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Insights Daily Current Events, December 24, 2013


December 24, 2013


Poorna Shakti Kendras to empower rural women

  • To ensure the socio-economic development of women in rural areas, the National Mission for Empowerment of Women is promoting a model intervention project. The project is launched across 21 districts nationwide.
  • The women’s centre- Poorna Shakti Kendra, established in villages would offer services to women at the grassroots. The motto of the Kendra is “hum sunenge nari ki baat” (we will listen to women’s voices), where two women coordinators or Gram Samanvayaks in each Kendra will help women get pensions and voter identity and Aadhaar cards.
  • One of the important elements of the project is the stress on processes instrumental in bringing about women’s empowerment through convergence strategies on the ground.
  • Similarly, to encourage universal social mobilisation through self-help groups under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), attention is being paid to women’s empowerment. The NRLM proposes to ensure universal financial inclusion by facilitating opening of savings accounts by all SHGs, while encouraging their thrift and credit activities and other financial services. Under the NRLM, there shall be one rural self-employment training institute in each district. Each will train at least 750 candidates of the below poverty level (BPL) category.

More about National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM):

  • Aajeevika – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India in June 2011. Aided in part through investment support by the World Bank, the Mission aims at creating efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor enabling them to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial services.
  • NRLM implementation is in a Mission Mode. This enables

(a) shift from the present allocation based strategy to a demand driven strategy enabling the states to formulate their own livelihoods-based poverty reduction action plans,

(b) focus on targets, outcomes and time bound delivery,

(c) continuous capacity building, imparting requisite skills and creating linkages with livelihoods opportunities for the poor, including those emerging in the organized sector, and

(d) monitoring against targets of poverty outcomes. As NRLM follows a demand driven strategy, the States have the flexibility to develop their livelihoods-based perspective plans and annual action plans for poverty reduction. The overall plans would be within the allocation for the state based on inter-se poverty ratios.

NRLM Mission

  • “To reduce poverty by enabling the poor households to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities, resulting in appreciable improvement in their livelihoods on a sustainable basis, through building strong grassroots institutions of the poor.”


  • What do you understand by ‘women empowerment’?  What are the steps taken by the Govt of India in order to empower women? What are the issues? Your suggestions.
  • Role of self-help group in empowering women?

Courtesy – (image)

{ This is regard to “Indigenization of technology” (GS –III) }

Indigenous device that can detect early cervical cancer launched

  • The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry has launched an indigenous device that can detect early cervical cancer and be used even by healthcare workers with basic training.
  • AV Magnivisualizer, which was developed by the Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has 95% accuracy for detecting pre-cancerous lesions. Randomised clinical control trials have confirmed its efficacy in reducing incidence and mortality. It would also be available in remote rural areas.
  • This is a user-friendly device which costs about Rs 10,000 as against the present devices which cost between Rs 8 lakh and Rs. 10 lakh and are beyond the reach of most people.
  • The device can be operated on a 12- volt battery in rural and semi-urban areas where electric supply is not regular.
  • Now, the ICMR is initiating studies to assess its applicability even for oral pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions.
  • In the initial phase, the device would be available in the Community Health Centres (CHC); in the next phase it would be made available in the Primary Health Centres (PHC), where cervical cancer cases go undetected.
  • Cervical cancer is the most common malignancy among Indian women, particularly those who marry early. Current estimates indicate that approximately 1.32 lakh new cases are diagnosed and 74,000 deaths occur annually in India, accounting for nearly one-third of global cervical cancer deaths.
  • Cervical cancer takes about a decade to fully develop and is often detected when it has spread substantially. It starts from a pre-cancer stage called dysplasias and early detection and appropriate treatment at this stage can halt its progression, resulting in decreased incidence or mortality.

More about Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR):

  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world.
  • The Council’s research priorities coincide with the National health priorities such as control and management of communicable diseases, fertility control, maternal and child health, control of nutritional disorders, developing alternative strategies for health care delivery, containment within safety limits of environmental and occupational health problems; research on major non-communicable diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, blindness, diabetes and other metabolic and haematological disorders; mental health research and drug research (including traditional remedies). All these efforts are undertaken with a view to reduce the total burden of disease and to promote health and well-being of the population.



  • Benefits of indigenization.
  • Issues with Clinical trials? Measures taken by the Government in this regard?
  • Functions and Significance of Primary health Centres? What are the issues with PHCs? Suggest some remedial measures.

Mahadayi water dispute: Karnataka & Goa

  • The Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal adjudicates the water dispute among the States of Goa and Karnataka. A 13-member tribunal team, headed by the former Supreme Court judge J.M. Panchal, had toured the northern areas of the Karnataka from December 18 to 22 (2013).
  • Karnataka has decided to construct the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project which envisages diversion of 7.56 tmcft of water to the Malaprabha dam by constructing dams across the Kalasa and the Banduri nalas and diversion canals to provide drinking water to towns and villages in Belgaum, Dharwad, Bagalkot and Gadag districts.
  • The Goa government is opposed to the project.


  • Functions of Water Disputes Tribunals? Are the tribunals solving the problems faced by the neighbouring states? If not, what should be the remedial action taken in this regard?
  • Disputes between the riparian states on sharing of river waters in post-Independence India are becoming increasing complex. Objectively analyze the major disputes in this connection, with special reference to the southern states. (2010 UPSC question)


China defends nuclear cooperation with Pakistan

  • China would continue to provide support for civilian nuclear energy projects in Pakistan, despite concerns voiced by some countries that recent agreements have violated international guidelines governing nuclear trade.
  • China has argued that, the nuclear power projects would help Pakistan alleviate power shortage and serve the interests of local people.
  • In November, 2013 Pakistan had formally inaugurated two 1,100 MW projects at the second and third phases of the Karachi nuclear power project. The deals follow Chinese support to the nuclear complex at Chashma, where two reactors have been constructed with China’s assistance.
  • The agreements for third and fourth reactors in Chashma, signed in 2009, triggered controversy as they were the first deals signed by China following its joining of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The nuclear trade body forbids members from transferring technology to countries that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). India obtained a waiver from the body only after undertaking various commitments.
  • However, the Chinese have defended the deal saying that it was for peaceful purpose and it meets their respective international obligations and is subject to the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

More about International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA):

  • The IAEA is the world’s center of cooperation in the nuclear field. It was set up as the world´s “Atoms for Peace” organization in 1957 within the United Nations family. The Agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.
  • The IAEA Secretariat is headquartered at the Vienna International Centre in Vienna, Austria.

IAEA Mission & Programmes

  • The IAEA’s mission is guided by the interests and needs of Member States, strategic plans and the vision embodied in the IAEA Statute. Three main pillars – or areas of work – underpin the IAEA’s mission: Safety and Security; Science and Technology; and Safeguards and Verification.

Relationship with United Nations

  • As an independent international organization related to the United Nations system, the IAEA´s relationship with the UN is regulated by special agreement . In terms of its Statute, the IAEA reports annually to the UN General Assembly and, when appropriate, to the Security Council regarding non-compliance by States with their safeguards obligations as well as on matters relating to international peace and security.



  • With closer nuclear cooperation between China and Pakistan- what are the concerns raised by the international fora and especially with respect to India? Do you think such a co-operation would de-stabilize Asia?
  • What are the objectives of NSG and NPT? How did India get a waiver with regard to nuclear trade, though India not being a member of NPT? Why is India reluctant to get into the agreement?

To know more NSG, NPT refer our ‘Insights Current Events Analysis Magazine’ (OCTOBER, 2013)