Insights Daily Current Events, 27 August 2015
Paper 1 and 2 Topics: Social empowerment, Poverty and related issues, and Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
Demographic trends bode ill for Kadars
The vulnerable Kadar tribal community in Kerala is subject to demographic change as the number of male members has reduced to single digits in most settlements.
- People belonging to this community are the ancient inhabitants of Nelliyampathi hill ranges in Palakkad district.
- They mainly live in Cherunelli settlement, located at the entrance of the Nelliyampathi hills ranges that house the famous Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Pullukad settlement and few other such settlements.
- The vulnerable Kadar tribal community is getting subjected to alarming levels of demographic change as the number of male members is getting reduced to single digit in most of the settlements.
- Livelihood destruction and alienation from forests are also impacting heavily on the community’s sustenance.
- Poverty and malnutrition are rampant among these earlier honey gatherers.
- The controversy over the proposed Athirapally hydal power project has brought the plight of the Kadar community in the Vazhachal region of Thrissur district to public focus.
- For these people, life is a constant battle against heavy odds including ill-health and lack of social security measures.
- With major plantations in Nelliyampathi are in crisis, the tribal people lost all scopes of permanent jobs.
- The forest is also inaccessible to them because of the non-implementation of the historic Community Forest Rights Act.
- There is no tribal residential school in the entire region to support the educational needs of the kids. Most of the single-teacher schools in Kadar settlements have turned non-functional as the teachers are paid only Rs.3,000 as salary.
- Experts say that alcoholism and excess use of tobacco are taking their toll on the life of the tribesmen.
Hence, immediate intervention of the State government is needed to improve their livelihoods.
Sources: The Hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Breakthrough Soon in Talks With Government on OROP
The army veterans and the Prime Minister’s Office are on the verge of a breakthrough to seal the deal on one rank one pension (OROP). The government is likely to accept the figure of Rs. 8,298 crore per year as the basic additional annual payout.
- There have been speculations that the announcement will be made on August 28, the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war with Pakistan.
all about One-rank one-pension scheme:
This is a scheme which will ensure that soldiers of the same rank and the same length of service receive the same pension, irrespective of their retirement date. In simple words, it demands equal pensions for those who have retired in one particular year, as those who retire in another year at the same position, and for the same duration of services rendered. It is expected to benefit 3 million former soldiers.
Present situation: At present, a soldier who retired many years ago is paid far less than someone several ranks junior to him retiring now.
Why difference? The difference in the pension of present and past pensioners in the same rank occurs on account of the number of increments earned by the defence personnel in that rank.
So far, there was no such rule. While every pay commission bumps the salaries of government servants, pensions of ex-servicemen remain the same.
Why Army veterans are demanding OROP?
Soldiers are compulsorily retired in the armed forces: jawans at 35, NCO/JCOs at 45, majors at 50, and so on. While early retirement keeps the Army young, it is difficult for the veterans, especially jawans, to access fresh employment or secure lateral entry into other government services at a late stage in their life.
Why the centre is delaying?
The implementation of one rank, one pension is also expected to push up the Centre’s defence pension payments by a record 40%, posing fresh challenges to keep the Centre’s fiscal deficit within the budgetary target of 4.1% of the Gross Domestic Product.
Sources: The Hindu, TOI.
Paper 2 Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.
Chabahar Port: India, Iran’s plan to build railway link faces hurdles
Iran’s offer to India to help build a rail link to connect the strategically located Chabahar Port with the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) project is facing hurdles over terms of contract, a development that would need political intervention for a quick resolution. The issue is related to the ownership and maintainance of the rail network.
- Tehran has offered a proposal to India to help build over 500-km-rail link from the Chabahar in Southeast Iran to connect with Zahedan, capital of Sistan-Baluchistan province.
- Zahedan is connected with the main Iranian railway network and the proposed rail link when concluded will join Chabahar with INSTC and provide access to Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and beyond.
India and chabahar port:
- India had recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Iran for the development of the Chabahar port. India is keen to tap the trading potential with countries in the region and has been pushing for providing connectivity.
- Chabahar port is suitably located to serve India’s outreach in the region to Afghanistan and beyond as well as link with INSTC to which India is one of the initial signatories.
About the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC):
- The International North–South Transport Corridor is the ship, rail, and road route for moving freight between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia.
- The route primarily involves moving freight from India, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia via ship, rail and road.
- The objective of the corridor is to increase trade connectivity between major cities such as Mumbai, Moscow, Tehran, Baku, Bandar Abbas, Astrakhan, Bandar Anzali and etc.
- Russia, Iran and India signed the agreement for the INSTC project in 2002.
- Dry runs of the two routes in INSTC were conducted in 2014, the first was Mumbai to Baku (Azerbaijan) via Bandar Abbas (Iranian Port) and the second was Mumbai to Astrakhan (Russia) via Bandar Abbas, Tehran and Bandar Anzali (Iran).
Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.
Paper 2 and 4 Topics: transparency and accountability, and ethics
Sania Mirza’s Khel Ratna Award Hits Legal Roadblock
Sania Mirza’s Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award has hit a legal roadblock. The sports ministry’s decision to confer the prestigious national award to the world’s leading tennis doubles star has been challenged by Paralympian H.N Girisha in the Karnataka High Court.
- The court has admitted the petition and served notices to the sports ministry and Sania. The court has directed the respondents to reply to the notices within 15 days.
What is the issue?
- Allegation is that Girisha’s name was overlooked in favour of Sania, considering the points system being implemented by the central government.
- Girisha, who won the silver medal in the 2012 London Olympics, says that he deserved to win the country’s highest sporting award.
- Going by the ministry’s performance-based points system introduced to pick the award winner, Girisha is the top contender with 90 points, while Sania does not figure anywhere near the top.
- Sania has won Grand Slam titles but according to the ministry notification, only performances at the Olympics, Paralympics, Asiad, Commonwealth Games and World Championships from 2011 will be considered.
About Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna:
- It is India’s highest honour given for achievement in sports, given by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, government of India.
- It carries a medal, a scroll of honour and a substantial cash component.
- The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, in February 2015, revised the Schemes of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award, Dhyan Chand Award and Dronacharya Awards.
- Under the revised scheme, for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna the weightage for performance in sports events has been reduced from 90% to 80% and weightage of marks to be given by the Selection Committee for factors like profile and standard of sports events has been increased from 10% to 20%.
- This will increase say of the Selection Committee in the process of selection and give sufficient paly to the profile and standard of sports events in determination of awardees.
Sources: The Hindu, PIB.
Paper 2 Topic: dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions
Telangana seeks rightful share of Krishna river waters
Claiming before the Supreme Court that the right to access water is a human rights issue, the Telangana government has sought fresh allocation of the disputed waters of the Krishna river.
- The State government has asked the court to set aside previous dispute proceedings and orders of the Krishna Water Tribunals in the light of the bifurcation of the State of Andhra Pradesh and formation of the new State of Telangana.
- It has sought the issuance of a mandamus to Union government to notify the setting up of a fresh tribunal under the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act of 1956 to decide the issue the sharing of the river water among the four neighbouring States of Maharashtra, Karnataka, AP and Telangana.
What Telangana government says?
- It said that under the 1956 Act, the Union, once it gets a complaint or a reference in relation to the sharing of water between two States, has to refer the case to a tribunal formed under the statute.
- Telangana says it has no other forum to address its grievance for a fresh allocation of the river water on the basis of its identity as a separate State.
- It says that Telangana is restricted by the terms of reference of Section 89 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act of 2014, which considers only the prospect of carving out its share of the Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh’s share.
Prima facie opposing the petition, the States of Maharashtra and Karnataka have said that the interests of Telangana were represented by the undivided Andhra Pradesh, and there cannot be any new proceedings for fresh allocation of the water.
In an earlier hearing, the Supreme Court had compared the plight of Telangana to that of an “unborn child” whose interests were not represented before the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal – II.
Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT):
Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) was set up under Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 to adjudicate upon the water dispute regarding the Inter-State river Krishna and the river valley thereof.
- The tribunal gave its award in 1973. While the Tribunal had in its earlier report detailed two schemes, Scheme A and Scheme B, the final award only included Scheme A and Scheme B was left out. Scheme A pertained to the division of the available waters based on 75% dependability, while Scheme B recommended ways to share the surplus waters.
- The KWDT in its award outlined the exact share of each state. The award contended based on 75% dependability that the total quantum of water available for distribution was 2060TMC. This was divided between the three states in the following manner.
- Maharashtra 560 TMC
- Karnataka 700 TMC
- Andhra Pradesh 800 TMC
Review of the Award:
- The tribunal in its first award provided for a review of its award after 31 May 2000. However no such review was taken up for more than 3 years after that.
- In April 2004, the second KWDT, was constituted by the Government of India following requests by all three states.
- The second Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal gave its draft verdict on 31 December 2010. The allocation of available water was done according to 65% dependability, considering the records of flow of water for past 47 years. According to KWDT II, Andhra Pradesh got 1001 TMC of water, Karnataka 907 TMC and Maharashtra 666 TMC. Next review of water allocations will be after the year 2050.
The Krishna River is the second biggest river in peninsular India. It originates near Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra from the statue of a cow in a temple. It then runs for a distance of 303 km in Maharashtra, 480 km through the breadth of North Karnataka and the rest of its 1300 km journey in Andhra Pradesh before it empties into the Bay of Bengal. The river basin is 257,000 km², and the States of Maharastra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh contributes 68,800 km² (26.8%), 112,600 sq.k.m. (43.8%) and 75,600 km² (29.4%) respectively.
Sources: The Hindu, PIB, Wiki.
Paper 1 Topic: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues
Women live four years longer than men in India
A recent study published in the British medical journal “The Lancet “ notes that People in India live significantly longer now compared with 1990.
- Life expectancy increased by 6.9 years for men and 10.3 years for women between 1990 and 2013. In 1990, the figures were 57.25 for men and 59.19 for women. This rose to 64.16 and 68.48 respectively by 2013.
- Healthy life expectancy, for men, has increased from 50.07 in 1990 to 56.52 in 2013, while for women it rose from 50.15 to 59.11.
- In 2013, the top 10 causes of disability-adjusted life years in both sexes in India were from ischemic heart disease, COPD, TB, lower respiratory tract infections, neonatal pre-term birth, neonatal encephalopathy, diarrhoea, stroke, road injuries, and low back and neck pain.
- For men, the leading causes of health loss between 1990 and 2013 were self-harm, ischemic heart disease and stroke, which increased at rates of 149.9, 79.9 and 59.8% respectively.
- Self-harm did not figure among India’s top 10 causes in 1990 but was ranked 10th in men in 2013. Iron-deficiency anaemia, ranked ninth in 1990 in men, was no longer a cause by 2013.
- For women, the largest increases among leading causes of disability-adjusted life years occurred owing to ischemic heart disease, depressive disorders, and stroke. Stroke and depressive disorders were the causes of health loss recorded in 2013 but not in 1990 in Indian women.
Experts say more awareness of mental health issues and better detection and documentation could be one of the reasons for depressive disorders to show up in the list.
Sources: The Hindu.
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