The Hindu Newspaper Analysis for UPSC
- Pulling up the States for the delay in completion of the Narendra Modi government’s flagship rural household scheme — Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) — the Union Ministry of Rural Development has come up with a set of penalties that the State governments will have to bear for any further delay.
- This is the first time, since the scheme started in April 2016 with a target of constructing 2.95 crore houses, that the Union Government has introduced a penalty clause.
- The initial deadline for the scheme was March 2022, which owing to the COVID-19 pandemic was extended by another two years till March 2024.
- If the sanction of the house is delayed for more than one month from the date of issue of the target, the State government will be penalised ₹10 per house for the first month of delay and ₹20 per house for each subsequent month of delay.
Ministry: Ministry of Rural Development.
- The erstwhile rural housing scheme Indira Awaas yojana (IAY) has been restructured into Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana –Gramin (PMAY-G) from 01.04.2016.
- PMAY-G aims at providing a pucca house, with basic amenities, to all houseless householder and those households living in kutcha and dilapidated house, by 2024.
- Target: Construction of 2.95 crore houses with all basic amenities by the year 2024.
- The cost of unit assistance in this scheme is shared between Central and State Governments in the ratio 60:40 in plain areas and 90: 10 for North Eastern and Himalayan States.
- This is a significant step in light of the fact that Parliament had only limited legislative time this session and could pass only five pieces of legislation.
- The worry of the Government has been that so much time is lost in disruptions in Parliament that the legislative process, as it is, becomes unduly delayed and therefore, referring the bills to the Standing Committees may be counterproductive — that could only add to this delay.
- the Lok Sabha’s productivity was 47% and the Rajya Sabha only 42%.
- It may be mentioned here that Parliament has 24 Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committees (DRSC), comprising members of the Parliament of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha in the ratio 2:1, which are duly constituted by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, jointly.
- The mandate of these committees is to examine various legislations referred to it, the budget proposals of different Ministries, and also to do policy thinking on the vision, mission and future direction of the Ministries concerned.
- The percentage of Bills having been referred to the DRSCs during the tenures of the 14th (2004-2009), 15th (2009-2014) and 16th Lok Sabhas (2014-2019) has been 60%, 71% and 27%, respectively.
- Even though it is not obligatory for the Government to agree to refer each Bill to the DRSC, the experience, both nationally and internationally, has been that referring a Bill to the DRSC has been of use to the process of lawmaking
- First, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha have powers to refer Bills to a DRSC of Parliament.
- Second, all discussions in the Parliamentary Standing Committee should be frank and free.
- Third, the committees can be given a fixed timeline to come up with the recommendation and present its report which can be decided by the Speaker/Chairman.
- Fourth, to ensure quality work in the committees, experts in the field may be invited who could bring with them the necessary domain knowledge and also help introduce the latest developments and trends in that field from worldwide.
- Sixth, between two sessions, there is generally enough time to organise committee meetings for discussions on Bills in the parliamentary committees.
- The Constitution of India makes a mention of these committees at different places, but without making any specific provisions regarding their composition, tenure, functions, etc.
- Broadly, parliamentary committees are of two kinds—Standing Committees and Ad Hoc Committees.
- Standing Committees : Permanent (constituted every year or periodically) and work on a continuous basis. They can be categorized into following broad groups
- Financial Committees
- Departmental Standing Committees (24)
- Committees to Inquire
- Committees to Scrutinise and Control
- Committees Relating to the Day-to-Day Business of the House
- House-Keeping Committees or Service Committees
- Origin: On the recommendation of the Rules Committee of the Lok Sabha, 17 DRSCs were set up in the Parliament in 1993. In 2004, seven more such committees were set up, thus increasing their number from 17 to 24.
- Departmental Standing Committees: Out of the 24 standing committees, 8 work under the Rajya Sabha and 16 under the Lok Sabha.
- Members: Each standing committee consists of 31 members (21 from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha). The members of the Lok Sabha are nominated by the Speaker, just as the members of the Rajya Sabha are nominated by the Chairman from amongst its members
- A minister is not eligible to be nominated as a member of any of the standing committees. In case a member, after his nomination to any of the standing committees, is appointed a minister, he then ceases to be a member of the committee
- Tenure: The term of office of each standing committee is one year from the date of its constitution.
- India’s procurement of 5,450 electric buses and subsequent increase in ambition to have 50,000 e-buses on the country’s roads by 2030 represent the immense potential for progress on climate and development goals through close collaboration between the Union and State governments.
- In the case of the Grand Challenge 1, a tender for 5,450 buses (across five major Indian cities — Kolkata, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Surat)
- Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL), a nodal agency of the Union government, acted as the programme manager in this effort at centralised procurement in concert, with State-led demand and customisation.
FAME: the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME-India)
- FAME India is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. Main thrust of FAME is to encourage electric vehicles by providing subsidies.
- The FAME India Scheme is aimed at incentivising all vehicle segments.
- Two phases of the scheme:
- Phase I: started in 2015 and was completed on 31st March, 2019
- Phase II: started from April, 2019, will be completed by 31stMarch, 2022
- The scheme covers Hybrid & Electric technologies like Mild Hybrid, Strong Hybrid, Plug in Hybrid & Battery Electric Vehicles.
- Monitoring Authority: Department of Heavy Industries, the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.
- Services’ share of the economy has gone up to over 50% of the GDP. However, this sector has not been able to create enough jobs in a commensurate manner. The result is that agriculture still continues to sustain nearly half of India’s workforce, which means that 15% of GDP is supporting some 45% of the workforce.
- We need to focus attention on the manufacturing sector because of the direct and indirect jobs that it can create.
Reasons for Dispute:
- Territorial: Nagorno-Karabakh region has 95% of the population as ethnically Armenian and is controlled by them but it is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan.
- Religious: Armenia is Christian majority, while Azerbaijan is Muslim majority country.