Bhagat Singh


A photograph of Bhagat Singh in Punjab Chief Minister’s office has run into a controversy.


GS I- History

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. Who is Bhagat Singh?
  2. Why has Bhagat Singh’s photo been put up at CM Bhagwant Mann’s office?
  3. What is the objection to Bhagat Singh’s photograph installed at CM’s office?

Who is Bhagat Singh?


  • In 1907, Bhagat Singh was born into a Sikh family in Lyallpur District, Pakistan.
  • Singh was lured to the Indian independence movement from a young age since his family members were participating in the struggle for independence.
  • He disobeyed the British government as a child by destroying textbooks that it advised.
  • He first backed Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement.
  • Bhagat Singh converted to revolutionary nationalism after Gandhi withdrew the campaign in the aftermath of the Chauri Chaura tragedy.
  • The Jallianwala Bagh massacre (1919) and the violence against unarmed Akali protestors at Nankana Sahib had a profound impact on him (1921).
  • Inspired by leftist writings he read widely, Singh was an atheist and against capitalism.

Revolutionary activities:

  • In Kanpur in 1924, he joined the Hindustan Republican Association, which had been founded a year before by Sachindranath Sanyal.
  • Bhagat Singh returned to Lahore in 1925, and within a year, he and his colleagues founded the Naujawan Bharat Sabha, a militant youth organisation.
  • Along with Sukhdev, Chandrashekhar Azad, and others, he was a member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) in 1928.
  • Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev also founded the Lahore Students Union to encourage students to engage in open, lawful work.
  • He was involved in revolutionary actions such as the
    • Lahore Conspiracy case and
    • the 1929 Central Assembly Bombing case.
  • Along with Rajguru, Sukhdev, and others, Bhagat Singh was arrested and charged in the Saunders murder case.
  • The three was sentenced to be hanged on March 24, 1931, however the sentence was carried out at the Lahore Jail a day early.
  • In honour of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev, the 23rd of March is honoured as ‘Martyrs’ Day,’ or ‘Shaheed Diwas,’ or ‘Sarvodaya Day.’

Political ideology:

His azaadi independence did not stop with the expulsion of the British; he also demanded azaadi freedom from poverty, untouchability, communal warfare, and all forms of discrimination and exploitation.

Why has Bhagat Singh’s photo been put up at CM Bhagwant Mann’s office?

  • Even before the Punjab poll results were declared, AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal and the party’s chief ministerial face, Bhagwant Mann, had announced that if the party came to power, the photos of Bhagat Singh and Dr BR Ambedkar would adorn the walls of government offices, moving away from the tradition of putting the chief minister’s photos.
  • Mann has been an ardent follower of Bhagat Singh, who was hanged by the British on March 23, 1931 in Lahore when he was just 23, along with his companions Sukhdev and Rajguru.
  • Mann says that he dreams of creating an egalitarian Punjab that Bhagat Singh had dreamt of and sacrificed his life for.

What is the objection to Bhagat Singh’s photograph installed at CM’s office?

  • According to researchers, the photo installed is “not an authentic photograph” of the freedom fighter but merely “an imagination”.
  • Chaman Lal, honorary advisor to Delhi’s Bhagat Singh Resource Centre and the author of several books on the freedom fighter, says, “We have clarified many times that Bhagat Singh never wore any basanti or kesari turban. It is all imagination. We have only four original photographs of him. In one picture, he is sitting with open hair in jail, another shows him in a hat and two others show him in a white turban.
  • All other pictures showing him in yellow or orange turbans or even with a weapon in his hand are products of imagination. Political parties should talk about his ideology and discuss it with youths instead of using his name for their own benefits. Paintings created with imagination should never be used for official purposes.”

Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013


Recently, Kerala High Court asked organisations associated with the film industry to take steps to constitute a joint committee to deal with cases of sexual harassment of women, in line with the prevention of sexual harassment or POSH Act, passed by Parliament in 2013.


GS II- Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. The law against sexual harassment
  2. Guidelines and the law
  3. Procedure for complaint

The law against sexual harassment

  • The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act was passed in 2013.
  • It defined sexual harassment, lay down the procedures for a complaint and inquiry, and the action to be taken.
  • It broadened the Vishaka guidelines, which were already in place.

Vishaka guidelines

  • The Vishaka guidelines were laid down by the Supreme Court in a judgment in 1997.
  • This was in a case filed by women’s rights groups, one of which was Vishaka.
  • They had filed a public interest litigation over the alleged gangrape of Bhanwari Devi, a social worker from Rajasthan.
  • In 1992, she had prevented the marriage of a one-year-old girl, leading to the alleged gangrape in an act of revenge.

Guidelines and the law

The Visakha guidelines, which were legally binding, defined sexual harassment and imposed three key obligations on institutions —

  • prohibition,
  • prevention,
  • redress.

The Supreme Court directed that they should establish a Complaints Committee, which would look into matters of sexual harassment of women at the workplace.

The 2013 Act broadened these guidelines.

  • It mandated that every employer must constitute an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) at each office or branch with 10 or more employees.
  • It lay down procedures and defined various aspects of sexual harassment, including the aggrieved victim, who could be a woman “of any age whether employed or not”, who “alleges to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment”.
  • This meant that the rights of all women working or visiting any workplace, in any capacity, were protected under the Act.

Definition of sexual harassment

Under the 2013 law, sexual harassment includes “any one or more” of the following “unwelcome acts or behaviour” committed directly or by implication:

  • Physical contact and advances
  • A demand or request for sexual favours
  • Sexually coloured remarks
  • Showing pornography
  • Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.

The Ministry of Women & Child Development has published a Handbook on Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace with more detailed instances of behaviour that constitutes sexual harassment at the workplace. These include, broadly:

  • Sexually suggestive remarks or innuendos; serious or repeated offensive remarks; inappropriate questions or remarks about a person’s sex life
  • Display of sexist or offensive pictures, posters, MMS, SMS, WhatsApp, or emails
  • Intimidation, threats, blackmail around sexual favours; also, threats, intimidation or retaliation against an employee who speaks up about these
  • Unwelcome social invitations with sexual overtones, commonly seen as flirting
  • Unwelcome sexual advances.
  • The Handbook says “unwelcome behaviour” is experienced when the victim feels bad or powerless; it causes anger/sadness or negative self-esteem.
  • It adds unwelcome behaviour is one which is “illegal, demeaning, invading, one-sided and power based”.

Additionally, the Act mentions five circumstances that amount to sexual harassment —

  • implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in her employment;
  • implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment;
  • implied or explicit threat about her present or future employment status;
  • interference with her work or creating an offensive or hostile work environment;
  • humiliating treatment likely to affect her health or safety.

Procedure for complaint

  • Technically, it is not compulsory for the aggrieved victim to file a complaint for the ICC to act.
  • The Act says that she “may” do so — and if she cannot, any member of the ICC “shall” render “all reasonable assistance” to her to complain in writing.
  • If the woman cannot complain because of “physical or mental incapacity or death or otherwise”, her legal heir may do so.
  • Under the Act, the complaint must be made “within three months from the date of the incident”. However, the ICC can “extend the time limit” if “it is satisfied that the circumstances were such which prevented the woman from filing a complaint within the said period”.
  • The ICC “may”, before inquiry, and “at the request of the aggrieved woman, take steps to settle the matter between her and the respondent through conciliation” — provided that “no monetary settlement shall be made as a basis of conciliation”.
  • The ICC may either forward the victim’s complaint to the police, or it can start an inquiry that has to be completed within 90 days.
  • The ICC has powers similar to those of a civil court in respect of summoning and examining any person on oath, and  requiring the discovery and production of documents.
  • When the inquiry is completed, the ICC must provide a report of its findings to the employer within 10 days. The report is also made available to both parties.
  • The identity of the woman, respondent, witness, any information on the inquiry, recommendation and action taken, the Act states, should not be made public.

Periodic Labour Force Survey


The National Statistical Office (NSO) has released the latest Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), which shows that the unemployment rate increased dramatically during the statewide lockdown in 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic.


GS III- Indian Economy (Employment)

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. Key Employment and Unemployment Indicators
  2. What is the Periodic Labour Force Survey?
  3. Types of Unemployment in India
  4. Causes of Unemployment in India

Key Employment and Unemployment Indicators

  • Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR): LFPR is defined as the percentage of persons in labour force (i.e. working or seeking or available for work) in the population.
  • Worker Population Ratio (WPR): WPR is defined as the percentage of employed persons in the population.
  • Unemployment Rate (UR): UR is defined as the percentage of persons unemployed among the persons in the labour force.
  • Activity Status- Usual Status: The activity status of a person is determined on the basis of the activities pursued by the person during the specified reference period. When the activity status is determined on the basis of the reference period of last 365 days preceding the date of survey, it is known as the usual activity status of the person.
  • Activity Status- Current Weekly Status (CWS): The activity status determined on the basis of a reference period of last 7 days preceding the date of survey is known as the current weekly status (CWS) of the person.

What is the Periodic Labour Force Survey?

  • Nodal for the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) is the Ministry of Statistics.
  • In April 2017, the National Statistical Office (NSO) introduced the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS).
  • The primary goal of PLFS is two-fold:
    • To estimate key employment and unemployment indicators (such as the Worker Population Ratio, Labour Force Participation Rate, and Unemployment Rate) in the Current Weekly Status (CWS) for urban areas only in a short time interval of three months.
    • To estimate employment and unemployment indicators in both usual status (ps+ss) and CWS in both rural and urban areas on an annual basis.

Types of Unemployment in India

  • Disguised Unemployment: This is a situation in which more people are employed than are required. It is mostly seen in India’s agricultural and unorganised sectors.
  • Seasonal unemployment: Unemployment that happens only during particular seasons of the year. In India, agricultural labourers rarely work throughout the year.
  • Structural Unemployment: This is a type of unemployment that occurs when there is a mismatch between the jobs available and the abilities of the available workers.
  • Cyclical unemployment: Unemployment that rises during recessions and falls with economic expansion. It is mostly a phenomenon of capitalist economies.
  • Frictional Unemployment:  It is also known as Search Unemployment, is the time lag between jobs when someone is looking for a new job or moving jobs.

Causes of Unemployment in India

  • Jobs in the capitalist world have become highly specialised but India’s education system does not provide the right training and specialisation needed for these jobs.
  • In India nearly half of the workforce is dependent on Agriculture – even though agriculture is underdeveloped in India and only provides seasonal employment.
  • Mobility of labour in India is low due to factors like language, religion, and climate.
  • The industrial development had adverse effects on cottage and small industries – as the cottage industries fall, many artisans become unemployed.
  • Constant increase in population has been a big problem and one of the main causes of unemployment.
  • Certain work is prohibited for specific castes in some areas and this also contributes to unemployment.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana


Greater penetration and usage of LPG as a cooking fuel is estimated to have prevented at least 1.5 lakh pollution-related premature deaths in the year 2019 alone, according to the first independent impact assessment of the government’s flagship Ujjwala program.

  • 13% reduction in air pollution deaths due to UJJAWALA Scheme.

GS-II: Social Justice and Governance (Welfare Schemes, Government Policies & Interventions)

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. About Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) – 1
  2. Advantages of PMUY:
  3. Why was PMUY Necessary?
  4. About PMUY-II

About Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) – 1

  • The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is a government scheme launched in 2016 which envisages the distribution of 50 million LPG connections to women below the poverty line.
  • PMUY is a scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
  • There are 27.87 Crore active LPG consumers in the country, with the PMUY beneficiaries accounting for over 8 crores.

Advantages of PMUY:

  • Providing LPG connections to BPL households will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country.
  • This measure will empower women and protect their health.
  • It will reduce drudgery and the time spent on cooking.
  • It will also provide employment for rural youth in the supply chain of cooking gas.

Why was PMUY Necessary?

  • As per the estimates of the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 5 lakh deaths in India occurred due to unclean cooking fuel.
  • These deaths were caused mostly due to non-communicable diseases including heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.
  • Providing LPG connections to families below the poverty line will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country.
  • The scheme can be a tool for women empowerment in that LPG connections and clean cooking fuel can reduce cooking time and effort, and in most of India, cooking is a responsibility shouldered solely by women.
  • The scheme also provides employment to the rural youth in the supply chain of cooking gas.


  • The PMUY-II is aimed to provide maximum benefit to the migrants who live in other states and find it difficult to submit address proof.
  • Now they will only have to give “Self Declaration” to avail the benefit.
  • The scheme provides a financial support of Rs 1600 for each LPG connection to the BPL households.
  • Along with a deposit-free LPG connection, Ujjwala 2.0 will provide the first refill and a hotplate free of cost to the beneficiaries.
  • Under Ujjwala 2.0, an additional 10 million LPG connections will be provided to the beneficiaries. Government has also fixed a target of providing piped gas to 21 lakh homes in 50 districts.


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