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Current Affairs 04 December 2021 for UPSC Exam | Legacy IAS Academy

Contents

  1. Poshan Tracker: Rs. 1000 Crores spent
  2. Dam Safety Act will bring in unified policies
  3. Cyclone Jawad
  4. World Migration Report 2022 in Climate disasters

Poshan Tracker: Rs. 1000 Crores spent

Context:

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has spent over Rs. 1,000 crores on its Poshan or Nutrition Tracker, which records real-time data on malnourished and ‘severe acute malnourished’ children in each anganwadi. But four years since its launch, the Government is yet to make the data public.

Relevance:

GS-II: Social Justice and Governance (Government Policies and Initiatives, Welfare Schemes, Issues arising out of the design and implementation of the policies)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Poshan Abhiyaan
  2. Issues of Poshan Abhiyaan
  3. New guidelines of POSHAN 2.0
  4. What is the Poshan Tracker app?
  5. About the implementation of Poshan tracker app

 

About Poshan Abhiyaan

  • The term ‘POSHAN’ in the name of the programme stands for ‘Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition’.
  • POSHAN Abhiyaan launched in 2018 aims at improving the nutritional status of Children from 0-6 years, Adolescent Girls, Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers.
  • According to ‘Mission 25 by 2020’, the National Nutrition Mission aims to achieve a reduction in stunting from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.
  • POSHAN Abhiyaan focuses on convergence among partner Ministries leveraging technology and Jan Andolan among other things, to address issue of malnutrition comprehensively.
  • Near-real time reporting by field functionaries and improved MIS is aimed at smooth implementation of scheme and better service delivery.
  • It also targets stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and low birth rate.
  • It will monitor and review implementation of all such schemes and utilize existing structural arrangements of line ministries wherever available.
  • Its large component involves gradual scaling-up of interventions supported by on-going World Bank assisted Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project (ISSNIP) to all districts in the country by 2022.
  • Its vision is to ensure attainment of malnutrition free India by 2022.
  • Implementation of POSHAN Abhiyaan is based on the four-point strategy/pillars of the mission:
    1. Inter-sectoral convergence for better service delivery
    2. Use of technology (ICT) for real time growth monitoring and tracking of women and children
    3. Intensified health and nutrition services for the first 1000 days
    4. Jan Andolan

Issues of Poshan Abhiyaan

  • Information and communications technology-enabled real time monitoring (ICT-RTM) has been rolled out in POSHAN Abhiyaan districts.
  • This could be ineffective due to the limited capacities of Anganwadi workers (AWs) to handle smartphones owing to their lack of technological literacy.
  • Technical issues like slow servers and data deletion problems, resulting in irregular and improper recording of growth data of children.
  • AWs are the fulcrum of POSHAN Abhiyaan and render vital services to mothers and children in villages.
  • Nearly 40% of AWs had to use their personal money to run the AWCs, 35% of them complained of delayed payments. This makes AWs demotivated and demoralized.

New guidelines of POSHAN 2.0

  • POSHAN scheme focuses on the 1,000 days between a mother’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday.
  • Prioritizing women and girls, and addressing their nutritional deficiencies through fortification and provision of take-home rations.
  • The introduction of community-based programmes for tackling severe acute malnutrition.
  • The guidelines now place accountability at the district level with nutrition indicators included in the KPIs (key performance indicators) of DN/DC.

What is the Poshan Tracker app?

  • Developed by MoWCD, the Poshan Tracker app enables real-time monitoring and tracking of all Anganwadi Centre (AWC), Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) and beneficiaries.
  • This government app provides a 360-degree view of the activities of AWC, AWWs and complete beneficiary management for pregnant women, lactating mothers, children, adolescent girls and adolescent boys.
  • It will provide a holistic view of distribution and access of nutrition services by Anganwadi centres and AWWs (Anganwadi workers) to eligible groups.
  • The software will ensure real-time updates, enhance transparency and enabling the system to identify last-mile beneficiaries.
  • The tracker carries a module that enables AWWs to identify and provide support to orphaned children [due Covid-19].

About the implementation of Poshan tracker app

  • The Government has spent ₹1,053 crore on the Poshan Tracker or Information Communication Technology-Real Time Monitoring as of March 2021 according to the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • Yet, in response to a question on the number of malnourished children the Minister for Women and Child Development relied on data from the recently released National Family Health Survey-5, which shows improvement in stunting, wasting and under-weight children.
  • This real-time monitoring system is one of the key pillars of Poshan Abhiyan or Nutrition Mission approved by the Union Cabinet in November 2017 with a financial outlay of ₹9,000 crore for three years.
  • Yet this important data is not available in the public domain, unlike the MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi Employment Guarantee Act) data or the Health Management Information System (HMIS) of the Ministry of Health for monitoring of the National Health Mission and other health-related programmes.
  • Government officials have cited privacy concerns as a reason for keeping the data under lock and key but experts say it can easily be anonymised as is the case with data for several other government schemes.

-Source: The Hindu


Dam Safety Act will bring in unified policies

Context:

The Dam Safety Bill 2021 was moved in the Rajya Sabha but the debate could not be held because of disruptions from the Opposition parties.

Relevance:

GS-II: Governance (Government Policies and Initiatives, Issues arising out of the design and implementation of the policies)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Need for the Dam Safety Bill 2021
  2. The Dam Safety Bill 2021
  3. Provisions of the Dam Safety Bill 2021
  4. How does Bill change the functioning of dams?
  5. Issues with bill

Need for the Dam Safety Bill 2021

  • Over the last fifty years, India has invested substantially in dams and related infrastructures, and ranks third after USA and China in the number of large dams. 5254 large dams are in operation in the country currently and another 447 are under construction.
  • In addition to this, there are thousands of medium and small dams.
  • While dams have played a key role in fostering rapid and sustained agricultural growth and development in India, there has been a long felt need for a uniform law and administrative structure for ensuring dam safety.
  • The Central Water Commission, through the National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS), Central Dam Safety Organization (CDSO) and State Dam Safety Organizations (SDSO) has been making constant endeavours in this direction, but these organizations do not have any statutory powers and are only advisory in nature.
  • This can be a matter of concern, especially since about 75 percent of the large dams in India are more than 25 years old and about 164 dams are more than 100 years old.
  • A badly maintained, unsafe dam can be a hazard to human life, flora and fauna, public and private assets and the environment.
  • India has had 42 dam failures in the past.

The Dam Safety Bill 2021

  • The Bill provides for surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of dams to prevent disasters, and institutional mechanisms to ensure safety.
  • It applies to over 5,000 dams across the country, many of which are currently in poor conditions.
  • It has been met with significant opposition, particularly from several states that claim the bill oversteps the Centre’s mandate.

Which dams are covered?

  • All dams in India with a height above 15 metres come under the purview of the bill.
  • Dams between 10 to 15 metres of height are also covered but only if they meet certain other specifications in terms of design and structural conditions.

Provisions of the Dam Safety Bill 2021

National Committee on Dam Safety

  • The Bill provides for the constitution of a National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS) which is to be chaired by the Central Water Commissioner (CWC).
  • The other members of the NCDS will be nominated by the Centre and will include up to 10 representatives of the Centre, 7 state government representatives, and 3 experts on dam safety.
  • The NCDS is to formulate policies for dam safety and to prevent dam failures.
  • In the event of a dam failure, the NCDS will analyse why the failure occurred, and suggest changes in dam safety practices to ensure there aren’t any repetitions.

National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA)

  • The bill provides for the formation of a NDSA which will be responsible for implementing the policies of the NCDS, and will resolve issues between State Dam Safety Organisations (or SDSOs) and dam owners.
  • The NDSA will also specify regulations for the inspection of dams and will provide accreditation to the various agencies working on the structure of dams and their alteration.

State Dam Safety Organisations (SDSOs)

  • The bill will also result in the establishment of SDSOs, and State Committees on Dam Safety (SCDSs).
  • The jurisdiction of the SDSOs will extend to all dams in that specific state.

Cross jurisdictions

  • The NDSA will, in some cases, possess this jurisdiction, for example, if a dam owned by one state is situated in another or crosses multiple states, or if a dam is owned by a central public sector undertaking.
  • SDSOs will be in charge of scrutinizing dams under their jurisdiction and maintaining a database of the same.
  • The SCDS will review the work of the SDSO, and will also have to assess the impact of dam-related projects on upstream and downstream states.
  • The bill gives the Central government the power to amend the functions of any of the above bodies through a notification, whenever it is deemed necessary to do so.

How does Bill change the functioning of dams?

  • If the bill is made into a law, then dam owners will have to provide a dam safety unit in each dam.
  • The dam safety unit will be required to inspect the dam before and after the monsoon session, and also during and after natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods.
  • The bill requires dam owners to prepare emergency action plans. Risk-assessment studies will also have to be undertaken by owners, regularly.
  • At specified, regular intervals, and in the event of either a modification to the dam’s structure or a natural event that may impact the structure, dam owners will have to produce a comprehensive safety evaluation by experts.

Issues with bill

  • The primary objection to the bill is that is unconstitutional, as water is one of the items on the State List.
  • Tamil Nadu, which currently possesses four dams situated in Kerala, is opposed to the Bill as it would result in the four dams falling under the NDSA.
  • This will be doing away with Tamil Nadu’s rights over the maintenance of the dam.
  • The Bill states that the NCDS will be chaired by the Central Water Commissioner.
  • However, the Supreme Court has ruled in the past that such a scenario is prohibited, as it involves the CWC, an advisor, functioning both as a regulator and the head of the NCDS.

-Source: The Hindu


Cyclone Jawad

Context:

Cyclone Jawad has formed in the Bay of Bengal and is expected to reach Paradip, on the Odisha coast with winds expected to touch 90 kmph as well as heavy rains in Odisha, West Bengal, and north Andhra Pradesh.

Relevance:

Prelims, GS-I: Geography (Important Geophysical Phenomenon, Climatology), GS-III: Disaster Management

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Cyclone Jawad
  2. Background regarding the naming of Tropical Cyclone
  3. What is the use of Naming of Tropical Cyclones?
  4. Criteria Adopted for Naming Cyclones

Cyclone Jawad

  • Cyclone Jawad is the first cyclonic storm after the southwest monsoon ended which is likely to form over the Bay of Bengal.
  • Post a cyclone-free October and November 2021, the Met Department has issued an alert for the formation of Cyclone Jawad which is expected to reach the Indian States of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha on December 2021.
  • The Met Department has further warned that the deep depression over the Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm and will move northwestwards and reach north Andhra Pradesh–south Odisha coasts by December 2021.
  • IMD has predicted light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy rainfall at isolated places over Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Background regarding the naming of Tropical Cyclone

  • Worldwide there are six regional specialised meteorological centres (RSMCs) and five regional Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs) mandated for issuing advisories and naming of tropical cyclones.
  • The India Meteorological Department is one of the six Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres (RSMCs) to provide tropical cyclone and storm surge advisories to 13 member countries under WMO/ESCAP PTC Panel (World Meteorological Organization / The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific – Panel on Tropical Cyclones PTC).
  • WMO/ESCAP Panel includes the following 13 member countries:
    • India,
    • Bangladesh,
    • Iran,
    • Maldives,
    • Myanmar,
    • Oman,
    • Pakistan,
    • Qatar,
    • Saudi Arabia,
    • Sri Lanka
    • Thailand
    • United Arab Emirates
    • Yemen
  • New Delhi is also mandated to name the Tropical Cyclones developing over the north Indian Ocean (NIO) including the Bay of Bengal (BoB) and the Arabian Sea (AS).
  • The tropical cyclones forming over different Ocean basins are named by the concerned RSMCs & TCWCs.
  • For north Indian Ocean including Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, the RSMC, New Delhi assigns the name to tropical cyclones following a standard procedure.

What is the use of Naming of Tropical Cyclones?

Naming of Tropical Cyclones helps the scientific community, disaster managers, media and general masses to

  • identify each individual cyclone.
  • create awareness of its development.
  • remove confusion in case of simultaneous occurrence of TCs over a region
  • remember a TC easily
  • rapidly and effectively disseminate warnings to much wider audience.

Criteria Adopted for Naming Cyclones

  1. The proposed name should be neutral to (a) politics and political figures (b) religious believes, (c) cultures and (d) gender
  2. Name should be chosen in such a way that it does not hurt the sentiments of any group of population over the globe
  3. It should not be very rude and cruel in nature
  4. It should be short, easy to pronounce and should not be offensive to any member
  5. The maximum length of the name will be eight letters
  6. The proposed name should be provided alongwith its pronunciation and voice over
  7. The Panel reserves the right to reject any name, if any of the criteria above is not satisfied.
  8. The finalised names may also be reviewed during the course of time of implementation with the approval of PTC in its annual session, in case any reasonable objection is raised by any member
  9. The names of tropical cyclones over the north Indian Ocean will not be repeated. Once used, it will cease to be used again.

Click Here to read more about Tropical Cyclones, Conditions for cyclone formation, Structure etc.

-Source: The Hindu


World Migration Report 2022 in Climate disasters

Context:

According to the World Migration Report 2022, published every second year by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) of the UN, in 2020, “30.7 million new displacements were triggered by disasters in 145 countries and territories.”

Relevance:

GS-II: Social Justice (Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services, Issues relating to poverty, hunger and Unemployment), GS-III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. World Migration Report
  2. Highlights of the World Migration Report 2022

World Migration Report

  • The flagship publication series of the International Organization for Migration, the World Migration Report presents data and information on human migration together with analysis of complex and emerging migration issues.
  • The World Migration Report was first published by IOM in 2000 with the aim of promoting “a better understanding of the main migratory movements that are occurring across the globe.”
  • The subsequent seven editions, published between 2003 and 2015, were published with specific thematic interests.

Highlights of the World Migration Report 2022

  • 7 million New displacements were triggered by disasters in 145 countries and territories.
  • Most of the new displacement is due to climate related events: Storms accounted for 14.6 million displacements and floods for 14.1 million. Extreme temperatures have displaced some 46,000 people anew; droughts caused new displacement of 32,000 people in 2020.
  • United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification estimates that droughts could lead to the migration of 22 million more in Africa, 12 million in South America and 10 million in Asia by 2059 (in comparison to the 2000-2015 period).
  • The last World Migration Report, published in December 2019 in 2018, of the total new 28 million internally displaced people in 148 countries, 61 per cent were due to disasters.

-Source: Down to Earth Magazine

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