DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 24th March 2023

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  • March 24, 2023
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Green Tug Transition Programme


  • Prelims –Environment and Ecology

Context: Recently, the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW) and Ayush announced the Green Tug Transition Programme (GTTP).

About Green Tug Transition Programme:

  • It is launched by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways.
  • The programme will start with ‘Green Hybrid Tugs’, which will be powered by Green Hybrid Propulsion systems and subsequently adopt non-fossil fuel solutions (like Methanol, Ammonia, and Hydrogen).
  • Objective: to convert all tugboats working in the country into ‘Green Hybrid Tugs’.
  • Green Hybrid Tugs: tugboats running on non-fossil fuel.
  • Green hybrid propulsion system-enabled tug boats will be in action across all major ports by 2025.
  • Target: By 2030, 50% of the existing tugboat fleet will be replaced with green tugs.
  • National Centre of Excellence in Green Port & Shipping (NCoEGPS )will act as the nodal entity for GTTP.
  • India aims at becoming a ‘Global Hub for Green Shipbuilding by 2030 with the launch of the Green Tug Transition Programme (GTTP).

About the National Centre of Excellence in Green Port & Shipping:- 

  • It is India’s first National Centre of Excellence for Green Port & Shipping (NCoEGPS).
  • It will work under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
  • It is situated in Gurugram, Haryana.


  • to provide sustainable solutions for the shipping sector.
  • to assist the union ministry in developing and maintaining a policy and regulatory framework for the promotion of green alternative technology in India’s shipping sector.
  • to ensure the sector’s shift towards carbon neutrality and circular economy (CE).
  • The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is the knowledge and implementation partner of the NCoEGPS.
  • The centre will be set up with assistance from Deendayal Port Authority Kandla, Paradip Port Authority, Paradip, VO Chidambaram Port Authority, Thoothukudi and Cochin Shipyard, Kochi.

About The Energy and Resources Institute(TERI):-

  • TERI is a non-profit research institution.
  • It was established in 1974 as Tata Energy Research Institute.
  • It was later renamed as ‘The Energy and Resources Institute’ in 2003.
  • It aims to focus on formulating local and national level strategies for shaping global solutions to critical issues.
  • It conducts research work in the fields of energy, environment and sustainable development.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi

MUST READ: Green Ports & Green Shipping in India and GREEN MARITIME SECTOR



Q.1) Which one of the following statements best describes the ‘Polar Code’? (2022)

  1. It is the international code of safety for ships operating in polar waters.
  2. It is the agreement of the countries around the North Pole regarding the demarcation of their territories in the polar region.
  3. It is a set of norms to be followed by the countries whose scientists undertake research studies at the North Pole and the South Pole.
  4. It is a trade and security agreement of the member countries of the Arctic Council.

Q.2) Which one of the following best describes the term “greenwashing”? (2022)

  1. Conveying a false impression that a company’s products are eco-friendly and environmentally sound
  2. Non-inclusion of ecological/ environmental costs in the Annual Financial Statements of a country
  3. Ignoring the consequences of disastrous ecological while infrastructure development undertaking
  4. Making mandatory provisions for environmental costs in a government project/programme

National Chambal Sanctuary


  • Prelims –Environment and Ecology

Context: Recently, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have commenced joint action to stop illegal sand mining in the National Chambal Sanctuary.

About National Chambal Sanctuary:-

  • It is a tri-state protected area in northern India.
  • It is home to the critically endangered gharial (small crocodiles), the red-crowned roof turtle and the endangered Ganges river dolphin.
  • It is said to have the highest population of Gharials in India.
  • It is located on the Chambal River near the tri-point of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
  • It was first declared as a Protected Area in Madhya Pradesh in 1978.
  • It constitutes a long narrow eco-reserve co-administered by the three states.
  • Within the sanctuary, the pristine Chambal River cuts through mazes of ravines and hills with many sandy beaches along its banks.

Aquatic animals in National Chambal Sanctuary:-

  • The river is abode to smooth-coated otters, eight types of tortoises, over 30 kinds of fishes, marsh crocodiles and the critically endangered Gangetic dolphin.
  • The Gangetic dolphin is the National Aquatic Animal.


  • The park boasts famous Indian skimmers.
  • Other birds such as the common teal, northern pintail, sarus crane, black-bellied tern and red-crested pochard can also be seen here.
  • Golden jackal, chinkara, wild boar, Indian wolf etc. are also found here.

About Gharial:

  • Gharials are a type of Asian crocodilian distinguished by their long, thin snouts.
  • Crocodilians are a group of reptiles that includes crocodiles, alligators, caimans, etc.

Habitat of Gharials:

  • Natural Habitat: Fresh waters of the northern part of India.
  • Primary Habitat: Chambal river (a tributary of Yamuna).
  • Secondary Habitat: Ghagra, Gandak river, Girwa river (Uttar Pradesh), the Ramganga river (Uttarakhand) and the Sone river (Bihar).

Conservation Status:-

  • IUCN Red List- Critically Endangered
  • Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I
  • CITES: Appendix I
  • Indicator Species: They are also a crucial indicator of clean river water.
  • Distribution:
  • Gharials were once abundant in the main rivers and tributaries of the Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Mahanadi-Brahmani river systems.
  • But they are now limited to only 14 widely spaced and restricted localities of India and Nepal.
  • In India, Gharials are present in the Son River, the Girwa River, the Ganges, the Mahanadi River, and the Chambal River.
  • The Satkosia gorge in the Mahanadi is the southernmost limit of gharials.

India has three species of Crocodilians namely:

  • Gharial: IUCN Red List- Critically Endangered
  • Mugger crocodile: IUCN- Vulnerable.
  • Saltwater crocodile: IUCN- Least Concern.

MUST READ: Saltwater crocodile and Chambal River



Q.1) With reference to India’s biodiversity, Ceylon Frogmouth, Coppersmith Barbet, Gray Chinned Minivet and White-throated Redstart are (2020)

  1. Birds
  2. Primates
  3. Reptiles
  4. Amphibians

Q.2) If you want to see gharials in their natural best habitat, which one of the following is the best place to visit? (2017)

  1. Bhitarkanika Mangroves
  2. Chambal River
  3. Pulicat Lake
  4. Deepor Beel

Property Rights For Daughters


  • Prelims –Polity

Context: Recently, a daughter’s right to the family property was probed by the Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court.

About Property Rights For Daughters:-

  • Hindu Succession Act, 1956 governs property division within the Hindu undivided family.
  • The Mitakshara school of Hindu law, a personal law, codified as the Hindu Succession Act,1956 used to govern the succession and inheritance of property in Hindus.
  • Under this law, only males were recognised as the legal heirs or coparceners in the family
  • Thus, the women were denied the right to inherit their father’s property.
  • In the year 2005, Parliament amended this act.
  • As per this amendment, daughters were allowed to have equal rights.
  • They were made coparceners in ancestral property.
  • Coparcener: someone who shares equally with others in inheritance.
  • Section 6 of the Act was amended to make a daughter a coparcener by birth in her own right in the same manner as the son.

Prakash v Phulwati case, 2015

  • In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that the 2005 amendment could be granted only to the “living daughters of living coparceners” as per the wording in the amended section.
  • This implied that only those daughters whose fathers were alive after the cut-off date of September 2005, would be entitled to benefits under the amendment.

The 2018 judgments:-

  • This judgment extended the date further to 2001, but the cut-off was soon retroverted to 2005.
  • In February 2018, contrary to the 2015 ruling, a two-judge Bench headed by Justice A K Sikri held that the share of a father who died in 2001 will also pass to his daughters as coparceners.
  • Previously, the sons could inherit the property regardless of whether their father is ‘living/deceased’, daughters could only do that only if their father was alive after 2005.
  • This was done so that coparcenary cases already settled would not be reopened.
  • However, in April 2018 yet another two-judge bench, headed by Justice RK Agrawal, reiterated the position taken in 2015.

Later, a three-judge Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra ruled the following:-

  • That a Hindu woman’s right to be a joint heir to the ancestral property is by birth.
  • Thus, it does not depend on whether her father was alive or not when the law was enacted in 2005.
  • The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 gave Hindu women the right to be coparceners or joint legal heirs in the same way a male heir does.
  • This applies to even if they were born before the change or the father was not alive at the time of the amendment.
  • If the woman died before the amendment came into force, her share may be passed on to her children.

MUST READ: Right to Property



Q.1) What is the position of the Right to Property in India? (2021)

  1. Legal right available to citizens only
  2. Legal right available to any person
  3. Fundamental Rights are available to citizens only
  4. Neither fundamental Rights nor legal rights

Q.2) Which of the following are regarded as the main features of the “Rule of Law”? (2018)

  1. Limitation of powers
  2. Equality before the law
  3. People’s responsibility to the Government
  4. Liberty and civil rights

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 2 and 4 only
  3. 1, 2 and 4 only
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4

Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme


  • Prelims –Governance

Context: Recently, the PMFME scheme for micro food processing units sanctioned over 25,000 loans.

About Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme:-

  • Pradhan Mantri Formalization of Micro food processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme is a centrally sponsored scheme
  • It is under the  Ministry of Food Processing Industries.
  • It was launched in 2020.
  • The expenditure under the scheme would be shared in a 60:40 ratio between Central and State Governments, in a 90:10 ratio with North Eastern and Himalayan States, a 60:40 ratio with UTs with the legislature and 100% by the Centre for other UTs.
  • It was launched under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
  • It aims to enhance the competitiveness of existing individual micro-enterprises in the unorganized segment of the food processing industry.
  • It aims to provide support to Farmer Producer Organizations, Self Help Groups, and Producers Cooperatives along their entire value chain.
  • The scheme envisions directly assisting the 2,00,000 micro food processing units.
  • This will be done by providing financial, technical, and business support for the upgradation of existing micro food processing enterprises.
  • Marketing and branding support would be provided to groups of FPOs/SHGs/ Cooperatives or an SPV of micro food processing enterprises under the scheme.
  • The unorganised food processing sector comprising nearly 25 lakh units contributes to 74% of employment in the food processing sector.
  • Nearly 66% of these units are located in rural areas.

MUST READ: One District One Product(ODOP)



Q.1) With reference to organic farming in India, consider the following statements (2018)

  1. The National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) is operated under the guidelines and ‘directions of the Union Ministry of Rural Development.
  2. ‘The Agricultural and Processed Food Product Export Development Authority ‘(APEDA) functions as the Secretariat for the implementation of NPOP.
  3. Sikkim has become India’s first fully organic State.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Q.2) Consider the following statements: The nationwide ‘Soil Health Card Scheme’ aims at (2017)

  1. expanding the cultivable area under irrigation.
  2. enabling the banks to assess the quantum of loans to be granted to farmers on the basis of soil quality.
  3. checking the overuse of fertilizers in farmlands.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Call Before u Dig app


  • Prelims – Governance

Context: Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Call Before u Dig’ (CBuD) app.

About Call Before u Dig app:-

  • The app is an initiative of the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications.
  • Objective: It will save potential business loss and minimise discomfort to the citizens due to reduced disruption in essential services like road, telecom, water, gas and electricity.
  • Background:-
    •  Uncoordinated digging and excavation cause damage to underlying assets like optical fibre cables, leading to losses of about Rs 3,000 crore every year.
    • The app aims to prevent damage to utilities due to digging.
  • The CBuD app connects excavators and asset owners through SMS/Email notifications and click-to-call.
  • It ensures planned excavations in the country.
  • It also ensures the safety of underground assets.
  • It aims to give excavating companies a point of contact.
  • They can inquire about existing subsurface utilities before starting excavation work here.
  • Utility owners can also find out about impending work at the location.




Q.1) Which of the following is/are the aim/aims of “Digital India” Plan of the Government of India ? (2018)

  1. Formation of India’s own Internet companies like China did.
  2. Establish a policy framework to encourage overseas multinational corporations that collect Big Data to build their large data centres within our national geographical boundaries.
  3. Connect many of our villages to the Internet and bring Wi-Fi to many of our schools, public places and major tourist centres.

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Q.2) Regarding DigiLocker’, sometimes seen in the news, which of the following statements is/are correct? (2016)

  1. It is a digital locker system offered by the Government under Digital India Programme.
  2. It allows you to access your e-documents irrespective of your physical location.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Bharat 6G Vision Document


  • Prelims – Governance

Context: Recently, Prime Minister unveiled the India’s 6G vision document that eyes service rollout by 2030 .

About Bharat 6G Vision Document:

Source:  https://newgadgetsindia.com/pm-modi-unveils-bharat-6g-vision-document-and-launches-6g-rd-test-bed/

  • It outlines India’s plan to launch 6G communication services by 2030.
  • Objective: to create an enabling environment for innovation, capacity building, and faster technology adoption in the country.
  • The document was developed by the Technology Innovation Group on 6G.
    • It is a group of experts from various ministries, research institutions, standardization bodies, telecom service providers, and industry.
  • The 6G test bed was also launched.
  • It is for providing a platform for industry, academic institutions, and others to test and validate emerging technologies.
  • The vision document highlights that 6G will provide ultra-low latency with speeds up to 1 terabit per second.
  • It is 1,000 times faster than the top speed of 5G.
  • While 5G technology promises a speed of 40-1,100 Mbps with the potential to hit maximum speeds of 10,000 Mbps, 6G will offer faster and more efficient communication services.
  • The TIG-6G group’s members will develop a roadmap and action plans for 6G in India.
  • It will provide a clear direction for the development and adoption of 6G technologies in the country.
  •  India’s plan to launch 6G communication services by 2030 demonstrates its commitment to adopting new technologies and remaining at the forefront of the telecommunication industry.

About 6 G:-

IMAGE SOURCE: 6G main Applications, trends, and technologies [24] | Download Scientific Diagram (researchgate.net)

  • It is the successor to 5G cellular technology.
  • It will be able to use higher frequencies than 5G networks.
  • It provide substantially higher capacity and much lower latency (delay).
  • One of the goals of 6G internet will be to support one microsecond-latency communication (delay of one-microsecond in communication).
  • This is 1,000 times faster or 1/1000th the latency than one millisecond throughput.
  • It seeks to utilize the terahertz band of frequency which is currently unutilized.
    • Terahertz waves fall between infrared waves and microwaves on the electromagnetic spectrum.




Q.1) With reference to Web 3.0, consider the following statements: (2022)

  1. Web 3.0 technology enables people to control their own data.
  2. In Web 3.0 world, there can be blockchain based social networks.
  3. Web 3.0 is operated by users collectively rather than a corporation

Which of the following given above are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Q.2) Consider the following communication technologies: (2022)

  1. Closed-circuit Television
  2. Radio Frequency Identification
  3. Wireless Local Area Network

Which of the above are considered of the Short-Range devices/technologies?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3



  • Prelims –Environment and Ecology

Context: Recent Census shows increased population of endangered Hangul at Dachigam National Park.

About Hangul:-

  • It is the state animal of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • The hangul is also called as Kashmir stag.
  • It is a subspecies of elk native to India.
  • Hangul, or cervus ellaphus hanglu, a sub-specie of the European red deer known to be existing only in Kashmir.


  • It is restricted to the Dachigam National Park some 15 km north-west of Jammu & Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar.
  • The Hangul was once widely distributed in the mountains of Kashmir and parts of Chamba district in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh.

Conservation Status:-

  • IUCN’s Red List: Critically Endangered
  • Schedule I:of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and the J&K Wildlife Protection Act, 1978.

About Dachigam National Park:-

IMAGE SOURCE: Dachigam National Park upsc – Bing images

  • Dachigam national park is located in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It was declared a protected area in 1910.
  • In the year 1981 it was declared as National Park.
  • In the year 1951 it was declared as the Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • It is famous for Himalayan moist temperate evergreen forest.
  • The forest also consists of moist deciduous trees, shrubs, deodar, pine and oak trees.
  • The mountain sides of the national park are covered in Coniferous forest tress that has broad leaves.
  • Dachigam national park is known as the home of Hangul.
  • The National Park covers nearly half of the catchment area of the famous Dal Lake.

MUST READ: Wildlife Protection



Q.1) Recently, there was a proposal to translocate some of the lions from their natural habitat in Gujarat to which one of the following sites (2017)

  1. Corbett National Park
  2. Kuno Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary
  3. Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
  4. Sariska National Park

Q.2) What is/are unique about ‘Kharai Camel’, a breed found in India? (2016)

  1. It is capable of swimming up to three kilometres in seawater
  2. It survives by grazing on mangroves
  3. It lives in the wild and cannot be domesticated

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

International Day of Forests 2023: Healthy forests for healthy people


  • Mains – GS 3 Environment and Ecology

Context: The International Day of Forests (IDF) was observed recently on March 21 to raise awareness about the significance of forests and trees. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared March 21 as the International Day of Forests (IDF) in 2012.

Importance of Forest

  • Forests are of global importance. Forests provide habitat for 80% of amphibian species, 75% of bird species, and 68% of mammal species.
  • More than 18% of the total forest area is in legally established protected areas. Nevertheless, forest biodiversity remains under threat from deforestation and forest degradation.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO’s) latest report on State of the World’s Forests (2022) states that forests cover 31% of the Earth’s land surface (4.06 billion ha) but the area is shrinking, with 420 million ha of forests lost due to deforestation between 1990 and 2020.
  • The rate of deforestation is declining but was still 10 million ha per year during the period of 2015–2020.
  • Water cycle:
    • Trees play a vital role in the water cycle by absorbing water from the soil and releasing it into the atmosphere through transpiration.
    • This helps to regulate the climate and maintain the water cycle.
  • Soil conservation:
    • Forests help to prevent soil erosion by holding the soil in place with their roots.
    • This is especially important in areas with steep slopes or heavy rainfall, where erosion can lead to landslides and other disasters.
  • Economic value:
    • Forests provide a wide range of products and services, including timber, non-timber forest products, and ecotourism.
    • They also provide employment and income for millions of people around the world.

Role of forest in combating climate change

  • A robust forest ecosystem acts as a vital carbon sink.
  • The Indian State of Forest Report (ISFR) estimates the carbon stock (which is the quantity of carbon sequestrated from the atmosphere and stored in biomass, deadwood, soil, and litter in the forest) of forests to be about 7,204 million tonnes in 2019, which is an increase of 79.4 million tonnes of carbon stock as compared to the estimates in 2017.
  • Among the Indian states, Arunachal Pradesh has the maximum carbon stock in forests (1023.84 million tonnes), followed by Madhya Pradesh (609.25 million tonnes).

Concerns of declining forest cover:

  • The area is shrinking : The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO’s) latest report ‘The State of the World’s Forests (2022)’ states that forests cover 31% of the Earth’s land surface (4.06 billion ha) but the area is shrinking, with 420 million ha of forests lost due to deforestation between 1990 and 2020.
    • The rate of deforestation is declining but was still 10 million ha per year during the period of 2015–2020.
  • Climate change is a major threat to forest health and this is manifested in a number of ways. For instance, there are indications that the incidence and severity of forest fires and pests are increasing.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic also had a significant impact on forest value chains and trade in early 2020.
  • There is a possible longer-term link between forests and disease.
    • More than 30% of new diseases since 1960 are ascribed to land-use change, including deforestation, and 15% of 250 emerging infectious diseases have been linked to forests.
  • Deforestation, specifically in the tropics, has been associated with an increase in infectious diseases such as malaria and dengue.
  • Moreover, worldwide almost 90% of deforestation is driven by agricultural expansion such as the conversion of forest to cropland or grassland for livestock grazing.
  • FAO’s report ‘The State of the World’s Forests (2022)’ suggests three forest-based pathways as a means for tackling local to global challenges
    • first, halting deforestation and maintaining forests;
    • second, restoring degraded lands and expanding agroforestry; and
    • finally yet importantly, sustainably using forests and building green value chains.

Government of India Initiatives to conserve forest:

  • National Afforestation Programme (NAP): Launched in 2002, the NAP aims to increase the country’s forest cover by 5 million hectares and improve the quality of existing forests.
    • The programme is implemented through a combination of afforestation, regeneration, and agroforestry.
  • Green India Mission: Launched in 2010, the Green India Mission aims to increase the forest cover by 5 million hectares and improve the quality of existing forest cover.
  • Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act (CAF): The CAF Act was passed in 2016 to ensure that the compensatory afforestation funds are used for afforestation, regeneration, and conservation activities.
  • Forest Conservation Act (FCA): The FCA was enacted in 1980 to protect forests and regulate diversion of forestland for non-forest purposes.
    • Under this Act, prior approval of the central government is required for any diversion of forestland for non-forest use.
  • National Bamboo Mission (NBM): The NBM was launched in 2006 with the objective of promoting the growth of bamboo in non-forest areas to supplement the income of farmers and promote bamboo-based industry.
  • National Green Corps (NGC): The NGC, also known as Eco-Clubs, was launched in 2001 to create awareness about environmental issues among school children.
    • The programme aims to involve students in various environmental activities and create a generation of environmentally conscious citizens.
  • Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE): The Government of India (GoI) has launched a global movement on Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE), or Mission LiFE.
    • This is designed with the objective of mobilising at least one billion Indians and other global citizens to take individual and collective action for protecting and conserving the environment.

Way Forward:

  • FAO’s SOFO report (2022) suggests three forest-based pathways as a means for tackling local to global challenges —
    • Halting deforestation and maintaining forests;
    • Restoring degraded lands and expanding agroforestry;
    • Sustainable use of forests and building green value chains.

Government of India has launched a global movement on Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE), or Mission LiFE. This is designed with the objective of mobilising at least one billion Indians and other global citizens to take individual and collective action for protecting and conserving the environment. In India, at least 80% of all villages and urban local bodies are intended to become environment-friendly by 2028.

Source: The Hindu

Protection of Domestic Workers in India


  • Mains – GS 1 (Social Issues) and GS 2 (Governance)

Context: Recently, social workers rescued a 14-year-old girl from a Gurugram home where she was employed as a domestic worker. The incident has highlighted the quality of paid domestic work in urban India, where people risk abuse and exploitation in an unregulated sector.

About Domestic Workers:

  • According to International Labour Organisation, domestic workers are those workers who perform work in or for a private household or households. They provide direct and indirect care services, and as such are key members of the care economy.
  • According to ILO, domestic work refers to housework such as sweeping, cleaning utensils, washing clothes, cooking, caring of children and such other work which is carried out for an employer for remuneration.

A brief about Domestic Workers in India:

  • Domestic work is the fastest-growing sector of women and girls’ employment in urban India.
    • Official estimates show that as of 2012, 39 lakh people were employed as domestic workers, of which at least 26 lakh were women.
  • Independent estimates such as one by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) place the count anywhere between 20 million and 90 million workers.
  • Most people come from marginalised castes and underprivileged locations.
    • A Bengaluru-based study in 2016 found 75% of domestic workers were from Scheduled Castes, 15% from OBCs and 8% from Scheduled Tribes.
  • A large number of girls and women (mostly unmarried) migrate from States like Jharkhand, Bihar, Bengal and Orissa – regions with a sizeable population living below the poverty line.
  • More than 12.6 million domestic workers in the country are minors, with 86% of them being girls.
    • Moreover, 25% of underage domestic workers were below 14 years, according to the data available.

Condition of domestic work:

  • The informal nature of work within homes means people are both unpaid and underpaid.
  • There is no legal contract, translating into ill-defined work hours, discrimination and violence, sexual harassment, and exploitation at the hands of placement agencies and/or traffickers.
  • Between 2010 and 2012, reported cases of violence against domestic workers increased from 3,422 to 3,564, according to the Press Information Bureau of India.
  • There is “widespread abuse and exploitation of women working as domestic workers, including trafficking of children for domestic servitude”, a 2016 report by Anti-Slavery International concluded.

Trafficking and forced labour:

  • It is difficult to demarcate victims of trafficking from people who migrate across State for employment.
  • ILO has defined domestic work as a “modern slavery” practice, where domestic workers, including minors, “remain vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, forced labour and trafficking”.
  • The ILO Forced Labour Convention, 1930 defines forced labour as work which is “exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty” and which is “not offered voluntarily”.

Challenges faced by Domestic Workers in India:

  • Poor Working Conditions: Domestic workers are denied minimum wages. They lack any social security cover.
    • Many workers are exploited to work for long hours and live-in workers are more vulnerable to physical abuse and harassment.
  • Lack of Laws to Protect Rights: The National Commission for Women had drafted the Domestic Workers (Registration, Social Security and Welfare) Bill in 2008-10. However, the Bill wasn’t passed.
    • Similarly, the Draft Policy on Domestic Workers has been waiting for approval since 2017.
  • Issues in Implementation: Domestic work was added to the list of scheduled employment under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, which coincided with the 2011 ILO convention 189.
    • However, the implementation remains poor, with most domestic workers working below minimum wage level.
    • Only 13 States/UTs have passed legislation requiring minimum wages for domestic employees.
  • Insufficient Data: There is lack of reliable data regarding number of domestic workers.
    • There is large variation among estimates, with number of workers varying from 4 million to 50 million.
    • The absence of data acts as a barrier to the formulation of appropriate plans and the allocation of resources for the improvement of the conditions of domestic workers.
  • Informal Placement Agencies/Housekeeping Companies: The companies that provide domestic workers in urban areas themselves function in an informal manner.
    • They are more focused on their own profits and care little about the rights of the workers.
  • Neglect of Domestic Labour Rights: Legislation pertaining to workers such as the Industry Disputes Act, 1947, the Employee’s Provident Fund Act, 1952, and the Factories Act, 1948, do not recognise the labour performed by domestic workers in private households as ‘work’.

Measures taken by Indian government: There is no dedicated law or policy to regulate people working in the domestic work sector.

  • Unorganized Sector Social Security Act, 2008 – The Act provided the first legal recognition meant to provide social welfare to workers—including domestic workers.
  • Code on Social Security, 2020 – The code replaced the Unorganized Sector Social Security Act, 2008 and is yet to take effect.
  • Child Labour Act, 1986 – The Indian government prohibited minors from entering domestic housework in 2006, listing it as a form of “hazardous child labour”.
  • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 – Includes domestic workers as a specific category of workers – with the house as a designated workplace.
  • Minimum Wages Act, 1948 – Only certain States such as Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Tripura have included domestic workers in the schedule of Minimum Wages Act.
  • Domestic Workers (Registration, Social Security and Welfare) Bill in 2008 – The National Commission of Women proposed the bill.
  • Domestic Workers’ Welfare Bill 2016 – Recognised a private household as a workplace, and broader definition of “wages”.
    • Both the 2008 and 2016 bill have not been passed yet.
  • National Domestic Worker Policy – Proposed by the Labour Ministry in 2019 to regulate placement agencies and include domestic workers under existing laws.
  • India is a signatory to ILO’s 189th convention, known as Convention on the Domestic Workers but has not ratified it yet.

International measures to protect domestic worker:

  • Domestic Workers Convention (No. 189) – ILO enacted Domestic Workers Convention (No. 189) in 2011 to protect domestic workers.
  • International Domestic Workers Day – June 16th, celebrating the 2011 passage of the International Labor Organization Convention 189 for Decent Work for Domestic Workers.
  • Your Work Is Important – ILO has launched a campaign “Your Work Is Important” to generate public awareness.

Way Forward:

There is a need to give protection to informal sector workers via social welfare schemes so that the disruption they are facing does not lead to a permanent fall in demand. Therefore, the Government of India’s intervention in regulating the engagement between domestic workers and their employers is need of the hour to resolve the issue of modern slavery.

Source:  The Hindu

Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Dachigam National Park is often mentioned in the media is in

  1. Jharkhand
  2. Assam
  3. Jammu and Kashmir
  4. Karnataka

Q.2) Consider the following statements regarding Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme:

  1. It is a central sector scheme
  2. It is under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
  3. It aims to provide support to Farmer Producer Organizations, Self Help Groups, and Producers Cooperatives along their entire value chain.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 only
  4. 1 and 3 only

Q.3) Consider the following statements regarding the National Centre of Excellence in Green Port and Shipping:

  1. It is India’s first National Centre of Excellence for Green Port & Shipping (NCoEGPS).
  2. It will work under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
  3. It is situated in Chennai, Maharashtra.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1 2 and 3

Comment the answers to the above questions in the comment section below!!

ANSWERS FOR ’ 24th March 2023 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st

ANSWERS FOR 23rd March – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – b

Q.2) – a

Q.3) – d

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