We need substitutes for plastic, incentives to re-use, and better waste disposal
Maharashtra’s ban on several consumer articles made of plastic, introduced after a three
month notice period to industry and users, is an extreme measure.
India hosted – World Environment Day and PM Narendra Modi made a high-profile
pledge, to international acclaim, that it would do away with all single-use plastics by 2022.
This goal is not yet backed by an action plan -So that State governments and local bodies
can be in sync.
Worldwide, the problem has got out of hand, with only 9% of about nine billion tonnes
of plastic produced getting recycled.
India has an uninspiring record
Being dumped in the oceans
Segregate it at source
Companies covered by extended producer responsibility provisions must be required
to take back their waste.
In parallel, incentives to reduce the use of plastic carry bags, single-use cups, plates
and cutlery must be in place.
Retailers must be required to switch to paper bags.
Carry bag production using cloth can Create more jobs than machines using plastic pellets.
What needs – plastics became popular because they are inexpensive, can be easily
produced and offer great convenience.
Consumers will be ready to make the switch, but they need good alternatives
An unequal platter
It is time the government finds a sustainable solution to the malnutrition crisis(कु पोषण संकट)
Maharashtra, one of India’s richest States, is a classic case of a lack of development which
is seen in its unacceptably high level of malnutrition among children in the tribal belts.
While the State’s per capita income has doubled since 2004 (economic growth), its
nutritional status has not made commensurate progress.
National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2015–2016 and 2005- 06, shows this: though stunting
has declined from 46.3% to 34.4%, wasting rates have increased from 16.5% to 25.6%.
Stunting, or short height for age, and wasting, or low weight for height
the underweight rate (36%) has remained static in the last 10 years.
Worse than in some of the world’s poorest countries Bangladesh (33%), Afghanistan (25%)
or Mozambique (15%).
According to NFHS 2015-16, every second tribal child suffers from growth restricting
malnutrition due to chronic hunger.
2005, child malnutrition claimed as many as 718 lives in Maharashtra’s Palghar district alone.
National Human Rights Commission issued notice to the Maharashtra government over reports of 600 children due to malnutrition in Palghar.
Government responded, promising to properly implement schemes such as Jaccha Baccha
and Integrated Child Development Services to check malnutrition.
Our independent survey conducted- challenges what Maharashtra’s Women and Child
Development Minister Pankaja Munde said in the Legislative Council in March
that “malnutrition in Palghar had come down in the past few months,
In most households it was rice and dal which was cooked most often and eaten thrice a day
There was no milk, milk product or fruit in their daily diets- Even the adults drank black tea
as milk was unaffordable.
Only 17% of the children achieved a minimum level of diet diversity
Such acute food insecurity in tribal households is due to a loss of their traditional dependence on forest livelihood and the State’s deepening agrarian crisis
For example, 20% of tribal families did not receive rations (public distribution system)
in Vikramgad (in Palghar) as they did not have a card.
Analysis of the State’s Budget shows that the nutrition expenditure as a percentage of State
Budget has drastically declined from 1.68% in 2012-13 to 0.94% in 2018-19,
Government’s falling commitment to nutrition.
It is time the government looks at the root cause of issue and finds a sustainable solution for
This is possible only when state focusses on inclusive development by creating employment
opportunities for the marginalised which would improve their purchasing power and
, in turn, reduce malnutrition
The Finance Commission must heed(सावधान रहना) the Northeast’s challenges
The 15th Finance Commission (FC) is in the process of figuring out a fair formula for the
distribution of net tax proceeds between the Union and the States
14th FC had adopted a formula-based tax devolution approach States was enhanced
to 42% from 32%, which gave the States considerable flexibility
No State specific grants were recommended The assumption was that a higher level of
devolution would offset other requirement
14th FC accorded 27.5% weight to the population (of which 17.5% was of the 1971 population), 15% to area 7.5% to forest cover and 50% to income distance
The Northeast represents a distinct entity for developmental planning and has a special
Low levels of human development indices,
A low resource base,
Infrastructure pose a different challenge
Which must be taken into account in the devolution formula.
Many centrally sponsored schemes are discontinued midway, and the burden of
employee salaries falls on the States.
Maintenance of assets, such as rural roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana
, require huge expenditure, especially in hilly States.
Comparing apples with apples- The 13th FC acknowledged the different position of the
Northeast while arriving at the formula for devolution.
Allocating 10% for forest cover would encourage States to preserve the forests
The Terms of Reference of the 15th FC also mention performance based incentives
based on improvements in GST collection, Direct Benefit Transfer rollout, etc.
This would definitely infuse a spirit of competition.
However, the performance of the Northeastern States must be benchmarked with other Northeastern States so that apples are not compared with oranges.
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Last Day- Q’s- Answers…
New member of OPEC- Republic of Congo
National Food Security Act :- 2013(also known as, Right to Food Act)
NITI Aayog- Chairman:- PM Narendra Modi
Voice Chairman- Rajiv Kumar
CEO- Amitabh Kant
Formed – 1st Jan, 2015
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