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Electoral Reforms In India

De-criminalization of PoliticsDOMR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Association for Democratic Reforms

Mains level : De-criminalization of politics in India


 

The Supreme Court has agreed to examine a proposition made by the Election Commission (EC) to ask political parties to not give a ticket to those with criminal antecedents.

Cleansing of Political Parties

  • The judgment had urged Parliament to bring a “strong law” to cleanse political parties of leaders facing trial for serious crimes.
  • The ruling concluded that rapid criminalisation of politics cannot be arrested by merely disqualifying tainted legislators but should begin by “cleansing” the political parties.
  • The court had suggested that Parliament frame a law that makes it obligatory for political parties to remove leaders charged with “heinous and grievous” crimes like rape, murder and kidnapping, only to a name a few, and refuse ticket to offenders in both parliamentary and Assembly polls.
  • It had also issued guidelines, including that both the candidate and the political party should declare the criminal antecedents of the former in widely-circulated newspapers.

Why such move?

  • 46% of Members of Parliament have criminal records.
  • A move to steer politics away from the denizens of the criminal world would definitely serve national and public interest.
  • The EC had tried several measures to curb criminalisation of politics but failed.
Judicial Reforms

Death Penalty in India (Annual Statistics Report 2019)DOMR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Project 39A

Mains level : Capital Punishment and its justification


Trial courts in India delivered 102 death sentences in 2019, over 60% fewer than the 162 death sentences passed in 2018.

Highlights of the Report

  • In 2019, fewer death sentences overall were delivered.
  • 1 out of 2 sentences for sexual violence-murder; in 3 out of 4 sexual violence-murder death sentences, children were the killer’s victims.
  • The courts were, however, especially unforgiving of murders that involved sexual violence — the proportion of death sentences imposed for murders involving sexual offences was at a four-year high in 2019 at 52.94%.
  • 2019 also saw the highest number of confirmations by High Courts in four years; 17 out of the 26 confirmations (65.38%) were in offences of murder involving sexual violence.
  • The Supreme Court, primarily during the tenure of the previous CJI Gogoi, listed and heard 27 capital cases, the most in a year since 2001.

Project 39A

  • These are the headline findings in the fourth edition of The Death Penalty in India: Annual Statistics, published by Project 39A at the National Law University (NLU), Delhi.
  • Project 39A is a research and litigation initiative focussed on the criminal justice system, and especially issues of legal aid, torture, death penalty, and mental health in prisons.
  • The report tracked news of death sentences awarded by trial courts published online by news organisations in English and Hindi.
  • It checked these numbers against judgments uploaded to websites of High Court and district courts.
Primary and Secondary Education – RTE, Education Policy, SEQI, RMSA, Committee Reports, etc.

Annual Status of Education Report (Rural) 2019DOMR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : ASER

Mains level : Highlights of ASER 2019


The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2019 (rural) was recently released by NGO Pratham.

Highlights of the report

  • Only 16% of children in Class 1 in 26 surveyed rural districts can read text at the prescribed level, while almost 40% cannot even recognise letters, according to
  • Only 41% of these children could recognise two digit numbers.

Private schools ahead

  • Of six-year olds in Class 1, 41.5% of those in private schools could read words in comparison to only 19% from government schools.
  • Similarly, 28% of those in government schools could do simple addition as against 47% in private schools.
  • This gap is further exacerbated by a gender divide: only 39% of girls aged 6-8 are enrolled in private schools in comparison to almost 48% of boys.
  • The report also found that a classroom could include students from a range of age-groups, skewing towards younger children in government schools.

Determinants of learning outcomes

  • The ASER report shows that a large number of factors determine the quality of education received at this stage, including the child’s home background, especially the mother’s education level; the type of school, whether anganwadis, government schools or private pre-schools; and the child’s age in Class 1.
  • More than a quarter of Class 1 students in government schools are only 4 or 5 years old, younger than the recommended age.
  • The ASER data shows that these younger children struggle more than others in all skills.
  • Permitting underage children into primary grades puts them at a learning disadvantage which is difficult to overcome,” said the report.

Role of Mothers

  • Among the key findings of ASER 2019 is that the mother’s education often determines the kind of pre-schooling or schooling that the child gets.
  • The report says that among children in the early years (ages 0-8), those with mothers who had completed eight or fewer years of schooling are more likely to be attending anganwadis or government pre-primary classes.
  • With 75% women in the productive age group not in the workforce, they can be better engaged in their children’s development, learning and school readiness.

Key suggestions made by the report

  • ASER found that the solution is not to spend longer hours teaching children the 3Rs.
  • Counter-intuitively, the report argues that a focus on cognitive skills rather than subject learning in the early years can make a big difference to basic literacy and numeracy abilities.
  • The survey shows that among Class 1 children who could correctly do none or only one of the tasks requiring cognitive skills, about 14% could read words, while 19% could do single digit addition.
  • However, of those children who could correctly do all three cognitive tasks, 52% could read words, and 63% could solve the addition problem.

Focus on productive learning

  • ASER data shows that children’s performance on tasks requiring cognitive skills is strongly related to their ability to do early language and numeracy tasks,” says the report.
  • This suggests that focussing on play-based activities that build memory; reasoning and problem-solving abilities are more productive than an early focus on content knowledge.
  • Global research shows that 90% of brain growth occurs by age 5, meaning that the quality of early childhood education has a crucial impact on the development and long-term schooling of a child.
Policy Wise: India’s Power Sector

[pib] State Energy Efficiency Index 2019DOMRPIB

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : State Energy Efficiency Index

Mains level : Various initiatives for promotion of energy efficiency of power sector


The Ministry of Power and New & Renewable Energy has released the ‘State Energy Efficiency Index 2019’.

State Energy Efficiency Index

  • The first such Index, the “State Energy Efficiency Preparedness Index 2018”, was launched on August 1, 2018.
  • The index tracks the progress of Energy Efficiency (EE) initiatives in 36 states and union territories based on 97 significant indicators.
  • It is developed by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in association with Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE).
  • It categorizes states as ‘Front Runner’, ‘Achiever’, ‘Contender’ and ‘Aspirant’ based on their efforts and achievements towards energy efficiency implementation.
  • It incorporates qualitative, quantitative and outcome-based indicators to assess energy efficiency initiatives, programs and outcomes in five distinct sectors – buildings, industry, municipalities, transport, agriculture, and DISCOMs.

Performance evaluation

  • For rational comparison, States/UTs are grouped into four groups based on aggregated Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) required to meet the state’s actual energy demand (electricity, coal, oil, gas, etc.) across sectors.
  • TPES grouping shall help states compare performance and share best practices within their peer group.
  • Under four categories based on TPES, Haryana, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Puducherry and Chandigarh have been evaluated as progressive states/UTs in the index.
  • The top performing states Haryana, Kerala and Karnataka – are in the ‘Achiever’ category.
  • Manipur, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand and Rajasthan performed the worst in each of their groups.

Utilities of the index

  • It will help states contribute towards national goals on energy security and climate action by helping drive EE policies and program implementation.
  • It will help tracking progress in managing the states’ and India’s energy footprint and institutionalising the data capture and monitoring of EE activities by states.
Women empowerment issues – Jobs,Reservation and education

Annual Crime in India Report 2018DOMR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : State of Crime in India


The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) published the annual Crime in India Report 2018.

Crimes against women

  • According to the report, 3,78,277 cases of crime against women were reported in the country, up from 3,59,849 in 2017.
  • Uttar Pradesh topped the list with 59,445 cases, followed by Maharashtra (35,497) and West Bengal (30,394).
  • The conviction rate in rape-related cases stood at 27.2% even though the rate of filing chargesheets was 85.3% in such cases.
  • Cruelty by husband or his relatives (31.9%) followed by assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty (27.6%) constituted the major share of crimes against women.

Suicides report

  • The NCRB also released the Accidental Death and Suicides in India 2018 report, which said that 10,349 people working in the farm sector ended their lives in 2018, accounting for 7.7 % of the total number of suicides in the country.
  • There were 5,763 farmers/cultivators and 4,586 agricultural labourers among those who ended their lives.
  • The total number of people who committed suicide in 2018 was 1,34,516, an increase of 3.6% from 2017 when 1,29,887 cases were reported.
  • The highest number of suicide victims were daily wagers — 26,589, comprising 22.4% of such deaths.
  • The majority of the suicides were reported in Maharashtra (17,972) followed by Tamil Nadu (13,896), West Bengal (13,255), Madhya Pradesh (11,775) and Karnataka (11,561)

More murder cases

  • The incidents registered under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes related Acts saw a decline from 6729 incidents reported in 2017 to 4816 in 2018.
  • A total of 29,017 cases of murder were registered in 2018, showing an increase of 1.3% over 2017 (28,653 cases).
  • A total of 76,851 cases of offences against public tranquillity were registered in 2018, out of which rioting, 57,828 cases, accounted for 75.2% of total such cases, the report said.
  • As many as 27,248 cases of cyber crimes were registered in 2018, up from 21796 cases in 2017.

Data on Rioting

  • In 2018, 76,851 cases were registered under the category “Offences against Public Tranquillity”.
  • This was a decline from 2017 which saw 78,051 such cases.
  • Almost 90% of all such offences were associated with rioting while the rest were under “Unlawful Assembly” (popularly known as Section 144).
  • Compare this with riots for other reasons such as communal, students agitation, political and agrarian. According to the NCRB, political riots fell by almost 25% in 2018 over 2017.
  • Communal riots fell by almost 30% in the same period.
  • Caste conflicts too declined by almost 20%. Student conflicts marginally fell by about 10%, while agrarian riots recorded a decline of over 35%.
  • Cases of rioting during “andolan/morcha” too have registered a decline of 25%.
  • While cases of communal riots are down, cases of attempts at inciting passions and stoking hatred have risen.
  • The data show offences promoting enmity different groups have been constantly rising and have in fact more than doubled over 2016.
Rural Distress, Farmer Suicides, Drought Measures

NCRB Report on Farmers SuicideDOMR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NCRB

Mains level : Strategies to combat farmer's distress in India


In 2017, 10,655 people involved in agriculture committed suicide in India, according to data released January 2, 2020 by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB).

NCRB had released the 2017 crime data last October 2019, but held back information on suicides.

Highlights of the report

  • NCRB highlighted that the toll was the lowest since 2013.
  • Among those who took their lives, 5,955 were farmers / cultivators and 4,700 agricultural labourers — both lower than in 2016.
  • They comprised 8.2 per cent of all suicide cases in the country in 2017.
  • In 2016, 6270 farmers killed themselves, down from 8,007 in 2015, while 5,109 farm hands committed suicide, up from 4,595.
  • The number of women farmers committing suicide, however, jumped to 480 in 2017 from 275 in ’16.

Farm suicides over half a decade

Years No. of farm sector suicides No. of farmers
2017 10,655 5,955
2016 11,379 6270
2015 12,602 8007
2014 12,360 5650

Statewise data

  • In 2017, the most number of farm suicides were reportedly in Maharashtra (34.7 per cent), followed by Karnataka (20.3 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (9 per cent), Telangana (8 per cent) and Andhra Pradesh (7.7 per cent).
  • The trend was quite similar to previous year: In 2016, Maharashtra accounted for 32.2 per cent, Karnataka 18.3 per cent, MP 11.6 per cent, Andhra 7.1 per cent and Chhattisgarh 6 per cent.
  • In 2015 too Maharashtra tops in farmers suicides followed by Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh in 2016.
  • West Bengal, Odisha, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry reported zero suicides by farmers or agricultural labourers.

Causes of Farmers Suicide

  • Major causes of farm suicides were reportedly bankruptcy / indebtedness, problems in the families, crop failure, illness and alcohol / substance abuse.

Assist this newscard with:

[Burning Issue] Annual Crime in India Report-2017

SDG India Index 2019DOMR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SDGs, SDG India Index

Mains level : Sustainable development strategies in India


NITI Aayog has released its latest SDG India Index 2019, which assesses each state and Union Territory’s achievement on 16 sustainable development goals (SDG).

About the Index

  • The SDG India Index 2019 tracks progress of all States and UTs on 100 indicators drawn from the MoSPI’s National Indicator Framework (NIF).
  • Each of the 16 SDGs — ranging from good health to quality education, gender equality, and climate action — comprise several indicators, with the number of these varying from SDG to SDG.
  • Scores are given for a state or UT on each SDG.
  • The composite score for each state or UT is computed by aggregating their performance across these goals, and then by taking the arithmetic mean of individual goal scores.
  • A score of 100 implies that the state/ UT has achieved targets set for 2030.

Classification criteria based on SDG India Index score is as follows:

  • Aspirant: 0–49
  • Performer: 50–64
  • Front Runner: 65–99
  • Achiever: 100

States performance

  • Kerala is in the top slot with a score of 70, while Bihar is at the bottom with 50.
  • Following Kerala’s composite score of 70, Himachal Pradesh took the second spot with a score of 69 while Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana shared the third spot with each scoring 67.
  • There are eight states in the highest bracket, called frontrunners, with scores in the range 65-99.
  • Behind Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, the other states in this category are Karnataka (66), Sikkim (65) and Goa (65).
  • Two UTs, Chandigarh and Puducherry, scored in this range.

Back2Basics

Sustainable Development Goals

  • The UN General Assembly in its 70thSession considered and adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the next 15 years.
  • The 17 SDGs came into force with effect from 1stJanuary, 2016.
  • Though not legally binding, the SDGs have become de facto international obligations and have potential to reorient domestic spending priorities of the countries during the next fifteen years.
  • Countries are expected to take ownership and establish a national framework for achieving these Goals.
  • Implementation and success will rely on countries’ own sustainable development policies, plans and programmes.

 

Forest Conservation Efforts – NFP, Western Ghats, etc.

India State of Forest Report (ISFR)DOMRPriority 1

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Highlights of the report

Mains level : State of forest conservation and afforestation in India


The Union Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change has released the biennial India State of Forest Report (ISFR).

About the Report

  • The ISFR is a biennial report published by the Forest Survey of India (FSI).
  • FSI has been mandated to assess the forest and tree resources of the country including wall-to-wall forest cover mapping in a biennial cycle.
  • Starting 1987, 16 assessments have been completed so far. ISFR 2019 is the 16th report in the series.

Highlights of the report

  • In the present assessment, the total forest and tree cover of the country is 80.73 million hectare which is 24.56 percent of the geographical area of the country.
  • As compared to the assessment of 2017, there is an increase of 5,188 sq. km in the total forest and tree cover of the country.
  • Out of this, the increase in the forest cover has been observed as 3,976 sq km and that in tree cover is 1,212 sq. km.
  • Range increase in forest cover has been observed in open forest followed by very dense forest and moderately dense forest.
  • The top three states showing increase in forest cover are Karnataka (1,025 sq. km) followed by Andhra Pradesh (990 sq km) and Kerala (823 sq km).

Some Major Findings

  • Area-wise Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra.
  • In terms of forest cover as percentage of total geographical area, the top five States are Mizoram (85.41%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.63%), Meghalaya (76.33%), Manipur (75.46%) and Nagaland (75.31%).

Mangroves

  • Mangrove cover has been separately reported in the ISFR 2019 and the total mangrove cover in the country is 4,975 sq km.
  • An increase of 54 sq Km in mangrove cover has been observed as compared to the previous assessment of 2017.
  • Top three states showing mangrove cover increase are Gujarat (37 sq km) followed by Maharashtra (16 sq km) and Odisha (8 sq km).

Bamboo

  • The extent of bamboo bearing area of the country has been estimated 16.00 million hectare.
  • There is an increase of 0.32 million hectare in bamboo bearing area as compared to the last assessment of ISFR 2017.

Wetlands

  • Wetlands within forest areas form important ecosystems and add richness to the biodiversity in forest areas, both of faunal and floral species.
  • Due to importance of wetlands, FSI has carried out an exercise at the national level to identify wetlands of more than 1 ha within RFA.
  • There are 62,466 wetlands covering 3.8% of the area within the RFA/GW of the country.

Carbon Stock

  • Under the current assessment the total carbon stock in country’s forest is estimated 7,124.6 million tonnes.
  • There an increase of 42.6 million tonnes in the carbon stock of country as compared to the last assessment of 2017.
  • The annual increase in the carbon stock is 21.3 million tonnes, which is 78.2 million tonnes CO2 eq.

Good Governance Index ReportDOMR


The Ministry of Personnel has launched the Good Governance Index (GGI).

Good Governance Index (GGI)

  • The GGI is a uniform tool that will help in assessing the status of governance and the impact of interventions undertaken by governments across all states and UTs.

What is Good governance?

  • It can be referred as an effective and efficient process of decision making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented) keeping the amelioration of citizens as the topmost priority.
  • Resource allocation, creation of formal establishments, setting up rules and regulations etc., are part of achieving this goal.

Performance of states

  • On the index, Tamil Nadu has got the highest score (5.62), followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Chhattisgarh (5.4, 5.1, and 5.05) respectively.
  • Among the Northeastern and hill states, Himachal Pradesh is at the top with a score of 5.22, followed by Uttarakhand, Tripura, and Mizoram at 4.87, 4.5, and 4.41 respectively.
  • In the list of environment rankings, West Bengal is on top, followed by Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Bihar.
  • In economic governance ranking, Karnataka leads, followed by Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu.

Sectorwise performance


Back2Basics

[pib] Good Governance Index (GGI)

Economic Indicators and Various Reports On It- GDP, FD, EODB, WIR etc

[pib] National Economic CensusDOMR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : National Economic Census

Mains level : Economic planning in India


The Seventh Economic Census was launched in the National Capital Territory of Delhi. Delhi is the 26th state where the survey has been launched, while the process is already on in 20 states and 5 UTs.

National Economic Census

  • In 1976, GoI launched a planning scheme called Economic Census and Surveys.
  • It is the census of the Indian economy through counting all entrepreneurial units in the country which involved in any economic activities of either agricultural or non-agricultural sector which are engaged in production and/or distribution of goods and/or services not for the sole purpose of own consumption.
  • It provides detailed information on operational and other characteristics such as number of establishments, number of persons employed, source of finance, type of ownership etc.
  • This information used for micro level/ decentralized planning and to assess contribution of various sectors of the economy in the GDP.

Censuses till date

  • Total Six Economic Censuses (EC) has been conducted till date.
  • In 1977 CSO conducted First economic census in collaboration with the Directorate of Economics & Statistics (DES) in the States/UTs.
  • The Second EC was carried out in 1980 followed by the Third EC in 1990. The fourth edition took place in 1998 while the fifth EC was held in 2005.
  • The Sixth edition of Economic Census was conducted in 2013.

Substance abuse in IndiaDOMR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Substance abuse in India



Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has informed the Parliament about substance abuse trends in the country.

These figures were determined by a National Survey conducted in 2018 to collect state-wise data on the Extent and Pattern of Substance Use.

Substance abuse in India

  • India has 30 lakh individuals in the age group 10-17 years who consume alcohol, with a prevalence of 1.3 per cent.
  • In the same age group, 20 lakh individuals use cannabis, a prevalence of 0.9 per cent, while 40 lakh users (1.8 per cent) use opioids.
  • Sedatives and inhalant users number 20 lakh (0.58 per cent) and 30 lakh (1.17 per cent) respectively.
  • Additionally, there are over 4 lakh Amphetamine-Type Stimulants (ATS) users (0.18 per cent), followed by 2 lakh cocaine users (0.06 per cent) and 2 lakh users of hallucinogens (0.07 per cent).
  • The ministry has formulated and is implementing a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for 2018-25.
ISRO Missions and Discoveries

RISAT-2BR1DOMR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : RISAT-2BR1

Mains level : Uses and applications of RISAT-2BR1



ISRO’s rocket PSLV-C48 blasted off from the spaceport carrying India’s radar imaging earth observation satellite RISAT-2BR1 and nine foreign satellites.

This launch has marked a significant milestone for ISRO as it is the 50th flight of the PSLV and also the 75th vehicle mission from Sriharikota.

RISAT-2BR1

  • RISAT-2BR1 is an Indian radar reconnaissance satellite that is part of India’s RISAT programme and the fourth satellite in the series.
  • The satellite has resolution of 0.35 meters by which two objects separated by distance of 0.35 metres can be distinctly identified.
  • The mission duration is planned to be 5 years.
  • It is meant for applications in various fields like agriculture, forestry and disaster management support.
  • The other 9 satellites are being launched under a commercial arrangement with the NewSpace India Ltd.
Digital India Initiatives

National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)DOMR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NATGRID

Mains level : Significance of NATGRID



The ambitious National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) project will be operational by December 31, 2020, the Lok Sabha was informed recently.

NATGRID

  • The project, initially started in 2009 with a budget of ₹2,800 crore, is an online database for collating scattered pieces of information and putting them together on one platform.
  • NATGRID is exempted from the Right to Information Act, 2005 under sub-section (2) of Section 24.
  • The NATGRID links intelligence and investigation agencies.
  • At least 10 Central government agencies, such as the Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing and others will have access to the data on a secured platform.
  • NATGRID has developed application software for proof of technology (POT) which is yet to be fully rolled out. NATGRID solution is planned to go live by 31.12.2020.

Utility of NATGRID

  • The NATGRID will enable multiple security and intelligence agencies to access a database related to immigration entry and exit, banking and telephone details, among others, from a common platform.
  • The 10 user agencies will be linked independently with certain databases which will be procured from 21 providing organisations including telecom, tax records, bank, immigration etc. to generate intelligence inputs.
Water Management – Institutional Reforms, Conservation Efforts, etc.

Water Quality ReportDOMR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Water Quality Report

Mains level : Issues with potable water in India



A report ranking major cities on the basis of quality of tap water was recently released by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

Delhi fares the worst

  • If it wasn’t enough that Delhi air is among the world’s most polluted, a new study has now shown that the city’s tap water is the most unsafe among 21 State capitals.
  • The national capital is at the very bottom of the list.
  • It is among 13 cities, including Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Jaipur and Lucknow, where all tested samples failed to meet the BIS norms for piped drinking water.
  • In fact, Mumbai is the only city where all samples of tap water met all the tested parameters under the Indian Standard 10500:2012 (specification for drinking water) so far.

Why such report?

  • Under its flagship Jal Jeevan Mission, the Centre aims to provide safe piped water to all households by 2024.
  • However, the study, conducted by the BIS for the Union Food and Consumer Affairs Ministry, showed that even in urban areas, which are connected to the piped water network, there is no guarantee that the water is safe for consumption.
  • While it is mandatory for bottled water manufacturers to meet quality standards, the BIS standard is voluntary for the public agencies which supply and distribute piped water.
Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

Lancet report on premature deaths in IndiaDOMR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : DALY,

Mains level : Major causes of deaths in India



An analysis published in The Lancet Global Health, which looked at about 9.7 million deaths in India in 2017, found that every condition that was common in one part of India was uncommon elsewhere.

About the study

  • The study is funded by the Ministry of Heath and Family Welfare.
  • It included authors from the Indian Council of Medical Research, and from the global health research wings of the University of Toronto and University of California, San Francisco.

Highlights

YLLs (years of life lost)

  • By the WHO definition, YLLs, or years of life lost, are calculated from the number of deaths multiplied by a standard life expectancy at the age of death.
  • Premature deaths due to various causes expressed as YLLs, too were unevenly distributed in terms of the burden on the states.
  • For example, liver and alcohol-related YLL rates were high in the northeastern states, Bihar, Karnataka, and Maharashtra, accounting for 18% of national YLLs.

DALYs (disability-adjusted life years)

  • In 2017, India had 486 million DALYs (disability-adjusted life years, a measure of the number of years lost due to ill health or disability).
  • The ratio of DALYs to the 9.7 million deaths was about 50 to 1.
  • More than three quarters of deaths and DALYs occurred in rural areas, and males accounted for 54·3% of all DALYs.
  • At all ages, the DALY rate per 100 000 population was 36,300, but rates were higher among rural residents and among males.
  • DALY rates in rural areas were at least twice those of urban areas for certain conditions.

Deaths due to various reasons

  • The Northeastern states, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Haryana, Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh account for 44% of India’s cancer burden.
  • Suicide YLL rates were highest in the southern states, accounting for 15% of national totals.
  • Road traffic injuries were high in the northern states of UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, accounting for 33% of national totals.
  • Drowning YLL rates, meanwhile, were highest in the central states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, and in Assam in the Northeast, accounting for 11% of national totals.
Judicial Reforms

India Justice Report 2019DOMR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : India Justice Report 2019

Mains level : State of Judicial functioning in India



  • The India Justice Report 2019 was recently published.

India Justice Report

  • It was commissioned by Tata Trusts.
  • It is prepared by groups like Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, DAKSH, Tata Institute of Social Sciences – Prayas and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.
  • It looks into the ‘four pillars’ – of Judiciary, Legal Aid, Police and Prisons, analysing the budgets, human resources, personnel workload, diversity, infrastructure and trends against the government’s declared standards and benchmarks.

Highlights of the report

Policing

  • The study took several factors to assess the police system in the states, ranging from modernisation, inducing women, diversity, budgeting, human resource planning and infrastructure.
  • On this front, the best score was achieved by Tamil Nadu – 6.49. UP received a score of 2.98, whereas Bihar got 3.77.
  • UP fared poor in terms of budgeting, spending on police per person, vacancies and diversity.

Prisons

  • This parameter was assessed on various factors ranging from overcrowding, inclusion of women staff, adequate human resources, budgeting, infrastructure, etc. Jharkhand fared the worst with a score of 3.46.
  • It was followed by Uttarakhand (3.72), Punjab (4.35), Andhra Pradesh (4.35) and UP (4.42). Surprisingly, Bihar stood at number six with a score of 5.61. The best in this regard was Kerala with a score of 7.18.

Judiciary

  • This parameter was assessed on availability of judges, clearance of cases, spending on judiciary, etc.
  • Bihar, with a score of 2.41, fared the worst in this regard. It was followed by UP (3.7), Karnataka (3.76), Uttarakhand (4.17) and Jharkhand (4.3).
  • Tamil Nadu again featured on the top in terms of judiciary with a score of 6.99. It was followed by Punjab (6.57), Haryana (6.23) and Maharashtra (5.96).
  • On an average, Bihar saw a bleak growth in expenditure on judiciary in comparison to total spending.
  • From 2011 to 2016, the state expenditure rose by 17.8 per cent; however, expenditure on judiciary rose by only 8 per cent.

Legal aid

  • The report also highlighted the importance of legal aid.
  • It said that almost 80 per cent of India’s 1.25-billion population is eligible for free legal aid, but only 15 million people have availed it since 1995.

States performance

  • Maharashtra has topped the list of states in delivering justice to people followed by Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Haryana.
  • Law and order has always been a major concern in the two big states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
  • A deeper look at the statistics reveals that in almost every aspect, UP and Bihar exchanged the last and second last position.
Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

Climate Change and Heat-Induced Mortality in IndiaDOMR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the report

Mains level : Impact of climate change on human mortality



  • A new study has projected that 1.5 million more Indians may die per year from extreme heat due to climate change by 2100.

About the Report

  • The study, ‘Climate Change and Heat-Induced Mortality in India’, was conducted by the Climate Impact Lab in collaboration with the Tata Centre for Development at the University of Chicago.

Highlights

  • India’s energy use will be more than double in the next 20 years, driven largely by fossil fuels.
  • If emissions continue to be as high as they are at present, India will see a death rate of about 60 per 100,000 by 2100, the study says.
  • This projected death rate is double the current death rate from oral cancer in India, which is the most common cancer in the country.
  • It says the average annual temperature in India is expected to increase from 24°C to 28°C.
  • The number of extremely hot days (above 35°C) across India is expected to increase by over eight times, from 5.1 per year in 2010 to 42.8 in 2100. By 2050, there are expected to be 15.8 extremely hot days a year.

Statewise data

  • The NCR is projected to see 22 times more extremely hot days and more than 23,000 climate-related deaths annually by 2100 in a high-emission scenario.
  • Odisha is projected to see the highest increase in the number of extremely hot days, at about 30 times more than what it is today.
  • Punjab is projected to experience 85 extremely hot days a year, the highest among all states.
  • Overall, the six states of UP (4,02,280), Bihar (1,36,372), Rajasthan (1,21,809), Andhra (1,16,920), MP (1,08,370) and Maharashtra (1,06,749) are projected to account for over 64 per cent of the heat-related deaths.

Affected by wealth

  • According to the report, the risks associated with extreme temperatures vary around the world and are dependent upon the wealth of a country.
  • For instance, the impact of a single hot day on the annual mortality rate of a wealthy and warm city such as Houston, US, will be 0.4 deaths per 100,000.
  • The same will be double for a warm and poorer city such as Delhi, at 0.8 deaths per 100,000.
Labour, Jobs and Employment – Harmonization of labour laws, gender gap, unemployment, etc.

India’s labour productivityDOMR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Labour Productivity

Mains level : Labour Productivity in India


  • An analysis done by India Ratings and Research of Annual Survey of Industries data on India’s labour productivity growth in the organised manufacturing sector shows a disappointing trend.

Falling labour productivity

  • During the high economic growth phase between 2004 and 2008 just before the global financial crisis hit India’s labour productivity grew by over 14 per cent every year.
  • But between financial years of 2011 and 2015, this rate fell to just half of that (7.4 per cent) and continued its deceleration to just 3.7 per cent between financial years of 2016 and 2018.

What is labour productivity and why does it matter?

  • Broadly speaking, productivity is a measure of the efficiency with which resources, both human and material, are converted into goods and services.
  • Besides land and capital, labour productivity plays a crucial role in deciding the rate of economic growth.
  • Indeed, India Ratings report points out that globally labour productivity growth alone accounted for about two-thirds of the GDP growth during FY01-FY10, leaving only one-third to labour/employment growth.

Reasons for decline

  • Productivity is the most powerful engine of driving and sustaining manufacturing growth, and making the sector globally competitive.
  • Labour productivity is crucially dependent on businesses investing in knowledge and innovation even as the governments bring about structural reforms that enable such investments to bear fruit.
  • A lot needs to be done quickly both on the policy front as well as companies level.

What else does the study reveal?

There are two other crucial results from the analysis:

  • One, that between fiscal years 2001 and 2018, the capital intensity — that is, fixed capital used per worker — in India’s organised manufacturing has been rising.
  • Two, notwithstanding this rise in capital intensity, the output intensity — that is, the value of output per fixed capital — has actually declined over the same period.
  • In other words, while more and more capital is being used per unit of labour, it is not yielding commensurate level of output growth.
Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

National Health Profile 2019DOMR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : National Health Profile 2019

Mains level : Highlights of the study



  • Union Health Minister has released the 14th edition of the National Health Profile 2019.

What is National Health Profile (NHP)?

  • The NHP is an annual stocktaking exercise on the health of the health sector.
  • It provides a comprehensive framework on the socio-economic health status and the status of demographic and health resources in the country.
  • It is prepared by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI).
  • The NHP was first published in 2005. Ever since the profile has been released every year and this year, is its 14th edition.

Utility of NHP

  • The NHP helps the government navigate health needs and issues of the population and devise area-specific program strategies.
  • Good-quality data can enable policymakers to make evidence-based policies and aid the effective implementation of various schemes.

Highlights of the 14th edition of the NHP

Per capita health expenditure

  • In 2016, India’s Domestic general government health expenditure stood at $16 per capita.
  • This is lower than Norway ($6,366), Canada ($3,274), Japan ($3,538), Republic of Korea ($1,209) and Brunei Darussalam ($599).
  • The American system, though, is considered neither ideal nor economical. This data has been sourced from the Global Health Expenditure Database of the World Health Organisation.

Disease profile

  • The NHP also notes the change in disease profile of the country with a shift towards the non-communicable disease from communicable ones.
  • It has been observed that the non-communicable diseases dominate over communicable in the total disease burden of the country.
  • Dengue and Chikungunya, transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, are a cause of great concern to public health in India.
  • In the same period, disease burden from non-communicable diseases increased from 30 per cent to 55 per cent.
  • DALYs are an international standard of disease burden that measures how much of a normal life span of an individual is taken away by a disease related morbidity of mortality.

Life expectancy

  • Life expectancy in India has increased from 49.7 years in 1970-75 to 68.7 years in 2012-16.
  • For the same period, the life expectancy for females is 70.2 years and 67.4 years for males.
  • For comparison, in last year’s survey, the life expectancy had increased from 49.7 years in 1970-75 to 68.3 years in 2011-15.
  • For the same period, the life expectancy for females is 70 years and 66.9 years for males.

Economically active population

  • On demographics, the survey found the high incidence of the young and economically active population.
  • The survey notes that 27% of the total estimated population of 2016 was below the age of 14 years.
  • Majority (64.7%) of the population were in the age group of 15-59 years i.e. economically active, and 8.5% population were in the age group of 60-85 plus years.

Birth/Death rates

  • There has been a consistent decrease in the birth rate, death rate and natural growth rate in India since 1991 to 2017.
  • As on 2017, India has registered birth rate of 20.2 per population of 1,000 and death rate of 6.3 while the natural growth rate was 13.9 per population of 1,000.
  • The birth rate in rural areas was higher than in the urban.
  • Similarly, the death rate and natural growth rate were also higher in rural areas as compared to the urban.

Sex Ratio

  • As per the NHP, sex ratio (number of females per 1,000 males) in the country has improved from 933 in 2001 to 943 in 2011.
  • In rural areas the sex ratio has increased from 946 to 949.
  • The corresponding increase in urban areas has been of 29 points from 900 to 929.
  • Kerala has recorded the highest sex ratio in respect of total population (1,084), rural population (1,078) and urban (1,091).
  • The lowest sex ratio in rural areas has been recorded in Chandigarh (690).

Dip in IMR

  • The infant mortality rate (IMR) has declined considerably (33 per 1,000 live births in 2016), however differentials of rural (37) and urban (23) are still high.

Various causes of death

  • During the year 2015, 4.13 lakh people lost their life due to accidental injuries and 1.33 lakh people died because of suicide.
  • Suicide rates are increasing significantly among young adults and the maximum number of suicide cases (44,593) is reported between the age group 30-45 years.
  • The total number of cases and deaths due to snake bite are 1.64 lakh and 885, respectively, in 2018.
  • The total number of disabled persons in India is 2.68 crore.

Pollution related illness

  • Air pollution-linked acute respiratory infections contributed 68.47 per cent to the morbidity burden in the country and also to highest mortality rate after pneumonia.
  • Acute diarrhoeal diseases, caused due to drinking contaminated water, caused the second highest morbidity at 21.83 per cent.
  • Cholera cases went up to 651 in 2018 from 508 in 2017, the report showed. Uttar Pradesh followed by Delhi and West Bengal had the highest cases.

Medical education infrastructure

  • The NHP has noted that medical education infrastructure has shown rapid growth over the past few years.
  • The country has 529 medical colleges, 313 Dental Colleges for BDS & 253 Dental Colleges for MDS.
  • The total number of admissions for the academic year 2018-19 in Medical Colleges is 58756.
Labour, Jobs and Employment – Harmonization of labour laws, gender gap, unemployment, etc.

Tracking employment in IndiaDOMR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Categorisation of Employment, NSSO

Mains level : Unemployment in India



Context

  • Ever since the results of the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2017-18 became public — they showed that unemployment in India was at a 45-year high.
  • Since then there has been a vigorous public debate about the true state of unemployment in the country.

A testimony on Unemployment

  • A new study by JNU professors has highlighted the broad trends for employment in India between 2004 and 2018.
  • A key feature of this study is that instead of focusing on unemployment, it focuses only on the “employment” data.
  • It does so by looking at three comparable surveys conducted by the NSSO the Employment-Unemployment Surveys (EUS) of 2004-05 and 2011-12, and the PLFS of 2017-18.

Categorization of Employment

  • The NSSO surveys divide the entire population into three categories.
  • Category 1 consists of people who were involved in economic activity (or work) during the reference period of the survey.
  • These individuals are labelled as “Employed” — and Category 1 can be subdivided into categories such as self-employed, salaried employees, and casual labourers.
  • Category 2 consists of people who were not engaged in any economic activity during the reference period of the survey, but were looking for work if work was available. These individuals are labelled as “Unemployed”.
  • Taken together, categories 1 and 2 form the country’s “labour force”.
  • Category 3 constitutes people who are neither engaged in work nor available for it.
  • This category — labelled as “Not in the labour force” — would have a large number of people, including those who have retired, those studying, those unable to work due to disability, and those attending “only” to domestic duties.
  • The new study focused on the level and trends of the ‘Employed’ — that is, Category 1.

Key Findings of the Study

  • On the whole, the study found that the total employment in the country grew by 4.5 crore in the 13 years between EUS 2004-05 and PLFS 2017-18.
  • It represents a growth of just 0.8 per cent — less than half the rate at which the overall population grew, which was 1.7 per cent.

Urban-rural spread of employment

  • Of the 4.5 crore increase in employment, 4.2 crore happened in the urban areas while rural employment either contracted or was stagnant between 2011 and 2017.

Male-female spread of employment

  • Over the 13 years, male employment grew by 6 crore but female employment fell by 1.5 crore.
  • In other words, while there were 11.15 crore women with jobs in 2004, only 9.67 crores were employed 13 years later.
  • Women’s share in employment has fallen from an already low level of 27.08% in 2004 to 21.17 per cent in 2017.

Youth Employment

  • India is one of the world’s youngest nations, but employment data according to age groups shows that youth employment (those between the ages of 15 and 24) has fallen from 8.14 crore in 2004 to 5.34 crore in 2017.
  • However, employment in the 25-59 age group and the 60 years and above group has gone up.
  • The sustained schooling reforms seem to have shown their impact in the employment of children below 14 years of age reducing from 61 lakh in 2004 to 27 lakh in 2011, and just 11 lakh in 2017.

Employment by education level

  • The emerging economy appears to be leaving behind the illiterates and those with incomplete primary education.
  • Employment in this category has gone down from 20.08 crore in 2004 to 14.2 crore in 2017, and their share in those employed has gone down from 48.77 per cent in 2004 to 31.09 per cent in 2017.
  • Employment has risen for all other categories of education from primary, secondary, to postgraduate and above.

Organised sector

  • The organised sector represents firms that are registered with regulatory authorities and are bound by a variety of labour laws
  • Here the rate of employment growth has been the fastest, and its share in the total employed has risen from 8.9 per cent in 2004 to 14 per cent in 2017.The sector, too, has grown.
  • In fact, while its rate of growth has been slower, its overall share in the economy has gone up from 37.1 per cent in 2004 to 47.7 per cent in 2017.
  • However, the pace of growth of the unorganised sector has moderated since 2011.
  • Both these sectors have grown at the expense of the agri-cropping sector, where employment has fallen from 21.9 per cent in 2004 to 17.4 per cent in 2017.
  • In essence, the results show that those who are poor, illiterate, and unskilled are increasingly losing out on jobs.