Daily Analysis: 9th September 2020

Daily Analysis: 9th September 2020

The Hindu, PIB, IE and Others

Index

A) Economy

1. Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) (TH)

2. Negative growth of India’s Economy (IE)

B) Indices/Committees/Reports/Organisations

3. Global Indices to Drive Reforms and Growth (GIRG) Exercise (livemint)

4. International Literacy Day and the Global Alliance for Literacy (IE)

C) Science and Technology

5. Govind Swarup, the pioneer of radio astronomy in India (IE)

D) Geography, Environment and Biodiversity

6. Explained: How severe is typhoon Haishen? (IE)

7. Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) (PIB)

8. HIL (India) has supplied DDT to South Africa for Malaria control program (PIB)

E) Schemes/Policies/Initiatives/Social Issues

9. Restructured National Bamboo Mission (NBM) (PIB)

10. Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PIB)

11. eSanjeevani (PIB)

12. ODF (Open Defecation Free), ODF+, ODF++, Water PLUS protocol and Prerak Dauur Samman Awards (PIB)

F) Miscellaneous

13. Indian Merchants’ Chamber (IMC) (PIB)

14. “Kiran” mental health rehabilitation helpline (TH)

15. Real Mango (PIB)

A) Economy

1. Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) (TH)

Context: The government is working on a strategy to give a fresh lease of life to so-called development finance institutions (DFIs) for funding infrastructure projects as rising non-performing assets in the banking sector — which dominated infrastructure funding — limits their heft and threatens to spoil ambitious infrastructure-building plans.

  • As a first step, the government has indicated its intent to modify India Infrastructure Finance Co Ltd (IIFCL) into a DFI by increasing its equity capital.

Analysis

What are development banks?

  • Development banks are financial institutions that provide long-term credit for capital-intensive investments spread over a long period and yielding low rates of return, such as urban infrastructure, mining and heavy industry, and irrigation systems.
  • Such banks often lend at low and stable rates of interest to promote long-term investments with considerable social benefits.
  • To lend for long term, development banks require correspondingly long-term sources of finance, usually obtained by issuing long-dated securities in capital market, subscribed by long-term savings institutions such as pension and life insurance funds and post office deposits.
  • Considering the social benefits of such investments, and uncertainties associated with them, development banks are often supported by governments or international institutions.
  • Such support can be in the form of tax incentives and administrative mandates for private sector banks and financial institutions to invest in securities issued by development banks.
  • Development banks are different from commercial banks which mobilise short- to medium-term deposits and lend for similar maturities to avoid a maturity mismatch — a potential cause for a bank’s liquidity and solvency.
  • The capital market complements commercial banks in providing long-term finance.
  • IFCI, the Industrial Finance Corporation of India, was set up in 1949. This was probably India’s first development bank for financing industrial investments.
  • In 1964, IDBI was set up as an apex body of all development finance institutions.
  • As the domestic saving rate was low, and capital market was absent, development finance institutions were financed by:

    (i) lines of credit from the Reserve Bank of India (that is, some of its profits were channelled as long-term credit); and

    (ii) Statutory Liquidity Ratio bonds, into which commercial banks had to invest a proportion of their deposits.
  • However, development banks got discredited for mounting non-performing assets, allegedly caused by politically motivated lending and inadequate professionalism in assessing investment projects for economic, technical and financial viability.
  • After 1991, following the Narasimham Committee reports on financial sector reforms, development finance institutions were disbanded and got converted to commercial banks.
  • The result was a steep fall in long-term credit from a tenure of 10-15 years to five years..
  • Some of the existing central public sector DFIs, are:
  1. Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC),
  2. Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA),
  3. National Housing Bank (NHB),
  4. Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd (HUDCO) etc.

2. Negative growth of India’s Economy (IE)

Context: The revelation that GDP has shrunk by nearly 24 per cent confirmed that the damage to the Indian economy was amongst the most severe globally.

Analysis

Why did India perform so badly relative to other countries?

  • First, India had one of the world’s most draconian lockdowns.
  • Second, unlike other countries, India was far more parsimonious in its fiscal response.
  • Third, the economy was in a classic balance sheet crisis before the pandemic began.
  1. The major engines of growth — consumption, investment, and exports — had been decelerating since the end of 2018.
  2. The pandemic aggravated the already frayed finances of corporates, banks and shadow banks.

B) Indices/Committees/Reports/Organisations

3. Global Indices to Drive Reforms and Growth (GIRG) Exercise (livemint)

Context: The NITI Aayog will leverage the monitoring mechanism of the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index to push forward reforms in the country and in this regard, the government think-tank has also set up a coordination committee.

Analysis

  • The Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is part of the government’s decision to monitor the performance of the country on 29 select global indices.
  • The objective of the ‘Global Indices to Drive Reforms and Growth (GIRG)’ exercise is to fulfil the need to measure and monitor India’s performance on various important social and economic parameters and enable the utilisation of these indices as tools for self-improvement, bring about reforms in policies, while improving last-mile implementation of government schemes.
  • NITI Aayog is the nodal agency for the MPI. It has also constituted a Multidimensional Poverty Index Coordination Committee (MPICC).

Global Multidimensional Poverty Index

  • Global MPI is an international measure of multidimensional poverty covering 107 developing countries.
  • It was first developed in 2010 by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for UNDP’s Human Development Reports.
  • The index is released at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development of the United Nations in July every year.
  • Global MPI is computed by assigning scores for each surveyed household on 10 parameters.
  • These are based on nutrition, child mortality, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, and household assets.
  • It utilises the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), which is conducted under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) coordinated by International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS).
  • In Global MPI 2020, India was 62nd among 107 countries, based on the NFHS-4 (2015-16) data.
  • India saw the most people moving out of multidimensional poverty between 2005/06 and 2015/16.

The MPI is said to measure “acute” poverty. Does this differ from “extreme” poverty?

  • UNDP has described the MPI as a measure of “acute” poverty because it reflects overlapping deprivation in basic needs and also to avoid confusion with the World Bank’s measure of “extreme” poverty that captures those living on less than $1.90 (in 2011 $PPP) a day.

4. International Literacy Day and the Global Alliance for Literacy (IE)

  • The 8th of September was proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO in 1966.
  • The theme for International Literacy Day 2020 is “Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond”.
  • The issue of literacy is a key component of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Sustainable Development Goal 4 has as one of its targets ensuring all young people achieve literacy and numeracy and that adults, who lack these skills are given the opportunity to acquire them.
  • In India, as per the last census in 2011, a total of 74.04 per cent are literate, an increase of 9.2 per cent from the last decade (2001-11).

What is the Global Alliance for Literacy?

  • The Global Alliance for Literacy within the Framework of Lifelong Learning (GAL) engages a multiplicity of stakeholders to advocate for the importance of youth and adult literacy.

GAL’s objectives

  • Improve stakeholders’ collaboration for literacy development at global, regional and national levels.
  • Strengthen political will, commitments and policy awareness.
  • Promote policy learning and sharing.
  • Promote knowledge creation and sharing for Member States’ evidence-based policy design and implementation.
  • Encourage South-South cooperation.

How does GAL work?

  • GAL’s advocacy and knowledge-sharing efforts are guided by a targeted approach focused on 20 countries with an adult literacy rate below 50 per cent and the E9 countries, where the largest number of illiterate adults live.

C) Science and Technology

5. Govind Swarup, the pioneer of radio astronomy in India (IE)

  • Context: Govind Swarup, the man who pioneered radio astronomy in India, died recently in Pune following a brief illness.

Analysis

  • Swarup is credited with conceptualising and leading the team that set up the Ooty Radio Telescope (ORT) and Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT).
  • Setting up the ORT was no easy task but Swarup was aware of the geographical advantage India enjoyed owing to its proximity to the equator. 
  • With the experience of ORT, Swarup decided to set up Pune’s GMRT, an array of 30 dish antennas spread across a distance of 25 km, arranged in a ‘Y’ shape at a pristine yet suitable location at Khodad in Junnar taluka.
  • Since 2002, GMRT has facilitated some novel discoveries in the field of astronomy.
  • Because cosmic radio sources are extremely weak, radio telescopes are usually very large—up to hundreds of metres across—and use the most sensitive radio receivers available.
  • Moreover, weak cosmic signals can be easily masked by terrestrial radio interference, and great effort is taken to protect radio telescopes from man-made emissions.

D) Geography, Environment and Biodiversity

6. Explained: How severe is typhoon Haishen? (IE)

  • Typhoon Haishen made landfall over southern Japan on Sunday (6/9/20) becoming the country’s second landfalling typhoon within a week.
  • Japan’s meteorological agency has referred to the tropical storm as “large” and “very strong”.
  • The typhoon is categorised as a Category 4 storm which means well-built framed houses can suffer severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and exterior walls.

Why are hurricanes called typhoons in the North Pacific and Asia?

  • Depending on where they occur, hurricanes may be called typhoons or cyclones. The scientific name for all these kinds of storms is tropical cyclones.
  • The tropical cyclones that form over the Atlantic Ocean or the eastern Pacific Ocean are called hurricanes and the ones that form in the Northwest Pacific are called typhoons. Tropical storms that form in the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea are called cyclones.

7. Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) (PIB)

Context: IMD has reported that the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is very likely to remain over Maritime Continent with weak amplitude during next 15 days.

Analysis

Madden-Julian Oscillation, or MJO

  • The Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO), as it’s called, is a moving band of rain clouds that travels around the globe spanning 12,000–20,000 km across the tropical oceans.
  • In its journey, it interacts with surface waters of the Indo-Pacific ocean, the largest pool of warm water in the globe, and due to this — the authors say — the lifecycle of the MJO gets affected.
  • Unlike ENSO (El Nino and Southern Oscillation together sometimes called ENSO), which is stationary, the MJO is an eastward moving disturbance of clouds, rainfall, winds, and pressure that traverses the planet in the tropics and returns to its initial starting point in 30 to 60 days, on average. This atmospheric disturbance is distinct from ENSO
  • There can be multiple MJO events within a season, and so the MJO is best described as intra-seasonal tropical climate variability (i.e. varies on a week-to-week basis).

Fig: MJO movement and its phases/parts – The surface and upper-atmosphere structure of the MJO for a period when the enhanced convective phase (thunderstorm cloud) is centered across the Indian Ocean and the suppressed convective phase is centered over the west-central Pacific Ocean. The entire system shifts eastward over time, eventually circling the globe and returning to its point of origin. 

  • The MJO consists of two parts, or phases: one is the enhanced rainfall (or convective) phase and the other is the suppressed rainfall phase.
  • Strong MJO activity often dissects the planet into halves: one half within the enhanced convective phase and the other half in the suppressed convective phase. These two phases produce opposite changes in clouds and rainfall and this entire dipole (i.e., having two main opposing centers of action) propagates eastward. 
  • For the MJO to be considered active, this dipole of enhanced/suppressed convective phases must be present and shifting eastward with time. 
  • In the enhanced convective phase, winds at the surface converge, and air is pushed up throughout the atmosphere. At the top of the atmosphere, the winds reverse (i.e., diverge). Such rising air motion in the atmosphere tends to increase condensation and rainfall.
  • In the suppressed convective phase, winds converge at the top of the atmosphere, forcing air to sink and, later, to diverge at the surface. As air sinks from high altitudes, it warms and dries, which suppresses rainfall.
  • It is this entire dipole structure, illustrated in above Figure, that moves west to east with time in the Tropics, causing more cloudiness, rainfall, and even storminess in the enhanced convective phase, and more sunshine and dryness in the suppressed convective phase.  
  • The changes in rainfall and winds described above impact both the Tropics and the Extratropics, which makes the MJO important for extended-range weather and climate prediction over the U.S. and many other areas.

Effects of MJO on global weather phenomenon

  • It can modulate the timing and strength of monsoons.
  • It Influences tropical cyclone numbers and strength in nearly all ocean basins.
  • It can result in jet stream changes that can lead to cold air outbreaks, extreme heat events, and flooding rains over the United States and North America.

8. HIL (India) has supplied DDT to South Africa for Malaria control program (PIB)

Context: HIL (India) Limited, a PSU under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers is the sole manufacturer of DDT globally.

  • The company was incorporated in the year 1954 to manufacture and supply DDT to Government of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for malaria control programme.
  • The Company is also exporting the product to many African countries.
  • DDT is one of the chemicals targeted by the Stockholm Convention

Analysis

  • Spraying of insecticides inside the human habitants i.e. Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) has proven to be effective mosquito control tool.
  • World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends DDT as one of the efficient IRS chemicals to curb malaria mosquito menace and it is widely used by Southern African countries like South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique etc. and India.

BRS Conventions – Brief Background

  • The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions are multilateral environmental agreements, which share the common objective of protecting human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals and wastes
  • Meetings of the COPs of BRS Conventions are generally held every alternate year.

Synergies 

  • To enhance cooperation and coordination among the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, their respective conferences came out with this so-called “synergies process”
  • It aims to strengthen the implementation of the three conventions at the national, regional and global levels by providing coherent policy guidance, reducing their administrative burden, while maintaining the legal autonomy of these three multilateral environmental agreements. (Unique example in context of Global Treaties)
  • The Secretariats of the Basel and Stockholm conventions are administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and are located in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention is jointly served by UNEP and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and in Rome, Italy.

Basel Convention

  • The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, usually known as the Basel Convention, is an international treaty that was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries (LDCs).
  • It does not, however, address the movement of radioactive waste.

    The Convention is also intended to:
  • Minimize the amount and toxicity of wastes generated,
  • To ensure their environmentally sound management as closely as possible to the source of generation, and
  • To assist LDCs in environmentally sound management of the hazardous and other wastes they generate.
  • As of October 2018, 186 states and the European Union are parties to the Convention.
  • Haiti and the United States have signed the Convention but not ratified it.
  • India ratified the Convention in June 1992.
  • Its scope of application covers a wide range of wastes defined as “hazardous wastes” based on their origin and/or composition and their characteristics, as well as two types of wastes defined as “other wastes” – household waste and incinerator ash.
  • Currently, electronic waste, mobile phones, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and compounds used in industry as heat exchange fluids, in electric transformers and capacitors are among the wastes regulated by the Basel Convention.
  • It is the most comprehensive global treaty dealing with hazardous waste materials throughout their lifecycles, from production and transport to final use and disposal.

Rotterdam Convention

  • The Rotterdam Convention is a multilateral environmental agreement which prescribes obligations on the importers and exporters of certain hazardous chemicals.
  • As of now, a total of 47 chemicals are listed in Annex III of the Convention.  Out of these, 33 are pesticides and 14 industrial chemicals, which are subject to Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure.
  • India ratified the Convention in May 2005.
  • Among the chemical substances covered under the Convention, mercury compounds, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) are also substances that are found in e-waste.

Stockholm Convention

  • The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from highly dangerous, long-lasting chemicals by restricting and ultimately eliminating their production, use, trade, release and storage.

    Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs):
  1. Remain intact in the environment for long periods (persistent),
  2. Become widely distributed geographically (long range transport),
  3. Accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife (bioaccumulation), and
  4. Have a harmful impact on human health, or on environment (toxic).
  5. Though not soluble in water, fish, predatory birds, mammals, and humans are high up the food chain and so absorb the greatest concentrations. When they travel, the POPs travel with them.
  • As a result of these two processes, POPs can be found in people and animals living in regions such as the Arctic, thousands of kilometers from any major POPs source.
  • India ratified the Convention in January 2006.
  • Till date, 26 chemicals are listed as POPs under the Stockholm Convention. As of now, India has ratified only the 12 initially listed POPs.
  • Initially, twelve POPs have been recognized as causing adverse effects on humans and the ecosystem and these can be placed in 3 categories:
  1. Pesticides: aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene, mirex, toxaphene;
  2. Industrial Chemicals: hexachlorobenzene, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs);
  3. Byproducts:  polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDF)

The chemicals targeted by the Stockholm Convention are listed in the annexes.

Annex A (Elimination)

  • Parties must take measures to eliminate the production and use of the chemicals listed under Annex A.

Annex B (Restriction)

  • Parties must take measures to restrict the production and use of the chemicals listed under Annex B in light of any applicable acceptable purposes and/or specific exemptions listed in the Annex.
  • DDT falls under this category. Hence its export to South Africa to tackle menace of Malaria.
  • The import and export of chemicals listed in this Annex can take place under specific restrictive conditions

Annex C (Unintentional production)

  • Parties must take measures to reduce the unintentional releases of chemicals listed under Annex C with the goal of continuing minimization and, where feasible, ultimate elimination.

E) Schemes/Policies/Initiatives/Social Issues

9. Restructured National Bamboo Mission (NBM) (PIB)

Context: To promote the growth of the bamboo sector through as an area based regionally differentiated strategy, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation (DAC), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare is implementing a 100% Centrally Sponsored Scheme called Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) in which National Bamboo Mission (NBM) is being implemented as a sub scheme.

Analysis

  • The Mission focuses on development of bamboo in limited States where it has social, commercial and economical advantage, particularly in the North Eastern region and States including Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  • The Mission aims to bring more than 1 lakh ha area under bamboo plantation.
  • The Mission is being implemented in a hub (industry) and spoke model, with the main goal of connecting farmers to markets so as to enable farmer producers to get a ready market for the bamboo grown and to increase supply of appropriate raw material to domestic industry.

Restructured National Bamboo Mission

  • The restructured National Bamboo Mission under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) was launched in 2018-19 for holistic development of the complete value chain of the sector.
  • The Restructured NBM Strives –

    (i) To increase the area under bamboo plantation in non-forest Government and private lands to supplement farm income and contribute towards resilience to climate change.

    (ii) To improve post-harvest management through establishment of innovative primary processing units.

    (iii) To promote product development at micro, small and medium levels and feed bigger industry.

Indian Forest Act, 2017

  • The Mission was launched as a natural corollary of the historic amendment of the Indian Forest Act in 2017, removing bamboo from the definition of trees, hence bamboo grown outside forests no longer need felling and transit permissions.
  • After 90 years, the bamboo has legally ceased to be a tree after the government amended the Indian Forest Act and removing the bamboo — taxonomically a grass — from a list of plants that also included palms, skumps, brush-wood and canes.
  • Its aim was to promote cultivation of bamboo in non-forest areas to achieve the “twin objectives” of increasing the income of farmers and also increasing the green cover of the country.
  • Bamboo grown in the forest areas would continue to be governed by the provisions of the Indian Forest Act.
  • As a tree it couldn’t be easily ferried across State borders. It also required permits from village councils and couldn’t be cultivated in non-forest areas. Now it is exempted from requiring permits for felling or transportation.

Logo for National Bamboo Mission

  • The logo portrays a bamboo culm in the center of a circle composed of half an industrial wheel and half farmers, depicting the objectives of NBM appropriately.
  • The green and yellow colours of the logo symbolise bamboo often termed as green gold. 

Bamboo cultivation in India

  • India is the second largest bamboo-growing nation after China.
  • Although the area under bamboo cultivation in India (almost 14 million hectare under bamboo cultivation) is larger than China, the latter dominates the global market supplying 83% of bamboo products.
  • China has better productivity with only six million hectares under bamboo cultivation.
  • In view of the China’s leap in bamboo growing, the headquarters of the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan was shifted to Beijing from Delhi a few years ago.
  • Though 44 countries report growing bamboo, three – China, India and Myanmar – account for 80% of bamboo resources.
  • Though bamboo comes from the grass family, it is considered a woody grass and qualifies as a structural material far superior in strength than timber yielded by several species of trees.
  • In fact, it excels over steel when it comes to volume versus strength ratio.
  • The elastic nature of the bamboo plant allows it to withstand stormy winds.
  • Besides, bamboo cultivation yields enormous environmental dividends.
  • It is known to produce 35% more oxygen than trees.
  • It yields enormous amount of biomass ideal for pulp industry.
  • The north-eastern states account for 65% of the bamboo grown in India.
  • Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Karnataka account for 11, 8, 7 and 5.5%, respectively.

10. Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PIB)

  • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana is a Rs 1.70 Lakh Crore relief package for the poor to help them fight the battle against Corona Virus.
  • Other Highlights of the Scheme
  1. Insurance cover of Rs 50 Lakh per health worker fighting COVID-19;
  2. 80 crore poor people will to get 5 kg wheat or rice and 1 kg of preferred pulses for free every month for the eight months (April to November)
  3. Support to PMJDY women account holders: 20 crore women Jan Dhan account holders to get Rs 500 per month for three months (April to June).
  4. Increase in MNREGA wage to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182 to benefit 13.62 crore families
  5. Support to National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) (Aged widows, Divyang, Senior citizen): An ex-gratia of Rs 1,000 to 3 crore poor senior citizen, poor widows and poor disabled
  6. Front-loaded payments to farmers under PM-KISAN: Government to front-load Rs 2,000 paid to farmers in first week of April under existing PM Kisan Yojana to benefit 8.7 crore farmers
  7. Support to Building & Other Construction workers: State Governments to use Building and Construction Workers Welfare Fund to provide relief to Construction Workers.
  8. 24% contribution to EPFO
  9. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

11. eSanjeevani (PIB)

Context: Health Minister lauds the contribution of States in popularising eSanjeevani, the Tele-Medicine platform rolled out by Health Ministry.

Analysis

  • This eSanjeevani platform has enabled two types of telemedicine services viz. Doctor-to-Doctor (eSanjeevani) and Patient-to-Doctor (eSanjeevani OPD) Tele-consultations.
  • The former is being implemented under the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centre (AB-HWCs) programme.
  • Patient-to-Doctor (eSanjeevani OPD) Tele-consultations, offered at no cost, this e-health service is rapidly gaining popularity as citizens in around 20 States are now consulting doctors without having to go to the hospital physically.
  • This service is available as an Android mobile application as well.
  • It also ensures that the patient gets to see the doctor in around five minutes after logging in. 

12. ODF (Open Defecation Free), ODF+, ODF++, Water PLUS protocol and Prerak Dauur Samman Awards (PIB)

ODF Definition Under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Gramin (Rural)

  • The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has adopted a uniform definition of ODF (open defecation free) as:
  • ODF is the termination of fecal-oral transmission, defined by:

    (a) No visible feces found in the environment/village; and

    (b) Every house as well as public/community institutions using safe technology option for disposal of feces.
  • Safe technology option means no contamination of surface soil, groundwater or surface water’ excreta inaccessible to flies or animals; no handling of fresh excreta; and freedom from odour and unsightly condition.
  • The ministry even issued a checklist of 12 parameters for gram panchayats/villages to be declared ODF.
  • The protocols have been divided into two categories – household survey and village survey.

    Factors considered in the Household Survey for ODF declaration:

    1. Access to toilet facility
    2. 100 per cent usage
    3. Fly-proofing of toilet
    4. Safe septage disposal
    5. Hand-washing before meals
    6. Hand-washing with soap after defecation
    7. Availability of soap and water in or near the toilet

    Factors considered in the Village Survey for ODF declaration:

    8. No visible faeces found in the environment/village
    9. Proper usage of school toilet
    10. Safe confinement of excreta in school toilet
    11. Proper usage of anganwadi toilet
    12. Safe confinement of excreta in anganwadi toilet

    For a village to be ODF, answers to the household survey questions 1 to 4 and village survey questions 8 to 12 need to be ‘yes’. 

ODF Definition for Urban India

  • A city/ward is notified as ODF city/ward if, at any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating in the open.
  • To declare a city or ward ODF, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has listed out some necessary infrastructure and regulatory conditions to be achieved, which are:

    1. All households that have space to construct a toilet, have constructed one.

    2. All occupants of those households that do not have space to construct toilet have access to a community toilet within a distance of 500 meters.

    3. All commercial areas have public toilets within a distance of 1 kilometer.

    4. Details of all Individual household toilets (IHHL) constructed from 2011 onwards will have to mandatorily be uploaded on the SBM Urban portal

    5. Pictures of all functional community and public toilets in the city, irrespective of the date of construction, will have to mandatorily be uploaded on the SBM Urban portal.

ODF+

  • A city, ward or work circle could be declared ODF+ 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++

The ODF++ protocol adds the condition that “faecal sludge/septage and sewage is safely managed and treated, with no discharging and/or dumping of untreated faecal sludge/septage and sewage in drains, water bodies or open areas.”

Water PLUS Protocol

  • Reiterating its commitment to the cause, the Ministry of Urban Development also launched the Water PLUS Protocol.
  • Moving beyond ODF, ODF+ and ODF++, the Water PLUS protocol aims to provide a guideline for cities and towns to ensure that no untreated wastewater is released into the environment thereby enabling sustainability of the sanitation value chain.
  • This year, the citizen-centric focus has been enhanced substantially through verification of the progress made by cities on Swachhata through direct responses from citizens.

Prerak Dauur Samman Awards

  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) announced a new category of awards titled ‘Prerak Dauur Samman’ as part of Swachh Survekshan 2021.
  • The Prerak Dauur Samman has a total of five additional sub- categories -Divya (Platinum), Anupam (Gold), Ujjwal (Silver), Udit (Bronze), Aarohi (Aspiring) – with top three cities being recognized in each.
  • In a departure from the present criteria of evaluating cities on ‘population category’, this new category will categorize cities on the basis of six select indicator wise performance criteria which are as follows:
  1. Segregation of waste into Wet, Dry and Hazard categories
  2. Processing capacity against wet waste generated
  3. Processing and recycling of wet and dry waste
  4. Construction & Demolition (C&D) waste processing
  5. Percentage of waste going to landfills
  6. Sanitation status of cities

F) Miscellaneous

13. Indian Merchants’ Chamber (IMC) (PIB)

  • The IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently celebrated its 114th Foundation Day.
  • It is the oldest Chamber of Commerce in the country, of which Mahatma Gandhi was also a member.
  • It was set up in 1907, in the wake of the ‘Swadeshi Movement’ to represent Indian businesses.
  • It is headquartered in Mumbai.

14. “Kiran” mental health rehabilitation helpline (TH)

  • Citing the prevalence of mental health issues and the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 crisis, the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry has said it will launch a toll-free helpline to enable access to mental health resources.
  • The “Kiran” mental health rehabilitation helpline number, 1800-599-0019, will offer services in 13 languages.

15. Real Mango (PIB)

  • In a nation-wide investigation, Railway Protection Force has disrupted the operation of illegal software called “Real Mango” used for cornering confirmed Railway reservation.

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