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6th November Current Affairs

What are exit polls, and what rules govern them in India?

(GS-II: Salient Features of the Representation of People’s Act)

In News:

Exit polls for the Gujarat elections are now available, as the results of exit polls for a specific election are not permitted to be published until the last vote has been cast.

About exit polls:

Meaning: An exit poll asks voters (surveys can be conducted face to face or online) which political party they are supporting after they have cast their votes in an election.

History: In 1957, during the 2nd Lok Sabha elections, the Indian Institute of Public Opinion conducted such a poll.

Conducted by: A number of organisations, often in tie-ups with media organisations.

How does it differ from an opinion poll? Unlike exit polls, which are post-voting polls/surveys, opinion polls are held before the elections.

Rules governing exit polls:

In 1998, the Election Commission of India (ECI) issued guidelines under Article 324 of the Constitution, restricting media from publishing results of opinion and exit polls during a prohibited period.

In 1999, the SC stated that in the absence of a statutory sanction, the ECI cannot impose any guidelines prohibiting such polls.

The inclusion of Section 126(A) in the Representation of the People Act, 1951, in 2010 imposed restrictions only on exit polls.

Section 126(A): No person shall conduct any exit poll and publish or publicise its results through the print or electronic media, during such period as the ECI may notify in this regard.

Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be punished with imprisonment for a term up to 2 years/ a fine/ both.

Currently, exit polls can be telecast only after the conclusion of the last phase of the election

Common parameters for a good/accurate exit poll:

  • Large and diverse sample size.
  • A clearly constructed questionnaire with no bias.

Significance of exit polls: Gives an indication of –

  • Who might secure the maximum votes.
  • The issues, personalities and loyalties that have influenced voters.

Criticism of exit polls:

Political parties often allege that these polls are motivated or financed by a rival party.

The results can be influenced by the choice, wording, timing of the questions and by the nature of the sample drawn.

The lingering crisis of labour post-pandemic

(GS-III: Indian Economy and issues relating to employment)

In News:

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) recently published two reports (The Global Wage Report 2022-2023 and Asia-Pacific Employment and Social Outlook 2022) that provided insight into the global employment scenario, including wages, following the pandemic.

What does the report say?

The Global Wage Report 2022-2023: The impact of twin crises – inflation and COVID-19 created a “striking decline” in real monthly wages and economic slowdown around the globe.

The war in Ukraine and the global energy crisis further aggravated the situation.

The Asia-Pacific Employment and Social Outlook 2022: The Asia-Pacific region lost about 22 million jobs in 2022.

Scenario in India:

According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the nominal wages rose to ₹17,017 per month in 2021 from ₹4,398 in 2006.

But when inflation is taken into account, real wage growth falls to -0.2% in 2021, down from 9.3% in 2006. (in contrast, real wage growth in China was around 2% (2019-2022).

Impact of job loss and decrease in wages:

Millions of workers will be in a dire situation: The increasing cost of living has the greatest impact on lower-income earners.

Income inequality will rise.

Poverty will rise: 75 to 95 million people were pushed into extreme poverty during COVID-19.

Remedies suggested by the ILO:

Policy responses to the cost-of-living crisis: For example, in the bargaining process for future nominal wage adjustments, prudent price estimates should be included.

Strengthen labour market institutions and wage policies.

Governments should focus on the gender pay gap.

There is an urgent need to address the negative effects of –

  • Climate change;
  • Increasing inequalities;
  • Poverty, discrimination, violence and exclusion;
  • The lack of vaccines, inadequate access to sanitation and essential healthcare for all;
  • Growing digital divide

Way ahead:

  • A multilateral approach is key to solving the labour crises
  • The creation of decent formal wage employment

Conclusion:

The above issues need to be addressed for a more equitable distribution of wages and income – a key contributor to equitable and sustainable wage growth.

Jagadish Chandra Bose

In News:

Ministry of Culture organized an “International conference on the contributions of J C Bose” on his 164th birth anniversary (1858-1937).

His contribution to Science:

  • J C Bose discovered wireless communication and was named the Father of Radio Science
  • He invented Crescograph to measure plant growth
  • He did pathbreaking work on the ‘Millimeter range wavelength Microwaves’
  • Bose Institute (1917) was established by him at Cambridge University for modern research

His Contribution to India:

  • He was the teacher of S N Bose, Meghnad Saha, and P C Mahalanobis
  • He was responsible for the expansion of experimental science in India
  • Freedom struggle: He opposed slavery and discrimination by Britishers using Satyagrah

Print and Digital Media Association (PADMA)

In News:

Print, digital self-regulatory news association gets govt’s approval.

Details:

Print and Digital Media Association (PADMA) has been approved as a self-regulatory body for publishers of news and current affairs across the country.

  • It has been approved under rule 12 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021
  • The organization will look at grievances related to digital media news content on its platforms.
  • The organization will be headed by former HC Judge Mool Chand Garg.

With Rule 12 of the IT Rules, 2021, the Ministry has approved nine self-regulatory bodies since May 2021. They include DIGIPUB News India Foundation, Confederation of Online Media (India), and NBF- Professional News Broadcasting Standards Authority, among others.