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12 April, 2020

26 Min Read

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Paper Topics Subject
GS-II Swachhata App and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
GS-III Industrial revolution 4.0 Economic Issues
NBFC Economic Issues
PT Pointer J&K shifting of capital
GS-II :
Swachhata App and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

Swachhata App and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Governance (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched a revised version of the existing Swachhata-MoHUA App to handle queries specific to Covid-19.

  • Swachhata-MoHUA is the official platform for Swachh Bharat Mission built in partnership with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • The app enables a citizen to post a civic-related issue (eg; a garbage dump, public toilets not cleaned, etc.) which is then forwarded to the city corporation concerned and thereafter assigned to the sanitary inspector of the particular ward.
  • It serves as an effective digital tool (e-governance) enabling citizens to play an active role in the Swachhata of their cities and increase accountability on the part of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).
  • The revised version includes Covid-19 related support requests including fogging/sanitation, food, shelter and reporting violation of quarantine/lockdown, suspected cases of Infection.

 

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi received the award of “Global Goalkeeper” from the Gates Foundation for the initiative of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan on September 25, 2019 in New York.

What is Swachh Bharat Abhiyan?

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is one of the most popular and significant missions in the History of India. This campaign was introduced by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and was launched on 2nd October 2014 to honor Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of a Clean country.

Initially, this Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign was run on a national level in all the towns, rural and urban areas.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Objective

The major objective of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is to spread the awareness of cleanliness and the importance of it.

The concept of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is to provide the basic sanitation facilities like toilets, solid and liquid waste disposal systems, village cleanliness and safe and adequate drinking water supply to each and every person.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Action Plan

The action plan for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is to be laid by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. The vision is to triple the facility of sanitation by 2019. The major change to be implemented is in the Making of an Open Defecation Free(ODF) India.

Action Plan Highlights:

  • Improve the growth percentage of toilets from 3% to 10% by 2019
  • Increase in the construction of toilets from 14000 to 48000 daily
  • Launch of a National Level/State Level Media campaign through audio visual, mobile telephony and local programmes to communicate the message of awareness.
  • Involvement of school children in the activities for spreading awareness on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.

Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban)

  • Coming to Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), it is under the Ministry of Urban Development and is commissioned to give sanitation and household toilet facilities in all 4041 statutory towns with a combined population of 377 million.
  • The estimated cost is Rs 62,009 crore over five years with the centre’s share of assistance being Rs 14,623 crore.
  • The Mission hopes to cover 1.04 crore households, give 2.5 lakh community toilet seats, 2.6 lakh public toilet seats
  • It also purposes to establish solid waste management facilities in every town.

At the core of this mission lie six components:

  1. Individual household toilets;
  2. Community toilets;
  3. Public toilets;
  4. Municipal Solid Waste Management;
  5. Information and Educating Communication (IEC) and Public Awareness;
  6. Capacity Building
  • The Urban Clean India mission seeks to eradicate open defecation; convert insanitary toilets to flush toilets; eradicate manual scavenging, and facilitate solid waste management.
  • The mission emphasizes on ushering in a behavioral change among people, with respect to healthy sanitation practices, by educating them about the damaging effects of open defecation, the environmental dangers spreading from strewn garbage, and so on.
  • To achieve these objectives, urban local bodies are being brought in and fortified to design, implement and operate systems in order to promote a facilitating environment for the participation of the private sector in terms of both capital and operations expenditure.

Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural)

  • The Rural mission, known as Swachh Bharat Gramin, aims to make Village Panchayats open defecation free by October 2, 2019.
  • Removing obstacles and addressing critical issues that affect results is the new thrust of this rural sanitation mission, which aims to provide all rural households with individual latrines; and build cluster and community toilets on public-private partnership mode.
  • Considering the filth and unhygienic conditions in village schools, this programme lays special emphasis on toilets in schools with basic sanitation amenities.
  • Construction of Anganwadi toilets and management of solid and liquid waste in all Village Panchayats is the object of the Clean India mission.

Ranking of cities

Every year, cities and towns across India are awarded with the title of ‘Swachh Cities’ on the basis of their cleanliness and sanitation drive as a part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan that was launched in 2014.

Highlights

  • Indore in Madhya Pradesh is India’s cleanest city and Gonda in Uttar Pradesh the filthiest
  • Out of 10 cleanest cities, 2 are from Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh each while Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Maharashtra each have one
  • Out of 10 dirtiest cities, Uttar Pradesh has 5 cities, 2 each from Bihar and Punjab and one of Maharashtra
  • 118 out of 500 cities were found to be Open Defecation Free (ODF)
  • 297 cities have 100% door to door collection of garbage
  • 37 lakh citizens showed interest in Swachh Surveksan
  • There are 404 Cities where 75% of residential areas were found substantially clean
  • Gujarat has maximum of 12 cities among the top 50 cleanest, followed by Madhya Pradesh with 11 and Andhra Pradesh with eight

According to the survey among top 50 clean cities:

  • Gujarat has a maximum of 12 cities followed by
  • Madhya Pradesh with 11 and
  • 8 in Andhra Pradesh

SBM – Facts

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, it has been decided to undertake a special clean-up initiative focused on 100 iconic heritage, spiritual and cultural places in the country.

  • The aim of this initiative is to make these 100 places model ‘Swachh Tourist Destinations’, that will enhance the experience for visitors from India and abroad.

 

Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has launched Swachh Vidyalaya Programme under Swachh Bharat Mission with an objective to provide separate toilets for boys and girls in all government schools within one year. The programme aims at ensuring that every school in the country must have a set of essential interventions that relate to both technical and human development aspects of a good Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme.

The Ministry financially supports States/Union Territories inter alia to provide toilets for girls and boys in schools under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA).

 

Rashtriya Swachhata Kosh

The Swachh Bharat Kosh (SBK) has been set up to facilitate and channelize individual philanthropic contributions and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds to achieve the objective of Clean India (Swachh Bharat) by the year 2019. The Kosh will be used to achieve the objective of improving cleanliness levels in rural and urban areas, including in schools. The allocation from the Kosh will be used to supplement and complement departmental resources for such activities. To incentivise contributions from individuals and corporate, modalities are being considered to provide tax rebates where it is possible.

 

Rural Sanitation Strategy: 2019-2029

Recently, the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) under the Ministry of Jal Shakti has launched the 10-year Rural Sanitation Strategy starting from 2019 up to 2029.

  • The strategy has been prepared by DDWS, in consultation with the State Governments and other stakeholders.
  • It lays down a framework to guide local governments, policy-makers, implementers and other relevant stakeholders in their planning for Open Defecation Free (ODF) Plus status, where everyone uses a toilet, and every village has access to solid and liquid waste management.
  • The strategy aims to sustain the behavioral change regarding sanitation that has been achieved under the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G) and ensure that the focus is shifted to increasing access to solid and liquid waste management in the rural areas of the country.
  • The 10-year strategy also demands focused intervention through capacity strengthening, IEC (Information, Education, and Communication), organic waste management, plastic waste management, and water management.
  • Public financing has played an important role in the ODF journey but for the maintenance of toilets and infrastructure, the need is there for innovative models for sanitation financing.
    • With regard to waste management elements, there will have to be a convergence of funds from the Centre, states, Panchayati raj institutions (PRIs) and alternative sources of financing, including private funds.
    • Discussions are still underway on the budget requirement and whether funds will be disbursed via a centrally sponsored scheme or through Finance Commission transfers to PRIs.
    • The strategy highlights the potential collaborations with development partners, civil society and intergovernmental partnerships.

Open Defecation Free (ODF), ODF+, ODF++ Status

  • ODF: An area can be notified or declared as ODF if at any point of the day, not even a single person is found defecating in the open.
  • ODF+: This status is given if at any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating and/or urinating in the open, and all community and public toilets are functional and well maintained.
  • ODF++: This status is given if the area is already ODF+ and the faecal sludge/septage and sewage are safely managed and treated, with no discharging or dumping of untreated faecal sludge and sewage into the open drains, water bodies or areas.

India has seen a sanitation revolution in the form of SBM-G that transformed itself into a Jan Andolan (a people’s movement). Since the launch of the SBM-G in 2014, over 10 crore toilets have been built in rural areas. Till now, over 5.9 lakh villages in 699 districts and 37 States/UTs have declared themselves as Open Defecation Free (ODF).

Way Forward

  • It is because of the SBM-G that India is now an inspiration, in terms of sanitation for other countries.
  • To mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on 2nd October 2019, the Central government is ready to dedicate a Swachh Bharat to India.
    • To ensure this, the State Governments have been advised to take a note that no one is left behind, and in case any household does not have access to a toilet, they are facilitated to build a toilet on priority.

 

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GS-III : Economic Issues
Industrial revolution 4.0

Industrial revolution 4.0

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Economy (PT-MAINS-PT)

Technology forms the subtext of human development. History is loaded with instances of technology serving as catalyst in the grand narrative of human development. From basic necessities like food, air, water, clothing and shelter, to structural requirements like security technology has played a tremendous role in every field of human growth and survival.

Invention of the transistor:

  • Around the year 1948 the invention of the transistor, a device with potential to have numerous applications in radio technology by replacing the vacuum tube, took place.
  • The transistor is a resister or semi-conductor device which helps amplify electoral signals as they get transferred through it.
  • The presence of the transistor enables all kinds of binary logic operations and has brought a revolution to the field of electronics and computing.

Historical Perspective:

  • Manifestations of various technological developments have resulted in various industrial revolutions since 17th/18th century onwards.
  • However, during the last few decades, one country that has shown remarkable progress towards industrialization is China. Countries like Israel and India are known to have made some contributions too, with Israel playing a major role in the realm of technology development.
  • The main features of these industrial revolutions are as follows:
  • The First Industrial Revolution: 1760 – 1840. It was a period which witnessed the emergence of stream engine, textile industry and mechanical engineering.
  • The Second Industrial Revolution: 1870- 1914. The revolution was about emergence of railways and steel industry.
  • The Third Industrial Revolution: 1969 – 2000. Electric engine, heavy chemicals, automobiles and consumer durables made their presence felt during this period.

This is an ongoing phase of this industrial revolution which has also been called as Industry 4.0. Developments in the oil industry and the IT industry have led the initial phase of Industry 4.0. At the same time, there are various other S&T innovations which are leading the progression of this Industrial Revolution.

Innovations in the field of Medicine:

  • Invention of Penicillin during 1928 by the Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming could be considered as the beginning of the modern era of medicine. It transformed the field of medicine by its ability to cure infectious bacterial diseases.
  • The discovery of DNA has totally revolutionized field of biology and demonstrated that this discovery would help humans to resolve various challenges beyond medicine. DNA profiling helps the law enforcement agencies towards solving crimes.
  • Apart from these important discoveries, the research on the stem cell is also an important innovation. Such cells have the unique ability to develop into specialized cell types in the body which could be used to replace cells and tissues that have been damaged or lost due to disease.
  • In addition, various innovations in the organ donation field which assist to replace (repair) eyes, lung, heart, kidney, liver, pancreas or intestine have helped human race immensely.

Innovations in the Power Sector:

  • In the power sector, from nuclear power to solar power to space based solar power to biofuels, various clean options have been made available.
  • Another interesting technology/method for energy generation is by using nuclear fusion reactors.
  • Presently, much work is happening in the arena of development of nuclear fusion reactors. In southern France, International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) is getting developed. This technology, when fully operationalized, is expected to change the global energy habits.
  • A major innovation could happen when the current nuclear fusion reactors where the hydrogen isotopes tritium and deuterium are used as the fuel would be replaced by other technology.
  • If helium-3 and deuterium could be used as fuels, then a major revolution in the energy sector is expected.
  • The helium-3 is not available on the earth’s surface, hence at present few states are undertaking missions to Moon where helium-3 is available in abundance.

 

Innovation in Modern Technology:

  • For many years one of the best approaches to industrial production was considered as CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine.
  • Today, with the developments taking place in the additive manufacturing (AM) sector it is expected that a major change is at the doorstep of global manufacturing processes.
  • This technology which is commonly known as 3D printing is a mechanism of direct digital manufacturing. This would allow object creation by simply using a digital file which is having the design of the product.

 

Internet of Things:

  • At the heart of various technological innovations over the years, lies the Internet. This is the single most technology which has helped to change the face of the world within a few years.
  • Internet 2.0 is expected to bring in major changes in the present-day setup of doing various things.
  • Development in multiple fields of science and engineering like nanoscience, electronics, and sensor technologies are offering new opportunities to relate with internet differently.
  • The idea of using internet differently and by using diverse effects (normally “thing” or “objects” are viewed as any possible items in the real world that could join the communication chain) is expected to upswing to the model of Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Generally, IoT is considered to be simply a means of connecting different sensors to a network. Ambient Intelligence and Cognitive Technologies are anticipated to have a major impact on the future of IT. Technologies like Fog computing, Distributed computing, Cloud computing, Big Data and Block-chain are expected to impact the future of IoT.

 

Artificial Intelligence:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is another technology which has been there for many years and is presently found making a lot of impact on the development cycle in various disciplines.
  • Issues of ethics do get raised in regard to the applicability of AI.
  • However, even today, AI is still an evolving technology and the scope for AI is varied.
  • Broadly, it could be argued that AI and Internet 2.0 could decide on the future of the world.

 

Innovations in Space Technology:

  • Developments in the field of Outer Space have been fascinating.
  • This is one technological field, which could be said to have made major contribution towards addressing various issues of socio-economic importance.
  • Voice and data communication in real time and offering accurate inputs for various development aspects and managerial issues has been the key focus of space technologies.
  • Today communication, navigational remote sensing (earth observational), weather and scientific satellites actually almost fully control humans lives.
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GS-III : Economic Issues
NBFC

NBFCs Face Moratorium Issue with Banks

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Economy-Bank (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)

Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) may face a tough time following the Reserve Bank of India’s recent directive on providing a moratorium on repayment.

  • This is because though these entities are providing moratoriums to their customers, they still have to continue repaying banks and other borrowers.

Important

  • Banks are not willing to offer any moratorium on term loans taken by the NBFCs. This has put significant pressure on liquidity profiles of many NBFCs.
    • A significant part of money disbursed by NBFCs is loan taken from banks.
    • Moratorium simply refers to a legal authorisation to existing borrowers to defer or postpone their loan repayments for a predetermined period.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had asked banks, co-operative banks and NBFCs to offer a three-month moratorium on loan repayments by their customers in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown.
    • The RBI has not specifically said NBFCs should not be given moratorium by banks.
    • While a few banks are inclined to offer moratorium on NBFC loans, some of the big banks have ruled out any such facility.
  • The NBFCs have already been facing liquidity problems due to the the IL&FS and DHFL crises.
  • Total bank loan outstandings to Non-Banking Financial Company(NBFC) sector were Rs.7,37,198 crore as of January 31,2020 showing a rise of 32.2 per cent on a year-on-year basis.
    • Collections from customers have declined due to the lockdown, closure of units and job losses.
    • Almost 60% of NBFC borrowings are from non-bank sources and require continuity in debt servicing.
    • With minimal collections, NBFCs can only depend on their cash reserves and any backup credit lines from banks, if available for servicing such debt.
    • Debt service is the cash that is required to cover the repayment of interest and principal on a debt for a particular period.
  • Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Move
    • The RBI has made available Rs 1 lakh crore through its targeted long-term repo operations (TLTRO) window.
      • Corporates and government-owned financiers will also be interested in this window.
      • Only higher rated NBFCs may end up benefiting.
    • Industry chamber Assocham has proposed a special liquidity window for NBFCs, but the RBI has not shown any inclination so far.

Non-Banking Financial Company

  • NBFC is a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956.
  • It is engaged in the business of loans and advances, acquisition of shares/stocks/bonds/debentures/securities issued by Government or local authority or other marketable securities of a like nature, leasing, hire-purchase, insurance business, chit business.
  • But, it does not include any institution whose principal business is that of agriculture activity, industrial activity, purchase or sale of any goods (other than securities) or providing any services and sale/purchase/construction of immovable property.
  • A non-banking institution which is a company and has principal business of receiving deposits under any scheme or arrangement in one lump sum or in installments by way of contributions or in any other manner, is also a non-banking financial company (Residuary non-banking company).

Features of NBFCs

  • NBFC cannot accept demand deposits.
  • NBFCs do not form part of the payment and settlement system and cannot issue cheques drawn on itself.
  • Deposit insurance facility of Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation is not available to depositors of NBFCs.
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GS-II :
J&K shifting of capital

J&K shifting of capital

Recently, for the first time in 144 years, the Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) administration has decided to halt the bi-annual shifting of the capital, called ‘Durbar move’ due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

Key Points

  • From May to October, governmental offices are housed in the summer capital of J&K, Srinagar, and the other six months in its winter capital, Jammu.
  • Durbar Move acts as a bridge between two diverse cultures of the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu region.
  • The tradition was started during Dogra ruler Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1872.
  • Ranbir Singh was Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir from 1856 to1885.
  • He was the third son of Gulab Singh, the founder of the Jammu and Kashmir state.
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