President of India distributes free LPG connections under PMUY at Jangipur
- The President of India distributed free LPG connections to 11 women under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in West Bengal.
- With this, the Central Government has distributed 2.5 crore LPG connections under PMUY among the poor and marginalized households across the country since its launch.
- The PMUY was launched by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on May 1, 2016.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
- Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is an ambitious social welfare scheme of Narendra Modi Government launched on 1st May 2016 from Ballia in Uttar Pradesh.
- The scheme is aimed at replacing the unclean cooking fuels mostly used in the rural India with the clean and more efficient LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas).
- Ujjwala Yojana is aimed at providing 5 Crore LPG connections in the name of women in BPL (Below Poverty Line) households across the country.
- This is the first time in the history of the country that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas would implement a welfare scheme benefitting crores of women belonging to the poorest households.
- The main mantra of this scheme is Swacch Indhan, Behtar Jeevan – Mahilaon ko mila samman.
Some of the objectives of the scheme are:
- Empowering women and protecting their health.
- Reducing the serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuel.
- Reducing the number of deaths in India due to unclean cooking fuel.
- Preventing young children from significant number of acute respiratory illnesses caused due to indoor air pollution by burning the fossil fuel.
Background/context to the scheme
- In our country, the poor have limited access to cooking gas (LPG).
- The spread of LPG cylinders has been predominantly in the urban and semi-urban areas with the coverage mostly in middle class and affluent households.
- But there are serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuels.
- According to WHO estimates, about 5 lakh deaths in India alone due to unclean cooking fuels.
- Most of these premature deaths were due to non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.
- Indoor air pollution is also responsible for a significant number of acute respiratory illnesses in young children. According to experts, having an open fire in the kitchen is like burning 400 cigarettes an hour.
- Providing LPG connections to BPL households will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country. This measure will empower women and protect their health. It will reduce drudgery and the time spent on cooking. It will also provide employment for rural youth in the supply chain of cooking gas.
National Cooperative Development Corporation releases Rs.28771.31 crore in the year 2014-17 : Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister
Role of Cooperatives in Indian Agriculture and Economy
- The Indian cooperative movement has sustained itself as one of the biggest cooperative movements in the world. The reach of cooperative in India is from village to national level.
The reach of cooperatives in India
- There are more than 7 lakh cooperatives in the country, which extends from village level committees to national level co-operative organisations.
- The cooperatives membership is over 40 crores and it includes about 97% villages and 71% rural households.
- Today, 16.9 per cent of agricultural cooperation, 29 percent of fertiliser production, 40 percent of sugar production, and 54 percent of weavers’ cooperatives etc. are being contributed to the Indian economy.
In the sectors of agriculture and economy
- Indian cooperatives have firmly established themselves in many sectors of the economy like dairy, banking, sugar, fertilisers, marketing, handloom, fisheries and construction.
- The cooperative societies facilitated the way of farmers by providing them with the inputs like loan, fertilisers and seeds.
- Today, the dairy cooperatives have carved an exclusive identity in the country and abroad.
- If there has been the growth of sugar mills, credit committees along with dairy in Gujarat and Maharashtra, the southern states witnessed the growth of fisheries and forests based cooperatives.
Role of National Cooperative Development Corporations
- The National Cooperative Development Corporations provides assistance to the cooperatives for their overall development, which includes grants and loans from the Government. In Gujarat, financial assistance has been provided for the computerization of dairies, storage and cold storage cooperatives as well as sugar, textile and consumer cooperatives.
- Cooperative education and training program is an important component of cooperative development.
- This is a continuous process to enable cooperatives. Training is necessary so that the committees get qualified and professional leadership.
- Until the efficient human resources are available, the extension of cooperatives will decrease.
- Therefore, there is a need for strengthening cooperative education and training system.
- The National Cooperative Development Corporations is making a concerted effort to develop cooperative movement in the country and is playing a significant role in educating, guiding and providing support to the member organisations for strengthening the cooperative sector.