Topic-Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
2) Divyang-friendly measures need to be integrated at planning stage for ensuring inclusive growth in smart cities in India. Discuss.(250 words)
Why this question
Divyangs as the persons facing any disability are more aptly called, form an important segment of our population. The recently held interactive session on “Divyang Friendly Measures and Policy Recommendations for Smart Cities in India” has highlighted the issue of inclusive growth in India . It is therefore important to analyze the issue.
Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. We also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.
Key demand of the question
The question wants us to write in detail about the need to undertake Divyang-Friendly measures at planning stage for ensuring inclusive growth in smart cities in India. We also have to discuss how those measures can be undertaken- what should be the direction of approach.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few lines about the growing urban population, and mention India’s smart city program.
- Discuss the need to undertake such measures. E.g Census 2001 has revealed that over 21 million people in India as suffering from one or the other kind of disability. This is equivalent to 2.1% of the population; tourism-based cities are likely to face an opportunity loss of an estimated 15-20% of the global market share if they exclude tourists with disabilities. ; Leaving people with disabilities out of economic opportunities leads to a loss of 3-7%of GDP annually; the disabled have the right to life with dignity; according to the United Nations, a mere 1% additional cost is incurred for incorporating universal design and accessibility in the design and planning stage itself etc.
- Mention that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 mandates making all buildings, services and products accessible giving definite timelines for implementation and retrofitting.Discuss how these measures can be undertaken vis a vis the smart cities programme. E.g update the National Building Code 2016 to ensure that accessibility cuts across all chapters and section; with a growing digital interface, technology must be made accessible – municipal apps, bus shelters, kiosks, red light junctions, ATMs, all need to be made accessible for people with disabilities. Signage captioning is important for the deaf and hearing-impaired. Products that we use must be accessible- e.g. low floor buses, lifts and elevators that announce the floor reached for people with visual disabilities, etc.
Conclusion– Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.