Category: SOCIAL ISSUES
- Best and worst sex ratio.
The issue in news
2018 report on “Vital statistics of India based on the Civil Registration System” has been published by the Registrar-General of India. Arunachal records best sex ratio, Manipur the worst
- Sex ratio is the demographic concept that measures the proportion of males to females in a given population.
- It is the ratio of males to females in a population.
- Sex ratio at birth is the number of females born per 1,000 males.
- According to the report, Arunachal Pradesh recorded the best sex ratio in the country, while Manipur recorded the worst.
- Arunachal Pradesh recorded 1,084 females born per thousand males, followed by Nagaland (965) Mizoram (964), Kerala (963) and Karnataka (957).
- The worst was reported in Manipur (757), Lakshadweep (839) and Daman & Diu (877), Punjab (896) and Gujarat (897).
- The number of registered births increased to 2.33 crore in 2018 from 2.21 crore registered births the previous year.
- The level of registration of births has increased to 89.3% in 2018 from 81.3% in 2009.
The prescribed time limit for registration of birth or death is 21 days. Some States, however, register the births and deaths even after a year.
Births and deaths reported after one year of occurrence shall be registered only on an order of the Magistrate of the First Class after verifying the correctness and on payment of the prescribed fee.
Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
- Draft social security rules
The issue in news
The Union Labour and Employment Ministry has notified the draft rules under the Code on Social Security, 2020, which propose to provide the unorganised sector, gig and platform workers access to social security benefits through a government portal.
- The rules have been framed for the implementation of the provisions of the Code on Social Security, 2020, (passed by Parliament), relating to the Employees’ Provident Fund, Employees’ State Insurance Corporation, gratuity, maternity benefit, social security and cess in respect of building and other construction workers (BOCW).
- The draft rules also provide for Aadhaar-based registration, including self-registration by unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers on the portal of the Central government.
- The Ministry has notified the draft rules and has sought suggestions and objections within 45 days.
Social security code
Defines platform work:
- The Code on Social Security Bill for the first time in Indian law, attempted to define ‘platform work’ outside of the traditional employment category.
- As per this bill, “Platform work means a work arrangement outside of a traditional employer-employee relationship in which organisations or individuals use an online platform to access other organisations or individuals to solve specific problems or to provide specific services or any such other activities which may be notified by the Central Government, in exchange for payment.”
- This marks a significant move to recognise platform work
Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
- Mega trade bloc RCEP takes off
The issue in news
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – a mega trade bloc comprising 15 countries led by China has come into existence.
Key Features of the RCEP pact:
- RCEP comprises 10 ASEAN members and Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
- The three largest economies in the pact – China, Japan and South Korea are part of a free trade agreement for the first time.
- It is expected to represent at least 30% of the global GDP and will emerge as the largest free trade agreement in the world.
- It is a landmark initiative, which is expected to boost commerce among the member-countries spread across the Asia-Pacific region.
- It includes provisions on trade in goods and services, intellectual property, e-commerce, telecommunications, small and medium enterprises and other issues.
- Experts interpret the beginning of RCEP as a major development that will help China and trade in the Asia-Pacific region in the post-COVID-19 scenario.
- India had ended negotiations on the RCEP in November 2019 over terms that were perceived to be against its interests.
- India would have to write expressing intention to join the organisation to restart negotiations for membership.
- It is understood that staying out of RCEP may interfere with India’s bilateral trading with the RCEP member-countries.
- UAE to widen ‘golden’ visa’s eligibility criteria
The issue in news
The United Arab Emirates will extend its golden visa system.
What is the Golden visa system?
- The golden visa system grants a 10-year residency in the United Arab Emirates — to certain professionals, specialised degree-holders and others.
- All holders of doctorate degrees, medical doctors and also computer, electronics, programming, electrical and biotechnology engineers are eligible for the golden visa system.
- Those with specialised degrees in artificial intelligence, big data and epidemiology, as well as high school students living in the UAE who rank top in the country and students from certain universities with a GPA of 3.8 or higher are also eligible.
- Foreigners in the UAE usually have renewable visas valid for only a few years tied to employment.
- The government in the past couple of years has made its visa policy more flexible, offering longer residencies for certain types of investors, students and professionals.
- After first announcing a long-term visa plan in 2018, the UAE in 2019 started granting 5- and 10- year renewable visas to certain foreign investors, entrepreneurs, chief executives, scientists and outstanding students.
India, U.S. keen on training peace missions
The issue in news
India and the U.S. are looking to undertake training of military personnel for the missions from Southeast Asian countries on the lines of the ongoing initiative for African countries.
- In 2016, India and the U.S. began a joint annual initiative “UN Peacekeeping Course for African Partners” to build and enhance the capacity of African troop and police-contributing countries to participate in the U.N. and regional peacekeeping operations. While this is going on, the U.S. is keen on a similar initiative for southeast Asian nations like Vietnam and others.
- The development comes in the backdrop of China significantly scaling up its troop contribution for United Nations Peace Keeping (UNPK) missions.
- China currently has over 2,500 troops in various UN missions and has committed another 8,000 troops as standby.
- China contributes 12% of the UN regular general budget and 15% of the peacekeeping budget.
- India’s contribution to the UN regular general budget is 0.83% and 0.16% of the peacekeeping budget.
- India has so far participated in 51 of the 71 missions and contributed over 2 lakh personnel.
- It has troop deployment in Lebanon, Golan Heights, Congo and South Sudan in addition to staff officers in other missions.
- India has also set up two field hospitals in South Sudan and one in Congo.
- Since 2018, India has co-opted a contingent from Kazakhstan at the mission in Lebanon.
- India has consistently been among the top troop-contributing nations to the UN.
- It is the fifth-largest with 5,424 personnel in eight countries.
The U.S. has never contributed ground troops but contributes 27% of the U.N. peacekeeping budget.