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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 10 February 2018

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 10 February 2018


Paper 1:

Topic: Role of women and women’s organization.


Swadhar Greh Scheme

Context: Recently released government data shows that there are 559 Swadhar Greh presently functional in the country with 17231 beneficiaries.


About Swadhar Greh Scheme:

The Swadhar scheme was launched by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2002 for rehabilitation of women in difficult circumstances. The scheme provides shelter, food, clothing and care to the marginalized women/girls who are in need.

  • The beneficiaries include widows deserted by their families and relatives, women prisoners released from jail and without family support, women survivors of natural disasters, women victims of terrorist/extremist violence etc.
  • The implementing agencies are mainly NGOs. An Evaluation Study conducted through Centre for Market Research and Social Development to assess the performance of the scheme observed that the scheme is successful for which it was formulated/implemented.


Way ahead:

Women and girls represent half of the world’s population — but inspite of the progress that has been made in bettering their lives, the road ahead remains long. As the famous saying goes, “Women’s rights are human rights.” Women are equal members of society and have a right to live free from violence and discrimination, to be educated, own property, vote and fully participate in economic activities. When women have full access to their rights, all of society prospers. Experts claim that female empowerment and gender equality are two of the most effective ways for the global community to achieve every one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.


Sources: pib.

Topic: Role of women and women’s organization.


National Women Entrepreneurship Council

Context: The Ministry of Women and Child Development is considering to establish National Women Entrepreneurship Council (NWEC). NWEC will promote entrepreneurship as it would be the umbrella organization for socio-economic gender parity, financial inclusion and economic empowerment of women in India.



According to Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, India scored an overall 41.7 points, ranking 49 among 54 economies globally with comparatively low in Women Business Ownership percentages.


Need for economic empowerment of women:

Economically empowered women are major catalysts for development. There is greater recognition of the positive relationship between increased economic activity by women and improved social outcomes. Women often tend to reinvest their income in their children’s education, health and nutrition. This has a positive impact on the potential for economic growth.



India presents lower opportunities for women to assume leadership roles, participation in the workforce or engagement in entrepreneurial activities. Lack of education, technological know-how and cultural bias coupled with stringent business and government regulations are some key impediments that happen to undermine women’s ability to rise to positions of leadership and take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities in India.


Way ahead:

Women entrepreneurs have been carving out a niche for them across the globe, including India especially in niche and unconventional businesses. However, there is significant potential to harness the untapped potential of women’s entrepreneurship in India.


Sources: pib.

Topic: Role of women and women’s organization.



Context: So far, 107 complaints have been received through portal ‘SHe-box’. The government has all concerned authorities to take appropriate actions.


About SHe-box:

What is it? It is an online complaint management system for registering complaints related to sexual harassment at workplace. It was launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The complaint management system has been developed to ensure the effective implementation of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act (the SH Act), 2013.

Once a complaint is submitted to the portal, it will be directly sent to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of the concerned Ministry/Department/PSU/Autonomous Body etc. having jurisdiction to inquire into the complaint. Through this portal, WCD as well as complainant can monitor the progress of inquiry conducted by the ICC.


Significance of the portal:

This portal is an initiative to provide a platform to women working or visiting any office of Central Government (Central Ministries, Departments, Public Sector Undertakings, Autonomous Bodies and Institutions etc.) to file complaints related to sexual harassment at workplace under the SH Act. Those who had already filed a written complaint with the concerned Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) constituted under the SH Act are also eligible to file their complaint through this portal. It is also an effort to provide speedier remedy to women facing sexual harassment at workplace as envisaged under the SH Act.


Sources: pib.


Paper 2:

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


“Healthy States, Progressive India” Report

Context: NITI Aayog has released a comprehensive Health Index report titled, “Healthy States, Progressive India”.


What you need to know about the report?

The report has been developed by NITI Aayog, with technical assistance from the World Bank, and in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

The report ranks states and Union territories innovatively on their year-on-year incremental change in health outcomes, as well as, their overall performance with respect to each other. It is the first attempt to establish an annual systematic tool to measure and understand the heterogeneity and complexity of the nation’s performance in Health.



States and UTs have been ranked in three categories namely, Larger States, Smaller States, and Union Territories (UTs), to ensure comparison among similar entities. The Health Index is a weighted composite Index, which for the larger States, is based on indicators in three domains: (a) Health Outcomes (70%); (b) Governance and Information (12%); and (c) Key Inputs and Processes (18%), with each domain assigned a weight based on its importance.

Health Index has been developed as a tool to leverage co-operative and competitive federalism to accelerate the pace of achieving health outcomes. It would also serve as an instrument for “nudging” States & Union Territories (UTs) and the Central Ministries to a much greater focus on output and outcome based measurement of annual performance than is currently the practice. With the annual publication of the Index and its availability on public domain on a dynamic basis, it is expected to keep every stakeholder alert to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Goal number 3.


Performance of states:

  • Among the Larger States, Kerala, Punjab, and Tamil Nadu ranked on top in terms of overall performance, while Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, and Uttar Pradesh are the top three ranking States in terms of annual incremental performance.
  • Among Smaller States, Mizoram ranked first followed by Manipur on overall performance, while Manipur followed by Goa were the top ranked States in terms of annual incremental performance.



The Health Index report notes that while States and UTs that start at lower levels of development are generally at an advantage in notching up incremental progress over States with high Health Index scores, it is a challenge for States with high Index scores to even maintain their performance levels.


Way ahead:

The incremental measurement reveals that about one-third of the States have registered a decline in their performance in 2016 as compared to 2015, stressing the need to pursue domain-specific, targeted interventions. Common challenges for most States and UTs include the need to focus on addressing vacancies in key staff, establishment of functional district Cardiac Care Units (CCUs), quality accreditation of public health facilities and institutionalization of Human Resources Management Information System (HRMIS). Additionally, almost all Larger States need to focus on improving the Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB).


Sources: pib.


Paper 3:

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


ASH TRACK Mobile App

Context: The government has launched a Web based monitoring System and a Fly Ash mobile application named ASH TRACK. These platforms will enable better management of the ash produced by thermal power plants by providing an interface between fly ash producers (Thermal Power Plants) and potential ash users such as – road contractors, cement plants etc.


About the App:

The ASH TRACK App would be managing 200 million tonnes of fly ash by tracking coal based power plants situated within 100 km and 300 km from given location and availability of fly ash, along with prospective users within the same radius. The App gives plant-wise, utility-wise and State-wise ash utilization status in the country.

The thermal plants would regularly update fly ash generation, utilization and stock on the web portal and the app. This would allow effective monitoring and reviewing for increasing ash utilization. This would also help in protecting environment in terms of reduction in fugitive emissions, saving of precious top soil and conservation of land for sustainable development.


Way ahead:

Fly ash, the end product of combustion during the process of power generation in the coal based thermal power plants, is a proven resource material for many applications of construction industries and currently is being utilized in manufacturing of Portland Cement, bricks/blocks/tiles manufacturing, road embankment construction and low lying area development, etc.

At present, 63% of the fly ash is being utilised and target is for 100% utilisation of the fly ash. There is need for education and awareness generation. Road contractors and construction engineers need to know the benefits of using fly ash in construction. Measures need to be taken to reduce the cost of construction of roads using fly ash by way of tax structure, subsidies and transportation services. Besides, there is a need to prevent the ash from coming to the power plant by washing the coal at its place of origin. The government should also come out with a policy to encourage fly ash use in cement plant.


Sources: pib.

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.


Integrated Automatic Aviation Meteorological Systems (IAAMS)

Context: ‘Integrated Automatic Aviation Meteorological System (IAAMS)’ was recently inaugurated at INS Garuda. INS Garuda is the fourth air station to have been installed with this integrated system.


About IAAMS:

IAAMS is an ambitious project of the Indian Navy to modernise the Meteorological infrastructure of the nine Naval Air Stations. The IAAMS project at INS Garuda will give a major fillip to aviation safety through automation of weather monitoring process.

  • Equipped with the state of the art Meteorological Sensors viz., Radar Vertical Wind Profiler, Transmissometer, Ceilometer and Automatic Weather Observation System, IAAMS undertakes automatic and continuous recording of relevant weather parameters that are vital for accurate weather forecasting.
  • It has a special alarm feature that alerts the duty staff about any abnormal change of weather parameters that may affect safe flying operations. The system can also provide automatic dissemination of routine weather reports of the air station as per World Meteorological Organization (WMO) standards to other Air Stations and to ATC tower without human intervention.


Sources: pib.

Topic: IPR.


Global IP Index

Context: The US Chamber of Commerce’s intellectual property rights advocacy arm, Global Innovation Policy Centre, has released Intellectual Property Index. The index ranks economies based on 40 unique indicators that benchmark activity critical to innovation development surrounding patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secrets protection.

  • The US tops the list with 37.98 points, followed by United Kingdom (37.97) and Sweden (37.03).

New Delhi, however, gives no formal recognition to such rankings and has in the past even dismissed criticism heaped on its IPR regime by the US government as part of its annual US 301 report.


Performance of India:

  • India has improved its performance both in relative and absolute terms. The index showed that India ranked 44th of 50 economies — a jump from 43rd of 45 economies one year ago — improving its performance both in relative and absolute terms.
  • For the first time, India has broken free of the bottom 10% of economies measured, and its score represents the largest percentage improvement of any country measured. This is further evidence of a country on the move.
  • India improved its score as it passed guidelines to strengthen the patentability environment for technological innovations, improved the protection of well-known marks, and initiated IP awareness and coordination programs, thereby implementing some tenets of the 2016 National IPR Policy.


Way ahead:

In what is otherwise a very challenging environment for IP rights holders, India has demonstrated a long-standing and clear commitment to increasing awareness of the importance of IP rights and respect for creators and innovators. However, India has a long way to go. Among key areas of weaknesses are limited framework for protection of life sciences IP; patentability requirements outside international standards; lengthy pre-grant opposition proceedings; previously used compulsory licensing for commercial and nonemergency situations; limited participation in international IP treaties and no participation in international PPH (Patent Prosecution Highway) tracks. Additional, meaningful reforms are still needed to incentivize domestic innovation, attract foreign investors, and improve access to innovation.


Sources: the hindu.



Facts for Prelims:


“Swachh Bharat Sanitation Park” inaugurated in Delhi:

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, in collaboration with the Environmental Sanitation Institute and Tata Trusts, has developed a Sanitation Park in New Delhi.

The park an objective to create awareness on various safe technological options. The Park demonstrates various options pertaining to toilet technologies and solid and liquid waste management technologies, with a brief description of these technologies. The Park also displays information regarding various interventions undertaken under the Swachh Bharat Mission, capturing the success stories and impact created under the Mission across the country.


21st Indian Birding Fair:

The 21st Indian Birding Fair is happening at the Man Sagar Lake, Rajasthan. This year, this fair is dedicated to the White Naped Tit bird, which is quite rare in Jaipur and are at the verge of extinction.

About White Naped Tit bird: White-Naped is a robust, strongly patterned, mainly black-and-white coloured bird with yellow in the flanks and sides of the breast. The bird is found in Udaipur and in some regions of Kutch as well. It is considered vulnerable to extinction because of the scarcity of suitable habitats.


Janadriyah festival:

Context: Saudi is celebrating the annual Janadriyah festival. India is this year’s guest of honor.

About Janadriyah festival: Janadriyah is the annual national heritage and culture festival named after the village on the northern outskirts of Riyadh. The festival encourages Saudis to celebrate their heritage and to bolster cultural exchange.