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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 01 April 2017

 


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 01 April 2017


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.

 


General Studies – 1;


Topic:  Changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes

1) Discuss various ways by which afforestation initiative can be effectively implemented with good results in reserve forest and government revenue land where forests have been destroyed. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction-

Afforestation has always been the part of forest policy and various forest expansion and enrichment program India. Afforestation forms core of forest management even today and thus it becomes mandatory to make it successful and efficient.

Afforestation is the establishment of a forest or stand of trees in an area where there was no previous tree cover. Reforestation is the reestablishment of forest cover, either naturally (by natural seeding, coppice, or root suckers) or artificially (by direct seeding or planting).

Forestation is the establishment of forest growth on areas that either had forest or lacked it. Reforestation and afforestation are categories of forestation. Many governments and non-governmental organizations directly engage in programs of afforestation to create forests, increase carbon capture and carbon sequestration, and help to anthropogenically improve biodiversity.

Forest map India

india

The following ways can be apply to make afforestation a successful drive all over the country.

  • There is need to include other government departments in afforestation as today forest department is held solely responsible for afforestation drives and campaign.
  • Planting tree is just a small initiation to the gigantic task that lies ahead. Our policy does not give enough attention to the maintenance and conservation of planted saplings and thus lacks in implementation as well.
  • Peoples’ participation is the key to the success of forest management. Joint forest management has creates some of the successful case studies in country where local people has played n leading role in forest conservation. In many areas people has used their traditional knowledge and age old practices for forest conservation. Providing rights under Schedule tribes and other traditional forest dwellers act 2006 to local people will build trust between government and local people.
  • Corporate social responsibility fund can be diverted for successful planting and conservation of plants. Private participation can change the things to large extent and it will create a trend towards responsible activities by private players.
  • For successful plantation activity Panchayat raj institution must be provided with the enough resources and powers to monitor and conserve afforested area by forest department. PRIs can bring the successful local model for forest conservation which is suitable to that particular area.
  • There is need to collaborate efforts of other stakeholders such as NGOs, civil society organizations with forest department. This will bring best practices and innovative minds in forest protection and conservation activities.
  • The CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority) fund can be used to replenish the barren reserve forests region, which can also help in increasing the flora and fauna in the region in near future.

Conclusion-

It is need of time is to decentralize the afforestation activity to make it truly sustainable in nature. Forest ecology has to be seen in landscape approach wherein every biotic and abiotic component makes its own contribution in overall biosphere.

 


 

Topic:  History of the world will include events from 18th century 

2) Critically analyse the nature of geopolitical and economic ambitions pursued by the USA, Russia and China in the post – Cold War era. Also examine where does India’s ambition fit. (200 Words)

EPW

Introduction-

With the disintegration of USSR in the 1991, world order came to be dominated by USA at least for the next two decades. However with the rise of China and India in the Asia and revivalist tendencies of Russia have posed threat to American dream of domination. In such scenario world order seems to moving from unipolar to multipolar.

Geopolitical and Economic ambitions pursued by the USA, Russia and China-

  • USA- the two decades after the cold war clearly established the American hegemony over the world order. USA was in position to control almost all the geopolitical issues of the time. 2nd gulf war (invasion of Iraq) 2003, its war in Afghanistan (2001-14) were some of the examples of USA’s excessive interference in the other nations. In these two decades it worked tirelessly to maintain existing world order led by American interests.  Due to economic stagnation in European countries it has moved towards Asia-Pacific. It is considering china as a threat to its superpower status. Its policies like Pivot to Asia, nuclear deal with India, its hostile stance on South China Sea are desperate attempt to limit China’s rise. However hard it may try, USA will have to face stiff resistance from China in geopolitical and economic arena.
  • Russia- it took almost a decade for Russia to come out the ill consequences of disintegration. It was nowhere close to USA in terms of economic and military influence over the world order. However with the arrival of Vladimir Putin as a President, situation is changing. His goal is to restore Russian strength and prestige, if not to its erstwhile status, then at least commensurate with its material resour­ces. Russia is trying to assert its influence and interests in the Eurasian and West Asian region. It has formed Eurasian Economic Union, forcefully occupied Crimean peninsula and is supporting Bashar Al Asad in Syria against USA. Russia is still aspiring to form world order in which it has greater say and control. Even though it is not closer to economic power to that of USA and China, it is still major military power and continuously exploring new markets for its defence exports.
  • China- with the dramatic rise of China in the last couple of decades, it has craftily altered the world order. It has abandoned its isolationist policy in geopolitical matters and is being seen as alternative to USA. China is relentlessly working to change the post-world wars global order dominated by USA. The steps to establish Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), New Development Bank (NDB), One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative are in the same direction. Its lead role in BRICS, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) makes it leader of 2nd It has encountered USA in Syria and North Korea making it power to reckon with. Though China’s efforts are in the direction to create bipolar world it clearly want unipolar Asia. Its friendship with Pakistan is mainly motivated by Indian considerations.

In such scenario India is facing uphill task in creating its own place in the global order. It moved away from the umbrella of Non-Alignment Movement post-cold war era. It has shown subtle precision in engaging with leading powers of the world at the same time. Unlike Russia and China, who have sought to reform and even transform the US-led order, India has been quite content to integrate with the post-1991 order, albeit with perfunctory reforms. Consequently, neither was a post-unipolar world imagined, nor its contours fathomed. Recent some years have witnessed India’s tilt towards the USA. The strengthening of relationship between the two countries was mainly helped by aggressive moves by China in Asia-pacific regions. India was also looking to diversify its arms import in a bid to reduce the dependence on Russia. But one of the fall-out of this is seen as Pakistan moving closer towards the Russia.

Although India is partner with China in BRICS, it is wary of Chinese One Belt One Road initiative as one of its branch, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) violated Indian sovereignty. India is also cautious about China’s designs in entering into Indian Ocean. China was seen as impediment in blocking India’s entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group. Thus India’s rise in the global order would be based on how it deals with China in Asia.

 


General Studies – 2


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

3) What are the salient features of the Treatment of Terminally Ill Patients Bill, 2016? Discuss the significance of this Bill to the euthanasia debate. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction-

The Medical Treatment of Terminally Ill Patients Bill 2016 has sparked the widespread debate over euthanasia. The bill is considered as logical step over passive euthanasia and legalizes assisted suicide for patients with their consent.

Salient features of the bill-

  • The bill recognizes the right of patient to die with dignity.
  • Bill recognizes the validity of advance medical directives by terminally-ill patients, which physicians will be bound to respect while treating them. 
  • Bill recognizes the right of terminally-ill patients to withhold and refuse medical treatment, and to express their desire to a medical practitioner to assist them in committing suicide.
  • Bill does not permit active euthanasia. Once the practitioner is satisfied that the patient is competent and has taken an informed decision, the decision will be confirmed by a panel of three independent medical practitioners. 
  • Every competent patient (including minors above the age of 16 years) will have the right to decide and request the medical practitioner to withhold, withdraw, or continue medical treatment in case of a terminal illness. In case of minors above 16 years, the consent of the parent and the major spouse will also be required.
  • Bill gives protection to patients and doctors from any liability for withholding medical treatment and states that palliative care (pain management) can continue.

 

Concerns-

  • The ‘terminal illness’ is defined as a persistent and irreversible vegetative condition under which it is not possible for the patient to lead a “meaningful life”. The use of this subjective phrase would require second parties to decide whether a person in a permanent vegetative state is living a life that is meaningful. Persons with disabilities, in particular, are likely to be disadvantaged by such an understanding of “terminal illness”. 
  • It also gives rise to the practical question of how a person in a permanent vegetative state will be able to self-administer the lethal dosage of drugs to commit suicide.
  • In the case of incompetent patients, or competent patients who have not taken an informed decision about their medical treatment, the Bill lays down a lengthy and cumbersome process before any action can be taken for the cessation of life. Once the medical practitioner and independent panel are satisfied that euthanasia is medically advisable, permission would have to be sought from the High Court. The practitioner would then have to receive clearance from the Medical Council of India (MCI).
  • Child rights activists are concerned that how child between 16 to 18 years would be able to take important decision about life and death.

Significance of the bill to the euthanasia debate-

  • The Supreme Court in Aruna Shanbaug case and Gian Kaur case had stated that assisted suicide was illegal because of absence of law permitting it. Further it stated that assisted suicide could be legalized if legislation is passes by parliament to that effect. Thus current bill is in line with the Supreme Court’s judgement of assisted suicide.
  • Already in India passive euthanasia was allowed. That is withdrawing the life-saving drug treatment from the patient. The current bill goes one step ahead in inducing assisted suicide with the consent of the patient. However it does not permit active euthanasia in which lethal, life threatening drug is administered to patient to end the life. The activists supporting euthanasia have hailed the bill as step in right direction. The bill has sparked the debate over euthanasia, patient autonomy and the interests of the state in preserving the life of persons is currently playing out in various fora, including the courts and the executive.
  • At the same time ethical concerns are raised over allowing patients to end their life with medically assisted methods. The debates are also high on the issue of misuse of the provision of the law by people with vested interests around the patient.

Conclusion-

Although bill raises many concerns, effective implementation would reduce the misuse of the provisions. In a conservative country like India, bill stands as bold step in recognizing the right of patient to die with dignity.   


 

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

4) What do you understand by continuous and comprehensive evaluation and no-detention policy? Do you think current no-detention policy will help bring reforms in school education in India? Critically comment. (200 Words)

EPW

Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE)-

  • Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) refers to a system of school-based evaluation of students that covers all aspects of students’ development. It is a developmental process of assessment which emphasizes on two fold objectives. These objectives are continuity in evaluation and assessment of broad based learning and behaviourial outcomes on the other.
  • In this scheme the term `continuous’ is meant to emphasize that evaluation of identified aspects of students’ `growth and development’ is a continuous process rather than an event, built into the total teaching-learning process and spread over the entire span of academic
    It means regularity of assessment, frequency of unit testing, diagnosis of learning gaps, use of corrective measures, retesting and for their self-evaluation.
  • The second term `comprehensive’ means that the scheme attempts to cover both the scholastic and the scholastic aspects of students’ growth and development
  • Continuous and comprehensive evaluation was a process of assessment, mandated by the Right to Education Act, of India. As a part of this new system, student’s marks will be replaced by grades which will be evaluated through a series of curricular and extra-curricular evaluations along with academics. The aim is to decrease the workload on the student by means of continuous evaluation by taking number of small tests throughout the year in place of single test at the end of the academic program. Only Grades are awarded to students based on work experience skills, dexterity, innovation, steadiness, teamwork, public speaking, behavior, etc. to evaluate and present an overall measure of the student’s ability. This helps the students who are not good in academics to show their talent in other fields such as arts, humanities, sports, music, athletics, and also helps to motivate the students who have a thirst of knowledge.

No Detention Policy (NDP)-

  • Section 16 of the RTE Act categorically lays down that “No child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from the school till the completion of elementary education.” Under this policy, the students up to class VIII are automatically promoted to the next class without being held back even if they do not get a passing grade.

Demerits of NDP-

  • Policy led to students developing a lackadaisical attitude towards their studies. It was also seen that the parents also didn’t bother as their children cannot be held back in the class. This system makes no difference between good and bad students.
  • Several studies have showed that learning outcome in schools have been poor over years. The fact that the students will be promoted to the next class up till 8 is making them carefree and they have developed an easy going attitude. They don’t study as there is no fear of failing in them. The students are kept at the same parameter because even if don’t work hard they will be promoted to the next class.
  • Teachers especially resent this policy as it takes away the power they have over their students. The teachers cannot hold back or expel the weak students. A large number of teachers have reported that some of the students don’t even come for the exams as there is no fear of repeating the class. The efforts of the teachers go in vain as the students don’t come to schools and even if they come, they don’t pay attention in class or even worse, they disturb the teaching environment of the class.
  • This situation is promoting the idea of coaching classes. The students who don’t pay attention in classes go to the coaching classes to get the passing grade in the Board examinations.
  • The students also lose out on a chance to develop better. Repeating a class gives them another chance to understand the syllabus better which is taken away from them when they don’t repeat the class. The student, their parents, their teachers don’t know where the student stands.

Merits of NDP-

  • Making a student repeat a grade adds to mental stress, lowers their self-esteem, and could cause them to drop out altogether. Examinations are often used for eliminating children who obtain poor marks. Compelling a child to repeat a class is demotivating and discouraging.
  • They are welcome change to the exam-centric education culture prevailed in India. The no-detention policy embraces the concept of equity especially for children from low-income groups and girls. High repetition and high dropout rates have been a major issue since the 1990s. The NDP seeks to address that concern.
  • The new system has the best potential to improve quality, rather than punishment, fear of failure and detention. Again as stated in article 13, every child has the same potential for learning. In most of the cases, it is the inadequacy of the educational system that accounts for the failure of the child. So instead of punishing the child with detention we should address the improvement of the quality of the system.

There is a common misconception that no-detention means no assessment. CCE is the assessment system under RTE and it should go hand in hand with no-detention policy. CCE allows for assessment of students on non-cognitive and non-academic areas of learning. Here a child need not be failed just because of non-performance on a narrowly defined and rigid set of indicators. There is lack of awareness regarding the implementation of CCE. The failure of implementation process is equated with failure of policy itself. The CCE failed to take off in most schools due to lack of basic capacity and awareness. In the absence of CCE, a no-detention policy has no meaning. There are also assumptions that students can only learn under the threat of failure. As long as there are such beliefs, the groundwork for reforms will not be ready. The failure of a child is the failure of the system as a whole, rather than that of the child. Instead of proposing the changes in the learning process, we are victimising the children. We often tend to expel the students on grounds of deviant and aberrant behavior, which we apprehend, would influence and affect other children. But expulsion signifies the refusal of the system to serve the child. The notion of “expulsion” is not compatible with the concept of “right”. In no civilized nation do we find the policy of “expulsion” in effect to deal with the students of elementary schools. If such tender aged (6-14 years) children engage into activities violating the rules and discipline of the school, the system has to take the responsibility. The system should address the child differently, through counseling, by providing different curricular and co-curricular activities which enable the child to develop self-awareness, changing his behavioral pattern. Another reason to implement the no detention policy is to free the students from the pressure and fear of examination and give them a stress free academic environment and childhood. 

Way forward to bring reforms in school education-

  • The ‘no detention policy’ along with the CCE is in itself good but has failed to deliver because our country lacks the infrastructural support and awareness on the part of the guardians needed for the successful implementation of the policy. For both the policies to be implemented, a healthy teacher-taught ratio is necessary. The CCE has become a farce in schools where the teacher-student ratio ranges from 1:50 to 1:120.
  • Again pedagogically, the no detention policy is effective if the teacher is professionally equipped, committed, works in a conducive environment, and is not over-burdened. Then she/he should be in a position to assess individual learning needs, appreciate individual differences and be committed to provide remedial inputs to each learner as per his or her requirements. The teacher should be also responsible to ensure that at no stage does the learner come under undue stress. But it is futile to expect this from the teachers who are not only burdened with hugely populated classes but also have to participate in election duties, census or sample surveys.
  • It was an ill-conceived decision to introduce the no detention policy without taking into account its feasibility and, hence, it is destined to fall flat. Until the desired pupil-teacher ratio is achieved, it is unreasonable to expect CCE and NDP to succeed. Other factor responsible for poor learning outcomes is the lack of trained teachers. Lack of training has caused the confusion among the teachers on what their role is in implementation of CCE guidelines. Teacher training must be revised in line with the requirements of CCE. Instead of strengthening the foundation to implement the reforms, bringing back the old pass-fail system threatens to undermine the egalitarian promise of the RTE. Therefore, the following are some suggestions for smooth functioning of the No Detention Policy and CCE:-
    1) The student- teacher ratio in the class should be kept to manageable limits.
    2) Regular orientation and training of the in-service teachers should be done to acquaint them with the principles and strategies of the policy needed for its successful implementation.
    3) Parents’ awareness should be generated.
    4) Special training for the weaker students and the late entrants should be there to make them at par with the academic level required to be in a particular class.
    5) Value education should be imparted among the students.
    6) Teaching-learning process should be made more attractive and joyful so as to arrest the attention of the students.
    7) Funding and resource allocation should be increased.

Conclusion-

On the basis of the discussion above, we may conclude that the no detention policy might be aiming to ensure universal enrolment and retention but has certainly affected the quality of education and aim of education, which cannot be ignored. It is now high time that the controversial clause is reviewed to maintain focus on quality education. We must remember that mere educational qualification is not a means of social change. The real purpose of the schools should be to broaden the horizon of the students and not merely to offer certificates. Even with the dedicated teachers one needs a change of the policy to make children actually study. But revoking the policy in isolation without drastically overhauling the education system would only add more woes to the already overburdened lives of the poor Indian children. Hence, the policy should either be renovated with adequate changes to neutralize the ill effects or replaced with a new policy that would take a balanced approach. The prime objective should be to effect an all-round development of children and equipping them with life skills.

As per the latest development the Government has now reviewed the no detention policy and the law ministry has given the go –ahead to HRD Ministry proposal to restrict the no-detention policy from the present class VIII to class V because children are getting indisciplined “as they do not have fear of failing”.


 

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

5) Examine the objectives of the Alma-Ata declaration and its significance for India. (200 Words)

EPW

Introduction:-

The Declaration of Alma-Ata was adopted at the International Conference on Primary Health Care (PHC), Almaty (formerly Alma-Ata), Kazakhstan (formerly Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic), 6–12 September 1978.

  • It expressed the need for urgent action by all governments, all health and development workers, and the world community to protect and promote thehealth of all people.
  • It was the first international declaration underlining the importance ofprimary health care. The primary health care approach has since then been accepted by member countries of the World Health Organization (WHO) as the key to achieving the goal of “Health For All” but only in developing countries at first. This applied to all other countries five years later.

The objectives of ALMA ATA declarations are as follows:-

  • Health as fundamental human right:- The Conference strongly reaffirms that health, which is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, is a fundamental human right
  • Inequality in health : The existing gross inequality in the health status of the people particularly between developed and developing countries as well as within countries is politically, socially and economically unacceptable and is, therefore, of common concern to all countries. Economic and social development, based on a New International Economic Order, is of basic importance to the fullest attainment of health for all and to the reduction of the gap between the health status of the developing and developed countries
  • Right of people in formulating policies:- The people have the right and duty to participate individually and collectively in the planning and implementation of their health care.
  • Governments role:- Governments have a responsibility for the health of their people which can be fulfilled only by the provision of adequate health and social measures. A main social target of governments, international organizations and the whole world community in the coming decades should be the attainment by all peoples of the world by the year 2000
  • Making primary healthcare affordable:- Primary health care is essential health care based on practical, scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technology made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community through their full participation and at a cost that the community and country can afford to maintain at every stage of their development in the spirit of self-reliance and self-determination.
  • International cooperation:- All countries should cooperate in a spirit of partnership and service to ensure primary health care for all people since the attainment of health by people in any one country directly concerns and benefits every other country.

Its importance to India can be seen on following grounds:-

  • Poor expenditure on health:- India currently spends just 1.3% of GDP on health and which is to be increased to 2.5% by National Health Policy 2017 recommendations.
  • India’s expensive health service: In India, health services especially allopathic are quite expensive. It hits hard the common man. Prices of various essential drugs have gone up.

medical expense

  • Rural Versus Urban Divide(Inequality in healthcare facilities):While the opportunity to enter the market is very ripe, India still spends only around 4.2% of its national GDP towards healthcare goods and services (compared to 18% by the US) . Additionally, there are wide gaps between the rural and urban populations in its healthcare system which worsen the problem. A staggering 70% of the population still lives in rural areas and has no or limited access to hospitals and clinics. Consequently, the rural population mostly relies on alternative medicine and government program in rural health clinics.
  • Demand for Basic Primary Healthcare and Infrastructure:India faces a growing need to fix its basic health concerns in the areas of HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and diarrhea. Additionally, children under five are born underweight and roughly 7% (compared to 0.8% in the US) of them die before their fifth birthday. Sadly, only a small percentage of the population has access to quality sanitation, which further exacerbates some key concerns above. For primary healthcare, the Indian government spends only about 30% of the country’s total healthcare budget. This is just a fraction of what the US and the UK spend every year.

Conclusion:-

Declarations like Alma Ata reminds and force countries around the world to work passionately towards goals of health services. India’s National Health Policies time and again tries to adhere to these principles. NHP 2002 had specifically accepted Alma Ata declaration. Though right to health is still a dream a good roadway is laid down by NHP 2017.


 

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

6) “The US Seventh Fleet was once a threat to India; now it is deemed to be an opportunity in more than one sense.” Elaborate. (200 Words)

EPW

Introduction:-

The fact that India would now be servicing the United States (US) Seventh Fleet surely reflects the sea change in Indo–US relations. India is servicing it under newly signed LEMOA agreement between India and USA.

HISTORY:-

  • In December 1971, when the victory of the Indian Army and the Mukti Bahini in East Bengal was drawing near, the US Navy dispatched a 10-ship Naval task force from its Seventh Fleet, then stationed off South Vietnam, to the Bay of Bengal to threaten the Indian armed forces.
  • August 1971, India had entered into a Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union, Article IX of which assured New Delhi that the Soviet Union would come to India’s defence in the event of an external threat or an actual breach of security.
  • The cruisers, destroyers and a submarine of the Soviet Navy trailed the Seventh Fleet’s task force into the Indian Ocean to ward off the US threat.

 

This shows the growing bonhomie between India and USA.

  • Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with the US, signed in August 2016, lays the ground for the Indian and US militaries to work closely together, for it allows the use of their respective bases for refueling, maintenance, replenishment of supplies, etc. Hence Indian Navy can explore its potential in various activities like humanitarian relief, joint operations.
  • LEMOA provide opportunity to domestic defense firm to grow. Recently US navy contracted Indian Private firm for the maintenance of their ship.
  • China defy the Hague tribunal order and make her intention clear to expand her outreach in South china sea and also in Asia. Close Cooperation with the USA navy will help India to keep check the expansion of the PLA navy.
  • New Delhi already designated as Washington’s “Major Defence Partner,” with sophisticated armaments being procured more and more from US and Israeli defence. This indicates the optimistic nature of future relationship.
  • Close cooperation with USA will not only check China in its increasing influence in South China sea and Bay of Bengal under garb of OBOR project but also send a strong signal to Russia who is increasing its cooperation with Pakistan on recent time.

Conclusion:-

Thus landmark LEMOA agreement will have ripple effect on various fronts. The US Seventh Fleet was once a credible military threat to India; now it is much more than a military opportunity; it is virtually a pot of gold for the chosen few.

 


General Studies – 3


Topic: Infrastructure – airports;

7) Discuss the main features and significance of the Udan scheme. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction:- UDAN is an innovative scheme to develop the regional aviation market. It is a market-based mechanism in which airlines bid for seat subsidies. This first-of-its-kind scheme globally will create affordable yet economically viable and profitable flights on regional routes so that flying becomes affordable to the common man even in small towns. 

FEATURES:-

  • UDAN has a unique market-based model to develop regional connectivity.
  • The airline operator would have to provide a minimum of 9 and a maximum of 40 UDAN Seats (subsidized rates ) on the UDAN Flights for operations through fixed wing aircraft and a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 13 Seats on the Flights for operations through helicopters.
  • The fare for a one hour journey of appx. 500 km on a fixed wing aircraft or for a 30 minute journey on a helicopter would now be capped at Rs. 2,500, with proportionate pricing for routes of different stage lengths / flight duration.
  • UDAN will be applicable on flights which cover between 200 km and 800 km with no lower limit set for hilly, remote, island and security sensitive regions.
  • Airport operators shall not impose Landing and Parking charge and Terminal Navigation Landing Charges in addition to discounts on Route Navigation Facility Charges.
  • A Regional Connectivity Fund would be created to meet the viability gap funding requirements under the scheme. The RCF levy per departure will be applied to certain domestic flights.
  • State governments will have to provide free security and fire service, utilities at concessional rates and reduce VAT on ATF to 1 percent.

Significance:-

  • The affordability offered by UDAN makes it possible for a common citizen to travel by air which is considered luxuries thing in large numbered middle class population of India.
  • It will boost the regional connectivity and will expand the domestic air market in the country.
  • It is a significant step to revive the dormant airports and create employment opportunity in India.
  • Most of the cities covered under UDAN scheme are tier 2 and tier 3 cities hence UDAN promotion will bring a lot of investment to these cities and will create infrastructure there.
  • The UDAN is likely to a give a major fillip to tourism and employment generation in the hinterland. Through introduction of helicopters and small aircraft, it is also likely to significantly reduce travel timings in remote and hilly regions, as well as islands and other areas of the country.
  • Subsidies under this scheme are not given blindly. They are auction based subsidies which indicates new model of government outlets.

Conclusion :- UDAN scheme could be a game changer in civil aviation. However it is constrained by issues such as non-availability of slots in prominent airports such as Delhi and Mumbai & meeting Overhead costs. Expansion of capacity through reviving abandoned terminals or creating new one, Creation of non frill airports will help in sorting out the issue and making this scheme sustainable.


 

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it

8) Examine the impact of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme on financial inclusion. (200 Words)

EPW

Introduction:-

Launched in 2005, MGNREGA is UPA government’s flagship social programme. The scheme that guarantees 100 days of employment is applicable across the country. To provide greater financial inclusion, the Government of India in 2008 declared that wage payments, under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme be made through banks and post offices.

Financial inclusion may be defined as the process of ensuring access to financial services and timely and adequate credit where needed by vulnerable groups such as weaker sections and low income groups at an affordable cost.

IMPACT ON FINANCIAL INCLUSION:-

  • The government to citizen cash transfer through bank accounts has included many people into formal credit system.
  • MGNREGA has increased the credit capacity of rural poor and hence their investment, formation of SHG, borrowings have also increased making them more formal in their outlook.
  • In large number of villages, MGNREGA payment are still paid through post-offices. These post offices also provides several small saving schemes such as Krishi Vikas Patra etc. further improving the financial inclusion.
  • Due to rise of rural income several Micro finance Institutions, public and private banks are also opening their branches in rural areas promoting the financial inclusion further.
  • Vulnerable people like SC/ST’s and women (51% of NREGA workers are women) benefited from this scheme which empowered and included them financially.

Conclusion

MGNREGA proved to be a milestone in financial inclusion as it drove the rural population which was out of formal net into banking. This is significant progress considering the dominance of informal lending in rural areas. It not only improved financial literacy but also ensuring speedy progress in credit availability and disbursement in rural area.