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Goaltide Daily News 2020

Oct 14, 2020

News 1:
A concerted attack on RTI: The Hindu

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Syllabus Reference: GS-II

  • citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

 

A beautiful article explaining the importance of the RTI and the threats for the same. It says the right to question is the hallmark of a democracy. Any attack on the RTI law, which has empowered citizens to question those in power, is an attack on the foundation of our democratic republic.

News 2:
The land bank: Business Standards

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Syllabus Reference: GS-II

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

You need subscription to read this Article. So, we are pasting entire news.

The Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improved Technology in Village Areas, or SVAMITVA, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched on October 11, marks an important step forward in establishing property rights and streamlining ownership records in rural India. The scheme builds on a two-decades-old exercise of property mapping and digitisation of records by deploying drone more extensively to demarcate abaadi (or residential) areas as well as inhabited contiguous areas (such as ponds and roads) in rural areas. Once this exercise is completed, the owners will receive a property card as proof of ownership. The project has set the challenging target of 2024 as the year by which the data of all of India’s 662,000 villages is to be mapped and recorded — pilot projects have started in 100,000 villages in six states.

 

Based on initial work, which started in April, owners in 763 villages of these six states have been handed legal papers against their properties and will be able to access virtual property cards via SMS. As a move towards rationalising opaque and dated rural land records, which have generated many long-running court disputes, SVAMITVA is unquestionably a good idea and a possible game-changer. Economists such as Hernando De Soto have long argued that prosperity and property rights are inextricably linked. Indeed, it has widely been recognised the lack of clear land titles has been one among several critical deterrents to larger foreign direct investment in India. More transparent property rights also go a long way towards improving states’ revenue-collecting abilities as well as enabling landowners to monetise their assets. For poorer landowners of minuscule plots, SVAMITVA is a potentially invaluable exercise.

 

Effective implementation, however, remains an open question. The scheme will be overseen by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj but involves a multiplicity of agencies, such as the Survey of India, the National Informatics Centre, state revenue departments, panchayati raj departments, district authorities, respective gram panchayats, and, of course, property owners. The principal infirmity, perhaps, is that at the local level, the critical recording and verification process lies in the hands of an elected body — the gram panchayat — that can be prone to political influence and manipulation. On first principles, property certification is best done by a sovereign authority such as a state government agency. This is particularly crucial because aerial survey maps will need to be reconciled with local textual records and cadastral maps, which typically reside with local tax and revenue officials. Discrepancies between these records are quite likely to arise.

 

To be sure, the SVAMITVA scheme provides for a three-layer monitoring and evaluation framework for timely monitoring, reporting, and course corrections. But the structure of this framework is unclear yet, as is the level of recourse that villagers will have for appeal and redress. Finally, the success of SVAMITVA will depend critically on state governments. It is significant that the six states selected for pilot projects are all ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Given the political differences over a number of issues, the responses of non-BJP ruled states, each with widely varying land record administrations, remain a question mark. For India to become an integrated land market, the states’ cooperation is critical. Getting them on board with SVAMITVA should be Mr Modi’s next step.

News 3:
International E-Waste Day: Why India needs to step up its act on recycling: Down to Earth

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Syllabus Reference: GS-III

  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

 

The article tries to convey to the reader that we as a Global Community have miserably failed to manage the e-waste. There are many facts which add to this argument and also the author gives few suggestions at the end of the article. Read the article completely and note it down.

News 4:
Making cities river-sensitive: Indian Express

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Syllabus Reference: GS-III

  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

 

The article in a very simple language tells how the river-systems need to be managed so that they are environmentally sustained. There are many bullets conveying what needs to be done. Read the whole article carefully and make a short note out of it.

 

14 October Practice Questions:

 

1.    As urbanization is increasing, what all problems does India is facing? Do mention few schemes and policies of government to curb the problems due to urbanization.

2.    Show in rough map, the disputed territories between China and India. What steps government can take to put check on aggressive and expansionist policy of China towards India?

3.    What steps India can take to boost production and consumption level of India post COVID-19 lockdown?

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