Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.-Vince Lombardi



Sexual harassment (Vishaka Guidelines)


Centre for tougher law against sexual harassment at work

      WHY IN NEWS:

GoM finalises recommendations, which will be put up for public comments

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1:2:3:Social issues : Issues related to women : Gender related crimes: NCRB


For PRELIMS as well as Mains understanding Vishaka Guidelines is very important.We have mentioned all the relevant points.Go through it


The Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Home Minister Amit Shah, which was constituted to strengthen the legal framework to prevent sexual harassment at the workplace, has finalised its recommendations, a senior official said.


The recommendations, which include addition of new provisions to the Indian Penal Code, will be put up for comments from the public.

The GoM was constituted first in October 2018 in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement after many women shared their ordeal on social media.

The Women and Child Development Ministry had steered the Sexual Harassment of Women and Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act in 2013, which was applicable to government offices, the private sector, NGOs and the unorganised sector.

The official said the proposed amendments would be largely based on the Vishaka Guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in 1997, on which the 2013 Act was based.

It made the employer responsible to prevent or deter acts of sexual harassment at the workplace.


The Vishaka Guidelines were a set of procedural guidelines for use in India in cases of sexual harassment.

They were promulgated by  Supreme Court in 1997 and were superseded in 2013 by the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.


Sexual harassment includes such unwelcome sexually determined behavior (whether directly or by implication) as:

  1. physical contact and advances;
  2. a demand or request for sexual favors;
  3. sexually colored remarks;
  4. showing pornography;
  5. any other unwelcome physical verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.

Preventive steps

  • Sexual harassment should be affirmatively discussed at workers’ meetings, employer-employee meetings, etc.
  • Guidelines should be prominently displayed to create awareness about the rights of female employees.
  • The employer should assist persons affected in cases of sexual harassment by outsiders.
  • Central and state governments must adopt measures, including legislation, to ensure that private employers also observe the guidelines.
  • Names and contact numbers of members of the complaints committee must be prominently displayed.

Employer’s obligations

Internal Complaints Committee and Local Complaints Committee: The Sexual Harassment Act requires an employer to set up an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) at each office or branch having more than 10 employees of any gender.

In addition to ensuring compliance with the other provisions stipulated, the Sexual Harassment Act casts certain [wc_highlight color=”yellow” class=””]obligations upon the employer :[/wc_highlight]

  • provide a safe working environment
  • display conspicuously at the workplace, the penal consequences of indulging in acts that may constitute sexual harassment and the composition of the Internal Complaints Committee
  • organise workshops and awareness programmes at regular intervals for sensitizing employees on the issues and implications of workplace sexual harassment and organizing orientation programmes for members of the Internal Complaints Committee
  • treat sexual harassment as a misconduct under the service rules and initiate action for misconduct.
  • The employer is also required to monitor the timely submission of reports by the ICC.


If an employer fails to constitute an Internal Complaints Committee or does not comply with any provisions contained therein, the Sexual Harassment Act prescribes a monetary penalty of up to INR 50,000

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

When changes are made to the IPC, the various sections on crime against women will also be amended.

The laws need to change with time, and sexual harassment of women at the workplace will be addressed through the IPC amendments also.



Danger looming over Aravali forests


Rollback of amendments to land Act sought

      WHY IN NEWS:

Over 100 people take out procession to highlight danger looming over Aravali forests

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Conservation of Biodiversity


For PRELIMS the issue is new;Geography of aravalis  . Let this propel a little more before understanding the concern and depth.


The PLPA Amendment Bill, 2019, which has been signed by the Haryana Governor is the death knell for our forests. If notified that 60,000 acres of PLPA protected Aravalli forests and 10,000 acres of Shivalik forests near Chandigarh will be opened for real estate development. This amounts to a loss of 33% of our forests when Haryana already has the lowest forest cover in India — barely 3.62% as compared to the national average of 20%


Participants at the symbolic funeral procession march held on Sunday.

Dressed in white, people from Delhi, Gurugram and Faridabad took out a symbolic funeral procession march to highlight the grave danger looming over the Aravali forests — the NCR’s lifeline for clean air and water security — and sought the roll-back of the controversial amendments to the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), 1900

‘Green lungs’

Aravali forests in south Haryana are Gurugram, Faridabad and NCR’s green lungs, barrier against desertification and critical water recharge zone.

“People have invested their hard-earned money to make the NCR their home but they never imagined that they would have such a low quality of life where the average air quality index remains over 300 throughout the year. The PLPA Amendment Bill is equivalent to a mass genocide as it will further destroy our negligible green lungs.

To show solidarity with the Aravalis, the protesters held hands and took a sacred oath to be the voice of the forests and the birds, butterflies, mammals, reptiles and insects that live there.


This legislation was enacted to save the soil from erosion. At the time of enactment it was applicable to whole of Punjab.

Now it is applicable to whole of the State of Haryana.

Areas of northern Haryana along the Shiwalik hills which are prone to soil erosion due to water flow in the rugged and slopy terrain and areas of southern and western Haryana which are prone to erosion both by air and water have been put under restriction of certain activities under this law.

great risk of destruction are another 50,000 acres of Aravali forests that do not have protection of any forest law

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The PLPA Amendment Bill seeks to only benefit the real estate sector at the cost of forests, wildlife, water security, air quality and the health and well-being of millions of men, women and children living in the NCR cities, including our future generations and thus needs to be withdrawn by the Haryana government




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      WHY IN NEWS:

RBI releases an app for Visually impaired persons. Called the Mobile Aided Note Identifier (MANI)



For PRELIMS this is a very important app to be understood how this functions

For MAINS thiscan be surely used as supplementary point or an example in last mile connectivity of digital India program .


Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched a mobile app for visually and /or hearing impaired people to identify the denomination of currency notes. Called the Mobile Aided Note Identifier (MANI), it seeks to help such people who faced various problems in accessing the new and old currency notes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series.


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has clarified, however, that the MANI app does not authenticate a currency note as genuine or counterfeit while scanning them.

Using the app, a visually challenged person can scan and identify the denominations by checking the front or reverse side of a currency note, including folded notes.

The app also works offline to scan and identify the denominations of currency notes once it is installed.

artical image

Using this app, you can identify the denomination of the currency in three ways: text on screen, audio notification and vibration.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

When a currency denomination is to be identified, select the ‘scan currency’ option on the app. The currency note should be placed at a distance of approximately five to seven inches from the rear camera.


Steppe eagle


Lone, rare migratory eagle sighted in Andhra Pradesh

      WHY IN NEWS:

‘Steppe eagle spotted for the second time in two decades’

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:IUCN:Biodiversity Conservation:Fauna


For PRELIMS IUCN status and the birds migrating map should be the prime focus

For MAINS nothing much here


A lone endangered steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis) has been sighted by a group of birdwatchers in a paddy field at Velagaleru near Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh.


The steppe eagle in a paddy field at Velagaleru in A.P.


As the name already says, the Steppe Eagle is a bird of open habitat like steppes, desert, semi-desert, grasslands and even agricultural areas.
In the winter quarters, for example in India or Oman, also found at garbage dumps.


In Europe only found in Russia north and north-west of the Caspian Sea. Formerly also nested in Moldova and Romania but it is long extinct in those countries. Also gone from the Ukraine since the 1980s .

Outside of Europe the species is found in the steppes of central Asia eastwards to Mongolia, eastern Kazakhstan, Tibet and northeastern China .

During winter in Africa and southwestern Asia.


The Steppe Eagle is a migratory species.

Most European birds and those from western Asia spend the winter in eastern and southern Africa. Some also spend the winter on the Arabian Peninsula.
Birds from farther east spend the winter in India and neighbouring countries.


Age of first breeding not yet known, probably around 4 years. Often nests on the ground, slope of a hill and also on bushes and power poles.
1 – 4 eggs are laid. Incubation time is about 45 days .

The young stay in the nest for about 60 days. [wc_highlight color=”yellow” class=””]Cainism (the killing of young eagles by their older siblings) does not occur with this species as often 2 or 3 young fledge.[/wc_highlight]


      IASbhai WINDUP: 

“The sighting of the endangered species highlights the need for exploration of the diversity of avian life in the State. “Steppe eagle is believed to be the second-largest migratory eagle species to India,” said Mr. Sekhar. In winter, steppe eagle breeds in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia.

Conversion of open habitats for aquaculture, pesticides and various effluents pose threat to the species. “The find emphasises the need for extensive avian surveys in the landscapes within and outside the protected areas in the State,”


Irrawaddy dolphins


146 endangered Irrawaddy dolphins sighted in Chilika

      WHY IN NEWS:

The lake is home to their highest single lagoon population



For PRELIMS just know the facts mentioned . This has already been asked question earlier in Prelims.

For MAINS know the methods of conservation .


Odisha Forest Department officials, wildlife experts and researchers on Sunday sighted 146 endangered Irrawaddy dolphins in Chilika Lake, which boasts of the highest single lagoon population of the aquatic mammal in the world.

At home: According to last year’s census, the Irrawaddy dolphin population in Chilika was 151.

The dolphin census was simultaneously taken up in Chilika and off Odisha coast. The Chilika Development Authority (CDA) is elated as the direct sighting of 146 dolphins meant that its population in the lake would stabilise well above 150. According to last year’s census, the Irrawaddy dolphin population in Chilika was 151.


“The direct sighting of 146 dolphins only corroborates the estimate of the CDA, which does counting of dolphins round the year using hydrophones. Our estimated population range is 133-172,”.

His confidence stemmed from the fact that dolphins were colonising new areas, which had been freed from encroachments by prawn farming gherries.


  • Irrawaddy dolphins are found in coastal areas in South and Southeast Asia, and in three rivers: the Ayeyarwady (Myanmar), the Mahakam (Indonesian Borneo) and the Mekong.
  • The Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphins inhabit a 118-mile stretch of the river between Cambodia and Lao PDR and are scarce—just 92 individuals are estimated to still exist.
  • These dolphins have a bulging forehead, short beak, and 12-19 teeth on each side of both jaws.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Chilika is Asia’s largest and world’s second-largest lagoon.
  • It lies on the east coast of India in the state of Odisha, separated from the mighty Bay of Bengal by a small strip of sand.
  • It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent and is home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals.
  • In 1981, Chilika Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
  • The major attraction at Chilika is Irrawaddy dolphins which are often spotted off Satpada Island.

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