Ojaank IAS Academy



Share with

Child Marriage and the Role of Education

GS Paper II

Context: Social activists said that despite the Assam government’s aggressive campaign against child marriage, the issue’s root—limited women’s access to education—is not being effectively addressed. Data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) suggest that higher education levels may postpone a woman’s marriage more than income. The findings also show significant differences in the married ages of Dalit and upper-caste women as well as rural and urban women.

Does education or wealth play a greater role in determining when a woman gets married?
  • Education matters: For a longer period of time, education has been linked to a woman’s inability to get married.
  • Data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) show, for instance, that while poverty has increased over time, education has had a constant impact.
  • Poverty: Due to the rising need for dowry, the impoverished do not want to wait, making poverty the biggest contributor to early marriage. More affluent individuals no longer marry their daughters off young.
What role does marriage play in India?
  • In India, marriage is important because it performs several functions.
  • It is regarded as the most important institution for girls since it satisfies the family’s obligation to raise them. It is the parent’s duty to place boys in a career that will, ideally, result in marriage.
  • Marriage is essential to social identity, and since practically everyone gets married, a woman who is still unmarried is unusual.
  • Marriage is necessary for sexual respectability because people who want to be treated with respect in society typically engage in sexual encounters within marriage.
  • Legal children: In India, having a child without a husband is totally improper because marriage gives one the choice to have children.
What advantages that families see in getting women married earlier instead of educating them further?
  • Families may view having their daughters get married young as a method to lower the cost of the dowry, which may be a substantial financial burden. The male must receive more education and the dowry increases the more educated the girl is.
  • Families believe it is their duty to safeguard her sexual well-being before marriage. And the boy’s family receives the obligation. Why invest money on the girl’s education when she will live with her husband’s family after marriage?
  • Marriage within one’s own caste and community is necessary in certain societies to preserve social status and cultural customs. Early marriage may be considered as a means of maintaining cultural customs and ensuring that women are married within their caste and community.
Advantages of Women’s Access to Education:
  • Women who pursue education get information and skills that increase their level of empowerment and enable them to make wise decisions about their life.
  • Women with greater levels of education are more likely to work, make more money, and have better health outcomes.
  • Access to education may dispel preconceived notions about gender and open doors for women and girls.
  • Women’s bargaining power within families and communities may be strengthened by education, enabling them to bargain for better living circumstances, higher wages, and more autonomy.
Challenges in Women’s Employment:
  • With just 25%, women are underrepresented in the labour market, and they have suffered particularly from job losses.
  • There are still a lot of educated yet unemployed women despite greater access to education.
  • Women who work in business environments may encounter antagonism or struggle to strike a balance between personal and professional obligations.
  • The bulk of home responsibilities are still carried by women, while males still frequently have the last say in family choices, according to the basic terms of the conjugal contract between men and women.
Impact of Age of Marriage:
  • Raising the marriage age may not always result in women being more empowered, autonomous, or free.
  • Women may have greater options to pursue education and occupations if they postpone marriage, but there is still a sizable wage and employment disparity between men and women.
  • Marriage as a form of financial stability may likewise be put under further stress due to low and falling employment rates.
Why women in SC/ST/OBC communities get married at  younger age than even those in rural India?
  • Due to a mix of social and economic pressures, women in SC/ST/OBC groups typically get married at younger ages than even those in rural regions.
  • As a result of these groups’ perceived social disadvantage in the marriage market and their disproportionate representation in lower wealth quintiles, SC, ST, and OBC families are frequently destitute.
  • Caste and poverty are closely related in these places, where many people lack access to quality employment and are at risk of violence from those in positions of power.
  • Girls from these groups are considerably more at risk for these problems, with Dalit girls being especially vulnerable to sexual predators since young males from upper castes believe they have a right to access them.
  • For girls from these cultures, marriage can be perceived as a kind of safety, however the problem of early marriage is complicated and impacted by a variety of circumstances.

In India, the problem of child marriage is complicated and has roots in caste hierarchies, poverty, and cultural conventions. There are still issues despite the advancements in education and women’s empowerment. A comprehensive strategy that tackles the underlying cultural and economic conditions that support the practise is needed to solve the problem of child marriage.

Source: The Hindu

E-Postal Ballot for Overseas Indian Voters

GS Paper II

  • Context: The Electronic Postal Ballot System for Indian Voters Abroad has been proposed by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
  • By the beginning of 2023, there were around 1.15 lakh overseas voters.
  • On the suggestion of the EC, the Lok Sabha approved the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2018 in August 2018.
  • The Bill aimed to make it possible for voters from other countries to cast ballots in person or by proxy.
  • Nevertheless, because it was still pending in the Rajya Sabha when the 16th Lok Parliament was dissolved, it expired.
How can overseas voters currently vote in Indian elections?
  • Before to 2010, an Indian person who was a registered voter and had lived abroad for longer than six months was not permitted to cast a ballot.
  • This was due to the fact that if an NRI spent more than six consecutive months abroad, their name would be removed from voting records.
  • The Representation of the People (Amendment) Act of 2010 made it possible for qualified NRIs who had lived abroad for longer than six months to cast their ballots, but they could only do so in person at the polling place where they had registered as an overseas elector.
  • Both Indian nationals living abroad and Indian citizens who are residents of an Indian constituency above the age of 18 are qualified to cast a ballot in that constituency.
  • For foreign voters, the address listed in the passport is regarded as their usual home and is selected as the constituency they should register in.
How has the existing facility worked so far?
  • In 2019, there were almost a lakh registered foreign voters, up from just 11,846 in 2014. Yet, the majority of these voters (almost 90%) only came from Kerala, one State.
  • By stating that “a person absenting himself temporarily from his place of regular residence shall not by reason thereof cease to be habitually located therein,” it partially solves this.
  • According to the terms outlined in the Conduct of Election Regulations, 1961, the Bill allowed foreign voters to designate a proxy to vote on their behalf.
  • The ECI then requested permission from the government to allow NRIs to utilise the same postal voting system as service voters (those who are a part of the armed forces of the Union or who are subject to the requirements of the Army Act, 1950 (46 of 1950), also known as the ETPBS). The ECI advocated making this service available to voters from abroad as well.
What is ETPBS and how does it function?
  • A 2016 amendment to the Conduct of Election Regulations, 1961 made it possible for service voters to use the ETPBS.
  • Postal ballots are distributed electronically under this system to registered service voters.
  • After registering their mandate on the ballot, the service voter can download the ETPB (together with a declaration form and covers), print it off, and ship it to the constituency’s returning officer via regular mail.
  • An attestation form will be included with the posting (after being signed by the voter in the presence of an appointed senior officer who will attest it).
  • On the day of the results’ tally, the postal ballot must be received by the returning officer by 8 a.m.
  • In the case of NRI voters, those seeking to vote through ETPBS will have to inform the returning officer at least five days after notification of the election.
Are postal ballots a viable means of voting?
  • The 2019 Lok Sabha election had a higher turnout among service voters because to the ETPBS mechanism.
  • The postal ballot technique is now widely accepted because to the rising worldwide mobility of people for reasons relating to their place of employment.
  • This procedure need to be made simpler for NRIs by a postal ballot method that enables correct ballot authentication at approved consular/embassy offices and by a reliable postal system.

Source: The Hindu

Africa’s splitting plates could give birth to a new Ocean

GS Paper I

Context: When Africa divides into two distinct regions connected by the East African Rift, scientists anticipate that a new ocean will be formed. Inevitably, this geological process will split the continent, resulting in new beaches and undersea internet infrastructure, but it will also have a big impact.

What is Rifting?
  • The crust and top section of the mantle, collectively known as the lithosphere, are separated into tectonic plates that move in respect to one another at different rates.
  • The plates are moved by tectonic forces, which can also cause them to break, creating a rift and perhaps creating new plate borders.
  • When a single tectonic plate splits into two or more plates and is separated by divergent plate borders, this geological phenomenon is referred to as rifting.
  • Now, a rift that may one day result in the establishment of a new ocean basin is being formed as a result of the progressive separation of the Somali and Nubian tectonic plates.
  • A intriguing geological phenomena is the shifting of tectonic plates.
Rifting in African Continent:
  • One of the main tectonic plates of the Earth, the African Plate, is where the African continent is situated.
  • Rift valleys are only one of the geological characteristics that define the continent.
The East African Rift System:
  • The most noticeable instance of rifting in Africa is the East African Rift System.
  • From the Red Sea in the north to the Zambezi River in the south, it spans for more than 6,000 kilometres.
  • A network of linked rift valleys, volcanoes, and lakes make up the rift system.
Causes of the East African Rift System:
  • The African Plate is moving away from the Arabian Plate and the Somalian Plate, which is what is causing the rift system.
  • The Earth’s crust becomes tense as a result of this movement, pulling apart and forming a fissure.
 Lakes Formed by Rifting:
  • A number of sizable lakes have developed in the area as a result of the rifting process throughout time.
  • Lake Malawi, Lake Tanganyika, and Lake Victoria are some of these lakes.
  • They are thought to have developed as a result of the area between the rift valleys sinking.
Future of Rifting in Africa:
  • The African continent may someday divide into two or more distinct land masses as a result of the continuous rifting process.
  • It is anticipated that this process will take millions of years, therefore it is unlikely that it will have a substantial effect on human populations any time soon.
  • The terrible consequence of this natural occurrence will be the required evacuation of residents and possibly life losses.
  • New beaches will provide up prospects for economic expansion.
  • Communities, villages, and numerous species of flora and animals will be uprooted when the plates continue to separate in the future as a result of this event.
  • Conclusion:
  • The future of the continent is significantly impacted by the movement of the tectonic plates.
  • While keeping in mind the strength of the Earth’s natural forces and their potential effects throughout time, it is crucial to analyse and keep track of these changes.

Source: Indian Express

National Champions Model for Infrastructure Development


GS Paper III

Context: Infrastructure provision is challenging in developing countries. Infrastructure has evolved into a necessity, a source of job development, and a national aspirational good. Cost and the inclusion of public goods are the two main obstacles to providing infrastructure. The strategy used by this national champion tries to encourage private sector involvement in infrastructure development, but it also has certain drawbacks.

  • Traditional Financing Approaches and their Limitations:
  • Infrastructure has traditionally been financed by taxation or government borrowing.
  • Poorer economies, however, produce less tax income, which restricts infrastructure investment, which has a further knock-on effect that hinders economic growth and keeps the nation impoverished.
  • Exacerbating the issue is the tendency of rising domestic state borrowing to squeeze out private investment.
The Public-Private Partnership Model and its Problems:
  • In the early 2000s, the Indian government introduced the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model in an effort to encourage private sector involvement in infrastructure.
  • The PPP model resulted in the building of a lot of infrastructure, but it also resulted in a wave of non-performing assets with public sector banks, bankruptcies in the private sector, allegations of extensive corruption, and a change of government in 2014.
The National Champions Model and its Innovations:
  • The current administration has changed the PPP strategy by giving a small number of carefully vetted industrial companies the bulk of the infrastructure provisions for roads, ports, airports, electricity, and communications.
  • The national champions model is one in which the government selects a small number of big corporations to carry out its development goals.
  • With the help of financial aid, this concept encourages national champions to construct projects.
New aspects of the National Champions Model:
  • To encourage investment in initiatives with poor returns and negative cash flows, national champions require control over ongoing projects with significant cash flows.
  • A competitive advantage for champions in obtaining domestic and international contracts results from public connection with the government’s national development agenda.
  • National champions can borrow money from external credit markets by utilising these firms as collateral thanks to access to certain cash-rich projects, which decreases the cost of financing for others.
Benefits of National Champions Model:
  • Economic expansion: Through producing income, creating employment, and making investments in R&D, national champions may help the economy thrive.
  • Strategic importance: The approach may assist make sure that the nation has a strong presence in industries that are crucial to national security, like energy or military.
  • Export competitiveness: National champions have the potential to become market leaders and compete successfully on international markets, which can boost exports and enhance a nation’s trade balance.
  • Innovation: National champions can make significant investments in R&D, resulting in technical improvements that can help the overall economy.
  • Capital access: Compared to smaller businesses, national champions may have easier access to cash, enabling them to make bigger investments and pursue growth prospects.
The Problems with the National Champions Model:

Conglomerates are viewed as too large to fail by the market and the regulatory system. This indicates that because of their size and significance to the economy, these firms’ bankruptcy might have a significant negative impact on the financial system and the economy as a whole. This leaves room for market panic, delayed problem detection, and the spread of sectoral issues into systemic shocks. The recent difficulties faced by the Adani enterprises in India have brought to light the possible dangers of this strategy.

Concentrated markets can result in higher pricing, lesser quality, and less innovation since they decrease competition. When businesses gain market dominance, they are less motivated to innovate, cut costs, or enhance their goods and services. As a result, the economy’s total productivity may decline.

An industrial oligarchy is characterised by the concentration of economic power in the hands of a small number of big, dominant companies. Political stability, social mobility, and economic progress may all suffer as a result of this. It’s possible for an oligarchy to be less receptive to the demands and ambitions of the general populace and more resistant to change.

The perception of an unequal playing field in terms of market access and selective regulatory forbearance may serve as a major disincentive to overseas investment.


Infrastructure is a prerequisite for growth, but it is not sufficient. Effective demand is the issue, as evidenced by the electricity industry, where the problem was the power distribution firms’ failure to recoup payments. India is at a turning moment in its growth, and the national champions model offers advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before adoption.

Source: Indian Express

Indonesia’s Merapi volcano erupts

GS Paper I

Context: The Merapi volcano, the second-most active in Indonesia, erupted unexpectedly, releasing hot lava and a column of heated clouds that rose 100 metres into the air.

Merapi Volcano:
  • An active volcano called Merapi may be found in Indonesia’s Central Java. The Javanese for “Mountain of Fire” is the name of the place.
  • With a history of frequent and occasionally severe eruptions, it is one of the most hazardous and active volcanoes in the world.
  • Almost 350 people died in the most recent large eruption in 2010, which also left adjacent communities severely damaged.
  • Merapi is a well-liked vacation spot for hikers and visitors who travel there to behold its breathtaking beauty and historical value, despite the dangers.
Other active volcanoes in Indonesia:

Around 120 active volcanoes may be found all across Indonesia, which has a large number of them. Some significant Indonesian volcanoes include the following:

Mount Krakatoa – Located in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra. It is infamous for its 1883 eruption, which was one of the deadliest and most destructive volcanic events in recorded history.

Mount Rinjani – Located on the island of Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara province. It is the second highest volcano in Indonesia and a popular destination for trekkers and hikers.

Mount Tambora – Located on the island of Sumbawa in West Nusa Tenggara province. It is known for its 1815 eruption, which was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history, causing a “year without summer” in the northern hemisphere.

Mount Batur – Located on the island of Bali in Bali province. It is a popular tourist destination known for its scenic views and hot springs.

Mount Merbabu – Located on the island of Java in Central Java province. It is the highest mountain in Central Java and a popular destination for hikers and climbers.

Why so many volcanoes in Indonesia?
  • The Pacific Ring of Fire, a horseshoe-shaped area surrounding the Pacific Ocean where numerous earthquakes and volcanic eruptions take place, is where Indonesia is situated.
  • The nation boasts the most active volcanoes in the world—more than 120—and has had some of the worst volcanic eruptions in recorded history.
  • The population and infrastructure of the nation are still seriously threatened by the periodic eruptions despite the government’s efforts to monitor and prepare for volcanic activity.

Source: Indian Express

Facts for Prelims

Pacific Ring of Fire:

  • Many tectonic plates are converging in this region along the Pacific Ocean’s rim. High levels of seismic and volcanic activity are characteristic of this area.
  • It is nearly 40,000 km long and is the site of 90% of earthquakes and 75% of the world’s active volcanoes.
  • A zone of subduction is formed as the Pacific Plate, the biggest tectonic plate on Earth, advances northwest and collides with smaller plates.
  • Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are caused by the friction and pressure created when the plates clash.
  • The West Coast of North and South America, Papua New Guinea, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines are just a few of the nations and territories that make up the Ring of Fire.
  • The region is also known for its natural resources, including geothermal energy and minerals.


  • The OpenAI-developed GPT-4 is a huge multimodal model that is more sophisticated than GPT-3 and GPT-3.5 since it accepts photos as input.
  • On a variety of professional and academic criteria, it performs at a human-level, and it is more accurate when solving complex tasks.
  • GPT-4 is multimodal, as opposed to GPT-3 and GPT-3.5, which were restricted to textual input and output, and can thus comprehend more than one modality of information.
  • It can handle a lot more information at once and is more difficult to deceive than earlier models, making it more suited for protracted talks and producing long-form material.
  • Accuracy has increased, and it is more adept at comprehending languages other than English.
  • GPT-4 can answer tax-related queries, organise meetings, learn a user’s creative writing style, and produce captions and analyses using photos.
  • A wider range of use cases, including as long-form content production, document search and analysis, and lengthy dialogues, are made possible by its ability to handle texts longer than 25,000 words.
  • It generates fewer negative outcomes, such as hate speech and disinformation, and much fewer hallucinations.
  • The more multilingual GPT-4 can answer thousands of multiple-choice questions correctly in 26 different languages.
  • With an accuracy rate of 85.5%, it handles English the best, although Indian languages like Telugu aren’t far behind at 71.4%.
  • For various reasons, GPT-4 has already been included into services like Duolingo, Stripe, and Khan Academy.
  • Image inputs are still a research preview and are not publicly available.
LTTD Technology:

  • LTTD Technology is a desalination method that produces fresh water by evaporating saltwater using low-grade thermal energy, generally below 70°C.
  • The method is intended to be effective and economical, and it has been successfully used to the provision of drinkable water in several areas across the world.
  • A saltwater-filled chamber is heated utilising LTTD Technology by a low-grade thermal source, such as warm seawater.
  • Fresh water vapour is created as a result of the evaporation of heated saltwater.
  • The concentrated saltwater that remains can be released back into the ocean once the vapour is condensed and collected.
  • The created fresh water may be utilised for a variety of things, including irrigation, industrial uses, and drinking water.
  • The fact that LTTD Technology employs low-grade thermal energy, which is widely available in many places, particularly coastal ones, is one of its key advantages.
  • This makes it an economical and environmentally friendly method of creating fresh water.
  • A further benefit of LTTD Technology is that it is modular and is simple to scale up or down based on the water demand.
  • In comparison to other desalination methods, it also has a comparatively low impact on the environment.
  • The need for a consistent source of low-grade thermal energy, which can be impacted by weather and seasonal fluctuations, is one of the key difficulties with LTTD technology.
  • The technology is also very new, so it could need further research and development to improve its effectiveness and performance.
  • By utilising renewable energy sources, including as solar energy, to power the desalination process, NIOT is trying to make LTTD Technology emission-free.
  • The objective is to make technology more sustainable and ecologically friendly while lowering its carbon impact.

Share with

हिंदी में देखें




error: Content is protected !!