9 PM Daily Brief – August 22nd,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. Social impact of Covid-19
  2. Women Issues – age of marriage


  1. India seizes control of its destiny
  2. India seizes control of its destiny


  1. Domicile Quota: Reserved jobs for locals
  2. Naga conflict

9 PM for Preliminary examination


 1.Social impact of Covid-19

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS-1- society

Context: The resultant distress in India due to the on-going pandemic has intensified pre-existing structures of disadvantage based on social identity.

  • The pandemic has been described as a leveller more loosely, both because the disease can strike anyone, and also because the resultant lockdowns have led to widespread job losses and economic hardships across the range of the income and occupational distribution.

The marginalised at risk

  • Poorer and economically vulnerable populations are more likely to contract the virus as well as to die from it and therefore socially marginalised groups would be at higher risk of mortality due to COVID-19.
  • The low wage earners, and less educated workers, segments of the labour force where racial and ethnic minorities are over-represented will be at a higher risk of unemployment.
  • Evidence from the United Kingdom and the United States reveals that racial and ethnic minorities are indeed the ones most likely at the risk of unemployment.

The Indian lockdown

  • India’s lockdown, imposed in the last week of March 2020, was among the most rigid and because of the first month of the severe lockdown, April 2020, witnessed a sharp rise in unemployment.
  • The proportion of employed upper castes dropped from 39% to 32% between December 2019 and April 2020, a fall of seven percentage points where as fall for Scheduled Castes (SCs) was from 44% to 24%, i.e. a fall of 20 percentage points according to data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE)’s Consumer Pyramids Household Survey (CPHS) database.
  • Other Backward Classes and Scheduled Tribes (STs) the fall was from 42% to 34%, 40% to 26% and 48% to 33%.

Education as factor

  • Job losses associated with COVID-19 are much more concentrated among individuals with low levels of education and those with vulnerable jobs with no tenure or security and so education did act as a protective factor for job security.
  • The India Human Development Survey for 2011-12 (IHDS-II)show that 51% of SC households have adult women who have zero years of education and are illiterate, and 27% have an illiterate adult male member.
    • In Upper Caste (UC) households, the corresponding proportions are 11% and 24%, respectively.
  • Currently the education of SC children would be affected because of educational differences among parents as well as due to other significant differences in material conditions living.

Issue of technology

  • There are a lot of factors which will affect the ability of Dalit and Adivasi families to access online education as there is disparity between caste groups.
  • The proportion of households with access to the Internet is 20% for the upper caste and 10% for the SC households.
  • Only 49% of SCs have bank savings, as compared to 62% of UC households.
  • Differential access to information technology, as well as disparities in the ability to invest in technology will be critical in shaping access to online education.

Way forward

Investments in education and health that close gaps between social groups would be essential to build suppleness in the face of future tremors.

2.Women Issues – age of marriage

Source: The Indian Express

Syllabus: GS-1- women

Context: Efforts to address child marriage in India should be in harmony with the socio-economic realities that demand investment in education, welfare, and opportunities for women.


  • Raising the legal age of marriage for women to 21 years would have a disproportionate impact on marginalised rural communities.
  • The change in the law could end up criminalising and worsening the existing vulnerabilities of Dalit and Adivasi communities in rural India, instead of empowering its women.
  • Rural women are likely to marry earlier than their urban counterparts and that higher are the chances of woman marrying later in life if she’s already well off according to The National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) data 2015-16.
  • Education levels have direct impact on delayed age of marriage as women with 12 years or more of schooling are most likely to marry later.

Marriages in India and the data

  • The poor people are most likely to marry off their girls early out of socio-economic necessities, have 45 per cent of the Scheduled Tribe (ST) and 25.9 per cent Scheduled Caste (SC) households, as compared to only 9 per cent of the general “Others” category, according to the wealth quintile data.
  • By number of years of schooling completed 42 per cent ST women and 33 per cent SC women have received no schooling according to the NFHS-4 data on women aged 15-49.
  • Only 8 per cent rural girls who drop out in the age group 6 to 17 years cite marriage as the reason, other reasons being loss of interest in studies, prohibitive cost of education, burden of household work, and schools located far away.
  • The National Human Rights Commission in 2018 strongly recommended that the Right to Education Act, 2009 should be amended to make it applicable up to the age of 18 years as higher education levels lead to a lower likelihood of women being married early.
  • National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, and the NGO Young Lives, which also showed how between 2005-06 and 2015-16, child marriage in 15-19 age group for girls has decreased from 26.5 per cent to 11.9 per cent.

Laws for marriages in India

  • Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), 2006, states the minimum age to get married for girls is 18 years and a boy is 21 years.
  • Any man, above the age of 18 who marries a woman under 18 years, as well as the parents of minors who abet the act can be imprisoned for up to two years under the prohibition of child marriage act.
  • The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 increased the age of consent, from 16 years to 18 years.
  • POCSO also requires healthcare providers to mandatorily report to the police any cases of under 18-year-olds who are found to be sexually active with those older.

Issues with increasing the legal age

  • Increasing the legal age of marriage to 21 years will add tothese existing hurdles for young women’s access to reproductive and sexual healthcare.
  • The 18th Law Commission report (2008) asked for uniformity in the age of marriage at 18 years for both men and womenand lowering the age of consent to 16 years, this was also recommended in the Justice Verma Committee.
  • Any attempt to jump through quick-fix and ill-conceived disciplinary measures will only considerably reverse the already improved data on people marrying later in life.

Way forward

Efforts to address child marriage in India should be in harmony with the socio-economic realities that demand investment in education, welfare, and opportunities for women.

3.India seizes control of its destiny

Source- The Hindu

SyllabusGS 2- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

Context – Even as the world is reeling from the impact of the pandemic, India is recovering with fresh energy and making bold plans for the future.

Calibrated action taken during COVID-19

  1. National lockdown – An emergency protocol that is implemented by the authorities to prevent people from leaving their homes or a particular area. Amid lockdown, plenty of positives have come to light.
  • Common measures– People learned the value of masks and mask wearing, social distancing, and hand washing.
  • Strengthening Medical facilities– COVID-19 care and quarantine centres were established. Medical equipments and necessities were also procured and supplied to every region.
  • Testing rate– The testing capacity increased from thousand per day to million per day.
  • Medical advancement– 3 COVID-19 vaccine candidates are at final stage of trial and many more in different stages of trial across the world.
  1. Relief packages to protect livelihoods– To provide help to all the needy people whose livelihood have been hit hard due to the coronavirus lockdown following steps have been taken :
  • PM Garib Kalyan Yojana– 80 Crore citizens are being provided rations through the Public Distribution System.
  • Jan Dhan scheme– 20 Crore Jan Dhan women account holders have received ₹30,654 Crore directly into their bank accounts.
  • National Social Assistance Programme– 2.8 Crore beneficiaries have received ₹2,815 Crore.
  • Ministry of labour and employment-3 Crore construction workers have got ₹4,313 Crore cash aid in lockdown.
  • PM Kisan Samman Nidhi– 10 Crore farmers have received ₹40,000 Crore as income support.
  • 4-crore households are benefiting from the expanded Mahatma Gandhi Employment Guarantee Act scheme. 
  • Central government package– The rural economy has received over ₹2 lakh Crore of cash directly into the beneficiary accounts
  1. Revival  packages for economy-
  • RBI to combat pandemic crisis– The key steps that RBI has taken in the recent past to combat adverse impact of the COVID-19.
    • Long term repo operation [LTRO]– Targeted LTRO operations to bring down the yield curve by allowing further liquidity with the banks.
    • Loan moratorium– RBI announced loan moratorium to de-stress the country’s financial ecosystem which simply meant deferral/postponement of loan repayment for 6 month from march 2020.
  • Atmanirbhar bharat revival package-
  • Agriculture policy reform-Farmers can now sell their crops to anyone anywhere, and contract farming has been allowed. Kisan credit cards are being provided to all fishermen, dairy farmers, and other agriculturists.
  • Defence procurement reforms-Centre’s decision to impose restrictions on import of 101 weapons and military platforms to boost the domestic defence industry.
  • Commercial coal mining –Government open up the coal sector fully for commercial mining by domestic and global companies as India will use its own natural reserves.
  • Smartphone production-Centre has worked out production linked incentive [PLI] package of nearly ₹42000 Crore to boost domestic manufacturing of mobile phones and their components.

Way forward-

The recent reforms have prompted domestic and foreign investors to start pouring in billions of dollars of investments into Indian economy and the rupee has strengthened against the dollar, the world’s reserve currency. Many countries are stumbling through the pandemic. Meanwhile, India has seized control of its destiny and is marching resolutely toward the post-pandemic future.

4.India seizes control of its destiny

Source: Indian Express

Gs2: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.

Context: Thirty years ago, the then prime minister implemented the Mandal Commission report which was called a “silent revolution”.

Mandal commission:

  • The Mandal Commission, or the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Commission (SEBC), was established in India on 1 January 1979.
  • It was headed by the late B.P. Mandal an Indian parliamentarian, to consider the question of reservations for people to redress caste discrimination, and used eleven social, economic, and educational indicators to determine backwardness.
  • The Commission’s report recommended that members of Other Backward Classes (OBC) be granted reservations to 27% of jobs under the Central government and public sector undertakings.

Impact of acceptance of Mandal Commission report:

  • It triggered a socio-political process that resulted social emancipation.
  • It also led the rise of political power of plebeians at the expense of the upper and dominant castes.
  • Consolidation of OBCs: The upper castes instantly mobilised to prevent the reform. Their resistance aroused indignation among the lower castes and resulted in a consolidation of OBC groups.
  • Change in political scenario: Many OBCs stopped voting for upper-caste notables and preferred to elect representatives from their own social milieu to Parliament.
    • The percentage of OBC MPs nearly doubled from 11 per cent in 1984 to more than 20 per cent in the 1990s.
    • The proportion of upper-caste MPs dropped from 47 per cent in 1984 to below 40 in the 1990s.
    • By 2004, upper-caste presence in the Lok Sabha had fallen to 33 per cent, while 25 per cent of MPs were OBCs.
    • In 2004, the Congress set a quota of 27 per cent for OBCs in public universities.
  • Democratisation of the political parties:Parties started fielding OBCs candidates.

Current political scenario:

  • Share of OBC legislators dropped: In 2014, according to the database SPINPER, the percentage of MPs from the upper castes rose to 44.5 per cent, on a par with its representation in the 1980s, whereas the share of OBC MPs dropped to 20 per cent.
  • Submergence of caste politics in the name of development and class.
  • Rise of neo middle class: OBCs who had benefited from the Mandal quotas and economic growth. Neo middle-class discourse is class-based but there is no affinity with socialism.

Issues with OBC’s policies:

  • Saturation point: judiciary has put limitation on reservation and parties representing the OBCs could no more say, “vote for me, you’ll get more reservations”.
  • Inequality in getting benefit of reservation:According to Indian Human Development Survey that some castes have cornered more reservations than others.
    • Yadavisation of UP and Bihar: In UP, 14.5 per cent of the Yadavs occupied a salaried job in 2011-12 (the last round of the survey) against 5.8 per cent for the Kurmis, 5.7 per cent for the Telis, 6.7 per cent for the Kushwahas, 3.5 per cent for the Lodhs.
  • Impact on political scenario in hindi belt: some jatis were alienated, to such an extent that they started not to vote along with the particular caste. For example, poor OBCs voted more for the BJP than for the BSP-SP alliance in 2019 elections.
    • Similarly,the non-Jatav SCs resent the socio-economic rise of the Jatavs and distance themselves from the BSP, which is seen as a Jatav party.

OBCs constitutes on an average 18 per cent of the total workforce among class A, B and C workers. It is less that what was promised in 1990s, which means the goal of Mandal  Commission goals are not yet achieved.

5.Domicile Quota: Reserved jobs for locals

Source- The Hindu Business Line

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

Context- States playing ‘sons of the soil’ politics, by reserving government jobs for locals. 

Sons of the soil-

  • Meaning- It is an elemental concept tying people to their place of birth and confers some benefits, rights, roles and responsibilities on them, which may not apply to others.
  • Concept-It underlies the view that a state specifically belongs to the main linguistic group inhabiting it or that the state constitutes the exclusive ‘homeland’ of its main language speakers who are the ‘sons of the soil’ or the ‘local residents’.
  • All others who live there or are settled there and whose mother tongue is not the state’s main language are declared ‘outsiders’.

States supporting the idea of nativism-

Many states have resolved to reserve jobs in both the government and private sectors such as Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh. While Karnataka has said that it is in the process of preparing law in this regard.

  1. Telangana- Government has decided to reserve 80 per cent of semi- skilled jobs and 60 per cent of skilled jobs for locals.
  2. Andhra Pradesh- Government has decided to reserve 75 per cent jobs.
  3. Haryana- Government has also decided to reserve 75 per cent jobs.
  4. Madhya Pradesh- Government has decided to reserve 100 per cent of its government jobs prior for locals.

Issues associated with son of the soils politics –

1.Against Constitution of India-

The law passed by the states could face a legal challenge for going against Article 16 and Article 19 of the Constitution.

a.Article 16 of the Constitution-

It guarantees equal treatment under law in matters of public employment, prohibits the state from discriminating on grounds of place of birth or residence.

b.Article 16 (2) of the Constitution-

It states that no citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminating against in respect or, any employment or office under the state.

c.Article 19 (d) of the Constitution-

It states that all citizens shall have the right to move freely throughout the territory of India.

d.Article 19 (e) of the Constitution-

It states that all citizens shall have the right to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India.

2.Parochial politics- Its origincan be traced back to the politics of the Shiv Sena in the 1960s, which initially targeted ‘South Indians’ for monopolising white- collar jobs and later the blue- collar workforce from northern states.

3.Pressure on labour market-Domicile quotas can raise costs and inefficiencies in labour- receiving states, exerting short- term pressure on labour- supplying states to create productive capacities.

4.Way to divert attention from Government failure– It presented to divert attention from the Covid failure. Both the labour- supplying states as well as the receiving ones have played the domicile card, responding to the unease over unemployment and a struggling economy.

5.Political strategy- The concept of ‘outsiders snatching jobs from locals’ is an easy political sell for electoral advantages.

6.Against invisible hand of market– According to Economic survey (2016-17) and other studies, migrants accounts for 20- 30 per cent of the workforce, or more than 100 million. The reality is workers go to where jobs are available and labour is needed because locals are either unavailable or unwilling to do these jobs. 

Way Forward-

In the present COVID situation challenge of joblessness is highest in the last four decades. The need of the hour is a more inclusive, employment- centred model of growth. Also states need to nurture an education and skilling ecosystem which produces ‘job- ready’ workers.

6.Naga conflict

Source: Indian Express

GS3-Internal security

Context:  Recently, in a statement the NSCN-IM blamed the interlocutor for destroying the momentum of the peace talks.

Naga tribes:

  • Composition of Naga:comprising over 25 tribes, each one is proud owner and inheritor of a distinct culture, language, tradition and geography, espousing a distinct world view, falling within the broad rubric of the Naga family.
  • Tribal solidarity:Few tribes aspire to Naga unity, and they view tribal loyalties as residues of a premodern past.
  • Naga nationalism:The idea of a Naga homeland includes contiguous areas in a number of North-eastern states, and even parts of Myanmar.
  • Issue: Naga conflict cannot be resolved without addressing the issue of integrating the Naga-inhabited areas is widely shared among Nagas.However, non-Nagas living in those areas do not generally share this goal.
  • Understanding of “Unique history”: It is open to more than one interpretation.
    • The source of the phrase can be traced back to a joint communiqué of 2002.
    • 2003 PM’s visit: It is true that Nagaland has a unique history.
    • In August 2015, Prime Minister wore a Tangkhul Naga shawl to the signing ceremony of the Framework Agreement.
  • Emergence of NSCN-IM: the faction that declared the Shillong Accord of 1975 had emerged as a serious political force.

Fundamental issues involved:

  • Naga’s perspective
    • In 2014: the then newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi had named Ravindra Narayan Ravi as the government’s new interlocutor to the Naga talks.
    • However, a number of groups such as the NSCN-IM raised objections.
    • N Ravi was well known for his antagonistic approach to the Naga issue. That’s why, NSCN-IM casted doubts on the government’s sincerity towards the talks.
    • It accused him of trying to turn the clock back by reframing the conflict as a law and order issue, and not a political dispute.
  • Interlocutor’s perspective:
    • Nagaland governor assured that as interlocutor he will implement the prime minister’s vision and take the peace process forward.
    • Criticism of the role of predecessors: Current interlocutor called the predecessor as “rent seekers”.
    • In his writing he also accused predecessors of acting as no more than the NSCN-IM’s “marketing agents” and “selling its larger-than-life profile to Delhi”.
    • Treating all Naga as homogeneous group:
      • As per R. N Ravi, predecessors treated Naga as homogenous collective with common aspirations” and set the Naga talks on “a perverse trajectory”.
      • The UPA government was negotiating with only the NSCN-IM, which is an entity of Tangkhul tribes of Manipur, having little resonance with other Naga.
    • The Indian government acknowledges the unique history of the Nagas and their situation.

Way forward:

  • Idea of Nagas having a “unique history” which was acknowledged should not be allowed to wither away.
  • Characterisations of the Naga political struggle as a separatist insurgency or a terrorist movement are inaccurate.
  • Negotiations should be based on mutual respect.

After years of negotiation, the risks of Nagaland and adjacent areas going back to a downward spiral of violence and counter-violence should not be underestimated.

9 PM for Preliminary examination

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