On the occasion of Good Governance Day(25th December), the government released the Good Governance Index 2021 that was prepared by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions.
Good Governance Index (GGI) (a biannual index)is a comprehensive and implementable framework to assess the State of Governance across the States and UTs which enables ranking of States/Districts.
The objective of GGI is to create a tool that can be used uniformly across the States toaccess the impact of various interventions taken up by the Central and State Governments including UTs.
Based on the GGI Framework, the Index provides a comparative picture among the States while developing a competitive spirit for improvement.
The GGI 2021 says that 20 States have improved their composite GGI scores over the GGI 2019 index scores.
Basis of the Ranking:
It is based on ten sectors and 58 indicators. The sectors are
Agriculture and Allied Sectors
Commerce & Industries
Human Resource Development
Public Infrastructure & Utilities
Social Welfare & Development
Judicial & Public Security
Ranking of the States: The Index categorizes States and UTs into four categories, i.e.,
Other States – Group A:
Gujarat has topped the composite ranking in the Good Governance Index 2021 covering 10 sectors, followed by Maharashtra and Goa.
Other States – Group B:
Madhya Pradesh tops the list followed by Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
North-East and Hill States:
Himachal Pradesh topped the list followed by Mizoram and Uttarakhand.
Delhi tops the composite rank registering a 14% increase over the GGI 2019 indicators.
Other Initiatives for Good Governance:
National e-Governance Plan
Right to Information Act, 2005
Why in News?
As per the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) recommendations, India has imposed Anti-Dumping Dutieson five Chinese products for five years.
The DGTR has concluded that these products have been exported at a price below normal value in Indian markets.
India has a Trade Deficit of USD 30.07 billion with China.
Directorate General of Trade Remedies
It is the apex national authority under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for administering all trade remedial measures including anti-dumping, countervailing duties and safeguard measures.
It provides trade defense support to the domestic industry and exporters in dealing with increasing instances of trade remedy investigations instituted against them by other countries.
Dumping is said to occur when the goods are exported by a country to another country at a price lower than the price it normally charges in its own home market.
This is an unfair trade practice that can have a distortive effect on international trade.
Objective of Anti-Dumping Duty (ADD):
The imposition of Anti-dumping duty (a protectionist tariff) is a measure to rectify the situation arising out of the dumping of goods and its trade distortive effect.
In the long term, anti-dumping duties can reduce the international competition of domestic companies producing similar goods.
The use of anti-dumping measures as an instrument of fair competition is permitted by the World Trade Organisation.
Different from Countervailing Duties:
Anti-dumping duty is a customs duty on imports providing protection against the dumping of goods at prices substantially lower than the normal value whereas Countervailing duty is a customs duty on goods that have received government subsidies in the originating or exporting country.
WTO’s Provisions Related to Anti-Dumping Duty:
An anti-dumping duty is valid for a period of five years from the date of imposition unless revoked earlier.
It can be extended for a further period of five years through a sunset or expiry review investigation.
A Sunset review/ expiry review is an evaluation of the need for the continued existence of a program or an agency.
It allows for an assessment of the effectiveness and performance of the program or agency.
Such a review can be initiated Suo moto or on the basis of a duly substantiated request received from or on behalf of the domestic industry.
Ministry of Ayush: Year-end Review
What is the news?
The Ministry of Ayush has launched several initiatives to revive and promote the traditional Indian medicine system.
What are the initiatives launched by the Ministry of Ayush?
AYUSH-64 mYoga fitness app:
It was developed jointly by the Ministry of Ayush and the World Health Organisation with the aim to bring assisted yoga training to everyone with a smartphone for free without needing any signing in.
A dedicated community support helpline was operationalised by the Ministry of Ayush to provide AYUSH-based approaches and solutions for the challenges raised by Covid-19.
The toll-free number is 14443.The helpline is operational pan-India from 6 am to 12 midnight-all seven days a week.
Clinical Trials of AshwagandhaY-Break App:
It has been developed by MDNIY (Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga).
The app aims to allow working professionals to Refresh, Re-focus and De-stress by doing yoga and meditation in just 5 minutesat their workplace to increase their productivity.
E-AUSHADHI PlatformCollaborative Campaign on Nutrition:
It was launched by the Ministry of Ayush and the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
Herbal plants are being planted in Anganwadis, schools, and kitchen gardens to ensure the easy availability of nutritious food and medicinal plants for pregnant and lactating women and children.
Five Portals on Ayush SectorAYUSH UDYAMAH:
It is a National Seminar organized to work towards promoting India’s Startups and the Start-up Ecosystem in Ayush Sector.
Inter-disciplinary AYUSH R&D Task Force:
It was formed to formulate and design clinical research protocols for prophylactic studies and add-on interventions in COVID-19 positive cases.
Why in News?
INS Khukri decommissioned after 32 years of glorious service to the nation.
INS Khukri was the first of the indigenously built Missile Corvettes.
INS Khukri was built by the Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders in 1989. It was affiliated with the Gorkha brigade of the India Army.
It had the distinction of being part of both the Western and Eastern Fleets.
It has a legacy with the naval history of India.
The first INS Khukri (Type 14 Blackwood-class frigate) was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1958.
Missile Corvettes are agile high-speed ships and have considerable firepower. They are ideal for a littoral environment.
Indian Navy has four Missile Corvettes – INS Kamorta, INS Kadmatt, INS Kiltan, and INS Kavaratti, commissioned in the Indian Navy in 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2020 respectively.
In 2020, the last of 4 indigenously-built anti-submarine warfare (ASW) stealth corvettes ‘INS Kavaratti’ was commissioned under Project 28.
The ships under Project 28 have been designed locally by the Navy’s in-house Directorate of Naval Design (DND).
These were built locally by Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers.
Pseudoephedrine largely known as asympathomimetic drug is in a class of medications called nasal decongestants that are used to relieve nasal congestion caused by allergies, colds, and hay fever.
It temporarily relieves sinus congestion and pressure.
Pseudoephedrine will relieve symptoms but will not treat the cause of the symptoms or speed recovery.
It works by causing narrowing of the blood vessels in the nasal passages.
Legally, this substance is used in the manufacturing of amphetamines.
Illegally, it is used in the making of drugs, which are sold without any prescription.
Status in India
Pseudoephedrine is a controlled substance, as it is being used for making highly addictive drugs.
It is one of the 7 controlled substances in India, which is being used by pharmaceutical companies in making various medicines.
These substances are also known as precursor substances. They are used for manufacturing narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances.
Section 9A of the Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 authorizes the law enforcement agencies to control and regulate these substances, including pseudoephedrine in India.
Poverty key factor in determining institutional delivery: study
What is the news?
According to a study, poverty, education, and exposure to a community health worker are more important than the age at marriage in determining whether a mother will be able to have a safe birth in a medical facility.
About the Study
It was conducted to understand the socio-demographic factors as well as barriers in low coverage of institutional deliveries.
It focused on nine low-performing States (LPS) with a high burden of maternal mortality —
These States constitute about half of the country’s population and contribute 62% of maternal deaths, 71% of infant deaths, 72% of under-five (years) deaths, and 61% of births in the country.
These states also account for 12% of global maternal deaths.
Factors Responsible in Determining whether a woman will seek Institutional Delivery
Poverty (1.4 to 3.5) is twice more important than the age at marriage.
Education (1.2 to 3.8) is 1.5 times more important than the age at marriage.
Interaction with a community health worker (1.63) and awareness campaigns (1.1 to 1.3) had a greater impact than the age at marriage.
Distance to the health facility (.79) and age at marriage had almost similar influences on institutional deliveries.
What are the barriers to assessing Institutional Deliveries?
Distance or lack of transportation, Higher costs, facility closures, and poor service or trust issues.
What are the recommendations given by the study?
Increase the number of public health facilities,
Improve the associated quality of care as inadequate clinical training and insufficient skilled human resources affect the quality of available maternity services resulting in low coverage of institutional deliveries.
What is the significance of this study?
This study comes at a time when the government has proposed to raise the age of marriage for women to 21 in order to reduce maternal deaths.
This decision has come under heavy criticism for ignoring social realities such as poverty, education, and access to health services that are said to play a bigger role in preventing child marriages.