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Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2021

Oct 11, 2021

Current Affair 1:
Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) for first quarter of 2021-22 reveals varying trends across sectors

 

The Labour Bureau has been entrusted with conducting the All-India Quarterly establishment-based Employment Survey (AQEES), which has two components namely Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) in respect of establishments employing 10 or more workers (mostly constituting organised sector) and Area Frame Establishment Survey (AFES) to build up a frame in respect of establishments (mostly in the unorganised sector) employing 9 or fewer workers.

The present Employment Survey (QES) (April to June 2021) is the first in the series that provides estimates of employment, vacancies, training, and other related parameters for selected 9 sectors of the non-farm economy over successive quarters.

The Survey aims to provide insights into relative change in the employment situation over successive quarters in the above segments of the Indian Economy.

The scope of the present QES is limited only to establishments having 10 or more workers (organised sector) as identified by the Sixth Economic Census (2013-14). Further, the survey covers employment in select 9 sectors in the non-farm economy i.e., Manufacturing, Construction, Trade, Transport, Education, Health, Accommodation & Restaurants, Information Technology (IT) & Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), and Financial Services.

High Proprietary ownership, closely followed by Private Ltd. company and Govt./PSU ownership

In the present round of QES, information was collected from 10,593 units in the select 9 sectors throughout the country. The distribution of the collected sample in terms of sector and coverage is illustrated in the chart below.

The highest number of establishments were in the Education sector, closely followed by the manufacturing sector. In terms of sample allocation, the highest number of sample establishments were allotted to Manufacturing, followed by Trade and Education.

In terms of ownership, the estimated establishments in the survey show the following distribution trend.

Around 29% of the estimated units were under Proprietary ownership, followed by Private Limited Company at 24.8% and Government/Public Sector Units (PSUs) at 20.9%.

Overall employment improves; Growth in all sectors expect Trade, and Accommodation & Restaurant

The total employment in the 9 select sectors from 1st QES (April to June 2021) stands at 3 crores 8 lakhs, against 2 crores 37 lakhs for these sectors as reported by the Sixth Economic Census (2013-14), implying a growth of 29%.

The most impressive growth of 152% has been recorded in the IT/BPO sector, while growth rates in Health 77%, Financial Services 48%, Education 39%, Manufacturing 22%, Transport 68%, and Construction 42% were also quite significant. However, employment in Trade came down by 25% and in Accommodation & Restaurant by 13%.

Percentage of female workers declines

The overall percentage of female workers stands at 29%, slightly lower than 31% reported during Sixth Economic Census (2013-14).

Current Affair 2:
Nobel Peace Prize, 2021

 

The 2021 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia. The Philippines ranks 138 out of 180 countries in the RSF’s global index. Russia ranks even lower down the RSF Index: 150 out of 180 countries.

According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF) 2021 World Press Freedom Index, the situation for press freedom is “difficult or very serious” in 73% of the 180 countries it evaluates, and “good or satisfactory” in only 27%.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee cited their fight for freedom of expression, stressing that it is vital in promoting peace. – “Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda”

“Without freedom of expression and freedom of the press, it will be difficult to successfully promote fraternity between nations, disarmament and a better world order to succeed in our time".

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION – NEED FOR PEACE

Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Freedom of expression serves as an enabler of all other rights (along with its corollaries of freedom of information and press freedom).

The UN General Assembly adopted the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on 16 December 1966. ICCPR Article 19 states:

  • Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
  • Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive
  • and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.
  • The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary.
  • For respect of the rights or reputations of others;
  • For the protection of national security or of public order, or of public health or morals.

Current Affair 3:
Environment Protection under Constitutional Framework of India

 

The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 defines environment as “environment includes water, air and land and the interrelationship which exists among and between air, water and land and human beings, other living creatures, plants, micro-organism and property”.

The chapter on fundamental duties of the Indian Constitution clearly imposes duty on every citizen to protect environment. Article 51-A (g), says that “It shall be duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures.”

The Directive principles under the Indian constitution directed towards ideals of building welfare state. Healthy environment is also one of the elements of welfare state.  Article 47 provides that the State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties. The improvement of public health also includes the protection and improvement of environment without which public health cannot be assured.

Article 48 deals with organization of agriculture and animal husbandry. It directs the State to take steps to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines. In particular, it should take steps for preserving and improving the breeds and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.

According to Article 21 of the constitution, “no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law”. Article 21 guarantees fundamental right to life. Right to environment, free of danger of disease and infection is inherent in it. Right to healthy environment is important attribute of right to live with human dignity.

The right to live in a healthy environment as part of Article 21 of the Constitution was first recognized in the case of Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra vs. State, AIR 1988 SC 2187 (Popularly known as Dehradun Quarrying Case).

Article 48 -A of the constitution says that “the state shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country”.

Excessive noise creates pollution in the society. The constitution of India under Article 19 (1) (a) read with Article 21 of the constitution guarantees right to decent environment and right to live peacefully. Kerala High Court held that freedom of speech under article 19 (1)(a)  does not include freedom to use loud speakers or sound amplifiers.  Thus, noise pollution caused by the loud speakers can be controlled under article 19 (1) (a) of the constitution.

Article 19 (1) (g) of the Indian constitution confers fundamental right on every citizen to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.  This is subject to reasonable restrictions. A citizen cannot carry on business activity, if it is health hazards to the society or general public. Thus, safeguards for environment protection are inherent in this.

Conclusion:

Environment protection is part of our cultural values and traditions. In Atharvaveda, it has been said that “Man’s paradise is on earth; this living world is the beloved place of all; It has the blessings of nature’s bounties; live in a lovely spirit”. Earth is our paradise and it is our duty to protect our paradise. The constitution of India embodies the framework of protection and preservation of nature without which life cannot be enjoyed. The knowledge of constitutional provisions regarding environment protection is need of the day to bring greater public participation, environmental awareness, environmental education and sensitize the people to preserve ecology and environment.

Current Affair 4:
How eco-labelling can drive consumer decision-making?

 

Each year, 17 per cent of total global food available at retail may be wasted, including 11 per cent at the household level, says the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP’s) Food Waste Index Report 2021.

Finding out how our food is distributed and reaches our plates could help reduce food loss and waste and accelerate the transition to sustainable food systems.

At the first-ever UN Food Systems Summit last month, UNEP jointly developed a pair of coalitions –‘Food is Never Waste’ and ‘Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems’ – to help cut food loss and ensure access to healthy diets.

Information enables better decision-making:

 

Consumers play an essential role in shaping the global food system through the decisions they make in grocery stores, restaurants and in their homes. To improve consumer decisions and positively impact human and planetary health, consumers need access to more information about their food and a deeper understanding of the “middle part.”

Eco-labelling is one solution. This system identifies products that meet low environmental impact criteria and provides insight into the process to facilitate consumer decision-making. It provides an incentive for producers to review their own performance and communicate product sustainability credentials. In Latin America, UNEP’s Sustainable Public Procurement and Ecolabelling project is helping consumers to learn more about the production and management of the products they purchase.

Eco-labelling is part of a global transition towards sustainable development, and its importance is widely recognized. Building on the principles adopted at the UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation articulates the need to “develop and adopt, where appropriate, on a voluntary basis, effective, transparent, verifiable, non-misleading and non-discriminatory consumer information tools to provide information relating to sustainable consumption and production”.

 

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