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1. Social Protection

About Social Protection

  • Social protection, or social security, is a human right and is defined as the set of policies and programmes designed to reduce and prevent poverty and vulnerability throughout the life cycle.

  • It includes benefits for children and families, maternity, unemployment, employment injury, sickness, old age, disability, survivors, as well as health protection.

  • Social protection systems address all these policy areas by a mix of contributory schemes (social insurance) and non-contributory tax-financed benefits, including social assistance.

  • Further there are two main features that distinguish social security from other social arrangements-

  • Benefits are provided to beneficiaries without any simultaneous reciprocal obligation

  • It is not based on an individual agreement between the protected person and the provider, as a life insurance contract.

  • The ILO Social Protection Floors Recommendation No. 202, adopted in 2012 sets out that member States should establish and maintain national social protection floors described as “nationally defined set of basic social security guarantees which secure protection aimed at preventing or alleviating poverty, vulnerability and social exclusion.”

1.1. News Hightlight of the Report

  • Despite significant progress in the extension of social protection in many parts of the world, only 45 per cent of the global population is effectively covered by at least one social protection benefit.

  • Only 29 per cent of the global population is covered by comprehensive social security systems that include the full range of benefits, from child and family benefits to old-age pensions.

  • The report follows a life cycle approach thereby focusing on people from varied age group, having distinct needs and vulnerabilities. The focal points of the report are-

  • Social protection for children in form of transfers, in cash or in kind, are critical for realizing children’s rights by preventing them from falling into poverty, preventing child mortality, contributing to their healthy development and well-being, improving their access to essential goods and services, and reducing child labour.

  • Social protection for women and men of working age- It helps ensuring income security through maternity protection, unemployment support, employment injury protection, and disability benefits.

  • These schemes contribute to smooth incomes and aggregate demand, enhance human capital, and promote decent and productive employment.

  • Social protection for older women and men- Inability to access protection mechanism through individual efforts and unreliable sources of income means that only a small fraction of the world population has the capacity to fend for itself during old age, making social protection crucial for old age.

  • Towards universal health coverage- An enabling framework providing legal health coverage, sufficient public funding and an adequate supply of health workers enjoying good working conditions to provide quality services, has the potential to reduce mortality and increase the health status of the population.

  • The report identifies various challenges for social protection policies like tackling demographic changes, impact of digitalization on future of work and social protection, various austerity measures introduced around the globe during 2008, etc.

  • It also provides certain opportunities and gives suggestions for achieving greater social security –

  • Expanding fiscal space and generating resources for social protection through:

  • Promoting inclusive social protection systems.

  • Providing social protection for migrants given the increasing intensity of migratory movements.

1.2 All India Survey On Higher Education

​1.2.1 All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2016-17

  • AISHE is a Pan India, annual web-based survey which covers all the Higher Educational Institutions in the country conducted by Ministry of Human Resource Development.

  • Various parameters on which the data is collected are teachers, student enrolment, programs, examination results, education finance, infrastructure etc.


Higher Education in India

  • India’s Higher Education sector is largest in the world. However, it still lags behind other countries such as USA, China, Thailand etc.

  • Despite the large size of the education system, India’s top Universities fail to feature in the world ranking list.



  • Higher Education Financing Agency has been approved to improve the development of infrastructure in premier education institutions.

  • Recently government has reduced the number of credit for under graduate programs to include the credits for technological innovations.

  • It also approved creation of non-lapsable Madhyamik and Uchchtar Shiksha Kosh for secondary and higher education.

  • Adoption of New Delhi Declaration on Education reiterates India’s commitment to achieve SDG 4 and improve quality of education.

1.3. Project Stree Swabhiman

About the project

  • It aims to create a sustainable model for providing adolescent girls and women an access to affordable sanitary products in rural areas.

  • According to health ministry data, only 12% of India’s 355 million women use sanitary napkins while remaining resort to unsanitary alternatives due to which 70% of these women suffers from the incidents of reproductive tract infection.

  • Under this project, sanitary napkin micro manufacturing units (semi-automatic and manual process production unit) are being set up at CSCs across India, particularly those operated by women entrepreneurs.

  • The product will be sold under local brand name and marketed by village level entrepreneurs

  • Each facility will employ 8-10 women and educate women of their society to overcome this social taboo.

  • It also has a menstrual hygiene related awareness generation component and is also expected reduce dropped out rates in girls on reaching puberty.

  • Common Services Centers (CSCs) are ICT enabled kiosks with broadband connectivity for delivery of essential public utility services, social welfare schemes, healthcare, financial, education and agricultural services, apart from host of B2C services to citizens in rural and remote areas of the country.

1.3.1 Menstrual Hygiene Scheme (MHS)

  • Being implemented by Health Ministry as part of Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram.

  • It provides subsidized sanitary napkins among adolescent girls residing primarily in rural areas.

  • Aim: to reach 15 million girls aged 10 to 19 and in 152 districts across 20 states.

1.3.2 Menstrual Hygiene Management National Guidelines, 2015

  • Issued by Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation.

  • It covers the aspects of providing adolescent girls with menstrual hygiene management choices and menstruation hygiene management infrastructure in schools and the safe disposal of menstrual waste.

1.3.3 Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan

  • Under this centrally sponsored scheme of Ministry of Human Resource Development, sanitary pads are provided in schools and girls hostels.

January Indian Society and Issues

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