Mitras Analysis of News : 10-6-2017

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1.SATH programme: Niti Aayog (Press Information Bureau)

2.The Kerala Model (Indian Express) 

 

1.SATH programme: Niti Aayog (Press Information Bureau)

 Synoptic line: It throws light on recently launched SATH, a program providing “Sustainable Action for Transforming Human capital”. (GS paper II)

Overview

  • Keeping the spirit for cooperative federalism, India’s think tank NITI Aayog has launched “SATH”- ‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human capital’ programme with the State Governments.
  • The vision of the program is to initiate transformation in the education and health sectors. The program addresses the need expressed by many states for technical support from NITI Aayog.
  • The program will be implemented by NITI along with McKinsey & Company and IPE Global consortium, who were selected through a competitive bidding process.

Provisions

  • SATH aims to identify and build three future ‘role model’ states for health systems.
  • NITI will work in close collaboration with their state machinery, through the execution stage and provide support on a range of institutional measures to achieve the end objectives.
  • The field of cooperation includes-
  • To design a robust roadmap of intervention,
  • Develop a program governance structure,
  • Set up monitoring and tracking mechanisms,
  • Hand-hold state institutions

Selection of model state

  • According to NITI Aayog selection of the three model states will be based on a three-stage process – expression of interest, presentations by the states and assessment of commitment to health sector reforms. NITI Aayog has invited all states and UTs to participate in the program.
  • Sixteen states expressed prima facie interest, of which fourteen made their presentations. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh presented their project proposal to a Committee headed by Member of NITI Aayog and comprising of CEO, as well as a representative from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Of these fourteen states, five have been shortlisted. Subsequently, three will be selected on the basis of further evaluations and objective assessment of criteria affecting the potential for impact and likelihood of success.
  • Metrics such as MMR, IMR, incidence of malaria and others have been considered for determining potential impact while density of doctors and nurses, compliance to IPHS norms are some of the metrics used to determine likelihood of success. The program will be launched in the three selected states after the signing of MoUs.

Way ahead

  • Sharing of powers and responsibilities between the three levels of government is a key element of the federalism, which involves participative policymaking. NITI Aayog has taken concrete steps to foster the idea of cooperative federalism, by this it is trying to bring about qualitative change in governance in the states.
  • SATH programme is a step towards strengthening cooperative federalism so that the Centre and States can work as a team towards rapid economic transformation of India.

Question: Government has unveiled a new programme known as SATH, what are its implications foe building the human resource capital in India ? 

 

2.The Kerala Model (Indian Express)

 Synoptic line: It throws light on the Kerala’s new policy to regularise liquor consumption in the state. (GS paper II)

Overview

  • The Kerala government had approved a new liquor policy that will see more the closed bars to reopen. The new policy has been introduced owing to a significant loss of revenue to the state government.

New Policy (a brief background)

  • The State Cabinet approved the policy and it would come into effect from July 1. But it contained some strict measures like raising the minimum drinking age to 23 and cutting short the working time of bar hotels.
  • The policy also proposed to sell toddy at hotels with 3-star classification and above. The government has also proposed to set up a Toddy Board to ensure jobs in the sector.  The government made it clear the new policy would be implemented without confronting the court.
  • The previous government introduced a policy months before the 2016 assembly elections, that limited bars to hotels in four-star and above categories. It also promised a phased reduction in the number of liquor vends with the intent to make liquor, other than wine, beer and toddy, unavailable in the state over 10 years.
  • The policy received endorsement from the Supreme Court when bar owners appealed against it.
  • A significant section of the civil society, particularly the clergy, supported the government’s decision.

Analysis of the proposed move

  • The new policy, which will kick in from July 1, is pragmatic in its scope and intent and should lend a hand to the state’s flagging tourism economy and boost state revenues.
  • There are sound reasons why regulation is preferable to prohibition. Past experience suggests that prohibition drives production and supply of alcohol underground and facilitates a black market.
  • Evidence shows that alcoholics are unlikely to quit drinking when liquor is unavailable, but chase other addictive substances.
  • Prohibition also bleeds the government financially the Kerala government had estimated an annual loss of Rs 8,000 crore in excise revenue.
  • The tourism sector, a major source of employment and revenue, was badly hit by the restrictions of liquor sale and consumption.
  • New policy aims to address supply and demand issues as well as the concerns of workers engaged in the liquor economy.
  • It also approaches liquor consumption and alcoholism as separate issues and prescribes different solutions.

Way ahead

  • The government has proposed deaddiction centres in all district headquarters to address alcoholism while raising the licence fee and the age for drinking to disincentives supply and consumption. However, the reasoning behind the insistence that a hotel must have at least a three-star status defies logic. Such segregation is not just irrational but also stifles the tourism economy, which does not revolve around multi-star hotels

Question: What can be the possible outcomes for Kerala’s new liquor regularisation policy? Is it more suitable than complete prohibition ?

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