Poor sanitation is a primary cause of diseases worldwide = improving sanitation can have a beneficial impact on health both in households as well as communities. In order to meet the sanitation need, the government had launched the Swachh Bharat Mission in 2014. Since then, SBM became the world’s largest sanitation program by changing the behaviour of hundreds of millions of people with respect to toilet access and usage. However, there are also concerns regarding the overreporting of data, actual usage of toilets, etc. which we will discuss in this article.
There are growing instances of deaths while cleaning septic tanks and sewage treatment plants in several states. This highlights the need for better understanding the problems being faced by manual scavengers and addressing the challenges in the implementation of the manual scavenging law.
The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), a statutory authority established in 1993 was given limited powers such as recommending to the government the inclusion or exclusion of a community in the central list of OBCs.
Therefore the government had passed the 102nd constitution amendment act, 2018 to provide constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) and empower it to hear complaints as well as protect the interests of socially and educationally backward classes.
However, there is also a question arises whether merely passing multiple acts and giving constitutional status is enough? considering the situation where several states have not yet implemented 27% reservation for OBCs and the skewed representation of backward sections in various levels of the government.
The Right to Education Act, 2009 prohibits the detention of children till they complete elementary education (class 8) as detention would lead them to drop out of school.
However, this provision is amended by the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Act, 2019 to state that a regular examination will be conducted in class 5 and class 8 at the end of every academic year.
- If a child fails the exam, he/she will be provided with the additional opportunity to take a re-examination within two months.
- Such children will be provided with two-month remedial teaching to perform better in the re-examinations.
- If he/she fails in the re-examination too, then the central government or the concerned state government may decide to allow schools to detain the child.
- This change is incorporated due to the concern that automatic promotion reduces the incentive for children to learn and for teachers to teach.
This big-picture article explains the following in an analytical manner with a mindmap for quick revision:
- What is the no detention policy under the RTE Act?
- What are the advantages of No-detention policy?
- What are the disadvantages of no-detention policy? / Need for its removal?
- What are the concerns with the amendment?
- What is the way forward? / How to improve learning outcomes?
Recently, the draft of the New National Education Policy has been submitted by the Dr. Kasturirangan Committee on Education Policy. The draft has invited criticism and protests due to the provision of three language formula. The controversial provision was hence revised by Dr. Kasturirangan-led committee.
In order to protect the rights of women employees during pregnancy and after childbirth, Indian law makes it mandatory for most establishments to offer maternity benefits to women employees.
Maternity benefit in India is mainly governed by the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 that applies to all shops and establishments with 10 or more employees. Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 further increased the maternity benefits being provided under the Act.
Recently, the union government has introduced 124th Constitution Amendment Bill (10% Quota Bill) in the Parliament to provide for 10% reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) among the general category candidates in higher education and government employment.
PepsiCo, a multi-million dollar conglomerate, has sued Gujarati farmers asking them to pay ₹1.05 crore each for alleged violation of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
The company claimed that farmers violated its patent rights by cultivating the potato variety used in its chips product named Lays.
However, after facing boycott calls by potato farmers and the government’s pressure, PepsiCo has offered to withdraw the case if the farmers stop growing the registered potato variety used in its Lays chips.
This issue highlights the importance of seed sovereignty and the role played by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001 in protecting the rights of the farmers and prevent seed monopoly.
This article explains the following in an analytical manner with a mindmap for quick revision:
- What is the issue?
- What is PepsiCo's perspective?
- What is the farmers' perspective?
- What is contract farming?
- What is seed sovereignty?
- What are the salient features of Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001?
- Why is the PPV&FR Act significant?
- What is the way forward?