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What ails Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Housing for All’ scheme

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By Abhirup Bhunia

New Delhi: Less than seven years are left for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Housing for All scheme aimed at providing a home to all the urban poor by 2022 – especially as cities grow and migrants flow in from distressed rural areas.

This means an estimated 44,000 homes will have to be built every day or 16 million every year.

IndiaSpend has identified six hurdles that the government must reckon with as it attempts to meet this target:

  1. Cities are growing: Two Indian metros, Delhi and Mumbai were among the 10 largest urban agglomerations in the world, as on 2014, while another, Kolkata is set to be among the world’s top fifteen by 2030, according to the UN. There were 0.9 million homeless people in urban India as per the 2011 Census, in addition to a slum population of roughly 65 million. More than 90 percent of the ensuing housing shortage is constituted by what are called economically-weaker sections and low-income groups, according to government data.
  2. A migrant flood is coming: People from India’s distressed rural areas, home to 833 million people, according to the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) released earlier this month, are likely to flood into cities and towns in growing numbers as agricultural growth rates flounder. About 670 million people in rural areas live on less than Rs.33 a day, as IndiaSpend reported. India’s urban population is estimated to reach 600 million by 2031, up from about 380 million in 2011. Migrants make up a sizeable chunk of India’s urban population, last estimated at 35 per cent by the National Sample Survey Organisation in 2007-08.
  3. Indian slum populations are high: About 17 per cent of urban India – or about 65 million people – today live in slums. While this data is reflected in the Census, on a globally comparable index, the proportion of urban population living in slums in India is high.homeless
  4. Land will be hard to find: An estimated 2 lakh hectares of land will be required to build homes for the poor and plug housing shortages. To deal with the land shortage, some experts have called for vertical expansion by way of floor space index (FSI) relaxations. Mumbai has recently effected some FSI reform. However, most Indian cities are densely populated, with densities running into tens of thousands per square kilometre.
  1. Maintaining standards will be a challenge: The sub-components of the Housing For All scheme include new units; credit-linked subsidies; beneficiary-led upgradation/construction; and upgrading/redevelopment of slum households. In the rush to build, the quality of construction will be a challenge. A third of existing housing units in India are already of a poor standard. This, of course, is not unlike several other emerging economies.
  2. Breaking out of the regulatory maze: Among the most difficult challenges of Modi’s housing scheme would be the regulatory maze that enmeshes the construction-approval process in India, which the World Bank ranks as among the worst globally. In India, the approval process between land acquisition and commencement of construction can take as long as two years, real-estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle estimates.

(IANS/IndiaSpend)

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  • gour rpy

    what prose I want housing schism and. Save my family

  • goutam chatterjee

    I puar man no house so whay take PM housingschem

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Microsoft Announces Indian Languages Support For e-mail Addresses

Microsoft's products will also support additional Indian languages as and when their IDNs and e-mail addresses become available in the future

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Microsoft introduces Indian languages on various of its platforms. Wikimedia Commons
Microsoft introduces Indian languages on various of its platforms. Wikimedia Commons
  • Microsoft announced support in Indian Languages for e-mail
  • There will be 15 Indian languages supported now
  • Indians will be able to use Microsoft in their local languages

Microsoft on Wednesday announced support for e-mail addresses in 15 Indian languages across its apps and services, including Office 365, Outlook 2016, Outlook.com, Exchange Online and Exchange Online Protection (EOP).

Microsoft introduces 15 new indian languages to its support.
Microsoft introduces 15 new Indian languages to its support.

Indian users would be able to use local language e-mail addresses for Outlook accounts on their personal computers, the company said on the occasion of the International Mother Language Day.

It would also allow users to seamlessly send/receive mails to/from local language e-mail addresses via Outlook client on PCs, Outlook.com in addition to Outlook apps for Android and IOS.

“Making e-mail addresses available in 15 languages is an exciting step to making modern communications and collaboration tools more accessible and easier to use for all,” Meetul Patel, COO, Microsoft India, said in a statement.

The Indian languages which will be supported include Hindi, Bengali, etc. Wikimedia Commons
The Indian languages which will be supported include Hindi, Bengali, etc. Wikimedia Commons

“We are making technology use the language of people and not requiring people to first learn the traditional language of technology,” Patel added.

The initiative is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to support Email Address Internationalisation (EAI) across its products and services eco-system and make technology accessible in local languages.

The languages being introduced are those that support Unicode — an international encoding standard for use with different languages and scripts.

Microsoft’s products will also support additional Indian languages as and when their IDNs and e-mail addresses become available in the future, making this feature forward compatible.

Microsoft launches 15 Indian languages in its support. VOA
Microsoft launches 15 Indian languages in its support. VOA

Last month, Microsoft announced the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deep Neural Networks (DNN) to improve real-time language translation for Hindi, Bengali and Tamil languages.

This technology would help users in getting results that are more accurate and natural while surfing the Internet across any website on the MS Edge browser, Bing search, Bing Translator website, as well as MS Office 365 products like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Skype. IANS