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24th February – Editorials/Opinions Analyses


  1. Keep up the pressure: FATF
  2. Youth can be a clear advantage for India
  3. Batting for the downtrodden


Why in news?

  • Global watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), decided to keep Pakistan on its grey list at its plenary in Paris for monitoring its record against terror financing actions
  • Pakistan still needs to carry out include tightening security and banking restrictions to block loopholes through which designated groups including the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad access funding.
  • It also calls on Pakistan to begin prosecutions against terrorists and sanction entities that are flouting the UNSC’s rules for designated terror organisations
  • Pakistan also appears to have benefited from playing a role in U.S.-Taliban talks as it seems the U.S. and its allies are not enforcing the deadline to complete the action plan as before


Why in news?

India’s population is among the youngest in an ageing world. By 2022, the median age in India will be 28 years; in comparison, it will be 37 in China and the UnitedmStates, 45 in western Europe, and 49 in Japan.

Advantages of demographic dividend

  • Demographic dividend that powered respectively the Asian economies of Japan, China, and South Korea to spectacular growth.
  • More significantly, in each case, the underlying pattern was fairly similar i.e. countries will benefit from the economic potential of their youth bulge when and where they succeed in providing good health, quality education, and decent employment to their entire population

Education sector

  • UNICEF 2019 reports that at least 47% of Indian youth are not on track to have the education and skills necessary for employment in 2030.
  • The projected demographic dividend would turn into a demographic disaster if an unskilled, under-utilised, and frustrated young population undermines social harmony and economic growth.

Health sector

  • National Sample Survey Office data on health (75th round, 2018), shows that a deep-rooted downturn in the rural economy is making quality health-care unaffordable. People are availing of private hospitals less than they used to
  • The elderly population in India is projected to double from 8.6% in 2011, to 16% in 2040. This will sharply reduce the per capita availability of hospital beds in India across all major State


Why in news?

  • The Supreme Court has ruled that quotas and reservations for promotions for government jobs are not a fundamental right, setting aside an Uttarakhand High Court order of 2012.
  • The top court has also said that States could not be forced to make such provisions without data showing imbalance in representation of certain communities in public service

Prevalence of untouchability

  • 47% of respondents in the hill State admitted to practising untouchability. More than half the forward caste people confessed to practising untouchability.
  • Further, nearly 68% Brahmins in rural and 77% Brahmins in urban areas of the State admitted to the practice.
  • In 2013, of the total wealth in the country, the share of SCs was only 5% in rural areas against their population share of almost 17%.
  • In terms of their share in agricultural land, it was only 5% while in building assets it was 8%. On the other hand, the high castes owned 39% of total natural wealth — 41% land and 39% building assets

Educational qualification amoung SC population

  • In 2015, the enrolment rate in higher education was 20% for SCs compared to 43% for higher castes
  • Primary studies show extensive discrimination in employment, farming, enterprise/business against SCs. Based on NSS data, these studies indicate that in 2017-18, of the differences in access to employment between SCs and high caste, about 71% was due to discrimination in hiring

Untouchables and slave caste

  • Recent studies such as that of P. Sanal Mohan in Modernity of Slavery: Struggles Against Caste Inequality in Colonial Kerala is that about untouchables being a slave caste.
  • A statement often found in all slave transaction documents, “Kill you may kill, sell you may sell”, bears testimony to the power of upper-caste Hindu and Christian landlords.
  • In fact the entire agrarian economy was based on the exploitative slave labour of untouchables

Way forward

  • SCs requirement is to have “adequate compensation or reparation” for traditional denial of rights to property and education, and slave labour.
  • The affirmative action policies similar to reservation mainly provide protection against discrimination and ensure a fair share of benefits in the “present
  • Dalits need to be given adequate land, enterprises, and funds for education as compensation
  • Since the high castes have benefited at the cost of the former untouchables, there is legal and moral justification that they compensate for the losses they have inflicted on the latter for centuries.
July 2024