iClub Synopsis : 26 December 2018

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Q. 1 What is feminization of poverty? Discuss its causes and implications.

Source : Static

Relevance : General Studies-I

• Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

Need of the Question

The majority of the 1.5 billion people living on 1 dollar a day or less are women. In addition, the gap between women and men caught in the cycle of poverty has continued to widen in the past decade, a phenomenon commonly referred to as “the feminization of poverty”. Question wants us to write about Feminization of Poverty and its causes and implications.

Structure of the Question

• Context.

• Feminization of Poverty.

• International Perspective on Feminization of Poverty.

• Its causes and Implications.

• Way forward.

Feminization of Poverty

• The feminization of poverty is a change in the levels of poverty biased against women or female headed households. More specifically, it is an increase in the difference in the levels of poverty among women and men or among female versus male and couple headed households.

• It can also mean an increase of the role that gender inequalities have as a determinant of poverty, which would characterize a feminization of the causes of poverty.

• Its precise definition depends on two subsidiary definitions: of what is poverty and what is feminization.

o Poverty is a deprivation of resources, capabilities or freedoms which are commonly called the dimensions or spaces of poverty.

o The term feminization can be applied to indicate a gender biased change in any of this dimensions or spaces.

o Feminization is an action, a process of becoming more feminine.

o It necessarily involves changes over time or populations (comparing geographical areas, for example).

o Feminine, in this case, is used to mean ‘more common or intense among women or female headed households’.

International Perspective on Feminization of Poverty

The Platform for Action adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, identified the eradication of the persistent and increasing burden of poverty on women as one of the 12 critical areas of concern requiring special attention and action by the international community, governments and civil society.

The overwhelming majority of countries reporting on their implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action have referred to many initiatives in this area. A few examples are:

• In Uganda, there is now an understanding that only by incorporating a gender perspective in all aspects of the National Poverty Eradication Action Plan can the goal to eradicate mass poverty by the year 2017 is achieved.

• Cameroon, Madagascar and Niger have identified women as a specific target group in their national poverty eradication programmes.

• Senegal has conducted gender training for senior decision-makers to mainstream a gender perspective into sectorial development planning.

• In 1998, the Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs devoted resources to special projects for the development of entrepreneurial skills among women.

• Denmark’s development assistance policy calls for the inclusion of a gender perspective in all programmes.

• Singapore has implemented the Small Families Improvement Scheme, the purpose of which is to help low-income families to get access to education and housing.

Causes of the Feminization of Poverty

There is no singular cause for this phenomenon, but United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has identified four key “dimensions” that indicate a heightened rate of poverty for women:

The temporal dimension.

Women are often primarily responsible for childcare and household duties—tasks for which they receive no pay. Women living in developing nations may also be relied upon to participate in exhausting physical and/or agricultural labor to help support the livelihoods of their families and villages. Having so many other responsibilities, these women have less time to devote to paid employment, and consequently earn a smaller income, even though they are effectively doing more work than their male counterparts.

• The spatial dimension. When employment is sare, women may have to migrate to other areas to find work temporarily. If a woman has children, however, she may be unable to pursue a job that takes her far from her family.

• The employment segmentation dimension. Being naturally classified as caretakers, women have often been corralled into specific lines of work, such as teaching, caring for children and the elderly, domestic servitude, and factory work such as textile production. These kinds of jobs lack stability, security and a higher income.

• The valuation dimension. In the same vein, the unpaid labor that women perform in taking care of family members and other household chores is considered of far less worth (at least economically) than positions that require formal education or training.
Other determinants/factors include:

The increasing prevalence of female-headed households.

One of the long-time causes for increased numbers of single-mother families was a higher rate of male mortality after wars and periods of conflict. In Western countries today, with divorce common and/or or women choosing not to marry, many women are single mothers that must support a household on only their income.

Lack of education.

In countries where school is not compulsory or where girls encounter various barriers to education, upward economic mobility through higher-skilled employment is nearly impossible.


Women may be subject to inequalities in wages, benefits, property rights, and so froth. Cultural practices rooted in misogynistic stereotypes may also incur prejudiced behavior toward women.

Globalization and the state of the economy.

When economic crises occur, the poor are those who suffer the greatest impact.

Q.2 “Mission Indradhanush should be viewed not only as an isolated strategy to improve maternal and child vaccination in India but also as a potential game-changer to revolutionize the health outcomes across the country by bridging the inequity in access and delivery of healthcare.” Discuss.

Source : https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/comment/indradhanush-brings-colours-of-life-to-kids/703011.html

Relevance : General Studies-II

• Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

• Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Need of the Question

Mission Indradhanush should be viewed not only as an isolated strategy to improve maternal and child vaccination in India but also as a potential game-changer to revolutionize the health outcomes across the country by bridging the inequity in access and delivery of healthcare. Question wants us to write about how Mission Indradhanush can become a game-changer improving maternal and child vaccination in India.

Structure of the Question

• Context.

• About Mission Indradhanush.

• India’s health care issues.

• Need to expand Mission Indradhanush.

• Way forward .


Mission Indradhanush

• Mission Indradhanush (MI) was conceived, planned and implemented in 201 worst performing districts of India in 2014 to achieve the milestone of achieving full immunization coverage (FIC) of more than 90 per cent.

• “Indradhanush”, which literally means “a rainbow”, is a pertinent metaphor for this huge initiative that aspires to bring various colours of life back to children.

• Two years of focussed interventions led by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, under Mission Indradhanush/Intensified Mission Indradhanush have yielded an impressive increment of close to seven per cent in FIC in one year as compared to one per cent increase per year in the past years.

• This initiative has been implemented as a supplement to the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) which targets to vaccinate about 27 million children against 12 vaccine preventable diseases every year, more children than any other similar programme in the world achieves, through more than nine million immunisation sessions conducted. The government now aims to achieve 90 per cent immunisation by December 2018.

• India has also done a commendable job of expanding the basket of vaccines by adding Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV), Rota Virus Vaccine (RVV), Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV), and Measles and Rubella (MR) vaccine in a short span of time.

India’s Health Care Issues/ Disease in poverty-ridden areas

• The unimmunized child is a source of information for identifying gaps in the healthcare system in India. Furthermore, that the same child, in most probability, may have been adversely impacted by poverty, poor environmental sanitation, poor hygiene, lack of safe drinking water and social barriers for seeking healthcare compounds the problem.

• Also pockets and areas with low vaccination coverage these areas are riddled with poor antenatal care, low institutional deliveries, high maternal and child mortality, high incidence of sick and small babies, high levels of maternal and child malnutrition — protein energy malnutrition, micronutrient deficiency, higher incidence of communicable diseases such as TB, malaria, water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, helminthiasis, amoebiasis, typhoid, hepatitis and higher prevalence of tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse and, therefore, more prone to non-communicable diseases.

• The unimmunised children could be considered as proxy markers of larger public health issues underlying in the family and the community.

• Thus Mission Indradhanush (MI) should be viewed not only as an isolated strategy to improve maternal and child vaccination in India but also as a potential game-changer to revolutionize the health outcomes across the country by bridging the inequity in access and delivery of healthcare.

Need to expand Mission Indradhanush

• To realise the full potential of the MI platform, we need to expand the limited basket of services beyond the vaccines, ORS and common antibiotics which Mission Indradhanush currently provides.

• Therefore, development and delivery of the expanded package of services through outreach activities and strengthening of health systems through the establishment of H&WCs in targeted areas must take a front seat.

• To bring in a multiplier effect by positively influencing and engaging the community, we need to invest more in social and behavioural change communication (SBCC) and make that an integral part of the programming.

Way forward

The decision-makers should prioritise investments under Ayushman Bharat in the areas having the largest number of MI beneficiaries. Otherwise, we risk losing a huge opportunity that Mission Indradhanush presents for improving holistic public health outcomes in India.

Q. 3 “A robust witness protection scheme will strengthen the criminal justice system “Comment.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/shielding-witnesses/article25682716.ece

Relevance : General Studies – II

• Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Need of the Question

Recently the Supreme Court has asked States to implement a scheme framed by the Centre to protect witnesses in criminal trials from threat, intimidation and undue influence. Question wants us to write about Why India needs witness protection scheme and it will strengthen the criminal justice system.

Structure of the Question

• Context

• Why India needs Witness Protection Scheme

• What were the steps taken

• About Witness Protection Scheme

• Way forward


Importance of witness

A witness performs a sacred duty of assisting the court to discover the truth and to decide on the guilt or otherwise in the case. The witness being neither the accused nor the victim has no risk in the decision of the court. He performs an important public duty, sacrifices his time and takes the trouble to travel all the way to the court to give evidence.

Threats to the witnesses

A major problem faced by the witness is their safety also the safety of their family members who face danger at different degrees. They are often threatened by the opposite party, and the seriousness of the threat depends on the type of the case and the background of the accused and his family. Many a times crucial witnesses are threatened or injured prior to their testifying in the court.

Importance of Witness Protection:

In the absence of the laws for the protection of witnesses, justice seems like a farfetched idea. In circumstances where the only source of truth is the witness, law for their protection is strongly required.

Steps Taken :

• The first formal mention of the expression “witness-protection” was in the 14th report of the Law Commission of India way back in 1958.

• In 2003, Justice V Malimath Committee on criminal justice system had recommended enacting a separate witness protection law and in 2006, the Law Commission of India, in its 198th report, provided for a draft witness protection law.

• The Supreme Court has repeatedly observed that India needs a witness protection scheme. In a 2004 order of the Supreme Court, directions to all states and union territories were issued to give suggestions to formulate guidelines for witness protection. The Court observed that no law or scheme has been enacted by the Central Government, or any of the State Legislatures for protecting witnesses.

About Witness Protection Scheme

The important features of the Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 include identifying categories of threat perceptions, preparation of a ‘Threat Analysis Report’ by the head of the police, protective measures like ensuring that the witness and accused do not come face to face during probe, protection of identity, change of identity, relocation of witness, witnesses to be apprised of the scheme, confidentiality and preservation of records, recovery of expenses etc.

The programme identifies “three categories of witnesses as per threat perception”:

• Category A: Those cases where threat extends to life of witness or family members during investigation, trial or even thereafter.

• Category B: Those cases where the threat extends to safety, reputation or property of the witness or family members during the investigation or trial.

• Category C: Cases where the threat is moderate and extends to harassment or intimidation of the witness or his family members, reputation or property during the investigation, trial or thereafter.

Way forward

• The introduction of the scheme marks a leap forward. Until now, there have been ad hoc steps such as those outlined for concealing the identity of witnesses in anti-terrorism and child-centric laws.

• A few dedicated courtrooms for vulnerable witnesses, mostly child victims, are also functional. However, expanding such facilities and implementing a comprehensive and credible witness protection programme will pose logistical and financial challenges.
• It will be well worth the effort, as the scheme could help strengthen India’s tottering criminal justice system.

Q.4 What is Blue Economy? Critically discuss Challenges in harnessing the Blue Economy and how India can benefit from it?

Source : Static


Relevance : General Studies -III

• Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

• Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Need of the Question

Question wants us to write about Blue Economy, its advantage, also discuss the challenges in harnessing the blue economy and how India can benefit from it.

Structure of the Question

• Context

• Blue Economy

• Challenges in harnessing Blue Economy

• Lessons from other Countries

• Way Forward for India


Blue Economy

The ‘Blue Economy’ or the ‘Oceans Economy’ is defined by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) as “a subset of, and complement to, the evolving development paradigm emphasizing greener and more sustainable and inclusive economic paths. It seeks to expand the economic frontiers of coastal countries beyond their land territories.

• The objective of the Blue Economy is to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and employment opportunities within the Indian Ocean region maritime economic activities.

• The Blue Economy is determined to initiate appropriate programs for sustainable harnessing of ocean resources, research and develop relevant sectors of oceanography, assess stock marine resources, introduce marine aquaculture deep sea/long line fishing and biotechnology and develop human resources.

Challenges in harnessing Blue Economy

• The challenges that a blue economy would and at the moment facing, are pollution, loss of habitat and bio-diversity, pirates, crime and climate change- apart from the broad geo-political issues.

• According to IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report on climate change, “India is the 13th most vulnerable country to climate change” (Down To Earth, 2015). Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts of Karnataka have reported 28 per cent of their coasts eroded due to sea level rise.

• In another instance, Andhra Pradesh coastal areas have seen reduction of fish catch. Additional sea level rise of 1 metre, which is a likely impact of climate change, would displace 7.1 million people in India, which is a critical issue that needs to be given attention in order to have a sustainable economic growth and development in the fisheries sector.

• Sewage pollution continues to be a major issue for India, especially in coastal areas, generating 4067 million litres of domestic sewage a day; 80 per cent being carried in to the sea (Down To Earth, 2014) and thereby killing the fish and other marine products and thus reducing the market potential.

• The issues pertaining to fishermen in the international waterlines especially with our neighboring countries are also acting as a dis-incentive towards the fishing sector.

Lessons from other Countries

The concept and measurement of blue economy differs from country to country, the justification for studying country experiences makes more sense for policy making.


o Australia is one of those countries that consider the importance of blue economy for addressing the major development gaps such as poverty, food security, sustainable livelihoods and conservation. For Australia, in blue economy ocean ecosystems can bring social and economic benefits that are efficient, equitable and sustainable.

o Australia has the third largest marine jurisdiction of 13.86 million square km, much larger than its land territory. Blue economy covering wild fisheries, aquaculture, offshore oil and gas, shipping, tourism, marine biotechnology and other contributes significantly to the Australian economy.


o Mauritius has actively pushed its interests in blue economy in the IORA regional policy forums.

o Mauritius has a grand vision for its blue economy spanning over the period up to 2025.A comprehensive Roadmap for ocean economy released in 2013 lists out several priority areas of policy action with ambitious targets.

o The output of blue economy was estimated at MUR 32.5 billion in 2012 which account for 10.8 per cent of gross domestic product.

o The policies and programmes for blue economy in Mauritius are centered on seven clusters. Those include sea bed exploration for hydrocarbon and minerals, fishing, seafood processing and aquaculture, deep ocean water applications, marine services, seaport related activities, marine renewable energy and ocean knowledge.


o China, the fastest growing economy in the world, is home to rich endowment of blue resources which could help sustain its high growth spell in the future. China has a vast coastline of 32, 000km including continental shelves and exclusive economic zones.

o Ocean economy in China constituting the ocean industries accounted for 4.03 per cent of GDP andemployed 9.25 million individuals.

o In terms of gross value added, marine sectors such as coastal tourism, marine transport and communications and fishery are the top three contributors to blue economy in the country. The combined output of three sectors constitutes roughly 74 per cent of the size of blue economy.

Way Forward for India

• In this era of advanced technology, oceans will become new centers of economic activity. Oceans already account for significant trade and commerce in the fields of shipping, offshore oil and gas, fishing, undersea cables, and tourism. Besides these areas, there are other emerging industries such as aquaculture, marine biotechnology, ocean energy and sea-bed mining that have the potential to create jobs and spur worldwide economic growth.

• The Indian Ocean region needs a sustainable and inclusive framework for international partnerships. Countries in the region need to not only coordinate and manage the growing security challenges in the region but also realize the substantial economic potential the Indian Ocean area presents.

• India has significantly upped its development efforts in Seychelles, Mauritius, Africa, and Sri Lanka. Such an approach earmarks a shift from the traditional focus on naval operations and anti-piracy efforts to that of environmental protection, national security, infrastructure creation, industrial capacity building and marine development.

• India’s commitment to strengthen its cooperation with the regional partners and build a sustainable ocean economy aligns well with its domestic mega-modernization projects that will enable the nation to harness the full potential of the Ocean based Blue Economy.

Q.5 What are the main reasons behind low share of India in total global exports? What reforms do you suggest to arrest this trend?

Source : Economic Survey

Relevance : General Studies -III

Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Need of the Question

According to economic survey of 2017-18, Exports from India needs to grow at 26.5 per cent annually for the next five years for India to reach a “respectable’’ 5 per cent share in world trade from the existing 1.7 per cent it has been stuck at since 2011.question wants us to write why India’s share in global exports is very low and How India’s share can increase.

Structure of the Question

• Context

• Why India’s Share in global Exports is low?

• How India’s share can increase?

• Way forward


India’s Global Exports

According to economic survey of 2017-18, Exports from India needs to grow at 26.5 per cent annually for the next five years for India to reach a “respectable’’ 5 per cent share in world trade from the existing 1.7 per cent it has been stuck at since 2011.

Why the share of India in total global exports so low?

o Changed circumstances result in the loss of dynamism in those categories that can worsen the overall trend. Iron ore exports that were large because of demand from China and policy measures permitting such low value-added exports from India, have fallen because of the slowdown in China.

o There is a Limited diversification of India’s export basket, with the top 10 principal exports in terms of commodity groups accounting for as much as 78 per cent of total merchandise exports and these commodities has a major impact on overall export performance.

o In recent times the export performance of some of these goods has either deteriorated or been characterized by a lack of dynamism. Thus, for example, four of India’s lead exports (Engineering goods, Gems and jewellery, chemicals and readymade garments) registered negative or near zero growth rates during 2015-16.

o Though tariff barrier has decreased over the years in developed countries, the non-tariff barriers have been increasingly used against Indian exports and the most potent weapon of non-tariff barrier is imposition of phytosanitary norms of WTO to restrict Indian export access to these markets.

o In most of the Free Trade Agreement we signed, the other country or bloc is getting more benefits than India, in fact India is getting hurt from some of them in this dealings. For example, India-Asean free trade agreement has hurted India’s export of oil palm and textiles because of competition from Indonesia and Vietnam.

o India’s over-dependence on road freight means that the cost of logistics as a percentage of GDP remains as high as 13-14 %, compared with 7-8 % in developed countries. Exports incentives in the range of 2 to 3 % of export value can’t fully compensate for the additional cost incurred on account of an inefficient trade infrastructure.

o India’s ill-conceived trade pacts have also resulted in inverted duty structure – High import duties on raw materials and intermediates, and lower duties on finished goods – That discourage the production and export of value-added items. Thus, apparel can be imported into India duty free while its raw material -manmade fibers attract an import duty of 10 %.

How can India increase its share?

Price stability for export competitiveness

o India can ensure export competitiveness by focusing on its real exchange rate, which is defined as the product of nominal exchange rate expressed as units of foreign currency per one unit of domestic currency and ratio of domestic price index to foreign price index.

o Maintaining or improving competitiveness for promoting exports entirely depends on the government, through prudent fiscal policy, and the monetary authority, through its appropriate monetary policy for maintaining price stability.

Ensuring timely delivery of quality services:

o Timely delivery of quality services should be a priority for exporters.

o Government of India and Services Export Promotion Council should ensure that detailed and accurate information related to various regulations and standards of importing countries is provided to services exporters in reader friendly terms.

Provide assistance in identifying export destinations:

o The government should assist services exporters in selecting export destination carefully.

o For this, government should ensure the dissemination of information about foreign markets and their technical standards, especially to small and medium entrepreneurs.

India must give priority to the services sector in trade negotiations.

o The services sector has long been considered as non-tradable, non-transportable, and non-scalable and, therefore, has been ignored in trade negotiations worldwide.

o Government should lay stress on establishing mutual recognition of services regulations with its trading partners.

Assistance on creating brand India image:

o Emphasis should be on creating brand India image through participation in trade fairs abroad, marketing of projects, and information provision.

o The Centre provides limited financial assistance to display Indian products in foreign exhibitions under its Market Development Assistance Scheme.

Market-Based Export Promotion and Not Just Supply-Based Export Promotion

o Looking at global value-chains to identify sweet-spots where Indian products can fit, apart from identifying any value-addition its existing products may need so that they do not become irrelevant in the fast-changing marketplace.

o India’s recent outreach to assist African countries has been more on the soft-development sectors like healthcare, education, etc. – where Africa needs critical help is an example to justify.

Streamlining the Infrastructure and Logistic Aspects

o India needs showcase-infrastructure like convention centres, that would help conduct sector-specific road-shows and help open up exports to more prospective buyers.

o There is also a need to reach out more to the business to consumer (B2C) setting. With consumption migrating online, an e-business platform focusing on the MSME exporters could add value.

Identify Focused Products for Focused Markets

o There is a need to go back to the drawing board and identify specific products for specific markets, where India has the competency to deliver. Agriculture export is an example.

o With several countries in the Middle East being food importers and India focusing to improve its agriculture productivity, there is an opportunity for India to offer competitive and quality produce to the Middle East markets who currently import food from Europe, Africa, etc.

Way forward

• India needs to remove bottlenecks, capture the space vacated by China, integrate faster with the world and improve international competitiveness of its key exports.

• India must move fast to renew its stalled trade negotiations with the European Union and the ongoing dialogue in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (or RCEP, a proposed free trade pact between 16 Asia Pacific nations including India).

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