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CRY Report: Uttar Pradesh ranks First in Number of Child Labourers

According to a recently released CRY Report on child labour, more than 8 lakh children between the age group of 5 and 6 years in India are engaged in child labour.

Child Rights and You (CRY) is an NGO working towards the upliftment of underprivileged children. The organization got established in 1979 by Rippan Kapur.

Salient Highlights

As per the report, over 5 lakh children in India do not attend school. A majority of them are involved in family based employments.

Uttar Pradesh ranks first in the number of child labourers (2,50,672 children) in the country followed by Bihar (1,28,087 children) and Maharashtra (82,847 children).

The report has identified that the high level of poverty and unemployment along with a lack of adequate social security net are the important factors forcing children to work, compromising with their learning. These children are often forced to migrate with their parents and assist in family occupations such as working in brick kilns.

The report cites that the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) suffers many limitations and is now covering only 50% of the child labourers.

In the decade 2001-11, the working children in the age group of 10-14 years saw a reduction of 30% but the child labourers in the age group of 5-9 years have seen an increase of 37% from 2001.

ICDS

Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme is a centrally sponsored scheme implemented by the states/UTs. The Scheme was launched on 2nd October 1975. The scheme has the following objectives: to improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years; to reduce mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout; to promote policy coordination and implementation for promoting child development; to lay an adequate foundation for the psychological, physical and social well-being of the children etc.

Under the scheme, the services such as Supplementary nutrition; Pre-school non-formal education; nutrition and health education, immunization, health check-ups; and Referral services through Anganwadi Centres for children below 6 years of age as well as to pregnant women& lactating mothers are offered.

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Indian Exclusion Report (IXR): Historically Disadvantaged Groups remain Worst Off

According to the 2016 Indian Exclusion Report (IXR) released by the Centre for Equity Studies (CES), in terms of exclusion from access to public goods, Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims continue to remain the worst-hit communities. The report has found out that the same historically disadvantaged groups such as Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims, and persons with disabilities and age-related vulnerabilities continue to remain as the most severely and consistently excluded groups of the society.

Salient Highlights

Criteria

The 2016 IXR Report determines exclusion by taking into account four public goods, namely, pensions for the elderly, digital access, agricultural land, and legal justice for undertrials.

Agricultural Land

With the respect to the criteria of  agricultural land as a public good, the report has found that the landowners to be invariably belonging to the upper castes, cultivators to be belonging to the middle castes. Dalits and Adivasis remain largely as the agricultural workers and landlessness was highest among Dalits (57.3%). Also, 52.6% of Muslims and  56.8% of women-headed households were landless. In addition, Adivasis constituted around 40% of all those displaced by the developmental activities.

The report has highlighted that the Land reform efforts have not benefited Dalits, women or Muslims significantly. The land holdings of Dalits, Muslims and women were found to be meagre in size. Also, it has noted that the Land allotments to SC/ST households were not implemented efficiently.

Internet reach

The report has observed that even though India has been ranked among the top five nations in terms of the number of internet users, almost 1.063 billion Indians were found to be offline. It has cited Poverty and geographic location to be the two major barriers to digital access.

The report has cited problems like  poor infrastructure, inadequate institutional frameworks, low literacy in the targeted areas, and poor cooperation from government officials as the major reasons behind poor implementation of government schemes aimed at enhancing digital access. The report has also cited the reluctance on the part of government to be a signatory to a non-binding UN Human Rights Council resolution to protect human rights on the Internet.

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Cabinet approves setting up of National Commission for Socially and Educationally backward classes

The Union Cabinet approved setting up of National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (NSEBC) as a constitutional body.

In this regard, constitutional amendment bill for amending Constitution mainly by insertion of Article 338B will be soon introduced in the Parliament.

Union Cabinet has approved
  • Creation of a National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (NSEBC) under new Article 338 B.
  • Composition of the new NSEBC will include Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and three other Members.
  • Insertion of provision after Article 341 and 342 by inserting Article 342 A to provide for Parliament’s approval for every inclusion into and exclusion from the Central List of Other Backward Class (OBCs).
  • Insertion of a new Clause (26C) under Article 366 of the Constitution to define Socially and Educationally Backward Classes;
  • Repealing of National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 and Rules framed under it. Dissolution of the Commission constituted under the Act of 1993;
Background

There have been demands in Parliament for grant of constitutional status to the NCBC to enable it to hear the grievances of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the same manner like that of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (constituted under Article 338) and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (constituted under Article 338A) hear complaint.

About National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)

  • NCBC was established in pursuance to the Supreme Court judgement in the Indra Sawhney case (Mandal case) as per the NCBC Act, 1993.
  • Function of NCBC: Examine requests for inclusion of any class of citizens as a backward class in the lists.
  • Hear complaints of under-inclusion or over-inclusion of any backward class in such lists.
  • Tender such advice to the Central Government as it deems appropriate.
  • Its advice was ordinarily binding upon the Central Government.

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