List of Contents
- NITI Aayog’s “draft national policy on migrant workers”?
- 100% tap water connections to schools under “100-day Special Campaign”
- Govt announces “Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge”
- Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launches Pilot “Pey Jal Survekshan”
- Urban Mass transport needs policy reform
- “Jal Jeevan Mission” to revive urban water bodies
- Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0 and Jal Jeevan Mission
- NITI Aayog’s “Megacity plan for Little Andaman”
- Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban)
- WEF’s “Indian Cities in the Post-pandemic world” report mentions cities critical role in post-covid India
- Urban Governance Index 2020
- Urban Quality of Life Index
- Urban planning
- Urbanisation and pandemic
NITI Aayog’s “draft national policy on migrant workers”?
What is the News?
NITI Aayog has prepared a Draft National policy on Migrant workers.
Issues with the Existing Law on Migrants:
Inter-State Migrant Workers Act, 1979
- It was designed to protect labourers from exploitation by contractors. It safeguards their right to non-discriminatory wages, travel and displacement allowances, and suitable working conditions.
- However, this law covers only labourers migrating through a contractor. It does not cover independent migrants.
About the Draft Policy on Migrant Workers:
Approach: The draft policy describes two approaches to policy design:
- Handout Approach: It focuses on cash transfers, special quotas, and reservations. It also means providing aids instead of skills.
- Rights-Based Approach: It enhances the agency and capability of the community. Thereby, it promotes an individual’s own natural ability to thrive.
The Draft policy rejected the Handout approach and opted for a rights-based approach.
Salient features of the Draft Policy:
- Implementation by: Ministry of Labour and Employment should be the nodal Ministry for implementation.
- Special Unit: Ministry should create a special unit to help converge the activities of other Ministries. This unit would manage migration resource centres in high migration zones.
- Central Database: The policy calls for the creation of a central database of migrant labours.
- Role of Panchayats: Panchayats should maintain a database of migrant workers. It would issue identity cards and passbooks to workers. Moreover, it would also provide migration management and governance through training, placement and social-security benefit assurance.
- Inter-state migration management bodies should be set up to cover the nation’s key migration corridors: Uttar Pradesh and Mumbai; Bihar and Delhi; Western Odisha and Andhra Pradesh; Rajasthan and Gujarat, and Odisha and Gujarat.
- Migrants Workers Section: Labour Departments in Each state should establish a migrant workers section. labour officers of source states and destination states should work collectively.
- Migrants Children Education: The Ministry of Education should take measures for migrant children’s education. It should map migrant children and provide local-language teachers in migrant destinations.
- Housing for Migrants: The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs should address issues of night shelters, short-stay homes and seasonal accommodation for migrants in cities.
- Grievance Cells: The National Legal Services authority(NALSA) and Ministry of Labour should set up grievance handling cells and fast track legal responses. It should work on issues like trafficking, minimum wage violations, and workplace abuses and accidents for migrant workers.
- Migrants should be the target of Disaster Risk Reduction(DDR) programmers in urban centres.
Source: Indian Express
100% tap water connections to schools under “100-day Special Campaign”
What is the news?
Telangana has achieved 100% tap water connections to all schools and Angan Wadi Centres (AWCs) under 100 day Special Campaign.
The other states like Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Haryana and Tamil Nadu, also achieved this target.
Centre’s 100-day Special Campaign:
- On 2nd October 2020, Ministry of Jal Shakti had launched the 100-day Special Campaign. It was to ensure piped safe water to all schools and anganwadis under the Jal Jeevan Mission.
- The campaign was launched in order to ensure safe potable piped water for children. Children are more susceptible to water-borne diseases.
What has been achieved so far?
- So far, 1.82 lakh grey water management structures and 1.42 lakh rain water harvesting structures had been constructed in all schools and AWCs.
- In all, 5.21 lakh schools and 4.71 lakh AWCs had been provided with piped water supply and around 8.24 lakh assets in these institutions had been geo-tagged.
- It is a flagship programme of the Telangana government.It is aimed at providing safe drinking water to every household.
Source: The Hindu
Govt announces “Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge”
What is the news?
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs shortlisted 25 cities for the ‘Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge’. This challenge is covered under the Smart Cities Mission.
About Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge
- It is a three-year initiative hosted by the Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, in collaboration with the Bernard van Leer Foundation and World Resources Institute(WRI) India.
- All cities with a population above 5 lakhs are eligible to participate.
- Purpose: The challenge aims to enable Indian cities to focus on early childhood development (0-5-year-old children). The focus will incorporate into the planning and management of Indian cities.
- Promote early childhood centric approach among Indian cities.
- Facilitate demonstration of early childhood centric solutions.
- Catalyse cities to the mainstream and implement solutions in the long-term.
- Develop a peer to peer network of nurturing cities.
- Collect and analyse data related to young children and their caregivers.
- Who can apply? The challenge is open to all Smart Cities, capitals of States and UTs, and other cities with a population above 5 lakhs.
- Cities Selected under the challenge: The following cities have been selected for the Challenge: Agartala, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Dharamshala, Erode, Hubballi, Hyderabad, Indore, Jabalpur, Kakinada, Kochi, Kohima, Kota, Nagpur, Rajkot, Ranchi, Rohtak, Rourkela, Salem, Surat, Thiruvananthapuram, Tiruppur, Ujjain, Vadodara and Warangal.
- Benefits to Selected Cities: Cities will receive technical assistance and capacity building. It will be helpful to develop, pilot and scale solutions that enhance the quality of life of young children.
- Over time, the programme will enable cities to incorporate a focus on early childhood development into the planning and management of Indian cities.
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launches Pilot “Pey Jal Survekshan”
What is the News?
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launched a Pilot Pey Jal Survekshan.
About Pey Jal Survekshan
- It is a drinking water survey launched in 10 cities under Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban).
- Ministry: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
- Purpose: It will ascertain the equitable distribution of water, reuse of wastewater in target cities. Moreover, it will map water bodies with respect to the quantity and quality of water.
- Coverage: It will cover 10 cities; Agra, Badlapur, Bhubaneswar, Churu, Kochi, Madurai, Patiala, Rohtak, Surat, and Tumkur.
- The survey will be monitored through a technology-based platform. This platform will monitor the beneficiary responses.
- Authorities will collect data through various methods; face-to-face interviews with citizens and municipal officials, on-call interviews, water sample collection, laboratory testing, and field survey.
- Based on the learnings of the pilot survey, this exercise will extend to all Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) cities.
Urban Mass transport needs policy reform
Source: The Hindu
Gs2: Devolution of Powers and Finances up to Local Levels and Challenges Therein.
Synopsis: The Budget allocation for improving Urban Mass transport is welcome. Yet much is needed to be done to achieve inclusive urbanisation.
- In the recent budget, Finance Minister announced fund allocation for improving the Urban mass transport system.
- A sufficient amount is allocated for the Kochi, Chennai, and Bengaluru Metro projects.
- Budget allocation for the Metro projects in the three cities is commendable. It provides greater certainty for these cities to meet their targets.
- However, the budget allocation for improving bus transport will not be adequate.
- The budget allocation for expanding the bus transport system is (₹18,000 crore) under the PPP model.
Issues in the Budget proposal for Bus Transport system?
- India’s ratio of buses to population is a low 1.2 (per 1,000 people) compared to 8.6 in Thailand and 6.5 in South Africa. Some states like Karnataka are exceptions with the above national ratio.
- Moreover, Private bus services is a politically sensitive matter in some states with government monopolies in bus services.
What further needs to be done to improve Public transport in Urban India?
The challenge of urbanization needs multiple interventions apart from supplying grants to Metro and bus system
- First, State governments control the Urban development instead of city administrations. They have failed to operationalize the nodal authorities to regulate transport.
- Second, Common mobility cards are still in pilot mode. It would help citizens, use bus, train, and feeder networks seamlessly.
- Third, Metro and bus services are expensive compared to the per kilometer cost of a two-wheeler.
- Fourth, Census 2011 identified no. of Census towns. But Urban local bodies are not yet established here. They lack access to funding, infrastructure, and capacity to meet the needs of large populations. Hence, the Recognition of census towns as urban bodies will provide the flow of necessary funds to these growing urban conglomerations.
In this context, the Centre should start working with State governments to integrate key areas with its transport vision. Such as affordable inner-city housing, access to civic services and health care, and enhanced sustainability, greenery, and walkability. Only integration can bring about inclusive urbanisation.
“Jal Jeevan Mission” to revive urban water bodies
What is the News?
In the Budget 2021-22, the Government has announced the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission(Urban).
About Jal Jeevan Mission(Urban):
Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs
Objective: To provide universal coverage of water supply to all households in all 4,378 statutory towns, through functional taps.
Duration: The duration of the mission is over five years.
Features of the Jal Jeevan Mission
- It will rejuvenate the water bodies to facilitate sustainable fresh water supply and the creation of green spaces.
- It will promote a circular economy of water through the development of city water balance plan in each city. The plan will focus on recycling/reuse of treated sewage water and water conservation. 20% of water demand is to be met by reused water.
- Awareness Campaign: Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) campaign is proposed. It will spread awareness among the masses about the conservation of water.
- Pey Jal Survekshan will be conducted in cities. It will ascertain the equitable distribution of water, reuse of wastewater, and mapping of water bodies
- Technology Submission For water: It is proposed to leverage the latest global technologies in the field of water.
- PPP Model: The mission has mandated that cities having a million-plus population will take up PPP projects. These projects shall constitute a minimum of 10% of their total project fund allocation.
- For Union Territories, there will be 100% central funding.
- For North Eastern and Hill States, central funding for projects will be 90%.
- Central funding will be 50% for cities with less than 1 lakh population, one-third for cities with 1 lakh to 10 lakh population, and 25% for cities with the million plus population.
Source: The Hindu
Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0 and Jal Jeevan Mission
What is the News?
The Finance Minister launched Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0 along with Jal Jeevan Mission(urban).
Swachh Bharat Mission Urban
- Launched in: It was launched in 2014 by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
- Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 1.0: The focus of the mission was to make urban India open defecation free (ODF). As well as, 100% scientific solid waste management.
Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0:
- The mission would be implemented over five years — from 2021 to 2026
- Focus: Following are focus areas of Mission:
- Faecal sludge management and waste water treatment,
- Source segregation of garbage,
- Reduction in single-use plastic,
- Reduction in air pollution by effectively managing waste from construction and demolition activities and
- Bioremediation of all legacy dump sites.
Jal Jeevan Mission(urban)
- Aim: It aims at universal water supply in all urban local bodies. It will facilitate 2.86 crore household tap connections as well as liquid waste management in 500 AMRUT cities.
- Duration: The scheme will be implemented over the next 5 years.
Jal Jeevan Mission(Rural): It launched in 2019. It aims to provide every rural household with a tap water connection by 2024. Nearly 30 million tap water connections have been provided under this so far.
Source: The Hindu
NITI Aayog’s “Megacity plan for Little Andaman”
What is the News?
Niti Aayog has released a megacity plan for Little Andaman. The plan is a part of its Vision Document titled “Sustainable Development of Little Andaman Island”.
- Aim: To leverage the strategic location and natural features of the Little Andaman island. A new greenfield coastal city will be developed as a free trade zone. The city will compete with Singapore and Hong Kong.
Zones: The document has proposed the development along the three zones:
- Zone 1: It will spread along the east coast of Little Andaman. It will be the financial district and medi city and will include an aerocity and a tourism and hospital district.
- Zone 2: It will spread over 85 sq km of pristine forest in Andaman. It will have a film city, a residential district and a tourism Special Economic Zone(SEZ).
- Zone 3 — It will spread over 52 sq km of pristine forest. It will be a nature zone. It will be further categorised into three districts: an exclusive forest resort, a nature healing district and a nature retreat, all on the western coast.
Challenges for Mega-City
There are certain factors that could prevent the sustainable development of Little Andaman namely:
- Lack of good connectivity with Indian mainland and global cities
- Fragile biodiversity and natural ecosystems
- Certain Supreme Court notifications can pose an impediment to its development.
- Presence of indigenous tribes and concerns for their welfare
- 95% of Little Andaman is covered in forest, a large part of it is the pristine evergreen type.
- Some 640 sq km of the island is Reserve Forest under the Indian Forest Act.
- Nearly 450 sq km is protected as the Onge Tribal Reserve, creating a unique and rare socio-ecological-historical complex of high importance.
Source: The Hindu
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban)
Why in News?
According to Government data, a total of 1.1 crore houses has been approved under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), of which more than 70 lakh houses are under various stages of construction and more than 41 lakh houses have been completed.
- Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana(Urban): It was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs in 2015.
- Aim: To provide Central assistance through States/Union Territories (UTs) for providing houses to all eligible families/beneficiaries by 2022.
Verticals: The mission seeks to address the housing requirement of the urban poor including slum dwellers through program verticals :
- Slum rehabilitation of Slum Dwellers with participation of private developers using land as a resource
- Promotion of Affordable Housing for weaker section through credit linked subsidy
- Affordable Housing in Partnership with Public & Private sector
- Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction/enhancement.
Key Features of the Scheme:
- Beneficiaries of the scheme include Economically weaker sections (EWS), low-income groups(LIGs), and Middle Income Groups(MIGs).
- The Mission is being implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) except for the component of credit linked subsidy which will be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme.
- The houses constructed with central assistance under the mission should be in the name of the female head of the household or in the joint name of the male head of the household and his wife and only in cases when there is no adult female member in the family, the dwelling unit/house can be in the name of a male member of the household.
WEF’s “Indian Cities in the Post-pandemic world” report mentions cities critical role in post-covid India
News: World Economic Forum(WEF) has released a report titled “Indian Cities in the Post-Pandemic World”.
- About the report: The report has been produced in collaboration with IDFC Institute, Mumbai.
- It compiles insights from leading global and Indian urban experts across seven thematic pillars— planning, housing, transport, environment, public health, gender and vulnerable populations.
- Purpose: The report highlights the country’s most pressing urban challenges that were exacerbated by the pandemic. It also provides insights for translating the lessons learned from the pandemic into an urban reform agenda.
Key Takeaways from the report:
- Impact on Cities: Cities have borne the maximum brunt of the covid-19 outbreak, but they will also be key to India’s post-pandemic growth. They account for nearly 70% of the country’s GDP and an average of 25-30 people migrate to cities from rural areas every single minute.
- Households: About 25 million households in India—35% of all urban households cannot afford housing at market prices.
- Impact on Different Population Groups: The impact of the pandemic has been profoundly uneven on different population groups. Vulnerable populations, including low-income migrant workers have suffered the dual blows of lost income and weak social-protection.
- Greater decentralization and empowerment of local governments, which will allow for more proximate and responsive governance.
- Collection of data to help cities in managing and directing emergency operations during a crisis.
- Government have to create a new urban paradigm that enables cities to be healthier, more inclusive, and more resilient.
- Ensure the infrastructure that has adequate functional capacity, aligned with current and future demands.
- Prioritise action on environmental sustainability, air pollution and disaster management in urban rebuilding efforts.
- Prioritising inclusivity by addressing the biases and impediments faced by women and vulnerable populations in accessing urban opportunities.
Urban Governance Index 2020
Source : Click here
News: The Urban Governance Index 2020 has been released.
- Published by: The index has been published by Praja Foundation, a Mumbai-based think tank.
- Purpose: The index ranks states to indicate where they stand in terms of real empowerment of grassroot democracy and local self government.
- Themes: The ranking is based on these main themes— how empowered elected city representatives and legislative structures are; how empowered the state’s city administration is; how empowered the citizens are and finally the fiscal empowerment and financial autonomy of the state.
- Topped by: Odisha was ranked first in the index followed by Maharashtra, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
- Worst States: Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur and Nagaland performed the worst in the index.
Urban Quality of Life Index
Source: Click Here
News: IIT-Bombay researchers have released an Urban Quality of Life Index.
- About the Index: The index has compared the quality of life in various cities in India and ranked them on the basis of various categories such as water, power, electricity, literacy rate, employment rate among others. For the first time, the index has factored in gender parity.
- Mumbai has topped the index followed by Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.
- Among Gender Parity, Chennai is the most women-friendly city and Patna the least.
- Jaipur has the highest crime rate against women and Chennai recorded the lowest crime against women.
- The gap in literacy rate between men and women is the widest in Jaipur (13.2%) and lowest in Kolkata (5.4%).Literacy was the highest in Pune (91%) and the lowest in Hyderabad (83%).
- The unemployment levels for women in Patna is higher than the other cities, the gap stood at 346 which is four times the urban average score of 73.
Context- A radical shift is needed in our approach towards disaster mitigation and management. Government can handle cyclones better by investing in town planning and infrastructure.
What are the reasons of no major casualty or lesser destruction by cyclone Nivar?
Cyclone Nivar- It is the fourth cyclone that has taken shape in the North Indian Ocean region this year. The reason for lesser destruction are-
- Correct weather forecasting– IMD has pointed the track of the cyclone very early and his help with adequate warnings and evacuation from the coast.
- Disaster preparedness – The NDRF deployed 25 teams and disaster management equipment in the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh.
- Government readiness – The Tamil Nadu government has shown brisk readiness in handling the acute challenge of a severe weather event.
What are the concern concerns?
- Unplanned development– Unplanned development, encroachments in riparian zones, failure of flood control structures, unplanned reservoir operations, poor drainage infrastructure, deforestation, land use change and sedimentation in river beds are exacerbating floods.
- Indiscriminate encroachment of waterways and wetlands, inadequate capacity of drains and lack of maintenance of the drainage infrastructure.
- Governments have not shown the rigour to collect and publish data on annual flooding patterns, and measure the peak flows in the neglected rivers and canals to plan remedies.
- The aftermath now presents an opportunity to make a full assessment not just for distribution of relief but also to understand the impacts of extreme monsoon weather.
- Governments and local bodies should hardwire urban planning and invest heavily for a future of frequent disruptive weather.
Urbanisation and pandemic
Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a reimagining of urban planning and development to make cities and towns healthy and liveable after COVID-19.
More on news:
- PM emphasised resetting the mindset, processes and practices for safe urban living, and acknowledged that governments actually do little for the working millions at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum.
Discuss the spread of pandemic in urban areas and associated issues.
- Spread of pandemic: The top 10 cities affected worldwide accounted for 15% of the total cases, and data for populous Indian cities later showed large spikes that radiated into smaller towns.
- Reason for the spread: Rapid transmission in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai was the unavoidable outcome of densification and an inability to practise distancing norms.
- In Dharavi, which has one of the world’s highest slum densities, epidemiologists point an apparently low viral impact to screening and herd immunity.
- Social impact: The pandemic’s full social impact, especially among the poorer people has not been adequately measured here or elsewhere.
- Housing: Good and affordable housing is the basis of a sustainable and healthy city.
- Well-designed rental housing that is the key to protecting migrant labour and other less affluent sections remains poorly funded.
- Mumbai is estimated to have added only 5% of rental housing in new residential construction (1961-2000), and that too led by private funding.
- Enforcement of laws: Laws on air pollution, municipal solid waste management and water quality are hardly enforced, and tokenism marks the approach to urban mobility.
What can be done?
- Schemes: An opportunity to make schemes such as the Centre’s Affordable Rental Housing Complexes deliver at large scale and focus on new good houses built by the state.
- Demand and supply: The Ministry of Housing could work by digitally combining and transparently publishing data on demand and supply for each city.
- Learning from the past: Past menaces such as cholera, the plague and the global flu pandemic a century ago led to change such as sewerage, waste handling, social housing and health care that reduced disease. Something on the same lines should be done about the pandemic.
- Government should show the political will to reinvent cities after the pandemic is over.