Daily Current Affairs for 7th July 2021

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Dowry System in India

Why in News

Recent study of World Bank found that, dowry payments in India’s villages have been largely stable over the past few decades.

Key Points

  • Researchers looked at 40,000 marriages that took place in rural India between 1960 and 2008.
  • They found that dowry was paid in 95% of the marriages even though it’s been illegal in India since 1961.
  • The practice, often described as a social evil, continues to thrive and leaves women vulnerable to domestic violence and even death.
  • Paying and accepting dowry is a centuries-old tradition in South Asia where the bride’s parents gift cash, clothes and jewellery to the groom’s family.
  • The study was based on dowry data from 17 Indian states that contain 96% of India’s population. It focussed on rural India since a majority of Indians continue to live in villages.
  • They found the average net dowry had been “remarkably stable” over time, with some inflation before 1975 and after 2000.
  • And the researchers found that a groom’s family spends on average about 5,000 rupees ($67; £48) in real terms in gifts to the bride’s family.
  • The gifts from the bride’s family, unsurprisingly, cost seven times more at about 32,000 rupees ($429). This implied an average real net dowry of 27,000 rupees ($361).
  • Dowries consume a substantial proportion of household savings and income: in 2007, the average net dowry in rural India was equivalent to 14% of annual household income.

Dowry in India

  • The concept of dowry has been an old tradition that is now slowly going into the shadows and is dealt with as a ‘hush’ payment from the bride’s side.
  • Although it has been illegal in India since 1961, a study has revealed that dowry is being paid regularly even now and nearly 95 per cent of weddings have had an exchange of dowry even in these modern times.
  • While a lot of the thought process has changed since 2008, researchers believe the trend of dowry is still very prevalent in India as the idea is very common in all major religious groups too, with Christians and Sikhs showing a “striking increase in dowry”.
  • Some states such as Kerala, Haryana, Punjab and Gujarat saw inflation in dowry, with Kerala registering the highest average dowry in recent years.
  • On the other hand, states such as Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and West Bengal saw a decrease in average dowry.

Impact of dowry system

  • More than 8,000 women die as a result of India’s dowry system each year. Woman is murdered by her husband or in-laws when her family can’t able to give the requested dowry gift. Other times, women commit suicide after facing harassment and abuse for failing to meet the dowry price.
  • Women who can’t pay an expected dowry price in the future are often subject to harassment and abuse. Other times, husbands or in-laws throw acid on a woman or set her on fire.
  • It also encourages the Child Marriage. India has the most child brides in the world and this phenomenon is partly driven by the dowry system. The younger a girl is, the lower her dowry price will usually be, so to save money, families marry off their daughters at young ages.
  • It also encourages gender inequality. Due to dowry system, women are seen as a liability and are often subjected to subjugation and are given second hand treatment may it be in education or other amenities.

Way forward

  • Dowry system is one of the greatest evils of the society which widened the gender discrimination in India. It led to the various crimes against women.
  • India has been witnessed numerous cases since eras.
  • There are few solutions to reduce the dowry system in India:
  • Educate girls which help them to aware about their rights in society.
  • Encourage them to have their own career.
  • Teach them to be independent and responsible.
  • Treat women/girls equally without any discrimination.
  • Do not encourage the practice of giving or taking dowry.
  • The practice of dowry system is unethical as well as illegal. Therefore, the society needs to be aware about this evil practice of the dowry system so that the demand for dowry itself should lead to ‘loss of face’ in society for those who demand it.


Krishna River Basin Dispute

Why in News

An ongoing fight over water resources once again drew the police forces of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana into a tense standoff at the common reservoirs of the two states.

Key Points

  • In 2015, police from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana had come to blows following a heated discussion between government officials over release of water from the Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir.
  • Andhra Pradesh alleges that Telangana has been drawing Krishna water from four projects i.e., Jurala, Srisailam, Nagarjuna Sagar, and Pulichintala, for hydropower generation without approvals from the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB).
  • Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) is an autonomous body which was set up after the bifurcation of the state, to manage and regulate the waters in the Krishna basin.
  • The water that is used for power generation is being wasted by releasing it into the Bay of Bengal, even as farmers in the Krishna delta ayacut are yet to begin sowing of the kharif crop.
  • It would continue with the hydropower generation to meet its requirements of power.
  • At the same time, it has taken strong exception to the irrigation projects of the Andhra Pradesh government, especially the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Project (RLIP), which it claims is illegal. Telangana has called for a 50:50 allocation of water from the Krishna River.

Current division of water

  • After Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh, the two states agreed to split the water share 66:34 on an ad hoc basis until the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-2 decided the final allocation.
  • Of the 811 TMC (thousand million cubic) feet of water allocated to the United States, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana at present get 512 TMC ft and 299 TMC ft respectively.

Krishna River Basin

  • The Krishna is the second largest eastward draining interstate river in Peninsular India.
  • It rises in the Mahadev range of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 1,337 m near Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra State, about 64 km from the Arabian Sea.
  • It flows for a distance of 305 km in Maharashtra, 483 km in Karnataka and 612 km in Andhra Pradesh before finally out falling into the Bay of Bengal.
  • The length of the river is about 1,400 km. Krishna basin lies between latitudes 13º 07’ N and 19º 20’ N and longitudes 73º 22’ E and 81º 10’ E.
  • On the north, the basin is bounded by the range separating it from the Godavari basin and on the south and east by the Eastern Ghats and on the west by the Western Ghats.
  • Hydropower Station built on Krishna River basin: Nagarjunsagar, Srisailam, Nagarjunsagar RC, Nagarjunsagar CH and Srisailam LB.


Ministry of Cooperation

Why in News

The Central government has decided to create a new Ministry of Cooperation with an aim to strengthen the cooperative movement in the country.

Key Points

  • This ministry will provide a separate administrative, legal and policy framework for strengthening the cooperative movement in the country.
  • A minister in charge for the new portfolio yet to be named on.
  • The new ministry will help deepen cooperatives as a true, people-based movement reaching till the grassroots.
  • In the country, a cooperative-based economic development model is very relevant where each member works with a spirit of responsibility.
  • The ministry will work to streamline processes for ‘ease of doing business’ for cooperatives and enable development of multi-state cooperatives (MSCS).
  • The central government has signaled its deep commitment to community-based developmental partnership.
  • The creation of a separate ministry also fulfils the announcement made by the finance minister in the Union Budget.
  • The new Cabinet is likely to have a record 12 SC ministers having representation from Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.
  • About 12 backward communities including Chamar-Ramdassia, Khatik, Pasi, Kori, Madiga, Mahar, Arundathiyar, Meghwal, Rajbonshi, Matua-Namashudra, Dhangar, Dusadh are likely to be represented.
  • The new cabinet is likely to have 8 ST and 27 OBC ministers representing Gond, Santal, Miji, Munda, Tea tribe, Konkana, Sonowal–Kachari, Yadav, Kurmi, Jat, Gurjar, Khandayat, Bhandari, Bairagi, Tea Tribe, Thakor, Koli, Vokkaliga Tulu Gowda, Ezhava, Lodh, Agri, Vanjari, Meitei, Nat, Mallah–Nishad, Modh Teli, Darzi etc. Some tribes will be getting representation in the Cabinet for the first time.


Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) project

Why in News

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) recently issued orders appointing an advisory committee for its Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) project.

Key Points

  • The recently launched Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) project is aimed to curb “digital monopolies”.
  • This is a step in the direction of making e-commerce processes open source, thus creating a platform that can be utilised by all online retailers.
  • Several operational aspects including onboarding of sellers, vendor discovery, price discovery and product cataloguing could be made open source on the lines of Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
  • An executive of an e-commerce company has said that if mandated, this could be problematic for larger e-commerce companies, which have proprietary processes and technology deployed for these segments of operations.

Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC)

  • The ONDC is a project of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) assigned to the Quality Council of India (QCI), aims at promoting open networks developed on open-sourced methodology, using open specifications and network protocols independent of any specific platform.
  • It seeks to promote open networks, which are developed using the open-source methodology. They will encourage the usage of standardised open specifications and open network protocols, which are not dependent on any particular platform or customised one.
  • ONDC is expected to digitise the entire value chain, standardise operations, promote inclusion of suppliers, derive efficiencies in logistics and enhance value for stakeholders and consumers.
  • An open-source project means that anybody is free to use, study, modify and distribute the project for any purpose. These permissions are enforced through an open-source licence easing adoption and facilitating collaboration.
  • A nine-member advisory council has been constituted to advise the government on measures needed to design and accelerate the adoption of ONDC.

Meaning and significance of making something open-source

  • Making a software or a process open-source means that the code or the steps of that process is made available freely for others to use, redistribute and modify it.
  • For example, while the operating system of Apple’s iPhones is closed source, meaning it cannot be legally modified or reverse engineered, Google’s Android operating system is open-source, and therefore it is possible by smartphone OEMs such as Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus, etc to modify it for their hardware.
  • If the ONDC gets implemented and mandated, it would mean that all e-commerce companies will have to operate using the same processes. This could give a huge booster shot to smaller online retailers and new entrants.

Digital monopolies

  • Digital monopolies refer to a scenario wherein e-commerce giants or Big Tech companies tend to dominate and flout competition law pertaining to monopoly.
  • The giants have built their own proprietary platforms for operations. In March, India moved to shake up digital monopolies in the country’s $ 1+ trillion retail market by making public a draft of a code of conduct.
  • The government sought to help local start-ups and reduce the dominance of giants. The rules sought to define the cross-border flow of user data after taking into account complaints by small retailers.
  • The government wants to ensure that local players are able to access the data first. Safeguards under consideration include regulation and audits of the cross-border flow of data of Indian consumers and users.
  • The proposals also seek to prevent the e-commerce giants from giving deep discounts and have exclusive tie-ups with preferred sellers.

Quality Council of India (QCI)

  • The task of implementing DPIIT’s ONDC project has been assigned to the Quality Council of India (QCI).
  • QCI was set up in 1997 by the government of India jointly with Indian industry as an autonomous body under the administrative control of the department.
  • QCI establishes and operates the National Accreditation Structure for conformity assessment bodies; providing accreditation in the field of education, health and quality promotion.


Rapid Rail Transit Corridor

Why in News

The National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) has roped in experts to study the impact of an underground rapid rail transit corridor.

Key Points

  • The study proposed to pass through the Delhi Zoo on the vibration levels in the park, to ensure that animals are not disturbed during the construction of the line and operation of trains.
  • Close to 800 metres of the 107km-long Delhi-SNB Urban complex (Shahjahanpur-Neemrana-Behror) Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridor, which is part of the Delhi-Alwar RRTS line, will pass through the Delhi Zoological Park at a depth of 80 feet.
  • The NCRTC has asked experts from the Central Road Research Institute (CSIR-CRRI) to do an assessment to gauge the impact of the vibration caused by the trains running underground as well as the construction work.
  • The Delhi-SNB corridor, along with the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut line will provide seamless connectivity in the national capital region by linking cities in the Capital’s east — Ghazibad and Meerut, to those in south-Gurugram and Alwar.
  • In Delhi, both corridors will originate from Sarai Kale Khan in south east Delhi. These corridors will also connect all these cities to All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Safdarjung, one of country’s biggest hospitals.
  • Of the total 107 kilometres, 83kms of the Delhi-SNB corridor will be constructed in Haryana, 22 kms in Delhi and 2 kms in Rajasthan.
  • While the corridor in Haryana and Rajasthan will be mostly elevated, it will be completely underground in Delhi. Except for Sarai Kale Khan Station, the remaining three stations at INA, Munirka and Aerocity will be underground.
  • The NCRTC spokesperson said that it will be ensured that there is minimal impact of the train movement on the ground level.
  • The proposed tunnel is very deep in this zone and NCRTC is going to use special track structure to mitigate vibration.

National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC)

  • The National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) is a Joint Venture company of the Government of India and states of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi.
  • It is mandated for implementing the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project across the National Capital Region (NCR), ensuring a balanced and sustainable urban development through better connectivity and access.
  • The establishment of NCRTC under the Companies Act, 1956 was approved in July, 2013 for designing, developing, implementing, financing, operating and maintaining Regional Rapid Transit system (RRTS) in the NCR to provide comfortable and fast transit to the NCR towns and meet the high growth in transport demand.
  • Accordingly, NCRTC has been incorporated on 1 August 2013. Vinay Kumar Singh was appointed as the first regular Managing Director of NCRTC in July 2016.

Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS)

  • The Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut regional rapid transit system (RRTS) is a high-speed commuter service being developed to connect the regional nodes in the National Capital Region (NCR) of India.
  • The project aims to develop a fast, reliable, efficient and sustainable regional transport system that will mitigate congestion problems in Delhi.
  • It will provide point-to-point transportation at high speed along a designated path. It will also serve the needs of people commuting to longer distance with fewer stops and at higher speeds than metro service.
  • The RRTS project was approved by the Union Cabinet in February 2019. It will have an estimated daily ridership of more than 740,000 passengers by 2024 and 1.1 million passengers by 2041.


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