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[16 Dec 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority News Items of the Day:

Vodafone picks Dawar as India CFO

Vodafone India has appointed Manish Dawar as its Chief Financial Officer with effect from January 1, 2018. Based in Mumbai, the new CFO would report to Sunil Sood, MD & CEO, Vodafone India.

Personality related news, and that too from a Private company, is not important for the UPSC.

 

The changing face of Munger’s gun trade

People could set their watches to Thakur Naresh Singh’s opening of his gun shop in Munger’s busy Chowk Bazar area every morning. It is always 10 a.m. as he sets to work, cleaning the barrels of the 12-bore guns on display and arranging them on their racks before sliding the glass cabinet shut. Then he waits — for customers who never come. Gone are the days when they would queue up outside his shop. Now they are down to two or three a year.

The Op-Ed is talks about guns making industry in India. As this industry doesn’t contribute much to the Indian Economy, it is not very important for the UPSC exam.


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Steel Industry – Current challenges, National Steel Policy 2017, etc Infrastructure

ArcelorMittal-SAIL set to make auto steel in India in 3 years

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Automotive Steel

Mains level: Why important for India?


News

Production of auto steel

  1. Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) will start producing automotive steel in a $1 billion partnership with ArcelorMittal in three years
  2. SAIL has approved entering into a “non-binding” agreement of terms on the joint venture with the world’s biggest maker of the alloy
  3. SAIL said a definitive agreement with ArcelorMittal would be “finalised in due course subject to financial viability”

Possible benefits of this agreement

  1.  It will help in cutting down imports of high-grade steel as the country revs up car manufacturing

Importance of this deal

  1. India is banking on the SAIL partnership with ArcelorMittal to cut imports of high-grade auto steel, which mostly comes from Japan and South Korea
  2. India is a major automobile producer and exporter, and the country is stepping up manufacturing under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” campaign

Back2basics

Automotive Steel 

Clikc2read

[op-ed snap] Revival risks

Image Source

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development and employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Briefly explains current position of Indian Economy


News

Positive things happening in the India Economy

  1. Improvement in India’s rank on a World Bank index for ease of doing business
  2. The economy is seeing a growth of 6.3% in the second quarter of this year, after slowing for at least four quarters

Is economy fine now?

  1. The official data for the third quarter (October to December) so far suggest that the economy is still facing some issues such as rising oil prices

Growth data of different sectors

  1. After two months of robust 4%-plus growth, industrial activity however slipped in October
  2. This coincides with exporters seeing a 1.1% slump in shipments in October
  3. The IIP has now grown just 2.5% in the first seven months of 2017-18, compared to 5.5% in the same period last fiscal

What is the cause of concern?

  1. With exports,  job creation still needs to pick up
  2. and the latest inflation data set too is cause for concern
  3. Prices at the consumer level rose at the fastest pace in 15 months this November, with inflation touching 4.88%
  4. There is greater concern about the rise in core inflation (excluding food and fuel) and inflation imported through high global prices

Difficulty for Government

  1. The government faces difficult choices
  2. Slashing fuel taxes could calm inflation, but it would hit revenue collections that are already uncertain owing to GST deadline extensions
  3. Not doing so would leave less room for the central bank to lower interest rates
Foreign Policy Watch: India-China Bilateral Relations

[op-ed snap] Looking for balance in power

Image Source

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the RIC

Mains level: The article comprehensively discusses the issues related to the RIC trilateral group


News

Context

  1. The Russia-India-China trilateral held its 15th meeting recently
  2. Held at New Delhi

Points that shows divergence between India and Russia relationship

  1. Russia and China’s continued attempts to frame global and regional politics through a similar lens
  2. Changed stance: Russia now believes that India can benefit by joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative

From China’s point of view

  1. China has continued to take an aggressive posture on Doklam and its aftermath
  2. China’s official statement at the meet: “China and India have far greater shared strategic interests than differences, and far greater needs for cooperation than partial friction”

Reasons that are binding Russia and China together

  1. As Russia witnessed a downward slide in its status as a superpower since the end of the Cold War, China emerged as a rising power that saw the U.S. as the greatest obstacle
  2. As a consequence, China recognised the importance of cooperating with Russia to check U.S. expansionism in the world, even if only for the short term
  3. In fact, American policies towards Russia and China moved the two states closer to each other, leading to the formation of a new balance of power against the U.S.

Trilateral meet from India’s point of view

  1. As India was still far from becoming a global power of any reckoning
  2. India saw in the trilateral a mechanism to bring greater balance in the global order as it believed that a unipolar U.S.-dominated world was not in the best interests of weaker states like itself

Consequences of the discussed points

  1. As a consequence, the trilateral did not lead to consequences of any great import
  2. It merely resulted in declarations which were often critical of the West, and of the U.S. in particular
  3. Yet this was also a period which saw significant shifts in Indo-U.S. ties as bilateral relations expanded while Russian and Chinese links with the U.S. have witnessed a downward shift

Changing Situation of the trilateral group

  1. The group had started with an attempt to manage American unipolarity is now being affected fundamentally by Chinese resurgence
  2. Both Russia and India are having to deal with the externalities being generated by China’s rise
  3. While Russia is getting closer to China, India is trying to leverage its partnership with other like-minded states in the wider Indo-Pacific region
  4. As a multipolar world order takes shape, India will have to engage with multiple partners so as to limit bilateral divergences
  5. Moreover, all three countries realised the enormous potential in the economic, political, military and cultural realms if bilateral relationships among them were adequately strengthened

The way forward

  1. The Russia-India-China template comes with its own set of challenges.
  2. India has continued engagement with Russia and China and it suggests that India is today confident of setting its own agenda in various platforms
  3. Just as China engages with the U.S. on the one hand and with Russia on the other, a rising India is quite capable of managing its ties with USA, China and Russia simultaneously
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Finance and Banking

[op-ed snap] Changed priorities

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Mobilization of resources

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Non-performing assets, bankruptcy, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) 2016, CRILC, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India

Mains level: Measures related to tackling NPAs


Context

  1. The 2017 Forbes India List says that the combined net worth of India’s 100 wealthiest stood at a whopping $479 billion
  2. Even then, top corporate borrower groups in India are unable to repay loans and make timely interest payments

Tackling NPAs

  1. The government has taken the high moral ground to deal with the menace of non-performing assets (NPAs)
  2. NPAs have brought many public sector banks on the verge of bankruptcy
  3. Government brought an ordinance on November 23 amending the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) 2016
  4. It disqualified errant promoter from participating in the bidding process

Intent of ordinance

  1. It signals the government’s intent to shift attention away from recovery of bad loans to selling the assets of defaulting corporates
  2. The May 2017 ordinance directed banks to accept deep haircuts on their non-performing loans

Corporates-bank nexus

  1. These corporates have not been downgraded on their creditworthiness parameter although the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been monitoring all large loans through the Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC) since 2014

Loopholes in IBC

  1. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) is the regulator set up on October 1, 2016, under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code
  2. The IBBI is assisted by the disciplinary, advisory and technical committees
  3. The resolution professionals entrusted with the responsibility of sorting out the insolvent companies or individuals can be registered with any one of the three insolvency professional agencies
  4. The advisory committees on corporate insolvency and liquidation are chaired by several top corporates
  5. The appointment of corporates as heads of important corporate insolvency advisory committees under IBBI does not inspire confidence in the credibility of the resolution process

Way forward

  1. The recent ordinance may end up being used selectively to defeat the very objective of penalizing the errant promoter
  2. The banks will only lose if resolution is sidetracked by the ensuing power struggle among corporate India to purchase distressed assets at rock-bottom prices
Child Rights – POSCO, Child Labour Laws, NAPC, etc. Human Resource Development

Crackdown on child porn, rape videos with ISP norms, portal

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | mechanisms, laws, institutions & Bodies constituted for the protection & betterment of these vulnerable sections.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Hash value, Information Technology Act, 2000

Mains level: Child pornography and measures to deal with this problem


News

Centralised reporting of complaints against child pornography and rape videos

  1. The Union Home Ministry will issue guidelines for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and set up an online portal by next month for centralized reporting of complaints against child pornography and rape videos
  2. The move follows directions from the Supreme Court on setting up such a portal by January 10
  3. The Home Ministry is also expected to write to DGPs/IGs of all states and Union Territories, directing them to ensure reporting of such videos on social media or other online platforms

How will this be done?

  1. Ministry will generate a hash value (a code) of all such videos and child sexual abuse material and share it with the content service provider, which will be used to identify such videos online
  2. A list of 500 keywords used in searching for such videos has also been compiled and will be shared with the ISPs, including Google, Yahoo, Facebook, WhatsApp and Microsoft
  3. The Home Ministry has also sanctioned Rs 80 crore for setting up forensic labs in all states and Union Territories for Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Child (CCPWC)

Changes sought in rules by states

  1. The states urged the Centre to bring amendments to the Information Technology Act, 2000 and authorise a sub-inspector (SI)-level officer to investigate such cases
  2. At present, only an inspector-level officer can investigate IT-related offences

Suggestions by expert committee

  1. Committee was headed by Ajay Kumar, then additional secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology
  2. It suggested that the government must ensure that Search Engines other than those already implementing URL blocks for identified child porn/rape and gang rape content initiate similar processes
  3. Internet companies should consider providing support to Indian NGOs to help bring awareness
  4. WhatsApp should make further improvement in their reporting process
  5. This would enable easier reporting of contents in the app while maintaining the integrity of the contents and metadata available on phone at the time of reporting
  6. Content hosting platforms, social media platforms, and search engines should provide links for reporting child porn and rape imagery as a specific category, which must be more prominently displayed on their pages

Solution of the problem

  1. The solution lay in proactively identifying rogue sites by an independent agency which can identify sites that contains child porn and rape and gang rape content and blocking these sites
  2. To prevent the circulation of subject imagery, the government can block any additional sites/applications if they do not remove such contents of their own
Tobacco: The Silent Killer Health

Karnataka HC strikes down rule on stringent tobacco pack warnings

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:  Cigarette and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2014, Article 77 (Conduct of Business of Government of India), Article 19

Mains level: Government efforts to limit usage of tobacco


News

2014 rules on graphics unconstitutional, says HC

  1. Karnataka High Court on Friday declared as unconstitutional the Cigarette and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2014
  2. These rules had enhanced to 85% the area of pictorial warning on the principal area of packages of cigarette and other tobacco products
  3. The court upheld the similar Rules of 2008
  4. The 2008 rules — which had prescribed that 40% of the specified pictorial warning be printed on the principal area of the packages — would be in force until the Union government frames a fresh rule or amends the 2008 rules

Reason given behind the ruling

  1. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare unilaterally framed the Rules without concurrence of the other departments concerned
  2. This was a violation of the Article 77 (Conduct of Business of Government of India) and the Transaction of Business (ToB) rules framed under it
  3. The rules were notified even before the Parliamentary Committee on sub-ordinate legislations was examining them
  4. Parliamentary Committee, in its final report submitted on March 15, 2016, had recommended restricting the area of pictorial warning to 50%
  5.  The rules are contrary to Article 19(1)(g) [right to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business] as they are “unreasonable” restrictions imposed “without application of mind or any basis”

Opposition from ministries

  1. Ministry of Commerce had opposed 85% area for pictorial warning on the ground that it would not result in any benefit and wanted to restrict the pictorial warnings to 40% or 50%
  2. The Labour Ministry had opposed pictorial warning for the reason that it would harm the beedi industry, on which several poor families are depending upon for their livelihood

Government reasoning inappropriate

  1. Referring to cautions and contents of warnings lime “smoking kills” or “tobacco kills”, “smoking causes cancer”, etc, court pointed out that no medical or scientific data or empirical research was conducted and data collected placed before the court in this regard
  2. Tobacco products inside the packages remain legally sellable even after changed pictorial warning
Women Safety Issues – Marital Rape, Domestic Violence, Swadhar, Nirbhaya Fund, etc. Human Resource Development

Cabinet gives nod to bill against instant triple talaq

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | mechanisms, laws, institutions & Bodies constituted for the protection & betterment of these vulnerable sections

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, Domestic Violence Act

Mains level: Present provisions for safety of women and their inefficiency in dealing with crimes against women


News

Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill gets cabinet approval

  1. The bill would give legal teeth to women of the community to fight talaq-e-biddat or instant triple talaq
  2. The law, when passed by the Parliament, would hold against instant triple talaq in “oral, written, electronic or in any other form”
  3. Bill makes the practice a “cognizable and non-bailable” offense
  4. Any declaration of talaq-e-biddat by the husband shall be “illegal and void”
  5. The law would be applicable to the entire country except for Jammu and Kashmir

Why a separate bill?

  1. The provisions of the Domestic Violence Act were found to be of little help in such cases even as the government and the Prime Minister’s Office were receiving complaints from women

What next?

  1. Once the law is passed in Parliament, the Muslim clergy will have no role in cases of talaq-e-biddat and women can directly approach police for redress

Key provisions of the bill

  1. The law proposes three years’ jail to a man who resorts to instant triple talaq
  2. It enables the woman of such a divorce to move court seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and the children
  3. Under the provisions in the Bill, a Muslim woman can seek custody of her minor children from the court
  4. Besides imprisonment, the husband will also be liable to pay a fine

Effect of SC judgment

  1. On August 22, the Supreme Court had “set aside” the centuries-old practice of instant triple talaq by calling the practice un-Islamic and “arbitrary”
Medical Education Governance in India Governance

Cabinet clears Bill to replace Medical Council of India

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: National Medical Commission Bill, Medical Council of India (MCI)

Mains level: Corruption and unethical practices in medical sector


News

National Medical Commission Bill now needs Parliament approval

  1. The Union Cabinet has cleared the National Medical Commission Bill, which does away with the Medical Council of India (MCI)
  2. The bill replaces MCI with a regulator that will do away with “heavy-handed regulatory control” over medical institutions
  3. It will also bring in a national licentiate examination

Key provisions of the bill

  1. Ease the processes for colleges to manage undergraduate and postgraduate courses
  2. Earlier, the MCI approval was needed for establishing, renewing, recognizing and increasing seats in a UG course
  3. Under the new proposal, permissions need only be sought for establishment and recognition
  4. The Bill proposes a government-nominated chairman and members, who will be selected by a committee under the Cabinet Secretary
  5. The 25-member NMC will have 12 ex-officio members, including four presidents of boards from leading medical institutions such as AIIMS and the ICMR; 11 part-time members and, a chairman and member-secretary

NMC to be less draconian

  1. Deterrence for non-compliance with maintenance of standards is in terms of monetary penalty
  2. The new commission will also have the power to frame guidelines for fees for up to 40% seats in private colleges and deemed universities

Why this bill?

  1. The Bill is aimed at bringing reforms in the medical education sector which has been under scrutiny for corruption and unethical practices

[15 Dec 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority News Items of the Day:

SC allows Vodafone’s second arbitration

The Centre argued that it was an “abuse of the process of law” as the cause of action of the second arbitration was the same as the first one and is against the same host state. A Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said the chairman could be appointed so that the arbitration tribunal was set up but it should not commence hearing till the Delhi High Court decided the pending matter by January 10.

We will wait for the final judgement and then write newscard on it. If any significant development comes out. Because telecom sector is important for digital economy.

 

Is the Bharatiya Janata Party jittery in Gujarat?

Elections are a contest between perception and reality. In Gujarat, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have struggled with both the content of their narrative and its packaging. The 2014 campaign was built on the perception of the Gujarat model, which had takers because of the anger — justified or not — against the incumbent UPA government. With his oratorical skills, Mr. Modi successfully packaged the dream of a better India, while marketing the fallacy of a vibrant Gujarat.

The Op-Ed is related to party politics. Political articles are not important important from the UPSC perspective. You can skip them, no need of wasting time on them.


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Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc. Climate Change

No lake formation near Gaumukh or along the course of river Bhagirathi: reports

Note4students

Mains Paper 1: Geography | changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies & ice-caps) & in flora & fauna & the effects of such changes

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Gangotri glacier, Gaumukh, Bhagirathi river, landslide

Mains level: Early detection of disasters and prevention


News

No lake formation at Gaumukh

  1. A team of scientists and government officials who did an aerial survey of the Gangotri glacier dismissed claims of any lake formation at Gaumukh which could hinder the course of the Bhagirathi river
  2. This was done day after the Uttarakhand high court ordered the state government to clear the lake that had formed near Gaumukh
  3. The high court had instructed the state government to clear the lake near Gaumukh to prevent any future disasters like the one at Kedarnath in June 2013
  4. Gaumukh is the snout of the Gangotri glacier from where the Bhagirathi river originates

Reason behind “lake” formation

  1. The satellite data available with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from November 2011 to October 2017 was analyzed by the expert agencies
  2. It was observed that in July 2017 a landslide had occurred due to which debris had been deposited “slightly away” from Gaumukh
  3. It showed “minor pondage” near the snout of the Gangotri glacier, but “no blockage” was observed in the Bhagirathi river

Is this anything to worry about?

  1. There was no imminent danger from the landslide that had occurred during the rainy season of 2017
  2. At present, there exists no lake along the course of the river and there isn’t any obstruction in the path of the river
Electoral Reforms In India Indian Polity

SC clears 12 special courts to try cases against politicians

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Polity | Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Fast-track courts, provisions related to election of convicted persons to Parliament/legislative assemblies

Mains level: Electoral reforms being brought about by Judiciary


News

SC nod to set up 12 fast track courts 

  1. The Supreme Court gave the green signal for the Centre’s scheme to set up 12 fast-track courts
  2. These courts will exclusively prosecute and dispose of 1,581 criminal cases pending against Members of Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies within a year
  3. The States shall, in consultation with the High Courts concerned, make the courts operational by March 1, 2018

About the scheme

  1. These 1,581 criminal cases were declared by politicians in their nominations during the 2014 general elections
  2. The scheme proposes to club the cases of several politicians together and have one court hear them
  3. This way it is expected that a special court would finish at least 100 cases a year
  4. The Supreme Court directed the High Courts, acting through the various trial courts, to trace out from the case records the criminal cases pending against politicians and transfer them to the special courts concerned for adjudication

Read more about the issue here

Women Safety Issues – Marital Rape, Domestic Violence, Swadhar, Nirbhaya Fund, etc. Human Resource Development

[op-ed snap] Gender-based laws: a double-edged sword

Note4students

Mains Paper 1: Social issues | Social empowerment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Hindu Marriage Act

Mains level: Measures needed to remove gender-based discrimination from society


Context

  1. The Supreme Court’s notice to the government regarding Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), relating to adultery laws, has brought dated assumptions about gender to light

What is the law?

  1. The law allows the husband to initiate criminal proceedings against his wife’s lover
  2. It does not punish his wife since it presumes that only a man can seduce a woman into a sexual act
  3. Also, it is the husband who has suffered due to the sexual relationship of his wife, carried out without his consent
  4. At the same time, the wife is not protected from similar behavior committed by her husband

What is the problem with the law?

  1. The problem with this law is that it treats men and women differently
  2. It perpetuates the notion that women are somehow naive, gullible, and lack the agency a man possesses

Is this the only law doing discrimination?

  1. This caricature can be seen in other laws too
  2. The law criminalizes consensual sex between minors as rape committed by the boy 
  3. Women are legally entitled to maintenance from their father until they get married, while boys are only allowed this until they are 18
  4. If a woman dies without a will, the Hindu inheritance laws put the rights of her husband’s heirs above those of her parents
  5. Women cannot be jailed for not filing their income tax
  6. Marital rape is considered an oxymoron

Ad hoc provisions for women security

  1. In the light of its failure to provide security, the state has resorted to protecting the interests of women through ad hoc provisions
  2. These have proved to be counterproductive
  3. Example: The recent legislation mandating paid maternity leave of 26 weeks and crèche facility in companies hiring more than 50 employees
  4. The law intends to benefit working women, but the second-order effects of the piece of legislation will likely be that firms will hire fewer women, and pay those they hire less salary to compensate for the maternity benefits
  5. The law furthers several stereotypes as well—that all women want to have babies, that all women want 26 weeks of paid leave, that it is only the woman’s job to take care of the newborn

State has used the law to perpetuate cultural practices

  1. If relationships are abusive, it should be easy for the parties to leave them
  2. But till as recently as September 2017, the Hindu Marriage Act required that even couples seeking divorce through mutual consent demonstrate that they had tried to work on their marriage
  3. They should wait for at least six months after they had first filed for divorce
  4. There is, however, still no provision for divorce on grounds of ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’—a standard practice in other countries

Way forward

  1. In a civilized society, physical strength should not determine your options in life
  2. In the West, more social progress on gender equality has been made because women are relatively freer to live independent lives
  3. The process is likely to be no different in India
  4. It’s time to remove from the law all privileges and disadvantages that are based on gender
Financial Inclusion in India and Its Challenges Finance and Banking

Income inequality in India worsens, but slower than Russia and China: report

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Inclusive growth & issues arising from it.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: World Inequality Report, new direct tax code, universal basic income

Mains level: Various types of inequalities persistent in India and ways to reduce them


News

Top 10% of earners now corner more than half of the country’s national income

  1. Income inequality in India has worsened over the past three-and-a-half decades
  2. The top 10% of earners now corner more than half of the country’s national income in 2016
  3. Their share was 30% of the national income in 1980

World Inequality Report 2018

  1. It is published by World Wealth & Income Database, which tracks information on income distribution
  2. Among major economic blocks, with the exception of West Asia, India’s record on inequality is the worst
  3. The level of income inequality in India in 2016 matched that in sub-Saharan Africa and Brazil, where top earners accounted for a very high share of income

Role played by tax laws

  1. Rise in income inequality has been more gradual in India since 1980 compared to Russia, where it has been abrupt and compared to China, where it was moderate
  2. This indicates the role played by policies and institutions in evening out inequality by using “tax progressivity” i.e. higher taxes on the rich
  3. Income taxes are levied based on a person’s ability to pay and the rate increases as income level progresses

Efforts by India to bridge the gap

  1. India has been trying to tackle income inequality with a combination of direct transfer of entitlements to the intended beneficiaries, drive against tax evasion and schemes meant to improve access to energy and finance by the poor
  2. The findings of the report come at a time when the central government has started working on drafting a new direct tax code which is likely to rejig the tax structure
  3. The state of Jammu and Kashmir is set to make a bold experiment with a universal basic income scheme from the next financial year

What does report suggest?

  1. Robust public policy intervention was required to address income inequality
  2. The report advocated higher public spending in education to reduce income inequality
  3. It also suggested setting up an international registry of financial asset ownership for curbing tax evasion
Women empowerment issues: Jobs,Reservation and education

Will Women’s Reservation Bill be passed in Lok Sabha this Winter Session?

Image source

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Polity | Parliament & State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges & issues arising out of these.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: 108th Amendment, 73rd, and 74th Amendments, reservation provisions in constitution, provisions related to passage and lapse of bills in parliament

Mains level: All details related to women’s reservation bill


News

Congress president insists on early passage of bill

  1. Ahead of the Winter Session of Parliament, Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi has insisted that his party would mount pressure on the government for early passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill in Parliament

About the bill

  1. The Women’s Reservation Bill was first introduced in Parliament in 1996
  2. The current version of the bill, the 108th Amendment, seeks to reserve 33 percent of all seats in governing bodies at the Centre, State, and Local level
  3. For reservation in the Lok Sabha, one-third of all constituencies will be reserved for women on a rotation basis
  4. This arrangement will be such that a constituency will be reserved for one general election and not reserved for the following two elections

Provisions that are already in place for women

  1. The 73rd and 74th Amendments passed in 1993, which introduced panchayats and municipalities in the Constitution, reserve one-third of seats for women in these bodies

Other reservation provisions

  1. The Constitution also provides for reservation of seats in Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in proportion to their number in the population
  2. The Constitution makes no provision for reserving seats for women in Parliament and the state legislatures

Highlights of the Women’s Reservation Bill

  1. The Constitution (108 Amendment) Bill, 2008 seeks to reserve one-third of all seats for women in the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies
  2. The allocation of reserved seats shall be determined by such authority as prescribed by Parliament
  3. One-third of the total number of seats reserved for SC/ST shall be reserved for women of those groups in the Lok Sabha and the legislative assemblies
  4. Reserved seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in the state or union territory
  5. Reservation of seats for women shall cease to exist 15 years after the commencement of this Amendment Act

Progress in Parliament

  1. The Rajya Sabha passed the bill on March 9, 2010
  2. The Lok Sabha never voted on the bill
  3. The bill lapsed after the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014
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