Tags: GS 2, Governance
- The Women and Child Development Ministry recently informed the Parliament of the MGNREGA program’s contribution to the construction of Anganwadi centres.
- According to the Ministry, 75% of the brand-new anganwadi centres that will be erected this year will be built in coordination with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) programme.
- It also stated that each anganwadi center’s building cost of 12 lakh would be split in half, with?8 lakh coming from MGNREGS. The Central and State governments will each contribute an equivalent amount towards the remaining?4 lakh.
- The Integrated Child Development Services scheme’s anganwadi centres are the initial point of contact for nutrition, health, and early learning in the hamlet.
- The ICDS, which serves roughly 88 million Indian children aged 0 to 6, is the largest of its kind in the world.
- Anganwadis serve as a hub for early care and education (ECCE).
In Indian communities, they also offer little medical services. It is a component of the public healthcare system in India.
Significance of Anganwadi scheme:
- Affordable and accessible healthcare: Over 2 million anganwadi workers are helping 70 million women, children, and ailing individuals become and maintain their health in India today. The most crucial and often overlooked connection in Indian healthcare are anganwadi employees.
- Local Connect & Community Mobilisation: Anganwadi workers have the advantage over the physicians living in the same rural area, which gives them insight into the state of health in the locality and assists in identifying the cause of problems and in countering them.
- Eradicating Malnourishment: One-third of the world’s stunted children live in India.Anganwadis are integral for the success of ICDS programme that caters to the nutrition, health and pre-education needs of children till six years of age as well as the health and nutrition of women and adolescent girls.
- Ensuring Access to Government Programmes: Anganwadi workers are India’s main weapon against the threat of newborn mortality, child undernourishment, lack of education, community health issues, and the reduction of preventable diseases. For remote communities to obtain essential health services and benefits, these community health professionals have served as point people.
- Health Crisis Management: With little training and immense risk, they went to households to spread awareness on COVID-19 as well as carry out tasks like contract tracing.
Issues with Anganwadi centres
- Lack of Skill Set: Even though anganwadi staff is the main source of nutritional guidance, they might not have the necessary technical expertise. Knowledge of critical health behaviours such as complementary feeding and handwashing was poor among mothers listed as anganwadi workers.
- Lack of Resources: Anganwadi personnel frequently lack the resources or training necessary to deliver ECCE.
- Demotivating Service Conditions: The Anganwadi Centers’ frontline staff inadequate service conditions and future career opportunities Often, the officers and their assistants who staff Anganwadis are women from low-income families. Unlike other government employees, these people do not have stable careers with full retirement benefits.
- Lack of Time: Administrative obligations consume a large amount of time, and fundamental services such as pre-school education suffer as a result.
- Lack of Infrastructure: Infrastructure is frequently lacking in anganwadis. According to NITI Aayog, only 59% of anganwadis had enough seating for children and employees, and more than half were unsanitary.
- Convergence with MNREGA : Under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Plan (MGNREGS), the government has started building 4 lakh AWC buildings around the nation (ICDS Scheme).
- Mobile Phones: Smart Phones have been given to Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) to facilitate effective service delivery.
- • Streamlined guidelines were issued covering several aspects such as quality assurance, roles and responsibilities of duty holders, procedure for procurement, integrating AYUSH concepts and Data management
- Increased Training: The Ministry has created a thorough training plan for Anganwadi Services staff members. The functionaries receive training on a regular basis. For 26 working days, job training is provided to anganwadi workers. Anganwadi workers’ knowledge, comprehension, and skills regarding various Acts, Policies, and Programs pertaining to women and children, as well as their ability to establish active Anganwadi Centers and carry out Early Childhood Care and Education Activities, were developed during this job training.
- ICT Integration : Poshantracker is a comprehensive ICT-enabled platform designed to collect real-time data on the deployment and monitoring of Anganwadi Services across the nation.
- The Poshan Tracker management application offers a 360-degree view of Anganwadi Centre (AWC) activities, Anganwadi Worker (AWW) service delivery, and complete beneficiary management.
- Way Forward
- • Being the largest supplier of early childhood care in the world, anganwadis contribute significantly to the life outcomes of children in India.
- o To enhance these results, we must invest much more in anganwadis and implement innovative interventions that have been proven effective.
|Integrated Child Development Services
• Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) is a significant national programme that addresses the needs of children under six years old.
• It aims to provide young children with a comprehensive array of services, including supplemental nutrition, health care, and pre-school education.
• Because it is impossible to address the health and nutrition needs of a child apart from those of his or her mother, the programme also serves adolescent girls, pregnant women, and nursing moms.
· The programme is generally administered through the Anganwadi centre. The scheme is administered by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Centrally-funded Integrated Child Development Services will deliver the following six services to beneficiaries:
· Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNP) o Health and Nutrition Examination
· Informal Early Childhood Education o Health and Nutritional Education
· Referral services
FAME II Subsidy Extension: Standing Committee
Tags: GS 2, Government Policies & Interventions, GS 3, Biodiversity and Environment
- The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Heavy Industry noted that Phase 2 of the FAME initiative to subsidise electric vehicles has only reached 51.96 percent of its goal.
- The Committee on Estimates (2022-23) for the examination of electric vehicle policy within the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries recommended extending the FAME II programme, which was set to expire in 2024.
- In the recently presented Union Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman doubled the FAME II budget but didn’t extend the timeline.
Major Issues highlighted by the committee
- Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles emit air pollution and greenhouse emissions, and India is extremely reliant on oil imports.
- The removal of government subsidies would considerably increase the price of electric vehicles.
- The committee discovered that a significant number of startups are also working in this industry, and they may be forced to close if FAME II is removed.
- Encouraging the usage of electric vehicles can have significant environmental, public health, economic, and technical innovation benefits. India has been promoting the usage of electric vehicles (EV) through a variety of incentive programmes and schemes.
- Around 1.2 million EVs were registered in India in 2022-23 — 2.7 times of that registered in 2021-22, according to VAHAN.
- As a share of all the vehicle registrations, only 5.6 per cent were EVs in 2022-23.
Reasons for Low EV adoption
- EV adoption was low because of the higher upfront cost of EVs in comparison to ICE vehicles. This was because of the high cost of lithium-ion batteries, which was 30-40 per cent of the vehicle cost.
- However, the operational cost of battery-operated vehicles is lower than the conventional vehicles.
- EV charging stations are sanctioned only for a few cities.
Chinese Lessons on EV Adoption
- In 2009, the Chinese government, which boasts the world’s largest EV market, began providing substantial subsidies for EV sales. Nonetheless, both the price difference and the number of buyers were substantial. So, the government’s payment for the subsidies became incredibly expensive.
- As a result, China’s authorities planned to eliminate the subsidies by the end of 2020 and replace them with a mandate on automakers. Automobile manufacturers are now required to sell a set proportion of battery-powered vehicles annually.
- To avoid financial penalties, producers must earn a specified number of points for each EV they make each year. The points are computed using a sophisticated formula that factors in range, fuel economy, performance, and more.
- The market for battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs) in China was analysed, and it was determined that a phase-out policy might be the most cost-effective while producing greater sales promotion than alternative plans that provide larger subsidies over longer time periods.
Why The Government of India must demonstrate confidence in the Indian EV market and “plug in” the capital sourcing gaps via an efficient subsidy programme similar to the soon-to-end FAME II. At this time, it would be beneficial to examine a leading electric transportation economy, such as China, and learn from their experience.
- Enhance the charging infrastructure.
- The Union Ministry of Heavy Industries created the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) Scheme in 2015 to promote the adoption of electric / hybrid vehicles in the country.
- As of April 1, 2019, Phase-II of the programme (FAME II) is being executed for a period of five years with a total budgetary support of?10 trillion.
- Focused Areas: They are I Demand Generation, (ii) the Technology Platform, (iii) the Pilot Project, and (iv) the Charging Infrastructure.
- Market creation through demand incentives was intended to incentivize all vehicle segments, including 2-Wheelers, 3-Wheelers, Passenger 4-Wheelers, Light Commercial Vehicles, and Buses.
- Phase II: Incentives primarily apply to vehicles registered for business or public transportation use.
- Incentive benefits will be extended to vehicles equipped with sophisticated batteries, such as lithium-ion batteries.
RTI may not apply to CERT-in.
Tags: GS 2, Government Policies & Interventions, GS 3, Internal Security
- The administration notified Parliament that the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in) may soon be excluded from responding to requests under the Right to Information Act.
- The Department of Personnel and Training has evaluated a request from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to include CERT-in in the RTI Act’s Second Schedule for exempted organisations such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Border Security Force (BSF).
o Schedule II of the RTI Act lists the Intelligence and Security agencies that are exempt from the Act’s provisions.
The exception would let CERT-in to refuse any request for information, even those concerning policy-related topics. This is relevant in light of the organization’s April 2022 directive requiring Virtual Private Network (VPN) service providers and cryptocurrency companies to retain user requests.
- It is a division of the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) that was established in 2004 in accordance with the IT Act of 2000.
- It is the agency responsible for addressing cyber security risks.
- Enhance the Internet domain of India’s security defences.
- Collaborate with India’s public and private entities when cyber incidents such as data breaches and ransomware attacks are reported.
- Issue software vulnerability bulletins as guidance for organisations.
- CERT-IN has overlapping responsibilities with other agencies such as:
- The National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC), which is under the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), which is administered by the Office of the Prime Minister.
- The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Home Affairs.
Comprehensive and Profound Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP)
Tags: GS 2, India & Foreign Relations
- Britain recently voted to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP)
- Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam are members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Britain will be the first new member since the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was established in 2018 and the first European country in the union.
Importance for UK
- The United Kingdom views this as beneficial to its economic growth and geopolitical relations.
- The United Kingdom anticipates annual growth of £1.8 billion ($2.23 billion) over the long term.
- The United Kingdom also expects that membership will provide it with a role in establishing regional trade regulations in the coming decades. That could result in the United Kingdom and other nations prohibiting China from joining the bloc in the future.
- Eventually, membership will secure zero-tariff trade across a variety of import and export sectors, with better UK access to Mexico, Canada, and Japan for dairy exports, and a boost to Britain’s automotive and alcohol industries, especially through the export of spirits to Malaysia.
Crpc Section 144
Tags: GS 2, Polity and Governance
- Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code have been issued in the Howrah district of West Bengal after violence erupted during Ram Navami celebrations. Similar conflicts happened in Maharashtra, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.
- Under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, a district magistrate is authorised to impose directions in circumstances of imminent danger.
- It restricts gatherings of four or more individuals. Nevertheless, it can also be used to restrict an individual.
- Orders issued under its authority are valid for two months. It is possible to increase the time, however the total period cannot exceed six months.
Ram Navami is a Hindu holiday that celebrates the birth of Lord Ram. This event, which is a component of Chaitra Navaratri, occurs on the ninth day of the Shukla Paksha, or lunar cycle, of the Hindu month of Chaitra.
World Zero Waste Day
Tags: GS 3, Conservation Biodiversity and Environment
- On March 30, 2023, the world observed the first-ever International Day of Zero Waste.
- The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) created this day in response to the deteriorating effects of garbage on human health, the economy, and the environment.
- The day encourages all stakeholders, including governments, civil society, corporations, academic institutions, communities, women, and youth, to participate in events that increase awareness of zero-waste programmes..
- The trash crisis threatens the planet’s ability to support life. Each year, waste costs the global economy billions of dollars.
- In recent decades, global waste production has expanded dramatically, and there are no signs of a slowdown. By 2050, the global generation of municipal solid trash is projected to have increased by around 70% to 3,4 billion tonnes.
- Promoting zero-waste initiatives can advance all the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including Sustainable Development Goal 11 on making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable, and Sustainable Development Goal 12 mandated by the United Nations on ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.
India’s initiatives in Waste management
- As part of its commitment to effective waste & pollution management in India, the Indian government has launched a number of large-scale national projects, such as the “Swachh Bharat Mission,” the “National Water Mission,” and the “Waste to Wealth Campaign.”
- In order to promote and support the objectives of the Swachh Bharat Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules 2016, the Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016, and the E-waste (Management) Regulations, 2016 have been promulgated.
- In February 2022, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the world’s largest municipal solid waste-based GOBARdhan facility in Indore with the intention of producing 19,000 kg of bio-CNG gas.
- Under the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0, bio-methanation plants connected to the GOBARdhan and SATAT programmes would produce Bio-CNG as a form of renewable energy.
2023 International Trade Policy
Tags: GS 3
- The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Textiles unveiled the Foreign Trade Policy 2023 recently.
- The New policy has replaced the old policy, which had been in effect since 2015; the new policy will take effect in 2023-24 and seeks to nearly quadruple India’s exports of products and services to $2 trillion by 2030, from an estimated $760 billion in 2022-23.
- The Old Policy allowed for a 75% increase in exports, from $435 billion in 2015-16 to $700 billion in 2022-23.
- India’s proportion in worldwide exports of goods and services is quite low, and the government aims to increase it to between 7 and 10 percent.
- The new policy will not have an expiration date and will be modified based on the developing international trade scenario and industry feedback. While the policy will be open-ended, the programmes it authorises will be time-limited.
- With the exception of a one-time amnesty under the existing Advance Authorisation and Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) schemes, there are no significant new schemes that permit imports of capital goods subject to specific export responsibilities.
- The policy had created a new export opportunity known as “merchanting commerce” Merchanting trade refers to the shipment of products from one foreign country to another foreign country via an Indian middleman without passing through Indian ports. In addition, exports of banned items will be permitted.
- Four cities in Uttar Pradesh, Faridabad, Moradabad, Mirzapur, and Varanasi, have been designated as export centre of excellence due to their success in the apparel, handicrafts, handmade carpets, and handlooms industries, respectively.
- The policy also intends to implement a specific advance authorization procedure for the clothes and apparel industry so that it may respond more quickly to market demands and fashion trends.
- The government is also attempting to reduce eligibility requirements for star ratings, which recognise exporters based on export performance.
- Low credit access: Very few Indian exporters have access to trade financing and export credit. This is particularly true for Micro, Small, and Medium Businesses (MSMEs), despite the fact that they account for about half of India’s total exports.
- The financial assistance provided to Indian exporters is far lower than in other countries. India received $7.6 billion in funding from export credit agencies, whereas China received $39.1 billion.
- Bureaucracy: Due to a stringent documentation requirement, the export procedure in India is more time-intensive than in many other nations. During each phase of the shipping procedure, Indian exporters must compile a vast number of paperwork.
- Also, it is vital to prepare ahead because certification authorities at Indian ports are not present 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Inadequate infrastructure: India’s infrastructure is its weakest link. In 2019, India ranked 68.1 out of 100 nations based on the quality of its infrastructure, according to statistics compiled by Statista. In comparison, top-ranked Singapore scored 95.4, while bottom-ranked Bolivia earned 57.1, ten points behind India.
- Initiatives for Improving Exports
- Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Product (RoDTEP): It is a fully automated path for Input Tax Credit (ITC) in India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) in an effort to boost exports.
- ITC is provided to offset tax paid on the acquisition of raw materials, consumables, commodities or services used in the production of goods. This aids in preventing double taxation and the tax cascade effect.
- Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies: The system was made available for embedded state and central taxes and tariffs that are not repaid through Goods and Services Tax (GST).
- o It was solely accessible for clothing.
- It was introduced by the Textiles Ministry.
- Merchandise Exports from India Scheme: MEIS was implemented as part of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-20; under MEIS, the government gives duty exemptions based on product and nation.
- o Incentives under the plan are calculated as a proportion of the realised free-on-board value (2%, 3%, or 5%), and MEIS duty credit scrip can be transferred or used to pay a variety of duties, including the basic customs charge.
- A Single Digital Platform for Certificate of Origin has been launched to improve commerce and increase exporters’ utilisation of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).