Bills/Act/LawsDOMRExplainedGovt. SchemesHistorical Sites in NewsIOCRMains Onlyop-ed of the dayop-ed snapPIBPrelims OnlyPriority 1SC JudgementsSpecies in NewsStates in News
February 2020

Foreign Policy Watch: India-Bangladesh

Bangladesh fares better


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much.

Mains level : Paper 2-Bangladesh-India relations issue-illegal migrants, relations after passage of CAA.


In the last decade, on a range of social development indicators, Bangladesh has fared better than India. So it is highly unlikely that Bangladeshis would want to leave their cherished homeland for India.

Comparison with Bangladesh on the development indicators

  • Growth rate: This year Bangladesh’s economic growth rate has surpassed India.
  • Social development indicators: In the last decade, on a range of social development indicators, from infant mortality to immunisation, Bangladesh has fared better.
  • India lagging behind the neighbours in quality of life: Undoubtedly, since economic liberalisation, Indians have grown much richer than Bangladeshis, but in terms of quality of life our neighbour largely outshines us.
    • India trails across several (not all) composite indices from the latest Global Hunger Index to the Gender Development Index.
    • Even on the 2019 World Happiness Index, Bangladeshis score better.
    • While, technically, on the Human Development Index, Bangladesh scores marginally less, this is largely because the index merges income and non-income parameters.

How India’s neighbour forged ahead in social development?

  • Dissolving the inequality and bridging the social and gender distances: In the case of Bangladesh, the most prominent factor has been-
    • Removing inequality: The country’s ability to dissolve inequalities through sustained investment in public services and-
    • Bridging the social distance: The bridging of social and gender distances.
  • Development in Healthcare: Till the Eighties, Indians lived longer than most South Asians.
    • But now, despite being poorer, an average Bangladeshi female child at birth can expect to live for four years more.
    • Fewer Bangladeshi children also die before their fifth birthday.
    • Community clinics: The formula for this success has been relatively simple. Since 2009, the government has constructed well-stocked “community clinics” in every third village.
    • Home delivery of medicines: For four decades, committed cadres of government health workers have delivered medicines and family planning to women in the comfort of their homes.
  • Achievement in Education: On the education front, even though India has a demographic dividend, Bangladesh has achieved a marginal advantage in youth literacy.
    • Further, across income quintiles, Bangladeshi girls have higher educational attainments than boys.
    • Free textbooks: The government provides free textbooks in the government, non-government (NGO) and madrassa-run schools promptly at the start of the academic year, without the chronic delays which plague India.
    • The greater proportion of expenditure on educations: Economist Jean Drèze has aptly described India as amongst the world champions in social underspending. In contrast, Bangladesh despite being a poorer neighbour since the Nineties has spent a greater proportion of government expenditure on education and healthcare.
    • The fruits of these sustained investments have reaped rich dividends.
  • Nutrition: On the nutrition front too, Bangladesh fares better.
    • Thirty-three per cent of Bangladeshi children are underweight compared to India’s 36 per cent as per the demographic health surveys.
    • Similarly, a greater proportion of Indian children are also stunted.
    • Further, the inequality between wealth quintiles is starker in India.
    • A few years ago, the Bangladeshi government, with the help of NGOs, hired a unique cadre of “Pushti Apas” (nutrition sisters) who went door-to-door in their social endeavours.
    • Unlike the Indian Poshan Abhiyan’s focus on vegetarian foods, they did not shy away from teaching mothers to feed growing infants a balanced diet with mashed fish, meat and eggs.
  • Sanitation: Even at the turn of the millennium, at least 80 per cent of Bangladeshi homes had toilets, even if rudimentary.
    • By 2016, 96 per cent of households and 80 per cent of schools in had proper sanitation.
    • Apart from the typical Islamic emphasis on hygiene, local governments not only provide cement rings for free to poor families but they also regularly spread messages through community group discussions, mosques, mass media and schools.
    • Local entrepreneurs have also ensured that with the innovation of plastic pans, the cheapest toilets cost less than Chinese mobile phones.
  • Women empowerment: Bangladeshi women are also increasingly assertive.
    • The 2006 World Bank Survey on Gender Norms found a growing trend of “educational hypogamy”.
    • In sharp contrast to India’s decline, Bangladeshi women also have higher labour force participation.


  • In comparison, India is grappling with the worst unemployment levels in 45 years and sinking economic growth rates. Government ministers should pull up their own socks, instead. Berating our neighbours with the false bogey of illegal immigrants, in light of the Citizenship Amendment Act, is nothing but an unjustifiable distraction. Instead, it would be far wiser for the Indian government to humbly learn the recipe of South Asian success to improve the lives of citizens from the impressive “Shonar Bangla”.

Issues related to Economic growth

Towards a new world order


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much.

Mains level : Paper 3- Globalisation and its impact on Climate Change, Lessons from Nordic Model.


Social inequalities and the grim problems of stark and continuing poverty are at the epicentre of the new world.

The ugly face of capitalism and growing inequalities

  • The concentration of the health: The latest Oxfam Report presented at Davos points out that 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than 4.6 billion people.
  • Rising poverty: The emergence of billionaires and oligarchs in different parts of the world coincides with increased poverty among the already poor people, especially children.
  • Concept of stakeholder’s capitalism: These realities make observers question the tenability of stakeholder capitalism as a concept.
  • Faults in the capitalism on display in 2008: The ugliest face of this capitalism was visible during the 2007-2008 economic crisis, first in the U.S. and thereafter across the European Union.
    • At that time, it appeared as if the global economy was on the verge of collapse.

Intensification of energy use and sustainability

  • The relation between growth and energy: One of the chief characteristics of economic development is the intensification of energy use.
    • There is an unprecedented concentration of high energy density in all economic development strategies.
  • Use of non-renewable sources: The bulk of the energy continues to be generated from non-renewable sources.
  • Developing world capturing energy-generating sources: The developed world’s, and China’s, central objective is to capture energy-generating resources from across continents and put them to use to push GDP growth to greater heights.
    • In the process, sustainability is becoming a casualty.
  • Higher waste generation: The higher the use of energy, the larger the amount of waste generated. Entropy, like time, is always unidirectional, it only goes forward.

Disposal of e-waste

  • High energy consumption and disposal of waste: Egregious consumption of energy by the developed world has been accompanied by the disposal of residual products (‘e-waste’) on the shores of many African and Asian countries.
  • Impact on the developing world: As a result of the disposal, the poor in the developing world are, unwittingly, drawn and exposed to toxic, hazardous materials like lead, cadmium and arsenic.
    • Hence, the ‘globalisation’ phenomenon has turned out to be nothing other than the exploitation of the developing world, with most countries being treated as a source of cheap labour and critical raw material.

Unfairness involved in the Globalisation

  • Increasing consumption in the developing world: Countries in the developed world, and China, are ferociously using up finite raw materials without care or concern for the welfare of present and future generations.
  • Bright and the dark side of the development: Certainly, there has been significant technological progress which has brought about a revolution in the fields of healthcare and communications, but there is also a dark side to this.
  • System loaded in the favour of the rich: High expenses and Intellectual Property Rights load the system further in favour of the rich.
    • Pernicious system of carbon credit: To demonstrate how unfair the system is, one can look at the pernicious plan to set up a carbon credit system.
    • Under this, countries with high energy consumption trends can simply offset their consumption patterns by purchasing carbon credits, the unutilised carbon footprint, from poor developing countries.

Understanding the Nordic Economic Model

  • Nordic Economic Model’: It pertains to the remarkable achievements of the Scandinavian countries comprising Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, and allied territories. They also have-
    • Large public sector enterprises.
    • Extensive and generous universal welfare systems.
    • High levels of taxation.
    • And considerable state involvement in promoting and upholding welfare states.
    • Among the happiest countries: UN reports also indicate that the Nordic countries are the happiest countries in the world. The U.S., in contrast, is in 19th place.
    • The total population of the Nordic countries is estimated at almost 27 million people.
    • Among the richest countries: These nations are among the richest in the world when measured in terms of GDP per capita.

Enlightened Global Order

  • Taking the Nordic model as a template, there are some ingredients that could be part of a new ‘enlightened global order’.
  • What does the Global Order include? These should include-
    • Effective welfare safety nets for all.
    • Corruption-free governance.
    • A fundamental right to tuition-free education including higher education.
    • And a fundamental right to good medical care.
    • Shutting of tax havens.
    • Tax structure: In Nordic countries, personal and corporate income tax rates are very high, especially on the very rich. If a just, new world order is to arise, taxes everywhere should go up.
  • Holding companies responsible: When it comes to the corporate sector, there are some new perspectives.
    • Changing the parameters of profit: In traditional business accounting, ‘bottom line’ refers to the financial year’s profit or loss earned or incurred by the company on pure financial parameters.
    • The four ‘Ps’: Following vigorous debates, a new format has emerged under which a company’s performance is measured through four ‘Ps’.
    • The first is ‘P’ for ‘profit’.
    • The second ‘P’ is for people — how the company’s actions impact not only employees but society as a whole.
    • The third ‘P’ is for the planet — are the company’s actions and plans sensitive to the environment?
    • The fourth ‘P’ is for purpose, which means the companies and individuals must develop a larger purpose than ‘business as usual’. They must ask: what is the larger purpose of the company, apart from generating profits?
    • Using performance in terms of four ‘P’s: Using big data and text analytics, a company’s performance can be measured in terms of all the four ‘P’s and a corporate entity can be thus held accountable. Market capitalisation need not be the only way to measure the value of a company.


Much work is yet to be done to uplift the global economic order, but the important point is that new tools are now emerging. What is required is a global consensus and the will to make the planet more sustainable, so that all individuals can live with justice and equality, ensuring that not a single child is hungry or seriously unwell because of poverty or lack of affordable medical help.





Women empowerment issues – Jobs,Reservation and education

To help her work


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much.

Mains level : Paper 3- Inclusive growth and need to focus on gender budgeting in India.


When it came to allocating funds, the budget relegates women’s economic participation to secondary importance.

The current status of women in India

  • Lack of Equality: India continues to struggle to provide its women with equal opportunity.
  • A low score on international measures: On international measures of gender equality.
    • India scores low on women’s overall health and survival and ability to access economic opportunities.
  • Why it matters? Since the woman’s economic engagement is related to her own and her family’s well-being, the continuing decline in rural women’s labour force participation is a cause for concern, and both affects and reflects these worrying gender gaps.

Why female labour force participation matters beyond social cause?

  • Source of economic growth: Ignoring India’s declining female labour force participation at a time of economic distress is a mistake.
    • Not just a social cause: Involving women in the economy is not a social cause — it is a source of efficiency gains and economic growth.
  • Missing out on many things: In a country where young women’s education is now at par with men’s, ignoring that half of the population isn’t participating equally in the economy means we are missing out on many things, like-
    • Innovation.
    • Entrepreneurship.
    • And productivity gains.
  • Large potential to increase in GDP: The large potential increases in GDP that could accrue to India and countries around the world, if they could only close their labour force gender gaps, are often cited.
    • 60% increase in GDP: A report by McKinsey Global Institute suggests that if women participated in the Indian economy at the level men do, annual GDP could be increased by 60 per cent above its projected GDP by 2025.
    • Underlying conclusion: The underlying conclusion is that women’s potential to contribute to GDP is huge.
    • Gain larger than any other region: The same analysis also suggested that India’s potential GDP gains through achieving economic gender parity were larger than gains in any of the other regions they studied.

How can the state be responsive to women? 

It can be ensured in the following two ways-

  • 1.MGNREGA-Important focus: An important focus could be a smarter policy and gender-intentional implementation.
    • A key example comes from MGNREGA, a programme whose official policy has long been to pay individual workers in their own bank accounts.
    • It is observed that this policy was typically not implemented and that women’s wages were usually being paid into the bank account of the woman’s husband.
  • Why paying wages in women’s account matters?
    • Giving women digital control of her wage:
    • This seemingly small change — giving a woman digital control of her wages — had a big impact.
    • Working women more outside their home: Women who received digital accounts plus training worked more outside their homes, not only for MGNREGA but also in private employment.
  • Higher economic engagement and lessening patriarchy
    • Importantly, women from especially conservative households reported higher economic engagement and an improved ability to move about their communities unaccompanied.
    • Lessening of patriarchal norms: Surveys conducted showed that the payment in account also began to influence restrictive patriarchal norms.
  • 2.Need to move beyond MGNREGA
    • Ease of doing business and reform in labour market reforms: Continuing to improve ease of doing business and addressing rigid labour market regulations can also draw more women into high-potential sectors.
    • Such as those supported under Assemble in India.
    • Potential in manufacturing: Rural women’s relative participation in manufacturing has grown compared to men’s, and manufacturing stands out as a promising means to pull young women, in particular, into the economy.
    • Potential in SMEs: Ensuring better support to small and medium-sized enterprises can help new businesses.


  • Attune schemes to the aspiration of women: Ensuring that these programmes are attuned to the needs and aspirations of women is not expensive. But it makes a much difference.
    • Review of policy and programme: It requires a review of individual policies and programme implementation.
  • Increase the funding: The government needs to increase funding to programmes targeting women. Until then, the policy can build on the fact that pulling women into the economy isn’t just a function of budget allocations or social sector programmes. It’s also a matter of thoughtful policy design and political will.



Electoral Reforms In India

Political parties to publish the entire criminal history of their candidates


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Paper 2- Making the electoral process free, fair and clean.


  • The Supreme Court has strictly ordered political parties to publish the entire criminal history of their candidates for Assembly and Lok Sabha elections along with the reasons that goaded them to field suspected criminals over decent people.

SC’s deadline

  • It ordered political parties to submit compliance reports with the Election Commission of India within 72 hours or risk contempt of court action.
  • The information should be published in a local as well as a national newspaper as well as the parties’ social media handles.
  • It should mandatorily be published either within 48 hours of the selection of candidates or less than two weeks before the first date for filing of nominations, whichever is earlier.
  • The judgment is applicable to parties both at Central and State levels.

Information should be detailed

  • The published information on the criminal antecedents of a candidate should be detailed and include the nature of their offences, charges framed against him, the court concerned, case number, etc.
  • A political party should explain to the public through their published material how the “qualifications or achievements or merit” of a candidate, charged with a crime, impressed it enough to cast aside the smear of his criminal background.
  • A party would have to give reasons to the voter that it was not the candidate’s “mere winnability at the polls” which guided its decision to give him a ticket to contest elections.

Why such a move?

  • It appeared from the last four general elections that there has been an alarming increase in the incidence of criminals in politics.
  • In 2004, 24% of the MPs had criminal cases pending against them; in 2009, that went up to 30%; in 2014 to 34%; and in 2019 as many as 43% of MPs had criminal cases pending against them, SC observed.
  • The judgment was based on a contempt petition about the general disregard shown by political parties to a 2018 Constitution Bench judgment (Public Interest Foundation v. Union of India).
  • In this judgment (2018), this court was cognizant of the increasing criminalisation of politics in India and the lack of information about such criminalisation among the citizenry”, SC observed.

Immediate Reason

  • The immediate provocation is the finding that 46% of MPs have criminal records.
  • The number might be inflated as many politicians tend to be charged with relatively minor offences —“unlawful assembly” and “defamation”.
  • The real worry is that the current cohort of Lok Sabha MPs has the highest (29%) proportion of those with serious declared criminal cases compared to its recent predecessors.

Why are such tainted candidates inducted by political parties?

  • Such candidates with serious records seem to do well despite their public image, largely due to their ability to finance their own elections and bring substantive resources to their respective parties.
  • Some voters tend to view such candidates through a narrow prism: of being able to represent their interests by hook or by crook.
  • Others do not seek to punish these candidates in instances where they are in contest with other candidates with similar records.

Significance of the move

  • Either way, these unhealthy tendencies in the democratic system reflect a poor image of the nature of India’s state institutions and the quality of its elected representatives.
  • The move signified the court’s alarm at the unimpeded rise of criminals, often facing heinous charges like rape and murder, encroaching into the country’s political and electoral scenes.

Way Forward

  • While formally, the institutions of the state are present and subject to the electoral will of the people, substantively, they are still relatively weak and lackadaisical in governance and delivery of public goods.
  • This has allowed cynical voters to elect candidates despite their dubious credentials and for their ability to work on a patronage system.
  • While judicial pronouncements on making it difficult for criminal candidates to contest are necessary, only enhanced awareness and increased democratic participation could create the right conditions for the decriminalization of politics.

Minority Issues – SC, ST, Dalits, OBC, Reservations, etc.

Ninth Schedule of the Indian Constitution


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Ninth Schedule of Indian Constitution

Mains level : Read the attached story

A parliamentarian has said in an interview that reservation should be put under the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution.  His comments came days after the Supreme Court ruled that reservation in the matter of promotions in public posts was not a fundamental right and that a state cannot be compelled to offer quota if it chooses not to.

What is the Ninth Schedule?

  • The Ninth Schedule contains a list of central and state laws which cannot be challenged in courts.
  • Currently, 284 such laws are shielded from judicial review.
  • The Schedule became a part of the Constitution in 1951, when the document was amended for the first time.
  • It was created by the new Article 31B, which along with 31A was brought in by the government to protect laws related to agrarian reform and for abolishing the Zamindari system.
  • While most of the laws protected under the Schedule concern agriculture/land issues, the list includes other subjects, such as reservation.
  • A Tamil Nadu law that provides 69 per cent reservation in the state is part of the Schedule.

Article 31A and 31 B

  • While Article 31A extends protection to ‘classes’ of laws, A. 31B shields specific laws or enactments.
  • Article 31B also has retrospective operation: meaning if laws are inserted in the Ninth Schedule after they are declared unconstitutional, they are considered to have been in the Schedule since their commencement, and thus valid.
  • Although Article 31B excludes judicial review, the apex court has said in the past that even laws under the Ninth Schedule would be open to scrutiny if they violated fundamental rights or the basic structure of the Constitution.

Foreign Policy Watch: India-United States

USTR takes India off developing country list


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Countervailing duty

Mains level : India-US trade disputes


The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has published a notice, amending lists of developing and least-developed countries that are eligible for preferential treatment with respect to countervailing duties (CVD) investigations.

New classification by US

  • To harmonise U.S. law with the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM) Agreement, the USTR had, in 1998, come up with lists of countries classified as per their level of development.
  • These lists were used to determine whether they were potentially subject to U.S. countervailing duties. The 1998 rule is now “obsolete” as per the USTR notice.
  • Countries not given special consideration have lower levels of protection against a CVD investigation.
  • A CVD investigation must be terminated if the offending subsidy is de minimis (too small to warrant concern) or if import volumes are negligible.
  • The de minimis thresholds and import volume allowance are more relaxed for developing and least-developed countries.

Criteria set by US

  • The USTR used the following criteria to determine whether a country was eligible for the 2% de minimise standard:

(1) Per capita Gross National Income or GNI

(2) share of world trade

(3) other factors such as Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) membership or application for membership, EU membership, and Group of Twenty (G20) membership.

Delisting India

  • India was, until February 10, on the developing country list and therefore eligible for these more relaxed standards. It has now been taken off of that list.
  • India, along with Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam were taken off the list since they each have at least a 0.5% share of the global trade, despite having less than $12, 375 GNI (the World Bank threshold separating high-income countries from others).
  • India was taken off the list also because — like Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa — it is part of the G20.
  • Given the global economic significance of the G20, and the collective economic weight of its membership (which accounts for large shares of global economic output and trade), G20 membership indicates that a country is developed a/c to USTR.

History- Important places, persons in news

Conservation plan for Konark Sun Temple


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Konark Sun Temple

Mains level : Temple architecture of India

A plan to restore and preserve the nearly 800-year-old Konark Sun Temple in Odisha would be drawn up soon. Among the potential choices before the government would be to fill in more sand or to remove all the sand andput in place alternate support.

Konark Sun Temple

  • Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century CE Sun temple at Konark about 36 kilometres northeast from Puri on the coastline of Odisha, India.
  • The temple is attributed to king Narasinga Deva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty about 1250 CE.
  • Dedicated to the Hindu Sun God Surya, what remains of the temple complex has the appearance of a 100-foot (30 m) high chariot with immense wheels and horses, all carved from stone.
  • Once over 200 feet (61 m) high, much of the temple is now in ruins, in particular the large shikara tower over the sanctuary; at one time this rose much higher than the mandapa that remains.
  • The structures and elements that have survived are famed for their intricate artwork, iconography, and themes, including erotic kama and mithuna scenes.
  • Also called the Surya Devalaya, it is a classic illustration of the Odisha style of Architecture or Kalinga Architecture.
  • Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1984 it remains a major pilgrimage site for Hindus, who gather here every year for the Chandrabhaga Mela around the month of February.

Earlier restoration efforts

  • It had been filled with sand and sealed by the British authorities in 1903 in order to stabilize the structure, a/c to ASI.
  • A scientific study was carried out by the Roorkee-based Central Building Research Institute from 2013 till 2018 to ascertain the temple’s structural stability as well as the status of the filled-in sand.
  • The sand filled in over 100 years ago had settled, leading to a gap of about 17 feet.  However the structure was found to be stable.

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

‘Future of Earth, 2020’ Report


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Highlights of the report

Mains level : Various global threats and their mitigation


The “The Future of Earth, 2020” Report was recently released.

About the report

  • The report is released by the South Asia Future Earth Regional Office, Divecha Centre for Climate Change, Indian Institute of Science.
  • The report was prepared with the aim of reducing carbon footprint and halting global warming below 2 degree Celsius by 2050.

Highlights of the report

  • Five global risks that have the potential to impact and amplify one another in ways that may cascade to create global systemic crisis have been listed by report.
  • It listed the following as five global risks:
  1. failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation
  2. extreme weather events
  3. major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse
  4. food crises; and
  5. water crises
  • Offering examples of how the interrelation of risk factors play a role, scientists say extreme heatwaves can accelerate global warming by releasing large amounts of stored carbon from affected ecosystems, and at the same time intensify water crises and/ or food scarcity.
  • The loss of biodiversity also weakens the capacity of natural and agricultural systems to cope with climate extremes, increasing our vulnerability to food crises, they point out.

Parliament – Sessions, Procedures, Motions, Committees etc

In news: Two-child Norm


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Art. 47

Mains level : Population explosion in India

A Rajya Sabha MP has introduced a Private Member’s Bill on two-child norms.

Key propositions of the Bill

  • Essentially, the Bill aims to amend the Constitution in order to incentivise limiting families to two children by offering tax concessions, priority in social benefit schemes and school admissions, among other things.
  • It proposes incentives in taxation, education and employment for people who limit their family size to two children.

Article 47A

  • The Bill has sought the incorporation of a new provision, Article 47A in Part IV of the Constitution, to withdraw all concessions from people who fail to adhere to the “small-family” norm.
  • Article 47A says the following:

 “47A. The State shall promote small family norms by offering incentives in taxes, employment, education etc. to its people who keep their family limited to two children and shall withdraw every concession from and deprive such incentives to those not adhering to small family norm, to keep the growing population under control.”

Note: Article 47 of the Indian Constitution is one of the DPSP  which directs the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of intoxicating drinks and drugs which are injurious to health.

Why such Bill?

  • The Bill’s Statement of Object and Reasons states that the fact that India’s population has already crossed 125 crore is “really frightening”.
  • It goes on to say that India’s population has doubled in the last 40 years and that it is expected to unseat China as the world’s most populous nation in the next couple of decades.
  • Despite the fact that we have framed a National Population Control Policy, we are the second most populous country in the world.
  • Further, the population explosion will cause “many problems” for our future generations.
  • The Bill also makes a reference to “overburdened” natural resources that are overexploited because of overpopulation.

Statewide policies relating to two-child norms

Assam Cabinet has recently decided that those with more than two children will be ineligible for government jobs from 2021. Other states with similar norms:

Rajasthan: For government jobs, candidates who have more than two children are not eligible for appointment.

Madhya Pradesh: The state follows the two-child norm since 2001. Under Madhya Pradesh Civil Services (General Condition of Services) Rules, if the third child was born on or after January 26, 2001, one becomes ineligible for government service. The rule also applies to higher judicial services.

Telangana: Under Section 19 (3) read with Sections 156 (2) and 184 (2) of Telangana Panchayat Raj Act, 1994, a person with more than two children shall be disqualified from contesting election. However, if a person had more than two children before May 30, 1994, he or she will not be disqualified.  The same sections in the Andhra Pradesh: AP Panchayat Raj Act, 1994, apply to Andhra Pradesh, where a person having more than two children shall be disqualified from contesting election.

Gujarat: In 2005, the government amended the Gujarat Local Authorities Act. The amendment disqualifies anyone with more than two children from contesting elections for bodies of local self-governance — panchayats, municipalities and municipal corporations.

Maharashtra: The Maharashtra Zilla Parishads And Panchayat Samitis Act disqualifies people who have more than two children from contesting local body elections (gram panchayats to municipal corporations). The Maharashtra Civil Services Rules, 2005 states that a person having more than two children is disqualified from holding a post in the state government. Women with more than two children are also not allowed to benefit from the Public Distribution System.

Karnataka: The Karnataka (Gram Swaraj and Panchayat Raj) Act, 1993 does not bar individuals with more than two children from contesting elections to local bodies like the gram panchayat. The law, however, says that a person is ineligible to contest “if he does not have a sanitary latrine for the use of the members of his family”.

Odisha: The Odisha Zilla Parishad Act bars those individuals with more than two children from contesting.

Air Pollution

Global cost of air pollution from fossil fuels









A new Greenpeace report has estimated the global cost of air pollution from fossil fuels at around $2.9 trillion per year, or $8 billion per day — 3.3% of the world’s GDP.

Cost of air pollution

India is estimated to bear a cost of $150 billion, or 5.4% of the country’s GDP, which is the third-highest absolute cost from fossil fuel air pollution worldwide.

China and the US are estimated to bear the highest absolute costs from fossil fuel air pollution, respectively at $900 billion and $600 billion.

Loss of lives

  • Globally, air pollution is estimated to cause 4.5 million premature deaths each year.
  • This includes 3 million deaths attributable globally to PM2.5, which is one of the principal pollutants in northern Indian cities including Delhi.
  • Globally, PM2.5 is also estimated to cause the loss of 62.7 million years of life, 2.7 million emergency room visits due to asthma, 2 million preterm births and 1.75 billion work absences.
  • The 2 million preterm births include 981,000 in India and over 350,000 in China.

Economic cost

In India, exposure to fossil fuels also leads to a loss of around 490 million workdays, the report said.

Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Fisheries Sector – Pashudhan Sanjivani, E- Pashudhan Haat, etc

[pib] ‘Apiary on Wheels’ Initiative


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : ‘Apiary on Wheels’, Apiculture

Mains level : Apiculture sector of India

‘Apiary on Wheels’ was recently flagged off today by the Union Minister of MSME.

‘Apiary on Wheels’

  • It is a unique concept designed by KVIC for the easy upkeep and migration of Bee Boxes having live Bee colonies.
  • It is a platform which can carry 20 Bee Boxes from one place to another without any difficulty.
  • It is like an attachment which can be easily connected with a Tractor or a Trolley and may be pulled to any suitable destination.
  • Specially, in summers, the beekeepers usually adopted crude methods to feed the bees and many bees used to die in the process.
  • This concept of migration, cooling with the help of solar panels and sugar drips with zero risk to the lives of bees, will prevent any damages to the bee boxes or bee colonies and help produce quality honey.

How it works?

  • Two large wheels on either side of the Apiary and 4 separate compartments with independent doors, having 5 bee boxes each help the platform to remain intact without disturbing the live bee colonies.
  • It is also connected with a solar panel system which automatically triggers a fan inside the compartment as soon as the temperature reaches 35 degree centigrade or above.