Policy Briefs

NDA vs. UPA Governments- Facts Analysis-Oct. 2013

Abstract
 
Unlike the NDA government (1999-98 to 2003-04), the last nine years of UPA government (2004-05 to 2012-13) followed a completely different strategy which is far more meaningful whether it is social or economic policies towards achieving of inclusive development wherein equal opportunity is ensured at most care to every citizen of the country.
 
Primarily, the UPA bases its core developmental strategy on the premise of rights based approach which provides easy entitled legal access to basic rights of common people so as to enable them to develop their capabilities in order to achieve better living conditions on sustained basis. It is the higher levels of human capabilities developed through the better quality of education, healthcare, information, employment, water and sanitation, road etc. helps invariably to achieve higher level of economic growth of the country. The story often floating other way around is no doubt half-truth only.

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Amendment Bill-2011

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) have several medical and scientific uses. Their permissible use worldwide is for medical & scientific purposes only. At the same time, these drugs & substances have tremendous potential for abuse. In fact, these are abused and trafficked worldwide.
 
India's approach towards Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is enshrined in Article 47 of the Constitution of India which mandates that the ‘State shall endeavor to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health’. The same principle of preventing use of drugs except for medicinal use was also adopted in the three international conventions on drug related matters, viz., Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971 and the UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988. India has signed and ratified these three conventions.

National Food Security Act- Arunachal Pradesh

India’s high economic growth rate in the past decade has not been fully reflected in the health status of its people, with 22 per cent of its population undernourished. According to the National Family Health Survey 2005-06, 40.4 per cent of children under the age of three are underweight, 33 per cent of women in the age group of 15-49 have a body mass index below normal and 78.9 per cent of children in the age group of 6-35 months are anemic. The estimates of malnutrition show that, about 20 per cent of rural children are severely malnourished and another 30 per cent are moderately malnourished. Moreover, it is a channel for inter-generational transmission of poverty. Generally, the risk of child malnutrition is high among the poor households where mothers have poor nutritional levels. These are disturbing statistics which point to nutritional deficiencies. Although economic growth resulted in a decline of poverty, it has not translated into a commensurable increase in food energy intake or an improvement in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) score for India

NARCOTIC DRUGS AND PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCES AMENDMENT BILL, 2011

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) have several medical and scientific uses. Their permissible use worldwide is for medical & scientific purposes only. At the same time, these drugs & substances have tremendous potential for abuse. In fact, these are abused and trafficked worldwide. India's approach towards Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is enshrined in Article 47 of the Constitution of India which mandates that the ‘State shall endeavor to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health’. The same principle of preventing use of drugs except for medicinal use was also adopted in the three international conventions on drug related matters, viz., Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971 and the UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988. India has signed and ratified these three conventions. 

NARA for Higher Educational Institutions Bill, 2010

Education in India has always been a significant instrument for social and economic transformation. Educated and skilled population not only drives national/economic development but also ensures personal growth. The challenge to ensure education for all requires concerted efforts to strengthen the education system at all levels – elementary education, secondary and higher secondary education, higher and professional education.
 
The initiatives to expand and reform the higher and technical education system in the country are on upward swing. Reform initiatives based on the recommendations of the Reports of the National knowledge Commission and Yashpal Committee are underway. Five Bills, namely (i) The Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill, 2010, (ii) The Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Technical Educational Institutions, Medical Educational Institutions and University Bill, 2010, (iii) The Educational Tribunals Bill, 2010, (iv) The National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill, 2010, (v) The National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) Bill, 2010, introduced in the Parliament, are awaiting clearance for improving the quality and relevance of programmes in higher and technical education.i
 

Multi-Sectoral Development Programme

The Programme Multi-sectoral Development program (MsDP), implemented by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, is a special area development programme under centrally sponsored scheme of India. It has been implemented from 2008-09 in Minority Concentration Districts (MCDs) identified on the basis of substantial minority population and relative backwardness in terms of selected socio-economic and basic amenities parameters.
 
The primary objective of the programme is to improve the backwardness parameters which resulted in the identification of the districts as backward and to bring them at par with the national averages.
 
Measures taken under the program include improving the living conditions and employment opportunities for these districts like construction of Indira Awas Yojna (IAY) houses; anganwadi centres (AWC); various type of health centres, industrial training institutes (ITIs), polytechnic institutes; toilets for schools; residential schools; laboratory rooms; additional class rooms for various levels of schools, inter colleges, construction of hostels for girls and boys, providing drinking water facilities, solar lanterns etc.

Multi State Co-operative Socities Amendment Bill- 2010

In an evolving global economy of new order, it has become major driving force in many sectors other than the agriculture in recent decades. Moreover, cooperatives are very powerful financial instrument for poor and marginalized sections of people for overcoming many impediments in social and economic pursuit of livelihoods. As the President of India very aptly put it that India has “a net-work of six lakh cooperatives and a membership base of 24 crores, the Indian cooperative movement has proved to be an effective economic instrument for ensuring growth with equity and inclusiveness…The cooperative sector today covers about 99% of our villages and 71% of rural households. Cooperatives are perhaps the best way of reaching out into the vast hinterland of this country where the poor and the marginalized sections live”. However, cooperatives in India face many functional challenges and their performance across sectors and regions vary. Hence the cooperative sector needs to be re-oriented in order to improve their efficiency at functional level. As a first step, it’s important to look at the evolution and the framework of policy changes undertaken by the Central government so far.

MGNREGA in Idukki and Women's

MGNREGA : Introduction
 
 The primary objective of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is to ensure livelihood security for all rural households, in addition to asset creation for a more productive rural economy, extending social safety to vulnerable households and aiding in tackling poverty and rural distress. The Act guarantees a minimum of 100 days of employment to every household whose adult members volunteer to undertake manual unskilled labour. In this light, the Act makes the following provisions:
 
o Timely employment to whoever demands it.
o Provision of an unemployment allowance on failing to do so.
o Timely payment of full wages.
o Adequate transparency in the processes involved.

Malnutrition in Gujarat

THE ACTUAL STORY
Gujarat as a state where agricultural growth is not accompanied by improvements in nutrition.
 
In Gujarat, agricultural GDP per worker increased by 17 percent from 1998 to 2005 while the prevalence of underweight children rose by 5 percentage points over that period (from 45.1 percent to 50.1 percent) and stunting rose by 2.3 percentage points (from 43.6 percent to 45.9 percent). Only female BMI improved slightly over this more recent period in Gujarat. We also note that Gujarat experienced strong growth in the non- agriculture sector (particularly manufacturing).1
 
While the agricultural growth was high, the state had very weak performance in grain production. Gujarat’s agricultural growth, for example, has been driven by rapid growth in cotton production and some higher-value foods. 2 The weak performance in grain production might be the reason for increase in undernutrition.
 
Undernutrition among pre- school children (from 2003-06):
 
The following two tables indicate that percentage undernutrition among pre- school children is higher in Gujarat than the corresponding percentage of total undernutrition in the nine states surveyed. (Note: States surveyed includes Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Orissa and West Bengal):

Land Acquistion Act, 2013

ABSTRACT
The Right to Fair Compensation, Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Act, 2013 introduced by UPA II is one of the key legislations on land by the government.
The new Act has been a great improvement over the Land Acquisition Act 1897 and it has tried to deal with the key issues which had been ignored by the earlier law. The Act is an effort towards transparency and justice in the process of Land Acquisition. The most significant progress made by the Act is the integration of Land Acquisition with the Resettlement and Rehabilitation feature. It has been supported by a comprehensive compensation package. Keeping in mind the number of protests in Bhatta Parsaul and Singur, the Act has tried to considerably narrow the definition of public purpose, a very controversial feature of the last Act.

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