News & Editorial Analysis 24 January 2023
The Hindu News Analysis
1 – POCSO Act:
GS II Topic Government Policies and Interventions
The Assam Cabinet decided on June 23 to charge men who marry girls under the age of 14 in the State under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act, according to Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
In Assam, child marriage is mostly to blame for the high rates of maternal and neonatal death.
About the POCSO Act:
The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development oversaw the initial introduction of the POCSO Act in 2012.
The Act was created to protect children from sexual assault, sexual harassment, and pornographic offences in addition to allowing for the establishment of Special Courts for the trial of such offences.
The Act was updated in 2019 to increase the penalty for several offences in order to deter abusers and support a respectable upbringing.
A gender-neutral law: The POCSO Act establishes a gender-neutral tone for the legal framework available to victims of child sexual abuse by defining a child as “any individual” under the age of 18.
A person in charge of an institution who neglects to disclose the sexual offence committed against a subordinate is punishable. excludes children.
The reporting of abuse has no time limit: A victim may at any time report an offence, even several years after the abuse took place.
Confidentiality regarding the victim’s identity: The Act outlaws revealing the victim’s identity in any form of media unless expressly permitted by the special courts established by the statute.
In accordance with the 2020 POCSO Rules, new obligations:
Every employee of a facility that keeps children or regularly interacts with them must submit to periodic background checks and police verification.
Staff employees at such a facility need to receive frequent training on kid safety and protection.
A child protection plan based on the principle of zero tolerance for child abuse must be implemented by the organisation.
Contrasting the POCSO Act’s implementation with global standards:
A 2019 Economist Intelligence Unit investigation found that among the countries surveyed, India has the best legislative system for safeguarding children from sexual abuse and exploitation.
In terms of this statistic, India performed better than the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Australia.
Despite the existence of such comprehensive regulations prohibiting it, the scale of such abuse is staggering.
According to a recent survey, one in every two children in India experiences sexual assault.
In the vast majority of cases, the victim also knows the perpetrators, which discourages them from using the judicial system to seek redress.
Since the Covid-19 epidemic, there have been many more instances of child abuse due to the development of new forms of cybercrime.
The general level of awareness or knowledge of the POCSO Act among young boys and girls in the country is still appallingly low.
Certain ethnic groups in the country commonly engage in child marriage due to a lack of understanding of the POCSO Act, which has resulted in the prosecution of 17 to 18-year-old children.
The Karnataka High Court recently gave the State Education Department instructions to set up a system for educating students about the act and its provisions, at least starting in Class IX.
Prelims Hot Link:
Features of POCSO Act
Why was it introduced
When was it introduced
Important judgements related to women safety like Vishakha Singh Case
To end child sexual abuse, the POCSO act’s scope needs to be increased, not widened. Comment on POCSO critically in light of recent court rulings. (250 Words)
2 – Sovereign Green Bonds:
GS III Topic Indian Economy
According to recent information from the RBI, Sovereign Green Bonds (SGrBs) would be issued for the first time in two tranches of 8,000 crore each on January 25 and February 9.
The money will be used, according to a statement from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), for public sector initiatives that reduce the economy’s carbon intensity.
What legal foundation exists for sovereign green bonds?
The Framework largely complies with the Prime Minister’s justification of India’s “Panchamrit” commitments made at the Conference of Parties (COP) 26 in Glasgow in November 2021.
India would be even more committed to meeting the goals outlined in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), as required by the Paris Agreement.
The Green Finance Working Committee (GFWC) was created to ratify crucial decisions for the issuance of Sovereign Green Bonds.
The independent second opinion source CICERO in Norway gave the framework a “Good” governance score and a “Medium Green” grade.
If a project or solution “represents considerable progress toward the long-term target, but is not quite there yet,” it is granted the “Medium Green” designation.
All activities connected to fossil fuels as well as biomass-based renewable energy projects that rely on feedstock from “protected areas” have been left out of the framework.
What Are Sovereign Green Bonds?
Offering green bonds, which guarantee fixed income payments to investors while solely backing programmes that improve the environment or the climate, are corporations, states, and international organisations.
Green construction, environmentally friendly transportation, and renewable energy are just a few of the activities that might be included.
The proceeds from these bonds will fund environmental initiatives. This is distinct from normal bonds, which provide the issuer broad discretion over how to spend the money raised.
By the end of 2020, 24 national governments would have issued sovereign green, social, and sustainability bonds totaling USD 111 billion, predicts the London-based Climate Bonds Initiative.
Benefits of sovereign green bonds:
Sovereign green issuance sends a clear message to governments and authorities about their intentions towards climate change and sustainable development.
As the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that 70% of the additional USD 4 trillion investment needed to reach net-zero is needed in emerging/developing countries, sovereign issuance can help jump-start these sizeable capital inflows.
A robust market for the issuing of green bonds by foreign investors could eventually arise as a result of the creation of a sovereign green benchmark.
Global Status: It is believed that there are 40 trillion dollars worth of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) funds, with Europe accounting for more than half of this sum.
Approximately one-third of all assets managed globally are expected to be ESG assets by 2025.
Over 80% of “environmental” or “green” bonds make up the majority of the approximately USD 2 trillion invested in ESG debt funds, with the remainder money going toward social and sustainability bonds.
National Status: According to the Climate Bonds Initiative, a global organisation working to raise money for climate change, Indian organisations have issued green bonds totaling more than USD 18 billion.
What other actions to combat climate change were highlighted in the budget?
A battery swapping programme was among the climate change efforts included in the budget.
High-efficiency solar module production will receive additional money through the Performance Linked Incentive (PLI) programme.
The government is creating a new bill that intends to provide a legal framework for carbon trading in India in order to encourage the inclusion of renewable energy sources in the energy mix.
What Are Sovereign Green Bonds? How could they open the door for investments in the country’s environmental sustainability? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages.
Prelims Hot Link:
What are Sovereign Bonds
What are Green Bonds
When was it first introduced in India
Various types of Green Bonds
Various types of Sovereign Bonds
3 – NATO:
GS II Topic International Organizations
According to President Tayyip Erdogan, up to 130 “terrorists” must be deported or extradited to Turkey before the Turkish Parliament will support Sweden’s and Finland’s applications to join NATO.
The two Nordic nations submitted applications to join NATO last year in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, all 30 NATO members must approve of their applications. The applications have not yet received approval from Hungary or Turkey.
The North Atlantic Treaty, sometimes known as the Washington Treaty, was the first military alliance between the United States and non-western countries.
After the Second World War, the European nations battled to reconstruct their economies and security. For the economy to advance, the war-torn landscapes need a significant amount of aid. Even though Germany and the Soviet Union continued to pose a danger, assistance was needed to set up an industry and supply food.
According to the Marshall plan, the US believed that the new Europe was economically strong, equipped, and linked, all of which were essential for preventing the communist takeover of the continent (1948).
The Marshall Plan, also known as the European Recovery Program, was put out by Secretary of State George Marshall to promote European economic integration and further the idea of shared interests and cooperation between the United States and Europe.
But the Soviet Union declined to participate and even prevented its satellite countries in Eastern Europe from taking the financial aid. These exacerbated the division between the east and west.
Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO):
The initial members were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Later, the following countries joined the original signatories: West Germany (1955; Germany from 1990), Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia (2004), Albania and Croatia (2009), Montenegro (2017), and North Macedonia (2020).
France continued to be a member of NATO after leaving its integrated military leadership in 1966; in 2009, it rejoined.
In accordance with Articles 5 and 6 of the North Atlantic Treaty, if one or more of them are subject to an armed attack in Europe or North America, they are all at risk. As a result, they agree that, in the event of an armed attack, each of them will support the party or parties that are being attacked by acting immediately, both individually and collectively, in accordance with their right to individual or collective self-defense recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations.
The geographic scope of the pact is defined in Article 6 as “an armed attack on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America.” Other articles require the allies to strengthen their democratic institutions, boost their combined military strength, consult one another, and keep extending an invitation to further European countries to join.
About NATO’s Organization:
The North Atlantic Council was immediately established after the North Atlantic Treaty. This group meets at least twice a year and is made up of ministerial representatives from the member countries. At all other times, the council, which is presided over by the NATO secretary general, is still in session.
The Supreme Allied Commander Europe was established by the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s executive body, following World War II (SACEUR).
The position of SACEUR has always been held by an American, whereas the secretary-general ship has always been held by a European.
The Military Committee, which is made up of members of the military chiefs of staff of the member nations, includes two strategic commands, Allied Command Operations (ACO) and Allied Command Transformation (ACT) (ACT). ACO is under the direction of the SACEUR and is housed in the Casteau, Belgium-based Supreme Headquarters of SHAPE.
The Warsaw Pact:
The Paris Agreement, which permitted West Germany to join NATO, led to the creation of the Warsaw Pact alliance in central and eastern Europe in 1950.
The Warsaw Treaty Organization, which was initially composed of the Soviet Union and Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania, was founded by the Warsaw Pact, officially known as the Warsaw Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance. On May 14, 1955, it was ratified, and it was in effect until July 1, 1991. East Germany and Albania both withdrew in 1990.
The agreement (which was renewed on April 26, 1985) stipulated that Soviet military units must be kept on the territory of the other participating countries and that there must be a single military command.
After the democratic revolutions in eastern Europe in 1989, the Warsaw Pact was formally proclaimed “nonexistent” at a last summit gathering of Warsaw Pact leaders in Prague, Czechoslovakia, on July 1, 1991. The deployed Soviet military gradually left the formerly dependent states that have gained political independence.
All Warsaw Pact members save for Russia, the Soviet successor state, joined NATO after officially rejecting the ongoing conflict between eastern and western Europe.
Russia and NATO relations:
The question of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s eastward expansion has been brought up regularly by Russia (NATO). Over the years, there have been many ups and downs in relations between NATO and Russia.
Russia joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme in 1994.
The Russia-NATO Council was established in 2002 to coordinate security-related projects and other duties.
In response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) unanimously decided to end any cooperation with Russia in 2014. However, the NATO-Russia council was not suspended.
2021: Eight Russian diplomats were expelled from Brussels while the Russian mission to NATO was present. The NATO expansion into Ukraine, which ultimately led to the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine, was something that Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed worry about.
Prelims Hot Link:
Members of NATO
Various treaties associated with NATO
Investigate the history of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and how it relates to current geopolitics.
4 – Param Vir Chakra:
Prelims Specific Topic
The 21 largest unidentified islands in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands received new names on Monday in honour of people who had been awarded the Param Vir Chakra by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Through a video conference, Mr. Modi took part in the event and revealed a model of the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose national memorial that will be erected on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep.
India’s highest military honour, the Param Vir Chakra, or PVC, is given to people who have displayed the greatest valour when facing an enemy on land, at sea, or in the air. On January 26, 1950, the first Republic Day, it was first celebrated. This honour could be presented posthumously.
The “Param Vir Chakra” is the highest gallantry award given by India during times of conflict. The Sanskrit words for wheel, bold, and ultimate are Param and Vir, respectively (pronounced “veer”). The phrase “Param Vir Chakra” means “Wheel or Cross of the Ultimate Brave” in its direct translation.
Who was behind the creation of the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest bravery honour?
Savitri Khanolkar, often known as Savitri Bai, was the wife of Indian Army commander Vikram Khanolkar and the creator of the Param Vir Chakra. She was persuaded to launch it by Hira Lal Atal, the first Indian Major General and Adjutant General. The award has not changed since 1950. It hasn’t changed in any way.
Medal of the Param Vir Chakra:
A bronze medal with a one and three eighths inch diameter, the Param Vir Chakra is round in shape. Four images of “Indra’s Vajra” are depicted on the obverse, while the state emblem and motto are written in the middle. The Param Vir Chakra will be engraved on the reverse in both Hindi and English, with two lotus blossoms separating the two languages. The fitting will be swivel-fastened. The entire disc is held in place by a suspension bar that has a purple ribbon running through it.
Bar of the Param Vir Chakra:
Anyone who displays such bravery once more will be honoured by having a bar added to the ribbon on which the Param Vir Chakra is suspended. A Bar will be added for each such act of courage, and any such Bar or Bars may even be given posthumously. Please note that each Bar has a tiny “Indra Vajra” that must be paired with the ribband when worn by itself.
Awards comparable to the Param Vir Chakra
The Param Vir Chakra is the Indian counterpart of the Victoria Cross and the Medal of Honor.
Who was the first person to get the Param Vir Chakra?
Maj. Somnath Sharma received the first Param Vir Chakra after his death for his extraordinary bravery.
5 – Norovirus:
Prelims Specific Topic
Despite enhanced efforts by the health officials to stem the spread of the sickness, two students in Ernakulam have been diagnosed with norovirus infection.
The virus has been confirmed in two students from Classes I and II at Bhavan’s Adarsha Vidyalaya in Kakkanad. About 62 children and a few parents showed early symptoms of the virus. The medical needs of three college students are being met. Their condition is said to be stable. The illness was present in the stool samples from the two children that were delivered to the State Public Health Laboratory in Thiruvananthapuram.
It is a group of viruses that causes gastrointestinal problems.
It causes inflammation of the lining of the stomach and intestines in addition to severe vomiting and diarrhoea.
The norovirus is resistant to a number of disinfectants and can withstand temperatures of 60°C. As a result, just heating food or chlorinating water won’t get rid of the virus. The virus is resistant to several commonly used hand sanitizers.
Despite the fact that a person can contract various norovirus strains numerous times over the course of a lifetime, immunity to one strain does not transfer immunity to others.
By consuming contaminated food or coming into contact with contaminated surfaces, a healthy individual can contract the virus from an infected person.
The virus is primarily transmitted through oral faeces.
In closed facilities like nursing homes, dormitories, and cruise ships, disease outbreaks typically occur.
Although the virus can infect people of any age, it is known to cause particularly severe symptoms in small children, the elderly, and people who have have coexisting medical issues.
Among the symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting, stomachaches, and digestive problems.
Treatment options include over-the-counter medications for vomiting and diarrhoea, even though there isn’t a specific therapy to treat the virus.
There are 685 million occurrences each year, of which 200 million include children under the age of five.
Up to 50,000 children die from the virus’ diarrhoea each year.
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The Hindu Editorial Analysis
An India Chapter For Foreign Universities
Foreign universities functioning in India is a concept that has long been cherished by proponents of higher education globalisation. They have emphasised the need for favourable circumstances and an enabling atmosphere for such organisations for almost 20 years. The regulatory organisations, Indian governments, and foreign higher education institutions all objected, making it impossible to implement the proposal.
Promote quality, prevent misconduct, protect student interests, defend governmental interests, avoid cultural clashes, and other issues are some of the main concerns of international colleges operating in India.
The program’s potential to undermine culture alarmed a lot of individuals. Some of the early leaders in the fight to preserve the authenticity of Indian culture are today engaged in politics. The ideal way to create a system that pulls in the best of the best while discouraging fly-by-night universities is of special importance to policymakers and regulators.
On the other side, prestigious universities worry that opening campuses abroad will compromise their standing, reputation, and accreditation. Genuinely reputable institutes of higher learning function on a non-profit basis and don’t relocate abroad for selfish reasons.
The majority of the infrastructure must be paid for, the property must be leased for almost nothing, and the institutions must be guaranteed the same level of academic, administrative, and financial autonomy as in their home country in order for some countries with these offshore campuses to convince the institutions to accept the concept. It would be hard for India to finance any such incentives. Everything that was given was replete with qualifications and inconsistencies.
The New National Education Policy (NEP) 2020’s provisions:
Despite earlier failures, “selected universities, for example, those from among the top 100 universities in the world will be allowed to function in India,” according to the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. This indicates how alluring the idea of elite colleges establishing and managing their campuses in India has grown. A framework of rules would be constructed to support such admission, and their universities will be granted special authority to follow the same regulatory, governance, and content norms as other autonomous institutions in India.
Despite the NEP’s preference for a “legislative framework,” the University Grants Commission is carrying out the plan through a regulatory process (UGC). Even if it leads to some standards lowering, there seems to be a determination to spread the idea.
The top 100 institutions in the world received “facilitation” and “special dispensation” under the scheme, but the proposed legislation aims to reduce the bar by expanding the scope to the top 500 universities globally or in any discipline.
The “educational institutions” would be content with nothing more than a “reputable” name within their own nation. The proposed law doesn’t appear to be concerned with the subjectivity and degree of discretion in the aforementioned articulation because it presumes that the standing committee constituted by the UGC will fairly and thoroughly analyse the applications and select only the top universities.
Rule inconsistencies may still cause the project to fail. According to the proposed rule, the educational programmes offered by these schools in India must be comparable to those offered at their campuses in their home countries. They must not, however, “provide any such programme of study which jeopardises the national interest of India or the standards of higher education in India,” according to the document.
While it promises to give international institutions academic, administrative, and financial autonomy, it breaks that promise by forcing them to comply with any rules that the UGC and the Indian government may from time to time impose.
The requirement that foreign higher education institutions not act in a way that is “contrary to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality” may deter the top universities that value their academic autonomy the most.
In order to limit the flow of foreign exchange, one could stop Indian students from studying abroad:
Even if the concept were to be a success, one might question India’s obsession with international higher education. During a press conference, it was revealed that foreign colleges in India would no longer exchange $28–30 billion in foreign currency.
The Reserve Bank of India’s information on outbound remittances for studying abroad contrasts with this (RBI). The maximum amount of money that could have been allocated to international research in 2021–2022 was $5.165 billion.
Import substitution in higher education is a complicated topic, despite the fact that some would argue that even this amount is significant and shouldn’t go outside. In addition to earning degrees, students study abroad to get work experience, obtain post-study work authorizations, increase their earning potential, and improve their career chances. They wouldn’t be able to take advantage of any of these benefits if they choose to study abroad in India. Because they can finance a significant portion of their education overseas through employment, assistantships, and scholarships, the biggest advantage is that many people find it to be more affordable.
But for international higher education institutions to operate there and accept students, India must have a conducive environment. However, it must make sure that the top universities in the world have campuses there
#India #World #Daily #The_Hindu_Editorial_Analysis #IAS #UPSC #Stact_PSC #Prelims #Mains #GeoIAS
The Indian Express Editorial Analysis
Employment Growth In India
As they say, data is the new oil. In light of this fact, data is the new politics, especially when official data are lacking.
Nearly all international organisations concur that India’s GDP growth, projected to reach 7%, will be the fastest among the G20 countries.
It’s nearly a cottage industry to compare the GDP and employment figures between the final pre-Covid year of 2019 and the first post-Covid year of 2022.
Both relative (and absolute) job growth success are equally appreciated.
For the vast majority of economies, it is still too early to tell. There are hints, though.
The increase in employment in the US has surprised a lot of people. Employment in the US increased slightly from its 2019 level of 150.9 million to 152 million jobs per month in 2022.
The US GDP was 3.7% greater above the level of 2019 compared to India’s 8.4%. It is reasonable to compare to 2019, however 2020 or 2021 would not be appropriate comparisons because they both saw the effects of Covid.
Digital information on employment prospects and its outcomes:
Despite the fact that employment is an important policy concern, India lacks statistics.
Women’s labour force participation, income generation, employment, and fertility are all changing significantly. We are unable to determine this, however, as official data is only sporadically and very slowly given.
The NSO launched its periodic labour force survey (PLFS) in 2017–18 with the assurance that timely quarterly employment series would be made available for urban regions and an annual all–India series would be made available after the conclusion of the July–June agricultural year.
Unfortunately, this promise has not been kept, despite India being one of the top two economies in the world for computer software and the pioneer in financial payments technology.
With the rise in popularity of computer tablets, worries regarding the timeliness of data input have greatly lessened, if not completely disappeared. The time between the end of survey data collection and its tabulation and publication has now decreased to under a month. However, MOSPI is having issues with the planned release of the collected and processed data (the “usual” MOSPI lag is six to nine months).
A quarterly bulletin with survey information as well as the annual report and data for 2021–2022 are still anticipated. The most recent urban PLFS survey results, which are also available in the form of a press release, cover the months of July–September 2022.
Compared to GDP, urban employment is increasing:
Urban employment in India expanded by a healthy 10.7% when comparing the worker participation rate for July to September 2022 with the equivalent pre-Covid period, a rate that matched the remarkable comparative growth in GDP. To evaluate the type of employment expansion since 2019 using this comparison.
There is enough CPHS-CMIE data to compare the years before and after Covid because CMIE (the CPHS survey) has been conducting its surveys consistently since 2015 (2019 and 2022). The table presents this comparison for four age groups (>=15 years, 15-24 years, 25-64 years, and 15-64 years).
Unofficial estimates of India’s job growth have exploded due to the lack of official data. A employment report produced by the Center for Economic Data at Ashoka University (CEDA) and CMIE is one such unofficial estimate.
In contrast to the GDP recovery between 2019 and 2022, 14 million jobs (3.4 percent of the workforce), according to the CEDA-CMIE analysis (The Long Road to Recovery, Preeta Joseph and Raashika Moudgill), were lost between the months of January 2020 and October 2022.
Because CMIE doesn’t release employment numbers on a monthly basis, that month is italicised.
The monthly estimates from the three sets of data — January-April, May-August, and September-December — are combined and constructed in the CEDA-CMIE report.
As a result, employment for those over the age of 15 declined by 14 million (or 3.4%) between January 2020 and October 2022.
The educational landscape in India has changed significantly (the youth opting for education rather than jobs).
Therefore, it may be said that the age range of 25 to 64 is the most “representative” of the labour market.
However, we do so by presenting the results for each of the five categories. In stark contrast to the CEDA-CMIE assertion of a loss of 14 million employment between January 2020 and October 2022, we find that the original non-interpolated, non-synthetic CMIE statistics for the calendar years 2019 and 2022 reveal a loss of only 4.7 million for the same age range (>=15 years).
According to the PLFS figures for urban India alone, there will be a 16 million increase between July-September 2019 and July-September 2022.
Comparing the CPHS-CMIE data to the PLFS, there is a lack of reliability:
The validity of the CPHS-CMIE figures is called into question for more and more cogent grounds.
According to data from the CPHS-CMIE, the female labour force participation rate (FLFPR) was 11% in 2019 and is projected to drop to 8.7% in 2022.
According to the most recent CPHS-CMIE data, the urban FLFPR is only 6.3 percent (for September-December 2022).
Not only for India, these estimates are the lowest ever recorded for any nation at any time in recorded history. Over three times as great as those from CMIE are the FLFPR estimates from PLFS (around 27 per cent versus 9 per cent).
Although less so than urban female LFPR, urban male LFPR estimates from the CPHS-CMIE are problematic as well.
The urban male LFPR for PLFS in 2022 is 68 percent, which is over 10 percentage points higher than the CMIE projection of 59.4%.
Despite the fact that CMIE and PLFS define employment differently, it is difficult to explain such a large variance in LFPR estimates generated from the two sample surveys.
The World Bank initially accepted and then openly rejected the CPHS-CMIE weights before developing its own weights to calculate outcomes on consumption and poverty reduction in India.
For the uninitiated, (population) weights serve as the basis for each home survey.
In light of the PLFS data’s delayed release, the government must consider why its own data is kept unprocessed or released gradually.
Whatever the cause, the data are, in all actuality, lost. In this fast-paced world where policy is intended to be made, official government data that has been gathered and compiled is kept on a government computer. If the data had been gathered and made available as planned, this study and any potential allegations of job loss would not have been required.
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