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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs [Prelims + Mains Focus]- 27th November 2017

  • IASbaba
  • November 27, 2017
  • 2
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains Focus)- 27th November 2017

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(PRELIMS+MAINS FOCUS)


WHO guidelines on responding to child sexual abuse

Part of: Mains GS Paper II – Mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of the vulnerable sections.

Key pointers:

  • WHO has formulated clinical guidelines on responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused.
  • Recommendations are for the frontline health care providers — general practitioners, gynecologists, pediatricians, nurses etc.
  • The guidelines highlight that child sexual abuse has a short-term as well as long-term mental health impact.
  • Mental health impacts include- anxiety, depression, eating disorders, problems with relationships, sleep disorders and suicidal and self-harm ideation etc.
  • Health consequences of the abuse includes- the risk of pregnancy, gynecological disorders, sexually transmitted infections, including HIV etc.

The presence of guidelines and following them is extremely essential. The guidelines should be followed with ground training of all first line respondents.

Article link: Click here


41-Nation Islamic Military Alliance pledges to fight terror

Part of: Mains GS Paper III – Internal Security

The first high-level meeting of the Saudi Arabia kingdom-led alliance of Muslim nations against terrorism, was held recently.

Key pointers:

  • Saudi Arabia announced the alliance in December 2015.
  • Islamic State group sparked the creation of the alliance. The IS has been driven out of Iraq and lost its self-described capital in Syria.
  • The alliance, initially announced with 34 nations, now includes 41, according the Saudi government.
  • The alliance doesn’t include Iran, Iraq or Syria.
  • The meeting sent a strong signal that the 41 nations are going to work together and coordinate together to support each other.

Article link: Click here


First AI politician- SAM 

Part of: Mains GS Paper III – Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

Key pointers:

  • Scientists have developed the world’s first artificial intelligence politician.
  • The robot can answer a person’s queries regarding local issues such as policies around housing, education and immigration.
  • The virtual politician, called SAM, was created by Nick Gerritsen, a 49-year-old entrepreneur in New Zealand.
  • The AI politician is constantly learning to respond to people through Facebook Messenger as well as a survey on its homepage.

Article link: Click here


 YONO

Part of: Mains GS Paper III – Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

Key pointers:

  • YONO (You Only Need One) is the new, unified integrated app from State Bank of India (SBI).
  • The bank is looking to woo the millennials and generation-next with the new app.
  • Even if one is not an SBI customer, he or she can open an account using the Aadhaar account and PAN and proceed to install YONO on the handset.
  • YONO is designed to meet lifestyle needs across a wide range of categories, 14 as of now, with SBI partnering with 60 leading names in the e-commerce space.
  • It is developed using artificial intelligence, predictive analysis and machine learning.
  • It promises to deliver maximum customer convenience, and has Android and iOS versions for download.

Article link: Click here


(MAINS EXCLUSIVE)


NATIONAL

TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • 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.

Protecting Children in India

In news:

According to a recent survey by a humanitarian aid organisation, one out of every two Indian children has experienced sexual abuse.
India is home to 19 per cent of the world’s children.

Issue:

  • Homes and schools, assumed to be safe and secure havens for our children, have been reporting cases of abuse, exploitation and violence.
  • Despite legislations our performance in creating robust and reliable preventive response systems has been markedly poor.
  • Brutal crimes against children demonstrates that our collective approach to child safety in schools remains ad hoc, laissez-faire and poorly monitored, highlighting the lack of both soft and hard preventive infrastructure.
  • There is a three-way trust deficit between schools, parents and the Government.
    Whenever there is a gruesome incidence of violence against children, NGOs, parents, school associations and representatives of the Government get locked into defensive or confrontational positions.

Of course, the guilty must be punished, but more than that, we need a system that can permanently eliminate the abuse of children.

Government’s initiative:

The National Policy for Children 2013-

The Government drafted the National Policy for Children 2013 to “build a preventive and responsive child protection system and promote effective enforcement of punitive legislative and administrative measures against all forms of child abuse and neglect”.

Children-specific legislations-

We have brought in children-specific legislations such as the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 (POCSO) and the amended Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015.

Guidelines-

The ministry for human resource development has comprehensive guidelines that take into consideration physical infrastructure such as separate and age-appropriate toilets to safeguard children in school. These also take into account issues related to a school’s staff such as background checks and mental make-up.

Way forward:

  • Uniform policy– We need to develop a Uniform Child Protection Policy for all schools, whether private or government, and even tribal ashramshalas (residential schools) in remote parts of the country.
  • Gatekeeping– The policy should emphasise ‘gatekeeping’ to ensure that the recruitment of both teaching and non-teaching staff is done after thorough police verification and psycho-social assessment.
  • Mandatory compliance– The ministry of human resource guidelines need to be made mandatory and compliance must be made non-negotiable.
  • Counsellors– It should also be mandatory for schools to enroll trained counsellors who can both prevent and detect abuse of children — this could be an existing teacher who has undergone the requisite training or a separate counsellor. Children need to have a designated point of contact and it needs to be assured that there is a safe space where they can speak and be heard.
  • Sensitisation– All teachers need to be sensitised about child abuse, taught to recognise it and made aware of laws such as the POCSO Act which makes reporting such acts compulsory.
  • Curriculum– Sessions with children on safety and prevention of abuse ought to become part of the curriculum.
  • Open dialogue– An open dialogue involving all three stakeholders (Schools, Parents, Governments) can go a long way towards creating the right ecosystem for building preventive response mechanisms.
  • Role of parents– Parents can be a source of support and strength. By being watchful guardians, they can ensure that schools follow the guidelines for child protection and by being supportive, they can ensure that any instance of abuse is quickly brought to light. Parents need to realise that even though they have entrusted their children to the school, the safety of their child is a collective responsibility.

Conclusion:

  • Protecting children is a common shared responsibility; it cannot be done in isolation by either the school or parents or government. We must all work together to make sure instances of child abuse soon become historical references and not present-day realities.

Connecting the dots:

  • One out of every two Indian children have experienced sexual abuse. Discuss the issue and highlight the measures that should be taken to protect Indian children especially school-going ones.
  • Protecting children is a common shared responsibility; it cannot be done in isolation by either the school or parents or government. Discuss the responsibility of each stakeholder in protecting children from sexual abuse.

NATIONAL

TOPIC: General studies 3:

  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights

Reviewing the GI Act, 1999

Background:

The law of Geographical Indications (GIs) is linked to the terroir, that is the quality of a product is essentially attributable to the territory where the product originates from.

GI Act, 1999:

  • GIs indicate goods as originating in a specific geographical region, the characteristics, qualities or reputation thereof essentially attributable to such region.
  • Complying with the World Trade Organisation-Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (WTO-TRIPS) obligations, India enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999 (GI Act) and has set up a registry in Chennai to register such names.
  • Covering agricultural goods, manufactured and natural goods, textiles, handicrafts and foodstuffs, the GI Registry’s website lists popular GIs like Basmati rice, Darjeeling tea and Pashmina shawls etc.

Significance of GIs:

  • GIs support local production and are an important economic tool for the uplift of rural and tribal communities. GIs support and protect local production (as opposed to global production), generate local employment and are mostly untouched by industrialisation, originating in villages or small towns.
  • Unlike other Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) which guarantee the protection of individual interest, GI is a collective right. If their products qualify, producers can use the collective GI mark while commercially exploiting their products.
  • Geographical indications (GI) can be used to protect traditional knowledge and communities.
  • GIs can help built up ancillary industries like tourism and lodging in the respective regions, enabling visitors to get a first-hand experience of the manufacturing process and absorb the history thereof. Such ancillary industries also create local employment and aid in the socio-economic development of the region in the long run.

Shortcomings of the Indian GI Act:

  • The existing law for Geographical Indications leans too heavily on documentary proof.
    Cause for concern:
    Proof of origin is a mandatory criterion for registering GIs in India.
    The cause of concern is the focus on historic proof in the form of documentary evidence (such as gazetteers, published documents, news articles, advertisement materials) to bring out the historic development of GIs as laid down under GI Rules, 2002, and clarified by the GI Manual of the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, and Registrar of Geographical Indications to establish proof of origin.
    Challenge: Documentary evidence as proof of origin may be a foolproof mechanism to ensure the link between the product and territory, but in a country, such as India where there are regions like the Northeast where oral history has had far wider convention overwritten history, this provision becomes a hurdle.
    There is no mandate for such a provision under TRIPs to do so.
    TRIPS only provide a minimum standard of protection. Nowhere is there an insistence on a particular framework for protection of GI.
    The case of Assam:
    Assam has been exploring its natural, agricultural and traditional products as potential GI material. One such example is a traditional rice wine called ‘Judima’.
    The State government has been tracking academic discourse on the subject with the intent of exploring possibilities in registering it.
    A hurdle has been the difficulty in gathering documentary evidence as proof of origin. It is the same case with many other products from the Northeast.
    For most products, especially those of tribal communities, this is bound to be a recurrent problem.
  • GI registration in India is done not by the actual producers, but by some third-party — either in Government or an NGO, with or without commercial interest and even traders.
    In such cases, producers very often are not even aware of the existence of GI. In such a situation, producers or the people who are the depository of knowledge are unlikely to be benefited.
  • The legal framework for the protection of GIs in India does not emphasise the importance of quality products. India’s GI Act does not lay much emphasis on inspection and monitoring mechanisms for GI protection.

Conclusion:

  • The GI authorities should amend the existing provision regarding proof of origin. The current Indian legal framework for GIs also needs to be strengthened to address quality control and consumer expectations by insisting on multi-layered quality control systems as a precondition for registration.

Connecting the dots:

  • Discuss the shortcomings of the Indian GI Act especially the one related to proof of origin.

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