Contents

  1. Medical device parks’ scheme notified
  2. Campaign launched for social accountability law
  3. WMO report on Rising CO2 concentration and SDGs
  4. Death penalty in T.N. honour killing case 
  5. Maoist influence down from 96 to 41 districts: Home Ministry
  6. CJI bats for 50% women’s reservation in judiciary
  7. Govt.-industry panel drives policy to revive manufacturing
  8. Cyclone Gulab

Medical device parks’ scheme notified

Context:

The Union government notified a scheme to promote medical device parks at a financial outlay of ₹ 400 crore till financial year 2024-2025.

Relevance:

GS-II: Social Justice and Governance (Issues related to Health, Government Policies and Initiatives)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the Medical Device Parks Scheme
  2. About Medical Devices and the Medical Devices Sector in India

About the Medical Device Parks Scheme

  • The Scheme for “Promotion of Medical Device Parks” is launched by the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. 
  • One of the primary objectives of the scheme is to enable easy access to standard testing and infrastructure facilities through the creation of world-class common infrastructure facilities via medical device parks.
  • The scheme also aims to reduce the cost of production of medical devices and the better availability and affordability of medical devices in the domestic market.
  • The total financial outlay of the scheme is Rs 400 crore and the tenure of the scheme is from FY 2020-2021 to FY 2024-2025.
  • Financial assistance to a selected Medical Device Park would be 70% of the project cost of common infrastructure facilities. 
  • The Centre has granted in-principal approval for the parks in Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

About Medical Devices and the Medical Devices Sector in India

  • Medical devices include Surgical Equipment, Diagnostic equipment like Cardiac imaging, CT scans, X-ray, Molecular Imaging, MRI and Ultrasound-imaging including hand – held devices; Life Support equipment like ventilator, etc. as well as Implants and Disposables.
  • The medical device industry is a unique blend of engineering and medicine. It involves the creation of machines that are used to support life within the human body.
  • The Medical Devices industry in India is valued at USD 5.2 billion, contributing about 4-5% to the USD 96.7 billion Indian healthcare Industry.
  • Medical devices sector in India is very small in size as compared to the rest of the manufacturing industry, though India is one of the top twenty markets for medical devices in the world and is the 4th largest market in Asia after Japan, China, and South Korea.
  • India currently imports 80-90% of medical devices of the USD15 billion market.
  • The US, Germany, China, Japan, and Singapore constitute the five largest exporters of high technology medical equipment to India.

-Source: The Hindu


Campaign launched for social accountability law

Context:

A State-wide campaign has been launched in Rajasthan for demanding passage of the social accountability law in the next Assembly session.

Relevance:

GS-II: Governance (Government Policies and Initiatives, Transparency and Accountability)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is Social Accountability?
  2. About the draft Rajasthan Social Accountability Bill, 2019
  3. Significance of the demand for social accountability law in Rajasthan

What is Social Accountability?

  • “Social accountability” refers to actions initiated by citizen groups to hold public officials, politicians, and service providers to account for their conduct and performance in terms of delivering services, improving people’s welfare and protecting people’s rights.
  • Social accountability is an obligation and responsibility on the part of the government to be answerable to the citizens for its actions. Accountability of government officials is a cornerstone and a must for ensuring good governance.
  • In a public sector context, social accountability refers to a wide range of actions and mechanisms that citizens, communities, independent media and civil society organizations can use to hold public officials accountable.
  • The four pillars of social accountability are: 
    1. Organized and capable citizens groups;
    2. An enabling environment, with government champions who are willing to engage; 
    3. Cultural appropriateness; and, 
    4. Access to information.
  • The seven main principles of social accountability can be summarised as follows:
    1. Jankari (Information)
    2. Bhagidari (Involvement and participation of citizens)
    3. Karyawahi (Time bound action)
    4. Suraksha (Protection of Citizens)
    5. Sunwai (Citizen’s right to be heard)
    6. Janta Ka Manch (Collective Platform)
    7. Prasar (Report Dissemination)
  • The effectiveness and sustainability of social accountability mechanisms is improved when they are institutionalized. This involves two things: 
  • The state as a ‘willing accomplice’ in the broader accountability project, needs to render its own “internal” mechanisms in a way that makes it structurally amenable to accountability.
  • The state needs to identify and adopt mechanisms to facilitate and strengthen civic engagement and citizen voice.

About the draft Rajasthan Social Accountability Bill, 2019

The draft Rajasthan Social Accountability Bill, 2019 will compliment RTI which is becoming far more challenging. The citizen centric law will enable citizens to initiate enquiries rather than relying on the departmental enquires in the existing system

Objectives of the Bill:

  • To seek the accountability of public functionaries and authorities for timely delivery of goods and services.
  • To create democratic, decentralized and participative approach to enable wider public participation.
  • To Initiate monitoring of programmes and policies through community score cards, citizens report card and social audits.

Key provisions:

  • The purview of bill includes any entity or body, which is under the control of the government, governor and the high court of Rajasthan. Entity or the body set up by Central Government to function within the State of Rajasthan and partially or wholly providing public goods and services provided there is consent of the Central Government.
  • It seeks to impose penalties and compensation and initiate departmental action against the Grievance Redressal Officer (GRO) of the service delivery department for non-compliance. For example: If the local police have failed to deliver it duties, the onus is on the GRO.
  • The Bill will also set up a grievance redressal mechanism starting from village panchayats. The Bill included provisions for citizens’ charter, public hearing, social audit and information and facilitation centres.

Significance of the demand for social accountability law in Rajasthan

  • It empowers every person to hold the government institutions and officials accountable to them to deliver their rights as citizens.
  • It raises awareness about the law and takes up a sustained advocacy for passage of the Bill in the next Assembly session. The mechanism for redressing grievances will start from village panchayats and involve public hearings at the block level.
  • It can contribute to improved governance, increased development effectiveness through better service delivery, and citizen empowerment.

-Source: The Hindu


WMO report on Rising CO2 concentration and SDGs

Context:

Recently, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has published a new report on Climate Indicators and Sustainable Development: Demonstrating the Interconnections.

Relevance:

GS-III: Environment and Ecology (Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Conservation of Environment and Ecology, Sustainable Development)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is Sustainable Development?
  2. The 17 goals under the Sustainable Development Goals
  3. Climate Indicators and Sustainable Development

What is Sustainable Development?

  • Sustainable development has been defined in many ways, but the most frequently quoted definition is from Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
  • Three core elements of sustainable development are: Economic Growth, Social Inclusion and Environmental Protection.
  • Sustainable economic growth, achieving sustainable livelihood, living in harmony with nature and appropriate technology are important for sustainable development.

What are Sustainable Development Goals?

  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is an intergovernmental agreement formulated to act as post-2015 Development agenda to be achieved by 2030.
  • The SDGs are a set of seventeen pointer targets as proposed by the United Nation General Assembly’s Open Working Group, that all the countries which are members of the UN agreed to work upon for the better future of the country.

The 17 goals under the Sustainable Development Goals are:

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all stages
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  9. Built resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation
  10. Reduce inequalities within and among countries
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production pattern
  13. Take urgent actions to combat climate change and its impact
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources
  15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably managed forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development.

About WMO’s Climate Indicators and Sustainable Development report 

  • WMO studied seven climate indicators — carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration, temperature, ocean acidification and heat, sea ice extent, glacier melt and sea-level rise – for the report on Climate Indicators and Sustainable Development: Demonstrating the Interconnections.
  • The primary aim of the report is to contribute to the sustainable development agenda and to inspire leaders to take bolder climate action.

Highlights of the WMO report

  • Rising CO2 concentration due to human activities is a key driver of global climate change and rising CO2 will impact all of the 17 United Nations-mandated SDGs.
  • Rising CO2 concentration and increasing global temperatures, if left unchecked, would negatively impact efforts to combat climate change under the SDG 13. This, in turn, would pose a significant threat to the achievement of the 16 SDGs other than SDG 13, by 2030.
  • This would happen because uncontrolled rising CO2 emissions would be indirectly responsible for risks related to the remaining six climate indicators, namely temperature, ocean acidification and heat, sea ice extent, glacier melt and sea-level rise.
  • For instance, rising concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere will lead to reductions in nutrient content, affecting food security or the SDG indicator 2.1.2. This would affect the global goal on tackling poverty, SDG 1, as well.
  • Rising CO2 in water would cause ocean acidification, directly affecting SDG indicator 14.3.1 which addresses marine acidity.
  • Both food insecurity and loss of livelihood may drive conflicts related to resource management, thus threatening regional peace and stability (SDG 16.1).
  • Extreme events attributed to rising temperature affect rainfall patterns and groundwater availability, which leads to a higher risk of water scarcity, directly affecting SDG 6 on access to water and specially the targets.

-Source: Down to Earth Magazine


Death penalty in T.N. honour killing case 

Context:

The Special Court for SC/ST Act cases awarded the death sentence to the brother of a caste Hindu girl and sentenced 12 others, including her father, to life imprisonment in the killing of inter-caste couple in 2003.

Relevance:

GS-II: Polity and Constitution (Judiciary, Important Judgements)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is honour killing?
  2. What is Death Penalty/Capital Punishment?
  3. Capital Punishment in India
  4. Bachan Singh vs. State of Punjab (1980) judgement on Capital Punishment
  5. How capital punishment goes against the Principle of Natural justice?
  6. Bringing up Collective conscience of society
  7. What is Collective Conscience of Society?
  8. J.S. Verma Committee and A P Shah Committee

What is honour killing?

  • Honour killing is defined as the killing of a relative, especially a girl or woman, who is perceived to have brought dishonour on the family.
  • Honour killings have often been reported in northern regions of India, mainly in the Indian states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh as a result of people marrying without their family’s acceptance, and sometimes for marrying outside their caste or religion. Honour killings are also widespread in South India and the western Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
  • The usual reasons for honour killings are – marrying against parent’s wishes, having extramarital and premarital relationships, marrying within the same gotra, marrying someone from a different caste, etc. 
  • Honour Killing shows a lack of attributes such as empathy, love, compassion, tolerance, rational thinking capability, emotional intelligence etc. 

What is Death Penalty/Capital Punishment?

  • Capital punishment, also called the death penalty, is the execution of an offender sentenced to death after conviction by a court of law of a criminal offence.
  • It is the highest penalty awardable to an accused.
  • Generally, it is awarded in extremely severe cases of murder, rapes, treason etc.

Arguments in Favour of Death Penalty

  • Arguments along the lines of “Retribution” state that real justice requires people to suffer for their wrongdoing and to suffer in a way appropriate for the crime. One of the key principles of retribution is that people should get what they deserve in proportion to the severity of their crime.
  • Capital punishment is often justified with the argument that by executing convicted murderers, we will deter would-be murderers from killing people.
  • It is often argued that the death penalty provides closure for victims’ families.
  • There are many examples of persons condemned to death taking the opportunity of the time before execution to repent, express remorse, and very often experience profound spiritual rehabilitation.

Arguments Against Death Penalty

  • The statistical evidence doesn’t confirm that deterrence works. Some capital crimes are committed in such an emotional state that the perpetrator did not think about the possible consequences. Death has been prescribed in rape cases since 2013 (Sec. 376A of IPC), still, rapes continue to happen and in fact, the brutality of rapes has increased manifold. This compels one to think of the death penalty is an effective deterrent to crime.
  • The most common argument against capital punishment is that sooner or later, innocent people may get killed, because of mistakes or flaws in the justice system. According to Amnesty International – “As long as human justice remains fallible, the risk of executing the innocent can never be eliminated.”
  • People who oppose Capital punishment are of the view that retribution is immoral, and it is just a sanitised form of vengeance.
  • Death has been abolished as a form of punishment in most of the developed countries. The UN Secretary General’s report on the death penalty presented to the Human Rights Council held that “some 170 States have abolished or introduced a moratorium on the death penalty either in law or in practice, or have suspended executions for more than 10 years”.
  • Capital punishment doesn’t rehabilitate the prisoner and return them to society.

Capital Punishment in India

  • Prior to the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act (Cr PC) of 1955, the death penalty was the rule and life imprisonment an exception in India. Further, the courts were bound to give an explanation for awarding a lighter penalty than death for capital offences.
  • After the amendment of 1955 courts were at liberty to grant either death or life imprisonment. As per Section 354 (3) of the Cr PC, 1973 the courts are required to state reasons in writing for awarding the maximum penalty.In concurrence of this, a proposal for the scrapping of the death penalty was rejected by the Law Commission in its 35th report 1967.
  • The Indian Penal Code prescribes ‘death’ for offences such as
    • Waging war against the Government of India. (Sec. 121);
    • Abetting mutiny actually committed (Sec. 132);
    • Giving or fabricating false evidence upon which an innocent person suffers death. (Sec. 194);
    • Murder (Sec. 302);
  • Direct or indirect abetment of sati is punishable with Death penalty under the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987.
  • Under SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act), 1989 giving false evidence leading to the execution of an innocent member belonging to the SC or ST would attract the death penalty.
  • Besides these, rape of a minor below 12 years of age is punishable with death under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
  • Financing, producing, manufacturing as well as the sale of certain drugs attracts the death penalty for repeat offenders under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
  • Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967; Army, Navy and Air Force Acts also provide the death penalty for certain specified offences committed by members of the armed forces.

Bachan Singh vs. State of Punjab (1980) judgement on Capital Punishment

  • The Supreme Court in its 1980 judgment in Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab, where a Constitution bench of the Supreme Court was called upon to decide the constitutional validity of the capital punishment, had laid down the framework for sentencing to death.
  • The Supreme court had made it very clear that Capital punishment in India can be given only in rarest of rare cases.
  • It required the weighing of aggravating and mitigating circumstances relating to both the circumstances of the offence and the offender, to decide whether a person should be sentenced to death or given life imprisonment.
  • According to the Bachan Singh judgment, for a case to be eligible for the death sentence, the aggravating circumstances must outweigh the mitigating circumstances.
  • If the alternative punishment of life imprisonment can be “unquestionably foreclosed”, Only then can death penalty be imposed.
  • The Bachan Singh judgement recognized the age of the accused as a relevant mitigating circumstance.
  • While stating that honour killings fall within the “rarest of the rare” category, Court has recommended the death penalty be extended to those found guilty of committing “honour killings”, which deserve to be a capital crime.
  • The Supreme Court also recommended death sentences to be imposed on police officials who commit police brutality in the form of encounter killings.

How capital punishment goes against the Principle of Natural justice?

  • The first element, ‘protection of society,’ is not served by imposing the death sentence any better than by incarceration. This has been proven time and again as inmates have spent decades on death row, harming no one, but being brutalised by the inhuman punishment meted out to them.
  • Second, there are several factors which affect criminal activity and deterrence is only one of them.
  • In a UN survey, it was concluded that “capital punishment deters murder to a marginally greater extent than the threat of life imprisonment.”
  • It is not just statistics that prove the case against deterrence, so does logic. A reasonable man is deterred not by the gravity of the sentence but by the detectability of the crime.
  • Third, the facet of ‘reform and rehabilitation of the criminal’ is immediately nullified by the prospect of capital punishment
  • This leaves only the final element — ‘the retributive effect’. Killing should never be carried out based on the primal and emotive desire among human beings for revenge. Revenge is a personalised and emotional form of retribution, which often loses sight of proportionality.

Bringing up Collective conscience of society

  • ‘Collective conscience of society’ as a ground to justify death penalty was first used by the Supreme Court in the 1983 judgment of Machhi Singh v. State of Punjab.
  • In that case, the court held that when “collective conscience of society is shocked, it will expect the holders of the judicial power centre to inflict death penalty”.
  • ‘Collective Conscience of Society’ was also used in 2005 judgment in the Parliament attack case in which it awarded capital punishment to convict, Afzal Guru and 2017 judgment of the Supreme Court in the December 2012 Delhi gang rape case of Mukesh v. State of NCT of Delhi.

What is Collective Conscience of Society?

  • Collective consciousness (sometimes collective conscience or conscious) is a fundamental sociological concept that refers to the set of shared beliefs, ideas, attitudes, and knowledge that are common to a social group or society.
  • The collective consciousness informs our sense of belonging and identity, and our behavior.
  • In general, it does not refer to the specifically moral conscience, but to a shared understanding of social norms.
  • However, some experts say “Collective Conscience of Society”’ is an amorphous term, and is not possible to judicially determine what it means.

J.S. Verma Committee and A P Shah Committee

  • The Justice Verma Committee, which was formed days after the horrific Nirbhaya gangrape case in Delhi in December 2012 to review criminal law related to sexual assault, batted for enhanced punishment, including imprisoning one for the remainder of hi…
  • Justice J S Verma Committee and Law Commission had argued against executions, viewing it as a “regressive step” even in rarest of rare cases, as punishment “cannot be reduced to vengeance”.
  • The Justice Verma Committee said, “in the larger interests of society, and having regard to the current thinking in favour of abolition of the death penalty, and also to avoid the argument of any sentencing arbitrariness, we are not inclined to recommend the death penalty”.
  • The ‘262nd Report: The Death Penalty’ by the Commission headed by Justice (Retd) A P Shah in 2015 wanted abolition of death penalty for all crimes except terror cases while hoping that the move towards absolute abolition will be “swift and irreversible”.

-Source: The Hindu


Maoist influence down from 96 to 41 districts: Home Ministry

Context:

The geographical influence of Maoists has contracted to only 41 districts in the country, a sharp reduction from 96 such districts in 10 States in 2010, according to data provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to Chief Ministers and other officials.

Relevance:

GS-III: Internal Security Challenges (Linkages of Organized Crime with Terrorism, Left-Wing Extremism)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Left Wing Extremism (LWE)
  2. Trend in Maoist / Naxalite insurrection
  3. MHA on Maoist influence reducing
  4. What is Naxalism in India?
  5. Causes of Naxalism in India
  6. Government Initiatives to fight LWE
  7. Way Forward

Left Wing Extremism (LWE)

  • Left Wing Extremism (LWE) organizations are the groups that try to bring change through violent revolution. They are against democratic institutions and use violence to subvert the democratic processes at ground level.
  • These groups prevent the developmental processes in the least developed regions of the country and try to misguide the people by keeping them ignorant of current happenings.
  • Left Wing Extremists are popularly known as Maoists worldwide and as Naxalites in India.

Trend in Maoist / Naxalite insurrection

  • The Maoist insurrection which began first as the Naxalite movement in the 1970s and then intensified since 2004, following the merger of two prominent insurgent groups, remains a mindless guerrilla-driven militant movement that has failed to gain adherents beyond those living in remote tribal areas either untouched by welfare or are discontents due to state repression.
  • The Maoists are now considerably weaker than a decade ago, with several senior leaders either dead or incarcerated, but their core insurgent force in south Bastar remains intact.
  • The recourse to violence is now little more than a ploy to invite state repression which furthers their aim of gaining new adherents.
  • While the Indian state has long since realised that there cannot only be a military end to the conflict, the Chhattisgarh government’s inability to reach out to those living in the Maoist strongholds remains a major hurdle, which has resulted in a protracted but violent stalemate in the area.

MHA on Maoist influence reducing

  • According to data provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the geographical influence of Maoists has contracted to only 41 districts in the country.
  • Earlier, in 2010, 96 such districts in 10 States accounted for Left Wing Extremism (LWE).
  • The Chief Ministers of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Maharashtra and Odisha were present, while Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Kerala were represented by Directors-General of Police and Chief Secretaries. Andhra Pradesh was represented by its Home Minister.
  • The LWE-affected districts in the State can avail ₹33 crore under the Special Central Assistance (SCA) and Security Related Expenditure (SRA) scheme for infrastructure-related projects. Security Related Expenditure Scheme is under implementation since 1996. The objective of the scheme is to supplement the efforts of the States to deal with the Naxalite problem effectively.
  • As per norms, State governments have to reimburse the amount incurred on the deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in a State.

What is Naxalism in India?

  • A Naxal or Naxalite is a member of any political organisation that claims the legacy of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist), founded in Calcutta in 1969. The term Naxal derives from the name of the village Naxalbari in West Bengal, where the Naxalite peasant revolt took place in 1967.
  • It creates conditions for non-functioning of the government and actively seeks disruption of development activities as a means to achieve its objective of ‘wresting control’. It spreads fear among the law-abiding citizens.
  • Naxalism is considered to be one of the biggest internal security threats India faces.
  • The conflict is concentrated the Eastern part of the country, particularly an area known as the Red Corridor spread across the states of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh. o Some districts of Kerala, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh etc are impacted by Naxalism.
  • Naxal violence is related to the intensity of the feeling of people of their deprivation and their commitment to take revenge against those who are believed to be responsible for such denial.
  • Currently, the main supporters of the movement are marginalized groups of India including Dalits and Adivasis, who believe they have been neglected by the government.
  • Further, Naxals support Maoist political sentiments and ideology.

Causes of Naxalism in India

  • Mismanagement of Forests: It is one of the main reasons for the spread of Naxalism. It started with the British government. The monopolization of the forest started with the enactment of various forest laws. The integration with the wider world led to an influx of a new class like moneylenders. The administrative machinery became more exploitative and extortionate at functional level.
  • Tribal policies not implemented well: Even during the post-Independence era, the government was not able to stop the process of the tribal alienation and their displacement caused by large projects. Even the issues of food security were not fully sorted out. Consequently, Naxalism made inroads in Orissa and other states.
  • The Growing inter and intra-regional disparities: Naxalism attract people who have poor livelihood like fishermen, farmers, daily labourers and bamboo cutters. The government policies have failed to stem the growing inter and intra-regional disparities. The poor people think that Naxalism can provide solutions to their problems.
  • Absence of proper Industrialization and lack of land reforms: The half-hearted implementation of land reforms by the government has yielded negative results. The agrarian set up has not been defined in the absence of proper implementation of survey and settlement. This further damaged the agriculture production and the rural economy. Absence of proper industrialization has failed to generate employment for rural people leading to dissatisfaction with the government. It is also one of the causes behind Naxalism.
  • Geographical Terrain: Naxalism thrives in areas covered with forests. It helps them fight against the police and the army by waging Guerrilla warfare.
  • Middle Class Youth: The educated youths have been the largest supporters of the Naxalist movement as the maximum of the youths involved in the movement are medical and engineering graduates. Universities have turned up to be a pitch for the creation of radical ideologies.

 

Government Initiatives to fight LWE

  • Greyhounds was raised in 1989 as an elite anti-naxal force.
  • Operation Green Hunt was started in 2009-10 and massive deployment of security forces was done in the naxal-affected areas. It decreased Naxal affected areas from 223 to 90 districts in 9 years.
  • LWE Mobile Tower Project envisioned to improve mobile connectivity in the LWE areas, the Government in 2014, approved installation of mobile towers in LWE affected States.
  • Aspirational Districts Programme was launched in 2018, it aims to rapidly transform the districts that have shown relatively lesser progress in key social areas.
  • Police Modernization Scheme plus fortification of police station in areas affected by Naxal movements. Assistance in training of State Police through the Ministry of Defence.
  • National Policy and Action Plan 2015 is a multi-pronged strategy in the areas of security, development, ensuring rights & entitlement of local communities etc
  • Special Infrastructure Scheme for funds to the States of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha to raise Special Task Force to combat LWE.
  • Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme: Under this the central Govt. reimburses security related expenditure to the LWE affected state Governments.
  • Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 has been amended to strengthen the punitive measures.

SAMADHAN Doctrine

SAMADHAN doctrine is the one-stop solution for the LWE problem.

It encompasses the entire strategy of government from short-term policy to long-term policy formulated at different levels.

  • S- Smart Leadership,
  • Aggressive Strategy,
  • M- Motivation and Training,
  • Actionable Intelligence,
  • D- Dashboard Based KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and KRAs (Key Result Areas),
  • H- Harnessing Technology,
  • Action plan for each Theatre, and
  • N- No access to Financing.

Way Forward

  • Good governance – Analyzing the loopholes in the present strategy and developing a coherent national strategy to end the menace.
  • Dialogue – Between the Naxal leaders, and the government officials can be a way to work out a solution.
  • Generate more employment and increase wages – insecure livelihood and unemployment in the areas have left the people with little option but to join the Naxals.
  • Ending the political marginalization of weaker sections – Weaker sections of the society, the schedule castes and schedule tribes still face discrimination from the upper class making them a soft target for the Naxals.
  • Remove disparity – Economic disparity and the growing distance between rich and the poor is one of the main problems that has contributed to the growth of Naxalism.

-Source: The Hindu


CJI bats for 50% women’s reservation in judiciary

Context:

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana has backed 50% representation for women in the judiciary.

Relevance:

GS-II: Social Justice and Governance (Issues related to Women, Government Policies and Initiatives)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. CJI on Status of Women Representation in Judiciary
  2. Challenges faced by Women in Judiciary
  3. Benefits of Women Reservation in Judiciary

CJI on Status of Women Representation in Judiciary

  • The CJI said women constituted only about 30% of the subordinate judiciary.
  • In High Courts, women judges constitute 11.5%, and in the Supreme Court, there are currently just four women Justices out of the sitting 33 (i.e, 12%).
  • Of the 1.7 million advocates, only 15% are women.
  • Only 2% of the elected representatives in the State Bar Councils are women. At present, there is no woman member in the Bar Council of India.

Challenges faced by Women in Judiciary

The CJI went on to detail the real-world problems women in the judiciary face. The gender roles which are enforced on women when they choose to become lawyers, the dual-responsibility they have to contend with as family responsibilities inevitably fall on them and a general preference of clients for male advocates all pose significant challenges to women in the judicial system.

To summarise the challenges faced by women in Judiciary:

  • Gender stereotypes that force women to bear the responsibilities of the family.
  • The preference of clients for male advocates.
  • An uncomfortable environment within courts.
  • Vacancy filling takes place at very slow pace and collegium generally don’t prefer women judges
  • Biological discrimination takes place when making appointments in private firms as well as Government places.
  • Lack of Infrastructure and Washrooms: Out of 6,000 trial courts, nearly 22 per cent have no toilet for women. 
  • Recently many cases are rising which lack professionalism on the part of senior advocates towards junior female advocates.

Benefits of Women Reservation in Judiciary

  • Gender sensitization will provide a diverse perspective to judgments.
  • Laws for heinous crimes are not yet effective, specially for Acid attack and rape. More inclusion of Women in judiciary will impact in proper implementation of such laws.
  • Lack of empathy reflected in some of the judgements could significantly reduce.
  • Gender of a judge does not matter when a citizen goes to court, but with a female judge hearing the person’s comments always makes the citizen (if female) less uncomfortable.
  • It will benefit LGBTQ community as well, as women in general are more accepting towards different orientations of people. 
  • The High Courts (HCs) that are headed by women have higher representation of female judges than those headed by men. 

-Source: The Hindu, Indian Express 


Government-Industry panel: Policy to revive manufacturing

Context:

Steering Committee for Advancing Local Value-Add and Exports (SCALE) chairman said that the the committee is fleshing out sector-specific policy advice and it has also identified ‘horizontal enablers’ that India needs to fix in order to become more competitive across the board, including the cost of doing business.

Relevance:

Prelims, GS-III: Industry and Infrastructure (Industrial policy, Government Policies and Initiatives)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Steering Committee for Local Value Addition, Manufacturing and Exports (SCALE)

Steering Committee for Local Value Addition, Manufacturing and Exports (SCALE)

  • The Steering Committee for Local Value Addition, Manufacturing and Exports (SCALE) is aimed at bringing the Indian manufacturing industries out of the import-dependence pitfalls exposed by the pandemic.
  • It looks at ways to increase localisation, component manufacturing and employment in the country.
  • The group is working on ideas to tap the global sentiment against China and strengthen Indian manufacturing for 17 sectors ranging from toys, textiles, furniture and e-cycles to drones and fisheries.
  • It has no deadlines, drafts or voluminous reports. All its proposals are laid out in a presentation at best.
  • It follows a rigorous process of consultations to align different factions of the industry with varying agendas at multiple levels and tries to nudge an alignment of interests where differences seem unmanageable, before it takes up the relevant issues with the government.
  • One of the primary aims is navigating Indian manufacturing away from the import-dependence pitfalls exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

-Source: The Hindu


Cyclone Gulab

Context:

A new depression had formed over the east-central Bay of Bengal which intensified into cyclone Gulab which affected the coasts of south Odisha north Andhra Pradesh. It made landfall triggering heavy rains along with strong winds over north coastal Andhra Pradesh and adjoining south coastal Odisha. 

Relevance:

Prelims, GS-I: Geography (Important Geophysical Phenomenon, Climatology), GS-III: Disaster Management

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. More about Cyclone Gulab
  2. Increasing numbers of cyclones in changing times
  3. Cyclones in Bay of Bengal vs Arabian Sea

More about Cyclone Gulab

  • Cyclone Gulab comes under the category of the cyclonic storm according to IMD.
  • Being a monsoon system, it naturally holds excess moisture compared to storms of pre-monsoon and post-monsoon periods. 
  • A couple of unique meteorological factors are also helping the system intensify and retain moisture.
  • Because of weak to moderate negative Indian Ocean Dipole (-IOD), the equatorial Rossby waves (natural planetary waves) could have transferred a substantial amount of energy (moisture) to this system.

Increasing numbers of cyclones in changing times

  • West Indian Ocean normally sees an extremely small number of cyclones and tropical storms compared to the Eastern side. – Between 1891 and 2000, almost 50 tropical cyclones impacted the west coast, of which more than 20 were severe cyclonic storms. In contrast, about 300 cyclones impacted the east coast of the country from the Bay of Bengal, including more than 100 severe cyclonic storms.
  • Cyclones occur in the pre-monsoon months of May-June and the post-monsoon months of October-November.
  • However, in the past few decades, the average number of storms to occur over the Arabian Sea and the time of the year when they do have both demonstrated a changing trend.
  • In 2018, while the Bay of Bengal maintained its average of 4 cyclones a year, Arabian Sea gave rise to 3 instead of 1. A year later in 2019, the Arabian Sea saw 5 cyclones.
  • Overall, there was a 32% rise in the number of cyclones between the years of 2014 and 2019.
  • The changing trends are consistent with rising temperatures in the Indian Ocean. A 2014 study found that while the temperature of the Indian Ocean rose overall by 0.7 degrees Celsius, the generally colder western Indian Ocean experienced an unexpected warming of 1.2 degrees Celsius in the summer.
  • Additionally, cyclones over the Arabian Sea are also increasing in intensity, driven by rising emissions and temperatures.
  • Typically, an extremely severe cyclone occurs once every four to five years in the Arabian Sea, however, extremely severe Cyclone Nilofar in 2014 and Chapal and Megh in 2015, formed over the Arabian sea showing the increasing trend.

Cyclones in Bay of Bengal vs Arabian Sea

Near India, cyclones form on either side of the country, but the ones in the Bay of Bengal are more frequent and more intense than in the Arabian Sea.

Why Bay of Bengal creates significantly more cyclones?

  • Apart from being a warm pool region, the Bay of Bengal is slightly more landlocked with South East Asian countries surrounding it, compared to the Arabian Sea, which is more expansive and this also leads to an increase in salinity of the seawater.
  • The Bay of Bengal is fed by a constant source of freshwater in the form of giant rivers like the Ganga and the Brahmaputra. The river water that empties into the Bay of Bengal warms up at the surface and rises up as moisture. This makes it difficult for the warm layers of water to mix properly with the cooler layers of water below, keeping the surface always warm and ready to feed any potential cyclone over it.
  • Furthermore, because of the shape of the land around the Bay of Bengal, the winds are slower and weaker over the ocean, ready to spin.
  • According to experts, the Bay of Bengal also gets many remnants of the typhoons in the Pacific Ocean. They come as a low-pressure area into the Bay of Bengal and grow into cyclones due to ideal conditions.

Why are there lesser cyclones in the Arabian Sea?

  • The northern, central and western parts of the Arabian Sea have a much cooler temperature. The mountains in east Africa direct winds towards the Arabian Peninsula, dissipating heat much more efficiently throughout the Arabian Sea.
  • As a result, this region is not favourable to feed potential cyclones and about half the cyclones that move into this area typically lose energy and dissipate.

-Source: The Hindu

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