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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

UN HDI Report : 2019

India ranked 129 in the Human Development Index (HDI) for the year 2018. The index was released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The report said that India has improved marginally by a notch.

Report highlights:

  • UNDP warned about the inequalities that India might have to struggle with. The report said that the group-based inequalities persist in India, especially affecting women and girls.
  • It stated that more Indians showed biases in gender social norms, indicating a backlash to women’s empowerment.
  • The overall index showed that India scored647 in 2018, as against 0.643 in 2017. The score is calculated in the range of 1 to 0.
  • Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: inequalities in human development in the 21st century report stated that 271 million Indians were lifted out of poverty from 2005-06 to 2015-16.

HDI:

  • HDI is a statistical tool that is used to measure the overall achievement of the country in its social and economic dimensions as it is based on the health of people, the level of education attained and the standard of living.
  • It emphasizes people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria to assess the development of a country, not the economic growth alone.

Kannadigas to get priority in the private sector

Why in news?

The Karnataka government has amended rules directing industrial establishments that have taken any support from the government to give priority to Kannadigas in jobs on the shop floor in ‘C’ and ‘D’ category of employees.

 Key facts:

  • The industries getting incentives from the government must provide 100 percent reservation in their blue-collared jobs and those not availing any benefits are required to accord priority to Kannadigas.
  • The revised rules also empower the state to intervene if private companies fail to implement the rules in letter and spirit.

What’s the basis for this move?

  • Competition from outsiders: In the last few years, Bangalore has witnessed a huge population influx from all corners of India naturally upsetting the local and migrant balance and causing social friction primarily owing to economic reasons.
  • With not enough jobs being created and the poor spread of those that are getting created, the pressure on, and in, relatively better-performing states is growing.

 Issues associated with this policy:

  • By arm-twisting the private sector into forcibly hiring Kannadigas irrespective of merit or qualification, the indirect assumption seems to be that Kannadigas are incapable of finding jobs on their own merit or hard work.
  • Even as the move will benefit the Kannadiga population, the private sector could suffer a setback as it would hinder choosing the best candidates, irrespective of the linguistic background or domicile of the person, to comply with the rule.
  • Also, once it is enforced, there is no stopping other states from coming up with similar populist policies, even for white-collar jobs where merit is paramount for productivity.
  • This could mean greater informalisation of labour, which in turn means greater insecurity for the same workers whose interests the Karnataka government is purportedly protecting with the move.
  • The end result of industry loss of confidence and business moving elsewhere would, of course, be a decline in the economic well-being of the Kannadiga blue-collar workers the policy is supposed to protect.

Facts for Prelims

RailWire Wi-Fi:

  • The Railways has successfully completed the work of providing free public Wi-Fi at 5500 stations across the country.

What is Rail Wire?

  • RailWire is a retail Broadband initiative of the RailTel.
  • It envisages extending broadband and application services to the public.
  • The Wi-Fi at stations has been provided in association with Google as the technology partner.
  • RailTel Corporation is a “Mini Ratna(Category-I)” PSU of Ministry of Railways. It is the largest neutral telecom services providers in the country.

 

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