Kurukshetra June 2018 Summary: Progressive Rural Development (Part - 2)

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Reforming Elementary Education in Rural Areas - 👌 Nationwide sub-program under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, ‘Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat’ was launched in August, 2014 to improve language development by creating enduring interest in reading & writing w/comprehension, & to create natural & positive interest in mathematics related to their physical & social world.

Progressive Rural Development: Kurukshetra June 2018 Summary (in English)

India՚s Commitment to Elementary Education:

  • Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, effective since 1stApril, 2010, which gave legal mandate to provide free & compulsory elementary education to every child in age group of 6 - 14 years.
  • SSA was single largest holistic program, addressing all aspects of elementary education & covering over 1 million elementary schools, Education Guarantee Scheme centres & Alternate & Innovative Education (AIE) centres, & reaching abt 200 million children.

Progress achieved at Elementary level:

  • SSA has covered 19.67 cr. children enrolled in 14.6 lakh elementary schools.
  • 👌 Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) is 99.21 % for primary & 92.81 % for upper primary level, which indicates near universal enrolment at primary level.
  • 👌 Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) has improved from 32 in 2009 - 10 to 25 in 2015 - 16.

📝 Recent Initiatives:

  • ‘Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat’ : Various research studies have proved that Classes I & II are most imp. stages where children are introduced to world of learning thru language & numeracy.
  • RTE Act, 2009 requires that all in-service teachers possess certain min. professional qualifications.
  • To ensure that all such teachers acquire such qualifications, National Institute of Open Schooling is entrusted to provide online 2 years course.
  • Study material for course is prepared by NIOS in self-instructional mode & uploaded on SWAYAM platform w/Audio/Video lectures, printable/downloadable reading material, self-assessment tests thru tests & quizzes & online discussion forum for clearing doubts.
  • Central Govt. has instituted ‘Swachha Vidyalaya Puraskar’ from 2017 w/rationale to sensitize children towards cleanliness & imbibe hygienic habits & practices.

Way Forward:

  • Centrally Sponsored Scheme of ‘Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan’ is initiated from 2018 - 19 w/objective of provision of inclusive & equitable quality education from pre-school to senior secondary stage.

Bolstering Road Network in Rural Areas

  • Govt. functionaries & NGOs are able to ensure timely & door-step delivery of public services. 👌 For success of any program, 3 ‘A’ are imp. viz. availability, affordability & accessibility.

Rural Network

  • Panchayati Raj roads form largest share of 47 % of total rural road network.

PMGSY: Revolution in Rural Road Network

  • Construction of roads under PMGSY commenced in 2000, w/objective of providing fair weather roads to unconnected habitations as part of poverty reduction strategy.
  • In terms of absolute length of total rural road network, top 10 States in decreasing order are Maharashtra, Assam, UP, Odisha, MP, Karnataka, West Bengal, AP & Telangana, Bihar & Rajasthan.

📝 Gram Swaraj Abhiyan & Rural Roads

Objective of ‘Gram Swaraj Abhiyan’ entailed spreading awareness abt pro-poor initiatives of govt. & achieving saturation of eligible households/persons under 7 flagship pro-poor programmes in more than 20,000 identified villages, viz.

  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana - safeguard health of women & children by providing them w/clean cooking fuel, i.e.. LPG.
  • Saubhagya - free electricity connections are provided to all households in rural areas.
  • Ujala or Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs for All scheme - affordable LEDs to poor
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana - comprehensive National Mission for Financial Inclusion
  • Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana - life insurance scheme offering coverage of ₹ 2 lakh at premium of ₹ 330 per annum for death due to any reason
  • Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana - risk coverage of ₹ 2 lakh for accidental death & permanent total disability & ₹ 1 lakh for permanent partial disability, at premium of ₹ 12 per year payable thru auto-debit from subscriber՚s bank-account
  • Mission Indradhanush - immunize all children under age of 2 years & pregnant women, against vaccine preventable diseases

Road Networks & Gram Swaraj Abhiyan

  • Tamil Nadu have achieved 100 % saturation in 3 of schemes & more than 100 % saturation in remaining.

Way Out

👌 Road safety relies on 5 ‘Es’ :

  • ‘Engineering of roads’
  • ‘Engineering of vehicles’
  • ‘Education & awareness of citizens’
  • ‘Enforcement of traffic rules’
  • ‘Emergency post-accident care’

Rapid Strides in Rural Infrastructure

  • 1 % increase in stock of infrastructure is associated w/1 % increase in gross domestic product (Summers & Heston, 1991) & in particular, rural sector has remarkable multiplier effect.

📝 Rural Housing: Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana- Gramin

  • Rural Housing has history of long journey & its 1st dedicated scheme was introduced in 1996 in name of “Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) ” , but was re-structured as PMAY-G w. e. f. 1stApril, 2016 due to limited scope of coverage of IAY, even after 20 years of its existence.
  • Min. size of house is increased to 25 sq. mt w/hygienic cooking space.

New Vision for Agriculture

  • Govt. has taken decision to provide MSP for all non-declared crops of Kharif which will be least 1.5 times production cost.
  • Economic policies of govt. have farmer-centric focus.
  • In current fiscal year, MSP will be given 1.5 times cost of various agricultural commodities. By doing so, govt. has attempted to fulfil most imp. promise made to farmers.
  • One example is Mangal Singh, farmer from Bundelkhand who has invented turbine. This machine named Mangal Turbine is fabricated in village. It runs w/aid of flowing stream. Generally in rural areas where farmers irrigate fields using diesel or elec. pumps, irrigation by using Mangal turbine is done w/o consuming diesel or electricity.
  • Use of Mangal turbine saves diesel & electricity besides checking pollution.
  • 1st period since Independence of India is from 1947 to 1968, in which expansion of sowing area, increase in irrigation resources & land reform laws have played key role.
  • 2nd is from 1968 to 1980 which saw use of high yield dwarf varieties, fertilizers, pesticides & new techniques. It is called period of evolution of Green Revolution.
  • 3rd period is from 1981 to 1991, during which policy of min. support price for agriculture products & arrangement of ensured nationwide govt. procurement & storage & distribution took place.
  • 4th period is from 1991 - 1998, which is said to be period of liberalization, industrialization & establishment of WTO.
  • 5th period was from 1999 - 2014.
  • In 1951, food grain production was 51 million tons while today it has reached 277.49 million ton mark.
  • Price of agricultural products are b/w 82 % & 88 % as compared to price of other products.
  • C-2 formula of farmers to fix MSP
  • Decision will prove to be milestone for agriculture sector & farmers. In order to protect farmers from natural calamities & other losses, old scheme is modified & given new name Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. Premium is reduced in this scheme & process of payment of claim is made easier.
  • In Telangana, after digitizing record, work is in progress to link them w/Aadhaar.

Extending Telecom Connectivity to Rural India

  • According to NASSCOM report, India possesses world՚s 2nd largest internet user base, after China.
  • Report has made certain projections abt state of internet usage in India by 2020.
  • These include:
    • 730 million Internet users in India.
    • 75 % of new Internet user growth from rural areas.
    • 70 % of e-Commerce transactions via mobile phones.
    • 75 % of new Internet users to consume data in local language.
    • India to remain fastest growing Internet market.
  • India is doing well & will need to continue to do well when it comes to providing low-cost smartphones.
  • W/o smartphones, users will find it hard to truly make best use of 5G.

📝 Over-The- Top (OTT Service)

  • Most common examples of OTT players are WhatsApp, Paytm, Amazon, Flipkart, Uber, Ola.
  • Apps. Like Skype are used to connect teachers to students across various locations, including remote areas.
  • RuPay card is one such example.
  • Kisan Suvidha towards empowerment of Farmers.
  • SmartGaon” is non-profit app built for betterment of quality of life of people living in rural areas.

📝 Internet of Things (IoT)

  • IoT enables objects sharing information w/other objects/members in network, recognizing events & changes so to react autonomously in appropriate manner.
  • IoT builds on communication b/w things (machines, buildings, cars, animals etc.) that leads to action & value creation.
  • Apps of IoT include:
  • Sustainable Land & Water Resource Management

    Includes active monitoring system for monitoring environment as environmental & climate changes can massively impact agriculture.

  • Food Security
    • It can be monitored via IoT.
    • Fishermen can use data abt fish concentrations to make fishing more efficient activity.
  • Disaster Management

    IoT devices can be used to predict occurrence of floods.

  • Public Health
    • Requires continuous checkups
    • Wearable devices for patients will make it possible for their body conditions to be monitored w/o physical sessions w/doctor, & treatment could be routinely adjusted based on information.

Way Forward

  • Department՚s Universal Service Obligation Fund has several other schemes too to bring better mobile & internet connectivity to rural & remote areas.

Empowering Women and Children in India

Landmark Schemes for Women & Children

  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) , flagship scheme was launched initially to address declining Child Sex Ratio.
  • 👌 As per preliminary reports for 100 BBMP dist. b/w April-March 2014 - 15 & 2015 - 16,58 % increase in Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) , 69 dist. reported progress in 1st trimester registration against reported antenatal registration, & status of institutional delivers improved in 80 dist. in comparison to prev. years.
  • Unified District Information System for Education 2015 - 16, girl՚s enrolment in secondary education has increased to 80.97 % against 76 % in 2013 - 14.
  • 👌 National Nutrition Mission (NNM) w/budget of ₹ 9046 cr. Aim is to achieve improvement in nutritional status of children of 0 - 6 years & pregnant & lactating women in time bound manner.
  • 👌 Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) is maternity benefit program that is made pan-India phenomenon.
  • In 2017, govt. notified 👌 Supplementary Nutrition (ICDS) Rules, 2017 to regulate entitlement of ‘nutrient dense food’ for every pregnant & lactating woman till 6 months after child birth, & every child in age group of 6 months to 6 years for 300 days in year.
  • 👌 SABLA is centrally- sponsored scheme for Adolescent Girls, to enable them for self-development & empowerment, improve their health & nutrition status.
  • In 2015, 👌 Swadhar Greh scheme was launched to cater to primary needs of women.
  • In addition, 👌 one widow home w/1000 inmates capacity, is constructed at Sunrakh Bangar, Vrindavan.
  • 👌 Mahila Shakti Kendra scheme was launched in 2017 to address women՚s issues at rural level wherein over 3 lakh student volunteers would be engaged in 115 most backward dist. for 3 years.
  • Mahila e-Haat is initiative to economically empower women thru financial inclusion.
  • 👌 Passport rules are amended in favor of single mothers. Now either mother of father՚s name can be provided in application form & applicants don՚t have to provide any certificate of marriage/divorce during application.
  • 👌 Scheme of One Stop Centres to facilitate access to integrated range of services including medical assistance, police assistance, legal aid/counselling & psychological-social/counselling, shelter.
  • In 2016, 👌 Universalization of Women Helpline was launched to provide 24 hrs. immediate & emergency response to women affected by violence thru referral.
  • To enhance safety & security for women, Nirbhaya Fund is set up w/corpus of ₹ 2000 cr. to implement initiatives.
  • New Taxi Policy Guidelines are put in place w/much improved safety measures for women, Public Grievance Cell is active in Ministry giving women.
  • Robust online MIS is developed to track implementation of all projects under Nirbhaya.
  • ‘Panic Button & Global Positioning System in Mobile Phone Handset Rules 2016’ are notified & roll-out in offing.
  • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act 2013, is massive improvement in recent years after ensuring establishment of Internal Complaints Committees in all Ministries/Departments of Govt.
  • 👌 To help women report incidents of Sexual harassment at workplace, online complaint mechanism, She-Box is established.
  • Railway Child line is implemented by Railways for runaway, abandoned, kidnapped, trafficked children.
  • Kiosks w/Child Helpline are set up at key 24 railway stations where identified children are brought for temporary stay before they are restored to their parents or are sent to children՚s home.
  • 👌 POCSO e-Box was launched in August 2016 & is simple & easy to use facility for children or any adult to register complaints of child sexual abuse or harassment.
  • In unprecedented initiative for working women, maternity leave is extended to period of 26 weeks.
  • 👌 Govt. launched web portal called Khoya-Paya for reporting missing children.
  • Nari Shakti Puruskar on eminent women, organizations & institutions rendering distinguished service to women՚s cause especially belonging to vulnerable & marginalized sections of society, ‘First Ladies’ who have broken glass ceiling & ventured into unusual fields.
  • National Policy for Women, 2017 - Over 15,000 crowd-sourced ideas are considered as part of policy formulation process.
  • Under Working Women Hostel Scheme 33 new hostels were sanctioned during last 3 years.

India Makes Strides to Tackle Climate Change

  • Global Climate Risk Index 2018 referred to India՚s intense heat waves, extreme rainfall events & severe floods to label country as 6th most vulnerable in 2016 after Haiti, Zimbabwe, Fiji, Sri Lanka & Vietnam.
  • It estimated that India lost abt $ 21,500 million due to extreme weather events during 2016,3rd highest financial loss after those suffered by China & US.
  • 👌 India is set to overtake China & become world՚s largest emitter of sulphur dioxide, air pollutant that is generated when coal is burnt & can lead to severe haze, acid rain & asthma complications.
  • Latest report of Southern University of Science & Technology in China has pointed out that even if global warming is limited to 20 C, as per Paris Accord, around 25 % or even more of total land surface will become drier. This includes land in all 5 climatic zones - hyper arid, arid, semi-arid, dry sub-humid & humid.

India՚s Initiatives

  • 👌 Water resources secretary of U. P. confirmed that water quality of river has improved in terms of 3 parameters - biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) , dissolved oxygen (DO) & coliforms which indicate health of river.
  • DO levels have improved at 33 locations & BOD levels at 26 locations while coliform bacteria count is reduced at 30 locations.
  • To raise renewable capacity to 175 gigawatts by 2022 from 45 gigawatts at present. Its own energy targets, which Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates may cost $ 200 billion.
  • India receives abt 5000 trillion kWh equivalent of energy per year thru solar radiation. 1 % of country՚s land area can meet its entire electricity requirement till 2030.
  • In survey by McKinsey & Company it was pointed out that India has one of world՚s highest solar intensities w/annual solar energy yield of 1700 to 1900 kWh/kWp of installed capacity.
  • US mainly California state, Hawaii & Spain are largest solar power producers w/1500 to 1600 kWh/kWp followed by Italy, Australia, China, Japan & Germany.

Future Outlook

  • Afforestation, destination of rivers & canals & replenishment of soil w/organic matter - will need max. resources that now flow to power, large industry & irrigation.

Accelerating Universal Health Coverage

  • Right to Health is basic human right, which is protected by Article 21 of Constitution of India.
  • 📝 Features related to primary health care towards Universal Health Coverage:
    • To reach everyone in comprehensive integrated way
    • Policy looks at problems & solutions holistically w/pvt. sector as strategic partners.
    • Positive & proactive engagement w/pvt. sector for critical gap filling.
    • Policy proposes raising public health expenditure to 2.5 % of GDP.
    • Broad principles of NHP is centered on Professionalism, Integrity & Ethics, Equity, Affordability, Universality, Patient Centered & Quality of Care, Accountability & pluralism.
    • Recommends mainstreaming Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha & Homeopathy (AYUSH) .
    • Extensive deployment of digital tools for improving efficiency & outcome of healthcare system.
  • 📝 2 imp. interventions to provide health:
    • Thru creation of Health & Wellness Centres (H&WC) that “will bring healthcare system closer to homes of people”
    • “flagship National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) to cover over 10 cr. poor & vulnerable families providing coverage up to 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary & tertiary care hospitalization” .
  • 2nd announcement was to launch “flagship National Health Protection Scheme to cover 10 cr. poor & vulnerable families providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary & tertiary care hospitalization” . Initiative announced as imp. step towards “universal health coverage” .

Rural Health Care: Services & Challenges

  • 👌 As per National Family Health Survey (NFHS) - 4 data, Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) deaths per 1000 live births is 29 for urban areas & 46 for rural areas.

Sanitation Roadmap for Clean India

  • 👌 Aim of mission is to attain countrywide open defecation-free (ODF) status in 5 years by facilitating installation of more than 200,000 subsidized toilets.
  • Open defecation has declined more than 50 % in last 4 years but w/continuous growth in country՚s population, India needs more structured roadmap to achieve its overall sanitation targets.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission is largest behavior change program in world. Thru mobilization of rural communities, SBM (Gramin) has turned into Jan Andolan, people՚s movement.
  • WHO report states that one gram of feces can contain around 10,000, 000 viruses, 1,000, 000 bacteria, 1,000 parasite cysts & 100 parasite eggs.
  • Open defecation poses serious threat to health of children in India. Practice is main reason India reports highest number of Diarrhoea deaths among children under-5 in world. Diarrhoea & worm infections are 2 major health conditions that affect school-age children impacting their learning abilities.
  • On economic front, lack of sanitation facilities costs India over 6 % of GDP, as per World Bank estimates.
  • India ranks top for having greatest number of urbanites living w/o safe, pvt. toilet which is around 157 million as well as 41 million urban dwellers.

Rejuvenation of Ganga River

  • 👌 Accordingly, Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission called “Namami Gange” is proposed to be set up & sum of ₹ 2,037 cr. is set aside.
  • Namami Gange approaches Ganga Rejuvenation by consolidating existing ongoing efforts & planning for concrete action plan future.
Progressive Rural Development: Kurukshetra June 2018 Summary (in Hindi)

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