GS PAPER – II
Why in news?
- A parliamentary panel has recommended ankle trackers or bracelets on prison inmates to reduce overcrowding in prisons.
- The Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs, said that technology can be explored to produce cost-effective bracelets or anklet trackers that can be worn by the prisoners who have procured bail and are out of prison on bail.
- The committee in its meeting was informed about the initiative by the Odisha government.
- At the same time, it must be ensured that to avoid any kind of human rights violation, this scheme or method should be used on a voluntary basis after procuring the consent of inmates.
- The panel noted that overcrowding and delayed justice has become a pressing concern, leading to a series of consequences for both the prisoners and the criminal justice system as a whole.
- It recommended that prisoners from overcrowded jails may be transferred to other jails with vacant cells in the same State or other States.
- The panel noted that many State Prisons Departments had no jammers installed or they were capable of blocking only 2G and 3G network signals. The committee was informed that mobile phones are one of the major contraband articles that is most frequently smuggled into the prisons.
About Indian prisons
- The management and administration of Prisons falls exclusively in the domain of the State Governments, and is governed by the Prisons Act, 1894 and the Prison Manuals of the respective State Governments.
- Prisons in the country are overcrowded with an estimated occupancy rate of over 130 per cent.
- It said mostly bail is denied on three counts — the undertrial prisoner may influence or intimidate the witness or will try to leave the country or commit another crime.
- According to the prison statistics published by the National Crime Record Bureau for 2021, there are 1,319 prisons in India, with a total capacity of 4,25,609 prisoners. The actual inmates are 5,54,034 which shows that the occupancy capacity rate is 130.2%.
- Of the total inmates, the number of undertrial prisoners is 4,27,165 and the number of convicted prisoners is 1,22,852.
- The occupancy of women prisoners has been increased and the prisons are understaffed by approximately 30% of the required strength.
- The governments of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh said that there are a few colonial-era jails in the country which are more than 100 years old and are in a dilapidated condition.
GS PAPER – I
Why in news?
- Bharatanatyam dancer Saroja Vaidyanathan died at her residence, just two days after she turned 86. She was battling cancer for some time now.
About Saroja Vaidyanathan
- The classical dancer was given the Padma Shri in 2002 and the Padma Bhushan in 2013.
- Ms. Saroja Vaidyanathan was known for her extensive contribution to Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music in the form of 10 full-length ballets and nearly 2,000 choreographies.
- She left a 50-year-old legacy behind in the form of Ganesa Natyalaya, a classical dance school in the national capital.
- Minister of Culture G. Kishan Reddy took to X to pay condolences on Ms. Saroja Vaidyanathan’s demise. Bharatanatyam dancer and Rajya Sabha member Sonal Mansingh also remembered Ms. Saroja Vaidyanathan for her “immense contribution to the dance world”.
GS PAPER – II
Why in news?
- While the Women’s Reservation Bill has been passed in Parliament, a look at the representation of women in the Karnataka Assembly over the years shows a bleak picture.
State of women representation in India
- At 4.5% of the total strength of Assembly, Karnataka’s share of women representation is the sixth lowest in the country.
- In fact, it is the lowest among the southern States’ share of MLAs in their Legislative Assemblies. While Andhra Pradesh has 8%, Kerala follows with 7.9%.
- The share of Tamil Nadu and Telangana is almost the same at 5.1% and 5%, respectively, according to data.
- Women representation appeared to have been far better in the first two elections in 1957 and 1962, with 13 and 18 elected, respectively.
- Women representation remained in the single digit since 1967, except in 1989, 2018, and 2023 when 10 women were elected each.
- Currently, of the 10 in the Assembly, three are from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), four from Congress, two from the JD(S), and one fought as an Independent.
Rise in women voters
- However, the number of women voters has gone up significantly. From 55.13 lakh in 1962, the number of women voters touched 2.63 crore this year.
- The total number of women voters have outnumbered men voters in at least 17 electoral divisions out of the 34 in the State this year.
- On the other hand, while a total of 1,297 women have contested polls from 1967 till 2023, a mere 110 (8.48%) have won.
- Of these, 74 are from the Congress (the highest), 19 are from Janata Parivar (Janata party, Janata Dal, Janata Dal (Secular), and JD-U), and 13 from the BJP.
- Although the number of women contestants has been on the rise over the years, former women elected representatives said the number of candidates fielded by various parties is still not in proportion to the rise in the number of women voters.
Trend in Political parties
- In 2018, of the 219 women contestants only 36 were from major political parties (the Congress had fielded 15 women while the BJP and the Janata Dal (Secular) had given seats to five and six women, respectively).
- The remaining were from smaller parties and Independents. This time, 12 were from the BJP, Congress nominated 11, and the JD(S) 13.
- The highest number of women (17) were nominated by the Aam Aadmi Party, even though they failed to make any mark in the Assembly elections. The rest were Independents.
GS PAPER: II
WHO Report on Hypertension: The Silent Killer
Why in the news?
Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report highlighting the devastating consequences of hypertension.
- High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is often referred to as the “silent killer.”
- Hypertension can lead to severe health complications such as strokes, heart attacks, kidney damage, and heart failure.
- Causes of high blood pressure: Unhealthy lifestyle choices (e.g., diet, exercise, smoking), medical conditions (e.g., kidney disease, diabetes), pregnancy, and family history.
Key Findings of the Report:
- Hypertension affects one in three adults worldwide, making it a significant global health concern.
- The number of people living with hypertension has doubled from 650 million in 1990 to 1.3 billion in 2019.
Hypertension in India:
- Recent research in India reveals a growing prevalence of hypertension, particularly among younger adults and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
- Lack of awareness and limited access to healthcare services contribute to undiagnosed cases.
- Only about 22.5% of people with high blood pressure in India have it under control.
- Hypertension is a global health concern with severe consequences if left untreated.
- The WHO report sheds light on the need for increased awareness, improved access to healthcare services, and lifestyle modifications to effectively manage hypertension.
GS PAPER – I
Paryushan Parv, A Jain Festival
Why in news?
Recently, the Paryushan 2023, a significant festival for the Jain community was celebrated.
- Through fasting, meditation, and ritualistic purification, it is a period for spiritual development.
- Devotees attend lectures, engage in nonviolent behaviour, and ask for pardon for their transgressions through svadhyaya or Self Study.
- The event is thought to have started in the sixth century BC, when Mahavira, a Jain leader, preached to his followers about renunciating violence and concentrating on spiritual purity.
- Digambars and Shvetambara both,observe the rite over a 10-day period. In the midst of the rainy season, it occurs.
GS PAPER – II
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Growing Problem in Indian Women
Why in news?
PCOS is a growing problem among young women in India. Recent research suggests that academic pressure may be a contributing factor.
About Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS):
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects up to 1 in 5 Indian women.
- It is characterized by irregular menstrual cycles, excess hair growth, and acne. PCOS can also lead to serious health complications, such as diabetes, heart disease, and infertility.
Academic Pressure and PCOS
- Academic pressure is a major source of stress for students in India.
- Studies have shown that there is a clear link between stress and PCOS.
When stressed, the body releases the hormone cortisol. Cortisol can disrupt the menstrual cycle and increase androgen levels, both of which are hallmarks of PCOS.
Impact of PCOS on Young Women
PCOS can have a significant impact on the lives of young women. It can lead to a number of physical and emotional problems, including Irregular menstrual cycles, Acne, Hormonal Imbalance etc.
There are a number of things that can be done to address the issue of PCOS and academic pressure in India. These include:
- Reducing academic pressure: Schools and parents can work together to reduce academic pressure on students. This can be done by creating a more supportive and less competitive learning environment.
- Promoting physical activity: Schools and parents can also work together to promote physical activity among students. This can be done by ensuring that students have access to physical education classes and by encouraging them to participate in extracurricular activities.
- Teaching stress management skills: Schools can teach students stress management skills to help them cope with the pressures of academic life. This can help to reduce the risk of developing PCOS and other stress-related health problems.
PCOS is a serious health problem that affects many young women in India. Academic pressure is a likely contributing factor. By reducing academic pressure, promoting physical activity, and teaching stress management skills, we can help to reduce the risk of PCOS and other health problems among young women.
GS PAPER – II
SHREYAS Scheme : Completed Nine Years
Why in news?
Recently, the SHREYAS Scheme have completed Nine Years and over 2300 crore rupees allocated for the education of SC and OBC students since 2014.
About the SHREYAS Scheme:
The SHREYAS Scheme is an umbrella scheme of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, that comprises four central sector sub-schemes:
- Free Coaching Scheme for SCs and OBCs: The Free Coaching Scheme for SCs and OBCs provides free coaching to economically disadvantaged SC and OBC students to enable them to appear in competitive and entrance examinations for obtaining appropriate jobs in Public/Private Sector as well as for securing admission in reputed technical and professional higher education institutions.
- Top Class Education for SCs: The scheme is open to SC students with an annual family income of up to Rs. 8 lakhs.
- National Overseas Scheme for SCs: The National Overseas Scheme for SCs provides financial assistance to SC students to pursue masters and Ph.D. level courses abroad. The scheme covers the total tuition fee, maintenance and contingency allowance, visa fee, to and fro air passage, etc.
- National Fellowship for SC Students: The National Fellowship for SC Students provides fellowship to SC students for pursuing higher education leading to M.Phil/ Ph.D degrees in Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences in Indian Universities/Institutions/ Colleges recognized by University Grants Commission (UGC).
The scheme aims to provide financial assistance and other support to Scheduled Caste (SC) students to pursue higher education. It is one of the largest scholarship schemes in the world, benefiting over 20,000 students annually.