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PIB Summaries 16 September 2023

CONTENTS

  1. National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) portal
  2. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Scheme

National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) portal


Context:

Recently, the Chief Justice of India announced the onboarding of the Supreme Court on the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) in open court.

Relevance:

GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) Portal
  2. eCourts Project

National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) Portal:

  • NJDG is a national database storing information on cases initiated, pending, and resolved in courts across India.
  • It provides access to case-related data, statistics on case institution, pendency, and disposal, along with information on case types and the Supreme Court’s yearly activities.
  • Developed as part of the e-Courts Project, it encompasses orders, judgments, and case details from 18,735 District & Subordinate Courts and High Courts.
  • The National Informatics Centre (NIC) and the Computer Cell, Registry, collaborated to create NJDG with an interactive interface and analytics dashboard.
  • The database undergoes regular updates on the NJDG portal.
  • NJDG serves as a monitoring tool to identify, manage, and reduce case pendency.
  • It offers timely insights for policymaking to expedite case resolution and minimize delays.
  • Facilitates better monitoring of court performance, identifies systemic issues, and aids in resource management.
  • Additionally, it tracks cases related to land disputes.

eCourts Project

  • The eCourts Project was initiated based on the “National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Indian Judiciary – 2005.” This policy was proposed by the eCommittee of the Supreme Court of India with the aim of enabling the Indian judiciary through ICT.
  • The eCommittee is a governmental body established in response to a proposal from the Chief Justice of India. It is responsible for formulating a National Policy on computerization in the Indian Judiciary and advising on technological and managerial changes.
  • This is a nationwide project, overseen and funded by the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India, with the goal of implementing ICT in District Courts across the country.
  • Key objectives of the project include providing efficient and citizen-centric service delivery, developing decision support systems in courts, automating processes for transparency in accessing information, enhancing judicial productivity, and making the justice delivery system affordable, accessible, cost-effective, predictable, reliable, and transparent.
  • Phase I of the eCourts Project was completed in 2015, computerizing 14,249 Court sites.
  • Phase II expanded the computerization to 18,735 District and Subordinate courts.

Phase III of the eCourts Project

  • Phase III is a centrally sponsored project aimed at digitizing all court records, including legacy and pending cases, at an estimated cost of ₹2,038.40 crore.
  • The project plans to enhance the digital infrastructure of courts by establishing 2,500 new modern, virtual-friendly courts, setting up 1,150 virtual courts, and creating 4,400 eSewa kendras in all court complexes.
  • Approximately 3,108 crore documents will be digitized as part of this phase, further advancing the digitization efforts within the Indian judiciary.

Major Initiatives Under the eCourts Project

  • Case Information Software (CIS): Developed using customised Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS).
  • National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG): Launched in 2015 for monitoring case pendency and disposal in High Courts and Subordinate Courts.
  • Virtual Courts: Introduced in 16 States/UTs, facilitating legal proceedings through video conferencing.
  • eFiling System: Allows electronic filing of legal documents with advanced features like online submission of Vakalatnama, eSigning, and online video recording of oaths.
  • eSewa Kendras: Rolled out to provide e-filing services to lawyers and litigants, promoting inclusive justice delivery.
  • National Service and Tracking of Electronic Processes (NSTEP): Developed for technology-enabled process serving and issuing of summons, implemented in 28 High Courts.
  • Secure, Scalable & Sugamya Website as a Service (S3WAAS) Website: A user-friendly website in 13 regional languages designed for accessibility by people with disabilities.
  • IEC and Training: Initiatives to educate Judicial Officers, lawyers, and the public about the available facilities.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Scheme


Context

The Union Cabinet has recently approved the extension of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) for release of 75 lakh LPG connections over 3 years from FY 23-24 to FY 25-26 increasing the total number of beneficiaries to 10.35 crore.

 Relevance:

GS-II: Social Justice and Governance (Welfare Schemes, Government Policies & Interventions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Scheme
  2. Challenges in Implementing the PMUY Scheme
  3. Ujjwala 2.0 Scheme

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Scheme

  • Launch Date and Slogan: Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 1, 2016, with the slogan “Clean Fuel, Better Life.”
  • Objective: Aimed at safeguarding the health of women and children by providing them with clean cooking fuel, namely LPG, to eliminate the health risks associated with smoky kitchens and the collection of firewood.
  • Implementing Agency: Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
  • Budget: Initially allocated Rs 8,000 crore.
Key Features:
  • Initially targeted to provide 5 crore LPG connections to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families with Rs 1600 support per connection over three years (2016-19).
  • Subsequently, the target was increased to 8 crore LPG connections in April 2018.
  • Connections are registered in the names of women within households.
Eligibility & Identification:
  • Open to all BPL families.
  • Any adult woman from a BPL family can apply for a deposit-free LPG gas connection under the Ujjwala scheme.
  • Expanded in April 2018 to include women beneficiaries from seven additional categories (SC/ST, PMAY, AAY, most backward classes, tea garden, forest dwellers, river islands).
  • Identification of BPL families is based on the Socio Economic Caste Census Data from 2011.

Challenges in Implementing the PMUY Scheme

The implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Scheme (PMUY) faced several challenges:

Data Accuracy:

  • Identifying deserving households for free LPG connections was challenging due to a lack of accurate data. The SECC-2011 data, although used for identification, was not entirely reliable, resulting in some deserving households being excluded during fieldwork.

Inaccurate BPL Classification:

  • The SECC-2011 data also revealed cases where relatively affluent households were classified as Below Poverty Line (BPL) households. This posed difficulties in validating the authenticity of the SECC database.

Awareness and Documentation:

  • Many beneficiaries came from economically disadvantaged and less-educated backgrounds. They had limited awareness of the safety requirements for using an LPG stove. Additionally, some households lacked essential documents such as ration cards and Aadhaar cards, which were necessary for availing benefits under the scheme.

Challenges in Establishing Distributorships:

  • In certain regions, particularly areas affected by law and order issues or designated as forested areas, setting up LPG distributorships proved to be challenging. This hindered the scheme’s reach, leaving households in those areas without access to cleaner cooking fuel.
Performance of Ujjwala Scheme (Phase-I):
  • The release of 8 Crore LPG connections under the scheme significantly increased LPG coverage, rising from 62% on May 1, 2016, to an impressive 99.8% by April 1, 2021.
  • Several states have seen substantial benefits from the scheme, including Uttar Pradesh (benefiting over 1.46 crore BPL families), West Bengal (88 lakhs), Bihar (85 lakhs), Madhya Pradesh (71 lakhs), and Rajasthan (63 lakhs).

Ujjwala 2.0 Scheme:

  • In the Union budget for FY 21-22, provisions were made for an additional 1 crore LPG connections under Ujjwala 2.0.
  • Special facilities have been introduced for migrant families, simplifying the process by eliminating the need for ration cards or address proof. A self-declaration for both family details and proof of address is sufficient.
  • As of March 1, 2023, the total number of connections released under PMUY reached 9.59 crore.
  • Active domestic LPG consumers have also shown remarkable growth, increasing from 14.52 crore in April 2014 to 31.4 crore as of March 2023.

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