DAILY EDITORIAL DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS(12th March) - Sleepy Classes Skip to main content

DAILY EDITORIAL DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS(12th March)

By March 12, 2022March 24th, 2022GS 3, GS1, Science & Technology, Women

 

 Woman Empowerment (GS 1)

Wealth need to be financially Empowered   (Business Line, 12th March 2022)

#BreakTheBias

  • Despite all the progress made towards accomplishing gender parity, the gender gap remains and is observed in various forms.
  • Women’s meaningful ‘emancipation’ is embedded in their financial independence.
  • Globally, 35% of women are estimated to be financially excluded.
  • Lack of education is one of the major factors hindering women’s access to institutional finance.
  • This often results in their reluctance to avail themselves of the savings and loan products from financial institutions
  • Some level of basic education is essential to enhance financial literacy.

Inequality in Education

  • According to the UNESCO’s E-Atlas of Gender Inequality in Education- Globally, about 10% of all girls roughly between 6 and 11 years are denied the right to education.
  • If the current trend continues, almost 16 million girls between 6 and 11 years will never get an opportunity to attend a primary school compared to about 8 million boys.
  • There is another chronic problem of the practice of getting the female children married before they are economically independent.
  • This, along with early motherhood, makes them entirely dependent on the husband or in law’s family.

Other Hindrances to Financial Inclusion

  • In many countries, women do not have the necessary ID proof without which they cannot access financial institutions.
  • In many developing and low-income countries, women are not allowed to go to a bank which is generally staffed with more men.
  • Women also often do not have control over the assets they own as they are controlled by her male relatives.
  • Inheritance and marriage laws are another stumbling block. 
  • In a patriarchal society, it is the sons who inherit the ancestral property.

Way Forward

  1. Improving women’s literacy levels must be the first priority for enhancing their financial inclusion.
  2. Crediting women’s salaries directly to their bank accounts will increase their financial empowerment.
  3. The government’s launching of exclusive bank accounts for girl children, e.g., Sukanya SamRiddhi Yojana is equally laudable.
  4. Where women cannot go to bank offices, agent-driven banking can help them.
  5. There must be greater awareness and enlightenment among men too to bring about greater gender equality.
  6. Banks should hold special campaigns for opening accounts for women.

About Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana

  • Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign.
  • The main aim of securing the future of a girl child. 
  • Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme is a small saving scheme under the Government of India targeting the parents of any girl child.
  • Tax benefits of up to Rs.1.5 lakh can be obtained
  • Investments made towards the scheme can be used for the girl child’s marriage and education. 
  • An SSY account can be opened at banks and post offices.

 

 Mineral & Energy Resources/ Nuclear Technology (GS 1/ GS3)

Misguided Energy Policy (The Hindu, 12th March 2022)

Nuclear Hazard

  • The world was reminded of this on March 3, when a fire broke out near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine.
  • Had the fire affected the cooling system, the plant’s power supply, or its spent fuel pool, a major disaster could have occurred.
  • On March 11, 2011, multiple reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant suffered severe accidents after an earthquake and a tsunami.
  • The aftershocks of the Fukushima disaster were felt beyond Japan and led to a slump in nuclear energy in most of the world.
  • Yet, some policymakers insist on expanding nuclear power, in response to climate-change.
  • In December 2021, Indian government informed Parliament that it plans to build “10 indigenous reactors

Economic Cost of Nuclear Energy

  • Nuclear Power is neither an economical source of electricity nor a viable route to meeting India’s climate goals.
  • Nuclear power plants are capital intensive and recent nuclear builds have suffered major cost overrun.
  • An illustrative example is the V.C. Summer nuclear project in South Carolina (U.S.) where costs rose so sharply that the project was abandoned
  • The Wall Street company, Lazard, estimated that the cost of electricity from solar photovoltaics and wind turbines in the U.S. declined by 90% and 72%, respectively, between 2009-21.
  • In 2020, the International Energy Agency dubbed solar energy the “new king of electricity”.

Ambitions of Nuclear Power

  • India has also had to drastically cut its nuclear ambitions after Fukushima. 
  • In 2008, then chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, Anil Kakodkar, projected that India would have 650GW of installed capacity by 2050.
  • In 2008, the U.S. government projected an expansion of nuclear capacity to 114.9 gigawatts by 2030
  • While in 1996, 17.5% of the world’s electricity came from nuclear power plants.
  • Interestingly, by 2020, this figure had declined to just around 10%.

Electricity Generation Cost

  • 6 planned EPRs (European Pressurized Reactors) at Jaitapur in Maharashtra had been constructed on schedule
  • Electricity from these reactors would cost at least  15 per unit excluding transmission costs
  • Compare that figure with recent low bids of 2.14 per unit for solar power, and 2.34 for solar-wind hybrid projects
  • If nuclear electricity is to be sold at a competitive rate, it would have to be greatly subsidised by the Indian government.

Understanding Risks

  • In a densely populated country such as India, land is at a premium and emergency health care is far from uniformly available
  • Local citizens understand that a nuclear disaster might leave large swathes of land uninhabitable — as in Chernobyl.
  • Concerns about safety have been accentuated by the insistence of multinational nuclear suppliers that they be indemnified of liability for the consequence of any accident in India
  • The industry objects to the small window of opportunity available for the Indian government to hold them to account. 
  • The message to local citizens is simple: manufacturers do not really believe in their own claims about how safe their reactors are
  • If they did, they should have been willing to accept responsibility for any failure

 

Question Framed from Editorial

  • While India has set ambitious targets to generate electricity using Renewable Energy, there are risks associated with harnessing power from nuclear energy. Critically Evaluate (250 Words)

 

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