- Right to free and compulsory education must be extended to the 14-18 age group
- Annual Status of Education Report (Rural) 2017- that Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act should cover entire spectrum of 18 years, and not con•ne itself to those aged 6 to 14
- NGO Pratham
- Guaranteed inclusion will empower those in the 14-18 age group who are not enrolled anywhere
- ASER sample study estimates that 14% of this age group — a total of 125 million are not enrolled.
- Absolutely essential-All of them to get an education skills, especially job – oriented
- If the expectation of a demographic dividend is to be meaningful.
- State of rural elementary education is far from encouraging
- Learning outcomes for those who had progressed to higher levels of schooling were shockingly low:
- Only 43% of the youth could solve an arithmetic problem involving division
- Progress being made in raw enrolment of children in school,
- But miserable failures in achieving learning outcomes
- Secondary level students •find it difficult to read standard texts meant for junior classes or locate their own State on the map.
- 9.4% of both boys and girls aged 17-18 not enrolled in a Chhattisgarh district,
- Compared to 4.5% and 3.9%, respectively, in a Kerala district.
- Massive digital divide, with 61% of respondents stating they had never used
the Internet, and 56% a computer,
- While mobile telephony was accessible to 73%
- Girls were worse off•in terms of access to computers and the Internet
- What is needed is a vision that will translate the objectives of the RTE Act
into a comprehensive guarantee,
- Expanding its scope to cover all levels of education.
- This will remove the lacuna in policy that awaits remedy seven decades after Independence
The price prescription
- Post-GST, we need a more targeted taxation and retail policy on tobacco products
- India is the second largest consumer and producer of tobacco – based products
- Categorised as sin goods or demerit goods
- Awareness campaigns highlighting the deadly effects of tobacco use,
- Regulatory control laws pertaining to packaging and labelling as well as shaming and
prohibiting its use in public places
Health comes first
- Supreme Court recently stayed a Karnataka High Court
- Order setting aside the 2014 amendment rules to the Cigarettes and OtherTobacco Products(Prohibition ofAdvertisement and Regulation ofTrade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 that prescribed – pictorial warnings covering 85% of the package space.
- Unreasonable restriction on the right to do business and earn a livelihood
- Supreme Court observed that the “health of a citizen has primacy”
- One approach to bring about behavioural changes towards tobacco use,
- Placing barriers to its consumption also calls for appropriate pricing policies, for which
taxation measures must be at the forefront
- World Health Organisation’s Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS 2016-17)
highlights India’s distinct pattern of tobacco consumption in multiple forms
- Such as cigarettes, bidis, chewing tobacco and khaini (smokeless tobacco)
- Global trend of cigarettes being the primary source of consumption.
- In India, bidis, chewing tobacco and khaini form 89% of as against 11% for cigarettes.
- Average unit price of a bidi or smokeless tobacco is significantly lower than of a cigarette
- Former is a cheaper source for consumers who are mostly from low-income segment of society.
- After GST
- The nationwide implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) has not improved the
- All tobacco-related products have been placed in the 28% tax slab.
- Additionally, a National Calamity Contingent Duty (NCCD) and a cess charge have been imposed on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.
- Removal of all excise and other tax exemptions irrespective of the size of the unit,
- Health-related issues among low-income poor households and the health-care burden
Prelims Focus Facts-News Analysis
- Page-1- Surge in banking stocks sends Sensex soaring
- BSE index shot past 35,000 mark
- Government’s decision to lower its additional market borrowing by 60%
- Propelled banking stocks , pushed the benchmark Sensex above the 35,000 mark
for the •First time ever
- Page-1– Can govt. mandate sharing of biometric data, asks SC
- Court begins hearing on 27 petitions against the Aadhaar project.
- Page-1- Kolkata’s Presidency to launch its own museum
- Exhibits to include J.C. Bose’s attendance record, rare copy of Newton’s
- Tagore’s speech -A copy of the magazine issue in which a speech of
RabindranathTagore was published will also be on display
- The 200-year-old Presidency University (till recently, Presidency College) is set to launch its own museum, which will showcase the history of the institution since its
inception in 1817 as Hindu College in Kolkata.
- Koreas united on Winter Olympics
- The two Koreas will held a combined women’s ice hockey team and march together under one flag at next month’sWinter Olympics in the South, Seoul said on Wednesday,after a new round of talks amid a thaw in cross-border ties.
- GST Council may review sliding revenue,compliance
- Meeting assumes signi•cance ahead of Feb. 1 Budget
- ‘Direct tax collections jump 18.7% this •fiscal’