Failure to educate girls could cost world $30 trillion a year
Context: World Bank has said that Failing to let girls finish their education could cost the world as much as $30 trillion in lost earnings and productivity annually.
About 132 million girls worldwide aged 6 to 17 do not attend school, while fewer than two-thirds of those in low-income nations finish primary school, and only a third finish lower secondary school.
Need for education:
Women who have completed secondary education are more likely to work and earn on average nearly twice as much as those with no schooling.
If every girl in the world finished 12 years of quality education, lifetime earnings for women could increase by $15 trillion to $30 trillion every year.
Other positive impacts of completing secondary school education for girls include a reduction in child marriage, lower fertility rates in countries with high population growth, and reduced child mortality and malnutrition.
Also, women who have completed secondary education are at lesser risk of suffering violenceat the hands of their partners and have children who are less likely to be malnourished and themselves are more likely to go to school.
This report is more proof that we cannot afford to delay investing in girls. We cannot keep letting gender inequality get in the way of global progress. While we do need to ensure that of course all girls complete primary school, that is not enough.
For Prelims: Nothing much.
For Mains: Women Education- need, significance, challenges and efforts by governments.
Sources: Indian express.
Topic: Issues related to women.
Section 497 of the IPC
Context: Opposing a plea which called for the Section 497 of the IPC to be scrapped, the Centre recently told the Supreme Court that adultery must remain a punishable offence to protect the sanctity of marriage.
What is Section 497?
Section 497 of the 158-year-old IPC says, “Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.”
Why Section 497 should not be scrapped?
The provisions of law, under challenge in the present writ, have been specifically created by the legislature in its wisdom, to protect and safeguard the sanctity of marriage, keeping in mind the unique structure and culture of the Indian society.
Striking down Section 497 which provides for punishment only to a man for having extra-marital sexual ties with the wife of another man, will destroy the institution of marriage.
Striking down section 497 of IPC and Section 198(2) of the CrPC will prove to be detrimental to the intrinsic Indian ethos which gives paramount importance to the institution and sanctity of marriage.
The apex court had earlier on three separate occasions, in 1954, 1985 and 1988, upheld the constitutionality of Section 497.
A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court which called for the Section 497 of the IPC to be scrapped, contending it does not treat men and women equally. It contended that Section 497 was “prima facie unconstitutional on the grounds that it discriminates against men and violates Article 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution”.
The plea also said the provision also indirectly discriminated against women by holding an erroneous presumption that they are the property of men.
The petitioner had also challenged Section 198(2) of CrPC, which deals with the prosecution for offences against marriages.
Many countries have decriminalised adultery. IPC is the creation of England when they ruled over India for nearly 200 years and it is they who inserted Section 497 as a penal offence. What is more surprising is that England itself has decriminalised adultery and does not treat it as a criminal offence!
It is high time that this law is revisited even in India and amended to meet the present circumstances. Either both of them should be punishable or no one. It cannot be anybody’s case that the man alone should be sent behind bars for committing adultery while the woman be held just not liable at all and allowed to escape unpunished and unchecked.
Facts for Prelims:
Justice Malimath Committee report on reforms in the criminal justice system had suggested making section 497 gender-neutral.
For Prelims: Justice Malimath Committee, Section 497 and 198.
For Mains: What is Adultery, Section 497- need for revisit.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA)
Context: Dr. TCA Raghavan is the new Director General (DG) of Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA).
Appointment: He was selected by Governing Body and Governing Council of ICWA headed by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu.
What is ICWA?
It was established in 1943 by group of Indian intellectuals as think tank. It was established as non-official, non-political and non-profit organisation under Registration of Societies Act 1860.
It was declared institution of national importance by Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), 2001 enacted by Parliament.
The Vice President of India is the ex-officio President of ICWA, while the Minister of External Affairs is its Vice-President.
ICWA is devoted exclusively for the study of international relations and foreign affairs. Vice President of India is its ex-officio President.
It had conducted historic international conferences like Asian Relations Conference in 1947 under leadership Sarojini Naidu and United Nations and New World Order in 1994.
For Prelims: ICWA- composition and functions.
Topic: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
India pips France to become world’s 6th largest economy
Context: India has now become world’s sixth-largest economy, pushing past France, according to the updated World Bank figures for 2017.
The US remains the world’s largest economy followed by China, Japan, Germany and Britain.
India is reclaiming its place as a growth leader after a short slowdown. Just in the last decade, India has doubled the size of its economy outpacing that of France. While India’s GDP has risen by an average 8.3% over the decade, that of France’s actually declined by 0.01%. To add more perspective, in the past 10 years India’s GDP grew by 116.3% while France witnessed a 2.8% decline in GDP. Certainly, this tells us that India is gaining economic size consistently and is emerging as one of the powerhouses.
Why this position may not be significant?
When compared with $2.582 trillion for France, India’s GDP stood at $2.597 trillion at 2017 end. However, India has an estimated per capita income of $7,060 while France has $43,720, some six times more than that of India. India ranks at the 123th position when it comes to per capita income at PPP while France ranks at the 25th position. An average Indian is far poorer than the average Frenchman if one uses this yardstick.
The size of the economy is linked to the size of geography, its population, and workforce. India has a population of 1.34 billion while France has 67 million. If one talks about the prosperity of the people in an economy, PPP is the right metric to look at. One reason why India has a much lower PPP compared with France is the difference in population (per capita is the total size of the economy divided by the total number of people in that country).
Challenges ahead for India:
Employment scenario in the country is disturbing. Almost 80% of all Indians rely on the informal sector to make a living — a large chunk of them are still dependent on farming, the contribution of which to the economy has shrunk from 50% at the time of independence to 15-16% now.
Output hasn’t increased but farming still constitutes one of the largest areas of employment. That’s one reason why the poor remain poor and live in distress. Even today, India doesn’t have solid payroll data but the unemployment rate is believed to be quite high. China, UK, and Germany have a 3-4% unemployment rate while France has close to a nine percent rate.
Till recently, India was home to the largest number of poor in the world but it got rid of the dubious title. Nigeria has about 87 million people in extreme poverty, compared with India’s 73 million.
In April earlier this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected India to grow at 7.4% in 2018 and 7.8% in 2019, leaving its nearest rival China behind respectively at 6.6 and 6.4% in the two years. However, while debating a course correction, India will have to repair its fault lines even as it gains economic muscle.
For Prelims: Large economies.
For Mains: Real growth Vs Growth w.r.t size, reforms necessary to propel the growth engine.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology.
First-Ever Colour X-Ray On A Human
Context: New Zealand scientists have performed the first-ever 3-D, colour X-ray on a human, using a technique that promises to improve the field of medical diagnostics.
The technique used is known as Medipix. The technology is developed by CERN.
It works like a camera detecting and counting individual sub-atomic particles as they collide with pixels while its shutter is open. This allows for high-resolution, high-contrast pictures.
The machine’s “small pixels and accurate energy resolution meant that this new imaging tool is able to get images that no other imaging tool can achieve. The images very clearly show the difference between bone, muscle and cartilage, but also the position and size of cancerous tumours, for example.
CERN is the world’s largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory, where scientists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the Universe by using the most sophisticated scientific instruments and advanced computing systems. CERN is based in Geneva on the French-Swiss border. Presently CERN has 22 member states, four associate member states, and the observer status is given to four states and three International Organizations.
For Prelims: First-Ever Colour X-Ray On A Human, Medipix, CERN.
Topic: Conservation related issues.
Context: As per the latest studies, climate change is threatening the Nilgiri tahr. It is estimated that the endangered wild goat could lose approximately 60% of its habitat, starting from the 2030s.
There are only around 2,500 tahrs left in the wild and their population — “small and isolated, making them vulnerable to local extinction” — shows a “decreasing” trend, as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Nilgiri Tahr- Key facts:
It is listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
Endemic to the Nilgiri Hills and the southern portion of the Western Ghats in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in Southern India.
It is the State animal of Tamil Nadu.
Currently, the only populations with more than 300 individuals are in Eravikulam National Park and in the Grass Hills in Anamalai.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
Drawing inspiration from the highly-successful ‘Amma’ canteens in Tamil Nadu, the Andhra Pradesh government has launched its own ‘Anna’ canteens across the state.
The intention behind launching these canteens is to tackle hunger in urban areas. The canteens will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner at Rs 5 a meal.