GS Paper: 2
Topics Covered: 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.
Ujjwala Yojana: Over 1.5 lakh lives saved in a year, 13% reduction in air pollution deaths
What to study?
For Prelims: Key features of the scheme.
For Mains: Significance and performance analysis of the scheme.
Context: The first independent impact assessment of the Ujjwala programme has highlighted its benefits in terms of saving of lives and reduction in air pollution
- Reduction in Death: Greater penetration and usage of LPG as a cooking fuel is estimated to have prevented at least 1.5 lakh pollution-related premature deaths in the year 2019 alone.
- Reduction in pollution: It also avoided at least 8 million tonnes of PM2.5 emissions in 2019 (13% reduction in air pollution deaths)
Other Study by researchers from IIT Kanpur: It had shown a vast improvement not just in prevalence of respiratory diseases but also in general health conditions in villages with high coverage of Ujjwala connections.
- The survey had found 50 per cent improvement in general health conditions in villages of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar with high coverage of Ujjwala connections.
Previously government report had said:
- Three States have become kerosene free. These include- Haryana, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh.
- Union Territories that have become kerosene-freeare the Union Territories of Delhi, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Dadar & Nagar Haveli, Andaman & Nicobar Island and Puducherry.
Limitations of the Study:
- The study has not estimated health or emission benefits of reduction in outdoor air pollution due to the scheme
- Biomass burning in household cooking could be contributing 30-40 per cent of outdoor air pollution.
- Benefits have been estimated for the year 2019 only.
- Study found that only 65 per cent of the households in 2019 were using LPG as the primary cooking fuel.
About Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana:
Launched in May 2016.
Aim: To provide LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections to poor households and reduce health risk associated with burning biomass.
Key features: A deposit-free LPG connection is given to eligible with financial assistance of Rs 1,600 per connection by the Centre.
Achievement: Government data shows that by January 2022, 9 crore new LPG connections had been rolled out under this scheme, and that 99.8 per cent of the over 28 crore households in India now have access to LPG, up from 61.9 per cent in 2015.
- Applicant must a woman above the age of 18 and a citizen of India.
- Applicant should belong to a BPL (Below Poverty Line) household.
- No one in the applicant’s household should own an LPG connection.
- The household income of the family, per month, must not exceed a certain limit as defined by the government of the Union Territories and State Government.
- Applicant must not be a recipient of other similar schemes provided by the government.
Objectives of the scheme are:
- Empowering women and protecting their health.
- Reducing the serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuel.
- Reducing the number of deaths in India due to unclean cooking fuel.
- Preventing young children from significant number of acute respiratory illnesses caused due to indoor air pollution by burning the fossil fuel.
- LPG Composition; Difference between LPG LNG CNG.
- How are urban and semi- urban areas differentiated?
- Differences between central sector, centrally sponsored schemes.
- Targets and goals under the scheme.
- States and UTs which became kerosene- free under the scheme.
- PM Ujjwala programme aimed at saving lives, and contributing to improvement of health, especially women’s health. How far has this been achieved? Analyze (15M)
Sources: Indian Express