YOJANA- October 2017: NEW INDIA
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Creating a Clean India
Enabling Opportunities for Rural India
Creating Casteism Free India
Farmer’s Welfare Holds the Key
Triple Talaq Verdict: A Victory for Muslim Women
Innovation Led Reforms for New India
Zero Tolerance to Corruption
Energizing Youth through Skill Development
Role of Women in New India by 2022
Creating a Clean – India
The age old practice of open defection causes over 1 lakh preventable child deaths every year through diarrhoeal infections. A study by the World Bank estimates that nearly 40 per cent of India’s children are stunted, primarily because of lack of sanitation this has an adverse impact on their economic potential, and is estimated to cost India over 6 per cent of our GDP. Women’s safety and dignity are often comprised due to open defecation. A 21st century India on the path to becoming a global economic super power should have no place for filth and open defecation
Progress of SBM
- Rural sanitation coverage has gone up from 39 per cent at the start of the mission to the current figure of 68 per cent
- 193 districts and about 235,000 villages across the country have been declared as open defecation free (ODF),
- Five states – Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana and Uttarakhand have become ODF.
How is SMB Unique?
- It is one thing to build physical infrastructure like roads, bridges and power plants. Changing habits and getting millions challenge of people to voluntarily engage janandolan to fight the centuries – old practice of open defecation is quite another.
- The first key differentiator is the genuine focus on behaviour change through Information, Education and Communication (IEC) and shifting the focus from outputs (number of toilets built) to outcomes (ODF villages)
- Districts are also being ranked under Swachhta Darpan based on their performance, sustainability and transparency on SBM-G, spurring healthy competition between districts.
- There is an inclusive focus on cleanliness through management of solid and liquid waste. The waste is now treated as a resource and the name has been re-christened to Solid and Liquid Resource Management (SLRM).
SBM is probably the only government programme which is being integrated with the works of the entire government machinery.
Various steps taken by the government in this direction
- The Prime Minister awarded 10 inspirational women Swachhta Champions at a special event for nearly 6000 women Sarpanches on International Women’s Day.
- Lakhs of sanitation motivators called Swachhagrahis, are being trained in community approaches to sanitation.
- Virtual Classrooms are being run by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) to scale these trainings up where a central trainer interacts with trainees across multiple locations on tools for effective community mobilization and behaviour change triggering.
- Electronic and print mass media is being used to reinforce the sanitation messages and broaden its appeal.
- There is a strict focus on timely verification of ODF status.
- To prevent “Slip Back” into open defecation as old habits
- Incentives mechanism are being developed
- Piped Water supply is provided as part of centrally sponsored scheme
- MDWS has also issued sustainability guidelines to states
- Bollywood stars and cricketers are getting involved.
- Amitabh Bachan is leading a “Darwaza Bandh” campaign on TV, radio.
- Akshay Kumar has made a movie on open defecation- Toilet Ek Prem Katha
How is the Survey Conducted?
- At the National level the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) carries out special checks as well as third party sample surveys by Independent organizations.
- Survey, carried out by the Quality Council of India during May – June 2017, found that usage of toilets across the country was an encouraging 91 per cent.
SBM is Everyone’s Business
- Swachh Iconic Places (SIP): Under this initiative, 20 iconic places of historical and cultural significance have been selected with the intention to make them the islands of excellence with respect to swachchata
- Swachhta Action Plans (SAP): The SAP has gotten all the ministries and departments of the government of India to pledge to take up Swachchata and sanitation related activities in their respective sectors.
- Tata Trust have hired and are sponsoring 600 young professionals to work in each district of India with the district administration, tasked singularly with taking their district towards ODF and good SLRM. These professionals are called the Zila Swachh Bharat Preraks.
SBM as Janandolan
- Inspired by the Prime Minister’s call of ushering in a New India, the SBM-G has launched a slew of new initiatives to engage the general public with the Swachhta revolution in India. The first of these is the Swachhathon- the Swachh Bharat Hackathon which invites innovative technology based solutions to some of the most challenging questions being face by SBM – G. The questions being answered include how to measure usage of toilets in a non-intrusive manner at scale, how to leverage technology to spark behaviour change at scale, frugal toilet technology designs for difficult terrains, ways to leverage technology to promote maintenance of school toilets, technological solutions for safe disposal of menstrual waste and technologies solutions for safe disposal of menstrual waste and technologies for early/instant decomposition of faecal matter.
- Inspired by the Hon’blePrime Minister’s Sankalp Se Siddhi initiative, and his Mann ki baat address, where he made an appeal to the nation to get involved in a time-bound, nation-wide mass mobilization campaign to construct twin-pit toilets, clean-up public spots and spread awareness about the SBM through shramdaan, the SBM-G has launched the Swachh Sankalp se Swachh Siddhi film, essay and painting competition across India as another major step in making Swachhta a Janaandolan. Integrating Swachhta into the consciousness of millions of citizens and generating even more public enthusiasm towards the Swachh Bharat Mission.
With all these efforts Gandhiji’s dream of clean India is finally becoming a reality.
Enabling Opportunities for Rural India
Hon’ble Prime Minister has given a call for Poverty Quit India on completion of the 75th year of the Quit India Movement 1942. He has also given a call for a societal mission to do so by 2022.
If convergent action in other related sectors of health, education, nutrition, skills could be made simultaneously, it is possible to improve the well-being of poor households in a short period of time. Poverty free is seen as enabling social opportunities for deprived households to come out of their destitution. Poverty free, therefore, connotes an ability to develop one’s fullest human potential through education, health skills, sanitation, clean drinking water, nutrition, food security, livelihood housing, gender, and social equality and empowerment, connectivity, electricity, systems of sustainable resource use, waste management, and most of all, sustainable diversified economic activities for higher incomes.
I. Intervening on Scale
- Rural India has a very large number of rural households spread over a million habitations and villages. Clearly, the interventions have to be to scale. There has been a very significant increase in the Central Government’s allocations and actual spend under the Department of Rural Development.
- The thrust on placement skills and self-employment skills have also facilitated larger economic activity in rural areas.
- The convergence for animal husbandry and livelihood diversification has also added additional incomes for households.
- National Food Security Act’s annual subsidy to make rice and wheat available at cheap prices further adds to the food security of poor households.
- The resources, if used in convergence, and in a saturation mode and with minimum leakages, have the power to transform the lives of rural households. The dream of one crore beautiful homes for the poor under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana Gramin, connectivity for all eligible rural habitations with all-weather pucca road by March 2019, leveraging bank loans for women SHGs is possible as resources are available to back the vision
II. Thrust on Water Conservation and Livelihood Security
- MGNREGS decided to ensure that at least 60 per cent expenditure under the programme is on agriculture and allied activities with the Mukhymantri Jal Swavalamban Abhiyan in Rajasthan, Neeru-Chettu in Andhra Pradesh, Mission Kakatiya in Telengana, JalyuktaShivar and water conservation initiatives in Maharashtra, ‘Dodha’ farm pond construction in Jharkhand, and a range of State specific water conservation programmes across many states, MGNREGS provided the highest wage employment in 5 years.
- The new Mission Water Conservation Guideline in partnership with Ministry of Water resources and Department of Land Resources, with a thrust on 2264 water distressed Blocks and with a focus on developing technologically sound and scientifically vetted water conservation pans along with capacity building of frontline workers and engineers, is going a long way in improving the quality of intervention and its impact
III. Citizen’s Engagement
- The Department focused on a citizen-centric approach to improve accountability. Special efforts were made through Cluster and Panchayat Facilitation Teams in identified backward Blocks.
- The use of citizen-centric apps like the Meri Sadak app to get a feedback on roads and the Awaas soft app for uploading pictures of PMAY Gramin houses, also helped in connecting with households.
- Public Information Campaign introduced has provisions where Gram Panchayat Office building will display for public scrutiny, all available records of programmes, beneficiaries, etc.
- Cell – phone based Janata Information System is also being launched whereby every programme in the village concerned can be seen by any villager to improve his/her scrutiny of the programme.
- A cadre of social Auditors is being developed from among the Women SHGs after proper training and certification on the social auditing standards that have been notified in consultation with the office of the CAG.
IV. Transparency through IT/DBT and use of Aadhaar
- 98 per cent wage under MGNREGS and 100 per cent payments under PMAY Gramin are on the IT/DBT platform
- Over 5.9 crore MGNREGA labourers already have an Adhaar linked Bank account with their consent.
- The Women SHG Community Resource Persons have offered to become Banking Correspondents or Bank Sakhis and the experience so far is encouraging.
V. Effective Use of Space Technology
- The power of space technology in promoting transparency can be seen in the relentless effects made to geo tag nearly 2 crore assets created under MGNREGS, final selection of beneficiaries under PMAY Gramin after 100 per cent geo tagging of beneficiaries before their old dwelling and for reporting progress of construction. In PMGSY, space technology has been used for monitoring the alignment of roads, the actual road construction distance, and its success in connecting habitation.
- The challenge is to now universalize this application on roads and to do a ‘before, during and after’ geo tagging of all MGNREGS assets.
VI. Leveraging Bank Loans for SHG Women
- Thrust has been given to a detailed monitoring of bank linkage as ultimately, any poverty reduction effort will require access to institutional credit at reasonable rates for diversified economic activity.
- By linking skill development integrally to SHGs, preparedness of households to utilize bank credit effectively is also being augmented.
VII. Speeding up Connectivity
- Nearly 80 percent eligible habitations have already been connected by all-weather roads and the government’s effort is to reach 100 percent by March 2019.
- The use of green and innovative technologies like use of waste plastic fly ash, geo-textiles, cell-filled concrete, cold mix, etc. is also being significantly scaled up to ensure an environmentally appropriate strategy for roads.
- The successful maintenance system of Madhya Pradesh and the community maintenance experiment of Uttarakhand are also to be emulated in other States.
VIII. Need-based Skill Up gradation
- Special training programmes for Barefoot Technicians and Rural Masons aim to reduce over time, the pool of unskilled wage earning households in the country all these programme are formally vetted by the Sector Skill Councils and provide for assessments and certification.
- The Department of Rural Development has brought all its placement based and self-employment skills programmes on to the Common Norms of the Ministry of Skills, to enable basic standards and protocols.
IX. Promoting Innovations for Transformation
- The Aajeevika Grameen Express rural transport scheme, Mission Water Conservation and Rural Road Guidelines, Housing typology studies to develop region specific appropriate technologies and designs for rural housing, the Livelihood in Full Employment (LIFE) initiative under MGNREGS to promote skill development among the MGNREGA workers, are all examples of large scale innovations that have been attempted.
X. Evidence based Monitoring
- Given the diversity of knowledge needs and cutting-edge technologies, the Department has set up High-Level Expert Groups on Human Resources for Results, Information Technology use and challenges, internal audit, market linkage and value chain, engaging the finest minds from and outside government, to steer the R&D programmes effectively.
XI. Implementation in Convergence Mode
- It is the convergent approach that is seen as Mission Antyodaya, a mission to address the multi-dimensionality of poverty.
- What is evidence-based Monitoring? What is the difference between Monitoring and evaluation? Explain
- With examples throw light on how citizen engagement has shaped the course of development in India.
- “Self-Help Groups have not only empowered women, but have also brought about attitudinal change among all stakeholders towards women development.” Discuss.
Creating Casteism Free India
At a time when we are looking towards an India that is united, dignified and developed it is acting as a powerful social and political divisive force causing social conflicts, effecting stability, peace and harmony, manipulating electoral outcomes and effecting sound legislative and executive decision making.
In its most general fundamental aspects it can be described as a scriptive system of status and hierarchy. It is type of social stratification system based gradation of endogamous kinship group with certain considerations of ritual purity reflected in restrictions on commensality and pollution and associated with traditional occupational specialization. Though, at times caste system in linked with Varana system its origin is not traced to religious scriptures. Researches trace the origin of caste system to about 2000 years back in economic, political and material processes of evolution.
Caste in Colonial Period
While caste has been a social reality, for quite long it was the British colonial rule that treated caste as the institutional key stone of Indian society.
- Beginning with the first decennial census of 1871, the census became the main instrument of gathering information about the caste system and classifying it.
- Enumeration of population into rigid categories, particularly with 1901 and 1911 census resulted in hardening of caste identities.
- British rulers themselves used caste system as one of the instruments of divide and rule.
- Some castes were treated preferentially for certain jobs, like in police and army, whereas some were branded as criminal.
- It increased caste consciousness and inter-caste competition, because now it was possible for caste relations to outgrow its regional constraints and develop caste associations to bargain some concessions from the British Government. The arbiters of caste system were, thus, no longer part of the ritual orders, but rather external to it in politics and also in the national movement.
- National leaders attempted to reduce the differences and subsume the social justice issues in national struggle but could not succeed much.
Caste in Independent India
- The framers of the constitution were committed to the formation of an egalitarian, equitable, fraternal and just society. The 1950 Constitution, therefore, eliminated caste system, as instrument of discrimination, restrictions of any kind, particularly the practice of untouchability, through fundamental rights of equality, liberty and freedom.
- At the same time, in accordance with the need of positive actions to eliminate age old deprivation of some sections provisions for affirmative action for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled tribes and backward classes were also incorporated in the Constitution.
- Caste has embedded itself firmly in the politico-economic fabric of the country. The Caste system began to play a significant role in determining the content and direction of political socialisation, mobilisation and institutionalisation within the framework of democracy. This in turn has given rise to what is known as casteism.
- The term Casteism, in general means the tendency of caste or sub-caste groups to maximise economic, social and political advantages of its members to the detriment of the other caste members and society as a whole.
- There are now caste based educational institutions, hostels, housing societies etc. Yes, some of these are playing the important role of bringing the deprived into the mainstream and fulfil their aspirations. In general casteism is causing social disharmony.
Need for elimination:
- During the last few years in elections, particularly for Lok Sabha, caste has been put on a back seat. There are parties and groups for whom caste remains the main plank for mobilisation and campaign. They remain engaged in expanding and consolidating caste support.
- The first step towards reducing casteism is Education. It includes generation and dissemination of awareness about myths associated with the caste system.
- Casteism is one of the greatest social evils plaguing the socio economic development of India. Comment.
- Indianness is not confined to the sectarian prejudices of some of the self-appointed guardians of Indian culture. Analyse.
Farmer’s Welfare Holds the Key
Agriculture provides livelihood support to nearly 55 per cent workforce and also contributes around 14 per cent to national GDP. The government of India made a strong commitment for doubling farmers income by 2022, the 75th anniversary of Indian independence.
- Government consistently increased budget allocation to agriculture and rural sector which a significant 24 percent increase compared to the previous budget.
- Highest ever food production of nearly 274 million tons during 2016-17 is a testimony to the impact and success of new programmes and policies duly supported by our diligent farmers, innovative scientists, extension personnel and other stakeholders.
- In comparison to 2011-14, fisheries production and milk production recorded a high growth of nearly 20 per cent and 17 per cent respectively during 2014-17.
- Overall growth rate of agriculture sector during 2016-17 was recorded as 4.4 per cent which needs to be raised to 10.4 per cent to meet the target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022
Strategic Moves through Novel Schemes
- Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has developed a seven-point strategic plan to realize the vision of New India by focusing on new agriculture and prosperity of farmers.
- The strategic plan is the part of a four – volume report submitted by an expert panel which deliberated extensively on the ways and means for doubling farmer’s income. The strategic plan specifically aims to raise average incomes of agricultural households.
According to the report, India will need cumulative private and public investments of Rs 1.486 trillion (at 2004-05 prices) during this period to attain the goal. The strategy broadly focuses on enhancing crop production, slashing cultivation costs and post-harvest losses and reform of agricultural markets. Value addition of agricultural produce by farm-gate processing facilities, risk mitigation through crop insurance and disaster relief and promotion of high value sectors, such as horticulture and dairy production, are other priority areas of intervention, the report stated.
- Government is striving to enhance water-use efficiency and access to irrigation facilities under the mission ‘Per Drop, More Crop’ which specifically targets expansion of irrigated areas through micro-irrigation techniques.
- Efforts made under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) have substantially increased the area under micro-irrigation from 4.3 lakh hectare in 2013-14 to 8.3 lakh hectare in 2016-17.
- Government’s unique Soil Health Card Scheme is helping farmers to cut down cultivation costs as it ensures balanced use of chemical fertilizers and also enhances soil productivity on sustainable basis. So far, more than 7.1 crore soil health cards have been issued to farmers
- Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) aims to expand the area under organic farming as it ensures higher income to farmers due to comparatively lower cost of cultivation and premium price of organic produce. Farmers are being mobilized for cluster formation on commercial scale with the financial assistance of Government which also supports collection and transportation of organic produce to potential markets
- Pradhan Manri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) is a flagship programme which provides insurance umbrella to all food grains, oilseeds, and annual commercial crops on ‘one season, one rate’ basis at a very low premium. It covers all risks of crop cycle, beginning from preventive sowing to standing crops and post-harvest losses. The scheme is encouraging and attracting investments in agriculture. Realisation of better price in the market is one of the most critical prerequisites for enhancing farmer’s income
- E-NAM (National Agriculture Market) is addressing the issue by integrating over 410 mandis of 13 states on a common e-platform for trading and transactions. This reform has successfully enhanced farmers’ income by avoiding distress sale and middlemen. As an additional impact, wholesale price of commodities is increasing, and according to experts, a 13 per cent raise in crop prices, translates to 9.1 per cent increases in farmer’s income these schemes and programmes need to be implemented in a time bound manner to get the desired impact on farmer’s income enhanced productivity for increased profitability.
- NITI Aayog has brought out a policy paper on the theme ‘Doubling Farmers’ Income’ which elaborates the action plan for ground level implementation. The Paper emphasizes the critical role of irrigation and new technologies in raising productivity per unit of land, and thus farmers’ income from the same area of field. New and improved crop varieties with higher yield level are witnessing a surge in adoption by farmers due to more aggressive extension mechanisms and supply of seeds at affordable prices.
- The apex research body of the country, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) developed and released nearly 600 improved crop varieties during the last three years to push up the productivity at a new level many new farming technologies need to be extensively propagated in fields for raising productivity Precision farming, integrated farming, resource conservation technologies and protected cultivation are just a few examples which hold great promise and potential new machinery such as laser land leveller, precision seeder and planter, and modern farming practice like SRI (System of Rice Intensification) direct seeded rice, zero tillage, raised bed plantation and ridge plantation also promise attractive return on investment which adds to be income of farmers.
- Increasing crop intensity is another technologically sound option for raising income per unit of land. With the availability of irrigation facilities and new techniques, it has now become possible for farmers to raise short duration crops after the main cropping seasons (Kharif and Rabi).
- Integrated Farming System Models have been developed for increasing profitability. Diversification towards high value crops (fruits, vegetables, fibres, condiments and spices, medicinal and aromatic plants) offers a great scope to improve farmers’ income diversifying towards other allied enterprises, such as forestry, processing of agriculture produce.
- NITI Aayog recommended shifting of workforce away from agriculture for improving their income and livelihood opportunities.
- Government of India rechristened the Ministry of Agriculture as Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare in 2015 new vision aims to reduce agrarian distress and bring parity between income of farmers and those working in non-agricultural professions.
Triple Talaq Verdict: A Victory for Muslim Women
The Apex Court’s judgment has ordered the Centre to frame a law on Triple Talaq in the Parliament within six months, besides imposing a ban on the practice during this period.
- The five – judge bench of the Supreme Court struck down triple talaq by a 3-2 majority. The nation is now free from the malpractices of Triple Talaq. The three judges termed Triple Talaq as violation of spirit of Article 14 (the Right to Equality) of the Constitution several Islamic countries disallow Triple Talaq.
- Due to lack of a sound provision for marriage, divorce and alimony, most of the Muslim women suffer a worse life attitude of Muslim society towards their women has been very discriminatory while most of the Muslim men were in favour of Triple Talaq, the women stood completely against it.
- A Survey carried out by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) revealed that 92.1 per cent of Muslim women in India were pushing hard to put an end to verbal and instant Talaq.
Innovation Led Reforms for New India
The “New India” that inspires, motivates, disrupts governance; empower to partner with the government and emphasizes on inclusive growth of country “Every citizen has something or the other to contribute in the journey of our nation’s growth”: This is the first ever initiative taken by Central Government’s think tank NITI Aayog where the top brass of government has made it a reality through ‘Champions of Change’ – an attempt to bring entrepreneurs from varied industries in direct dialogue with the government and hare their vision for the ‘New India’ of their dreams.
- The key decision – making team of the government listened to the presentations, and the points made in them will surely benefit effective governance as well as their policy making, from a 360 degree view of the issues/challenges that is going to come up during the reform process.
- The initiative is to facilitate more such creative and innovative technology plat forms, systemic reforms to nurture the curiosity, creativity and imagination of youth of our country to achieve the dream of New India as per their desire
- In order to make governance effective for all citizens of our country, visible reforms were taken by government such as
- Scraping the 1200 odd laws which were ineffective but were in existence, increasing the reach of banking and financial sector to the last man of the society through Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojana (PMJDY), dismantling the procedures for governance and making is visible and transparent growth, provide an opportunity to partner and do business through Government e-Marketplace (Gem).
- Stellar initiatives on gender parity, agriculture developments climate change, renewable energy, mobility, communication, digital transformation in financial sector, and many more have now poised to pave the way for the New India- the New India that is fulfilling the dream and ambition of the youth. India’s development has to become a mass movement.
- The major initiatives of government such as, Atal Innovation Mission, National IPR Policy, Startup India, Make in India, NITI Aayog lead Champions of Change and Digital economy are going to fuel the development.
Atal Innovation Mission (AIM):
- AIM is established with a mission to catalyse the growth of our country through innovation, entrepreneurship disruption in the education system.
- The objective of Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATL) is to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds.
- ATL will be platform for our nation’s budding talent to clearly and persuasively communicate their ideas and craft concepts addressing critical questions. The lab will provide a creative platform for young students that will be equipped with to do kind of kits on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine) education, Communication, Robotics and other experimental setups, through that they could learn and play from.
- The Lab plans to use the concept of experiential learning to ignite their passion for creating and innovating by providing these tools and scientific instruments.
This is just the beginning of a long journey to realize the dream of “Creative India – Innovative India” in its true sense to foster creativity and innovation and thereby, promote entrepreneurship and enhance socio-economic and cultural development.
Zero Tolerance to Corruption
Smart Governance has given the roadmap for India’s fight against corruption
Zero Tolerance to Corruption Approach
India’s “zero tolerance to corruption” approach, as well as “minimum government and maximum governance” approach resulted in simplification of the governance model in recent years. Some of the steps included abolition of the system of attestation/ authentication by Government servants for submission of certificates, abolition of personal interviews for recruitments to lower level posts servants and those of doubtful integrity above the age of 50 years, prematurely. Government demonetized high value currency to eliminate black money and corruption. Special Investigation Team was constituted to fight black money. Government also conducted online auctions of coal blocks. The Government sought international cooperation in G-20 meetings on ending tax havens in Europe and other countries. In bilateral meetings with Swiss authorities India has said combating the menace of black money and tax evasion was a “shared priority” for both the countries.
Frameworks to Fight Corruption
Prevention of Corruption Act, an independent Central Vigilance Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General, the Judges (Inquiry) Act, the Lok Pal and LokAyukta Act 2013, Whistle Blowers Protection Act 2011, Prevention of Money / Laundering Act, Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act. All civil servants are mandatorily required to declare their assets on an annual basis. The Elected Representatives are required to declare their assets every election cycle.
- The Jan Dhan Yojana provided universal and clear access to banking accounts with overdraft facility. The Jan Dhan Scheme provided the bankers with the necessary confidence to promote credit culture across the deprived population and resulted in significant increases in credit flows to the rural sector.
- Aadhaar Act was promulgated as a money bill to ensure targeted delivery of financial and other subsides, benefits and services.
- BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) which is a mobile application developed by National Payments Corporation of India based on Unified payment Interface (UPI). The BHIM application facilitates e-payments directly through banks, promoted the drive towards cashless transactions, enabling the user to instantly transfer money between the bank accounts of any two parties and can be used on all mobile devices.
- The JAM (Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile) technology trinity enabled by payments through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has made mobile banking as simple as sending an email. Clearances using the National Electronics Transfer of Funds (NEFT), Real Time Gross Settlements (RTGS), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) and Electronic Clearing System (ECS) are rapidly integrating into the mainstream banking section activities.
Focus on Preventive Vigilance:
- The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) traces its origins to the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by Shri K. Santhanam.
- The Santhanam committee identified 4 major causes of corruption namely, administrative delays, government taking upon themselves more than what they could manage by way of regulatory functions, scope for personal discretion in the exercise of powers by different public servants and cumbersome procedures.
- Based on the recommendations of the Santhanam committee, the Central Vigilance Commission was established in 1964 by a Government of India resolution as an apex body for prevention of corruption in Central Government Institutions statutory status was conferred on the Vigilance Commission inquire or to cause inquiries to be conducted into offences alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 by public servants and corporations.
- The CVC has endeavoured to ensure transparency, objectivity and accountability into the administration. Measures like Government E-Market (GEM) have helped improve the accountability and integrity in public procurement by encouraging e-tendering and e-procurement promote ethics through education of students and youth, observance of vigilance awareness weeks, process simplification to reduce discretion and interface with public servants, focus on training and skill development in all cases of proven misconduct to create deterrence sought to create a people’s movement against corruption through an e-pledge to be voluntarily taken by the citizens and organizations. An integrity index for organizations has been developed for enabling transparency, efficiency and citizen centric governance.
Strengthening Audit and Accounting:
- Since 2014, the C&AG adapted to the Government’s reforms in financial governance in the organization’s accounting and auditing practices.
- Some of the big changes introduced in financial governance are amalgamation of the Railways and General budgets, the merger of plan and non-plan expenditures, opening up of a number of sectors for foreign direct investment and the introduction of Goods and Services Tax.
- The urban local bodies and Panchayati Raj Institutions that constitute the third tier of Government receive close to Rs 14 lakh crores annually, but suffer from poor governance systems, weak financial management and poor accountability. T
- The C & AG has identified their audit as a critical area that must be clearly understood from the perspective of materiality and risk and addressed accordingly. The changing paradigms in revenue administration, including the challenges posed by shadow economy and black money, transfer pricing, accommodation bills etc. and the need to manage large volumes of digital information that will emerge from increasing automation of tax filing, assessment and recovery procedures have also been recognised.
Transparency in Governance:
- The Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005 is a rights based law that has deepened India’s democracy and created a durable stake for citizens in the administration of the Nation. The RTI Act has led to improvements in governance. By sharing information, the citizens have become a part of the decision making process, which leads to creation of trust between citizens and Government.
The Lok Pal and LokAyukta Act 2013:
- The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 amended some provisions of the CVC Act, 2003 wherein the Central Vigilance Commission was empowered to conduct preliminary enquiry into the complaints referred by Lokpal in respect of officers and officials of Group B, C and D, besides Group A officers for which a Directorate of Inquiry would be set up in the Commission.
Prevention of Corruption:
- The prevention of Corruption Act law provides for punishments for taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of official acts. The investigative powers have been given to the CBI and State Police Authorities. Government has proposed an Amendment Bill to the Prevention of Corruption Act to replace the definition of criminal misconduct that requires the intention to acquire assets disproportionate to one’s income also needs to be proved in addition to the possession of such assets, thereby raising the threshold to establish the offence of having disproportionate assets.
Safe Guards for Whistle Blowers:
- In order to give statutory protection to whistle blowers in the country, the Public Interest Disclosures and Protection to Persons making the Disclosures Bill, 2011 was introduced. This was done with a view to incorporate necessary provisions aimed at strengthening safeguards against disclosures which may prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of the country, security of the State, etc.
- The amendments addressed concerns relating to national security and strengthened the safeguards against disclosures which may prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of the country
Crackdown on Benami Transactions:
- Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amended Act, 2016 empowers the Income Tax authorities to provisionally attach benami properties which can eventually be confiscated person is found guilty of offence of benami transaction by the competent court.
- He shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term not less than one year but which may extend to 7 years and shall also be liable to a fine which may extend to 25 per cent of the fair market value of the property.
Energizing Youth through Skill Development
- Indian economy is one of the largest in the world with an average GDP growth rate of 7 per cent over the last two decades. The service sector is the biggest contributor to the GDP of the country followed by industry and agriculture. Around half of our country’s labour force is self-employed and around 93 per cent of them work in the unorganized sector.
- India’s working age population is projected to touch 170 million by 2020 based on the rate of its population growth, increased work force participation and rising higher education enrolment.
- If we do not train out young workforce now, we run the risk of not only losing the fruits of our young and dynamic working-age population but are also turning our demographic dividend into a demographic disaster.
- Lack of quality education has resulted in higher instances of employability deficit among youth. Continuing high drop-out rates schools and colleges coupled with lack of entrepreneurial motivation and orientation have also caused widespread unemployment “energising the youth through education, skills and jobs is one of the primary focuses of the government”.
- Capacity building in existing systems of training, maintaining quality and relevance in training, creating institutional mechanism and financing these training initiatives are some of the challenges for skill development that the government has to face in the coming years, the report states.
Skill India Programme:
- A new ministry has been formed by the Government of India for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE)
- The National Policy on Skill Development envisions enhancing employability among the labour force of the country in the midst of technological advancement and labour market demands. It aspires to increase productivity in the economy and strengthen the competitiveness of the country to raise the standard of living of the poor.
- Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) is a skill development programme that identifies industry-relevant kills required to acquire gainful employment for the youth. It is a flagship programme that intends to recognize the knowledge acquired and skills equipped by the participants by certification. Prior learning experience or skills will also be assessed and certified under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Under the programme, short term training courses are conducted by PKVY training centres.
- The target group for the Skill India constitute all those in the labour force including those who are entering the job market. It also included those who are in the organized and the unorganized sectors.
- Schemes under PMKVY are implemented through National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). The National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development was set up to offer training, consultancy, research, etc. in order to promote entrepreneurship.
Enabling Environment for Entrepreneurship:
- Universities are establishing incubation centre and appointing mentors to support student entrepreneurs in their start-up ventures. A study conducted by ISEED found that 87 per cent of the students surveyed aspired to become entrepreneurs at a point in life and majority of them (90 per cent) believe that the country is full of entrepreneurial opportunities.
- Indeed the study reports entrepreneurial aspirations higher among economically weaker sections (49 per cent) compared to their economically stronger counterparts.
- The economy is also increasingly becoming knowledge based. The modern workplace culture demands new skills and attitudes among the potential employees. The Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad which was established to provide comprehensive education and training in entrepreneurship to the country’s youth also conducts for children in order to boost their confidence and entrepreneurship oriented motivation to tap their entrepreneurial instincts.
- With over 1.5 million schools and more than 315 million students enrolled, India has one of the largest school education systems in the world
Suggestions and Road Ahead to create more Skill-Preneurs:
- Gender focus is importance to advance women and transgender focused skill development initiatives and promote entrepreneurship among the discriminated genders and to ensure “inclusivity for all”.
- Lack of education and skill is a major impediment among the marginalized communities. Entrepreneurship motivation coupled with hands-on training can address the deficiencies.
- The training programmes must offer “diversified services portfolio” in order to cater to the diverse beneficiaries whose social, economic and day to day life experiences are different
- Experts and scholars working in the fields of entrepreneurship education and skill development should come together to develop a comprehensive and accessible “online assessment tools and training curriculum.
- They must also compile discursive list of international standards prescribed for vocational education and skill training for securing gainful employment. There should be provision for regular up gradation of vocational education framework under National Skill Qualification Framework
- Government and other institutional bodes must engage in impact evaluation of government schemes and incentives on entrepreneurship development programmes to reduce financial stress and promote partnerships with domestic skill-entrepreneurship development players for better institutional interaction.
- Funding – linked – training mechanism to encourage enterprise creation should be devised
- Incubation and acceleration development programmes should be facilitated to assist hi-tech entrepreneurs and skill-preneurs.
Entrepreneurship schools, Management Institutes, Incubation centres, Government and other agencies can create an enabling entrepreneurship ecosystem and influence the markets to bring meaningful reforms in New-India.
Role of Women in New India by 2012
On 15 August, 2017, the Prime Minister unveiled his vision for new India from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort. In his fourth Independence Day speech, he urged the fellow citizens to come forward to build a New India by 2022. Outlining his vision, the Prime Minister explored the strengths of the Indian society and successful journey of independent India in the last 70 years. Government has chosen 2022 as the target year as it marks the completion of 75 years of independence. The ‘New India’ initiative envisages that the poor shall have concrete houses, access to electricity, healthcare, sanitation and education, farmers’ incomes shall be doubled, there must be ample opportunities for the youth and women, and India would be free of scourges such as communalism, casteism and terrorism by 2022. It is not a new program per se but the amalgamation of all the ongoing government programs and the achievement of the expected targets within five years. For this a new slogan has been given by the PM, “Sankalp Se Siddhi” which means “Attainment through Resolve”
- The constitution of India has given special attention to the needs of women and children to enable them to exercise their rights and to safeguard their interests.
- The Constitution guarantees all Indian women equality (Article 14), no discrimination by State (Article 15 (1)), equality of opportunity (Article 16), and equal pay for equal work (Article 39(d)). In addition, it allows special provisions to be made by the State for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief (Article 42)
- The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992 ensured reservation of one third of seats for women in all elected offices of local bodies, in rural and urban areas
- The Ministry of Women Child Development (MWC) carved out of Ministry o Human Resource Development as a separate Ministry on 30th January 2006. It is the nodal ministry for all matters pertaining to development of women and children in the country
- The National Commission for Women was constituted as a national apex statutory body in 1992 for protecting and safeguarding the rights of women.
- India is also signatory to a number of International Conventions, primarily the Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and has recently endorsed the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- India’s female workforce participation at 25.5 per cent is lower than even Somalia where 37 per cent of women are engaged in active workforce.
- Further, in India about 43 per cent of women of working age (15-59 years) only work at home for which they don’t get any monetary remuneration in 2006 gender-responsive budgeting was first started in India. This money is spent on a variety of centrally administered programs, which include saving girls from death, supporting rape victims, better health and nutrition for mothers and daughters, incentives to allow girls to be born and nurtured.
- Gender Budget (GB) initiatives was started to analyse how governments raise and spend public money, with the aim of securing gender equality in decision making about public resources allocation:
- The GB funds two types of government schemes. First in schemes which have 100 per cent provision for women and secondly schemes where the allocations for women constitute at least 30 per cent of the provision.
- GB is positive and significant for education enrolment and health equality, and can potentially improve gender equality at large.
- The rationale for gender budgeting arises from recognition of the fact that national budgets impact men and women differently through the pattern of resource allocation.
- India was ranked 87th in the Global Gender Grap Index 2016, according to the World Economic Forum, a jump of 21 places from 2015.
- In women’s health, India ranked 142nd in the index, third from bottom, Apart from the central government, 17 states have adopted Gender Budgeting.
- Women constitute 48 percent of India’s population, but they lag behind men on many social indicators like health, education, economic opportunities etc. Hence, they warrant special attention due to their vulnerability and lack of access resources.
- The ministry is responsible for the implementation of major schemes, such as the BetiBachao, BetiPadhao (Save the girl child, Educate the girl child), Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and National Nutrition Mission (NNM) and for the proper monitoring and implementation of these schemes GB becomes imperative.
There is a strong need for wage differentials between men and women. The Government should effectively secure the participation of women in the decision-making process at National, State, and Local levels. Thus the extension of women’s rights is the basic principle of all the social progress and for making new India by 2022.