Insights Daily Current Affairs, 05 June 2018
Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
Context: Accusing the Centre of running an “anti-worker government”, leading trade union body AITUC is planning to launch a nationwide campaign against the government.
- The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) is the oldest trade union federations in India.
- It was founded in 1920 in Bombay by Lala Lajpat Rai, Joseph Baptista, N. M. Joshi, Diwan Chaman Lall and a few others.
- Until 1945 when unions became organised on party lines, it was the primary trade union organisation in India. Since then, it has been associated with the Communist Party of India.
- AITUC is a founder member of the World Federation of Trade Unions.
For Prelims: AITUC- founders and objectives of the union.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Women related issues.
Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act (IRWA)
Context: Based on the observations made by Parliamentary Standing Committee and recommendation made by the National Commission for Women on the basis of consultation with civil society groups and likeminded individuals, WCD has proposed amendments in IRWA keeping in mind the recent technological advancement in the field of communications such as social media platforms, over the top services etc.
- Amendment in definition of term advertisement to include digital form or electronic form or hoardings, or through SMS, MMS etc.
- Amendment in definition of distribution to include publication, license or uploading using computer resource, or communication device or in.
- Insertion of a new definition to define the term publish.
- Amendment in section 4 to include that No person shall publish or distribute or cause to be published or cause to be distributed by any means any material which contains indecent representation of women in any form:
- Penalty similar to that provided under the Information Technology Act, 2000.
Creation of new authority:
- Creation of a Centralised Authority under the aegis of National Commission of Women (NCW). This Authority will be headed by Member Secretary, NCW, having representatives from Advertising Standards Council of India, Press Council of India, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and one member having experience of working on women issues.
- This Centralised Authority will be authorized to receive complaints or grievances regarding any programme or advertisement broadcasted or publication and investigate/ examine all matters relating to the indecent representation of women.
What necessitated this?
Reforms have been proposed keeping in mind the recent technological advancements. The need was felt to widen the scope of the law so as to cover such forms of media on one hand and to strengthen the existing safeguards to prevent indecent representation of women through any media form on the other. Hence, the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2012 was introduced in Rajya Sabha December, 2012 which referred the Bill to Department related Parliament Standing Committee for consideration.
- For Prelims: Salient provisions of IRWA and the amendments proposed.
- For Mains: Indecent representation of women- concerns, challenges and solutions.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
Context: The government has launched the ‘JANAUSHADHI SUVIDHA’, the Oxo-biodegradable Sanitary Napkin, under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP). The affordable sanitary napkins will now become available at over 3600 Janaushadhi Kendras functional in 33 States/UTs across India.
About Janaushadhi Suvidha:
Jan Aushadhi Suvidha comes with a special additive, which makes Sanitary napkin biodegradable when it comes in contact with oxygen after being discarded. This would ensure ‘Swachhta, Swasthya and Suvidha’ for the underprivileged Women of India and go a long way in the achievement of vision of Affordable and Quality Healthcare for All.
Significance of the move:
The average price of sanitary napkins available in the market today is around Rs. 8 per pad, whereas now with the launch of the SUVIDHA napkins at Rs. 2.50 per pad, this will go a long way in making the basic hygiene requirement aid for Women affordable for the underprivileged sections.
This is one of the most important requirement in ensuring the Health Security to that section of Women in India who still use unhygienic aids during menstrual period due to non-affordability of some of the popular brands of sanitary napkins available in the market today. Such unhygienic aids cause fungal infections, Reproductive Tract Infection, Urinary Tract Infection, Cervical cancer and also make women vulnerable to infertility.
According to the National Family Health Survey 2015-16, about 58% of women aged between 15 to 24 years use locally prepared napkins, sanitary napkins and tampons. Further, about 78% women in urban areas use hygienic methods of protection during menstrual period; only 48% women in rural areas have access to clean sanitary napkins.
‘Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana’ is a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. Of India, to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses through special kendra’s known as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra. Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra (PMBJK) have been set up to provide generic drugs, which are available at lesser prices but are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs.
Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the implementing agency of PMBJP. BPPI (Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India) has been established under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. of India, with the support of all the CPSUs.
What is a Generic Medicine?
Generic medicines are unbranded medicines which are equally safe and having the same efficacy as that of branded medicines in terms of their therapeutic value. The prices of generic medicines are much cheaper than their branded equivalent.
- For Prelims: Features of PMBJP and Janaushadhi Suvidha.
- For Mains: Health facilities for the underprivileged- need and efforts by the government, generic medicines and their increasing popularity worldwide.
Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
International Air Transport Association (IATA)
Context: International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently castigated India for taxing international tickets, as it asked governments to facilitate the growth of worldwide connectivity by avoiding creeping re-regulation, maintaining the integrity of global standards and addressing a capacity crisis.
The government had announced the implementation of the GST from July 1, 2017. The tax covers airline products and services including tickets, ancillary, change, refund and other products and fees.
What is it? The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 280 airlines or 83% of total air traffic. Formed in April 1945, it is the successor to the International Air Traffic Association, which was formed in 1919.
What it does? IATA supports airline activity and helps formulate industry policy and standards. It also provides consulting and training services in many areas crucial to aviation.
Headquarters: It is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada with Executive Offices in Geneva, Switzerland.
For Prelims and Mains: IATA and its structure.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Conservation efforts.
Resource Efficiency Cell
Context: MoEFCC and TERI have entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a resource efficiency cell in the Ministry.
Aims and objectives:
- The main objectives of the Cell are to provide a platform to mainstream resource efficiency in public policy.
- It aims to achieve this through coordinated thinking among the various relevant Ministries and agencies for promoting resource efficiency in the use of materials in the country.
- It also aims to ensure a ‘systems’ thinking based on materials, products and processes, apart from enabling the preparation of an overarching resource efficiency policy for India and coordinated sectoral policies and regulatory mechanisms.
Strategy on Resource Efficiency:
- NITI Aayog in collaboration with the European Union delegation to India have released the Strategy on Resource Efficiency. The strategy aims to promote resource efficiency in India.
- This strategy is the first policy document to emphasize resource productivity in the country. The Strategy emphasizes on Sustainable Public Procurement (SSP) as an action agenda which will be the market transformation tool to transform to a resource efficient economy.
- It is developed with the recommendations from the Indian Resource Efficiency Programme (IREP), launched by the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and Indian Resource Panel (InRP) in April 2017.
What is Resource Efficiency and why do we need it?
- Resource efficiency very simply put is making more with fewer materials. In practice, through a life-cycle approach, it leads to minimizing impact on environment & the associated societal burdens, transforming ‘waste’ into ‘resources’ fostering circular economy, and strengthening resource security.
- Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy are important goals and central principles for achieving sustainable development. Sustainability is a global priority and SDGs commitment and 11th Five year plan also clearly enunciate importance of Resource efficiency (RE).
India’s large population, rapid urbanization and expanding industrial production have led to exploitation of available limited natural resources with concerns regarding resource depletion and future availability becoming more pronounced. Ensuring resource security requires and integrated, concerted and collaborative approach in order to fulfill the needs of a vast and growing population. Also, the environmental burdens emanating due to resource extraction, utilization and disposal, including land degradation, biodiversity loss, as well as air and water pollution remain of great concern, Enhancing resource efficiency (RE) and promoting the use of secondary raw materials (SRM) is a pertinent strategy to address these challenges and reduce dependence on primary resource.
- For Prelims: TERI and aims and objectives of Resource efficiency cell.
- For Mains: Resource efficiency- need, significance, challenges and means to achieve it, NITI Aayog’s strategy on resource efficiency.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Conservation efforts.
Context: A group of 427 trained volunteers, called Ganga Praharis, are reaching to each and every house in areas along river Ganga to educate them about the importance of protecting river’s bio-diversity. They are spread over Ganga basin states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.
About Ganga Praharis:
Who are Ganga Praharis?
They are new grassroot-level volunteers to protect the bio-diversity of river Ganga. They are roped-in by Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun as part of the “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” project being sponsored by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under the aegis of the Namami Gange programme.
Ganga Praharis are well trained in ecological monitoring of Ganga aqua life, plantation techniques, awareness creation and community mobilization. They are trained through a series of national, state and site level workshops in diverse skills such as ecological surveys, rescue and rehabilitation of aquatic species, awareness meetings, social interactions and green livelihood skills.
Roles and functions:
- The Ganga Praharis will be linked to various local environmental authorities, non-governmental stakeholders in their respective states and various other national, academic and research institutions for their capacity development.
- Not only do these Ganga Praharis performing the task of conserving the deteriorating biodiversity of river Ganga, they are also motivating other people to spread the clean Ganga message, thus, contributing in making clean Ganga mission a mass movement.
- The Ganga Praharis will be the role models in inspiring other members of the community to join hands in the efforts for conservation of the biodiversity of river Ganga. Thus, each Prahari shall work on the model of ‘Each One Make Ten’.
- For Prelims: Who are Ganga praharis and their role.
- For Mains: Efforts to conserve river ganga and involvement of various stakeholders.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
Institutions in News- NMCG:
- The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is the implementation wing of National Ganga Council which was set up in October 2016 under the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities order 2016. The order dissolved National Ganga River Basin Authority.
- NMCG has a two tier management structure and comprises of Governing Council and Executive Committee. Both of them are headed by Director General, NMCG. Executive Committee has been authorized to accord approval for all projects up to Rs.1000 crore.
The order envisages five tier structure at national, state and district level to take measures for prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution in river Ganga and to ensure continuous adequate flow of water so as to rejuvenate the river Ganga as below:
- National Ganga Council under chairmanship of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
- Empowered Task Force (ETF) on river Ganga under chairmanship of Hon’ble Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
- National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG).
- State Ganga Committees and
- District Ganga Committees in every specified district abutting river Ganga and its tributaries in the states.
Institutions in News- DRI:
- Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, formed in 1957, is the major intelligence agency which eradicates smuggling of drugs, gold, diamonds, electronics, foreign currency, counterfeit Indian currency, etc.
- The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence functions under the Central Board of Excise and Customs in the Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue.
- The Directorate is run by officers from Central Excise and Customs. Though its early days were committed to combating smuggling in of gold, it has now tuned itself to the changing nature of crimes in the field of narcotics and economic crimes.
What is it? It is an evacuation of Stranded Indians from Socotra, Yemen.
What happened? 38 Indian nationals were stranded on the Yemeni island of Socotra in the aftermath of cyclone Mekenu.
Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently visited the Changi Naval Base in Singapore.
About Changi naval base: Changi Naval Base (CNB) is the latest naval facility of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and was built to replace Brani Naval Base.