Towards a Swachh Bharat
January 01, 2016
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“A clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150 birth anniversary in 2019,” said Shri Narendra Modi as he launched the Swachh Bharat Mission at Rajpath in New Delhi. On 2nd October 2014, Swachh Bharat Mission was launched throughout length and breadth of the country as a national movement.

While leading the mass movement for cleanliness, the Prime Minister exhorted people to fulfil Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of a clean and hygienic India. Shri Narendra Modi himself initiated the cleanliness drive at Mandir Marg Police Station. Picking up the broom to clean the dirt, making Swachh Bharat Abhiyan a mass movement across the nation, the Prime Minister said people should neither litter, nor let others litter. He gave the mantra of ‘Na gandagi karenge, Na karne denge.’ Shri Narendra Modi also invited nine people to join the cleanliness drive and requested each of them to draw nine more into the initiative.

By inviting people to participate in the drive, the Swachhta Abhiyan has turned into a National Movement. A sense of responsibility has been evoked among the people through the Clean India Movement. With citizens now becoming active participants in cleanliness activities across the nation, the dream of a ‘Clean India’ once seen by Mahatma Gandhi has begun to get a shape.

The Prime Minister has helped spread the message of Swachh Bharat by urging people through his words & action. He carried out a cleanliness drive in Varanasi as well. He wielded a spade near River Ganga at Assi Ghat in Varanasi under the Clean India Mission. He was joined by a large group of local people who cooperated in the Swachhta Abhiyan. Understanding the significance of sanitation, Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has simultaneously addressed the health problems that Indians families have to deal with due to lack of proper toilets in their homes.

People from different sections of the society have come forward and joined this mass movement of cleanliness. From government officials to jawans, bollywood actors to the sportspersons, industrialists to spiritual leaders, all have lined up for the noble work. Millions of people across the country have been day after day joining the cleanliness initiatives of the government departments, NGOs and local community centres to make India clean. Organising frequent cleanliness campaigns to spreading awareness about hygiene through plays and music is also being widely carried out across the nation.

Bollywood celebrities to television actors came forward and actively joined the initiative. Noted personalities like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Kailash Kher, Priyanka Chopra and entire cast and crew of SAB TV show ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’ lend a hand to Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Numerous sportspersons like Sachin Tendulkar, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal and Mary Kom’s contribution the clean India drive have been commendable.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his monthly radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’, has time and again lauded the efforts of individuals and various organizations across the country that have helped make the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan a huge success. The Prime Minister complemented a team of Government officials of Madhya Pradesh’s Harda district for their role towards a cleaner India. PM also praised five students of New Horizon School in Bangalore who developed a mobile based application for buying and selling waste.

Organisations like ICICI Bank, Punjab National Bank, XLRI Jamshedpur and IIM-Bangalore initiated mass cleanliness drives and spread awareness among the general public.

Shri Narendra Modi has always openly lauded the participation of people via social media. Shri Narendra Modi appreciated the efforts of Temsutula Imsong, Darshika Shah and a group of volunteers for their ‘Mission Prabhughat’ initiative in Varanasi.

The ‘#MyCleanIndia’ was also launched simultaneously as a part of the Swachh Bharat drive to highlight the cleanliness work carried out by citizens across the nation.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has become a ‘Jan Andolan’ receiving tremendous support from the people. Citizens too have turned out in large numbers and pledged for a neat and cleaner India. Taking the broom to sweep the streets, cleaning up the garbage, focussing on sanitation and maintaining a hygienic environment have become a practice after the launch of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. People have started to take part and are helping spread the message of ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness.’

Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas is focused on building individual toilets, community toilets and solid waste management. In rural areas, the emphasis is on behavioural change intervention including interpersonal communication, strengthening implementation and delivery mechanisms down to the Gram Panchayat level, and giving States flexibility to design delivery mechanisms that take into account local cultures, practices, sensibilities and demands. The incentive for building toilet has been increased by Rs 2000 from Rs 10000 to Rs  12000. Funds are also provided for Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) in Gram Panchayats.

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Empowering our Farmers
September 26, 2016
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Empowering our Farmers

The NDA Government under PM Narendra Modi has put unprecedented focus on agriculture. Numerous initiatives to improve productivity, safeguard farmers and augment their incomes and improve their overall well-being have been taken in the past two years. The steps taken by the Government are helping the farmers in a multitude of ways; from easy availability of fertilizers to improving irrigation facilities, from crop insurance scheme to easy access to credit, from scientific help to better price for their produce. PM Modi has also given a call to double farmers’ incomes by 2022 by multi-modal interventions.

India faced consecutive droughts in 2014-15 and 2015-16. Yet due to the resilience of Indian farmers, agricultural production remained stable and so did supply and inflation. Total foodgrain output in 2015-16 is estimated at 252.23 MT while Total foodgrain output in 2014-15 was 252.02 MT. Ministry of Agriculture has been renamed as Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer Welfare. This reflects a paradigm shift in the vision, which puts farmer first. Allocation for Agriculture and Farmers’ welfare has been increased substantially to Rs 35,984 crore.

The Govt realises that agriculture needs to more predictable, productive and profitable. This needs a multidimensional approach to solving farmers’ problem throughout the entire cycle and hence the Govt has come up with solutions to various issues faced by a farmer.

Pre- sowing:

  1. Soil health Card to help farmers make the right choice.

The Govt has distributed 1.84 Cr. soil health cards. The target is to cover all 14 crore farm holdings & provide soil health card to all farmers.

  1. Fertilisers

Long queues for fertilisers are history now. The Govt is ensuring easy availability of fertilisers for farmers. Prices of fertilisers have also been reduced significantly. 100% Neem coated urea is available in the country. This will improve fertilizer use efficiency by 10 to 15 percent and thereby reduce the consumption of urea fertilizer.

  1. Finance

Govt approved Rs 18,276 crore towards interest subvention of farmer loans. This will ensure that a farmer pays 4% interest for short term crop loans, 7% for post harvest loans, 7% in case of natural calamity, against the market rate of 9%.

During sowing:

  1. Irrigation Facilities

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana to be implemented in mission mode & 28.5 lakh hectares will be brought under irrigation.  Implementation of 89 irrigation projects under AIBP, which were languishing for a long time, will be fast tracked. A dedicated Long Term Irrigation Fund is being created in NABARD with an initial corpus of about 20,000 crore. 5 lakh farm ponds and dug wells in rain fed areas and 10 lakh compost pits for production of organic manure will be taken up under MGNREGA.

  1. Support & Guidance

Scientific advice in the form of sms and calls have been sent to crores of farmers.

After sowing:

  1. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojna

The PMFBY comes with the lowest ever premium rate for farmers. The PMFBY comes with One rate for One crop i.e. Kharif crops: 2 %, Rabi crops: 1.5 %, Horticulture Crops: 5 %. There is no capping on premium rates & no reduction in sum insured, thus ensuring full protection for farmers. Since independence, only around 20% farmers have been covered under insurance till now.  PMFBY targets 50%  coverage in next 3 years.

  1. e-NAM

Agriculture marketing is administered by the States as per their agri-marketing regulations, under which, the State is divided into several market areas. This fragmentation of markets hinders free flow of agri commodities from one market area to another and ends up escalating the prices for the consumers without commensurate benefit to the farmer. e-NAM addresses these challenges by creating a unified market through online trading platform, both, at State and National level and promotes uniformity, streamlining of procedures across the integrated markets, removes information asymmetry between buyers and sellers and promotes real time price discovery, based on actual demand and supply, promotes transparency in auction process, and access to a nationwide market for the farmer, with prices commensurate with quality of his produce and online payment and availability of better quality produce and at more reasonable prices to the consumer.

Apart from the above measures, a multi-pronged approach has been adopted to augment farmers’ income. Efforts are being made to increase in farm income through support to allied activities like fisheries, animal husbandry and dairy products. 850 crore for four dairying projects - ‘Pashudhan Sanjivani’, ‘Nakul Swasthya Patra’, ‘E-Pashudhan Haat’ and National Genomic Centre for indigenous breeds. Rashtriya Gokul Mission launched to conserve and develop indigenous cow breeds. Fish production has increased from 95.72 lakh tones during 2013-14 to 101.64 tonnes during 2014-15 The fish production for 2015-16 is estimated at 107.9 lakh tones. The ‘Saving-cum-Relief’ component provided to fishermen during fishing ban /lean period of three months has been increased to Rs. 1500 per month under Blue Revolution scheme.

There has also been a significant increase in relief provided by Government. For the years 2010-2015, a provision of Rs. 33580.93 crore was made for State Disaster Response Fund. The same has been increased to Rs. 61220 crore for the period 2015-2020. A relief of only Rs. 12516.20 crore was approved between 2010-14 crore to the States affected by drought and hailstorm. The NDA Government in year 2014-15 alone approved an amount of Rs. 9017.998 crore as relief to the States affected by drought and hailstorm. During the year 2015-16, Rs. 13496.57 crore have already been approved for till now.