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Some important schemes and programs

These are excerpts from the upcoming ForumIAS magazine on Schemes and Programs

India launched Mission Parivar Vikas to improve family planning services in seven states where the total fertility rate (TFR) is high and constitutes 44% of the country’s population.

About

  • It will cover 145 high focus districts having the highest total fertility rates (TFR) (3.0) in the country. The seven high focus, high TFR states are UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam.
  • These districts also suffer substantially on maternal and child health indicators as about 25-30% of maternal deaths and 50% of infant deaths occur in these districts.
  • The main objective of ‘Mission Parivas Vikas’ will be to accelerate access to high quality family planning choices based on information, reliable services and supplies within a rights-based framework.
  • These 145 districts have been identified based on total fertility rate and service delivery (PPIUCD and Sterilization performance) for immediate, special and accelerated efforts to reach the replacement level fertility goals of 2.1 by 2025.
  • The key strategic focus of this initiative will be on improving access to contraceptives through delivering assured services, dovetailing with new promotional schemes, ensuring commodity security, building capacity (service providers), creating an enabling environment along with close monitoring and implementation.

Other prelims related facts

  • Total Fertility Rate(TFR) is the average number of children expected to be born per woman during her entire span of reproductive period. In India the Total Fertility Rate is 2.4.

Project SAKSHAM


The government has approved Rs 2,256 crore outlays for Project Saksham to bolster the information technology network for the new GST regime.

About

Project Saksham is the name given to (Central Board of Excise and Customs)CBEC’s IT Infrastructure Project, It will help in: 

  1. Implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  2. Extension of the Indian Customs Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade (SWIFT) and
  3. Other taxpayer-friendly initiatives under Digital India and Ease of Doing Business of Central Board of Excise and Customs. 

Under the project, the CBEC’s existing IT systems will be integrated with the GST Network. This is required for processing of registration, payment and returns data sent by GSTN systems to CBEC, as well as act as a front-end for other modules such as audit, appeals, investigation.

  • The exercise is also expected to help the indirect tax department cater to the larger number of taxpayers when GST rolls out. The number of taxpayers under various indirect tax laws administered by CBEC is about 36 lakh at present, and will nearly double to 65 lakh after the introduction of GST.
  • It will integrate with other government initiatives such as E-Nivesh, E-Taal, e-Sign

Other Prelims related facts

  • Goods and Services Tax (GST), the country’s biggest tax reform, is scheduled to be rolled out from July with the Parliament passing all the crucial laws on April 6.
  • GST will herald not only a new tax but also a 100% digital system to file returns and payments.

Gas4India campaign

Gas4India campaign

Union Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launched Gas4India campaign, aimed at promoting the use of gas in the country.

About

  • Gas4India is a unified cross-country, multimedia, multi-event campaign to communicate the national, social, economic and ecological benefits of using natural gas as the fuel of choice to every citizen who uses, or will use in the near future, gas in any way- cook, travel, light their homes, and power their business.
  • The campaign includes social media engagements, as well as hyper local, offline events to directly connect with consumers through discussions, workshops and cultural events.
  • Public and private sector companies working in the sector have joined hands to promote the natural gas sector.
  • The country is expected to be moving towards the gas-based economy, and to increase the share of gas in the country’s energy basket from the present 6.5%.
  • To enhance gas production, the Government is promoting nationwide gas grid and setting up gas infrastructure.
  • Government is going to take steps to harness synthetic gas from Coal Bed Methane, and also promoting Bio-CNG and Bio-PNG. 3 New LNG terminals are also coming up. India has entered into long term contracts and acquired assets abroad to ensure unhindered supply of gas at reasonable prices.
  • GAIL has already finished the tendering process for gas grid and actual process of laying pipelines will begin soon.

 

Prelims facts

  • Natural gasis a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, but commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, or helium.
  • It is formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure under the surface of the Earth over millions of years. The energy that the plants originally obtained from the sun is stored in the form of chemical bonds in the gas.
  • Natural gas is found in deep underground rock formations or associated with other hydrocarbon reservoirs in coal beds and as methane clathrates. Petroleum is another resource and fossil fuel found in close proximity to and with natural gas.

 Difference between CNG, PNG and LPG


LNG is Liquefied Natural gas and CNG is Compressed Natural Gas. Both are Natural gas in two physical forms.

The drawback of natural gas is its availability is restricted to certain regions or countries. In its natural form it is an inconvenient fuel source for portability or shipping.

LNG

To overcome the transportation drawback, natural gas shipping takes place from available regions to other countries in liquid form. This is Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). LNG has volume that is 1/600th of its original volume.

Processes required in the LNG

  • Liquefaction and transport of natural gas is at -162 Deg C.
  • Removal of all impurities like sulphur, water and other elements is necessary for liquefaction
  • The receiving side also should have an LNG terminal for re-vapourising the LNG to its gaseous form.

CNG

CNG is Compressed Natural Gas and another physical form of natural gas to make it convenient to handle. Natural gas is compressed to 200 bar pressure so that the volume is almost 1% of the original.

Unlike LNG, the plant, machinery, and investment required for CNG production is considerably less.

LPG

  • LPG is Liquefied Petroleum Gas.
  • LPG production happens during the refining of crude oil. The composition is predominantly propane, butane, or a mix of these and other gases.
  • In addition, extraction of LPG takes place directly from some of the oil wells.
  • The calorific value is higher than the Natural gas in the range of 95 MJ /kg.
  • LPG can be in liquid form at a relatively low pressure of 2 to 5 bar at atmospheric temperature. This makes it convenient to handle in small cylinders.

Global Hunger Index Report 2016


India continues to have serious levels of widespread hunger forcing it to be ranked a lowly 97 among 118 developing countries for which the Global Hunger Index (GHI) was calculated this year. Countries worse than India include extremely poor African countries such as Niger, Chad, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone besides two of India’s neighbours: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Other neighbours Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and China are all ranked above India.

 About

  • The global community is not on course to end hunger by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) deadline of 2030.
  • India’s global hunger index or GHI score of 28.5 is worse than the developing
    country average score of 21.3
  • According to the report, India has a “serious” hunger problem with2% of its citizens undernourished and 38.7% of under-five children stunted.

Prelims related facts

  • Global Hunger Index report is released by the Washington based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • GHI score is a multidimensional index composed of four indicators- proportion of undernourished in the population, and prevalence of child  mortality, child stunting, and child wasting.
  • As per the World Bank Report titled ‘Nutrition in India’, India loses over 12 billion U.S. Dollar in Gross Domestic Product due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies in Indian population.

India’s steps to fight malnutrition

  • The Government has accorded high priority to the issue of malnutrition in the country and is implementing several schemes/programmes under different Ministries/Departments through State Governments/UT Administrations.

The schemes/programmes include the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), National Health Mission (NHM), Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Rajiv Gandhi Schemes for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG) namely SABLA,  Indira Gandhi MatritvaSahyogYojna (IGMSY) as direct targeted interventions. Besides, indirect Multi-sectoral interventions include Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), National Horticulture Mission, National Food Security Mission, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, National Rural Drinking Water Programme etc.


 

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