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IAS Foundation 2023-24, Batch Starts: 27th July

28th April 2022

Setting up open prison for women in Tamil Nadu


Tamil Nadu’s Minister for Law, Courts, Prisons and Prevention of Corruption recently said the government would consider setting up an open prison for women.


Open Prisons in Tamil Nadu:

  • The State had three open prisons in Singanallur, Salem Farm and Purasadai Udaippu in Sivaganga district.
  • The government had issued orders for declaring the lands adjacent to eight Central prisons in the State as open prisons.
  • It will consider setting up an open prison for women.

About Prisons System in India:

  • Prisons, as penal and correctional institutions, have existed in India and abroad since times immemorial. Prisons confine criminals, convicts and under-trials.
  • The primary purpose of prisons is to isolate or alienate such people from the society.
  • They are jailed for a certain period but the purpose of reformation and rehabilitation is sometimes defeated due to the prison environment and the treatment meted out to prisoners.
  • The administration and management of the modern prison system in India is governed by the Prisons Act of 1894, which has its origins in the recommendations of the “Prison Discipline Committee” appointed in 1836 by Lord Macaulay, followed by constitution of four jail commissions to review the system from time to time. 

What are open prisons?

  • Open prisons have relatively less stringent rules as compared to the controlled jails.
  • They go by many names like minimum-security prison, open air camps or prison without bars.
  • The fundamental rule of an open prison is that the jail has minimum security and functions on the self-discipline of the inmates.
  • Every state in India has a prison law, like the Rajasthan Prisoners Rules and Andhra Pradesh Prison Rules, 1979. Seventeen states are reported to have functional open jails with Rajasthan having 31 such prisons, the highest that any state has.
  • The jail does not confine them completely but requires them to earn their living to support their families, living with them inside the jail.
  • The philosophy on the basis of which the open prison exists is reflected in the two dictums of Sir Alexander Paterson.
  • First, a man is sent to prison as punishment and not for punishment.
  • Second, one cannot train a man for freedom unless conditions of his captivity and restraints are considerably relaxed.
  • The need for having open penal and correctional institutions was recognised and extensively discussed in the first United Nation Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders held in Geneva in 1955.
  • The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, popularly known as the Nelson Mandela Rules, laid down the objectives of open prisons stating, that such prisons provide no physical security against escape but rely on the self-discipline of the inmates, provide the conditions most favourable to the rehabilitation of carefully selected prisoners.
  • The All-India Committee on Jail Reform constituted in 1980 recommended the government to set up and develop open prisons in each state and UT.

Who are eligible for open prisons?

  • Every state law defines the eligibility criteria of inmates who can be in an open prison.
  • The principal rule is that an inmate eligible for open air prison has to be a convict.

Archaeology museum at Eluru


The Archaeology and Museums Department of Andhra Pradesh has built a museum in Eluru, where nearly 400 artefacts dating back to the early historic period (from 6th Century BC to 4th Century BC) to the 19th Century AD will be displayed. 


About the museum at Eluru:

  • The Union Ministry of Culture granted ?3.75 crore under the ‘Upgradation of Museums Scheme’ for the ?5-crore project in Eluru town.
  • The museum was built on a 2,000 square-yard campus.
  • The museum is likely to be opened on May 18, marking the International Museums Day.
  • Nearly 400 artefacts have been collected from Kurnool, Rudramkota, Nellore, Guntur, Vijayawada, Kakinada, Rajamahendravaram and Eluru.
  • The artefacts include tools, sculptures, manuscripts, copper inscriptions, bronze coins, weapons and oil paintings from the 18thand 19th Century AD.
  • In the Buddhism section, the Ayaka pillars and other remnants collected from Vutluru and Pinakadimi in the Godavari region will be displayed. 
  • A red-stone mandapa shed found at Kotadibba in Eluru is one of the attractions in the museum.
  • The museum is equipped with digital facilities that will give the visitors a virtual experience.

Museums in India:

  • Having museums is a global concept that’s common to every country. It narrates the story of the past and showcases how the humanity has evolved in hundreds of years.
  • India displays an extensive bouquet of resources that sheds light on its rich culture and heritage of the past.
  • Their significance is profound as it helps preserve objects and materials of cultural, historical and religious importance and showcases it to public in an intriguing manner that piques interest, offers amusement, and is indispensable for research and educational purposes.
  • Museums in India in house a large collection Indian sculptures and objects of cultural, historical and religious importance to gaze upon.
  • Some of the important museums in India are:
  • Allahabad Museum, Prayagraj
    • Indian Museum, Kolkata
    • Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal
    • National Council of Science Museums, Kolkata
    • National Museum Institute, New Delhi
    • Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad
    • Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata

Labour codes to be rolled out soon


The four labour codes, which were passed by Parliament in 2019 and 2020, would be implemented soon.


1. Labour Codes on wages Bill, 2019

  • Need
  • It arises in the absence of statutory National Minimum Wage for different regions, which impedes the economic prospect.
  • It seeks to consolidate laws relating to wages by replacing- Payment of Wages Act, 1936; Minimum Wages Act, 1948; Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
  • Key Features
  • The Code will apply to any industry, trade, business, manufacturing or occupation including government establishments.
  • Wages include salary, allowance, or any other component expressed in monetary terms. This will not include bonus payable to employees or any travelling allowance, among others.
  • It differentiates the central and State Jurisdiction in determining the wage related decision for establishment such as Railways Mines and oil fields.
  • A concept of statutory National Minimum Wage for different geographical areas has been introduced. It will ensure that no State Government fixes the minimum wage below the National Minimum Wages for that particular area as notified by the Central Government.

2. Labour Code on Industrial relations, 2019

  • Need
  • It aims to create greater labour market flexibility and discipline in labour – to improve upon ease of doing business and also to encourage entrepreneurs to engage in labour-intensive sectors.
  • It would replace three laws i.e. Trade Unions Act, 1926; Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 and the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
  • Key Features
  • It seeks to allow companies to hire workers on fixed-term contract of any duration.
  • The code has retained the threshold on the worker count at 100 for prior government approval before retrenchment, but it has a provision for changing ‘such number of employees’ through notification. This provision has been criticized sharply by the labour groups and trade unions as any notification may change it later.
  • It also provides setting up of a two-member tribunal (in place of one member) wherein important cases will be adjudicated jointly and the rest by a single member, resulting speedier disposal of cases.
  • It has vested powers with the government officers for adjudication of disputes involving penalty as fines.
  • Introduces a feature of ‘recognition of negotiating union’ under which a trade union will be recognized as sole ‘negotiating union’ if it has the support of 75% or more of the workers on the rolls of an establishment.
  • As several trade unions are active in companies, it will be tough for any one group to manage 75% support, hence taking away their negotiating rights. In such a case, a negotiating council will be constituted for negotiation.
  • Underlines that fixed-term employees will get all statutory benefits on a par with the regular employees who are doing work of the same or similar nature.
  • Under the code, termination of service of a worker on completion of tenure in a fixed-term employment will not be considered as retrenchment.
  • Proposes setting up of a “re-skilling fund” for training of retrenched employees. The retrenched employee would be paid 15 days’ wages from the fund within 45 days of retrenchment. 
  • While this means workers can be hired seasonally for six months or a year it also means that all workers will be treated at par with regular workers for benefits.

3. Labour Code on Social Security & Welfare, 2017

  • Need
  • Almost 90% of the current workers are not covered under any social security.
  • The current thresholds for wage and number of workers employed for a labour law to be applicable creates tenacious incentives for the employers to avoid joining the system which results in exclusions and distortions in the labour market.
  • Key Features
  • Definition of employee and categorization of workers covers all kinds of employment including part-time workers, casual workers, fixed term workers, piece rate/ commission rated workers, informal workers, home-based workers, domestic workers and seasonal workers.
  • A proper percentage-based structure for contribution, vis-à-vis socio economic category and minimum notified wage, has been put in place under the Code.
  • It introduces new approaches to ensure a transparent and fair financial set up, such as,
  • Time bound preparation of Accounts within six months of the end of the financial year;
  • Provision for social audit of social security schemes by State Boards after every five years;
  • Accounts of Intermediate Agencies to be subject to CAG Audit on the same lines as that of Social Security Organizations.
  • Wage Ceiling and Income Threshold: The term 'wage ceiling' is for the purpose of determining a maximum limit on contribution payable; whereas the term 'income threshold' is for the purpose of enabling the government to provide for two different kind of schemes (for same purpose) for two different class of workers.
  • Contribution Augmentation Funds would be established through which governments could contribute to the social security in respect of workers who are unable to pay contribution.
  • National Stabilization Fund will be used for harmonizing the Scheme Funds across the country and will be managed by the Central Boards.

4. Labour Code on Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions, 2018

  • Need
  • The proposed code is the first single legislation prescribing standards for working conditions, health and safety of workers and it will apply on factories with at least 10 workers.
  • It will amalgamate 13 labour laws including the Factories Act, 1948; the Mines Act, 1952; the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996; the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 etc.
  • Key Features
  • Centre has been empowered to prescribe standards on occupational safety and health
  • Annual health check to be made mandatory in factories and its charge will be borne by the employers
  • Appointment letters for all workers (including those employed before this code), underlying their rights to statutory benefits
  • At least 50% of penalty levied on employers could go towards providing some relief to families of workers who die or are seriously injured while working
  • National Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Board at national level and similar bodies at state level, have been proposed to recommend standards on related matters.
  • Appointment of facilitators with prescribed jurisdiction for inspection, survey, measurement, examination or inquiry has been proposed
  • Mandatory license for every contractor who provides or intends to provide contract labour. Also, license is needed for industrial premises as well

Main Airframe Fatigue Test of LCA MK1


Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) recently has commenced the Main Airframe Fatigue Test (MAFT) of Light Combat Aircraft Mk1.


About Main Airframe Fatigue Test (MAFT):

  • This test is required to demonstrate the capability of the airframe to withstand four times the service life. This is as per the military airworthiness requirements.
  • According to HAL, these tests will be carried out over a period of eight to nine years on the LCA (Air Force) Mk1 airframe.
  • Once the MAFT tests are carried out successfully, the LCA (Air Force) Mk1 airframe is then fit for its full-service life.

Who plans the tests?

  • The test plan and schedule for the MAFT has been jointly arrived at by the designers from the HAL and scientists from the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in coordination with the Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness (RCMA), CEMILAC.

What is the LCA development project?

  • HAL expects to deliver all Final Operational Clearance (FOC) variant aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2022 pending some systems from Israel, while the LCA-MK1A is expected to take flight in June this year.
  • There is another 20 to 24 months of testing after which deliveries would begin with manufacturing activities going parallel to the testing.
  • The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Tejas was conceptualised in the year 1984.
  • Since the first flight of the LCA technology demonstrator in January 2001, the indigenous single engine 4.5 generation multi-role fighter jet christened as ‘Tejas’ by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in May 2003.
  • It has come a long way both in terms of the maturity of the platform as well as the overall aircraft development programme despite repeated delays and cost overuns.
  • In all, 123 LCA aircraft of various configurations are on order so far.

SEBI amends rules to simplify procedure for transmission of securities


SEBI has revised the existing threshold limit for simplified documents to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 2 lakh currently for securities held in physical mode per listed issuer.


Implications of the amendments:

  • It aims to simplify the procedure for transmission of securities. 
  • Also, the threshold in this regard for securities held in the dematerialised mode for each beneficiary account has been increased to Rs 15 lakh from the present level of Rs 5 lakh. 
  • Legal heirship certificate or its equivalent certificate issued by competent government authority will be an acceptable document for transmission of securities.
  • The objective is to ensure that uniform processes are followed by the Registrars to an Issue and Share Transfer Agents (RTAs) / listed companies, which would further ease the transmission process for investors.
  • To effect this, the capital markets regulator has amended SEBI's Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements or LODR Regulations.

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

  • SEBI is a statutory regulatory body entrusted with the responsibility to regulate the Indian capital markets.
  • It monitors and regulates the securities market and protects the interests of the investors by enforcing certain rules and regulations.
  • SEBI was founded on April 12, 1992, under the SEBI Act, 1992.
  • Headquartered in Mumbai, India, SEBI has regional offices in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad along with other local regional offices across prominent cities in India.

‘Chipko movement’ to save Hasdeo Aranya


Local women in Surajpur district of Chhattisgarh started a tree-hugging campaign recently, as trees are being cut for the mining project in Hasdeo Aranya.


Hasdeo Arand Region

  • The Hasdeo Arand Coalfield is spread over North Korba, south Surguja and Surajpur districts.
  • This is one of the largest intact forest areas in Central India outside of the protected area system.
  • The coalfield covers a total area of 1878 sq km. of which 1502 sq km. has forest cover.
  • Around 80% of this is covered by good quality forest (approximately 1176 sq km has a canopy cover of over 40% while an additional 116 sq km has a canopy cover of over 70%).
  • It is also part of a large elephant corridor stretching from supporting the migration of wild elephants from Gumla district in Jharkhand to Korba district of Chhattisgarh.
  • Hasdeo Arand region is home to a large and vulnerable population, most of them being Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers.
  • Over 90% of the residents are dependent on agriculture cultivation and forest produce for their livelihoods.
    • The implementation of Forest Rights Act has remained extremely poor till date leaving the population extremely vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
  • It is also the watershed of the Hasdeo Bango reservoir on the Hasdeo River, which is a tributary of the Mahanadi River and one of the most important rivers of Chhattisgarh.
  • The area was declared as a ‘No-Go Zone’ for mining by the Centre in 2009. Despite this, mining in the region continued as the policy for the ‘No-Go Zone’ was not finalised.

Environmental impact of the Mining Project:

  • According to the clearance report by the forest advisory committee, 95,000 trees will be cut for the project.
  • But according to our assessment, more than 200,000 trees spread across 841 hectares of forest will have to be chopped down.
  • This project, spread over 1,200 hectares, will lead to a displacement of around 700 people from Fatehpur, Hariharpur and Saili villages of the Sarguja and Surajpur districts

Increase in disasters leads to spike in intentional homicides of women: UN Report


Violence against women and girls increases in the aftermath of disasters and at the extreme end of the scale, this even takes the form of intentional homicides, according to a new United Nations report on disaster risk reduction.

Intentional homicide is defined as unlawful death purposefully inflicted on a person by another person.


The Report

  • Title: The Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2022(GAR 2022).
  • It builds on the analysis of United Nations-mandated SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) data on increased gender based violence in disasters.

Key-findings of the Report

  • 80 per cent of the time, women and girls are often dislodged from their homes due to changes in climatic conditions which lead to human-made disasters, affecting them disproportionately.
  • This strong correlation between the number of people affected by disaster and the number of female victims of intentional homicide was found to be the highest in central and south Asia, followed by east and south-east Asia.
  • Additional socioeconomic and psychological stresses of disasters on affected people increase vulnerability through indirect social impacts.
  • Increases in gender-based violence during disaster displacement and slow-onset disasters was a key concern at the global level, in regions such as Asia and the Pacific, as well as in various countries such as:
    • wildfires in Australia
    • cyclones in Bangladesh
    • floods and hurricanes in the United States
  • Disasters also fuel human trafficking, which has a strong gender dimension.

Challenges faced by Women

Women in particular face barriers to

  • Lack of access to information and resources needed to adequately prepare, respond and cope to a disaster ? including lack of access to:
    • early warning system
    • safe shelter
    • bank accounts to protect savings from disasters
    • stable income
  • Resource and structural constraint


Energy independence through hydrogen

India’s Green Hydrogen Policy released on February 17, 2022 has addressed several critical challenges such as open access, waiver of interstate transmission charges, banking, time­bound clearances, etc., and is expected to further boost India’s energy transition.

India’s Energy Consumption

  • Present Scenarios- India’s per capita energy consumption is about one­third of the global average and one­twelfth of the U.S.
  • Future prospects- Increasing growth and economic prosperity would significantly increase India’s energy appetite furthering import dependence.
  • Global Volatility-The Russia­Ukraine crisis and the roller­coaster ride of energy prices from historic lows in 2020 to record highs in 2021, could pose a serious threat to our energy security, accentuating an unequivocal need to strive for energy independence.
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QUIZ - 28th April 2022

Mains Question:

Q1. How does increase in disasters and displacement affects the women across the globe? Enumerate the need for empowering women and girls in the context of climate change (250 words)


  • Introduction- increasing climate change and disasters
  • Impact on society, especially women (explain climate change as serious aggravator of all types of gender-based violence against women)
  • Challenges faced by women
    • Lack of access to information and resources
    • Lack of access to early warning system
    • lack of safe shelter
    • lack of access to bank accounts to protect savings from disasters
    • unstable income
  • Required measures (climate justice, and gender and social equity)
  • Conclude accordingly

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