UPSC Exam Preparation-Gist of Yojana March 2019 Issue: Development

UPSC Exam Preparation: Gist of Yojana March 2019 Issue: Development

Table of Contents: Development

1. Introduction

2. Budget: An Overview

3. Strengthening the Financial System

4. Good Governance: Cornerstone to Development

5. Paving the Way for Better Health Outcomes

6. Unleashing Youth Power for Development

7. Social Inclusion: Strategies and Way Forward

8. Harnessing Women Power of Development

9. Developing a Successful School System

10. Upholding the Right of the Child to Thrive

11. Making India ‘Most Old Age Friendly’

Chapter 1: Introduction

For a nation development has wide-ranging perspectives. It means improvement in various sectors relating to a country’s economy, issues affecting daily life of the common man, child development, gender justice etc. It also entails inclusive growth.

  • Financial inclusion is at the core of fiscal development of nation.
  • Good governance is another vital aspect of national development because it ensures that the schemes and programmes of the Government reach the persons they are targeted towards.
  • Key reforms in education, health, child development, regional development, legal, police and judicial reforms are all part of good governance.
  • Health care is another key area which ensures the development of a nation. Improvement in health services and broadening of the range of health services to reach the poorest of the poor; in the remotest of areas has been the aim of Government schemes.
  • Interventions for social inclusion of the weaker sections is another important parameter for the development of the nation.
  • Developments in the fields of education, child development, and case of living for the elderly are other important parameters for the development of the nation.
  • Ensuring gender justice and empowering women to be at the forefront of national development is also an important factor in the development of a nation. In fact, the call is now for women-led development rather than development of women.

Youth are the future of any nation and empowering them is important for the development of the nation. India, today, enjoys the benefit of the demographic dividend and this power should be unleashed so that the nation surges ahead. Programmes and policies which create opportunities for youth in education, skill development, employment and self-employment opportunities is the need of the hour.

The Father of the Nation had observed “Recall the face of the poorest and weakest man you have seen, and ask yourself if this step you contemplate is going to be any use to him”. These words convey the entire spectrum of development and should be the cornerstone of all development policies.

Chapter 2: Budget: An Overview

The Interim Budget was presented on February 1, 2019. A Vote on Account to cover the Government’s requirement of funds for the first four months (April to July) of the next financial year i.e. 2019-20 was also sought.

Farm Sector:

  • A scheme called ‘Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) is for the farm sector.
    • Under this programme, vulnerable landholding farmer families, having cultivable land upto 2 hectares, will be provided direct income support at the rate of Rs 6,000 per year.
    • This income support will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of beneficiary farmers, in three equal installments of Rs 2,000 each 86 per cent of operational land holdings are expected to benefit from this programme.
  • The Interim Budget also proposed various other measures for the farm sector which include:
    • Benefit of 2% interest subvention to the farmers pursuing activates of animal husbandry and fisheries who avail loan through Kisan Credit Card.
    • Further, in case of timely repayment of loan they will also get an additional 3 per cent interest subvention.
    • All farmer affected by severe natural calamities, where assistance is provided from National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF), will be provided the benefit of interest subvention of 2 per cent and prompt repayment incentive of 3 per cent for the entire period of re-schedulement of their loans
    • Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog to be set upscale sustainable genetic up-gradation of cow resources and to enhance production and productivity of cows

Work Force:

  • The, ‘Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan,’ a mega pension scheme for the unorganised sector workers with monthly income upto Rs 15,000 has been introduced in the budget.
    • This pension yojana will provide an assured monthly pension of Rs 3,000 from the age of 60 years on a monthly contribution of a small affordable amount during their working period.
    • An unorganised sector worker joining pension yojana at the age of 29 years will have to contribute only Rs 100 per month till the age of 60 years.
    • The Government will deposit equal matching share in the pension account of the worker every month.
    • Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) will manage the scheme.
    • Beneficiaries will be identified on the basis of Socio-Economic Caste Census and also on the basis of data collected by Labour Bureau.

De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic communities:

  • The Interim Budget proposed that a Committee under NITI Aayog will be set up to complete the task of identifying De-notified, Nomadie and Semi-Nomadic communities.
  • Also, Welfare Development Board is to be set up specifically for the purpose of implementing welfare and development programmes for such communities.

Chapter 3: Strengthening the Financial System

Financial Inclusion may be defined as the process of ensuring access to financial services and timely and adequate credit where needed by vulnerable groups such as weaker sections and low income groups at an affordable cost.

Advantages of ensuring financial inclusion:

  • Financial Inclusion facilitates access to the financial system, allowing them to build financial and physical assets, seek credit for their education, healthcare and businesses and also save for unexpected exigencies and old age.
  • It helps in reducing poverty and inequality.
  • It also offers an array of financial services that provide protection in case of untimely death or accident of the bread earner and also provides a safety net in old age.
  • Financial Inclusion means greater transparency, converting cash transactions into account transaction, strengthening the banking system and credit creation process, reducing black money, corruption and providing the common man benefits of equal rights on the resources of the country.
  • It also facilitates investing in bank deposits, contributing to insurance products, participating in stock markers and other financial instruments by removing unfounded fears about efficiency and stability of the financial system, instruments, and financial assets etc.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY):

  • The financial inclusion program, known as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) with zero balance is helping people to become part and parcel of the mainstream of economic development.
  • The PMJDY provides access to different financial services like availability of basic savings bank account, access to need-based credit, remittances facility insurance and pension to the excluded sections i.e. weaker sections and low-income groups.
  • It provides interest on deposit, accidental insurance cover of Rs. One lakh, no minimum balance requirement, a life insurance cover of Rs 30,000, overdraft facility after 6 months, access to pension, insurance product, RuPay Debit Card and Overdraft facility up to Rs 5000/- to only one account per household.

Mudra Yojana:

  • As part of financial inclusion, the Mudra Yojana aims to generate employment and promote startups to strengthen the availability of credit up to 10 lakhs to poor and small entrepreneurs.
  • Beside, several other schemes have been initiated to ensure access to the social security system through the
    • Atal Pension Yojana
    • Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana
    • Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana etc.

Way forward:

  • Financial Inclusion is globally considered to be a critical indicator of development and well-being of society.
  • Inclusive Financial Development is the need of the hour.
  • For Financial Inclusion to be more effective there is a need for digital infrastructure and digital literacy in small towns and rural India.
  • Peer to peer lending platforms, credit penetration, and creation of a credit inclusive society should be encouraged.
  • There is a need to encourage FINTECH (financial technology) use of software and modern technology i.e. use of smart phones, for mobile banking, investing services and crypto currency (to be issued by Reserve Bank), block chain to help make financial services more accessible to the general public.
  • Financial literacy drives need to be more aggressive and driven at the school level where students develop a culture of understanding and transacting through the accounts and continue to do so for their lifetime.
  • It would be possible if people better understand the financial products and services and their role in their daily live.

Chapter 4: Good Governance: Cornerstone to Development

Global and Indian history is replete with example of how good governance has improved the lives of the people and bad governance has destroyed races and nations. In Indian mythology, the emphasis on governance and sustainable development can be traced back to time immemorial. The Bhagvad Gita provides numerous cues for good governance, leadership, dutifulness and self-realization which are continuously re-interpreted in the modern context. Even in Kautilya’s Arthshastra (2nd – 3rd century BC), welfare of people was considered paramount in the role of the King. Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation also emphasized “su-raj” which essentially means good governance. In a more recent context, the importance of governance is clearly inscribed in the Indian Constitution which is built on the premise of a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular and Democratic Republic committing itself to democracy, the rule of law and welfare of the people.

Eight pillars of good governance:

  • The United Nations has defined eight pillars of good governance as:
    1. Consensus oriented
    2. Accountable
    3. Transparent
    4. Responsible
    5. Equitable and inclusive
    6. Effective and efficient
    7. Follows the rule of law
    8. Participatory

Also under the Sustainable Development goals, Goal 16 can be considered to be directly linked as it is dedicated towards improvement in governance, inclusion, participation, rights and security.

Development Agenda India@75:

  • NITI Aayog has brought out a comprehensive document viz. “Strategy for New India @75” spelling out the broad roadmap for the 75th year of India’s Independence.
  • This comprehensive document, comprising 41 Chapters covering almost all sectors, spells out current status, binding constraints and strategies to not only enable India to become at 4 trillion dollar economy by 2022 but also lay a solid foundation for clean, inclusive, sustained and sustainable growth for the next three decades.
  • Of these, as many as 7 chapters focus on governance, covering subjects such as balanced regional development, legal, judicial and police reforms, transforming aspirational districts, civil service reforms, city governance, optimizing use of land resources, and data led governance.
  • In the remaining chapters also, especially those relating to social sectors, good governance remains the key for better service delivery and more effective outcomes.

Aspirational Districts Programme:

  • The Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) was launched in January 2018 to transform the lives of people in the under-developed areas of the county in a time bound manner.
  • Anchored in NITI Aayog, the programme is aimed at transforming 115 most backward districts with focused interventions in the field of health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water management, financial inclusion and skill development.
  • The ADP is a landmark initiative that aims to address governance issues by using a combination of approaches: lifting levels of aspirations through a vision and district plan, adequate institutional arrangements, convergence in all stakeholders’ efforts and above all, ranking-based public competition among the districts by setting up a real-time monitoring mechanism.

Direct Benefits Transfer:

  • Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) aims to develop a governance regime which ensures a simple and user-friendly Government to People (G2P) interface and directly delivers entitlements to eligible individuals and households in a fair, transparent, efficient and reliable manner.
  • It helps in achieving multiple benefits.
    • It cuts down the multiple layers for delivery of any benefit.
    • It reduces the delay in payments.
    • It helps in accurate targeting of the beneficiaries
    • It facilitates curbing pilferage and duplication of beneficiaries.

Civil Service, Legal, Judicial and Police Reforms:

  • A major area of governance reforms is the reorientation of the administrative set up, legal/ judicial system and maintaining law and order.
  • With change in the socio-economic fabric, emergence of new mechanism of service delivery and over 2.7 crore cases pending in various courts, this is an area enquiring urgent attention. NITI Aayog, in its document on New India @75, has made a number of suggestions in the areas of civil service, legal/judicial and police reforms.
  • These include the following:
  • Improve the teeth to tail ratio and promote an officer-oriented culture.
  • Reduce the number of current 60 plus separate civil services at the central and state level through rationalization and harmonization of services.
  • Encourage lateral entry by inducting specialists especially at higher levels.
  • Bring down entry age in civil services.
  • Strengthen municipal cadres and outsource service delivery in possible areas.
  • Develop an inclusive citizen centric framework in terms of service delivery, grievance Redressal and public access to information with enhanced use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
  • Ensure probity in governance by strengthening institutional mechanisms for prevention and detection of corruption, while at the same time protect honest civil servants.

Legal Reforms:

  • Create a repository of all existing central and state laws, rules and regulations.
  • Repeal redundant laws and remove restrictive clauses in existing laws
  • Reform criminal justice and procedural laws with focus on pre-institution mediation
  • Reduce the criminalization of violations, and move towards compounding of minor offences
  • Prioritize court process automation and ICT enablement for electronic court and case management
  • Introduce an administrative cadre in the judicial system

Police Reforms:

  • Modernizing police forces and implementing the Model Police Act of 2015.
  • States to ensure greater representation of women in the police force
  • Introduction of remodeled training modules, refresher courses and continuing education for police personnel.
  • Reform of the First Information Report (FIR) lodging mechanism, including introducing filing e-FIRs for minor offences.
  • Launch a common nation-wide emergency number to attend to emergency security needs of citizens.
  • Instituting a separate cadre for cybercrimes, cyber threats and fraud.

E-Governance:

  • To ensure a New India by 2022, some fundamental principles may need to be prioritized. These include making services available to the public in a faceless, paperless and cashless mode; providing connectivity and digital identity to all; targeting benefits through Aadhaar enabled DBT; simplifying forms and processes and providing e-platforms.
  • Every Ministry/Department needs to have a closer look at the schemes, its implementation, monitoring and evaluation framework with trust on outcomes, not mere outputs or expenditure incurred.
  • Wherever possible, ICT and in due course Artificial Intelligence should be used for better outcomes.
  • Civil society, corporates, markets and citizens at large need to be involved in holistic development.
  • Artificial Intelligence can, in due course, play a major role in better implementation.
  • At the same time, portals such as Centralized Public Grievance Redressal and Monitoring System (CPGRAMs) the Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance (UMANG) and the MyGov need to be make more effective in information exchange, seeking feedback and addressing the grievances of citizens.

To summarize, good governance needs to continue being the cornerstone of various initiatives. Once implemented in letter and  spirit, the goals set for not only New India 2022, but also Sustainable Development Goals 2030 will be in the greater realm of achievement, more sooner than later.

TID-BITS:

  • Swachh Shakti 2019, a convention of Women Sarpanches was organized in Kurukshetra recently.
  • Swachh Shakti-2019 is a national event which aims to bring in to focus the leadership role played by rural women in Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • Best practices from grass root level in the rural areas for Swachh Bharat were shared by them.
  • The event also showcased the Swachh Sunder Shauchalay, unique and first of its kind in the world campaign.
  • Swachh Skakti is an example of how at the grass root level, rural women champion are acting as change agents to mobilize the community and lead from the front.

Chapter 5: Paving the Way for Better Health Outcomes

In the recent year, the health and economic growth linkage has become an important rationale and rallying point for countries to work towards advancing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by focusing on improving services provisions and developing mechanisms for financial protection. India has also committed to achieve UHC as part of the country’s National Health Policy 2017 (NHP-2017) .

Improving Health Services:

  • There have been initiatives by both Union and State governments in India to improve health outcomes.
  • First, the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and then National Urban Health Mission have created foundation for strengthening provision of health services in India.
  • Ayushman Bharat Program (ABP) has components to strengthen primary health care and health insurance for 40 per cent of the poorest families in India.
  • Better health of people is intrinsically linked to and contributes to economic growth and overall development of a nation. Health is a social contract between people and government.
  • The global discourse on advancing universal health coverage is an opportunity for the governments at all levels to increase government spending on health, improve overall health services provision; make provision of public health services; and to develop mechanisms for providing financial protection.

Broad Ranging of Health Services:

  • Improving health outcomes requires provision of a broad range (promotive, preventive, curative, diagnostic, and rehabilitative) of health services available to all citizens. India has a mixed health care system, where private sector provides majority (75 per cent of out-patients and 65 per cent of in patient) if health services (NSSO, 2014). One of the challenges in private sector dominant mix health systems is that the private sector incentives are very differently aligned from population health needs. The private sector mostly focuses on care for sick people and provision on curative and diagnostic services and risk the system becoming curative focused. Therefore, the onus lies on the government to intervene to ensure sufficient supply of all types of health services with special focus on preventive, promotive and other public health services. Considering that the government is, in most settings the only provider of such services, there is need for rapid increase in spending in public health services in India, as recognized in NHP 2017 as well. In addition, there is need for setting up public health management cadre by all states of India.

Increasing Government Spending

Globally, the average government spending on health as a proportion of GDP stands at around 5 per cent and in terms of proportion of government budget at 10 per cent. The level of government expenditure on health in India, is around 1.15 per cent of GDP and nearly 4 per cent of government budget.

The NHP 2017 proposed (a) to increase government funding to 2.5 per cent of GDP by year 2025 and (b) that states should spend 8 per cent of their budget on health by 2020. The current level of spending on health by states is variable and most spend around 5 per cent of state budget on health. Considering that Union to State government share in health expenditure is nearly 1:2, there is need to increase budgetary allocation by both Union and States to achieve NHP 2017 target in India.

Interim Budget

‘Healthy India’ has been identified as one of the 10 dimensions under Vision for India by 2030.

Way Forward

  • Put Primary Health care (PHC) first: The government spending on PHC makes health services efficient; reduces the cost and helps in delivery of preventive and promotive health services, The PHC system can tackle up to 80 per cent of health needs and can reduce the need for specialized health services. Indian states have an elaborate network of primary healthcare facilities. There is need for boosting and rapid strengthening of the PHC system in India
  • Focus on Financial Protection and not ‘National Coverage’ only: India needs to learn from experiences in other countries and design and implement mechanisms where coverage from health insurance schemes will reduce both catastrophic expenditure and out of pocket expenditure (OOPE) and would contribute to improved health outcomes.
  • Indian States to Take Lead and Innovate: Health is a state subject as per Indian constitution. The experience from National Health Mission (NHM) has pointed that Union Government led initiatives can only be guiding and catalytical. The impact of Union Government led health initiatives is dependent upon leadership and additional measures by the state government. There is need for stronger engagement and ownership at state level, to transform health outcomes in India.

Conclusion

In a federal system such as India, the build upon existing/ongoing initiatives with recent focus and attention on improving health outcomes and financial protection in India, it is another opportunity to pave the path to better health outcomes as well as sustained rapid economic growth in India.

TID-BITS:

e-AUSHADHI portal for online Licensing System of AYUSH Medicine

  • The e-AUSHADHI portal is for online licensing of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy drugs and related matters.
  • This e-portal is an acronym for Ayurveda, Unani Siddha and Homeopathy Automated Drug Help Initiative and will not only aid the licensing authority, manufactures and consumers, as it will provided real time information of the licensed manufactures and their products, cancelled and spurious drugs, details of the concerned authority for specific grievances.

Chapter 6: Unleashing Youth Power for Development

Youth are the most dynamic segment of the population for any nation. Development and empowerment of this segment creates opportunities of growth for any country. Reforms in education, skill development and entrepreneurship through various Central/State Government schemes have given access to education and employment to large number of youth from disadvantaged communities. Access to internet, media and information makes them dignified and self-reliant. New wave of entrepreneurship is the harbinger for meeting the aspirations of the youth and if inculcated right from the school can make more job providers than job seekers.

  • Private sector through Corporate Social Responsibility provisions has started multiple projects for educating and skilling youth particularly from the downtrodden communities.

Youth with disabilities:

  • As per the 2011 Census, in India, 2.21% of India’s populations has some form of disability; this accounts for 2.7 crore people.
  • Youth with disabilities face social, economic and civic challenges.
  • The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) give a direction for inclusion agenda for persons with disabilities.
  • SDG 4 resolves in guaranteeing equal and accessible education by building inclusive learning environment and providing with disabilities.
  • SDG 8 highlights the promotion of inclusive economic growth, full and productive employment allowing persons with disabilities to fully access the job market.
  • Agenda for sustainable development specially mentions ‘Persons with disabilities’ 11 times.
  • Programes relating to inclusive education, universal design and emerging technologies, digital economy and digital interfaces have started showing results.
  • Many PwDs are now serving as mentors and role models in their communities.
  • Use of assistive technologies, internet, social media and other technological innovations are creating opportunities for youth with disabilities to become part of the mainstream education, skill development and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Tribal Youth:

  • As per 2001 census, there are 84 million scheduled tribes in India constituting 8.2 per cent of the country’s population.
  • Currently, tribal development is the main agenda of governance as special attention is given to channelize major schemes and sources of funds for the development of tribal youth and improve their livelihood.
  • A special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Scheme is 100% grant which is utilized for economic development of Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP), Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA), Modified Area Development Approach (MADA), Clusters, Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) and dispersed tribal population.
  • There is also an institutional support for development and marketing of tribal products under central sector scheme.
  • The objective of this scheme is to give support to tribals for production, product development, preservation of traditional heritage and support to both forest and agricultural produce of tribal people.
  • Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSTFDC) have identified important economic activities to the Scheduled Tribes for generating self-employment to raise their income level.
    • It also helps the tribal youth to upgrade their skills and processes through institutional and on the job training.
    • It also gives pre-matric and post matric scholarships to ST students there is also a scheme of Strengthening Education among ST Girls in Low Literacy Districts for promotion of education among tribal girls in the identified low literacy districts to plug the gap in literacy levels between the general female population and tribal women.
  • Vocational Training in Tribal Areas is one of the important schemes to develop the skills of the ST youth for different natures of employment as well as for self-employment.

All these efforts empower tribal youth and break the cycle of poverty.

Conclusion:

India, currently has become the second largest start-up hub. Technology has the potential to change the world and improve people’s lives. The private sector, public sector and civil society have to work in tandem in empowering youth. Inclusive growth and sustainable development are the keywords that will harness out demographic dividend.

Chapter 7: Social Inclusion: Strategies and Way Forward

Successive Governments have identified certain sections of the society who are in dire need of intervention to ensure social inclusion. Such sections of the society have been classified as Scheduled Tribes (STs) Scheduled Castes (SCs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs), De-Notified Tribes (DNTs), Nomadic Tribes (NTs), Semi-Nomadic Tribes (SNTs) Safai Karmacharis (SKs), Religious Minorities, Economically Backward Classes (EBCs), Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), Senior Citizens, Destitutes, Transgender, Women and Children.

India is a welfare State with constitutional mandate and democratic obligations to ensure social inclusion of all its citizens with special focus on the vulnerable, disadvantaged and weaker, sections of the society them at par with the rest of the society as part of social inclusion and inclusive development is the commitment of successive Governments to the people of the country.

  • The Constitution of India guarantees fundamental rights to all its citizens irrespective of caste creed, gender or religion, along with clear direction to ensure welfare of backward communities.
  • Directive Principles of State Policy enables to protect and promote their wellbeing.
  • Considering the needs of weaker sections successive Government have taken several measures by adopting underprivileged friendly policies and programs.
  • Wherever policies and programs failed to yield expected outcomes, legislations were brought in, so that equal opportunities are provided for the weaker sections and ensure benefits.
  • Experience of six decades of planning revealed that the process of development and modernization has gradually benefited all but not to the extent other dominant communities benefited.
  • Various indicators show that there has been gradual improvement in the socio-economic status of SCs and STs over the years.

Interventions for education:

  • Key scholarship and fellowship programs to enhance enrolment, reduce the dropout at different levels of education, secure professional qualifications and ensure employability and self-sustenance.
  • Residential Schools are established for tribal students to reduce dropouts and provide quality education.
  • Some states also provide residential education for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs, PWDs, Minorities and Girls.
  • The Union Government has also given funds to States for construction and maintenance of Hostels for Boys and Girls from weaker sections.
  • Support is provided for students clearing Prelims conducted by UPSC, SSC etc to increase the representation of minorities in Civil Services.

 

Interventions for Economic Development:

  • Subsidized credit facilities are advanced to ensyre economic development of the weaker sections.
  • The aim is to ensure that their target groups are uplifted at par with the rest of the society by giving a thrust to the development programmes relevant for infrastructure and economic development of SCs, STs and Minorities.
  • Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, Credit Guarantee Fund for SCs, Standup India and MUDRA schemes encourages entrepreneurs from these groups.
  • There are special programs like Central Assistance to SC & ST Sub plans, Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana for SCs, Pradhan Mantri Kalyan Yojana and Prime Minister’s 15 Point for Minorities, Grants under Article 275 (1) for STs.
  • The Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers provides one time cash assistance and other skill training programs and also handholding support.
  • Grants-in-Aid is given to States for the development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in a comprehensive manner, while retaining their culture and heritage.
  • Nai Manzil aims to engage constructively with the poor Minority youth and help them to obtain sustainable and gainful employment.
  • Upgrading Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for development (USTTAD) aims at conserving traditional arts/crafts of our country and for building capacity of traditional artisans and craftsmen belonging to minority communities.

Interventions for Social Empowerment:

  • Machinery for enforcement of Protection of Civil Rights Act 1995 and Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989 has been strengthened.
  • Various legislations for welfare of Aged, prohibition of manual scavenging, protection of rights of disabled, etc have been passed
  • The ICDS scheme for children and women provides supplementary nutrition, non-formal pre-school education, nutrition and health education, immunization, health check-up and referral services.
  • The POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission) strives to reduce the level of stunting, under nutrition, anaemia and low birth weight in children and also focuses on adolescent girls, pregnant woman and lactating mothers.
  • The National Creche Scheme provides day care facilities to children of working mothers and other eligible women.
  • The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme prevents gender biased sex selective elimination, ensuring survival, protection, education and participation of the girl child.
  • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) provides partial compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentives for pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • The Scheme for Adolescent Girls improves their nutritional and health status and upgrades their skills; provide motivation to out of school girls to go back to formal schooling or vocational / skill training.
  • Scheme for Leadership Development of Minority Women provides leadership training and skill development, so that they are emboldened to move out of the confines of their homes and community and assume a leadership role in accessing services.
  • The Swadhar Greh aims to target women victims of difficult circumstances who are in need of institutional support for rehabilitation so that they could lead their life with dignity.
  • Support to Training and Employment Programme (STEP) provide skills that gives employability to women, competencies and skills that enable women to become self-employed/entrepreneurs.
  • Ujjawala is for prevention of Trafficking and Rescue, Rehabilitation, Re-integration and Repatriation of victims of Trafficking for Commercial Sexual Exploitation.
  • Home for Widows namely Krishna Kutir has been constructed to provide widows with a safe and secure place of stay, nutritious food, health service and legal and counseling services.
  • Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) is implemented for rehabilitation of persons with disabilities through education, training and other allied activities.
  • Scheme for implementation of Persons with Disability Act 2016 (SIPDA), supports activities relating to Accessible India campaign and implementation of the Persons with Disabilities Act.
  • The Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana, provides Physical Aids and Assisted living devices for the aged suffering from Age Related Disabilities/infirmities belonging to BPI Category.
  • National Social Assistance program provides social security benefits to aged, disabled and women in crisis.
  • The scheme of Hamari Dharohar for conservation and protection of culture and heritage of Minorities preserves the rich heritage of minority communities of India under the overall concept of Indian culture.
  • There is also a scheme for containing population decline of small minority community like Parsis (Jio-Parsi) to arrest the declining trends in population of small minority communities.

Political Representation and Reservation in Employment:

  • The Constitution of India, mandates for earmarking of seats in Lok Sabha and State Legislatures for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
  • Most of the States provide reservation for backward communities and women in Urban Local Bodies and Rural Local Bodies so that the interest and welfare of backward communities are taken care of. There is also mandate for providing reservation in employment and admission in educational institutions for SCs, STs, OBCs and now Economically Backward Communities.

Other institutional mechanisms:

  • Social inclusion is a constitutional mandate and a national priority. To protect the rights and ensure safeguards institutional mechanisms are built, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes National Commission for OBCs are constitutional bodies.
  • There are statutory bodies like the National Commission for Safai Karmacharis, the National Commission for De-Notified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Tribes, the National Commission for Women, the National Commission for Minorities, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and National Human Rights Commission which ensure rights are protected and welfare is taken care of.
  • Rehabilitation Council is an apex statutory body to enforce uniform standards in the country in training of professional in the field of rehabilitation of the disabled persons.
  • The Indian Sign Language, Research and Training Centre provides professional training course with a, view to develop trained manpower in the disability sector and is providing various other rehabilitation services. Centre for Disability Sports encourages the PWDs to pursue sports.
  • Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) a statutory body functions as the nodal agency for adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in country and inter country adoptions and also deals with adoption of orphans, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated recognized adoption agencies.
  • Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB) has initiated several programmes for the welfare and development of women and children.
  • Mahila Police Volunteers in States/UTs act as a link between the police and the community and facilitate women in distress.

Chapter 8: Harnessing Women Power of Development

“To awaken the people, it is the women who must be awakened. Once she is on the move, the family moves, the village moves, the nation moves” – Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

Development cannot effectively reduce poverty unless all groups contribute to the creation of opportunities, share the benefits of development and participate in decision making. The goal of inclusive development is to achieve an inclusive society able to accommodate differences and to value diversity.

Perspective on Women Empowerment:

  • Empowerment is a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional and multi-layered concept.
  • Women’s empowerment is a process in which women gain greater share of control over resources material, human and intellectual, like knowledge information, ideas and financial resources like money and access to money and control over decision making in the home, community, society and nation and to gain “power”.
  • The grim scenario of women having no voice in their own houses has undergone major transformation in recent times.
  • Almost every fifth women is an entrepreneur both in urban and rural India.

Initiatives for Empowering Women:

Right from recognizing the need to protect the girl child in the womb to protecting career women in their work place, a number of initiatives have been taken.

  • Schemes like PM Matru Vandana Yojana give financial protection to women during their pregnancy and lactation period.
  • A very significant move has been the modification of the Maternity Benefit Act allowing working women 26 weeks of paid maternity leave.
  • Programmes like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao and Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana take care of the girl child right from protecting her from female foeticide to ensuring her education and financial security.
  • Only a healthy woman can be an empowered woman.
  • The Ayushman Bharat Programme, National Nutrition Mission, Ujjawala Yojana etc, take care of the health and nutritional requirements of Indian Women.

Empowerment Programmes for Women:

Various schemes and programmes have been implemented in the fields of neo-natal care, pregnancy, nutritive care of lactating mothers, etc. Women enjoy significant presence in every area-be it the armed forces, medicine, finance and even in such male dominated jobs like driving auto rickshaws, buses or even as pilots.

Deen Dayal Upadhyay Antyodaya Yojana (DAY-NRLM):

  • Ajeevika is a major project which focuses on rural women and aims to achieve universal social mobilization by involving rural women.
  • There are two other important components of Ajeevika, relevant for improvement of livelihoods of rural women.
    • Deen Dayal Upadhyay Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) aims to skill rural youth who are poor and provide them with jobs having regular monthly wages or above the minimum wages.
    • Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP) is another component that aims to improve the present status of women in agriculture and to enhance the opportunities for empowerment.

Empowering Elected Women Representatives (EWRs):

  • An extensive training programme has been launched with an objective of empowering Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) and to help them assume the leadership roles expected of them and guide their villages for a more prosperous future.

Rastriya Mahila Kosh (RMK):

  • Rastriya Mahila Kosh (RMK), extends micro-credit to women in the informal sector through a client friendly, and in a hassle-free manner without collateral for income generation activities.
  • Education of credit management has been integrated with the provision of credit, along with literary and skill training for individual women and leadership training among groups for self-management.

Mahila Shakti Kendra (MSK):

  • In order to support rural women and provide them with convergent support a new scheme has been approved namely Mahila Shakti Kendra (MSK).
  • It is a sub scheme under the Umbrella Scheme of Mission for Protection and Empowerment for Women to empower rural women through community participation.

National Repository of Information for Women (NARI):

  • A portal has been prepared which will provide citizens easy access to information on schemes and initiatives for women.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP):

  • Beti Bachao Padhao (BBBP), was launched to address the declining Child Sex Ratio.

National Nutrition Mission (NNM):

  • The aim of the mission is to achieve an improvement in the nutritional status of children of 0-6 years and pregnant and lactating women in a time bound manner, with defined targets.

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY):

  • The Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) is a maternity benefit programme.
  • The beneficiaries would receive cash incentive of Rs. 6000/- during pregnancy and after institutional delivery.

P.M. Ujjwala Yojana

  • It is a scheme to aid poor sections of Indian society.
  • The intent of this scheme is to make cooking gas (LPG) available to women from families that are financially backward.
  • The main objectives of P. M Ujjwala Yojana are:
  1. To enhance the status of women and caring for their health
  2. To help decrease air pollution due to use of fossil fuel
  3. Lessening the serious health risks related with cooking based on fossil fuels.
  4. Reducing the number of deaths due to unclean cooking fuels which is almost 5 lakh every year in India
  5. Preventing young children from acute respiratory illness caused due to indoor air pollution by burning the fossil fuels.

Encouraging Entrepreneurship:

  • Under the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana, government has provided credit to small entrepreneurs without the need for collateral or a guarantor.
  • PM Jan Dhan Yojana gas played a critical role in the financial inclusion of women.
  • Skill development is another key aspect for raising the potential of our female workforce. Under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana a large number of Indian youth have taken up industry relevant skill training.

Chapter 9: Developing a Successful School System

Participation in education at all levels has expanded greatly in India in the last two decades and investment at the secondary level has been prioritized to meet increasing demand arising from the success of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan SSA – a programme for universalizing elementary education and increased capacity of the secondary education system. The goal of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) is universal access to secondary education.

The agenda to expand access is very challenging. It is not simply the volume of demand, but the fact that new secondary entrants will increasingly come from disadvantaged background. This will place greater challenges on the education system. These children will require more support and better-quality teaching and will lack academic assistance from within their households.

 

Enrolment Parameters:

  • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has had considerable impact on participation.
  • Overall number of children attending schools for all age group has registered an increase.
  • The gap in enrolments between girls and boys still remains but has diminished considerably.
  • The research shows that the most important determinant of exclusion from secondary school is household poverty.
  • There is some evidence that expanded participation at the secondary level has benefitted those at the top and in the middle of the income distribution more than the poorest.

Policy Efforts:

  • Significant strides have been made towards improving education in the tribal areas and strengthening the education sector in large parts of the country including North-Eastern States. This will give boost to on-going efforts to address the issues of dropout amongst the tribal students.
  • The focus has been to enhance the financial support to education to impact positively on the universalization of elementary education in a time bound manner and ensuring universal access to secondary education.
  • Teacher training program, through Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya National Mission on Teachers and teaching focuses on enhancing quality of education by providing better tools for teacher training.
  • Higher education has been the policy priority with increased allocation.
  • Institutions of excellence have been proposed to be set up, existing institutes to be upgraded and strengthened.
  • The merger of SSA and RMSA is expected to

(i) Optimize the use of funds available for the sector

(ii) Cater to the diverse needs of States / UTs through a cafeteria approach

(iii) Lead to streamlined and efficient management, monitoring and supervision

(iv) Reduce administrative efforts and costs

(v) Bring fluidity in inter-component fund flows and

(vi) Institutionalize systems of financial control and discipline

  • Innovation fund is one step in the direction to integrate technology and leverage its potential for brining secondary education to the disadvantaged areas.

Way forward:

  • Inclusive, development in education cannot be viewed and planned for on its own. A successful school system with full participation is dependent on policy level efforts.
  • Achievement of goals of inclusive development would require strong emphases on preparing school going children with catalytic skill and competencies.
  • Without explicit provisions for curricular reforms, capacity building of key stakeholders such SCERT/DERT and creating a pool of teacher education, we will miss generation of learners that will support achievement of SDGS targets.
  • Mechanisms to promote collaboration between schools, institutions of higher education and schools and between institutes of vocational education with schools will be crucial to support realization of sustained inclusive development in education.

 

Chapter 10: Upholding the Right of the Child to Thrive

Investing in early childhood is necessary to uphold the right of every child to survive and thrive. The Global Strategy for Women’s Children’s and Adolescents’ Health is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals. Its vision is a world where they realize their rights to health and well-being both physical and mental, having social and economic opportunities, and to participate fully in shaping prosperous and sustainable societies. Most importantly young children’s human rights guarantee them the conditions they need to survive and thrive. One of their shared targets is to ensure that all boys and girls have access to quality early childhood development (SDG target 4.2).

 

Cost of Inaction:

  • While children living in extreme poverty and those in conditions of conflict, disaster or displacement are at greatest risk, children all over the world may be exposed to adversities that impair their optimal development without intervention; adults affected by adversity in early childhood are estimated to earn almost a third less than the average adult income in their country.
  • These individual costs add up, constraining wealth creation and national earnings.
  • Lack of investment in early childhood development, and addressing the long-term consequences, are estimated to cost countries more than what they spend today on health (WHO).

 

Child Rights:

The Declaration of the Child Rights was adopted by the General Assembly on 20th November 1959. Thirty years later, the world leaders recognized that children should have human rights of exclusive manner and for that they need a Charter.

  • The Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC, 1989) is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights – civil, cultural economic, political and social rights within child rights.
  • It spells out those basic human rights that every child should have wherever he/she may live; the right to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life.
  1. Being the signatory of the UNRC, India has globally recognized the Child Rights as binding constraint.
  2. After ratification of the UNCRC in 1992, India changed its law on juvenile justice [Juvenile & Justice (Care & Protection) Act, 2000] to ensure that every person below the age of 18 years of age, who is in need of care of protection, is entitled to receive it from the state.
  3. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) was set up in March 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005. Ensuring all laws, policies, programs and administrative mechanisms in consonance with the Child Rights perspective, became the Commission’s responsibility.
  4. Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009.
  5. NCPCR Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment in School 2010.
  6. Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012.
  • The Constitution of India, as of now, guarantees all the Children certain rights which include:
  1. Right to free and compulsory elementary education for all children between the age group 6-14 years (Article 21A)
  2. Right to be protected from any hazardous employment till the age of 14 years (Article 24)
  3. Right to be protected from being abused and forced by economic necessity to enter occupation unsuited to their age or strength [Article 39(e)]
  4. Right to equal opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in condition of freedom and dignity and guaranteed protection of childhood and youth against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment [Article 39(f)]

Way forward:

  • It can be a good exercise and learning experience for the policy makers in India to go through the recommendations of the child abuse study 2007.
  • India is going digital, children have easy access to all kinds of information on line. Health professionals dealing with children and adolescents strongly feel that it is high time all children and adolescents should be given age appropriate sex education at home and in school.
  • A new set of guidelines have been issued that bans corporal punishment in government as well as private schools.
  • NCPCR is the monitoring body for the corporal punishment in schools. NCPCR has come out with a complaint box for reporting abuse on its website to complain on line.
  • Health issues continue to be a concern for our economy and environmental degradation due to industrialization and other economic development and pollution lead to a further deterioration in child’s health. Immunization is another indicator which ensures child’s right to life through its early preventive plan of action.
  • The growth pattern in health indices show regional diversification and unbalanced development. The Constitution lays adequate emphasis regarding the duties of States with respect to Health Care.
  • National Health Policy should have clear and separate focus for children. Their problems should not be clubbed with mothers of babies.
  • Each of the states should have their own plans and visions for Child Health. Child education is often involved with another social curse, i.e., Child Labour.
  • Abuse is another kind of right violating activity which impedes the mental growth of children. POCSO Act 2012 is a step forward in creating child sensitive jurisprudence but needs proper implementation. Sex education to adolescent children is another important component which deserves much spotlight and attention.
  • Development and behavioral pediatrics services should be made available in the government teaching institutions so that parents of such children do not have to run from pillar to post to get the services.
  • Children of sex workers need special social security from the state to look after their educational and other development needs.
  • There is need to bring single laws to address the need of issues on public health. If women empowerment can be created, most of the things will take care of themselves.
  • Mindsets will have to be changed; RKSK (Rashtriya Kanya Swasthya Karyakram) can empower the Adolescent girl in many ways.
  • Increasing suicide rate among adolescents is a serious concern. There comes the role of parents, teachers mental health professionals and policy makers in education.

Adolescence is a critical window of opportunity for promoting and supporting care before pregnancy. The best interventions can delay pregnancy and ensure preparedness for it. These can help mothers, by allowing them to complete school, as well as helping children, by minimizing the probability that they will have low birth weight or stunting.

Chapter 11: Making India ‘Most Old Age Friendly’

Unprecedented demographic changes are transforming our world. By 2050, 1 of every 5 persons will be aged 60+ as compared to the current 1 of every 10 persons. In India the population of senior citizens is 100 million – which is greater than the population of UK. These mind boggling figures will have extensive repercussions on all of our lives and not just the policy makers and academia.

Situation Analysis:

  • Increasing life expectancy, lower mortality and an overall enhancement of the standard of living has contributed to people living longer.
  • About 65% of the aged have to depend on others for their day-to-day maintenance.
  • Less than 20% of elderly women but majority of elderly men are economically independent.
  • About 55 per thousand elderly persons in urban areas suffer from one or more disabilities.
  • By 2050, India will be home to one out of every six of the world’s older persons, and only China will have a larger number of elderly people, according to estimates released by the United Nations Population Fund.

Qualitative Analysis:

  • Increase in lifespan results in chronic functional disabilities leading to a need for assistance by elders in simple activities of daily living whereas smaller families means fewer care givers emergence of nuclear families has exposed elders to emotional, physical and financial insecurity.

Stake Holder Analysis:

  • Family has traditionally been the primary source of support for the elderly in India.
  • The elderly depend primarily on their families for economic and material support.
  • The occupational structure of currently working elderly shows significant numbers are employed in unskilled and low paid jobs.
  • Pension or retirement benefits are not available to the majority (90%) of the elderly.
  • Women living alone have higher incidence of work participation compared to those living with spouse or others. In addition, a negligible number of women receive retirement benefits (3 per cent) as compared to 15 per cent among men. This is despite the fact that a large majority of the elderly women are widows.

Quality of Life Index for the Elderly

  • The Four Pillars of this index are: Physical, Intellectual, Social connectedness and Spiritual.
  • Ease of living will be proportional to avenues available for the development of the four domains of life after 60.
  • The indicators could be collected in Municipal ward-wise manner, based on factors that are extremely relevant to senior citizens and their lives such as crime rates, availability of side-walks for walking, availability of medical facilities, bus stops having benches to sit while waiting, ramps in railway stations, bus stations airports, old age homes of reasonable standards for the various socio-economic categories, easy access to public transportation, humanly relating banking systems in the place of automated FAQs in banking vehicular comfort for walking long distances in airport terminals, wheel chair assistance in airports ad aircrafts.
  • These indicators can be aggregated and analyzed, and the municipal wards of cities can be ranked from best to worst. This index will form our Quality of Life for Senior Citizens.

The short terms objective of having such an index is:

  1. To publish a white paper documenting areas where it is more conducive for the elderly to reside in and enjoy a decent quality of life. This white paper will contain information about the odds stacked against senior citizens as they go about their day to day lives
  2. Such information can be used to kick-start a discussion about the lives of senior citizens.
  3. To obtain a better insight into the demographics of senior citizens that can be utilized for future projects planned by the Ministries, their departments and other organisations interested in the elderly.

The long term objective of having such as index is:

  1. Pioneer an unusual, niche index while such an index already exists it does not exist for the micro level that needs to be focused on, specific to the elderly
  2. Perform similar analyses for all the 20 cities and come out with a comprehensive report about the case of living for the elderly.
  3. Much like CRISIL evaluates the credit worthiness of companies, elderly-worthiness of neighborhoods can be evaluated. Then neighborhoods can be rated from “friendly” to “unfriendly”, and possibly turn it into a revenue stream for services that can be delivered.

Conclusion:

An India which is the “most Age-Friendly Country of the World” is a possibility. Kerala has, for example, introduced age friendly villages, followed by NIMHANS in Karnataka. With such leads already working at grassroots level it is possible to bring about ease of living for the elderly in India.

Read the previous Gist of Yojana issues here.

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