GS Paper I – Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues.
India ranks 148 in representation of women in government
- India ranks 148 globally in terms of representation of women in executive government and parliament, according to a report published by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women.
- The report Women in Politics 2017 Map showed that women make up only 11.8 per cent (64 MPs) of the 542-member Lok Sabha and 11 per cent (27) of the 245-member Rajya Sabha.
Key Points discussed were:
Some stats from Report Women in Politics 2017:
- In terms of women ministers, India ranks 88 with only five ministers (18.5 per cent) in the cabinet. This level of gender representation among ministers is better than the Asian average of 11% but far worse than the leader of the table, Indonesia, which gives 25.6% of its ministerial positions to women.
- The report stated that the number of women in executive government and in Parliament worldwide has stagnated, with only a marginal improvement since 2015.
- The head of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, called for reservation for women in law making bodies across the world.
- In Europe, the total percentage of women lawmakers stood at 22.5 per cent.
- The Nordic countries which have traditionally led the global stage in politics, but whose number of female ministers fell by more than 6 per cent to 43.5 per cent.
- Among the Arab States, 9.7 per cent of senior executive posts are held by women, led by Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates, at 23.1 per cent and 26.7 per cent, respectively.
- In the sub-continent India fared lower than Bangladesh at 91 and Pakistan at 89. Sri Lanka was positioned 179 as far as representation of women goes.
- These developments show that progress in gender equality remains slow in all structures of power and types of decision-making.
- Power is still firmly in men’s hands, and although we have witnessed some positive trends—for example, the current record number of 53 women speakers of Parliament out of 273 posts, globally —much remains to be done if women are to play on a level field with men.
- Equal representation in positions of power is a fundamental precondition for truly effective and accountable democracy.
GS Paper III – Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security
Parliamentary panel fumes as NATGRID posts remain vacant
The Union Home Ministry informed a parliamentary panel that it couldn’t get qualified IT professionals to fill 35 posts in the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID).
NATGRID is an ambitious intelligence project conceptualised by the United Progressive Alliance government after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.
The panel has asked the Ministry to “re-publicise the posts” and “offer remuneration commensurate with that of the private sector to attract the most qualified professionals.”
Key Points discussed were:
- Ministry officials were quoted in the report — Demands for Grants (2017-18) — tabled in Parliament:
- “These posts were not filled because of the non-availability of qualified professionals for various posts in the organisation,”.
- The panel, headed by the Congress leader and former Home Minister P. Chidambaram, had asked the Ministry for the reasons for the cut in the NATGRID’s budget from ₹45 crore to ₹18.71 crore last fiscal.
- In a country like India, known worldwide for its highly skilled IT professionals, it is simply not acceptable that the non-availability of professionals was the reason for not filling the 35 posts of consultants.
- The Committee feels that either the Ministry had failed to publicise the posts widely or the remuneration being offered was not attractive enough.
- The Committee recommends that the Ministry needs to clear the confusion looming large over the NATGRID’s future by completing the construction of its main building at the earliest.
- In July 2016, the NDA government appointed Ashok Patnaik, a serving officer of the Intelligence Bureau, as the CEO of the NATGRID.
- The post had been lying vacant after the former CEO Raghu Raman’s contract expired in April 2014.
- The government refused to renew his contract following an adverse intelligence report.
The NATGRID is a centralised agency which stores sensitive personal information on citizens, to be made available for counter-terror investigations.
is an ambitious , which will utilise technologies like Big Data and analytics to study and analyse the huge amounts of data from various intelligence and enforcement agencies to help track suspected terrorists and prevent terrorist attacks.NATGRID’s data sources include records related to immigration entry and exit, banking and financial transactions and telecommunications. The agencies concerned include the Intelligence Bureau, local police and revenue and customs departments.
GS Paper II – Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.
World Bank approves $175 million loan for National Hydrology Project
The World Bank has approved a $175 million loan for the National Hydrology Project to improve India’s ability to forecast floods and reduce vulnerability to recurring floods and droughts.
The loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a six-year grace period in which no interest payments will be due.
The loan will mature in 23 years.
Key Points discussed were:
- Climate change, advanced flood management and enhanced river basin planning are essential for building livelihoods and sustaining economic growth. This project has the potential to help communities to plan in advance to build resilience against possible uncertainties of climate change.
National Hydrology Project:
- The National Hydrology Project is expected to take forward the success of the Hydrology Project-I and Hydrology Project-II, under which real-time flood forecast systems in two large river systems (Krishna and Satluj-Beas) were developed to give reservoir managers an accurate picture of the water situation in their region.
- This National Hydrology Project will aim to cover the entire country, including the states along the Ganga and Brahmaputra-Barak basins.
- According to World Bank, the project will also help the states monitor all the important aspects of the hydro-meteorological cycle and adopt the procedures laid out in the earlier projects like measure how much rain or snow has fallen right in the catchments of rivers, measure through digital gauges how rapidly the snow will melt, the speed with which the water is flowing, how much silt has built up, how much water will reach the reservoir, and how soon it will do so.
Many reports in recent times have highlighted that India is a water stressed country and situation is bound to worsen as authorities try to manage water for India’s huge population amidst recurring floods and drought.
Based on earlier experience over the last 20 years in establishing Hydrological Information Systems in southern India and in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, both national and state governments are now committed to an integrated river basin planning and management.
This project responds to this demand by extending its reach to cover the entire country.
Sources- The Indian Express, The Hindu. Page 11