Daily Current Affairs: January 2-3, 2021

Key Constitutional Values Invoked Last Year

  • One of the most striking images at the beginning of 2020 was that of the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
  • Constitutional challenges to CAA ranged from suits filed by several states to petitions alleging infringement on the fundamental right to equality and the secular character of the Constitution.
  • The first quarter of 2020 witnessed a political and constitutional crisis in Madhya Pradesh. This crisis attracted attention to the Tenth Schedule — the anti-defection law — of the Constitution.
  • Parliament could not redeem itself enough in 2020.
  • Three agricultural bills were passed by a voice vote in Rajya Sabha, despite protest from the Opposition.
  • The passage of these bills bypassed parliamentary form of government characterised by debate, discussion, and accountability.
  • The last quarter of 2020 witnessed the promulgation of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020.
  • The law is intrusive and its constitutionality dubious.

The Note is based on this article: Key constitutional values invoked last year must be built on

Gender Differentials In COVID-19 Case Fatality Rates (CFR) In India

  • Recent data on gender differentials in COVID-19 case fatality rates (CFR) in India shows that unlike the global trends, women in India suffered more than their male counterpart.
  • All over the world, men tend to suffer from higher COVID-related co-morbidities like hypertension, as compared to women.
  • Comorbiities make males more vulnerable to contracting the novel coronavirus. India is no exception to this worldwide trend.
  • Men in India, on average, are also at a higher risk of contracting the disease owing to higher physical mobility and lifestyle choices.
  • There is high prevalence of smoking and alcohol consumption among men then women.
  • Women are biologically stronger than men.
  • Yet, paradoxically, in India, the CFR for women is higher than that for men.

What explains the higher CFR for women than men?

  • Women in India have less access to food and nutrition.
  • Women are more likely to suffer from poor nutrition outcomes compared to men.
  • According to NFHS 2015-2016, as many as 23 per cent Indian women have a lower than normal BMI.
  • The same survey also revealed that only 63 per cent have some say in decisions regarding their healthcare.
  • Female infants, moreover, face a triple burden of undernutrition.
  • These triple burdens are: i. Maternal undernutrition., ii.) Gender-bias in breastfeeding; ii.) lack of access to nutrition.
  • In addition to this triple burden, women also have less access to facility-based healthcare.
  • Health care expenditure (HCE) on women is also very low.
  • The unequal burden of unpaid care responsibilities on women in Indian households also reflects on their health

The Note is based on this article: Why India bucks global gender-related trends on Covid-19 mortality