations should be given statutory powers to collect and retain a portion of water charges, manage the volumetric quantum of water allotted to them and maintain the distribution system in their jurisdiction.

8. Removal of large disparity in stipulations for water supply in urban areas and in rural areas has been recommended.

9. Water resources projects and services should be managed with community participation. Wherever the State Governments or local governing bodies so decide, the private sector can be encouraged to become a service provider in public private partnership model to meet agreed terms of service delivery, including penalties for failure.

10. Adequate grants to the States to update technology, design practices, planning and management practices, preparation of annual water balances and accounts for the site and basin, preparation of hydrologic balances for water systems, and benchmarking and performance evaluation.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mahatma Gandhi Suraksha Yojana

The Government has launched a scheme called ‘Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana’ (MGPSY) for Indian workers holding Emigration Check Required (ECR) passports and a valid work permit in an ECR country. This scheme encourages and enables Overseas Indian Workers to save for their return and resettlement and to save for their old age by providing a co-contribution from the Government. This also provides a free Life Insurance Cover against natural death during the period of coverage, under this scheme. However, there is no proposal to introduce a special package for Indian workers returning to India from conflict-ridden countries. There is also no plan to start a “Pravasi Bank” for Overseas Indians by the Ministry.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Schemes for Slum Dwellers and Urban Poor

The Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja has said that the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) is implementing the following schemes for slum dwellers and urban poor across the country:

(i) Under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) launched on 3rd December, 2005, the Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) and Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programmes (IHSDP) are being implemented which focus on basic services to the urban poor and integrated development of slums. Under BSUP, 65 select cities in the country are covered and the remaining cities are covered under IHSDP. Under BSUP scheme, 527 projects have been approved with total project cost of Rs. 30188.69 crores for construction of 1017252 Dwelling Units (DUs). Under IHSDP scheme, 1084 projects in 928 cities have been approved with total project cost of Rs. 12048.50 crores for construction of 570951 Dwelling Units (DUs).

(ii) Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) aims at providing gainful employment to the urban unemployed and under-employed poor, through encouraging the setting up of self employment ventures by the urban poor living below the poverty line, skills training and also through providing wage employment by utilizing their labour for construction of socially and economically useful public assets. This scheme is applicable to all cities and towns in the country. During the 2011-12, 353,803 beneficiaries were covered under   skills training and 79,804 beneficiaries under urban self employment programme components of SJSRY.

(iii) In pursuance of the Government’s vision of creating a Slum-free India, a new scheme ‘Rajiv Awas Yojana’ (RAY) has been launched on 02.06.2011.Under the Scheme financial assistance is being provided to States that are willing to assign property rights to slum dwellers for provision of decent shelter and basic civic and social services for slum redevelopment, and for creation of affordable housing stock. The scheme is expected to cover above 250 cities, across the entire country by the end of 12th plan (2017).The States would be required to include all the mission cities of JNNURM, preferably cities with more than 3 lakh population as per 2001 Census; and other smaller cities, with due consideration to the pace of growth of the city, of slums, predominance of minority population, and areas where property rights are assigned. Funds have been released to 34 States/UTs under Slum Free City Planning Scheme - the preparatory phase of Rajiv AwasYojana. The list of 185 cities in which preparatory activities are being undertaken are as per Annexure-I. In addition, 8 pilot projects with total project cost of Rs. 446.22 Crores involving Central Assistance of Rs. 197.09 Crores have been approved under RAY for construction of 8400 dwelling units. The first installment of Rs. 65.69 Crores has been released to the concerned states as per Annexure-II.

 (iv) The Affordable Housing in Partnership Scheme, which is intended to encourage public private partnerships for the creation of affordable housing stock has been dovetailed with RAY. Under this scheme, central support will be provided at the rate of Rs 50,000 per unit of rental/affordable dwelling unit or 25% of the cost of civic infrastructure (external and internal), whichever is lower. Under this Scheme, which is applicable to all cities covered under RAY, 8 projects have been sanctioned with a central assistance of Rs. 7.2 Crore for construction of 5776 Affordable dwelling units.

(v) To enable the urban poor to obtain credit for home loans at affordable rates, the Interest Subsidy Scheme for Housing the Urban Poor (ISHUP), which provides 5 % interest subsidy on loans up to Rs. one lakh, is being implemented. This scheme has been dovetailed with RAY.  As on date, 10,215 beneficiaries have been benefitted.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha  Kumari Selja said, for proper utilization of funds under these schemes, the Ministry of HUPA is regularly monitoring the progress through quarterly/monthly physical and financial reports, periodic review meeting at state/regional/city level and field visits by Ministry’s officers and monitoring agencies.

Implementation of SJSRY in Andhra Pradesh

The Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) Kumari Selja has said that the revamped Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) has five major components:-
(i)           Urban Self Employment Programme (USEP)-Targeting individual urban poor for setting up of micro-enterprises.
(ii)        Urban Women Self-help Programme (UWSP)-Targeting urban poor women self-help groups for setting up of group-enterprises and providing them assistance through a revolving fund for thrift & credit activities.
(iii)      Skill Training for Employment Promotion amongst Urban Poor (STEP-UP)-Targeting urban poor for imparting quality training so as to enhance their employability for self-employment or better salaried employment.
(iv)      Urban Wage Employment Programme (UWEP) -Assisting urban poor by utilizing their labour for construction of socially and economically useful public assets, in towns having population less than 5 lakhs as per 1991 census.
(v)        Urban Community Development Network (UCDN)-Assisting the urban poor in organizing themselves in self- managed community structures so as to gain collective strength to address the issues of poverty facing them and participate in the effective implementation of urban poverty alleviation programmes.

          In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha  Kumari Selja said, the scheme is implemented through the State Governments. Ministry monitors their performance regularly to ensure that benefits of the scheme reach to all sections of the urban poor. Regular training of the functionaries of State, District and Urban Local Bodies are held to orient them towards better implementation of this scheme. Statement showing year-wise, State-wise achievement of SJSRY during the last two plans are at Annexure-I & II. The Statement showing physical targets set and achieved under the Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) in the State of Andhra Pradesh during the last five years is at Annexure-III.  The Ministry does not set district-wise targets.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Welfare Schemes for Women

Many welfare schemes for women are implemented by Government of India, State Governments and Union Territory Administrations. The details of major schemes under implementation by Ministry of Women and Child Development for the welfare of women are as under :

i. RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL CRECHE SCHEME FOR THE CHILDREN OF WORKING MOTHERS (RGNCS) provides day care facilities to the children in the age group 0-6 years from families with monthly income of less than 12000/-. In addition to being a safe space for the children, the crèches provide services such as supplementary nutrition, pre-school education and emergency health care, etc.

ii. CENTRAL SOCIAL WELFARE BOARD: The main women welfare related schemes and programmes being implemented by CSWB are family counselling centres, awareness generation programme and condensed courses of education for women.

iii. NATIONAL MISSION FOR EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN (NMEW) is an initiative of the Government of India for empowering women holistically. It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme sanctioned in April 2011 and acts as an umbrella Mission with a mandate to strengthen inter-sectoral convergence.

iv. WORKING WOMEN’S HOSTEL (WWH) Scheme envisages provision of safe and affordable hostel accommodation to working women, single working women, women working at places away from their home-towns and for women being trained for employment.

v. SUPPORT TO TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMME (STEP) for Women was launched as a Central Sector Scheme during 1986-87. It aims at making a significant impact on women by upgrading skills for self and wage employment. The target group includes the marginalized assetless rural women and urban poor.

vi. RASHTRIYA MAHILA KOSH (RMK) with a corpus of Rs.100 crore extends micro-finance services to bring about the socio-economic upliftment of poor women.

vii. INDIRA GANDHI MATRITVA SAHYOG YOJANA (IGMSY)
is a Conditional Cash Transfer scheme for pregnant and lactating (P&L) women introduced in the October 2010 to contribute to better enabling environment by providing cash incentives for improved health and nutrition to pregnant and nursing mothers.

viii. SWADHAR SCHEME: The Ministry of Women and Child Development had been administering Swadhar scheme since 2001 for Women in difficult circumstances. Under the Scheme, temporary accommodation, maintenance and rehabilitative services are provided to women and girls rendered homeless due to family discord, crime, violence, mental stress, social ostracism. Another scheme with similar objectives/target groups namely Short Stay Home (SSH) is being implemented by Central Social Welfare Board.

ix. UJJAWALA is a comprehensive scheme for prevention of trafficking and rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.

Friday, April 20, 2012

PUBLIC POLICY IN INDIA

Definition:
A Public Policy is a goal oriented course of action adopted and implemented by the government bodies and officials in pursuit of certain objectives or goals of public interest.
Basically, Public Policies are:
  • Goal oriented
  • Decision making process
  • Government’s collective action
  • Addresses public concerns
  • Interaction of people’s demands with power structures
Importance of Public Policies:
Although the trend of privatization made the governments to relax from many areas of development still there are many important areas which needs to be focused for the sake of public interest and for social welfare and growth. Thus the study of Public Policy, also called ‘Planned view of development’, gains much more relevance.

The scientific analysis of public policy helps in understanding the causes and consequences of the policy thereby facilitating practical solutions to social problems.

A Policy which is formulated and is implemented in a participative, transparent, open and accountable manner is an effective public policy serving public interest.

Stages in Public Policy Process:

(i) Policy Formulation:
A policy will be formulated in a coherent fashion keeping in mind the needs, interests, and problems of the society. It covers the larger sections of the society too.
(ii) Policy Education:
Educating the masses and actual beneficiaries about the formulated policies and their impacts through media.
(iii) Policy Implementation:
This is a crucial stage which actually decides the translation of the policy goals into action. It is the task of the executive branch of the government to systematically act upon the policies with the available resources.
(iv) Policy Monitoring:
Monitoring is the task done after the implementation and performing auditing and reporting process.
(v) Policy Impact:
A quantitative and qualitative study needs to be done to know the impact of the policy.

Types of Public Policies:
  1. Welfare & Development Public policies
  2. Regulatory Public policies
  3. Distributive & Re-distributive policies
Institutions that play a crucial role in policy making are:
  • Legislature
  • Executive
  • Cabinet and Cabinet secretariat
  • Prime Minister and Prime Minister’s Office
  • NDC and Planning Commission
  • IAS, IPS and IFS officers
  • Judiciary.
Here is the List of the Major PUBLIC POLICIES undertaken by Government of India over the years:
  1. National Policy for Farmers, 2007
  2. Agriculture Pricing Policy
  3. National Agriculture Development Programme or Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana
  4. Agriculture Policy: A Vision for 2020
  5. Consolidated FDI Policy, 2010
  6. National Employment Policy, 2008
  7. National Manufacturing Policy, 2011
  8. National Drug Policy
  9. National Pharmaceutical Policy, 2002
  10. National Broadband Policy, 2004
  11. National Policy on Information Technology, 2011
  12. National Policy on Electronics, 2011
  13. National Policy on Education, 1968
  14. National Policy on Education, 1986
  15. National Programme of Action
  16. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan- Education For All
  17. Policy Statement on Environment and Development
  18. National Skill Development Policy
  19. National Nutrition Policy
  20. National Health Policy of 2002
  21. National Population Policy of 2000
  22. National Mineral Policy
  23. National Electricity Policy, 2003
  24. Rural Electrification Policy
  25. National Policy on Older Persons
  26. National Policy for Empowerment of Women
  27. National Telecom Policy, 2011
  28. National Water Policy, 2002
  29. National Urban Sanitation Policy
  30. National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy
  31. National Tourism Policy, 2002.