Global South

In News

Recently, the Indian External Affairs Minister said that India would be the “voice of the Global South, that is otherwise under-represented in such forums”.

About Global North and Global South: 

  • Global North refers loosely to countries like the US, Canada, Europe, Russia, Australia and New Zealand
  • Global South includes countries in Asia, Africa and South America. 
  • Why is it in the news now?
    • The economic emergence of some of these South countries, such as India and China, in the last few decades. 
    • Many consider the world to now be multipolar rather than one where the US alone dominates international affairs. 
    • The progress achieved by many Asian countries is also seen as challenging the idea that the North is the ideal.

Need for the ‘Global North’ and the ‘Global South’

  • Easier analysis: For a long time in the study of international political systems, the method of categorising countries into broad categories for easier analysis has existed.
    • The concepts of ‘East’ and ‘West’ is one example of this, with the Western countries generally signifying greater levels of economic development and prosperity among their people, and Eastern countries considered as being in the process of that transition.
    • Another similar categorisation is of First World, Second World and Third World countries, referring to countries associated with the Cold war-era alliances of the US, the USSR, and non-aligned countries, respectively.
  • Change and clear names were required: In the post-Cold War world, the First World/Third World classification was no longer feasible, because when the Communist USSR disintegrated in 1991, most countries had no choice but to ally at some level with the capitalist US – the only remaining global superpower.
    • The East/West binary was seen as often perpetuating stereotypical thinking about African and Asian countries. 
  • Terms did not explain the real condition of the countries: The idea that some countries were ‘developed’ while others were not was thought to be too wide a classification, inadequate for accurately discussing concerns.
    • Categorising incredibly diverse countries into a monolith was felt to be too simplistic.
  • Old names for present times, not working: Some so-called developing countries have come so far that it’s fair to say they have developed. A handful of failed states are hardly developing at all. Most countries are somewhere in the middle.
World Systems ApproachIt was introduced by sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein in 1974, emphasising an interconnected perspective of looking at world politics.There are three major zones of production:Core, Peripheral and Semi-peripheral.The core zones reap profits, being the owners of cutting-edge technologies – countries like the US or Japan. Peripheral zones, on the other hand, engage in less sophisticated production that is more labour-intensive. In the Semi peripheral (middle) are countries like India and Brazil.

How is Global South an upgrade on previous terms?

  • Better term for similar countries:
    • They are arguably more accurate in grouping countries together, 
    • Measures similar in terms of wealth, indicators of education and healthcare, etc. 
    • Most have a history of colonisation, largely at the hands of European powers.
  • Exclusion: 
    • This classification trains more focus on the Global South. 
    • Region’s historical exclusion from prominent international organisations – such as from the permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council. 
    • As bodies like the UN and the IMF are involved in major decision-making that affect the world in terms of politics, economy and society, the exclusion is seen by these countries as contributing to their slower growth.
Cause of Inequalities in different categorisationdifferent levels of health and education; The nature of a country’s economy and its industrial sectors; International trading policies and access to markets; How countries are governed and international relationships between countries; Conflict within and between countries;A country’s vulnerability to natural hazards and climate change. 

Criticism of the classification

  • The term is too broad:
    • The problem of proper naming is still not resolved.
    • North countries paying for funding green energy, having historically contributed to higher carbon emissions, many in the Global North have objected to China and India’s exclusion from this, given their increasing industrialisation.
  • Is the objective different from previous classifications?
    • There is also the question of whether the South simply aims to replace the North and the positions it occupies, again continuing a cycle in which a few countries accumulate crucial resources. 

Way Ahead

  • In this multipolar world, the whole North and South needs to come together to fight the issues of developed and developing countries and promote the East like the West.

Abuse on Elderly persons in India

In News

  • Recently, the Report of Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI) was released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
    • As per the recent Report, around 5.2% of senior citizens surveyed reported ill-treatment/abuse.

Data on the issues faced by the elderly population in India

  • Health:
    • Self-reported health condition:
      • According to the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI) 2017-18, there are 24.2 per cent of people aged 60 years and above and 12.1 per cent people aged 45-59 years of age who have claimed poor self-rated health conditions. 
    • Mental Health: 
      • LASI in its previous report has pointed out two domains to understand mental health. One is cognition and the other is depression. 
  • Economic:
    • Currently working: 
      • There are nearly 61.9 per cent of people aged 45-59 years and 35.7 per cent of aged 60 years and above who are currently working. They are mostly engaged in agricultural and allied activities. 
    • Seeking a job: 
      • According to LASI, there are 4.4 per cent of people aged 45-59 years and 1.5 per cent of age 60 years and above, are seeking jobs.
  • Social:
    • Living arrangement: 
      • There is around 5.7 per cent of people aged 60 years and above who live alone. 
    • Perceived life satisfaction with social status: 
      • Life satisfaction among the elderly is less than 50 per cent. Only 43.9 per cent of people aged 60 years and above are satisfied with their own life. 
  • Abuse & Crime:
    • Substance abuse: 
      • Substance abuse increases with an increase in age according to the LASI findings. It is 13.8 per cent for people aged 60 and above in contrast to 10.8 per cent for 45-59 years age.
    • Crimes against senior citizens:
      • As per the NCRB data, As many as 4,264 cases of various crimes against senior citizens were reported in 19 metropolitan cities in 2021

Government initiatives for the protection of Elderly population in India

  • The National Policy on Older Persons, 1999: 
    • The policy envisages State support to ensure financial and food security, health care, shelter, protection and other needs of older persons to improve quality of their lives.
  • The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act:
    • It was enacted in 2007 to ensure need-based maintenance of parents and senior citizens and their welfare including shelter, healthcare, protection of life and property, against abandonment etc.
  • “National Programme for the Health Care of Elderly”:
    • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is implementing the “National Programme for the Health Care of Elderly”.
  • Atal VayoAbhyudayYojana (AVYAY):
    • The Department of Social Justice and Empowerment is implementing AVYAY for senior citizens.
    • It has the following components for providing different services to senior citizens:
      • RashtriyaVayoshriYojana (RVY):
        • For bringing near normalcy in the bodily functions of those BPL senior citizens who suffer from age-related disabilities/ infirmities, by providing them with free of cost assisted living devices. 
      • Able Citizens for Re-Employment in Dignity (SACRED) Portal:
        • Many senior citizens have experience, time and energy which can be used by the business enterprises looking for stable employees with experience. 
        • The portal allows bringing these people together by virtual matching of preferences.
      • Promoting Silver Economy:
        • To encourage the entrepreneurs to think about the problems of the elderly and come out with innovative solutions, by providing uptoRs. 1 crore as financial assistance in the form of maximum 49% equity participation, through an open invitation on a portal namely Seniorcare Ageing Growth Engine (SAGE).

Way ahead

  • India is considered a young country. But the United Nations projects that Indians over the age of 60 years will double by 2050, constituting almost 19.6 per cent of the total population.
  • Life expectancy has shown considerable improvement. But if these added years are dominated by declines in physical and mental capacities, the implications for the older population and society will be much more negative.
  • Hence, an integrative approach to align the needs of elderly as well as older adults in programmes and policies is the need of hour.
Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI)About:The LASI is a full-scale national survey of scientific investigation of the health, economic, and social determinants and consequences of population aging in India. The LASI is a nationally representative survey over 73,000 older adults age 45 and above across all states and union territories of India. Function:LASI is envisioned to be conducted every 3 years for the next 25 years. It is well-positioned to evaluate the effect of changing policies on the behavioural outcomes in India.  Features unique to India:Additionally, LASI considers the features that are unique to India, including its institutional and cultural characteristics. 

Jallikattu & issues surrounding the sport

In News

  • A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court recently reserved for judgment a batch of petitions seeking to strike down the law that protects Jallikattu.

More about the news

  • Precursor:
    • In 2014, the Supreme Court, in the A. Nagaraja judgment had held Jallikattu as cruelty to bulls.
  • Issue:
    • The bone of contention is the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act of 2017 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules of 2017, which had re-opened the gates for the conduct of the popular bull-taming sport in the name of culture and tradition despite a 2014 ban by the Supreme Court.
  • Examining the relevant laws:
    • The primary question involved was whether Jallikattu should be granted constitutional protection as a collective cultural right under Article 29 (1).
    • The court examined if the laws “perpetuate cruelty to animals” or were actually a means to ensure “the survival and well-being of the native breed of bulls”.
    • The Bench also heard parties on whether the new Jallikattu laws were “relatable” to Article 48 of the Constitution.
  • Apex Court’s action:
    • Supreme Court reserved the judgment claiming that the bull-taming sport is a cultural heritage of the State and is protected under Article 29 (1) of the Constitution.

About Jallikattu

  • Jallikattu is a bull-taming sport that has traditionally been part of the festival of Pongal
  • The festival is a celebration of nature, and thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest, of which cattle worship is part.
  • Contests in Avaniapuram, Peelamedu, and Alanganallur, villages neighbouring Madurai, set the tone for the season, which continues until April.
  • How is it played?
    • The elite Jallikattu breeds test the strength and guile of farm hands in especially-constructed arenas. 
    • It is a violent sport, and there is only one winner, man or bull. 
  • Arguments in favour of the sport:
    • The political economy of Jallikattu: 
      • It is about showcasing the quality of cattle, the breeding skills of cattle rearers, the centrality of cattle in an agrarian economy, and the power and pride they bring to farmers and land-owning castes in rural Tamil Nadu. 
      • Jallikattu is a cultural manifestation of this political economy.
    • Act of cultural resistance to an urban modernity:
      • For agrarian communities like Thevars and Maravars, Jallikattu is one of the few markers of their social standing and identity in a fast-changing world. 
      • The contest, which evidently celebrates masculinity, is almost an act of cultural resistance to an urban modernity that tends to marginalise rural and agrarian values.
  • Arguments against the sport:
    • Harming both, bulls & humans:
      • The practice of Jallikattu has long been contested, with animal rights groups and the courts concerned over issues of cruelty to animals and the bloody and dangerous nature of the sport that causes death and injuries to both the bulls and human participants.
    • Apex Court’s view & the Upanishadic wisdom:
      • In 2014, the Supreme Court had ruled that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, “over-shadows or overrides the so-called tradition and culture”. 
      • The court drew upon Upanishadic wisdom and advised Parliament to “elevate rights of animals to that of constitutional rights so as to protect their dignity and honour”.
      • “Bulls are beaten, poked, prodded, harassed and jumped on by numerous people. They have their tails bitten and twisted and their eyes and noses filled with irritating chemicals,” the judgment said.
  • Statutory provisions:
    • Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Tamil Nadu Amendment Act 2017:
      • Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act, 2017. 
      • An Act to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 so as to preserve the cultural heritage of the State of Tamil Nadu and to ensure the survival and wellbeing of the native breeds of bulls.
    • The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules of 2017 also recognised the culture and traditions of the people as a fundamental right.

Way ahead

  • Governments at the state and Centre have wrestled with formulating a regulatory mechanism for Jallikattu, and a matter relating to whether Tamil Nadu can conserve it as a cultural right under Article 29(1) of the Constitution.
  • Tradition and culture are not immune to change. But it is facile to argue that the rights discourse can be conducted ignoring the cultural context. 
Constitutional provisions protecting animal rights in IndiaArticle 21:Under Article 21 of the Constitution, the expression ‘life’ has been expanded to include all forms of life including animal life which is essential for human life. Moreover, the Right to Dignity and fair treatment is also significant to animal rights.Article 29 (1):Article 29 (1) is a fundamental right guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution to protect the educational and cultural rights of citizens.Article 48 Article 48 of the Constitution of India is one of the Directive Principles which directs the state to make efforts for banning animal slaughtering of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle. It further states to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines.Article 51 A (g):Article 51 A (g) states that every citizen has a fundamental duty to safeguard and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and animals as well as to have compassion for living creatures.This Constitutional provisions were introduced by the 42nd amendment in 1976.

India-Bangladesh Joint Working Group (JWG)

In News

Recently, India-Bangladesh held the 18th meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on security and border management

Key Points

  • Issues discussed:
    • They agreed to deepen and strengthen mutual cooperation on security and border-related issues.
    • To implement Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP) in letter and its spirit for effective guarding of the Indo-Bangladesh border was the main issue. 
    • Bilateral issues such as border fencing and developmental works within 150 yards of the International Border, illegal crossing, bilateral cooperation in checking insurgency.
    • Combating terrorism, organised crimes and smuggling were also discussed.
  • Recent history:
    • In the last more than four decades, the two countries have continued to consolidate their political, economic, trade and cultural relations and have built a comprehensive institutional framework to promote bilateral cooperation. 
    • Both countries share 54 rivers, out of which, a treaty is already in existence for sharing of the Ganges water and both sides are working for early finalisation of agreements for sharing of water of other common rivers. 
    • Both countries are also cooperating in the conservation of the entire Sundarbans ecosystem, which is a common biodiversity heritage. 

India Bangladesh Relations

  • Political: India was one of the first countries to recognize Bangladesh and establish diplomatic relations immediately after its independence in December 1971.
    • Internationally both the nations share the following platforms: SAARC, BIMSTEC, Indian Ocean Coastal Regional Cooperation Association, and Commonwealth.
  • Trade and investment:  
    • Bangladesh is India’s biggest trade partner in South Asia. 
  • Power and energy cooperation:
    • Cooperation in the power sector has become one of the hallmarks of India -Bangladesh relations. 
    • Bangladesh is the biggest development partner of India. 
  • Defence Cooperation: 
    • High level exchanges at the level of services chief of Indian Navy, Bangladesh Navy and Indian Air Force, conduct of second annual defense dialogue and inaugural tri-services staff talks, service specific talks of Navy and Air Force.
    • Various Joint exercises take place between the two countries:
      • Exercise Sampriti (Army) and 
      • Exercise Milan (Navy).
  • Multimodal Connectivity: 
    • The passenger trains between India and Bangladesh:
      • Bandhan Express: 
      • Maitree Express:
      • Mitali Express: 

Way Ahead

  • India needs to look at more ways to deepen its ties with Bangladesh, especially keeping in mind the shifting nature of geopolitics and geoeconomics in South Asia. 
  • India and Bangladesh have more or less agreed on most issues and this stability must be maintained.
  • India needs to find a fine balance in respecting Bangladesh’s economic growth while maintaining its economic progress. 

Ad Hoc Judges

In News

Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) stated that the process to appoint ad hoc judges must be less cumbersome.

SC’s Suggestions

  • Need of “out-of-the-box” thinking: Roping in senior lawyers to act as ad hoc judges in High Courts to meet the rising tide of pendency.
  • Less Cumbersome Procedure:  Once the Chief Justice recommends it should happen in a matter of days.
  • Utilising Expertise of Retired Judges: The retired judges who were willing to come back to the Bench as ad hoc judges would bring their experience in dealing with arrears.

Ad hoc Judges in High Courts

  • Article 224A of Indian Constitution deals with the appointment of ad hoc judges in High Courts.
  • The Chief Justice of India may at any time, with the prior approval of the President of India, request a person who has been in the office of Judge of that court or any other High Court to act as Judge of the High Court of that State.
  • The Chief Minister will forward his recommendation to the Union Minister of Law and Justice after consultation with the Governor.

Apex Court’s Guidelines for the Appointment of Ad hoc Judges

  • If a high court has vacancies that are more than 20% of its sanctioned strength;
  • If cases of a specific category are pending for more than five years;
  • If over 10% of the high court’s cases are pending for more than five years;
  • If the rate of disposal of cases is lower than the rate of institution of cases (‘case clearance rate’);
  • Even if the number of old cases is low, it is likely there will be a situation of mounting arrears due to a consistently low case clearance rate for a year or more.

Extension of RoDTEP Scheme

In the News 

the government decided to extend the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) Scheme to the pharmaceuticals, chemicals and iron & steel sectors with effect from December 15.

  • The move is aimed at boosting exports at a time they have been impacted due to the global economic slowdown and demand slowdown in major markets such as China and the European Union.

About RoDTEP scheme

  • It was introduced in January 2021 to replace an earlier merchandise export incentive scheme
  • The RoDTEP scheme rebates or refunds the embedded central, state, and local duties and taxes to the exporters that were so far not being refunded.
    • the rebate is issued as a transferable electronic scrip by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs.
  • It is based on the globally accepted principle that taxes should not be exported, and taxes and levies borne on the exported products should be either exempted or remitted to exporters.
  • It is meant to provide a ‘zero rating’ of exports or ensure that no domestic taxes are added to goods meant for export.

Nai Roshni scheme

In News

Since inception, about 4.35 lakh beneficiaries have been trained under the ‘Nai Roshni’ scheme.

About Nai Roshni scheme

  • It aims to empower and enhance confidence in Minority women by providing knowledge, tool and techniques for the Leadership Development of Women.  
  •  It is a six-days non-residential/five-days residential training programme conducted for women belonging to a minority community between the age group of 18 years to 65 years. 
  • The training modules cover areas related to Programmes for women, Health and Hygiene, Legal rights of women, Financial Literacy, Digital Literacy, Swachch Bharat, Life Skills, and Advocacy for Social and Behavioural changes. 
  • The scheme was implemented through Programme Implementing Agencies (PIAs). Now, the scheme has been merged with PM VIKAS as a component. 
  • It is run with the help of NGOs, Civil societies and Government Institutions all over the country. 

Changes in UPI

In Context

  • RBI governor recently announced an additional function for Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platforms.

More about the new changes to UPI

  • The current function:
    • The UPI currently includes functionality to undertake recurring payments and single-block payments. 
  • Changes:
    • It is now being enhanced to allow customers to block funds in their accounts for multiple payments of specific nature.
  • Significance:
    • This is expected to improve the ease of making payments for online shopping and investments in securities. 
    • With the new feature, the merchant can make multiple debits up to a permitted amount.
    • The feature will also be helpful in the purchase of government securities using the RBI’s retail direct scheme. 
  • Implementation:
    • Separate instructions will be issued to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to implement the enhancement.
    • RBI governor also announced an expansion in the scope of Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) to include all payments and collections.

About Unified Payments Interface (UPI)

  • About:
    • Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is an instant real-time payment system developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). 
    • The interface facilitates inter-bank peer-to-peer (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions.
  • Transfer of funds:
    • It is used on mobile devices to instantly transfer funds between two bank accounts. The mobile number on the device is required to be registered with the bank.
      • The UPI ID of the recipient can be used to transfer money. 
  • Function & regulation:

It runs as an open-source application programming interface (API) on top of Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) and is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Recognition of National or State Party

In Context

  • Recently, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is on track to be recognised as a national party by the Election Commission of India (ECI).

More about the National Parties 

  • About:
    • The name suggests that a national party would be the one that has a presence ‘nationally’, as opposed to a regional party whose presence is restricted to only a particular state or region.
    • A certain stature is sometimes associated with being a national party, but this does not necessarily translate into having a lot of national political clout.
  • Criteria for recognition as a National Party:
    • Authority & fulfillment:
      • The ECI has laid down the technical criterion for a party to be recognised as a national party. 
      • A party may gain or lose national party status from time to time, depending on the fulfillment of these laid-down conditions.
    • A political party would be considered a national party if:
      • It is ‘recognised’ in four or more states; or
      • If its candidates polled at least 6% of total valid votes in any four or more states in the last Lok Sabha or Assembly elections and has at least four MPs in the last Lok Sabha polls; or
      • If it has won at least 2% of the total seats in the Lok Sabha from not less than three states.
    • To be recognised as a state party, a party needs:
      • At least 6% vote-share in the last Assembly election and have at least 2 MLAs; or
      • have 6% vote-share in the last Lok Sabha elections from that state and at least one MP from that state; or
      • At least 3% of the total number of seats or three seats, whichever is more, in the last Assembly elections; or
      • At least one MP for every 25 members or any fraction allotted to the state in the Lok Sabha; or
      • Have at least 8% of the total valid votes in the last Assembly election or Lok Sabha election from the state.

AAP’s current position:

  • The AAP is in power with big majorities and very large vote shares
    • In Delhi and Punjab. And in the Goa Assembly elections held in March, it received 6.77% of the vote.
  • This meant that going into the Gujarat-Himachal elections, the party already fulfilled the criteria for recognition as a state party in three states.
  • It now required 6% of the vote in the Assembly elections in either Himachal or Gujarat to be recognised in a fourth state — which would qualify it for recognition as a national party.


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