Competitive Exams: Current Affairs 2011: e-District Mission Mode Project

Scheme for National Rollout of e-District Mission Mode Project

Scheme of National Rollout of e-District Mission Mode Project to be implemented in all 640 districts (including the 41 districts where e-District Pilot Projects have already been initiated) of the country for a period of 4 years.

  • National e Governance Plan (NeGP) was approved by the Government in May 2006, with the following vision: Make all Government Services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man.

  • T-realize this vision, 27 Central, State and Integrated Mission Mode projects (MMPs) along with 8 support components were identified and approved under NeGP. States have the flexibility to identify upt-5 additional state-specific projects, which are particularly relevant for the economic development of the State. NeGP also envisages creation of the core IT infrastructure in the form of State Wide Area Networks (SWANs), State Data Centres (SDCs) State Service Delivery Gateways (SSDGs) and one lakh Front Ends namely Common Services Centres (CSCs), in rural areas across the country to deliver public services electronically.

  • e-District is one of the 27 MMPs under NeGP, with the Department of Information Technology (DIT), Government of India as the nodal Department, to be implemented by State Government or their designated agencies. The MMP aims at electronic delivery of identified high volume citizen centric services, at such district and sub-district level, which are not part of any other MMP.

  • The estimated total project cost for the nation-wide rollout of e-District MMP is Rs. 1663.08 crore, out of which Government of Indias share is estimated to be Rs. 1233.08 crore and States share Rs. 430 crore.

  • Citizens will be able to access Government to Citizen (G2C) services close to their houses through Common Service Centers (CSCs) in an integrated manner. Service delivery of G2C services will be responsive, transparent and accountable at Districts and Sub-District offices.

  • Citizens will have to travel less distance, make less trips to Government offices and also will have to wait for much less time to get these services delivered to them. Citizen will also be able to track on line the progress of the application/request.

  • Offices and Sub-Offices of district administration will get modernized and Government processes automated which will ultimately empower the citizens.

  • (In News: The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure has approved the project) Iron fortified Iodized Salt to be Promoted to battle Malnutrition in the Country

  • The Cabinet approved a proposal for setting up a council to promote electric mobility and manufacture of electric vehicles. The National Council for Electric Mobility (NCEM) will be the apex body in the Union government for making recommendations in these matters.

  • The meeting also cleared the setting up of a National Board for Electric Mobility (NBEM) under the Department of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises. The National Automotive Board (NAB) after its formation will be the technical adviser and secretariat for both the NCEM and the NBEM.

  • The government is taking up promotion and manufacturing of electric vehicles in mission mode: National Mission for Electric Mobility.

  • As a first step, an enabling, empowered, fast decision and policy making structure at the apex level in the form of the NCEM and the NBEM is being set up. The NCEM will comprise Ministers from the key Central Ministries and departments, eminent representatives from industry and the academia, and will be chaired by the Minister (Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises).

  • The NCEM will be aided by the 25-member NBEM, comprising the Secretaries of stakeholder Central Ministries and departments with representation from industry and the academia.

  • Background: In wake of the fast dwindling petroleum resources, growing concerns on the impact of vehicles on the environment and climate change; the automobile industry worldwide is gradually shifting to more efficient drive technologies and alternative fuels including electric vehicles. Accordingly, world over major investments, incentives and policies are being introduced to propagate the development, adoption of electric vehicles (EV) and their manufacturing.

  • At present, the barriers to greater adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs) include higher cost of EVs, challenges in battery technology, limited range of EVs, lack of infrastructure, consumer mindset and inadequate government support.

Discussed Points

The following points were noted and discussed:

  1. The prevalence of anaemia in majority of India s population, particularly among adolescent girls, women and children, is a major public health challenge and it should be tackled urgently. Anemia is caused by inadequate intake and poor absorption of iron. Anemia can be prevented and cured by promoting consumption of iron rich foods and iron supplements. One cost effective way of increasing the intake of iron is fortification of salt with iron in addition to iodine.

  2. The National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, has developed technologies for the double fortification of salt with iodine and iron. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued gazette notification prescribing the legal standard for double fortified salt. The NIN has also shared the technology with some of the salt manufacturers by signing MoU with them.

  3. Before moving towards mandatory double fortification of salt, which is a desirable goal to aspire for in future, Government, may promote the consumption and production of DFS through effective communication campaign, mandating its use in Government sponsored food and nutrition programs like ICDS, Mid-day-Meals, etc. and by supplying DFS through the Public Distribution System. The Government could also encourage salt manufacturers to invest in technology by making a clear policy statement about the Government s intent of promoting the use of DFS. Actions on the following lines were agreed upon:

    1. to begin with, Ministries dealing with food and nutrition programs like ICDS and Midday Meal Program will make the use of iron fortified iodized salt (double fortified salt) mandatory in those programs, in an appropriate manner

    2. The Dept. Of Food & Public Distribution will examine the possibility of supplying DFS through the PDS

    3. A major mass media campaign will be taken up to promote the use of iron fortified iodized salt (DFS) by the Ministries of Women and Child Development and Health & Family Welfare

    4. The communication campaign and the decision to use DFS in Government programs needs to be associated with efforts to increase the supply of DFS in the country. The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion will work with the private industry and cooperatives to promote manufacture of iron fortified iodized salt (DFS). The Department will also explore the possibility of taking up a scheme to promote capital investment and technology upgradation so that the installed capacity for producing iron fortified iodized salt (DFS) in the country is substantially stepped up:

    5. The Departments of Health and Family Welfare and Health Research under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will take necessary measures for promoting the use of DFS in the country, including advising the Ministries of Women and Child Development, Human Resource Development and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on use of DFS in Government programs.

Setting up of National Mission for Electric Mobility

Black Carbon Research Initiative launched under National Carbonaceous Aerosols Program (NCAP)

Black Carbon Research Initiative-Science Plan of the National Carbonaceous Aerosols Program being devised under the aegis of the Indian Network of Climate Change Assessment (INCCA) that was launched last year. The issue of black carbon and its relationship with climate change has gained enormous scientific and popular interest over the last few years.

The knowledge and understanding on aspects such as vertical distribution and mixing of Black Carbon with other aerosols, effects of cloud cover and monsoon still remains uncertain and incomplete. There is thus a need to have better understanding on the following science questions:

  • The contribution of black carbon aerosols to regional warming.

  • Role of black carbon on atmospheric stability and the consequent effect on cloud formation and monsoon.

  • Role of black carbon in altering the ability of hygroscopic aerosols to act as cloud condensation nuclei.

  • Role of BC-Induced low-level temperature inversions and their role in formation of fog especially over northern India.

  • Role of black carbon on Himalayan glacier retreat. The Black Carbon research initiative builds on this approach and sets out the science program and to respond to the scientific questions. The science plan has been developed through an intensive consultative process and with the involvement of experts in the subject and builds upon the work of ISRO, MoES and other experts. The initiative is visualised as an ambitious program with the involvement of over 101 institutions with 60 observatories nationwide. The study would lead to:

  • Long-term monitoring of aerosols

  • Monitoring of impact of BC on snow

  • Estimating magnitude of BC sources using inventory (bottom-up) and inverse modelling (top-down) approaches

  • Modelling BC atmospheric transport and climate impact. INCCA

  • Network for Climate Change Assessment (INCCA) was launched in October 2009.

  • It is a network of over 125 R&D institutions countrywide to publish peer-reviewed findings on climate change in India.

  • Under the aegis of INCCA, tw-national level assessments have already been published, one in May 2010 on Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2007 and the other, a 4 × 4 Climate Change Impact Assessment in November 2010, for 4 climate sensitive regions of India for 4 sectors Agriculture, Water, Forests and Health.

Aerosols

Aerosols are suspended particulates in the atmosphere and have implications for climate and health through different mechanisms. Several studies have suggested that aerosols may be mitigating global warming by increasing the planetary albedo, although the sign and magnitude of aerosol effects on climate are still uncertain as outlined in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports.

Black carbon

Black carbon (BC) is the result of incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuel, and biomass. It consists of elemental carbon in several forms. Black carbon warms the atmosphere due to its absorption and by reducing albed-when deposited on snow and ice. Life time of black carbon in the atmosphere is only a few days to weeks compared to C-, which has an atmospheric lifetime of more than 100 years.

In addition to exerting its own radiative impact, black carbon aerosol can substantially contaminate other aerosol species, thereby altering the radiative properties of the entire aerosol system and in fact their ability to act as cloud condensation nuclei.

Green India Mission (GIM)

  • The National Mission for a Green India is one of the eight Missions under the National Action Plan on

Climate Change (NAPCC)

  • The target is to increase 5m ha of forest and non-forest land and improve quality of forest cover on another 5m ha of non-forest lands. Over next ten years it will be 10 m ha.

Progress Under PMEYSA

  • Panchayat Mahila Evam Yuva Shakti Abhiyan (PMEYSA) was launched in the year 2007. The Scheme has two components namely, Panchayat Mahila Shakti Abhiyan and Panchayat Yuva Shakti Abhiyan.

  • Aims of PMEYSA are to organize the Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) in a network and through group action to empower themselves, so that both their participation and representation on local governance issues improves.

Courtesy: The Hindu and Times of India