National Commission for Women (NCW) issues advisory to ensure safety of women in educational institutions
Why in News?
National Commission for Women has issued an advisory to the Chief Secretaries of all the States and Union Territories to ensure the safety of women in educational institutions.
Advise to institutes/educational institutions
- The National Commission for Women has issued an advisory to Chief Secretaries of all the States and Union Territories to direct all the coaching and educational institutions to:
- Ensure strict implementation of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (also referred to as POSH Act).
- Conduct awareness programmes for better reporting of cases.
- Conduct a background check on those responsible for running coaching centres.
Protection of women from Sexual Harassment Act, 2013
- Protection of women from Sexual Harassment (PoSH) Act was enacted for making work places safer for women by preventing, prohibiting and redressing acts of sexual harassment against them in the workplace.
- Act is based on Vishaka guidelines laid down by Supreme Court in 1997.
Features of PoSH Act
- Defines sexual harassment at workplace and creates a mechanism for redressal of complaints.
- Wide definition of aggrieved woman to cover all women, irrespective of their age or employment status and whether in organized or unorganized sectors, public or private, and covers clients, customers and domestic workers as well.
- An internal complaints committee (ICC) is mandatory in every private or public organization that has 10 or more ‘employees.
- District Officer to constitute Local Committee to receive complaints from organizations with less than 10 workers or if complaint is against the employer itself.
GS PAPER II NEWS
Why in News?
A new initiative of sustainable shrimp cultivation provides hope for mangrove restoration in Sundarbans.
About SAIME Initiative
- Under the initiative, Sustainable Aquaculture in Mangrove Ecosystem (SAIME), farmers have taken up cultivation of shrimp at 20 hectares at Chaital in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas, and 10 hectares at Madhabpur in adjoining South 24 Parganas.
- However, they are doing their part in restoring the mangroves as well.
- NGOs Naturland, Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS), Global Nature Fund (GNF), and Nature Environment and Wildlife Society (NEWS) are spearheading the community-based effort of sustainable shrimp cultivation, which was launched in 2019.
- Shrimp farming and the mangrove ecology are integrated, but when fisheries were expanded inward, the mangrove ecosystem was excluded.
- In the Sundarbans, a complex system of rivers and low-lying islands that experience a tide surge twice a day, fishing, particularly shrimp farming, is one of the main livelihoods of the locals.
- About 15,000 to 20,000 hectares of India’s unique ecology are used for shrimp farming.
Significance of the Sundarbans Delta
- The Sundarbans, lying on the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna river deltas on the Bay of Bengal, are home to the biggest mangrove forests in the world.
- The mangrove ecosystem is a highly specialized environment that can be found in tropical and subtropical areas between the land and the sea.
- Many animal species have their natural abode in the Sundarbans, where a large number of species have been observed to feed, breed, and take shelter.
- It is home to numerous rare and endangered wildlife species such as the estuarine crocodile, water monitor lizard, Gangetic dolphin and olive ridley turtle.
- India and Bangladesh each have 40% of the Sundarbans. In India, Sundarbans was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.
- In January 2019, India’s Sundarbans Wetland received Ramsar Convention recognition as a “Wetland of International Importance”.
GS PAPER III NEWS
Nilgiri Tahr Conservation Project
Why in News?
The Tamil Nadu government launched an initiative for the conservation of the Nilgiri Tahr which is the State animal of Tamil Nadu.
- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Status: Endangered
- Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I
- The Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius) is an ungulate that is endemic to the Nilgiri Hills and the southern portion of the Western and Eastern Ghats in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in southern India.
- It is the state animal of Tamil Nadu. Despite its local name, it is more closely related to the sheep of the genus Ovis than the ibex and wild goats of the genus Capra. It is the only species in the genus Nilgiritragus.
- The Nilgiri tahr can be found only in India. It inhabits the open montane grassland habitat of the South Western Ghats montane rain forests ecoregion.
- At elevations from 1,200 to 2,600 m (3,900 to 8,500 ft), the forests open into large grasslands interspersed with pockets of stunted forests, locally known as sholas.
- It is estimated that there are 3,122 Nilgiri Tahrs in the wild. It has become locally extinct in around 14% of its traditional shola forest-grassland habitat.
- The majority of this Tahr’s population resides in Eravikulam National Park.
About Nilgiri Tahr Conservation Project
- Under The Nilgiri Tahr project, the government plans to develop a better understanding of the Nilgiri Tahr population through
- Surveys and radio telemetry studies;
- Reintroduce the Tahrs to their historical habitat;
- Address proximate threats;
- Increase public awareness of the species.
- The project is to be implemented from 2022 to 2027.
- Furthermore, October 7 will be celebrated as ‘Niligiri Tahr Day’ in honour of E.R.C. Davidar, who was responsible for pioneering one of the first studies of the species in 1975.
Historic Significance of Nilgiri Tahr
- There are multiple references to the Nilgiri Tahr in Tamil Sangam literature dating back to 2,000 years.
- The late Mesolithic (10,000-4,000 BC) paintings highlight the significance of the Tahr in folklore, culture and life.
- It was designated as the State animal in recognition of its ecological and cultural significance.
GS PAPER III NEWS
No rhinos poached in Assam in 2022
Why in News?
Assam Chief Minister announced on that no rhinos were poached in the state in 2022.
- The Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) is found only in the Brahmaputra valley, parts of North Bengal, and parts of southern Nepal.
- It has a single black horn that can grow up to 60 cm, and a tough, grey-brown hide with skin folds, which gives the animal its characteristic armour-plated look.
- The Indian rhino is listed as vulnerable (better than endangered, worse than near threatened) in the IUCN Red List; it was earlier placed in the endangered category.
- The WWF says the “recovery of the greater one-horned rhino is among the greatest conservation success stories in Asia”.
- Rhinos have been poached for their horn, which is prized in some cultures.
- An Assam Forest Department release in 2021 said “ground rhino horn is used in traditional Chinese medicine to cure a range of ailments, from cancer to hangovers, and also as an aphrodisiac.
- In Vietnam, a rhino horn is considered a status symbol. Due to demand in these countries, poaching pressure on rhinos is ever persistent against which one cannot let the guard down.
- According to the WWF, there are around 3,700 Indian rhinos in the wild today.
- Assam’s Kaziranga National Park (KNP) alone has 2,613 animals, according to a census carried out in March 2022.
- There are more than 250 other rhinos in the Orang, Pobitora, and Manas parks.
- In 2019, the Assam government constituted a Special Rhino Protection Force to keep a check on rhino poaching and related activities at Kaziranga National Park (KNP).
- World Rhino Day is celebrated on September 22 every year! This special day provides the opportunity for cause-related organizations, NGOs, zoos, and members of the public to celebrate rhinos in their own unique ways.
GS PAPER III NEWS
Systemically important banks
Why in News?
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank continue to remain Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs).
What are Systemically Important Banks?
- SIBs are perceived as ones that are ‘Too Big To Fail’ and their continued functioning is critical for the uninterrupted availability of essential banking services to the real economy.
- After the financial crisis of 2008, when numerous systematically important banks collapsed across several areas, the system of D-SIBs was implemented.
- A failure of one of these banks might result in a substantial and systemic disruption of the nation’s vital economic services and a financial panic.
- Because of their significance, the government is expected to save major banks during economic downturns to avoid broader damage.
- Regarding systemic hazards and moral hazard issues, D-SIBs adhere to a different set of rules.
Types of Systemically Important Banks
Two categories of SIBs exist:
- Global SIBs: They are recognized by BCBS (BASEL Committee on Banking Supervision).
- Domestic SIBs: The country’s Central Bank declares them.
How are D-SIBs determined?
- The list of all D-SIBs has been released by the RBI every year since 2015.
- They are divided into five groups based on how significant they are to the overall economy.
- A bank must have assets that are greater than 2 percent of the country’s GDP in order to be included on the D-SIB list.
- The importance of the banks in each of the five buckets is then further categorised.
- The first bucket includes ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank, the third bucket includes SBI, and the fifth bucket has the most significant D-SIBs.
What regulations must these banks abide by?
- The banks are required to hold a higher proportion of risk-weighted assets as tier-I equity due to their economic and societal importance.
- SBI must maintain Additional Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) at 0.60 percent of its Risk-Weighted Assets due to its placement in bucket three of D-SIBs (RWAs).
- On the other hand, due to their membership in one of the D-SIBs, ICICI and HDFC must continue to hold Additional CET1 at 0.20 percent of their RWA.