UPSC Current Affairs - 2019
Latest Current Affairs 2018-2019 for UPSC IAS / Civil Services Examination. This category comprises the current affairs short notes useful primarily for UPSC preliminary examination and upsc mains as well as state civil services examinations.
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Lok Sabha passed 124th constitutional amendment bill to provide reservations to the economically weaker sections
The Lok Sabha has passed the 124th constitutional amendment bill to provide reservations to the economically weaker sections. The central government is planning to introduce a ten per cent reservation for those belonging to economically weaker sections of society.
Features of the Bill
The features of the 124th constitutional amendment bill are:
- The Bill states that people from the economically weaker sections of the society have largely remained excluded from attending the higher educational institutions and public employment on account of their financial incapacity to compete with the persons who are economically more privileged.
- The Bill is brought into to fulfil the commitments under the Directive principles of the state policy listed in the Article 46 of the Constitution which urges the government to protect the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of society.
- The Bill amends Article 15 of the Constitution to provide reservations to economically weaker sections for admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the State, other than the minority educational institutions
- The Bill also amends Article 16 of the Constitution to provide reservations to people from economically weaker sections in government posts.
- The Bill caps the reservation to economically weaker sections at 10%.
- The Bill states that the criterion for the economically weaker sections would be notified by the State from time to time on the basis of family income and other indicators of economic disadvantage.
The government has stated that the bill is part of the government’s endeavour to ensure that every poor person, irrespective of caste or creed gets to lead a life of dignity, and have access to all possible opportunities.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has released the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2018. The report draws information from 142 countries, examining trafficking trends and patterns.
Findings of the Report
The important observations made in the report are:
- Human trafficking has taken a horrific dimension as armed groups and terrorists are using it to spread fear and gain victims to offer as incentives to recruit new fighters. The report cites child soldiers, forced labour and sexual slavery as examples.
- There was a steady increase in the number of victims reported since 2010. Improved methods of detecting, recording and reporting data on trafficking or a real increase in the number of victims are cited as possible reasons for the increase in the number of victims reported.
- Regions of Asia and the Americas witnessed the largest increase in the numbers of victims detected.
- The large numbers of victims of trafficking detected outside their region of origin are from East Asia, followed by sub-Saharan Africa. There has been an increase in the number of convictions for trafficking in these regions.
- Large areas of impunity still exist in many Asian and African countries, and conviction rates for trafficking remain very low.
- Trafficking for sexual exploitation was the most prevalent form in European countries and in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, forced labour is the main factor driving the illicit trade in humans.
- Women and girls formed the most trafficking victims worldwide. Almost three-quarters of women and girls were trafficked for sexual exploitation, and 35 per cent of them were trafficked for forced labour.
- The report notes that in conflict zones, where the rule of law is weak, and civilians have little protection from crime, armed groups and criminals may take the opportunity to traffic them.
- The report acknowledges that significant gaps in knowledge remain and many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and some parts of East Asia still lack sufficient capacity to record and share data on trafficking in persons.
Addressing human trafficking is a key component of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda. It requires the Member States to monitor progress in tackling the problem, and report the number of victims by sex, age and form of exploitation.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is a UN office established as Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention by combining the United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP) and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in the United Nations Office at Vienna.
It was established in the year 1997 and is headquartered at Vienna. The United Nations Secretary-General appoints the agency’s Executive Director.
UNODC was established to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive response to the interrelated issues of illicit trafficking in and abuse of drugs, crime prevention and criminal justice, international terrorism, and political corruption.