GENERAL STUDIES PAPER 2
Topic: Welfare Schemes
PM launches Pradhan Mantri Saubhagya Yojana; dedicates Deendayal Urja Bhawan to the nation
Prime Minister launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, or Saubhagya.
Objective and details of the scheme:
With an aim to provide last mile electrical connectivity and ensure electrification of all the willing rural and urban households, the Prime Minister launched Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, also known as Saubhagya Scheme.
The funds will be provided, largely by the central government to all the states and Union Territories.
It mandates the states and Union Territories to complete all household electrification by 31st of December 2018. The scheme is in line with the Government’s agenda to provide 24/7 power for all by 2019.
- Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) of 2011 will be used as the basis to determine the beneficiaries for free electricity connections.
- The other un-electrified households are required to bear a charge of Rs. 500 in order to get an electricity connection, which the electricity distribution companies of India (DISCOMS) would recover in 10 installments as a part of their electricity bill.
- The nodal agency for implementation of the scheme across the country would be – the Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC)
- Transformers, meters, wires and other such equipments will be made available at subsidized prices.
- For rural households without electricity in remote and inaccessible areas, solar power packs of 200Wp-300Wp with battery banks will be provided. The same would be repaired and maintained for 5 years from the date of installation. It will consist of a DC power plug, DC fan and five LED lights.
- Mobile application would be used for survey of households. It provides for on spot registration of identified beneficiaries by obtaining their application for electricity connection with identity proof and photograph.
- The Gram Panchayats or Public Institutions in rural areas are required to take care of the application process and documentation. They shall, in consultation with Panchayat Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies be authorized to distribute bills and collect revenue.
Implementation of the Saubhagya Scheme is expected to result in
- Reduced environmental degradation by ruling out the use of Kerosene for lighting purposes.
- Improved educational services.
- Improved health services.
- Improvement in communication.
- Improvement in public safety and quality of life, primarily for women.
- Increased employment opportunities.
- Increased economic activity.
Electrifying over 18000 unelectrified villages within 1000 days.
Topic: Child Welfare
PENCIL Portal launch at the National Conference on Child Labour
National Conference on Child Labour being organized by Ministry of Labour & Employment
- The census 2011 showed a substantial decline in child labour as compared to the data of Census 2001, but a lot is required to be done to protect their childhood.
Steps taken to eradicate the child labour:
- Government has enacted the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 which came into force with effect from 1st September, 2016.
- With this amendment, employment of a child below 14 years is completely prohibited in any occupation or processes.
- First time the age of child is linked with the age of the child in the Right of Children to free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
- Also, for the first time the definition of adolescent has been introduced and the ambit of the Act is enhanced to include adolescent in the age group of 14-18 years. The amendment prohibits the employment of adolescent in hazardous occupations and processes.
- The National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme to rehabilitate working children by eliminating all forms of child labour through identification and withdrawal of all children in the Project Area from child labour, Preparing children withdrawn from work for mainstream education along with vocational training.
- The genesis of the portal is in the felt need to create a robust implementing and monitoring mechanism for both enforcement of the legislative provisions and effective implementation of the NCLP especially in the backdrop that the subject of Labour is in the concurrent list and enforcement to a large extent depends of respective State Governments.
- It was felt that an online portal which connects Central Government to State Government, District and to all Project Societies would provide a mechanism for implementation. In this backdrop the online portal PENCIL was conceptualized.
PENCIL Portal has following components:
- Child Tracking System
- Complaint Corner
- State Government
- National Child Labour Project