DAILY MAINS NEWSLETTER FOR UPSC | 10 MAR 2021 | RaghukulCS

Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

10 MAR 2021

Index

Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name

Source

1

Target judicial patriarchy, not the judge.

 The Hindu

2

Ploughing a new furrow in the Agri-regulatory system

The Hindu

3

The long, hard road of immunization

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

Trishul Military Airbase under UDAN scheme

Syllabus- 

GS2-Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions        

Analysis:

  • Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, MoS, I/C, Civil Aviation today flagged off the first flight from Delhi to the newly upgraded Trishul Military Airbase, Bareilly Airport, Uttar Pradesh. Shri Santosh Gangwar, MoS, I/C, Labour & Employment and Member of Parliament, Bareilly graced the event at the Delhi Airport by flagging off the All Women Crew operated Delhi – Bareilly Inaugural Flight on the International Women’s Day.
  • The Bareilly airport has been upgraded for commercial flight operations under the Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN) of the Government of India.
  • The flagging off marks the commencement of the 56thairport under the UDAN scheme and marks the successful operationalization of the 8th airport of Uttar Pradesh after Lucknow, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Hindon, Agra and Prayagraj. 
  • Trishul Military Airbase, Bareilly belongs to the Indian Air Force and the land was handed over to the Airport Authority of India for construction of the interim civil aviation operations.
  • The Government of India sanctioned Rs. 88 crores under the UDAN scheme for the development of the interim civil aviation operations.
  • The upgradation was undertaken by the AAI with a cost of Rs. 65 crores.

Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) Scheme

 Syllabus- 

GS3-Infrastructure- Transportation

Analysis:

  • This initiative aims at setting up of Compressed Bio-Gas production plants.
  • It makes available in the market for use in automotive fuels by inviting Expression of Interest from potential entrepreneurs.
  • There are multiple benefits from converting agricultural residue, cattle dung and municipal solid waste into CBG on a commercial scale:
  • Responsible waste management, reduction in carbon emissions and pollution
  • Additional revenue source for farmers
  • Boost to entrepreneurship, rural economy and employment

HDFC Bank launches 'SmartUp Unnati' for women entrepreneurs

Syllabus-

 GS1: Women empowermwment

Analysis:

  • HDFC Bank had launched an online mentoring platform for banking start-ups in 2018 under its SmartUp Program
  • ‘SmartUp Unnati’ targets more than 3,000 women entrepreneurs associated with the bank’s SmartUp programme
  • This programme is available only to exist customers. 

Mains Analysis

Target judicial patriarchy, not the judge.

Why in News: – 

The controversy over the CJI’s recent remarks should lead to greater gender sensitivity in observations and judgments.

Syllabus:

 GS-1: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues or Social empowerment.
  1. A survey by the Thomson Reuters Foundation (2018) and National Crime Records Bureau report (2019) Shows that India as the most dangerous country for women as many as 32,032 rapes were reported in 2019 or 88 incidents of rape a day.
  2. The Challenge and Concern for India is, every hour, 39 instances of crime against women including four instances of rape are committed in India. 
  3. The rape cases have increased by 88% overa decade.
  4. Four lakh cases of crimes against women were reported in 2019.

National Crime Records Bureau report (2019):

  1. A total of 4,05,861 cases of crime against women were registered during 2019, showing an increase of 7.3% over 2018 (3,78,236 cases).
  2. Majority of cases under crime against women under IPC were registered under ‘Cruelty by Husband or His Relatives’ (30.9%) followed by ‘Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage her Modesty’ (21.8%), ‘Kidnapping & Abduction of Women’ (17.9%) and ‘Rape’ (7.9%).
  3. The crime rate registered per lakh women population is 62.4 in 2019 in comparison with 58.8  in 2018.

Gender insensitivity India:

  1. The recent observations by the Chief Justice of India (CJI), A. Bobde, while granting bail to a government servant who is accused of repeated rape and torture of a 16-year-old child have been widely criticised though the Chief Justice of India has now denied having suggested marriage to the rape accused.
  1. The worrisome issue is that legally speaking, rape is not even a compoundable offence and parties are not allowed to enter into compromise.
  2. The real problem is that such avoidable utterances reflect the patriarchal mindset of our judges and the larger society.
  3. These statements demonstrate our gender insensitivity.
  4. The Chief Justice of Indiasaid was similar to the Modi government’s affidavit, in 2017, in the Delhi High Court. The RSS too had opposed marital rape being made a crime.
  5. The Justice J.S. Verma Committee (2013), which was constituted after the Delhi gang rape (2012) had said that rape should be viewed not as an infringement of a woman’s chastity or virginity but a violation of her bodily integrity and sexual autonomy.
  6. This autonomy cannot be permanently lost by entering into marriage.
  7. Rape remains rape irrespective of the relationship.

Judicial Verdict: –

  1. The similar observations by other judges to understand the patriarchal attitude of judges.
  2. In June 22, 2020 order while granting advance bail to the rape accused, Justice Krishna S. Dixit of the Karnataka High Court asked why ‘the victim had gone to her office at night’; why had she ‘not objected to consuming drinks with him’
  3. The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court, in a strange ruling, had ordered that the sentence of the ‘rape convict can be cut if he agrees to pay ?1 lakh to the victim’. Of course, the poor victim accepted the offer.
  4. The Bombay High Court in another case had ordered that breaking a promise of marriage is neither cheating nor rape.
  5. Justice Mridul Bhatkar granted bail to the accused observing that ‘it is an unfortunate case of frustrated love affair’.
  6. The Madras High Court had granted bail to a rape accused so that he could mediate with the victim. The Supreme Court had to quickly intervene to get the bail cancelled.

Recent Cases: –

  1. The shocking decision in Bhanwari Devi (1995);she was gang-raped in 1992. The acquittal order by the Rajasthan court gave absurd reasons such as a higher caste man cannot rape a lower caste woman for reasons of purity
  2. A 2020 judgment from the Guwahati HighCourt treated refusal of applying sindoor (vermilion) and wearing conch shell bangles (shaka) as sufficient basis to grant divorce to the husband.
  3. Even a progressive judge like Justice M. Katju in D. Velusamy vs D. Patchaiammal (2010) had termed a second Hindu wife as a ‘mistress’ and ‘keep’, and thus not entitled to maintenance.A few years ago, the Madras High Court gavean absurd order by directing that ‘divorcees too should maintain sexual purity to claim alimony’.
    1. In Narendra vs K. Meena (2016), the top court held that under Hindu traditions, a wife on marriage is supposed to fully integrate herself with her husband’s family and that if she refuses to live with her in-laws, it would amount to cruelty and the husband would be entitled to divorce her under the Hindu Marriage Act.
    2. In Rajesh Sharma vs The State of Uttar Pradesh (2017),a two judge Bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Uday Umesh Lalit in yet another controversial order observed that there should be no automatic arrests on charges of cruelty.
    3. In this case, a demand of dowry was made for ?3 lakh and a car, which the wife’s family was not able to meet.

      ‘Hadiya’

    1. In the infamous Hadiya (2017) case too, some of the observations of the Kerala High Court about Hadiya’s independent agency and powers of her father over her were equally shocking and patriarchal.
    2. The Supreme Courtin 2018 upheld the validity of her marriage and overruled the High Court’s strange judgment; the fact is that the top court’s order of investigation by the National Investigation Agency into the matter of marriage of two adults was absolutely erroneous.

    India’s worse performance:

    1. The survey asked respondents which five of the 193 United Nations member states they thought were most dangerous for women and which country was worst in terms of healthcare, economic resources, cultural or traditional practices, sexual violence and harassment, non-sexual violence and human trafficking.
    2. Respondents ranked India the most dangerous country for women in terms of human trafficking, including sex slavery and domestic servitude, and for customary practices such as forced marriage, stoning and female infanticide.
    3. Government data shows reported cases of crime against women rose by 83 percent between 2007 and 2016, when there were four cases of rape reported every hour.

    Way Forward: –

    • In normal circumstances, a wife is expected to be with the family of the husband after the marriage. She becomes integral to and forms part of the family of the husband’.
    • Interestingly, though the wife is an integral part of her husband’s family, yet she is not a coparcener under the Hindu Succession Act.
    • One hopes the controversy now will lead to greater gender sensitivity by our judges, at least in their oral observations and questions, if not the final judgments.
    • It would be better to target patriarchy rather than the Chief Justice of India.
    • India moving to the top of woman crime survey showed not enough was being done to tackle the danger women faced, more than five years after the rape and murder of a student on a bus in Delhi made violence against women a national priority.

    Question: –

    Critically examine the Supreme Court’s judgement on rapes cases with reference to appointment of judges of higher judiciary in India.

    Ploughing a new furrow in the Agri-regulatory system

    Why in News: –

    Change is needed as Indian farmers face constraints, and as world agriculture will now rely on middle-income countries.

    Syllabus:

     GS-3: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System-objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions;
    • While the country is divided on the need for the three new farm laws, the fact remains that farmers, mainly smallholders, across India continue to face various constraints in carrying out farming activities.
      • They include constraints in accessing agricultural inputs, markets, finance, human resources, and information, which are critical for increasing farmers’ competitiveness.

     Role for the government:

    • The existing institutional set up that controls farm production often fails to ease these constraints.
    • A way out of this problem is to develop a suitable regulatory system that would enable farmers to overcome their constraints.
    • Governments canplay a critical role in this regard by enacting laws and regulations that influence farmers’ access to agricultural inputs, cost of production, farmers’ participation in agricultural markets and value chains, the competitiveness of farmers, and private investment in the farming sector.

    The World Bank titled Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA) 2019:

    1. Based on eight indicators, the EBA measures the extent to which government regulatory systems in 101 countries worldwide make it easier for their farmers to operate agricultural activities.
    2. The indicators are supplying seed, registering fertilizer, securing water, registering machinery, sustaining livestock, protecting plant health, trading food, and accessing finance.
    3. These indicators measure the strength of a country’s agricultural regulatory environment pertaining to market integration and entrepreneurship in agriculture. The EBA is akin to the Doing Business project of the World Bank, which ranks the ease of doing business in countries.

     India’s poor standing:

    1. Among 101 countries covered, India ranked 49 on the EBA aggregate score. France, Croatia, and the Czech Republic are the three top-ranking countries.
    2. Among emerging groups of 20 (EG 20) countries, India has the second least favourable regulatory environment for farming activities after South Africa.
    3. Turkey is the top-performing country among EG 20 countries, followed by Argentina, Brazil, the Russian Federation, Mexico and China.
    4. India lags behind its close competitors in world agriculture, namely China, Brazil, and the Russian Federation. Compared to these three countries,
    5. India has the weakest performance on five out of eight indicators. They are registering fertilizer and machinery, securing water, sustaining livestock, and protecting plant health indicators.

    The productivity loss, higher cost of food production concern for India:

    1. Inadequate access to quality agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, water, and mechanical power can cause productivity loss, higher cost of food production and uncertainty, and lower capacity of farmers to produce surpluses, adopt new plant varieties and accept new opportunities to improve their income.
    2. The regulatory system that governs irrigation management is essential for reducing the variability of farm output, prices, and incomes, minimising vulnerability to natural shocks, and incentivising the production of riskier and high returns crops.

    Seed supply:

    1. The comparative score of India on supplying seed, trading food, and accessing finance indicators is high. Supplying seed indicator evaluates laws and regulations that ensure timely release of seed to farmers.
    2. robust seed supply system is required for improving yield and adopting new crop varieties. The trading food indicator assesses laws and regulations that facilitate exporting of farm products by farmers.
    3. The regulatory framework on the use of warehouse receipts is assessed using accessing finance indicator. A robust warehouse receipts system enables the farmers to obtain the credit needed to invest in agriculture.
    4. Warehouse receipt operators accept deposits of crops and provide warehouse receipts to farmers as evidence of deposited crops. By using warehouse receipts as collateral, farmers can receive credit.

    The EBA project results:

    1. The compared to its close competitors, the strength of India’s agricultural regulatory environment is weak on the whole and with respect to key performance indicators.
    2. The agricultural sector in developing countries is transforming. This process is characterized by improvements in productivity, a shift away from staple crops and a greater degree of commercialization.

    Way Forward: –

    1. Global agricultural production has grown tremendously in recent decades, tripling between 1970 and 2016. While it currently constitutes only about 3.9% of global GDP, agriculture is the economic backbone of many developing countries. Agriculture contributes to about 25% of GDP in low-income countries as compared to only 1% of GDP in the European Union.
    2. India Gaining access to the global agricultural value chain requires a sound regulatory framework on SPS. For instance, thanks to active involvement by the SPS authority, namely National Agrarian Health Service (SENASA-Peru), Peru had become one of the world’s leading exporters of asparagus.
    3. To make the best use of this great opportunity, India needs to put in place an agricultural regulatory system that would make it easier for its farmers to conduct agricultural activities, thereby improving their productivity, competitiveness, and income.
    4. The future of world agriculture andfood production is expected to increasingly depend on middle-income countries such as China, India, Brazil, and Indonesia, just like the high-income countries dictating the fortunes of global agriculture in the past five decades.

    Question: –

     The recently enacted farm laws have brought to light the issue of developing a sound regulatory framework to promote India’s agricultural growth and in keeping pace with the changing times. Explain

    The long, hard road of immunization

    Why in News: – 

    Beginning from 16 January 2021, COVID-19 vaccination in India has crossed 20 million with an overall target of vaccinating 250 million people by July 2021.

    Syllabus:

     GS 2: Health, Government Policies and Interventions;
    • Global COVID-19 vaccine trackers point to the relatively low population level full vaccination coverage in India, 0.28 per cent currently.
      • In the final analysis, that is the crucial factor which will lead to the progress of the pandemic slowing down at national and sub-national levels.
      • Among countries or entities with large populations as well as those with some of the highest incidence and mortality, the coverage in the US, UK, Brazil, France and Italy is respectively 9.35 per cent, 1.68 per cent, 1.27 per cent, 2.86 per cent and 2.74 per cent. Israel leads with a figure of 41.85 per cent.

    Vaccination In India:

    1. India’s prioritisation strategy rightly focused on protecting the healthcare and other frontline workers first and hence the seemingly low coverage till this point.
    2. The enthusiasm witnessed in the first few days since moving on to the next group of 270 million people — those aged above 60 years as well as those between 45-59 years with co-morbidities— was also marked by some shortcomings in the technology (booking of slots) and vaccine supply.
    3. These shall surely be fixed quickly given India’s depth of experience and capacity of the immunisation programme.
    4. The vice president, the prime minister, several chief ministers and Union ministers took the vaccine in the first couple of days of this phase to lead the campaign from the front and reinforce vaccine confidence and demand.
    5. The minister of state for health and family welfare informed the Rajya Sabha in February 2021 that fewer beneficiaries than planned attended inoculation sessions due to transient technical issues in the Co-WIN portal and vaccine hesitancy in the early phases.

    Challenges: –

    1. With a target of immunising about 0.3 million HCW on the first day (January 16) across 2,934 sites, 10 million HCW should have received the first dose in about 30 days (mid-February).
    2. However, 7 million were vaccinated with the first dose till March 8, with considerable variation across states. This does point to a modicum of vaccine hesitancy in some states and/or within the states, that too among a group who actually have some of the highest risks.
    3. The other emerging concern is about two-thirds of HCW turning up for their second dose on the due date (weeks).
    4. This may in part be attributed to the WHO’s current position that the vaccines can be more effective when given apart in a 6–12-week window; India’s policy prescribes a 4-6 weeks interval.
    5. This calls for rapid appraisals to develop a layered understanding of the prevailing opinions, motivations, behaviours and attitudes of key stakeholders within their organisational and socio-cultural matrix.
    6. Equally important shall be the elucidation of the contents of rumours and social media content, including political and socio-cultural factors.

    COVID-19 And Vaccination: – 

    1. Another sobering aspect is the epidemiological situation in at least half a dozen states that are witnessing a spike in fresh infections. Vaccination is an important pillar in the multi-pronged strategy to the pandemic response.
    2. The opening up of the immunisation programme to private providers (with capping of prices) is an important and welcome step, one that had been recommended for some time now by experts and state programme leaderships.
    3. There is also a distinct possibility of the vaccines being available in the open market in about a month’s time.
    4. If so, this shall be both on account of large amounts of vaccine stocks being available as well as to facilitate quicker uptake of the available vaccines.
    5. These will be important steps in boosting the immunisation coverage.

     Access The Vaccine:

    1. The sustainability of the first wave of enthusiasm shall entail ensuring vaccine supply, fixing technological glitches and responding to cases of Adverse Effects Following Immunisation (AEFI). Else, this momentum may slow down.
    2. A critical ingredient of success shall be taking user feedback to improve programme responsiveness and according greater flexibility to state and district level programme managers.
    3. These will also need to be backed up with communication messages as well as proactive responses to issues of hesitancy, rumours and misinformation that the social media shall amplify.
    4. Accessing the vaccine depends substantially (though not exclusively, there is a walk-in option) on being able to book an appointment (of up to four persons) on the internet. The vaccination certificate is to be downloaded.
    5. In this context, the digital divide is something to reckon with. About 400 million Indians have no access to the internet.
    6. The internet density in rural areas, particularly in some regions, is as low as 25 per cent compared to 90 per cent in urban areas.
    7. The gender digital divide is also substantial, with far fewer women with access to mobile phones and internet services.
    8. Frontline health workers shall have a crucial role to play, particularly for the non-urban beneficiaries.

    Way forward: –

    1. India’s depth in vaccine manufacturing capacities and resilience of the immunisation programme — notwithstanding the fact that this is a new adult vaccination campaign — should help in achieving vaccine equity as well.
    2. With substantial vaccine stocks available and nearly all sectors of the economy open now, India may also consider expanding the scope of the definition of frontline workers and prioritising their immunisation.
    3. These can justifiably include a wider array of workers such as teachers, shopkeepers, those in the services sector such as bank and postal employees or public transport workers or delivery personnel as well as factory and industry workers.
    4. This will help reduce risks to this large working population as well as boost the post-COVID recovery of the economy.
    5. Media reports and visuals of the initial days of March represent an empowered urban middle-class phenomenon.
    6. The empowerment is in terms of access to information as well as information technology, and a plethora of public and private providers.
    7. It will need quality service deliveries through the next few weeks to promote and expand demand beyond this segment to rural and peri-urban populations.

    Question: –

    India’s achievements in COVID-19 vaccination are indeed large in terms of absolute numbers being vaccinated but should not bring a false sense of security of achieving herd immunity quickly enough, which is a function of both coverage and vaccine efficacy. Explain

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