Parliament Q & A

Civil Services Chronicle Online, June, 2021:

Poverty Alleviation Programmes

Question by: Bhola Singh, Vinod Kumar Sonkar

  1. whether the Government has any estimation of the population in the country that is poor and if so, the details thereof;
  2. whether the Government has evaluated the outcome of different poverty alleviation programmes launched during the last three years and if so, the details and the outcome thereof;
  3. whether the level of inequality has been rising in the country and if so, the details thereof along with the overall income, wealth and consumption inequality reported/noted during each of the last three years;
  4. whether there has been imbalance in development of various regions in the country and if so, the details thereof; and
  5. the other steps being taken by the Government to reduce poverty, inequality and regional disparity in the country?

Answer By: Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Planning and Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (Rao Inderjit Singh)

Criteria for Poverty Line

  • For determination of the methodology to estimate poverty line Expert Groups are constituted from time to time. The most recent Expert Group whose recommendations were accepted by the Government in 2011 was chaired by Prof. Suresh D. Tendulkar.
  • Based on the data of Large Sample Survey on Household Consumer Expenditure collected by NSSO in its 68th round conducted in 2011-12 the poverty lines and poverty ratio were estimated following the extant Tendulkar Committee methodology in 2011-12 and released through a Press Note issued on 22nd July 2013. The Press Note defined the poverty line using the criterion of Monthly Per Capita Consumption Expenditure (MPCE).
  • For the year 2011-12, the poverty line at all India level was estimated as MPCE of Rs. 816 for rural areas and Rs. 1000 for urban areas.

BPL Census

  • Ministry of Rural Development also conducts Below Poverty Line (BPL) Census to identify the poor households in the rural areas, to determine the potential beneficiaries under various programmes of the Government of India.
  • The first BPL Census was conducted in 1992 for the Eighth Five Year Plan. Subsequently, BPL census was conducted in 1997, for the Ninth Five Year Plan and in 2002 for the Tenth Five Year Plan period.

SECC 2011

  • In 2011, in place of BPL Survey, a Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 (SECC 2011) was conducted in association with the States/UTs under technical and financial support from the Government of India where besides the Ministry of Rural Development, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner and the States/UTs had also participated.
  • The findings of SECC-2011 in rural areas are available on
  • Ranking of Households in rural areas under SECC-2011 was made through a three-step process involving 13 (Thirteen) Automatic Exclusion parameters for identifying not-poor households, 5 (five) Automatic Inclusion parameters for identifying poorest of the poor households and 7 (seven) Deprivation Criteria for identifying poor households.
  • Out of 17.97 crore households in rural areas covered under SECC (2011), 48.53% reported incidence of deprivation, 7.07 crore were categorized under automatic exclusion criterion of households as not poor on the basis of 13 parameters, 0.16 crore households categorized under automatic inclusion criterion as poorest of the poor on the basis of 5 parameters and grading of deprivation of 8.72 crore of rural households on the basis of seven criteria.

Evaluation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes

  • NITI Aayog had undertaken evaluation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes for their continuance in the Fifteenth Finance Cycle. Respective Ministries/Departments undertake evaluation of the Central Sector (CS) schemes.

Findings on Inequality

  • The level of inequality measured in terms of Coefficient of Variation (CV) of states wise Net state Domestic Product (NSDP) at current prices (a proxy for Per Capita income) indicates that when compared to 2011-12 the inequalities have come down.
  • The CVs for the years 2016-17 to 2018-19 for which data on NSDP per Capita is available for most of the states/UTs (except Andaman & Nicobar Islands which is repeated for 2018-19), are in the range 56.2 to 56.8.
  • During 2018-19, taking Rs. 1,21,353 as the average, 17 States had per capita Net State Domestic Product below this average.

Govt. Plans & Programmes for Development

The Government is implementing a number of targeted programmes for overall balanced development in the country such as:

  • Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (PMAY)
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
  • Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM)
  • Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM)
  • National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY)
  • Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM)
  • Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY)
  • Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana
  • Atal Pension Yojana
  • Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana
  • Stand Up India Scheme, etc.

Aspirational Districts Programme

  • NITI Aayog has initiated the Aspirational Districts Programme to expeditiously improve the socio economic status of 112 relatively underdeveloped districts across 26 States and 1 Union Territory. These districts were identified on the basis of certain social and economic development criteria.
  • The Programme aims at rapid transformation of these backward districts across sectors which are critical for improving quality of life or economic productivity of citizens. These sectors are Health and Nutrition, School Education, Agriculture and Water Resources, Financial Inclusion and Skill Development and Basic Infrastructure.
  • 49 key performance indicators have been selected across these sectors and a district’s performance is monitored on the basis of progress made on these indicators.
  • The broad strategy of the Aspirational Districts Programme rests on the 3 Cs – Convergence (between Central and State Schemes), Collaboration (between Centre, State, District Administration, Development Partners and Citizens) and Competition (between Districts).
  • Every month, districts are ranked on basis of progress made and this instills them with a sense of competition which results in rapid improvement.
  • As the main strategy of the programme is based on convergence of existing schemes which have their own funding arrangement, large infusion of additional fund is not envisaged. However, in order to foster competitive spirit, and for addressing the critical gaps, additional allocation on challenge route is also envisaged.

National Rural Economic Transformation Project

  • In order to initiate higher order economic interventions, the M/o Rural Development launched World Bank assisted National Rural Economic Transformation Project in 2019.
  • The project is being implemented in select areas of 13 high poverty States viz. Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
  • NRETP aims to promote Model Cluster Level Federations, financial inclusion, farm Producer Groups (PGs) and large scale farmer Producer Enterprises (PEs), non-farm enterprises and rural clusters.

Agricultural Census

Question by: Gajanan Chandrakant Kirtikar, Arvind Ganpat Sawant, Dhanush M Kumar, C.N. Annadurai, Gautham Sigamani Pon

  1. the rules for conducting an agriculture census in the country along with the time when an agriculture census was conducted;
  2. whether the Government has recently conducted any census to ascertain the number and condition of farmers/cultivators in the country;
  3. the challenges faced by the Government while conducting such a census;
  4. whether according to the latest Agriculture Census about 45.70 per cent of the Net Area Sown is irrigated and if so, the steps taken by the Government to overcome this problem?

Answer by: Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (Shri Narendra Singh Tomar)

Agriculture Census in India is conducted at an interval of five years to collect information on structure of operational holdings in the country and monitor changes that take place over time. So far, ten Agriculture Censuses have been completed and Agriculture Census 2015-16 is the latest in the series.

  • As per the results of latest Agriculture Census 2015-16, the total number of operational holdings has increased from 138.35 million in 2010-11 to 146.45 million in 2015-16 i.e. an increase of 5.86 per cent.
  • Some of the challenges faced in the conduct of Agriculture Census include manual data collection, delay in updation of land records etc.
  • As per Agriculture Census 2015-16, net irrigated area as percentage of net area sown has gone up from 45.70 in 2010-11 to 48.73 in 2015-16.
  • Government of India launched the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) on 1st July, 2015 with the motto of “Har Khet KoPaani” for providing end-to-end solutions in irrigation supply chain viz. water sources, distribution network and farm level applications.
  • The components of PMKSY are; Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), PMKSY – Har Khet Ko Paani, PMKSY - Per Drop More Crop (PMKSY – PDMC) and PMKSY (Watershed).
  • The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) is implementing the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of PMKSY-PDMC from 2015-16 in all the States of the country which focuses on enhancing water use efficiency at farm level through Micro Irrigation viz., Drip and Sprinkler irrigation systems.
  • Besides promoting Micro Irrigation, this component also supports micro level water storage or water conservation/management activities to supplement source creation for Micro Irrigation.

Schemes For Minorities

Question by: Ajay Nishad, Raja Amareshwara Naik, Sukanta Majumdar, Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo, and Bhola Singh

  1. the new welfare schemes being implemented for the minorities in the country along with the names of schemes initiated exclusively in the last two years;
  2. the funds allocated/released/ utilised under the various schemes during the last two years and the current year, State-wise and schemes-wise;
  3. the target set and achieved under the said schemes during the said period, State-wise and scheme-wise;
  4. whether the funds allocated under these schemes have not been fully utilised by the State Governments during the above said period and if so, the details thereof and Government’s reaction thereto; and
  5. whether there are some slippages in achieving the targets and percolating the benefits down to the beneficiaries and if so, the details thereof along with the manner in which the Government is planning to plug these loopholes for effective implementation of these schemes?

Answer by: Minister of Minority Affairs (Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi)

Ministry is implementing the following schemes / programmes in the country, for the welfare & development of the six (6) centrally notified minority communities namely, Buddhists, Christians, Jains, Muslims, Sikhs and Parsis. These schemes / programmes in brief are as under:-

  1. Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme: for upto class X.
  2. Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme: for class XI to Ph.D.
  3. Merit-cum-Means based Scholarship: Scheme for Professional and Technical Courses.
  4. Maulana Azad National Fellowship: Fellowship for pursuing higher studies such as M. Phil and Ph. D as per UGC norms.
  5. Naya Savera: Free Coaching & Allied Scheme – The Scheme aims to provide free coaching to students/candidates belonging to minority communities for qualifying in entrance examinations of technical/ professional courses and Competitive examinations for recruitment to Group ‘A’ , ‘B’ and ‘C’ level.
  6. “Padho Pardes”: Scheme of Interest Subsidy on Educational Loans for Overseas Studies.
  7. Nai Udaan: Support to minority candidates clearing Prelims conducted by UPSC/SSC, State Public Service Commission (PSC) - The objective of the Scheme is to provide financial support to the minority community candidates clearing prelims conducted by Union Public Service Commission, Staff Selection Commission and State Public Service Commissions for preparation of their mains exams.
    • Support for candidates clearing Prelims conducted by UPSC, SSC, State Public Service Commission (PSC) etc.
  8. Jiyo Parsi: The scheme aims to contain the population decline of Parsis in India. A unique scheme that aims to contain population decline of Parsis in India.
  9. Nai Roshni: An exclusive scheme for Leadership Development of Women to instill confidence in them by providing knowledge, tools and techniques for interacting with Government systems, banks and intermediaries at all levels.
  10. Seekho Aur Kamao: A Placement linked skill development program.
  11. Nai Manzil: A scheme for formal school education & skilling of school dropouts.
  12. USTTAD: Scheme for upgrading Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts, organising of Hunar Haats for marketing of such arts and crafts.
  13. Hamari Dharohar: A scheme to preserve rich heritage of Indian Minority Communities under the overall concept of Indian Culture.
  14. Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF) implements educational and employment oriented schemes. Garib Nawaz Employment Scheme initiated in 2017-18
  15. National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) provides concessional loans to minorities for self- Employment and income generating ventures.
  16. Quami Waqf Board Taraqqaiti Scheme initiated in 2015. Under this scheme, IIT, Kanpur, Roorkee, Mumbai and National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) Hyderabad have been selected for conducting GIS Mapping of Waqf Properties. IIT Roorkee has already started GIS Mapping of Waqf Properties in Haryana. National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad has started Pilot on GIS mapping of Waqf properties in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. GIS Mapping of Waqf Properties enables Waqf Board to detect encroachment and Waqf Board may initiate action for eviction of encroachment as well as development of prime Waqf Properties to enhance their income.
  17. Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakaram (PMJVK).
    • nded target groups and loopholes if any are identified and remedies made available from time to time.

Drug Addiction Among Youth

Question by: Pankaj Chowdhary

  1. whether the Government is aware of the survey conducted by AIIMS regarding increasing tendency of drug addiction among the youth in the country;
  2. if so, the details thereof and the reaction of the Government thereto;
  3. the details and number of drug addicts in the country, State-wise;
  4. whether the Government proposes to launch any effective programme to check drug addiction among the youth in the country; and
  5. (e) if so, the details thereof?

Answer by: Shri Rattan Lal Kataria (Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment)

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has conducted the first National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India through the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi during 2018.

The report of the survey was released in February, 2019. The report of the Survey presents the major findings in terms of proportion of Indian population using various substances and those affected by substance use disorders.

Based on the report of the National survey, Ministry has formulated the scheme of National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction. Under the said scheme, financial assistance is provided to

  1. ''State Governments/ Union Territory (UT) Administrations for Preventive Education and Awareness Generation, Capacity Building, Skill development, vocational training and livelihood support of ex-drug addicts, Programmes for Drug Demand Reduction by States/UTs etc. and
  2. ''NGOs/VOs for running and maintenance of Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts (lRCAs), Community based peer Led lntervention (CPLI) for early Drug Use Prevention among Adolescents and Outreach and Drop In Centres (ODIC) and Addiction treatment facilities (ATFs) in Government Hospitals''.
  • The Ministry has launched Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan (NMBA) in 272 identified vulnerable districts with an aim to create awareness about ill effects of substance abuse among the youth, with special focus on higher education institutes, university campuses and schools and reaching out into the community and concerned States/ UTs have been directed to launch their NMBA.
  • The Ministry has developed Navchetna Modules to be followed in the schools for generating awareness among the children, teachers and parents about ill effect of substance abuse under the scheme of NAPDDR.
  • Under Community Based Peer-Led Intervention (CPLI), focus has been placed on vulnerable and at risk children and adolescents in the community. Under the project, children aged between 10 to 18 years, are enrolled as peer educators who would in turn engage children in the community in awareness generation and life skills activities.
  • The Outreach and Drop In Centres (ODICs) provide safe and secure drop-in space for substance users in the community. These centres have the provision of screening, assessment and counseling and thereafter provide referral and linkage to treatment and rehabilitation services for substance dependents.
  • The Ministry is taking all measures and actions needed to strengthen the mechanism for demand reduction and control of use of substances. Under Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan, several awareness generation and sensitization programs are being conducted in the identified 272 districts of the country.

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