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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

03 Aug, 2020

13 Min Read

Inclusive urbanisation

GS-I : Human Geography Urbanisation

Inclusive urbanisation

GS-PAPER-1 Geography – Urbanization

The Covid-19 pandemic has proved that the Indian cities are overburdened and underprepared to provide guaranteed social protection to millions of migrant workers. Due to denial of access to adequate food and nutrition, livelihood, housing and basic amenities like water and sanitation facilities, there has been an exodus of migrant labourers from urban to rural areas.

Further, with over 90% of the population working in the informal economy, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has predicted that as a result of the crisis and subsequent lockdown, about 400 million workers will fall deeper into poverty.

Given the significance of these labourers to urban development, there is a need to address the stark inequalities and make urban spaces in India more socially and financially inclusive.

Issues Faced by Migrant Workers in Urban Areas

Lack of Basic Amenities: According to the recent “Drinking Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Housing Condition” survey by the government, there continue to be glaring gaps in water access in urban and rural India.

  • Also, migrant labourers are likely to have relied more on public amenities such as hand pumps and public taps or standpipes which are connected to a municipal connection. These sources are generally unreliable — hand pumps and municipal pipes, for example, do not always supply water of potable quality.
  • Given the importance of washing hands in combating the infection, the lack of WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) makes migrant labourers subject to work in an unsafe work environment

Huge Gap in Data About Migrants: Though the Unorganised Workers Social Security Act 2008 has specified the role of urban local bodies in registering numbers of migrant worker and disseminating information regarding welfare schemes to them, these provisions are not obligatory.

  • Due to this, there is lack of any credible data on how many migrants enter and leave our states and cities.

Challenge of Informalisation: According to the Economic Survey of India 2019, about 90% of India’s total workforce of about 500 million workers is engaged in the informal sector. This made them more vulnerable to the economic crisis induced by Covid-19.

  • Some of the major challenges due to the informalisation of the workforce include lack of job security, limited or no access to banking and insurance channels, a generally under-developed public health system.

Steps For Making Urban Spaces More Inclusive

Creation of a Database of Migrant Workers: Recognition and identification of migrants is the first step towards a more enhanced framework to provide basic amenities. To begin with, an effort to create a database of migrant workers is most necessary.

  • This could be a game-changer by creating a digital Pan-India database to ensure coordination with their home districts and respective states.
  • Eventually, convergence around this could create a framework of health, banking, microfinance and insurance networks centred around workers and migrants in urban areas.

Labour Migration Governance System: A fair and effective labour migration governance system for workers within the country is an urgent need of the hour.

  • This is necessary for the realisation of decent work opportunities for all migrant workers while respecting fundamental human rights.
  • Also, there is a need to ensure the protection of the labour rights of workers while taking into account the views of the employers to foster innovation in business and enterprises.

Formalisation of Economy: The central and state governments need to continue their efforts to address the informality of the Indian economy, the rural-urban divide, the uneven growth within states and between regions in the country, and the social and economic inequalities associated with the poorest and vulnerable.

  • In this context, the migrants need to be supported with relevant information and counselling for job search and employment opportunities based on their skills and previous experience through their local governance and panchayat structures.
  • Also, recently proposed Unorganised Worker Index Number Card by the Labour Ministry would also help in formalisation of the workforce.

Focusing on Public Health Infrastructure: Smart cities project does well by focusing on creation of hard infrastructure for urban renewal.

  • However, there is a need to strengthen the public health emergency infrastructure also. This social and financial inclusion would make the Smart Cities Mission truly holistic.

Supporting Financially: There is a need to expedite the proposed Social Security Fund under the Code on Social Security, 2019.

  • This could go a long way to provide a sense of financial security and act as a tool to monitor this segment of the population better.

Conclusion

The global experience shows that migration will continue as long as there is hope, aspiration, and an alternative livelihood option better than those available at home. In this context, the government has the task to build back better urban spaces in India, with a human-centred approach at its core.

Source: TH

Disinformation Campaign by Pakistan media

GS-II : International Relations Pakistan

Pakistanis behind ‘Chinese’ info war on border stand-off

Context

  • Several of the Chinese accounts that shot up on social media and spread false information about the border clash with India have been traced to Pakistan.
  • Many of the Pakistani accounts posed as China-based, in what is believed to be a coordinated disinformation campaign aimed at India.
  • Some of these accounts even had user bios that were earlier in Urdu, before morphing overnight into Mandarin.
  • These accounts shared false information about casualties from the clash. Tweeting in Mandarin and using Chinese names gave the posts a sense of credibility.
  • Pakistani accounts have also recently adopted Nepali and Sri Lankan avatars with the same motivation of posting information aimed at creating an unfavourable narrative about India.

Source: TH

U.K. to issue coin to honour Gandhiji

GS-II : International Relations Britain

U.K. to issue coin to honour Gandhiji

Context

  • Britain is considering minting a coin to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Gandhiji’s birthday, October 2, is observed as the International Day of Non-Violence.
  • As part of a global reassessment of history, colonialism and protests against racism in the U.S., some British institutions have begun re-examining their past.
  • Many organisations have taken initiatives to make investments to help the Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities and to support racial diversity.

Source: TH

Density Dependent dispersals

GS-III :

Density Dependent dispersals

Context

  • Scientists at the Pune-based Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) carried out experiments to study the phenomenon of ‘density-dependent dispersal’ by observing around 29,000 fruit flies to see if evolution had modified their tendency to move towards or away from crowded regions.

Study findings:

  • While females had been dispersing more than the males initially, the males overtook females in movement after evolution.
  • This finding is perhaps the first evidence for an evolutionary reversal in the dispersal of the two sexes.

Significance:

  • The study of biological dispersal finds applications in epidemiology, conservation of biodiversity as well as control of agricultural pests.
  • ‘Density-dependent dispersal’ is central to our understanding of which life forms occur where.
  • Some species live in large groups while others are solitary.
  • Similarly, movement occurs away from a crowd in some species and towards it in some others. This pattern is termed as ‘density-dependent dispersal’.
  • The study highlights the need to frequently assess movement patterns of ecologically relevant species.

Source: TH

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