CITIIS 2.0 for 2023-2027
Why in news?
- The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval to the City Investments to Innovate, Integrate and Sustain 2.0 (CITIIS 2.0) program.
- Launched in partnership with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the French Development Agency (AFD), Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), the European Union (EU), and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), CITIIS 2.0 will span four years, from 2023 to 2027.
- With a focus on the circular economy, this program aims to support selected projects that promote integrated waste management at the city level, climate-oriented reforms at the state level, and institutional strengthening and knowledge dissemination at the national level.
Promoting the Circular Economy
- CITIIS 2.0 is a visionary initiative designed to foster the adoption of circular economy principles.
- Through the program, competitively selected projects will receive support to implement integrated waste management systems at the city level.
- Additionally, climate-oriented reform actions will be encouraged at the state level.
- The program also aims to strengthen institutions and disseminate knowledge at the national level, fostering a sustainable and circular approach to urban development.
- To finance the CITIIS 2.0 program, a loan of Rs.1760 crore (EUR 200 million) will be provided by the French Development Agency (AFD) and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), with each contributing EUR 100 million.
- Furthermore, the European Union (EU) will offer a technical assistance grant amounting to Rs.106 crore (EUR 12 million).
- This funding builds upon the success and learnings of CITIIS 1.0, which was launched in 2018 and had a total outlay of ₹933 crore (EUR 106 million).
Components of CITIIS 1.0
- CITIIS 1.0 comprised three main components:
- Firstly, 12 city-level projects were selected through a competitive process.
- Secondly, capacity development activities were undertaken in the state of Odisha.
- Lastly, the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) served as the Program Management Unit (PMU) for CITIIS 1.0, driving integrated urban management activities at the national level.
Importance of Technical Assistance
- CITIIS 2.0 recognizes the significance of technical assistance at all levels.
- It encompasses support from domestic and international experts, as well as transversal experts.
- This approach has successfully mainstreamed innovative and sustainable urban development practices.
- The program’s unique challenge-driven financing model promotes competitiveness and cooperation, leading to the integration of effective practices across cities.
Key Components of CITIIS 2.0
- 2.0 will offer financial and technical support for the development of projects focusing on climate resilience, adaptation, and mitigation in up to 18 smart cities.
- The program will prioritize circular economy projects with an emphasis on integrated waste management.
- Additionally, it will strengthen climate governance by supporting institutional development, knowledge dissemination, capacity building, and research and development activities at the central, state, and city levels.
- CITIIS 2.0 aligns with India’s national climate commitments, including the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and the Conference of the Parties (COP26) agreements.
- The introduction of CITIIS 2.0 represents a major milestone in promoting sustainable and circular urban development in India. Through the collaboration and assistance of international partners, CITIIS 2.0 will facilitate groundbreaking progress in Indian cities, in line with the country’s climate objectives and international obligations.
PM SVANidhi mobile app
Why in news?
- Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has unveiled the PM SVANidhi mobile app, designed to streamline the loan application process and provide essential information to street vendors.
- The app launch coincided with the completion of three years of the Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme.
- The Minister praised the scheme for its rapid implementation and highlighted the positive impact it has had on financial inclusion and digital literacy among street vendors in cities and towns.
PM SVANidhi Mobile App Launch
- The newly launched PM SVANidhi mobile app aims to simplify the loan application process for street vendors and provide them with valuable information about the scheme.
- The app will serve as a digital platform for street vendors to access the necessary resources and guidance they need to avail themselves of the benefits of the PM SVANidhi Scheme.
Objectives of the Scheme
- The primary objectives of the PM SVANidhi Scheme are to restore self-employment, self-sustenance, and self-confidence among street vendors.
- By providing them with easy access to credit facilities and necessary support, the scheme empowers street vendors to establish and grow their businesses, contributing to their socio-economic well-being.
- The scheme plays a crucial role in enabling street vendors to thrive and become self-reliant entrepreneurs.
Commendation for PM SVANidhi Scheme
- Minister Hardeep Singh Puri expressed his admiration for the PM SVANidhi Scheme and its achievements over the past three years.
- He highlighted the scheme’s role in restoring self-employment, self-sustenance, and self-confidence among street vendors, providing them with a pathway to economic independence and stability.
- The Minister commended the scheme for its significant contribution to empowering street vendors and enabling them to rebuild their livelihoods in the face of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fast Roll-Out and Impact
- The PM SVANidhi Yojana has garnered praise for its efficient and swift implementation, making it one of the fastest roll-outs of government schemes.
- Its success has been reflected in the remarkable progress made in financial inclusion and digital literacy among street vendors in cities and towns.
- The scheme has helped to bring dignity and stability to street vendors, giving them access to formal credit and financial services, previously out of reach for many.
Empowering COVID-19-Affected Street Vendors
- In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the PM SVANidhi Scheme has played a vital role in supporting street vendors who have been severely impacted by the crisis. Through providing financial assistance and valuable guidance, the scheme has enabled these vendors to recover their sources of income and conquer the economic challenges posed by the pandemic. The PM SVANidhi Scheme has proven to be essential in safeguarding the socio-economic well-being of street vendors during these difficult times.
Why in news?
- The 22nd Law Commission has recommended retaining Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that deals with sedition but suggests making certain amendments to clarify its usage.
- The commission’s report emphasizes that while sedition is a “colonial legacy,” it should not be repealed.
- However, due to the potential misuse of the sedition law, the commission suggests that the government issue model guidelines to prevent such misuse.
- The Law Commission received a reference from the Home Ministry in 2016, requesting a study on the usage of Section 124A and suggestions for amendments. This reference prompted the commission to examine the sedition law and its implications carefully.
Retaining Section 124A with Amendments
- The Law Commission proposes retaining Section 124A of the IPC but recommends amendments for greater clarity in its application.
- While acknowledging the historical context of sedition as a colonial-era law, the commission believes that labeling it as colonial does not necessarily make it outdated.
- Instead, they assert that procedural guidelines should be established to prevent misuse of the sedition law.
Model Guidelines to Curb Misuse
- To address the concerns of misuse, the commission suggests that the central government issue model guidelines.
- These guidelines would serve as a framework for law enforcement authorities to ensure the appropriate and lawful application of Section 124A.
- By establishing these guidelines, the commission aims to curb any potential misuse of the sedition law.
Alternative Procedural Safeguards
- The commission proposes an alternative solution by recommending the inclusion of a provision analogous to Section 196(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC).
- This provision would act as a safeguard, requiring procedural requirements to be fulfilled before filing an FIR (First Information Report) related to an offense under Section 124A of the IPC.
- By incorporating such a safeguard, the commission aims to ensure a balance between preventing misuse and upholding legal procedures.
Sedition as a Colonial Legacy
- The commission acknowledges that the offense of sedition has been considered a colonial legacy, primarily due to its historical use against India’s freedom fighters during the British rule.
- However, the commission argues that the mere fact that a law originated during the colonial era does not automatically justify its repeal.
Misuse and Need for Procedural Safeguards
- While the commission recognizes instances of misuse of various laws, including sedition, it emphasizes the importance of laying down procedural safeguards rather than advocating for the repeal of Section 124A.
- The commission asserts that procedural guidelines can effectively prevent misuse and maintain a balance between protecting national interests and safeguarding individual rights.
- In conclusion, the 22nd Law Commission recommends retaining Section 124A of the IPC but proposes amendments and procedural safeguards to prevent misuse. The commission asserts that sedition being a colonial legacy is not a valid ground for its repeal. By establishing model guidelines and procedural safeguards, the commission aims to ensure the appropriate application of the sedition law while curbing any potential misuse.