Obstacles to PM Matru Vandana Yojana Implementation
At the start of 2017, the Government of India launched the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), which provides a monetary incentive of 5,000 rupees to pregnant women and lactating mothers for the birth of the family’s first live child.
The initiative aims to increase health-seeking behavior and compensate pregnant women for salary loss, especially in unorganized industries.
However, the scheme’s performance has been inadequate, prompting an urgent need for reform, particularly in light of the new coronavirus pandemic’s economic shocks for India’s 260 lakh women who birth an average of one child each year.
PMMVY and Maternal Healthcare in India
India is responsible for one-fifth of all childbirths worldwide, with a maternal mortality rate of 113 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Among the government of India’s initiatives to improve maternal healthcare are the following:
The SUMAN (Secure Motherhood Assurance) Initiative.
PMMVY is a Centrally-Sponsored Scheme administered by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
The beneficiaries include all Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM), save those who are in regular work with the Central/State Governments or Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) or who get comparable benefits under any legislation in place at the time.
Since its inception, the PMMVY has benefited 2.01 crore, women, throughout the country, disbursing a total of Rs. 8,722 crores.
Corresponding State-Specific Schemes:
States such as Odisha, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu implemented State-specific maternity benefit schemes in the form of MAMATA (2011), the KCR Kit (2017), and the Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme (MRMBS), respectively, with significantly increased coverage and maternity benefits.
Odisha’s MAMATA plan provides up to two live births with a conditional cash payment of 5,000 as maternity benefit.
A comparison of the PMMVY and MAMATA for 2020-21 reveals that the PMMVY performed poorly, with a 52 percent decline in the number of beneficiaries covered, whereas MAMATA had a 57 percent rise in women receiving all installments.
The Path Forward
The Government must explore expanding the PMMVY scheme’s maternity benefit to the second live birth.
It is critical to include second live births in the maternity benefit coverage, especially for women in the unorganized sector, who are more exposed to economic shocks and nutritional loss associated with all childbirths.
In accordance with the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, which mandates 12 weeks of maternity leave for women with two or more children, pregnant, and lactating mothers, and taking into account the MGNREGA-mandated minimum wage rate, PW&LM are entitled to 12 weeks of wage compensation totaling 15,000 rupees.
The MAMATA scheme demonstrates an inclusive and efficient execution of the maternity benefits programme, hence demonstrating to the Centre that the PMMVY can be improved to align with the Odisha Government Scheme.
Currently, the registration form needs a mother and child protection (MPC) card, the husband’s Aadhaar card, a bank passbook, and the registration form for each of the three installments, resulting in applications being delayed, denied, or pending.
Simplifying the procedure may result in an increase in beneficiary registration.
To meet India’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goal of enhancing maternal health, the Centre has launched an ambitious Prime Minister’s Overarching Program for Holistic Nutrition (POSHAN) Abhiyan and a nationwide maternity benefit scheme.
However, objectives may be met only if we reassess the scheme’s design and execution, learning from states like Odisha that have effectively prioritized maternal health and nutrition in a pragmatic approach.
Agriculture Requires Its Own separate Budget
What is the issue?
In light of the repeal of farm reform legislation, there has been much controversy about whether states must develop a distinct agricultural budget.
What is the agricultural sector’s present health status?
Agriculture employs about half of the country’s workers.
It accounts for 17.5% of GDP (at current prices in 2015-16).
India’s food grain output has been expanding year after year, and the country is a major producer of various crops, including wheat, rice, pulses, sugarcane, and cotton.
India is the world’s largest producer of milk and fruits and vegetables.
Agriculture is a concurrent topic, with the Union government responsible for research, marketing, education, and exports and the States responsible for farming and extension.
What is the rationale for a separate agricultural budget?
A dedicated budget for agriculture at the center and state levels is critical since agriculture involves more than crop cultivation.
Animal husbandry, beekeeping, aquaculture, forestry, hill cultivation, and horticulture are all included.
When India embarked on a massive reform programme in 1991, the agricultural sector was left out in the cold.
The government’s Farm Bills, which were enacted by Parliament last year, sparked a year-long uproar among farmers.
What are the agricultural sector’s challenges?
Small and marginal farmers constitute a significant proportion of the population.
There is no legislation controlling the transfer of output and the transfer of resources among farmers.
Agriculture land holdings are becoming small in size.
Continuation of reliance on the monsoon season
Access to irrigation resources is insufficient.
A lack of balance in the usage of soil nutrients results in a reduction in the soil’s fertility.
Disparate access to modern technology throughout the country
Limited access to formal agricultural loans.
Government agencies are only able to purchase a limited amount of food grains.
Farmers’ failure to get a fair price for their produce
How can a distinct agriculture budget be created?
Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Horticulture universities and NABARD must produce a profile of the State in terms of soil, climatic change, future technologies, and current system flaws or shortcomings.
This profile should be distributed one day prior to the Agriculture Budget being presented to the Legislative Assembly.
Irrigated and rain-fed agriculture should be considered distinct components, just as livestock, horticulture, apiculture, and aquaculture are.
The budget should only comprise government resources and not credit institution resources.
It must consider the provision of income security and the operation of insurance systems.
Agriculture’s budget should exclude crop loan objectives and bank loans.
When states budget for agriculture, they have the opportunity to strike the appropriate balance between resources and expenditures that correspond to their specific agro-climatic zones.
What is the urgent need of the hour?
A separate Farm Contract Act should be enacted to regulate contracts between farmers, farmers and dealers, and farmers and industry.
Such legal facilitation would benefit farmer producer organizations.
Tenant farming and contract farming account for a significant share of crop farming in India and need appropriate mechanisms for allocating funds to agricultural sub-sectors.
It’s time for an agricultural income tax, and irrational farm subsidies like fertilizer subsidies to be eliminated.
Food production systems must be balanced with the environment and renewable energy sources to be robust.
It is essential to reform the Commodity Boards in India to offer the correct revenue to farmers.
It is necessary to assist the agricultural sector, which was vital throughout the epidemic.
Ethics | Paper - IV
In its most basic definition, it is the realization of the need of being loyal to one’s own views while holding oneself to the same standards that one wants others to fulfill.
It is to put into practice what one preaches to others while also acknowledging and apologizing for differences and inconsistencies in one’s own ideas and actions.
It is the discipline of seeking to be thorough and honest in order to understand the truth or to reach the best conclusion feasible in a given scenario that is called intellectual integrity.
A person who has intellectual integrity is driven by a strong desire to boldly pursue the facts and reasoning wherever they may lead.
There is a lack of enthusiasm or concern.
It is a condition of apathy or a lack of care, motivation, enthusiasm, or emotion, among other characteristics.
Examples of Apathy are:
Lack of desire to reach goals.
Low amounts of energy.
Participation in activities has dropped.
Negative and positive events do not make you feel any different.