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Women, Business and Law 2023 Report: World Bank


In News

  • Recently, the World Bank released the  Women, Business and the Law 2023 report.

Highlights Of The Report:

  • The Report relies on eight indicators to measure if women are on an equal standing with men .A perfect score of 100 on the Index means that women are on an equal standing with men.only 14 countries scored a perfect 100
  • India scored 74.4 in the  index which was  higher than the 63.7 average for the South Asian region, but lower than Nepal which had the region’s highest score of 80.6.
    • The Index used data on the laws and regulations applicable in Mumbai,
    • India gets a perfect score in indicators like constraints on freedom of movement, laws affecting women’s decisions to work, and constraints related to marriage, maritime cooperation
    • India lags behind when it comes to laws affecting women’s pay, laws affecting women’s work after having children, constraints on women starting and running a business, gender differences in property and inheritance, and laws affecting the size of a woman’s pension.

Suggested Reforms:

  • The report suggests the following measures for improvement
    •  Reforms for improve legal equality for women,
    • mandating equal remuneration for work of equal value,
    • allowing women to work at night in the same way as men, and allowing women to work in an industrial job

Women’s Workforce Participation in India

  • India has appreciable presence of women in few sectors like
    • Female participation in projects under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is around 50%.
    • India has highest share of female airline pilots at 15% while the world average is hardly 5%
  • Despite these few areas overall participation of women in economy is less
    • India’s female Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) is now among the world’s lowest at around 20%, on par with countries like Saudi Arabia.
    • As per a report by the International Labour Organisation, India ranks 121 out of 131 countries on female LFPR.
  • Challenges faced by women labour force :
    • Lack of Economic Empowerment:Even working women are not  financially independent and are expected to hand over the salary to male members of the family.
    • Glass Ceiling effect: women are discriminated against in senior positions. Women  hold only 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions, and represent on average 17 percent of global Board positions.
    • Safety Issues: lack of proper policing infrastructure disadvantages women.
    • Social norms: society expects women to be subservient and have family as their first priority.
    • Unequal pay:women are comparatively paid less than men for the same amount of work.Women  earn on average 79 percent of what men earn
    • Role Stereotyping: Certain jobs like teaching,nursing are seen as favourable and they are forced in certain fields rather than  allowing women to freely choose their career.
  • Government  initiatives for overall empowerment of women:
    • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme: it is an awareness campaign to encourage women’s education
    • Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing (KIRAN) Scheme: Encourages women in the R & D domain by providing financial incentives.
    • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana: it is a centrally sponsored maternity benefit programme  executed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development
    • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act: provides the frame work for creation of a safe working space for women.
    • Maternity Benefit  Act, 2017 : provides security and maternity benefits for women in the organised sector in the event of pregnancy.

Way Forward:

  • In order to achieve the goal of a five trillion economy,it is mandatory that the country  utilises its nari-shakti by creating  a supporting gender neutral ecosystem .
Constitutional Provisions for Women in our Constitution

  • Article 39(a)- The State shall direct its policy towards securing all citizens, men and women, equally, the right to means of livelihood.
  • Article 39(d)- Equal pay for equal work for both men and women.
  • Article 42– The State to make provision for ensuring just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.
  • Article 51 (A)(e)- To renounce the practices derogatory to the dignity of women
  • Article 300 (A)- Right of property to women
  • 73rd and 74th Amendment Act 1992- Reservation 1/3rd of seats in local bodies of panchayats and municipalities for women.


Option to select Old Pension Scheme (OPS)

  • GS 2 Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of Population & their Performance

In News

  • Recently, The government has decided to give a one-time option to select Central government employees to migrate to the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), who applied for jobs advertised before December 22, 2003.

Major Points 

  • The option is available to the Central government employees enrolled under the NPS as they joined the service on or after January 1, 2004, the day the NPS came into effect, even though such posts were advertised before December 22, 2003, the day it was notified.
  •  The order will be applicable to Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) personnel and other Central government employees who joined the services in 2004 as the recruitment process was delayed due to administrative reasons.


  • Old Pension Scheme (OPS): Under Old Pension Scheme (OPS), employees get a defined pension. An employee is entitled to a 50% amount of the last drawn salary as a pension.
    • The government bears the expenditure incurred on the pension.
    • It was discontinued by the NDA government in 2003 with effect from April 1, 2004.
  • National Pension System (NPS):   Under the new pension scheme (NPS), employees contribute 10% of their basic salary towards pension while the  government contributes 14%.
    • It is being administered and regulated by Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) set up under PFRDA Act, 2013.
    • NPS is mandatorily applicable to Central Government employees (except Armed Forces) recruited on or after 01.01.2004. Subsequently, all State Governments excluding West Bengal have also adopted NPS for their employees.


World Bank’s loan to support India’s Health sector

  • GS 2 Governance

In News

  • Recently the Government of India and World Bank signed two complimentary loans worth $1 billion to support and enhance India’s healthcare infrastructure.


  • The World Bank is lending two complementary loans of $500 million to help India with preparedness for future pandemics as well as to strengthen its health infrastructure.
  • The $500-million Public Health Systems for Pandemic Preparedness Program (PHSPP) will support efforts to prepare India’s surveillance system to detect and report epidemics of concern.
  • Another $500 million Enhanced Health Service Delivery Program (EHSDP) will support government’s efforts to strengthen service delivery through a redesigned primary healthcare model,
  • Both these loans utilise the Program-for-Results financing instrument that focuses on achievement of results rather than inputs.
  • Through these loans, the bank will support India’s flagship Pradhan Mantri-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM) and  health service delivery in seven States of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.

India’s Health Sector :

  • India’s health care system consists of both public and private components:
    • The government healthcare system, concentrates on establishing primary healthcare centers (PHCs) in rural areas while maintaining a small number of secondary and tertiary care facilities in major cities.
    • Majority of secondary, tertiary, and quaternary care facilities are run by the private sector, with a focus on metropolises and tier-I and tier-II cities.
    • In the Economic Survey of 2022, India’s public expenditure on healthcare stood at 2.1% of GDP in 2021-22 against 1.8% in 2020-21 and 1.3% in 2019-20.

Challenges :

  • Unequal distribution: India’s health care system is concentrated in urban areas with very little presence in the rural areas where majority of the population lives.
  • Low Budget Spending: India’s public expenditure on healthcare is only 2.1% of GDP in 2021-22 while Japan, Canada and France spend about 10% of their GDP on public healthcare.
  • Lack of Medical Research: In India, R&D and cutting-edge technology-led new projects receive little attention.
  • Low doctor-patient ratio: The doctor patient ratio in india is about 1:1500 much higher than the WHO norm of one doctor for every 1,000 people.

Initiatives :

  • Pradhan Mantri-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM) : it aims to strengthen India’s health infrastructure and improve the country’s primary, secondary and tertiary care services.
  • Ayushman Bharat : Follows a two- pronged approach by
    • Creation of health and wellness centres to bring health care closer to homes.
    • formulation of a Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) to protect poor and vulnerable families against financial risk arising out of health episodes.
  • Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission : aims to connect the digital health solutions of hospitals across the country. Under this, every citizen will now get a digital health ID and their health record will be digitally protected.
  • National Ayush Mission: it is a centrally sponsored scheme  for the  development of traditional medicines
  • Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY):aims to  correct regional imbalances in the availability of affordable/reliable tertiary healthcare services and also to augment facilities for quality medical education in the country

Way Forward

  • India should focus on technology upgradation and preventive care to further its march towards healthy india.


Health Ministry gets Porter Prize 2023

  • GS 2 Government Policies & Interventions

In News

  • Recently, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry has received the Porter Prize 2023.

Key Points

  • The prize was awarded in recognition of:
    • the government’s strategy in managing COVID-19, 
    • also the approach, and involvement of various stakeholders, especially involvement of ASHA workers in the industry to create PPE Kits.
    • It’s contribution in developing and manufacturing vaccines
  • The prize was announced during The India Dialog at Stanford University. 
    • The theme of the two-day conference was The Indian Economy 2023: Innovation, Competitiveness and Social Progress.

Porter Prize 

  • It is named after award-winning economist Michael E. Porter.
  • He has brought economic theory and strategy concepts to bear on many of the most challenging problems faced by corporations, economies and societies, including market competition and company strategy, economic development, the environment and healthcare.
  • He is also the most cited scholar today in economics and business.


Cochlear Implant Scheme

  • GS 2 Government Policies & Interventions

In News

  • Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hailed the impact of the Cochlear Implant Scheme where children up to the age of 5 years are operated free of cost.
    • The cost of one operation is Rs six lakh which is borne by the Central Government.


  • The cochlea is a hollow, spiral-shaped bone found in the inner ear that plays a key role in the sense of hearing and participates in the process of auditory transduction.
  • Sound waves are transduced into electrical impulses that the brain can interpret as individual frequencies of sound.

What is a Cochlear Implant?

  • The cochlear implant is a prosthetic device, a part of which is surgically implanted inside the cochlea.
  • Cochlear implants have been found to be beneficial for children and adults with severe to profound hearing loss who do not benefit with hearing aids but have an intact auditory nerve.
  • Difference between regular hearing aid and cochlear Implant
    • While a hearing aid provides amplified sound energy to the ear, the cochlear implant directly provides electrical stimulation to the nerve endings in the cochlea.


ADIP Scheme

  • The ADIP Scheme (Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids and Appliances) has been in operation since 1981.
  • Objective
    • to assist the needy disabled persons in procuring durable, sophisticated and scientifically manufactured, modern, standard aids to promote their physical, social and psychological rehabilitation.
  • The aids and appliances supplied under the Scheme must have due certification.
  • The scheme also envisages conduct of corrective surgeries, wherever required, before providing an assistive device.
  • Under the Scheme, grants-in-aid are released to various implementing agencies  for purchase and distribution of aids and assistive devices.


Indian Tea Industry

  • GS 3 Agriculture

In Context

  • India has taken several steps to boost the output, create a niche brand for Indian tea, and ensure the welfare of the families associated with the tea industry.


  • Despite numerous geopolitical, geoeconomic, and logistical difficulties, it is anticipated that Indian tea exports will surpass 95% of the US$ 883 million goals set during 2022–23.

Indian Tea Industry

  • India is the 2nd largest tea producer and largest black tea producer after China and 4th largest exporter of Tea in the world.
  • India is also the largest consumer of black tea and accounts for 18% of the total World tea consumption.
  • The Indian tea Industry is employing 1.16 million workers directly and an equal number of people are associated with it indirectly.
  • Tea cultivation in India is regulated by the Tea Board of India.
  • Tea is one of the industries, which by an Act of Parliament comes under the control of the Union Govt.
  • The main tea-growing regions are in the Northeast (including Assam) and in north Bengal (Darjeeling district and the Dooars region).
    • Tea is also grown on a large scale in the Nilgiris in south India.

Ideal climate condition for tea cultivation

  • Originate in tropical and subtropical climates. Major tea growing regions are mainly concentrated in Asia, Africa, South America.
  • Tea requires cool to warm temperatures with at least 5 hours of sunlight per day. The average annual temperature for tea plants to grow well is in the range of 15 – 23°C. The rainfall needed is between 150-200 cm.
  • For coffee plantations, a little high temperature ranging between 25°C-30°C is required and the rainfall required is high, similar to tea that is 150-200 cm. Only one difference is coffee needs protection from direct sunlight and therefore they are grown in shade.

Challenges of Tea industry in India

  • The owners are reeling under higher costs of production and other issues.
  • Nepal, which shares similar climatic conditions and terrain, produces tea at a lower price because of less input costs, particularly labour, and fewer quality checks.
  • Inferior quality tea from Nepal is being imported, and then sold and re-exported as premium Darjeeling Tea.
  • Because of the hilly terrain of Darjeeling there is no land left for expansion of tea gardens.
  • Some global factors like the decline in demand from European markets in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war have compounded the problem.

Tea Board of India

  • The genesis of the Tea Board India dates back to 1903 when the Indian Tea Cess Bill was passed.
  • The present Tea Board was set up under Section 4 of the Tea Act 1953.
  • It is functioning as a statutory body of the Central Government under the Ministry of Commerce.
  • The Board is constituted of 31 members (including Chairman) drawn from Members of Parliament, tea producers, tea traders, tea brokers, consumers, and representatives of Governments from the principal tea producing states, and trade unions .
  • HQ: Kolkata
  • The Board is reconstituted every three years. Earlier, the Tea Board had offices in Cairo and Kuwait. But these two offices were relocated to Dubai.

Way Ahead

  • Small Tea Growers (STGs) should also be recognised as GI-registered producers on a par with the 87 tea estates which produce Darjeeling Tea to ensure better price premium.
  • The Government should review and revisit the Indo-Nepal Treaty for incorporating stringent requirements for certificate of origin on tea imports from Nepal.

Source: TH

Forest certification in India

  • GS 3 Conservation

In News

  • Deforestation has become a critically sensitive issue globally in recent years, and there is a greater need for the certification of forests.

What is Forest Certification? 

  • Forest Certification offers a multi-layer audit system that seeks to authenticate the origin, legality, and sustainability of forest-based products such as timber, furniture, handicraft, paper and pulp, rubber, and many more.
  • The certification is done to avoid consumption of any product that might be the result of deforestation or illegal logging.

Forest Certification Industry

  • It is a three-decade-old global certification industry that began through independent third-party audits to review that management in a sustainable manner.
  • There are two major international standards: one has been developed by Forest Stewardship Council, or FSC; the other by Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certifications, or PEFC. FSC certification is more popular and in demand, and also more expensive.
  • They are not involved in the evaluation and auditing of the processes it is done by certification bodies authorised by FSC or PEFC.
  • PEFC does not insist on the use of its own standards; instead, it endorses the ‘national’ standards of any country if they are aligned with its own.
  • Two main types of certification are: forest management (FM) and Chain of Custody (CoC). CoC certification is meant to guarantee the traceability of a forest product like timber throughout the supply chain from origin to market.

Forest certification in India

  • The forest certification industry has been operating in India for the last 15 years.
  • Currently, forests in only one state — Uttar Pradesh — are certified.
  • The standards have been developed by the New Delhi-based nonprofit Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF).
  • India allows the export of only processed wood, not timber. The demand for wood in India is 150-170 million cubic metres annually, including 90-100 million cubic metres of raw wood. The rest goes mainly towards meeting the demand for paper and pulp.
  • India’s forests contribute just about five million cubic metres of wood every year. Almost 85 percent of the demand for wood and wood products is met by trees outside forests (ToF).
  • Since ToF are so important, new certification standards are being developed for their sustainable management. PEFC already has certification for TOF and last year, FSC came up with India-specific standards that included certification for ToF.

Significance of the Certification

  • Forest-based industries in India, particularly those for paper, boards, plywood, medium density fibreboard, furniture and handicrafts etc, have been pushing for forest certification to enhance their market accessibility to western markets including European Union and USA.
  • Certification scheme is aimed to improve India’s forest management regime that is often criticised for various issues ailing the sector such as forest rights, forest degradation, biodiversity losses, encroachments, lack of manpower, etc.


Phytoplankton Blooms

  • GS 3 Conservation Environmental Pollution & Degradation

In News

  • Huge blooms of phytoplankton — microscopic algae floating on the ocean’s surface — have become larger and more frequent along the world’s coastlines.


  • Marine animals such as fish and whales eat phytoplankton.
  • It can also prove toxic in large amounts, starving the ocean of oxygen and leading to “dead zones” that wreak chaos on the food chain and fisheries.

Reasons behind the boom

  • Warmer sea surface temperatures.
  • Changes in climate can also mess with ocean circulation, affecting mixing between ocean layers and how nutrients move around the ocean.
  • Human development also plays a role. Fertilizer runoff from agriculture can spike nutrient loads in the ocean, leading to blooms.

Source: TH

Samarth (Scheme for Capacity Building in Textiles Sector)

  • GS 3 Indian Economy & Related Issues

In News

  • The Ministry of Textiles has invited proposals for empanelment from the textile industry and industry associations to broad base the panel of implementing partners for Samarth.

About the Scheme

  • Samarth is a demand driven and placement-oriented umbrella skilling programme of the Ministry of Textiles.
  • Aim:  To incentivize and supplement the efforts of the industry in creating jobs in the organized textile and related sectors, covering the entire value chain of textiles, excluding Spinning and Weaving.
  • Coverage: The scheme has been penetrated across 28 States and 6 Union territories of the country and caters to all sections of the society including SC, ST and other marginalized categories.
  • Partners: The Ministry has partnered with 116 Textile Industries / Industry Associations, 12 Central / State Government Agencies and 3 Sectoral Organizations of the Ministry for undertaking training programmes under Samarth.
  • Implementation: The implementation period of the scheme is up to March 2024. Employment linkage is mandated in the courses under orgnaized textile sector with mandatory placement 70% in entry level & 90% for Upskilling programmes.
  • Achievements so far: Out of the skilling target of 3.47 lakh beneficiaries allocated so far, 1.5 lakh beneficiaries have been provided training.
    • More than 85% of the beneficiaries trained so far under the scheme are women.
    • More than 70% of the beneficiaries trained in organized sector courses have been provided placement.

India’s Textile Industry

  • The Textile industry in India is one of the largest in the world and one of the largest consumers and producers of cotton in the world.
  • India is the 2nd largest producer of MMF (Man made) Fibre. India is the 6th largest exporter of Textiles & Apparel in the world.
  • India became the second-largest manufacturer of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits in the world.
  • India is the second-largest producer of silk in the world and a global leader in jute production, accounting for about 70% of estimated world production.
  • The industry contributes to 7% of industrial output in value terms, 2% of India’s GDP and 12% of the country’s export earnings.
  • The Textile industry in India is one of the largest sources of employment generation in the country.

Government Initiatives to give a Boost to Textlile Industry

  • FDI Policy: 100% FDI is allowed under the automatic route in the Textile Industry in India.
  • Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme: For Enhancing India’s Manufacturing Capabilities and Enhancing Exports – Atmanirbhar Bharat.
  • Wool Development Scheme: Provision has been made to provide financial assistance in form of Revolving Fund for procurement/marketing of pashmina wool in UT of Ladakh and UT of J&K.
  • Toy Manufacturing: 3 toy clusters have been identified. A National Action Plan for Indian Toy Story has been made with the collaboration of 14 Ministries/ Dept. of Govt. of India. The scheme is being implemented throughout the country to make available Yarn to Handloom weavers at reasonable price.
  • Raw Material Supply Scheme: freight charges are reimbursed for all types of yarn; and component of 15% price subsidy is there for cotton hank yarn, domestic silk, wool and linen yarn and blended yarn of natural fibres, with quantity caps.

Source: PIB