[op-ed snap] Pathways to an income guarantee

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Inclusive growth & issues arising from it.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: MIG

Mains level: Why there is a need of income support and how ut can be mobilised!


News

CONTEXT

The idea of a minimum income guarantee (MIG) has caught up with political parties. With the promise of the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) by the Congress party, it is clear that the MIG is going to be a major political issue for the coming general election.

What is MIG?

  • A MIG requires the government to pay the targeted set of citizens a fixed amount of money on a regular basis.

Income guarantee schemes at present

  • A limited version of the MIG in the form of the PM KISAN Yojana is already being implemented by the NDA government at the Centre.
  • State governments in Odisha and Telangana have their own versions of the MIG.

What is Nyay

  • NYAY is the most ambitious of these MIG schemes. It promises annual income transfers of ₹72,000 to each of the poorest five crore families comprising approximately 25 crore individuals.
  • If implemented, it will cost the exchequer ₹3.6 lakh crore per annum.

Concerns regarding such income guarantee scheme

  • Is there a case for additional spending of such a large sum on the poor? The answer is yes.
  • Can government finances afford it? No.
  • Even if the government can mobilise the required sum, is the scheme a good way of spending money on the poor? No.

The situation of the marginalised section

A.Situation of farmers

  • Many landless labourers, agricultural workers and marginal farmers suffer from multi-dimensional poverty.
  • Benefits of high economic growth during the last three decades have not percolated to these groups.
  • Welfare schemes have also failed to bring them out of destitution.
  • They have remained the poorest of Indians.

B.Workers

  • Contract and informal sector workers in urban areas face a similar problem.
  • Due to rapid mechanisation of low-skill jobs in the construction and retail sectors, employment prospects for them appear increasingly dismal.

Problems faced by the marginalised section

  • These groups are forced to borrow from moneylenders and adhatiyas (middlemen) at usurious rates of 24-60% per annum.
  • For instance, for marginal and small farmers, institutional lending accounts for only about 30% of their total borrowing.
  • The corresponding figure for landless agricultural workers is even worse at 15%.

The relevance of Additional Government spending

  • There is a strong case for direct income transfers to these groups.
  • The additional income can reduce their indebtedness and help them get by without falling into the clutches of the moneylender.

Constraints due to limited finances

  • However, the fiscal space is limited.
  • No government can afford it unless several existing welfare schemes are converted into direct income transfers, or the fiscal deficit is allowed to shoot up way above its existing level, 3.4% the GDP.

Effects of income guarantee

1. Positives

A.On Poverty

  • On the one hand, income transfers will surely reduce income inequalities and help bring a large number of households out of the poverty trap or prevent them from falling into it in the event of shocks such as illness or death of an earner.
  • The poor spend most of their income, and a boost in their income will provide a boost to economic activities by increasing overall demand.

B. On workers

  • In principle, the income supplement can come in handy as interest-free working capital for several categories of beneficiaries such as fruit and vegetable vendors and small artisans, and promote their businesses and employment.

C. On health and education

  • Studies show that even a small income supplement can improve nutrient intake at high levels of impoverishment.
  • Besides, it can increase school attendance for students coming from poor households.
  • This would mean improved health and educational outcomes, which in turn will make the working population more productive.
  • Moreover, with a modest income support the risk of beneficiaries opting out of the workforce will also be small.
  • Besides, a moderate income support can be extended to a larger set of poor households. For the lowest 40% (about 10 crore households), income is less than their consumption expenditure.

2.Negatives-

  • On the other hand, large income transfers can be inflationary, which will hurt the poor more than the rich.
  • At the same time, large cash transfers can result in withdrawal of beneficiaries from the labour force.
  • A MIG can also provide legitimacy to the state’s withdrawal of provisions of the basic services.

Identifying beneficiaries

  • the SECC along with the Agriculture Census of 2015-16 can help identify a larger set of poor based on verifiable criteria; namely, multidimensional poverty, landlessness and the marginal farmer.
  • Together, these criteria cover the bottom 40%, approximately 10 crore households.
  • Drawing upon the experiences with the poor-centric welfare schemes such as MNREGA, Saubhagya and Ujjwala and PM-KISAN, datasets can be prepared and used to update the list of needy households.
  • For these 10 crore households, to start with, the scheme will require ₹1.5 lakh crore per annum.
  • Nonetheless, the required amount is beyond the Centre’s fiscal capacity at the moment.
  • Therefore, the cost will have to be shared by the States. Still the scheme would have to be rolled out in phases, as was done for MGNREGA.

Way Forward

  • All considered, no income transfer scheme can be a substitute for universal basic services
  • The direct income support to the poor can deliver the intended benefits only if it comes as a supplement to the public services such as primary health and education.
  • This means that direct transfers should not be at the expense of public services for primary health and education.
  • Moreover, universal health and life insurance are equally important, and so is the case with crop insurance.
  • Each year, medical shocks and crop failures push many families into the poverty trap.
  • The scope of Ayushman Bharat needs to be expanded to include outdoor patient treatments. The PM Fasal Bima Yojana can be made more comprehensive by providing free and wider insurance coverage.

 

Direct Benefits Transfers

[op-ed snap] A stop sign

Note4Students

Mains Paper 3: Bio diversity and Environment| Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much.

Mains level: The news-card analyses how carbon emissions are rising in India and what can be done to improve efforts towards Paris Pledges.


NEWS

CONTEXT

International Energy Agency found that India’s carbon emissions grew by 4.8% during 2018, in spite of the national focus on climate change in energy policy.

Background of Indian carbon emission

  • There is wide recognition of the fact that Indians are not historically responsible for the problem.
  • it is the rich nations led by the U.S. that have pumped in the stock of carbon dioxide linked to extreme climate impacts being witnessed around the globe.
  • As the IEA points out, India’s emissions have grown, but per capita they remain less than 40% of the global average.

The situation regarding efforts to handle global climate change

  • Equity among nations is therefore at the centre of the discussion on energy emissions, and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities is central to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • Reassuring as this may be, the universal challenge of climate change has grown to such proportions that urgent action to sharply cut carbon emissions is crucial, and all countries, including India, must act quickly.
  • Intensive measures in key sectors — scaling up renewables to raise their share in the energy mix, greening transport, updating building codes and raising energy efficiency — will help meet the national pledge under the Paris Agreement to cut energy intensity of GDP by 33-35% by 2030, over 2005 levels.

Progress in the usage of renewables sources

  • At the global level, renewable sources of energy grew by 7% during 2018, but that pace is grossly insufficient, considering the rise in demand.
  • Moreover, it was China and Europe that contributed the bulk of those savings, in large measure from solar and wind power, indicating that India needs to ramp up its capacity in this area.
  • In fact, as the founder of the International Solar Alliance, India should lead the renewables effort.

Challenges in India

A.Rooftop solar photovoltaics

in spite of falling prices and rising efficiency, the potential of rooftop solar photovoltaics remains poorly utilised. It is time State power utilities are made responsible for defined rates of growth in the installation of rooftop systems.

B.coal power plants

A second priority area is the cleaning up of coal power plants, some of which are young and have decades of use ahead.

C. India’s record in promoting green transport has been uninspiring, and emissions from fossil fuels and the resulting pollution are rising rapidly.

Way Forward

  1. Cleaning coal plant – It should be aided by the UNFCCC, which can help transfer the best technologies for carbon capture, use and storage, and provide financial linkage from the $100 billion annual climate fund proposed for 2020.
  2. Reliance on electric vehicles– The Centre’s plan to expand electric mobility through financial incentives for buses, taxis and two-wheelers needs to be pursued vigorously, especially in the large cities.
  3. Inevitably, India will have to raise its ambition on emissions reduction, and participate in the global stocktaking of country-level action in 2023.
  4. It has the rare opportunity to choose green growth, shunning fossil fuels for future energy pathways and infrastructure.

 

Climate Change Negotiations – UNFCCC, COP, Other Conventions and Protocols

[op-ed snap] A reality check

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: IR | Effect of policies & politics of developed & developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: UNSC

Mains level: Impact of China’s Block on listing of Masood Azhar and USA’s efforts to counter the chinese move


NEWS

CONTEXT

The U.S. move to take a listing request for Jaish-e-Mohammad founder Masood Azhar directly to the UN Security Council is an indicator of the frustration of a majority of the Council’s permanent members with China’s refusal to budge on the issue.

Reason for banning Azhar

  • JeM was banned in 2001 with a listing at the UNSC that names Azhar as its founder and financier
  • He was accused of working with al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden
  • He was seen by the entire world on TV screens as he was exchanged for hostages at Kandahar following the 1999 Indian Airlines hijack,
  • Since 2001, the JeM and Azhar have claimed responsibility for several terror attacks that resulted in the deaths of dozens of innocent persons, including, most recently, the February 14 attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama.

China’s Stand on resolution

  • China has used its veto on Azhar’s listing at the 1267 UNSC Sanctions Committee four times in the past decade, evidently to protect Pakistan.
  • Its stand on Azhar is at variance with the otherwise tough stand on terror in Xinjiang province.
  • Also, it has allowed terrorists and groups based in Pakistan to be listed at the UNSC since 2001 and agreed to “grey list” Pakistan at the Financial Action Task Force for terror financing.
  • Just on Thursday, it joined other UNSC members in passing a resolution against terror financing.

Us recent initiatives on issue

  • With the latest proposal, the U.S. plans to “shame” China by bringing the Azhar listing to a public debate at the UNSC.
  • And if that fails, it is reportedly considering a UN General Assembly statement condemning Azhar.
  • The listing of Azhar is an unfinished task India is justified in pursuing.

Concerns with Us’s proposal

  • However, the latest U.S. move comes with some concerns.
  • To begin with, there is no indication that China is ready to change its stand, particularly in the face of coercion or threat from the U.S., and it could veto this proposal as well.
  • There appears to be little to be gained at present by forcing China further into Pakistan’s corner, especially as New Delhi has said it would pursue the Azhar listing with China with “patience and persistence”, in keeping with its desire not to sacrifice the bilateral relationship over the issue.
  • It is equally unlikely that a world power like China would be moved by the threat of public humiliation.

Conclusion

New Delhi must applaud the strong support the U.S. and the other UNSC members have provided on the issue of cross-border terror threats, and on the vexed issue of Azhar’s listing. But it must be careful not to stake too much on an immediate win at the UNSC vis-a-vis China, and keep its expectations realistic.

Foreign Policy Watch: India-United States

[pib] GI Certification for five varieties of Indian coffee

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Indian Economy| Issues relating to intellectual property rights

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:  Various varieties of coffee mentioned

Mains level: GI Indications and their importance


News

  • The DPIIT has recently awarded Geographical Indication (GI) to five varieties of Indian coffee.
  • The recognition and protection that comes with GI certification will allow the coffee producers of India to invest in maintaining the specific qualities of the coffee grown in that particular region.
  • It will also enhance the visibility of Indian coffee in the world and allow growers to get maximum price for their premium coffee.

GI Tag for 5 Indian Coffee varieties

  1. Coorg Arabica coffee 
  • It is grown specifically in the region of Kodagu district in Karnataka.
  1. Wayanaad Robusta coffee 
  • It is grown specifically in the region of Wayanad district which is situated on the eastern portion of Kerala.
  1. Chikmagalur Arabica coffee 
  • It is grown specifically in the region of Chikmagalur district and it is situated in the Deccan plateau, belongs to the Malnad region of Karnataka.
  1. Araku Valley Arabica coffee 
  • It is coffee from the hilly tracks of Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha region at an elevation of 900-1100 Mt MSL.
  • The coffee produce of Araku, by the tribals, follows an organic approach in which they emphasise management practices involving substantial use of organic manures, green manuring and organic pest management practices.
  1. Bababudangiris Arabica coffee 
  • It is grown specifically in the birthplace of coffee in India and the region is situated in the central portion of Chikmagalur district.
  • Selectively hand-picked and processed by natural fermentation, the cup exhibits full body, acidity, mild flavour and striking aroma with a note of chocolate.
  • This coffee is also called high grown coffee which slowly ripens in the mild climate and thereby the bean acquires a special taste and aroma.

Coffee cultivation in India

  • In India, coffee is cultivated in about 4.54 lakh hectares by 3.66 lakh coffee farmers of which 98% are small farmers. Coffee cultivation is mainly done in the Southern States of India:
  1. Karnataka – 54%
  2. Kerala – 19%
  3. Tamil Nadu – 8%
  • Coffee is also grown in non-traditional areas like Andhra Pradesh and Odisha (17.2%) and North East States (1.8%).
  • The Monsooned Malabar Robusta Coffee, a unique specialty coffee from India, was given GI certification earlier.

Unique features of Indian Coffee

  • India is the only country in the world where the entire coffee cultivation is grown under shade, hand-picked and sun dried.
  • India produces some of the best coffee in the world, grown by tribal farmers in the Western and Eastern Ghats, which are the two major bio-diversity hotspots in the world.
  • Indian coffee is highly valued in the world market and sold as premium coffee in Europe.
  • Recently the Coffee Board of India has collaborated with Bengaluru-based digital Eka Software Solutions (Eka Plus) for development of a blockchain-based marketplace application.
GI(Geographical Indicator) Tags

Hump-backed Mahseer

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspectives, the following things are important

Prelims Level: Hump-backed Mahseer

Mains Level: Read the attached story 


News

  • The hump-backed Mahseer, found in the waters of the Cauvery, has been added to the IUCN Red List with Critically Endangered Status.

Hump-backed Mahseer

  • The hump-backed mahseer is a large freshwater fish also called the tiger of the water and found only in the Cauvery river basin including Kerala’s Pambar, Kabini and Bhavani rivers.
  • It is now “Critically Endangered”: more threatened than the tiger is, as per the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species.
  • The fish is one of the 229 species added to the Red List last November; this update also reveals that the threat status of 12 other Indian species, including great hornbills, has increased.
  • The inclusion was possible only once the fish got its scientific name last June—Tor remadevii.

5 other species added

  • Five other species have also made it to threatened categories: two wild orchids, the Arabian scad (a marine fish) and two wild coffee species found only in a few localities in the Western Ghats.

More threats to Hornbill

  • The great hornbill was earlier categorised as “Near Threatened”.
  • It is now “Vulnerable” due to high hunting pressure coupled with habitat loss and deforestation, while the wreathed hornbill has moved from “Least Concern” to “Vulnerable”.
Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Government sets up group to monitor terror sympathizers

Note4Students

Mains Paper 3: Security| Linkages of organized crime with terrorism

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: TMG

Mains level: Militancy and cross-border terrorism in India


News

  • To take action against “hard core sympathizers among government employees, including teachers, who are providing covert or overt support” to terror-related activities, the MHA has formed a Terror Monitoring Group (TMG).

Terror Monitoring Group

  • In order to ensure synergized and concerted action against terror financing and other related activities in J&K, a multi-disciplinary monitoring group comprising eight members has been constituted.
  • The TMG has to take coordinated action in all registered cases that relate to terror financing and terror-related activities and bring them to a logical conclusion.

Composition

  • The TMG will be chaired by Additional DGP, CID of J&K Police, and include Inspector General of Police of J&K and Additional Director of IB, J&K, as members.
  • It will also have representatives from the CBI, NIA, CBDT and Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs.

Terms of reference

  • It will identify all key persons, including leaders of the organisation(s), who are involved in supporting terrorism in any form and take concerted action against them.
  • The TMG will investigate the networks of various channels being used to fund terror and terror activities and take coordinated action to stop flow of such funds.
  • The group will meet on a weekly basis and submit action-taken report regularly to the MHA.
Foreign Policy Watch: Cross-Border Terrorism

Island Protection Zone (IPZ), 2019

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: IPZ notification

Mains level: Features of the IPZ


News

  • The MoEFCC has notified Island Protection Zone (IPZ) 2019 for Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

 IPZ Notification, 2019

  • The notification relaxes development norms in the islands compared to the IPZ notification of 2011, which stipulated a no-development zone (NDZ) of 200 metres from the HTL for all islands.
  • This brings the norms for Andaman and Nicobar at par with coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms for other islands close to the mainland and backwater islands where an NDZ only 20 metres from HTL has been stipulated.
  • The cabinet had approved the CRZ notification in 2018 which relaxed a number of provisions in the CRZ 2011 to facilitate infrastructure development and construction on the coast.
  • It included easing floor area ratio (FAR) in coastal urban areas and slashing the NDZ in densely populated coastal rural areas to 50 metres from HTL as compared to 200 metres earlier.
  • The legal changes in the IPZ are aligned with the Niti Ayog’s proposal for holistic development in the Islands which is being taken forward under the guidance of the Island Development Agency.

Features of the IPZ, 2019

  • It allows for eco-tourism activities like mangrove walks, tree huts and nature trails in island coastal regulation zone IA (classified as the most eco-sensitive region of the islands which includes turtle nesting grounds, marshes, coral reefs etc).
  • The notification also allows for construction of roads, roads on stilts by reclaiming land in exceptional cases for defence installations, public utilities or strategic purposes in eco-sensitive zones.
  • It states that in case construction of such roads pass through mangroves, a minimum three times the mangrove area destroyed during the construction process shall be taken up for compensatory plantation of mangroves elsewhere.
  • These were not allowed under the IPZ 2011 notification which only permitted pipelines, transmission lines, trans-harbor links to be laid in the eco-sensitive zone.
  • The new notification also allows a number of new activities in the inter-tidal zone between low tide line and HTL.
  • This includes land reclamation and bunding for foreshore facilities like ports, harbours, jetties, wharves, quays, sea links etc, transfer of hazardous substances from ships to ports, manual mining of atomic minerals, and mining of sand with permission from local authorities in non-eco-sensitive sites.
Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

Parking management plan for Delhi

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Impact of privately owned vehicles in Delhi’s air pollution


News

  • After the Supreme Court direction, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority has put forth a parking management plan for New Delhi.

Management of parking in Delhi

  • In its report, the EPCA assessed the state of residential parking in Delhi and observed that free parking on public land continues to be a city-wide menace.
  • The EPCA highlighted a serious crisis of night-time parking, which was in turn leading to obstruction on roads and problems with the movement of emergency vehicles, including ambulances, fire engines, etc.
  • Lack of regulation or charges over parking on public land also adds to the menace, as most car owners, in order to avoid parking charges, shift to parking on the streets adding to congestion on the road.
  • The EPCA stressed on joint management of parking spaces to ensure that there is coordination between different road type’s service roads and residential lanes and commercial and mixed land use areas.

MCLPs remain un-utilized

  • The Multi-Level Car Parks (MLCPs) remain highly under-utilized in Delhi because there is no parking charge on public land.
  • The parking in residential areas is not regulated or priced. There is, therefore, no incentive to use the multi-level parking lots or to pay for these.
  • Further, it makes note that the MLCPs are working at a loss, and these are just operational costs which “do not account for the price of land, which is exorbitant as these parking lots are located in prime residential areas.”

Key recommendations listed in EPCA report:

  • Implementing agencies are unanimous that residential parking will have to be regulated and managed
  • Parking spill over from residential buildings will require management
  • Multiplicity of responsibility is at the core of the problems of governance in the city and parking regulations must not add to this
  • Pricing for residential parking should be determined jointly by the local agency and RWA/shop-keepers association but it must be based on the principle of charging differential and higher rates for additional cars
  • The local parking plan must ensure that there is provision for movement of emergency vehicles and green areas, parks and footpaths may not be allowed to be used for parking
  • The Delhi Police may be directed to greatly improve enforcement against illegal and unauthorised parking through state-of-the art equipment, including cameras and automated challans
Air Pollution

[op-ed snap] Power in space: on Mission Shakti

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics etc.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Mission Shakti, ASAT

Mains level: Strategic significance of the Mission Shakti and it impacts on domestic politics and neighbourhood


News

CONTEXT

India has entered an elite space club with the Defence Research and Development Organisation blowing up a satellite in a Low Earth Orbit into smithereens.

Background

  • Such Indian capability to take out moving objects has never really been in doubt.
  • the DRDO announced it as early as in 2011.
  • Indeed, India has been in the business of testing long-range missiles for years, although public attention on the space programme has been mostly on its civilian and scientific aspects.
  • The military dimension, though always latent, had not seen a verifiable demonstration as in the case of Mission Shakti, the Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test.

The relevance of the test

  • Ministry of External Affairs describes it as a ‘credible deterrence’ against attacks on India’s growing number of space assets.
  • Although only three other countries, the U.S., Russia, and China, have previously demonstrated this capability, it is possible to surmise that countries with long-range missiles could do the same with equal effectiveness.
  • But India, surely, is staking a forward claim as a space weapons power.

It might propel Arms Race in the neighbourhood

  • This might lead to its none-too-friendly neighbour Pakistan into a competitive frenzy.
  • Also, in the absence of a credible threat to India’s space assets from China or any other country with Anti-Satellite missile capabilities, whether the ‘deterrence’ sought to be achieved by this test would lead to a more stable strategic security environment is not certain.

Intentions of India with regards to ASAT

  • While announcing the success of the test, was clear that India wanted to maintain peace rather than indulge in warmongering.
  • And, by targeting a low-orbit satellite, the missile test did the utmost possible to minimise space debris, which is an issue of international concern.

Concerns with the timing of test and elections

  • But, within India, the timing of the test, when the country is already in election mode, does raise concerns whether this was aimed at the domestic constituency.
  • The Election Commission is now seized of the question whether the Prime Minister might have violated the Model Code of Conduct.
  • If it does find the timing amiss, the government could be in for some serious embarrassment.

Conclusion

  • Ideally, the test should not have been a matter for a partisan political debate, but given the hypernationalist political plank of the ruling Party, Mission Shakti might have more reverberations on the ground than it has had in space.
ISRO Missions and Discoveries

[op-ed snap] The shape of an urban employment guarantee

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), NSSO

Mains level: Focusing on urban employment to deal with present employment crisis.


NEWS

CONTEXT

The unemployment rate has reached a 45-year high (6.1%) in 2017-18 as per leaked data from the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) report of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).

Severe Crisis regarding employment situation

  • According to the PLFS report, the unemployment problem is especially aggravated in India’s cities and towns. Aside from unemployment, low wages and precarity continue to be widespread.
  • In urban India the majority of the population continues to work in the informal sector.
  • Hence, India cannot ignore the crisis of urban employment.

Importance of towns in growth

  • Both State and Central governments tend to treat towns as “engines of growth” for the economy rather than spaces where thousands toil to make a living.
  • Programmes such as the Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (1997) that included an urban wage employment component have made way for those focussed on skilling and entrepreneurship.

Policy ignorance of urban bodies in growth and employment Context

  • India’s small and medium towns are particularly ignored in the State’s urban imagination.
  • As per Census 2011, India has 4,041 cities and towns with an urban local body (ULB) in the form of a Municipal Corporation, Municipal Council or Nagar Panchayat.
  • However, national-level urban programmes such as the Smart Cities Mission and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) only benefit a fraction of them.
  • Most ULBs are struggling to carry out basic functions because of a lack of financial and human capacity.
  • Further, with untrammelled urbanisation, they are facing more challenges due to the degradation of urban ecological commons.
  • Hence, we need new ways to promote the sustainable development of India’s small and medium towns.

Promoting Urban  Employment

  • In the context of the present employment crises, it is worthwhile considering to introduce an employment guarantee programme in urban areas.
  • Along with addressing the concerns of underemployment and unemployment, such a programme can bring in much-needed public investment in towns to improve the quality of urban infrastructure and services, restoring urban commons, skilling urban youth and increasing the capacity of ULBs.

1.Urban employment programme

  • The idea of an urban employment programme is gaining traction in political and policy debates.
  • According to multiple reports, it could be a key agenda of a possible Common Minimum Programme of the Opposition parties for the 2019 general election.
  • In Madhya Pradesh, the new State government has launched the “Yuva Swabhiman Yojana” which provides employment for both skilled and unskilled workers among urban youth.

A.Pros of the urban employment programme

  • Such a programme would give urban residents a statutory right to work and thereby ensure the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
  • To make it truly demand-driven, we have proposed that the ULB receives funds from the Centre and the State at the beginning of each financial year so that funds are available locally.
  • Wages would be disbursed in a decentralised manner at the local ULB.
  • Given the State’s relative neglect of small and medium towns and to avoid migration to big cities, such a programme can cover all ULBs with a population less than 1 million.
  • Since it is an urban programme, it should have a wider scope than the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA); this would provide employment for a variety of works for people with a range of skills and education levels
  • It would not come at the expense of MGNREGA but rather the two would go hand-in-hand.
  • Urban informal workers with limited formal education would benefit from this programme.
  • They can undertake standard public works such as building and maintenance of roads, footpaths and bridges for a guaranteed 100 days in a year, at ₹500 a day.
  • a new set of “green jobs” which include the creation, restoration/rejuvenation, and maintenance of urban commons such as green spaces and parks, forested or woody areas, degraded or waste land, and water bodies.
  • Further, a set of jobs that will cater to the “care deficit” in towns by providing child-care as well as care for the elderly and the disabled to the urban working class have been included.

2.Skilling and apprenticeship

  • Another novel aspect is the creation of a skilling and apprenticeship programme for unemployed youth with higher education
  • Who can sign up for a contiguous period of 150 days (five months), at ₹13,000 a month for five months to assist with administrative functions in municipal offices, government schools, or public health centres, and for the monitoring, measurement, or evaluation of environmental parameters.
  • While the first category of work is aimed at providing additional employment opportunities and raising incomes for those in low-wage informal work, the second category is to provide educated youth experience and skills that they can build-on further.
  • Such a programme will cost between 1.7-2.7% of GDP per year depending on design, and can provide work opportunities to around 30-50 million workers.
  • In light of the 74th Amendment, this programme should be administered by the ULB in a participatory manner by involving ward committees.

Checks and balances to enhance accountability

  • Strong transparency and accountability structures — proactive disclosure of information based on Section 4 of the RTI Act, proactive measures through mandatory periodic social audits, public hearing and reactive measures through a “Right to Timely Grievance Redressal” for workers.

Way Forward

  • An urban employment guarantee programme not only improves incomes of workers but also has multiplier effects on the economy.
  • It will boost local demand in small towns, improve public infrastructure and services, spur entrepreneurship, build skills of workers and create a shared sense of public goods.
  • Hence, the time is ripe for an employment guarantee programme in urban India.

 

Labour, Jobs and Employment – Harmonization of labour laws, gender gap, unemployment, etc.

Arctic warming may lead to prolonged droughts: Study

Note4Students

Mains Paper 3: Environment| Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Global warming and its impact on precipitation


News

Impact of arctic warming

  • Arctic warming weakens the temperature difference between the tropics and the poles, resulting in less precipitation, weaker cyclones and mid-latitude westerly wind flow.
  • This result in prolonged droughts, a study has found.
  • When those opposite temperatures are wider, the result is more precipitation, stronger cyclones and more robust wind flow.
  • However, due to the Arctic ice melting and warming up the poles, those disparate temperatures are becoming closer.

What happens when Arctic is warmer?

  • Analysis shows that, when the Arctic is warmer, the jet stream and other wind patterns tend to be weaker.
  • The temperature difference in the Arctic and the tropics is less steep.
  • The change brings less precipitation to the mid-latitudes.

What is happening right now?

  • The northern high latitudes are warming at rates that are double the global average.
  • This will decrease the equator-to-pole temperature gradient to values comparable with the early to middle Holocene Period that began 12,000 to 11,500 years ago.
Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

Time to have institutional mechanism like Fiscal Council to enforce rules: NK Singh

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Polity | Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Fiscal Council

Mains level: Mandate of the finance commission


News

  • Stressing on the need to have uniform rules for fiscal consolidation of States and Centre 15th Finance Commission’s Chairman NK Singh called for institutional mechanism like a ‘Fiscal Council’ to enforce fiscal rules and keep a check on Centre’s fiscal consolidation.

A check over borrowings

  • For state government liabilities, Article 293 (3) provides a constitutional check over borrowings.
  • But there is no such restriction on the Centre.
  • It is time we have an alternative institutional mechanism like Fiscal Council to enforce fiscal rules and keep a check on Centre’s fiscal consolidation.
  • Singh had earlier proposed creation of an autonomous Fiscal Council with representatives from both states and Centre, but the recommendation was not implemented.

Why need Fiscal Council?

  • Various cesses and surcharges are becoming disproportionate proportion of overall divisible revenue.
  • There should be some mechanism to ensure that the basic spirit of the devolution process should not be undercut by clever financial engineering or taking recourse to traditions.
  • There is a need for coordination between the finance commission as well as the GST Council, which he termed as the only federal institution in the country.
  • There’s need for coordination between Finance Commission and GST council.
  • GST Council has no clue of what the Finance Commission is doing and Finance Commission has even lesser clue of what the GST Council is doing.

The municipal example

  • It is very clear that successful economic growth, successful good quality employment depends on agglomerations that work.
  • That in turn is going to depend on whether municipalities have enough revenue.
  • What the municipalities get today in terms of revenue is one per cent of GDP whereas on comparative basis, looking at other emerging market countries, it really ought to be 5 per cent of GDP.
Finance Commission – Issues related to devolution of resources

Humans can detect the earth’s magnetic fields

Note4students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Magneto-reception in Human beings

Mains level: Not Much


News

  • Now a team of researchers has shown that humans do indeed unconsciously respond to the changes in the earth’s magnetic fields.
  • Scientists have long known that turtles, birds, honeybees and even bacteria can sense the earth’s magnetic field and use them for navigation.

Magneto-reception in Human Beings

  • Magneto-reception has hardly been tested in humans and many studies have been inconclusive.
  • The researchers wrapped with electrical coils, which helped simulate the earth’s natural magnetic field.
  • The participants were connected to an EEG set-up and their brain activity was monitored.
  • In the one-hour session, for a few minutes, the magnetic field around the chamber was shifted. They noticed that during this period, the alpha power of the brain began to drop.
  • When a human brain is unengaged, the alpha power is high.
  • When something catches its attention, consciously or unconsciously, its alpha power drops.
Promoting Science and Technology – Missions,Policies & Schemes

Centre should address States’ concern on GST transfers

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: GST Transfers

Mains level: Read the attached story


News

  • The GST Council was designed as a federal body between the States and the Centre.
  • The States have been complaining that the Centre is taking advantage of the arrangement and is delaying the dues to be paid to the States.

Concern of the states

  • The States have a feeling that the Centre is taking advantage of the current arrangement.
  • The Centre is supposed to give money to the States, but that distribution is taking time and accounts are not being finalised.
  • There is a feeling that the Centre is trying to keep the money longer than required.
  • The Finance Commission (FC) awards are more in favour of the poorer States, while the non-FC expenditures actually don’t go to poorer States.
  • The empirical evidence showed that, while the transfers mandated by the Finance Commission from the Centre to the States had been to the benefit of the poorer States, the discretionary spending allowed by the Centre had, in fact, only been to the benefit of the richer States.
  • The explanation is possibly that political bargaining is better for the forward States, or their absorption capacity is better.

Recasting NITI Aayog

  • On the future roles of the FCs and the NITI Aayog, there was a need for a body such as the FCs to make sure that there was a stable formula for transfers to the States.
  • There is a need for a federal body, which is trusted by both the States and the Centre that would provide a forum for the political bargaining that was behind the allocation of other funds to the States, such as grants in aid.
  • The right way of going about it is that there should be a political forum and expertise also, which will arrive at the criteria for such transfers.
  • That body should come under the confidence of both the States and the Centre, and not just identify with the Centre.
  • If the NITI Aayog were to occupy this role, then the first thing is for it to get the trust of the States.
Goods and Services Tax (GST)

[op-ed snap] Slow on sanitation

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | mechanisms, laws, institutions & Bodies constituted for the protection & betterment of these vulnerable sections

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Constitutional r provisions to end manual scavenging and their lax implementation leading to loss of lives.


NEWS

CONTEXT

The tragic death of six people who entered a septic tank in Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur town is a grim reminder that sanitation remains a low-priority area despite the high political profile of Swachh Bharat.

Why these events are recurring?

  • Public understanding of the science of managing septic tanks continues to be poor.
  • the availability of cheap labour to clean these structures has slowed efforts to develop technologies that can safely remove and transport the waste.
  • Sanitation thus remains a challenge in thousands of unsewered towns.

Particulars about this incident

  • What sets the incident apart from the several instances of people dying of asphyxiation in the tanks is that some of the victims were the owners of the property and not workers.
  • Although workers were not affected in this case, it confirms Tamil Nadu’s abysmal overall record at raising sanitation standards.

Data regarding casualties due to unsafe sanitation practices

  • Since 1993, when the first law was passed against manual cleaning, there were at least 144 worker deaths in Tamil Nadu as of November 2018, according to official data reported to the Centre for grant of compensation.
  • Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab also fared badly with a cumulative toll of 146 lives lost during that period.
  • But this is obviously a gross underestimate, since the Safai Karmachari Andolan, which has litigated in the Supreme Court seeking to aggressively prosecute offenders, contends that septic tank cleaning claimed nearly 1,500 lives between 2014 and 2016.
  • More reports of deaths continue to come in.

Provision to prohibit manual scavenging

  • Every death of a manual worker represents a crime, since the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 makes the use of such labour to clean septic tanks an offence punishable with imprisonment of two years or with a fine of ₹2 lakh or both even in the first instance.

State government’s failure to act responsibly

  • State governments are reluctant to prosecute offenders,
  • They are also slow to adopt newer technologies such as Faecal Sludge Treatment Plants (FSTP), which can be combined with omniprocessors for safe treatment of waste.

Use of Technology to address concerns

  • For the task of cleaning the tanks, indigenous innovation in robotics looks promising.
  • A prototype is planned to be tested by the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and such devices can potentially transform sanitation in India and other developing countries.
  • But the pace of adoption will depend on the priority that governments accord to the long-neglected problem.
  • Last year, Tamil Nadu, and some other States, notably Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, announced plans to scale up FSTP infrastructure.
  • This is a task that deserves the highest importance, and needs to be completed on deadline.

Conclusion

  • What happened in Sriperumbudur highlights the heavy price that communities pay for the lack of scientific sanitation.
  • If governments remain apathetic, citizens would expect the courts to step in to uphold the law against manual scavenging and make individual departments accountable.
  • The science on sanitation has advanced, and policy must urgently catch up.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] A blow against Article 370

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Polity | Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions & basic structure

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Article 370

Mains level: Issues related to special status given to J&K under the Constitution and 2019 order diluting special status of state.


NEWS

CONTEXT

On March 1, 2019, the 77th and 103rd constitutional amendments were extended to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) by a presidential order, with the concurrence of the J&K Governor.These relate to reservations in promotions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the State services and special provisions for the advancement of economically weaker sections, respectively.

Background of 370

  • The constitutional relationship between J&K and the Indian Union has been the subject of numerous discussions in recent times.
  • This has rekindled the long-standing debate on the continued relevance of Article 370.

1.What is article 370?

  • As in Article 370, the provisions of the Indian Constitution do not automatically apply to J&K.
  • To extend constitutional provisions and amendments to the State, a presidential order to that effect has to be passed.
  • This order requires the concurrence of the State government, where the subject matter does not relate to the subjects specified in the Instrument of Accession (defence, external affairs, and communications).
  • For other cases, only consultation is required.

2.Erosion of Article 370

  • Accordingly, a 1954 presidential order extended various provisions of the Indian Constitution to J&K.
  • This order was made with the concurrence of the State government and also ratified by the State Constituent Assembly.
  • After the J&K Constitution came into effect in 1957, the State Constituent Assembly was dissolved.
  • Since then, more than 40 such orders have been made, through which most constitutional provisions have been extended to the State.
  • The sheer number of such orders, as well as the circumstances under which they were made, have considerably eroded J&K’s special status under Article 370.

History of diluton of 370

  • From the 1950s there has been a gradual dilution of the procedural norms followed by these presidential orders.

1.1954 Order

  • In passing the 1954 order, procedural propriety was followed in the fullest possible sense as the requisite concurrence was obtained not only from an elected State government but also the State Constituent Assembly.
  • The presidential orders made after the dissolution of the State Constituent Assembly — except a 1986 order extending Article 249, and the present 2019 order — can be seen as the first level of dilution.
  • This is so because for all these orders, while the concurrence of an elected State government was obtained, the State Constituent Assembly did not exist and, therefore, could not give its ratification.
  • Although the Supreme Court upheld this practice in the Sampat Prakash case (1968), it has been criticised as being beyond the scope of Article 370.

2.1986 Order

  • The 1986 order represents a second level of dilution.
  • This is because it was made when J&K was under Governor’s rule as per Section 92 of the J&K Constitution.
  • In the absence of an elected council of ministers, the Governor could not have validly given the requisite concurrence to the presidential order.
  • Even if the Governor acting without a popularly elected government can be considered as a “state government” for the purposes of concurrence, the Governor must at least have had some nexus with the State and some independence from the Centre.
  • However, this is not the case in practice, since the Governor is not only an unelected nominee of the Central Government but also holds office during the latter’s pleasure.

3.2019 Order

  • the third level of dilution brought about by the 2019 order is almost the final blow.
  • In December 2018, the President assumed all the functions of the State government and the Governor through a proclamation under Article 356.
  • In an order passed on the same day, the President directed that all powers assumed by him would be exercisable by the Governor as well, “subject to the superintendence, direction, and control of the President”.

Problems with 2019 order

  • During Governor’s rule, as was the case in 1986, the Governor is at least on paper expected to act independently.
  • However, in the present case involving President’s rule, the Governor is reduced to a mere delegate of the Centre and is expected to act as per the aid and advice of the Central Government.
  • A presidential order made through obtaining such a Governor’s concurrence is tantamount to the Centre talking into a mirror and makes a mockery of Article 370.

A.Federalism is being compromised

  • The manner in which the 2019 order was made also goes against the spirit of federalism, which is a salient constitutional principle.
  • President’s rule is an exception to the general constitutional scheme that envisages representative government at the State level to accommodate regional aspirations.
  • Extending constitutional provisions to the State during this exceptional state of affairs is suspicious.
  • In the absence of popular will backing it, the 2019 order clearly falls foul of the principles of constitutional and political morality.

Conclusion

Commenting on the 1986 order, the Sarkaria Commission had observed that “every action which is legally permissible may not be necessarily prudent or proper from the political stand-point”. Not only is the recent presidential order against federalism generally and the spirit of Article 370 in particular but it also violates the letter of the Constitution.

 

J&K – The issues around the state

[op-ed snap] A cop out

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Police Acts

Mains level: The article deals with the important issues related to the  reforms in Indian Police Reforms


News

CONTEXT

It is indeed a tragedy that while the country is forging ahead in different spheres to build a new India, its policing remains mired in a colonial structure. The Acts passed by the states are crude attempts to circumvent the implementation of judicial directions.

Disappointment with police reforms

  • There have been no reformative changes in the police with a view to transforming it into an instrument of service to the people.

1.Supreme Court’s Judgement on police reforms

  • The Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment in 2006, clearly said that “the commitment, devotion and accountability of the police has to be only to the rule of law”.
  • The supervision and control has to be such that it ensures that the police serves the people without any regard, whatsoever, to the status and position of any person while investigating a crime or taking preventive measures.
  • The Court issued a slew of directions with a view to insulating the police from extraneous influences, giving it a measure of autonomy in personnel matters and making it more accountable.
  • It is a great pity that even after 12 years, there has been only partial and, in some states, farcical compliance of the directions.

2. Who is responsible for delays?

A.Centre’s Response

  • The states are primarily to blame.
  • the Centre cannot escape responsibility for its indifference and inaction in the matter.
  • The Police Act Drafting Committee headed by Soli Sorabjee had prepared a Model Police Act in 2006.
  • The expectation was that the Centre would pass an Act on similar lines for Delhi and the Union Territories and that the same model would be adopted at least in those states where the same party held office.
  • Besides, Article 252 of the Constitution gives Parliament the power to legislate for two or more states by consent and lays down that such an Act shall apply to the consenting states “and to any other by which it is adopted through a resolution passed in that behalf by the House or, where there are two Houses, by each of the Houses of the legislature of that State”.
  • Till this day, the Government of India has not taken any definitive action on Sorabjee’s Model Police Act.

B.State’s Response

  • In the absence of any initiative by the Centre, the states, 17 of them so far, have gone amok with their separate police Acts
  • It is ironical that while the British India had one police Act for the entire country, we are confronted with a situation where every state has a different Act with sharp differences in essential features.

Responses on delaying of reforms

  • Justice K T Thomas, who was appointed by the Supreme Court in 2008 to monitor the implementation of its directions, expressed his “dismay over the total indifference (of the states) to the issue of reforms in the functioning of police”.
  • Justice J S Verma, who submitted a comprehensive report on amendments to criminal law in 2012, urged the “states to comply with all six Supreme Court’s directives in order to tackle systemic problems in policing”.

Conclusion

  • The prime minister, while addressing the police chiefs of the country in Guwahati in 2014, raised hopes when he talked of building a SMART police — a police, which would be sensitive, mobile, accountable, responsive and techno-savvy.
  • There has hardly been any follow up action and only some cosmetic steps were taken to augment the manpower and infrastructure of the forces.
  • It is indeed a tragedy that while the country is forging ahead in different spheres to build a new India, its policing remains mired in a colonial structure.
  • The Acts passed by the states are crude attempts to circumvent the implementation of judicial directions.
  • The Supreme Court has also, for inexplicable reasons, not cracked the whip so far.

 

Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)

Note4Students

Mains Paper 2: IR| Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: CBC reports, BEPS

Mains level: India-US trade relations


News

Context

  • India and the U.S. signed an inter-government agreement for the automatic exchange of country-by-country (CbC) reports.
  • This will reduce the compliance burden for Indian subsidiary companies of U.S. parent companies.
  • This is a key step in making India compliant with the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project, of which it is an active participant.

What is BEPS?

  • Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) is a tax avoidance strategy used by multinational companies by exploiting gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax locations.
  • In order to combat this, many countries entered into agreements to share tax information with each other to enhance transparency and make such profit shifting that much harder.
  • Here, profits are shifted from jurisdictions that have high taxes (such as the United States and many Western European countries) to jurisdictions that have low (or no) taxes (so-called tax havens).
  • The BEPS Action Plan adopted by the OECD and G20 countries in 2013 recognised that the way forward to mitigate risk from base erosion and profit shifting was to enhance transparency.

CBC Reports

  • Against this background, a template was released in 2014, which outlined how MNEs could report the required information for each tax jurisdiction in which they do business. These are called the country-by-country reports.
  • MNEs are also required to identify each entity within the group doing business in a particular tax jurisdiction, and to provide information about the business activities each entity conducts.
  • This information is to be made available to the tax authorities in all jurisdictions in which the MNE operates.
  • This was seen as placing a huge compliance burden on the subsidiary companies of these MNEs.

Assist this newscard with:

India, US to sign pact for exchange of country-by-country reports

Foreign Policy Watch: India-United States

Regulatory Sandbox for Fintech firms

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Mobilization of resources

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Regulatory Sandbox

Mains level: Challenges to India as a growing fintech market


News

  • The RBI is set to issue guidelines for a ‘regulatory sandbox’ for financial technology (fintech) firms within two months.

What is Regulatory Sandbox?

  • A sandbox approach provides a secure environment for fintech firms to experiment with products under supervision of a regulator.
  • The concept of a regulatory sandbox or innovation hub for fintech firms was mooted by a committee headed by then RBI executive director Sudarshan Sen.
  • The panel, which submitted its report in November 2017, had called for a regulatory sandbox to help firms experiment with fintech solutions, where the consequences of failure can be contained and reasons for failure analysed.
  • If the product appears to have the potential to be successful, it might be authorised and brought to the broader market more quickly.
  • The sandbox will enable fintech companies to conduct live or virtual testing of their new products and services.

Why such move?

  • Fintech or financial technology companies use technology to provide financial services such as payments, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding, among others.
  • According to NITI Aayog, India is one of the fastest growing fintech markets globally, and industry research has projected that $1 trillion, or 60% of retail and SME credit, will be digitally disbursed by 2029.
  • The Indian fintech ecosystem is the third largest in the world, attracting nearly $6 billion in investments since 2014, the think tank said.
  • A global survey ranked India, with 1,218 fintech firms, second in terms of fintech adoption, with an adoption rate of 52 per cent.

Issue of Data Privacy

  • The risks for fintech products may arise from cross-border legal and regulatory issues where confidentiality and customer protection are major areas that needed to be addressed.
  • The proposed Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018, had categorised all financial data as “sensitive personal data”, which is not the case for many European countries.
RBI Notifications

Global Multidimensional Poverty Report 2018

Note4students

Mains Paper 1: Social Issues | Poverty & development issues

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Global MPI report 2108

Mains level: India’s efforts in reducing poverty and their outcomes


News

  • The Global MPI 2018 Report was recently published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.

What is global MPI?

  • The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is an international measure of acute poverty covering over 100 developing countries.
  • It complements traditional income-based poverty measures by capturing the severe deprivations that each person faces at the same time with respect to education, health and living standards.
  • The global MPI was developed by OPHI with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) for inclusion in UNDP’s flagship Human Development Report in 2010. It has been published in the HDR ever since.

Global MPI 2018 Report

  • The report measures MPI, or multidimensional poverty index, which it says can be broken down to show “who is poor” and “how they are poor”.
  • This factor in two measures, poverty rate as a percentage of the population, and intensity as the average share of deprivations that poor people experience.
  • The product of these two is MPI. If someone is deprived in a third or more of 10 weighted indicators, the global index identifies them as “MPI poor”.

India’s progress

  • India has reduced its poverty rate drastically from 55% to 28% in 10 years, with 271 million people moving out of poverty between 2005-06 and 2015-16.
  • The report, covering 105 countries, dedicates a chapter to India because of this remarkable progress.
  • However, India still had 364 million poor in 2015-16, the largest for any country, although it is down from 635 million in 2005-06.
  • Of the 364 million people who were MPI poor in 2015-16, 156 million (34.6%) were children.
  • In India, poverty reduction among children, the poorest states, Scheduled Tribes, and Muslims was fastest, the report says.

Statewise Report

  • Bihar was the poorest state in 2015-16, with more than half its population in poverty.
  • The four poorest states —Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh — were still home to 196 million MPI poor people, which was over half of all the MPI poor people in India.
  • Jharkhand had the greatest improvement, followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Nagaland.
  • At the other end, Kerala, one of the least poor regions in 2006, reduced its MPI by around 92%.

Global Highlights

  • 3 billion people live in multidimensional poverty.
  • 83% of all multidimensionally poor people in the world live in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
  • Two-thirds of all MPI poor people live in middle-income countries.
  • Half of the multidimensionally poor are children aged 0-17.
  • 85% of MPI poor people live in rural areas.
  • 46% of those who are multidimensionally poor live in severe poverty.
  • In 2015/16, more than 364 million people are still MPI poor in India.
  • In India, 271 million people moved out of poverty in ten years.
Poverty Eradication – Definition, Debates, etc.