The main challenge facing most centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) has not been the lack of funding but that of strengthening implementation, monitoring and, more fundamentally, linking funding to performance. The rural drinking water sector, under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) has made a beginning in this direction. Background - The NRDWP, a successor to the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme, was started in 2009. This CSS, with funding on a 50:50 sharing basis between the Centre and the states, had invested about 1.2 trillion rupees on rural water between 2009 and 2017. Until now, NRDWP funds were allocated from [...]
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So far Harit Mehta has created 51 blog entries.
The E-way bill, an accompaniment to the nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST), has got almost as much media attention as the term input tax credit in the last few months. But after being rolled out on February 1, 2018 with much fanfare, the E-way bill has met with the same fate as some of return filings on the GST. It been deferred indefinitely after taxpayers complained of technical glitches that stymied all their attempts to generate it online. What is it? The E-way bill, short form for electronic way bill, is a document to be generated online under the GST [...]
Nearly 600 million people in India, mostly in the rural areas who need rural health care, have little or no access to health care. A widespread disregard for norms, a perpetual failure to reach targets, and an air of utter helplessness are what mark the state of rural health care today. What can be done? A few years ago, the Union Health Ministry put forth a proposal to train a new cadre of health professionals. Under this plan, these professionals, after undergoing a short term, 3.5 year course in modern medicine, were to serve the health needs of the rural population, [...]
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Palestine, UAE and Oman is an attempt to harness most of the advantages that this region provides. The visit of the Iranian President to India this week has also been significant. Significance of the visits - The Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Ramallah, the capital of Palestine was symbolically unique as it was the first time that an Indian Prime Minister visited Palestine which has received support from India from the moment the Israel-Palestine dispute erupted in 1948. Palestinian authorities had also provided crucial intelligence support to India in its quest to bring back [...]
In recent years, the Centre has taken several initiatives such as the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), electronic National Agricultural Market (e-NAM), soil health card, neem-coated urea and so on to reduce agrarian distress. However, these have not been adequate to yield the desired result in a short span of time. Causes of agrarian distress - There are multiple dimensions to agrarian distress. First, input costs have gone up significantly recently while the farm gate prices of agricultural produce have continued to remain subdued. Second, the bulk of farming activities in India is undertaken by marginal farmers, share-croppers or landless [...]
India recently joined the Ashgabat Agreement, which was instituted in April 2011 to establish an international multimodal transport and transit corridor between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf. Background - The Agreement was first signed by Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Oman and Qatar on 25 April 2011. While Qatar subsequently withdrew from the agreement in 2013, Kazakhstan and Pakistan joined the grouping in 2016. The Ashgabat Agreement came into force in April 2016. Its objective is to enhance connectivity within the Eurasian region and synchronise it with other regional transport corridors, including the International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC). Objective - Among other [...]
In the recent Union budget, the focus on tax proposals was prominent. There was the introduction of the long-term capital gains (LTCG) tax, as well as significant tax breaks for senior citizens who earn interest income from fixed deposits. However, there is one aspect of taxation reform that often goes underreported despite its central presence in every Union budget—measures related to tax compliance. Behavioural factor - Apart from many other factors such as fear of penalties/costs, auditing, liquidity crunch of taxpayer and many other factors, the behavioural factors are generally not taken into account. Some of the behavioural factors considered include [...]
Biofuels are a good solution to a glaring and current problem in India of pollution which is plaguing the entire north Indian plains. The short-term solution for this issue exists in the quick and scaled-out expansion of biofuel-powered public transport across the country. Analysing Government response - The government has decided to incentivise and go all-electric by 2030. It is a very aggressive goal for a middle-income country like India and even assuming that this were to happen, do we all need to suffer the ill-effects of pollution for another 12 years? India’s transport policy needs to prioritise renewable vehicular fuels [...]
National Urban Policy is the need of the hour as India is in the midst of a major urbanisation boom. With increased opportunities, urbanisation also poses various challenges to our country. Statistical data - As per Census 2011, 377 million Indians comprising 31.1% of the total population lived in urban areas. This is estimated to have risen to 420 million in 2015 (UN-Habitat “World Cities Report 2016”). Going ahead, by 2030, India’s urban population is projected to increase to 600 million. Challenges - Indian cities face challenges in terms of deficits in infrastructure, governance and sustainability. With rapid urbanisation, these problems [...]
Women in Politics: Editorial Analysis by Raj Malhotra's IAS Democratic governance is based on the underlying principle of inclusivity and representation for all. This makes democracy the best form of governance. The system of democratic governance in India is relatively new and is very well spelt out in the Indian Constitution, which is representative of every diverse voice within the system. But it has not yet fully realised the potential of almost half of the population i.e. women citizens of our country. Concern - Women's representation in parliament was only 3 per cent at the eve of independence, and 70 years [...]