02 October, 2019

15 Min Read

In last five years, Swachh Bharat mission has captured people’s imagination.

GS-II: In last five years, Swachh Bharat mission has captured people’s imagination.


In the last five years, India has transformed from being the highest contributor to global open defecation to torch-bearer for global sanitation.

Key pillars behind the success of SBM:

Political leadership – Inspired by the top leadership and commitment, various chief ministers took up the cause. Leaders at all levels are prime catalysts for large-scale transformations.

Public financing – Over Rs 1 lakh crore was committed to ensuring universal access to sanitation, thereby backing the political will with budgetary support.

Partnerships – SBM (G) partnered with implementers and influencers — national and international development agencies, media houses, civil society, celebrities, as well as all departments/ministries of the government of India.

People’ participation – SBM-G trained over half a million swachhagrahis, who triggered behaviour change in every village in India.

SBM-G brought in a unique blend of young professionals and experienced but driven bureaucrats, and each person became committed to the goal.

Behavior change – SBM-G engaged extensively with the media, leveraging popular culture, and associating Bollywood stars, sportspersons and other influencers to promote the message of sanitation.

Way ahead

  • 10-year sanitation strategy to move from ODF to ODF Plus
  • Sustaining the SBM-G gains
  • Ensuring that no one is left behind
  • Ensuring access to solid and liquid waste management for all villages
  • Ensure piped water supply to all households by 2024. This will boost SBM-G’s sustainability efforts.


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SC/ST judgment, in review

GS-II: SC/ST judgment, in review


  • The Supreme Court has recalled its directions in a March 20, 2018 verdict that had effectively diluted provisions of arrest under the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
  • This was following a plea by the Centre seeking a review of that judgment.
  • The court accepted that Dalits have suffered for long and negated the basis of last year’s judgment in which the court had commented on false cases under the Act.

Review of a judgment

  • ‘Review’ of a Supreme Court judgment is done by the same Bench.
  • ‘Overruling’ means that the law laid down in one case is overruled in another case.
  • When a higher court on appeal alters the judgment of a lower court, it is called ‘reversal.’
  • Generally, a review is heard in the judge’s chamber, but may be heard in open court in important cases as in the Sabarimala and Rafale cases, in which no order has been pronounced yet.

Why was the SC/ST Act enacted?

  • Since crimes against SCs and STs are fundamentally hate crimes, the Rajiv Gandhi enacted the Act in 1989.
  • It gave furtherance to the provisions for abolition of untouchability (Article 17) and equality (Articles 14, 15).

Why reviewed now?

  • The review stated that despite various measures to improve the socio-economic conditions of the SCs and STs, they remain vulnerable.
  • They are denied number of civil rights. They are subjected to various offences, indignities, humiliations and harassment.
  • They have, in several brutal incidents, been deprived of their life and property.

Source: Indian Express

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Why 2005 declaration on synergy between government and NGOs is still relevant.

GS-II: Why 2005 declaration on synergy between government and NGOs is still relevant.


The idea of NGOs started in the 90s. It held that apart from the government agencies, corporates, the cooperative sector, and other citizens could get together for common developmental causes.

Role of NGOs:

  • The development required technology, capital, and other resources.
  • But above all, the motivation and capability of the concerned people to utilise their resources in an efficient, equitable, and sustainable manner.
  • The decade of the 90s saw sweeping changes in the way rural development — particularly matters relating to natural resources.
  • Rural communities were required to prepare and implement micro plans appropriate to local conditions and needs. Joint Forest Management (1990), watershed development (1995), participatory irrigation management (1997) and Swajaldhara (2003) are good examples.

The decision at Bhopal – 8 principles:

It prepared eight declarations based on eight principles:

  • The centrality of community-based organisations (CBOs)
  • Equity
  • Decentralisation.
  • Need of a facilitating agency
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Training and software
  • Sustained momentum of development
  • Organisational restructuring.

Way Forward

If we decide to plan again with the large number of new schemes that were declared after planning was abolished, we must reinvent these principles.

Source: Indian Express

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D28 iceberg

GS-I: D28 iceberg


A more than 1,500 sq.km. D28 iceberg recently broke off Antarctica.


  • The iceberg, dubbed D28, broke away from the Amery ice shelf according to observations from European and American satellites.
  • It is about 210 metres thick and contains 315 billion tonnes of ice.

The east of Antarctica where D28 broke off is different from the west of the continent and Greenland, which are rapidly warming due to climate change.

Not related to Climate Change

  • Scientists found that the event is part of a normal cycle and is not related to climate change.
  • The figures are huge, but iceberg production is part of the normal cycle of ice shelves, which are an extension of the ice cap.
  • Ice shelves have to lose mass because they gain mass.
  • The gain in mass comes from snow falling on the continent and glaciers that move slowly toward the shore.


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GS-III : Economic Issues Banking
States at Centre

GS-II: States at Centre


In recent times, economic discussion in India has focused largely on the stress on central government finances. But state government finances are also facing headwinds.

State of states’ finance:

  • States increasingly account for a larger share in general government spending.
  • An RBI report on state finances notes that over the past two years, the overall size of state budgets has reduced. This may have “inadvertently deepened” the economic slowdown.
  • States have pegged their revenues to grow at a slower pace largely due to lower tax devolution and grants.
  • Revenue expenditure tends to be sticky in nature — rising due to higher interest and pension payments.
  • States have offset slower revenue growth by curtailing capital spending, which will lower overall public sector capex.
  • RBI report also notes that state debt to GDP has surged to 25%of GDP in 2019-20. Bringing it down to 20% as per FRBM review committee will be challenging.

Challenges facing state finances

  • The strains on state finances stem from several sources.
  • States are increasingly undertaking capital expenditure through state public sector enterprises.
  • States extend support to these enterprises through guarantees on their borrowings, “weak cost recovery mechanisms”, as in the case of the power and transport sectors, pose a fiscal risk.
  • Under UDAY agreements, states have to take over incremental losses of power discoms.
  • Sharp cuts in corporate taxes and sluggish GST collections will also impact tax devolution to states.
  • There are concerns over the fiscal costs of Ayushman Bharat.
  • Centre has also asked the 15th Finance Commission to look into the possibility of providing funds for defence and internal security. These are likely to come at the expense of states.

Source: Indian Express

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