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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 16 JULY 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 16 JULY 2019


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


Topic: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India. Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.

1) “Despite years of reservation, the conditions of Dalits in India still remain miserable”. In the light of some recent incidence, bring out the major reasons behind miserable condition of Dalits. Give suggestions for improvement.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The question is in the backdrop of the recently released Article 15, which is a welcome addition to films that portray Dalit subjectivity in a nuanced manner.

Key demand of the question:

The answer needs to evaluate the conditions of Dalit and how they have remained unaddressed despite the affirmative action of State through reservation.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief quote facts and represent conditions of Dalit in India.

Body:

The answer must evaluate the conditions of Dalits in our society and examine their conditions with respect to the provisions of reservation and in what way reservation has mostly failed to serve the real purpose of fixing the root problems.one must suggest solutions to the problem like apart from reservation mainstreaming the community, awareness, rooting out inequalities etc. need action.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Dalits or untouchables are officially known as Scheduled Castes since the Government of India Act, 1935. Caste system, which according Dr BR Ambedkar is ordained by the Hindu religious scriptures, has placed untouchables outside the Chaturvarna system of social division and imposed oppressive and in human rules of treatment against them. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), crime against Dalits – ranging from rape, murder, beatings, and violence related to land matters increased by 29 percent from 2012 to 2014.

Body:

Despite strong laws including SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989, Untouchability Act 1955 and various constitutional provisions like Art 15(2) (no discrimination at public place), Art 17(untouchability), Art. 23(prevention of bonded labour) have been framed but have failed to this discrimination.

These laws have politically and legally emboldened the dalits but socially have failed to be realised due to lack of awareness, poor reporting, police apathy etc. It is important to address the following concerns rather than making stronger legislation which are strong enough on paper

Kind of discrimination meted out to Dalits:

  • Even top officials who are Dalits are insulted and humiliated with caste slurs.
  • They are often prevented from entering any place of worship which is open to the public and other persons from the same religion, they are not allowed to be a part of social or cultural processions, including jatras.
  • Dalit children are discriminated against when it comes to mid-day meals and getting access to clean toilets.
  • The UGC guideline of prevention of discrimination in higher educational institutions came into light after University of Hyderabad student Rohit Vemula’s suicide.
  • Meanwhile, Dalit women are framed as witches; thereby ensuring that the family is socially ostracized in the village.
  • Even public servants who are supposed to protect Dalits sometimes fall prey to caste prejudice and work against their rights.

Major reasons behind miserable conditions of Dalits:

  • Untouchability:
    • While modern Indian law has officially abolished the caste hierarchy, untouchability is in many ways still a practice.
    • In most villages in Rajasthan Dalits are not allowed to take water from the public well or to enter the temple.
  • Political:
    • Dalit movement, like identity movements across the world, has really narrowed its focus to forms of oppressions.
    • Most visible Dalit movements have been around issues like reservations and discrimination in colleges, and these are issues that affect only a small proportion of the Dalit population.
    • Today Dalits are perceived as a threat to the established social, economic and political position of the upper caste. Crimes are a way to assert the upper caste superiority.
    • Stasis in farm income over the past few years caused disquiet among predominantly agrarian middle caste groups, who perceive their dominance in the countryside to be weakening.
    • The growing scramble for Dalit votes by different political actors has only added a fresh twist to a conflict that has been simmering for some time.
  • Economic:
    • Rising living standards of Dalits appears to have led to a backlash from historically privileged communities.
    • In a study by Delhi School of Economics ,an increase in the consumption expenditure ratio of SCs/STs to that of upper castes is associated with an increase in crimes committed by the latter against the former
    • Rising income and growing educational achievements may have led many Dalits to challenge caste barriers, causing resentment among upper caste groups, leading to a backlash.
    • There is also a possibility of the rise due to high registration and recognition of such crimes.
    • Half of all atrocities committed against Dalits are related to land disputes.
  • Educational Institutions:
    • In public schools, Dalits are not allowed to serve meals to superior castes; they often have to sit outside the classroom; and are made to clean the toilets.
    • Even in universities most of the faculty vacancies reserved for them are lying vacant and students are often discriminated.
    • The recent incidents of suicides of Rohith Vemula and Payal Tadvi substantiate the above claims of discrimination against Dalit students.
  • Dalit women:
    • Girls face violence at a younger age and at a higher rate than women of other castes. According to the National Family Health Survey by the age of 15, 33.2% scheduled caste women experience physical violence. The figure is 19.7% for “other” category women.
    • The violence continues, largely due to a sense of impunity among dominant castes.
    • Dalit women and girls are often the targets of hate crimes. Access to justice has been abysmal, with conviction rates at a measly 16.8 percent. Crimes against Dalits usually see half the conviction rate of the overall rate of conviction of crimes. Experts and activists say that low conviction rates and lack of prosecution of such cases of atrocities are the reasons why crimes against Dalits continue to rise.
  • Political power does not help:
    • Even when Dalit women acquire political power, as when they are elected as sarpanches, there is often no protection against the social power that sanctions violence and discrimination against them.
    • In a village with a Dalit woman sarpanch, a Dalit woman was burned, but no action was taken.
  • Workplace violence:
    • The risky workplaces compounded with a lack of labour rights protection measures render migrants Dalit women more vulnerable to occupational injury.
    • Further, the emerging problem of sub-contracting short-termed labour makes it more difficult for them to claim compensation when they are injured at work places.
    • Dalit women are most vulnerable to abuse and exploitation by employers, migration agents, corrupt bureaucrats and criminal gangs.
    • The enslavement trafficking also contributes to migration of large proportion of Dalit women.

Measures needed:

  • Attitudinal change need to brought about among the upper caste through the use of local Panchayat level officials who need to disseminate information regarding the rights, legal provisions and ensure community places are open to all.
  • Police need to sensitised to take due notice of violation of dalits rights and act stringently rather than turning a blind eye.
  • Dalits fear reporting such crimes fearing backlash in the community they live. Such barriers need to be dispelled by strengthening and reaching out to them through institution already in place namely Nation commission for SCs etc.
  • Schools ,college administration, the staff and students need to be sensitized as attitudinal change can effectively be brought about through education and textbooks
  • Sensible labour laws reforms to give exit options to Dalits trapped in a system.
  • Integrating social and cultural transformation with an economic alternative is critical.
  • Huge investments will be needed in upskilling and educating dalits and government needs to create an abundance of new jobs within the formal sector and lowering barriers to job creation
  • Increased availability of stable-wage jobs for women is critical to preventing their socio-economic exploitation
  • Bridging the deep-rooted biases through sustained reconditioning: It is only possible by promoting the idea of gender equality and uprooting social ideology of male child preferability.
  • They should be given decision-making powers and due position in governance. Thus, the Women Reservation Bill should be passed as soon as possible to increase the effective participation of women in the politics of India.
  • Bridging implementation gaps: Government or community-based bodies must be set up to monitor the programs devised for the welfare of the society.
  • Dalit women need group and gender specific policies and programmes to address the issue of multiple deprivations.
  • Dalit women require comprehensive policies on health, especially on the maternal and child health
  • Make credit available by pooling the women to form self help groups. The example of Kudumbashree model of Kerala can be emulated.

Conclusion:

Stringent laws only have never helped its cause and attitudinal change in perception toward the dalits and for Dalit toward themselves need to changed through active interventions which is well possible within the existing framework .


Topic: population and associated issues.

2) Discuss the role of fertility as a component of population dynamics. Highlight the characteristics and limitations of various measures of fertility in India.(250 words)

Geography by Majid Hussain

Reference

Why this question: 

The question is about discussing the significance of fertility as a component of population dynamics.

Demand of the question:

The question is about discussing the relevance of fertility as part of population dynamics and one must discuss the limitations of different measures of fertility.

Directive word: 

DiscussThis is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Define fertility. And quote the recent trends in fertility aspects in India.

Body

The discussion is straightforward and there is not much to deliberate, Fertility rate, average number of children born to women during their reproductive years. For the population in a given area to remain stable, an overall total fertility rate of 2.1 is needed, assuming no immigration or emigration occurs.

Discuss the significance of it.

Explain the possible limitations.

Conclusion 

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Fertility, one of the three components of population dynamics (the others being mortality and migration), holds a very important place in any population study. A positive force in population dynamics, fertility is responsible for biological replacement and continuation of human society. Fertility levels determine the age structure of a population, which in turn governs the social, economic and demographic characteristics of the population.

Body:

Role of fertility in population dynamics:

  • The term “total fertility rate” describes the total number of children the average women in a population is likely to have based on current birth rates throughout her life.
  • A TFR of 2.1 is known as the replacement rate. Generally speaking, when the TFR is greater than 2.1, the population in a given area will increase, and when it is less than 2.1, the population in a given area will eventually decrease, though it may take some time because factors such as age structure, emigration, or immigration must be considered.
  • if there are numerous women of childbearing age and a relatively small number of older individuals within a given society, the death rate will be low, so even though the TFR is below the replacement rate, the population may remain stable or even increase slightly. This trend cannot last indefinitely but could persist for decades.
  • Tracking fertility rates allows for more efficient and beneficial planning and resource allocation within a particular region. If a country experiences unusually high sustained fertility rates, it may need to build additional schools or expand access to affordable child care.
  • Conversely, sustained low fertility rates may signify a rapidly aging population, which may place an undue burden on the economy through increasing health care and social security costs.

Various measures of fertility in India:

Fertility measures are devices to quantify the fertility performance of a population over a period of time. These measures are used to compare fertility behaviour of different populations, and to examine the trends in fertility of a population over a period of time. These measures can be grouped into two categories, viz., the direct measures and the indirect measures.

Direct Measures:

Crude Birth Rate (CBR) is one of the most commonly used measures of fertility because of its simplicity in concept and measurement. It is the ratio between the total registered live births in a population during a calendar year and the mid-year population.

CBR is only a crude measure and suffers from various limitations. Since both the numerator and denominator in the equation stated above get affected through births, CBR tends to underplay changes in fertility. Further, in the computation of CBR, total population of an area is taken in the denominator. It is, however, important to note that every individual in the population (of all ages and sexes) is not exposed to the risk of reproduction.

General Fertility Rate (GFR), an improvement over CBR, therefore, takes into account only female population in the childbearing age groups or repro­ductive span (i.e., 15 to 44 or 49 years). GFR is, thus, defined as the ratio between the total live births and number of women in the reproductive age span.

Though a refinement over CBR, GFR also suffers from certain limitations. The measure considers entire female population in the reproductive ages as a homogeneous group, whereas the fecundity of women is not uniform over the period. Thus, GFR is also a crude rate.

Age-Specific Fertility Rate (ASFR): ASFR can be worked out for single year age data as well as for broad age groups. Usually, the reproductive age span is divided into five-year age groups, numbering six or seven depending upon the upper limit of the reproductive age span.

Total Fertility Rate (TFR), refers to the total number of children a woman will produce during her childbearing age span, if she is subjected to a fertility schedule as prescribed by the age-specific fertility rates. The TFR together with the ASFR can be further used to construct several measures that are useful in the study of fertility changes

Indirect Measures:

In addition to the direct measures discussed above, there are several indirect measures of fertility, which are useful particularly when data on live births are not readily available, or are not reliable. These measures arrive at estimates of fertility indirectly using data on age-sex structure, and marital status cross-classified by age and sex. Child Women Ratio and Female Mean Age at Marriage are most commonly used indirect measures. Child Women Ratio (CWR) is defined as the number of children under five years of age, per 100 women in the repro­ductive ages.

Conclusion:

The Economic survey 2016-17 highlighted lack of population dynamics currently taken into consideration by policymakers when it showed that Welfare spending in India suffers from misallocation – the districts with the most poor are the ones that suffer from the greatest shortfall of funds in social programs. We need to account for demographic dynamics in our policy.


Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health.

3) The double burden of undernutrition and obesity needs to be tackled as part of India’s national nutrition strategy. Discuss (250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

 The question is about discussing the issues of undernutrition and overnutrition and significance of Nation nutrition strategy to consider the two aspects on a mission mode so as to resolve the double burden. 

Key demand of the question:

The answer has to deliberate on the causes of the double burden of obesity and undernutrition.

Directive:

DiscussThis is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Define what you understand by under and over nutrition.

Body:

Discuss first the significance of nutrition on the health of an individual and in what way it is an important component in deciding the growth and development of the country.

Then move on to explain the importance of dealing with the two alarming issues in the Nation nutrition strategy.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

According to WHO, Malnutrition refers to deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients. The term malnutrition covers 2 broad groups of conditions. One is ‘undernutrition’—which includes stunting (low height for age), wasting (low weight for height), underweight (low weight for age) and micronutrient deficiencies or insufficiencies (a lack of important vitamins and minerals). The other is overweight, obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer). The scale of malnutrition in India constitutes a public health crisis, which not only violates a fundamental right of humanity, but also undermines significant advances made in economic, social, and cultural indicators.

 

Body:

India is home to one of the largest populations of malnourished children in the world. One cannot build a strong building on a weak foundation.

Current Scenario of Malnutrition in India:

  • India is home to over 40 million stunted and 17 million wasted children (under-five years).
  • Despite a fast-growing economy and the largest anti-malnutrition programme, India has the world’s worst level of child malnutrition
  • Though anaemia among children has declined, it affects every second child in the country. There has been no perceptible decline in anaemia among 15 to 49-year old women; it affects around 60 per cent of them.
  • The daily consumption of iron rich dark green leafy vegetables has reduced from 64 per cent to 48 per cent of the population in the last decade.
  • Many, in fact, argue that the NFSA’s focus on wheat and rice has forced millets — traditional source for iron and minerals — out of the market.
  • The government’s iron supplementation programme to overcome IDA has led to only 30 per cent of pregnant women consuming iron and folic acid tablets.
  • Lack of sanitation and clean drinking water are the reasons high levels of malnutrition persists in India despite improvement in food availability

Key features of the National Nutrition Strategy include:

  • The Strategy aims to reduce all forms of malnutrition by 2030, with a focus on the most vulnerable and critical age groups. The Strategy also aims to assist in achieving the targets identified as part of the Sustainable Development Goals related to nutrition and health.
  • The Strategy aims to launch a National Nutrition Mission, similar to the National Health Mission. This is to enable integration of nutrition-related interventions cutting across sectors like women and child development, health, food and public distribution, sanitation, drinking water, and rural development.
  • A decentralised approach will be promoted with greater flexibility and decision making at the state, district and local levels.
  • Further, the Strategy aims to strengthen the ownership of Panchayati Raj institutions and urban local bodies over nutrition initiatives
  • The Strategy proposes to launch interventions with a focus on improving healthcare and nutrition among children as well as mothers.
  • Governance reforms envisaged in the Strategy include: (i) convergence of state and district implementation plans for ICDS, NHM and Swachh Bharat, (ii) focus on the most vulnerable communities in districts with the highest levels of child malnutrition, and (iii) service delivery models based on evidence of impact.

Way forward:

  • Availability:
    • Farmers should be encouraged and incentivised for agricultural diversification.
    • Innovative and low-cost farming technologies, increase in the irrigation coverage and enhancing knowledge of farmers in areas such as appropriate use of land and water should be encouraged to improve the sustainability of food productivity.
    • The government should improve policy support for improving agricultural produce of traditional crops in the country.
  • Accessibility:
    • The targeting efficiency of all food safety nets should be improved, especially that of the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), to ensure that the poorest are included.
    • In addition, fortification of government-approved commodities within the social safety net programmes can improve nutritional outcomes.
    • Child feeding practices should be improved in the country, especially at the critical ages when solid foods are introduced to the diet.
    • Fortification, diversification and supplementation may be used as simultaneous strategies to address micro and macronutrient deficiencies.
  • Utilisation:
    • Storage capacity should be improved to prevent post-harvest losses.
    • There is a need for more robust measures that can take cognizance of all aspects of SDG 2.
    • All the major welfare programmes need to be gender sensitive.
    • The inherited dehumanising poverty explains the persistence of malnutrition on a large scale.
    • Children born in impecunious circumstances suffer the most from malnutrition. It is all the more reason for governments to intervene to provide adequate nutrition to all.
    • Funds for food to all yield great returns and help in unlocking the full potential of citizens besides strengthening the workforce.

Conclusion:

According to M S Swaminathan, to promote nutrient value food production, a multi-pronged strategy involving academic institutions, government, scientists and farmers should be evolved. Boosting nutrition levels across the country is one of the biggest low hanging fruit in the Indian public policy sphere.


Topic:  Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

4) Examine how ‘smart grids’ can be a solution to India’s power woes. Discuss the challenges and issues involved in its implementation.(250 words) 

livemint

Why this question:

The question is to examine the concept of smart grids.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the concept of smart grids, the challenges and issues involved in implementing the same and in what way it can address the power woes of the country.

Directive:

ExamineWhen asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Discuss in brief the current power scenario of the country with some statistical data.

Body:

Explain that Smart grid (SG) is emerging as a new facet of power industry. It incorporates numerous advanced technologies to deal issues prevailing with conventional electric networks. Though capable to resolve many of these issues, SG is still facing challenges in deployment. These challenges are associated with adaption of emerging technologies, socio-economic issues, lack of policies and awareness.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what needs to be done and how the concept can be put to use effectively to deal with the power problems of the country.

Introduction:

Smart grid is an electricity grid that is used to deliver electricity using two way technology to enable communication between consumers and utility. Smart grid manages electricity demand in a reliable, efficient and sustainable manner. In May 2015, Government approved the National Smart Grid Mission (NSGM) -an institutional mechanism for planning, monitoring and implementation of policies and programs related to Smart Grid activities.

Body:

Potential of Smart Grids:

  • A smart grid involves a network of sub-stations, transformers, and electric lines that help in delivering electricity from power plant to business offices and homes.
  • Similar to the internet, a smart grid also involves the use of computers, automation, controls, and new technologies working in conjunction with each other.
  • The key advantage of smart grid technology is its ability to create stability between electricity demand and supply.
  • The smart grid enables increased, predictability and control of generation and demand through consumer involvement, thus bringing flexibility in both generation and consumption, enabling the utility to better integrate intermittent renewable generation and reducing costs of peak power.
  • A smart grid is cost-effective, responsive, and engineered for reliability of operations.

Challenges and issues involved in its implementation:

  • Policy and regulation: The current policy and regulatory frameworks were typically designed to deal with the existing networks and utilities.
  • High capital and operating costs: Capital and operating costs include large fixed costs linked to the chronic communications    
  • Benefits are constrained by the regulatory framework: When calculating the benefits, organizations tend to  be  conservative  in  what  they can gather as  cash  benefits  to  the shareholders.  For example,  in  many  cases,  line  losses  are  considered to  be  put  onto  the customer  and as  a  result  any drop in  losses  would  have  no  net  impact  on  the utility shareholder.
  • Technology maturity and delivery risk: Technology is  one  of  the  essential constituents of Smart  Grid  which  include  a  broad  range  of hardware,  software,  and  communication  In some cases, the technology is well developed; however, in many areas the technologies are still at a very initial stage of development and are yet to be developed to a significant level.
  • Lack of awareness: Consumer’s level of understanding about how power is delivered to their homes is often low.
  • Access to affordable capital: Funds are  one  of  the  major  roadblocks  in  implementation  of  Smart 
  • Cyber security and data privacy: With the  transition  from  analogous  to  digital  electricity  infrastructure  comes  the  challenge  of communication security  and data management; as digital networks  are more prone to malicious attacks from software hackers, security becomes the key issue to be addressed. concerns  on  invasion  of  privacy  and  security  of  personal consumption  data arises.  The  data  collected  from  the  consumption information  could  provide  a  significant  insight of  consumer’s  behavior  and 

Way forward:

  • Creating frameworks that  allow  risk  to  be  shared between customers and shareholders,  so  that  risks  and  rewards  are  balanced providing least aggregate cost to the customer.
  • Consumers should be made aware about their energy consumption pattern at home, offices.
  • Policy makers  and  regulators  must  be  very  clear  about  the  future  prospects  of  Smart Grids.
  • Utilities need  to  focus  on  the  overall  capabilities  of  Smart  Grids  rather than  mere implementation of smart meters. They need to consider a more holistic view.

Conclusion:

Indian utilities are still lagging far behind when compared to other countries. Smart Grids will play a vital role to help utilities in accomplishing this mission. So, the utilities will need to invest heavily in new hardware, software, business process development, and staff training. Further  there  would  be  high  investment  in home  area  networks  and  smart appliances by  the  customers.  Achieving the broader view of Smart Grid will require complex task prioritization and right set of policies and regulations to be in place.


Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

5) Infrastructure is the backbone of India Economy. Discuss the measures taken by the government to boost infrastructure development in the recent Budget. (250 words)

Economictimes

Why this question:

The question aims to analyse the role played by infrastructure development in growth and development of the country.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must analyse the measures taken by the government to boost infrastructure development in the recent Budget.

Directive:

DiscussThis is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin with brief write up on present state of infrastructure in India.

Body:

Discussion should include the following: 

Infrastructure sector is a key driver for the Indian economy. The sector is highly responsible for propelling India’s overall development and enjoys intense focus from Government for initiating policies that would ensure time-bound creation of world class infrastructure in the country.

Discuss the recent allocations made in the Budget and explain the significance.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Infrastructure is a key driver of the overall development of Indian economy. It is seen that investments in infrastructure equal to 1% of GDP will result in GDP growth of at least 2% as infrastructure has a “multiplier effect” on economic growth across sectors. The recent headway made in developing transport infrastructure will prove to be the biggest enabler for growth.

Body:

Significance of Infrastructure expansion:

  • Infrastructure development helps in poverty reduction due to its high employment elasticity leading to huge job creation capabilities.
  • It also has the trickle-down effect as better transportation infra can lead to access to education, health and other basic necessities.
  • Increasing the manufacturing growth as there is better connectivity, easier movement of goods and services, facilitating private investments
  • It reduces the regional and inter-state disparities and leads to a balanced economic growth by regional equality.
  • Infra sector has huge spill-over effects on other sectors of economy. It has money-multiplier effect too.
  • Better quantity and quality of infrastructure can directly raise the productivity of human and physical capital and in turn growth of nation

Measures in recent budget to boost infrastructure:

  • National Common Mobility Card: India’s first indigenously developed payment ecosystem for transport, based on National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) standards.
  • Ease of Travelling: Inter-operable transport card runs on RuPay card and would allow the holders to pay for bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping.
  • Roadways:
    • Massive push given to all forms of Physical Connectivity via: Bhartamala (road and highways project) and Sagarmala projects (national water port development connectivity scheme), Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), Jal Marg Vikas and UDAN Schemes, Industrial Corridors and Dedicated Freight Corridors.
    • State road networks to be developed in 2nd phase of Bharatmala project.
    • National Highway Programme (NHP) to be restructured to ensure a National Highway Grid, using a financeable mode
  • Waterways:
    • Jal Marg Vikas Project: Under it Navigational capacity of Ganga to be enhanced through multi modal terminals at Sahibganj and Haldia and a navigational lock at Farakka by 2019-20.
    • Ganga Waterways: 4 times increase in next 4 years estimated in cargo volume on Ganga, leading to cheaper freight and passenger movement and reducing import bill.
  • Railways:
    • For Railway Infrastructure during 2018-2030, Rs.50 lakh crore investments is needed.
    • Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) proposed for development and completion of tracks, delivery of passenger freight services and rolling stock manufacturing.
    • 657 kilometres of Metro Rail network has become operational across India.
  • e-vehicles:
    • Outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore for 3 years approved for Phase-II of FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles) Scheme
    • Upfront incentive proposed on purchase and charging infrastructure, to encourage faster adoption of Electric Vehicles (EV).
    • Under FAME Scheme only advanced-battery-operated and registered e-vehicles to be incentivized
  • Aviation:
    • Policy interventions to be made for development of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), to achieve self- reliance in aviation segment
    • Government will be laying a Regulatory roadmap for making India a hub for aircraft financing and leasing activities from Indian shores.
  • Power:
    • To be provided to states at affordable rates ensured under ‘One Nation, One Grid’ and package of power sector tariff and structural reforms to be soon announced.
    • Undesirable duties on captive generation or open access sales for industrial as well as other bulk power consumers to be removed under Ujjwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY).
    • Blueprints to be made available for water grids, gas grids, i-ways, and regional airports
  • Gas:
    • Implementing HLEC (High Level Empowered Committee) Recommendations which is- Addressing low utilization of gas plant capacity due to paucity of Natural Gas;
    • Retirement of old & inefficient plants.
  • Housing:
    • Model Tenancy Law to be finalized and circulated to all states in country
    • To promote rental housing appropriate reform measures are to be taken up
    • For public infrastructure and affordable housing on land parcels held by Central Government and Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), a joint development and concession mechanisms to be used

 

 

Infrastructure financing:

  • There is a need to mobilise alternative financing resources through an effective asset monetisation strategy.
  • Credit Guarantee Enhancement Corporation to be set up in FY 2019-2020
  • To deepen the market for long term bonds Action Plan to be put in place with focus on infrastructure
  • Proposed transfer/sale of investments by FIIs (Foreign Institutional Investor)/FPIs (Foreign portfolio investment) (in debt securities issued by IDF-NBFCs) to any domestic investor within specified lock-in period
  • To enable securities exchange (or stock exchange) to allow AA rated bonds as collaterals
  • Social stock exchange:
    • Electronic fund raising platform under regulatory ambit of SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India)
    • Listing social enterprises and voluntary organizations
    • To raise capital as debt, equity or units like a mutual fund
  • Annual Global Investors Meet to be organized by Government in India, using National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) as an anchor to get all three sets of global players (pension, insurance and sovereign wealth funds).
  • The statutory limit for FPI investment in a company is suggested to be increased from 24% to sectoral foreign investment limit. Also, option to be given to the concerned corporate to limit it to a lower threshold
  • FPIs to be permitted to subscribe to listed debt securities issued by Real estate investment trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs).
  • NRI-Portfolio Investment Scheme Route is proposed to be merged with FPI Route.
  • Cumulative resources garnered through new financial instruments such as InvITs, REITs as well as models like Toll-Operate-Transfer (ToT) exceed Rs. 24,000 crore

Conclusion:

If  proper  effort  is  made  in  expanding  education,  health  facilities,  and  physical infrastructure and improving their quality by increasing budgetary allocation and improving governance, it will go a long way in reducing poverty, improving human development, and reviving and sustaining high rates of economic growth in India.


Topic:  Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

6) Untreated waste water poses a threat to both human health and the aquatic ecosystems. Explain the statement with examples.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The article discusses the threats posed by untreated waste water on human health and aquatic health.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in detail the ill effects posed by the untreated waste water, what needs to be done to address the same.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Briefly introduce problem of untreated water.

Body:

Explain with few facts – The 2017 United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR) notes that more than 80% of the world’s wastewater is released into the environment untreated.

Write about impact of untreated wastewater – on health, economy, environment etc.

Discuss what should be the way forward.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting solutions.

Introduction:

Wastewater is any water that has been adversely affected in quality by anthropogenic influence. Wastewater can originate from a combination of domestic, industrial, commercial or agricultural activities, surface runoff or storm water, and from sewer inflow or infiltration. The 2017 United Nations’ Water Development Programme’s World Water Development Report (WWDR) notes that more than 80% of the world’s wastewater — over 95% in some least developed countries — is released into the environment untreated. The National Green Tribunal has directed 18 States and 2 Union Territories to submit their respective action plans on utilisation of treated wastewater to reduce pressure on the groundwater resources across the country.

Body:

Threats posed by untreated wastewater:-

  • Water borne diseases: such as polio, cholera, typhoid etc; slum dwellers are at a greater risk due to poor drainage in slums.
  • Threat to water bodies & aquatic life: wastewater is rich in nutrients which eutrophics water bodies causing algal bloom, increase in BOD, killing the aquatic life beneath.
  • Biomedical waste: many city hospitals dump biomedical waste into drains thereby multiplying the toxicity of wastewater.
  • Pollution of Rivers: Indian rivers like Ganga, Yamuna are being severely polluted by effluents discharges by industries hence wastewater by domestic and other sources adds to the problem.
  • Reduced flow and corrosion in sludge pipes due to build-up of organic content hence it severely damages the infrastructural set up.
  • Toxic gases like Hydrogen Sulphide, CO2, ammonia, methane produced from slurry can become hazardous to people and animal around.

Way forward:

  • Tapping and Recycling waste water resources
  • Need of national Water policy, on lines of Rajasthan – 1st state to implement sewage water policy
  • Extraction of by-products: such as salt, nitrogen, phosphorous will be useful for local businesses.
  • Industrial applications: for cooling purposes in power stations, industrial machinery etc; Singapore uses reclaimed water called ‘NEWater’ to serve 30% of its needs.
  • Role of government, municipalities: need to enforce stricter norms regarding dumping of wastewater, improve process for treatment of wastewater.
  • Improve infrastructure: setting up more wastewater treatment plants in every municipality funding them through municipality bonds.
  • Cultural change: the culture of wasting water needs to be changed through educational campaigns.
  • New technology: like sequencing batch reactor – C-TECH technology that was adopted in Navi Mumbai, meets the standards of EUROPEAN UNION in terms of treated water quality.
  • A paradigm shift from “use and throw – linear” to a “use, treat, and reuse – circular” approach is needed to manage wastewater.
  • Investment in wastewater treatment has associated risks as well. It is therefore important to understand the underlying social, political, technical, and financial factors that will drive, facilitate, and sustain wastewater management interventions in India.

Conclusion:

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 specifically focuses on water and sanitation, with Target 3 addressing water quality, but the availability of water is a cross-cutting issue upon which every aspect of development hinges. Put simply, water is life, and without a sustained commitment to improving and benefiting from effective wastewater management, that precious resource, and the billions of lives it nourishes, is in peril.