Socio-Economic Current Affairs - 2020

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Union Government releases first ever Socio-Economic and Caste Census in 80 years

Union Government released the first ever Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) after 80 years on the lines of the 1931 census.

It was released by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi.

The SECC findings reflect the state of poverty and deprivation as well as crucial social trends in rural India such as ownership of assets, marital status, gender dynamics educational and employment in rural India.

According to the census

  • There are 24.39 crore total number of households in the country, of which 17.91 crore live in villages. Of these, 10.69 crore households are considered as deprived.
  • 50 percent or 5.37 crore deprived households in rural areas are landless and depends on manual labour for livelihood.
  • House hold size: Average size of a rural Indian household is 4.93. Highest in Uttar Pradesh at 6.26. Lowest in Andhra Pradesh at 3.86.
  • Male dominance: majority of 87 per cent households is male-headed. Nearly 13 per cent do have a female head.
  • In rural areas of Rajasthan, around 91 per cent households are headed by men. In Kerala 26 per cent are women-headed households (highest among the states).
  • Literacy: Over one-third of population living in rural areas is illiterate. Higher literacy in terms of percentage is in Kerala (88.62), Delhi (86.42), Goa (84.58), Sikkim (79.88) and Himachal Pradesh (77.95).
  • Lowest literacy is in Rajasthan (58), Madhya Pradesh (44.19), Bihar (43.85), Telangana (40.42) and Chattisgarh (39.59).
  • SC and ST Population:Large proportion of the households across the country belong to the SC and ST category i.e. about 30 per cent of rural households.
  • Employment: Rural India is largely self-employed or employed in the unorganised sector. Around 10 per cent households are on salaried jobs of which the majority are in government jobs.

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Fazle Hasan Abed, founder of Bangladesh-based poverty alleviation NGO wins World Food Prize 2015

Fazle Hasan Abed of Bangladesh has been named as the winner of the 2015 World Food Prize.

He is founder and chairman of Bangladesh-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) BRAC (originally known as Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) which is world’s largest NGO.

Since its formation, BRAC is being credited for helping more than 150 million people out of poverty. It was formed as a temporary relief organization to help people of Bangladesh to recover from the devastating tropical cyclone Bhola in 1972 which had killed about 500,000 people. It also had actively participated and fought in 1971 Indo-Pakistan war for independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan.

Later BRAC had grown into one of the world’s largest NGO with prime focus on alleviating poverty. It has expanded its operations in more than 10 countries especially in Asia and Africa.

For contributions to social improvement, Fazle Hasan Abed he been bestowed with prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award (2010) and UNDP’s Mahbub Ul Haq Award (also known as Human Development Award) in 2004.

About World Food Prize

  • Established in 1986 by Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug (father of the Green Revolution).
  • It is an annual award that recognizes scientists and others who have improved the quality and availability of food.
  • It carries monetary award of 250,000 dollars.
  • Since its formation, 7 Indians have won it. They are Dr Sanjaya Rajaram (2014), Dr Modadugu Vijay Gupta (2005), Dr Surinder K. Vasal (2000), Dr B. R. Barwale (1998), Dr Gurdev Khush (1996), Dr Verghese Kurien (1989) and Prof. M. S. Swaminathan (1987).

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