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Gist of YOJANA : - January 2021( India@75)

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  • Published
    6th Mar, 2021


  • India is built on hopes, aspirations and dreams of over 1.3 billion citizens. Providing avenues and opportunities through policy initiatives, planning and effective implementation can work as a catalyst in building a New India.
  • This transformation is envisaged on the pillars of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Digital India and Skill India among many others.
  • Our independence was the result of efforts by thousands of freedom fighters. We are indebted to the great souls like Mahatma Gandhi, Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Sardar Patel, and numerous visionaries who dedicated their life towards the cause.
  • It reflects upon the trials and tribulations over these 75 years and the road ahead towards being an economic powerhouse, with a robust infrastructure leading to a $5 trillion economy.
  • The world has entered a new decade. With expectations of healing this year of the pandemic, this is the opportune time for India to be at the forefront in leading the global and regional strategies, strengthening the 'Brand India' through Make in India, Invest in India, ease-of-doing-business, better infrastructure, Digital India, being vocal for local and by projecting India's soft power including spiritual & cultural connect, Yoga, heritage-tourism and Cinema globally.
  • Public participation is the key to success of any initiative. Swachh Bharat is a recent example and its phenomenal feat is due to the fact that from a Government-led initiative, it transformed into a people-led movement, a jan andolan of its own sorts.
  • The India we see today will surely be different from the India our grandchildren will get.
  • The onus is on us to handover a country which they shall be proud of-a blend of modernity and tradition, infrastructure and services, growth and opportunities.
  • Development and sustainability, self-sufficient and imbibing worldview, intellectual and rational.

This issue of Yojana is a tribute to the Spirit of India in each sphere oflife. It highlights the contributions of various sectors and its people during these 75 years.

  • The year 2021 is going to be a special one as we will be entering the 75th year of our independence.
  • After centuries of subjugation and struggle, when India attained independence on August 15, 1947, it was a new dawn filled with hope and promise of a better future.
  • But challenges were enormous—poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, and lack of any worthwhile industrial and scientific base, to name a few.
    • India is recognised as an emerging world power.
    • India is the third-largest economy in terms of Purchasing Power Parity.
    • With a median age of less than 30 years, India is a young nation in an aging world.

What measures are required?

  • Channelize the change-makers: India’s youthful energy needs to be channelised constructively for nation-building. If youth are sufficiently motivated and equipped with necessary skills, they can become change-makers of the society.
  • Focus on inclusive growth: India needs to grow at a rapid pace to raise the standard of living of the people. But this growth has to be inclusive. This growth has to be environment-friendly and sustainable. We are duty-bound to leave a liveable planet for our future generations.
  • Balanced development model: Our development model should also be balanced. We should strive to bridge the disparities that still exist among people, communities or regions. We should endeavour to bridge the rural-urban divide and the emerging digital divide.
  • Public-private partnership: The governments alone cannot fulfil all these tasks. Private sector will also have to join hands. Public-Private Partnership is the way forward for India’s development.
  • People’s participation: Equally important is people’s participation in the developmental programs. The success of Swachh Bharat Mission has amply demonstrated that government programs should become mass movements, owned and led by the people.

India is on the cusp of a major transformation. Our aim is to build an ecosystem where everyone can reach his or her full potential and lead a fulfilling and meaningful life.

  • Democracy as a system of Governance is supposed to allow extensive representation and inclusiveness of as many people and views as possible to feed into the functioning of a fair and just society.
  • The definition of democracy is incomplete unless it is defined in social and individual contexts.
  • Nevertheless, in the recent years in our country, it becomes phenomena that the attitudes and behaviour of the politicians and elected persons and the actions of the political parties, their way of functioning, organisation and the modes of campaigns dilute the concept and philosophy of “Democracy”.
  • We have seen and experienced the news of muscle power, money power and worthless propaganda being publicised as their means and ways.
  • Large-scale false promises by the candidates and political parties are also vividly visible in their election rallies and manifestoes.
  • Even after the elections, the practices of unnecessary and unreasonable horse-trading have also been alarmingly increasing during the last few years.
  • Democratic ideals represent various aspects of the broad idea of “Government of the people, by the people and for the people.”
  • They include political characteristics that can be seen to be intrinsically important in terms of the objective of democratic social living, such as freedom of expression, participation of the people in deciding the factors governing their lives, public accountability of leaders and an equitable distribution of power.
  • Democratic Governance is a condition in which the promise of justice, liberty and equality enshrined in the Constitution is realised in a democratic political framework, where the Government is sensitive to the people’s identities, aspirations and needs and where people feel secure and content.
  • Only then the meaning of democratic governance will be honoured.

Major challenges

  • Corruption: The biggest challenge and threat that our democracy is facing in India today is the rampant corruption.
    • In spite of establishing various agencies to contain/check, the most dignified symbol of Indian democracy has now become diluted. Corruption continues to exist in covert and overt ways at all three levels— political, bureaucratic and corporate sector.
  • Crisis of governance: The crisis of governance in India has been taking place very frequently. As a matter of fact, it is a consequence of the breakdown of democratic institutions and the emergence of an unholy nexus between inefficient, corrupt civil servants and vote-hungry politicians. To have/establish good governance does not occur by chance.
  • Disunity: Unity or disunity existing at a particular moment is also always an issue. It is a fact that during pre-independent period, Hindus and Muslims of India were fairly united. If the status quo is again now maintained, Indian Democracy, Polity and Governance will be meaningful.
  • The Indian space programme has come a long way in the 57 years since its inception. From a fledgling Sounding Rocket Launch Facility established in the early 1960s in Thumba near Trivandrum, it has matured into a giant world-class space power.
  • Today, ISRO sprawls across the country with huge launch stations, tracking centers, research and development facilities and manufacturing and data processing units, all engaged in highly sophisticated and complex technological activities.
  • The Indian space programme began in a modest way in 1962 with the formation of the Indian National Committee on Space Research (INCOSPAR), barely five years after the launch of the Earth’s first artificial satellite Sputnik-1, that heralded the space age.
  • This farsighted critical decision and the later perseverant philosophy of the people, who steered the programme, facilitated India to master space technology.

Major milestones

  • APPLE Satellite

Today, India has a fleet of advanced remote sensing satellites equipped with high resolution and multispectral cameras dedicated to the themes of cartography, resource survey and ocean and atmospheric applications.

  • INSAT: Apart from these satellites, the Indian National Satellite (INSAT) system today is one of the largest domestic communication satellite systems in Asia-Pacific region.
    • The INSAT system with over 300 transponders in the C-band, Extended C-band, Ku-band, Ka/Ku band and S-band provides services to telecommunications, television broadcasting, radio networking, satellite newsgathering, societal applications, weather forecasting, disaster warning and Search and Rescue operations.
  • GSAT: High throughput satellites such as GSAT-1, GSAT- 29 and GSAT-19 are supporting the “Digital India’’ campaign by boosting the broadband connectivity to the rural and inaccessible Gram Panchayats in the country. The transponders on these satellites will bridge the digital divide of users including those in Jammu & Kashmir and North Eastern regions of India.
  • Launch vehicle: Till now, ISRO has developed five launch vehicles (SLV-3, ASLV, PSLV, GSLV and GSLV Mk 111 which is also known as LVM3) and mastered the technology of rockets that use solid, liquid as well as cryogenic propellants.
    • India developed its first launch vehicle SLV-3 in the 70s and persevered to perfect its second-generation launch vehicle ASLV during the 80s and early 90s. PSLV, India’s first launch vehicle capable of launching large satellites, had its first successful flight in 1994.

Launch of 104 Satellites by PSLV-C37

  • Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark II (GSLV Mk II) is fourth generation launch vehicle having three stages (including the cryogenic upper stage) with four liquid strapons.
  • Cryogenic technology involves storage of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen at very low temperatures Materials used to operate at these very low temperatures, chilling processes, interplay of engine parameters make the development of cryogenic stage a very challenging and complex task.
  • The space science missions of India-Chandrayaan-1, Mars Orbiter Mission, Astrosat and Chandrayaan-2 -have caught the attention of millions of Indians as well as the outside world.
  • Launched by PSLV on October 22, 2008, the 1380 kg Chandrayaan- 1 spacecraft was successfully navigated to the Moon in three weeks and was put into an orbit around the moon.
  • AstroSat launched by PSLV in September 2015, is the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission aimed at studying celestial sources in X-ray, optical and UV spectral bands simultaneously. AstroSat recently made a major breakthrough by discovering one of the earliest galaxies in extreme-Ultraviolet light.
  • The Chandrayaan-2 mission, India’s second mission to the moon, was successfully launched on July 22, 2019. Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter spacecraft was placed in its intended orbit. The eight instalments onboard the Orbiter are continuously providing useful science data which will enrich our understanding of the moon’s evolution and mapping of the minerals and water molecules in Polar regions.
  • The “Gaganyaan Programme” approved by the Government of India in 2018 is a point of inflection in the growth profile of India’s space endeavour, marking a seminal foray into the new age of human space exploration. The Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) was constituted in ISRO in January, 2019 for implementing the vision on human space flight programme.
  • And, space science missions like Chandrayaan-3, Aditya-L1, Mission to Venus to further explore the solar system, are in progress. Pursuit of research and development activities pertaining to small satellite launch vehicle, air breathing rocket propulsion and demonstration of reusable rocket technology, arc also progressing.
  • The recently announced National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) by the Ministry of Finance envisages an investment of Rs 111 lakh crore in infrastructure in the six fiscal years until 2020-25, compared to the investment of Rs 57 lakh crore in the preceding seven fiscal years.
  • Over the past Seventy-five years, we have also actively brought in Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), not just for financial additivity, but for increased stake holding to deliver higher quality customer-oriented infrastructure.
    • PPPs have two critical players: the public side, called the Authority and the private side, called the Concessionaire. The share of private investment out of the Rs 57 lakh crore was 27%. Our expectations at the turn of the millennium were an optimistic 40%. For the future, the NIP expects a more realistic 21%.

Project Structuring

  • Bundling and unbundling of activities: To enable greater focus, and to facilitate PPPs, we had to ‘unbundle’ activities, either vertically or horizontally or both, and in some cases, even ‘bundle.’
    • The power sector is a good example. Electricity Boards were vertically unbundled into Generation, Transmission and Distribution Companies.
    • Distribution Companies further got horizontally unbundled, on a regional basis.
    • Roads got ‘bundled’ with other activities to increase scope for revenue generation like food courts, petrol pumps and even real estate development, the last one being at Yamuna Expressway.

Project Evaluation: Financial, Economic and Risks

  • Projects have moved from being evaluated just financially-often without a revenue model, to economic evaluation with externalities (also called social cost benefit analysis) to evaluations that include identification of risks and risk mitigation/management plans.
    • The road sector is a good example, where initially only budgetary support was sought, and there was no revenue model.
    • Then financial models became more important, along with social cost benefit analysis, and then a risk management plan.

Sourcing of Funds

  • Starting from just budgetary support, to private funding, to revenue models, to partial government support through viability grants, various sources of funding have come to play. Varied forms of financing have emerged such as:
    • Equity by promoters
    • third party equity
    • bank financing
    • insurance and pension funds
    • multilateral agency funding
    • foreign direct investments
  • With this, due diligence practices have become more rigorous, making project evaluations more meaningful.
  • Tendering and Bidding Process: Over the years, the documentation and processes have gotten more structured. The documentation brings multiple stakeholders together, and with a focus on anticipating issues. The bidding process is also more consultative, and manages expectations.
    • Example: The currently ongoing privatisation of certain Passenger Train Operations is an example of openness, transparency and responsiveness.
  • Professional transaction advisors have come in (also by a transparent selection process), to help manage the transaction process.
  • Bid criteria have evolved over time to get better alignment between the promoter and project expectation, as well better risk allocation, transparency and monitor ability.

Project Management

  • While greater professionalism and technologies have come in, vulnerability to land acquisition and environmental clearances have affected this.
  • Construction management has evolved as a discipline, with professionals being trained at the postgraduate level.
  • Its importance is critical in India, since a lot of construction has to happen under ‘brown field’ conditions, with having to continue serving ongoing users.

Post-Project Issues

  • Facilitating the concessionaire to face operating challenges has increased over time.
  • Post-project ownership: Post-project ownership is an important issue, where the original goals of competition or conflict of interest need to be considered, while at the same time providing a healthy platform for buy and sell of concessions.
  • Regulation and Dispute Resolution: This space has changed quite significantly over the years. Many regulatory institutions have been set up
    • the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
    • the Central and State Electricity Regulatory Commissions
    • Tariff Authority for Major Ports
    • Airport Economic Regulatory Authority
  • There is also an Appellate for each regulator, so that appeals against any regulator’s act can be heard and resolve. And then there is the judiciary. However, not all aspects and sectors are covered.
  • The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change.
  • It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on December 12, 2015 and entered into force on November 4, 2016.
  • Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
  • To achieve this long-term temperature goal, countries aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve a climate-neutral world by mid-century.
  • The Paris Agreement is a landmark in the multilateral climate change process because, for the first time, a binding agreement brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects.
  • Implementation of the Paris Agreement requires economic and social transformation, based on the best available science.
  • The Paris Agreement works on a 5- year cycle of increasingly ambitious climate action carried out by countries.
  • Countries submit their plans for climate action known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
  • In their NDCs, countries communicate actions they will take to reduce their Greenhouse Gas emissions in order to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • Countries also communicate in the NDCs actions they will take to build resilience to adapt to the impacts of rising temperatures.
  • To better frame the efforts towards the long-term goal, the Paris Agreement invites countries to formulate and submit long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies (LT-LEDS).
  • LT-LEDS provide the long-term horizon to the NDCs. Unlike NDCs, they are not mandatory.
  • Nevertheless, they place the NDCs into the context of countries’ long-term planning and development priorities, providing a vision and direction for future development.
  • With the Paris Agreement, countries established an enhanced transparency framework (ETF).
  • Under ETF, starting in 2024, countries will report transparently on actions taken and progress in climate change mitigation, adaptation measures and support provided or received.
  • It also provides for international procedures for the review of the submitted reports.
  • The information gathered through the ETF will feed into the Global stocktake which will assess the collective progress towards the long-term climate goals. This will lead to recommendations for countries to set more ambitious plans in the next round.

Achievement made till now?

  • Although climate change action needs to be massively increased to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, the years since its entry into force have already sparked low carbon solutions and new markets.
  • More and more countries, regions, cities and companies are establishing carbon neutrality targets. Zero-carbon solutions are becoming competitive across economic sectors representing 25% of emissions.
  • This trend is most noticeable in the power and transport sectors and has created many new business opportunities for early movers.
  • By 2030, zero-carbon solutions could be competitive in sectors representing over 70% of global emissions.

The year 2021 would mark the beginning of implementation of the Paris Agreement and constitution of AIPA is central to strengthening the national systems and institutional arrangements for implementation and monitoring of climate actions. It will also ensure that India maintains its climate leadership as one the few countries in the world whose climate actions are consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

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