- India gets new Parliament House
- PM released new Rs 75 commemorative coin
- GANHRI Defers NHRC Accreditation
- NITI Aayog’s State Health Index
- NITI Aayog’s eighth Governing Council meet
- Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes
- REWARD Program
India gets new Parliament House
Recently Prime Minister inaugurated the new Parliament House.
- After using a Parliament building that is nearly a century old and symbolised a colonial era, India finally has a new structure in independent India.
GS II: Polity and Governance
Dimensions of the Article:
- Old Parliament House
- Need for a New Parliament
- Planning of the New Parliament
- Features of the New Parliament Building
- Significance of New Parliament House
Old Parliament House
The Old Parliament House, originally known as the Council House, has a significant historical background.
- Design: The building was designed by Sir Herbert Baker, in collaboration with Sir Edwin Lutyens, as part of the new imperial capital in Delhi.
- Foundation Stone: The foundation stone of Parliament House was laid by Britain’s Duke of Connaught on February 12, 1921. He expressed that the building would symbolize India’s rejuvenation and its aspirations for a brighter future.
- Inauguration: A grand ceremony took place on January 18, 1927, to mark the official opening of the majestic building. It was during this time that the structure was referred to as the Council House.
- Architecture: The building features an impressive diameter of 560 ft and a circumference of approximately one-third of a mile, showcasing the architectural prowess of Sir Herbert Baker.
Need for a New Parliament:
- In 1956, two additional floors were added to the building to accommodate more staff and offices.
- The construction of the Parliament Annexe took place in 1975 due to the growing need for office space.
- In 2002, the Parliament Library was added to the complex, and in 2016, an extension to the Parliament Annexe was constructed for similar reasons.
Unfulfilled Modern Facilities:
- Despite these new constructions, the main Parliament House lacks modern facilities.
- The communications infrastructure and technology in the present Parliament House are outdated.
- The acoustics of all the halls require significant improvement.
- The Parliament House has undergone multiple retrofits, leaving little room for further improvements.
- A tangled web of wires is concealed under covers.
- Safety nettings were installed in the Chambers and Central Hall to prevent tiles and plaster from falling.
- The complex has a shabby appearance due to multiple wirings for computers, air conditioners, and security gadgets.
- In 2012, the Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned due to a peculiar smell emanating from the AC ducts.
Planning of the New Parliament:
Recognition of the Need:
- In 2012, Speaker Meira Kumar acknowledged the deteriorating condition of the Parliament building and initiated the search for an alternative complex.
- In 2015, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan wrote to the Minister for Urban Affairs, emphasizing the need for a new Parliament building with modern facilities.
Priority Under PM Modi’s Leadership:
- The issue was given priority under the current government led by Prime Minister Modi.
- A comprehensive plan to construct a state-of-the-art Parliament building was set in motion, and its foundation was laid in December 2020.
Part of the Central Vista Project:
- The new Parliament building is part of a larger redevelopment plan known as the Central Vista Project.
- The Central Vista refers to a 3 km stretch in New Delhi, extending from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate, encompassing significant structures such as Parliament and the Secretariat buildings.
- The Central government is undertaking the redevelopment of the Central Vista, including the Parliament building.
- A common Central secretariat will be built to consolidate ministries currently spread across various buildings in Delhi.
- While the Parliament House and North and South Blocks will not be demolished, their usage may change.
- Other buildings constructed after 1947, such as Shastri Bhavan and Krishi Bhavan, are likely to be demolished as part of the project.
Features of the New Parliament Building:
- The Lok Sabha Hall will have a capacity of up to 888 seats, accommodating a larger number of members.
- The Rajya Sabha Hall will have a capacity of 384 seats, providing an enhanced seating arrangement for the upper house.
- For joint sessions, the Lok Sabha Hall can accommodate up to 1272 seats.
- The new Parliament building is designed in a triangular shape, utilizing the triangular plot it sits on.
- It consists of three main spaces: Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and a Central Lounge.
- The triangular shape optimizes space utilization and efficiency.
- The hall is designed to have a grand look, symbolizing the centrality of Indian citizens in democracy.
- It creates a symbolic and physical representation of the people at the heart of democracy.
Modern Committee Rooms:
- The new building will feature large Committee rooms equipped with advanced audio-visual systems.
- These rooms will facilitate efficient functioning and enable productive discussions.
- The new building will have purpose-designed spaces that promote higher efficiency in parliamentary proceedings.
- Functional areas will be strategically designed to meet the specific needs of the Parliament.
- The new building’s library will efficiently serve the members by providing easy access to archived materials and information.
- The new Sansad Bhavan will be a platinum-rated green building, demonstrating India’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
- It will incorporate eco-friendly design and features to minimize its environmental impact.
- The new building will reflect the vibrance and diversity of modern India, incorporating elements of cultural and regional arts and crafts.
- It will serve as an embodiment of Indian heritage while embracing contemporary architectural principles.
Significance of New Parliament House
- Reflecting the Evolved Country: The new building represents the aspirations of a country that has undergone significant transformation since its independence in 1947. It symbolizes the progress and development India has achieved over the years.
- Spirit of Change and Continuity: The new Parliament House is an extension of the existing complex, signifying both the spirit of change and continuity. It acknowledges the historical significance of the old building while embracing the need for modernization and adaptation to meet the evolving requirements of the nation.
- Symbolizing the Journey: The new building represents the journey of the Indian Parliament from its inception to the present and future. It serves as a testament to the growth and evolution of India’s democratic processes, highlighting the milestones and progress made over time.
- Aatmanirbhar Bharat: The old Parliament House played a crucial role in providing direction to independent India. In contrast, the new Parliament House will witness the making of India as an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India), reflecting the country’s vision and determination to chart its own course of development and self-sufficiency.
-Source: Indian Express
PM released new Rs 75 commemorative coin
To mark the inauguration of the new Parliament building, Prime Minister released a commemorative coin of Rs 75 denomination.
GS II: Polity and Governance
Dimensions of the Article:
- About commemorative coin
- Features of the new Rs 75 commemorative coin
- Acquiring Commemorative Coins
- Designing and Minting Coins
About commemorative coin
- A commemorative coin is a special type of coin that is issued to honor a particular event, person, or milestone.
- These coins are not intended for regular circulation but are produced in limited quantities and often have unique designs and features.
- Commemorative coins are typically made to celebrate significant historical, cultural, or national events.
- They can serve as collectibles and are often made with precious metals such as silver or gold.
- While commemorative coins may have a face value, their actual worth may vary due to factors such as metal content, rarity, and demand among collectors.
Features of the new Rs 75 commemorative coin:
- Circular Shape: The coin is circular in shape.
- Diameter: The diameter of the coin is 44mm.
- Composition: The coin is composed of a quaternary alloy, which includes 50% silver, 40% copper, 5% nickel, and 5% zinc.
- Obverse Side: The obverse side of the coin features the Lion Capitol of Ashoka Pillar in the center. Below the pillar, the inscription “सत्यमेि जयते” (Satyameva Jayate) is written. On the left periphery, the word “भारत” (Bharat) in Devnagri script is present, and on the right periphery, the word “INDIA” is written in English.
- Reverse Side: The reverse side of the coin displays an image of the new parliament building. The upper periphery of the coin has the inscription “Sansad Sankul” in Devanagari script, while the lower periphery has the words “Parliament Complex” in English.
Acquiring Commemorative Coins:
- The country released its first commemorative coin in 1964 in honour of Jawaharlal Nehru, who had passed away that year.
- Visit the website of Securities of Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL) to acquire commemorative coins.
- Commemorative coins are primarily collectibles and may not have the same value as their face value.
- These coins are often made with precious metals like silver or gold.
- For example, a commemorative coin honoring former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was issued in 2018 with a face value of Rs 100, but its current value on SPMCIL’s website is ₹5,717. This coin is made of 50% silver and other metals.
Designing and Minting Coins:
- The Coinage Act, 2011 grants the central government the authority to design and mint coins of various denominations.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is responsible for distributing coins supplied by the central government.
- The central government regularly releases commemorative coins at its discretion, and it also mints such coins upon request from third parties.
- In 2017, commemorative coins were issued to honor Late MG Ramachandran and Carnatic singer MS Subbalakshmi, as per requests from Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts & Sangeetha Sabha and the Tamil Nadu government.
- The Government of India operates four mints in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Noida, where all coins are minted.
-Source: Indian Express
GANHRI Defers NHRC Accreditation
The NHRC’s accreditation by GANHRI has been deferred for the second time in a decade. Political interference in appointments is among the objections raised.
GS II: Polity and Governance
Dimensions of the Article:
- National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
- GANHRI: Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions
- Reasons for Deferment Cited by GANHRI
- In 2017, after deferring the accreditation the previous year, GANHRI granted NHRC the prestigious ‘A’ status of accreditation. This marked the first instance of deferral since NHRC’s establishment in 1993.
- The significance of this accreditation lies in NHRC’s ability to represent India at the UN Human Rights Council. Without it, NHRC will be unable to fulfill this important role.
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
- The National Human Rights Commission is an Independent Statutory Body constituted on 12 October 1993, by the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
- The NHRC is responsible for the protection and promotion of human rights.
- NHRC deals with the rights related to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by Indian Constitution or embodied in the international covenants and enforceable by courts in India.
- On an international level, the NHRC is established in conformity with the Paris Principles, adopted for the promotion and protection of human rights in Paris (October, 1991). It was also endorsed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 20 December, 1993.
Powers conferred to the NHRC in inquiries
- While inquiring into complaints under the Act, the Commission shall have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and in particular the following, namely:
- Summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath;
- discovery and production of any document;
- receiving evidence on affidavits;
- requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;
- issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;
- any other matter which may be prescribed.
Composition of NHRC
- A Chairperson, who has been a Chief Justice of India or a Judge of the Supreme Court
- One member who is, or has been, a Judge of the Supreme Court of India
- One member who is, or has been, the Chief Justice of a High Court
- Three Members, out of which at least one shall be a woman to be appointed from amongst persons having knowledge of, or practical experience in, matters relating to human rights
- In addition, the Chairpersons of National Commissions (Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Women, Minorities, Backward Classes, Protection of Child Rights) and Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities serve as ex officio members.
- The sitting Judge of the Supreme Court or sitting Chief Justice of any High Court can be appointed only after the consultation with the Chief Justice of Supreme Court.
How are the Chairperson and Members of NHRC appointed?
The Chairperson and members of the NHRC are appointed by the President of India, on the recommendation of a committee consisting of:
- The Prime Minister (Chairperson)
- The Home Minister
- The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha (Lower House)
- The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House)
- The Speaker of the Lok Sabha (Lower House)
- The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha (Upper House)
GANHRI: Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions
- Recognition and Partnership: GANHRI is recognized as a trusted partner of the United Nations.
- Establishment: It was established in 1993 as the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (ICC).
- Name Change: Since 2016, it has been known as the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).
- Member-Based Network: GANHRI is a member-based network organization that brings together National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) from across the world.
- Membership: It currently has 120 members, including India.
- Secretariat Location: The secretariat of GANHRI is located in Geneva, Switzerland.
Reasons for Deferment Cited by GANHRI
- Lack of diversity in staff and leadership.
- Insufficient action to protect marginalized groups.
- Involvement of the police in investigations of human rights violations.
- Poor cooperation with civil society.
GANHRI’s Criticisms of NHRC
- NHRC’s repeated failure to fulfill its mandate, particularly in protecting the rights of marginalized communities, religious minorities, and human rights defenders.
- NHRC’s lack of independence, pluralism, diversity, and accountability, which contradict the principles outlined in the United Nations’ Paris Principles.
Paris Principles and ‘A’ Status
- The Paris Principles, adopted in 1993, provide international benchmarks for accrediting National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs).
- The Paris Principles include criteria such as mandate and competence, autonomy from government, independence guaranteed by a statute or Constitution, pluralism, adequate resources, and adequate powers of investigation.
- GANHRI consists of 16 human rights agencies, with four from each region (Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia-Pacific), that hold the highest rating (‘A’) for adhering to the Paris Principles.
- The ‘A’ rating enables NHRIs to participate in the work of GANHRI and the United Nations on human rights issues.
NHRC’s ‘A’ Rating and Delays
- NHRC received its ‘A’ rating in 1999 and maintained it in 2006, 2011, and 2017, with some delays in the process.
- GANHRI had previously deferred NHRC’s accreditation due to concerns related to staff and appointments.
- NHRC is currently led by Justice Arun Mishra, a former Supreme Court judge.
-Source: The Hindu
A recent report titled “Levels and trends in child malnutrition: Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates (JME)” has been released by UNICEF, WHO, and the World Bank Group. According to the report, in 2020, a staggering 18.7% of Indian children suffered from Wasting, a condition resulting from inadequate nutrient intake.
GS II: Health
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Malnutrition
- Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates (JME)
- Key Findings of the Report
- WHA global Nutrition Targets
- Malnutrition refers to deficiencies, excesses, or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients.
- Two Broad Groups: The term malnutrition encompasses two main categories of conditions.
- Undernutrition: This includes stunting (low height for age), wasting (low weight for height), underweight (low weight for age), and micronutrient deficiencies or insufficiencies (lack of vital vitamins and minerals).
- Overweight and Diet-Related Noncommunicable Diseases: This category includes overweight, obesity, and diet-related noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.
- Childhood Overweight: Childhood overweight occurs when children’s calorie intake from food and beverages exceeds their energy requirements.
Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates (JME):
- Purpose: The Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates (JME) group was established in 2011 to address the need for consistent and harmonized child malnutrition estimates.
- Annual Estimates: The JME group, comprising UNICEF, WHO, and the World Bank, releases yearly estimates for various indicators of child malnutrition, including stunting, overweight, underweight, wasting, and severe wasting.
- Indicator Descriptions: These estimates provide insights into the prevalence and patterns of both undernutrition and overnutrition by assessing indicators such as stunting, wasting, overweight, and underweight.
- Regular Updates: The UNICEF-WHO-WB Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates inter-agency group regularly updates global and regional estimates, offering information on prevalence and numbers for each indicator.
- 2023 Edition: The latest edition includes global and regional trends for all mentioned indicators, along with country-level modelled estimates specifically for stunting and overweight.
Key Findings of the Report:
- India’s Contribution: Half of all children with wasting worldwide are in India.
- Global Impact: In 2022, an estimated 45 million children under the age of five (6.8%) globally experienced wasting, with 13.6 million suffering from severe wasting.
- Regional Distribution: Over three-quarters of children with severe wasting reside in Asia, and another 22% are in Africa.
- India’s Progress: India’s stunting rate decreased from 41.6% in 2012 to 31.7% in 2022.
- Global Impact: In 2022, approximately 148.1 million children under the age of five were affected by stunting.
- Regional Distribution: The majority of affected children lived in Asia (52% of the global share) and Africa.
- Global Overweight Figures: Globally, there are 37 million children under the age of five who are overweight, a rise of nearly four million since 2000.
- India’s Overweight Rate: India had an overweight percentage of 2.8% in 2022, compared to 2.2% in 2012.
Progress Towards Targets:
- Insufficient Progress: There is inadequate progress in achieving the 2025 World Health Assembly (WHA) global nutrition targets and the UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goal target 2.2.
- Stunting: Only about one-third of countries are on track to halve the number of stunted children by 2030, while progress assessment is not possible for approximately one-quarter of countries.
- Overweight: Fewer countries are expected to achieve the 2030 target of 3% overweight prevalence, with only one in six countries currently on track.
- Wasting: Progress assessment towards the wasting target is not possible for nearly half of countries.
WHA global Nutrition Targets
- Decrease stunting by 40% in children under the age of 5.
- Reduce the occurrence of anemia by 50% among women aged 19-49 years.
- Achieve a 30% reduction in low birthweight.
- Prevent any increase in childhood overweight.
- Increase the proportion of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months to a minimum of 50%.
- Minimize childhood wasting to below 5% and sustain this level.
-Source: Down To Earth
NITI Aayog’s State Health Index
According to the NITI Aayog’s annual ‘State Health Index’ (5th edition) for the Covid year of 2020-21, the three southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana emerged as the top performers among the ‘larger states’.
GS II: Health, Government Policies and Interventions
Dimensions of the Article:
- About State Health Index
- Highlights of the 5th Edition of the State Health Index
About State Health Index:
- Launch and Collaboration: The State Health Index was launched by NITI Aayog in 2017 as a tool to assess the performance of states and Union Territories (UTs) in the health sector. The index is developed in collaboration with the Union Health Ministry and the World Bank.
- Objective: The main objective of the index is to evaluate not only the historical performance but also the incremental progress of states and UTs in the health sector.
- Promoting Competition and Learning: The index encourages healthy competition and cross-learning among states and UTs. It aims to motivate them to develop robust health systems and enhance service delivery through effective policymaking and resource allocation.
- Linkage to Incentives: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has linked the index to incentives under the National Health Mission. This shift from input-based to outcome-based approach has been instrumental in driving improvements in health outcomes.
- Competitive and Cooperative Federalism: The State Health Index exemplifies both competitive and cooperative federalism, as it fosters competition among states while also facilitating cooperation and knowledge-sharing.
Domains and Indicators of the Index:
- Health Outcomes: This domain includes indicators such as neonatal mortality rate, total fertility rate, sex ratio at birth, immunization coverage, proportion of institutional deliveries, etc.
- Key Inputs/Processes: This domain assesses the availability of health infrastructure, including the proportion of functional 24X7 primary healthcare centers, etc.
- Governance and Information: This domain measures aspects such as average occupancy of key state-level positions, average occupancy of the chief medical officer, time taken for fund transfers, etc. It focuses on governance and information-related factors.
Highlights of the 5th Edition of the State Health Index:
Overall performance among the 19 larger states:
- Top Performers: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana have secured the top three positions in terms of overall performance.
- Worst Performers: Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh occupy the bottom three positions, ranking 19th, 18th, and 17th, respectively.
Incremental performance from 2019-20 to 2020-21:
- Top Performers among Larger States: Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Odisha have shown the highest incremental performance during the specified period.
Performance among smaller states:
- Best Overall Performance: Tripura has demonstrated the best overall performance among smaller states, followed by Sikkim and Goa.
- Bottom Performers: Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Manipur occupy the bottom three positions among smaller states.
Performance among Union Territories:
- Top Performer: Lakshadweep has secured the top position in terms of overall performance among the Union Territories.
- Bottom Performer: Delhi has been placed at the bottom among the Union Territories in terms of overall performance.
-Source: The Hindu
NITI Aayog’s eighth Governing Council meet
PM Modi chaired the eighth Governing Council Meeting of NITI Aayog. The meeting was conducted at the new Convention Centre in Pragati Maidan, Delhi.
- The theme for this meeting was ‘Viksit Bharat @ 2047: Role of Team India’.
GS II: Polity and Governance
Dimensions of the Article:
- About NITI Aayog
- Key highlights of the speech delivered by PM Modi
About NITI Aayog
- The NITI Aayog serves as the apex public policy think tank of the GoI.
- It was established in 2015, by the NDA government, to replace the Planning Commission which followed a top-down model.
- It advises both the centre and states on social and economic issues.
- It is neither a constitutional body nor a statutory body but the outcome of an executive resolution. It was not created by the act of parliament.
It has two Hubs.
- Team India Hub acts as interface between States and Centre.
- Knowledge and Innovation Hub builds the think-tank acumen of NITI Aayog.
- Chairperson: Prime minister
- Vice-Chairperson: To be appointed by Prime-Minister
- Governing Council: Chief Ministers of all states and Lt. Governors of Union Territories.
- Regional Council: To address specific regional issues, Comprising Chief Minister and Lt. Governors Chaired by the Prime Minister or his nominee.
- Ad-hoc Membership: Two members in ex-officio capacity from leading Research institutions on a rotational.
- Ex-Officio membership: Maximum four from the Union council of ministers to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
- Chief Executive Officer: Appointed by the Prime-minister for a fixed tenure, in the rank of Secretary to Government of India.
- Special Invitees: Experts, Specialists with domain knowledge nominated by the Prime Minister.
- To generate a platform for national development, sectors and strategies with the collaboration of states and centre.
- To boost the factor of cooperative federalism between the centre and the states. For national development, it is necessary for both wings to work in synergy.
- To develop such mechanisms which work at the ground root level for progressive growth. A nation develops when its regions and states develop.
- To work on long term policies and strategies for long-term development.
- To set up a system for monitoring progress so that it can be used for analysing and improving methods.
- To provide a platform for resolving inter-departmental issues amicably.
- To make it a platform where the programmes, strategies, and schemes can be monitored on a day to day basis, and it could be understood which sector needs more resources to develop.
- To upgrade technological advancements in such a manner that focus can be made on initiatives and programmes.
- To ensure India’s level and ranking at the worldwide level and to make India an actively participating nation.
- To progress from food security towards nutrition and standardised meals and focus on agricultural production.
- To make use of more technology to avoid misadventures and corruption in governance.
- To make the working system more transparent and accountable.
NITI Aayog – Seven Pillars of Effective Governance
NITI Aayog works on principles like Antyodaya (upliftment of poor), inclusion (to include all sections under one head), people participation, and so on.
NITI Aayog is a body that follows seven pillars of governance. They are:
- To look after pro-people agenda so that the aspirations and desires of no one are compromised.
- To respond and work on the needs of citizens.
- Make citizens of the nation involve and participate in various streams.
- To empower women in all fields, be it social, technical, economic, or other.
- To include all sects and classes under one head. To give special attention to marginalised and minority groups.
- To provide equal opportunity for the young generation.
- To make the working of government more accountable and transparent. It will ensure less chance of corruption and malpractices.
Related Concerns and Challenges:
- NITI Aayog has no powers in granting discretionary funds to states, which renders it toothless to undertake a transformational intervention.
- It acts as an advisory body only that advises the government on various issues without ensuring the enforceability of its ideas.
- NITI Aayog has no role in influencing private or public investment.
- Politicization of the organization has been in recent times.
- NITI Aayog has been transformed into a glorified recommendatory body which lacks the requisite power to bring positive change in the government’s actions.
Key highlights of the speech delivered by PM Modi:
- Vision for a Developed India: PM Modi urged states and districts to develop a long-term vision to transform India into a developed country by 2047, aligning their goals with the national vision of Vikasit Bharat.
- Financial Prudence: The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of taking financially prudent decisions at the state level. This approach would enhance fiscal strength and enable states to undertake welfare programs for the benefit of their citizens.
- Utilizing the Gati Shakti Portal: PM Modi encouraged states to proactively utilize the Gati Shakti Portal. This digital platform, known as PM Gati Shakti, facilitates integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects by bringing together 16 ministries.
- Beyond Infrastructure: The Gati Shakti Portal should not be limited to infrastructure and logistics. PM Modi emphasized its potential for local area development and the creation of social infrastructure, emphasizing the need for states to leverage its capabilities effectively.
-Source: The Hindu
Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes
Recently, A three-day national conclave on denotified, nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes concluded in Hyderabad.
GS II: Government policies and Intervention
Dimensions of the Article:
- Who are de-notified, nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes?
- What is the history of deprivation faced by these communities?
- Policy measures for DNTs
- About SEED
Who are de-notified, nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes?
These are communities who are the most vulnerable and deprived.
- Denotified tribes (DNTs): Communities that were ‘notified’ as being ‘born criminal’ during the British regime under a series of laws starting with the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871.
- Nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes: Communities are defined as those who move from one place to another rather than living at one place all the time.
What is the history of deprivation faced by these communities?
- This has a long history, first during colonial rule, and then in independent India.
- The Renke Commission said this is partly because these communities are largely politically ‘quiet’ — they do not place their demands concretely before the government for they lack vocal leadership and also lack the patronage of a national leader.
- Many commissions and committees constituted since Independence have referred to the problems of these communities. These include
- Criminal Tribes Inquiry Committee, 1947 constituted in the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh),
- Ananthasayanam Ayyangar Committee in 1949 (it was based on the report of this committee the Criminal Tribes Act was repealed),
- Kaka Kalelkar Commission (also called first OBC Commission) constituted in 1953.
- In 1965, an Advisory Committee constituted for revision of the SC and ST list under the chairmanship of B N Lokur referred to denotified tribes.
- The B P Mandal Commission constituted in 1980 also made some recommendations on the issue.
Challenges Faced by Nomadic Tribes
- The communities lack access to amenities including drinking water, shelter, and sanitary facilities. Additionally lacking are amenities for healthcare and education.
- Because they were once stigmatised as criminals, the local government and police still treat them as such and torture them.
- Because they move about a lot, they do not have a permanent residence. As a result, they are not covered by social security, are not given ration cards or adhar cards, etc., and are therefore not eligible for government welfare programmes’ benefits.
- The caste categorization is not very clear for these communities, in some states some of the communities are included under the SC category, in some other states they are included under OBCs.
Policy measures for DNTs:
- The Government had constituted National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) to prepare a State-wise list of castes belonging to Denotified and Nomadic Tribes and to suggest appropriate measures in respect of Denotified and Nomadic Tribes that may be undertaken by the Central Government or the State Government.
- The Renke commission estimated their population at around 10.74 crore based on Census 2001.
- The Idate Commission submitted its report in January 2018. It mentioned that a permanent commission for Denotified, Semi Nomadic, and Nomadic Tribes should have a prominent community leader as its chairperson, and a senior Union government bureaucrat, an anthropologist, and a sociologist as members.
- A Development and Welfare Board for De-Notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities (DWBDNCs) has been constituted and a Committee has also been set up by the NITI Aayog to complete the process of identification of the De-Notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities (DNCs).
- The survey work of identification of DNT Communities and placing them in a category of SC/ST/OBC is also under process in NITI Ayog and Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI).
- The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment introduced Scheme for Economic Empowerment of Denotified/Nomadic/SemiNomadic (SEED) communities in February 2022.
- It intends to give these students free competitive exam coaching, give families health insurance, improve clusters of these communities through livelihood activities, and give money for housing.
- It guarantees spending of Rs. 200 crore over a five-year period beginning in 2021–22.
- Implementing this plan is the responsibility of the DWBDNCs (Development and Welfare Board for De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities).
- The agency has created an online site that will guarantee simple registration and serve as a repository for the data on these communities.
- Free coaching to students from these communities for Civil Services, entry to professional courses like medicine, engineering, MBA, etc.
- Health Insurance through PMJAY of National Health Authority.
- Livelihoods to support income generation
- Housing (through PMAY/IAY).
-Source: The Hindu
The Secretary, Department of Land Resources (DoLR), Government of India (GoI) Shri Ajay Tirkey reviewed the Implementation Support Mission of World Bank Assisted Rejuvenating Watersheds for Agricultural Resilience through Innovative Development (REWARD) program.
GS II: Government Policies and Interventions
- REWARD is a watershed development program supported by the World Bank, implemented from 2021 to 2026.
- Its objective is to strengthen the capacities of national and state institutions for improved watershed management and to increase farmers’ resilience and support value chains in selected watersheds.
- The program introduces modern watershed practices in the Department of Land Resources in the Ministry of Rural Development.
- Implementation is carried out in the states of Karnataka and Odisha.
Budget and Duration:
- The total budget for the REWARD program is USD 167.71 million.
- The program is planned for a period of 4.5 years.
- At the central level, the REWARD program encompasses management, monitoring, communication, and knowledge sharing functions performed by the Department of Land Resources (DoLR).
- At the state level, the REWARD program aligns with the WDC-PMKSY 2.0 (Watershed Development Component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana).
- It supports the implementation of key science-based activities and demonstrations.
- The ultimate aim is to synergize the broader perspective of WDC-PMKSY 2.0 in other states across India.
-Source: Indian Today, PIB