CURRENT AFFAIRS, SOCIAL ISSUES

(2016-2017)

MARCH-2017

March 10, 2017

Paid maternity leave extended to 26 weeks
Why in news?

The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016, was passed by the Lok Sabha.

Summary:

The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016, was passed by the Lok Sabha, a few months after
Rajya Sabha had passed it.
The bill will now be sent to the President for his assent before it becomes an Act.
Women working in the organised sector will now be entitled to paid maternity leave of 26 weeks for
first two children.
For the third child, the maternity leave entitlement will only be for 12 weeks. The bill will benefit
about 1.8 million women.
The new law will apply to all establishments employing 10 or more people.

More provisions:

Adopting mothers: Recognising that women who adopt or use a surrogate to bear a child also
need time to bond with the child in the initial months, the bill also extends a 12-week maternity
leave to adopting and commissioning mothers.

Creche: The bill also makes it mandatory for employers in establishments with 30 women or 50
employees, whichever is less, to provide crèche facilities either in office or in any place within a
500-metre radius.
Work from home: It also allows employers to permit woman to work from home if it is possible to
do so.

International standard:

The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Maternity Protection Convention mandates a
minimum 14 weeks of maternity benefit to women but recommends that countries should
increase it to 18 weeks.
The Bill takes India to the third position in terms of the number of weeks for maternity leave, after
Canada and Norway, where it is 50 weeks and 44 weeks, respectively.

Challenges and criticism:

Ensuring organisations will implement the Bill by providing mothers the 26- week leave, and
making provisions for a crèche, will be challenging.
The bill has left out surrogate mothers from the benefit - an issue over which the government was
criticised by the opposition.

2017 Global fund to help solve India’s HIV drug crisis Details : Why in news? India is likely to procure child-friendly HIV drug from a rapid supply facility routed through the Global Fund for AIDS. a . Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM).March 8.

to have children via surrogacy. Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM): Founded in 2002. The immediate crisis of the drug was triggered by unpaid bills to Cipla. India ran out of life-saving child-friendly HIV syrup. The Bill also does not allow married couple. The Cipla Pharmaceuticals will be re-submitting the application seeking registration of the Lopinavir pellets. like single women or men. Recently. The Global Fund is designed to accelerate the end of AIDS. the private sector and people affected by the diseases. It expressly allows only infertile and legally-wedded Indian couples to have children through surrogacy. civil society. The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) is likely to give the approvals accelerated attention. Cipla pharmaceuticals did not participate in the recent government tenders and stopped production of the drug due to non-payment of bills from 2014. News Summary: India has a cohort of over 600 children who require 36. who have children. There are 637 children living with HIV (CLHIV). To tackle the crisis. The shortage of the drug is looms large over India’s national HIV programme. The pellets are better paediatric formulation as it can be added to meals and will not require refrigeration. multilateral donor agency. gay or lesbian couples. Lopinavir. given the dire shortage. the Global Fund is a partnership between governments. tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. ranging from ages 3 to 19. etc. Supreme Court opens surrogacy window for singles Details : Summary: The draft draft Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016 does not cover categories other than married Indian couples. adopted or surrogate or biological. Global Fund for AIDS. . the Health Ministry released the first installment of the ₹6 crore payment due to Cipla.000 bottles of Lopinavir syrup annually. The organisation does not implement programs on ground but finances the countries to fight the three diseases. manufactured by Cipla Pharmaceuticals.

The draft bill is being examined by the Parliamentary Standing Committee. State Surrogacy Board and appointment of authorities for regulation of practice and process of surrogacy.The new Bill aims to constitute a National Surrogacy Board. .

Relevant links with details of the draft bill: https://lms.vajiramandravi.Request to standing committee: A Supreme Court Bench allowed a representation to be made before the parliamentary committee to consider including a provision in the Bill to facilitate single persons also to have children through surrogacy.vajiramandravi. .com/current-affairs/surrogacy-bill-gets-the-cabinet- nod/57bedc88b680d36348b0d39c/ https://lms. businesses.com/current-affairs/why-the-surrogacy-bill-is- necessary/57c2895cb680d319d1dba88f/ Commonwealth unveils initiative to stamp out domestic violence Details : Why in news? The Commonwealth is launching an initiative to build a coalition of governments.

The “Peace in the home” programme will include toolkits to help . civil society and individual citizens to address domestic violence. Summary: UN estimates one in three women has suffered domestic violence in one form or another. human rights institutions.

It also aims to focus on strengthening laws protecting women and girls. The programme. will continue through till 2018. Mumbai. The legal resource book on domestic violence — setting out what constitutes violence against women and the intersection of national and international human rights laws — is being planned for roll out across the Commonwealth nations. doctors and hospitals. ORC Macro. USA and the East. . Hawaii. which is being launched on Women’s Day. Honolulu. as well as government — and law enforcement agencies to work together effectively.4 Details : NATIONAL FAMILY HEALTH SURVEY The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) is a large-scale. USA. governments across the Commonwealth involve multiple agencies — such as schools. Maryland.West Center. Government of India. multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India. designated IIPS as the nodal agency responsible for providing coordination and technical guidance for the NFHS. It will also help countries highlight and share details of initiatives that had been particularly successful at dealing with domestic violence. 2017 BASICS: National Family Health Survey. The NFHS is a collaborative project of the International Institute for Population Sciences(IIPS). The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW). Calverton. March 3. there is expected to be an accord on ending domestic violence in the Commonwealth. Strengthening laws: Commonwealth secretariat would also launch an initiative to map the economic cost of domestic violence in Commonwealth countries. By 2018.

NFHS-4 Union Health Ministry has unveiled the National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS- .

4). Haryana. Himachal Pradesh.000 boys) for children born in the last five years showed a dip in most major states although the overall national figure went up marginally from 914 in the last survey (NFHS 3. Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. economic empowerment (women with bank accounts/mobile phones) have shown a dramatic improvement. States where it has gone up include: Maharashtra. Karnataka. Findings from the National Family Health Survey 4 Sex Ratio at Birth: The sex ratio at birth (number of girls per 1. Assam.3 lakh men and 7 lakh women. West Bengal. The survey was conducted for the year 2015-16 and it shows that India's health index has made a notable improvement over the last decade. Jammu and Kashmir. . The critical indicators of women’s empowerment like literacy. Meghalaya. Bihar and Punjab. Cases of domestic violence and child marriages have gone down. Madhya Pradesh. 1. Gujarat. This is the first time that the data is providing district level estimates. States where sex ratio at birth for children born in the last five years has gone down compared to NFHS 3 data: Delhi. The survey is based on information collected from 6 lakh households. conducted in 2005-06) to 919.

.

5% 10 years ago. In Assam. In West Bengal.2% to 28. . the overall sex ratio in urban areas is 907 but for births in the last five years it is 835. In Haryana.000 men but for children born in the last 5 years. 3.7 in NFHS-3. that for children born in the last five years is 920. while the overall sex ratio is 935. That figure has gone up to 846. the overall sex ratio in urban areas is 991 but for those born in last five years it is 902. 5. the sex ratio was 762.1 child followed by Nagaland at 1. it is 794. Total Fertility Rate: Total Fertility Rate also declined to 2. the state where Prime Minister launched his Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme two years ago shows that the overall urban sex ratio is 846 but that at birth for children born in the last five years is 785. Haryana has shown significant improvement since the last survey. In Gujarat. 53% have bank accounts against 15% earlier and spousal violence is down from 37. the overall sex ratio in urban areas is 996 women per 1. According to data for the period 2000-2001 to 2005-06. 84% women participate in household decisions against 76. women’s literacy has gone up from 55.4%.1% to 68. The maximum decline observed in Uttar Pradesh at 1. but in urban areas. the sex ratio for the last five years has gone up from 867 in NFHS 3 to 924 in NFHS 4. 2. 4. In Maharashtra.0 child.2 children per woman from 2.8%. 6. Chandigarh is one of those places where the last five years’ sex ratio at birth (981) is better than the overall sex ratio (934). Women Literacy: Between NFHS 3 and NFHS 4. 1.

It seems that the institutional births have dramatically increased due to the targeted approach through Janani Suraksha Yojana. Institutional Births: It increased by 40 percentage points from 38.7 per cent in NFHS-3 to 78.Contraceptive prevalence rate: It increased by 7 percentage points to 54 per cent in NFHS-4 among the newly married women.9 per cent in NFHS-4. .

Odisha. The report says that the IMR declined by more than 20 percentage points in West Bengal. Rajasthan and Arunachal Pradesh. Stunted growth is a condition that reflects malnutrition in children whose height and weight are lower than the median height and weight of the reference population in a particular age group. Children of around 44% of the women from Scheduled Tribes showed stunted growth and about 45% were underweight. Underweight children: It saw a decline in percentage by 7 percentage points. . Jharkhand. The percentage of children who were underweight and had stunted growth was greater among Scheduled Tribes compared with other caste categories. Anemia: It saw a substantial decline among children aged 6 to 59 months as it declined to 58 per cent in NFHS-4 from 69 per cent of NFHS-3.Infant Mortality Rate (IMR): It declined to 41 per 1000 from 51 per 1000 live births between NFHS-3 which was conducted in 2005-06. Tripura.

Maximum decrease was seen in Assam (34 percentage points). Chhattisgarh (30 percentage points). Mizoram (26 percentage points) and Odisha (20 percentage points). .

The Central Government has since 1992 been implementing its Integrated Programme for Older .8%. Census projections suggest that India would see a jump in the number of seniors from about 76 million in 2011 to 173 million by 2025. in many cases denying them a life of dignity in their twilight years. 2017 The Hindu four-part series on ageing and the elderly in India Details : Elderly: Aged 60 years and above Statistics: While India still has a demographic distribution that is still relatively skewed toward the youth. Elderly constitute 6% of Indian population currently and yet. Make matters worse is our attitudes toward the elderly. Challenges: Elderly people. often with dependencies upon family members.Child marriages: Child marriages have gone down from 47.4% to 26. the only assitance is the nominal old-age pension coverage provided by the Government of India and State Governments. we already have the second largest elderly population in the world. face numerous uncertainties and sometimes a harsh reality of deprivation. and about 240 million by 2050. March 1. its population is ageing fast. India is already struggling to allot enough economic resources to ensure that they receive quality healthcare and accommodation. Government interventions: For those retiring from unorganised sectors with no pension or retirement benefits. How will India’s nascent infrastructure and traditional social values cope with the enormous stress that is likely to come from the need to provide for our senior citizens’ welfare. compared to developed countries.

Health: . Ministry of Rural Development’s Indira Gandhi Old Age Pension Scheme ensures for BPL households. 500 for those above 80 years and above. medical care and entertainment opportunities. which aims to provide senior citizens with basic amenities such as shelter. Persons.200 is given for each person in the age group of 60-79 years and Rs. a monthly pension of Rs. food. Various other Government of India ministries offer concessions and similar schemes that promote access to resources by the elderly.

some elders hoped to lead lives that offered respect and independence. It is necessary to realise that disease and disability are not part of old age and help must be sought to address the health problems. a category that could well be a sizeable proportion of the total elderly population. and wanted to get away when it was denied. especially the poor. National Sample Survey found that many older people take ill health casually as a part of normal ageing process. preferably inside hospitals. . It is important to offer affordable models of health and social care for all the elderly and old-aged. Respect: On the other hand. for healthcare services to be successful. that can primarily cater to the needs of elderly and terminally ill patients. Elderly homes are ill-equipped in taking care of health needs. The government should also adopt Public Private Partnership model to set up palliative (pain relieving) care centres in every town. Who are the elderly living with? As per the National Sample Survey Organisation’s (NSSO) 60th round in 2004. What do elders want? Families: Many among the elderly yearned for families and to play a role in their lives by way of care and nurture for their grandchildren. This likely does not include those who are homeless or destitute. most of the elderly live with their spouses or children.

Why are elders often abandoned by families? Though spending on medicines for the elderly is a significant burden for some families. . money is often only the secondary reason for them to abandon ailing elders. particularly when they suffer ailments that hamper mobility and make them often dependent on others for all needs. The primary reason is the inability and hesitance to take care of them.

Yet in a number of government-run homes. abuse and violence faced by the elderly in India. These homes must also ensure that sufficiently skilled manpower. Private-sector senior housing: According to a 2015 report. Uncaring children found it all too convenient a way to dump their ageing parents in Old-Age homes and move on. the inevitable overcrowding leads to fewer funds and facilities on offer for each resident. This is particularly true in rural India.Need attitudinal change: An attitudinal shift may be necessary to mitigate the neglect. the senior housing concept as conceived by the private sector will must provide options for the elderly at multiple income tiers and have to focus on affordability. it is quite likely that the size of private sector real estate investments into senior housing will expand rapidly in years to come. These usually stem from the perception of senior citizens as not deserving of respect and dignity. or simply as a burden that can be shrugged off. as vulnerable targets for predation for financial or other needs. Increasing old-age homes but insufficient: Public provision of housing for the elderly is on the rise. private-sector-driven accommodation available to the middle classes. yet it has clearly been outpaced by the ageing of the population across Indian states. creating a legal and regulatory framework to ensure that in such environments the security and dignity of the elderly is protected. deployed and monitored. With aged population increasing fast. Inequalities in housing: The starkness of income inequality is evident in the differences between the quality of homes that the destitute elderly can access vis-à-vis the plusher. . Kerala has registered a three-fold increase in old age homes since 2011 compared to the previous three-and-a-half decades. senior housing is a $60-billion industry worldwide. The senior housing concept must also focus on building social acceptance of living in care homes. To be more acceptable. certified. For examples. Now a detailed verification is made in many homes about the background of potential residents before admitting them. including nurses and medical professionals. This epidemic of abandoning elderly parents in homes reflects the seriousness of the supply shortfall in affordable senior care homes. are trained.

elderly parents are often forced to live by themselves. .Elderly families with migrant children: With vast and growing numbers of Indians in the workforce emigrating to foreign lands.

is that depression brought on by loneliness can be a serious concern among residents at such communities. which act as the first point of contact for the children in need. 2017 Fluorosis haunts Nuapada as govt looks the other way . Aurangabad. For them and the other middle and upper classes which can afford them. Vadodara. helpful though they are to the elderly. The elderly from among the destitute population face additional procedural complexities. who inevitably get pushed to beggary on the streets. There should be a helpline for elders like they have the 1098 helpline for children. sophisticated elderly care packages are available on the market. with participation from NGOs that have trained professionals. Yet the problem with all of these arrangements. Similar set up is needed in rescuing and providing healthcare to abandoned elders. The government-supported homes are not encouraged to rescue the poor among the elderly. beggars and not as senior citizens who were abandoned and in need of care. Even though the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act gives the police a major role. Pune. The admitting institutions need to intimate the local police station and getting an approval from them. NRI Parents Organisations have been established in several cities and are on Facebook in Mumbai. they are usually overburdened and not sufficiently trained to handle such cases in a compassionate manner. FEBRUARY-2017 Feb. Rescue and rehabilitation: A good model to follow would be the well-functioning systems like Childline and District Child Protection Committees. Bengaluru and other metros. The breakdown of the traditional Indian joint family system means that a growing cohort of elderly Indians have to live in old age homes far from any family connections. 24. Destitutes (those poor enough to need help from others): The State sees destitute persons. The old-fashioned social relationships with friends and neighbours may ultimately offer as more assistance for the elderly whose children no longer reside in India. including luxury retirement communities and health-care packages. Some among the elderly with NRI children are proactively taking steps to build up a network of social contacts that can to some extent mitigate the loneliness.

Details : Introduction .

Of the 905 habitats. Skeletal Fluorosis: The changes in the bones are referred to as skeletal fluorosis. Lower levels can cause fluoride deficiency.Nearly two decades after the world came to know about a large population in Odisha’s Nuapada district suffering from crippled backbones on account of consumption of high fluoride-laced water. Fluorosis is associated with: 1. Adults mostly suffer from skeletal fluorosis that deforms bones and causes acute pain. A few hundreds of people have even died of the disease. Fluoride deficiency results in Tooth decay.784 habitations.7. Regular intake of products manufactured with high-fluoride containing water may also cause . The earth’s crust has a high content of fluoride and so does the bore well water in endemic areas which is often used as a source of water. Causes of Fluorosis Fluorosis is usually caused by a high level of fluoride in drinking water. Normal acceptable levels of fluoride range from 1. How bad is the condition? Government records show Nuapada has a total of 2. 350 have pipe water supply. Dental Fluorosis: There are changes in the enamel of the tooth are referred to as dental fluorosis.2 PPM. The government claims that fluoride contamination has been addressed. 2. the government is yet to provide a solution to the problem. FLUOROSIS Fluoride is an important mineral required for bone and teeth development. Children below 15 years of age suffer from mottling of teeth or dental fluorosis. Fluoride content is found beyond the permissible level of 1.5 part per million (PPM) in 905 habitations and it varies from 0. Government claims The State government is duty-bound to provide uninterrupted supply of uncontaminated water to the villagers in Nuapada.5 to 4 mg/day. 600 fluoride removal plants have been set up in 543 villages and 34 PWS projects are being executed to cover 98 habitats. while higher levels can cause a condition called fluorosis.14 .

fluorosis. Vegetables and foods grown in endemic areas may also be high in fluoride content. .

Fluoride is also found in toothpaste and other dental products. India is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the course would strengthen the country’s commitment to children’s welfare and protection of their rights. Feb. Socio-Economic Hazards of Fluorosis in India Fluorosis adversely affects the economic productivity of the area. These may be harmful to people already exposed to high fluoride levels. Security and Criminal Justice has launched the course in collaboration with the UNICEF. 22. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child . 2017 Online course in child protection launched Details : THE NEWS An online course in child protection was launched in Jodhpur. with the help of information technology. The course would be offered free of cost to everyone interested in promotion of child rights. The course module was evolved with the help of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). News Summary The Centre for Child Protection in Sardar Patel University of Police. The online course in child protection is aimed at capacity enhancement of stakeholders and widening of horizons of those working in the field. Economic deprivation leads to hunger and malnutrition. People from the non-contaminated zones do not wish to establish any marital relationship with people in the contaminated pockets.

Only three countries have not ratified the Convention: the United States. Niue Island and the Vatican are not members) signed the Convention and only two have not ratified it. United States has signed the convention but has not yet ratified. all of them members of the United Nations. when 20 countries. 1990. Signatory States and Parties to the Convention The Convention took effect on September 7. This means that of the 195 sovereign and independent states represented by the United Nations. . Adopted in 1989. ratified it. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is part of the legally binding international instruments for the guarantee and the protection of Human Rights. 192 member nations (the Cook Islands. the Convention’s objective is to protect the rights of all children in the world. Somalia and South Soudan.

500 and slapping of the face of tipplers with chappal for . 2017 Tribals keen on reviving liquor ban Details : Why in news? The Chenchu and Sugali tribal people are fighting a battle against liquor in the remote Palutla village in the Nallamala Hills. 17. Summary: The village elders had imposed a fine of Rs. More people are eager to see the ban on country-made liquor ‘Thummachakka’ and also Indian- made foreign liquor.Feb. Prakasam district.

But now. the determination for the ban is slowly disappeared as the village elders have started allowing people to consume liquor during festivals and social occasions Some of the tribal people addicted to liquor go to the extent of pledging their .every offence committed. The amount collected as fine from tipplers was used for the community’s welfare.

mapsofindia. ration card with the shopkeeper to buy liquor. It is a self-sustaining hamlet of Chenchu and Sugali tribes with almost no modern days facilities.com/maps/andhrapradesh/andhrapradesh-forest. Now the tribals are ready to work with officers to impose the ban. PALUTLA: ( S o u r c e http://www.html ) Palutla is an ancient remote village in Nallamala forest. People mainly cultivate cotton and follow traditional rituals and customs.map. . So.

Feb. 16, 2017

Removing the price block

Details :

Why in news?

Government of India has issued the notification for fixing the ceiling prices of coronary stents.

(Note: If unclear, please refer to Page 13 of today's Hindu for the above image)

Summary:

Pursuing the vision of Affordable, Quality Healthcare for All, Government of India has issued the
notification for fixing the ceiling prices of coronary stents. The step would bring down the cost of
coronary stents.
Earlier, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare included Coronary Stents in the National List of
Essential Medicines, 2015 (NLEM, 2015).
Then the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers had directed the National Pharmaceutical Pricing

Authority (NPPA) to hold multi-stakeholder consultations on Stent pricing.
In December 2016, the NPAA incorporated Coronary Stents in Schedule I of the Drug Prices Control
Order (DPCO), 2013.
In case of serious violations of the ceiling prices, the NPPA has the authority to recover the
overcharged amount along with 15% interest.

prevalence of CAD in India is about 61.Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD): Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) are major cause of death in India. about 25% of total deaths.5 lakh procedures were done in 2015 which used 4. In 2016. 12. As per the report of National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health. Types of Stents Feb. As per Health Ministry report. Out of these. 90-95% CVD deaths happen due to coronary artery diseases. 2017 ‘22% TV programmes depict tobacco use’ Details : Why in news? Health Ministry recently conducted a study which found that 22% TV programmes were depicting the use of tobacco. more than 3. Presently market size of India made stents is roughly 30%. Summary: .5 million as per 2015 report.73 lakh stents. the figure of cardiac stent must have been above 5 lakhs.

The study evaluated the implementation of the rules on use of tobacco in TV shows/films.Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently conducted a study titled ‘Evaluation of Tobacco Free Film and Television Policy in India’. when properly implemented. were effective in issuing anti-tobacco warnings and even prompting individual decisions to kick . It found that media messages.

. An effective way of tobacco control would be to ingrain and indoctrinate young minds. It also found that only 4% of these programmes implemented at least two of the three elements of the rules and none carried both of the government approved anti-tobacco spots (‘child’ and ‘dhuan’). 71% of these programmes were broadcast when children and adolescents may have been watching. the habit. Poor implementation on TV: As many as 22% TV programmes were found depicting the use of tobacco. The size and popularity of India’s film and TV industry has the power to influence the behaviour and attitudes of millions. Worryingly. the Ministry said. What's the need? Tobacco use is detrimental to all aspects of life and grips users in the most productive years. The study also found the implementation of the rules on TV to be very low. Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA): The Film Rules under the COTPA mandate three forms of warning messages during broadcast of tobacco products in films and TV programmes: Anti-tobacco health spots Audio-visual disclaimers Static health warning messages Better implementation of the COTPA is the need of the hour.

. only 27% implemented all three elements in the approved manner. However.Implementation in films: 99% films with tobacco scenes implemented at least one of the three elements of the rules.

Feb. interviews with audiences exiting the movie halls indicated positive results.Positives: Despite the inconsistent implementation. Around 30% said the messages had encouraged them to quit. in a push for the . 11. 2017 First-of-its-kind Braille atlas launched Details : THE NEWS The central government has released a special edition of an atlas in English Braille. Around half of those who recalled tobacco warning messages agreed that it was easy to understand and made them think.

resources available for visually impaired students. BRAILLE ATLAS .

socio. The government is intending to give some free copies to institutes teaching visually impaired students. Gujarat. Feb. This is the first time that a comprehensive atlas has been prepared for the visually-challenged with attention to minute details. 4. National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation NATMO is an agency of applied geo-spatial technology. The maps are embossed with simple lines and point symbols while the area coverage is easily distinguishable in terms of shapes and textures. and roads and railways. The atlas has been developed in Hindi and English by the National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation (NATMO). crop pattern. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in English and the state’s local language. which is responsible for preparing different thematic maps and atlases. Kolkata. The agency is also working on state specific braille atlases for Assam. metropolitan areas. 2017 Goa to host film festival on disability Details : . The Ministry of Science and Technology has launched the Atlas with an aim to help the visually- challenged people in the country. The atlas has been made using indigenously developed silk-screen painting technology. Each atlas will include 20 maps on different themes — physical. natural vegetation.economic. cultural. especially students. thematic mapping and atlas cartography under the ministry of science and technology. river system.

Summary: The international “We Care Film Festival” on disability issues will be organised .

in the Asia Pacific region and Oman this year.
This will be the 14th global edition of this Film Festival and run from January to May 2017.
The Disability Rights Association of Goa in association with Brotherhood, New Delhi, will take the
festival to schools and colleges in Goa from February 6 to 11.
It aims to sensitise the students on the problems faced by the disabled.

We Care Film Festival:

The aim of the We Care film festivals is to create awareness about disability issues through the
medium of films and promote integration of disabled in society.
The festival is aimed promoting a new approach to disability which guarantees equal rights and
opportunities and equal access and where persons with disability are considered persons first.
We Care aims to remove the myths, misconceptions, prejudices and stereotypes about disabled
and disability among society through the medium of films.
With over 900 short films and documentaries, the film festival has reached out to more than 1.5
lakh people in many countries, including India, Mauritius, Dubai and France.

This is a good place to revisit the The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill - 2016:

https://lms.vajiramandravi.com/current-affairs/the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities- bill-
2016/5856ac57b680d376c8548f8c/

JANUARY-2017

Jan. 29, 2017

States seek to allay fears over measles-rubella vaccine

Details :

Why in news?

States are seeking to launch a massive measles-rubella (MR) vaccination drive.

Summary:

Five States/UTs in the country were hoping to launch a massive measles-rubella (MR) vaccination
drive.
They are aimed at all children above nine months and below 15 years of age. The MR Initiative is
committed to ensuring that no child dies from measles or is born with congenital rubella
syndrome.
The programme is the first phase of the vaccination drive by the Union ministry of health and
family welfare in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Puducherry and Lakshad weep.
The drive will be introduced in other states in a phased manner.
Like in most developed countries, aim is to have children in India receive the combination vaccine
at least twice before they enter school.
But vaccination will be done even older children in the first phase as it will help in wiping out the
virus.

Apprehensions:

However, questions have been raised about the immunisation drive in schools. Some parents of
students, who vaccinated earlier with the older version of the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR)
vaccine, have expressed apprehensions about re-vaccinating their children.
With parents calling it "forced re-immunisation", some States are saying that it would be voluntary
for those immunised earlier with older vaccine.
The government says that the fears of parents are baseless and it is necessary ensure that all
students all students are covered so that the vaccination drive is successful.
The government intends to carry out awareness campaigns to ensure that parents are convinced.

Measles:

Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus. The virus infects the respiratory
tract , then spreads throughout the body.
In the initial stage, high fever, runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes etc are seen. Later, a
rash spreads all over the body. Most measles-related deaths are caused by complications
associated with the disease,
including encephalitis, severe diarrhoea, respiratory infections such as pneumonia etc.
The disease remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally.
Routine measles vaccination and mass immunization campaigns are key public health strategies to
reduce global measles deaths.

The measles vaccine is often incorporated with rubella vaccines in countries where these illnesses are problems. .

the court said the implication of the Canon law is confined to religious purposes and has no legal impact on the divorce or annulment of marriage between two Christians. while clinically less severe than measles. It said that the church courts cannot pronounce divorce for Christians as personal laws could not override parliamentary legislations. News summary: Canon law and decrees of divorce given by ‘Church Courts’ (also called ecclesiastical tribunals) cannot override the statutory law of divorce. Code of Canon Law and Church courts: The Code of Canon Law for Christians regulates and provides for the solemnisation of marriage or declaration of divorce by the parish priest of a church. says Supreme Court Details : Why in news? Supreme Court said that the ‘Church courts’ cannot veto statutory divorce law. the Supreme Court said. deafness and cardiac defects. could cause spontaneous abortions. Only courts under the Indian Divorce Act established under Indian Constitution can grant divorce for Christians. The Supreme Court clarified that there was no place or need for such courts in India. which is caused by an infection of the Toga virus. In such instances. stillbirths or congenital anomalies including cataracts. glaucoma. In Molly’s case. if contracted during early pregnancy. the church acts as a court and hence they are called the "church courts". . Jan.Rubella: Rubella. which governs divorce among Christians. The Supreme Court referred to its 1996 judgment in the case of Molly Joseph versus George Sebastian upholding the binding nature of the Indian Divorce Act of 1869. 2017 ‘Church courts’ cannot veto divorce law. 20.

Impact on triple talaq? .

a large proportion of rural India still use kerosene lamps for lighting. they should also recognise the Canon law as the personal law of Indian Catholics. some say that the order on Christian divorce may not have any bearing on the case pertaining to Muslim personal law as divorce in Muslim personal law is not covered by any of the legislation.000 kilometres. . Petitioner argued that as courts recognise dissolution by triple talaq under the Mohammedan personal law. The court is presently hearing a row of petitions on the practices of Islamic personal law like triple talaq and polygamy. 9. the generation capacity in the country has grown by 7% every year and transmission lines have been extended a further 20. Jan. 2017 Minigrids: Game changer for Rural India? Details : INTRODUCTION Nearly 70 years after independence and a quarter of a century after economic reforms. Over last few years. However. Some say the order will have a bearing on the petitions challenging the practice of triple talaq against Muslim women pending before the apex court.

The government has set the target of providing electricity to all households by 2022. .

A ‘Micro Grid’ system is similar to a mini grid but having a generation capacity of below 10KW. A minigrid should be able to serve larger commercial and small industrial loads. Mini grids can spur economic activity in rural areas and accelerate the process of expanding mobile phone network across the country due to their large capacities and the ability to connect to the national grid.hand with delegation to private enterprise. mini-grids can provide a viable interim solution until the long arm of the utility reaches these remote corners. The load served by a microgrid is usually residential only. Hence. . Mini-grids serve localised needs of a few thousand households or a few hundred hamlets in rural areas. In India.grid power system with a generation capacity of between 10 KW and 500 KW. Micro and mini grids generally operate in isolation to the electricity networks of the DISCOM-grid but can also interconnect with the grid to exchange power. In Africa. Minigrid and microgrid usually source their power from renewable energy sources.WHY MINIGRIDS? It is time we faced up to the reality that neither our Rural Electrification Corporation nor the state renewable energy development agencies have been able to connect every corner of our country to centralised grid. Decentralisation in the sector is the need of the hour and has to go hand-in. MINIGRIDS AND MICROGRIDS A mini grid (as defined by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) is an off. There are number of other solutions of smaller capacities that rural areas can use: Such as a solar lantern or a community solution like a micro grid. they can be key player in drifting away from carbon-based energies. thousands of villages are being supplied through mini-grids by private initiatives.

Usually. It also has a storage facility to meet night demand as well. Tariff flexibility is also given such that the tariff for the power coming from a mini grid is decided between the provider and the community served. While it is good for lighting. it does not satisfy the community’s requirement to run any sort of business. they do not provide the energy required to fuel enterprise or commercial activity. The power that comes out is regular and standard with no fluctuations. sell their excess power to the grid or even exit by selling their assets to the distribution companies. FLEXIBLE RULES Government regulations now provide complete flexibility to the investor. the power coming from the smaller off-grid solutions is DC energy. allowing them to compete with the grid.MINIGRIDS AS POSSIBLE GAME-CHANGER One of the deficiencies of the microgrid power solution models is that while these solutions are good in moving households away from kerosene and providing them with reliable and clean energy. . A mini grid is the only alternative that provides the kind of electricity that can be used for business activities. A mini grid is a system that converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) and it provides safety as per standards.

NEED FOR A REGULATORY FRAMEWORK .

stability and predictability. 6.gov. While the full-fledged regulatory supervision of mini-grids by the state will be counter- productive. The public hearing was organised to highlight the difficulties of labourers working in mines. With the emergence of renewable energy certificates. but can also become a source of revenue to the host cluster of villages.thehindu. There is a provision for payment of financial assistance of Rs. activity-says- Smart-Power%E2%80%99s-Mukherjee/article17009311.sustaining. The policy aims to create up to 500 MW capacity in the private sector in the next five years. In addition.com/business/Economy/Minigrids-can-power-rural-economic. 2017 Community health centres to screen people for silicosis Details : THE NEWS: Labourers in state of Rajasthan are suffering from silicosis because of exposure to dust particles.in/file-manager/UserFiles/draft-national-Mini_Micro-Grid-Policy. for which government schemes offer attractive upfront subsidies. They are finding it difficult to get certificates from the Pneumoconiosis Board stating their positive status. 1 lakh to the silicosis patients if they test positive and acompensation of Rs. 3 lakh is given to the next of kin of a person who dies .pdf http://www. some of these mini-grids with surplus power can sell to the main grid and become not just self. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a draft national policy for mini and micro grids. some light-handed regulation is imperative.ece Jan. Huge initial capital costs of setting up distributed generation facilities is the biggest obstacle. SOURCE: Draft National Policy: http://mnre. The district administration at Bhilwara in Rajasthan has assured that the community health centres will screen people for the disease. The potential is immense and the government should convert its statements of intent into an enabling environment through the formulation of a clear-cut policy and regulatory framework. mini-grids will industrialise rural India but the investors need clarity.

SILICOSIS: . because of silicosis.

There is no cure for silicosis. Prevention is the best way to avoid the disease. there is sudden spike in illegal sex-determination cases in Uttar Pradesh. Haryana government officials have conducted many inter-State raids over the past one-and-a-half- years to track cases of illegal sex determination and female foeticide. Jan. 2. which is the second most common mineral found within the crust of the earth and is a major component of sand and rocks. Silicosis is a lung disease that is caused by inhaling particles of silica dust. 2017 Spurt in illegal sex-determination tests Details : THE NEWS: According to officials. .

Despite increased vigil against cases of illegal sex determination as part of ambitious “Beti Bachao.Due to increased enforcement in Haryana. Beti Padhao” campaign. there are reports illegal sex determination cases coming from different states. touts are now taking the pregnant women to neighbouring states for illegal sex-determination. .

Increased institutional deliveries. Mulit-sectoral interventions includes: 1. BETI PADHAO CAMPAIGN The Census (2011) data showed a significant declining trend in the Child Sex Ratio (CSR). Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Human Resource Development. calculated as number of girls for every 1000 boys between age group of 0-6 years. Construction of Functional Toilets for girls. Decreased drop-out rate. Strengthening PNDT Cells. protection and empowerment of the girl child. Involvement of gender champions. Since coordinated and convergent efforts are needed to ensure survival. Reward & recognition of institutions & frontline workers. This is being implemented through a national campaign and focussed multi sectoral action in 100 selected districts low in CSR. Girl Child friendly standards in schools. Undertake training of stakeholders. nurtured and educated without discrimination to become empowered citizens of this country. 1994. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare: Monitor implementation of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCP&DT) Act. covering all States and UTs. The campaign aims at ensuring girls are born. This is a joint initiative of Ministry of Women and Child Development.BETI BACHAO. with an all time low of 918 in 2011 from 976 in 1961. Ministry of Human Resource Development: Universal enrolment of girls. Ministry of WCD: Promote registration of pregnancies in first trimester in Anganwadi Centres (AWCs). 2. The decline in the CSR is a major indicator of women disempowerment. . Community mobilization & sensitization. Setting up Monitoring Committees 3. CSR reflects pre- birth discrimination manifested through gender biased sex selection and post birth discrimination against girls. Registration of births. Strict implementation of Right to Education (RTE). Government has announced Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative.

Goal: .

Ensuring survival & protection of the girl child. Objectives: The objectives of this initiative are: Prevention of gender biased sex selective elimination. As and when patient visits health facility again or goes to another health facility. Digital records are being prepared for patients undergoing treatment in all government hospitals in the state. The Overall Goal of the Beti Bachao. The health card will facilitate the people in getting treatment without repeated check-ups. The entire data in respect of each individual will be preserved in a central server so that the same can be accessed from any health facility in the State on the basis of unique ID of the person concerned. the record of . the report of those tests will be entered into the computer and uploaded on Health Card too. Ensuring education and participation of the girl child. Health cards to be issued to every citizen in Haryana Details : THE NEWS: Haryana will soon become the first state to issue health cards to all its 2. HEALTH CARDS: The concept of health cards is that all essential tests of each individual will be conducted. This system presupposes that the health data will have to be seeded with Unique Identification (UID) All investigations shall be automatically linked with the Unique Health Identification Number (UHID) of the patient when patient gets them done. A preliminary report will be given by the hospital relating to the health status of the person concerned.5 crore citizens. Beti Padhao(BBBP) Scheme is to Celebrate the Girl Child & Enable her Education . This will enable doctors to easily access the patient's entire medical history online. The results of all tests and OPD/Indoor services given to the patient shall get linked to the UHID.

the patient shall have to use an identity proof. For initial registration.patient (all details including old and new investigations) shall be visible to the doctor. .

2016 CCEA approves road projects for Maoist-hit areas Details : Why in news? The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Affected Areas. village with 250 people or more will be connected. tribal areas (like Bastar) and desert areas (say. The National Highways and the State Highways would be excluded from this project.411.81 km road and 126 bridges/Cross Drainage works will be taken up under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). The roads will be operable throughout the year irrespective of all weather conditions. The roads to be constructed under the scheme have been identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs in close consultation with the state governments. around Thar desert). The project will be improve connectivity in 44 worst affected LWE districts and adjoining districts which are critical from the security and communications point of view. The construction or upgradation of 5. In plain areas. With higher devolution of funds to the States as per the recommendations of 14th Finance Commission. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY): Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was launched on 25th December 2000 as a fully funded Centrally Sponsored Scheme to provide all weather road connectivity in rural areas of the country. all villages with population more than 500 people will be connected. Summary: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Affected Areas. Another nine adjoining districts are critical from the security angle. the fund sharing pattern of PMGSY has been changed to the ratio of 60:40 between the Centre and States for all States except for 8 North Eastern and 3 Himalayan . DECEMBER-2016 Dec. 35 districts are worst affected by LWE which account for 90 per cent of total LWE violence in the country. Of these. 29. In hill states (like NE states).

The Government has brought forward the target date by three years from 2022 to 2019 to achieve complete rural connectivity through all-weather roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. PMGSY. .States for which it will be 90:10.

in hospitals across the country. . Current Scenario: As health is a state subject. Under this system deaths will be uniformly coded along with the cause and details of the patients. AIIMS will be technical and the implementing partner for this programme. AIIMS to set up National Death Registry Details : THE NEWS: The Union Health Ministry in collaboration with AIIMS will set up a National Death Registry. AIIMS has already implemented the pilot version of the death registry which have a coding system called the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine (SNOMED). including their causes. microorganisms. This will help policy makers have a better understanding of disease outbreaks so as to optimise the resources and healthcare facilities in respective regions. etc. findings. Objective: To have a nationwide database about the causes of deaths occurring in hospitals in various regions of India. SNOMED It is an international standard of providing codes. The registry will have data about deaths. diseases. This is the first time that such an international coding system is being implemented in healthcare in India. 2016 Health Ministry. terms and synonyms and definitions which cover anatomy. It is creating hurdles for policymakers in framing health and disease related policies. 28.Dec. procedures. so the entire death data is not transmitted to the central depository.

24.Dec. 2016 .

. which have not kept pace with the economic growth in this country. Governance & Information and Key inputs/processes. The maximum weightage is awarded to measurable outcomes since these remain the focus of achievement. rather than focusing on historical achievements. This initiative is envisioned to bring improvements in social sector outcomes. Indicators are categorized into the domains of Health outcomes. The salient features of the health index are as follows: It comprises a limited set of indicators grouped into relevant domains and sub. A composite index would be calculated which focuses on measuring the ‘level’ of health status of each State (calculated as a weighted average of the various indicators). The index will rank various States on the basis of their performance on measurable health indicators.domains for which data are available with the States. Indicators have been selected based on their periodic availability through existing data sources such as the Sample Registration System (SRS). It is anticipated that this health index will assist in State level monitoring of performance. The health index will assist in State-level monitoring of performance. Through this index NITI Aayog and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) will measure steps taken by States towards improvements in health sector. with inputs from domestic and international experts. including academicians and development partners as well as feedback from States. Civil Registration System (CRS) and Health Management Information Systems (HMIS).NITI Aayog rolls out health index Details : THE NEWS: The government think tank NITI Aayog rolled out a ‘Performance on Health Outcomes’ index. It will serve as an input for providing performance-based incentives and improvement in health outcomes. The index has been developed over several months. Highlights of Index: The index has been launched with a view to rapidly bring about transformative action in achieving the health goals. serve as an input for providing performance based incentives and improvement in health outcomes. It will be used to propel action in the States to improve health outcomes and improve data collection systems. The index is meant to assess the annual improvements by States.

The change in the index from the base year to a reference year. and in each subsequent year. will help in assessment of incremental improvement of each .

It found that India had among the worst levels of gender wage disparity. Among major economies. State. the gender wage gap is showing Details : Summary: Gender wage disparity refers to men earning more than women (as this is mostly the case) in similar jobs. States/UTs will be ranked in categories to ensure comparison among similar entities. there were fewer women in highly paid occupations. in relation to its own baseline performance. only South Korea fared worse than India. It also found that not only were women paid less. . but only 15 per cent of the highest wage-earners. women formed 60 per cent of the lowest paid wage labour. Dec. In India. Global Wage Report 2016-17 is released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). at 3 per cent. 22. with the wage gap more than 30 per cent. with a gap of 37 per cent. Singapore had among the lowest. 2016 Pardon.

Share of women among wage earners: .

like nursing and child-care. INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION: ILO is the only tripartite (involving three parties) U. women’s educational choices produced occupational segregation (that is. also results in a gender pay gap. and in Asia-Pacific. it is 38 per cent. agency that brings together governments. The report also found that the share of women among wage earners in South Asia was only 20 per cent. Why the wage gap? The report noted that typically. which was among the lowest in any region. The report says strong labour market institutions and policies such as minimum wages help in lowering the wage gap. employers and workers representatives of 187 member states. Women working more in sectors where their work is undervalued. the top 1 per cent earned 33 times what the bottom 10 per cent did. Compared to it. develop . to set labour standards. The top 10 per cent also earned 43 per cent of all wages.N. average wages rose by 60 per cent in India. High Inequality: The ILO threw light on high income inequality. Since 2006. In India. men doing some kinds of jobs and women doing other kinds of jobs). the global average of the share of women among wage earners is 40 per cent.

employers and governments to ensure that the views of the social partners are closely reflected in labour standards and in shaping policies and programmes. as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I to reflect the belief that universal and lasting peace can be . The ILO was created in 1919. The unique tripartite structure of the ILO gives an equal voice to workers.policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.

ILO received the Nobel Peace Prize for improving peace among classes. The ILO became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946. Will certainly be useful to quote in the essay and GS papers in the mains exam. OBJECTIVES: 1. All such posts on the portal will be linked together. accomplished only if it is based on social justice. Strengthen tripartism and social dialogue Note to students: Students are advised to memorize or note down the stats. Enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all 4. Set and promote standards and fundamental principles and rights at work 2. pursuing decent work and justice for workers and providing technical assistance to other developing nations. 2016 Ultrasound devices to be mapped Details : THE NEWS: . 20. More news articles on this wage report might come up with time. Create greater opportunities for women and men to decent employment and income 3. Dec. Switzerland AIM: To promote rights at work. Enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues. Encourage decent employment opportunities. HEADQUARTERS: Geneva. In 1969.

In an attempt to identify unauthorised and unregistered diagnostic centres in the country. the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoFW) has decided that all ultrasound machines in States will be mapped. Mapping will be carried out through a ground-level survey of all centres and . The mapping will be carried out by the authorities in States by visiting every centre and recording details of the devices.

natal diagnostic techniques except for the purpose of detection of one or more of: 1. there was a Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act. and newer technologies like amniocentesis and biopsy. ultrasound machines. It has been claimed that the PC&PNDT Act focusses solely on ultrasonography as a technique for sex-selection. Regularising the diagnostic facilities. Chromosomal abnormalities 2.com/current-affairs/keep-birth. Genetic metabolic diseases 3. Related Link: About Female Foeticide: https://lms. Originally. 2002. signs or in any other manner” and “no person shall. The idea is to regulate all centres and thus monitor them thoroughly and minimise malpractices. Sex-linked genetic diseases 5. Since they are not registered. Curbing sex determination tests and female foeticide.vajiramandravi. which is mandatory under the Pre Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act. The PC & PNDT Act states that no place or doctor is authorized to conduct pre. by whatever means.) AIMS: 1. The mapping will help reduce the thousands of unregistered sonography centres that have mushroomed over the years. Unregulated machines and centres are misused for carrying out illegal sex determination tests. Haemoglobinopathies 4. Congenital anomalies It also states that “no person including the person conducting pre-natal diagnostic procedures shall communicate to the pregnant woman concerned or her relatives or any other person the sex of the foetus by words. 2. (Form F is a document to be filled by radiologists carrying out ultrasound tests on any pregnant woman. they don’t follow the rules of submitting Form F for every case. 1994 but due to the prevalence of pre-conception diagnosis a newer law was put in order.database-to-curb- female-foeticide/5822d280b680d35eb33a08cb/ . cause or allow to be caused selection of sex before or after conception”. Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act: It is covered under the Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act.

There is a long list of such duties like conducting housing and economic surveys. Problems with Teachers: Disinterested teachers Teacher absenteeism A culture of proxy teachers and sub-contracting (someone else teaching) The shortage of trained professionals and appointment of untrained teachers Long distance postings for teachers Lack of motivation among teachers Poor accommodation facilities Non-academic duties Non-academic duties: Teachers are also distracted by numerous non-teaching duties throughout the year. and managing mid-day meals. 19. Students who miss classes frequently fall behind and find it hard to recover. census duty. Day-to-day clerical tasks add to the workload. This gets worse as parents here show little interest and have children at work or at home looking after the younger siblings. Teachers says students in rural areas show little interest in studies. . voter identity card duty. 2016 Summary: Primary Education Series in The Hindu Details : Note: Some articles have been merged. -- Title: A noble profession under pressure + Heavy cost of a policy that neglects educators Problems of students and parents: Learning is slow in rural areas as students are not trained in formal schooling prior to Class I. Most schools have no administrative jobs and so teachers have to deal with the clerical work also. Teachers’ extra duties are considered the big obstacle to teaching. opening bank accounts. Dec. Aadhar card registration. election duty.

Concerns:

Teacher shortage - According to the Ministry of Human Resources, there was a shortage of more
than 8.5 lakh trained primary and upper-primary teachers across the country.
Governments failing in distributing learning materials on time.
Some point out that the prime reason for the poor learning and teaching is teachers shirking their
duty.
A shift in mentality towards the teaching profession is needed.
The substandard teaching and learning experience in government schools has over the years
caused a shift in preference toward private schools.
A government-led system of support for the overall improvement in teacher quality and training is
virtually non-existent.
Ninety percent of teacher's training institutes are run by private sector and private training
institutes are selling teachers’ degrees.
The block resource centres, cluster resource centres and district institutes of education and
training (DIETs) are non-functional.

--

Title: Educating a nation

A well-known saying - If you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a
woman, you educate a nation.

Discrimination against girls:

Girls face a two-pronged discrimination:
One, from their parents - who send their boys to private schools and girls to government schools.
Two, from the teachers - when teachers reinforce the belief that boys learn faster than girls, thus
discouraging the girls.

More girls drop-out:

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2015 puts the proportion of dropouts in the age
group of 6-14 at 3.9 per cent.
Of this, 22 per cent boys and 24 per cent girls dropped out before completing Class I.
However, the difference in dropout rates between girls and boys increases among 11–14 year
olds, as girls are taken out of schools to work at home or get married.
Two-thirds of those not in school were from the lowest castes, tribal groups and Muslim
communities.
The government is spending on campaigns to protect the girl child and also pledging to educate her
– Beti Bachchao and Beti Padhao.

For this, education needs to be accessible nearer to the residence for the girls at all ages.
Many girls drop out of school if schools are far as parents fear for the girls' safety.

stated that there was no reliable data available on the actual number of children benefiting from Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE). -- Title: Contrasting realities in primary schooling Enrollment: India is witnessing a steady upward trend in the proportion of students in primary education choosing private schools over public schools. which has ECE as one of its six components.schools and anganwadis continues to be a major concern. rather than providing a strong conceptual and cognitive foundation for the child.5 million children (48 per cent) were reported to be covered under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS). According to the tenth Annual Status of Education Report (ASER). As per the Census 2011. They ignored the positive impacts of pre-school education on a child’s learning capabilities.7 million children in the 0-6 years’ age group. 30. As early as 1944. adopted in September 2013. The parents believe these to be better quality and are also willing to pay a fee for it. ECE holds the key to every child’s lifelong development. Private pre-schools are emerging as the preferred choice of parents for ECE with most parents.-- Title: Fine-tuning education for society’s youngest + Getting the elementary arithmetic wrong Early Childhood Education (ECE): Across India. The focus is either on teaching of reading. Ensuring quality of the ECE programme remains a key challenge before the Centre. A decline in the qualification and training levels of teachers in private pre. Estimates by the WCD Ministry in 2011 showed that about 76. India has 158. a lack of effective regulation appears to be eroding the overall quality of Early Childhood Education (ECE). The National Early Childhood Care and Education policy. writing and arithmetic. the Central Advisory Board of Education’s (CABE) report emphasised on provision of pre-primary education as an essential part of national system of education.8 per cent . Challenges: Researchers pointed out that both private and anganwadi models demonstrated lack of developmentally appropriate curricula. Policies including the RTE Act prioritised schooling of children only from age six.

We always only measure numerical outcomes such as access to schools. the results were better in private schools than their government school counterparts. learning outcomes were never specifically assessed in India. and good teachers. There are ten competency milestones a child has to achieve per grade under ABL. Through this. Then the Twelfth Plan recognised the need for measuring and improving learning outcomes. To achieve this. Learning outcomes: Overall. This is being followed by the State-run elementary and middle schools. This approach helped get more children into school by lowering the cost of primary education. targeting early reading and writing with comprehension and understanding mathematics as “twin track approach”. painting. Teachers should recognise that children learn at different speeds. -- Title: The government school system in Tamil Nadu Activity Based Learning (ABL): The public school system in TN also made bold shift away from the previous method of rote learning. textbooks and other teaching materials. of rural enrolments in the 6-14 age group were in private schools in 2014. Badhe Bharat’ (Learn India. 48 and 75 per cent. Class 5 and Class 8 students who could read a Class 2 textbook was respectively 24. ABL is a structured learning method based on a card-ladder system. To reach each milestone. Also. Gross enrolment ratio has increased from 82 per cent of children in the 6-14 age group in 2000 to 96 per cent or higher since 2008. It marks an increase of 22 per cent over eight years. a dense school network was created covering urban and rural areas. It is no simple matter to improve the quality of learning regardless of public or private sector. As primary school years are important for cognitive (mental) development. pass percentages and dropout rates. The Centre has also launched the ‘Padhe Bharat. uniforms. students engage with Activity Based Learning (ABL). Develop India). student has to learn series of activities like writing. led by Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh. have deployed Activity-Based Learning (ABL) for better mental development. . children would be provided with classrooms. ASER notes that in 2014 the proportion of Class 3. Government schools in numerous states. India realised the existence of poor knowledge acquiring skills only after the NGO Pratham began publishing its Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) since the mid-2000s.

.conversations. singing. story-telling. or role-play activities.

it led to a massive investment in education infrastructure with about 3. Also. Also. Education for migrants' children: The government school system in Tamil Nadu has also has excelled in implementing programmes for children who drop out owing to the migration of their parents Education officers track migration to the cotton fields of Salem. Orissa. when they have to start reading text in Class VI after five years of ABL. the governments then open non-residential schools in the vicinity of the work sites. best practices of the traditional classroom were ignored. Bihar. -- Title: Empowering the Right to Education RTE and SSA: Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act in 2009 effectively made education a fundamental right of every child in the age group of 6 to 14. there are still major . Now 99 per cent of India’s rural population has a primary school within a one kilometre radius. Most primary school teachers lacked the lacked the ability to adapt to this system. Issues with RTE: Despite significant gains in increasing access to schooling. Since then. But little was done to overhaul the teacher training system. Even before RTE. Based on these migration patterns. Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) scheme was launched in 2001. Gross enrolment ratio has increased from 82 per cent of children in the 6-14 age group in 2000 to 96 per cent or higher since 2008.Constraints of ABL: Attention issues have been noticed in children. These schools engage a temporary “education volunteer” who would be an individual who has passed the Class 12 public examination. India’s government schools played a remarkable role in achieving this. and Jharkhand. like cotton fields or construction sites.5 lakh new schools opened just in the past decade. a 55 per cent decline in dropout rate has been reported between 2005 and 2014 in the age group 6-14. These schools are also catering to the education needs of out-of-state children coming from as far as Andhra Pradesh. ABL mode is dependent on the imagination and activism of the teacher. where agricultural workers from other districts go to work during the harvest season.

A big issue has been the large number of low cost or budget schools that have faced closure for failing to meet infrastructure norms envisioned under the RTE Act. STs and minorities. there were too many government schools with some schools teaching Classes I to V. India has the largest number of out-of-school children in the world. An estimated 6 million children are out-of-school of which 75% are SCs. glitches in the implementation of the Act. Enrollment in senior secondary grades has also increased by over 2 lakh. They are part of an effort to ensure that children have access to one institution that offers education from Classes I to XII. Integrating schools was also an efficient way to solve teacher shortages. gender parity has improved across all classes. There is also a huge difference between urban and rural education What to do? 70 per cent of India’s students study in government school. The success of the Adarsh schools has meant that the Rajasthan government has been able to improve inclusion outcomes without going the way of privatisation. Even with the increasing enrolment numbers. it has seen about 15 lakh students returning to the public school system. These schools have good infrastructure. in Rajasthan. So. In two years since the policy has been in place. So. -- Title: Transformational effect of school planning Rajasthan Adarsh Schools: Previously. According to some reports. Much of the focus around RTE remained on the 25 per cent reservation of seats for children from disadvantaged backgrounds in private schools. 66 per cent of students in the government system are now transitioning to Class XI as opposed to 50 per cent previously. some IX to XII etc. Primary and secondary schools were bundled into one compound. Some good examples are the Tamil Nadu system and the recent Adarsh Integrated Schools model of Rajasthan. some I to VII. It is evident that the scheme is having an impact on the ground. soe VI to X. High school completion in India is only 42 per cent. teacher quality and targeted learning for children from disadvantaged groups. Importantly. some schools were converted into Adarsh integrated schools. This caused a huge problem in managing them and also caused students to drop out once they are finished at their schools. it is important to fix this system in terms of improving infrastructure. The eventual plan is to have one such school in every gram panchayat. .

as per 2013-14 data. at 8. Reasons: There are many reasons why a child might drop out from school. availability. is critical. If you create a national picture by mathematical aggregation. which range from migration of families and child marriage. which is below the national average. the state as a whole had a secondary school dropout rate of 27 per cent. as drop-outs often speak of teachers beating them. For example. and it was even higher at the secondary level.86 per cent. https://lms.vajiramandravi. that picture is meaningless since regional variations (state level. to lack of school infrastructure such as drinking water and toilets. But Maoist insurgency-affected district of Kurnool had an extremely high dropout rate of 45 per cent. The role of the teacher.-- Title: Why children drop out from primary school Note: This part was earlier published on the portal. Another reason why drop-rates rise after Class V is that this is the stage when a child reaches the age – 10-11 years – when it is considered suitable for induction into child labour. while Karnataka has a dropout rate of 2.com/current-affairs-archive/ Summary: India has made significant progress in raising enrollment rates for primary education schools. and accessibility are three big reasons why children drop out of school. especially girls. But we have been less successful at preventing dropouts during this critical learning phase. Post-Class V. at 18 per cent. For example. in Andhra Pradesh. too. and Manipur’s is four times. The variations are sharper if the data is disaggregated to district level. at 17. dropout rate for STs in Nellore district was a high 77 per cent. is double the national rate. Huge variations: Former director of NCERT says that there is no such thing as a national picture when it comes to school dropouts.34 per cent in 2014-15.4 per cent. Rajasthan’s. and parents deem it unsafe for a child. and complain that teachers waste class time in chit-chat with other teachers. . district level) are far too big. But poverty. For example.3 per cent. Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) data says that the national dropout rate at the primary level was 4. distance to school also tends to increase.

2016 Don’t brush child drug abuse under the carpet: SC to Centre Details : Why in news? The Supreme Court asked the centre to formulate a comprehensive national plan to combat the rising menace of drug and alcohol abuse among children. The petition was filed to ensure that children are provided with a better and more healthy childhood. by counselling the student and parent. The data will be maintained by the National University for Education Planning and Administration (NUEPA). Background: The court’s directions came on a petition filed by NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan led by Nobel prize winner Kailash Sathyarthi. therefore. and convincing parents of first generation students of the value of education always makes a big difference. Tracking drop-outs: The MHRD has already initiated a new system of tracking drop-out rates by students’ Aadhar IDs. social and cultural factors play a major role in school retention and. 15. . so that early intervention can be made to bring the child back to school. Ensuring social inclusiveness. Dec. sensitising teachers. We should respond quickly to early indicators of a potential dropout. any intervention to reduce dropouts need to be rooted in local contexts. such as absenteeism. especially with regard to girls and SC/ST children.How to deal with this? Such sharp variations between states and even within states suggest that local. like early interventions by tracking drop- outs. It is also possible to identify a few generic approaches.

Trafficking and drug abuse inherently linked to each other are the most prevalent forms of organised crime in the world. Some statistics: .

13. They constitute 24 per cent of the population of the country. It showed that the average age of beginning of usage was 12. Why the sudden focus on children? As per Census 2011. Similarly. The judgment said the harmful effects of drugs. 28.1 years. in the girls aged 15-19. But. The plan should include recovery. heroin starts at 14. Protecting children from widespread prevalence of substance abuse is one of the biggest policy challenges facing India. .6 per cent used tobacco and 15 per cent were addicted to alcohol. The court also ordered opening of de-addiction centre for children in every district within six months. 5. Note: No need to mug up all the actual numbers. The Centre was asked to complete a national survey and create a national database on substance abuse among children. educational.9 years and use of substances through injecting route at starts at 15. counseling and their rehabilitation. A sample study was done by the National Commission on Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in August 2013. After that. A Helath Ministry survey found that among the boys aged between 15 and 19.6 years for alcohol.5 per cent used tobacco while 4 per cent were addicted to alcohol. Standard operating procedure should be created to deter drug peddling and distribution of drugs in schools.3 years for tobacco. alcohol and tobacco abuse among children should be included in the school curriculum as part of the New Education Policy proposed by the Centre. moral and physical development. tobacco and alcohol abuse among children.4 years for marijuana (cannabis) and 13. within six months. child care institutions and on police action to be taken in these cases. This large group also constitutes a vulnerable age group for social. The court directed the centre to formulate a comprehensive national action plan to combat the rising menace of drugs.3-14. it would be good to observe the general figures on how abuse is getting started at such young ages. 24 crore children are adolescent (10-19 years). the use of harder substances like opium. Summary of what SC said: The Supreme Court said that we should get serious on how children should be protected from the dangers of substance abuse.

10. 2016 Disabled children miss out due to lack of support services: Report Details : .Dec.

even within their families and poverty only compounds their problems. Tamil Nadu had the least terrible record in providing employment for the PWDs. nearly one-third are children with disabilities. Odisha. 38 per cent of all male PWDs were illiterate and illiteracy rate was 55 per cent for female PWDs. it rates states on their performance on these key parameters. The report has focussed on the theme with the ultimate objective of persuading more and more people to dismantle boundaries between mainstream social rights activism and disability rights groups. The report noted that the high incidence of polio in India may be responsible for the high proportion of movement disability. Making use of 29 indicators and six broad dimensions. is to lead to the inclusion of persons with disability because they face neglect. he said. At the national level. assistive devices and transport for the disabled children to complete their schooling. only 2 per cent of the PWDs were enrolled in any vocational course . Movement disability accounted for the largest number of PWDs. 2016 THEME: Disabilities Rights Perspectives The report says. INDIA SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT REPORT.THE NEWS: With the objective of bridging the gap between the mainstream social rights activists and disability rights groups. 74. According to the report. Assam and Delhi had the lowest proportions of the PWDs. Sikkim.1 per cent of the illiterate PWDs illiterate. while Tamil Nadu. a State long associated with near-total literacy has 33. The idea behind the report. with 59 per cent of the PWDs being non-workers. coupled with poor diagnoses of medical conditions. 64 per cent of the PWDs in India were non-workers. This may be a result of under-reporting due to the stigmatising nature of psycho-social disabilities. It is estimated that out of the all the children of primary school age who are out of school. Kerala has worst record in providing employment to PWDs. Kerala. It called upon the State governments to ensure availability of minimum support such as accommodation.52% are non-workers. The majority of the working PWDs were employed as casual labourer or agricultural labourer. Jammu and Kashmir and Lakshadweep had the highest incidence of disability. ‘Mental illness’ and ‘mental retardation’ constituted the lowest proportion among the PWDs. India’s literacy rate is 74 per cent. followed by hearing disability and visual impairment. about 45 per cent of all persons with disabilities (PWD) in India are illiterate. the Council for Social Development released its India Social Development Report 2016.

.On the subject of healthcare. The report is based on data from a number of sources. lack of social services and transport were the top obstacles to the PWDs accessing health care facilities. including the census. the report concluded that the cost.

Social Development Report Social Development Report is an integral part of CSD’s advocacy efforts. Each SDR also carries a Social Development Index (SDI) by considering six major dimensions of social development. dialogue. data-sets of the India Human Development Survey. and the National Family Health Survey and fresh empirical studies.screen-films-for- disabled-children/581b0885b680d35ebaada78d/ Dec. 9. They include demographic parameters. Each SDR focuses on a specialised theme. health indicators. economic deprivation and social deprivation. and public discourse to develop more inclusive policies. 2016 Triple talaq' a cruel and most demeaning form of divorce: HC . basic amenities. civil society.com/current-affairs/iffi-to. the National Sample Survey (NSS). discourse and discussion CSD is able to influence the government. Related Links: Accessible India Campaign: https://lms. educational attainments. COUNCIL FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: The Council for Social Development (CSD) is non-governmental organisation. deprived and marginalised sections of society. CSD has been contributing to the amelioration of the poorest. identifying major concerns and suggesting measures and instruments for possible intervention and reviewing India’s commitment to the social sector.vajiramandravi. The India Social Development Report is a biennial publication coordinated by Council for Social Development and published by Oxford University Press. CSD was set up as a think tank to keep a focus on the social aspects of development planning and to initiate policy oriented research on the social determinants of development. Using innovative social ideas.

which “impedes and drags India from becoming a nation.Details : THE NEWS: The Allahabad High Court has come down heavily on the practice of “triple talaq” and stated this form of “instant divorce” is “cruel” and “most demeaning”. .” Triple talaq is the practice by which Muslim men can orally end their marriages.

The instant divorce [triple talaq] though has not been followed by all sects of Muslim community in the country but is a cruel and the most demeaning form of divorce practised by the Muslim community at large. The law board governs marriage. arguing that the rights bestowed by religion cannot be questioned in a court of law. What did the bench say? The arbitrary use of "triple talaq" by Muslim men was not in sync with Islamic law. The court did not pass a ruling on the matter since it has already been taken up in the Supreme Court. when all efforts for effecting reconciliation have failed then the parties may proceed to dissolution of marriage by Talaq. Personal laws of any community cannot claim supremacy over the rights granted to individuals by the Constitution. Muslim law. Muslim law in the country are contrary to teachings of Quran and the Prophet. has taken a course contrary to the spirit of what the Prophet or the Holy Quran laid down and the same misconception vitiates the law dealing with the wife’s right to divorce. What Critics say? Several Muslim bodies had criticised the Centre’s stand on it calling it a violation of citizens’ right to freedom of religion. Personal laws of any community cannot claim supremacy over the rights granted to individuals by the Constitution. Constitution is supreme over personal laws of any community. The government has supported the Allahabad High Court’s remarks and termed it as a progressive decision (triple talaq) by court. it impedes and drags India from becoming a nation and called it a “monstrosity”. Government’s stand: The government had said that there was no reason for women in India to be denied their constitutional rights and that triple talaq. polygamy and nikaah halala were not integral to the practices of Islam or essential religious practices. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board has defended the practice. . Women cannot remain at the mercy of the patriarchal setup held under the clutches of clerics having their own interpretation of the holy Quran. The court said that divorce is permissible in Islam only in case of extreme emergency. divorce and property rights of Muslims. as applied in India.

com/current-affairs/uniform-code-not-just-ideology- driven/58047d25b680d35eb95b574b/ .vajiramandravi.Related Links: https://lms.

com/current-affairs/triple-talaq-is-sin-but-shariat-permits. brainstorm-on-triple- talaq-issue/57da3fe5b680d30e562e2410/ https://lms.liquid comes in . the FCTC has voted in favour of a regulation that allows member nations to prohibit or restrict sale of ENDS/ENNDS devices.com/current-affairs/join-consultation-on-triple-talaq- centre/5801d0a6b680d35eb6875170/ https://lms.vajiramandravi. Arguing that new nicotine replacement devices were not a valid substitute for people trying to stop smoking. 13.vajiramandravi.vajiramandravi. (Vaping is a ‘tobacco-free’ version of the cigarette where smokers inhale the vapour through liquid in a vaporiser. tell- sc/57e61f7db680d332e1c21ac9/ https://lms. NOVEMBER-2016 Nov.) All vaping devices heat a solution called ‘e-liquid’ to create an aerosol. The e. The World Health Organisation’s concern stems from the fact that while public health policy has been slow to catch up ‘vaping’ which has become extremely popular among smokers as a ‘healthier’ option to smoking. it-says- aimplb/57cbbf0db680d314a1e9f5ab/ https://lms.com/current-affairs/triple-talaq-unconstitutional-govt-to.vajiramandravi. 2016 Will ENDS justify the means? Details : The News: The Conference of the Parties-7 to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) ended with Southeast Asian countries voting for complete prohibition of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and Electronic Non.Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENNDS) in the region.https://lms.com/current-affairs/sc-cant-decide-on-triple-talaq-muslim- body/57ca632bb680d3044d6d26db/ NOTE: The debate on triple talaq is important for GS Mains and essay.vajiramandravi.com/current-affairs/ahead-of-sc-affidavit-ministers.

Some experts argue that e-cigarettes.flavours that are dissolved into propylene glycol or/and glycerine. a comparatively safer alternative to tobacco smoking should not be banned. Health organisations maintain that the toxicants generated by e-liquids can vary enormously due to the increased thermal decomposition of e-liquid ingredients with rising applied temperatures in open system devices. has argued . A recently released documentary film about vaping: ‘A Billion Lives’.

The main constituents of the solution are propylene glycol. For Details on WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC): https://lms.vajiramandravi.com/current-affairs/cop7-meet-kicks-off-amidst- protests/582148a6b680d35eb95cdb50/ ENDS: https://lms.com/current-affairs/karnatakas-ban-on-e-cigs-turns-into. It was launched in 2007. . vapour-near- schools/57fde3adb680d35eb686e886/ Nov. recognize and celebrate the efforts of those in media and advertising who highlight pressing gender concerns.vajiramandravi. 2016 Entries for Laadli awards open till Dec. 10. About Laadli Media Awards: The Laadli Media Awards honor. 15 Details : The News: The entries for Laadli Media and Advertising Awards for Gender Sensitivity are now open. ABOUT ENDS: Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are devices that do not burn or use tobacco leaves but instead vaporise a solution the user then inhales. that e-cigarettes. with or without glycerol and flavouring agents. ENDS solutions and emissions contain other chemicals and some of them considered to be toxicants. whose health risks are far lower could be useful in saving lives.

Language specific jury meetings are held in different cities to engage the local media leaders in the process of selection of winning entries. Press conferences are held in all the major cities to announce the call for entries and are reported extensively in the media.Later UNFPA joined Population First to make it a pan India event. . The award covers 14 languages.

features. ‘Laadli Media awards’ is a great initiative to encourage media to highlight the important gender specific issues that are unable to make up to mainstream. editorials. Work done by print and electronic media is considered for award which includes news reports. The criteria for eligibility involve reports or articles based on government policies. To overcome this. advertorial campaigns. sports. laws. economic. The Bench passed 16 directions to ensure immediate and effective implementation of the Pre- conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act and the Rules framed there under. Nov. Importance: In country like India. gender discrimination is a bitter reality and at times it fails to get enough attention. judiciary. communal riots. investigative stories. blogs. there is a need to spread awareness in the society and draw attention of the government towards sensitive issues. radio plays and television reports. What SC bench said: . columns. The court passed the verdict while disposing of a PIL by NGO Voluntary Health Association of Punjab urging it to intervene in the matter in view of decreasing number of girls-boys ratio in the country. or other challenges from a gender perspective. e-magazines. elections. 2016 Keep birth database to curb female foeticide’ Details : The News: The Supreme Court issued a slew of directions to clamp down on the crime of female foeticide. It may also involve work highlighting awareness against pre- birth sex selection or other acts of gender discrimination. programmes. including maintenance of an all-India database of new borns to curb female foeticide. features. disasters. social and religious factors from a gender-sensitive perspective. 9. Women have to face many hardships beginning from mother’s womb.

which is legally impermissible.Female child is entitled to enjoy equal rights that a male child is allowed to have. the dignity of life of a woman to be born is extinguished. When a female foetus is destroyed through artificial means. . It corrodes the human values.

wrapped in jute bags. proper action has to be taken by the authorities under the Act so that the legally inapposite acts are immediately curbed. municipality. Gender Inequality: Gender equality is far from established in India. personality. body and dignity have become common. Attacks and assaults on a woman’s identity. The sex of the foetus is determined through medical tests and if the foetus is female. is disallowing their very presence – preventing them from coming into existence. The courts dealing with such complaints shall be fast tracked and the concerned High Courts shall issue appropriate directions. . The Chief Justices of all the High Courts shall constitute a Committee of three judges to periodically oversee the progress of these cases. it is a crime to abort a pregnancy solely because the fetus is female. and mind-sets that can’t even be termed traditional and they make absolutely no sense. The modern assault on women today which is more organized and more technologically advanced. corporation or gram panchayat so that a visual comparison of boys and girls born can be immediately seen. even before they have the opportunity to be born. in garbage bins. misconceptions. it is aborted. While abortion is legal in India. There have been numerous cases of aborted and abandoned foetuses found floating in rivers. evils in societies. If there has been violation of any of the provisions of the Act or the Rules. allowing the selective abortions of female offspring to proliferate. Prenatal sex detection technologies have been misused. the right to life. shall frame the same. they are even denied the right to be born. All the States and the Union Territories in India shall maintain a centralised database of civil registration records from all registration units so that information can be made available from the website regarding the number of boys and girls being born. This selective killing is the modern day Holocaust and is simply depriving women of the most basic human right i. and in farms. Female feticide is the selective abortion of female foetuses. which do not have any incentive schemes for the girl child. The information shall be displayed on the website shall contain birth information for each district. FEMALE FOETICIDE IN INDIA: In India a most brutal form of killing females takes place regularly.e. This is fuelled and propelled by greed for money. Females not only face inequality in this culture. SC also directed that States and Union Territories.

History of female foeticide: .

The origins of female foeticide in India can be traced back to the 1970s. In 1970s. government hospitals started aborting female foetuses. Legalization of abortion in India is another big reason for the illegal sex determination and termination of girl baby. with the advancement in technologies and development of easier and cheaper techniques. Reasons of Female Foeticide: Female foeticide is an unethical act has been practiced from old age due to some cultural norms and socio-economic policies. This would result in the couple getting the male child they wanted. This practice was seen as a threat and the cause for the growing population. As a solution to this. Abortion was not unknown then and laws against abortion had already been written by the British. making sex-selective abortion illegal. The preference for a male child was predominant in families. the pace increased by the late-1980s and the early 1990s when ultrasound techniques gained popularity in India. Old custom of dowry system in India has put a big challenge before parents which is the main reason to avoid girl child by the parents. emerging concurrently with the advent of technological advancements in prenatal sex determination on a large scale in the 1990s. Laws: There are three laws that need to be looked into: . Parents consider that boys would carry their name ahead in the society however girls are only to handle households. There is a misconception in the society that boys are always there to look after their parents and girls will be married and settled in other family. family planning was making its way inroads and it was widely accepted that the roots to many major social and economic issues India was facing at the time was due to its growing population. foeticide is a relatively new practice. but the common practice then was for the woman to conceive till she got a male child. female foeticide had spread throughout India and sex determination tests became a very common practice during pregnancy. Although female infanticide has long been committed in India. However. and not needing to have any female children in the process. Now. In 1994 the Indian government passed the Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act. Low status of women in the male dominated Indian society. Technological advancement in the health sector has given fire to the female foeticide. Following are the reasons of female foeticide in the Indian society: The important reason of female foeticide is the preference of male child over girl child because son is the main source of income however girls are wrongly believed to be consumer.

Law regarding dowry: It is the major cause for female foeticide as family thinks that girl child is an .1.

1994 but due to the prevalence of pre-conception diagnosis a newer law was put in order. – genetic metabolic diseases. there was a Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act. It states that pregnancy can be terminated by at least one registered medical practitioner (if the length of the pregnancy does not exceed 12 weeks) and by at least two registered medical practitioners (if the length of the pregnancy is between 12 and 20 weeks) who are of the opinion. property or valuable security offered as precondition to the marriage. Sex selection: It is covered under the Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act. – haemoglobinopathies. legalizes abortion under certain conditions.natal diagnostic techniques except for the purpose of detection of one or more of: – chromosomal abnormalities. . Law regarding abortion: The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act. one about abortion. signs or in any other manner” and “no person shall. The Act defines dowry as any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly by one party to a marriage to the other party to the marriage and includes cash. one concerning sex selection. by whatever means. 2002. and newer technologies like amniocentesis and biopsy. 2. It also states that “no person including the person conducting pre-natal diagnostic procedures shall communicate to the pregnant woman concerned or her relatives or any other person the sex of the foetus by words.. economic burden for the family. and includes presumption of guilt (of the husband) and vague definitions of dowry and stridhan. Originally. It has been claimed that the PC&PNDT Act focusses solely on ultrasonography as a technique for sex-selection. directly or indirectly. 1971. from the parents or other relatives or guardians of a bride or bridegroom. The PC & PNDT Act states that no place or doctor is authorized to conduct pre. cause or allow to be caused selection of sex before or after conception”. Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act (1961) states that a person shall be deemed guilty if he/ she demands any dowry. and finally. The dowry law has been criticized by men’s rights activists stating that the law is gender biased. – sex-linked genetic diseases. – congenital anomalies.

formed in good faith that: .

Pregnancies that can be terminated also include those in minors (under-18) or “lunatics” with the permission of a guardian. India also has a Juvenile Justice Act which makes sale of tobacco products to minors punishable with 7 years of rigorous imprisonment. More important than making laws or giving more teeth to the existing laws is the implementation of the laws. There is substantial risk that if the child is born s/he shall suffer from severe physical or mental abnormalities 3. Conclusion: This homicidal practice is not just a social evil but also dangerous for the future of coming generations. This includes women subjected to rape. 1. with nearly a million deaths in India alone. 2016 COP7 meet kicks off amidst protests Details : The News: The Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP7) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) began at India Expo Mart Ltd. The laws have been passed fine. but the reason sex determination and illegal abortions still take place is the improper and inadequate implementation of the law. stating that the sex of the foetus can be determined easily from the 12th week onwards. 8. Nov. NOTE: Female foeticide can be asked as essay question or in mains GS. The continuation of the pregnancy shall expose the woman to risk to her life or of grave physical or mental health.. The twenty week limit (for abortion) has been criticized. and pregnancy induced by the failure of any contraceptive device or technique used by a married couple. ‘severe physical and mental health risks’. Tobacco use kills around 6 million people a year globally. There is no absolute definition to the phrase. illegal abortions aren’t very difficult to carry out. and that the opinion lies with the physician. 2. Greater Noida. Last year India has implemented guidelines according to which 85% area of cigarette packets should have pictorial warnings. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act has been said to ‘legalize’ abortion but not present it as a ‘right’ for women. .

The farmers were demanding that the conference organizers allow them to participate in the meeting as an important stakeholder. The conference is pitting Indian government against $11 billion tobacco industry. It has become one of the most rapidly and widely embraced treaties in United Nations history. The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the governing body of the WHO FCTC and is comprised of all Parties to the Convention. About Framework Convention on Tobacco Control: The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is the first international treaty negotiated under the auspices of WHO. AIM: It aims to tackle some of the causes of that epidemic. the farmers called the COP7 an "undemocratic" negotiation and a "non. promotion and sponsorship beyond national borders. Protesting under the banner of Federation of All India Farmers Association (FAIFA). The WHO FCTC was developed in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic and is an evidence-based treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health. India’s challenges: India will be pushing for stricter control on smokeless tobacco. The tobacco industry has expressed concern about the ‘unhindered access to tobacco control activists and NGOs to the conference.inclusive and non-transparent" process. such as trade liberalization and direct foreign investment.What is the protest? Nearly 500 farmers from tobacco growing countries were detained by the Noida police for protesting outside the conference venue. the activist groups are pressurizing India to take decisions that are not in favour of industry and tobacco farming. . and illicit trade in tobacco products. It was adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2003 and entered into force in 2005. The Convention represents a milestone for the promotion of public health and provides new legal dimensions for international health cooperation. Farmers demanded equally remunerative alternative crop options for all tobacco growers across the globe. India has to comply with the convention guidelines without harming the domestic industry and interests of farmers. According to industry lobby. including complex factors with cross-border effects. There are currently 180 Parties to the Convention. tobacco advertising.

.Objective: The objective of this Convention and its protocols is to protect present and future generations from the devastating health. The guidelines assist Parties in meeting their legal obligations under the WHO FCTC. Protocol and guidelines The first Protocol to the WHO FCTC. following several rounds of negotiations by the Parties.’ even the “slightest deviation” caused by the presence of young women on the temple premises was undesirable. was a celibate or ‘Naisthik Brahmachari. Republic of Korea. The Supreme Court is hearing a 10-year old PIL filed by Indian Young Lawyers' Association challenging age old practice of temple banning entry of women belonging to 10-50 year age group. with recommended actions that elaborate on the provisions of the Convention. the Kerala government said it was in favour of women’s entry into the Sabarimala temple and declared that its doors should be thrown open to women of all ages. and is a new international treaty in its own right Parties have also adopted. They were developed through intergovernmental processes. Summary: Women devotees aged 10-50 are prohibited from entering Sabarimala. They declared that the restriction had been in place from “time immemorial” and was a part of the temple’s unique 'pratishta sangalp' or idol concept of the temple. was adopted at COP5. It reasoned that since the presiding deity. The previous government was in favour of the restrictions on women's entry. Lord Ayyappa. by consensus. Kerala favours entry for women at Sabarimala Details : Why in news? In the Supreme Court. the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products. environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke by providing a framework for tobacco control measures to be implemented by the Parties at the national. held in November 2012 in Seoul. social. The Protocol builds on the WHO FCTC in the fight against illicit trade. and adopted by the Parties at sessions of the COP. regional and international levels in order to reduce continually and substantially the prevalence of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke. the guidelines for implementation of key provisions of the WHO FCTC. Travancore Devaswom Board manages the affairs of the famous Sabarimala temple..

and without being influenced by the age old tradition.The court had said that it would take a decision only on the basis of constitutional provisions. .

5. The scholarship is meant for economically backward Muslim students. Madarsas play a vital role in educating the poorest section of Muslims. The scholarship will be awarded to students of Class 12 and those pursuing their undergradution. The large number of the applications showed the “extent of desire among Muslims to study”. What is the scholarship? The scholarship is named after Prime Minister Narendra Modi: Narendra Modi Scholarship 2016 For Intermediate & Graduate Muslim. The scholarship was launched considering the weak economic condition of Indian Muslims because of which a large number of Muslim children remain uneducated or fail to have higher education. who have no access to main stream education.Another relevant post here: https://lms. The resolution said that while Madarsas should be modernised there should be no attempt on the part of the government to meddle in their administration. It was constituted by an Aligarh-based group of Muslim intellectuals.the Forum for Muslim Studies and Analysis (FMSA). 27.000 each.vajiramandravi. . The applicants compete for a total number of 100 annual scholarships of Rs. If this arrangement was disturbed then it would disturb the process of social upliftment of Muslims.com/current-affairs/haji-ali-dargah-to-allow-entry-of- women/580efc18b680d35eb33922a5/ OCTOBER-2016 Oct. 2016 Thousands apply for the ‘Narendra Modi Scholarship for Muslim Students’ Details : What is the news? The Narendra Modi Scholarship for Muslim students received enthusiastic response from students in Aligarh and beyond. Resolution on Madarsas: The resolution was passed at a meeting presided by former Dean Faculty of Science AMU.

2016 .Oct. 26.

A significant aspect of the yatra is that it would apprise the people in the rural areas of the ill effects and harmful consequences of child marriage and convince them to get such marriages nullified if they have taken place in their families and neighbourhood. interventions and sectors are converging to address child marriage in the State as a unified force. the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).5% of all married . as per Census 2011. An alarming 30. The yatra will bring the community on a united platform to work towards making the State child marriage-free. 2011.Rajasthan drive to end child marriages Details : What is the news? Under the banner of “Sajha Abhiyan”. Child marriage in Rajasthan continues to be much higher than the national average.2% of all married women were married before they had turned 18. one in four girls in Rajasthan is married before the age of 18. This abhiyan is the collective initiative of Rajasthan government. Child Marriage in India: The legal age for marriage is 18 for women and 21 for men according to Prohibition of Child Marriage Act. According to the Annual Health Survey. a district-level Abhiyan Yatra was flagged off for complete elimination of child marriages in the State. Multiple stakeholders. The trend seems to be on the decline in comparison to 2001 data where 43.

women had been married while they were under the age of 18 years. .

abuse and exploitation.The practice of child marriage is an obstacle to nearly every developmental goal: eradicating poverty and hunger. cutting off educational opportunities and chances of personal growth. nutrition and education. . psychological and emotional impact. promoting gender equality. Evidence shows that early marriage makes girls more vulnerable to violence. For both girls and boys. intellectual. protecting children’s lives and improving women’s health. marriage has a strong physical. achieving universal primary education. Child Marriage denies a child the basic right to good health.

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Thakur. Supreme Court's view: The Supreme Court had taken a serious view of the religious “exclusion and restrictions” women suffer. 15 and 25 of the Constitution and said women should be permitted to enter the sanctum sanctorum like men. the Haji Ali Dargah Trust on 24th October conceded before the Supreme Court that it has resolved to allow women to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the famed dargah in Mumbai “at par with men”. 25.S.Oct. the Trust said it has come around and passed a resolution on October 11. It had pointed to Kerala's Sabarimala temple and the Haji Ali dargah to note that 'exclusion' was practised by both Hindus and Muslims and the "problem needs to be addressed''. practice and propagation of religion) of the Constitution. 2016 Haji Ali Dargah to allow entry of women Details : What is the News? In a victory for equal right to worship for women. Trust running 15th-century mosque says all-access for women in 4 weeks. the court said that the ban order by the Trust contravened- Article 14 (equality before law). race. Setting a precedent in allowing women to enter religious places. This shrine of the Sufi Saint in Mumbai was built in 1431. prohibiting women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Haji Ali Dargah. Article15 (prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion. Ban on women in inner part was imposed in 2012. Highlights: Women to be allowed into core area near tomb of Sufi saint. Prior to March 2011. caste. the Dargah did not discriminate against the entry of women and permitted people across religions to pray inside the restricted ‘mazar’ (the core area or inner sanctum). Background: The Bombay High Court had on August 26 held that the ban imposed by the Dargah Trust. sex or place of birth) and Article 25 (freedom of conscience and free profession. contravened Articles 14. 2016 to comply with a Bombay High Court judgment to give women equal access like men. In a hearing before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India T. .

There is exclusion if women are not allowed after a certain point and men are." Chief Justice Thakur had defined the term. ."Exclusion is not there if nobody is allowed after a certain point.

with a specific focus on girls. Around the World: For this research. using data from nationally representative Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) — one of the most comparable data sources on living standards in the developing world. The data also revealed that. The research studies changes in female literacy over a number of schooling years. Pakistan. Rwanda. If countries are ranked by the earliest grade at which at least half of the women are literate — a proxy for quality of learning — India ranks 38th among the 51 developing countries for which comparable data is available. female literacy rates are improving.Oct. India ranks low in global indices of female literacy as well. According to this study. Ghana is placed at the bottom. it could also mean that Indian schools are much more lenient about promoting students who cannot read. However. 24. the study says. These findings. Corresponding numbers for Pakistan and Nepal were three to 31 per cent and 11 to 47 per cent respectively. much less than 92 percent in Nepal. Ethiopia and Tanzania — all rank higher than India. Indonesia. Around the world. it is not clear if that is because of improvement in school quality. Or. . just seven per cent of female students in Ghana can read after attaining their sixth grade. of the New York. South Asia: The proportion of women who completed five years of primary schooling in India and were literate was 48 per cent. Bangladesh and Nepal. female literacy rates went up by one to 15 per cent after completing two years of schooling. are part of a forthcoming background paper. the authors devised a way to measure the quality of education around the world.based "International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (or Education Commission)". This implies that schooling is roughly twice as productive at generating literacy for women during the early grades in Pakistan when compared to India. 74 per cent in Pakistan and 54 per cent in Bangladesh. 2016 India falls short in female literacy Details : What is the News? Data from new research on female literacy show that India’s school education system is under- performing in terms of quality when compared to its neighbours.

Conclusion: Over the years. which should lead to more literate women. . most countries studied made improvements in the number of girls finishing primary school.

Creation of community toilets. The current drive aims to end the wide-spread practice of open defecation. Prevention: Behavioural change in people. Establishing portable structures like bucket toilet and dry urine toilets.” Oct. Creating awareness about adverse impact of open defecation on health. polio. Gandhiji wanted to make sanitation a priority for India more than a century ago. Hazards of Open Defecation: Open defecation is an important factor in causing various diseases like diarrhea. But for girls who don’t finish primary school. On the occasion of birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The report notes. hepatitis etc. Porbandar was declared as Open Defecation Free district. 3. Open Defecation: Open defecation refers to the practice whereby people go out in fields. the trend is not encouraging: researchers found that little to no progress has been made in increasing basic literacy for the girls who drop out. his birthplace. or other open spaces rather than using the toilet to defecate. bushes. The aim of the nationwide cleanliness drive is to clean up the country by 2019. “Millions of women have spent multiple years in school and emerged unable to read a simple sentence” and “it’s not getting much better over time. which was relaunched as Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan in 2012 and was merged into Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) in 2014. intestinal worm infections. . open bodies of water. 2016 Open Defecation Free States Details : What is the news? Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat have become the first States in the country with all cities and towns of these states declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). forests. build more toilets and improve waste management. India began Total Sanitation Campaign.

Oct. 2016 Basic interventions that matter Details : . 2.

What more can be done? As we move towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — which were adopted by United Nations member states at the Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015 — we aim to build on the eight anti-poverty targets that the world committed to achieving by 2015. Around 20 per cent newborn deaths and 13 per cent under-five deaths can be prevented by optimal breastfeeding practices. GOAL: To enhance optimal breastfeeding practices which includes initiation of breastfeeding within an hour of birth. halved the prevalence of tuberculosis and malaria and increased the life expectancy for both adults and children. reduced maternal and child mortality rates significantly. The government will train nurses in government hospitals. The program will run in both urban & rural areas. exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. we are moving from a disease control approach to that of strengthening integrated health systems. To align with the new agenda of the SDGs. Breast milk provides vital nutrients to the infant. This will warrant the prioritisation and scaling of critical interventions that will not only be effective but also have a cross-cutting impact across goals and targets. and continued breastfeeding for at least two years. with only 44. which puts women and children at its heart.5 per cent breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life. Over and above the schemes that already promote maternal and child health. We have managed to eradicate diseases such as polio and tetanus. Despite conventional wisdom about the practice and ongoing efforts to increase the number of institutional deliveries in the presence of skilled personnel. and only 64.9 per cent of newborns initiated within an hour of their birth. These achievements reflect the unflinching efforts of the Indian government and all stakeholders in the past two decades to ensure health services reach those who need them the most. Based on recommendations from the World Health Organization and UNICEF. which is essential for its protection. One such simple but powerful intervention is breastfeeding. the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has allotted due focus and dedicated support such as the launch of the National Breastfeeding Promotion Programme — MAA (Mothers’ Absolute Affection) last month.Important Achievements in India's Health Care Sector: Recent years have been a watershed in the public health programme in India. Accredited Social Health Activists . the uptake of optimal breastfeeding practices continues to be low in India. About the National Breastfeeding Promotion Programme: MAA (Mothers’ Absolute Affection) Launched by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

Auxiliary Nurse Mid-wives (ANM) to provide information and to counsel mothers for breastfeeding.(ASHA). This will ensure that adequate awareness on the benefits of breastfeeding is .

improvement in breastfeeding practices and number of accredited health facilities. and can eventually lead to death. quashed the April 5 notification of the government. 2016. Scheme will ensure comprehensive approach towards “Health for All”. It will also improve key public health indicators. A division bench of the court. (passed by the legislature on 31. Progress will be measured against key indicators. Benefits of the Scheme: Breastfeeding is a low-cost. can damage people’s kidneys and livers. Religion: Some religions (such as Islam.” Under the law police or excise department officials could send anyone found with a liquor bottle in his house or residential compound. which had banned the sale and consumption of liquor in the State. such as availability of skilled persons at ground for counselling. This particular addiction can easily ruin people’s lives. especially in large quantities. and some Pentecostal Christians) expressly forbids the consumption of alcohol. 2016 Patna HC quashes Bihar prohibition law Details : What is the News? The Patna High Court on 30th September set aside the amended Bihar Prohibition and Excise Bill.03. “Section 19(4) of the Bihar Excise Act 1915 as amended with effect from 01.2016) is ultra vires the Constitution and unenforceable. their friends. Mormonism. high-impact. including their jobs. and obviously themselves too. Crime: There is a direct correlation between alcohol consumption and an increase in crime.2016. their families. Violent crimes. Argument in favour of liquor Prohibition: Addiction: Prohibition of alcohol limits and/or prevents alcohol addiction. and disorderly conduct are most common with persons who are intoxicated. The officials could even arrest all adult family members if a bottle of liquor was found in the house. Oct. It said. 1. Drunk Driving: Prohibition reduces the causalities and damages through drunk driving. to jail for 10 years. shared with mothers.04. . community-level intervention that can protect children when they are most vulnerable. Health: Alcohol. assault.

The main sufferers here are women and therefore.Cost: Alcohol can be a very expensive habit. . they have time and again protested for ban on alcohol. Domestic violence : Many cases of domestic violence point out consumption of alcohol leads to increased violence.

Loss of Revenue: In an interview in 2014. While it does affect the people around alcoholics. the government soon realised it couldn't fulfill its other promises . it does not directly affect them. a law prohibiting alcohol would remove the freedom of choice. In 1996. Organized Crime: Criminal organizations will mostly profit from prohibition and. the ban was lifted. will promote other illegal activities.Argument Against Prohibition: Freedom of Choice: People should have the freedom of choice to decide to drink alcohol or not. Economy: Prohibiting alcohol leads to loss of taxes and legitimate jobs. Naidu had admitted that illicit brewing had increased 20 to 30 times after the ban.000 crore in revenue per year. people should be free to harm themselves.200 crore in revenue. Alcohol was banned in Haryana in 1996 by the Bansi Lal-led Haryana Vikas Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party government. that in return. According to a former Judge of the Supreme Court: "the liquor ban laws were only challenged before the Supreme Court on the ground that they violated Articles 14 (equality) and 19(1)(g) (freedom of trade) of the Constitution. However.000 crore annually and Gujarat loses an estimated Rs 2. if they choose. Chandrababu Naidu.4.000 crore annually through excise collection. Several states have experimented with prohibition and eventually repealed it. after NTR died and his son-in-law. Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy had said that though prohibition would lead to financial loss and decline in tourism revenue. as long as that freedom does not infringe on the freedoms of other people. Underground or Black Markets: People who want alcohol will still be able to purchase it or make it. Lessons from the past: Prohibition in India has met with only partial success. Alcohol addiction is considered a victimless crime. People can always keep their distance from or leave alcoholics. Therefore. social drinking is an acceptable practice.000-3.cheap rice and electricity . But now that it has. . The ban was removed in 1998 after the state government had lost Rs 1. Society: In most cultures and religions. N T Ramarao imposed a ban in 1995. took over as the chief minister. the ban needs to be tested on this ground". Victimless Crime: Similarly to the previous reason. probably because that Article had not been earlier expanded by the Court. In Andhra Pradesh. Safety: Alcohol made without government regulations and inspections pose a possibly serious health and safety risk to consumers. he would go ahead with the ban. but never on the ground of violation of Article 21.without the alcohol revenue.7. And that will organize criminal organizations even more. Kerala faces an estimated loss of more than Rs. albeit at a higher cost and purchased from more seedy locations. since it primarily affects the alcoholics. Bihar is also lose more than Rs.

Mizoram ended its 17-year-old ban. Manipur (only in capital Imphal) and Nagaland are also contemplating doing .In 2014.

Sanyasana-marana). Her decision came about after doctors could assure little hope of her recovery from an advanced stage of throat cancer. . death by Santhara/Sallekhana is an act of supreme renunciation and great piety. 2016 83-year-old on santhara draws thousands in Kolkata Details : Sohani Devi Dugar. 30. Gujarat is the only state where prohibition has consistently existed since the 1960s. the Rajasthan high court has branded Jainism's centuries-old 'Santhara or Sallekhana' custom as attempt to suicide warranting prosecution under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code but the Supreme Court later stay the order. and rejoiced when the Supreme Court stayed the order nearly 20 days after the HC judgment. However in 2015. It is prescribed both for the householder and ascetics. Sallekhana is made up from two words sal (meaning 'properly') and lekhana. which means to thin out. Dugar was among the thousands who hit the streets of Kolkata in August 2015. is the Jain practice of facing death voluntarily at the end of one's life. What is SANTHARA? Sallekhanā (also Santhara. or when the body is unable to serve any purpose of life. To many Jains. chose to embrace santhara — a Jain religious practice of a ritualistic fast unto death. 83. but taking death in their stride. which only the most spiritually pure undertake. The petition in the Rajasthan High Court in 2015 had compared the practice with that of Sati. Samadhi-marana. It is not the giving up of life. Why do some people oppose it? Human rights activists allege that it’s a social evil. after a judgment in the Rajasthan High Court declared the practice ‘illegal’. and old people are made to undertake Santhara/Sallekana by family members who don’t want to look after them for a variety of reasons. Santhara/Sallekhana is an ancient religious practice aimed at self-purification. away with prohibition on alcohol. Mr. SEPTEMBER-2016 Sept. The vow of Santhara/Sallekhana is taken when all purposes of life have been served.

Sept. 29. 2016 Sikkim’s clean villages make it the kingdom of Swachh Details : .

Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh have the maximum percentage of villages that are ‘Open Defecation
Free(ODF)' according to the criteria of the Swachh Bharat Mission. While the northeastern State scores
a hundred per cent, as per the current tally, Himachal Pradesh scores 55.95 per cent.

Swachh Bharat surveys on ODF:

Other better performing States with village-level achievements in ODF are Haryana and
Meghalaya with just over 41 per cent each,
Gujarat (37.58 per cent), Maharashtra (28.33
per cent), Chhattisgarh (24.91 per cent) and
Rajasthan (23.83 per cent).
Kerala, which leads in overall household toilet coverage as per Swachh Bharat surveys, is in the list
with only 19.92 per cent, indicating that declarations play a role in the overall assessment.
Besides these, the other States identified by the Mission trail the rest with lower coverage.
The total number of districts declared ODF in the country stand at 23.
Three cities in Karnataka — coastal Mangaluru, Udupi and Mysuru — have been declared “open
defecation free” in the survey conducted among 75 cities across the country under different
population categories.

Definition of Open Defecation Free (ODF):

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation defines ODF as “the termination of faecal-oral
transmission, defined by no visible faeces found in the environment/village and every household
as well as public/community institution using safe technology option for disposal of faeces.”
For purposes of assessing performance, the Swachh Bharat Mission considers both individual
household latrine coverage and ‘Open Defecation Free’.
Open defecation refers to the practice whereby people go out in fields, bushes, forests, open bodies
of water, or other open spaces rather than using the toilet to defecate. The practice is rampant in
India and the country is home to the world’s largest population of people who defecate in the open
and excrete close to 65,000 tonnes of faeces into the environment each day.
Around 564 million people, which is nearly half the population of India, defecate in the open.
India accounts for 90 per cent of the people in South Asia and 59 per cent of the
1.1 billion people in the world who practise open defecation.

Problems associated with it:

Open defecation poses a serious threat to the health of children in India.
The practice is the main reason India reports the highest number of diarrhoeal deaths among children
under-five in the world.
Every year, diarrhoea kills 188,000 children under five in India.
Children weakened by frequent diarrhoea episodes are more vulnerable to malnutrition,
stunting, and opportunistic infections such as pneumonia.
About 43 per cent of children in India suffer from some degree of malnutrition. Diarrhoea and
worm infection are two major health conditions that affect school-age children impacting their

learning abilities.
Open defecation also puts at risk the dignity of women in India.
Women feel constrained to relieve themselves only under the cover of dark for

reasons of privacy to protect their dignity.
Open defecation exposes women to the danger of physical attacks and encounters such as snake
bites.
Poor sanitation also cripples national development: workers produce less, live shorter lives, save
and invest less, and are less able to send their children to school.

Sept. 25, 2016

The Maratha conundrum

Details :

The Maratha community, a dominant force in Maharashtra politics, has been taking out silent marches
in various towns in the state over the last one month, following the rape and murder of a girl at Kopardi
in Ahmednagar district two months ago.

What are the Maratha silent protests about ?

Maratha silent protests that going on across the state but have been more pronounced in
Marathwada, that is considered the state’s caste cauldron, were triggered by the brutal rape and
murder of a minor girl from the community.
The three accused in this case are Dalits.
While the agitators have demanded a death sentence for the accused, their central demands also
include long pending reservation for the community in the employment and education sectors,
review of the Atrocity Act, government jobs for anyone from families of farmers who committed
suicides in the last ten years, implementation of the Dr Swaminathan report, which was constituted
for agricultural reform.
Almost every silent rally is led by women and they account for almost 30 per cent of the
protesters.
Their main demands are implementation of the reservation law, amendment to the Prevention of
Atrocities against SC/ST Act, and death penalty to the accused in the Kopardi case.

Who are Marathas ?

Marathas form nearly 32-40% of the state population.
They traditionally belong to the warrior caste but also include members of the kunbis or the
peasant class.
The community has been politically and socially influential – 13 of the 18 chief ministers of the
state were Marathas – and have controlled the rural economy by holding co-operative bodies
including banks and sugar co-ops under their command.

. They attribute this to lack of special reservation. sugar barons and wealthy farmers exporting their produce and on the other. the Maratha community has not found edge here. there are also lakhs of farmers holding small land holdings hit by the ongoing agrarian crisis. While OBCs and other castes have made progress in education. On one hand you have education.But the fruits of this wealth has not seeped through the community.

inheritance and maintenance. Sept. Congress and NCP. Jains and Sikhs are governed by a single law known as the Hindu Law. rejected it with the issue being kept in limbo. divorce. property. Buddhists. adoption.What is the history of Maratha reservation ? The demand for Maratha reservation dates back to the 1980s but picked pace in 2008 with late chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and NCP chief Sharad Pawar lending tacit support to this demand made their respective parties’ Maratha legislators ahead of 2009 polls. the Backward Class Commission. The final order in a clutch of these petitions is pending. govt to tell SC Details : The government will oppose "triple talaq" divorce in the Supreme Court on grounds that it is against gender equality and "misplaced in a secular country". However. The court had earlier this month asked the centre to weigh in on the practice allowing Muslim men to divorce their wives by saying "talaq" three times and explain its stand on whether intervening in the law will violate fundamental rights. Zoroastrians and Jews have separate personal laws . This ordinance was stayed by the high court the same year with the judges opining that they did not find the Maratha community backward. the Marathas had demanded reservation along with the OBC block but after the OBC leaders objected. India does not have a uniform civil code. Earlier. The court also said that such a reservation would take over all reservations in the state — over 50 per cent — which went against the apex court ruling. government had passed an ordinance granting Marathas 16 per cent reservation four months before the polls. While Muslims. including . Government's View: The government has decided to tell the Supreme Court that the claim that the practice of triple talaq is in conformity with the Sharia is misplaced because about 20 Islamic countries. 24. they called for a separate reservation. Ahead of the 2014 polls. 2016 Triple talaq unconstitutional. Christians. which examined the demand. The Fadnavis government has supported the reservation demand and a committee has been set up to bolster the state’s demand. Every religious community has its own set of laws pertaining to personal issues such as marriage. Hindus.

"If regulating matrimonial laws is acknowledged in Islamic countries and not . regulate matrimonial laws. the Centre is set to argue that the plea advanced by the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board -that divorce by triple talaq is sanctified by the Sharia -is incorrect.Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. and that the practice is a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution in a secular state like India. Steering clear of any mention of a uniform civil code (UCC).

which states that Muslims will be governed by Islamic laws. Women are being divorced for the flimsiest of reasons and denied their basic rights. The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) has worked in 15 states across India since its establishment in 2007. as she said that it violates her right to life. the government hopes to counter any allegation that it is seeking to "impose" personal laws on the minorities. By side-stepping any reference to the UCC. The right to practise one's faith is protected under the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution and is not impacted by setting aside triple talaq. The government sees practices like triple talaq as discriminatory and believes it should be regulated under the law. has asked the Indian Supreme Court to declare the triple talaq practice illegal. 50. The Indian Supreme Court has asked the Indian government to file before it the report of a committee which was formed to look into aspects of personal laws in various religious minorities. So far.discriminatory to women and protect the dignity of individuals. Recently. The petitioners had demanded scrapping of Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act. The committee recommended a ban on the practice of oral. Why to reform the Muslim personal law? The Shariat Application Act 1937. as they said it was unconstitutional and violated the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution. however. including discussions with various personal law boards and other stakeholders. This may explain why the Muslim community is often presented with multiple views on many issues. The group started an online petition to ban the triple talaq practice. The government has referred the UCC issue to the Law Commission of India which will hold wide consultations. 35-year-old Shayara Bano. The issue of triple talaq is to do with gender justice.fundamental rights enshrined in the Indian constitution. personal liberty. equality before the law and prohibition against discrimination . 1937. The Muslim Personal Law Board are given a lot of significance by government institutions and seen as the ultimate representatives of Muslims in the country." the report reads. unilateral and triple talaq in a report published in June 2015. This means that codified laws do not exist in disputes dealing with personal law and that the law is open to the interpretation of the religious authorities. including triple talaq. considered contrary to the Sharia. The SC had on September 5 asked the Centre to file a response within four weeks on a bunch of petitions challenging the Muslim practices of polygamy and triple talaq.000 Muslim men and women across the country have signed it. focusing on socio-economic issues such as the education and livelihoods of women. who was divorced via a letter. "It makes wives extremely vulnerable and insecure regarding their marital status. does not. it should be non. clearly define the contents of these laws. The Indian government established The High Level Committee on the Status of Women in India in May 2013. how can this be treated as such in a secular country like India where fundamental rights are protected under the Constitution?" the government said. .

.

Asked what was the biggest challenge facing Dalit politics today. etc. These markers may be those of language. Mr. based on land reforms. caste positions. The proponents of identity politics thus. He said his movement was pitching for an alternative model of development. integral. The need was to combine identity politics with a material basis — to fight for social justice as well as economic justice. As a political activity it is thus considered to signify a body of political projects that attempts a recovery from exclusion and denigration of groups hitherto marginalised on the basis of differences based on their ‘selfhood’ determining characteristics like ethnicity. Contrastingly placed. 23. Even if we are not able to create a classless society … we ought to aim for a society that has less disparity … Material issues are the heart of Dalit politics. Besides. assign the primacy of some “essence” or a set of core features shared only by members of the collectivity and no others and accepts individual persons as singular. land to the tiller. gender. altogether harmonious and unproblematic identities.Sept. sexual preferences. Identity politics thus attempts to attain empowerment. Mewani said that his movement’s main demand that every landless Dalit should be given 5 acres of land as every zilla and tehsil has government wasteland and which could be recovered through the implementation of the Gujarat Land Ceiling Act. etc. ethnicity. religion. What is Identity Politics? Identity Politics is said to signify a wide range of political activity and theorising founded in the shared experiences of injustice of members of certain social groups. it is to imply that adherents of identity politics essentialise certain markers that fix the identities of social groups around an ensemble of definitional absolutes. . About the movement: Mr. tribe. caste positions. in which a group of Dalits were brutally assaulted by cow protection vigilantes. gender. culture. sexual preferences. where productivity and wealth gains will be made by redistributing land to those who will work on it themselves. Mewani said Dalit assertion should have progressed beyond anti-casteist sloganeering and that it was bogged down in identity politics. 2016 Dalit movement bogged down in identity politics: Mewani Details : Jignesh Mewani has become the face of Dalit assertion in Gujarat after leading the protests following the Una incident last July. race. the SC/ST sub-plan provided for the government to buy land and distribute it to landless SC/STs. representation and recognition of social groups by asserting the very same markers that distinguished and differentiated them from the others and utilise those markers as an assertion of selfhood and identity based on difference rather than equality.

The adherents of identity politics utilise the power of myths. cultural symbols .

we find identity politics of various hues abound in India. However. permit rooms and beer bars through an amendment in the Bombay Police Act. are those based on language. the Government of Maharashtra banned dance performances in eating houses. Now a law titled Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels. communities and collective identities have remained powerful and continue to claim recognition. In other words a homogenous linguistic group may be divided by caste affiliations that may be sub- divided by religious orientations or all may be subsumed under a broader ethnic claim. religion. But having said this it would be wrong on our part to assume that each of these identity markers operate autonomously. and kinship relations to mould the feeling of shared community and subsequently politicise these aspects to claim recognition of their particular identities. which was “absolutely regressive by centuries”. ethnicity or tribal identity. 22. Identity Politics in India: In India we find that despite adoption of a liberal democratic polity after independence. The ban was recently struck down both by the High Court of Bombay and the Supreme Court of India as unconstitutional. 2016 Dance bar without liquor is absurd: Supreme Court Details : The Supreme Court has recently said a new Maharashtra law prohibiting liquor in dance bars was “absurd”. Thus. “absolutely arbitrary” and indicative of the State’s mentality. the Maharashtra government refused to back down. The new law: Earlier. Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (working therein) Act. 2016. arguing that a State has “an absolute right” to ban liquor at any spot of its choice within the State. the most spectacular however. It was probably this claim for and granting of recognition of particular identities by the postindependence state of India that led many scholars to believe that a material basis for the enunciation of identity claims has been provided by the post-independent state and its structures and institutions. was passed by the State . In other words the state is seen as an active contributor to identity politics through the creation and maintenance of state structures which define and then recognise people in terms of certain identities. 1951. caste. in 2005. Sept. independent of the overlapping influence of the other makers.

The Court further allowed three dance bars to continue operations as per the law existing before the new one.Assembly to circumvent a Supreme Court judgment of 2014 that ordered dance bars to be thrown open again and classified dance as a profession. .

Argument against the banning of Dance Bar: The High Court and the Supreme Court held the ban to be violative of Article 14 (right to equality) and Article 19(1)(g) (right to practice any profession or occupation). affecting the livelihood of other workers employed there. one-third of the total maternal deaths in 2015 happened in India.. The advocates of the ban had said the dance bars were "corrupting the youth" by becoming dens of obscenity and alcoholism. Contrary to its purpose.000 maternal deaths. It's art. You must not prohibit it but regulate it. Further. 20.. Sept. "There is a livelihood concept. Argument in favour of banning the Dance Bar: Dances in beer bars and similar places are obscene and vulgar. Thus. the law infringed upon the guarantee under Article 19(1)(g). . culture and so many other things. They not only degrade women. Performances in dance bars are derogatory to women because they commodity and objectify women.000 mothers died during pregnancy or childbirth while Nigeria shouldered the maximum burden of 58. The courts noted that the prohibition on dancing forced many establishments to shut down and rendered many women workers unemployed.. if you feel it's obscene. Area of concerns: Each year. The ban also forced many establishments to shut down altogether. 2016 One-third of total maternal deaths in 2015 happened in India: Report Details : The latest Lancet series on maternal health reveals that nearly one quarter of babies worldwide are still delivered in the absence of a skilled birth attendant. Who will touch your regulatory power?" a Supreme Court bench told the Maharashtra government. where 45. They also often involve minor girls who are trafficked. exploited and forced into dancing in bars. about 210 million women become pregnant and about 140 million newborn babies are delivered. but also lead to an increase in other immoral activities like prostitution and alcoholism. the law forced many dancers to take up prostitution to earn their living.

rates of maternal mortality are decreasing but there .In all countries. In high-income countries. This reality presents a challenge to the rapid catch-up required to achieve the underlying aim of the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] — to leave no one behind. the burden of maternal mortality falls disproportionately on the most vulnerable groups of women.

increasing health costs and the risk of harm. It is unethical to encourage women to give birth in places with low facility capability.000 in Sweden. Additionally. with unskilled providers. The problem of over-medicalisation has historically been associated with high. and improvements in the governance and management of health services at all levels. Brazil (44). which differ somewhat from Indian sources’ 167 but confirm the trends.00.5% of all births are now by caesarean section in Latin America and the Caribbean. Maternal Health in India: India’s maternal mortality ratio – the women who die during every 100. However.01.income countries. a steady improvement.000 live births compared to 4 per 1. and South Africa (138). For instance. but it is rapidly becoming more common in low and middle. The advance is largely due to key government interventions such as the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) scheme which encompasses free maternity services for women and children. adolescent and illiterate mothers and those living in hard to reach areas still have a much greater chance of dying in childbirth.000 live births – was 167 in 2010-12. Reasons for poor maternal health care: According to the academic papers. The sub-Saharan African region accounted for an estimated 66% (2. Earlier it was 212 deaths per 100. For instance. . according to the World Bank’s latest estimates.S. there are two broad scenarios that describe the landscape of poor maternal health care — the absence of timely access to quality care (defined as ‘too little. is still wide variation at national and international level..income countries. too late’) and the over-medicalisation of normal and postnatal care (defined as ‘too much. This failing should be remedied as a matter of priority. While facility and skilled birth attendant deliveries are increasing in many low. the authors say that phrases such as ‘skilled birth attendant’ and ‘emergency obstetric care’ can mask poor quality care. no referral mechanism. or where content of care is not evidence-based. according to the latest government data available.000) of global maternal deaths. China (27). in the U. sanitation and electricity.00. stated one paper.000 live births in 2007. The authors warn that measuring progress via the current indicator of skilled birth attendant coverage is insufficient and fails to reflect the complexity of circumstances.000 deaths). such as Sri Lanka (30). too soon’). the maternal mortality ratio is 14 per 1. Bhutan (148) and Cambodia (161). a nationwide scale-up of emergency referral systems and maternal death audits. many birth facilities lack basic resources such as water. followed by southern Asia at 22% (66. India does worst among the BRICS countries: Russia (25). 40. According to World Bank estimatesIndia’s maternal mortality ratio is174.income countries. Adolescent girls outside Indian cities are especially vulnerable as teenage marriage and pregnancies are very high in rural and remote areas of the country. worse than countries in the neighbourhood.

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an annual harvest festival. Vimala held that a complaint lodged against her under the Domestic Violence Act was an abuse of process of law since she had only resorted to a legal remedy to get her property vacated. who had painted the stripes of the big cats over body-hugging costumes and danced along with male ‘tigers’ as part of the Onam celebrations. Allowing a petition filed by the sister-in-law. It is performed by trained artists to entertain people on the occasion of Onam. 17. performers painted like tigers and hunters in bright yellow. Justice S. The presence of the women in what has been a male preserve elicited both surprise and appreciation from the festival crowds. Literal meaning of Pulikkali is the 'play of the tigers' hence the performance revolve around the theme of tiger hunting. four women participate in the Pulikali dance in Thrissur for the first time as part of Onam celebrations. History was written by the four women. celebrated mainly in Kerala. and black dance to the beats of instruments like Udukku and Thakil. 18. says HC Details : A widow cannot lodge a complaint under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 against her father-in-law and sister-in-law if the former had sold his house to the latter who. The folk art is mainly practiced in Thrissur district of Kerala. a big crack in tradition Details : Breaking into a 200-year-old male bastion. . when the Maharaja Rama Varma Sakthan Thampuran. The origin of Pulikkali dates back to over 200 years. About Pulikkali: Pulikkali is a colorful recreational folk art from the state of Kerala. in turn. Sept. is said to have introduced the folk art. resorted to rent control proceedings to vacate the widow from the property. red. On the fourth day of Onam celebrations (Nalaam Onam). who wanted to celebrate Onam with a dance that reflected the wild and macho spirit of the force. the then Maharaja of Cochin. 2016 A small step for women. 2016 Domestic Violence Act can’t be used to settle property disputes. also a widow . the Madras High Court Bench has recently said.Sept.

domestic violence is among the most prevalent and among the least reported. remedies available to a victim of domestic violence in the civil courts (divorce) and criminal courts (vide Section .Background: Of all forms of criminal behaviour. One reason for this anomaly is that till 2005.

How does the law define domestic abuse? Section 3 of the law says any act/conduct/omission/commission that harms or injures or has the . Thus. is considered a 'domestic relationship'. marriage. This set of circumstances ensured that a majority of women preferred to suffer in silence. This includes relations of consanguinity. mentally. Beneficiaries of the Domestic Violence Act 2005 ? It empowers women to file a case against a person with whom she is having a 'domestic relationship' in a 'shared household'. during which period the victim was invariably at the mercy of the abuser. or economically. adoption. 498A of the Indian Penal Code) were limited. Law recognises live-in relationships: Significantly. And. she can take recourse to the provisions of this law even though she is not married to him. 'domestic relationships' are not restricted to the marital context alone. or in marriages deemed invalid in law. 'Domestic relationships' also cover sisters. or even siblings of the husband and other relatives can be proceeded against. Children are also covered the act. or through relationships in the nature of marriage. It is essentially to address these anomalies that the Protection of Women From Domestic Violence Act 2005 was passed. or joint family thus. mothers. There was no emergency relief available to the victim. single women etc. daughters. Who is defined as 'respondent' by this law? Section 2 (q) says that any adult male member who has been in a domestic relationship with the aggrieved person is the 'respondent'. women in relationships of cohabitation. mother- in-law. or have at any point of time lived together in the shared household. if a woman is living with a man who abuses her. the law recognises live-in relationships. physically. any relationship between two persons who live. The law also protects women in fraudulent or bigamous marriages. Any person can file a complaint on behalf of a child. The respondent can also be a relative of the husband or male partner thus. the remedies that were available were linked to matrimonial proceedings. According to section 2(g). and who has subjected her to 'domestic violence'. relationships outside marriage were not recognised. they too can file a case against a parent or parents who are tormenting or torturing them. a father-in-law. Any widow or unmarried sister or daughter who is harassed within the home can also resort to the law. and the court proceedings were always protracted. widows.

sexual. psychological. Even a single act of commission or omission may constitute domestic violence - . and economic abuse or threats of the same.potential to harm or injure will be considered 'domestic violence'. the law considers physical. verbal. Under this. emotional.

Further. which has opposed any tinkering with the existing Muslim practices of polygamy. freedom of speech and protection of life and personal liberty as envisaged in the Constitution. 15. . The law says any definition of domestic violence must detail the fact that it is a human rights violation. triple talaq and nikah halala. 2016 Ahead of SC affidavit. including gender discrimination faced by Muslim women in divorce cases. Two months ago. the law details the different forms of violence faced by women. women do not have to suffer a prolonged period of abuse before taking recourse to the law. The ruling BJP has batted for implementation of uniform civil code (a set of common personal laws for all citizens) and has called for an open debate on the subject. Many countries in the West have evolved towards gender equality and the endeavour in India should be to work towards it. and ensures that such interpretations are not left solely to the discretion of the judges. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). To get details please read these previous Articles: . Sept. the law ministry had referred the issue of Uniform Civil Code to the Law Commission and had asked it for a detailed study on its feasibility. The Supreme Court is hearing several petitions on the triple talaq issue and had on September 5 directed the Centre to file an affidavit within four weeks. a group of ministers led by Home Minister Rajnath Singh met to discuss the government’s stand on the contentious issue. Gender discrimination: The personal laws of different communities may lead to gender discrimination and it infringes the provisions of equality before law. has told the Supreme Court that personal laws of a community cannot be “re-written” in the name of social reforms and opposed pleas on issues. One of the Ministers is learnt to have said that Article 13 of the Constitution clearly stated that no law is valid if it violates the Constitution of India.in other words. Ministers brainstorm on triple talaq issue Details : Days before the Centre is to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court on the triple talaq issue.

https://lms. 8.vajiramandravi.vajiramandravi.com/current-affairs/hc-allows- women-to-enter.permits-it-says- aimplb/57cbbf0db680d314a1e9f5ab/ https://lms.com/current-affairs/triple-talaq-is-sin-but-shariat. 2016 .mumbai-dargahs-sanctum-sc-asks-centre-to-respond-to-plea-to-declare-triple- talaq-illegal/57c131afb680d308db9293e1/ Sept.

From the examination point. The concept of communalism holds that religious distinction is the most fundamental and overriding distinction that separates a particular community from others.000 people. are living in ghetto-like resettlement colonies in slum-like conditions with little support from the State administration. Communal leaders and parties were in general allied with these classes and forces. According to Bipan Chandra communal politics till 1937 was organised around government jobs.Riot victims live in ghetto-like conditions: Report Details : A new field report. communalism. municipal bodies. which caused nearly 100 deaths and the displacement of more than 50. According to him communalism developed as a weapon of economically and politically reactionary social classes and political forces. communalism implies a strong sense of belonging to a particular religious community to the exclusion of others. etc . educational concessions and the like as also political positions . titled ‘Living Apart: Communal Violence and Forced Displacement in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli. the victims of the 2013 Muzaffarnagar communal riots. They favoured one community against the other in services and promotions. to prevent the masses from understanding the real issues. it is part of your Paper-1 GS Main Syllabus (Social empowerment. regionalism & secularism) What is Communalism? Simply speaking. British rule and its policy of divide and rule: The British government used communalism to counter and weaken the growing national movement and the welding of the Indian people into a nation. Factors for the growth of communalism in India: The stagnant economy of India during the British rule was an important factor for the growth of communalism in India. you need to know the concept of communalism. The vested interests deliberately encouraged communalism because of its capacity to distort and divert popular struggle. It was presented by the colonial rulers as the problem of the defence of the minorities. The British policy of acting late to crush the communal violence also contributed to the growth of this phenomenon.which enabled control over these and other economic opportunities.seats in legislative councils.’ noted that. . Communalism as evident from the rise of politics based on religious identity has been an important factor In the Indian political system. Hindu-Muslim disunity was sighted as the reason for the continuation of the British rule. The British policy of separate electorate was another factor.

which promote communal violence. 7. Besides economic and political backwardness. and letting rumours fester and fly. a nurse. guilty saying he threw acid with the . a special women’s court held Ankur Panwar.Politics of appeasement: Political parties. This feeling is often used by politicians who do not hesitate to give communal colour to this inequality. A communally surcharged ambience is often the result of a political tug-of-war between secular and communal parties for the votes of majority and minority communities. secular forces become victims no less than the communities in question. Communal disturbance necessitates a communalised context and intervention by a political party. vested interests will continue to use these loop holes for their political gains A section of people feel that only with the abolition of religion that communalism can be ended. Therefore it is necessary to take proper steps to educate the citizens about the secular spirit of the nation. take decisions. 2016 2013 acid attack: Women’s court holds attacker guilty Details : Three years after Preeti Rathi. Unless sustained efforts are made to bring various communities at par with the majority. True history takes a beating. prompted by political considerations. 24. A partisan police aggravates the breakdown of law and order. Bipan Chandra suggests that secular. active participation. died of medical complications after a man threw acid on her at Bandra station. Sept. However. this suggestion lacks practicability. through incitement. so that they do not fall prey to communal campaigns of political parties. illiteracy among a large section of Indians has also helped communal forces to gain benefit. Finally. The slightest indication of minority communalism fans a multi-fold release of majority communalism. as does the incumbent administration. Following suggestions can be helpful in dealing with communalism: Noted Indian historian. The economically and politically unequal communities tend to harbour a sense of alienation from the majority. democratic and non-communal forces should jointly start an ideological struggle to eradicate the evil influence of communalism from the social as well as political scenario of the nation.

Acid Attack: .intention of causing burns and committing murder.

many below the age of 18. The research conducted by UNICEF reveals. After that attack they are not able to work due to their deformities. Acid which is designed to clean rusted tools is often used in the attacks can be bought across the counter. the perpetrator wants the victim to live and suffer physically and emotionally for the rest of their life. acid is thrown at the face or body of the victim with deliberate intent to burn and disfigure. Aim of most acid attacks is not to kill.e. The retailers must register the name and address of the buyer. Due to their horrific physical appearances. Consequences of Acid Attack: Acid attack victim faces long-term consequences.. they are not get job it is difficult for them to survive in society. But the judges said the buyer of such acids should in future have to provide a photo identity card to any retailer when they make a purchase. 2013. Most of the victims are girls. The Supreme Court of India has also ruled that authorities must regulate the sale of acid. The Section 326 A in the Indian Penal Code lays down the punishment for acid throwing. Damage caused by acid attacks was irreparable and it affects the victim woman both physically and psychologically. In an Acid attack. the society also looks at the acid attack victims as an alien. It can extend up to life imprisonment with fine. who have rejected sexual advances or marriage proposals “Acid attack” or vitriolage is defined as the act of throwing acid onto the body of a person “with the intention of injuring or disfiguring [them] out of jealousy or revenge”. life style itself will changes fully in one day. their body. Acid attack victims itself feel worthless and embarrassed to come out from their houses due to their drastic changes in their appearance. even their loved one’s also started ignoring the acid attack victims. after the attack there. These attacks are used as a weapon to silence and control the victim by destroying what is constructed as the primary constituent of their identity. The amendment resulted in insertion of sections 326A and 326B for specifically dealing with acid violence. but to disfigure and debilitate. their remaining life will be ruined after that incidences. In such cases. Acid attack is a serious problem all over the world. The minimum punishment is 10 years imprisonment. . Laws concerning Acid attacks: Indian Penal Code was amended on the 2nd of April 2013 with the passing of ' The CRIMINAL Law (Amendment) Act. something more brutal than murder. Added to this victim also economically suffered by acid attack. even children are become victim of acid attack in many cases. i.

2016 . 5.Sept.

Due to lack of safety measures. Armed with brooms and gunny sacks. Economic security: Most of the Safai Karamcharis are facing a low level of economic security in- spite of their increasing protest regarding their demand for a hike in their wages. who keep the tracks clean of filth round the clock. which also affects their mental health. They are termed as “kachrawala” by the people of our society. 2011 reported that there are about 26 lakh insanitary latrines in the country. Government initiatives to protect the Safai Karamcharis: The Houselisting and Housing Census.The not-so-swachh life of the Railways’ cleaners Details : The Safai Karamcharis are the foot soldiers of the Indian Railway's massive cleanliness drive as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. 2013. They work with their bare hands. The hazardous conditions lead to an increase in the mortality rate. No jobs are alloted to the dependents of the workers who have dies in the past few years. Accordingly. the Parliament passed the ‘Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act. achieve its objectives to:- Eliminate the insanitary latrines. 2013) which came into effect from 6th December. the sweepers brave infections and disease every day as they wade through filth wearing only slippers. In order to create a clean and beautiful environment. Social Discrimination: The social discrimination against the Safai Karamcharis is abundant in the Indian society. inter alia. This Act intends to. Difficulties faced by the Safai Karamcharis Violation of Article 42 – Article 42 of the Indian Constitution provides just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief. they become a victim of heart diseases or asthma. wearing uniforms that are soiled. Prohibit:- a) Employment as Manual Scavengers . They are not provided with the gloves or masks to protect themselves from the dust. the Safai Karamcharis are denied from their basic necessities. They have to inhale the poisonous gases coming out from the garbage. they bear all the germ infested waste. Thus. The gloves and boots provided to them are uncomfortable and of poor quality and hence generally not used. The absence of providing safety equipments like protective gear etc violates the concept of article 42. 2013’ (MS Act. The dependents are not being given any employment on the merciful grounds. a lot of workers are also prone to road accidents during the duty hours. Health issues In most of the areas across the country.

within a time bound manner. Survey of Manual Scavengers and their rehabilitation. . b) Hazardous manual cleaning of sewer and septic tanks.

which are predictable inclusions. and section 295 A (hurting of religious sentiments) of the IPC. the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.” The report highlights the case of sociologist Ashis Nandy as illustrative of “how this well intentioned law could be misused. in its 2016 report on India titled ‘Stifling Dissent: The Criminalisation of Dissent in India. is that disrespectful speech or words that promote “negative feelings. discrimination. Was the criticism fair? While noting that SC/ST Prevention Act is “one of the most important pieces of legislation for the protection of Dalits”. 1989. 2015. Alongside laws like section 124 A (the sedition law). for identification of manual scavengers and their rehabilitation. is not the same as incitement to acts of hostility. at the Jaipur Literature Festival. 2016 SC/ST Act curbs free speech: HRW Details : The global human rights watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW). however. Sulabh International etc. The core argument HRW makes against the SC/ST Atrocities Act. the report singles out section 3 (1) (x) of the Act as a provision ripe for misuse. however offensive.” Argument in support of the provision: . also in the list are the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Sept. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is responsible for rehabilitation of manual scavengers and it implements the ‘Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers’(SRMS). Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has associated reputed NGOs like Safai Karamchari Andolan. In January 2013.’ presents a list of draconian Indian laws that “restrict freedom of expression”. and its amendment. or violence. This section penalises anyone who “intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe in any place within public view. and as such should not be subject to criminal penalty. Nandy had allegedly made a comment about Dalits being among the “most corrupt”. 4. Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan. Nandy apologised but he was still booked under section 3 (1) (x) of the SC/ST Prevention Act.

The Ashis Nandy case may or may not fall within the purview of this provision . Even today. Dalit kids are called by derogatory caste names and caste insults are frequently precursors to violence.Some scholars say that HRW is completely mistaken in its evaluation of section 3 (1) (x) of the SC- ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act as curbing free speech. in schools. That is why it does not ask for separate proof of incitement to violence. This is a very profound pro-Dalit provision precisely because it takes cognisance of the close link between caste insults and violence.

culture and protection. with a total of 40. child marriage continues to be addressed as a social evil and not a violation of child rights. According to NCRB data. and is widely practiced under the garb of tradition. 2. but also makes young girls vulnerable to abuse and domestic violence. The real issue is whether police are registering cases under SC/ST Prevention Act. Even now. 2016 One in five marriages in north India is child marriage Details : Important Facts For Mains Ten million married men and 35 million married women in the north India were married as children. 2014 witnessed a 19.4% increase in crimes against SCs over the previous year. but you cannot make a case for revising a law based on one case involving a celebrity. Topping the list is Rajasthan. HRW headquarters are in New York. It not only denies them access to education. Sept. according to a detailed analysis of the 2011 Census data. USA.300 cases registered under the SC/ST Prevention Act. and whether the conviction rates under this law are improving. Another scholar pointed out that the issue is not whether SC/ST Prevention Act is being misused. where almost one-third or 30% of the currently married persons were victims of child marriage. poverty and illiteracy. whether the prosecutions are taken seriously. . Close on the heels is Madhya Pradesh at 26% Followed by Uttar Pradesh at 21% Haryana 20% What is worrying is that these figures are higher than the national average of 19% Issue of Child Marriage: Child marriage is deeply entrenched in patriarchy. This is a very shallow analysis by HRW and I am surprised by it. About Human Rights Watch (HRW) It is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights.

Child marriage culminates in premature pregnancy. often leading to high maternal and infant deaths. Disrupted or lack of education is one of the major hurdles in the abolition of .The fact that there are several health risks attached to this age-old practice is something that is still not acknowledged seriously. There is also the risk of giving birth to low-weight babies. in the long term can lead to malnutrition. which.

31. student riots and caste conflicts. was passed by the Assembly to circumvent a 2014 Supreme Court judgment which ordered dance bars to be . Caste Conflict in 2014-1494. In 2015-2428. 2016. While many children have no access to education. In 2015-2683. AUGUST-2016 Aug. Political Riots in 2014-1853. but as communal riots decreased. An out-of-school child is more likely to be married off quickly. sectarian riots. In 2015-485. Incidents of rioting remained almost the same in 2015 as compared to 2014. Details : Important Facts For Mains. Student Riots in 2014-261. In 2015-1960. In 2015-884. even among those with access. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report 2015. In 2015-789. 2016 Important Facts For Mains. child marriage. Secterian Riots in 2014-31. The number of rape offenders known to the victim increased from 86% in 2014 to 95. dropouts are a major concern. Communal Riots in 2014-1227.5% in 2015. Overall. SC admits dance bar owners’ plea Details : The Supreme Court on 30th August sought a reply from the Maharashtra government to a challenge raised by dance bar owners against a new State prohibition law classifying any dance which ‘aroused purient desire in the audience’ as obscene. Agrarian Riots in 2014-628. the number of reported rape cases witnessed a five per cent decline from 2014 to 2015. big increases were seen in other categories – agrarian riots. The Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels. Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (working therein) Act. This is the first time in the last six years that this figure has decreased.

permit rooms and beer bars through an amendment in the Bombay Police Act. . The ban was recently struck down both by the High Court of Bombay and the Supreme Court of India as unconstitutional. 1951. the Government of Maharashtra banned dance performances in eating houses.thrown open again and classified dance as a profession. What is the Issue? In 2005.

Aug. Argument in favour of banning the Dance Bar: Dances in beer bars and similar places are obscene and vulgar. affecting the livelihood of other workers employed there. Contrary to its purpose. the court said that the ban order by the . but also lead to an increase in other immoral activities like prostitution and alcoholism. exploited and forced into dancing in bars. Prior to March 2011. They not only degrade women. Performances in dance bars are derogatory to women because they commodity and objectify women.. the law forced many dancers to take up prostitution to earn their living. 2016 HC allows women to enter Mumbai dargah’s sanctum & SC asks Centre to respond to plea to declare triple talaq illegal Details : “Women be permitted to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the Haji Ali Dargah at par with men”. if you feel it's obscene. the law infringed upon the guarantee under Article 19(1)(g). culture and so many other things. They also often involve minor girls who are trafficked.Argument against the banning of Dance Bar: The High Court and the Supreme Court held the ban to be violative of Article 14 (right to equality) and Article 19(1)(g) (right to practice any profession or occupation). Thus. Who will touch your regulatory power?" a Supreme Court bench told the Maharashtra government. "There is a livelihood concept. Setting a precedent in allowing women to enter religious places. ruled the Bombay High Court in a landmark verdict allowing the entry of women up to the mazar in the revered Sufi dargah in south central Mumbai. It's art.. 27.. The ban also forced many establishments to shut down altogether. You must not prohibit it but regulate it. The advocates of the ban had said the dance bars were "corrupting the youth" by becoming dens of obscenity and alcoholism. the Dargah did not discriminate against the entry of women and permitted people across religions to pray inside the restricted ‘mazar’ (the core area or inner sanctum). The courts noted that the prohibition on dancing forced many establishments to shut down and rendered many women workers unemployed.

race. sex or place of birth) and Article 25 (freedom of conscience and free profession. Article15 (prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion. practice and propagation of religion) of the Constitution.Trust contravened- Article 14 (equality before law). caste. .

" As Article 37 of the Constitution itself makes clear. the laws governing inheritance or divorce among Hindus would be different from those pertaining to Muslims or Christians and so on. maintenance. it should presumably incorporate the most modern and progressive aspects of all existing personal laws while discarding those which are retrograde. The Court is looking into the matter that. divorce. A divorced couple cannot remarry unless the woman marries another man again and he divorces her. The demand for a uniform civil code essentially means unifying all these "personal laws" to have one set of secular laws dealing with these aspects that will apply to all citizens of India irrespective of the community they belong to. At best. . However. says: "The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India. the directive principles "shall not be enforceable by any court". sought a response from the Centre to a petition by a West Bengal-based Muslim woman to declare the practices of talaq-e-bidat (triple talaq). Why we need Uniform civil code? As things stand. they exert some moral pressure on the Indian state to move towards formulating a uniform civil code. Nikah Halala is a divorce diktat in Sharia law. whether certain practices of marriage and divorce under Islamic personal law amount to gender discrimination or not.In another case the Supreme Court on 26th August. Thus. they are "fundamental in the governance of the country". There have been occasions — like during the Shah Bano case and later in the Sarla Mudgal case — where the apex court has come out strongly in favour of the enactment of a uniform civil code. which is one of the "directive principles" laid down in the Constitution. none of these comments are binding on the executive or the legislature and do not amount to orders. What does the Indian Constitution have to say on the subject? Article 44. What has the Supreme Court said on the issue? The apex court has expressed itself in favour of a uniform civil code or taken a dim view of the government's and legislature's inability to bring it into being. Though the exact contours of such a uniform code have not been spelt out. there are different laws governing these aspects for different communities in India. it is important for you to know about the Uniform Civil Code: What is a uniform civil code? The term civil code is used to cover the entire body of laws governing rights relating to property and otherwise in personal matters like marriage. In view of the above news. Nevertheless. nikah halala and polygamy under Muslim personal laws as illegal and unconstitutional. adoption and inheritance.

25.Aug. 2016 .

people in live-in relationships and single individuals. Surrogacy . making only childless.Meaning: The word ‘surrogate’ has its origin in Latin ‘surrogatus’. which is fertilized. Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj defended making homosexuals ineligible for surrogacy.” What is In vitro fertilization (IVF)? In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the joining of a woman's egg and a man's sperm in a laboratory dish. not necessarily related by blood for altruistic surrogacy — where no money exchanges hands between the commissioning couple and the surrogate mother. straight Indian couple married for a minimum of five years eligible for surrogacy. and carries the fetus and gives birth to a child for another person. homosexual couples.Surrogacy bill gets the Cabinet nod Details : The Union Cabinet. The Bill also prohibits couples who already have biological or adopted children from commissioning babies through surrogacy. 2016. a person appointed to act in the place of another. She said: “Each country has to make laws that are aligned with our values. past participle of ‘surrogare’. cleared the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill. Eligible couples will have to turn to close relatives. banning commercial surrogacy in India. either from her own egg or from the implantation in her womb of a fertilized egg from other woman. Thus a surrogate mother is a woman who bears a child on behalf of another woman. the child shares make-up of the commissioning father and . ‘Traditional surrogacy’ may be called partial or genetically contracted motherhood because the surrogate mother is impregnated with the sperm of the intended father making her both the genetic and the gestational mother. meaning a substitute. on 24th August. In vitro means outside the body. What the Bill Says? The Bill bars foreigners. Traditional surrogacy: A pregnancy in which a woman provides her own egg. Fertilization means the sperm has attached to and entered the egg. as per a legal framework. that is. Homosexual couples are not recognised by law in India. and another woman (the surrogate mother) carries the fetus and gives birth to the child. ‘Gestational surrogacy’ is total in the sense that an embryo created by the process of IVF is implanted into the surrogate mother. which is fertilized by artificial insemination.Surrogacy are of two types: ‘gestational surrogacy’ and ‘traditional surrogacy’. Gestational surrogacy: A pregnancy in which one woman (the genetic mother) provides the egg.

.the surrogate mother. or not. Surrogacy is commercial or altruistic depending on whether the surrogate receives financial reward for her pregnancy or the relinquishment of the child.

Aug. then he or she is entitled to her changed sex and can not be discriminated. The SC asked the Centre to treat transgender as socially and economically backward. Earlier. The third gender people will be considered as OBCs.000 crore rupee market.in 2014. The SC said absence of law recognizing hijras as third gender could not be continued as a ground to discriminate them in availing equal opportunities in education and employment. . Background: In a landmark judgment. The apex court said that transgenders will be allowed admission in educational institutions and given employment on the basis that they belonged to the third gender category. they were forced to write male or female against their gender. This has made India a favourable destination for foreign couples who look for a cost-effective treatment for infertility and a whole branch of medical tourism has flourished on the surrogate practice. 23.000 to $30.000 in India which is around 1/3rd of that in developed countries like the USA. case has created the "third gender" status for hijras or transgenders. ART industry is now a 25.India – a reproductive tourism destination: The usual fee is around $25. The SC said they will be given educational and employment reservation as OBCs. Though some of them tried to join the police on earlier occasions. 2016 Tamil Nadu is all set to ‘trans’ form the police force Details : Tamil Nadu would be the first State to open the gates for the third gender by inducting them in the police department. the SC said. they were turned away as there was no provision to accommodate the third gender. The apex court also said states and the Centre will devise social welfare schemes for third gender community and run a public awareness campaign to erase social stigma. This is for the first time that the third gender has got a formal recognition. Union of India & Ors. The SC also added that if a person surgically changes his/her sex. the Supreme Court in the National Legal Services Authority v.

the Centre issued a notification ensuring that the affidavit of “Good .Centre notifies Good Samaritan SOPs Details : In a move that could go a long way in encouraging witnesses to report accidents to the police.

What are Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)? Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). adults and the elderly are all vulnerable to the risk factors that contribute to . Aug. chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes. Any disclosure of personal information or offer to be a witness. The notification is in response to Supreme Court directions in an October 2014 case of SaveLIFE Foundation asking the Centre to issue directions to save Good Samaritans until Parliament frames a law. Cardiovascular diseases. in the event of the Good Samaritan also being an eyewitness to an accident. the examination of such a volunteer as a witness shall be done only on a single occasion and without harassment or intimidation. 2016 Personal and public choices eroding health Details : According to a report in the Lancet journal. Children. cancers. They are of long duration and generally slow progression. are not passed from person to person. Further. According to the report the NCDs contribute to 52 per cent of all disease burden and more than 60 per cent of deaths in the country. The guidelines: The crux of the guidelines is that no bystander rushing to the rescue of an accident victim should be subject to civil or criminal liability and/or be forced to be a witness.Samaritan”. also known as chronic diseases. a person who voluntarily declares himself to be an eyewitness. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) linked to lifestyles have surpassed communicable diseases as the leading cause of lost productivity and premature deaths. cancer. The 4 main types of noncommunicable diseases are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke). ought to be voluntary. Who is at risk of such diseases? All age groups and all regions are affected by NCDs. 13. tuberculosis and other causes linked to tobacco consumption result in over a million deaths every year. shall be treated by the investigating officer as a final statement.

exposure to tobacco smoke or the effects of the harmful use of alcohol. globalization of unhealthy lifestyles like unhealthy diets may show up in individuals as raised blood pressure. physical inactivity. increased blood glucose. elevated blood lipids.noncommunicable diseases. For example. These diseases are driven by forces that include ageing. rapid unplanned urbanization. and obesity. whether from unhealthy diets. . and the globalization of unhealthy lifestyles.

protects the employment of women during the time of maternity and entitles them to a full paid absence from work to take care for the child. Aug. including private sector. adding "it is a very stressful time for the mother. we can sensitise them on bringing up children. 2016. What the Bill gives to Women? The maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill. a NCD. Highlighting that there are more nuclear families now. Maternity Benefit Amendment Bill 2016 has been passed in Rajya Sabha. The amendments is believed to help approximately 1. a woman's body needs to heal over a period of time. The amendment bill seeks to increase maternity leave period to 26 weeks in all establishments. after giving birth. The Maternity Benefit Act. . she said.8 million women workforce in organised sector. The act is applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more persons. 1961. as breastfeeding the child is recommended which is not possible unless the mother is in physical proximity of the child. Moreover. The Bill increases maternity leave benefit from 12 to 26 weeks for two surviving children and 12 weeks for more than two children. 2016 Women MPs pitch for paternity leave as RS amends maternity Bill Details : On 11th August. At present. “By bringing in paternity leave. Can we also give paternity leave? Women lawmakers called for the introduction of paternity leave norms to enable men to participate more actively in childcare “Men leave the burden of bringing up kids to women. which increases maternity leave from present 12 weeks to 26 weeks was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.” she said. The bill also provides 12-weeks leave for commissioning and adopting mothers and makes it mandatory to provide creche facility for establishment where the number of workers is 50 and above. Facilitate 'Work from home' if such a provision is provided by the Employer. Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said the Bill has its roots in malnutrition. 12. the Maternity Benefit Act does not provide any maternity leave for commissioning or adopting mothers. These are called 'intermediate risk factors' which can lead to cardiovascular disease. who should be with the child".” one women MP said.

S. According to the U.India doesn’t have a law mandating paternity leave. From 1999. Department of Labour when fathers take more paternity . the Centre allows male staff to take 15 days paid leave.

Benefits The beneficiary shall be eligible for such in . it may increase the ability of mothers to engage in paid work. leave. taking care of most common illnesses with as few exclusions as possible All pre-existing diseases to be covered Transportation costs (actual with maximum limit of Rs. the State Governments are advised to incorporate at least the following minimum benefits in the package / scheme: The unroganised sector worker and his family (unit of five) will be covered. Cashless attendance to all covered ailments Hospitalization expenses. The objective of RSBY is to provide protection to BPL households from financial liabilities arising out of health shocks that involve hospitalization. "Motherhood is not restricted only to mothers. remember this fact for Prelims). The beneficiaries will be issued smart cards for the purpose of identification.” said another women MP. and the Central scheme for weaker sections. Aug.000/. 11. the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana. 100 per visit) within an overall limit of Rs. Total sum insured would be Rs. Government of India to provide health insurance coverage for Below Poverty Line (BPL) families ( Now the scheme has been transferred to the Ministry of Health. 1000. However. About Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) RSBY has been launched by Ministry of Labour and Employment. it includes private and public sector insurance.per family per annum on a family floater basis. 30. 2016 Regulating India’s regressive health insurance Details : According to the Union Health Ministry. . Eligibility Unorganized sector workers belonging to BPL category and their family members (a family unit of five) shall be the beneficiaries under the scheme.patient health care insurance benefits as would be designed by the respective State Governments based on the requirement of the people/ geographical area. three-quarters of India’s population has no health insurance.

Insurers .Unique Features Of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) Empowering the Beneficiary RSBY provides the participating BPL household with freedom of choice between public and private hospitals and makes him a potential client worth attracting on account of the significant revenues that hospitals stand to earn through the scheme.

Therefore. For participating providers it is a paperless scheme as they do not need to send all the papers related to treatment to the insurer. This makes the scheme truly unique and beneficial to the poor families that migrate from one place to the other. 10. Cash less and Paperless transactions A beneficiary of RSBY gets cashless benefit in any of the empanelled hospitals. The insurer is paid premium for each household enrolled for RSBY. This will result in better coverage of targeted beneficiaries. in contrast. They send online claims to the insurer and get paid electronically. Aug. Safe and foolproof The use of biometric enabled smart card and a key management system makes this scheme safe and foolproof. Portability The key feature of RSBY is that a beneficiary who has been enrolled in a particular district will be able to use his/ her smart card in any RSBY empanelled hospital across India. Insurers. Hospitals A hospital has the incentive to provide treatment to large number of beneficiaries as it is paid per beneficiary treated. will monitor participating hospitals in order to prevent unnecessary procedures or fraud resulting in excessive claims. After years of doing little to tackle the silent but potentially deadly proliferation of antibiotic-resistant . He/ she only needs to carry his/ her smart card and provide verification through his/ her finger print. 2016 Antimicrobial resistance: clear and present danger Details : Antimicrobial resistance in pathogens causing important communicable diseases has become a matter of great public health concern globally including our country. The biometric enabled smart card ensures that only the real beneficiary can use the smart card. the insurer has the motivation to enroll as many households as possible from the BPL list. The key management system of RSBY ensures that the card reaches the correct beneficiary and there remains accountability in terms of issuance of the smart card and its usage. Cards can also be split for migrant workers to carry a share of the coverage with them separately. Even public hospitals have the incentive to treat beneficiaries under RSBY as the money from the insurer will flow directly to the concerned public hospital which they can use for their own purposes.

bacteria in India. The New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase-1 was an enzyme that rendered bacteria resistant to a broad spectrum of antibiotics. . we wakeup when in 2008. New Delhi was attacked by a bug called the New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase-1.

inappropriate doses. 9. poor surveillance and a diminishing arsenal of tools to diagnose. and imposes huge costs to individuals and society. Stringent enforcement of drugs control. can spread to others. making the dispensing of some antibiotics over the counter punishable.000 persons. treat and prevent also hinder the control of antimicrobial drug resistance. and irrational use of antibiotics in hospitals. Factors Responsible for it are: Antimicrobial resistance is facilitated by the inappropriate use of medicines. When the microorganisms become resistant to most antimicrobials they are often referred to as “superbugs”. when taking substandard doses or not finishing a prescribed course of treatment. The crude infectious disease mortality rate in India today is 416. Antimicrobial resistance is the broader term for resistance in different types of microorganisms and encompasses resistance to antibacterial. increasing and wanton use of antibiotics in livestock production. for example. fungi and parasites change in ways that render the medications used to cure the infections they cause ineffective. seeking to reverse what seemed to be spiralling healthcare concern. (200) when antibiotics were introduced. viruses.S. wrong prescriptions and poor infection prevention and control also encourage the development and spread of drug resistance.75 per 100. antiparasitic and antifungal drugs. twice the rate in the U. but nowhere is it as stark as in India. is the need of the hour. 2016 Not all are equal: Where health coverage lags behind . This is a major concern because a resistant infection may kill. Aug. Low-quality medicines. Lack of government commitment to address these issues. antiviral. Antibiotic resistance is a global public health threat. Steps Taken: Attempts have begun to regulate at least the human consumption of antibiotics: there are now guidelines for appropriate antibiotics usage which have revised Schedule H drugs to make over- the-counter availability of certain antibiotics nearly impossible. The widespread use and availability of practically all the antimicrobials across the counter. In 2011 the Union government came up with a National Policy for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance in India.What is antimicrobial resistance? Antimicrobial resistance occurs when microorganisms such as bacteria.

the twin conundrums of access and affordability has still not been achieved. .Details : India faces daunting healthcare challenges. Despite gradual progress in improving access to health systems. including a meticulously planned National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

Area of concerns: We still have Poor maternal mortality rates. nutrition. Aug. Decentralization. Community involvement. the Empowered Action Group (EAG) States as well as North Eastern States. especially the vulnerable groups.arching National Health Mission (NHM). education. The Union Cabinet vide its decision dated 1st May 2013. social and gender equality. community owned. High rates of infectious diseases. Under the NRHM. Rigorous monitoring & evaluation against standards. NRHM seeks to provide equitable. affordable and quality health care to the rural population. Key Features of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM): The key features of the Mission includes: Making the public health delivery system fully functional and accountable to the community. to provide accessible. Institutional integration within the fragmented health sector was expected to provide a focus on outcomes. sanitation. 8. Innovations and flexible financing and also interventions for improving the health indictors. Convergence of health and related programmes from village level upwards. High expenditure on healthcare. Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh have been given special focus. to ensure simultaneous action on a wide range of determinants of health such as water. affordable and quality health care to the rural population. especially the vulnerable groups. What is National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)? The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was launched on 12th April 2005. decentralized health delivery system with inter-sectoral convergence at all levels. The thrust of the mission is on establishing a fully functional. has approved the launch of National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) as a Sub-mission of an over. Higher infant mortality rate. 2016 Remedying India’s healthcare colossus . measured against Indian Public Health Standards for all health facilities. with National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) being the other Sub-mission of National Health Mission. Human resources management.

whereas 756 people out of 1.Details : The 71st survey round of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) has reveled that between January and June 2014.000 opted .000 sought medical treatment within the public healthcare system of India. 243 people out of 1.

In 2015. While India has the fastest growing population. According to Annual Report to the people on health by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The world's highest deaths of children under the age of five. How public healthcare could be doing more? One option would be to pump in more money. worsened by poor basic health and sanitation. including gratuities and in-kind payment. One doctor for 1. therapeutic appliances and other goods and services whose primary intent is to contribute to the restoration or enhancements of the health status of individuals or population groups. from tertiary care hospitals in large cities to Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in rural areas. is riddled with manpower shortages and inadequate supply of critical drugs and blood. this shrank further to 1. A health system that ranks 112 among 190 countries. and an ambitious growth aspiration. What is Out of pocket expenditure? Out of pocket expenditure is any direct outlay by households. Government of India (December 2011). 21% of the world's burden of disease. In some cases nearly 70-80 per cent of the people in tertiary care do not have to be there. it has always had a disproportionately small health budget. to health practitioners and suppliers of pharmaceuticals.1 per cent of GDP to 1.to visit a private doctor or private hospital. Between 1995 and 2014 India’s public expenditure on healthcare rose only from 1. In a talk at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) in 2012. as per the definition given by the World Bank. The world's highest number of women dying in childbirth.2% of the GDP.500. Another option would be to solve the design problem The design problem means that how to get patients to use Primary Health Cares and other primary treatment options optimally. Area of Concern: Our entire public healthcare system. it was noted that India spent about $40 per person annually on health care where as the United States spent $8. and avoid rushing to tertiary care units which are overwhelmed and struggle to treat priority cases. Out of Pocket expenses figures by World Bank for India stand much higher at 86 per cent for the year 2012.4 per cent. We need to spend more on health care.700 people. . about 71 per cent of the total health care expenditure in the country was borne by households out of their pockets.

2016 . 6.Aug.

lack of breastfeeding etc. food shortages. and is nearly double that of Sub Saharan Africa with dire consequences for mobility. chronic hunger. Public health facilities. potable drinking water. low social status of women and prevalent gender inequalities etc. Digestive disorders leading to lack of absorption of nutrients. What is the extent of malnutrition In India? According to The World Bank estimates. What are the Consequences? Infant and Child Mortality.27% What are the causes of malnutrition in India? A) Nutrition Related factors. productivity and economic growth. morbidity. lack of Hygiene and sanitation. chronic diseases including mental one. lack of awareness. Amongst South Asian nations. What is Malnutrition? Malnutrition is poor or inadequate nutrition due to an insufficient and poorly balanced diet. India has one of the highest rate and prevalence of in the world for the number of children suffering from malnutrition. B) Non Nutritional Factors – In recent years focus has been shifted from the traditional causes of malnutrition to more broader and deeper view of the malnutrition with focus on non nutritional factors – Lack of social services like Poverty. it ranks third behind only Afghanistan and Pakistan with a GHI score of 29. lack of social and economic development of an individual creating . mortality. Orissa and Madhya Pradesh have the highest rate around 55% while lowest is found in Kerala.Poor diet.0 1/3 of the children are malnourished in India with some estimates like Hungama report even quoting the figures of 40-42%. faulty digestion or poor utilization of foods. in Odisha’s Jajpur district. The prevalence of underweight children in India is among the highest in the world. The 2015 Global Hunger Index (GHI) Report ranked India 20th amongst leading countries with a serious hunger situation. It includes both under as well as over nutrition.The lost tribe of Odisha Details : In the last three months Nineteen Juang tribal children have died due to acute malnutrition- related diseases in inaccessible hamlets atop the Nagada hills.

Low human development.the vicious cycle of poverty. malnutrition and disability even death. hunger. .

Child trafficking currently affects 1 million children in India. Meaning of Child trafficking Child trafficking. 2016 Child trafficking rampant in tea gardens. transported. Article 23 (1) states that human trafficking and forced labor is punishable and if anyone who violates this Article will be punished according to the law. it has been found that almost 400 districts in India are affected by the issue of child trafficking. Constitutional and Legal Provisions: The Indian Constitution has prohibited trafficking in human beings and force labor expressively. either within or outside a country”.What is Government Response? National Food Security Act. Article 39 (2) of the Constitution states that health and strength of men and women and tender age of children is not to be exploited. and transit country for trafficking of human beings. Mid day meal Scheme etc. according to a report by Action Aid. JULY-2016 July 31. Mission Indradhanush for vaccination against seven critical diseases. according to UNICEF is defined as “any person under 18 who is recruited. says study Details : Closed and sick tea gardens of north Bengal have become a hotbed of child trafficking. transferred. source. It is also estimated that 90% of the trafficking is done internally. and the victims are used for forced labor. harboured or received for the purpose of exploitation. Child Trafficking in India India if often considered as a destination. According to a study. Integrated Child development Scheme. and citizen should not be forced into activities which are not . Public Distribution System. and both these activities are punishable.

India also has the Juvenile Justice (care and Protection of Children) Act.suitable according to their age and strength due to any economic and financial necessity. 1956. Article 39 (f) also places an obligation upon the state to direct its policies in such a manner that children get the facilities and opportunities to grow up in a healthy environment. 2015 . The main legal instrument to prevent trafficking in human beings in India is the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act. and their childhood is protected against material and moral abandonment and exploitation. This statue is supplemented by various other statutes such as the Indian Penal Code.

to vulnerable children who may get exploited if not provided with legal support.138 and 182. forcing a child into dangerous work or hazardous employment. treatment. July 30. The Act also provides a framework for providing education. the ILO became the first affiliated specialized agency of the United Nations in 1946. etc. 2016 India can ratify ILO protocol on child labour: Dattatreya Details : Since the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill. India can now be able to ratify two International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions. which outlaws employing a child for the purpose of begging. The functions of the ILO include the development and promotion of standards for national legislation to protect and improve working conditions and standards of living. What is ILO Convention 138? The ILO Convention 138 says that the minimum age for employment should not be less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling (14 years of age in India's case). on the abolition of all forms of child labour. About the International Labour Organization (ILO) It is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) dedicated to improving labour conditions and living standards throughout the world. vocational training. Switzerland. cruelty towards a child. The headquarters of International Labour Organisation is located at Geneva. . protection. etc. In recognition of its activities. Established in 1919 by the Treaty of Versailles as an affiliated agency of the League of Nations. What is ILO Convention 182? The ILO Convention 182 calls for the need to formulate legislation for prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour. the ILO was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1969. 2016 has been passed by Parliament and prohibits employment of children up to 14 years of age. care.

Varun terms clauses ‘lunacy’ Details : .July 27. 2016 LS passes amended child labour law.

1971 mandates against abortion after pregnancy crosses the 20-week threshold. Under the amendment there is no punishment for a first-time offender parent but there is provision for penalty for repeat offenders. July 26. What is the issue? The issue before the Supreme Court was the life of the foetus versus the life of the pregnant women. however. which allowed abortion only if pregnancy was under 20 weeks old and done on the advice of at least two registered medical practitioners.The Lok Sabha on 26 July passed the Child Labour (Prohibition and Amendment) Bill.000 to Rs 50. what does the law say? The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. The amendment extends this ban on employment of children under 14 across all sectors' prohibits the employment of adolescents aged 14-18 years in hazardous occupations and introduces more stringent jail term and fines for offenders: a jail term of six months to two years and a fine of Rs 20.000. 2016. 2016 SC allows rape victim to abort 24-week foetus Details : The Supreme Court has allowed a rape victim to abort her 24-week-old abnormal foetus after the Centre clarified that a 20-week cap on termination of pregnancy is not applicable if the woman’s life is found to be in grave danger. 1986.” Gestation Period for Humans: . there are some exceptions. who should certify that the pregnant woman was risking “grave injury to her physical and mental health” or there was a danger of the child being born with a severe mental or physical handicap However the Section 5 holds that none of the restrictions mentioned in Section 3 would apply if “termination of pregnancy is immediately necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman. The victim had challenged Section 3 (2) (b) of the 1971 Act. What are the Amendments: The Bill amends the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act. which prohibits the employment of children younger than 14 in 83 hazardous occupations and processes.

begins at conception when the sperm from the man fertilises the egg.Pregnancy. The gestation period for humans continues until the child is born. or human gestation. or ovum. of the woman. The normal gestation period is about 40 weeks. but may range from 37 to 42 weeks. .

2% Tamil Nadu with 7.2% West Bengal 23.P. it is 31. UP has the largest number of the SC population. Bihar with 8. 2014 and 2015 Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan lead the country in the number of crimes registered against the Scheduled Castes.7%. 2016 U. Rajasthan lead in crimes on SCs Details : According to official data of 2013. Percentage wise Punjab has the largest share of Dalits in its total population. Uttar Pradesh stands first with 20. Followed by West Bengal with 10.July 25. reveals the 2011 census.5% of the total scheduled caste (SC) population.2 % Dalits form around 16. Himachal Pradesh with 25..6% of India's population.5% . Four states account for nearly half of the country's Dalit population.9% of its total population.