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Local Government/Urban Government


Local Government Urban Government

Local Government

One of the Directive Principles of State Policy in the Constitution directed the Union and State Governments to try to take steps to organise village panchayats and give them such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to act as units of self-government panchayati raj was not taken up seriously by the states. However, they are now given Constitutional status.
73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 – 11th Schedule
Compulsory Provisions:
• Organisation of Gram sabha
– Creation of 3 tier panchayati raj at District, Block & Village level
– All the seats in panchayati raj shall be filled by people chosen by direct elections from territorial constituencies in panchayat areas.
– Minimum age for contesting for elections to panchayats is 21 years, for fixed 5 years tenure.
– Reservation of seats for SC/ ST in panchayats shall be in proportion of their population
– Reservation of women in Panchayats is upto 33 %.
– Each state is to constitute a state election commission to conduct elections & state finance commission every 5 years to review financial positions of the panchayats.
Voluntary Provisions:
• Providing reservation for backward classes
• Giving voting rights to members of union & state legislatures in these bodies
• Giving panchayats financial autonomy & powers to levy taxes, fees etc.
SALIENT FEATURES OF THE ACT
Gram Sabha
• Adult people (above 18 years) register in electoral rolls relating to a village comprised within the area of Panchayat.
• Meet twice a year (April 13 & Oct 3) & exercise functions as state legislature determines.
• In other words, Gram sabha is village assembly of registered voters within panchayat area to discuss issues related to their areas.
3 Tier Systems
• PART IX of the Constitution envisages a three-tier system. Act provides for a 3 tier system of panchayati raj in every state that is Panchayats at village, intermediate & district level.
• To introduced the democracy at grass root level all the seats in a Panchayat shall be filled by persons chosen by direct election from territorial constituencies in the Panchayat area. The electorate has been named Gram Sabha consisting of persons registered in the electoral rolls relating to a village comprised within the area of a Panchayat.

• However, a state having population less than 20 lakhs may not have intermediate level.
• Members of Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha & state assembly in district may be included in intermediate level panchayat, in which they are registered as an elector.

Election of Members & Chairperson
• All the members of the panchayat at village, intermediate & district levels shall be elected directly by the people.
• Chairperson of panchayat (at intermediate & district levels) shall be elected indirectly by & among the elected members thereof.
• Chairperson of panchayat at village level shall be elected in such a manner as the state legislature determines.
Reservation of Seats
• Article 243D provides that -Reservation of seats of SC & ST (at all 3 levels) shall be in proportion of, their population to total population in panchayat area. If, for example, the Scheduled Castes constitute 30% of the population and the Scheduled Tribes 21%, then 30% and 21% seats shall be reserved for them, respectively.
• Further, state legislature shall provide for reservation of offices of chairperson in panchayat at all levels for SCs & STs.
• Reservation of not less than 1/3rd of total no. of seats for women, including number of seats reserved for women belonging to SCs & STs.
• Further, not less than 1/3rd of total no. of offices of chairperson in the panchayats at each level shall be reserved for women.
• Reservation of offices of Chairpersons, These reservations favouring the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes shall cease to be operative when the period specified in Article 334. A State may by law also reserve seats or offices of Chairpersons in the Panchayat at any level in favour of backward classes of citizens.
Reservation of offices of Chairpersons:
Duration of Panchayats
• Every panchayat shall continue for 5 yrs from the date of its 1st meeting
• It can be dissolved earlier in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the state legislature
• In case, it is dissolved earlier, elections must take place within 6 month of its dissolution.
Qualification (Art. 243 F):
• Same as state legislature but must have attained a minimum age of 21.
• The only difference is that a person who has attained the age of 21 years will be eligible to be a member (in case of State Legislature the prescribed age is 25 years-Article 173).
• Shall be qualified as a member of panchayat by any law made by state legislature
Powers & Functions (Arts. 243G-243H):
• It is for the state legislature to determine as to what powers are to be assigned to the panchayats to enable them to function as an institution of self-government.
• Powers shall be assigned mainly for social justice & economic development with regards to 29 matters, included in 11th schedule.
Financial matters (Art. 280):
State legislature may:
• Authorise a panchayat to levy, collect & appropriate taxes, duties tolls & fees
• Assign to panchayat to appropriate taxes, duties, tolls & fees levied & collected by state government
• Provide for making grants in aid to panchayats from consolidated fund of India
• Provide for constitution of funds for crediting money to panchayats.
Panchayat Finance Commissions:
Every five years, the State Government has to appoint a Finance Commission to review the financial position of the Panchayats and to make recommendations as to-
• The distribution between the State and the Panchayats of the net proceeds of taxes, duties, tolls and fees leviable by the State which may be divided between them and how allocation would be made among various levels of Panchayats;
• What taxes, duties, tolls and fees may be assigned to the Panchayats;
• Grant-in-aid to the Panchayats.
The report of the Commission, together with a memorandum of action taken on it, shall be laid before the State Legislature. These provisions are modeled on Article 280 which contains provisions regarding appointment of a Finance Commission for distribution of finances between the Union and the States.
State Finance commission:
Within 1 year of coming into force of this Act & henceforth every 5 years, state government (Governor) shall appoint a state finance commission, to review the financial positions of the panchayats & to suggest different means to enhance the same.
State Election commission (Art. 243k):
State election commissioner shall be appointed by governor to suprident, direct & control elections of panchayats including preparation of electoral rolls. He can be removed on the same grounds as a judge of HC & his tenure shall be determined by the Governor.
To ensure the Independence of the Commissioner it is laid down that State Election Commissioner can be removed only in the same manner and on the same grounds as Judge of a High Court. The State Legislatures have the power to legislate on all matters relating to elections to Panchayats.
Bar on interference by the courts (Art. 329):
• The act bars the interference by courts in electoral matters of the panchayats.
• It declares that validity of any law relating to delimitation of constituencies or allotment of seats to such constituencies cannot be questioned in any court.
• Further, no election to any panchayat is to be questioned except by an election petition, presented to such authority & in a manner provided by state legislature.
Exempted states & Areas
• Act does not apply to J & K, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Hill areas of Manipur, Darjeeling & certain other areas.
• However, parliament may extend its provisions to these areas under PESA, 1996 (Provision to panchayat extension to scheduled areas).

Water/Forest/Land


Water Resource Forest Resource Land Resources

Water Resource

India accounts for about 2.45 per cent of world’s surface area, 4 per cent of the world’s water resources and about 16 per cent of world’s population. The total water available from precipitation in the country in a year is about 4,000 cubic km. The availability from surface water and replenishable groundwater is 1,869 cubic km. Out of this only 60 per cent can be put to beneficial uses. Thus, the total utilisable water resource in the country is only 1,122 cubic km.
RIVER SYSTEM IN INDIA
The Indus River Systems:
The Ganga River System
The Brahmaputra Rivers System:
• Brahmaputra rises in Tibet, east of Mansarovar Lake very close to the sources of the Indus and the Sutlej.
• In Tibet, it is known by the name, Tsang Po.
• It is slightly longer than the Indus, and most of its course lies in Tibet.
• It flows eastwards parallel to the Himalayas to its south.
• When it reaches mountain peak of Namcha Barwa (7757 m), it takes a ‘U’ twin and makes a 5500 m deep gorge.
• Then it enters India in Arunachal Pradesh through a gorge. Here it is called the Dihang and it is joined by the Dibang, the Lohit, the Kenula and numerous other tributaries to form the Brahmaputra in Assam.
• In Tibet Tsang Po river carries a smaller volume of water and less silt as it is a comparatively dry and hard rocked area.
• In India it passes through a region, which receives a huge amount of rainfall. The result is that the river carries a large volume of water and considerable amount of silt.
• The Brahmaputra has a braided channel in its entire length in Assam, with numerous riverine islands.
• Every year during the rainy season, Brahmaputra River floods its banks and causes widespread devastation in Assam and Bangladesh.
• The river also shifts its channels during rainy season every year.
Peninsular River system

The drainage systems of the Peninsular and extra Peninsular regions differ from each other. The main differences in their drainage systems are given below:
DATA ON DIFFERENT WATER RESOURCES OF INDIA
Surface Water Resource
• The main source of surface water is precipitation.
• About 20 percent part of the precipitation evaporates and mixes with the environment.
• The large part of surface water is found in rivers, riverlets, ponds and lakes. Remaining water flows into the seas, oceans. Water found on the surface is called surface water.
• About two-third of the total surface water flows into three major rivers of the country – Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputras. The water storage capacity of reservoirs constructed in India so far is about 17,400 billion cubic metres.
• The storage capacity of usable water in the Ganges basin is the maximum, but in spite of maximum annual flow, the storage capacity of usable water is the least in Brahmaputras basin.
• The storage capacity in Godavari, Krishna, Mahanadi and Indus is sufficient.
• If storage capacity of usable water is seen in terms of ratio, then of Tapi river basin is 97 percent.

Ground Water Resources
• The total Annual Replenishable ground water resources of the Country have been estimated as 431 billion cubic meter (BCM).
• Keeping 35 BCM for natural discharge, the net annual ground water availability for the entire Country is 396 BCM.
• The Annual ground water draft is 243 BCM out of which 221 BCM is for irrigation use and 22 BCM is for domestic & industrial use.
• The groundwater utilisation is very high in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu.
• However, there are States like Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Kerala, etc., which utilise only a small proportion of their groundwater potentials. States like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tripura and Maharashtra are utilising their ground water resources at a moderate rate.
• If the present trend continues, the demands for water would need the supplies. And such situation, will be detrimental to development, and can cause social upheaval and disruptions.
Lagoons and Backwaters
• India has a vast coastline and the coast is very indented in some states.
• Due to this, a number of lagoons and lakes have formed.
• The States like Kerala, Odisha and West Bengal have vast surface water resources in these lagoons and lakes.
• Although, water is generally brackish in these water-bodies, it is used for fishing and irrigating certain varieties of paddy crops, coconut, etc.
Inland Water Resources
• Inland water resources include streams (rivers), canals, lakes, ponds and wet lands.
• These resources’ offer several services to man which include:
1. Domestic water supply: 
• Inland water resources cater to the domestic needs of man for drinking, cooking, bathing, cleaning, watering plants, and crops.
• The water should be pure, free from bacteria and other contaminants (salts, sediments, etc.), taste, smell, and colour.
2. Industrial water supply:
• Industrial plants require water in more quantities than for domestic purposes. Water is needed in-industries for producing steam, for condensing steam, for solution chemical, for humidifiers and refrigerators, for cooling hot Metals, for washing coke; for the manufacture of acids and alkalies in chemical industries, and for washing and dying of hides, etc.
• Water often gets contaminated when it comes from mining areas.
3. Fishing:
• Rivers, lakes and ponds are sources of inland fishery.
• The Ganga, Sutlej, Mahanadi, etc. in India and many other rivers provide fish for local consumption.
4. Irrigation of Crops:
• In India, various means of irrigation-Canals, wells and tube wells, tanks, are extensively used.
• Selection of crops is largely determined by the availability of water for irrigation.
5. Navigation: 
• Navigation in rivers, canals and lakes is determined by a number of factors including : (i) the direction of river flow, (ii) geographical location of water bodies, (iii) extent of the water body, (iv) amount of water in rivers or lakes, (v) depth and width of water, (vi) meandering of rivers, (vii) swift flow of the stream, (viii) rocks, sand bars etc. in the river channels, (ix) rapids and waterfalls on the rivers, (x) weather conditions and floods, (xi) shifting of river channels, (xii) landing places.
6. Generation of Steam Power and Hydro-electricity: 
• Steam power is generated from water to drive machines of plants and locomotives. This steam power is used to generate thermal electricity for plants.
• Hydro-electricity is the cheapest and the cleanest of all the sources of power.
• Besides, it is a renewable and inexhaustible resource.
• A major advantage of hydro-electricity is its utility in decentralization of industries, while the use of coal favours the centralization of industries which creates ninny adverse environmental effects.
7. Availability of minerals: 
• Some lakes provide minerals such as salts, potassium etc.
• The Sambhar Lake, the Pachpadra Lake and the Lunkaransar in Rajasthan are sources of salt production in India.
Irrigation in India
• Indian agriculture depends on the monsoon for its water requirement. Even if the monsoon is normal all the places need not get sufficient rainfall, some place may get high rainfall, or some places get very low rainfall as in Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, etc.
• The early or delayed withdrawal of monsoon affects the cropping pattern. In the dry period after monsoon, crops cannot be raised without irrigation.
• So irrigation becomes indispensable in India as many people directly or indirectly still depends on agriculture for their subsistence.
• The sources of irrigation can be divided into four categories viz. Canals, Wells, Tanks and other Channels.
• Wells: Wells and tube wells account about 55.9% of the total irrigation, derives water from underground sources, so it is a widely distributed source of irrigation. The major states where well irrigation is utilised are Punjab, UP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharastra, MP and TN.
• Canals: Canals account 31.7% of the total irrigation, it uses surface water from rivers and becomes a principal source of irrigation in India. UP has a good network of canals followed by Punjab, Haryana and Andra Pradesh.
• Tanks: Tanks account 5.9% of the total irrigation, mainly found in peninsular India, most of them are small in size and due to high evaporation, it supplies water only for one crop in year. TN, Karnataka, AP and Orissa tops in tank irrigation.
• Other sources: The other sources of irrigation include as small dams like ahars and pynes in Bihar, spring channels of TN, water holes in flood plains, etc account for 6.4 of the total irrigation.
Distribution of Irrigated Areas
a) The percentage of irrigated land varies from state to state. It varies from state to state with lowest being in Mizoram (6.4 per cent) and highest in Punjab (92.9 per cent).
b) Punjab is at the top in proportion of irrigated area followed by Haryana, U.P., Bihar, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir. Manipur in the north east region irrigate more than 40 per cent of their net cropped area.
• For the better utilization of the total potential the irrigation schemes have been divided into-
(1) Major Projects: Cultivable command area of more than 10,000 hectare, (including canal irrigation).
(2) Medium Project: Cultivable command area between 2000 and 10000 hectare.
(3) Minor Projects: Cultivable command area less than 2000 hectare, include mainly well-irrigation.
(4) Micro Projects: Drip irrigation and the use of sprinklers.
Major Dams of India

Index of Industrial Production


Index of Industrial Production

The index of Industrial Production (IIP) conveys the status of production in the industrial sector of an economy in a given period of time, in comparison with a fixed reference point in the past.
IIP is a composite indicator that measures the growth rate of industry groups classified under,
1. Broad sectors, namely, Mining, Manufacturing and Electricity
2. Use-based sectors, namely Basic Goods, Capital Goods and Intermediate Goods.
The IIP numbers, in India use 2004-05 as the base year for comparison. The current Index of Industrial Production (IIP) with base 2004-05 has a broader coverage of 682 items comprising 61 from Mining & Quarrying, 620 from Manufacturing and 1 from Electricity Sector having the weightage of 14.16%, 75.53% and 10.32% respectively in the all-India IIP.
The Eight Core Industries comprise nearly 38% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP). They are Coal, Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Petroleum Refinery Products,Fertilizers,Steel, Cement & Electricity.
It is compiled and published monthly by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) six weeks after the reference month ends.

Mission Parivar Vikas


Mission Parivar Vikas

Population is the basic element of the state. With 1,210,000,000 (1.21 billion) people, India is currently the world’s second largest country in terms of population representing a full 17% of the earth’s population. India’s 2011 census showed that the country’s population had grown by 181 million people in the prior decade.
India’s high population growth results in increasingly impoverished and sub-standard conditions for growing segments of the Indian population. Population plays an important role in economic development of the country. The human resource of the country if skilled and trained contribute to the growth whereas on the other hand illiterate and unskilled population full of ethnic and linguistic diversities acts as havoc for the nation. It may pose serious threat to the survival of mankind.
Thus for the improvement in family planning services government has launched “Mission Parivar Vikas”.
Objectives of the scheme:
• The main objective of ‘Mission Parivas Vikas’ is to accelerate access to high quality family planning choices based on information, reliable services and supplies within a rights-based framework.
• Improve access to contraceptives through delivering assured services, dovetailing with new promotional schemes, ensuring commodity security.
• It will also ensure building capacity (service providers), creating an enabling environment along with close monitoring and implementation.
District selection criteria for this programme:
The government will implement the programme in all the 145 district in one go. The target of the government is to reach the replacement level fertility goals of these districts 2.1 by the year 2025.
• These 145 districts are in the seven high focus, high TFR (Total Fertility Rate) states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam that constitute 44% of the country’s population. They also have a substantial impact on maternal and child health indicators. As about 25 to 30% of maternal deaths and 50% of infant deaths occur in these districts.
• These 145 districts have TFR of more than/equal to 3.0 (56% of the 261 districts in the 7 HFS) and are home to 28% of India’s population (about 33 Crores). However, only 22% of India’s protected couples and 40% of India’s couples with unmet need reside in these districts.
• They also have a substantial impact on maternal and child health indicators. About 25 to 30% of maternal deaths and 50% of infant deaths occur in these districts.
• Moreover, 115 of these districts (79%) have high percentage of adolescent mothers.

Agro Terrorism


Agro Terrorism

Agro Terrorism refers to disease/pest outbreaks in the agrarian sector, which are deliberately brought about by malafide intentions.
The goal of agro-terrorism is not to kill cows or plants. These are the means to the end of causing economic damage, social unrest, and loss of confidence in government. Human health could be at risk if contaminated food reaches the table or if an animal pathogen is transmissible to humans (zoonotic).
Agro terrorists could release damaging insects, viruses, bacteria, fungi or other microbes as bio-weapons that are mainly aimed at wiping out crops or farm animals. They also could attempt to poison processed foods also.
Past Incidences:
The incidences of agro terrorism in Colorado during WW II, attacks on Cuban crops, the citrus tanker disease in Florida and deliberate attacks in Sri Lanka are some of the cited examples.
Dangers from exotic pests:
In the case of crops, the important diseases include bunchy top in banana, potato wart, downy mildew in sunflower, chickpea blight, San Jose scale in apple, coffee berry borer, the invasive weed Lantana Camara and more recently the biotype ‘B’ of whitefly Bemisiatabaci (most efficient vector of the tomato leaf curl virus).
Agro-Terrorist Weapons:
Diseases that have the potential to be used as bio-weapons by agro terrorists are listed below:
1. Bacterial and Fungal Pathogens 
(a) Fire blight in apple and pear.
(b) Black pod in cocoa.
(c) Powdery rust in coffee.
(d) Sudden death in oak.
2. Virus, Viroid and Phytoplasma
(a) Barley stripe virus.
(b) Coconut cadang-cadang.
(c) Palm lethal yellowing.
3. Plant Parasitic Nematodes 
(a) Pine wood nematode.
(b) Red ring nematode in coconut.

4. Insect Pests

(a) Mediterranean fruit fly.
(b) Cotton boll weevil.
(c) Russian wheat aphid.
Integrated Pest Surveillance System: 
To deal with the agro-terrorism an organised system dedicated to carry out pest risk analysis against identified quarantine pests need to be established which will
a) Perform field inspection and pest survey activities for the detection, delimitation or monitoring of established pests.
b) Detect new pests.
c) Establish specific systems for identification, establishment and maintenance of -pest-free areas according to international standards.
Prevention and early detection:
a) Proper education and awareness programmes for the Villages to ward off intentional attacks by suspected agro terrorists on their crops/ animals/livestock .
b) Equip them with the emergency curative measures to be taken in such a situation.
c) DDMAsshould ensure that there is enough stock of disinfectants and vaccines for animals and chemicals, biopesticides and biocontrol agents to save crops from any suspected attack.
d) For imports, the quarantine network need to be be strengthened especially at land frontiers of the country through which agro terrorists can easily bring in exotic pests.

Sai Praveen

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