bharat ias - Disability and the culture of violence

Disability and the culture of violence

 Disability and the culture of violence  Context Disability has been one the end results of violence historically  Limiting potential of violence a differently-abled person becomes a victim to ‘pervasive violence’ due to his compromised ability to function properly wherein due to his/her disability he/she is not accepted in the mainstream society and hence his/her real potential is not realised.  Defining Pervasive violence According to Johan Galtung, the father of peace studies, pervasive violence is, “the cause of the difference between the potential and the actual, between what could have been and what is. Violence is that which increases the distance between the potential and the actual and that which impedes the decrease of this distance”  Process of othering  a differently abled person is discriminated against in the society leading to double exploitation in the following way, Due to their limited physical potential Structural violence: It refers to a form of violencewherein some social structure or social institution may harm people by preventing them from meeting their basic needs.This violence is highly structural in nature.  Types of Structural violence Structural violence has two types, Disabled by war or natural disaster: Where a large disabled population exists due to some war or natural disaster. Take the example of any country torn by war, such as Syria. The civil war has left nearly a million people with permanent disabilities. The level of violence in Syria today is unparalleled. The potential of the entire society and country has been reduced to its lowest. Even when the guns are not firing, the violence still exists Disabled by birth: Where no ‘war’ has been fought but many people by birth are disabled. For example, India has 26.8 million disabled people as per the 2011 Census. Here the disabled population is one of the most marginalised sections of the country and also one of the largest minority groups  Note: Disability is yet to be formally recognised as a ‘minority group’ in the country   Problems faced by disabled Violence in the form of discrimination High level of unemployment: Due to structural violence perpetrated by the society, differently-abled people are not given jobs citing their disability as a reason. Hence their expectations to live a decent life are left unsatisfied, leading to non-realisation of potential within. It creates an environment of ‘negative peace’ within a society.  Negative peace vs Positive Peace Negative peace refers to the absence of violence. When, for example, a ceasefire is enacted, a negative peace will ensue. It is negative because something undesirable stopped happening (e.g. the violence stopped, the oppression ended) Whereas positive peace is filled with positive content such as restoration of relationships, the creation of social systems that serve the needs of the whole population and the constructive resolution of conflict More differently-abled persons, More negative peace: In the context of disability, societies which have more disabled people have more ‘negative peace’ than those which have fewer disabled people  Culture of violence The belief that those who were already disabled by birth must have committed some grave sin in their previous birth so as to be born disabled in this birth leads to the legitimisation of discrimination and hatred towards persons with disabilities across cultures. Hence, a ‘culture of violence’ is born and is legitimised further it need to be corrected.    ...

Publishes on : 16-Feb-2017 09:37 AM
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bharat ias - Autonomy for IIMs:

Autonomy for IIMs:

Autonomy for IIMs: Issue: ·       The Indian Institute of Management Bill, 2017, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha recently, meets the longstanding demand for greater autonomy for India’s premier management institutions. ·        The bill is a redrafted version of an earlier bill which had attracted much criticism for its provisions that sought to extend and perpetuate government control over them ·       According to the original bill, all major decisions could be taken by the IIM management only with prior government approval. The fee structure, too, had to be approved by the government. The new bill is much more acceptable, and marks a welcome change from the record of governments in the past. Positives: ·       The bill seeks to ensure freedom for the IIMs in terms of administration, recruitment and daily functioning. ·       They will be run by their respective boards, and will be “board-driven, with the chairperson and director selected by the board” and will not be controlled by the government. At present, the boards make their recommendations and the government accepts or rejects them. ·       The composition of the boards, the selection of chairmen and the fee structure will now be decided by the IIMs. The boards will also be socially inclusive. ·       Autonomy should mean freedom to select faculty and devise curriculum. ·       The bill envisages the best and global standards to be pursued in the curriculum and pedagogy with the involvement of experts from all fields. ·       The proposal in the original bill to set up a coordination forum with the HRD minister as its conveyor had invited much opposition. The forum will now have only limited powers and the minister will not be its conveyor. It will only be an advisory body. The IIMs will also have the power to award degrees, instead of diplomas.    Drawbacks: ·       While the number of IIMs has grown to 20, several management schools have closed down due to moderation in the craze for MBA. ·        Most new IIMs however are mere nameplate institutions, several with no director, no permanent faculty or administrative staff. The shortage of qualified teachers plagues even the established IIMs. ·       The proliferation of IIMs without concern for qualified academic resources to run them has meant severe dilution of brand IIM. ·       The last few years have witnessed significant expansion by all IIMs. In addition to increasing the numbers admitted to the established programmes, they have expanded into distance education. The expansion has been indiscriminate with little control on the quality of offerings. ·        Academic rigor of teaching programmes is also on the decline with the emphasis shifting to revenue generation rather than transfer of cutting edge knowledge. What is needed: ·       The autonomy should be granted with well-crafted accountability metric so that IIMs serve the cause of the country by enhancing the respect they command in management education globally. Else, it could be the beginning of a decline in the reputation that has been built over decades.    ...

Publishes on : 16-Feb-2017 09:31 AM
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bharat ias - Will Budget help double farmers’ income?

Will Budget help double farmers’ income?

Will Budget help double farmers’ income?  Context Most of the earnings of the average farm household were spent in meeting consumption expenditures  Measures announced to boost agriculture Government has announced a slew of measures in the Union Budget 2017 to boost the agriculture sector. Higher agricultural credit Higher allocation for irrigation projects A crop insurance scheme and increased allocations for MGNREGA to dig farm ponds were among the measures announced on February 1  Contention Will these help attain the goal of doubling the farmer’s income by 2022? Further questions: The goal of doubling incomes lacks clarity as to whether it is nominal incomes or real incomes that are being chased. It is also unclear whether it is income from agriculture or that of agricultural households being targeted  Situation of farm households Average monthly income: The average monthly income of the Indian farm household was estimated to be about 6,426 Rupees by the Situation Assessment Survey of Agricultural Households in its NSS 70th round. This included net receipts from cultivation, farming of animals, non-farm business and income from wages Average monthly consumption expenditure: During the same period, the average monthly consumption expenditure per agricultural household was 6223 rupees  What this shows is that Most of the earnings of the average farm household were spent in meeting consumption expenditures Dependence on loans: For cultivation-related expenses, the farmer is mostly dependent on loans and the NSSO survey revealed that half of the farm households were neck-deep in debt  What needs to be done? For any real increase in income, farmers require higher returns for their produce. Following measures need to be taken The recommendations of the National Commission on Farmers – to provide the minimum price of the total cost of production plus 50% – are implemented. For eg: In the case of rubber, for instance, a price stabilisation fund was established which helped farmers get better prices for their produce Recognition of ownership of women farmers: Nearly 50% of farmers are women, who often do not benefit from credit policies as they do have land titles in their name. Unless land titling recognises female ownership of land for cultivation, half of India’s farmers cannot claim institutional credit  Problems Economic viability: Rising input prices such as for fertilizers, pesticides and seeds and stagnating output prices as MSP raise questions about the feasibility of agricultural activity Agriculture will have to grow at 12 or 14% to realise such rise in earnings. At present, the growth rates stand at a poor 1.2%, according to World Bank data.  Drought-proof farming the measure of creating five lakh more farm ponds that will work as a drought-proofing measure in gram panchayats  Negatives of the Budget Issues with the schemes: While the crop insurance scheme aims to rightly protect farmers from the vagaries of the weather, allocations for which have been increased in the 2017 Budget, the terms of the PradhanMantriKrishiBimaYojana spell out that the amount of insurance cover depends on the premium paid and extent of cover, so a farmer may not necessarily recover all losses sustained from crop damage in case of an eventuality Low allocation to NAFCC (National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change): The government made only a paltry allocation of ₹130 crore to this Fund in the 2017-18 budget. This is disturbing in the wake of the fact that the country faced unprecedented drought affecting 330 million people last year Tamil Nadu Farmers disappointed: Farmers in Tamil Nadu were disappointed that their demand to write-off farm debts for households witnessing suicides in the aftermath of cyclone and drought in the State had not been addressed in the Union budget No incentive to go Organic: Farmers needed an incentive to go organic as high input costs of fertilizers had raised farm debts. Organic farming did not get any attention in the Budget Focusing on drip irrigation will not be sufficient, and though more funds were allocated for irrigation, no expansion of specific projects for irrigation were made during the Budget.  Positives of the Budget The expansion in coverage of National Agriculture Markets (e-NAM), an online agriculture market, from 250 to 585 APMCs in the Budget, as it will “help fertilisers companies in the medium term through higher demand Fertilizer subsidy hike: The subsidy hike of 6% for the phosphatic and potassic segment was also seen as a positive thrust for the manufacturers and traders of these fertilizers Hike in the corpus of the long-term irrigation fund by another ₹20,000 crore, taking the total fund size to ₹40,000 crore Proposal to set up adairy processing and infrastructure development fund at NABARD, with a corpus of ₹8,000 crore over three years  Who will reap the benefit? Indian farmers do not constitute a homogenous community. There are rich, land-owning farmers and then there are poor, landless farmers A new nexus was now emerging comprising farm contractors and big traders combined with rich landowners in rural India, which was replacing the feudal landowning structures of the past It is this new class of rural landlords that will largely benefit from the Budget announcements of higher loan allocation and online trading of farm produce depriving needy farmers ...

Publishes on : 13-Feb-2017 11:39 AM
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bharat ias - The budget sidesteps geostrategic risks

The budget sidesteps geostrategic risks

  Background Both the budget document and the Economic Survey have painstakingly detailed risks that endanger the Indian economy and can disrupt growth and employment impulses. Both see major risks emanating from the external sector. Budget lists multiple Fed rate hikes likely in 2017, commodity price uncertainty (especially crude prices) and protectionism. Economic survey Economic Survey, which identifies clothes and shoes as ideal candidates for low-skill, high-employment manufacturing potential and for occupying crucial trade space being vacated by China. The survey also finds India has competitive advantage in these two items despite myriad challenges—such as domestic labour laws and tax structure, or the duty preferences enjoyed by competing countries in key buyer markets. Criticism of Budget Budget has allocated only Rs1crore to the Footwear Design and Development Institute, compared with Rs109.99 crore in 2015-16 and Rs25 crore in 2016-17. The institute provides skilled human resources and technology development to the leather and footwear industry. The Indian leather development programme (ILDP) gets a higher allotment of Rs500 crore, compared with Rs235 crore in 2015-16 and Rs400 crore in 2016-17. But then the ILDP focuses on improving the raw material base for leather units but the Survey actually shows non-leather footwear has achieved higher exports than leather footwear. There’s a token entry of Rs0.50 crore against the project development fund, which the ministry created with the Exim Bank to promote Indian private sector investments in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (commonly referred as CLMV nations) as part of India’s “Act East” policy. The creation of the fund was announced in 2015 budget. There are, no follow-up remarks in subsequent budgets. India has attached great geostrategic significance Chabahar port in Iran. But Chabahar port has been allotted only Rs150 crore under the ministry of external affairs, compared with Rs100 crore in 2016-17. Bad effect of this   India’s on-now, off-now engagement with Iran may have pushed the country closer to China through a joint military cooperation agreement and possible One Belt, One Road connectivity. Thus budget has been criticised because it lost an opportunity to make some critical course corrections. ...

Publishes on : 13-Feb-2017 11:30 AM
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bharat ias - Political funding  reforms in budget 2017-18

Political funding reforms in budget 2017-18

Political funding  reforms in budget 2017-18 ·       Finance Ministry accepted the recommendation of the Election Commission (EC) which had proposed to the government to prohibit “anonymous contributions above or equal to the amount of Rs 2,000”. ·       finance minister announced introduction of an electoral bonds scheme, under which donations would be allowed to be made to political parties by purchasing electoral bonds from authorised banks ·       finance minister  announced a Rs3 lakh cap on cash transactions and said the government is contemplating a law to confiscate properties of offenders, including those suspected of economic crimes, who flee the country. ·       political parties have to file returns. Pro argument: ·       to tackle opacity in collection of funds by political parties ·       to check anonymous donations and curb parties that are formed only with “an eye on availing the benefits of income tax exemption” available to political entities. ·       curbing corruption ·       intention to discourage cash transaction and have more transparency by providing an additional alternative to digital payments. 

against:  ·       “It won’t lead to any transparency in donations. Rather than Rs 19,999 as is happening now, political parties will claim that they received majority of donations below Rs 2,000. ·       Unless the source of the Rs 2,000 contribution is known, the ceiling does not matter. It does not matter if the ceiling is Re 1, or Rs 100, or Rs 2,000 or Rs 2 lakh. All that will be required is to change the number of donors when filing returns with the tax authorities. ·       In order to make political contributions by cheque a bit more discreet, the finance minister has proposed to bring in an amendment to the RBI Act which will enable issuance of electoral bonds. Donors can then purchase such bonds from designated banks, and these bonds can be given to the desired political party. Since the books of the donors will not mention the name of the party, and the books of the party will not mention the name of the donor, secrecy can be maintained about the donors ·       Finance minister is also reported to have said that no transaction of more than Rs 3 lakh will be permitted in cash: “Political parties will be entitled to receive donations by cheque or in the digital mode from their donors.” If this clause is implemented, it could alter the political funding landscape completely. However, one does not know whether the reported limit of Rs 3 lakh is the ceiling for a day's collection, or for a week, a month or a year. .  Measures needed: ·       full state funding of political parties in elections instead of announcing such moves and playing to the   ·       banning of corporate funding of political parties....

Publishes on : 11-Feb-2017 12:01 PM
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