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21st February – Prelims Booster

Swachh Bharat Mission second phase gets nod

The Centre will begin implementing the second phase of its Swachh Bharat Mission in rural areas from April, focusing on solid and waste management and the sustainability of the abolition of open defecation.

About Phase II of Swachh Bharat Mission –

  • The Union Cabinet approved an allocation of ₹52,497 crore for the scheme from the budget of the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation over the next four years.
  • The scheme will be implemented by the States, with a fund sharing pattern of 60:40 between the Centre and the States. In the northeastern and Himalayan states, the Central share will be 90%.
  • Phase II would continue the provision of a ₹12,000 per household incentive for households which still do not have toilets.
  • Funding norms for Solid and Liquid Waste Management have been rationalised and changed to per capita basis in place of number of households.
  • The financial assistance to gram panchayats for construction of community managed sanitary complexes had been increased to ₹3 lakh per complex, from ₹2 lakh.

About Swachh Bharat Mission –

  • The first phase of the scheme, carried out between 2014 and 2019, focussed on the goal of abolishing open defecation by ensuring that all households had access to a toilet and used it.
  • According to government data, more than 10 crore toilets were constructed under the scheme and rural areas in all States had declared themselves open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019.

What is ODF, ODF+ and ODF++?

  • ODF – A city / ward can be notified/declared as ODF city/ ODF ward if, at any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating in the open.
  • ODF+ – At any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating and/or urinating in the open, AND all community and public toilets are functional and well maintained.
  • ODF++ – At any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating and/ or urinating in the open; all community and public toilets are functional and well maintained, and; faecal sludge/septage and sewage is safely managed and treated, with no discharging and/or dumping of untreated faecal sludge/septage and sewage in drains, water bodies or open areas.

Scrap CVC Appointment

A demand to scrap the appointment of Shri Sanjay Kothari as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) has been made by the mainstream opposition party.

About CVC –

  • It is an autonomous and statutory body, free of control from any executive authority, charged with monitoring all vigilance activity under the Central Government of India, advising various authorities in central Government organisations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance work.
  • The Commission shall consist of – A Central Vigilance Commissioner as Chairperson; Not more than two Vigilance Commissioners as Members.
  • They are appointed by the President on recommendations of a committee of the Prime Minister + the Home minister + the Leader of Opposition Lok Sabha (or Leader of the largest party in Lok Sabha).
  • They occupy post till age of 65 yrs or 4 year term.
  • They are not eligible for any other government appointment under centre or state after ceasing to hold office.
  • The CVC can be removed by the President on the grounds of bankruptcy, unsound mind, infirmity of body or mind, sentenced to imprisonment for a crime, or engagement in paid employment or if he has acquired financial or other interest that might affect his judgment. He can also be removed for proved misbehaviour or incapacity if SC inquiry finds him guilty. They can resign by writing to president.

Functions and powers –

  • It exercises superintendence over the functioning of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (CBI) insofar as it relates to the investigation for corruption related cases.
  • Give directions to the Delhi Special Police Establishment (CBI) for superintendence for corruption related cases.
  • To inquire or cause an inquiry or investigation to be made on a reference by the Central Government.
  • It shall have all the powers of a Civil court while conducting any inquiry.
  • CVC is only an advisory body. Central Government Departments are free to either accept or reject CVC’s advice in corruption cases.

Maharashtra takes steps to end single-use plastic

The Environment Department of Maharashtra and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board have asked municipal corporations across the State to give incentives to establishments, prepare squads similar to those in Mumbai to confiscate plastic, and to hold review meetings every month.

Background –

  • The Maharashtra government had in March 2018 issued a notification banning manufacture, sale and use of single-use plastic bags.
  • It also banned an array of plastic products including cutlery, straws and containers.
  • The ban imposes a penalty between ₹5,000 and ₹25,000 for those violating the rules.

What is single-use plastic?

Single-use plastics, often also referred to as disposable plastics, are commonly used for packaging and include items intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These include, among other items, grocery bags, food packaging, bottles, straws, containers, cups and cutlery. Such plastics are problematic because they are not biodegradable.

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