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Current Affairs 05 June 2024

  1. Persistent Underrepresentation of Women in Indian Corporate Leadership
  2. Vote Counting
  3. KAZA-TFCA States Renew Withdrawal Calls from CITES
  4. ICMR Seeks Partners for Hydroxyurea Development for Children
  5. Prime Minister’s Visit to Vivekananda Rock Memorial
  6. Ahilya Bai Holkar
  7. Bank Clinic


Context:

A recent report titled “Women in Leadership in Corporate India” by a networking platform has highlighted the persistent underrepresentation of women in leadership positions across Indian corporates. The percentage of women in these roles has remained stagnant below 30% for a considerable period.

Relevance:

GS III: Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Report Findings on Women Representation in the Workforce
  2. Factors Contributing to Lower Representation of Women in Corporates
  3. Strategies to Improve Gender Diversity in Corporate Leadership
  4. Conclusion

Report Findings on Women Representation in the Workforce

Overview of Representation Trends
  • Consistently Low Representation: Women hold less than 30% of positions across the workforce and in senior leadership roles, a figure which has been declining since the pandemic.
  • Key Cause: The primary reason for this trend is the reduction in the hiring of women for leadership roles.
Industry-Specific Representation

Lowest Representation:

  • Construction, Oil, Gas, and Mining, and Utilities: 11%
  • Wholesale and Manufacturing: 12%
  • Accommodation and Food Services: 15%

Slightly Better Representation:

  • Wholesale and Manufacturing: 12%
  • Moderate Representation:
  • Technology, Information & Media, Financial Services: 19%

Highest Representation:

  • Education: 30%
  • Government Administration: 29%
Compliance with Legal Mandates
  • Legislation: The Companies Act, 2013 mandates the inclusion of women directors on company boards.
  • Non-Compliance: Reports indicate that compliance with this law is lax.
  • Penalties: Between April 2018 and December 2023, 507 companies were fined for non-compliance, with 90% of these being listed companies.

Factors Contributing to Lower Representation of Women in Corporates

Societal and Structural Barriers
  • Societal Biases and Stereotypes: Prevalent biases regarding women’s abilities and leadership styles result in unfair assessments and restricted career advancement opportunities.
  • Reduced Flexible Working Arrangements: The decline in hybrid or work-from-home options has stalled progress, as these arrangements often support women’s participation in the workforce.
  • Domestic and Caregiving Responsibilities: The heavy burden of these responsibilities on women hampers their ability to commit and be as available as their male counterparts.
Environmental and Institutional Challenges
  • Migration and Safety Concerns: These concerns restrict women’s access to employment, especially in urban areas where inadequate infrastructure and unsafe public spaces deter women from seeking and retaining jobs.
  • Lack of Mentorship and Sponsorship: Women have fewer influential mentors and sponsors to advocate for their career progression and help them navigate corporate environments.
  • Scarcity of Senior Role Models: The shortage of women in senior leadership roles means fewer role models for aspiring women, making it difficult for them to envision achieving such positions themselves.

Strategies to Improve Gender Diversity in Corporate Leadership

Work Environment and Policies
  • Flexible or Hybrid Work Policies: Essential for retaining women, particularly at junior and middle management levels, as these stages often require balancing career aspirations with family commitments.
Recruitment and Hiring Practices
  • ‘Skills-First’ Hiring Approach: Prioritize hiring based on relevant skills, qualifications, and experience rather than gendered assumptions. This method helps reduce biases and promotes meritocracy.
Government Initiatives
  • Promoting Board Diversity: Governments can encourage diversity in senior leadership by raising awareness about board diversity in listed companies.
    • Example: The Japanese Ministry of Economy, in collaboration with the Tokyo Stock Exchange, launched the “Nadeshiko Brands” program, which highlights companies that support women’s empowerment and leadership, making them attractive investment opportunities.
Professional Networking and Support
  • Creating Strong Networks: Establishing professional groups for women can foster connections and collaboration, empowering women to navigate the path to leadership.
  • Benefits: These networks allow women to share experiences, learn from each other’s successes and challenges, and build a robust support system.
  • Mentorship and Networking Opportunities: Providing women with mentorship and networking opportunities can aid their navigation up the corporate ladder.
  • Role of Female Leaders: Experienced female leaders can mentor aspiring women, offering insights and strategies for career advancement.
Equitable Distribution of Responsibilities
  • Promoting Equitable Caregiving: Policies that promote an equitable distribution of caregiving responsibilities between men and women can help balance professional and personal commitments.
  • Paid Paternity Leave: Implementing paid paternity leave, especially in the private sector, can contribute to a more balanced distribution of caregiving duties.

Conclusion

The ongoing underrepresentation of women in corporate leadership roles in India is a significant concern that necessitates comprehensive and targeted interventions. By adopting a multifaceted approach, including policy changes, organizational reforms, and cultural shifts, it is possible to enhance gender diversity and unlock the full potential of women in the corporate sector.

-Source: The Hindu



Context:

Over the past six weeks, 642 million voters have participated in the world’s largest democratic exercise. Now, it’s their turn to be heard through the counting of votes.

Relevance:

GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Counting of Votes
  2. Postal Ballots and EVM Votes
  3. VVPAT and Recounting
  4. Result Declaration

Counting of Votes

Handbook and Governance
  • Handbook Issued by EC: Guides Returning Officers (ROs) and counting agents on the counting process, highlighting design, operations, and objection protocols.
  • Rule 66A Governance: The counting process follows Rule 66A of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, as amended in 1992.
Responsibilities and Procedures

RO Responsibilities:

  • Typically, the District Magistrate is appointed by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
  • Must inform candidates or their agents of the counting schedule and location at least one week before polling.
  • Assistant Returning Officers assist where the RO oversees multiple constituencies.
  • Counting officials appointed by the RO conduct the vote counting at various tables.

Appointment of Time and Place:

  • Rule 51 Requirement: RO must appoint the time and place for vote counting at least one week before the poll.
  • The ECI sets a uniform date and time for counting, usually at the RO’s headquarters but possibly outside the constituency.
  • Votes for an Assembly constituency are counted at a single location with each constituency in a separate hall with up to 14 counting tables plus the RO’s table.
Counting Process
  • Scheduled Start: The RO must begin counting strictly at the scheduled time, with the entire process documented in-camera and timestamped.
  • EVM Strong Room Procedures:
    • The room must be opened in the presence of observers, ROs/AROs, and candidates or their agents.
    • Continuous CCTV coverage documents the movement of control units, VVPATs, and relevant documents.
    • Counting staff and others must remain at the Counting Centre until official results are announced.

Postal Ballots and EVM Votes

Postal Ballot Counting:

  • Rule 54A mandates starting with postal ballots.
  • EVM vote counting starts 30 minutes after postal ballots.
  • VVPAT slips are matched with EVM results post counting.

EVM Counting Procedures:

  • Organized on tables arranged in rows and numbered sequentially.
  • Control Unit of each EVM determines poll results for each station.
  • Ballot Units remain in a secure strong room.
  • Candidate-wise results from each control unit are recorded in Form 17C part II, signed by the counting supervisor and candidates/polling agents, and countersigned by the RO before preparing the Final Result Sheet in Form 20.

VVPAT and Recounting

VVPAT Counting:

  • Begins only after all votes from Control Units are counted.
  • Conducted under close supervision in the VVPAT Counting Booth with observers and candidates or their agents present.

Recounting:

  • Usually unnecessary due to the validity of each vote recorded by machines.
  • Rule 63 provisions for recount still apply if required.

Result Declaration

  • Authorization: RO must obtain authorization from the Observer to declare results.
  • NOC Requirement: RO should seek NOC on Form 20 from the Commission, Observer, and the leading candidate before public announcement.

-Source: The Hindu



Context:

At the 2024 Heads of State Summit for the Kavango-Zambezi Trans-Frontier Conservation Area (KAZA-TFCA) in Livingstone, Zambia, member states renewed their calls to withdraw from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This demand stems from repeated denials of permission to sell their abundant ivory and other wildlife products.

Relevance:

GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Issues Discussed at the 2024 Summit
  2. Causes of the Wildlife Product Trade
  3. Measures Needed to Tackle Wildlife Crime

Key Issues Discussed at the 2024 Summit

The KAZA-TFCA Initiative
  • Geographical Scope: The KAZA-TFCA spans five southern African nations: Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, along the Okavango and Zambezi river basins.
  • Conservation Land: Approximately 70% of KAZA land is under conservation, comprising 103 wildlife management areas and 85 forest reserves.
  • Elephant Population: This region harbors over two-thirds of Africa’s elephant population (approximately 450,000), with Botswana (132,000) and Zimbabwe (100,000) holding significant portions.
Ivory Trade and Human-Wildlife Conflicts
  • 2022 Conference of Parties: Southern African countries advocated for legalizing the ivory trade to finance conservation and reduce human-wildlife conflicts, but their proposal was rejected.
  • Rejection Reasons: The proposal was accused of prioritizing anti-trade ideologies over scientific conservation methods.
Economic Impact of CITES Restrictions
  • Economic Pitfalls: Delegates emphasized the economic disadvantages of existing CITES restrictions, advocating for the sale of wildlife products to highlight elephant mortality rates and the loss of economic potential from ivory stockpiles.
  • Funding for Conservation: The ban on ivory and wildlife product trade affects conservation funding, as revenue from sales could support wildlife management.
  • Scientific Evidence vs. Political Agendas: Decisions are argued to be based more on populism and political agendas rather than scientific evidence, undermining CITES’ effectiveness in promoting sustainable conservation.
Appeals and Responses
  • Exiting CITES: The summit featured renewed appeals to exit CITES, suggesting it could prompt CITES to reconsider or empower KAZA states to manage their wildlife resources autonomously.
  • Trophy Hunting Restrictions: In response to increased restrictions on trophy hunting imports by Western countries, Zimbabwe and other KAZA states are exploring alternative markets, particularly in the East.
  • Trophy Hunting Definition: Trophy hunting involves selectively hunting wild animals, often large mammals, to obtain body parts like antlers or horns, which serve as symbols of achievement or for display.

Causes of the Wildlife Product Trade

Organized Crime and Illegal Trade Dynamics
  • Criminal Networks: Involves organized crime in remote operations like elephant and tiger poaching, merging with other criminal networks and exploiting power dynamics, illicit weapons, and money laundering channels.
  • Market Scarcity: When legal sales decline, illegal traders find new ways to continue selling products, such as rare animals or endangered species trophies, making illegal markets more attractive to buyers.
Socioeconomic and Cultural Factors
  • Economic Pressures: While large criminal groups may dominate some trafficking, many impoverished individuals engage in poaching to make ends meet.
  • Cultural Significance: In some regions, poaching is driven by cultural traditions. For example, in the Chinko reserve in the Central African Republic, elephant hunting symbolizes cultural heritage, courage, and masculinity.
Legal Market Complications
  • Legal Market Confusion: Legal markets for certain wildlife products (e.g., Lao PDR permits trade in bear bile) make it difficult to distinguish between legally and illegally sourced products.
  • Major Legal Market: Japan represents the world’s most significant legal ivory market, adding complexity to efforts to curb illegal trade.
Corruption and Ineffectiveness of Controls
  • Bribery and Corruption: Wildlife trafficking is facilitated by bribery at inspection points and higher-level influence on permit issuance and legal decisions, undermining anti-trafficking efforts.

Measures Needed to Tackle Wildlife Crime

Reducing Demand
  • Illegalize Possession and Trade: Make the possession or trading of goods derived from illegally obtained wildlife illegal to reduce demand.
  • Support Anti-Poaching Efforts: Direct funds to agencies that protect wildlife, such as park rangers and anti-poaching teams.
Education and Awareness
  • Public Education: Educate people about the consequences of wildlife trafficking and the value of wildlife to lower demand for illegal products.
Scientific and Economic Collaboration
  • Scientific Review: Conduct independent scientific reviews to assess the sustainability of potential ivory trade from KAZA countries.
  • Collaborative Efforts: CITES and KAZA countries could collaborate to explore alternative income sources for conservation, such as promoting ecotourism and carbon offset programs.
Best Practices and Successful Initiatives
  • TRAFFIC and WWF: TRAFFIC’s technical expertise supported a WWF campaign in Thailand, significantly reforming Thai legislation and nearly eliminating the domestic ivory market.
  • Domestic Ivory Bans: In China, WWF and other NGOs played crucial roles in implementing a domestic ivory ban.
  • Destroying Stockpiles: Gabon, Congo, and the USA have destroyed confiscated ivory stockpiles to prevent their return to the black market and publicly condemn ivory trade and poaching.

-Source: Down To Earth



Context:

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) seeks partners for a new project to develop and commercialize a low-dose or children’s version of hydroxyurea, aimed at treating sickle cell disease in India. Eligible organizations are invited to express their interest in this initiative.

Relevance:

GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Sickle Cell Anaemia
  2. Indian Government Initiatives to reduce Sickle Cell Anaemia
  3. About the National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission

Hydroxyurea for Treating Sickle Cell Disease in Children

Overview and Mechanism
  • Hydroxyurea: An oral chemotherapy drug prescribed for sickle cell disease.
    • Helps patients by keeping blood cells round and flexible, facilitating better flow and oxygen delivery.
  • Myelosuppressive Agent: Slows or stops the growth of blood-forming cells in the bone marrow, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and steroids.
Effects on Blood Cells
  • Deoxygenated Sickle Cells: Tend to clump together and form chains or long polymers, becoming stickier and increasing blockage risks in small blood vessels.
  • Fetal Hemoglobin (HbF): Prevents polymer formation, reducing the likelihood of blockages and organ damage.
  • Hydroxyurea’s Role: Increases the amount of HbF in the blood, preventing complications from sickle cell disease.
Pharmaceutical Availability and Challenges
  • Current Availability: Hydroxyurea is offered in 500 mg capsules or 200 mg tablets by most pharmaceutical companies in India.
  • Pediatric Treatment Challenges: Lack of a suspension form makes low-dose treatment difficult for children.
    • Service providers must break down high-dose tablets, risking dose accuracy and efficacy.
    • Need for Pediatric Formulation: Considering the high number of sickle cell disease cases and the goal of eliminating the disease in India by 2047, a pediatric formulation of hydroxyurea is essential.

Sickle Cell Anaemia

  • Haemoglobin which is tasked with carrying oxygen to all parts of the body, has four protein subunits — two alpha and two beta.
  • In some people, mutations in the gene that creates the beta subunits impact the shape of the blood cell and distorts it to look like a sickle.
  • A round red blood cell can move easily through blood vessels because of its shape but sickle red blood cells end up slowing, and even blocking, the blood flow.
  • Moreover, sickle cells die early, resulting in a shortage of red blood cells that deprive the body of oxygen.
  • These obstructions and shortages may cause chronic anaemia, pain, fatigue, acute chest syndrome, stroke, and a host of other serious health complications.
  • Without treatment, quality of life is compromised and severe cases can become fatal in the initial years of life.
Symptoms

The symptoms of sickle cell anaemia can vary from person to person, but common symptoms include:

  • Painful episodes (sickle cell crisis)
  • Anaemia
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Delays in growth and development
  • Joint pain
  • frequent infections
Treatment

Currently, there is no cure for sickle cell anaemia, but treatments are available to manage the symptoms and prevent complications.

  • Pain management
  • Blood transfusions
  • Antibiotics to prevent infections
  • Hydoxyurea, a medication to reduce the frequency of sickle cell crises
  • Stem cell transplantation in some cases
Indian Government Initiatives to reduce Sickle Cell Anaemia
  • The Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Rural Health Mission in different States are undertaking outreach programmes for better management and control of the disease.
  • The Ministry of Tribal Affairs launched a portal wherein people can register themselves if they have the disease or the trait, in order to collate all information related to SCA among tribal groups.
  • In the Budget, the Union Health Minister said the government plans to distribute “special cards” across tribal areas to people below the age of 40.
    • The cards will be divided into different categories based on the screening results.
    • The mission will receive funding under the National Health Mission.

National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission:

  • The mission aims to tackle the significant health challenges associated with sickle cell disease (SCD), with a particular focus on the tribal population.
  • It represents a crucial milestone in the Government’s ongoing efforts to eliminate SCD as a public health issue by 2047.

Objectives of the Mission:

Provision of Affordable and Accessible Care:

  • Ensure that all SCD patients have access to affordable and easily accessible healthcare services.
  • Improve the availability and affordability of SCD treatments and medications.

Quality of Care:

  • Enhance the quality of care provided to SCD patients.
  • Implement measures to ensure that healthcare facilities meet the required standards for SCD management.

Prevalence Reduction:

  • Implement strategies to reduce the prevalence of SCD in the population.
  • Focus on early detection and prevention methods to minimize the number of new SCD cases.

Health Promotion:

  • Raise awareness about SCD through health promotion campaigns.
  • Provide pre-marital genetic counseling to educate individuals about the risks associated with SCD.

Prevention:

  • Conduct universal screening programs to identify SCD cases at an early stage.
  • Emphasize the importance of early detection and prompt intervention to prevent complications.

Holistic Management & Continuum of Care:

  • Develop a comprehensive management approach for individuals with SCD.
  • Establish coordinated care across primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare levels.
  • Ensure adequate treatment facilities at tertiary healthcare institutions.

Patient Support System:

  • Establish a robust support system for SCD patients.
  • Provide guidance, counseling, and emotional support to patients and their families.

Community Adoption:

  • Encourage community involvement in SCD prevention and care.
  • Promote the adoption of preventive measures and support systems within local communities.
Coverage Targets:
  • The mission aims to reach a total of 7 crore people.
  • Provide screening, counseling, and care services for individuals with SCD within a three-and-a-half-year timeframe.

-Source: The Hindu



Context:

Recently, the Prime Minister visited and meditated at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu.

Relevance:

GS I: History

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Facts Related to Vivekananda Rock Memorial
  2. About Swami Vivekananda
  3. Vedantic Humanism
  4. His teachings

Key Facts Related to Vivekananda Rock Memorial

Historical Significance
  • Swami Vivekananda’s Meditation: In 1892, Swami Vivekananda swam to the rock from the shores of Kanyakumari for meditation, spending three days and nights there, leading to his enlightenment.
  • Core Philosophy Crystallization: Swami Vivekananda’s letter to Swami Ramkrishnananda in 1894 suggests that his core philosophy crystallized after meditating at the Dhyan Mandapam on the rock.
Location and Physical Features
  • Geographical Position: The memorial is situated on one of the two rocks located approximately 500 meters off the mainland of Vavathurai, Tamil Nadu.
  • Islet Characteristics: The Vivekananda rock is a small rocky islet, surrounded by the Laccadive Sea, where the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea converge, offering a picturesque view.
Structural Details
  • Main Structures: The memorial consists of two primary structures: Vivekananda Mandapam and Shripada Mandapam.
Construction and Inauguration
  • Purpose: The memorial was constructed to honor Swami Vivekananda, a prominent Indian spiritual leader.
  • Inauguration: It was formally inaugurated in 1970 by the then-President of India, V V Giri.

About Swami Vivekananda

  • The Swami Vivekananda ji’s original name was Narendranath.
  • He was born on 12th January, 1863 at Kolkata , the Swamiji’s Jayanti i.e. birth anniversary is celebrated as the “National Youth Day“. 
  • Spiritual primacy is the central theme of Vivekananda’s teachings, through which human beings can succeed in every sphere of their lives.
  • Nevertheless, he urges people, especially the youth, to never let go of reason.
  • Instead, he premises his philosophy, ideas and life work on the premise of reason.
  • The three instruments of knowledge that he propounded are instincts, reason, and inspiration.

Vedantic Humanism

  • Swami Vivekananda believed that there is only one Self in the universe. There is only one Existence. He saw the entire universe as a manifestation of the absolute One.
  • On the coexistence of various faiths, he believed religious acceptance, and not tolerance was important. He claimed that tolerance comes out of a superiority complex.
  • For Vivekananda, the most desirable path for self-realisation was the selfless service of man.
  • Some ways through which the essential unity of all human beings can be realised are unconditional love for all, judicious detachment, and expansion of self through service of fellow humans despite any sectarian difference, he believed.
  • He was an exponent of vedantic humanism.
  • He did not propagate a world-negating concept of spirituality, rather he said that each and every chore of your life should be done with divinity.
  • He articulated that external rituals of religion are of secondary importance but the spiritual essence of a religion should be preserved and accepted.

His teachings

Divinity within ourselves
  • “Infinite power is in the soul of man, whether he knows it or not. Its manifestation is only a question of being conscious of it. With the full consciousness of his infinite power and wisdom, the giant will rise to his feet.”
  • Swami Vivekananda asserted that each soul is potentially divine.
  • The goal of human beings should be to manifest this divinity within, which can be done by controlling nature, external and internal.
Karma Yoga
  • Swami Vivekananda, emphasising the importance of work, said that God can be attained through work.
  • He said that in every society there are people whose minds cannot be concentrated on the plane of thought alone.
  • He stressed that a lot of people fritter away a great amount of their energies because they are oblivious to the secret of work. The key to this secret lies in Karma Yoga, as it teaches how to employ to the maximum advantage all our energies in our work.
  • Karma-Yoga teaches how to work for work’s sake, unattached to the results.
  • A Karma Yogin works out of her nature as she feels it is the right thing for her to do and that is the sole objective of her work. “Whatever you do, let that be your worship for the time being,” he said.
Bhakti Yoga
  • Bhakti Yoga teaches that love is a vital element of all human beings.
  • It teaches how to love bereft of any ulterior motives.
  •  “All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life. He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying,” said Swami Vivekananda.
Raja Yoga
  • Raja Yoga opens up the psychological way to union with God.
  • This Yoga teaches that in order to acquire knowledge, we’d have to use a method called concentration.
  • Swami Vivekananda, to explain this Yoga, gives an example of a chemist who works in her laboratory, concentrating all the powers of her mind, bringing them into one focus, and throwing them onto the elements; the elements stand analysed and thus her knowledge comes.
  • “The more this power of concentration, the more knowledge is acquired. The stronger the power of concentration, the better will that thing be done.”
Faith in oneself
  • He emphasises that the ideal of faith in ourselves is of the greatest help to us as whatever “you think, that you will be. If you think yourselves weak, weak you will be; if you think yourselves strong, strong you will be.”
  • One has to know that all knowledge, power, purity, and freedom are in oneself.
  • Swami Vivekanand also urges people to not shy away from taking responsibility for their actions.
  • “We, as Vedantists, know for certain that there is no power in the universe to injure us unless we first injure ourselves. Let us blame none, let us blame our own karma. The effect is here and the cause is here too. We are to blame. Stand up, be bold, and take the blame on your own shoulders.”

-Source: The Hindu



Context:

The 300th birth anniversary of the Maratha queen Ahilya Bai Holkar — a great administrator and visionary with a spiritual inclination, was recently celebrated.

Relevance:

GS I: History

About Ahilya Bai Holkar

Personal Background
  • Full Name: Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar
  • Lifespan: 31 May 1725 – 13 August 1795
  • Title: Holkar Queen of the Maratha Malwa Kingdom, India
  • Reputation: Known as one of India’s most visionary female rulers, celebrated for her wisdom, courage, and administrative skills.
Early Life and Ascension to Power
  • Tragedy: Ahilyabai’s husband, Khanderao Holkar, was killed in the battle of Kumbher in 1754.
  • Further Loss: Twelve years later, her father-in-law, Malhar Rao Holkar, passed away.
  • Coronation: In 1767, a year after her father-in-law’s death, she was crowned the queen of Malwa. She ruled for the next 28 years, bringing justice, wisdom, and knowledge to her governance.
Achievements and Contributions
  • Peace and Prosperity: Under her rule, Malwa enjoyed relative peace, prosperity, and stability. Her capital, Maheshwar, became a hub for literary, musical, artistic, and industrial pursuits.
  • Welcoming Scholars: She welcomed notable figures such as Marathi poet Moropant, Shahir Ananta Gandhi, and Sanskrit scholar Khushali Ram into her capital.
  • Promoting Dharma and Industrialization: She played a significant role in spreading the message of dharma and fostering industrialization.
  • Textile Industry: Established a textile industry in Maheshwar, now famous for Maheshwari sarees.
Military and Justice

Defense:

  • Military Training: Ahilyabai was military-trained and personally led armies into battle.
  • Appointment: She appointed Tukojirao Holkar as the Chief of Army.
  • Justice Administration: Known for her fair and impartial administration of justice, she even sentenced her only son to death for a capital offense.
Religious and Social Contributions
  • Temple Construction: A pioneer in building Hindu temples, she constructed hundreds of temples and Dharmashalas across India. Her notable contributions include the renovation and repair of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in 1780.
  • Landmark Decisions: Implemented significant reforms, such as abolishing the law that confiscated property from childless widows.
  • Public Audiences: Held daily public audiences to address and resolve the common man’s problems.
Legacy and Death
  • Philosopher Queen: British historian John Keay honored her with the title ‘The Philosopher Queen’.
  • Death: Ahilyabai passed away on August 13, 1795, at the age of seventy.
  • Succession: Her throne was succeeded by her commander-in-chief and nephew, Tukojirao Holkar.

-Source: Indian Express



Context:

The All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) has launched the “Bank Clinic” initiative to assist bank customers with grievance redressal.

Relevance:

GS III: Indian Economy

About Bank Clinic

  • Initiative by AIBEA: The All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) launched Bank Clinic to help bank customers with grievance redressal in line with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines on retail banking amid rapid technological advancements.
  • Advisory Platform: It serves as a non-resolving advisory platform, providing guidance on remedies available as per RBI guidelines.
  • Additional Channel: Functions alongside the traditional Banking Ombudsman process.
How It Works
  • Complaint Registration: Customers can register their complaints on the Bank Clinic website.
  • Response Time: Within five working days, customers receive a reply detailing available remedies and relevant RBI guidelines for their specific issue.
  • Purpose: Ensures timely and effective redressal of customer issues by guiding them on available remedies, though it does not directly resolve queries.
Benefits
  • Building Goodwill: Helps build goodwill with customers.
  • Feedback to Banks: Provides valuable feedback to banks, highlighting areas where service deficiencies exist.
What is AIBEA?
  • Full Name: All India Bank Employees Association.
  • Representation: A national trade union representing bank employees across India.
  • Foundation: Established on April 20, 1946, in Kolkata. The headquarters is in Chennai.
  • Role: Advocates for the rights, welfare, and interests of bank workers.

-Source: Economic Times


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