9 PM Daily Brief – August 12th,2020

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Here is our 9pm current affairs brief for you today

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9 PM for Main examination


  1. Setback to the Constitutional Secularism
  2. India’s Demographic future


  1. Gender Equality Through Educational Interventions


  1. Restructuring Global Supply Chain

9 PM for Preliminary examination


1.Setback to the Constitutional Secularism

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS 1 – Secularism

Context: Indian constitutional secularism is swallowed up by the party-political secularism.


  • ‘Secular’ – The word ‘Secular’ was added in the Constitution of India by 42nd Constitution Amendment Act 1976. It has not been defined in the Constitution.
  • ‘Secularism’ – Asystem of social or political philosophy that rejects all forms of religious faiths. Or in other words, liberation of Politics from the hegemony of religion.

Features of the Constitutional Secularism:

  1. Principled distance from all religions – It means that the State must respectfully leave religion alone. However, it  should intervene in following cases :
  2. Inter-religious issue – Whenever religious groups promote communal disharmony and discrimination on grounds of religion.
  3. Intra- religious issue – Whenever religious groups are unable to protect their own members from the oppressions they perpetuate. For instance – practice of untouchability within Hinduism.

Party- Political Secularism:

  1. Definition ofParty- Political Secularism – It encourages opportunistic alliance with the religious communities, particularly for the sake of immediate electoral benefit which sometimes even leads to igniting communal violence.
  2. Against secularism – This party-political secularism has dispelled all the values from the core idea given in constitution and replaced them with opportunism.

Ways to revive practice of secularism:

  1. A shift of emphasis from inter-religious to intra-religious issues- As the focus shifts from the religion of others to religion of oneself, it allows deeper introspection within, multiple dissenting voices resurface, create conditions to root out intra-religious injustices and make its members free and equal.
  2. By revitalizing the social project of secularism:  As State has failed to support victims of oppressions promoted by religion, a peaceful and democratic secularism from masses and grass root movements provides a platform to install constitutional meaning of secularism.
  3. Critical analysis of religious doctrines – Dr. B. R. Ambedkar observed that every aspect of religious doctrine or practice cannot be respected. Respect for religion must be accompanied by critique for fair analysis.

Way Forward:

To promote secularism the needs of the day are new forms of socio-religious reciprocity and novels ways of reducing the political alienation of citizens. It cannot be done by the Governments alone but requires collective commitment from impartial judiciary, scrupulous media, civil society activists and an alert citizenry.

2.India’s Demographic future


Syllabus: Gs1: Population and Associated Issues,

Context: India’s sharp decline in fertility rate is largely attributed to the change in socio-economic conditions

India’s demography transition outlook

  • Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) findings: A new study published in the journal, The Lancet, argues that while India’s population set to be the largest in the world by the mid-century thereafter it will witness a sharp decline by the end of 21st
  • Basis: The prediction is based on the assumption that on average, Indian women will have fertility rate of 1.29 by the year 2100 which will be below the replacement level and hence there will be a sharp decline.
  • Anomaly: Though the population estimates for India by 2050 of both the UN and the IHME are similar (UN-1.64 billion by 2050, IHME projects 1.61 billion by 2048) there is a sharp contrast between their prediction  on India’s population growth  by the year 2100 ( UN predicts 1.45 billion by 2100, and the IHME, 1.09 billion).
  • Reason For the anomaly: IHME models relies excessivelyon National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data regarding current contraceptive use. It is observed that contraceptive use in the NFHS is poorly estimated, and as a result, IHME model, generating remarkably low fertility projections for 2100.
  • Demographic Future: Considering both the findings it can be said with certainty that, India’s demographic future will peak till mid-21stcentury   and subsequently declining population driven by a sharp reduction in fertility.

Understanding India’s success in lowering fertility rate

  • India’s total fertility rate has fallen to 2.2 from 6 during 1950’s. However, the policy of family planning and forced sterilisation accounted for mere 17% decline in TFR from 5.9 in 1960 to 4.9 in 1980.
  • Also, the target set by these policies were abandoned after Cairo conferenceon Population and Development in 1994 as these targets led to explicit or implicit coercion.
  • In addition, thePunitive policies such as denial of maternity leave for third and subsequent births, limiting benefits of maternity schemes and ineligibility to contest in local body elections for individuals with large families has remained largely ineffective.

Significant Contributor for India’s Low fertility rate

  • The socioeconomic transformation of Indiasince the 1990s has contributed an important role. With the growth in schools and education resulted in more lucrative jobs that aided contraction in agricultural sector.
  • Parents began to rethink their family-building strategies. The new aspirational parents saw education as a livelihood oppurtunity. Smaller families helped the parents to invest more money in their children’s education which has also guided the decline in fertility rate.
  • India’s story of low fertility rate is in contrast to western countries, where the western countries attributes the decline in fertility to retreat from the familysystem although in India it can be attributed to the increased commitment of Indian parents to family by reducing the number of children and investing more in each child.

Conclusion: While the aspirational revolution has already started to hasten the fertility decline our health system should aid the process by providing basic contraception and sexual and reproductive health services that allow individuals to have only as many children as they want.

3.Gender Equality Through Educational Interventions

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS-2– Education

Context: During the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Commission for Women has reported a surge in domestic violence and cybercrimes.  Women and girls have become more vulnerable as  they face violence and abuse inside their homes and online.

Various Initiatives for Achieving Gender Equality through Educational Interventions:

  1. ‘Safe online learning in times of COVID-19’:It is an information booklet developed by UNESCO in partnership with the National Council of Educational Research and Training. It seeks to the creation of safe digital spaces and addresses nuances of privacy, especially amidst Covid-19 pandemic.
  2. ‘Action for Equality’ programme:
  • It is a programme by Equal Community Foundation. It trains educators on how to engage boys to achieve gender equality through educational interventions.
  • The programme has a community-based behavioural change programme designed to provide young boys with the skills and knowledge they need to challenge existing gender norms.

Way Forward: It is important to impart value education and take up educational interventions for gender sensitization at a young age.

4.Restructuring Global Supply Chain

Source- Live Mint

Syllabus – GS 3 – Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment

Context- Covid-19 has changed the collective and calculus of uncertainty in the global supply chain. The importance of supply chain resilience and risk management is more apparent than ever.

With COVID-19 disruptions in the economic space, there has been a shift from Just in time inventory to just in case inventory in countries across the globe –

  1. Just-in-time [JIT] inventory system

The JIT is a management strategy that aligns raw- material orders from suppliers directly with production schedules rather than having a stock of raw material. The system is no longer tenable, relies heavily on the exchange of information to forecast demand accurately.

  1. Just-in-case [JIC] inventory system

In JIC, producers hold sufficient inventories to have enough products to absorb maximum market demand. This management strategy provides sufficient response time to companies to configure their production process and possible mean to de-risking the business.

Trends emerging from this shift

  1. Diversification of the supplier’s bases– It provides shield against geographical uncertainties.
  2. Reconfiguration – Expansion of the ware house capacity to ensure uninterrupted supply even if few of the facilities end up in containment zone.
  3. Automation – Increasing automation and technology in the bases to build   more resilience.

Issues with JIC tenets to the business strategies

  1. Additional Cost- Expansion of infrastructure will come at a significant additional cost.
  2. Future disruption-Companies need to analyze supply chain now to mitigate against future disruption caused by such pandemics.
  3. Advancement-Many warehouses are deeply manpower dependent using out dated technology. The labour crisis engendered by the pandemic has been toughest for them.

Way forward

Investment in technology and consideration on sustainability in the supply chain will be a key for future economies. Just-in-CASE [JIC] marketing strategy could be an invaluable tool to keep supply chains running and reduce widespread suffering during global pandemics which disrupts supply-chain.

9 PM for Preliminary examination

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