- Measures for tribal welfare
- Green Growth push
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme
Focus: GS II: Government Policies and Interventions
Why in News?
In Union Budget 2023 speech, Finance Minister announced some targeted schemes for tribal welfare, ranging from better education to clean drinking water to sanitation.
Facilities for Eklavya Schools
- 38,800 teachers and support staff to be recruited in next three years for 740 Eklavya Model Residential Schools
- Schools to serve 3.5 lakh tribal students, with capacity of 480 students each
Eliminating Sickle Cell Anaemia
- Mission to be launched to eliminate the disease by 2047
- Awareness creation, universal screening of 7 crore people, and counselling through collaboration of central and state governments
Focus on Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)
- Pradhan Mantri PVTG Development Mission to be launched to improve socio-economic conditions of PVTGs
- Saturating PVTG families and habitations with basic facilities such as safe housing, clean drinking water and sanitation, improved access to education, health and nutrition, road and telecom connectivity, and sustainable livelihood opportunities
- Rs 15,000 crore to be made available to implement the mission in next three years under the Development Action Plan for the Scheduled Tribes
Note: PVTGs are the most vulnerable section among tribals and inhabit isolated, remote, and difficult areas in small and scattered hamlets/habitations, with declining or stagnant population, low level of literacy, pre-agricultural level of technology, and economic backwardness.
Focus: GS III: Environment and Ecology
Why in News?
The finance minister listed ‘Green Growth’ as one of the seven priorities of her Budget. She said that these seven principles complement each other and act as the ‘Saptarishi’ guiding India through the Amrit Kaal.
Component elements of the Budget’s Green Growth push
Green Hydrogen Mission:
The recently launched National Green Hydrogen Mission, with an outlay of Rs 19,700 crores, will facilitate transition of the economy to low carbon intensity, reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports, and make the country assume technology and market leadership in this sunrise sector. India aims to reach a target of an annual production of 5 MMT of green hydrogen by 2030, the FM said.
The Budget has provided Rs 35,000 crore for priority capital investments towards energy transition and net zero objectives, and energy security by Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
Energy Storage Projects:
To steer the economy on the sustainable development path, Battery Energy Storage Systems with capacity of 4,000 MWH will be supported with Viability Gap Funding. A detailed framework for Pumped Storage Projects will also be formulated.
Renewable Energy Evacuation:
The Inter-state transmission system for evacuation and grid integration of 13 GW renewable energy from Ladakh will be constructed with investment of Rs 20,700 crore including central support of ` 8,300 crore.
Green Credit Programme:
For encouraging behavioural change, a Green Credit Programme will be notified under the Environment (Protection) Act. This will incentivize environmentally sustainable and responsive actions by companies, individuals and local bodies, and help mobilize additional resources for such activities.
A new “PM Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment and Amelioration of Mother Earth” will be launched to incentivize States and Union Territories to promote alternative fertilizers and balanced use of chemical fertilizers.
500 new ‘waste to wealth’ plants under GOBARdhan (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan) scheme will be established for promoting circular economy. These will include 200 compressed biogas (CBG) plants, including 75 plants in urban areas, and 300 community or cluster-based plants at total investment of Rs 10,000 crore, the FM said.
Bhartiya Prakritik Kheti Bio-Input Resource Centres:
The FM has proposed to facilitate over the next three years 1 crore farmers to adopt natural farming. For this, 10,000 Bio-Input Resource Centres will be set-up, creating a national-level distributed micro-fertilizer and pesticide manufacturing network.
Building on India’s success in afforestation, ‘Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes’, MISHTI, will be taken up for mangrove plantation along the coastline and on salt pan lands, wherever feasible, through convergence between MGNREGS, CAMPA Fund and other sources.
Wetlands are vital ecosystems which sustain biological diversity, the FM said. The government will promote their unique conservation values through Amrit Dharohar, a scheme that will be implemented over the next three years to encourage optimal use of wetlands, and enhance bio-diversity, carbon stock, eco-tourism opportunities and income generation for local communities.
Coastal shipping will be promoted as the energy efficient and lower cost mode of transport, both for passengers and freight, through PPP mode with viability gap funding.
Replacing old polluting vehicles is an important part of greening our economy. In furtherance of the vehicle scrapping policy mentioned in Budget 2021-22, I have allocated adequate funds to scrap old vehicles of the Central Government. States will also be supported in replacing old vehicles and ambulances.
Focus: GS-II: Social Justice and Governance
Why in News?
In line with the recent trend of slashing the allocation for its flagship rural jobs scheme, the Union Budget allocated only ₹60,000 crore for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) for 2023-24.
- That is 18% lower than the ₹73,000-crore budgetary estimates for the scheme for the current year, and 33% lower than the ₹89,000-crore revised estimates.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, MGNREGA, is an Indian labour law and social security measure that aims to guarantee the ‘right to work’. This act was passed in September 2005.
- It aims to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
- It covers all districts of India except the ones with 100% urban population.
- MGNREGA is to be implemented mainly by gram panchayats (GPs). The involvement of contractors is banned.
- Apart from providing economic security and creating rural assets, NREGA can help in protecting the environment, empowering rural women, reducing rural-urban migration and fostering social equity, among others.
How MGNREGA came to be?
- In 1991, the P.V Narashima Rao government proposed a pilot scheme for generating employment in rural areas with the following goals:
- Employment Generation for agricultural labour during the lean season.
- Infrastructure Development
- Enhanced Food Security
- This scheme was called the Employment Assurance Scheme which later evolved into the MGNREGA after the merger with the Food for Work Programme in the early 2000s.
Features of MGNREGA
- It gives a significant amount of control to the Gram Panchayats for managing public works, strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions.
- Gram Sabhas are free to accept or reject recommendations from Intermediate and District Panchayats.
- It incorporates accountability in its operational guidelines and ensures compliance and transparency at all levels.
Objectives of MGNREGA
- Provide 100 days of guaranteed wage employment to rural unskilled labour
- Increase economic security
- Decrease migration of labour from rural to urban areas.