Table of Contents
- Demographic transition and change in women’s lives
Facts for Prelims
- Shelf Cloud
- Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Kui Language
Demographic transition and change in women’s lives
World Population Day highlights how India’s demographic journey has impacted its citizens, particularly women. From a growing population to changing roles, this article examines the transformation brought by demographic shifts.
Change for Indian Women
- As families have fewer children, ensuring at least one son has become more challenging, leading to sex-selective abortions and neglect of daughters.
- Active mothering occupies a smaller part of women’s lives, allowing space for education and employment, but early marriage and childbearing remain prominent.
- The declining fertility rate hasn’t translated into higher female labor force participation due to limited work experience and the timing of peak childcare demands.
Demographic Shifts at Older Ages
- With rising life expectancy, the proportion of women aged 65 and above is increasing, leading to a higher number of widowed women who rely on children for support.
- Access to savings and property is limited for widowed women, reinforcing dependence on sons and perpetuating son preference.
Harnessing Gender Dividend
- Breaking the cycle of gendered disadvantage requires improving women’s access to employment and assets, reducing reliance on sons.
- Efforts to enhance women’s labor force participation must be accompanied by safe and affordable childcare.
- Strategies like expanding Anganwadis to include crèches and utilizing self-help groups can improve childcare access and support women’s participation in the workforce.
Fully harnessing the gender dividend and achieving the desired demographic dividend in India requires addressing childcare needs, enabling women to have greater economic independence and opportunities throughout their lives.
A terrifying shelf cloud recently appeared in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar.
About Shelf Cloud
- A shelf cloud, also known as an Arcus cloud, is a cloud formation that typically appears along the leading edge of thunderstorms.
- It is a distinct type of low-lying, horizontal cloud characterized by a clearly defined line of solid clouds.
- Shelf clouds have a unique wedge-shaped appearance, often forming as a broad arc across the sky that may seem to rotate horizontally.
Formation of Shelf Cloud
- Shelf clouds form when cold and dense air is pushed into a warmer air mass by wind.
- This occurs when a thunderstorm’s downdraft forces a rush of cold air towards the ground, which then spreads out to create a gust front.
- Before the shelf cloud appears, there is usually a preceding rush of dry and cold air, followed by rain once the shelf cloud passes overhead.
What is a Thunderstorm?
- A thunderstorm is a weather event characterized by rain and the presence of thunder, which is caused by lightning.
- Thunderstorms form when warm, moist air rises into colder air in the atmosphere.
- As the warm air cools, moisture condenses, forming small water droplets. This process is known as condensation.
- The cooled air then descends, warms up again, and rises once more, creating a cycle of rising and falling air known as a convection cell.
- When this process occurs with significant amounts of air and moisture, a thunderstorm can develop.
Recently, Peru has declared a state of national emergency amid a surge in patient suffering from Guillain-Barré syndrome.
About Guillain-Barré Syndrome
- Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare autoimmune disorder where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s peripheral nerves.
- While it can affect people of all ages, it is more common in adults and males.
Symptoms of Guillain-Barré Syndrome
- The initial symptoms of Guillain-Barré syndrome often include weakness or tingling sensations.
- Typically, these symptoms begin in the legs and can gradually spread to the arms and face.
- In some cases, these symptoms can progress to paralysis of the legs, arms, or facial muscles.
Causes of Guillain-Barré Syndrome
- Guillain-Barré syndrome is often preceded by an infection, which can be bacterial or viral in nature.
- Common infections associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome include Campylobacter jejuni, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), as well as bacteria responsible for pneumonia and urinary tract infections.
- It may also be triggered by certain medical interventions, such as vaccination or surgery.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Guillain-Barré Syndrome
- Currently, there is no known cure for Guillain-Barré syndrome.
- The most commonly utilized treatment is intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), which is derived from donated blood containing healthy antibodies.
- IVIG helps mitigate the immune system’s attack on the nerves, providing relief and potentially improving symptoms.
The Odisha Cabinet recently recommended a proposal for inclusion of ‘Kui’ language in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
About Kui Language
- Kui, also known as Kandh, Khondi, Khond, or Khondo, is a South-Eastern Dravidian language spoken by the Kandha community.
- It is primarily spoken in the state of Odisha in India.
- Kui is closely related to other Dravidian languages like Gondi and Kuvi, and during the historical period, it was referred to as the Kuinga language.
- According to the 1991 Indian census, there were 941,988 registered native speakers of Kui, ranking it at 29th place.
Script Used for Kui Language
- The traditional script used for writing Kui is the Odia script, which is also used for writing the Odia language.
The 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution
- The 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution lists the official languages of India.
- While there are numerous languages spoken across the country, the 8th Schedule officially recognizes a total of 22 languages as the official languages.
- The 22 languages included in the 8th Schedule are Manipuri, Maithili, Kashmiri, Hindi, Kannada, Gujarati, Konkani, Malayalam, Assamese, Marathi, Nepali, Bengali, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Telugu, Tamil, Odia, Urdu, Bodo, Dogri, and Santhali.
- Fourteen of these languages were originally listed in the Constitution, and Sindhi was added in 1967, Konkani, Manipuri, and Nepali were included in 1992, and Santali, Dogri, Maithili, and Bodo were added by the 92nd Amendment Act of 2003.