Paper 2-GS-I, Topic: Salient features of Indian Society

Vulnerable tribes: lost in a classiication trap

What data says:

  • Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) publication has reveled about the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
  • Out of the 75 PVTGs, base line surveys exists for about 40 groups, even after declaring them as PVTGs.
  • Base line surveys are done to precisely identify the PVTG families, their habitat and socio-economic status, so that development initiatives are implemented for these communities.
  • Among the 75 listed PVTG’s in Odisha (13), Andhra Pradesh (12), Bihar including Jharkhand (9) Madhya Pradesh including Chhattisgarh (7) Tamil Nadu (6) Kerala(5) and Gujarat(5)
  • The remaining PVTGs live in West Bengal (3) Maharashtra (3) Karnataka(2) and Uttarakhand(2) and Rajasthan(1), Tripura(1) and Manipur(1).
  • All the four tribal groups in Andamans, and one in Nicobar Islands, are recognised as PVTGs.

Insights of book:

  • It says that the PVTG list requires revising and refinement to avoid overlapping and repetition. According to book, number of the PVTGs at the national level would be 63.
  • For example, the list contains synonyms of the same group such as the Mankidia and the Birhor in Odisha, both of which refer to the same group.
  • Some of the PVTGs are distributed in more than one State. The Birhor are PVTG in four States.While 10 other group are PVTG in two States, namely the Sahariya, Kurumba, Koraga, Korwa, JenuKuruba, Kattunayakan, Katkari/Kathodi, Kharia, Kolam, and Lodha.
  • What is the need to correct this data?
  • This would do away with overlapping names and go a long way in having a clear idea about the tribes and implementing welfare schemes directed at the communities.
  • Regional and State-specific variations in welfare schemes for PVTGs will be more impactful after correction in data.
  • There is a huge variation in the number of PVTGs from a few individuals as in case of Great Andamanese, Onge and Sentinelese and about a little more than a thousand people as in the case of Toda of Nilgiris.
  • Although PVTGs are slowly witnessing decadal increase in their population, quite a few still face stagnation such as the Birhor in central India.
  • About unequal treatment.PVTG receives benefits only in a few blocks in a district, the reason is that micro-projects extend benefits only within their jurisdiction.
  • For example, the LanjiaSaora are recognized as a PVTG across Odisha but only in 2 blocks.
  • Significantly over the past literacy rate have increased to 30 to 40 % in many of the PVTGs.

Source: Indian Express

‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
Novel graphene electrical conductor designed by IISc

About research:

  • Researchers have been able to experimentally produce a new type of electrical conductor that was theoretically predicted nearly 20 years ago.
  • IISc successful produced graphene that is single- or a few-layers thick to conduct current along one particular edge — the zigzag edge.
  • The zigzag edge of graphene layer has a unique property: It allows flow of charge without any resistance at room temperature and above.
  • A few-layers-thick graphene that conducts current along one edge does not experience any resistance at room temperature.

How graphene works?

  • Many groups over the world have been trying to access these edges since the emergence of graphene in 2004, but have been largely unsuccessful.
  • Because when current flows through graphene, it flows through both the edge as well as the bulk. In IISc researchers succeeded in this endeavour by creating the bulk part of graphene extremely narrow (less than 10 nanometre thick), and hence highly resistive, thus forcing the current to flow through the edge alone.
  • While the bulk is totally insulating, the edge alone has the ability to conduct because of the unique quantum mechanics of the edge.
  • Because of the zigzag orientation of carbon atoms [resulting from the hexagonal lattice], the electron wave on each carbon atom overlaps and forms a continuous train of wave along the edge. This makes the edge conducting.

What others were doing wrong?

  • In the past, others researchers had tried making narrow graphene through chemical methods. But the use of chemicals destroys the edges.
  • IISc team resorted to mechanical exfoliation to make graphene that are single- and few-layers thick. They used a small metal robot to peel the graphene from pyrolytic graphite.
  • Impact of chemicals:
  • The unsatisfied bonds of the carbon atoms make them highly reactive and they tend to react with hydrogen present in the air.
  • The edges conduct without any resistance as long as the edges don’t come in contact with any chemicals. It is very easy to passivate the edges to prevent contamination.
  • There are currently several chemical methods to produce very narrow graphene nanoribbons.
  • Challenge is to produce graphene nanoribbons using chemicals that don’t destroy the edges.
  • This successful demonstration of the dissipation-less edge conduction will act as incentive to develop new chemical methods to make high-quality graphene with clean edges.

Source: The Hindu

‘’Paper 2-GS-I, Topic: Role of women and women’s organization

Labour participation rate of women in India visibly low, says World Bank study

You should know:

  • India’s Female Labour Force Participation (FLFP) rate has remained low.
  • The International LabourOrganisation ranks India’s FLFP rate at 121 out of 131 countries in 2013. India had the lowest FLFP rate in South Asia, with the exception of Pakistan.
  • Globally, only parts of the Arab world held a lower FLFP rates than India.

Highlights according to stats:

  • In 2013, FLFP rate for India was 27% against China’s 63.9%, and it was 56.3% in the U.S., 79.9% in Nepal, 57.4% in Bangladesh, 35.1% in Sri Lanka, 24.6% in Pakistan, 23.3% in the Arab world, and 50.8% in the European Union.
  • In April 2017, FLFP dropped by 19.6 million women from 2004–05 to 2011–12. Participation declined from 42.6% to 31.2% — from 1993–94 to 2011–12.
  • 53% of this drop occurred in rural India, among those aged between 15 and 24.

Reasons of drop:

  • An increase in educational enrolment among the younger women, attainment of socio-economic status, and household composition largely contributed to the drop.
  • Some of the reasons cited for the decrease suggest that it was not entirely a negative trend.
  • Stability in family income had led female family members to choose dropping out of the labour force.
  • Females are opting to continue their education rather than join the labour force early.
  • When the two periods between 1993–94 to 2004–05 and 2004–05 to 2011–12 are compared, most of the drop in FLFP was found during the second period.
  • 31 million females added in the labour force during the 11-year period between 1993–94 and 2004–05.
  • In contrast, during the later seven-year period, there was a significant drop in the female labour force by 19.2 million individuals.

Source: Hindustan Times