GS 1 Mains
Topic- 46 million girls went missing in India
Why in news
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has released its State of the World Population 2020 report, examining the issue of missing women
According to estimates averaged over a five year period (2013-17), annually, there were 1.2 million missing female births, at a global level.
Findings with regards to India:
- The report cites a 2014 study to state that India has the highest rate of excess female deaths at 13.5 per 1,000 female births or one in nine deaths of females below the age of 5 due to postnatal sex selection.
- The Report added that 32% of Indian women who had been married before the age of 18 had experienced physical abuse from their husbands, compared to 17% for those who married as adults.it was based on survey of more than 8,000 women in five states where child marriage is most prevalent – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
- Additionally the report added that, advances in India have contributed to a 50% decline in child marriages in South Asia.
Impact of COVID-19:
- Analysis revealed that if services and programmes remain shuttered for six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an additional 13 million girls may be forced into marriage and 2 million more girls may be subjected to female genital mutilation between now and 2030.
- Countries that have ratified international treaties such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child have a duty to end the harm, whether it’s inflicted on girls by family members, religious communities, health-care providers, commercial enterprises or state institutions. decades of experience and research show that bottom-up, grassroots approaches are better at bringing change.
- Economies and the legal systems that support them must be restructured to guarantee every woman equal opportunities
GS 2 Mains
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
Topic- Free food grain scheme till Nov. Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY)
- The Prime Minister has announced that the free grain distribution scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) will be extended by five months till the end of November 2020, with an additional estimated outlay of ₹90,000 crore. 5 kg of free food grains (rice or wheat) to each member of a family, and 1 kg of pulses (chana) to each family per month, will be provided free of cost.
- Prime Minister also underlined that the country is moving towards the institution of ‘one nation, one ration card’, which will be of immense benefit to the poor who travel to other states in search of work.
- The scheme covers 80 crore ration card holders (2/3rd of India’s population).:
Topic- China passes Hong Kong security law
- The law comes in response to last year’s pro-democracy protests in the city and aims to tackle subversion, terrorism, separatism and collusion with foreign forces.
- Britain, the EU, Japan, Taiwan and others have also criticised the law. However, China has hit back at the outcry, denouncing interference in its internal affairs.
- The U.S., already in dispute with China over trade, the South China Sea and the coronavirus, began eliminating Hong Kong’s special status under U.S. law, halting defence exports and restricting technology access. China said it would retaliate.
GS 3 Mains
Topic- Gas leak in Vizag pharma plant kills two
- Hydrogen sulphide vapours leaked from the reactor of a pharmaceutical company’s plant (Sainor Life Sciences Pvt Ltd, Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City).
- This is the second incident in the Sainor Life Sciences plant since it began operations at JNPC. In September 2015, two workers were charred to death and five others injured in a reactor blast. Cases were booked against the company and it was allowed to resume operations only after the management paid a hefty fine.
- Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a colourless chalcogen hydride gas with a characteristic foul odour.• It is very poisonous, corrosive, flammable and can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. It halts the breathing centre in the brain, causing death. Because it is heavier than air, it may settle in low spots. It occurs in volcanic gases, natural gas, and in some sources of well water.
- Hydrogen Sulfide is used primarily to produce sulfuric acid and sulfur, and to create a variety of inorganic sulfides used to create pesticides, leather, dyes, and pharmaceuticals. it is also used to produce heavy water for nuclear power plants.
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
Topic-National Mission for Clean Ganga
Why in News
- Recently, the World Bank has approved a five year loan (for the second phase) to the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) or Namami Gange Project worth Rs.3,000 crore to help stem pollution in the Ganga river basin. So far, 313 projects worth Rs. 25,000 crore have been sanctioned under the mission.
The First Phase: The Namami Gange has already received Rs. 4,535 crore from the World Bank as part of the first phase (valid until December 2021) of the National Ganga River Basin.
The Second Phase:
- Hybrid Annuity Projects: The loan would fund three new ‘Hybrid Annuity Projects’ in Agra, Meerut and Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh for the tributaries of the Ganga.
- Cleaning Projects: Some of the projects include spillover projects from the first phase of the mission as well cleaning projects in tributaries such as the Yamuna and Kali rivers. DBOT Projects: Rs.1,209 crore is provided for the ongoing DBOT (Design, Build, Operate and Transfer) projects in Buxar, Munger, Begusarai in Bihar.
- Other Initiatives: It would include institutional development, improving investment resilience to Covid-19 like emergency situations, performance based incentive for Urban Local Bodies and communication and management programmes.
- Associated Challenges include Pollution in five states on the river’s main stem i.e. Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal. Industrial pollution from tanneries in Kanpur, distilleries, paper and sugar mills in the Kosi, Ramganga and Kali river catchments are major
- Another challenge is Violation of e-Flow Norms, According to the Central Water Commission (CWC), 4 of the 11 hydro power projects on the upper reaches of the river Ganga’s tributaries are violating Ganga ecological flow (e-flow)norms which is further interrupting the natural flow of the river. Illegal Construction and Poor Governance: also add to the challanages
- Namami Gange Programme is a ‘Flagship programme operated under the Department of Water Resources,River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti.
- The main pillars of the programme are Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure & Industrial Effluent Monitoring, River-Front Development & River-Surface Cleaning, Bio-Diversity & Afforestation, Public Awareness
Topic- External debt rises $15.4 billion to $558.5 billion in March
- According to RBI data, India’s external debt stood at $558.5 billion in March 2020, an increase of $15.4 billion compared with the year-ago period.
- Commercial borrowings remained the largest component of the external debt, with a share of 39.4%, followed by non-resident deposits at 23.4% and short-term trade credit at 18.2%.
- The data showed valuation gains due to the appreciation of the U.S. dollar against the Indian rupee S. dollar-denominated debt continued to be the largest component of India’s external debt, with share of 53.7% at end-March 2020, followed by the Indian rupee (31.9%), yen (5.6%), SDR (4.5%) and the euro (3.5%).
- The RBI also said debt service (principal repayments plus interest payments) increased marginally to 6.5% of current receipts at the end of March compared to 6.4% in the same period a year ago. This reflects higher interest payments on commercial borrowings and lower current receipts.