» FOR UPSC CURRENT NEWS ANALYSIS 15 MAY 2018
FOR UPSC CURRENT NEWS ANALYSIS 15 MAY 2018
Note: The following Current affairs has been selected from AIR, PIB, PRS, BBC, The Hindu, IDSA (Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses), Live mint, Indian Express, Quora.com, Hindustan Times, Telegraph, The Times , WTO, New Indian express , The Guardian and is highly recommended for UPSC Prelims and Mains Examination
News Analysis: 15-05-2018
General Studies-I : Role of women and women's organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
Gender bias caused ‘excess’ deaths of girls under 5: Lancet study
- There have been 2,39,000 “excess deaths” per year of girls under the age of five in India, and 29 out of 35 States and Union Territories in the country contributed to this mortality, according to a study in the online, open access, peer-reviewed journal Lancet Global Health.
- That works out to about 2.4 million deaths in a decade. The additional deaths were found in 90% of districts in the country.
- Excess mortality is the difference between observed and expected mortality rates in both genders.
- To arrive at this number for India, the researchers calculated the difference between these two numbers in 46 countries that consistently did not have a problem with gender discrimination. They then used that to define an equation and arrive at the numbers for India.
- Most studies of India’s skewed sex ratios have focussed on pre-natal mortality. The National Family Health Survey in 2017 said that India’s sex ratio at birth increased to 919 in 2015-16 from 914 in 2004-05.
- This study, however, focuses on mortality after birth and says that the problem is most pronounced in northern India, where the four largest States in the region, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh, accounted for two thirds of the total excess deaths of females under five.
- In Uttar Pradesh, excess female mortality was calculated at 30.5. In Bihar, the rate was 28.5, in Rajasthan it was 25.4, and in Madhya Pradesh, it was 22.1.
- The worst affected areas were all rural, agricultural areas with lower levels of education, high population densities, low socio-economic development and high levels of fertility.
- Many deaths of females under five were partly due to unwanted child bearing and subsequent neglect.
- The sustained fertility decline currently observed in north India is likely to lead to a reduction in postnatal discrimination.
- Unless son preference diminishes, lower fertility, however, might bring about a rise in gender-biased sex selection as was observed 20 years ago in western India
Source: The Hindu
General Studies-II : Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure
Centre’s say is final on Cauvery, SC told
- The Centre will have the final say in inter-State disputes over Cauvery water. The decision of the Centre will be “binding.”
- This is the crux of the draft Cauvery water management scheme filed in the Supreme Court on Monday during the short pause between polling and counting in the crucial Karnataka Assembly elections.
- With the Centre facing the threat of contempt of court, the apex court saw Union Water Resources Secretary U.P. Singh, with copies of the draft scheme in hand, present in the courtroom in response to a summons issued on May 8.
- The draft scheme originally proposes as final any decisions taken by the implementing authority under the proposed Cauvery Water Management Scheme, 2018 in furtherance of the Cauvery Tribunal award as modified by the Supreme Court verdict of February 16.
- But in a situation where the riparian States of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala or the Union Territory (UT) of Puducherry do “not cooperate”, the authority would turn to the Centre for help. The decision of the Centre “in the matter will be final and binding on all parties concerned.”
- But while thus leaving the Centre as the final arbiter of inter-State Cauvery disputes, the draft scheme does not mention if an aggrieved State can approach the Supreme Court in appeal against the Centre’s decision itself.
- The Centre wants the Cauvery authority to be headquartered in Bengaluru. From there, the authority would monitor storage, apportionment and control of the water.
- It shall supervise the operation of reservoirs and regulation of water releases with the assistance of the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee.
- The authority would also decide the “distress formula” in water-sharing.
Source: The Hindu
General Studies-II : Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
Article 35A case for statute Bench?
- The Supreme Court will examine fervent pleas for a five-judge Constitution Bench to decide whether special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir is unconstitutional.
- The Centre would also make submissions on the constitutionality of Article 35A, which gives Jammu and Kashmir special status.
- Article 35A of the Constitution gives the State Legislature carte blanche to decide who all are the “permanent residents” of the State and grant them special rights and privileges in public sector jobs, acquisition of property within the State, scholarships and other public aid and welfare programmes.
- The provision mandates that no Act of the State legislature coming within the ambit of Article 35A can be challenged for violating the Indian Constitution or any other law of the land.
- Petitioner said Article 35A was in violation of the fundamental right of equality under Article 14.
- Article 35A was incorporated into the Indian Constitution in 1954 by an order of President Rajendra Prasad on the advice of the Jawaharlal Nehru Cabinet.
- Parliament was not consulted when the President incorporated Article 35A into the Indian Constitution through a Presidential Order issued under Article 370.
- Article 368 (i) of the Constitution mandates that only Parliament can amend the Constitution by introducing a new Article.
- The court is hearing a writ petition filed by a non-governmental organisation, We the Citizens, which challenges the validity of both Article 35A and Article 370.
- It challenges that Article 35A is against the “very spirit of oneness of India” as it creates a “class within a class of Indian citizens”.
Source: The Hindu
General Studies-II : 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.
Contractors to compile sex offenders’ registry
- The Home Ministry plans to outsource the preparation of the proposed sex offenders’ registry to the private sector.
- Private contractors are expected to design and maintain the database that will be integrated with the Aadhaar database.
- The Home Ministry said the offenders would be classified on the basis of their criminal history to ascertain if “they pose a serious danger to the community.”
- The data will be stored for 15 years in the case of those who pose a low danger, 25 years for those posing “moderate danger” and lifetime for “habitual offenders, violent criminals, convicts in gang rape and custodial rapes.”
- The information on “arrested and chargesheeted” offenders will be available only to law enforcement agencies, whereas the data for “convicted” offenders will be accessible to the public and can be searched on various parameters such as State, district, police station and even modus operandi.
- The database will contain records (including photographs and fingerprints) related to offenders across India and will also include records on juvenile offenders and paedophiles based on reports by district nodal officers. It will also contain the current status of the offender as updated by the police station and the district nodal officer.
- On Monday, the Home Ministry floated a request for proposal document for “Development and Implementation of National Registry of Sexual Offenders” seeking to select a System Integrator to “design, procure/develop, supply, implement, operate and maintain” the database.
- On April 27, 2016, the Centre informed the Rajya Sabha that the registry would be maintained by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
- On April 21, in the wake of outrage against the gangrape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district of Jammu, the Union Cabinet reiterated that a sex offenders’ registry was being created to compile the data on such offenders.
- A Home Ministry spokesperson said the private contractors would only develop the platform and the confidentiality of data would be maintained.
Source: The Hindu
General Studies-II : Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Alien versus alien
- In Assam, where illegal migration, in fact as well as in exaggeration, has defined the political landscape since the 1980s, public hearings and meetings held by a Joint Parliamentary Committee over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, have inevitably taken place in a charged atmosphere.
- Parties and civil society groups have argued that the Bill provides legitimacy to Hindus who have migrated from Bangladesh post-1971.
- It precludes individuals from six religious minorities from three “Muslim-dominant countries” (Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan) from being defined as “illegal immigrants” under the Foreigners Act, 1946.
- The intent behind this Bill, promised by the BJP in the run-up to the 2014 general election, is to clear a path to citizenship for minorities persecuted in the three countries.
- The National Register of Citizens, on the other hand, does not distinguish migrants on the basis of religion and regards all post-March 24, 1971 migrants, irrespective of their religion, as illegal aliens who need to be deported.
- Clearly, the Bill is seen by detractors to be breaking the general consensus on the NRC forged after years of political differences and legal challenges to the Assam Accord, of which the ongoing exercise to update the register is an outcome.
- Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has responded saying his government will continue to protect the rights of the citizens, and hinted that the JPC should take the detractors’ views on board.
- The Bill is indeed discriminatory and problematic in limiting accelerated citizenship to non-Muslims.
- As the case of the Rohingya highlights, Muslims in neighbouring countries who are fleeing persecution are being denied refuge in India currently.
- Besides, the detractors, although some of their objections stem from a native chauvinism, have a point.
- The Bill conflates the definition of migrants, people who shift voluntarily, with that of refugees, who are forced to do so under duress giving them a claim to humanitarian protection.
- The NRC puts the onus on migrants to prove their status of residence prior to 1971 based on a series of documents that would lead to registration as a citizen. The Bill seeks to bring in considerations of religious identity.
- There are unresolved issues with the NRC process as well. There is the question of modalities of deportation, which would involve negotiations with Bangladesh.
- As of now Assam has six detention centres for illegal migrants. If the NRC process identifies more illegal aliens for deportation, they would have to be detained in such centres and there is no knowing how long they would have to stay there.
- Besides, the implementation of the Bill will mean non-Muslims will not be subject to these steps, thereby clearly discriminating against Muslims identified as illegal aliens.
- The Centre needs to apply much more thought before pushing the Bill, for its contradictions in Assam and for its larger religious assumptions.
Source: The Hindu
1. Which of the following statements are ture with respect to the recent study undertaken by Lancet Global Health?
1.The four largest States in the region, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh, accounted for two thirds of the total excess deaths of females under five.
2.Excess mortality is the difference between observed and expected mortality rates in both genders.
c.Both 1 and 2
d.Neither 1 nor 2
2. Which of the following articles defines "permanent residents" of Jammu and Kashmir?
a. Article 370
b. Article 142
c. Article 35A
d. Article 372
3.Which of the following statements are true with respect to the proposed National Sex Offenders Registry
1.The information on arrested and chargesheeted offenders will be available only to law enforcement agencies
2.It contains the details of sexual offenders, both below and above 18 years of age
c.Both 1 and 2
d.Neither 1 nor 2
4. Which of the following articles grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir?
a. Article 370
b. Article 371
c. Article 372
d. Article 371-J
5.Which of the following statements are true with respect to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO)?
1.This act is applicable to the whole of India and provides protection to children under the age of 18 years against sexual offences.
2.It does not criminalise consensual sex between two individuals under the age of 18 years.
3.The burden of proof of the alleged crime lies on the victim.
a. Only 1
b. Only 1 and 2
c. Only 1 and 3
d.All of the above
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