Current Affairs - Survey And Index

Child Well-Being Index

  • On 27th August, 2019, the Child Well-Being Index was released by NGOs World Vision India and IFMR LEAD.
  • The index is a tool designed to measure and track children's well-being through three dimensions of healthy individual development, positive relationships and protective contexts.
  • It captures the performance of each state and union territory on a composite child well-being score.

Key Findings

  • Among states, Kerala (0.76), Tamil Nadu (0.67) and Himachal Pradesh (0.67) bagged the top three slots in the index.
  • Kerala bagged the top spot due to its exceptional performance in health, nutrition and education facilities.
  • Kerala also performed better in addressing malnutrition and ensuring child survival and access to a healthy environment in terms of clean drinking water and sanitation facilities.
  • Meghalaya (0.53), Jharkhand (0.50) and Madhya Pradesh (0.44) featured at the bottom.
  • For Jharkhand, child survival, nutrition and access to water and sanitation are the key areas that need to be focused on, to improve its score.
  • Low performance in the areas of child survival, nutrition, crimes against children and juvenile crimes, brought the scores down for Madhya Pradesh.
  • Among the union territories, Puducherry led the way with a score of 0.77 and Dadra andNagar Haveli featured at the other end with a score of 0.52

Significance

  • The report highlights the multi-dimensional approach towards measuring child well-being- going beyond mere income poverty
  • According to the NITI Aayog, theindex is a crucial that can be mined both by the Government and civil organisations to achieve the goal of child well-being in the country.

Challenges towards Child Well-Being

Malnutrition

  • India has the maximum number of malnourished children in the world – 1 in every 3 children is malnourished. According to the National Family Health Survey(NFHS), India has unacceptably high levels of stunting, despite marginal improvement over the years. In 2015-16, 38.4% of children below five years were stunted and 35.8% were underweight. Despite increase in food production, the rate of malnutrition in India remains very high.

Health Issues

  • The NFHS results show that over 58% of children below five years of age are anaemic, that is, they suffer from insufficient haemoglobin in the blood, leaving them exhausted, vulnerable to infections, and possibly affecting their brain development.According to the UNICEF, water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea and respiratory infections are the number one cause for child deaths in India. Further, poor sanitation system especially in rural areas impairs the health leading to high rates of malnutrition and productivity losses.

Child Labour

  • As per the National Census 2011, there are close to 10.1 million child labourers in India, in the age group of 5 to 14 years.According to UNICEF, child labour in India has merely shifted from factories to employee homes and children are still engaged in harmful industries such as bidi, fireworks, brick kilnsproduction.

Child Trafficking

  • Child trafficking is a serious problem that is prevalent not only India but round the world.The majority of India’s trafficking problem is internal, and those from the most disadvantaged social strata. Girls from excluded groups are most vulnerable.These children are trafficked for various reasons such as labour, begging, and sexual exploitation.According to the national Crime Record Bureau(NCRB), three in five persons trafficked in 2016 were children (below 18 years).Of these, 4,911 (54%) were girls and the rest were boys.

Child Abuse

  • One of the biggest social stigmas attached to a society is that of child abuse. A child can be abused physically, sexually or mentally. It can be in the form of injury, neglect or negligent treatment, blaming, forced sexual stimulation and activity, incest exploitation and sexual abuse.

Child Poverty

  • Poverty in India has been cited as one of the main reasons why millions of children do not get access to the rights they are entitled to. India consists of 30.3 per cent of extremely poor children living across the world.Close to 9.97 crore children in India live in poverty-stricken conditions.

Child marriage

  • Despite having a law against child marriages for the last 90 years, child marriages are a reality in our country. As per statistics, child marriages account for 27 per cent of marriages in India, The incidences of child marriages, especially of minor girls, are higher amongst the socially, economically and educationally backward sections.Child marriage is a violation of child rights, and has a negative impact on physical growth, health, mental and emotional development, and education opportunities.

Way Forward

  • Children are the assets for tomorrow’s productivity up on which depends the growth and development of country.The well-being of children is a critical component of human development.
  • The government along with the stakeholders involved must work in the right direction to ensure that children have access to adequate nutrition, good health, and education, sanitation and clean water in order to provide them with a quality life and the rights,which they are entitled to under the constitution of India.

Composite Water Management Index 2.0

On 23rd August, 2019, the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog released the 2nd edition of Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) 2.0.

  • This index has been prepared by NITI Aayog in partnership with Ministry of Jal Shakti, Ministry of Rural Development and all the States/ Union Territories.

Objectives

  • To keep tab on the momentum on management of water.
  • To supplement the efforts of Jal Shakti Ministry towards Jal Sanchay, Jal Sanrakshan and Jal Sinchan across the country.

About the CWMI 2.0

  • The CWMI-2019 measures the performance of States on a comprehensive set of water indicators and reports relative performance in 2017-18 as well as trends from previous years (2015-16 & 2016-17).
  • The Index comprises of 9 themes, and covers 25 states and 2 UTs.

  • The nine themes are further sub-divided into 28 indicators which account for equal weightages within respective themes.
  • Critical areas such as source augmentation; major and medium irrigation; watershed development; participatory irrigation practices; sustainable on-farm water use practices; rural drinking water; urban water supply and sanitation; and policy & governance have been accorded high priority.

Composite Water Management Index (CWMI)

  • In 2018, NITI Aayog developed the Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) to enable effective water management in Indian states in the face of extreme water stress.

 Objectives

  • To establish a clear baseline and benchmark for state-level performance on key water indicators.
  • To uncover and explain how states have progressed on water issues over time, including identifying high-performers and under-performers, thereby inculcating a culture of constructive competition among states.
  • To identify areas for deeper engagement and investment on the part of the states.

Key Findings of the Report

  • Gujarat hold on to its rank one in the reference year (2017-18), followed byAndhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • In North Eastern and Himalayan States, Himachal Pradesh has been adjudged number 1 in 2017-18 followed by Uttarakhand, Tripura and Assam.
  • The Union Territories have first time submitted their data and Puducherry has been declared as the top ranker.
  • In terms of incremental change in index (over 2016-17 level), Haryana holds number one position in general States and Uttarakhand ranks at first position amongst North Eastern and Himalayan States.
  • On an average, 80% of the states assessed on the Index over the last three years have improved their water management scores, with an average improvement of +5.2 points.
  • Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, Nagaland, and Meghalaya still scoreless than 40 points.
  • Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala, and Delhi, 4 of the top 10 contributors to India’seconomic output, have scores ranging from 20 points to 47 points.
  • None of the top 10 agricultural producers in India, except Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, score more than 60 points on the CWMI.

Significance

  • Tool of Assessment:It is an important tool to track performance in the water sector and take corrective measures timely for achieving better outcomes thereby meeting the citizens’ expectations satisfactorily.
  • Helps in Better Water Management:It would provide useful information for the States and also for the concerned Central Ministries/Departments enabling them to formulate and implement suitable strategies for better management of water resources. This benchmarking exercise can go a long way in creating a common frame for progress for water in India and also highlight the need for specific improvements.
  • Encouraging Cooperative Federalism: It represents a major step towards creating a culture of data-based decision-making for water in India, which can encourage competitive and cooperative federalism in the country’s water governance and management.

State Water Conservation Models

 Mukhya Mantri Jal Swavlambhan Abhiyan , Rajasthan

  • Launched in 2016, it is a multi-stakeholder programme which aims to make villages self-sufficient in water through a participatory water management approach.
  • It focuses on converging various schemes to ensure effective implementation of improved water harvesting and conservation initiatives.
  • Use of advanced technologies such as drones to identify water bodies for restoration is one unique feature of the programme.

 Neeru-Chettu Programme, Andhra Pradesh

  • Launched in 2015, the programme has a strong emphasis on improving irrigationand focuses on ensuring water supply in drought-prone areas and reducing the ayacut10 gap through scaled-up adoption of scientific water management practices.
  • Repair, renovation, and maintenance of irrigation assets are key activities and completing such activities before monsoons is a priority under the programme.

 Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan, Maharashtra

  • It was launched in 2015-16 with the mission to make Maharashtra drought-free by 2019, and an aim of making 5000 villages water scarcity free, every year.
  • Focus areas under the programme include deepening and widening of streams, construction of cement and earthen stop dams, work on nullahs and digging of farm ponds.
  • The programme also involves geotagging of water bodies and use of a mobile application to enable web-based monitoring.

 Mission Kakatiya, Telangana

  • Launched in 2014, it aims to restore over 46,000 tanks across the state18 and bring over 20 lakh acres land under cultivation.
  • The programme objectivesinclude enhancing the development of minor irrigation structures, promoting community-basedirrigation management, and restoration of water tanks.

Sujalam Sufalam Yojana, Gujarat

  • It focuses on deepening of water bodies before monsoons and increasing water storage for rainwater collection.
  • Its inaugural run was from 1stMay, 2018 – 31st May, 2018. The programme involved desilting of water bodies across the state and encouraged a participative approach.

 Pani Bachao Paise Kamao, Punjab

  • Launched in 2018, it is aimed at checking depletion of underground water.
  • Under this, the farmers are being provided with a fixed electricity quota and receiving INR 4 per kilowatt hour for every unit of electricity saved through direct benefit transfers (DBTs).

Way Forward

  • Scientific management of water is increasingly recognized as being vital to India’s growth and ecosystem sustainability. From policy perspective, water management has four major dimensions: Access, Quality, Sustainability and Efficiency. In order to get better outcomes, each dimension can be developed as a simple index reflecting the performance of the states.
  • The Index and its annual reporting are one step in a long journey towards improved water management, and focus on setting the necessary foundation of a high-quality data culture within federal and state water institutions.
  • Importantly, Government along with states must supplement urgent top-down water legislations with a grassroots management approach that involves local community organizations, NGOs, farmer groups, and industry bodies in ideation and implementation of water related policies and projects and make sure that the index should not just restrict itself to becoming a common platform for water data.

UNICEF Report On Sanitation, Drinking Water And Hygiene

On 18th June, a Joint Monitoring Programme Report by UN organizations on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene has been released by the UNICEF.

Relevance of the News: The report has highlighted the status of sanitation and drinking water availability in India. It evaluates the status of the government efforts in these domains and future areas of focus.

Highlights of the Report:

Positive Achievements of India:

  • India has made great gains in providing basic sanitation facilities since the start of the millennium. India accounts for almost two thirds of the 650 million people globally who stopped practicing open defecation between 2000 and 2017.
  • The South Asian region, including India, accounted for almost three-fourths of the population who stopped defecating in the open between 2000 and 2017.
  • Of the 2.1 billion people who gained access to basic sanitation services over this time period globally, 486 million are Indians.
  • India has increased the percentage of its population with access to a protected drinking water source less than 30 minutes away, from 79% in 2000 to 93% in 2017.

Areas of Concern for India as per the Report:

  • There has been absolutely no growth in the population with access to piped water facilities between 2000 and 2017.Households getting piped water supply have remained stagnant at 44% over the 17-year period.
  • Large inequalities exist between rural and urban areas when it comes to access to piped water facility.
  • India does not have the ability to treat and dispose of safely the large amounts of solid and liquid waste being produced by millions of toilets constructed under Swachch Bharat Mission.
  • Only 30% of the India’s wastewater is treated at plants providing at least secondary treatment, in comparison to an 80% global average.
  • According to the report, the Right to Sanitation implies not only the right to a hygienic toilet but also the right of not being negatively affected by unmanaged faecal waste. This is most relevant to poor and marginalized groups who tend to be the major victims of other people’s unmanaged faecal sludge and sewage.

 

India Slips 5 Places On Global Peace Index 2019

Why is it in News?

Global Peace Index 2019 Report released on 12th June, highlights that India’s rank has slipped by five places to 141 among 163 countries from previous year.

Relevance of the News: It highlights the state of peace and harmony prevailing in the society and the need of government intervention.

India’s Report:

  • India’s rank is 141 in 2019 which is 5 places down from its previous position of 136 out of 163 countries in 2018.
  • India fares at the fifth place in South Asia.
  • The score for ‘internal conflicts fought’ had the highest rating (at 5) in both India and Pakistan which highlights rising internal disturbances.
  • This year the report has also highlighted the possible effects of climate change on ‘peace’ in the world. The findings include:
  • oIndia scores in the bottom half of the GPI and has significant exposure to climate hazards, with 393 million people in high climate hazard areas.
  • oIndia together with the Philippines, Japan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Pakistan are the nine countries with the highest risk of multiple climate hazards.
  • oIndia has the seventh highest overall natural hazard score.
  • India along with the US, China, Saudi Arabia, and Russia is among the top five countries which have the largest total military expenditure in the world. This means that India spends huge amount on maintaining peace internally and externally.

What does the Report say on other Countries?

  • Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008.
  • Iceland is followed by New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark.
  • Afghanistan is now the least peaceful country in the world. Last year Syria was branded as the least peaceful, which is second least peaceful this year.
  • 86 countries improved their score in the 2019 report, while 76 deteriorated.
  • South Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq comprise the remaining five least peaceful countries.
  • While global peacefulness improved for the first time in five years, as per the index findings, the world remains less peaceful than a decade ago.
  • Since 2008 global peacefulness has deteriorated by 3.78 per cent, the report revealed.

Report on South Asia:

  • In South Asia, Bhutan topped the index with 15th rank, followed by Sri Lanka 72, Nepal 76 and Bangladesh 101. Pakistan has been ranked 153rd on the index.
  • Bhutan has recorded the largest improvement of any country in the top 20, rising 43 places in the last 12 years

Global Peace Index (GPI):

  • GPI is a report produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and developed in consultation with an international panel of peace experts from peace institutes and think tanks with data collected and collated by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
  • The IEP is an international and independent think tank and its report covers 99.7 per cent of the world’s population.
  • GPI measures the state of peace using three thematic domains:
  • oThe level of Societal Safety and Security
  • oThe extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict
  • oThe degree of Militarisation.

National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF)

Why is it in News?

In NIRF 2019, IIT-Madras has topped the list followed by IISC-Bangalore.

About NIRF:

  • The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) is a methodology adopted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, to rank institutions of higher education in India.
  • It was launched by MHRD in 2015.
  • There are separate rankings for different types of institutions depending on their areas of operation like universities and colleges, engineering institutions, management institutions, pharmacy institutions and architecture institutions.

Methodology Adopted to Rank Institutions:

Every institution is broadly rated on five parameters:-

1. Teaching Learning & Resources
  • This parameter is related to the core activities of any place of learning.
  • Example:-Faculty Student ratio, number of faculties with PHD etc.

2. Research and Professional Practice

  • It includes number of papers filed by faculty & students in International Journals, Patents, IPR etc.

3. Graduation Outcome

  • This parameter forms the ultimate test of the effectiveness of the core teaching/learning in institution. It includes number of placements, average salary to students placed, students opting for higher studies etc.

4. Outreach & Inclusivity

  • The Ranking framework lays special emphasis on representation of women in institutions, students from different states, students from physically handicapped domain etc.

5. Perception

  • The ranking methodology gives a significant importance to the perception of the institution by its students, public & alumni etc.

Weightage Alloted to Different Parameters:

For ranking of Universities, 30% weightage is given to Teaching & Learning; Methodologies & Research; Professional Practice, while 20% weightage is given to Graduation Outcome; 10% weightage is given to Outreach; Inclusivity and Perception.

Source: nirfindia.org

Global Report On Food Crises 2019

Why is it in News?

The Global Report on Food Crises 2019 was jointly released by Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

Key Highlights of Report:

  • As per the report, approximately 113 million people in 53 countries experienced high levels of food insecurity last year. These crises were primarily driven by conflict and climate-related factors.
  • The two-third (66.66%) of the total number of people facing acute food crisis were in 8 countries namely- Yemen, Congo, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Syria, Sudan and North Nigeria.
  • The report also provides a short-term forecast of food insecurity in 2019.

What is the Need of Hour?

  • The report calls for increased collaboration to end conflicts, empower women, feed and educate children, improve rural infrastructure, and reinforce social safety nets in order to address the root causes of food crises caused by man-made shocks such as conflict and civil unrest.

Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO):

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. It was founded on 16th October, 1945.
  • Their goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.
  • It is headquartered in Rome,Italy.

Codex Alimentarius/ Food Code:

It was established by the FAO and WHO to protect consumer health and promote fair practices in food trade.

The Codex Alimentarius, or ‘Food Code’ is a collection of internationally adopted food standards presented in a uniform manner. The main purpose is to maintain the hygiene and ensuring fair practices in food trade. These food codes deter the adulteration of food material.

Source: www.fao.org

Showing 51-56 of 56 items.