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Important Government Schemes

Important Government Schemes

Introduction

  • The government introduces various schemes to undertake the welfare of people.
  • Some of these programmes or schemes were introduced by previous governments and some by the recent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government after coming to power in 2014.

MAJOR PROGRAMMES | Important Government Schemes

Bharat Nirman

Bharat Nirman is a time-bound plan for rural infrastructure by the Government of India in partnership with state governments and panchayati raj institutions. It was launched in 2005. The Ministry of Rural Development is the nodal ministry for the implementation of this programme. It has six components:

  • Irrigation
  • Roads (Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana)
  • Housing (Indira Awaas Yojana)
  • Water supply (National Rural Drinking Water Programme)
  • Electrification (Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana)
  • Telecommunication connectivity

Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation

  • The Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) was launched in June 2015 for urban transformation.
  • The focus of the urban renewal is to establish infrastructure that could ensure adequate robust sewerage networks and water supply.
  • The Ministry of Urban Development is the nodal ministry for implementation of AMRUT.
  • Some of the broad targets of the AMRUT scheme are as follows: ascertaining that everyone has access to tap water and sewerage facilities; greenery such as parks and open spaces are well maintained; digital and smart facilities such as weather prediction, Internet, and Wi-Fi facilities; pollution reduction by encouraging the public for using cheaper but secure public transport.
  • The union government provides an assistance of 50% of project cost for cities with a population of up to 10 lakh each. It provides one-third of the project cost for cities with a population of above 10 Lakh each. Rest of the project cost has to be borne by the states and urban local bodies.
  • In its first phase, 89 cities in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, and Rajasthan have been allocated funds for the period of 2015-16. At each city level, a City Mission Management Unit (CMMU) is set up, which will assist the urban local body in terms of staff and technology.
  • AMRUT has replaced JNURM. Named after Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, it was launched in 2005 for a seven-year period (up to March 2012) to encourage cities to initiate the steps for bringing phased improvements in their civic service levels. The government had extended the tenure of the mission for two years, i.e., up to 31 March 2014.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

  • The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) provides a minimum 100 days of guaranteed employment to every household in the rural areas. An adult member of rural households who is ready to perform unskilled manual work at the prevailing wage rate is covered under the scheme.

Other features of the scheme are as follows:

  • The right to employment under MGNREGA is a legal right guaranteed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. Thus, this scheme is different from other schemes in the sense that it is based on the legal right approach and not just based on welfare based approach.
  • Every eligible individual who registers for the work is to be provided employment within 15 days. Otherwise, the government is required to pay unemployment allowance. The expenses of the scheme are divided between the centre and states in the ratio of 50:50, except in the case of Jammu and Kashmir and North Eastern States where the ratio is 90:10. In the case of unemployment allowance, the ratio of sharing expenses between the centre and the respective state is 10:90.
  • Moreover, wages are to be paid mandatorily within 15 days of work. The payment is to be made directly into the bank account or post office savings account and not in the form of cash. This provision has been incorporated to plug loopholes into payment mechanism.
  • The act prohibits employment through contractors and requires minimum use of machinery.
  • The nature of work to be provided under the scheme includes water conservation projects, flood control projects, land development, rural roads, etc.
  • The act prescribes the maximum ratio of the material to labour as 40:60, thus limits the use of materials for various projects and gives priority to labour work.
  • The Ministry of Rural Development is the nodal ministry for implementation of the scheme.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan | Important Government Schemes

  • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is an Indian government programme aimed at the universalization of elementary education “in a time-bound manner”, as mandated by the 86th Amendment to the Constitution of India making free and compulsory education to children between the ages of 6 to 14 a fundamental right. The Right to Education Act, 2009, was introduced to implement the programme. The Ministry of Human Resource Development is the nodal ministry to implement the programme. Salient features of the Right to Education Act, 2009, are as follows:
  • Every child in the age group of 6-14 has the right to free and compulsory education in the neighbourhood school till the completion of elementary education.
  • Private schools will have to take 25% of their class strength from the weaker sections and disadvantaged groups of the society through a random selection process. The government will fund the education of these children. No seats in this quota can be left vacant. These children will be treated at par with all the other children in the school. The state will compensate the school at the rate of average per learner costs in the government schools (unless the per learner costs in the private school are lower).
  • All schools will have to prescribe the norms and standards laid out in the act, and any school that does not fulfil these standards will not be allowed to function. All private schools will have to apply for recognition, failing which they will be penalized to the tune of ₹1 lakh, and if they still continue to function, they will be liable to pay Z10,000 per day as fine. Norms and standards of teachers qualification and training are also being laid down by the Academic Authority.
  • No child can be held back or expelled till the completion of elementary education.
  • The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has been mandated to monitor the implementation of this historic right.

Integrated Child Development Scheme

  • The Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) aims at providing services to pre-school children in an integrated manner so as to ensure proper growth and development of children. ICDS is a centrally sponsored scheme. It was launched in 1975.
  • ICDS today represents one of the world’s largest programmes for early childhood development. ICDS is implemented in both urban and rural areas.
  • ICDS is implemented through anganwadi workers. An anganwadi worker is a local community woman who is trained to provide services under ICDS. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is the nodal ministry to implement the programme.
  • Six services are provided to children in the age group of 0-6 years under ICDS:
    • Supplementary nutrition
    • Immunization
    • Health check-up
    • Reference services
    • Nutrition education to mother (Nutrition education is provided to mother so that she could appropriately feed children.)
    • Pre-primary education for 3-6 years of children.

National Health Mission | Important Government Schemes

  • The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), now under the National Health Mission, was launched in 2005 to address the health needs of under-served rural areas. In 2013, the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) was launched as a sub-mission of an overarching National Health Mission (NHM).
  • The thrust of the mission is on establishing a fully functional, community-owned, decentralized health-delivery system with inter-sectoral convergence at all levels, to ensure simultaneous action on a wide range of determinants of health such as water, sanitation, education, nutrition, social, and gender equality.
  • Some of the major initiatives under the NHM are as follows:
    • Accredited Social Health Activists
    • An accredited social health activist (ASHA) is a local woman trained to deliver the following health services:
    • Delivery of basic drugs such as Oral Rehydration Solution
    • Immunization
    • Health check-up
    • Reference services
  • ASHA is not expected to undertake delivery of children, which is promoted by the government in an institutionalized set-up.

Janani Suraksha Yojana

  • The Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) aims to reduce maternal mortality among pregnant women and infant mortality by encouraging women to deliver in an institutionalized set-up such as hospitals. Under the scheme, cash assistance is provided to eligible pregnant women for giving birth in a government health facility.
  • JSY is a 100% centrally sponsored scheme, and it integrates cash assistance with delivery and post-delivery care. The success of the scheme is determined by the increase in institutional delivery among the poor families. ASHA as well as anganwadi activists become the effective link between the government and poor women in this programme.
  • The duties of ASHA or other health worker associated with JSY are as follows:
    • Identify pregnant women as a beneficiary of the scheme and report or facilitate registration for antenatal checkup.
    • Provide and/or help the women in receiving at least three antenatal checkups, including Tetanus injections .
    • Counsel for institutional delivery.
    • Escort the beneficiary women to the predetermined health centre and stay with them till they are discharged.
    • Arrange immunization of the new-born till the age of 14 weeks.
    • Cash assistance in LPS and HPS states
  • The scheme focuses on poor pregnant women with special dispensation for states having low institutional delivery rates. While these states have been named low-performing states (LPS), the remaining states have been named high-performing states (HPS). The women who deliver in government hospitals, health centres, or even in accredited private hospitals are eligible for cash assistance, if they are above 19 years.
  • In LPS states, cash assistance is provided for all women, whereas in HPS states, cash assistance is provided only for BPL women. Cash incentive is also given to ASHA/other health activists per delivery case facilitated by her.

SCHEMES UNDER BP GOVERNMENT | Important Government Schemes 

Smart Cities Project

  • The Smart Cities Project aims to transform 100 cities by 2019-20, with the union government providing financial support of ₹48,000 crore over 5 years. Each city will receive central assistance of ₹200 crore in the first year and ₹100 crore over the three subsequent financial years. State governments and respective urban local bodies will also match the centre’s contribution.
  • While 20 cities were selected in 2015-16 as per the mission’s guidelines, another 40 were selected in 2016-17. The remaining will be chosen in the next financial year.
  • Smart cities: A “smart city” is an urban region that is highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications, and market viability. It is a city where information technology is the principal infrastructure and the basis for providing essential services to the residents.
  • Highlights of the project: There is no fixed programme for an urban area, and the use of funds depends on the requirements of a particular area. Assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management systems, efficient urban mobility and public transportation, IT connectivity, e-governance, and citizen participation are some of the highlights of the smart city project.
  • Case study: The Lucknow Municipal Administration, which made the best-rated bid, found that 58% of residents who took part in its online survey cited traffic and transport as their top priority, with 24% highlighting solid waste management.
  • Solution: Intelligent parking could be one way to mobilize funds and cut congestion. By integrating information technology, motorists could be guided to available parking spaces in various locations in a city, using real-time information. Over time, it would be possible to even predict the availability of parking spaces based on usage patterns.

National Rurban Mission | Important Government Schemes | Important Government Schemes 

  • In February 2016, the National Rurban Mission (NRM), also dubbed as “Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban Mission” (SPMRM), was launched aiming to spur social, economic, and infrastructure development in rural areas by developing a cluster of 300 “smart villages” over the next 3 years across the country in the first phase. More clusters will be identified depending on the progress of the scheme. NRM is to be implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development.
  • Rurban cluster
    • A “rurban cluster” comprises geographically contiguous villages with a population of around 25,000 to 50,000 in plain and coastal areas and a population of around 5000 to 15,000 in desert, hilly, or tribal areas. As far as possible, the cluster of villages will be in a single block/tehsil for administrative convenience.
    • The clusters that have latent potential for growth in rural areas are selected from all the states and union territories. The Ministry of Rural Development is the nodal ministry for implementation of the programme. The scheme aims to provide 14 components to the cluster of villages.
  • Components of rurban mission
  • The components that are envisaged as desirable in each cluster under this mission are as follows:
    • Skill development training linked to economic activities: agro-processing, agri-services, storage, and warehousing
    • Fully equipped mobile health unit
    • Upgrading school/higher education facilities
    • Sanitation provision with piped water supply
    • Solid and liquid waste management
    • Village streets and drains
    • Street lights, inter-village road connectivity, etc.
  • The scheme will help in achieving twin objectives of strengthening the rural areas and de-burdening the urban areas, thereby leading to a balanced regional development and growth of the country. The mission is based on the concept of Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA), which was launched by the previous UPA government.

Jan Dhan Yojana | Important Government Schemes

  • The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is India’s National Mission for Financial Inclusion to ensure access to financial services, namely, banking, savings and deposit accounts, remittance, credit, insurance, etc. The scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 August 2014.
  • By 1 February 2017, over 27 crore (270 million) bank accounts had been opened under the scheme. The scheme provides for the following:
    • Account holders are provided bank accounts with no minimum balance.
    • RuPay debit cards are issued.
    • Accidental insurance cover of ₹1 lakh is ensured.
  • After six months of opening of a bank account, holders are eligible for ₹5000 overdraft from the bank.

Make  in India Initiative | Important Government Schemes

  • Make in India is an initiative launched by the Government of India to encourage multinational as well as national companies to manufacture their products in India. It was launched in September 2014. The Ministry of Commerce is the nodal ministry to implement this initiative.
  • The major objective behind the initiative is to focus on job creation and skill enhancement. The initiative hopes to attract capital and technological investment in India. Before the initiative was launched, foreign equity caps in various sectors had been relaxed. Various sectors and industrial corridors have been identified for investment. Various other norms and procedures were also relaxed.
  • Some of the initiatives launched under the Make in India initiative are as follows:
  • The Department of Commerce, Government of India, has launched the Indian Trade Portal. This portal is a single point for relevant information on non-tariff measures such as standards, technical regulations, assessment procedures, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures.
  • An investor facilitation cell called “Invest India” has been created to guide, assist, and handhold investors during the entire lifecycle of the business.
  • The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has also set up Japan Plus and Korea Plus. They are special management teams to facilitate and fast track investment proposals from Japan and South Korea, respectively.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

  • The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or Mission, launched on 2 October 2014, is so far the largest programme on sanitation by the Indian government. It has two sub-missions: Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural) and Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban). While the rural mission comes under the purview of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, the urban mission comes under the Ministry of Urban Development.
  • The basic objective is to provide sanitation facilities to every family, including toilets, solid and liquid waste disposal systems, village cleanliness, and safe and adequate drinking water supply by 2 October 2019 (150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi). Funding for the programme is mainly through contributions to the Swachh Bharat Kosh (funded via Swachh Bharat Cess) and commitments under corporate social responsibility.

Digital India

  • Digital India is a campaign launched by the Government of India to ensure that government services are made available to citizens electronically and to increase Internet connectivity and digital literacy in order to empower people. It was launched in July 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Digital India consists of three core components:
    • Creation of digital infrastructure: The Government of India entity Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL), which executes the National Optical Fibre Network project, is the custodian of the Digital India (DI) project. It has an objective to connect 250,000 villages through broadband network. This will provide the first basic set-up to achieve towards Digital India. The government is planning to set up at least one Common Service Centre in each of the gram panchayats.
    • Digital literacy: The Digital Literacy Mission will cover six crore rural households. To connect rural India with Digital India, the Government of India compelled email services provider giants, including Gmail, Office, and Rediff, to provide email address in regional languages.
    • Delivery of services digitally: Some of the facilities that will be provided through this initiative are digital locker, e-education, e-health, e-sign, national scholarship portal, and e-sampark.
  • Digi locker facility will help citizens to digitally store their important documents such as PAN card, passport, mark sheets, and degree certificates. Digital locker will provide secure access to government-issued documents. It uses authenticity services provided by Aadhaar. It is aimed at eliminating the use of physical documents and enables the sharing of verified electronic documents across government agencies. Three key stakeholders of Digi Locker are citizen, issuer, and requester.
  • gov.in is a website to keep a record of the attendance of government employees on a real-time basis. This initiative started with implementation of a common biometric attendance system (BAS) in the central government offices located in Delhi.
  • in is a platform to share inputs and ideas on matters of policy and governance. It is a platform for citizen engagement in governance.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) mobile app is being used by people and government organizations for achieving the goals of the Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • e-Sign framework allows citizens to digitally sign a document online using Aadhaar authentication.
  • e-Hospital application provides important services such as online registration, payment of fees and appointment, online diagnostic reports, enquiring availability of blood online, etc.
  • National Scholarship Portal is a one-step solution for end-to-end scholarship process right from the submission of student application, verification, sanction, and disbursal to end beneficiary for all the scholarships provided by the Government of India.
  • e-Sampark is a mechanism to contact citizens electronically, sending informational and public service messages via e-mails, SMSs, and outbound dialling.

Universal Basic Income | Important Government Schemes

  • The Universal Basic Income (UBI) is about giving cash under one umbrella, what is already being given in-kind and cash benefits) via different channels.
  • Its objective remains the same: to eliminate the public distribution system and, with it, the food, fuel, and fertilizer subsidies. In other words, UBI will be an efficient substitute for a plethora of existing welfare schemes and subsidies.
  • The idea of UBI has been gaining ground globally. Economic Survey 2017 justified the introduction of UBI citing several reasons:
    • Promoting social justice, reducing poverty, and an unconditional cash transfer that lets the beneficiary decide how the money is to be used.
    • Direct cash transfer through a JAM (Jan Dhan-Aadhaar Mobile) platform would be more efficient compared to the “existing welfare schemes which are riddled with misallocation, leakages and exclusion of the poor.”
    • Unemployment due to automation.
    • Extreme poverty in some regions.

 

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