Social Issues Current Affairs

93% rural households with access to toilets using them: NARSS 2017-18

According to National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS) 2017-18, over 93% households in villages who have access to toilets are using them and about 77% homes in rural areas have got toilets. The survey was conducted by Independent Verification Agency (IVA) under World Bank support project to Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G).

Background

The survey was conducted between mid-November 2017 and mid-March 2018. It covered 92040 households in 6136 villages across States/UTs of India. It also covered schools, anganwadis and public/community toilets in these villages. It used the PPS (Probability Proportion to Size) sampling methodology and its data was collected using Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) platform.

Key findings of NARSS 2017-18

  • 77% of households were found to have access to toilets.
  • 4% of people who had access to toilets used them.
  • 6% of villages which were previously declared and verified as ODF were confirmed to be ODF. The remaining 4.4% villages also had sanitation coverage of over 95%.
  • 70% of villages surveyed found to have minimal litter and minimal stagnant water.

Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM)

SBM was launched in October 2014 to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to put focus on sanitation. The mission aims to achieve Swachh Bharat or make India clean by 2019, as a fitting tribute to 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. It world’s largest sanitation program that aimed bring behavioural change of people with respect to toilet access and usage

The SBM consists of two sub-missions Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), implemented in rural areas, and Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), implemented in urban areas. SBM-G seeks to eliminate open defecation in rural areas by improving access to sanitation by ensuring use of toilets, besides their construction. It also seeks to generate awareness to motivate communities to adopt sustainable sanitation practices, and encourage the use of appropriate technologies for sanitation.

Outcomes

Over 6.5 crore toilets were built across rural India under SBM. Over 3.38 lakh villages and 338 districts were declared ODF, along with 9 ODF States/3 Union Territories, namely Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Meghalaya, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu. Over, 300 million people have stopped defecating in open since launch of SBM.

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World Happiness Index 2018: India ranks 133

India was ranked 133rd among 156 countries inWorld Happiness Index 2018, recently released by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

The index ranked 156 countries based on factors (parmaters) such as inequality, life expectancy, GDP per capita, social freedom, generosity, public trust (i.e. a lack of corruption in government and business) and social support. Together these parameters are used to generate a happiness score of country on a scale from 1 to 10. This year it is sixth such list released since it was first published in 2012. The 2018 report, for the first time ranked happiness of foreign-born immigrants in 117 countries.

Key Facts

10 Happiest Countries: Finland (1st), Norway (2nd), Denmark (3rd), Iceland (4th), Switzerland (5th), Netherlands (6th), Canada (7th), New Zealand (8th), Sweden (9th) and Australia (10th). United States was ranked 18th down from 14th place last year. Britain was 19th and United Arab Emirates at 20th. In 2018 rankings, top-10, as ever dominated by Nordic countries.

The entire top ten were wealthier developed nations. But the report mentioned that money is not the only ingredient in the recipe for happiness. The entire top ten were wealthier developed nations. But the report mentioned that money is not the only ingredient in the recipe for happiness.

India’s ranking: The world’s largest democracy’s rank fell to 133rd position from 122nd last year. India was behind majority of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations apart from war-ravaged Afghanistan, which was ranked 145th. Pakistan (ranked 75th) and China (86th) were well ahead of India in happiness index despite being not the most democratic or free country.

SAARC nations: Pakistan (75th), Nepal (101st), Bhutan (97th), Bangladesh (115th), Sri Lanka (116th).

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