Current Affairs Current Affairs - 12 March 2015 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 12 March 2015

India, Seychelles sign 4 pacts

  • Cementing its strategic partnership with Seychelles, India today signed four agreements with the Indian Ocean island nation to boost security and maritime partnership.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived here yesterday on a brief visit on the first leg of his three-nation tour, today held talks with Seychelles President James Alix Michel and said Seychelles "is a vital partner in our Indian Ocean neighbourhood".

    "Short it may be, but this visit has been very productive. It is no surprise that Seychelles is my first destination in the Indian Ocean Region," Modi, the first Prime Minister to visit Seychelles in 34 years, said.

    Late premier Indira Gandhi had visited the country in 1981.

    Meeting the press after his meeting with Michel, Modi announced that India will give a second Dronier aircraft to the country.

    He also launched the Coastal Surveillance Radar Project, describing it as another symbol of the cooperation between the two countries.

    "Our security partnership is strong. It has enabled us to fulfil our shared responsibility to advance maritime security in the region," he said, calling the country as a trusted friend and strategic partner.

    "It is a privilege to be a partner of Seychelles in the development of its security capabilities," Modi said, adding these steps will enable Seychelles to secure these beautiful islands and the vast expanse of waters around them.

    "Seychelles will also continue to make an enormous contribution to the safety and security of the Indian Ocean Region," he said.

    Modi and Michel witnessed the signing of four agreements: cooperation in hydrography, renewable energy, infrastructure development and sale of navigation charts and electronic navigational charts.

    "Our agreement today on hydrographic survey adds a new dimension to our maritime cooperation. I thank Seychelles for their confidence in India," Modi said.

    "We also hope that Seychelles will soon be a full partner in the maritime security cooperation between India, Maldives and Sri Lanka," he said.

    Prime Minister also announced that India would grant free visas for three months to the citizens of Seychelles.

    "We will also extend to you the facility of visa-on-arrival," he said. 

    Modi said he was deeply touched by the extraordinary hospitality and warmth he received in the country.

    "Our relationship is unique and special. It is founded on deep sense of mutual trust and confidence. It is marked by a spirit of respect and equality; and enormous goodwill and warmth," he said, adding "It is a privilege to be a partner of Seychelles in the development of its security capabilities."

    "President Michel and I also underlined the importance of comprehensive cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region. We expressed support for a more active and productive Indian Ocean Rim Association," he said.

    Modi and Michel also agreed to establish a Joint Working Group to expand cooperation on the blue economy to harness new possibilities of the ocean in a sustainable and balanced manner.

    "Seychelles is a leader in advancing the concept of Blue Economy. We also believe that the Ocean Economy is indispensable to meeting our future challenges," Modi said.
    "This cooperation will increase our understanding of marine ecology and resources," he said.

    "This is a major step in advancing our scientific and economic cooperation," the Prime Minister said.

    "We stressed our support for expansion in our modest trade and investment relations."
    Modi expressed hope that Seychelles would be able to quickly utilise the committed USD 75 million in grants and credit in accordance with its priorities.

    He thanked President Michel for his country's consistent support to India in international forums, including its bid for a permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
    He invited President Michel to visit India at an early date.

    Calling India a leader, Michel said and his country looks up to India. He said he looks forward to visit India.

    Modi said the two countries have strong convergence of views on climate change.
    "We are two nations that are vulnerable to its impact. And, we are deeply committed to combating it," he said.

    "We stressed our shared commitment to strong national action. We also called for a strong and ambitious global effort, especially from the developed world, on climate change," the Prime Minister said.

    Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval were part of the Indian delegation during talks with President Michel at the State House in Victoria.
    Michel had received Modi at the airport late last night.

    Seychelles has a population of 90,000 people and 10 per cent of them are of Indian-origin.

No dilution of India’s Nuclear Liability Act: Govt

  • The Government on Wednesday sought to allay concerns that the Indo-US talks may lead to dilution of India’s Nuclear Liability Act and asserted that the law has not been amended and the onus of any damages remains with the supplier.

    Minister of State for Atomic Energy and Space Jitendra Singh also assured members in the Lok Sabha that safety standards in India’s nuclear plants were as good as anywhere in the world and in fact, “more than many other countries”.

    “Overall, there is no amendment in the Act. The onus is still on the suppliers,” Mr. Singh said during the Question Hour.

    Following the recent talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Barack Obama, both sides had claimed a “breakthrough” over the nuclear impasse.

    The concerns were raised as the US firms were opposed to those aspects of the Nuclear Liability Act which hold the operator liable for any nuclear incident.

    Responding to the concerns expressed by some members over radioactivity in nuclear plants and other safety-related issue including those concerned with local population in case of any incident, Mr. Singh said the government has enough evidence to prove that radioactivity emitted in plants is “negligible“.

    “The rules and regulations are fully in line with the international norms... We are absolutely following all the safety measures, in fact, more than many countries,” he said.

    Noting that India has adopted a closed fuel cycle where the spent fuel is regarded as a resource material and none of it is disposed of, the Minister said all the spent fuel is reprocessed to recover useful fissile and fertile materials to recycle back in the reactor as a fuel.

    “There are no environmental repercussions due to spent-fuel generated from nuclear power plants in India,” he said.

    Observing that these “useful fission products have societal applications”, Mr. Singh said these products, “separated from waste for their use in irradiators, have various applications in healthcare, agriculture and industry.”

First ever photograph of light as a particle and a wave

  • In a breakthrough, Swiss scientists have succeeded in taking the first ever photograph of light behaving both as a wave and as a particle.
    Even though a variety of experiments have successfully observed both the particle- and wave-like behaviours of light, they have never been able to observe both at the same time.
    Taking a radically different experimental approach, scientists at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have now been able to take the first ever snapshot of light behaving both as a wave and as a particle.
    The research team led by Fabrizio Carbone at EPFL carried out an experiment using electrons to image light.
    In the experiment a pulse of laser light is fired at a tiny metallic nanowire. The laser adds energy to the charged particles in the nanowire, causing them to vibrate.
    Light travels along this tiny wire in two possible directions, like cars on a highway. When waves travelling in opposite directions meet each other they form a new wave that looks like it is standing in place.
    Here, this standing wave becomes the source of light for the experiment, radiating around the nanowire.
    The scientists then shot a stream of electrons close to the nanowire, using them to image the standing wave of light. As the electrons interacted with the confined light on the nanowire, they either sped up or slowed down.
    Using the ultrafast microscope to image the position where this change in speed occurred, Carbone’s team could visualise the standing wave, which acts as a fingerprint of the wave-nature of light.
    While this phenomenon shows the wave-like nature of light, it simultaneously demonstrated its particle aspect as well.
    As the electrons pass close to the standing wave of light, they “hit” the light’s particles, the photons.
    This affects their speed, making them move faster or slower. This change in speed appears as an exchange of energy “packets” (quanta) between electrons and photons.
    The very occurrence of these energy packets shows that the light on the nanowire behaves as a particle, researchers said.
    “This experiment demonstrates that, for the first time ever, we can film quantum mechanics – and its paradoxical nature – directly,” said Carbone.
    “Being able to image and control quantum phenomena at the nanometre scale like this opens up a new route towards quantum computing,” Carbone said.

ROTAVAC-Desi Rotaviral Vaccine

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, launched the first indigenously developed and manufactured Rotavirus vaccine: 'Rotavac’, yesterday. This indigenously developed vaccine will boost efforts to combat infant mortality due to diarrhoea. 

    Each year, diarrhoea caused by rotavirus results up to 10 lakh hospitalizations and kills nearly 80 thousand children under the age of 5 years. Besides causing emotional stress to the affected families, it also pushes many Indian families below the poverty line and also imposes significant economic burden on the country.

            What is Rotavirus infection?

    Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrheal (gastro enteritis) disease in infants and young children globally. Children under five years of age, especially those between 6 months and two years are most vulnerable to this disease. Rotaviruses are estimated to be responsible for approximately 5, 27,000 deaths each year, with more than 85% of these deaths occurring in low-income countries in Africa and Asia, and over two million are hospitalized each year with pronounced dehydration.

    Among 43 countries participating in the Global Surveillance Network for rotavirus in 2009, 36% of hospitalizations for diarrhea among children aged below 5 years were caused by rotavirus infection. Rotavirus affects populations in all socio-economic groups and is equally prevalent in industrialized and developing countries. So differences in sanitation practices or water supply are not likely to affect the incidence of the infection.


     The name Rotavirus comes from the characteristic wheel-like appearance of the virus when viewed by electron microscope (the name rotavirus is derived from the Latin word Rota, meaning "wheel”). Rota viral diarrhea is an infection of the stomach and bowel. It spreads when infected children do not maintain proper personal hygiene. Virus spreads by contact or airborne route. Most cases of gastroenteritis in children are mild and usually pass within 3-5 days without the need for treatment. However, young children, particularly those under two years of age, are at risk of dehydration. So it is very important that they drink plenty of fluids. In severe cases of gastroenteritis, where there has been significant fluid loss, hospital treatment may be required so that fluid can be replaced through drips.

       The first rotavirus infection tends to be the most severe because the body builds up immunity (resistance) to the virus afterwards. This is why these types of infections are extremely rare in adults. It is estimated that every child will have at least one rotavirus infection before the age of five. Most infections occur among children aged between three months and three years old.

    Indian Scenario

    In India, nationally representative data on the incidence of severe rota virus disease is lacking. However, studies have revealed that on an average 34% of all diarrheal hospitalizations are due to rota virus infection and the proportion of severe rota viral infection has not decreased in the last few years, similar to the global trend indicating that improved sanitation and use of anti-biotics have not been effective on rota virus. The prevalence of Rota virus in new born is high in India to the extent of 73%, but these infections are normally a- symptomatic and the likelihood of acquiring infection increases with the length of stay in the hospital.

    While some studies in India have found no association between rotavirus infection and time of year, most have observed an increase in rotavirus-associated diarrhea during the winter months, October to February, throughout the country. The observed proportion of rotavirus cases occurring in the cooler season has ranged from 59% to 72%.

    Treatment & Prevention

    No specific treatment exists for rotavirus gastroenteritis, and repeat infections are common in children. Since 2006, vaccines are available for rotavirus infection. Prior to the availability of a vaccine, almost all children became infected with rotavirus by their third birthday. Repeat infections with different viral strains were possible. After several infections with different strains of the virus, children acquire immunity to rotavirus. Adults sometimes get infected, but the resulting illness is usually mild.


    Use of vaccine should be part of a comprehensive diarrhoeal disease control strategy including, among other interventions, improvements of hygiene and sanitation, administration of oral rehydration solution and overall improved case management.

    The new vaccine ROTAVAC has been developed under an innovative public-private partnership model. It involved partnership between the Ministry of Science and Technology, the institutions of the US Government, various government institutions and NGOs in India, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Funding by Government of India supported basic research in educational and scientific institutions in India. This was also supplemented by the support of U.S. Government institutions like the National Institute of Health. The Gates Foundation and Bharat Biotech India Limited contributed towards product development and testing. The successful launch of the first indigenously developed and produced vaccine today was the result of an extraordinary effort spread over the last 25 years. .

    The Bharat Biotech India Limited that was involved in the development and production of the vaccine was selected in 1997-1998 by the India-U.S. Vaccine Action Programme and the standard government procedures. The company has given undertaking to keep the cost of the vaccine at US$ 1 per dose. This is the third such vaccine available globally against Rotavirus and, at the current prices, the cheapest and cost effective in terms of disability adjusted life year that satisfy the WHO/ UNICEF criteria for a cost- effective  intervention.

     ROTAVAC is an oral vaccine and is administered to infants in a three-dose course at the ages of 6, 10, and 14 weeks. It is given alongside routine immunizations in the UIP vaccines recommended at these ages.. Improving the overall performance of the immunization system is critical to the success of any vaccine introduction.

    ROTAVAC represents the successful research and development of a novel vaccine from the developing world with global standards. The Prime Minister lauded this initiative as an example of India's capabilities for high-end research and development; manufacture of sophisticated pharmaceutical products in India; and, effective Public-Private-Partnership model for finding affordable solutions to societal challenges.

    He hoped that the development of the rotavirus vaccine would inspire higher levels of research, development and manufacturing activities in India, not just in medical science, but also in other advanced areas of science and technology. On the launch occasion Prime Minister felt that solutions found in India would have great relevance to the rest of the world, especially the developing world.

Design and build of synthetic DNA goes back to 'BASIC'

  • A new technique for creating artificial DNA that is faster, more accurate and more flexible than existing methods has been developed by scientists at Imperial College London.

    The new system - called BASIC - is a major advance for the field of synthetic biology, which designs and builds organisms able to make useful products such as medicines, energy, food, materials and chemicals.

    To engineer new organisms, scientists build artificial genes from individual molecules and then put these together to create larger genetic constructs which, when inserted into a cell, will create the required product. Various attempts have been made to standardise the design and assembly process but, until now, none have been completely successful.

    BASIC, created by researchers from Imperial's Centre for Synthetic Biology & Innovation, combines the best features of the most popular methods while overcoming their limitations, creating a system that is fast, flexible and accurate. The new technique should enable greater advances in research and could offer industry a way to automate the design and manufacture of synthetic DNA.

    Dr Geoff Baldwin, from Imperial's Department of Life Sciences, explains: "BASIC uses standardised parts which, like Lego, have the same joining device, so parts will fit together in any order.

    "Unlike some systems that can only join two parts at a time, forcing the gene to be built in several, time consuming steps, BASIC enables multiple parts to be joined together at once. It is also 99 per cent accurate, compared to bespoke designs which usually have an accuracy of around 70 per cent."

    BASIC is fast to use because it can draw on a large database of standardised parts, which can be produced in bulk and stored for use as required, rather than creating new parts each time.

    The standardisation and accuracy of the process means that it could be used on an industrial scale. BASIC is already set to be used in a high throughput automated process in SynbiCITE, the innovation and knowledge centre (IKC) based at Imperial which is promoting the adoption of synthetic biology by industry. Two industrial partners - Dr Reddys and Isogenica - are also already making use of BASIC in their research laboratories.

    Professor Paul Freemont, co-Director of the Centre for Synthetic Biology & Innovation, says: "This system is an exciting development for the field of synthetic biology. If we are to make significant advances in this area of research, it is vital to be able to assemble DNA rapidly in multiple variations, and BASIC gives us the means to do this."

Blue blood on ice

  • An Antarctic octopus that lives in ice-cold water uses an unique strategy to transport oxygen in its blood, according to research published in Frontiers in Zoology. The study suggests that the octopus's specialized blood pigments could help to make it more resilient to climate change than Antarctic fish and other species of octopus.

    The Antarctic Ocean hosts rich and diverse fauna despite inhospitable temperatures close to freezing. While it can be hard to deliver oxygen to tissues in the cold due to lower oxygen diffusion and increased blood viscosity, ice-cold waters already contain large amounts of dissolved oxygen.

    In Antarctic fish, this reduces the need for active oxygen transport by blood pigments (e.g. haemoglobin), but little is known about the adaptations employed by blue-blooded octopods to sustain oxygen supply in the cold.

    Lead author Michael Oellermann from Alfred-Wegener-Institute, Germany, said: "This is the first study providing clear evidence that the octopods' blue blood pigment, haemocyanin, undergoes functional changes to improve the supply of oxygen to tissue at sub-zero temperatures. This is important because it highlights a very different response compared to Antarctic fish to the cold conditions in the Southern Ocean. The results also imply that due to improved oxygen supply by haemocyanin at higher temperatures, this octopod may be physiologically better equipped than Antarctic fishes to cope with global warming."

    Octopods have three hearts and contractile veins that pump 'haemolymph', which is highly enriched with the blue oxygen transport protein haemocyanin (analogous to haemoglobin in vertebrates).

    To find out what makes the haemocyanin of an Antarctic octopus so well-adapted to cold water, the researchers collected and analyzed the haemolymph from the abundant Antarctic octopod species Pareledone charcoti, and two octopod species collected from warmer climates - the South-east Australian Octopus pallidus and the Mediterranean Eledone moschata.

    The Antarctic octopus Pareledone charcoti had the highest concentration of haemocyanin in its blood - at least 40% more compared to the other species, and ranked amongst the highest levels reported for any octopod. The researchers say that these high blood pigment concentrations may be compensating for the haemocyanin's poor ability to release oxygen to tissues while in cold environments, and could help to ensure sufficient oxygen supply.

    The Antarctic octopod haemocyanin was also found to shuttle oxygen between gills and tissue far better at 10°C than at 0°C. At 10°C the Antarctic octopod's haemocyanin had the potential to release far more oxygen (on average 76.7%) than the warm-water octopods Octopus pallidus (33.0%) and Eledone moschata (29.8%). This ability may help the Antarctic octopod tolerate warmer temperatures in addition to the cold, and may link to the life style of Pareledone charcoti, which is also reported to reside in warmer shallow waters and rock pools.

    Considering the strong warming trend at the Antarctic Peninsula, Pareledone charcoti may eventually benefit from its capacity to adjust blood oxygen supply to more variable temperatures than other species, including Antarctic fish.

    The new findings show how the blood pigment haemocyanin in octopods is able to support oxygen supply in both cold and warm environments, and could help explain why octopods remain so populous across a wide spectrum of ecological niches.

    While haemocyanin has proved to be crucial to Antarctic octopods, more comprehensive insight is needed to predict their fate in a warming ocean.

HCs restrained from entertaining pleas agst NJAC Act

  • The Supreme Court today restrained all high courts from entertaining any petition challenging validity of Constitutional Amendment Act and National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act meant to replace the two-decade-old collegium system of judges appointing judges.

    "No high court will proceed with the matters relating to the constitutional validity of these laws," a three-judge bench headed by Justice A R Dave said.

    The bench also said that it will decide later as to whether these petitions are maintainable or not and if they should be referred to a larger bench.

    Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, vehemently opposed the submissions seeking a stay on these legislations saying these are "premature" as the Acts are yet to be notified.

    "The challenge is premature as the Acts are not even notified and hence the question of interim order(of stay) does not arise," the AG said, adding, "The passing of an Act is irrelevant. What is important is the date of notification."

    Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, who sought intervention on behalf of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), supported the Central government saying the present legislation is a "brilliant mixture of executives, judiciary and the civil society".

    He also said that the functioning of the present collegium system has always been shrouded in secrecy.

    Senior advocate T R Andhyarujina also supported Centre's stand on the issue saying, "In no country of the world this system of judges appointing their brethren is operating".

    The bench also comprising justices J Chelameswar and Madan B Lokur, has now fixed the hearing on the batch of petitions for March 17.

    Yesterday, the apex court commenced the hearing on the validity of the Acts. The Centre, while defending the Acts, had "vigorously" opposed the pleas saying the new system will strengthen the system rather than weaken it.

    During the arguments, senior advocates Fali Nariman and Anil Divan, who were appearing for Supreme Court Advocates-on- Record Association (SCAORA) and an advocate respectively, had alleged that the NJAC Act would take away and knock down the independence of judiciary.

    Rohatgi had countered their contention and termed the apprehension of the other side as "alarmist" and said that "there was no basis to say that executive will gang up".

    Nariman had stressed that fait accompli should not be allowed to take place and the order should be passed to maintain status quo by referring the matter before a five-judge constitution bench otherwise the entire exercise would become a "dodo".

    His view was shared by Divan, who had said the legislative exercise undertaken to replace the collegium system not only reduces and overrides judicial voice but it is drowned and looks like an irreversible situation.

    Nariman had contended that NJAC Bill, which was passed by both the Houses of Parliament on August 14, 2014 was beyond the legislative competence of Parliament and was in violation of Articles 124(2) and 217(1) of the Constitution and as such is invalid and void.

    He had questioned the enactment of the legislation without bringing amendment in the Constitution.

    Countering the arguments of Nariman and Divan, the AG had said since both Houses of Parliament unanimously passed the legislations with voice vote of 367:0 in Lok Sabha and 187:1 in Rajya Sabha, "the Will of the House can't be ignored".

    He had said it was wrong to suggest that new process on appointment of judges would take away consultative process.

    Spelling out the constitution of the six-member panel for selection and appointment of judges, Rohatgi had said that appointment of two eminent persons in it would not be in the hand of the Chief Justice of India or the executive but in the hands of a "high-powered body consisting of CJI, Prime Minister and Leader of Oppostion or leader of largest opposition party to maintain transparency.

    The NJAC Act, which ends the two-decade-old collegium system of judges themselves selecting and appointing judges for higher judiciary, has also been challenged by others including senior advocate Bhim Singh, who contended that the new process is likely to jeopardise the appointment of judges in higher courts resulting in further delay in rendering justice to common people.

Empowering Women-Empowering Humanity

  • “When people are discussing as to what man and woman can do, always the same mistake is made. They think they show man at his best because he can fight, for instance, and undergo tremendous physical exertion; and this is pitted against the physical weak- ness and non-combating quality of woman. This is unjust. Woman is as courageous as man. Each is equally good in his of her way. What man can bring up a child with such patience, endurance, and love as the woman can? The one has developed the power of doing; the other, the power of suffering. If woman cannot act, neither can man suffer. The whole universe is one of perfect balance”, said Swami Vivekananda once while deliberating on empowerment of women. What he felt, in those days might have roused much ripple amongst people no doubt but it’s the truth he reflected years back in his thinking about women which is so modern and realistic in approach.
    In fact, what was felt by the Indian monk years before took a form of socialist political event and eventually blended into the cultures of different countries years after.
    International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
    This year’s theme, “Empowering Women-Empowering Humanity: Picture It!” envisions a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination. The celebration varies from region to region. Generally, it is celebrated to provide respect to whole women fraternity, appreciate them and to express love for them. It is a day, not only to appreciate, respect and love women but a day to celebrate women's economic, political, and social achievements.
    Since its birth in the socialist movement, the day has grown to become a day for recognition of women's issues and celebration of their rights across developed and developing countries alike. This day, hence, is a reminder of vigilance and action required to ensure that they gain and maintain equality in all aspects of life
    History of International Women’s Day

    International Women's Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe. In 1909, the first National Woman's Day was observed in the United States on February 28. The Socialist Party of America designated this day in honour of the 1908 garment workers' strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions. In 1910, the Socialist International meeting in Copenhagen established a Women's Day, international in character, to honour the movement for women's rights and to build support for achieving universal suffrage for women. It is to be noted that in 1914, International Women’s Day celebration was held on March 8. From then onwards it is celebratd everywhere on March 8. The 1914 event celebration in the Germany was especially held for the women’s right to vote.

    Since those early years, International Women's Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women's movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women's conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women's rights and participation in the political and economic arenas. Increasingly, International Women's Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

    The Charter of the United Nations, signed in 1945, was the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men. Since then, the UN has helped create a historic legacy of internationally-agreed strategies, standards, programmes and goals to advance the status of women worldwide.

    Every year International Women’s Day is celebrated using a particular theme. The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2013 was “A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence against Women”. The theme of the International Women’s Day celebration of 2014 was “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”. The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is “Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!”

    Status of women in India- past & present
    International Women’s Day is celebrated with great zeal and passion in India on March 8, every year to increase the awareness about women’s rights. This event celebration plays a great role in distributing the real message about the women’s right and their place in the society. It even promotes for bettering the living condition of the women by solving their social issues.
    In the Vedic Period women were educated, enjoyed equal status, used to get married at a mature age and had full rights to choose their husbands.
    Indian women now-a-days too is participating in all fields like going to space as astraunaut or shining in  sports, education, science, IT, politics (as Prime Minister) and many other odd fields such as driving trains.
    However, there are many issues that need to be tackled too, such as dowry, sexual harassment, crime against women, rape, child marriage, domestic violence, eve-teasing etc.
    From time to time many Indian reformers fought for the betterment of women in India such as Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Peary Charan Sarkar etc. With their efforts change happened to some extent, laws were made against the odds of the society.
    Legal Framework

                The principle of gender equality is enshrined in the Indian Constitution in its Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles. The Constitution not only grants equality to women, but also empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women.

    India has also ratified various international conventions and human rights instruments committing to secure equal rights of women. Key among them is the ratification of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1993.The Mexico Plan of Action (1975), the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies (1985), the Beijing Declaration as well as the Platform for Action (1995) and the Outcome Document adopted by the UNGA Session on Gender Equality and Development & Peace for the 21st century, titled "Further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action" have been unreservedly endorsed by India for appropriate follow up.

    Current Scenario

                However, there still exists a wide gap between the goals enunciated in the Constitution, legislation, policies, plans, programmes, and related mechanisms on the one hand and the situational reality of the status of women in India, on the other.

    Gender disparity manifests itself in various forms, the most obvious being the trend of continuously declining female ratio in the population in the last few decades. Social stereotyping and violence at the domestic and societal levels are some of the other manifestations. Discrimination against girl children, adolescent girls and women persists in parts of the country. The underlying causes of gender inequality are related to social and economic structure, which is based on informal and formal norms, and practices. Consequently, the access of women particularly those belonging to weaker sections including Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes/ Other backward Classes and minorities, majority of whom are in the rural areas and in the informal, unorganized sector – to education, health and productive resources, among others, is inadequate. Therefore, they remain largely marginalized, poor and socially excluded.

    Within the framework of a democratic polity, our laws, development policies, Plans and programmes have aimed at women’s advancement in different spheres. From the Fifth Five Year Plan (1974-78) onwards has seen a marked shift in the approach to women’s issues from welfare to development. In recent years, the empowerment of women has been recognized as the central issue in determining the status of women. The National Commission for Women was set up by an Act of Parliament in 1990 to safeguard the rights and legal entitlements of women. The 73rd and 74th Amendments (1993) to the Constitution of India have provided for reservation of seats in the local bodies of Panchayats and Municipalities for women, laying a strong foundation for their participation in decision making at the local levels.

    The present Government has initiated a number of schemes and programmes,policy initiatives aimed at securing the lives of women and girl child as part of Prime Minister’s vision to take every citizen along in the country’s march towards becoming a modern country. To name a few Swacch Bharat Mission, National Digital Literacy Mission, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme and the PM’s Jan Dhan Yojana, are expected to  rejuvenate the socio-economic and political mindset and landscape of this country. While the Swacch Bharat Mission can have a multiplier effect of not only usher in a Clean India but can build a robust India which has an educated, healthy, happy population, Pradhan Mantri Dhan-Jan Yojana envisages to empower every person by integrating him/her with the banking network in the country and also make him an active beneficiary of the welfare largesse of the government through a transparent mechanism. Similarly many schemes related to women health, nutrition, etc are restructured with a focus on women and girl children and adolescents. National Digital Literacy Mission intends to transform India into a digitally empowered knowledge society.

    Union Minister of Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu has stated that central government is working on mandating 50 per cent reservation for women in all the urban local bodies of the country, to promote their participation in urban policy making for developing ‘engendered cities’. He has stressed on the need for imparting gender perspective to designing urban policies and programmes while inaugurating a two day ‘International Conference on Gender and Urban Poverty’ recently. The Minister further indicated the government’s initiative to focus on the basic toilet needs of women and provide one crore household toilets in urban areas under Swachh Bharat Mission which on a conservative estimate will benefit over two crore women daily and promote ‘engendered cities’ with the objective of welfare of women through their participation.

    Finance Minister Shri. Arun Jaitley has doubled the budget of the Nirbhaya fund to Rs.2,000 crore from Rs 1,000 crore this year. "The government is committed to safety and security of women, and another Rs.1,000 crore has been allocated to the Nirbhaya Fund," said Jaitley while presenting the Union budget. Besides, the thought of incorporation of special women force in Railway protection is an indication of Union Government’s constructive approach towards security and maintaining the dignity of women in India.

    Besides, the thought of incorporation of special women force in Railway protection is an indication of Union Government’s constructive approach towards security and maintaining the dignity of women in India.

    International Women’s Day in India

    International Women’s Day is celebrated with great zeal and passion in India on March 8, every year to increase the awareness about women’s rights. This event plays a great role in displaying the real message about the women’s right and their place in the society. It even promotes for bettering the living condition of the women by solving their social issues.

    Ministry of Woman and Child Development which is the nodal ministry for Woman issues organizes various events across the country along with state departments,district /panchayat administration to  highlight various issues concerning women.Some of these include presentation of Stree Shakti Puruskars and Nari Shakti Puruskars by the President of India,  Women and Child Development Ministry has instituted two new awards this year namely (i) Rajya Mahila Puruskar & (ii) Zila Mahila Puruskar.  Rajya Mahila Puruskar will be given by the Chief Minister of the respective State and Zila Mahila Puruskar will be given by the District Collector of the respective District.   Anganwadis will organize activities to observe International Women’s Day.

    Apart from being a salute to the spirit of womanhood, the day is a diligent reminder of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women's equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life. Besides, women have to move forward in solving their problems on their own and not depending on others. In the words of Swami Vivekananda again, “Our right of interference is limited entirely to giving education. Women must be put in a position to solve their own problems in their own way. No one can or ought to do this for them. And our Indian women are capable of doing it as any in the world.”


  • 1. Simplify 586645 * 9999

    1. 5865863355
    2. 5665863355
    3. 4865863355
    4. 4665863355
  • 2. 1939392 * 625

    1. 1212120010
    2. 1212120000
    3. 1212120011
    4. 1212121010
  • 3. Simplify (212 * 212 + 312 * 312 )

    1. 132288
    2. 142088
    3. 142188
    4. 142288
  • 4. Find the unit digit in

    1. 2
    2. 4
    3. 0
    4. 1
  • 5. What least value should be replaced by * in 223*431 so the number become divisible by 9

    1. 3
    2. 4
    3. 5
    4. 6
  • 6. How many terms are there in 2,4,8,16,....,1024

    1. 7
    2. 8
    3. 9
    4. 10
  • 7. Which of the following is a prime number

    1. 9
    2. 2
    3. 4
    4. 8
  • 8. What is the largest 4 digit number exactly divisible by 88

    1. 9900
    2. 9999
    3. 9988
    4. 9944
  • 9. All prime numbers are odd numbers

    1. True
    2. False
  • 10. What is the unit digit in 

    1. 1
    2. 5
    3. 7
    4. 0
  • 11. Which is smallest prime number

    1. 0
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 7
  • 12. What least number should be added to 1056, so that the sum is completely divisible by 23

    1. 4
    2. 1
    3. 2
    4. 3
  • 13. A number when divided by 44, gives 432 as quotient and 0 as remainder. What will be the remainder when dividing the same number by 31

    1. 5
    2. 3
    3. 4
    4. 6
  • 14. 7589 - X = 3434

    1. 4155
    2. 2321
    3. 3155
    4. None of above
  • 15. 587 * 999 = ?

    1. 586411
    2. 586413
    3. 486411
    4. 486413 
  • ANSWERS:                   
  • 1)A2)B3)D4)C5)A6)D7)B8)D9)B10)D11)B12)C13)A14)A15)B

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