1)Gender equality/Socio-economic development/Empowerment of women :-
Office of the Registrar General , Census Commissioner and Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation are involved in collection and dissemination of data covering wide range of issues that affect women’s empowerment. The report titled “Women and Men in India – 2015” by Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation, Government of India highlights the status of women covering health, education, work and decision making along with social obstacles in women’s empowerment.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development is administering following schemes for gender equality/socio-economic development/empowerment of women:-
- Swadhar and Short Stay Homes to provide relief and rehabilitation to destitute women and women in distress.
- Working Women Hostels for ensuring safe accommodation for working women away from their place of residence.
- Support to Training and Employment Program for Women (STEP) to ensure sustainable employment and income generation for marginalised and asset-less rural and urban poor women across the country.
- Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) to provide micro-finance services to bring about the socio-economic upliftment of poor women.
- National Mission for Empowerment of Women (NMEW) to strengthen the overall processes that promote all-round Development of Women
- Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme for Children of Working Mothers (including single mother) to provide day care facilities for running a crèche of 25 children in the age group 0-6 years from families having monthly income of less than Rs 12,000.Creche is day care center.
- One Stop Centre to provide integrated support and assistance to women affected by violence.
- Scheme for Universalisation of Women Helpline intended to provide 24 hours immediate and emergency response to women affected by violence.
- Sabla Scheme for holistic development of adolescent girls in the age group of 11-18 years.
In order to improve employability a separate Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has been created.
Equal Remuneration Act, 1973 provides for payment of equal remuneration to men and women workers for the same work of similar nature without any discrimination.
In order to ensure social security to the workers including women in the unorganised sector, the Government has enacted the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act 2008.
The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 regulates employment of women in certain establishments for a certain period (12 weeks) before and after childbirth and provides for maternity and other benefits.
Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) Scheme is being implemented as Conditional Maternity Benefit for pregnant and lactating women to improve health and nutrition status to better enabling environment by providing cash incentives to pregnant and nursing mothers to partly compensate wage loss both prior to and after delivery.
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 has been enacted, which covers all women, irrespective of their age or employment status and protect them against sexual harassment at all workplaces both in public and private sector, whether organised or unorganised.
The utility of this news:- Almost all of us know what are the problems associated with gender equality and empowerment of women , however , while analyzing questions related to this ,though we put forth the issues , it is equally necessary to end it in a positive note and for this – the schemes launched by government will help us to end our analysis in the exam in a optimistic note.This makes it an important piece of information.Moreover many questions are asked from the provisions of the schemes in the prelims as well, and schemes related to women empowerment is of vital importance for the exam .
2)Solar Power :-
- Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, has been implementing Solar Pumping programme through States, NABARD & other Government departments for setting up of Solar Power plants to pump water for irrigation purpose.
- Roof top Solar system :-Government is encouraging installation of solar power systems particularly on rooftops all over the country including on railway stations and airports as well.
3)Components of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment:-
There are four Commissions, five Public Sector Corporations and three Statutory bodies working under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
- National Commission for Scheduled Castes;
- National Commission for Safai Karamcharis;
- National Commission for Backward Classes;
- National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes.
- National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation;
- National Safai Karamchari Finance and Development Corporation;
- National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation;
- National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation;
- Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India
Other Statutory Bodies:
- Rehabilitation Council of India
- Office of the Chief Commission for Persons with Disabilities
- National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities.
4) National Tourism Policy:-
The Ministry of Tourism is currently in the process of formulating a National Tourism Policy 2015 with the aim of positioning India as a “Must Experience” and “Must Revisit” destination for global travellers, encouraging Indians to explore their own country and realising the potential of tourism as a major engine for economic growth, employment generation and poverty alleviation in a responsible framework.
Swadesh Darshan Scheme:-
Under the new Scheme Swadesh Darshan for Integrated Development of Tourist Circuits around Specific Themes,
It has 12 Thematic Circuits namely:-
- North-East India Circuit,
- Buddhist Circuit,
- Himalayan Circuit,
- Coastal Circuit,
- Krishna Circuit,
- Desert Circuit,
- Tribal Circui (Peren-Kohima-Wakha – Nagaland)
- Eco Circuit,
- Wildlife Circuit,
- Rural Circuit,
- Spiritual Circuit
- Ramayana Circuit
Apart from above mentioned circuits , few other circuits are in developmental stage such as Port Blair-Neil Havelock-Little Andaman (Andaman and Nicobar), Kashmir Circuit (Jammu and Kashmir), Nature Tourism Circuit (West Bengal), Braj-Agra Circuit (Uttar Pradesh), Gangtok (Sikkim).
Tourism in India:-
- Currently it contributes approx. 7% of our GDP
- Though India a great place to visit , yet we are yet to realize our true tourism potential.
- The vision of Govt of India is to have 1% share of total global tourism by 2016-17
As Mark Twain Puts it :-
“The only land that all men desire to see and having seen once, by even a glimpse , would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of globe combined “
5)Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children 2015:-
The main features of the ‘Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children 2015’ include: provisions for linking the orphan/abandoned/surrendered children of all Child Care Institutions (CCIs) to the adoption system, making the entire adoption process online, treating NRI Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) at par with the domestic PAPs and reducing the timeframe for completion of Home Study Report of the PAPs from two months to one month.
The major objectives sought to be achieved through these Guidelines are: expanding adoption programme in the country and addressing delays in the adoption process with an IT enabled platform of Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS).
6)Highlights of Agriculture Census 2010-11
|Size-Group||Percentage of number of operational holdings to total||Percentage of area operated to total|
|1||Marginal (below 1.00 ha.)||67.10||22.50|
|2||Small (1.00 – 2.00 ha.)||17.91||22.08|
|3||Semi-medium (2.00 – 4.00 ha.)||10.04||23.63|
|4||Medium (4.00 – 10.00 ha.)||4.25||21.20|
|5||Large (10.00 ha. & above)||0.70||10.59|
Importance- Majority of our farmers are Marginal approx . 67% , which makes then vulnerable to climatic variation as they mostly do subsistence agriculture.
7) Heart of Asia Conference is underway in Pakistan and Minister of External Affairs of India recently traveled to attend the conference .
Read more about Heart of Asia here :- http://upsctree.com/2015/11/09/09-nov-2015/
8) National Waterways Bill, 2015 :-
- Recently introduced in Lok Sabha
- Under Entry 24 of the Union List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, the central government can make laws on shipping and navigation on inland waterways which are classified as national waterways by Parliament by law.
- The bill proposes 106 national water ways
- Declaration of these National Waterways would enable IWAI to develop the feasible stretches for Shipping and Navigation. Financial approval of the competent authority for each waterway would be taken based on the outcome of the techno-economic feasibility studies etc. that are being undertaken by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) currently.
- The Bill repeals the five Acts that declare the existing national waterways. These five national waterways are now covered under the Bill.
Inland Water Transport is considered as the most cost effective and economical mode of transport from the point of view of fuel efficiency. Development of waterways will enhance the industrial growth and tourism potential of the hinterland along the waterway. This will also provide an additional, cheaper and environment friendly mode of transportation throughout the country
National Waterway No-1
|National Water Way||Water bodies/Principal River||Origin -Destination|
|3||Maliankara,Valiapanikan,Ashtamudi KayaI,Udyogmandal Canal||Kollam-Kottapuram Stretch of West Coast Canal|
|4||Godavari,Krishna,||Kakinada-Puducherry Stretch of Canals|
Rivers, East Coast Canal,Mahanadi delta rivers (Consisting of Hansua river,
Nuna nala, Gobri nala, Kharnasi river and Mahanadi
|9||Arunawati / Aran River|
|13||Bakreswar / Mayurakshi River|
|21||Birupa / Badi Genguti / Brahmani River System|
|30||Dhansiri / Chathe|
|42||Indira Gandhi Canal|
|51||Kaveri/ Kollidam River|
|77||Pengang / Wardha River|
|95||Tizu and Zungki Rivers|
|96||Tlwang (Dhaleswari River)|
|103||Wainganga / Pranahita River|
|104||West Coast Canal|
Note :- Not all rivers are important but UPSC known to ask about rivers , hence knowledge of river and respective state is important. Go through the list and find out about rivers that are new to you.