Delhi Current Affairs

Pune tops in urban governance: ASICS 2017 report

Pune was ranked first among 23 cities across India in terms of quality of urban governance in the fifth edition of Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS) 2017 report released by Bengaluru-based non-profit organisation, Janaagraha.

ASICS 2017

The objective of survey was to measure preparedness of cities to deliver high quality infrastructure and services in long term by evaluating city systems. It spans 23 Indian cities and factors in answers to 89 questions. These questions are classified on four categories viz. urban planning & design, urban capacities & resources, transparency, accountability & participation and empowered & legitimate political representation. These cities were scored on a scale of 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest) based on quality of laws, policies, institutions and institutional processes that together help govern them. The report addresses five major issues, and suggests solutions at local body, State and Central government levels. It underlines need for sharp focus on City-Systems or institutional reforms to city governance in our cities.

Key Highlights of ASICS 2017

In it, Pune topped the list by scoring 5.1 out of 10 for the first time. It was followed by Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Bhubaneswar and Surat with scores in range of 4.6 to 4.5.  Delhi moved 3 spots up to 6th place against 9th in 2016 survey. Mumbai’s ranking fell from 6th in 2016 to 9th in 2017. The worst performers in ASICS 2017 were Bengaluru (scoring the least at 3 out of 10), Chandigarh, Dehradun, Patna and Chennai. These constituted bottom five cities with scores ranging between 3 and 3.3 out of 10.


CCEA approves Rs 1,151 crore Scheme for in-situ management of crop residue to fight air pollution

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved Rs. 1,151 crore Central Sector Scheme for in-situ management of crop residue in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi.

It will promote agricultural mechanization for next two years (2018-20) to provide cost-effective and eco-friendly solution to farmers to deal with problem of stubble burning that result in raising air pollution levels in Delhi and neighbouring states every winter.

Features of Scheme

Under this scheme, the proceeds from central fund will be used to establish Farm Machinery Banks (FMBs) for Custom Hiring of in-situ crop residue management machinery. Government will provide 80% financial assistance of project cost to cooperative societies of farmers, FPOs, SHGs, registered farmers societies or farmers groups, private entrepreneurs and group of women farmers. It will also provide 50% financial assistance to farmers for procurement of agriculture machinery and equipment for in-situ crop residue management.

Beneficiaries will be identified and selected for establishment of Farm Machinery Bank for Custom Hiring and procurement of machines on individual ownership basis by state nodal department/DLEC. They may tie up with Banks for credit requirements of beneficiaries.

The central fund will also be used to create awareness among farmers about in-situ management of crop residue. The activities will involve mass awareness campaigns through documents, short and long films, radio and TV programmes, demonstration camps at various levels and capacity building programme etc. It will also include advertisement in print media, star campaigning, award for village or gram Panchayat for achieving Zero Straw Burning etc.


Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Budget 2018-19 had announced special scheme with 100% Central share to support efforts of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi to address air pollution and to subsidize machinery required for in-situ management of crop residue.


The scheme is expected to go long way in tackling air pollution issue in NCT of Delhi, as stubble burning which has been identified as one of key problem areas, especially during post-harvest season of October-November when prevailing meteorological condition aggravates the situation further.