9 PM Daily Brief – November 6, 2020

Good evening dear reader.

Here is our 9pm current affairs brief for you today

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GS 2

Low labour force participation (LFP) of Indian women

China occupied Kashmir

GS 3

Cancer treatment – Palliative care

Infra Investment

Crucial expertise of CAPFs

9 PM for Preliminary examination


Low labour force participation (LFP) of Indian women

Source: Indian Express

Gs2: Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Human Resources.

Context: The issue of the low labour force participation (LFP) of Indian women.

What are the factors limiting women’s labour force participation?

  • Women’s inability to work outside the home is hampered mainly due to the predominant responsibility for domestic chores and unpaid care work.

Scenario of Indian women’s labour force participation

  • Historical evidence: Historically, women’s LFP has increased when the time cost of domestic/unpaid care work is reduced, or is shared more equally with men, or made more compatible with market work.
  • Unequal gender divisions: India has among the most unequal gender divisions.
    • Women spend between five to 10 times more time on housework compared to men.
  • Female LFPR: Despite falling fertility and rapidly rising female education levels, India’s female LFP has not only been persistently low, but has registered a decline over the last 15 years.
  • Multifarous reasons:
    • Women unwillingness to work despite opportunities
    • A lack of suitable jobs,
    • Fractured nature of work especially in rural areas, and
    • Inaccurate measurement of their work is still debatable.
  • LinkedIn report: According to a recent report from LinkedIn, Indian women participation in paid work increased because of “work from home” (WFH) that allowed them to combine their domestic and employment responsibilities.

Way forward

  • Meaningful work should be provided to women that will be equal to their rising educational qualifications.
  • Need to ensure conducive and enabling conditions (transportation, toilets, regularity) etc to facilitate women’s participation in work force.
  • Need to reduce the burden of domestic chores and care work, along with increase in paid work opportunities to raise women’s participation in the labour force

India to realise its true potential of gender dividend, it is essential for paying attention to job creation with a gender equity lens.

China occupied Kashmir

Source- The Hindu

Syllabus- GS 2 – Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Context- The history of china occupied Kashmir and the significance of Sino-Pakistan agreement of 1963.

What is China’s dual politics in Kashmir?

  • In August 2019, following the dilution of Article 370 and removal of special status for Jammu and Kashmir, China said it was “seriously concerned about the current situation in Jammu Kashmir”.
  • However, China refrained from voicing its opposition to Pakistan’s announced move to accord “provisional provincial status” to Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

China did not issue a statement on Pakistan’s move to change the status of Gilgit-Baltistan, a disputed region where China is also carrying out projects under its China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) plan, which India has opposed.

What is 1963’s Sino-Pakistan Agreement? 

Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement of 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 sq. km in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir to China.

  • The agreement is not recognized as legal by India, which also claims sovereignty over part of the land.

Significance of the agreement-

  • Pakistan compromised India’s traditional frontier along the Kun Lun range to the north-west of the Karakoram Pass.
  • And also enabled China to extrapolate a claim line eastwards along the Karakoram Range in Ladakh.
  • This collusion allowed China to claim the whole of Aksai Chin in which it had no historical presence.

What is the history of China occupied Kashmir? 

Changing the frontiers –  China exploited the ‘Great Game’ between British India and Russia in the late 19th century and pitched its territorial claims far beyond the traditional frontiers of Xinjiang.

  • In 1869 – After Mir of Hunza defeat in 1869 at the hands of the joint forces of the Maharaja of Kashmir and the British, the Chinese tried to co-opt him in their scheme while giving him refuge.
  • By 1890– China had started asserting its presence in the valleys between the Kun Lun and the main Karakoram Range.
  • By 1891– Chinese had quietly moved south of the Kun Lun range to consolidate their presence at Shahidullahand then they moved further south to Suget, and thereafter, showed up at the Karakoram pass.
  • In 1936 – The Mir of Hunza was asked by the British to abandon his rights, but the Shaksgam valley and the Aghil range remained with the Mir of Hunza. This remained the traditional frontier of British India until independence, inherited by India following J&K’s accession in 1947.

Cancer treatment – Palliative care

Source- The Indian Express

Syllabus- GS 3 –Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

Context- The present diversion of healthcare facilities and resources to COVID-19 has increased anxiety and confusion among people with cancer.

What are the issues with dealing in cancer in a wake of COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Treatment disruption– The uncertainty about treatment continuation due to the virus spread was stressful.
  • Halt in Cancer screening programmes– These programmes are so vital for picking up cancer early in order to save lives, have ground to a halt.
  • Transportation- With public transportation closure and authorities questioning the reason for traveling has become a complete nightmare for patients to access any type of health-care services.
  • Fear virus transmission– Patients have developed fear of the coronavirus that they are unwilling to go to hospitals.
  • This is because of low immunity, often aggravated by treatments, as well as existing co-morbidities since cancer, by and large, is a disease of older people.

What are the possible solutions of dealing cancer?

  • Early recognition- Early detection through vaccination and preliminary screening is very important. Cancer survivorship owes its rising numbers largely to advances in early detection and treatment.
  • The majority of people who come for treatment to a cancer centre in India come with advanced disease. The figure is nearly 70 per cent.
  • Awareness programmes- These programmes are required to create awareness about the dangerous effect of tobacco products and cancer causing chemicals.
  • Palliative care:
    • Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of the illness.
    • It is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with a life-threatening illness.
    • It involves prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.

What is the way forward?

  • Adaption of palliative care– healthcare providers must find ways to prevent cancer, screen those at heightened risk and mitigate the adverse effects of treatment by making palliative care a part of cancer treatments from the beginning and must find mention in public health policy and be integrated into clinical care from the primary health care level upwards.

Infra investment

Source: The Live Mint

Syllabus: GS-3- Economics

Context: Ministry of statistics and programme implementation (MOSPI) has released its latest report incomplete infrastructure projects.

What were the problems highlighted in the MOSPI report?

  • Inadequate data: The latest report showed that of a current total of 1,661 incomplete infrastructure projects, each costing above ₹150 crore, delays were assessable only for 754 projects on which timing data were available.
  • 70% were delayed (539 projects), with an average delay of three-and-a-half years.
  • Stated reasons for delay:  Reasons include land acquisition and green clearance.
  • Projects are expected to stimulate both supply and demand through wages paid to construction labour.
  • Delayed payments: Payments by governments (both Centre and states) to vendors of all types, not just construction contractors, are delayed.  It is commonly estimated that these dues amount to ₹2 trillion at a minimum.
  • Domino effect: Fiscal failure to pay on time has a domino effect on the financial sector. The unpaid vendor has to borrow more to cover enhanced working capital requirements.
  • For instance, the default of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (ILFS) in September 2018, when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had to move quickly to prevent a financial meltdown.
  • Poor reporting: The MOSPI report mentions the repeated failure of projects to report milestones, which would have helped reveal the true cause of delay.
  • Overall effect:
    • The medium-term fiscal plan required under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) legislation has become a mere statement where the fiscal shortage is not the true left over.
    • Governments take on more expenditure commitments for future years than they know can be put up within the fiscal deficit path committed to. If payment dues exceed, they are simply delayed.
    • Many infrastructure companies are unwilling to engage with governments because of payment delays.

What are the steps to be taken?

  • The fiscal system is deeply in need of reform, towards multi-year budgeting of committed expenditures, and calculation of deficits as a serious remaining rather than as a priority in itself to which expenditures will be shaped.
  • Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has warned that without “relief” payments the potential growth rate of the economy would be seriously reduced. Hence relief payments are required.

Way forward

  • Nothing would raise the potential growth rate of the Indian economy as much as a one-time payment of all past dues, and a credible commitment to future payments on time.
  • The Centre should give interest-free loans to states with bullet payment after 50 years. The funds “are to be used for new or ongoing capital projects needing funds and / or settling contractors’/ suppliers’ bills on such projects”.

Read also :- Current affairs

Crucial expertise of CAPFs

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS-3- Security

Context: The diverse experience of security forces has helped greatly in combating COVID-19.

Discuss the role of CAPFs during the pandemic?

  • Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) carry out the task of overcoming the disaster, by not only carrying out rescue and relief operations, but also by moderating the pains and problems arising out of the disaster.
    • CAPFs comprise the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Sashastra Seema Bal, Assam Rifles and the ITBP.
  • Role played by the CAPFs:
    • Setting up Quarantine centres: Even before covid-19, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) had already set up its 600-bed quarantine centre in Chawla on the outskirts of New Delhi.
    • Quarantine assistance: Out of the 324 Indian passengers in the first batch that arrived in New Delhi from China’s Wuhan, 103 were quarantined at the ITBP Centre.
    • Coordinated response: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had roped in specialists from the Safdarjung Hospital to coordinate with ITBP officials.
      • Similarly, The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had directed the CAPFs to establish 5,400-bedded quarantine centres with 75 isolation wards, spread over 37 centres across the country.
    • Testing and Training: Immigration officials entrusted with conducting COVID-19 tests of the passengers arriving in New Delhi were trained by the NDRF.
      • The NDRF has trained over 30,000 personnel in disaster management across the country.
    • Role of Disaster Response Forces: The NDRF has been carrying out rescue and relief operations, and is also training the State Disaster Response Forces personnel in all States.
    • Relief work: A sum of ₹10 crores was sanctioned for the CRPF by the MHA to carry out relief work for those displaced in the aftermath of the lockdown.
    • Expertise and SOPs: The expertise acquired by ITBP personnel and the Standard Operating Procedure prepared by the ITBP came handy for the States and other police forces in establishing their own quarantine centres and COVID-19 hospitals.
      • For instance, a 10,000-bed quarantine centre was established in Chhatarpur in New Delhi by the ITBP, where over 10,000 patients have been treated till now, according to ITBP spokesperson.

What steps can be taken?

  • There is a need to expand the strength of trained personnel. Personnel can be deployed at quarantines centres after short term courses.
  • A proposal mooted by NITI Aayog last year, to conduct a bridge course for dentists to solidify them eligible for the MBBS degree, could be revived, and such doctors could be on stand-by to help in such emergency crises.

It is these CAPF personnel who give an impression of existence of government administration even in the remotest corners of the country. Their versatile experience can be utilised to the nation’s advantage.

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