- Signs and substance
- Sex and power
- Still no finality, the third time round
- Debating water quality
SIGNS AND SUBSTANCE
- President Donald Trump’s India visit can easily be cleaved into two separate parts: the symbolism of the joint rally with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with their obvious personal rapport, and the actual bilateral outcomes of their Delhi meeting
- At least five MoUs would be ready for signing, the three made ready were two on health care, and one Letter of Cooperation on LNG pipeline infrastructure.
- The two governments must now strive to complete the unfinished agreements and set the course for their newly designated ‘Comprehensive Strategic Global Partnership’
SEX AND POWER
Why in news?
- Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been convicted of two felony sex crimes and potentially faces 29 years in prison
- The prosecution’s case was tricky because, given the length of time that had passed since the alleged incidents, there was a lack of physical and forensic evidence that might have supported the allegations against Mr. Weinstein
Background to #MeToo
- The #MeToo movement was kicked off in 2006 by activist Tarana Burke as a battle against traumatic, widespread and under-reported incidents of assault on women
- Soon, social media platforms became the means for women to tell their stories about high-profile men, specifically allegations of sexual impropriety detailing the alleged acts, and naming the men involved publicly.
STILL NO FINALITY, THE THIRD TIME ROUND
Why in news?
- The experiment of power sharing and governance under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution was expected to be the panacea of the ethno-nationalist identity questions in Northeastern States
- The new Accord signed by the All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU), United Bodo People’s Organisation and all the four factions of the insurgent outfit- National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) with Delhi and Dispur on January 27 promises more legislative, executive and administrative autonomy under the Sixth Schedule to Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and expansion of the BTC territory in lieu of statehood
- Bodo groups have suspended their statehood movement, but the new Bodo Accord has triggered the intensification of the movement for Kamatapur State by organisations of the Koch-Rajbongshi community. The territory of the demanded Kamatapur State overlaps with the present BTAD, proposed BTR and demanded Bodoland. Clamour for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status by the Koch-Rajbongshis, Adivasis and several other non-ST communities has also grown
- Deeper ethnic faultlines in an ethno-centric power sharing model will become exposed when the Koch-Rajbongshis and the Adivasis are granted ST status, as promised by the Modi government. For, the reservation of seats of BTC is for the STs and not exclusively for the Bodos
- The Bodos account for over 90% of the ST population in the BTAD. The ST populations are an overwhelming majority in territories overseen by nine other autonomous councils under the Sixth Schedule in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura.
- The new accord promises to appoint a commission by the Assam government to look into the demands for inclusion of villages with ST majority and contiguous to the BTAD, and exclusion of villages which are contiguous to non-Sixth Schedule areas
DEBATING WATER QUALITY
- BIS report for 21 major Indian cities was released, keeping in mind the objectives of the ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’, which aims to provide safe piped water to all households by 2024.
- Drinking water in Delhi was ranked the most unsafe, as the samples failed in 19 out of 28 parameters, was challenged by the Government of Delhi and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB)
- India is on the throes of a severe water crisis, not only because of a gradual reduction in per capita availability of water due to a rising population, but also because of rising and unchecked pollution in the country’s rivers and water bodies
- As per published estimates of the Central Pollution Control Board, the country has a treatment capacity of only about 30% of sewage generated in the major cities
Impending water stress
- A 2018 Report of the NITI Aayog has observed that currently 600 million Indians face high to extreme water stress and about two lakh people die every year due to inadequate access to safe water. The crisis is only going to get worse. By 2030, the country’s water demand is projected to be twice the available supply, implying severe water scarcity for hundreds of millions of people
- It is not only the untreated sewage water and industrial effluents, but also the solid wastes and construction material discharged by individuals, companies and municipal bodies that have caused the suffocation of the Yamuna