Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 8th to 15th December, 2019
Lok Sabha passes the Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019
(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)
The Bill seeks to
- Enhance the punishment for existing offences like illegal manufacture, sale, transfer, etc.; illegal acquiring, possessing or carrying prohibited arms or prohibited ammunition; and illegal manufacture, sale, transfer, conversion, import, export, etc., of firearms.
- Proposes to define new offences and prescribing punishment for them, such as for taking away firearms from police or armed forces, involvement in organized crime syndicate, illicit trafficking including smuggled firearms of foreign make or prohibited arms and prohibited ammunition, use of firearms in rash and negligent manner in celebratory gunfire endangering human life, etc.
- Enhance the period of arms license from three years to five years and also to issue arms license in its electronic form to prevent forgery.
Change in the Amendment: Ownership limit of licensed legal firearms has been increased to two instead of one in the Bill.
Why is it significant?
The Amendment assumes significance in recent times as Law enforcement agencies have indicated growing nexus between possession of illegal firearms and commission of criminal offences. With the advancement in technology, the fire power and sophistication of illegal firearms have increased significance over the years. The trans-border dimensions of illegal arms trafficking are causing threat to internal security and to prevent the usage of illicit firearms so trafficked has also become a prime concern. To effectively curb crimes related to or committed by using illegal firearms and to provide effective deterrence against violation of law, there is an urgent need to strengthen the existing legislative framework by making appropriate amendments in the Arms Act, 1959. Simultaneously, there is also a requirement for rationalizing and facilitating the licensing procedures for use of firearms by individuals and sports persons.
Should the State governments be concerned?
The Bill did not usurp the rights of states because in India’s Constitution, Arms, firearms and explosives are in the Union List. Regulation of firearms is essential for a law abiding, peaceful society.
History of the Act
The original law was brought by the British after the Revolution of 1857, in order to prevent such an incident in the future. Gandhi ji also connected the issue of arms ownership with basic rights of Indians and demanded repeal of the Indian Arms Act, 1878, and this demand was included in the eight-point agenda that Gandhi ji presented to Lord Irwin. After independence, it was deemed that there was no need for an armed revolution, and the responsibility of the protection of people would be that of the State, which led to evolution of and amendments in the law.
On the enhanced punishment under the Amendment
- Prison sentence for illicit trafficking of firearms and ammunition including smuggled firearms of foreign make or prohibited bore had been increased to prison time between 10 years to life imprisonment.
- The theft of weapons from police or armed forces would carry a punishment of 10 years to life imprisonment
- Illegal manufacturing, sale, conversion, repair, import/export would attract 7 years to life imprisonment
- Acquiring, possessing, carrying prohibited arms and ammunition to get 7 to 14 years imprisonment
- Involvement in organized crime syndicate would all henceforth carry the punishment of 10 years to life imprisonment.
- Involvement in negligent and rash use of firearms or in celebratory firing endangering human life, would attract a fine of Rs. 1,00,000 or imprisonment for 2 years or both.
Landmark ‘The Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019’ passed in Parliament
(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)
India is a leader in the global ship recycling industry with a share of over 30 per cent of the global market. With the enactment of this bill, India will set global standards for safe and sound environmentally-friendly recycling of Ships, as well as ensure adequate safety of the yard workers. This bill will pave the way for more global ships to enter into Indian Shipyards for recycling and boost employment and business opportunities also.
- The bill will harbinger significant increased number of global ships entering into Indian Shipyards for Recycling.
- Recycling of Ships will boost business & employment opportunities and strengthen India’s position in the recycling industry.
- It will raise the brand value of our Ships Recycling Yards located at Alang in Gujarat, Mumbai Port, Kolkata Port & Azhikkal in Kerela.
- 10% of country’s Secondary steel needs, as an outcome of Recycling of Ships, will be met in an eco-friendly manner.
- Ships Recycling facilities will become compliant to International standards and Ships will be recycled only in such authorised facilities.
- The tremendous growth of business activities will contribute to the country’s GDP.
Cabinet approves Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019
(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)
The amendments aim to remove certain difficulties being faced during insolvency resolution process to realise the objects of the code and to further ease doing of business.
- Amendments to the Code to remove bottlenecks, streamline the CIRP and protection of last mile funding will boost investment in financially distressed sectors.
- Additional thresholds introduced for Financial Creditors represented by an authorized representative due to large numbers in order to prevent frivolous triggering of Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP).
- Ensuring that the substratum of the business of corporate debtor is not lost, and it can continue as a going concern by clarifying that the licenses, permits, concessions, clearances etc. cannot be terminated or suspended or not renewed during the moratorium period.
- Ring-fencing corporate debtor resolved under the IBC in favour of a successful resolution applicant from criminal proceedings against offences committed by previous management/promoters.
Diversion of Tribal Land for Development Projects
Nodal Ministry dealing with land acquisition matter: Ministry of Rural Development, Department of Land Resources (DoLR)
Land acquisition is undertaken by the Central and State Governments under various Central and State Acts, including the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 and the provisions of the RFCTLARR Act 2013
To address the issue of Land Acquisition and displacement of tribals, Constitutional and legal provisions for safeguarding the rights of tribals to land are already in place as under: –
- The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, in section 4 (5) states that save as otherwise provided, no member of a forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes or Other Traditional Forest Dweller shall be evicted or removed from the Forest Land under his occupation till the recognition and verification procedure is complete.
- Government has enacted the RFCTLARR Act, 2013. The purpose of the said Act is to ensure, in consultation with institutions of local self-government and Gram Sabhas established under the Constitution, a humane, participative, informed and transparent process for land acquisition with the least disturbance to the owners of the land and the other affected families and provide just and fair compensation to the affected families whose land has been acquired or proposed to be acquired.
- Under Section 48 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (RFCTLARR Act, 2013 in short), a National Level Monitoring Committee for Rehabilitation and Resettlement has been constituted in the DoLR vide DoLR’s Order No. 26011/04/2007-LRD dated 2nd March, 2015 for the purpose of reviewing and monitoring the implementation of rehabilitation and resettlement schemes and plans related to land acquisition under the RFCTLARR, 2013 and National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007.
- By way of safeguards against displacement special provisions have been made for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes under Sections 41 and 42 of the RFCTLARR Act, 2013 which protect their interests. The RFCTLARR Act, 2013 also lays down procedure and manner of rehabilitation and resettlement.
- The First Schedule of the RFCTLARR Act provide for compensation for land owners. The Second Schedule provide for element of rehabilitation and resettlement for all the affected families (both land owners and the families whose livelihood is primarily dependent on land acquired) in addition to those provided in the first Schedule. Similarly, the Third Schedule provide for infrastructural amenities for a reasonably habitable and planned settlement in the resettlement area.
- The Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, also provides that the Gram Sabha or the Panchayats at the appropriate level shall be consulted before making the acquisition of land in the Scheduled Areas or development projects and before resettling or rehabilitating persons affected by such projects in the Scheduled Areas; the actual planning and implementation of the projects in the Scheduled Areas shall be coordinated at the State Level.
- Constitutional provisions under Schedule – V also provide for safeguards against displacement of tribal population because of land acquisitions etc. The Governor of the State which has scheduled Areas is empowered to prohibit or restrict transfer of land from tribals and regulate the allotment of land to members of the Scheduled Tribes in such cases.
Measures taken by Government to prevent Crime against Women
- The Criminal Law (Amendment), Act 2013 was enacted for effective deterrence against sexual offences. Further, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 was enacted to prescribe even more stringent penal provisions including death penalty for rape of a girl below the age of 12 years. The Act also inter-alia mandates completion of investigation and trials within 2 months each.
- Emergency Response Support System provides a pan-India, single, internationally recognized number (112) based system for all emergencies, with computer aided dispatch of field resources to the location of distress.
- Using technology to aid smart policing and safety management, Safe City Projects have been sanctioned in first Phase in 8 cities (Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai).
- The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has launched a cyber-crime portal on 20th September 2018 for citizens to report obscene content.
- MHA has launched the ‘National Database on Sexual Offenders’ (NDSO) on 20th September 2018 to facilitate investigation and tracking of sexual offenders across the country by law enforcement agencies.
- In order to facilitate States/UTs, MHA on 19th February 2019 launched an online analytic tool for police called ‘Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences’ to monitor and track time-bound investigation in sexual assault cases in accordance with the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2018.
- One Stop Centre (OSC) scheme is being implemented across the country since 1st April 2015 which is exclusively designed to provide integrated services such as medical aid, police assistance, legal counselling/ court case management, psycho-social counselling and temporary shelter to women affected by violence under one roof. As per available information, 728 OSCs have been approved by Government of India, 595 OSCs are operational in the country.
- In addition to the above-mentioned measures, MHA has issued advisories from time to time with a view to help the States/UTs to deal with crimes against women, which are available at www.mha.gov.in.
India’s Defence Expenditure
Government is pursuing initiatives to achieve higher levels of indigenization and self-reliance in the defence sector by harnessing the capabilities of the public and private sector industries in the country –
- According priority and preference to procurement from Indian vendors and liberalization of the licensing regime – Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) accords the highest priority to Buy Indian (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured) (IDDM).
- The ‘Make’ procedure has been simplified with provision for earmarking projects not exceeding development cost of Rs. 10 crores (Government funded) and Rs. 3 crores (Industry funded) for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs); and with provisions for involving private industry as production agencies and technology transfer partners.
- Government has also promulgated the policy on Strategic Partnership in the Defence Sector to encourage broader participation of the private sector in manufacture of major defence platforms and equipment.
(Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment)
Bio fuels are liquid or gaseous fuels primarily produced from biomass, and can be used to replace or can be used in addition to diesel, petrol or other fossil fuels for transport, stationary, portable and other applications. Crops used to make bio fuels are generally high in sugar (such as sugarcane, sugar beet, and sweet sorghum), starch (such as maize and tapioca) or oils (such as soybean, rapeseed, and coconut, sunflower).
National Policy on Biofuel
- The policy significantly expands the sources from which ethanol can be produced and also allows for blending ethanol from multiple bio feedstock — and not just ethanol produced from sugarcane, as was the case earlier — with petrol.
- The policy also holds significant potential gains for farmers.
Under the new policy, the raw material sourcing net for ethanol is being significantly expanded to include, besides sugarcane juice, sugar beet, sweet sorghum, corn, cassava, damaged wheat, broken rice and rotten potatoes. There is also a bonus for civic administrations, since ethanol can now be produced from municipal solid waste, as well as fuels like bio natural gas. To that extent, the policy can help turn refuse into gold.
- The policy also envisages using rice and wheat chaff and other biomasses as feedstock for ethanol production. This opens up a large and remunerative market for products on which the farmer was bearing the losses caused by erratic weather and poor storage conditions.
- Beyond this, used cooking oil can also double up as a feedstock for biodiesel which is welcome since India is one of the world’s largest consumers of edible oil and generates a huge quantity of used cooking oil as waste.
Execution will be a challenge:
- To convert India’s existing biofuel potential into reality, huge investments need to be made in creating bio refinery capacity. However, this is easier said than done. While state-owned oil marketing companies are in the process of setting up 12 bio-refineries, this can only be a base to build on.
On the ground, private sector investment in this space has been hampered by financial constraints and lack of cohesive support from the Central to the local level.
- Creating the requisite supply chain infrastructure to source and efficiently transport low value biomass to the refineries is another challenge.
- Poverty reduction: Availability of energy is fundamental to intensifying agriculture, industrial development and pro-poor growth. Locally produced liquid bio fuels, e.g. biodiesel, could lead to national and local benefits such as reduced pressure on forests, reduced dependency on oil imports and limited exposure to volatile international prices. However, large scale production for export is not as likely to have these effects.
- Employment Opportunities: Bio fuel could offer beneficial employment opportunities, provided Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies are implemented. Small scale production has shown promising results. Brazil’s first biodiesel cooperative, Cooper bio, involves about 25,000 families using castor bean, jatropha, sunflower and other species produced in small scale diversified systems.
- Opportunities for small-holders: Substituting fuel wood and dung for bio fuels could both increase local energy efficiency, decrease health risks and pressure on forests. In Mali, a community program has developed small scale jatropha plantations that provide not only liquid fuels but also electricity, heat and mechanical power for a variety of local uses. Smallholders could also increase their incomes as bio fuel crops become cash crops, but markets should be accessible, and mechanisms in place to ensure that price increases accrue farmers.
- Infrastructural Investment in Rural Areas: It is estimated that, one 100klpd bio refinery will require around Rs.800 crore capital investment. At present Oil Marketing Companies are in the process of setting up twelve 2G bio refineries with an investment of around Rs.10,000 crore. Further addition of 2G bio refineries across the Country will spur infrastructural investment in the rural areas.
- Food prices Estimates of the role of bio fuels in the hike of food prices during 2008 have been much debated. It is estimated that 30% (International Food Policy Research Institute) to 65% (World Bank) of the increase in food prices can be attributed to the increased production of bio fuels instead of food.
- Tenure and Conflicts Large scale bio fuel production often competes with other land and water uses. Power imbalances make it difficult for local communities to negotiate sufficient compensation for e.g. lost land, especially if they hold no formally recognized tenure rights. Indigenous communities and women are particularly vulnerable.
- Environmental challenges
- Soil and Water: Many bio fuel crops are highly water intensive. Crops like sweet sorghum, tropical sugar beet and jatropha can grow on drier soils, but may require irrigation and fertilisers to become commercially attractive.
- Deforestation, climate change and ecosystem services large scale monoculture bio fuel production often leads to deforestation. Rapidly expanding oil palm plantations in South East Asia, considered one of the largest threats to tropical forests and peat lands, serve as alarming examples. These ecosystems store millions of tons of carbon which is released when they are exploited. Deforestation is in turn a major threat to biodiversity, local communities and indigenous groups dependant on biodiversity.
Indian government has realised the potential advantages of bio fuel and have taken steps to promote befouls through its recent document National Bio fuel policy .This will help in realising dreams of doubling farmers income along with reducing dependency on fuel imports .
Solve: Discuss how bio-fuels can solve the problem of pollution in India. Given its potential, adequate policy push is required. Analyze.
National Missions including National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Eco-system (NMSHE) – Efforts undertaken to enhance the ecological sustainability of India and address climate change
(Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment)
As per the Special Report on ‘The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate’ released in September 2019 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), since about 1950; many marine species across various groups have undergone shifts in geographical range and seasonal activities in response to ocean warming, sea ice change and biogeochemical changes, such as oxygen loss, to their habitats. This has resulted in shifts in species composition, abundance and biomass production of ecosystems, from the equator to the poles. However, in some marine ecosystems, species are impacted by both the effects of fishing and climate changes.
The rate of melting varies from glacier to glacier depending on topography and climatic variability of the region. While, the glaciers in the eastern and central part of Indian Himalaya are continuously retreating, some of the glaciers in the Western part of Himalaya are reported to be stable or advancing. Studies show that the Himalayan glaciers are experiencing retreat with significant temporal and special variability. Changes in glacier extent strongly affect the seasonal availability of freshwater, especially during the summer.
According to modeling studies, temperatures in the upper Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra basins are projected to increase between 1 to 2°C up until 2050, compared to the baseline period (1998– 2007). Under such conditions, the amount of glacier and snow meltwater will decrease, while the amount of rainfall-runoff will increase, for the upper basins of the Ganges and Brahmaputra. Overall, no significant decrease in runoff is projected until at least 2050 for all of the basins.
The government is implementing the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) with a view to enhancing the ecological sustainability of India’s development path and address climate change in all regions of the country. NAPCC comprises, inter alia, of eight National Missions including National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Eco-system (NMSHE).
National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Eco-system (NMSHE)
- NMSHE is aimed at evolving management measures for sustaining and safeguarding the Himalayan glaciers and mountain ecosystem.
- The mission includes enhanced monitoring of the Himalayan ecosystem through establishment of the monitoring network, promoting community based management, human resource development and strengthening regional cooperation.
- The Government has prepared guidelines entitled “Governance for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem”, (G-SHE), which has been shared with all the State Governments in the Himalayan region.
- 33 States and Union Territories including all Himalayan States have also prepared their respective State Action Plan on Climate Change to address the state-specific issues.
- The Ministry has notified Coastal Regulation Zone Notification 2019 and the Island Protection Zone Notification 2019 to regulate high impact activities on the coast and in maintaining coastal sustainability.
‘Green Good Deeds’ initiative: To promote environmental awareness and to mobilize people’s participation for conservation of environment
‘Environment Education, Awareness and Training’: Objective is to promote environmental awareness among all sections of the society and to mobilize people’s participation for conservation of environment. Through the National Green Corps programme, which is one of the components of this scheme, about one lakh fifty thousand Ecoclubs have been established in schools/colleges across the country and nearly 35 lakh students are actively involved in the programmes related to environment protection and conservation.
Prelims oriented News
Turbulence and Triumph – The Modi Years: Written by Rahul Agarwal and Bharti S Pradhan
Special Report on ‘The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate’: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Water: State subject
Gujarat Police: 33 percent reservation for women
Gandhi Encyclopedia: By National Council of Science Museums, Kolkata for promotion of appropriate Gandhian philosophy and thoughts through social media platforms under 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi commemoration
Indian Culture Portal: The first government authorized portal where knowledge and cultural resources of various organizations of Ministry of Culture are now available in public domain on a single platform. From toy carts of the Indus Valley Civilisation to the charkha of Mahatma Gandhi, Indian Culture encapsulates the words of the Shastras and the finesse of Deccan court painters, from the calm on the buddha’s cisage to the battle scars on armours, from rare images of monuments, to bite sized anecdotes and detailed accounts of Indian UNESCO World Heritage Site are available on the portal.
- Envisioned by the Ministry of Culture
- Developed by a team from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay
- Curation of the data by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)
Sector that received the maximum CSR spent during financial year 2014-15 to 2017-18: Education
Army Personnel serving in UN Peacekeeping Operations: 6,026 army personnel are currently serving in the United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping operations. During the last five years, 10 Indian personnel have laid down their lives while serving in the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations.
Human Rights Day: Celebrated on the 10th December every year to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948 as the shared standard yardstick to protect human rights across the globe.
- The Declaration recognizes that the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of mankind are the foundation of justice, freedom and peace in the world.
- The United Nations’ theme for this year’s Human Rights Day is: “Youth Standing up for Human Rights.”
PSLV successfully launches RISAT-2BR1 and nine commercial satellites in its fiftieth flight: RISAT-2BR1 is radar imaging earth observation satellite weighing about 628 kg. The satellite will provide services in the field of Agriculture, Forestry and Disaster Management. The mission life of RISAT-2BR1 is 5 years.
- The nine customer satellites of Israel, Italy, Japan and USA were precisely injected into their designated orbits. These satellites were launched under a commercial arrangement with New Space India Limited (NSIL).
- PSLV-C48 is the 2nd flight of PSLV in ‘QL’ configuration (with 4 solid strap-on motors).
- Besides being the 50th launch of PSLV, this launch was also the 75th launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.
Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya National Mission on Teachers and Training (PMMMNMTT): The aim of this mission is to provide quality teachers in schools and colleges attract talented people in the education sector and improve quality in teaching. The mission aims to set the teaching standard so that an organized cadre of professional teachers can be created. The objective of this mission is to develop innovative teaching method and high level institutional facilities in all the constituent areas of education.
Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs): To provide good quality modern education including a strong component of culture, inculcation of values, awareness of the environment, adventure activities and physical education to the talented children predominantly from the rural areas without regard to their family’s socio-economic condition.
Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure: Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MOFPI) is implementing the Scheme for “Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure” as one of the components of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana with the objective of reducing post-harvest losses of horticulture & non-horticulture produce and providing remunerative price to farmers for their produce.
Rashtriya Gokul Mission: Development and conservation of indigenous bovine breeds, genetic upgradation of bovine population and enhancing milk production and productivity of bovines thereby making milk production more remunerative to the farmers.
Data Bank of Farmers: The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare have constituted a Task Force to develop a comprehensive Farmers’ Database for better planning, monitoring, strategy formulation and smooth implementation of schemes for the entire country. This Centralised Farmers Database shall be useful for various activities like issuing soil health cards, dissemination of crop advisories to the farmers, precision farming, smart cards for farmers to facilitate e-governance, crop insurance, settlement of compensation claims, grant of agricultural subsidies, community/village resource centres etc.
National Institute of Animal Health: Established by erstwhile Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, GOI (now Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying)
- To act as a nodal institute to recommend licensing of veterinary vaccines in the country
- To make available facilities for quality control of veterinary vaccines and diagnostics
- To make available standards for veterinary biologicals and diagnostics
Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY) is being implemented by D/o Social Justice and Empowerment (M/o SJ&E) with an objective to provide to senior citizens, belonging to BPL category and suffering from age-related disabilities/ infirmities, with such physical aids and assisted living devices which can restore near normalcy in their bodily functions.
Composite Water Management Index: By NITI Aayog
India is undergoing the worst water crisis in its history and nearly 600 million people are facing high to extreme water stress. The report further mentions that India is placed at 120th amongst 122 countries in the water quality index, with nearly 70% of water being contaminated.
As per the 5th Minor Irrigation Census (with reference year 2013-14) conducted by Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (now Ministry of Jal Shakti), there are 20.52 million wells in the country, which includes dug wells, shallow tube wells, medium tube wells and deep tube wells.
Practices for efficient and sustainable management of water resources such as conjunctive use of surface water and ground water resources, participatory ground water practices, increasing water use efficiency amongst others need to be promoted on a large scale by involving all the stake-holders to deal with future water demand challenges.
Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) – a campaign for water conservation and water security
Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM): Aims at providing functional household tap connections to every rural household by 2024 at the service level of 55 litre per capita per day. This Mission will focus on integrated demand and supply side management of water at the local level, including creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household wastewater for reuse in agriculture.
National Perspective Plan (NPP) for Water Resources Development which envisages transfer of water from water surplus basins to water deficit basins to improve availability of water.
Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT): Under the water supply component of the Mission, projects related to rain water harvesting, rejuvenation of water bodies specifically for drinking water supply, recharging of ground water, etc., can be taken up by the States/UTs to enhance water supply in the Mission cities.
Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY): A Rs.6,000 Crore Central Sector Scheme, for sustainable management of ground water resources with community participation.
- The funding pattern is 50:50 between Government of India and World Bank.
- The scheme envisages active participation of the communities in various activities such as formation of Water User Associations, monitoring and disseminating ground water data, water budgeting, preparation and implementation of Gram-Panchayat wise water security plans and Information, Education & Communication (IEC) activities related to sustainable ground water management.
- The identified over-exploited and water stressed areas for the implementation of the scheme fall in the States of Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The States have been selected according to a number of criteria, including degree of groundwater exploitation and degradation, established legal and regulatory instruments, institutional readiness, and experience in implementing initiatives related to groundwater management.
National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), Chennai to undertake studies and research in the area of Coastal Zone Management including coastal resources and environment
- Strive for being a World Class Knowledge Institution related to coastal zones, environment, resources and processes,
- To promote integrated and sustainable management of the coastal and marine areas in India for the benefit and wellbeing of the traditional coastal and island communities, and
- Advice the Union and State Governments and other associated stakeholder(s) on policy, and scientific matters related to Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM).
National Afforestation Programme
By: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC)
The overall objective of the National Afforestation Programme (NAP) scheme is ecological restoration of degraded forests and to develop the forest resources with peoples’ participation, with focus on improvement in livelihoods of the forest-fringe communities, especially the poor. NAP aims to support and accelerate the on-going process of devolving forest conservation, protection, management and development functions tothe Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) at the village level, which are registered societies. The scheme is implemented by three tier institutional setup through the State Forest Development Agency (SFDA) at the state level, Forest Development Agency (FDA) at the forest division level and JFMCs at village level.
- The conservation and development of forest primarily involves three strategies – afforestation through natural/artificial regeneration, protection and management.
- The ministry is implementing three major schemes for development of forest areas i.e. National Afforestation Programme (NAP) scheme, National Mission for a Green India (GIM) and Forest Fire Prevention & Management Scheme (FFPM).
- While NAP is being implemented for afforestation of degraded forest lands, GIM aims at improving the quality of forest and increase in forest cover besides cross sectoral activities on landscape basis. The FFPM takes care of forest fire prevention and management measures.
Schemes by Ministry of Women and Child Development to achieve SDG Goals
(i) Anganwadi Services Scheme is a unique programme for early childhood care and development. It offers a package of six services, viz. Supplementary Nutrition, Pre-School Non-Formal Education, Nutrition and Health Education, Immunization, Health Check-Up and Referral Services. The beneficiaries under the Scheme are children in the age group of 0-6 years, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
(ii) PoshanAbhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission) targets to reduce the level of stunting, under-nutrition, anemia and low birth weight babies by reducing mal-nutrition/under nutrition, anemia among young children as also, focus on adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
(iii) Pradhan MantriMatruVandanaYojana (PMMVY) scheme provides cash incentive amounting to Rs. 5,000 in three instalments directly to the Bank/Post Office Account of Pregnant Women and Lactating Mother(PW&LM) in DBT Mode during pregnancy and lactation in response to individual fulfilling specific conditions.
(iv) Scheme for Adolescent Girls aims at out of school girls in the age group 11-14, to empower and improve their social status through nutrition, life skills and home skills. The scheme has nutritional and non nutritional components which include nutrition, iron and folic acid supplementation, health check up and referral service, nutrition and health education mainstreaming out of school girls to join formal schooling, bridge course/ skill training, life skill education, home management etc, counselling/ guidance on accessing public services.
(v) National Creche Scheme provides day care facilities to children of age group of 6 months to 6 years of working women. The facilities are provided for seven and half hours a day for 26 days in a month. Children are provided with supplementary nutrition, early childcare education, and health and sleeping facilities.
(vi) Child Protection Services Scheme aims to contribute to the improvement in the well-being of children in difficult circumstances, as well as, reduction of vulnerabilities to situation and actions that leads to abuse, neglect, exploitation, abandonment and separation of children from parent. The Scheme aims to spread awareness regarding the ways and means to prevent all children from child abuse of any kind including child sexual abuse.
(vii) Mahila Shakti Kendra scheme empowers rural women through community participation by involvement of Student Volunteers. The scheme is envisaged to work at various levels. At the national and state level, technical support to the respective government on issues related to women is provided.
(viii) SwadharGreh scheme targets the women victims of unfortunate circumstances who are in need of institutional support for rehabilitation so that they could lead their life with dignity.
(ix) Ujjawala is a comprehensive scheme to combat trafficking with the objective to prevent trafficking of women and children for commercial sexual exploitation, to facilitate rescue victims and placing them in safe custody, to provide rehabilitation services by providing basic amenities/needs, to facilitate reintegration of victims into the family and society, to facilitate repatriation of cross border victims.
(x) Working Women Hostel aims at providing safe and affordable accommodation to working women. These hostels have Day care facility for the children of inmates too. The Ministry provides financial support for establishing such hostels by NGOs or State Governments.
(xi) BetiBachaoBetiPadhao (BBBP) scheme is a tri-ministerial initiative of Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare and Human Resource Development with a focus on awareness and advocacy campaign for changing mindsets, multi-sectoral action in select districts, enabling girls’ education and effective enforcement of Pre-Conception & Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC&PNDT) Act. The specific objectives of the scheme include preventing gender biased sex selective elimination; ensuring survival and protection of the girl child and ensuring education and participation of the girl child.
(xii) One Stop Centre (OSC) facilitates access to an integrated range of services including police, medical, legal, psychological support and temporary shelter to women affected by violence. The Scheme is funded through Nirbhaya Fund.
(xiii) Women Helpline – The Scheme is being implemented since 1st April, 2015 to provide 24 hours emergency and non-emergency response to women affected by violence through referral and information about women related government schemes/programmes across the country through a single uniform number (181).
- While dissent was the basic quality of democracy, people must follow peaceful, democratic methods and function according to the spirit of the Constitution.
- There is right to protest in democracy but not for obstructionism
- The strength of a democracy depends upon the strength of each pillar and the way pillars complement each other. Any shaky pillar weakens the democratic structure – the Legislature, Executive, Judiciary and the Media.
- Mahatma Gandhi once observed, “The history of the world is full of men who rose to leadership, by sheer force of self-confidence, bravery and tenacity”.
On Human Rights
- Effective strengthening of the human rights at the ground level is a collective task of the whole society
- Universities are great hubs of ideas, but they are not ivory towers. They are part of society and thus remain engaged with social change. The academic community should be engaged in research in areas that create not only a new knowledge base but also a knowledge base that sustains human society.
- Need to include Gender Studies: Education is not just for employment but also for empowerment and enlightenment of individuals and the society. This will make children respectful and sensitive towards all genders.
- There cannot be instant justice but there cannot be constant delays either.
- There is a need for undertaking court proceedings in local languages so that people can understand it.
- Supreme Court should have 2-3 benches across India. No constitutional amendment is required for such a move. Currently people have to come to Delhi from all over India to file their cases. They have to stay for many days in Delhi and it is expensive.
- There is a need to decide upon the certain category of cases in time-bound manner such as the election petitions and criminal cases against sitting MPs and MLAs.
- Legislative bodies should decide upon the disqualification proceedings under anti-defection law in a time-bound manner
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