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The Principal Economic Advisor, Sanjeev Sanyal Addressed a Press Conference on Economic Survey 2021-22, in New Delhi on January 31, 2022. The Chief Economic Advisor, V. Anantha Nageswaran, the Principal Director General (M&C), Press Information Bureau, Jaideep Bhatnagar, and other officials are also seen (Photo Credit: PIB).

India: The Economic Survey 2021-22 was presented in the Parliament on 31st January 2022 by the Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman.

The Principal Economic Advisor, Sanjeev Sanyal addressed a press conference and explained the key points.

Highlights:

SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE
  • Basic facilities in schools improved in 2019-20 over earlier years. Toilets (girls or boys), drinking water, and hand-washing facilities are now available in most of Government schools (10.32 lakh).
  • Priority to drinking water and sanitation in schools under Jal Jeevan Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission as well as under Samagra Shiksha Scheme have been instrumental in providing required resources and creating these assets in schools.
  • As on 19.01.2022, under Jal Jeevan Mission 8,39,443 schools were provided tap water supply.

DRINKING WATER AND SANITATION

Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM)

  • Rolled out in August 2019, JJM envisioned providing adequate safe drinking water through individual household tap connections to all households in rural India by 2024.
  • The goal of the Mission is to enable every rural household to get an assured supply of potable-piped water at a service level of 55 liter per capita per day (LPCD) regularly on a long-term basis and also to ensure the functionality of the tap water connections.
  • The mission will benefit more than 19 crore rural families or more than 90 crore rural population, bridge rural – urban divide, improve quality of life, enhance ‘ease of living’ and public health.
  • The priority is for quality affected areas, villages in drought-prone and desert areas, Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) villages, to provide functional tap connections to Schools, Anganwadi centers, GP buildings, Health centers, wellness centers and community buildings. The total outlay for the mission is Rs 3.60 lakh crores.
  • In 2019, out of about 18.93 crore families in rural areas, about 3.23 crore (17 percent) rural families had tap water connections in their homes.
  • As on 2nd January 2022, 5,51,93,885 households have been provided with tap water supply since the start of the mission. Six states/UTs have achieved the coveted status of 100 percent households with tap water supply, namely Goa, Telangana, A&N Islands, Puducherry, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu and Haryana.
  • Equivalently, 83 districts, 1016 blocks, 62,749 panchayats and 1,28,893 villages have achieved the 100 percent households with tap water supply status.
INDUSTRY AND INFRASTRUCTURE
  • Manufacturing, with an average share of 16.3 percent in nominal GVA over the last decade, has a dominant presence within the industrial sector.
  • In 2020-21, the share of manufacturing fell to 14.4 percent but is expected to improve to15.3 percent in 2021-22.
  • In 2020-21, electricity, gas, “water supply” and other utility services was the only sub sector that had experienced a positive growth of 1.9 percent.
  • In 2021-22, the manufacturing sector is expected to grow by 12.5 percent, and electricity, gas and water supply by 8.5 percent.

National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP)

  • Public Private Partnership in infrastructure has been an important source of investment in the sector.
  • As per the database of the World Bank on private participation in infrastructure, India is ranked second among developing countries both by the number of PPP Projects as well as the associated investments.
  • The government launched the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme for providing financial assistance to financially unviable but socially/ economically desirable PPP projects. Up to 20 percent of the project cost is funded under this scheme as a grant.
  • The Government of India has in November 2020 approved continuation of and revamping of the Scheme for Financial Support to Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Infrastructure Viability Gap Funding (VGF) Scheme till 2024-25.
  • This revamped VFG scheme is expected to attract more PPP projects and facilitate private investment in social sectors such as health, education, waste water, solid waste management, water supply etc.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Goal-Wise Performance of India: NITI Aayog SDG India Index Report and Dashboard 2020-21

  • India’s overall score on the NITI Aayog SDG India Index & Dashboard improved to 66 in 2020-21 from 60 in 2019-20 and 57 in 2018-19, showing progress in India’s journey towards achieving the SDGs.
  • Despite 2020-21 being a pandemic year, India performed well on eight of the 15 SDGs measured by the NITI Aayog SDG India Index. This included – Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation).

Groundwater Resource Management

  • Groundwater is a crucial resource for India’s agriculture, industry and drinking water security. However, unsustainable extraction, i.e. extraction in excess of, or close to, annual recharge, can severely compromise groundwater resources.
  • Groundwater Resources Assessment of states/UTs is carried out jointly by state groundwater/ nodal departments and Central Ground Water Board at periodic intervals, and the Dynamic Ground Water Resources of India is published by compiling the state/UT wise groundwater resources assessed.
  • Such groundwater assessments have been undertaken in 2004, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2017 and 2020.
  • The annual groundwater recharge has remained similar during 2004-2020 (except in 2013). Overall, the annual groundwater extraction has been in the range of 58-63 percent during this period.
  • The extent of groundwater extraction varies across the country. During this period, units categorized as “safe”, have declined from 2009 (73 percent) to 2020 (64 percent). “Semi-critical” units have increased from 9 percent in 2009 to 15 percent in 2020. The share of “Critical” units has remained in the range of 3-5 percent during 2004-2020. The share of “Over-exploited” units, accounted for 14-17 percent of total assessment units during 2004-20. In addition, approximately one percent of assessment units have been categorized as “saline”.
  • Over-exploitation of groundwater resources, i.e. extraction exceeding the annually replenishable groundwater recharge is concentrated in north-west and parts of southern India.

The Rivers

  • India has several perennial and seasonal rivers. The Ganga River Basin is the largest river basin in India, covering more than a quarter of country’s land area, hosting about 43 percent of its population and contributing 28 percent of India’s water resources.
  • In recognition of River Ganga’s significant economic, environmental, cultural and religious value, the Government of India declared River Ganga as the National River in 2008.
  • Further, the Government of India launched the Namami Gange Mission in 2014 as an integrated and multi-sectoral mission for conservation of Ganga and its tributaries.

Namami Gange Mission

  • The Namami Gange Mission aims to protect, conserve and rejuvenate the Ganga River Basin.
  • In 2015, the Cabinet approved the Mission for a period of five years (2015-2020) with a budget outlay of Rs. 20,000 crores.
  • Subsequently, on 7th October 2016, under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986), the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was notified as an authority under Environment Protection Act, which is also the nodal agency responsible for monitoring and implementing the Namami Gange Mission.
  • The activities undertaken as part of the Mission rest upon four pillars –Nirmal Ganga (Unpolluted Flow), Aviral Flow (Continuous Flow), Jan Ganga (People-River Connect) and Gyan Ganga (Research and Knowledge Management).
  • As of December 2021, a total of 363 projects worth Rs. 30,841.53 crores have been sanctioned under the mission.
  • The Clean Ganga Fund (CGF) was established in 2014 with the objective of contributing to the national effort of improving the cleanliness of river Ganga with the contributions received from the residents of the country, NRIs/ PIO, corporates and organizations.
  • As of 31st December 2021, a total of Rs. 561.58 crore has been received under the CGF.
  • Under the Nirmal Ganga (Unpolluted Flow) component of the mission, 160 sewerage projects have been sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 24,568 crores as of December 31, 2021 to create a cumulative treatment capacity of 5,024 MLD, reflecting a ten-fold increase from 463 MLD through 28 projects in 2014.
  • If we look at the state-wise distribution of the sewerage infrastructure projects created under the Namami Gange Mission since its inception, we see highest number of projects undertaken in Uttar Pradesh (43), followed by Bihar (29) and Uttarakhand (26).
  • Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs) along River Ganga have been inventoried. Since 2015, sector specific charters for implementation of cleaner technology, upgradation of treatment facility and adaptation of waste minimization practices have been implemented in the major industrial sectors like pulp & paper, distilleries, sugar and textile by involving different stakeholders. These actions have resulted in significant reduction in wastewater discharge and pollution load. There is improvement in compliance status of GPIs located in the Ganga main stem and its tributaries from 39 percent in 2017 to 81 percent in 2020 due to regular monitoring of these industries through annual inspections by independent technical institutes.
  • There is consequent reduction in effluent discharge from 349.13 MLD in 2017 to 280.20 MLD in 2020.
  • A notification mandating the minimum flow of river Ganga was released in 2016, recognizing the right of the river over its own water. Other steps in this direction include afforestation of 29,000 Ha; first of its kind river bio-diversity assessment for the main stem Ganga river covering over 2,200 km; identification of 279 wetlands for conservation; and preparation of integrated management plan for 118 wetlands.
  • The Jan Ganga (People-River Connect) component acknowledges the critical importance of strengthening the people-river connection in achieving the mission objectives. Ganga Quest 2021 got an enthusiastic response of over 1 million participants from 113 countries. Ganga Utsav 2021 was celebrated for the first time as a river festival extending beyond Ganga basin cities. The River City Alliance was launched in November 2021, as a platform for river cities in India to ideate, discuss, and exchange information for the sustainable management of urban rivers.
  • Finally, under the Gyan Ganga (Research and Knowledge Management) component, the Ganga Knowledge Centre was set up to create a state-of-the-art center to support the NMCG and create a comprehensive knowledge base on Ganga. In addition, the Centre for Ganga Management & Study was set up at IIT Kanpur for long-term basin studies and technology development.

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