bharat ias - A lost opportunity

A lost opportunity

A lost opportunity  Context How the Maternity Benefit Bill fails to enable gender parity.  What has happened? A day after International Women’s Day, Parliament cleared the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill  Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill Extends the period of paid maternity leave for women working in the organised sector to 26 weeks from the current 12 This is applicable to all organisations that employ 10 or more people  It Might adversely impact women in the workplace Why: The gender ratio in corporate India is already highly lopsided HR managers wary about the added costs of hiring young, fertile women This extension of maternity leave to six months will effectively double these costs likely to result in much fewer women being employed in the corporate sector In the World:In progressive countries, at least a part of the maternity costs are borne by the government. In India, this is entirely passed on to companies Effect on Team members: Absence of any employee affects the workload of the other team members, decreasing productivity and adding additional costs Reality Check:India’s leaking pipeline – the number of women who quit their jobs between junior and middle levels – is 50%, compared to the average of 29% in Asia. This means that the number of women who avail their maternity benefits and yet do not resume their jobs is rather high, adding to the cost concerns of their recruiters  Leaking pipeline The number of women who quit their jobs between junior and middle levels, For India – is 50% For Asia – 29%  Observation: This also implies that the number of women who avail their maternity benefits and yet do not resume their jobs is rather high, adding to the cost concerns of their recruiters   Encouraging provisions Crèche facility: Organizations which employ more than 30 women (or 50 people, whichever is less) will now have to provide a crèche The mother is allowed to visit the crèche four times during the day. Mothers who adopt babies are entitled to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave  Lost opportunity What this bill has lost is the opportunity to usher in gender parity while simultaneously levying the burden of parental responsibilities entirely on mothers.   It furthers the notion of comparative cost of hiring women vs men and ties women down to the primary role of being childcare providers and not professionals in the workplace. ...

Publishes on : 21-Mar-2017 06:36 AM
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bharat ias - What is hyper loop?

What is hyper loop?

What is hyper loop?  Context The term hyper-loop has suddenly taken the India by storm, with everybody having an opinion on the best route in India to deploy the futuristic transportation system  Issue: Hyperloop  What is a Hyperloop? It was entrepreneur Elon Musk who came up with the idea for a hyperloop. It is a system where magnetically levitating capsules are sent at high speeds through low-pressure tubes, thereby potentially reducing transport time — of people and goods — by more than 80%. Such a system is now being developed to connect Abu Dhabi and Dubai  But why is India so excited about it? Hyperloop One, the company developing the technology, has begun an online vote for people to suggest and choose the best route to deploy a hyperloop in their countries. It said the Hyperloop One Global challenge received 2,600 registrants from 90 countries. It then selected 35 semi-finalists from across the world, five of which are from India The route choices for India are: Bengaluru-to-Chennai (334 km in 20 minutes), Bengaluru-to-Thiruvananthapuram (736 km in 41 minutes), Delhi-to-Mumbai via Jaipur and Indore (1,317 km in 55 minutes), Mumbai-to-Chennai via Bengaluru (1,102 km in 50 minutes). When can we see it in action in India? Hyperloop One has announced its intentions to begin operations in India by 2021. There are also reports that the company has already begun talks with the Indian government to see how to make this possible, and how to combine this with the Make in India mission by sourcing the necessary material locally  Any Pros & Cons?  Pros: If approved, such plans would enable India to jump forward in its transport infrastructure and could revolutionize the way business is conducted Businesses are likely to pay for the premium charged to be able to schedule meetings and presentations cities apart, all in the same day  Cons:   At a time when railway infrastructure is abysmal and the airline industry is priced beyond the abilities of most of the populace, can India really afford another transport system only to be used by businesses and businesspeople?...

Publishes on : 21-Mar-2017 06:30 AM
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bharat ias - SC cracks down on judicial delays

SC cracks down on judicial delays

SC cracks down on judicial delays Context In a slew of guidelines for High Courts, it sets deadlines for hearing, disposing of criminal cases  Issue: SC issues guidelines for High Courts  Observations made by SC No place for non-performers: Judicial service as well as legal service are not like any other services. They are missions for serving the society… Posting of suitable officers in key leadership positions of Session Judges and Chief Judicial Magistrates may perhaps go a long way in dealing with the situation. Non-performers/deadwood must be weeded out as per rules Time-bound disposal of cases: SC has also fixed a time-bound hearing and disposing of criminal cases, especially in bail applications. The Supreme Court suggested that bail applications be decided in a week by subordinate courts, while High Courts do the same within a month Court also said that magisterial trials, where accused are in custody, should normally be concluded within six months and sessions trials, with accused in custody, within two years Ensure that subordinate courts dispose of cases pending for five years by the end of 2017. In case of High Courts, the judgment said criminal appeals, where accused are in custody for more than five years, should be concluded at the earliest Assessment of judicial performance: SC has said that timelines prescribed in the judgment would be used to assess judicial performance in the annual confidential reports of judicial officers Monitoring lower courts: SC has said that High Courts should monitor action plans for lower courts and keep a constant watch Release of undertrials: SC has said that those undertrials who have already completed their entire period of their sentence had they been found guilty should be released on personal bond SC noted that 50% of the population in jails consists of undertrial prisoners and long periods of incarceration without bail or trial is human rights violation The court held that liberal adjournments of cases must be avoided and witnesses once produced must be examined on consecutive dates. It held that suspension of work or strikes were “clearly illegal and it is high time that the legal fraternity realises its duty to the society which is the foremost”      ...

Publishes on : 21-Mar-2017 06:25 AM
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bharat ias - Indo-Russian transport plane JV grounded

Indo-Russian transport plane JV grounded

Indo-Russian transport plane JV grounded   Context MTAL was to build India’s own military transport aircraft  What has happened? Multi-role Transport Aircraft Ltd. (MTAL) will be wound up soon The closure of the company, when it happens, will formally bury a decade-old plan to co-design and co-develop a cargo/transport plane for the armed forces of the two nations  MTA
Multi-role Aircraft Transport (MTA)’sJoint development of the plane was conceived around 2006-07 and firmed up in 2010 via an inter-governmental agreement. Two years later, HAL and Russian military entities — United Aircraft Corporation-Transport Aircraft (UAC-TA) and Rosoboronexport — signed a general contract to form the special purpose MTAL, with a 50:25:25 equity split to take the project forward Each side put in $20 million as paid-up capital  Replacement for An 32 According to the old plan, the 15-20-tonne medium lift plane would replace the ageing Antonov /An-32 transport planes The demand was estimated at 205 MTAs — 45 for the Indian Air Force, 100 for the Russian Air Force and another 60 for exports The Indian aircraft was to be designed by HAL in Bengaluru and produced at its transport division in Kanpur The project cost was estimated at $600 million (then around ₹2,700 crore)  Issues Following issues subsequently cropped up, Incompatible engine design Performance issues at higher altitudes Cost escalation  Ukraine’s help While the An-32s are now proposed to be upgraded, this can only be done with the help of Ukraine, which is in conflict with Russia    ...

Publishes on : 21-Mar-2017 06:23 AM
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bharat ias - The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016

The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016

  The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016  The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was  introduced in Rajya Sabha on August 11, 2016 by the Minister for Labour and Employment ·         The Bill amends the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 ·         The Act regulates the employment of women during the period of child birth, and provides maternity benefits ·         The Act applies to factory, mines, plantations, shops and other establishments. ·         The Bill amends provisions related to the duration and applicability of maternity leave, and other facilities.  Highlights of the Bill The Act provides maternity leave up to 12 weeks for all women. The Bill extends this period to 26 weeks. However, a woman with two or more children will be entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave. The Bill introduces maternity leave up to 12 weeks for a woman who adopts a child below the age of three months, and for commissioning mothers. The period of maternity leave will be calculated from the date the child is handed over to the adoptive or commissioning mother. The Bill requires every establishment with 50 or more employees to provide for crèche facilities within a prescribed distance. The woman will be allowed four visits to the crèche in a day. An employer may permit a woman to work from home, if the nature of work assigned permits her to do so. This may be mutually agreed upon by the employer and the woman. The Bill requires an establishment to inform a woman of all benefits that would be available under the Bill, at the time of her appointment. Such information must be given in writing and electronically.   Key Issues and Analysis Several expert bodies like the WHO have recommended that 24 weeks of maternity leave is required to protect maternal and child health. However, since the costs of this leave are to be borne by the employer, it may have an adverse impact on job opportunities for women. Various countries have implemented different funding models in relation to maternity benefits. In some countries the employer bears the cost, while in some others it is paid by the government. While women will be provided with 26 weeks of maternity leave for two children, the period of leave for a third child will be 12 weeks. This could affect the growth and development of the third born child. The Act and Bill cover women workers employed in establishments with 10 or more employees, and other notified establishments. However, a majority of the women workforce, who are in the unorganised sectors, may not be covered. There are several labour laws that provide maternity benefits to women in different sectors. These laws differ in their coverage, benefits and financing of such benefits.    ...

Publishes on : 16-Mar-2017 07:27 AM
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