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Economic Indicators-GDP, FD, etc

[oped of the day] Why India is staring at a middle-income trapop-ed snap

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : Middle Income Trap - role of institutions to tackle


Context

For India, there are few things more important than our challenge of becoming a rich country.

GDP

    • From experience, we know that the only way out of mass poverty is to obtain modest rates of growth of per capita GDP sustained for many decades. 
    • If per capita GDP grows at 4% per year, there is a doubling every 18 years. Per capita GDP would then go up by 8 times in 50 years.
    • That graduates us beyond middle income.

Idea of development

    • The early idea about economic development viewed an underdeveloped country as a child. 
    • Growth was inevitable. It was only a matter of putting in a few actions to enable that process. 
    • This leads to the risk of thinking that progress is inevitable.
    • Now we know that there is no inevitability about the rise of a country to be a prosperous democracy. 
    • There are only four countries that were poor in 1945 that are now prosperous democracies: South Korea, Taiwan, Chile, and Israel. 
    • In all those countries, growth came as a result of improvements in state capability.

State capability

    • A prominent measure of state capability is available for the 1996–2012 period. 
    • By this, the state capability in India declined in this period. 
    • Our institutional capacity got worse in a period of strong GDP growth. 
    • It is wrong to equate GDP growth with improvement in the foundations for GDP growth.

Higher GDP growth – reduced state capacity

    • When bigger rupee values are at stake, private persons gain by undermining state institutions.
    • We saw this in India in the period after 2005 when the country was starting to reap remarkable success by private sector firms. 
    • The prospective gains from subverting state institutions were suddenly larger and we got bigger investments into attacks on institutions. 
    • State apparatus that used to work when million-rupee bribes were offered broke down when the offers went to billions of rupees.

Reasons

    • Perhaps India’s growth of 1979–2011 was not adequately grounded in the required institutional capacity to be a prosperous liberal democracy.
    • This has something to do with the difficulties that have been seen after 2011.
    • The growth model of 1991–2011 has not carried forward into the following years. 
    • Private “under implementation” investment projects rose from ₹10 trillion in 2006 to ₹50 trillion in 2011. 
    • After that, there has been a decline in nominal terms to ₹40 trillion in mid-2019. 
    • The share of non-workers in the working-age population stands at 60.43% in April–June 2019.

Middle-income trap

    • In many other countries, the phenomenon of a “middle-income trap” has been observed. 
    • At the early stages of development, the simple mobilization of labour and capital is enough to escape from abject poverty. 
    • But once the minimal market economy is in place, a different level of institutional quality is required. 
    • The maturation of firms and the government creates the need for complex contracts, contract enforcement, economic regulation, and institutions that channel the conflicts between social groups.
    • When a middle-income country wants to rise to a mature market economy, and institutional capacity is weak growth stalls. 

Reasons for underperformance

    • A lot of government intervention and the license-permit-inspector raj remains in place. 
    • The economic freedom promised in 1991 has not evolved into a mature market economy. 
    • Private persons are beset with government intervention. 
    • The instincts of central planning are alive and well among policymakers. 
    • There is a great deal of arbitrary power in the hands of the government. 
    • Extensive interference in the economy by the government still exists.
    • There is a policy risk associated with future interventions. The fear of how arbitrary power will be used has led to a loss of confidence in the private sector.

State capacity deficit

    • When India was a small economy, the GDP was small, and the gains from violating rules were also relatively small. 
    • The tenfold growth in the size of the economy created new opportunities to obtain wealth. 
    • The gains from violating rules went up sharply. Large resources were brought to bear upon subverting state institutions.
    • The foundations of state institutions in terms of the rule of law, and checks and balances were always weak. 
    • The combination of an amplified effort by private persons to subvert institutions, coupled with low state capacity, has resulted in a decline of institutional quality.

Addressing the problems

    • Economic thinkers of the previous decades tended to focus on economics more narrowly, on issues such as the green revolution or heavy industry or trade liberalization.
    • We need to more explicitly locate ourselves in the intersection of politics and the economy. 
    • The founding energy of liberal democracy is the pursuit of freedom, of people being masters of their own fate. 
    • We need to shift away from notions of a developmental state with big initiatives from the government, towards a philosophy of respect for the self-organizing system. 
    • We need to rely far more on private negotiations, private contracts, and civil society solutions, rather than turning to the government to solve problems.
    • APMCs (agricultural produce market committees) were not intended to create entrenched power in the hands of traders. Land ceiling Acts were not intended to create shortages of real estate and high prices for real estate. Bank nationalization was not intended to hamper growth, stability, and inclusion.
    • Single-window systems do not solve the problem of state coercion, and the threat of raids and punishments.
    • In the absence of deeper reform, it is hard to build single-window systems that overcome a maze of restrictions. 

Deeper reforms

    • The reform required in the early 1990s was not a single-window system governing IPO approvals, it was the abolition of the office of the Controller of Capital Issues. The reform required in trade liberalization was not a single-window system for import approvals, it was the removal of trade barriers. 
    • Some of the work of regulation can be pushed down to private firms. To tackle the problem of regulating taxis, one possibility lies in setting up bureaucratic machinery that engages with each taxi driver. Another pathway lies in contracting out this regulation to private taxi companies. 
    • Aggregation business models, such as Airbnb, have an incentive to utilize customer feedback and supervisory staff to improve the quality of their customer experience. 
    • Modern technology makes it possible to remove the market failure. 
    • In allocating spectrum, the state creates bureaucratic machinery which auctions spectrum and polices for violations. There is an alternative methodology where intelligent devices establish a self-organizing system through which the spectrum is shared. The need for government control of spectrum allocation is removed. 
    • Nobel Prize-winning economist Elinor Ostrom reminds us of the remarkable outcomes through some traditional community arrangements. The possibilities for purely decentralized solutions to allocate common goods without requiring a bureaucratic apparatus are high.
    • A complex modern economy only works when it is a self-organizing system. It has to have the creative efforts of a large number of individuals.

Conclusion

It is always possible to obtain GDP growth without solving these deeper problems. We should shift focus from the numbers for GDP growth to focusing on the state of health of state institutions. Sustained improvement in institutional quality is hard, but it is the only way to obtain sustained GDP growth.

Human Rights Issues

[op-ed snap] Glimmer of hope: On fresh SIT report on 1984 riotsop-ed snap

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : Communal riots in India


Context

A report by a court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) will tell if there is any improvement in bringing justice for the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom. As many as 3,325 people from the Sikh community, including 2,733 in Delhi alone, were killed in the pogrom.

Progress on the issue

  • Successful prosecutions have been few and far between.
  • Each time a new probe is ordered or a fresh report submitted, it is seen as major progress. 
  • The SIT was formed by the Supreme Court a year ago to examine the record in 186 cases.
  • Another SIT had scrutinised 293 cases and closed 199 of them. A two-member team of retired apex court judges scrutinised these 199 cases, along with 42 other matters that had been closed earlier. 
  • The supervisory committee was informed that 186 cases merited further investigation.
  • A fresh three-member team was asked to examine these 186 cases. Last week, the team submitted its report.
  • The development offers a glimmer of hope to the victims of 1984.

Challenges

  • It is not easy to secure convictions in instances of communal riots and sectarian violence.
  • This is difficult for those that involve thousands of offenders gripped by mob frenzy.
  • There was little effort in the early days to bring to book the high political functionaries of the Congress who were suspected to have instigated the riots. 
  • The country has seen other large-scale riots and pogroms after 1984 but has not been able to ensure substantive justice.
  • Delhi High Court’s suggestion in Sajjan Kumar case, to have separate legislation to deal with mass murders that amount to genocide or crimes against humanity should be considered.

Back2Basics

Communalism

Communalism

Disinvestment in India

[op-ed snap] Making Air India’s disinvestment workop-ed snap

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Disinvestment in India

Mains level : Air India disinvestement


Context

Air India has witnessed a calamitous fall in the last four decades. 

Fall of Air India

    • It operated in a near-monopoly environment, but the pace of descent intensified when it faced competition. 
    • In the late 1990s, the airline’s service standards declined, and it was referred to as the Disinvestment Commission of India. 
    • It recommended dilution of government ownership to 40%. The effort did not succeed. 
    • After 2004, the descent was quick due to a series of reckless decisions, like the acquisition of aircraft in numbers far more than what it could afford or gainfully deploy; and the merger with Indian Airlines.
    • The airline was also weak due to doling out of seats by the administration to foreign airlines.

Lack of strategic direction

    • Air India’s precarious financial situation was first made public in June 2009 by the then-Chairman Arvind Jadhav. 
    • The government, instead of tackling the core problem, decided to focus on a financial package. 
    • The bailout package of over ₹30,000 crores, infused over an eight-year span ending 2021, has not helped Air India evolve into a robust carrier.
    • The airline’s survival depends on several factors: the induction of professional management with effective leadership, a sound financial package that does not come with political interference in its day-to-day operations, and unions allowing changes in work conditions and pays packages. 
    • In 2017, Niti Aayog recommended disinvestment. The government decided to not only retain 24% equity, it also wanted the acquirer to absorb a major chunk of the non-aircraft related debt. 
    • A proposal for sale has to suit the acquirer as much as the seller was thus overlooked. The offer found no takers.

Present situation

    • The government has put Air India for disinvestment. 
    • It is driven by the Centre’s anxiety to get rid of the airline. Thus, it can spare itself of the responsibility of further infusion of funds.

Way ahead

    • The government ought to ensure that it exits totally, giving freedom to the potential acquirer to transform it into a successful player. 
    • The cost of further infusion of funds if the exercise fails mustn’t be overlooked. 
    • As the product still commands a sizeable market share and has an extensive global network that no other Indian carrier can match, the government needs marketing skills.
    • All major stakeholders should be convinced that disinvestment is the best way forward. 
    • Only 1 in 9 passengers are currently patronising Air India. It will be only one in 12 in the next three years as capacity augmentation is undertaken by private airlines.
    • This competition cannot simply be matched by funds-starved Air India.
    • The government has to make a plan to address the medical-related concerns of serving and retired employees.

Conclusion

The disinvestment exercise this time should be thought of wisely and pursued with determination.  Only with it is linked to the prospect of transforming Air India into a robust carrier.


Back2Basics

Disinvestment

Disinvestment Policy in India.

In news: Fundamental DutiesPriority 1

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FDs

Mains level : Significace of FDs


Over the last one week, the government has been making a pitch for Fundamental Duties (FD).

Fundamental Duties

  • FDs are described in the Constitution — an Emergency-era provision that was introduced by the Indira Gandhi government.
  • These are statutory duties, not enforceable by law, but a court may take them into account while adjudicating on a matter.
  • The idea behind their incorporation was to emphasise the obligation of the citizen in exchange for the Fundamental Rights that he or she enjoys.
  • The concept of Fundamental Duties is taken from the Constitution of Russia.

How were FDs incorporated in the Constitution?

  • The FDs were incorporated in Part IV-A of the Constitution by the Constitution 42nd Amendment Act, 1976, during Emergency under Indira Gandhi’s government.
  • Today, there are 11 Fundamental Duties described under Article 51-A.
  • Of these 10 were introduced by the 42nd Amendment and the 11th was added by the 86th Amendment in 2002, during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government.

Various Fundamental Duties

The 11 Fundamental Duties are:

  • To abide by the constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem
  • To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom
  • To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India — it is one of the preeminent national obligations of all the citizens of India.
  • To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so
  • To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women
  • To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture — our cultural heritage is one of the noblest and richest, it is also part of the heritage of the Earth
  • To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures
  • To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform
  • To safeguard public property and to abjure violence
  • To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement
  • Who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.

Under what circumstances was the 42nd Amendment passed?

  • The amendment came at a time when elections stood suspended and civil liberties curbed.
  • The government arrested thousands under MISA (Maintenance of Internal Security Act) and carried out anti-poverty programmes, slum demolition drives, and a forced sterilization campaign.

What other changes did 42nd CAA make?

  • Apart from adding the FDs, the 42nd Amendment also changed the Preamble to the Constitution to include the words ‘Socialist and Secular’ to describe India, in addition to its being ‘Sovereign Democratic Republic’.
  • New ‘Directive Principles’ were added and given precedence over Fundamental Rights.
  • Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and High Courts to review constitutionality of the laws was curtailed.
  • High Courts were prohibited from deciding on the constitutional validity of central laws.
  • A new Article 144A was inserted, prescribing a minimum of seven judges for a Constitution Bench, besides stipulating a special majority of two-thirds of a Bench for invalidating central laws.

How many of the changes made under the 42nd Amendment are still in effect?

  • In the 1977 elections, the manifesto of the Janata Party promised to restore the Constitution to its pre-Emergency form.
  • However, after being voted to power, the Morarji Desai government did not have the numbers for a complete reversal. Reversal happened only in bits and pieces.
  • In 1977, the 43rd Amendment restored the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and High Courts to review the constitutional validity of laws.
  • The following year, the 44th Amendment changed the grounds for declaring Emergency under Article 325, substituting “internal disturbance” with “armed rebellion” besides requiring of the President that he shall not do so unless the decision of the Union Cabinet is communicated in writing to him.
  • Right to Liberty was strengthened by stipulating that detention under the Preventive Detention Act shall not be for more than two months.
  • Right to Property was converted from a Fundamental Right to a legal right, by amending Article 19 and deleting Article 31.
Air Pollution

Methane breeding valuePrelims Only

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Carbon Equivalents

Mains level : GHG emission control


New Zealand has started the world’s first genetic programme to address the challenge of climate change by breeding sheep that emit lower amounts of methane.

Methane breeding value

  • Emissions, or put less politely, farts and burps, from ruminants such as sheep and cows, are a major contributor to methane in the atmosphere.
  • This has long been recognised as a problem, but addressing it has been difficult because no one really knows how much the average cow or sheep emits.
  • Scientists have been working on ways to modify animals’ food so they emit a little less, including feeding them things like garlic that intervene in the microbiomes in their guts to reduce the formation of methane.
  • This, however, works only in farms where the animals’ feed can be regulated, and not with free-ranging animals such as sheep in New Zealand.

Why is methane such a problem?

  • Methane, which is produced by cattle and sheep, as also by decaying organic matter, fires, coal mines, and factories producing natural gas, is a major greenhouse gas.
  • It is much more potent contributor to atmospheric warming than carbon dioxide, even though methane does break down more easily than carbon dioxide.
  • A report by the World Meteorological Organisation last month pointed out those atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases reached new records in 2018.
  • The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 407.8 parts per million in 2018, compared to 405.5 ppm the previous year. This was 147% of the pre-industrial level of 1750.
  • And the concentration of methane was 259% of the 1750 level, while nitrous oxide was at 123% above.

Back2Basics

CO2 equivalents

  • Each greenhouse gas (GHG) has a different global warming potential (GWP) and persists for a different length of time in the atmosphere.
  • The three main greenhouse gases (along with water vapour) and their 100-year global warming potential (GWP) compared to carbon dioxide are:

1 x – carbon dioxide (CO2)

25 x – methane (CH4) – I.e. Releasing 1 kg of CH4into the atmosphere is about equivalent to releasing 25 kg of CO2

298 x – nitrous oxide (N2O)

  • Water vapour is not considered to be a cause of man-made global warming because it does not persist in the atmosphere for more than a few days.
  • There are other greenhouse gases which have far greater global warming potential (GWP) but are much less prevalent. These are sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and perfluorocarbons (PFCs).
  • There are a wide variety of uses for SF6, HFCs, and PFCs but they have been most commonly used as refrigerants and for fire suppression.
  • Many of these compounds also have a depleting effect on ozone in the upper atmosphere.
Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

Antarctic Treaty System (ATS)IOCR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Antarctic Treaty System (ATS)

Mains level : Impact of climate change on Antarctica


Reports have claimed that compared to last year, 40 per cent more tourists, numbering about 80,000, are expected to visit Antarctica, the least visited continent in the world.

Who regulates tourism in Antarctica?

  • All human activities on the continent are regulated by the Antarctic Treaty, which was signed in 1960.
  • The treaty entered into force in 1961 and currently has 54 parties. India became a member of this treaty in 1983.
  • For the purposes of the treaty system, Antarctica is defined as all of the land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude.
  • The treaty sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, establishes freedom of scientific investigation, and bans military activity on the continent.
  • The treaty was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War. Since September 2004, the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat headquarters has been located in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Regulating tourism

  • Tourism in Antarctica started around the 1950s, starting out with a few hundred visitors annually to over 38,000 per year in 2015-2016.
  • Working within the mechanism of this treaty is the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), a body which was founded in 1991 by seven tour operators to promote safe and environmentally responsible travel in Antarctica.
  • While IAATO maintains that the tourism conducted under its banner has virtually no environmental impact on the region, the IAATO rules and guidelines are not mandatory or binding.

How has Antarctica been changing?

  • In September, a report on oceans released by the IPCC said that between 2006 and 2015, the Antarctic ice sheet lost about 155 billion tonnes of mass on average every year.
  • This ice melt from Antarctica likely contributed to sea-level rises.
  • The main sources of environmental damage to the continent include planet-wide impacts such as global warming, ozone layer depletion, impacts of fishing and hunting (of whales and seals) and lastly, the impact of visitors which includes scientists and tourists.
Sugar Industry – FRP, SAP, Rangarajan Committee, EBP, MIEQ, etc.

Harvesting and Transportation (HnT) charges on SugarcaneStates in News

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : HnT

Mains level : Sugar industry in India


  • Maharashtra Sugar Commissioner has introduced two crucial changes during the crushing season of 2019-20, and both of them are expected to change the way the industry functions.
  • While millers have expressed strong reservations about the changes, some of them feel the move will help streamline the payment system for farmers.

The changes 

  • Farmers can transport their own cane
  • Mills have to make harvesting and transportation costs public

Harvesting and Transportation (HnT) charges

  • Starting this season, officers of the Sugar Commissionerate will publish HnT charges of individual mills in an area.
  • The list will have the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) net after deducting the HnT of individual mills, which is the real cane payment received by farmers after selling their produce to those mills.
  • Farmers will also be allowed to harvest and transport their own cane. Seemingly simple, these changes have serious implications for both cane growers and millers.
  • Unlike their counterparts in Uttar Pradesh, mills in Maharashtra arrange for harvesting and transportation of cane from the farmers’ fields till the mill gate.
  • Based on the date of planting of cane, mills draw up their harvesting calendar to ensure the availability of cane across the season to maximise their operations.
  • In lieu of this service, mills deduct the HnT charges from the final cane payment to the farmers.

Advantages of the new system

  • The current system seems to be working out in favour of both millers and farmers.
  • The farmer doesn’t have to bother about transporting the cane while the mills are ensured quality harvested material for their operations.
  • The harvesting is done by migrant workers who travel to the mills at the beginning of the season and leave once it is over.
  • In case the harvested cane is mixed with other non-sucrose items such as leaves, mills report a dip in the sugar recovery.
  • One of the main reasons why Maharashtra’s sugar recovery is higher than that of Uttar Pradesh is because the mills arrange for harvesting and transportation of cane.

 Disadvantages of the new system

  • The decision of the mill to levy average HnT charges may be advantageous to some farmers, but it works out against other farmers.
  • On an average, mills procure cane from within a radius of 50-60 km around them.
  • For farmers whose fields are further away from the mills, the transportation of cane is an advantage, but not so much for farms closer to the mills, which can transport the cane and save the HnT charges.
  • But HnT charges for mills in Solapur, Ahmednagar, Nashik and Marathwada, which account for around 40 per cent of the state’s total sugar production, have started charging HnT in the range of Rs 800-900 per tonne.
  • This is a substantial amount of the total earnings of the farmers. These mills, meanwhile, cite the extra distance they have to cover to procure enough cane to justify higher HnT charges.
  • But farmer have alleged that the millers are inflating the HnT charges and going out of their way to favour relatives, friends and supporters of the mill directors, whose fields are located further away.

What has the Sugar Commissioner done and why are mills apprehensive?

  • The commissioner has decided to make the HnT charges of mills public and also allow farmers to harvest and transport their own cane.
  • The commissioner is hopeful that making the HnT charges public will help farmers choose which mill to sell their cane to, and where their realization will be maximum as mills will not deduct the HnT charges in such cases.
  • This move may also help build up pressure on mills to streamline their HnT charges and avoid procuring cane from financially unviable distances.
  • But millers have said the process will have operational hurdles and expressed doubts about the farmers’ ability to arrange for harvesters and transportation of cane.
  • They fear that this will eventually affect the sugar recovery of mills. Millers have also pointed out that the current system has been in place for a long time and cautioned that any bid to change it may backfire.
Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Operation ‘Clean Art’Priority 1

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Operation Clean Art

Mains level : Wildlife conservation in India



Recently a planned raid, was held in UP to check on organised factories that were making paint brushes with mongoose hair.

Operation Clean Art

  • Operation Clean Art was the first pan India operation to crackdown on the smuggling of mongoose hair in the country.
  • It was conceived by WCCB with the singular aim of ensuring that the mongoose hair brush trade should be closed down across the country.
  • There is also a campaign on social media where concerned organisations are urging artists to take a pledge to refrain from using brushes made of mongoose hair.
  • For about 1kg of hair, at least 40 mongooses are killed.

Protection of Mongoose

  • The mongoose is listed in Schedule II Part 2 of the Wildlife Protection Act.
  • Any smuggling or possession of its body part is a non-bailable offence.
Historical and Archaeological Findings in News

Species in news: Jeholbaatar kielanaePrelims Only

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Jeholbaatar kielanae

Mains level : Not Much



  • Researchers have unearthed well-preserved middle ear bones from a new species of an extinct rodent that lived 145-66 million years ago in northeastern China.
  • This finding may lead to better understanding of the evolution of hearing.

Jeholbaatar kielanae

  • The study looked at fossils of the extinct rodent-like mammal — Jeholbaatar kielanae — at Jehol Biota of China, and noted that these animals had a middle ear that is distinct from those of its relatives.
  • The evolution of the rodent’s bones and muscles involved in hearing may have been driven by specialisation for hearing.
  • The fossil clues provide solid evidence of the morphology and formation of the inner ear bones, which are fully detached from the lower jaw.
  • In these extinct mammals, the evolution of the middle ear may have probably been triggered by functional constraints on the bones and muscles involved in feeding.
Women empowerment issues – Jobs,Reservation and education

[op-ed snap] Her freedomsop-ed snap

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : Tackling sexual violence against women


Context

The attack on Nirbhaya, the law student and the veterinary doctor show that simply going about life can prove hazardous to life and safety if you are an Indian woman. 

Actions in the past

    • A raft of legislation followed the upheaval in 2012 :
      • expanding the definition of rape 
      • lowering the age at which juveniles could stand trial
      • increasing endorsement of the death penalty as punishment

Violence against women

    • These incidents illustrate how streets and highways turn toxic against women even in a city.
    • Often, men inflict sexual violence on women as punishment. 
    • Many women demand an acknowledgment of their experience of sexual abuse.
    • They should reclaim the public space that is denied to them by the ruse of safety and self-protection. 
    • Worried parents will stop them from going out at night; they will be told to shrink their lives into narrower and narrower circles to pre-empt the actions of possible assaulters.

Need for action

    • As more and more women turn out to work, study and occupy public and private spaces with assertion, governments, and society must reboot.
    • Law enforcement agencies have to bring culprits to book. The process of justice should not doubly punish the survivor. 
    • State governments should make cities and towns safe for women’s mobility, their entertainment, and their freedom.
    • The violence is a reminder to continue the difficult conversation about power and patriarchy.
    • It’s not just enough to train girls in self-defense but to teach boys empathy. 
    • There is a need to reimagine women’s freedoms beyond curfews, dress codes, and propriety.