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The Hindu Editorial

13-February-2024

1. A global alliance to bridge the gender equity gap

Topic: GS2 – Social Justice – Vulnerable Sections Crucial for UPSC, it assesses India’s commitment to gender equality, global collaboration, and socio-economic development, reflecting diverse policy dimensions.
Context
  • The article underscores India’s dedication to gender equality and inclusion, showcasing initiatives like the G-20 Leaders’ Declaration and the Alliance for Global Good, emphasizing global collaboration for women-led development.
  1. G-20 Leaders’ Declaration:
    • Equality and inclusion are crucial for India’s development journey.
    • The New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration at the G-20 under India’s presidency emphasizes the commitment to prioritizing inclusion in various focus areas.
  1. Gender Equity Mission at the World Economic Forum:
    • India launches the ‘Alliance for Global Good – Gender Equity and Equality’ at the World Economic Forum in January.
    • A multi-stakeholder initiative to accelerate socio-economic causes globally, transitioning equity and equality into working agendas.
  1. Governance Initiatives:
    • The Women’s Reservation Bill passed, ensuring one-third of seats for women in Parliament and State Assemblies.
    • Allocations of nearly $27 billion under the gender budget in 2023-24 demonstrate government commitment to women-led development.
  1. Empowering Women in Various Sectors:
    • Female labor force participation rate increases from 23.3% in 2017-18 to 37% in 2022-23.
    • Female enrollment in higher education rises by 28% in the last decade, with 43% in STEM courses.
    • Over nine crore women participate in 83 lakh self-help groups in rural India.
  1. Recognition at Global Forums:
    • Global leaders acknowledge India’s success stories in space exploration, sports, entrepreneurship, and UN peacekeeping operations.
    • We-Lead Lounge at Davos gains global interest, providing a platform for meaningful deliberations.
  1. Alliance for Global Good – Gender Equity and Equality:
    • Anchored by the CII Centre for Women Leadership, guided by the Minister of Women and Child Development, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
    • World Economic Forum as a network partner highlights global relevance and commitment to inclusive growth.
  1. Objectives and Focus Areas:
    • The Alliance aims to develop scalable solutions in ed-tech, medical capacity building, health interventions, learning and skill development, agrotech, women enterprise development, and unlocking capital for gender outcomes.
    • India’s leadership in pharmaceuticals and digital prowess align with the Alliance’s goals.
  1. Industry Opportunities:
    • Global industry has an opportunity to share practices, invest in proven programs, and make inclusion a business conversation.
    • Collaborative efforts can advance women’s engagement and leadership through increased access to healthcare, education, and economic opportunities.
  1. India’s Commitment to Global Good:
    • Emphasises India’s commitment to ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – One Earth, One Family, One Future’ and the principle of Sabka Saath, Sabka Prayaas, Sabka Vikaas.
    • The Alliance for Global Good is positioned to be a significant force on all gender-related issues globally.
  1. Conclusion:
    • In conclusion, India’s steadfast commitment to gender equity, exemplified by initiatives like the Alliance for Global Good, reflects a transformative vision for inclusive development.
    • Through global collaboration, India aims to lead the charge towards a more equitable and empowered future.
PYQ: Women empowerment in India needs gender Budgeting. What are the requirements and status of gender Budgeting in the Indian context? (200 words/12.5m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2016)
Practice Question:  “In the context of India’s initiatives like the Alliance for Global Good, discuss the role of global collaboration in advancing gender equality and socio-economic development.  (150 words/10 m)

2. Gandhi’s Ram is not in the Ram Mandir

Topic: GS1 – Indian History – Personalities Essential for UPSC, it explores Gandhi’s spiritual-political philosophy, impacting India’s socio-religious fabric and governance, testing candidates’ historical and ethical perspectives.
Context
  • The article delves into Mahatma Gandhi’s spiritual connection with Lord Ram, his approach to religion in politics, and the universal aspect of his vision, contrasting it with present-day dynamics.
  1. Influence of Lord Ram on Gandhi:
  • Gandhi had a deep connection with Lord Ram since childhood, influenced by the Vaishnava faith.
  • His nurse, Rambha, introduced him to the remedy of repeating Rama-nama, shaping his spirituality.
  1. Gandhi’s Religious Approach in Politics:
  • Gandhi brought religion into politics, rooted in spirituality.
  • He aimed to make politics religious and religion practical, emphasizing karma yoga and social action.
  1. Purification of Politics and Reform of Religion:
  • Gandhi worked towards purifying politics and reforming formal religion.
  • He redefined the significance of Rama, Rama-nama, and Ramarajya in his discourse.
  1. Gandhi’s Journey of Self-Purification:
  • Gandhi continuously chanted Rama-nama for self-purification.
  • He saw the importance of action (deed) over mere darshan (temple worship).
  1. Gandhi’s Perspective on Temple Worship:
  • Gandhi responded to questions about temple worship of Rama, acknowledging the simplicity of faith.
  • He believed Rama resides within, and simple faith should be respected.
  1. Rama in Gandhi’s Prayers and Speeches:
  • Rama, Rama-nama, and Tulsidas’s Ramcharitmanas mentioned extensively in Gandhi’s writings.
  • Gandhi’s speeches highlighted the significance of Rama in his spiritual journey.
  1. Universal Aspect of Rama:
  • Gandhi clarified that his Rama is not a Hindu god but the eternal, unborn, and omnipresent.
  • He emphasized the unity of God, acknowledging names like Allah or Khuda.
  1. Gandhi’s Caution in Religious Symbols:
  • Gandhi used symbols from Hindu traditions but refrained from visiting temples, mosques, and churches.
  • Warned against misunderstanding his use of terms like Ramarajya, emphasizing divine rule, not Hindu dominance.
  1. Gandhi’s Vision for India:
  • Gandhi envisioned true democracy in Ramarajya, ensuring swift justice for every citizen.
  • He saw Rama-rajya as a symbol of justice, transcending religious boundaries.
  1. Present-Day Reflection:
  • Critique of the politicization of religion, contrasting with Gandhi’s inclusive vision.
  • Concerns about a perceived partiality in a multi-religious society, diverging from Gandhi’s principles.
  1. Conclusion:
  • Gandhi’s profound connection with Rama reflects a spiritual approach to politics.
  • His vision of inclusivity and harmony serves as a reminder in the context of contemporary religious and political dynamics.
Practice Question:  In the context of Mahatma Gandhi’s spiritual-political philosophy and the universal aspect of his vision, analyze the significance of his approach in contemporary Indian governance. (150 words/10 m)

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