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Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Government policies and interventions for development

Connected by air – Udan has started the process

Udan has started the process of tapping India’s civil aviation opportunities fully. Six months from now, 43 cities will be mainstreamed on India’s flight connectivity grid.

Why this process started?

  • The Udan scheme launched to spur regional flights covering distances up to 800 km.
  • The process will include 12 airports where limited but irregular flights operate, and 31 destinations that are not connected at all despite the existence of airport facilities.
  • The Udan scheme is a critical component of the national civil aviation policy unveiled in June 2016.

What it offers?

  • It offers viability gap funding to operators to fly smaller aircraft to such airports with a commitment to price tickets for at least half of the seats at ₹2,500 for 1 hour flight.
  • The Centre has approved 27 proposals from five players, adding 128 routes to India’s aviation map. The estimate is that this will add 6.5 lakh new seats with a subsidy of ₹200 crore.
  • These 128 routes include six proposals for 11 routes that don’t seek any subsidy under the scheme, proving there is an untapped economic potential.

Benefits to common people:

  • Tourist hotspots such as Agra, Shimla, Diu, Pathankot, Mysuru and Jaisalmer — that would now be just a short flight away, replacing cumbersome road or rail journeys.
  • This will bring new investments and employment creation for the local economies.
  • After effects of this policy:
  • the availability of slots at larger airports that would emerge as hubs could become an issue — particularly at capacity-constrained airports such as Mumbai
  • In cities where new airports have been developed, such as Bengaluru, abandoned old facilities could be revived as dedicated terminals for low-cost and regional flights.
  • New airports, (no-frills airports), must be encouraged where traffic is expected to hit saturation point in coming years.
  • This development must start a rethink within the Indian Railways, as it could now lose traffic on some routes.

Source: The Hindu

 Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections

Notify HIV-hit children as disadvantaged group: SC

  • The Supreme Court on Friday, 3st March 2017, ordered State governments to considerchildren living with/affected by HIV as a ‘disadvantaged group’.
  • What the ACT says:
  • This notification came under Section 2 (d) of The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009.
  • This act mandates the State governments concerned to issue a notification that a child belongs to a disadvantaged group based on reasons ranging from caste, social, cultural, linguistic, geographical, gender, etc.
  • The Act makes education compulsory for children between six and 14 years of age.
  • What will state governments do:
  • Those States which are “unwilling” to issue a notification under Section 2 (d) should file an affidavit “explaining why they consider it unnecessary” inform that children living with HIV do not belong to a disadvantaged group.
  • The court however noted that at least 11 States have already issued the notification.
  • Why this amendment is required:
  • The order was based on a petition filed by NGO Naz Foundation (India) Trust
  • It was represented by senior advocate Anand Grover.
  • Reasons of putting a petition was that HIV-hit children face denial of admission, outright expulsion, segregation, breach of confidentiality to being given chores like cleaning toilets.
  • According to NACO estimates in 2012-2013, around 20.9 lakh people were living with HIV in 2011.Children less than 15 years of age are around 1.45 lakh.
  • NGO says,
  • “India has a substantial number of HIV-positive children who are of school-going age and need to be in school.
  • Schools can play a crucial role in improving the prospects of children affected with HIV.
  • A good school education can give children higher self-esteem, better job prospects and economic independence and create opportunities for lifting children out of poverty,”
  • According to petition,
  • “They are publicly ridiculed by school authorities, humiliated and treated unfairly in schools, to the extent that they have been segregated from other children in schools and have been made to clean toilets and classrooms”

Source: The Hindu

‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: environmental pollution and degradation

Industries grossly pollute Ganga

What you should know:

  • GPIs are defined as industries that discharge more than 1,00,000 litres of waste water and/or hazardous chemicals.
  • Nearly 30% of the so-called Grossly Polluting Industries (GPI), along the Ganga, were not complying with norms according to a year-long survey by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
  • The survey involved physical inspection of these industries by experts drawn not just from CPCB but also from 11 other institutes, including a few IITs.
  • The CPCB has identified a total of 764 major polluting industries along Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and Bihar.
  • 80% of the polluting industries are located in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Action plan to clean Ganga:

  • Under the NamamiGange Programme till March 20, 2017, 145 projects are sanctioned at an estimated cost of ₹10,730.71 crore.
  • Out of these, 72 projects are sanctioned for creation of 932.84 million litres per day (MLD) new Sewage Treatment Plants (STP), rehabilitating of 1091.00 MLD of STP and laying/rehabilitation of 4031.41 km sewer network for treating pollution in the Ganga and Yamuna.
  • Till date, 2-04-2017, 13 projects have been completed and have created 198.13 MLD STP capacity (153.1 MLD for river Ganga and 45 MLD for Yamuna River) and laid 1147.75 km of sewerage network.

Source: The Hindu