IASCLUB Daily Current Affairs : 30 September 2019

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Teachers in higher education: gender skew highest in Bihar

Topic: GS–II: Education, Human Resources

The number of teachers in the country’s higher education institutes was 14,16,299 in 2018-19, according to the All India Survey on Higher Education 2018-19.

The gender and socio-religious breakup

  • Of the 14.16 lakh teachers, 57.85 per cent are male and 42.15 per cent are female. The skew is highest is recorded in Bihar, where the female-to-male ratio among teachers is 1:4, or about 21:79 in percentage terms. Jharkhand comes a close second with a ratio of roughly 30:70. In Uttar Pradesh, less than a third (32.3%) of teachers are female.
  • On the other hand, there are a few states such as Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Delhi and Goa, where the number of female teachers is more than that of male teachers.
  • At an all-India level, teachers belonging to the general category represent more than half (56.7 per cent) of all teachers in India. OBCs follow with 32.1 per cent, with the rest being Scheduled Castes (8.8 per cent) and Scheduled Tribes (2.4 per cent). Again, 5.4 per cent of the teachers belong to the Muslim minority group, and 9.2 per cent to other minority groups. Among major states, those with the highest SC/ST proportions among teachers are Andhra Pradesh (13.83 per cent SCs and 1.6 per cent STs), Maharashtra (11.39 per cent SCs and 1.52 per cent STs) and Telangana (11.17 per cent SCs and 3.5 per cent STs).
  • Another significant representation in terms of gender distribution is the number of female teachers per 100 male teachers. At an all-India level, there are 73 female teachers per 100 male teachers. This ratio is 57:100 among SCs, and 68:100 among both STs and OBCs. For Muslims, it is 57 female teachers per 100 male teachers; for other minorities, female teachers outnumber male teachers in the ratio 151:100.
  • In post-wise gender distribution, male teachers heavily outnumber female teachers in most senior positions. On the other hand, the ratio among demostrators and tutors is 190:100, meaning that there are nearly two females in such posts for every male counterpart. Among temporary teachers, the breakup is almost equal, at 98 females per 100 males.

Obesity and undernutrition coexist, finds study

Topic: GS–II: Health

Nearly 10% of children in the age group of 5-9 years and adolescents in the age group of 10-19 years are pre-diabetic, 5% are overweight and another 5% suffer from blood pressure. These are among the key findings of the first-ever national nutrition survey conducted by the Centre, yet to be made public, providing for the first time hard evidence of the coexistence of obesity and undernutrition, among school going children.

More in news:

  • The Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and UNICEF between February 2016 and October 2018 is the first study undertaken to measure malnutrition, including micronutrient deficiencies through biochemical measures such as blood and urine samples, anthropometric data as well as details of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol and kidney function in children and adolescents.
  • The National Family Health Survey (NFHS), however, collects anthropometric data (weight for age, height for age, weight for height, mid-upper arm circumference) to measure prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight and household dietary intake to measure deficiencies.
  • Moreover, these are collected for children in the age group of 1-5 years and adults, but not for school going children between the age of 5 and 19 years.
  • The study found prevalence of indicators of non-communicable diseases alongside indicators of undernutrition shown by various NFHS surveys such as stunting, wasting and underweight.
  • A quarter of 5-9 and 10-19 year-olds were thin for their age, one in five children 5-9 years’ old were stunted. A total of 1.12 lakh children and adolescents (0-19 years) were surveyed for height and weight measurements and 51,029 children (1-19 years) for biological samples.
  • Due to the seriousness of these findings, there has been concern expressed by medical practitioners and nutrition experts on the delay by the government in releasing the study. On September 3, the Ministry held a video-conference with National Health Missions of all States to discuss the study and many have been waiting for it to be released.

E-cigarettes a new menace: PM

Topic: GS–II:Health

Explaining the reason for the Union Cabinet’s decision to ban e-cigarettes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government wanted to prevent “a new form of intoxication destroying a demographically young country”.

More in news:

  • He was delivering his monthly radio speech, Mann Ki Baat. Delving into the health hazards of e-cigarettes after the Cabinet banned its commercial production and import on September 18, Mr. Modi said a “myth” had been created that these were less harmful than ordinary cigarettes.

‘Health hazard’

  • He said that like conventional cigarettes, it did not spread an odour as fragrant chemicals are added to it but they were harmful and posed a health hazard.
  • Unlike a regular cigarette, an e-cigarette is an electronic device where the heating of nicotine-containing fluids creates a type of chemical smoke and this is the pathway through which nicotine is consumed.
  • There is little awareness of e-cigarettes among people. They are also completely unaware of its danger and for this reason, sometimes e-cigarettes sneak into the house out of sheer curiosity.

What are e-cigarettes?

  • E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a solution of nicotine and different flavours to create aerosol, which is then inhaled. These devices belong to a category of vapour-based nicotine products called ENDS. E-cigarettes and other ENDS products may look like their traditional counterparts (regular cigarettes or cigars), but they also come in other shapes and sizes and can resemble daily use products, including pens and USB drives.
  • Several companies selling ENDS in India have positioned these products as a safer, less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes or as devices that could help users quit smoking.

ELSEWHERE

  • US: Has the highest population of smokeless tobacco and vape-product users. Reports of over 400 hospitalisations and six deaths related to use of e-cigarette and vape uses. Plans to ban all e-cigarette flavours, except for tobacco.
  • UK: Says British vapers are safe, as the issues in the US are due to use of “illicit”, street-bought or home-made vaping fluid. Sales of ENDS products like vapes are legal. Introduced regulations for e-cigarette firms in 2016.
  • China: Houses a third of the world’s smokers. Has reportedly seen an increasing population of vapers, especially young people. Announced in July 2019 that it plans to regulate e-cigarettes to strengthen supervision of these products.
  • France: Allows sale of e-cigarettes as either medicines or consumer products, but those making health claims related to these products need marketing authorisation under standard drug licencing process. Those selling as consumer products are regulated by the country’s May 2016 decree on vapour products containing nicotine.
  • Germany: Classifies nicotine-containing e-cigarettes as tobacco-related products and regulates it under country’s 2016 law on Implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive and Related Products.
  • Japan: Non-nicotine e-cigarettes currently not regulated, but nicotine-containing e-cigarettes are classified as medicinal products and regulated under Japan’s pharmaceutical affairs law.

New ATM cash withdrawal rules explained in 5 poin

Topic: GS -III: Economic Development

The Reserve Bank of India or RBI last week come up with a new set of rules prescribing a turnaround time for banks to settle failed transactions, including failed ATM transactions where customer’s account was debited but cash was not dispensed.

Important points:

  • In such cases of failed ATM transactions, the RBI has specified compensation banks have to pay to their customers if the amount is not reversed within a specified time period.
  • Earlier the RBI had said that failed ATM transactions due to non-availability of cash at ATMs, invalid PIN or other non-cash withdrawal transactions cannot be counted as free transactions.
  • There are over 2.2 lakh ATM machines in the country, according to RBI’s latest annual report.

New ATM rules:

  • According to new rules, if banks fails to reverse failed ATM transaction where account was debited but cash was not dispensed, banks have to pay a compensation of ₹100 per day if they don’t reverse the transaction within a maximum of T + 5 days. T refers to the day of transaction and refers to the calendar date. This rule also apply to such failed transactions at micro-ATMs.
  • The RBI had last month clarified that ATM transactions that fail due to technical reasons like hardware, software, communication issues cannot be counted under valid transactions. Many banks offer a fixed number of ATM transactions as free to their customers. Beyond that they charge customers. RBI said that banks cannot charge customers for these failed ATM transactions. SBI, for example, allows free transactions to its customers at ATMs for 8-10 times in a month. Over and above these mandated number of free transactions, SBI charges a certain amount to its customers.
  • Also, ATM transactions that failed due to non-availability of currency notes in the machine cannot be counted as valid transactions and cannot be charged.
  • Other failed ATM transactions due to invalid PIN/validations, and other transaction declines attributable to the bank or services provider cannot be counted as valid transactions.
  • Non-cash withdrawal transactions from ATMs such as balance enquiry, cheque book request and funds transfer, as part of ‘on-us’ transactions, cannot be a part of the number of free ATM transactions, RBI said in a 14 August circular. On-us” transactions refer to where the debit card and ATM are of the of the same bank.

Editorial section:

 Strictures in the name of security-The Hindu

Home and abroad-The Hindu

Seeking harmony and moderation in Ayodhya talks-The Hindu

Trust deficit-The Hindu

Two Asian powers and an island-The Hindu

 

 

 

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