News & Events
In this section, we are presenting our readers/aspirants compilation of selected editorials of national daily viz. The Hindu, The live mint,The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Economic Times, PIB etc. This section caters the requirement of Civil Services Mains (GS + Essay) , PCS, HAS Mains (GS + Essay) & others essay writing competition.
1.Women at work: Industrial jobs can tackle a key gender imbalance
Ola has announced that its electric scooter factory will be run entirely by women. Its Future Factory plans to employ at least 10,000 women, which would make it the largest all-women factory in the world. This is an entirely heartening move. While women have been employed in specific labour-intensive industries like garments, they are under-represented in the auto industry, and are still barely 12% of the industrial workforce.
Factory jobs are an escape from traditional gender roles, a basis for economic independence, a chance to see oneself in a larger collective. Women’s paid work also has ripple benefits for their families and communities. In the West, World War II brought women into factories and shipyards. A freedom that could not be snuffed out again. China’s female factory workers are more mobile, and aspirational than before. Even women in so-called sweatshops often speak of them as emancipatory. In India, companies like Kirloskar and HUL have created all-women plants.
India’s already low female labour force participation has declined over the last decade, at all levels of age, income and education – but particularly for rural women. This is socially awful and economically hugely costly. If Indian women had the same work participation rates as men, Oxfam estimates a 43% rise in GDP. In a situation of bone-deep discrimination, women must be actively prioritised in employment for any hope of real equality.
2.States of vaxing: Populous UP, Bihar, Bengal must buck up
India’s fast-rising vax numbers – including an impressive 2 crore-plus doses on Friday – indicate some states reaching their target of vaccinating all adults much before others. The leaders: Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Uttarakhand and Gujarat have fully vaccinated over 30% and partially vaccinated at least 80% of adults. Others like Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Haryana have crossed the 70% mark for partial vaccination and range between 24-30% in double-dosing adults. But far more populous states like UP, Bihar, Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are lagging.
Yes, in total doses administered, UP, Maharashtra and MP are frontrunners. But such are their population numbers, they don’t have the luxury of complacency. UP and Bihar have single-dosed over 50% of adults but delivered second doses to just 10-12%. UP has single-dosed 7.6 crore people against 2.35 crore by Kerala. But UP still has another 7 crore residents to mop up for the first dose while Kerala has only 30 lakh recipients to find. UP has managed just over 1.6 crore second doses, signalling a long slog on that count too.
China, which claims to have fully vaccinated 100 crore persons, sent vaccinators to farms rather than await rural folk at vaxing facilities. Some Indian civic bodies have attempted door-to-door vaccination and mobile vaccination vans. To reach the poorest of rural poor and urban migrants – those who cannot skip a workday or without means to travel to vaccination sites – finding them at doorsteps or workplaces may be the only viable option. Reaching outlier adults may be trickier than mass vaxing children whose turn comes next. Children can at least be found through schools and anganwadis or using the national immunisation programme template. But India’s vast informal economy requires unorthodox solutions.
Don’t shut down, ensure proper functioning
For a state like Himachal Pradesh, which according to the National Crime Records Bureau is ranked second after Punjab in the crime rate under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, de-addiction centres have a critical role to play in helping those hooked to substances kick the habit. – File photo
THE problem of drug abuse is an acute one and overcoming it requires efforts both at the individual and community levels. For a state like Himachal Pradesh, which according to the National Crime Records Bureau is ranked second after Punjab in the crime rate under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, de-addiction centres have a critical role to play in helping those hooked to substances kick the habit. In such a situation, the shutting down of these centres during the pandemic needs reassessment. The pandemic brought with it constraints that must have affected the functioning of these centres or forced them to perform under limitations because the priorities of the medical community and related infrastructure changed accordingly. But death or ill-treatment is a serious matter and should be probed for irregularities. Shortage of staff and medicines, along with the possibility of mismanagement, should be investigated. De-addiction centres are required to adhere to protocols made mandatory by the competent authority and violations are not acceptable.
Himachal Pradesh’s geography and contiguous border with Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, besides the illegal cultivation of banned substances and the inflow of international tourists on a large scale, render the state vulnerable to drug trafficking. While setting up facilities to help people recover, it also has to be borne in mind that long-term treatment to recover from the habit is an expensive affair.
Deaths at these centres due to shortage of funds as the number of patients declined is a serious charge and such negligence should not go unpunished. De-addiction centres are not money-minting ventures, and while their viability is important, things should not be allowed to come to such a pass that casualties occur for want of resources. Sensitising the staff, besides dealing with their inadequate numbers, should be a priority, despite it being a tough call.
4.The AUKUS deal
Resets geopolitical stance against assertive Beijing
A response to China’s expansionist drive in the South China Sea, Australia’s new security pact with the United States and the United Kingdom — with the acronym AUKUS, standing for the three countries — is a welcome development for India. – AP/PTI file photo
×A RESPONSE to China’s expansionist drive in the South China Sea, Australia’s new security pact with the United States and the United Kingdom — with the acronym AUKUS, standing for the three countries — is a welcome development for India. The timing of the treaty is particularly significant, coming as it does amid uncertainty looming over the US commitment in the region following the muddled withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the consequent hegemony Beijing could exploit to its advantage. AUKUS not only represents Washington’s renewed focus on the Indo-Pacific region, but also marks a significant shift in the UK foreign policy, which is now eager to be more involved after its exit from the European Union.
America’s apprehensions about China have been clear for quite some time, Australia has not shied away from expressing its concerns, and now UK’s presence presents a whole new challenge to Beijing. A line is being drawn to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s aggressive and assertive moves. The geopolitical shift fits in with the growing participation of the world’s biggest democracies to deter China from using its power. Beijing, as expected, has hit out strongly, accusing the countries of a ‘Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice’.
For New Delhi, having its closest strategic partners stitch a substantive defence cooperation deal and the opportunity to shore up ties with London can only be reassuring, despite the snub to India’s strong defence partner France, which has now lost a deal with Australia to build submarines. The prominence of the Quad grouping also came through, with the Australian PM calling up Prime Minister Modi and the Japanese premier to keep them in the loop on the new arrangement. While the treaty does hold potential to emerge as a decisive factor in ensuring a stable balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region, China’s insatiable hunger for causing disruption would be the real test.