CONTACT US

084594-00000

About Us  :  Online Enquiry

CURRENT AFFAIRS 01-06-2018

Period Poverty

 

Relevancy:

  • GS Mains paper I, II
  • Women related issues, women health issues, period poverty

Why in news?

  • A new report published by UNICEF and WaterAid found that more than a third of girls in South Asia miss school during their periods, mainly due to lack of access to toilets and pads in schools and no proper education about menstruation.
  • According to the report, most of the schools in South Asia fell short of the WHO standards of one toilet for every 25 girls.

What is Period Poverty?

  • In a nutshell, ‘Period poverty’ refers to having a lack of access to sanitary products, and other essentials like toilets with clean water due to financial constraints.
  • Imagine being a young teenage girl feeling too guilty to ask your parents for sanitary items when you see it’s already a struggle buying the food that the family needs.
  • Add to that the fact that menstruation is still a taboo subject for many people, making it even more difficult to ask for help when it is needed.

Why is this an issue?

  • As per the statistics, in India 60% of adolescent girls missed school on account of menstruation and about 80% still use home-made pads.
  • As per the statistics, in India 60% of adolescent girls missed school on account of menstruation and about 80% still use home-made pads.
  • Though the UN has recognised menstrual hygiene as a global public health and human rights issue, globally 1.2 billion women lack access to basic sanitation and hygiene.
  • Girls have an irrevocable right to education, which is lost if they feel unable to attend lessons because of a lack of sanitary products or clean, private toilets at school.
  • With taboos and superstitions in different countries, even an open discussion in schools is impossible and about 71% of girls in India are unaware about menstruation before their first period.
  • The report calls on government agencies and NGOs to increase efforts to provide proper sanitation.
  • The government should also include menstrual hygiene management as a component in its health policy and device strategies to address this issue plaguing the country.

What efforts have been made by government to address the issue?

  • Recently, the Minister of Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi launched a campaign named “YESIBLEED” to end the ‘period poverty’ in the nation.
  • The ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers have been assigned the duty to raise awareness on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM).
  • The government has strengthened National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
  • The adolescent girls are made aware about the MHM through Rashtriya Kishore Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) since 2011.
  • From 2014, the centre is supporting the state governments for the procurement of sanitary napkins for rural girls, which are available at a very low cost of Rs 6 per unit.
  • The MHM awareness is also an integral part of ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’.

 Period Poverty Period Poverty Period Poverty Period Poverty Period Poverty Period Poverty Period Poverty Period Poverty Period Poverty Period Poverty Period Poverty Period Poverty

Threat of Hyper- Nationalism to the Federal structure of India and US

 

Relevancy:

  • GS Mains Paper-2
  • Governance and International Relations

Why in news?

  • Deep questions of equity are raging in India and the U.S. and hyper-nationalism is blurring the debate.

What is the issue?

  • In US and India, there are many concerns in terms of federalism and the regional power balance, citizenship, identity and marginalization of religious, linguistic and ethnic minorities.

What happened recently?

  • In US, the decision of Trump Administration to include question on citizenship in 2020 census is being challenged by several states.
  • The new census will suppress the count of non-citizens.
  • The non-citizens are legal residents and potential future citizen.
  • They pay taxes without legislative representation.
  • This is against the founding principle of US ‘no taxation without representation’.
  • The new census will shift political power from North east states like New York and Michigan to south states like Texas and Washington.
  • The census will determine allocation of federal, state and local government funds for social service, community programme and infrastructure.
  • Many fear that the citizenship question in the Census could be a prelude to citizenship-based redistricting and resource allocation which would disempower immigrants, legal and undocumented.
  • Second critical principle of democracy is ‘one person one vote’.
  • In US, the massive growth of cities led Rural-Urban divide in terms of representation.
  • US cities represent massive political power.
  • Several Republican States in recent years have introduced measures that make minority voters less effective, diluting the “one person, one vote” principle

What is the current scenario in India?

  • In India, current practice of distribution of parliamentary representation among various states is based on 1971 census, until the first census after 2026.
  • Redrawing of constituencies is done without affecting the number of seats in individual states.
  • But when delimitation of constituencies will be done after 1931 census the states with higher success in controlling population, better education and welfare strategies will be penalized.
  • Due to this delimitation political power in India will shift to northern states such as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar post 2031.
  • Kerala could lose six of its current 20 Lok Sabha seats and Tamil Nadu could lose 11 of its 39.
  • The impact on the political character of a region or the country as a whole due to these shifts is difficult to anticipate.
  • In recent years, the political power in India and relative share of tax revenue is slowly shifting from non-Hindi States to the Hindi belt.

How regionalism is affecting the federalism of India and US?

  • Regionalism has always been a part of Indian and US politics but is more prominent in the recent years with growing emphasis on competitive federalism.
  • This has been institutionalized and undermined by the market economy.
  • NITI Aayog has been ranking states on the basis of Ease of Doing Business.
  • Amazon is conducting a competition among American States to decide where to house its second headquarters.
  • This institutionalization of competition among states would create tensions as the State which wins would have to give resources to the weaker states for the good of the nation.
  • This indicates that an imbalance of power is as problematic as the regional imbalance of power.
  • The current Lok Sabha has 4% Muslim members against their share of 14% in the total population.
  • Debates over taxation and representation have been central to the evolution of democracy over centuries.

Conclusion:

  • Democracy is based on the principle of equality. This involves redistribution of wealth from well off regions to the poorer regions.
  • The hyper-nationalism undercurrents in India in 2014 and in the U.S. in 2016 undermine the core issues of representation and taxation.
  • Several policies enacted by governments in both countries are considered as a majoritarian project.
  • The challenge before both democracies is to manage a national community that is inclusive, representative and reassuring for all its minorities — religious, linguistic, ethnic and the economically marginalised.

political power in India political power in India political power in India political power in India political power in Indiapolitical power in India political power in India political power in India political power in India political power in India political power in India political power in India

Paper Chase: The Need To Review Use Of VVPATs

Relevancy

  • GS Prelims, GS Mains Paper- 2

Why in news?

  • About 4.2% of the VVPAT machines deployed in the Karnataka Assembly elections this month developed glitches during the testing as well as polling processes.
  • The overall fault rate was as high as 11.6% in the by-elections held in four parliamentary and nine Assembly constituencies on Monday.

What is a VVPAT?

  • VVPAT stands for Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail.
  • These are the machines adjunct to ballot and EVMs.
  • These are used to verify that the vote polled by a voter goes to the correct candidate.
  • These were used after continuous allegations made by political parties about EVM tampering.
  • These have been in use since Goa assembly polls in February 2017.

How VVPAT machines work?

  • When a voter presses a button in the EVM, a paper slip is printed through the VVPAT.
  • The slip contains the poll symbol and name of the candidate.
  • It allows the voter to verify his/her choice.
  • After being visible to the voter from a glass case in the VVPAT for seven seconds, the ballot slip will be cut and dropped into the drop box in the VVPAT machine and a beep will be heard.
  • VVPAT machines can be accessed by polling officers only.

Why it is now a matter of concern?

  • VVPAT machines, deployed in Karnataka assembly elections and recent by-elections, had developed glitches during the testing as well as polling process.

What are the issues?

  • Introduction of VVPAT machines has increased the complexity of the polling process.
  • According to the ECI (election commission of India), the VVPATs are more prone to malfunctioning due to their sensitivity to extreme weather conditions and exposure to light.
  • The inexperience of the polling officers with the VVPATs is also another reason behind these faults.

What are the solutions?

  • The technical committee of ECI needs to be more cautious about the efficiency and accuracy of these machines.
  • The ECI should deploy the machines in limited and randomly chosen polling booths to reduce the possibility of glitches affecting the polling process. Also, well-tested machines can be deployed.

 

Send this to a friend