Qualitative Study on 36 Anganwadi Centres of LakhimpurKheri District, Uttar Pradesh

 Can be also read at 

Brinks of economic thoughts.

 

Qualitative Study on 36 Anganwadi Centres of Lakhimpur Kheri District, Uttar Pradesh

 

Year 2016 – 2017

A study by

Vikas Singh

District Nutrition Specialist

LakhimpurKheri Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (IHAT)

Key Words

Anganwadi Centre, AWC, Anganwadi Worker, AWW, Take Home Ration, THR, Nutrition,HosalaPoshanYojana, Pregnant women, Children, Hot Cooked Meal

Abstract

This paper is an attempt to discuss some ground realities of Aganwadi Centres situated in the largest district of Uttar Pradesh that is LakhimpurKheri. It talks about the overall condition of AWCs, be it infrastructure or services that are generally provided at centre. The Dataused in this paper was gathered from 36AWC’s of 4 rural blocks of the district on the basis of random sampling.

The overall infrastructure in general is found impaired and services were not running properly due to several financial and social reasons. Thus the paper will deeply investigate on sampled AWCs.

Introduction

ICDS is the world’s largest scheme started back in 1975 to deliver 6 basic yet vital services. The schemes can be identifiedas an updated version of Balbadi Scheme which was started by Government of India under its Social and Welfare Department in 1970. Although the scheme has been quite successful in years as improvement in birth weight, reduction in MMR, IMR and improvement in nutrition status of children have been recorded through many surveys and research papers. However in some statesthe scheme has not shown satisfactory results. And one such state is Uttar Pradesh. In many instances the State Government has been supported by many NGOs and independent organizations to scale up the performance of this ambitious program. Nevertheless the situation remained same or there have been some insignificant improvement in service delivery and implementation part.

India’s Child Nutrition status still remains very disappointing while some other Third World countries are doing way better than us. According to Nation Family Health Survey – 3 about 48% children under the age of 5 were found stunted. And about 44% children in India are malnourished. If the situation remains same as discussed in paper then the future of District’s (Uttar Pradesh’s in particular) Nutrition status doesn’t seem pleasing.

The study is a thorough exploration of current AWCs functioning and ICDS service implementation in selected Centres. The study is an attempt to discover if AWC possesses instruments and articles which it should have like weighing machine, growth chart etc. It also attempts to examine if the status of HosalaPoshanYojana.

Methodology

This was a purely qualitative study in which 36 different Aangawadi centres were chosen on the basis of random sampling. The selected centres belonged to 4 rural blocks of the district. Named Phulbehad, Isangar, Nighasan and Fardan.

This study followed a structured interview pattern in which aquestionnaire of 35 questions was carried by the interviewer at the time of AWC visit. The questionnaire was divided into four subdivisions of which each one dealt with a certain theme or service. All the questions in questionnaire were close ended in nature.

Interviewer spent a quality time at centre and observed the centre’s activities and its surroundings.

Findings

As I went to centres without prior information. I found many AWCs closed or not opened on scheduled time. Many of the AWWs were living in district headquarter which in some cases is 50 to 60 Km. far from the allotted centres. Astonishingly I found one AWC which was never opened since its inception. I went further and asked Sahayika about this then she shared that AWW never opens centre. Although she has been warned and instructed by her lady supervisor and CDPO many times but she refuse to follow their instructions. Nevertheless most of the centres were open.

I also found that AWWs lack basic knowledge of counselling and most of them are not clear on as to what kind of counselling should be given to a particular group of beneficiaries.

Many AWCs either don’t have weighing machine or the available machine is not functional.

Further I will explain every topic in detail

Infrastructure –

The overall infrastructure of AWCs is disappointing as many of the centres don’t possess their own building and are running in Primary School’s building. The centres those are running in Primary Schools are also not in a good condition because usually the administration of Primary School will give the most impaired room for AWCs. These rooms usually have cracks on floors and walls. These rooms are ideal place for reptiles like lizard and snakes to reside. 4 such centres were found during this study where children were afraid of sitting in the room because many times snakes and scorpions had been spotted in the room. The Children were forced to sit in open that too in scorching hot climate. These rooms don’t have toilets facility therefore children are left with no choice then defecating in open. Primary School also don’t have function toilets and in case if they have then they would not allow AWC’s children to use their toilets.

Situation turn worse when some AWCs don’t have any sort of infrastructure. 8 out of 36 AWWs are running their centres in open. Running a centre in open is always a challenge for AWW because a centre running in open will not have space to store THR (Take home ration) and other articles. AWW would have to carry many register (11 MIS registers and some more) from her house therefore many of the times she don’t bring registers with her. She also cannot always keep weighing machine with her ect. In raining season it is almost next to impossible for an AWW to run centre because of wet floor and no roof over their head. However some AWW’s are so dedicated to their work that they would walk 2 miles every day to open their centre.Even though some of them don’t have any sort of infrastructure.

It was also observed that centres that have their own AWC’s building are also not in good conditions. Most of the AWC’s buildings have started weakening. Toilets of these centres are not functional and even in some case if they are functional then they are not being used by children as they are not allowed to use them. The reason AWWs site is that children will make the toilet dirty. Centres are unhygienic and not kept clean. Even though AWWs have centre building but most of the AWWs don’t keep registers, THR and other articles at centre. They shared thatin many occasions local people had broken the lock and stole away THR and utensils that’s why they usually don’t keep things at centre.

Most of the AWC’s don’t have carpets, stools or chairs which can be used as an object to sit on. Children are forced to sit on bare floors. In winter floors would turn very cold which become a reason for children catching cold and fever. In rainy season the walls and roof would leak thus the whole room gets wet from inside. In this case also it is not safe for children to sit in such a room. For these reasons many parents are reluctant to send their children to centre.

Pre – School Education –

The concept of AWC also includes pre-school education which can be termed as early childhood care and education. The importance of early childhood education was recognized by GOI back in 1975 thus it had included Pre-School Education as one of the six ICDS services. But disappointingly the centres I visited cannot be called a place of pre-school education. Most of the centres don’t have black boards. And if black board is there then AWWs don’t use it as they won’t have chokes. Children are never given toys to play with. Although almost every AWW has PehalPustika a book which includes day wise pre-school activity, such as poems, stories and games etc. However very few AWWs have ever used it. The walls of the centre are usually empty and are not decorated with IEC material as per ICDS guidelines. AWC’s room don’t seem welcoming or warm. It is imaginable that children would learn anything in such centres.

Although 6 centres out of 36 were somehow doing some activities of pre-school education. In these centres I found AWWs were teaching poems and stories to children. Children also knew many poems and stories. They were able to differentiate between different birds and animals. In these centres AWWs were also very active and enjoyed teaching and engaging with children.

It was also found in the survey area of some AWWs that some families work as migrant labourers so in a particular season the family would migrate to some other places in the search of the means of their livelihood. So the children of such family are usually deprived of Pre-school education.

As I discussed above that in some cases parents of the children are also reluctant to send their children to centres because centre are dangerously weakened and having cracks in it which in future can have disasters results. Although these centre are in such a poor condition yet they are not marked dangerous.

Record Registers –

Although AWWs are given 11 MIS registers from department but they don’t know how to use them as AWWs are not trained on MIS registers. Basically AWWs will use few register out of these 11. Most the AWWs maintain their own registers as they are easy for them to fill.

Most of the AWWs have not received new registers and their old ones are filled therefore they are maintaining their own registers. Generally AWWs would fill 6 to 7 register which includes THR register, survey register, delivery register, Pre-school education register also known as attendance register and beneficiary registration register etc. Very few AWWs are maintaining daily dairy. AWWs also don’t know how to use Growth Chart Register hence they are not able to monitor the growth of the children.

Most of the AWWs don’t keep all the registers at the centre as they say that they are afraid that these registers can be stolen. Some centre don’t have proper space to keep the registers as some centre have leakage problem and some don’t have rack or Almirah.

Data Manipulation

  • It was found during visit that AWWs are manipulating data and real data is not been given to department. AWWs would manipulate THR records. They write that almost all the beneficiaries are taking THR which purely is a false data.
  • AWWs are not giving actual number of Mal-nourished or under-weight children. All the AWWs are instructed by their officials that they should mark more number of children as Mal-nourished. Siting one example from one of the visits where one AWW said that in actual only 5 children are Malnourished in survey areas but her supervisor instructed her that she should mark 14 children as malnourished in her survey areas. Thus she recorded 14 children as malnourished while in actually only 5 children suffered malnourishment. This manipulation of data happened with almost every AWW. So trusting government data is also a matter serious debate.
  • Usually few children would come to centre but AWWs will record more attendance on attendance register.

Hot cooked meal and THR –

Though hot cooked meal and THR is an integral part of ICDS services. However despondently no centre was serving hot cooked meal to children except a centre where AWW with her own money was feeding children with meal. This is not a fault from AWWs part but department has not given funds for hot cooked meal since many months.

Sometimes I would also happen that AWWs won’t receive THR from block. In such times most of the children would not come to centre because there is nothing to attract them to centre.

Centre which had THR packets they would distribute it to children at the closing time of the centre (As per ICDS norm it should be distributed as a morning snack) because they found this to be the only way to retain children at centre for a longer duration

HoslaPoshanYojan –

HoslaPoshanYojan is a highly ambitious program of Uttar Pradesh Government which came into existence last year in 2016. The program was intended to fight malnutrition among pregnant women and children. But as far as the observations of this study suggests it is not hard to postulate that the program will not show expected results as the implementation of program is not proper.

Many centres have not received funds for HPY. And the ones those have the funds are having other issues which is hindering the smooth execution of the program. In many centres AWWs from ST or OBC communities are appointed therefore people from General caste would not go to take HPY services in which pregnant women and children are supposed to receive a hot meal at the centre with some amount of Ghee. So caste plays a major role in villages which abstain pregnant women and children from consuming HPY meal. In some centre village’s headman or Pradhan will not release funds which is becoming an impediment in the execution of program. At one centre I found that village Pradhan’s son will come to centre every day and note down the attendance of pregnant women and children present for HPY.AWW shared that earlier when the program was just started he (village Pradhan) released some funds but after that Pradhan never gave even a single rupees to AWW for HPY. Therefore she was not able to cook hot cooked meal. The issue of Pradhan was prevalent in many other centres.

AWWs also suggested that because HYP doesn’t cover whole section of beneficiaries so the left out beneficiaries would create disturbance and blame her for stealing their food. Sometimes they would even fight with AWW that if a certain person is receiving the service then why they are kept out of it.

Conclusion

In conclusion I would like to postulate that the infrastructure of AWCs is pathetically poor and becomes one of the major reasons of improper delivery of ICDS services. Because of lack of good and proper infrastructure children are not coming to centre, things are not kept in centre, children are not receiving Pre-schools education, children are not weighed on regular basis and their growth is not monitored.

These AWCs cannot be called a place where children would learn about health and hygiene rather they are so badly maintain that children would get infection while sitting in the centre. Hygiene is not given importance while distributing snacks to children. Many children would eat snacks on dirty plastic bag which they would get from outside which is enough to make them sick.

Without Hot cooked meal it is impossible to fight hunger and malnutrition because for most of the children it would have been the only decent meal they would have eaten in a day if the hot cooked meal had been distributed. It seems outlandish to imagine improvement in the nutritional level of the children without hot cooked meal. If the department fails to maintain the supply of hot cook meal then the project will not have good results.

Data manipulation is also a major issue which will affect project in long run because when government will not get actual data then strategies which will be planned in future will not be practical on ground or in community.

If the situation remains same as discussed above then ICDS Uttar Pradesh will not be able to perform well at the national level and will not achieve desired results

Recommendations

Although ICDSis a significant project which has really shown some impressive results at national level as it became instrumental in fighting malnutrition. However in the context of Uttar Pradesh the same picture says opposite story. UP still lacks behind in almost every indicator.

As far as this study is concerned I would like make some suggestions which may play a significant role in developing new strategies.

In this course of my study I fund found that some of the Anganwadi workers are rendering their services sincerely. Some of them were walking 2 to 3 miles every day just to open the centre even though one of them didn’t even have a centre building yet everyday she was opening her centre in open. And surprisingly she had a considerable number of children attending centre. If these sincere works are given proper infrastructure, quality training on MIS registers, pre-school education and counselling then they would be able to give quality services to their beneficiaries.

A proper infrastructure itself can increase service delivery and indicators by 30% to 40%. Why I say 30 to 40 percent because almost every service is somehow or the other is directly or indirectly linked with infrastructure. A good infrastructure will accommodate every article which should be there at centre, it will attract children to the centre.

Government should also focus on developing some ideal AWCs where it should have all the facilities including a kitchen garden (as many AWCs in Karnataka have).

Funding and delivery of hot cooked meals should be ensured throughout the year so that children can meet their daily nutrition needs. Along with hot cooked meal government should also distribute some dry fruits, nuts and other edibles to children as (Uttarakhand government does). This will definitely increase the attendance of the children and will help in reducing malnutrition among children. If the department is somehow not able to ensure daily quality hot cooked meal then there can be one simple solution to it. Most of the AWCs are running in Primary Schools or nearby Primary school. Department can come with an idea that the same food which is being cooked for primary school children as mid-day meal can also be served to AWC’s children (Though it won’t have all the nutritious ingredients which that would have otherwise get if the hot cook meal was served at the centre as per ICDS norms yet at least the mid-day meal will meet some of their nutritious needs). Or government can take help from some Independent organizations like AkshayPatrawhich delivers quality food to the children in primary schools in many parts of the country and also in Uttar Pradesh.

HosalaPoshalYojana is a worthy initiative but linkage of Pradhan in the project is hindering its proper implementations, caste and class also plays a major role in rural set up. Therefore government should directly transfer the funds in the account of beneficiaries. Though the question may arise that what if beneficiaries are not using it for the purpose it was meant to be used (Yes it may be the case) but as far as I believe through my field experience it is the only option which can ensure better service delivery. Otherwise the whole concept of Pradhan in the project should be removed.

Last but not the least government should also conduct quarterly or biannually audit of the program so that prevalent wrong practices can be recognized and issues can be resolved. Lady Supervisors and CDPOs should be more supportive to AWWs for better service delivery than keeping themselves busy in ill practices. If these wrong practices are stopped then there will be a huge improvement inthe service delivery and nutrition indicators.

References

  • National Family and Health Survey – 4
  • National Family and Health Survey – 3
  • RajyaPoshan Mission
  • Uttar Pradesh ICDS
  • Unicef India
  • https://icdsupweb.org/hindi/

Email Id – vikas.singh7hk@gmail.com

RBI Monetary Policy stance of October,2017.

Can be also read at out blog.

RBI Monetary Policy stance of October,2017.

 

 

RBI Monetary Policy Committee decided to keep the key rates constant keeping in mind the the rising inflation rate which may settle within 4.0-4.5 % for the rest of fiscal 2018.This neutral stance has been consistent with the policy objective to keep CPI within 4% in a band of  -/+2, and also ensuring that growth momentum is also supported. During the August meet of MPC repo rate had been cut by 25 basis points to 6 % due to fall in inflation. However there had been genuine concerns raised due to loan waivers given to farmers of 88,000 cr which were expected to raise the inflation rate permanently by .2 %

 

RBI’s assessment

 

Since the last meet conducted in August 2017, Global economic activities have broadened.

Q 2 results in USA have been promising, although in near term the growth may be affected due to recent hurricanes which caused immense destruction of property. A positive opinion can also be made about the Euro zone economic activities too.Chinese; Japanese, Russian, Brazilian economies continued to be on trajectory of global growth thus enhancing global demand.

WTO assessment has also been positive for fiscal 2017 as compared to the 2016 financial year.OPEC crude production has been cut ,resulting in decline in the supplies and growth in demand, resulting in 2 year high price witnessed in the global crude price. Indian capital markets touched year high in September, before showing little decline due to conflicting situations in Korean peninsula. Equity markets have been on rise in most of the advanced economies. Same has been trend witnessed in the emerging markets. Capital inflows have been rising in the emerging market economies, but they also depend upon the stance of US Federal reserve.

Euro currency grew strong while Japanese Yen witnessed volatility. In India real gross value added (GVA) growth slowed significantly in Q1 of 2017-18.South west monsoon arrived at time but its activity slowed during the time from Mid July to August, thus registering a shortfall of 5 % by September end. This also reflected a decline of reservoir filling capacity to 65 % as compared to 75 % a year ago .Index of Industrial productivity figures grew as compared to June where they had contracted. Manufacturing has been weak although. Inflation figures did hit a 5 month high. Liquidity in the system persisted and at the same time currency in circulation also increased at moderate pace. Indian export growth picked up, better from previous declines over last 3 recorded months. Although Indian exports remained less as compared to many major economies. Gold import has declined, but the current account deficit has also increased considerably.Net FDI has been higher compared to previous fiscal. India’s foreign exchange reserves stood at 399 Bn $.Debt investment saw considerable rise, although there was equity outflow due to global uncertainties.

 

RBI’s Outlook and growth concern

 

MPC has assessed that food inflation will be around 4.2-4.6 % for the rest half of the year. Loan waiver given to farmers may put pressure on prices. State’s implementation of salaries similar to centre’s is also bound to put pressure on the inflation figures.Khariff production seems to be falling and so far GST has also seemed to have had adverse affect in manufacturing and thus may have slow investment over period of time.  The projection of real GVA growth for 2017-18 has been revised down to 6.7 per cent from the August 2017 projection of 7.3 per cent, with risks evenly balanced.

The MPC insisted the need to fasten up investment activity which, in turn, would revive the demand for bank credit by industry. Recapitalisation of public sector banks adequately will ensure that credit flows to the productive sectors. Infrastructure bottlenecks need to be checked. Stalled investment projects need to be restarted, particularly in the public sector; enhancement in ease of doing business, along with further simplification of the GST is needed; and ensuring of faster rollout of the affordable housing programs is  must  along with rationalisation of excessively high stamp duties by states.

Next MPC meet will be in December, 2017.

 

Opinion and expectations

 

Indian economic growth had slowed to 5.7 % for the first quarter of fiscal 2018, due to effects of demonetisation and change to GST regime. Many prominent economists believed a need to cut the rate to give a boost to the economy. But a slow growth accompanied with a rise in inflation left less room for RBI to cut rates. The policy has been in stance with RBI mandate to keep inflation in check.

Home loan rates are lowest and are unlikely to go down further. Few prominent investors viewed that inflationary pressures are on upside and considered it as a cautious approach. Some had opinion that downside risk to growth has increased. Dampened activities have shown negative effect in all sectors. If such price pressures continue then government will have to boost its spending that may affect fiscal deficit targets.

 

HARSH VARDHAN PATHAK

 

DOON UNIVERSITY

 

 

 

 

 

Latest IPO trends In Indian Capital Markets-September 2017

Can also be read at our blog,Brinks of economic thoughts.

 

Latest IPO trends In Indian Capital Markets-September 2017

 

 

 

 

Month of September was very much vibrant with many IPOs hitting the Indian stock markets. The month saw IPO issue of Dixon Technology,Bharat Road Network limited, Matrimony.com Limited IPO, Capacit Infraprojects.ICICI Lombard and SBI life IPO among the major players. Along with these Pratap Snacks also went public.

 

Infrastructure entity like Capacit Infraproject was one among the most sought after with subscription demand as high as 82 times .Indian investors in IPO markets show a trend to earn profits on quick basis. It has been seen that majority of subscription is done with an intent to gain the listing profits. We cannot conclude, but it is observed that investment in majority of cases is not done keeping in mind a very long term of 5-7 years in mind.

Various studies in past global IPO markets have indicated that IPOs are underpriced .This phenomenon helps the initial subscribers to gain heavily on the listing days, or during the 3-4 days of commencement of trading in the markets.

The month was also affected by the events transpiring in the North East Asia. Consistent verbal threats amongst North Korean regime and USA, multiplied with events of Europe, Chinese economy and USA economy led to a considerable decline in the markets.

 

Dixon technology and Capacit Infraprojects were one among the issues which were heavily oversubscribed; nearly 120 times and 82 times respectively. While on the day of listing both issues gave premium listings too. Dixon technology being as high as 54 % to Rs 2,725,high from the price band offered of Rs1766 INR per share while during  initial subscription.

Same was with Capacit infraprojects.It also listed at premium as high as 399 INR high by nearly 60 % from initially offered price of 250/- INR per share for  a market lot of 15,000 INR.

There were doubts about the Bharat Road network IPO due to registering losses. It somehow managed to get subscription of 1.8 times and even got some little enlisting gains. But since then it is been a decline in the share price.

Another interesting IPO was the matrimonial .com IPO.It was very heavily priced in the range of 985 Rs.It was oversubscribed 4.41 times .It started from slipping as low as 950 and today it is trading at 810 INR per share.

 

 

2 IPOs were the ICICI Lombard and SBI life IPOs which were to be looked after keeping in mind very long term perspective .These could have been the biggest success.SBI life IPO was the biggest IPO{8500 CRORE} post since Coal India Limited launched in 2010.SBI life had been given subscribe rating by majority of Investment advisors.SBI life had been paying dividends consistently since 2012.These 2 IPOs although gave some initial listing gains. Higher valuations looked a concern and it was expected that these 2 IPOs may not be able to give strong listing gains. But since insurance market has been mostly untapped in Indian markets, it was advised to subscribe the IPO keeping in mind medium to long term gains.

 

Indian investors are driven by the motive of listing gains. We did not see a very heavy demand for both issues.SBI life IPO was oversubscribed 3.6 times while ICICI Lombard has oversubscription of 3 times. Or even one can say that given the demands in last few months seen as high as 80-90 percent in cases of CDSL and Kochin Shipyard. These oversubscription figures then may look small. But still they sailed through with strong demand.

IPO market looked very vibrant for the month of September. In this month of October with Godrej Agrovet and MAS financial services going public. More activities are expected in the IPO market front.

 

 

Harsh Vardhan Pathak

 

 

 

Japanese PM Abe’s visit to India-September 2017

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Japanese PM Shinzo Abe’s India Visit-September 2017

 

 

India and Japan have shared very strong bilateral relations. Historically Japan was influenced by Buddhism which reached on the Japanese mainland from India via China and Korea. People of both nations are guided by principles of democracy, open society and pluralism. Both nations are very important geographic entities and have capabilities to respond to global and regional challenges.Indo Japanese bilateral trade is expected to reach 50 US $ by 2020.

Since 1947,both nation have had warm political relations. Japanese major firms have had manufacturing plants in India. Our bilateral relations at times were affected by the equations of Cold War.USA was suspicious of us and thus it had an impact on our relations with the Japanese too. During WW2 Japan assisted Indian National Army to fight against the Britishers.Due to bombing of Atomic bombs on cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the war ended in East Asia and Japan could no longer support India militarily.

Both nations have had immense cultural ties. Japanese have acknowledged the quality of Indian IT engineers. India and Japan have a memorandum signed which straightway gives a work visa for 3 years and same is being reciprocated by Japanese too. Both nations have also reduced tariff duties as high up to 90 % on each other’s exports. Japanese as a foreign language is taught at many universities in India and Sanskrit is studied in Japanese universities.

We had a very tough time during 1998 when India conducted nuclear tests resulting in severe economic sanctions and suspension of political activities from Japan. They could be re-established 3 years after and then they grew phenomenally.

 

Significance of relations in today’s geopolitical realities.

 

We have come a long way since establishing diplomatic relations since April 1952.Indian Iron Ore helped Japan to recover post WW2 and Japan extended Yen Loans to us. Japan has been India’s largest donor since 1986 and still holds the position. Japan is India 4th largest source of Foreign Direct Investment.

In 2016 Japan and India signed, the “Agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy”, a landmark civil nuclear agreement, under which Japan will supply nuclear reactors, fuel and technology to India. India is not a signatory to the non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and is the only non-signatory to receive an exemption from Japan. Deal was delayed due to Fukushima Nuclear disaster of 2011,March.The two sides also signed agreements on manufacturing skill development in India, cooperation in space, earth sciences, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, transport and urban development.

In 2000 both nations consented to establish “Japan-India Global Partnership in the 21st Century. In April, 2005, Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi visited India and signed Joint Statement “Japan-India Partnership in the New Asian Era: Strategic Orientation of Japan-India Global Partnership.”

Both nations have had strain in relations with China. This is primarily due to the territory-land boundary dispute {India and China} and Island disputes{China-Japan}.Currently India and Japan conduct Joint Navy exercise known as Malabar exercise which also sees engagement of USA and thus enhancing shared maritime Indo-Pacific concerns.

Japanese premier visit also showed inauguration of construction of Bullet Train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai. India and Japan had signed an agreement in December 2015 to build a bullet train line between Mumbai and Ahmedabad using Japan’s Shinkansen technology. The Indian Bullet Train that will be built will cost £12bn and a 0.1% interest rate loan. With the help from Japan, both countries hope this will strengthen their economic ties and suspend China’s influence in Asia.

Both nations ended up signing 15 agreements in fields of language training, disaster risk mitigation knowledge sharing, to promote institutional cooperation and plans to develop North East region of India via mutual cooperation.

The ties between both nations have strengthened over decades. Given the times where we see Korean peninsula in crisis times and doubts about the Chinese territorial ambitions. It is imperative for both nations to have strong and sustainable relations. This is also vital given the fact that peace is essential for the growth.

 

Harsh Vardhan Pathak.

Natural disasters In India-A short study on the administrative reform committee recommendations on Disaster Management

 

 

 

 

Taken from our blog Brink of economic thoughts.

 

Floods and Natural disasters In India-A short study on the administrative reform committee recommendations on Disaster Management

 

 

India in 2017 has been heavily affected by floods. We have been seeing rise in intensity of rainy spells where in a short time a huge amount of downpour of water takes place. Previously it used to be prolonged season where the precipitation was evenly distributed. Due to change exhibited in pattern of rainfall we are seeing instances of incessant flooding. In India Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and North East are highly vulnerable to floods. This year has seen numerous deaths in the states and recent excessive flooding of Mumbai has also brought to attention the serious problem due to water inundation.

India has also matured with passing years and has carved various laws to deal with various crises and protect human lives as well as livestock. At this time due to Hurricane Harvey in Texas,USA many animals have been abandoned. In India we have National Disaster Management Plan for Animals .

 

 

A little about the ARC on crisis management or Disaster mitigation.

 

Over past few decades due to unplanned urbanisation and excessive burst of population, new construction has taken places along the riverbeds. This practise has been homogeneous everywhere. Floods and droughts were not alien to pre historic humans too. But since the population was not staying close to the flowing rivers, during the rainy season even in case if it used to be excessive precipitation, water did not affect normal life and later receded.

Disasters have been part of human civilization, and great civilizations have seen the testimony of this fact. Due to increased globalization and unplanned urbanization we are seeing more such instances in India. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded that worldwide the frequency of natural disasters is on rise.Droughts, cyclones; floods have become more and more frequent and affect not only human life but also the livestock. Impact on overall economy is severe and nations do end up spending a portion of GDP on efforts to normalise affairs post disasters. Thus disaster management has become a very critical issue over last few years.

 

What kind of disasters are mentioned in 2nd Administrative Committee report

 

ARC has mentioned reason such as climatic,eg;cyclones,floods,storms and droughts. Geological factors which trigger disaster are earthquakes, avalanches, tsunamis and landslides. We are also witnessing cases of epidemic which result in loss of public health and lives {cases like Gorakhpur tragedy}.Stampedes due to excessive large gatherings of peoples may also result in disasters. Hostile activities due to terror activities have also been summarised as a cause of disaster.

There is a life cycle of crisis. It is before crisis, during and post crisis time of recovery and rehabilitation .Except the earthquakes most of the disasters can be fairly predicted and since we have had frequent experiences of them in past years, our knowledge and experience of past can be helpful in dealing with them.

There has been a set of traditional knowledge existing, cases like tribals in Andaman islands surviving during Tsunami or old built houses of Uttarkashi which sustained the deadliest earthquake.85% of Indian mainland is vulnerable to disasters, with nearly 60 % it in seismic zone area. States like UP and Bihar has fertile land vulnerable to floods. It is concluded that every single rupee which can be spent on earlier mitigation saves 4-5 rupee later from rehabilitation.

Himalayas are very prone to seismic activities due to being young mountains. Around 14 states in eastern, western and central Himalaya witness seismic activities. Building norms have been codified under Indian standards on earthquakes engineering which have been timely modified to construct earthquake resistant structures.

 

 

8000 km of coastline can face hazards of cyclone . Landslides occur in hills due to excessive rains. Such things can hamper river flows and result in formation of temporary storage of water, which when bursts can cause havoc. It is important to regulate the standard of construction activities. Avalanches can be controlled by control blasting of snow deposits.

Industrial disaster is a manmade disaster. In 1984 Bhopal saw the Methyl iso-cyanide gas leak in Union carbide plant. It claimed more than 20,000 deaths and severely affected lakhs others. Bhopal tragedy resulted in enactment of new act Environment Protection Act, 1986 as earlier existing legislations proved to be inefficient.

We have been so far able to curtail any nuclear disaster, but lessons have been learned from Fukushima disaster of 2011 March. In India Department of Atomic energy is responsible to contain any impact due to radiological activities. There were points of concern even in Civil nuclear deal between India and USA due to lesser amount of sum to be paid in case of radioactive leak. This was a highly contentious issue in Civilian nuclear liability Act.

 

Disaster response mechanism

 

Communities and civil authorities are the first respondent during the disasters.Constituion has no specific mention of disaster management in India by either states or centre. But few states have their disaster management departments .Role of CM, cabinet secretary is important as they are responsible for timely decision making to ensure timely evacuation and rescue measures. Army has played a commendable role in India in post disaster rescue steps. Be in Kedarnath tragedy of 2013, or J and K floods, army always puts in maximum effort to rescue common peoples.

 

Conclusion-Laws In India with regards to disaster control

 

Decade of 1990 was observed as the International Decade of Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) by United Nations. Post 2001 Gujarat earthquake government realised the role of an act as previously only Essential services Maintenance act was there to ensure the continuous delivery of important products during crisis. But these proved to be insufficient. Thus we saw formation of National disaster management authority in 2005.Earlier the disaster were looked after by ministry of agriculture, but later they were moved under Home ministry.

With maturing of our democracy we have formulated more laws to cope up with the impact of such tormenting events. National water policy of 2012 mentions about the initiatives to deal with floods.Similary there are laws to mitigate negative impact of oil spills. {the National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan of 1996 (NOS-DCP)” }This has been updated in March 2006.We now have much better National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan.

Livestock are badly affected during crisis. Department of Animal Husbandry came up with Disaster Management plan for animals Government figures reveal that as many as 1.98 lakh cattle had lost their lives in floods over the past three years during 2013-15.

In India, animals are at the heart of everything, be it family, culture and livelihood, animals are an intrinsic part of our lives. It’s ironical that animals were missing in the picture till now.

DMP brought out standard operating procedures (SOPs) that are to be followed by the disaster management professions across the country for protection of animals during disasters including floods, landslides and earthquake.

National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP), 2016 is the first ever national plan prepared in the country for disaster management. With National Disaster Management Plan 2016 India has aligned our National Plan with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, to which India is a signatory.

 

 

Harsh Vardhan Pathak

 

 

References

 

http://www.bis.org.in/other/quake.htm

 

http://arc.gov.in/3rdreport.pdf

 

 

Orissa Cyclone Phailin

This has been taken from our blog”Brinks of economic thoughts”

Orissa cyclone-”-phalin”

During last week, state of Orissa faced one of severest cyclones in last few years. As it was getting clear that cyclone Phailin is about to strike,,people got reminded of mass scale life loss caused during last such cyclone during last century in 1999,,which was considered one of deadliest such cyclones generated in this region.

 

Surprisingly we did see minimal loss of life .Alertness and preparedness of administrative body is worth praising this time. There were contradictions within US marine and Indian meteorological department about the severity of the cyclone. Although IMD stuck to its stand, which finally proved right.

 

This nation has had lots of natural disasters faced during last decade. None can forget that mass      destruction of lives caused due to excessive rainfall in holy Hindu shrine at Kedarnath this year[2013]. What happened there could have been more but due to 2 slopes ,,one before Kedarnath,,,and another after Kedarnath,,,slowed the speed of debris ,,,which otherwise could have caused high level of loss of human lives till Haridwar.

 

 

In case of Orisaa we saw that authorities were very active in managing the crowd,,,during such large scale natural catastrophe  ,,,,when you have to carry out evacuation of millions of peoples ,,,it is very tough task to ensure that you end up with very less number of loss of lives…

 

It was also seen same when Indian army along with Indian Air force combined together to carry out one of largest evacuation process during Kedarnath tragedy.

 

Orisaa in not very developed state…it is tribal in nature….but the mannerism in which the entire administrative bodies woked,,,and ensured,,,that people are being sent to safer places…that is worth commending.

 

India is a very large nation,,,7th largest in terms of areas in world..Here if any kind of such tragedies are minimised,,,must be praised…

That also leaves better aspecst for preparation for future,,as these natural catastrophes are bound to happen,,floods,,,landslide,,,cloud bursting,,,cyclones,,,these all natural disaster can be dealt in same efficient manner…

 

 

We can sometime feel proud that we can show to the world that we are not to be rated as mere corrupt,,,we are efficient also,,,and that bureaucratic body also is not always involved in red –tapism,,,or corruption,,,,they work also,,,effectively,,,

 

 

thanks…

harsh vardhan pathak

doon university

msc eco integrated,

sse-i-09

 

 

[i am many a times reminded of the tragedies which happened during my childhood,,in orisaa,,,1999,,then gujarat,,earthquake,,,cyclone,,,i feel great and praise the alertness of various administrative bodies which coordinated during this time ,,ensuing mass evacuation,,,thus making life loss very less

These are old blogs which we are shifting to our website.These are of incidences which happened 3-4 years ago,but then latest have been of events happening lately.