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Yojana Magazine Analysis

Date: 22 December 2019

 

Key Questions

  1. Discuss provisions, principles & progress of AMRUT scheme.
  2. a common slum policy does not represent a good use of resources. Discuss.
  3. Discuss the salient features of Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0.
  4. What are Miyawaki Principles of Natural Forest? Discuss it’s application in Indian context.
  5. Suggest a Cooperative Model to tackle the problem of stubble burning in Northern India.
  6. How is Consumer Protection Act 2019 better than the legislation it has replaced?

Discuss basic features, principles & progress of AMRUT scheme.

 

Background

  • Current Urbanization = 34% (UN Report 2018)
    • By 2051 => 50%
  • Current GDP contribution = 65%
    • By 2030 => 70% (McKinsey)
  • Access to water = 70% Urban Households
    • 49% had access within premises
  • Untreated discharge of wastewater = 65%
  • Economic Loss = 2.4 trillion (2006) (WB)

3-Level Strategy of Urbanization

 

Components of AMRUT

  • Focuses on ensuring:
    • water supply, sewerage and septage management
    • storm water drainage
    • urban transport
    • availability of green and open spaces
    • reform management and support
    • capacity building

Coverage of the Scheme

  • 476 cities/towns with 1L+ population
  • State/UT Capitals not covered in above
  • Heritage Cities classified in HRIDAY
  • Certain cities on banks of main rivers and from hill States/islands and tourist destinations

Key Principles

1. Cooperative Federalism

  • States are empowered to appraise, approve & sanction projects – a departure from JNNURM

2. Framework for Institutional Reforms

  • Detailed framework for reforms aimed at improving governance and institutional capacities of ULBs

3. Principles of incrementalism and prioritization

  • Step-wise approach towards service level benchmarking by the ULBs for water supply and improving sanitation

4. Incentivizing over Penalizing

  • 10% earmarked for incentivizing reforms achieved (earlier 10% penalty)

5. Multi-tier monitoring of the Mission

Progress So Far

  • Key figures:
    • 64% urban households have tap water supply
    • On track to achieve 62% sewerage coverage by 2020
  • Key reforms:
    • Online Building Permission System
    • Replacement of street lights with LED lights (65 Lakh)
    • Credit Rating (36 cities have A and higher rating)
    • Municipal Bonds (Ahmedabad, Amravati, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Pune, Surat & Vizag)
    • Jal Shakti Abhiyan – Urban (July 2019) – for water conservation

Jal Shakti Abhiyan

  • Aims to ramp up following in 255 water-stressed districts:
    • Rainwater harvesting
    • Reuse of treated wastewater
    • Rejuvenation of water bodies
    • Plantation
  • Though water is a State issue, the campaign will be coordinated by 255 central IAS officers of Joint or Additional Secretary-rank.
  • The campaign follows the model of last year’s Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, where central officials monitored the implementation of seven flagship development schemes in 117 Aspirational districts across the country.
  • The campaign ran from July 1 to September 15 in States receiving rainfall during the SW monsoon, while States receiving rainfall in the retreating or NE monsoon will be covered from October 1 to November 30.

Way Forward

  • AMRUT envisages to cover > 60% of urban population living in 500 cities with universal coverage of water supply and ~60% sewerage & septage services.
  • However, more than 3500 smaller cities/towns out of 4378 statutory towns are present are not covered under any central scheme for water supply & fecal sludge management.

MCQ #1

With reference to the new Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir, consider the following statements:

  • Both the UTs are geographically divided by Ladakh range.
  • UT of Ladakh consists of three districts of Leh, Dras & Kargil.
  • Select the answer using the code given below:
    1. 1 only
    2. 2 only
    3. Both 1 and 2
    4. Neither 1 nor 2

A common slum policy does not represent a good use of resources. Discuss.

 

Background

  • Slums are self sustaining micro-cities within larger cities
  • They are further classified in terms of their social, economic & legal status
  • We will discuss some facts & misconceptions which call for a multi-pronged approach to manage a heterogeneous & complex ecosystem called Slums

Fact 1: Official lists under-identify slums and under-count slum populations

  • Official records:
    • Census 2001 first included slums but only in select cities
    • Census 2011 looked at slums in all urban centers
  • NSSO 2008 using their definition estimated 44 mn
  • Census 2011 using another method estimated 65 mn
  • UN Habitat 2014 using another estimated 104 mn

Fact 1: Official lists under-identify slums and under-count slum populations

  • With satellite images, researchers identified blue polygons settlements – one type of missed out settlements
    • These often have living conditions that are worse than in officially recorded slums.
  • Settlement covered by blue tarpaulins (7’ x 7’) tent shared by families of 3 to 5 individuals

Fact 2: Slums have a variety of living conditions that fall along a continuum

  • UN Habitat employs 5 criteria to identify slums, each related to a living condition that households usually lack:
    • Durable housing of a permanent nature
    • Sufficient living space
    • Easy access to safe water
    • Access to adequate sanitation
    • Security of tenure

Fact 2: Slums have a variety of living conditions that fall along a continuum

 

Fact 2: Slums have a variety of living conditions that fall along a continuum

  • Knowing where along the continuum a slum is located helps make public expenditures more relevant and effective.
  • Therefore, implementing a common slum policy does not represent a good use of resources.

Fact 3: Traditional survey methods are inadequate. Use satellite imagery.

  • Satellite image analysis helps generate slum maps and sort slums into types.
  • Coarser-grained images useful for initial slum identification are available for free while finer-grained are not very expensive.
  • It is more accurate and less prone to human errors of omission and commission.

Misconception about Slums

  • Slums are temporary halting points that work as conveyor belts leading rural migrants into the urban middle class.
  • Based on studies in 3 cities:
    • On an average, slum dwellers have lived in their current homes for 21 years.
    • The majority (66%) have lived in the same home for three or more generations.
    • Intergenerational advances in occupational status are minimal. Some in next generation have experienced upward mobility (27%).

Summary

  • Overall a situation of stasis – stuck in placidness – is characteristic of slums, whether examined at household or at neighborhood level.
  • Satellite images over a 15 year period show that few neighborhoods develop from slum to non-slum areas in terms of physical characteristics.
  • Nearly all slum residents, even in the best-off slums, find employment in the informal sector. Less than 5% have jobs that come with security, healthcare & retirement benefits.

MCQ #2

With reference to heart chambers in animals, which of the following statements is/are correct?

  • Tuna, a fish, has a two-chambered heart.
  • Crocodile, a reptile, has a three-chambered heart.

Select the answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Discuss the salient features of Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0.

Timeline

  • 1978: Expanded Programme of Immunization
  • 1985: Universal Immunization Programme
  • 2014: Mission Indradhanush
  • 2017: Intensified Mission Indradhanush
  • 2019: Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0
    • Will run from Dec 2019 to Mar 2020

Performance

  • Between 2009-2013 immunization coverage has increased from 61% to 65%, indicating only 1% increase in coverage every year.
  • To accelerate the process of immunization by covering 5% and more children every year, Indradhanush mission was adopted to achieve target of full coverage by 2020.

Factors limiting coverage

  • Rapid urbanization
  • Presence of a large migrating population
  • Presence of isolated populations difficult to reach
  • Under-informed & unaware populations

What all is covered?

  • Universal Immunization Programme provides life-saving vaccines to all children across the country free of cost to protect them against:
    • Diphtheria – Pertussis – Tetanus
    • Tuberculosis
    • Polio
    • Hepatitis B, Pneumonia and Meningitis due to Hib
    • Measles
    • Rubella
    • Japanese Encephalitis (JE)
    • Rotavirus diarrhea
    • *Rubella, JE and Rotavirus vaccine in select states and districts

IMI 2.0

  • Aimed at immunizing children under the age of 2 years and pregnant women
  • IMI 2.0 has been launched to focus on 272 districts of 27 states and 652 blocks of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar among hard-to-reach and tribal populations.
  • It aims to escalate efforts to achieve the goal of attaining 90% national immunization coverage across India.

Process

  1. Immunization activity will be in 4 rounds
  2. Enhanced immunization session with flexible timing, mobile session & mobilization by other departments
  3. Enhanced focus on left outs, dropouts, and resistant families & hard to reach areas
  4. Focus on urban, underserved population and tribal areas
  5. IMI to be conducted till March 2020

MCQ #3

Consider the following statements with respect to the Ghats:

  1. ‘Anaimudi’ the highest peak of Peninsular plateau is located on the Anaimalai hills of the Western Ghats.
  2. The Eastern and the Western Ghats meet each other at the Cardamom hills.
  3. The height of the Western Ghats progressively increases from south to north.
  4. Most of the Peninsular Rivers have their origin in the Western Ghats.

Which of the following statements is/are incorrect?

  1. 1, 2 and 3
  2. 2 and 3
  3. 3 and 4
  4. All of the above

What are Miyawaki Principles of Natural Forest? Discuss it’s application in Indian context.

About Miyawaki

  • It is a technique pioneered by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, that helps build dense, native forests.

  • Inspiration
  • He observed the trees which traditionally grew around temples, shrines, and cemeteries in Japan.
  • By promoting natural vegetation on land destroyed by natural & man made disasters, he managed to raise mini forests along the coastline of Japan.

Core Principle

  • The basic principle is to initiate high density plantation in small piece of land with native tree species.
    1. The approach is supposed to ensure that plant growth is 10 times faster and the resulting plantation is 30 times denser than usual.

Other Principles

  • No defined spacing b/w plants
  • Soil enrichment before plantation
  • High density planting of herbs, shrubs & tree species up to 10,000 plants per hectare
  • Supplementation of site by seed dibbling of native species
  • Mulching to suppress weed and avoid evaporation
  • Periodical weeding
  • Seedlings of all sizes can be planted to give 3-tier look

Application in India

  • Yadadri Natural Forest (YNF) Establishment Model in Telangana
    1. Principles of local practice and local materials used
    2. Cost arrived at Rs. 2 L / acre or Rs. 5 L / hectare
  • Opportunity:
    1. Every year 10 Ha natural forest can be created in every village with 1 L plants => natural capital of 50 Ha with 5 L plants over a period of 5 years in every village.
    2. Protection against natural disasters, soil erosion.
    3. Promotes water conservation.

MCQ #4

What is the meaning of the word Ijarah commonly used in the later Mughal period?

  1. The royal land which was distributed to the jagirdars.
  2. A royal tax levied on the Jagirdars to curb their powers.
  3. An official scale to measure the land for consolidation.
  4. A revenue model of farming.

Suggest a Cooperative Model to tackle the problem of stubble burning in Northern India.

What are Cooperatives?

  • Cooperativesare people-centred enterprises owned, controlled and run by and for their members to realise their common needs and aspirations.

Problem of Stubble Burning

  • The basic reason to burn stubble is the small gap of time b/w harvesting of paddy and sowing of wheat.
  • Also, the farmers have limited avenues to dispose off the straw, clean the land and prepare seed bed for wheat well in time.

Solutions

  • Measures aimed at reducing/shifting paddy cultivation
  • Measures aimed at utilizing the stubble
    1. Manufacturing of paper, cardboard, etc.
    2. Production of Mushroom where paddy straw is raw material
    3. Convert to Energy

How to achieve it on Scale?

  • A single unit even of largest size cannot be economical because straw is spread throughout the area and transportation to single point will be a constraint
  • Cooperative model, on the lines of Dairy, is most viable and prudent option.
    1. Need for at least two cardboard and paper manufacturing units in every block.
    2. Cooperative society with membership of local farmers & farm laborers can be formed and affiliated to an apex body

Swedish Technology being experimented - Torrefaction to convert rice stubble into ‘bio-coal’

  • Torrefactionis a thermal process to convert biomass into a coal-like material, which has better fuel characteristics than the original biomass.
  • It involves heating up straw, grass, saw mill residue and wood biomass to 250 - 350 degrees Celsius.
  • This changes the elements of the biomass into ‘coal-like’ pellets. These pellets can be used for combustion along with coal for industrial applications like steel and cement production

Swedish Technology being experimented - Torrefaction to convert rice stubble into ‘bio-coal’

  • It is being brought to India by Bioendev, a Swedish company, which has set up a pilot plant at the National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute in Mohali.
  • If scaled up, about 65% of the biomass could be converted to energy.

MCQ #5

Consider the following statements with respect to the formation of new states and alteration of boundaries or names of existing states:

  1. An amendment is needed for the settlement of a border dispute between the states.
  2. The Parliament is bound to accept or act upon the views of State legislature.
  3. The bill for formation or alteration in boundary or the name of a state requires prior recommendation of the president.

Which of the following statements is/are incorrect?

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 and 3
  3. 1 and 3
  4. All of the above

How is Consumer Protection Act 2019 better than the legislation it has replaced?  

Limitations of CPA 1986

  • CPA 1986 enforces rights of consumers, and provides for redressal of complaints at the district, state and national level.
  • It also recognizes offences such as unfair trade practices, which include providing false information regarding the quality or quantity of a good or service, and misleading advertisements.
  • Over the years, there have been challenges in the implementation:
    1. A high number of consumers were unaware of their rights under the Act.
    2. While the disposal rate of consumer cases was high (about 90%), the time taken for their disposal was long. It took 12 months on an average to resolve a consumer case. => Due to lack of physical & human infra.
    3. Act does not address consumer contracts between a consumer and manufacturer that contain unfair terms. In this context, the Law Commission of India had recommended that a separate law be enacted.

Highlights of CPA 2019

  1. Definition of consumer now includes online buyer
  2. Establishes a regulator – Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect, enforce rights of consumers
  3. Introduces Product Liability - claim can be made against manufacturer, service provider, and seller
  4. Introduces Unfair Contracts – as contracts that cause significant change in consumer rights.
  5. Introduced ADR - mediation cells will be attached to the District, State, and National ommissions
  6. Increased devolution – pecuniary jurisdiction increased at each of the three levels.
  7. Defines direct selling, e-commerce and electronic service provider