Current Affairs -04 March 2023

Current News International Reports,Survey And Index

The World Bank's Women, Business and the Law report 2023

On March 3rd, 2023, the World Bank released a report on the index measuring the life cycle of a working woman to measure gender-based legal restrictions in 190 economies, including India.

  • Indian laws regarding pay and pension do not provide equal treatment for working women in comparison to men.
  • This legal discrimination has impacted India's score on the World Bank's index measuring the life cycle of a working woman, bringing it down to 74.4 out of 100.
  • The index measures gender-based legal restrictions in several areas, including pay, pensions, maternity leave, and access to credit and property.
  • India's score on the index is lower than several other countries, including Nepal, which scored 80.6 and had the highest score in the South Asian region.
  • The report focuses on eight indicators that measure women's equality with men in areas such as pay, pensions, maternity leave, and access to credit and property.
  • India scored higher than the South Asian regional average of 63.7 but lower than Nepal, which had the region's highest score of 80.6.
  • Nepal had the highest score in the region, indicating that legal reforms in that country have led to greater gender equality.
  • Only 14 economies (such as Belgium, Canada, Denmark etc.) out of the 190 economies covered in the index scored a perfect 100, showing that there is still a long way to go towards achieving gender equality around the world.
  • The economies that scored a perfect 100 included several European countries, indicating that legal reforms in those countries have led to greater gender equality.
  • Gender-based pay disparities and pension inequalities still exist in India, despite several laws aimed at promoting gender equality in the workplace.

Current News International Bilateral, Regional And Global Groupings

Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

On March 3, 2023, the Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held in New Delhi to discuss various issues related to regional security and cooperation.

  • The Quad discussed the commitment of India, Australia, Japan, and the United States to support a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
  • The meeting reaffirmed the principles of freedom, rule of law, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and peaceful dispute settlement, freedom of navigation and over flight.
  • The meeting also opposed any unilateral attempt to change the status quo.
  • The Quad seeks to support the region through practical cooperation on contemporary challenges, including: health security, climate change, critical and emerging technologies, infrastructure, and connectivity.
  • The Quad ministers committed to supporting Pacific Island countries and strengthening the ASEAN-led architecture through: Cooperation with the Indian Ocean Rim Association, and emphasizing upon the rules-based international order, including the UN Charter.
  • The ministers also stressed the importance of respect for sovereignty consistent with international law.
  • The importance of peace and security in the maritime domain and countering terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations.
  • Strengthening the ASEAN-led Architecture. The Importance of Rules-based International Order, Including the UN Charter
  • Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism in All Forms and Manifestations.

Current News Ecology & Environment

Kuno National Park Unsuitable for 20 Cheetahs

Recently, the wildlife scientists stated that the Kuno National Park (KNP) in Madhya Pradesh, which currently hosts 20 cheetahs brought in from Africa, does not have enough prey to sustain all the animals.

  • Eight cheetahs from Namibia and 12 from South Africa were transported to India between September 2022 and February 2023.
  • The transportation was part of an initiative to reintroduce the cheetah species to India, where it had gone extinct in the early 1950s.
  • There are about 20 chital, the cheetah’s main prey, per square kilometre available at the KNP, a sharp decline from the nearly 60 chital per square km that could be found in the park in 2014.
  • This situation is concerning as it could lead to the death of the cheetahs due to starvation.
  • Furthermore, political considerations have prevented the transfer of some cheetahs to the Mukundra Tiger reserve in Rajasthan, which has better habitat suitability.

News Crux Scheme & Programme

Floating Jetties under Sagarmala Program

On March 3, 2023, the Ministry of Shipping announced that India has approved 100% funding for seven floating jetty projects situated on Gurupura River and Netravati River in Karnataka.

  • Enhancing tourism: The 7 floating jetty projects in Karnataka are expected to enhance tourism in the region, attracting more visitors and boosting the local economy.
  • Creating employment: The development of the floating jetties is expected to create new job opportunities in the tourism and related sectors, providing a much-needed economic boost for rural areas in the region.
  • Generating wealth: The development of the floating jetties is expected to generate wealth for the local economy, creating a ripple effect across industries in the region.
  • Improving regional infrastructure: The development of the floating jetties will lead to improved regional infrastructure, making it easier for people to access the region and boosting economic activity.
  • Promoting innovative solutions: The development of the floating jetties is part of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways' efforts to promote and develop innovative solutions for India's over-crowded small harbours used for fishing and tourism related activities.

Sagarmala project aims to promote port-led direct and indirect development and to provide infrastructure to transport goods to and from ports quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.