CAO Daily Editorial analysis for UPSC IAS 26-October, 2017

Current Affairs Only Daily Editorial Analysis for Competitive Exams

26th October, 2017


Being self-aware {Education}

(The Hindu)


This article talks about providing appropriate sex education to adolescents.

Adolescence is a transitional stage of physical and psychological development that generally occurs during the period from puberty to legal adulthood.

Adolescent development

Adolescence is one of the most rapid phases of human development.

  • Biological maturity precedes psychosocial maturity. This has implications for policy and programme responses to the exploration and experimentation that takes place during adolescence.
  • The characteristics of both the individual and the environment influence the changes taking place during adolescence.
  • Younger adolescents may be particularly vulnerable when their capacities are still developing and they are beginning to move outside the confines of their families.
  • The changes in adolescence have health consequence not only in adolescence but also over the life-course.

Sex education

It is instruction on issues relating to human sexuality, including emotional relations and responsibilities, human sexual anatomy, sexual activity, sexual reproduction, age of consent, reproductive health, reproductive rights, safe sex, birth control and sexual abstinence. Sex education that covers all of these aspects is known as comprehensive sex education. Common avenues for sex education are parents or caregivers, formal school programs, and public health campaigns.

Traditionally, adolescents in many cultures were not given any information on sexual matters, with the discussion of these issues being considered taboo. Such instruction, as was given, was traditionally left to a child’s parents, and often this was put off until just before a child’s marriage.

Pros of Sex Education in Schools

  • Sex education in schools can help children understand the impact of sex in their lives. It dispels myths related to sex and broadens their horizon.
  • It can also answer all the questions that they have regarding their changing body and hormonal surges.
  • Children are often inquisitive about the other gender. Sex education in school can help them understand the differences and keep the desire to explore things for themselves in check.
  • Child sexual abuse is a social malice that is afflicting thousands worldwide. Sex education in schools can play an active role in curbing the incidence of abuse as through this medium children can be made aware of the difference between good and bad touch.
  • It is much better to teach children about sexual health in school rather letting them use other resources, such as pornographic material and the internet. This is important because avenues, such as the internet have a huge store of information that might be misleading.
  • With problems, such as teenage pregnancies and transmission of STDs on the rise, it is only appropriate that sex education is made accessible in school so that the most number of children can be made aware.
  • It transforms children into responsible adults. It is a known fact that teenagers today turn sexually active, therefore, sex education can help them understand the benefit of abstinence in the early years or it can at least teach them how to be responsible sexually active people.

Cons of Sex Education in Schools

  • Mostly teachers who are given the task of teaching sex education to students are not experts and have vague ideas about sexual health themselves. This is even more harmful as incorrect information is extremely lethal as it can actually leave a wrong impression on the students. Children have an impressionable mind and incorrect information imparted at an early age can actually transform them into ignorant adults.
  • Students may still be subject to embarrassment or excitable by subject matter. If not taught properly, sex education in school can become a matter of ridicule and students may not take any interest in it.
  • The fact that in most schools sex education is treated like an extracurricular course and not a primary one. If the authorising body is not serious about it then they cannot expect that students and teachers will be interested in it.
  • Sex education at school may be at odds with the religious ideologies. Unless these disparities are sorted out by someone, who is aware of the two ideologies, sex education at school can actually confuse the students more.

Going back to the basics {Health Issue}

(The Hindu)


This article discusses World Development Report 2018.

Why in news?Image result for World Development Report 2018

On page 115 of the World Development Report 2018, the World Bank’s new report which focuses for the first time on education.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) images taken in Dhaka, Bangladesh, of the brains of two infants aged two-three months. The growth of one infant was stunted while the other was not. The images show the stark difference in brain development between the stunted child and the one who is not stunted.

Result of this MRI

The fibre tracts in the brain of the child who is not stunted are denser, and the connections more elaborate, than those in the brain of the stunted child.

The report of “Learning to Realize Education’s Promise”

  •  It is good to see that it makes a moral case for education, with a rights-based approach, and sub-sections titled ‘Education as freedom
  • One of the most important sections is not about education but about early childhood development.
  •  The report discusses the far-reaching impact of poverty and chronic malnutrition on the physical and mental development of children.
  • Education improves individual freedoms’; ‘Education benefits all of society’.

Childhood stunting 

It is a condition that is defined as height for age below the fifth percentile on a reference growth curve. If, within a given population, substantially more than 5% of an identified child population have heights that are lower than the curve, then it is likely that said population would have a higher-than-expected prevalence of stunting. It measures the nutritional status of children. It is an important indicator of the prevalence of malnutrition or other nutrition-related disorders among an identified population in a given region or area.

Stunting reflects chronic undernutrition during the most critical periods of growth and development in early life. 

It is defined as the percentage of children, aged 0 to 59 months, whose height for age is below minus two standard deviations (moderate and severe stunting) and minus three standard deviations (severe stunting) from the median of the WHO Child Growth Standards.

In India, 38 per cent of children younger than five years of age are stunted, a manifestation of chronic undernutrition.  Stunting and other forms of under-nutrition are thought to be responsible for nearly half of all child deaths globally.

Stunting is associated with an underdeveloped brain, with long-lasting harmful consequences, including diminished mental ability and learning capacity, poor school performance in childhood, reduced earnings and increased risks of nutrition-related chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity in future.

While India’s economy has been growing at impressive rate, the country still has the highest number of stunted children in the world, (46.8 million children) representing one-third of the global total of stunted children under the age of five.

Big Picture

  • 38 per cent children under-five years in India are stunted.
  • Stunting (inadequate length/height for age) reflects cumulative effects of intergenerational poverty, poor maternal and early childhood nutrition, and repeated episodes of illness in childhood.
  • Stunting is the most prevalent form of under-nutrition, yet it goes largely unrecognized.
  • Stunting prevalence varies across states. The levels of stunting in children is above the national average in Uttar Pradesh,  Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand. Prevalence of wasting is highest in Madhya Pradesh  followed by Jharkhand, Meghalaya and Bihar.
  • The lifelong effects of stunting are said to result in at least 10 per cent decrease in future income over the lifetime of stunted adults.

The way forward

One would have liked to see greater focus on the continuing problems of access and equity, which are still the biggest problems in education.

If there is one aspect of education which needs to be quantified and measured in order to make our education systems function better for all children, it is equity.

How fair and equitable are education systems?

 Where are the greatest gaps?

Which kids suffer the most from inequitable systems?

These questions should be asked as part of an ongoing process of assessment for equity.

Should robots be nationalised? {Social Issue}

(The Hindu)


This article talks about how labours are exploited and robotization could improve the situation

Working hours

  • In ancient Rome, a slave worked a maximum of six hours a day.
  •  A third of the year was spent in festivities.
  • European workers in the Middle Ages had a six-hour work day and spent 150 days in religious celebrations — almost half the entire year off!

Changes after Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution and the continuous automation of work have morphed us into becoming increasingly less human workers.

Exploitation of labour is the act of treating ones workers unfairly and for ones benefit. It is a social relationship based on a fundamental asymmetry in a power relationship between workers and their employers.

A new era

 We will move into a “humanistic intelligence” era in which we transform our workers, first with wearable computers (smartwatches and Google glasses are a beginning, the new smartphones operating according to moods, gaze and gestures are the next step), and then with deeper integration, like the Swedish company Biohax, implanting chips under the skin of their employees’ wrists?

It is called “shortening the chain of command”— from the smart screen era, to the cyborg era.

At first, technology might not immediately take all our jobs, it will take over our bodies.

Is the government’s bank recapitalisation plan a bailout? {Indian Economy}



The government’s money through the bank recapitalisation plan may be just another dole to help lenders stay afloat and to return to profits.

What is bank recapitalisation?

Bank recapitalisation, as the name suggests, means recapitalising banks with new capital to improve their balance sheet. The government, using different instruments, infuses capital into banks undergoing credit crunch. Capital is the money invested by shareholders in the business. Since the government is the biggest shareholder in public sector banks, the responsibility of infusing capital majorly lies with the government.

Why do banks need to recapitalise?PSU banks were sitting on a bad loan pile of Rs7 trillion as of June and this would have swelled further as of September. Graphic: Subrata Jana/Mint

It’s like this. Banks create money. They can create money at will really. If I lend you money, and you put it back in a deposit in my own bank, I have created money. You think of it as “I put the money into the bank, and it gave me a loan.” (Replace “me” by “him” in the second part if you like, but effectively it’s all the same).

But actually it gave you the loan, and then you put money into the bank. So the order does not necessarily matter for the banking system. Now, what constrains banks? Their capital. For every loan I make, I need to have 10% of it as my capital. So if I have Rs 100, I can give out  Rs 1000 in loans.

How government plans to recapitalise public sector banks?

The government is currently focused on maintaining its fiscal deficit at 3.2%. This means that the government cannot take out money from state coffers and give it to banks. Hence, the government bifurcated the entire Rs 2.11 lakh crore amount in two parts: First, through budgetary allocation and second, by issuing recapitalisation bonds.

How will recapitalisation bonds work?

The government will issue recapitalisation bonds, which banks will subscribe and enter it as an investment in their books. The banks will lend money to the government for subscribing the bonds. This money raised by the government through these bonds will go back to banks as capital.

This will immediately strengthen the balance-sheet of the banks and show capital-adequacy. Since the government is always solvent, the money lent to the government for subscribing recap bonds is free from becoming a bad loan.

Yields change? Inflation?

  • Yields may go up because of inflation that will come. India doesn’t have the problem of low demand for credit.
  •  There is demand but banks have lousy capital ratios so they won’t lend. And capex demand has dried up somewhat, but that will recover over time. If banks start lending again, we are gonna see a big expansion in money supply.
  • Liquidity, in India, with credit supply, means inflation in the future. The RBI’s been good at watching this recently. So they will raise rates accordingly.
  • This could really be the end of the low-interest-rate cycle if there is an actual recovery in public sector bank credit now.



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1 Comment
  1. Reply
    मोहित मनहास
    October 26, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    a very humble request sir plz post editorials daily .thanks

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