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Insights Daily Current Events, 16 December 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 16 December 2015


Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Karnataka has highest stillbirth rate

According to the Sample Registration Survey (SRS) 2013 Karnataka has the highest stillbirth rate in India. That is, 12 deaths per 1,000 births.

Key facts from the survey:

  • The survey also notes that Karnataka’s perinatal mortality rate stands at 30 per 1,000 live births. This is higher than the country’s average of 26 per 1,000 births.
  • Stillbirths and perinatal mortality are the only two health indicators where Karnataka fares badly. And most stillbirths occur in families belonging to low-income groups.
  • Higher number of stillbirths also grossly indicates the low pre-natal and natal care for pregnant women in primary health centres.

Stillbirth: The birth of an infant that has died in the womb (strictly, after having survived through at least the first 28 weeks of pregnancy).

Factors responsible for this:

  • While State health officials attribute this to socio-cultural factors and misconceptions and taboos in society, especially in rural areas, experts say it is mainly because women face many difficulties relating to accessibility, availability, affordability and quality issues when utilising healthcare facilities during pregnancy in rural areas.
  • According to the survey, Karnataka has a high stillbirth rate because doctors prefer to declare the baby stillborn rather than admit that it died after birth. They fear the wrath of bereaved parents and their families. Relatives of patients hold doctors responsible for any untoward incident. Most of them assault doctors, who feel threatened when they are handling complicated cases.


  • Early neonatal deaths and stillbirths usually have obstetric causes and are largely preventable if good quality obstetric care is made available at the right time. But lack of specialists is a major problem. Hence, the state is planning to recruit specialists, including offering them attractive salaries, have not been successful.

It’s also worth noting here that, according to the survey, some States have zero stillbirths, which could indicate an absence of a proper reporting system.

sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections.

Farmers urge Centre to implement Forest Rights Act

Hundreds of landless farmers, agricultural workers and labourers from across 20 States who had recently assembled at Jantar Mantar in Delhi under a joint platform ‘Bhumi Adhikar Andolan’ (Land Rights Movement) have urged the centre to implement Forest Rights Act.

  • The farmers also observed December 15 (Forest Rights Day) as ‘Chetavni Divas’ — day of challenge and warning.
  • Several farmers pointed out that Schedule Tribe and other Forest Dwellers, Recognition of Forest Rights Act, 2006 and the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 which were meant to transfer the rights of resources back to people have not been implemented.
  • It is important to note here that the comprehensive report of high level committee (HLC) on the status of Adivasis submitted in 2014 says that the implementation of these Acts have been weak despite the promising provisions.
  • The members of the movement have submitted a memorandum to the Centre asking implementation of Forest Rights Act to ensure collective rights of communities.

Forest Rights Act:

The legislation was passed on 18 December 2006. It is also called as the “Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006”, the Tribal Rights Act, the Tribal Bill, and the Tribal Land Act.

  • The law concerns the rights of forest-dwelling communities to land and other resources, denied to them over decades as a result of the continuance of colonial forest laws in India.

Rights under the Act:

  • Title rights – i.e. ownership to land that is being farmed by tribals or forest dwellers subject to a maximum of 4 hectares; ownership is only for land that is actually being cultivated by the concerned family, meaning that no new lands are granted.
  • Use rights – to minor forest produce (also including ownership), to grazing areas, to pastoralist routes, etc.
  • Relief and development rights – to rehabilitation in case of illegal eviction or forced displacement; and to basic amenities, subject to restrictions for forest protection.
  • Forest management rights – to protect forests and wildlife
  • The Act grants legal recognition to the rights of traditional forest dwelling communities, partially correcting the injustice caused by the forest laws.

Eligibility to get rights under the Act is confined to those who “primarily reside in forests” and who depend on forests and forest land for a livelihood. Further, either the claimant must be a member of the Scheduled Tribes scheduled in that area or must have been residing in the forest for 75 years.

Process of recognition of rights:

The Act provides that the gram sabha, or village assembly, will initially pass a resolution recommending whose rights to which resources should be recognised. This resolution is then screened and approved at the level of the sub-division (or taluka) and subsequently at the district level. The screening committees consist of three government officials (Forest, Revenue and Tribal Welfare departments) and three elected members of the local body at that level. These committees also hear appeals.

sources: the hindu, pib.


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

India Business Card for SAARC trade

India is all set to launch an “India Business Cardfor the business community in SAARC countries. The stumbling block so far for issuance of this card had been Pakistan, but the decks have now been cleared with renewed ties with Pakistan.

  • The India Business Card will have a special logo and will be only given to businessmen of high repute. It is being done with an aim of ease of business and gels with the ‘Make in India’ policy of the government.
  • However, it is not clear yet whether Pakistan businessmen would be allowed in the manufacturing sector and given a green signal to open factories in India. The government is still working on the modalities.

sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections.

Atal Pension Yojana likely to miss December target

The Narendra Modi government’s flagship scheme Atal Pension Yojana (APY), which aims to provide old age income security, is likely to miss the target with just about one million subscribers on board so far against 200 million aimed by December-end.

  • The scheme, targeting the unorganised sector, is struggling to pick pace six months after the launch.
  • With the number roped in so far being just 5% of the target, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) is working out plans to improve reach and information dissemination.
  • PFRDA, the nodal agency for APY, has pitched for an extension of co-contribution incentive by the government beyond December 31 to attract subscribers.

Atal Pension Yojna (APY):

  • Under the APY, subscribers would receive a fixed minimum pension of Rs. 1000 per month, Rs. 2000 per month, Rs. 3000 per month, Rs. 4000 per month, Rs. 5000 per month, at the age of 60 years, depending on their contributions, which itself would vary on the age of joining the APY.
  • The Central Government would also co-contribute 50% of the total contribution or Rs. 1000 per annum, whichever is lower, to each eligible subscriber account, for a period of 5 years, that is, from 2015-16 to 2019-20, to those who join the NPS before 31st December, 2015 and who are not members of any statutory social security scheme and who are not Income Tax payers.
  • The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years. The benefit of fixed minimum pension would be guaranteed by the Government.

sources: bs.



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