42. Reading Skills Comprehension: ‘Ujjwala’

By | July 29, 2020

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‘Ujjwala’

Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow them:                             

Ujjwala, the Modi government’s flagship scheme for empowering BPL (below poverty line) women by providing clean cooking fuel, has halved the cost of LPG stoves to 990 to ease the burden on poor households.

Top government sources said the reduction has been brought about through bulk procurement for the scheme, under which LPG connection would be provided free of cost in the name of women from five crores BPL households over the next three years.

The 8,000 crore scheme was launched by PM Narendra Modi at Ballia in UP on May 1, 2016. The government aims to cover 1.5 crore BPL households in the ongoing financial year. A sum of 2,000 crores has been set aside for this purpose in the budget. The magnitude and scale of the bulk procurement have helped develop a safe, BSI-certified stove for use by BPL households. Reduced cost of stoves would ease the burden on households and help the government cover a larger number of BPL families for the money, the sources said.

Before Ujjwala, the government used the CSR (corporate social responsibility) funds of state-run fuel retailers—Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum—to help poor households switch to LPG.

But under that scheme, the retailers would bear only the security deposit for a new connection. The BPL families had to pay Z 250 for connecting pipe, installation and consumer booklet. In addition, they had to spend as much as 2,000 for a stove.

Because of the limited funds and coverage, the initiative could benefit only seven lakh BPL households till 2014. Besides, all states did not benefit uniformly due to the lack of focus on targeted areas. Ujjwala, in contrast, would focus on states with low LPG penetration. There are 14 states that have lower LPG penetration than the national average of 61%.

Ujjwala is also getting a leg-up from the PM’s ‘Give it Up’. More than one crore households have surrendered LPG subsidy in response to the PM’s appeal to economically well-off to leave LPG subsidy. In a back-to-back ‘Give it Back’ scheme, some 63 lakh poor households have been given the subsidy till now. “The government is not keeping anything for itself. Subsidy saved is being given back to the poor who deserve the benefit,” the source said.

Use of LPG would help improve the health of womenfolk of BPL households that still use unhealthy fuels such as firewood and leaves, dried cow dung cakes, kerosene and coal. LPG would also reduce the time of cooking, allowing women more time for productive work.

The scheme is expected to create jobs through the appointment of 10,000 LPG distributorship and delivery chain.                                                                      

Questions

I. Answer briefly:

1. What is ‘Ujjwala’?

2. What does the scheme aim to?

3. What did the BPL family have to bear before this scheme?

4. How will the scheme create more jobs?

II. Choose the most appropriate meanings of the given words/phrases from the options provided:

1. Flagship scheme: (para 1)

(a) a good scheme                  (b) a daring scheme

(c) a welfare scheme              (d) most important scheme

2. bulk production

(a) more production               (b) great production

(c) production on a large scale (d) production on a small scale

3. surrendered (para 8)

 (a) gave up                             (b) loaned

(c) cancelled                           (d) donated

4. The word ‘penetration’ means:

(a) making a way into something (b) cleaning

(c) elimination                        (d) withdrawal

Answers

I.1. Ujjwala’ is the flagship scheme of the Moth government to empower women by providing LPG at reduced rates.

2. The scheme aims to help women below the poverty line by providing them with clean cooking fuel and LPG stoves at almost half of their existing rates.

3. The BPL family had to pay 250 for connecting pipe, installation, etc. In addition, they had to spend about 2000 for a stove.

4. The scheme will create about 10,000 jobs for LPG distributorship and delivery chain.

II.1. (d) most important scheme

2. (c) production on a large scale

3. (a) gave up

4. (b) making away into something

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