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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs [Prelims + Mains Focus] – 10th January 2018

  • IASbaba
  • January 10, 2018
  • 17
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains

Focus)- 10th January 2018

Archives


(PRELIMS+MAINS FOUCS)


Traffic safety management system (TSMS)

Part of: Mains GS Paper III- Infrastructure

Key pointers:

  • Cameras with with their superior eyes will be installed on the roads to catch hold of speed junkies and those who jump signals.
  • It will go live on a 14-km stretch in the national Capital.
  • Maruti Suzuki will spend Rs. 15 crore on the system and will implement it with Delhi Police.
  • While the carmaker will set up the system and maintain it for two years, its operation will be the preserve of Delhi Police.
  • The project hopes to reduce accidents and fatalities, improve compliance of traffic rules, bring in transparency in enforcing the eChallan system, create awareness on commuter safety and surveillance of traffic movement.

Background:

  • Last year, around 1,495 people lost their lives to road accidents in Delhi, among the highest in the country.
  • The TSMS project, the first of its kind in the Capital, is in line with the Centre’s focus on making roads safe and bringing down accidents and fatalities.

Article link: Click here


India’s supercomputer Pratyush

Part of: Mains GS Paper III- Science & Technology

Key pointers:

  • India unveiled Pratyush, an array of computers that can deliver a peak power of 6.8 petaflops.
  • Pratyush is the fourth fastest supercomputer in the world dedicated for weather and climate research, and follows machines in Japan, USA and the United Kingdom. It will also move an Indian supercomputer from the 300s to the 30s in the Top500 list.
  • A key function of the machine’s computing power would be monsoon forecasting using a dynamical model. This requires simulating the weather for a given month — say March — and letting a custom-built model calculate how the actual weather will play out over June, July, August and September.
  • With the new system, it would be possible to map regions in India at a resolution of 3 km and the globe at 12 km.

Pic credit: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article22399105.ece/alternates/FREE_615/TH09Cybercol

Background:

  • One petaflop is a million billion floating point operations per second and is a reflection of the computing capacity of a system.
  • The Top500 list is a respected international tracker of the world’s fastest supercomputers.

Article link: Click here


“Drone” cameras to be used by Indian Railways

Part of: Mains GS Paper III- Infrastructure

Key pointers:

  • Indian Railways has decided to deploy “Drone” cameras (UAV/NETRA) for various railway activities especially project monitoring and maintenance of tracks and other railway infrastructure.
  • This is in-line with Railways’ desire to use technology to enhance safety and efficiency in train operations.
  • “Drone” cameras shall be deployed to undertake monitoring activities of relief and rescue operation, project monitoring, the progress of important works, conditions of the track and inspection related activities.
  • It shall also be used to assess preparedness of Non-Interlocking (NI) works, crowd management during fairs and melas, to identify scrap and also for an aerial survey of station yards.
  • It is going to be instrumental in providing real-time inputs related to safety and maintenance of tracks and other railway infrastructure.
  • Under this initiative, West Central Railways with headquarter at Jabalpur (M.P) has become the first Zonal Railway to procure “Drone” cameras in Indian Railways.

Article link: Click here


(MAINS FOCUS)


NATIONAL

TOPIC:

General Studies 2:

  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections.
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

General Studies 3:

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

Poor Internal Labour Mobility

Introduction:

India is becoming more integrated. Goods and services are beginning to flow more freely thanks to recent reforms. But, to increase economic growth and reduce poverty, people too need to move to where they are most productive.
Even though the rate of migration doubled between 2001 and 2011 relative to the previous decade, state borders remain impediments to mobility: Labour migrant flows within states are much larger than flows across states.
In China, for example, eliminating impediments to internal migration could boost national income by an estimated 10 per cent — a bigger gain than from reducing internal trade costs. 

Poor internal labour mobility:

  • Indians, particularly men seeking education and jobs, are surprisingly reluctant to cross state borders.
  • Internal migrants represented 30 per cent of India’s population in 2001, the latest Census round for which comprehensive data on migration flows are available.
    Two-thirds were migrants within districts, and more than half were women migrating for marriage.
  • Census data reveals that internal migration rates across states were nearly four times higher in Brazil and China, and more than nine times higher in the United States in the five years ending in 2001.
  • Other researchers found that India ranked last in a comparison of internal migration in 80 countries.

The restrictiveness of state borders:

Migration between neighbouring districts in the same state is at least 50 per cent more than migration between neighbouring districts in different states.
Consider Nagpur, a district in central India (Maharashtra) and close to three other states — Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The four neighbouring districts in Maharashtra (Bhandara, Wardha, Amravati, and Chandrapur) sent a total of 31 per cent of Nagpur’s immigrants. The remaining three neighbouring districts in Madhya Pradesh (Balaghat, Chhindwara, and Seoni) sent a total of only 13 per cent. In fact, more migrants came to Nagpur from other districts in Maharashtra hundreds of kilometres away than from neighbouring districts in other states.

Reasons behind:

  • The entitlement programmes implemented at the state level: Major social benefits are not portable across state boundaries since they are administered by state governments, even when they are centrally funded.
    For example, access to subsidised food through the public distribution system (PDS), and even admission to public hospitals has been administered through “ration cards”, issued and accepted only by the home state government. We find that in states where the PDS offers higher levels of coverage, unskilled migrants are less likely to move out-of-state.
  • For those seeking higher education and skilled jobs- Many universities and technical institutes are administered by state governments, and state residents get preferential admission through “state quota seats”. For example, the state quota in state medical colleges is more than 70 per cent in Maharashtra.
    The “domicile certificates” necessary for eligibility for the state quota require continuous residence in the state, ranging from three years in Uttar Pradesh to 10 in Rajasthan.
    Thus, the relative share of migrants moving out-of-state to seek higher education is lower in states with higher rates of access to tertiary education.
  • In most states, more than three-fourths of government jobs are with the state rather than central government. State domicile is a common requirement for jobs in state government entities.
    The impact of the discrimination in state employment should diminish as the private sector grows. However, some states are coming up with “jobs for natives” policies.
    In 2016, Karnataka announced that both public and private sector firms would have to reserve 70 per cent of their jobs for state residents, or lose access to state government industrial policy benefits. Odisha, Maharashtra, and Himachal Pradesh have similar quotas for state residents in factory jobs.

Way ahead:

Portability of benefits- A nationally portable identity is an important step. The disincentive to move will disappear only when, say, someone from Bihar can access all social benefits when they move to Maharashtra. And those benefits would need to include access to public hospitals and schools even when people move from one state to another.

Conclusion:

India’s “fragmented entitlements” are likely to dampen growth and perpetuate pockets of poverty by preventing people from seeking the most productive opportunities across the entire country. Only when each Indian state grants all Indian citizens equal access to benefits, education and employment, will India really be on the move.

Connecting the dots:

  • Internal migration in India is very poor. Discuss the reasons behind and implications of the same.

NATIONAL

TOPIC:

General Studies 1:

  • Social empowerment

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

General Studies 3:

  • Indian economy and issues related to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Low women’s labour force participation: Conservative attitudes

Introduction:

Indian women’s labour force participation, at just 27 per cent, is ranked 170 out of the world’s 188 economies. Not only is Indian women’s labour-force participation among the lowest in the world, research suggests it may be declining. This is despite rising education levels and declining fertility.
At the same time, it is not the case that women are not interested in working- According to India’s 2011 National Sample Survey, over one-third of women primarily engaged in household work expressed the desire to have a job.

Cause of concern:

  • For one, women cannot contribute to India’s economic growth if they are not fully participating in the workforce.
  • Also, working women tend to have greater bargaining power in their households, which could translate to better outcomes both for their children and themselves.
  • Evidence suggests that women with access to networks outside the home can gain a civic and political consciousness, which can benefit their communities and society.

Explanations for low women’s participation in the labour force:

  • For women in exploitative jobs, poor working conditions are clearly problematic.
  • The widespread belief that women should not work outside the home is based on a conservative view that elevates a man’s status if the women in his household are “able” to stay at home.

And although it is commonly assumed that education will break down conservative social attitudes, many among the educated ones also believe that women should not work outside the home.
These attitudes of patriarchy have been internalised even by women and the most educated.

What can be done to counter these conservative attitudes?

  • The government must loudly and persistently condemn the visible and invisible ways in which patriarchal attitudes disempower women.
  • Aggressive implementation of policies that will encourage women’s work is critical.
    -> For example, macroeconomic evidence from OECD countries suggests that childcare subsidies can stimulate female labour participation by raising the returns of work outside the home.
    But while crèches and daycare facilities in India are mandated as per policy, they are often non-functional or do not exist near the women who need them.
    -> There is also evidence that paid parental leave and job guarantees have a positive effect on female workforce participation.
    Although India’s new maternity leave policy is quite generous by international standards, it does not cover the vast majority of working women engaged in the informal sector, and its costs are to be borne wholly by employers, potentially hurting the demand for female labour.
  • Lessons from developed countries may not apply in the deeply patriarchal Indian context.
    Thus, more data on women’s time use and perceived costs and benefits of being in the workforce is needed to make women’s contribution visible, learn about the constraints they face, and determine which policies are likely to expand work opportunities.

Conclusion:

Each one of us must engage in reflection and dialogue to recognise and counter gender inequality. By not addressing the attitudes that confine women’s choices and public presence, we are doing a costly mistake to so vastly limit India’s potential. Until women and women’s work are valued at par with men and men’s work, it is likely that many capable women will be left out of contributing to India’s development.

Connecting the dots:

  • Attitudes of patriarchy have been internalised even by women and the most educated, keeping women’s labour force participation rate in India low. Discuss. Also suggest measures to counter these conservative attitudes.

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