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Mains Marathon

Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – March 29


Following are the Suggested Answers for Mains Marathon, March 29:


1.What is Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS)? Mention some major challenges to operator participation in RCS. (GS 3)

क्षेत्रीय संपर्क योजना (आरसीएस) क्या है? आरसीएस में ऑपरेटर भागीदारी के कुछ प्रमुख चुनौतियों का उल्लेख करें।

The Hindu | UDAN


Introduction:-

  • The Government recently  kickstarted its Regional Air Connectivity Scheme (RCS) by awarding 128 regional routes to five airlines .
  • India launched the Regional Connectivity Scheme to get more people flying in what is already the world’s fastest growing aviation market.

About the scheme:

  • The primary objective of RCS is to facilitate / stimulate regional air connectivity by making it affordable.
  • Through this Scheme, the government reiterates its focus on affordable regional flying for passengers by providing a favourable eco-system through fiscal support and infrastructure development.
  • The objective is toencourage long-term sustainability of operations under RCS, such that the connectivity established is not dependent on VGF in perpetuity.
  • The AAI is being designated as the implementing agency for RCS
  • Regulatory support: 
    • The central and state governments are required to extend various policy level, financial as well as operational support to the airlines for the scheme.
    • The participating states are expected to provide land free of cost for the RCS airports, reduce VAT on ATF to 1% or lower, contribute to 20% of the VGF and provide other support services free of cost or at concessional rates.
  • Airport operators support: 
    • The airport operators should not levy landing and parking charges or any such similar charges on RCS flights.
  • Viability gap funding:
    • Conditions and tenure: 
      • The VGF will be funded through Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF), which will be generated by applying levy on Cat-I and Cat-III routes.
      • The VGF will be provided for a period of three years from date of commencement of RCS flight, for all committed RCS seats.
    • Viability gap funding cap:
      • The VGF for RCS routes would be capped at a pre-decided quantum based on the stage length of the RCS flights.
    • Airfare cap:
      • The key highlight of the scheme is pre-decided airfare caps.
      • The airfare caps are based on various route lengths and would be indexed to inflation.
    • RCF allocation:-
      • In order to achieve balanced growth across all regions, a particular region would be allocated upto a maximum of 25% of the estimated annual inflows in the RCF.
    • Exit clause: 
      • A selected airline operator may cease RCS flight operations for any reason after one year from commencement of RCS operations.
      • The performance guarantee and the additional performance guarantee shall be returned provided there is no default by the airline under the contract.
    • Exclusivity of operations:
      • Once selected, an airline operator would be given exclusive rights to operate on the specified RCS route for three years.

Challenges:

  • Participation of States in RCS considering upfront support requirements
  • Timely availability of infrastructure at unserved and underserved airports
  • Lack of clarity on incentives for the airports to participate in the scheme and their financial viability.
  • The restriction on maximum number of seats under RCS makes ideal aircraft capacity as 80 seats.Aircrafts with higher capacity would have to operate more non-RCS seats which would not be eligible for This may necessitate use of smaller aircrafts, restricting some operational and financial flexibility.
  • Financial viability of airports exclusively developed for the RCS is questionable considering the extent of support required to be provided by them.
  • Further, non-RCS airports would lose out on the charges for RCS flights serving to/from these airports. Additionally, airport operators of major airports will have to provide slots for RCS flights leading to added congestion.
  • Provision of VGF is a major driver for airlines to operate on RCS routes; however, three year  tenure of VGF might be inadequate for sustainable operationsand elongation of this tenure might be required  to build confidence of participating airlines.
  • Non-availability of VGF for cargo operations is another limiting factor.
  • A pre-decided cap on VGF restricts benefits available to airlines in case of higher overheads of operating an aircraft.
  • The process of bidding would make the scenario more competitive for some of the lucrative routes, reducing commercial viability of airlines.

The scheme, however, provides a good opportunity for regional airlines to stabilize their troubled operations using the fiscal support being provided.Clarity on some of the areas of the scheme including :-

  • Extension of tenure for VGF
  • Possible lack of exclusivity on certain lucrative RCS routes and its commercial implications on airlines
  • Financial viability of other stakeholders like RCS airports and airport operators
  • Possible operational issues at existing airports in order to serve RCS flights
  • Participation of non-scheduled operators would be required for broad-based participation of stakeholders and consequent success of the scheme.

2.Why are people with twin pits installing septic tanks? Do you think that the understanding between twin pits and fertilizer can solve the problem of partial usage? (GS 1)

ट्विन पिट्स वाले लोग सेप्टिक टैंक को स्थापित करने में क्यों लगे हैं? क्या आपको लगता है कि ट्विन पिट्स और उर्वरक के बीच आंशिक उपयोग की समस्या हल हो सकती है?

Indian Express


What is twin pit?

  • Twin-pit for pour-flush toilets are improved pit latrines, which allow on-site treatment and transformation of faecal sludge into a hygienized soil amendment.
  • They basically consist of two pits (similar in design to soak pits), which are linked, using a Y-junction, to a single pour-flush toilet.

Reasons why people go for septic tanks rather than twin pits are :-

  • Lack of awareness:
    • In general, it seems people do not know about, or do not believe in, the advantages of twin pits over septic tanks
    • Information about twin pits does not seem to have been a major part of Information, Education, Communication (IEC) campaigns
  • Fear of tank getting filled faster is also one reason for non-usage of twin pit toilets
  • People see twin pits as too small and too quick to fill. They use them sparingly
  • Lack of demostration by the public official on how to use the pit and lack of financial incentives to do it
  • Masons also recommend septic tanks because they can make more money from construction.
    • A mason in a village in Raipur district said that he had replaced over a hundred twin pits with septic tanks

Yes,the understanding between twin pits and fertilizer can solve the problem of partial usage

  • After about a year, the contents of the first pit have turned into harmless and valuable fertiliser: A family’s waste turns from being a liability in a septic tank to a growing asset.
  • Demonstration by public official to dig out the fertiliser from the pit, to buy the fertiliser from the government.
  • Excavation of humus is easier than fecal sludge
  • Potential for use of stored fecal material as soil conditioner
  • Flies and odours are significantly reduced (compared to pits without a water seal)
  • Can be built and repaired with locally available materials
  • Low(but variable) capital costs depending on materials; no or low operating costs if self-emptied
  • Small land area required
  • Moderate reduction in pathogens
  • Life is virtually unlimited.

No:

  • It is a commonly accepted sanitation option; however, some health concerns exist:
    • Leachate can contaminate groundwater
    • Stagnant water in pits may promote insect breeding
    • Pits are susceptible to failure and/or overflowing during floods.
    • Manual removal of pit humus is required
    • Clogging is frequent when bulky cleansing materials are used
    • Higher risk of groundwater contamination due to more leachate than with waterless systems
    • Water-based technology, thus anticipates availability of water and long retention times
    • Relatively high investment costs
    • Requires space

These challenges associated with twin pit have been overcomed by the efforts of Civil servants by manual cleaning and awareness generation.There is a need for more focus on this aspect especially when India is focussing on Swatch Bharat.


3.Aadhaar is made mandatory for an individual for filing tax returns or obtaining and retaining a PAN card. What is the conflict between the executive and judiciary for Aadhaar regarding its approach? (GS 2)

टैक्स रिटर्न दाखिल करने या पैन कार्ड प्राप्त करने के लिए एक व्यक्ति को आधार कार्ड अनिवार्य है। कार्यपालिका और न्यायपालिका के बीच में अंतर का क्या आधार है?

Live Mint


Introduction:-

  • The tax returns move comes soon after the Union government notified the expansion of Aadhaar to cover over 30 schemes.

Judiciary view :-

  • It stipulated that the Aadhaar scheme must remain voluntary and could not be made mandatory until such time as the matter was finally decided.
  • As India is one of the most cyber attacked nation in the world ,the security holding the entire database of aadhar is a concern as lots of personal information is stored there.
  • It is also a violation of privacy under fundamental right of article 21.
  • The recent passage of Aadhar bill as a money bill bypassing the Rajyasabha is another conflict area between the two branches.
  • Other concerns are :-
  • Many of the Indians still do not have aadhar card. Linking aadhar with all the government services will adversely impact the people who need the services the most.
  • Also the linking of pan card with aadhar is also challenging.
  • Lack of digital and financial literacy could be a challenging aspect for the implementation of Aadhar as a universal service of the government.

 

Government view:-

  • The government sees it as an essential tool that can be used at nearly any point of contact between state and citizen.
  • The tax move was made to check tax evasion and reduce the burden in the honest taxpayer.
  • Streamline the targeted sections to which are actually meant for and reduce leakages.
  • The government considers the judiciary interference in the aadhar issue is judicial overreach.
  • Government is of the opinion that aadhar would make delivery of government services easy and effective by increasing their reach
  • It would be a vehicle for financial inclusion via JAM trinity
  • It would also strengthen the DIGITAL INDIA mission.

 

Despite the conflict both judiciary and executive want to work in public interest and there has been some convergence with respect to aadhar as well like  SC has allowed the government to use aadhaar in non welfare schemes for instance like the  PAN card, opening of bank accounts, tax returns.


 

 

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