PRELIMS & MAINS
-: PRELIMS :-
PANEL TO STUDY ISSUES RAISED BY #METOOINDIA’ :
(GS Prelims and Mains II – Women issue; Government policies and laws dealing with sexual harassment)
- The govt. will setup a committee of judges and lawyers to examine the existing legal and institutional framework to deal with complaints of sexual harassment at workplace.
- The expert committee is expected to advise the Ministry to strengthen the existing framework
- The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 is a legislative act in India that seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work.
- The Act came into force from 9 December 2013. This statute superseded the Vishakha Guidelines for prevention of sexual harassment introduced by the Supreme Court of India.
- The Act will ensure that women are protected against sexual harassment at all the work places, be it in public or private. This will contribute to realisation of their right to gender equality, life and liberty and equality in working conditions everywhere.
- The sense of security at the workplace will improve women’s participation in work, resulting in their economic empowerment and inclusive growth.
Silver Jubilee celebrations of NHRC
(GS Prelims and Mains II – Role of Constitutional and Non Constitutional Bodies; Government schemes and policies; Welfare issue)
- PM Modi inaugurated Silver Jubilee celebrations of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
- PM said NHRC has an important role to play in government’s efforts to achieve sustainable development goals.
- He said government is moving ahead with the aim of employment for all, education for all and health care for all.
- The Prime Minister stated that, government brought triple talaq bill to ensure the rights of Muslim women. He said the government also worked for rights of persons with disabilities. He said social media can play a big role in spreading awareness about human rights.
- The NHRC was set up on the 12th October, 1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Act, passed by Parliament.
INDIA wins election to UNHRC
(GS Prelims and Mains II – International Affairs; Role of India – country’s standing in the international community)
- India got elected to the United Nations’ top human rights body for a period of three years beginning January 1, 2019.
- India got 188 votes in the Asia-Pacific category, the highest number of votes among all candidates.
- The 18 new members were elected by absolute majority through a secret ballot. Countries needed a minimum of 97 votes to get elected to the Council.
- India’s win reflects the country’s standing in the international community. The interests India shown to Human Rights Worldwide.
- India previously been elected to the Geneva based Human Rights council for the terms from 2011-2014 and 2014-2017.
Overhaul GDP norms: MP’s.
(GS Prelims and Mains III – Indian Economy and issues associated with it)
The current manner in which the GDP is measured needs an overhaul as it provides an incomplete estimation of economic activity
Mission to sequence genes. (STIAC)
(GS Prelims and Mains III – Science and Technology; Role of Technology in Health Sector; Health issue)
- Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (STIAC) held its first meeting.
- Key decision announced – India is planning a major mission to sequence the genes of a “large” group of Indians — akin to projects in the U.K., China, Japan and Australia — and use this to improve the health of the population.
- The Health and Family Welfare Ministry and the Biotechnology Department will be closely associated with the project.
- Ever since the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in 2009 announced that it had sequenced the genome of an Indian, then making India one of six countries to achieve such a feat, several research labs have analysed genes from Indians for disease susceptibility.
- However, no compendium of genes that differentiate Indian populations from, say, Caucasian or African genomes exist.
- A group of Indian scientists and companies are involved with a 100k GenomeAsia project, led by the National Technological University (NTU), Singapore, to sequence the whole genomes of 100,000 Asians, including 50,000 Indians.
100k Genome Asia profect:
- GenonieAsia 100k is a non-profit consortium with a mission to generate genomic information for Asian populations and to promote genetic understanding of Asian populations to support research and discovery for healthy living and longevity.
- GenomeAsia 100k, announced an ambitious plan to sequence 100,000 individuals. It is intended to initially include populations from 12 South Asian countries and at least 7 of North and East Asian countries.
- Key goal of the consortium is to accelerate precision medicine applications for Asian patients. It will also build advanced analytical capabilities to parse ‘big-data’ sets, leveraging advances in data science and artificial intelligence.
C-section use doubled in India: Lancet report
(GS Prelims and Mains II – Health issue)
- The use of caesarean section increased from 9% of births in 2005-6 to 18.5% in 2015-16 in India.
- While the surgery is still unavailable for many women and children in low-income countries and regions, the procedure is overused in many middle-and high-income settings
- Globally, C-section use has increased by 3.7% each year between 2000-2015 — rising from 12% of live births (16 million of 131.9 million) in 2000, to 21% of live births (29.7 million of 140.6 million) in 2015, researchers said.
- C-section is a life-saving intervention for women and newborns when complications occur, such as bleeding, foetal distress, hypertensive disease, and babies in abnormal position.
- However, the surgery is not without risk for mother and child, and is associated with complications in future births.
- It is estimated that only 10-15% of births medically require a C-section due to complications, suggesting that average C-section use should lie between these levels.
- Concern: In at least 15 countries, C-section use exceeds 40%, researchers said.
Given the increasing use of C-section, even when medically not required, there is a crucial need to understand the health effects on women and children
TOPIC:General Studies 3
- Economics, Growth and development
- Environment and climate change
- Science and Technology
Nobel in Economics: An economics fix
American economists William D. Nordhaus and Paul M. Romer were jointly awarded the 50th economics Nobel prize this week in recognition of their work on economic growth and its long-run sustainability.
Contribution of these two economists
- The Nobel committee noted that the duo’s work “brought us considerably closer to answering the important question of how we can achieve sustained and sustainable economic growth”.
- The committee’s praise is fitting as both economists devoted their careers to the study of the various “externalities” or “spillovers” that affect economic growth in a market economy.
- Mr. Nordhaus, for one, has been a pioneer in the movement towards quantifying the impact of economic growth on the climate and, in turn, the impact of climate change on economic growth.
- To correct this problem, he recommended imposing appropriate carbon taxes to curb pollution that was detrimental to growth in the long run.
- Mr. Romer, on the other hand, studied the importance of technology in achieving economic growth.
- He proposed the endogenous growth model where technological progress is seen as the outgrowth of businesses and other entities investing in research and development.
- At the same time, he recognised ways in which the market economy may undersupply technological innovations.
- Consequently, he recommended the use of subsidies, patents and other forms of government intervention to encourage economic growth through increased investment in technology.
- In essence, the Nobel committee’s decision is recognition of economic research concerning market failure.
- It may often be impossible to arrive at an objective measure of the carbon tax rate or the ideal amount of pollution to allow in a developing economy.
- It is equally troublesome when one needs to determine how much subsidy, or other forms of government support, should be allotted towards research and development.
- Even though mathematical models have been devised to address these problems, they are only as good as the data fed into them.
- Further, such decisions regarding the perfect carbon tax rate or the ideal subsidy allocation are likely to be determined by political considerations rather than simply pure economics.
- So the threat of government failure may have to be taken as seriously as the effects of market failure.
- These concerns lead to questions about the real-world impact of the policies supported by the pair.
- Nonetheless, many would argue that Mr. Nordhaus and Mr. Romer’s works are an improvement from the past in that they try to use the market mechanism itself to address its failures.0
- The Nobel committee has done well to recognise important work on issues that are particularly relevant to the developing world.