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1. Integrated School Education Scheme

1.1. Objectives of the Scheme

  • The integrated scheme will be in place from 2018 to 2020, with an estimated allocation of Rs. 75,000 crores over the period, a 20% increase over the current allocation. The objectives include:

  • Provision of quality education and enhancing learning outcomes of students;

  • Bridging Social and Gender Gaps in School Education;

  • Ensuring equity and inclusion at all levels of school education;

  • Ensuring minimum standards in schooling provisions;

  • Promoting vocationalization of education;

  • Support States in implementation of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009; and

  • Strengthening and up-gradation of State Councils for Educational Research and Training (SCERTs)/State Institutes of Education and District Institutes for Education and Training (DIET) as nodal agencies for teacher training.

 

1.2. Potential Benefits

  • Flexibility to States/UTs to plan and prioritize their interventions within the scheme norms and the overall resource envelope available to them.

  • Integrated administration looking at 'school' as a continuum- It will help improve the transition rates across the various levels of school education and aid in promoting universal access to children to complete school education. There has been inclusion of senior secondary levels and pre-school levels in support for school education for the first time.

  • Enhanced Capacity Building of Teachers through strengthening Teacher Education Institutions like State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and District Institute for Education and Training (DIET).

  • It would lead to an optimal utilization of budgetary allocations and effective use of human resources and institutional structures created for the erstwhile Schemes.

  • Other benefits include an enhanced use of technology in education, support ‘Swachh Vidyalaya’, improved quality of infrastructure in schools, preference to Educationally Backward Blocks, etc.

 

1.3. Sarva Sikhsa Abhiyan (SSA)

  • SSA is being implemented since 2001 for universalization of elementary education. After enactment of Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 which confers the right to elementary education on all children, in the age group of 6-14 years, SSA became the central programme to fulfil its objectives.

 

1.4. Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan

  • RMSA was launched in 2009 with the objective to enhance access to secondary education and improve its quality.

  • The scheme envisages to enhance the enrollment by providing a secondary school with a reasonable distance of habitation, with an aim to ensure GER of 100 per cent and universal retention by 2020.

 

1.5. Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Teacher Education:

  • Strengthening Teacher Education: The Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Teacher Education was initiated in 1987 pursuant to the formulation of the National Policy of Education, 1986. It aims to establish District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) in all districts created up to 2011, strengthen Colleges of Teacher

  • Education (CTEs), Institutes of Advanced Studies in Education (IASEs) and establish Block Institutes of teacher education (BITEs) in identified SC/ST/ minority concentration districts.

  • Quality in Teacher Education: Creation of Separate Cadre for teacher educators and strengthen the cadre of teacher educators with a view to achieving planned and co-ordinated development of the teacher education system throughout the country,

2. Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan

2.1. About RUSA

  • It is an overarching Centrally sponsored scheme, launched in 2013, operated in a mission mode which seeks to provide strategic funding to eligible state higher educational institutions.

  • Transformative reforms such as governance, academic, affiliation and accreditation reforms are pre-requisites in the implementation of the scheme in State higher educational institutions.

  • The funding to States is based on critical appraisal of State Higher Education Plans which are required to address each State's strategy to address issues of equity, access and excellence in higher education.

  • All funding under the RUSA are norm based, and future grants are outcome dependent.

  • Recently Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved continuation of centrally-sponsored Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) till 2020.

2.2. Important Initiatives under RUSA 2.0

  • With a view to ensure greater resource flow to the State higher education sector, RUSA 2.0 will encourage states and institutions to undertake projects in a public-private partnership mode based on viability gap funding

  • It seeks to increase gross enrolment ratio by 30 per cent during this period, creation of 70 new model degree colleges and 8 new professional colleges.

  • Besides, it seeks to enhance quality and excellence in 10 select State universities and 70 autonomous colleges, providing infrastructural support to 50 universities and 750 colleges.

  • An on-line virtual platform of infrastructure and equipment (inventory) will be created so that institutions can share these resources.

  • The scheme will give priority to the Aspirational Districts, identified by the NITI Aayog to improve access and equity through improved enrolment and retention.

  • Creation of National Higher Education Resource Centre (NHERC) to be a resource centre for Research, Policy Advocacy, Capacity Building and providing well-informed policy and evidence-based research inputs.

  • Components of Institutional Reforms and Restructuring, Capacity Building and Management Information Systems have been merged into one single component.

  • It will enhance ongoing mechanisms for Monitoring and Evaluation and look at innovative ways of scaling up Monitoring and Evaluation, such as Fund Tracker, Reform Tracker, Bhuvan-RUSA and PFMS, so that projects can be completed by their scheduled time.

3. National Academic Depository (NAD)

3.1.  Parinam Manjusha

  • It is CBSE's digital repository of academic records

  • Employers and Educational Institutions can use this repository to verify academic records of CBSE students online.

  • The digital academic records of this repository will also be available to students through Digi Locker.

  • The recently launched NAD has been integrated with the e-SANAD portal.

3.2. About NAD

  • NAD will be a 24x7 online store house of academic awards digitally lodged by various academic institutions/school boards/eligibility assessment bodies. Employers and other person with prior approval of the concerned student can verify the authenticity of any academic award.

3.3. Other Details

  • All the Central and State Universities, Deemed to be Universities, CBSE, State School Education Boards will participate in the depository.

  • The UGC will be authorised body to operationalise the NAD.

  • It will comprise of two inter-operable digital depositories i.e. NSDL Database Management Ltd (NDML) and CDSL Venture Ltd (CVL).

  • NAD being an online, permanent and safe record will eliminate the need for issuing duplicate academic awards and any risk of losing, spoiling, damaging or forging the awards, will provide convenience in the availability of academic awards.

4. Status Of Anganwadi Centres ​

4.1. News Hightlight of the report

  • There is a gap between the number of sanctioned and operational AWCs. The gap is maximum in the states of Bihar (20%) and J & K (7.3%).

  • Around 4.5 lakh Anganwadi centres lacked both drinking water and toilet facilities. It adds that nearly 25 per cent of Anganwadi centres don’t have drinking water facilities and 36 per cent of these don’t have toilets.

  • Large number of posts of supervisors, AWWs and AWHs are lying vacant.

4.2. Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS)

  • Launched in 1975, for children (6 months to 6 years) and pregnant & lactating mothers irrespective of their economic and social status.

  • Categorised as Core Scheme under Centrally Sponsored Scheme.

  • Intended to achieve the Goals 2 and 3 of SDGs (improvement in nutrition and ensuring healthy lives & promoting well-being for all at all ages respectively).

  • Provides an integrated package of six services which include; i) Supplementary nutrition programme; (ii) Referral services (iii) Pre-school non-formal education (iv)Immunization; (v) Health check-up; (vi) Nutrition & health education.

  • Services related to health and are provided by Ministry/Department of Health and Family Welfare.

  • 5-tier monitoring and review mechanism at National, State, District, Block and Anganwadi Levels.

4.3. About Anganwadi Centres (AWCs)

  • It is a courtyard play centre - located within the village or a slum, for providing various services as specified under ICDS scheme.

  • Responsibilities of Anganwadi Workers(AWW) include quick survey of all the families, organise non-formal pre-school activities at AWCs, campaign for family planning & birth preparedness, check the child’s nutrition progress (National Nutrition Mission), to assist in preparation of Village, Health Plan Depot Holder of Medicine Kit/Contraceptives of ASHA/AMN & under ICDS, assist in implementation of Kishore Shakti Yojana (KSY), etc.

4.4. Challenges faced by AWCs

  • Shortage of fund and implementation tools: various reports highlighted about the problem of delay in receiving funds for necessary items.

  • Incentives– AWWs are classified as ‘voluntary’ workers and their pay is treated as an ‘honorarium’, despite being worked for over 10 hours daily. They even fulfil the extra duties like surveying public toilets, pregnant women, and supervising the quality of drinking water.

  • Lack of supervision: Anganwadi centres have very less or nil supervision by the higher officials, which leads to poor performance and implementation of ICDS.

  • Inadequate knowledge – Various studies show that Anganwadi workers don’t have any knowledge regarding the revised norms for calories, protein and funds allocated for nutrition for each beneficiary.

  • Social-Religious prejudices: A report by the Institute of Human Development showed how caste and religious prejudices in many villages have affected service delivery at Anganwadi centres, due to caste-based discrimination against children, as well as lack of cooperation between Asha workers and AWWs of different castes and communities.

  • Corruption: It is being noticed that there is corruption in the appointment of Anganwadi workers, black marketing of rations, illegal diversion of medical kits and funds.

  • Way forward

  • PPP modal for Anganwadi- Haryana based modern and model Anganwadi centre ‘NandGhar’ -build on the lines of public private partnership should be extended to other states.

  • Regular training should be provided to AWC workers and their supervisors. Further they should also get refresher training to handle various register works independently.

  • Comprehensive assessment of all the services and facilities along with knowledge and practice of the AWWs is need of the hour.

  • Dedicated programme for the extension of IT-enabled services such as smartphones and tablet devices to update data on child nutrition, unique identification code and geo-mapped of Anganwadi centres, should be rolled out on pan Country scale.

5. Child Marriage Numbers Drop Sharply

5.1. Drivers of high prevalence

  • Deeply entrenched and widely practised social customs with wide social approval is a major, often the most critical, driving factor of high prevalence of child marriage in states such as Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

  • Poverty, high wedding costs and other economic considerations: political economy of child marriage is also determined by high demand for labour and high female work participation in certain geographic areas.

  • Lack of easy access to schooling, especially at secondary level: According to UNICEF, a girl with 10 years of education has a six times lower chance of being pushed into marriage before she is 18.

  • Political patronage due to social acceptance as politicians find it difficult to oppose the practice of child marriage as it may mean losing votes and support.

  • Child marriage is also widely reported to be used as a disguise to traffic girls from poor and tribal families for either the sex trade or as cheap labour.

5.2. Efforts to reduce child marriage

  • The Women and Child Development Ministry has taken a number of steps to enhance the status of girl child and to address the problem of child marriage:

  • Every year, State Governments are requested to take special initiative to delay marriage on AkhaTeej—the traditional day for such marriages, by coordinated efforts.

  • It has developed a convergent national strategy- “National Strategy Document on Prevention of Child Marriage” and is currently drafting a plan of action on child marriage to guide all states in the implementation of strategies to prevent the problem. The suggested strategic areas of intervention to prevent child marriage are-

  • Law Enforcement- The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, main piece of legislation to prevent child marriage, 2006 makes it illegal for girls to marry under 18 years and for boys under 21 years. Such laws need to be enforced by ensuring appointment of Child Marriage Prohibitio0n Officers, awareness of the law among communities and individuals, capacity building for the same, etc.

  • Access to quality education and other opportunities since Education can be an important refraining factor from early marriage.

  • Changing mindsets and social norms- Perceptions about gender and the role of women in the family and society, practices around marriage and puberty, and wide acceptance that marriage should be performed after puberty all contribute to child marriage.

  • Empowerment of adolescent girls through schemes like SABLA which promote life skills training among girls.

  • Knowledge and Data are at the base of shaping evidence-base interventions.

  • Developing Monitorable Indicators in order to understand the impact of interventions on prevention of child marriage.

  • Other laws that may provide protection to a child bride include the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

6. Passive Euthanasia

​What is Euthanasia?

Euthanasia, also known as assisted suicide, and more loosely termed mercy killing, means to take a deliberate action with the expressed intention of ending a life to relieve intractable (persistent, unstoppable) suffering.

In active euthanasia a person directly and deliberately causes the patient's death. In passive euthanasia they don't directly take the patient's life, they just allow them to die. India is witnessing a debate on whether right to die is a part of right to life under Article 21.

6.1. More about the Judgement

  • The bench upheld that the fundamental right to life and dignity includes right to refuse treatment and die with dignity because the fundamental right to a "meaningful existence" includes a person's choice to die without suffering (including terminally ill).

  • The judgment includes specific guidelines to test the validity of a living will, by whom it should be certified, when and how it should come into effect, etc.

  • The guidelines also cover a situation where there is no living will and how to approach a plea for passive euthanasia.

  • A person need not give any reasons nor is he answerable to any authority on why he should write an advanced directive.

  • But the judge held that active euthanasia is unlawful.

6.2. Related Information

  • A ‘living will’ is a concept where a patient can give consent that allows withdrawal of life support systems if the individual is reduced to a permanent vegetative state with no real chance of survival.

  • It is a type of advance directive that may be used by a person before incapacitation to outline a full range of treatment preferences or, most often, to reject treatment.

  • When a person is not in a position to give his consent for the keeping or withdrawing the treatment, two cardinal principles of medical ethics are crucial:

  • His wishes expressed in advance in the form of a living will, or the wishes of surrogates acting on his behalf (substituted judgment) are to be respected.

  • Beneficence which means acting in what is the patient’s best interest and is not influenced by personal convictions, motives or other considerations.

Background

  • The 196th Law Commission of India report in 2002 advocated passive euthanasia. However, it decided not to make any laws on euthanasia.

  • In the Aruna Shanbaug’s case in (2011), a major milestone, the Supreme Court decided to legalise passive euthanasia by means of withdrawal of life support to patients in a persistent vegetative state (PVS). According to the Court, the decision of the patient must be an informed decision.

  • The Law Commission, later in its 241st report came out in favour of allowing withdrawal of life support for certain categories of people — like those in persistent vegetative state (PVS), in irreversible coma, or of unsound mind, who lack the mental faculties to take decisions.

  • The Supreme Court guidelines form the law of the land regarding euthanasia, till the time. Active euthanasia is still not legal in the country.

  • Recently, the Central government, objected to legalising the concept of ‘Living Will’ — an advance written directive to physicians for end-of-life medical care.

6.3. Arguments in favour of Passive Euthanasia

  • Some believe that every patient has a right to choose when to die similarly as they have right to life enshrined in the constitution.

  • Proponents believe that euthanasia can be safely regulated by government legislation. Passive euthanasia has already been practised in various cases around the world.

  • In case of palliative sedation, widely used across the world, many of the sedatives used carry a risk of shortening a person's lifespan. So, it could be argued that palliative sedation is a type of euthanasia.

6.4. Arguments against Passive Euthanasia

  • Alternative treatments are available, such as palliative care and hospices. We do not have to kill the patient to kill the symptoms. Nearly all pain can be relieved.

  • There is no ‘right’ to be killed’. Opening the doors to voluntary euthanasia could lead to non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia, by giving doctors the power to decide when a patient’s life is not worth living.

  • The assumption that patients should have a right to die would impose on doctors a duty to kill, thus restricting the autonomy of the doctor. Also, a ‘right to die’ for some people might well become a ‘duty to die’ by others, particularly those who are vulnerable or dependent upon others.

7. DRAFT DIGITAL INFORMATION IN HEALTHCARE SECURITY ACT (DISHA)

Important Provisions

  • It lays down that any health data including physical, physiological and mental health condition, sexual orientation, medical records and history and biometric information are the property of the person who it pertains to.

  • It envisages a health information exchange, a State Electronic Health Authority and a National Electronic Health Authority which jointly will have responsibility to protect the privacy, confidentiality and security of the owner’s digital health data.

Relevance of Digital Health Data

  • The recent advances in computing technology can be exploited for better health. Smartphones could become advanced tools in the hands of thousands of patients and practitioners. Equipped with the right software, they could provide easily to use, out-of-the-box solutions to major medical challenges - preventing the over-prescription of medication, promoting patient self-care, introducing positive lifestyle changes and warning of the early signs of health problems.

  • Use of big data analytics can help in identifying emerging social changes and lifestyle trends in the communities. Being forewarned of patterns of change will give health authorities time to respond. New technologies could also provide significant savings in healthcare costs through identifying inefficient and wasteful practices.

7.1. Various Government Initiatives within Digital Healthcare

  • e-Hospitals: includes patient care, laboratory services, work flow-based document information exchange, human resources, and medical records management.

  • NIKSHAY: a web enabled and case-based monitoring application, developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to effectively monitor the Revised National Tuberculosis Programme (RNTCP). It also includes sms services to interact with patients.

  • Digital AIIMS: an effective linkage between AIIMS, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY) has been made within this. A unique identification number is generated for every patient visiting AIIMS on an Aadhar platform.

  • Mother & Child Tracking System (MCTS): It is an initiative by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare which uses information technology for ensuring healthcare and immunization services to pregnant women and children up to 5 years of age.

8. Laqshya Program

8.1. More about the Program

  • ‘LaQshya’ will improve quality of care during delivery and immediate post-partum period thus providing Respectful Maternity Care (RMC) to all pregnant women attending public health facilities. This will reduce maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality.

  • It aims at implementing ‘fast-track’ interventions for achieving tangible results within 18 months.

  • A multi-pronged strategy has been adopted such as improving infrastructure up-gradation, ensuring availability of essential equipment, providing adequate human resources, capacity building of health care workers and improving quality processes in the labour room.

  • It is being implemented at all Medical College Hospitals, District Hospitals and First Referral Unit (FRU), and Community Health Center (CHCs).

  • The Quality Improvement in labour room and maternity OT will be assessed through NQAS (National Quality Assurance Standards).

  • India has come a long way in improving maternal survival as Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has reduced from 301 maternal deaths in 2001-03 to 167 in year 2011-13, an impressive decline of 45% in a decade.

9. SUVIDHA

9.1. Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP)

  • It is a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses through special kendra’s known as Janaaushadhi Kendra.

  • Bureau of Pharma PSU of India

  • It was established in 2008 comprising all the Pharma CPSUs under the Department of Pharmaceuticals.

  • It brings about effective collaboration and cooperation in furthering the working and resources of these organizations.

9.2. About SUVIDHA

  • It is an affordable sanitary napkin launched to ensure ‘Swachhta, Swasthya and Suvidha’ for the underprivileged Women of India.

  • The initiative has been taken by Department of Pharmaceutical and has been manufactured by Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertaking of India.

  • It has been launched on World Women’s Day and is currently available at 3200 Janaushudhi Kendras.

  • Significance – o Accessibility- The move is significant as it will increase accessibility. The recent NFHS (2015-16) data shows that about 4 out of 10 women do not use hygenic method of porotection during menstrual cycle.

  • Disposability- According to Menstrual Health Alliance India data shows that around 13% of menstrual waste is thrown in open spaces such as rivers, lakes etc., 10% waste is disposed in toilets, 9% is burnt and 8% is buried.

  • Menstrual Hygiene- It would also prevent fungal infections, Reproductive Tract Infection, Urinary Tract Infection, Cervical cancer caused by unhygienic protection methods used during menstrual cycle and also make women less vulnerable to infertility.

10. Gender Pay Disparity

Monster Salary Index (MSI), 2018

  • According to it, women in India earn 20% less than men.

  • However, gender pay gap has narrowed by about 5% points from 24.8% in 2016 and there was a marginally inverted pay gap in the experience group of 3-5 years, where women earned more.

  • Recently World Bank report indicated a bias towards men over women in the workplace, both in terms of hiring and salaries offered.

Related Data

  • Globally, the unemployment rate for women stands at 6.2% in 2017, higher than the male unemployment rate of 5.5 per cent.

  • In India there exists: o Low Property right: Women contribute almost 40% of agricultural labour but control only 9% of land.

  • Financial Dependence: Nearly half of the women do not

  • Increase in female enrolment in education: According to some research, one plausible explanation for the recent drop in FLFP is that with the recent expansion of secondary education, as well as rapidly changing social norms in India, more working age young females (15 to 24 years) are opting to continue their education rather than join the labour force early. have a bank or savings accounts for their own use, and 60% of women have no valuable assets to their name o Low Economic Activity: Women’s contribution to the GDP is only 17% while the global average is 37%.

  • International Labour Organisation (ILO) survey in 2017 had ranked India's Female Labour Force Participation (FLFP) rate at 121 out of 131 countries in 2013.

  • Reverse Trend: Between 2004 to 2011 Indian economy grew 7%, however, instead of increase in female participation in the country’s labour force, there was a decline in from over 35% to 25%.

  • India also ranked poorly at 108 on the World Economic Forum’s “Global Gender Gap Report 2017” According to Monster Salary Index,

10.1. Steps taken to close Gender Gap in India

Constitutional

  • Article 39 (d) under DPSP: According to it, the state shall, in particular, direct the policy towards securing that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women.

Judicial

  • Randhir Singh vs. Union of India and Grih Kalyan Kendra vs. Union of India- SC held that the principle of “equal pay for equal work” as a constitutional goal and, therefore, capable of enforcement under article 32 of the constitution.

Legislative

  • Equal Remuneration Act of 1976- aims to provide equal remuneration to men and women workers and to prevent discrimination on the basis of gender in all matters relating to employment and employment opportunities.

  • Maternity Benefit Act was amended in 2017, to increase the duration of maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.

  • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 [SHW ACT]: it was enacted to implement the Vishakha Guidelines and to ensure a safe workplace for woman.

  • Other Steps: Government of India’s MUDRA scheme to support micro and small enterprises and direct benefit transfers under the Jan Dhan Yojana seeks to empower women. Women entrepreneurs account for about 78% of the total number of borrowers under MUDRA.

  • 2018, women in india earn 20% less than men.

10.2 Challenges Faced by working women

  • Legal Restriction: According to a study by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), almost 90% of the 143 economies have at least one important, gender-based legal restriction.

  • Patriarchal attitudes: From NSSO data of 2011, it was found that women from higher castes and higher income families spent less time working outside the house.

  • According to the 2012 “Gender Pay Gap in the Formal Sector” report, pay gap increases with women’s age, work experience, educational qualifications and rise in occupational hierarchy.

  • Biased human capital model in country which focuses on gender differences in skills, education and experience.

  • Workplace insecurity: The rate of crimes against women in India stands at 53.9%

  • Other challenges: Lack of attractive job alternatives and income security, inadequate travel and transport facilities, Societal perception of women who work long hours, lack of crèches facility at workplace etc.

Way Forward

  • Formalization of Workforce to create better job opportunities for women and streamlining labour laws.

  • Skill Development: Vocational and technical training, life skills and financial literacy programmes for women to help them develop marketable skills and better decision-making abilities.

  • Mandating parental leave rather than maternal leave will help women to reintegrate into the workforce after childbearing and allowing men to take on the responsibility of parenthood.

  • Step by Companies: Corporate India need to step up and implement pragmatic policies to bridge the pay gap, change employee perception of a healthy work culture and foster equal opportunities.

11. Gender Vulnerability Index

Why in news

  • Recently, first-ever gender vulnerability index (GVI) was released by Child development NGO Plan India.

Highlight

  • Index is aimed at comprehensively understanding the dimensions of various problems affecting children, particularly girls, in difficult circumstances.

  • It identifies the challenges women face with respect to four parameters — education, health, poverty and protection against violence

  • Index can be used to assist policy makers mark out priorities.

  • The study's dataset was based on 170 indicators for which data is available across all states, including Census 2011.

  • Goa, Kerala and Mizoram are among the top three while Bihar, UP and Delhi are the bottom three states.

12. Nirbhaya Fund

12.1. Nirbhaya Fund

  • It was created after its announcement in 2013 Union Budget with a corpus of 100 crore for empowerment and safety of girl child and women.

  • It is administered by Dept of Economic Affairs.

  • Recently, Government has approved projects worth Rs.2919 crore under Nirbhaya Fund for creating ‘safe cities’

More from news

  • The move is aimed at women safety in public spaces and quick response systems to create deterrence against crime after the recommendations of Empowered Committee.

  • The initiative will take shape in 8 cities namely – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Lucknow.

  • Plans for safe cities have been prepared in accordance and coordination with Municipal and police commissionerates of these cities.

  • The proposals have been approved for a period of three years on a cost sharing basis of 60:40 ratio with states. The plan is to enhance the use of technology for surveillance, training investigation officers and creation of safety islands in vulnerable places.

13. World Happiness Report 2018

13.1 United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network

  • It has been operating since 2012 under UN Secretary-General.

  • It mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of SDG and the Paris Climate Agreement.

13.2  About World Happiness Report, 2018

  • It is an annual publication which ranks countries based on their level of happiness.

  • This is the sixth edition of World Happiness Report while the first report was released in 2012. The report ranks 156 countries by happiness level and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants.

  • Key variables of well-being are - GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom,

  • India has been ranked low at 133rd position highlighted by low scores on generosity, perception on corruption, freedom to make life choices, life expectancy etc.

  • It lagged far behind neighbouring countries such as China (86th), Pakistan (75th) and Nepal (101st) and behind all the SAARC nations. generosity, and absence of corruption.

  • The main focus of this year’s survey apart from the above-mentioned variables is migrations within and between countries.

13.3 Key Findings of the Report

  • Finland has topped the report replacing Norway followed by Denmark. Burundi is the unhappiest country preceded b Central African Republic.

  • Ten happiest countries are also top eleven spots of happy immigrants.

  • The countries with the happiest immigrants are not the richest countries instead the countries with a more balanced set of social and institutional support for better lives.

March Indian Society and Issues

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