Beti Bachao Beti Padhao – Save Girl Child, Educate Girl Child

“An educated Girl will stay healthy, save money, build a business, empower her community, lift her country and change the world.”

Background: The current census (2011) data has revealed a declining trend in Child Sex Ratio (CSR) between 0-6 years with an all time low of 919. India has not improved gender indicators especially related to Sex Ratio and CSR. The issue of declining CSR is a major indicator of women disempowerment as it begins before birth, manifests in gender biased sex selection and elimination and continues in various forms of discrimination towards girl child after birth in fulfilling her health, nutrition and education needs. The practice of sex selective elimination of the female fetus due to easy availability and affordability of medical diagnostic tools has been a critical influencer of the skewed sex ratio. Further, there is little doubt that strong socio-cultural and religious biases, preferences for sons in almost all Indian communities has also shaped societal attitudes towards girls.

Given the complexity of the issue, there is a need for coordinated and multi sectoral convergent action including Information Education and Communication (IEC) and Behavior Change Communication (BCC) campaigns and community mobilization initiatives towards improving CSR, promoting the value of the girl and highlighting the importance of empowering her with education. A campaign like the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao can not only draw the attention of the masses to a grave concern like declining CSR but also lead to change the mindsets towards empowering daughters through education.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao: Realizing the gravity of the issue, it was highlighted in the Address to the Joint Session of the Parliament by the President in June, 2014 and thereafter, in the Budget speech of the Government. Since coordinated and convergent efforts are needed to ensure survival, protection and empowerment of the girl child, Government has announced Beti Bacho Beti Padhao initiative. This has been launched by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at Panipat, Haryana on Jan 22, 2015. The Government has decided that the Ministry of Women and Child Development shall be the Nodal Ministry for implementing this joint Scheme which will be implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Objectives:

The objectives of this initiative are:

  • Prevention of gender biased sex selective elimination
  • Ensuring survival and protection of the girl child
  • Ensuring education and participation of the girl child

Critical Components:

The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) initiative has two major components.

(i) Media Campaign and

(ii) Multi-sectoral action in 100 selected districts (as a pilot) with adverse CSR, covering all States and UTs

  • Effective implementation of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT) is a critical and non-negotiable aspect of this scheme.
  • Empowering the girl child through education and creating an enabling environment that provides equal access to education, health, employment/skill development etc. is another critical component.
  • Enhancing the value of the girl child through awareness generation is the other critical component. The Media Campaign, geared towards achieving this, would underline the need to use communication that encourages equal value of the girls and emphasize that she is not a liability.
  • Gender Equality: BBBP also highlights the need for gender equality enshrined in the Constitution of India and brings out how neglect of girls and discrimination throughout her life cycle leads to an unequal status for the girls. It also aims to break myths about roles of men and women in society so that negative attitudes and behaviors steeped in patriarchy changed.
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Make in India – Making India a global manufacturing hub

The program ‘Make in India’, a major national initiative which focuses on making India a global manufacturing hub,  was launched by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 25th September, 2014, at an event in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

Speaking to more than 500 top global CEOs along with captains of Indian industry at the launch ceremony, Prime Minister termed ‘Make in India’ initiative a lion step to usher in increased manufacturing in the country, which will ultimately generate more employment opportunities for the poor and give greater purchasing power to their hands.

Key thrust of the program would be on cutting down in delays in manufacturing projects clearance, develop adequate infrastructure and make it easier for companies to do business in India. The 25 key sectors identified under the program include automobiles, auto components, bio-technology, chemicals, defence manufacturing, electronic systems, food processing, leather, mining, oil&gas, ports, railways and textiles.

The national program aims at time-bound project clearances through a single online portal which will be further supported by the eight-member team dedicated to answering investor queries within 48 hours and addressing key issues including labor laws, skill development and infrastructure.

It also aims to transform the economy from the services-driven growth model to labor-intensive manufacturing-driven growth. This will in turn help in producing jobs for over ten million people, who join the workforce every year.

Objective of the campaign:

The objective of the mega program is to ensure that manufacturing sector which contributes around 15% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is increased to 25% in next few years.

The objective of the campaign is also to get manufacturing sector to grow over 100% on a sustainable basis over a long run.

Features of the program:

  • The government will look into all regulatory processes to ease the burden of investors.
  • A dedicated cell has been created to answer all the queries from Business entities through a freshly created web portal.
  • While an exhaustive set of Frequently Answered Questions on this portal will facilitate investors find instant answers to their general queries, the back-end support team of the portal would answer queries in less than 72 hours.
  • The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and industry lobby the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) have jointly started an eight member expert panel to deal with queries and concerns of the investors. They will clarify Indian policies to the investors and suggest reforms to the central and state governments.
  • All central government services are being integrated with an e-Biz single window online portal.
  • States have been suggested to introduce self-certification.
  • The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has been asked to give all security clearances to investment proposals within three months.
  • An advisory has been sent to all departments/state governments to simplify and rationalize regulatory atmosphere which includes online filing of all returns in a unified form.

Steps being taken:

  • Cutting down on procedural delay.
    • To make India an investment hub, the first and foremost important step would be to create efficient administrative machinery which would cut down on delays in project clearances.
    • Delay in getting regulatory clearances lead to rise in cost of production. The quicker the government addresses these challenges its better for the industry to set up facilities in the country.
    • For providing better infrastructure for the industry, there has been a big constraint in terms of land acquisition. Often land acquisition for the industrial purpose run into trouble at the local level.
  • Tax sops and focus on innovation.
    • Economists are urging for providing tax concessions to any industry which would set up manufacturing facility in the country.
    • India should be more focused towards novelty and innovation for the sectors identified and integration with the country’s premier institute for carrying out research and development. This would be critical to the success of the make in India program.
    • The country’s huge small and medium-sized industries which could play a big role in making the country take the next big leap in manufacturing.
  • Skill development and thrust on education
    • The country needs to focus on quality education not just skill development.
    • In the emerging economy, people will need to continuously learn new skills to meet the economy’s changing requirements.
    • The creation of Labor Market information system initiated by the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) should help industry sourcing their manpower requirement.
  • Reforms in the labor laws.
    • Besides the skill development, labor law flexibility is a key element for the success of this campaign for increasing manufacturing in the country.
    • Labor law flexibility does not imply ‘hire and fire’ policy, it’s about providing a sound social safety net to workers.
    • India has some of the most comprehensive labor laws at the same time a large parts of working population do not have access to social security net.
    • The big challenge for ‘Make in India’ would face constant comparison with China’s ‘Made in China’ campaign. China launched the campaign at the same day as India seeking to retain its manufacturing prowess. India should constantly keep up its strength so as to compare China’s supremacy in the manufacturing sector.
    • There is a need for some fundamental changes in Indian economy so that the country emerges as global manufacturing base.
  • Demographic Dividend.
    • The demographic potential offers India and its growing economy an edge that economists believe could add a significant 2% to the GDP growth rate annually.
    • India is the only country in the world which offers the unique combination of democracy, demography, and demand from a rising middle class.
  • Besides, the campaign would ensure closer centre and state relations for promoting India as a global manufacturing hub.

Progress so far…

Among the many campaigns launched by Shri Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, perhaps the most high-profile has been the Make in India campaign.

  • The government has already taken important steps to improve the regulatory climate, to enable manufacturing and to open Foreign Direct investment (FDI) in key sectors, i.e., the three pillars to bring about a positive transformation in manufacturing.
  • Important sectors like defence production, civil construction and railways have been opened to greater foreign investment by the government.
  • The process of applying for industrial licenses has been greatly simplified and made online.
  • Manufacturing units, except for those producing hazardous materials, can now do a great deal of self-certification, thereby reducing the ambit of government inspectors in the private manufacturing sector.
  • Much of the interface between entrepreneurs and the government, both central and state, has been made online.
  • Important economic structural reforms have been put in place.
    • Another reform: the government has put in place a new gas pricing policy in October 2014 which specifies that price notification will occur once in six months based on international prices of gas, thereby reducing predictability into this important price which affects almost every sector of the economy.
    • Another crucial reform which will also improve the availability of power within India is the establishment of a simplified system for auctioning coal mines online, which will introduce transparency into this sector, a most important one for power generation in India and which will, therefore, improve the economy as a whole.
  • Results of these reforms:
    • The index of industrial production has grown rapidly, while inflation has declined.
    • The stock market index is establishing new records every day, attesting to the large investments coming into, and to the enhanced industrial and economic activity in, India.
    • Both imports and exports have increased appreciably over the last few months.
    • The Indian currency remains stable.

“A major new national program. Designed to facilitate investment. Foster innovation. Enhance skill development. Protect intellectual property. And build best-in class manufacturing infrastructure. There’s never been a better time to make in India.”

Through this campaign, the Indian Government aims to clear the daunting image of complex rules and bureaucratic red tape of Indian administration. It will facilitate the world investors to foster their investment decisions and will also facilitate in realizing the aim of liberalized economy.

Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM)

“Everyone must be his own Scavenger”                                                                         -Mahatma Gandhi

Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM)

It is a joint mission of the Ministry of Urban Development and the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (Rural). The Mission was launched by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 2.10.2014 to fulfill Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of Clean India and to ensure hygiene, waste management and sanitation across the nation, which will be India’s tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary to be celebrated in the year 2019.

The program will be implemented two sub-missions by the Urban Development Ministry (Urban areas) and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (Rural).

Swachh Bharat Mission for Urban Areas:

Goal:

The overall goal of the National Urban Sanitation Policy is to transform Urban India into community – driven, totally sanitized, healthy and livable cities and towns. The Swachh Bharat Mission strives to achieve this goal.

Objectives of SBM (Urban):

The objectives of the Mission are:

  • Eliminate open defecation.
  • Conversion of insanitary toilets to pour flush toilets.
  • Eradication of manual scavenging
  • 100% collection and scientific processing/disposal/reuse/recycle of Municipal solid waste.
  • To bring about a behavioral change in people regarding healthy sanitation practices.
  • Generate awareness among the citizens about sanitation and its linkages with public health.
  • Strengthening of urban local bodies to design, execute and operate systems.
  • To create enabling environment for private sector participation in Capital expenditure and Operation and Maintenance expenditure (O&M).

SBM aims to achieve these objectives of providing sanitation and household toilet facilities for all 4041 statutory towns in the country. These towns are home to 31% of the country’s population or about 377 million people. The numbers are expected to go up to 600 million by 2031.

Components of SBM (Urban):

The Mission has the following components:

  • Provision of household toilets
  • Community toilets
  • Public toilets
  • Solid waste management
  • Information Education and Communication (IEC) and Public Awareness
  • Capacity Building and Administrative and Other Expenses.

Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural):

A direct relationship exists between water, sanitation, health, nutrition, and human well being. Though a lot of work has been done in the field of rural sanitation in the past decade under Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) in the country, sanitation coverage, which ought to be a way of life to safeguard health, is still inadequate. While the programs like TSC, Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBC) has been successful to some extent, the fact that there are still a large number of rural households without access to safe sanitation facilities, which is a issue which needs to be tackled on war footing in a time bound manner, the SBM (Rural) has been launched, which aims at attaining a 100% Open Defecation Free India by 2019.

Objectives of the SBM (Rural):

The objectives are as follows:

  • Bring about an improvement in the general quality of life in the rural areas.
  • Accelerate sanitation coverage in rural areas to achieve the vision of Swachh Bharat by 2019 with all Gram Panchayats in the country attaining Nirmal status.
  • Motivate communities and Panchayati Raj Institutions promoting sustainable sanitation facilities through awareness creation and health education.
  • Encourage cost effective and appropriate technologies for ecologically safe and sustainable sanitation.
  • Develop community managed environmental sanitation systems focusing on solid and liquid waste management for overall cleanliness in the rural areas.

Components of SBM (Rural):

The components are as under:

  • Provision of individual household latrines.
  • Construction of community sanitary complexes
  • Assistance to production centers of sanitary materials and Rural Sanitary Marts
  • Funds for solid and liquid waste management.
  • Provision for IEC
  • Provision for Administrative cost