Supreme Court Recognizes Child Care Leave as Crucial for Women’s Workforce Participation

GS-2 Mains 

Revision Notes 


Question : Discuss the challenges faced by women in the Indian workforce and its impact on their professional careers.

Landmark Judgment

  • The Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and J B Pardiwala, delivered a judgment on child care leave (CCL) with significant implications for female employment in India.

The Case

  • An assistant professor in Himachal Pradesh was denied CCL to care for her child with a rare genetic disorder.
  • The state government had no CCL provision, and she had exhausted her leave quota.
  • The SC directed the state to form a committee for policy changes, recognizing CCL as a:
    • Constitutional entitlement protected by Article 15 (right to equality)
    • Necessity for women’s participation in the workforce

Challenges for Women in the Workforce

  • Despite a 4.2% increase in female labor force participation (PLFS Report 2022-23), India lacks sufficient support systems.
  • Women carry a disproportionate burden of caregiving responsibilities at home and outside of work.
    • A study by Karmannaya Counsel et al. found women perform 8 times more unpaid care work than men.
  • Motherhood, housekeeping, and elder care often lead to mid-career dropouts or hinder professional growth.

Global Comparison of Child Care Leave

  • Eastern Europe and Central Asia offer the longest mandated leave (over 150 weeks) – Romania and Estonia are frontrunners.
  • Many European nations provide generous leave (Denmark, Norway, Sweden) with options for parental leave sharing.
  • The US stands out for not having mandated paid parental leave (unpaid leave available under FMLA with limitations).

Recommendations for Increased Women’s Employment

  • Legislative Measures: Progressive legislation like CCL is essential.
  • Infrastructure Investment: Affordable and specialized childcare and eldercare facilities are crucial, considering India’s rising senior citizen population (projected to be 20.8% by 2050).
  • Gender-Neutral Care Work Approach: Dismantle stereotypes by promoting shared responsibility for childcare and other caregiving tasks. Consider extending CCL to all genders.


  • The SC ruling is a step forward, but more needs to be done to create a level playing field for women’s participation in the workforce.



Maoist Movement in India: A Need for Healing Touch

GS-3 Mains ; Security

Revision Notes 

Question : Discuss the recent success of security forces against Maoists in Chhattisgarh, analyzing its significance in the context of the Maoist movement in India.

Security Forces Success Against Maoists

  • On April 14, a joint force of BSF and district reserve guard engaged Maoists in Chhattisgarh, killing 29 insurgents including 3 senior commanders.
  • This marks the highest Maoist casualties in a single operation in Bastar.
  • Security forces recovered a significant amount of arms and ammunition.

Maoist Movement as a Challenge

  • In 2010, Maoist violence affected 223 districts across 20 states, posing a grave internal security threat.
  • Heavy deployment of central forces helped contain the geographical spread.

Current Status of Left-Wing Extremism (LWE)

  • Government claims a consistent decline in violence and LWE influence due to the “national policy and action plan.”
  • Violence and deaths have declined by 73% since 2010.
  • The number of LWE-affected police stations decreased from 465 in 2010 to 171 in 2023.
  • Over 16,780 Naxalites surrendered between 2000 and 2024.

Persistence of LWE Despite Government Efforts

  • Despite pronouncements by Home Ministers (Shah, Chidambaram, Singh) promising to eradicate Naxalism within a set timeframe, the problem persists.
  • While there has been a decline in Naxal strength, they retain the capability to launch attacks and disrupt law and order.

Government’s Shortcomings in Tackling Naxalism

Lack of Strategic Plan

  • No unified strategy – states have varying approaches based on political considerations.
  • Reliance on central forces – states view LWE as a national problem, neglecting ownership.
  • Need for state police to take the lead, with central forces playing a supporting role (Punjab insurgency model).

Absence of a Whole-of-Government Approach

  • Security forces alone cannot solve the issue – cleared areas are easily reoccupied by Maoists due to lack of follow-up infrastructure development.

Socioeconomic Issues Fueling Naxalism

  • Forest land diversion (over 3 lakh hectares since 2008) displaces tribals, pushing them towards Naxals.
  • Ambiguous amendments to Forest Conservation Act (2023) benefit industries, harm tribals.
  • Extreme income inequality (“Billionaire Raj”) creates fertile ground for discontent.

Need for Peace Talks

  • Government’s current advantage presents an opportunity for peace dialogue with Naxal leadership.
  • Peace talks held with Northeast insurgents can serve as a model.
  • Aim for healing and mainstreaming tribals, not “defeat” or “conquest.”

World Inequality Lab Report (WIL)

  • Highlights wealth concentration in the top 1% (40.1% in 2022-23).
  • Compares current inequality to “British Raj” levels.
  • Findings contested by Indian experts, warranting further unbiased examination.


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