top of page

1. ‘Dubai Declaration’ Adopted To Measure Progress Of Sdgs

1.1. UN World Data Forum

  • It was created after recommendation of a report titled ‘A World That Counts’ by UN Statistical Commission.

  • The first United Nations World Data Forum was hosted from 15 to 18 January 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa.

  • The second UN World Data Forum was hosted from 22 to 24 October 2018 in Dubai, UAE.

  • It is meant for intensifying cooperation between professional groups (IT Experts, Geospatial Information Managers, Data Scientists etc. as well as civil society stakeholders.

  • In India the review process is led by NITI Aayog, Research and Information system, a think tank attached with Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. They prepare the Voluntary National Review (VRN) Report.

1.2. About the Declaration

  • It is hard to measure the actual progress of the SDGs due to lack of data for two-thirds of the indicators. Only 0.3% of aid goes to the development of statistical systems.

  • Recognizing this, Dubai Declaration was adopted which detailed measures to boost funding for data and statistical analysis for monitoring and speeding up progress towards the 2030 SDGs.

  • Aimed towards mobilizing domestic and international funds and activating more effective data partnerships, this Declaration supports the implementation of the Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable

  • Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data • Informally launched at the 1st UN World Data Forum and was adopted by the UN Statistical Commission in March 2017

  • Intended to provide a framework for discussion on, and planning and implementation of statistical capacity building necessary to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

  • Six strategic areas:

  • Coordination and strategic leadership on data for sustainable development;

  • Innovation and modernization of national statistical systems;

  • Strengthening of basic statistical activities and programmes;

  • Data dissemination and use;

  • Multi-stakeholder partnerships;

  • Resource mobilization and coordination.

1.3. Development Data.


  • To fully implement and monitor progress on the SDGs, decision makers need data and statistics that are accurate, timely, sufficiently disaggregated, relevant, accessible and easy to use.

  • However, despite the significance there remain several challenges to the process like, the Review mechanism under the 2030 Agenda is voluntary, non-binding and country driven. There is apprehension that if at all countries take up the job, they might inflate their achievements of SDG target to project a positive image or gain in internal politics.

  • Despite the improvements in data collection, statistical capacity still needs strengthening and data literacy must be enhanced at all levels of decision-making. This will require coordinated efforts on the part of data producers and users from multiple data systems.

  • Dubai Declaration may be seen as yet another stepping stone towards the efforts needed in the direction.

2. Global Wage Report

2.1. About Global Wage Report

  • Global Wage Report (GWR) is an annual publication of ILO which focuses on different aspects of labour wages and its impact on equitable growth and social justice.

  • By providing reliable data, GWR assists member countries in drafting wage policies and assessing the impact of those policies

2.2. Findings of Global Wage Report 2018-19

International Labor Organization

  • ILO was founded in 1919 as an agency of League of Nations and is now the labor agency of United Nations.

  • It promotes social justice through overseeing international labour standards.

  • India has ratified 45 ILO conventions like Minimum Age Convention and Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention.

  • ILO also publishes World Employment and Social Outlook Report

  • Real global wage growth in 2017 (1.8%) fell to its lowest growth rate since 2008, despite recovery in economic growth and the gradual reduction in unemployment.

  • Real wage growth has been especially low in developed G20 countries (0.4%). India has the highest average real wage growth (5.5%) in South Asia in 2008-17.

  • Wage Inequality: High income countries have lower wage inequality than low and mid income countries. E.g. Sweden has the lowest wage inequality.

Gender pay gap:

  • Provisions for Equal Pay

  • United Nations SDG-8 aims to achieve “equal pay for work of equal value” by 2030.

  • Article 39 of constitution (DPSP) envisages equal pay for equal work.

  • Specific laws include Equal Remuneration Act, 1976, Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, Factories Act, 1948.

  • Globally, women are paid 20% less than men.

  • Moreover, gender pay gap is wider at the high end of the pay scale in high-income countries, while in low and middle-income-countries the gender pay gap is higher among lower paid workers.

  • Women and Men also differ in terms of Working Time – part time work is more prevalent among women than among men.

  • On average, education and other labour market attributes explain relatively little of the gender pay gap, leaving the only possible explanation as undervaluation of women’s work.

  • Motherhood brings about a wage penalty. Motherhood pay gap (between women who are mothers and women who are not mothers) ranges from 1% in Canada to 30% in Turkey.

2.3. Indian scenario

  • India and Pakistan had the highest gender pay gap (difference between hourly wages of men and women).

  • India has one of the highest Gender Pay Gap of 34%. This pay gap is due o Occupational segregation,

  • Cultural barriers (including less education opportunities available to women)

  • Unpaid household work done by women.

  • Low levels of wages in India can become an obstacle to sustainable economic growth as consumption demand cannot increase with low wages. The reasons of low wages can be: o The low wage growth in absolute terms despite recovering economic growth is attributed to economic growth being led higher investment spending, rather than by private consumption.

  • Slow productivity growth due to lack of skills/education.

  • Intensification of global competition and globalization leading to increased mobility of low skilled labour and the decline in the bargaining power of workers.

Way Forward

  • Gender Pay Gap is more of a social issue, accelerating progress towards eliminating it will require: o Political commitment and social transformation leading to shifting social norms and eliminating gender stereotypes.

  • A well designed minimum wage with broad legal coverage could reduce the gender pay gap at lower wage levels, greater representation of women in senior and highly paid positions could have a positive effect at the top levels.

  • Reducing occupational segregation of women (such as nurses) is required. E.g. to attract more women into the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), which offer better paid employment opportunities.

  • Promoting equitable sharing of family duties between women and men and programmes supporting women’s return to work after childbirth, as well as providing childcare and eldercare services will help in reducing Motherhood Pay Gap.

  • To improve the Wage growth rate: o Although India is among the fastest growing major economy in terms of wage growth, but the average base salary is at much lower levels. India should invest in social infrastructure to reap the demographic dividend.

  • Formalization of informal economy in India and other developing countries.

  • Better skill development and vocational trainings to improve wage growth at lower paying jobs and reduce the gap between high and low paying jobs.

3. The Global Nutrition Report

3.1. Other Important News Highlight

  • Three mains issues that need to be addressed

  • Micronutrient deficiencies are estimated to impact a significant number of people around the world, but there remains

  • Seven priority actions for improving adolescent girl nutrition • Engage and partner with adolescents in the design and implementation of research, policies, programmes, regulations and guidelines.

  • Assess how nutrition policies and regulations shape the food environment and influence adolescent nutrition and diet quality.

  • Develop and use standardised indicators for assessing adolescent health.

  • Ensuring inclusion of adolescents in national surveys, population sampling and routine programme monitored data.

  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative research to understand the underlying determinants of malnutrition and the context-specific factors affecting adolescents’ food choices, diet and eating practices, physical activity and social and emotional well-being.

  • Design implementation research to improve programme delivery, use, cost effectiveness and scale.

  • Conduct rigorous evaluations of interventions to assess their impact. far too little information on micronutrient status and deficiencies.

  • Fragility, conflict and violence put a heavy toll on populations’ health, livelihoods, food security and nutrition.

  • The amount of attention being paid to adolescents as a nutritionally vulnerable group with unique nutritional needs in the life cycle is growing, but they are still frequently overlooked.

3.2. India specific findings

The Global Nutrition Report

  • It came into existence “following the first Nutrition for Growth Initiative Summit (N4G) in 2013 as a mechanism for tracking the commitments made by 100 stakeholders spanning governments, aid donors, civil society, the UN and businesses.

  • It acts as a report card on the world’s nutrition—globally, regionally, and country by country—and on efforts to improve it.

  • India is facing a major malnutrition crisis as it is the country with the highest number of ‘stunted’ children in the world. Out of the total 150.8 million children in the world who are stunted, India is home to 46.6 million, followed by Nigeria (13.9 million) and Pakistan (10.7 million).

  • India is also the country with the highest number of children who are ‘wasted’ (low weight for height, indicating severe weight loss), an even more severe indicator of acute malnutrition. o India has half of the global wasting burden (25.5 million children — out of the 50.5 million children who are wasted globally) followed by Nigeria, and Indonesia.

  • India is also among the countries with more than a million children who are overweight.

  • As for the nutrition status of children and adolescents aged between five and19 years, 58.1 per cent of boys were underweight while 50.1 per cent girls were underweight. This difference between the genders can likely be attributed to India’s adverse sex ratio in the first place.

  • As for the rural-urban divide, 40.7 per cent of children under five years of age were stunted in rural India while 30.6 per cent of children were stunted in urban India, while 21.1 per cent children aged under five were wasted in rural areas and 19.9 per cent were wasted in urban areas.

4. Unesco Global Education Monitoring Report 2019

4.1. Current scenario

  • India is home to some of the world’s largest internal population movements alongside China.

  • Children of seasonal workers are often denied their right to education. About 80% of temporary migrant children in seven Indian cities lacked access to education near work sites.

  • Among youth aged 15 to 19 who have grown up in a rural household with a seasonal migrant, 28% identified as illiterate or had an incomplete primary education.

  • In the period between 2001 and 2011, inter-state migration rates doubled in India and an estimated 9 million migrated between States annually from 2011 to 2016.


Relationship between education and migration/displacement

Government initiatives for welfare of migrant children

  • The Right to Education Act in 2009 made it mandatory for local authorities to admit migrant children.

  • National-level guidelines were issued, allowing for flexible admission of children, providing transport and volunteers to support with mobile education, create seasonal hostels and aiming to improve coordination between sending and receiving districts and states.

  • Gujarat introduced seasonal boarding schools to provide migrant children with education and collaborated with non-government organizations (NGOs) to begin online tracking of the children on the move.

  • Tamil Nadu provides textbooks in other languages to migrant children.

  • Odisha assumed responsibility of seasonal hostels run by NGOs and works with Andhra Pradesh to improve migrant well-being.

4.2. Challenges

  • Most interventions are focused on keeping children in home communities instead of actively addressing the challenges faced by those who are already on the move.

  • The report sees the growth of slums and informal settlements where schools are often scarce — due to migration as a challenge. o “18% of the students displaced by a riverfront project in Ahmedabad dropped out and an additional 11% had lower attendance.

  • There is only one urban planner for every 1,00,000 people in India, while there are 38 for every 1, 00,000 in the United Kingdom.

  • The degree and evolution of refugee inclusion in national education vary across displacement contexts, affected by geography, history, resources and capacity.


Migration and displacement require education systems to accommodate the needs of those who move and those left behind. Countries need to recognize migrants’ and refugees’ right to education in law and fulfil this right in practice. They need to tailor education for those cramming into slums, living nomadically or awaiting refugee status. Education systems need to be inclusive and fulfil the commitment to equity. Teachers need to be prepared to deal with diversity and the traumas associated with migration and, especially, displacement.

5. Intensified Mission Indradhanush


  • In India, five lakh children die every year due to vaccine-preventable diseases; 95 lakh are at risk because they are unimmunised or partially immunised. But immunization coverage had slowed down and it increased at the rate of 1% per year between 2009 and 2013.

  • To accelerate this coverage Mission Indradhanush was envisaged and implemented since 2015 to rapidly increase the full immunization coverage to 90%.

5.1. About Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI)

  • It has been launched by the Government of India to reach each and every child under two years of age and all those pregnant women who have been left uncovered under the routine immunisation programme.

  • The special drive will focus on improving immunization coverage in select districts and cities to ensure full immunization to more than 90% by December 2018.

  • It targets to immunize all children against seven vaccine preventable diseases namely Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Childhood Tuberculosis, Polio, Hepatitis B and Measles. In addition to this, vaccines for Japanese Encephalitis, Haemophilus influenza type B, inactivated polio vaccine, Rotavirus vaccine and Measles Rubella vaccine are also being provided in selected states.

  • It will have inter-ministerial and inter-departmental coordination, action-based review mechanism and intensified monitoring and accountability framework for effective implementation of targeted rapid interventions to improve the routine immunization coverage.

  • It would be closely monitored at the district, state and central level at regular intervals. Further, it would be reviewed by the Cabinet Secretary at the National level and will continue to be monitored at the highest level under a special initiative ‘Proactive Governance and Timely Implementation (PRAGATI)’.

  • The first two phases of Mission Indradhanush contributed to an increase in Full Immunization Coverage by 6.7%. This increase, however, would not be sufficient to achieve full Immunization Coverage of more than 90% of new-borns by 2020 as aimed under Mission Indradhanush which would need a supplemental aggressive action plan to cover all left outs and drop outs in select districts and urban cities with low routine immunization coverage in a specific time-frame.

5.2. Challenges to immunization

  • Limited capacities of staff (vacant positions and lack of training), particularly in poor-performing states and at the field level, and gaps in key areas such as predicting demand, logistics and cold chain management, which result in high wastage rates.

  • India lacks a robust system to track vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccination coverage varies considerably from state to state, with the lowest rates in India’s large central states.

  • Other challenges includes- o Lack of adequate health infrastructure and insufficient government investment;

  • Low demand caused by poor education of the population and presence of anti-vaccine advocates.

  • Parents' lack of awareness of the immunisation benefits, schedules and locations.

  • Inconvenient timings of vaccination for many people (during working hours).

  • Poor community participation.

Way forward

  • Strengthening of health management information systems, including data recording and registration systems, called Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS).

  • The linking of already available systems with the unique identification like Aadhaar can facilitate tracking of the beneficiaries.

  • Furthermore, development of universal health cards and electronic record maintenance for maternal and child health care is highly desirable. This can facilitate care seeking by the migrant population in urban areas and can be used to decide resource allocations.

  • Devoting greater financial resources towards immunisation coverage with concerted efforts to improve social mobilisation for immunisation is warranted.

  • Strengthening a network of community health workers in urban and peri-urban areas to contribute towards progress in immunisation coverage by reaching out to both slum as well as non-slum populations is of utmost priority.

  • Facilitating improvement in knowledge and awareness regarding child immunisation can be intensified with the use of mass media, interpersonal communication, school and youth networks.

  • Reaching out to communities and areas with poor immunisation coverage with well-articulated strategies for community awareness will be key to success.

6. Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups In Andaman And Nicobar

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)

  • PVTG (earlier Primitive Tribal Groups) was the category with in Scheduled Tribes created on recommendation of Dhebar commission.

  • Presently there are 75 tribal groups categorized by Ministry of Home Affairs as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG)s.

  • PVTGs reside in 18 States and UT of A&N Islands.

6.1. More on news

  • Due to security reasons, certain areas have been declared as Protected Area/Restricted Areas where no foreigner can enter or stay without obtaining permit from the competent authorities.

  • Under the Foreigners (Restricted) Areas Order, 1963, parts of Sikkim and entire Andaman & Nicobar Islands have been declared as `Restricted’ Areas.

  • Under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order, 1958, all areas falling between the ‘Inner line’ and the International Border of the State have been declared as ‘Protected Areas’.

  • Currently Protected Areas are located in- all of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, parts of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.

  • The North Sentinel island is one of 29 islands for which government had relaxed the RAP in order to promote tourism and boost employment opportunities.

Tribes of Andaman & Nicobar

  • There are 6 aboriginal tribes in Andaman & Nicobar islands belonging to two broad groups of Negrito and Mongoloid. Except Nicobarese (Mongoloid), the rest 5 are recognizes as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) i.e. Sentinelese (Negrito), Great Andamanese (Negrito), Ongs (Negrito), Jarawas (Negrito) and Shom Pens (Mongoloid).

  • Sentinelese: They the only remaining tribe in the Andamans to still maintain their isolation from the rest of the world and live like hunter gatherers. 

  • They are connected to the Jarawa on the basis of physical, as well as linguistic similarities.

  • Both Sentinelese men and women do not wear cloths.

  • Great Andamanese: The great Andamanese is a collective term used for 10 different tribes that lived in most of the large islands in the Andaman.

  • They are also known for their brave History where they fought with bows and arrows with the English men who tried to occupy their land (The Battle of Aberdeen).

  • Today most tribes are extinct and their cultural and linguistic identities largely been lost. (e.g. their members now speak mostly Hindi).

  • Jarawa: Jarawas continue to be hunting and gathering nomadic tribe and are often hostile to outsiders. o Men fish with bows and arrows in the coastal waters while women catch fish with basket.

  • Onge: They are hunting and gathering tribe settled at Dugong Creek and South Bay on Little Andaman Island.

  • Shompen: The Shompens are primarily hunter-gatherers and also practise a little bit of horticulture and pig rearing.

  • Nicobarese: They are largest of tribes and are primarily horticulturalists.

6.2. Issues Being Faced By The Tribals

  • Issues with attempt to "civilise them": These tribes have faced social disintegration among them with cultural erosion in the wake of contacts.

  • Diseases: Some expeditions to establish contact with these tribes have led to spread contagious diseases among them.

  • Disasters: The islands inhabitated by these tribes are often faced with natural disasters such as the Tsunami of 2004. Also, global warming has been putting pressure on these areas.

  • Unsustainable and exploitative tourist influx in the region has led to serious problems for these tribes and for the region too. Outsiders coming mainly from Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have outnumbered these tribes.

  • Loss of food: Loss of forests, overfishing, etc. has diminished their food sources.



  • Protect Cultural Heritage: Extensive efforts must be made to ensure that their customs, languages, religious practises etc. are not lost as a result of outside influence. o The ANTRI (Andaman and Nicobar Tribal Research and Training Institute) has been set up with an objective of formulation of policies for tribal integration and protection of PVTGs

  • Prevent Forced contact: It is important that security apparatus is stepped up and the region is properly policed and protected from any outsiders—fishermen, tourists or evangelicals. o The A&N (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation, 1956 provides protection to the aboriginal tribes by declaring their traditional areas as reserves and prohibited entry of all persons except those with authorisation.

  • With regard to Sentinelese tribes, the A&N Administration has adopted an ‘eyes-on and hands-off’ policy to ensure that no poachers enter into the island.

  • Provide Basic Social Services: Health Services, Basic education, etc. must be provided to the tribes that are being assimilated in the mainstream. Specific issues like natural disasters, endemic diseases such as anaemia, etc. must also be attended to.

  • The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is implementing the “Development of PVTGs” scheme which covers the 75 identified PVTGs among Scheduled Tribes in various states/UTs.

  • Promote sustainable Economic activities:

  • Development of cottage industries, plantations crops (e.g. coconut), fishing, animal husbandry etc. are some viable economic options given the fact that there is not much scope for agriculture.

  • Sustainable tourism activities like adventure sports, deep sea diving, etc can be promoted without putting the tribes at danger form outsider contact.

  • Tackling ecological Issues such afforestation, coral bleaching, sewage discharge,etc should also be of high priority.

November Indian Society and Issues

bottom of page