Poverty in India

Poverty is the state of not having enough material possessions or income for a person basic needs. Poverty may include social, economic, and political elements. Absolute poverty is the complete lack of the means necessary to meet basic personal needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. Poverty is linked with negative conditions such as substandard housing, homelessness, inadequate nutrition and food insecurity, inadequate child care, lack of access to health care, unsafe neighborhoods, and under resourced schools which adversely impact our nation’s children.

There are several definitions of poverty, and scholars disagree as to which definition is appropriate for India. Inside India, both income-based poverty definition and consumption-based poverty statistics are in use. Outside India, the World Bank and institutions of the United Nations use a broader definition to compare poverty among nations, including India, based on purchasing power parity (PPP), as well as a nominal relative basis. Each state in India has its poverty threshold to determine how many people are below its poverty line and to reflect regional economic conditions. These differences in definitions yield a complex and conflicting picture about poverty in India, both internally and when compared to other developing countries of the world. 

More than 800 million people in India are considered poor. Most of them live in the countryside and keep afloat with odd jobs. The lack of employment which provides a livable wage in rural areas is driving many Indians into rapidly growing metropolitan areas such as Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore or Calcutta. There, most of them expect a life of poverty and despair in the mega-slums, made up of millions of corrugated ironworks, without sufficient drinking water supply, without garbage disposal and in many cases without electricity. Poor hygiene conditions cause diseases such as cholera, typhus and dysentery, which affects children more. 

Poverty in India impacts children, families and individuals in a variety of different ways through:

  • High infant mortality
  • Malnutrition
  • Child labour
  • Lack of education
  • Child marriage
  • HIV / AIDS

Since the 1950s, the Indian government and non-governmental organisations have initiated several programs to alleviate poverty, including subsidising food and other necessities, increased access to loans, improving agricultural techniques and price supports, promoting education and family planning. These measures have helped eliminate famines, cut absolute poverty levels by more than half, and reduce illiteracy and malnutrition.

Around 75 million more people in India fell into poverty last year because of the pandemic-induced economic recession, compared with what it would have been without the outbreak, an analysis by Pew Research Center showed on Thursday. That number in India accounts for nearly 60% of the global increase in poverty in 2020, the analysis showed. It defined the poor as people who live on $2 or less daily.

India has achieved annual growth exceeding 7 per cent over the last 15 years and continues to pull millions of people out of poverty, according to the World Bank. The country has halved its poverty rate over the past three decades and has seen strong improvements in most human development outcomes, a report by the international financial institution has found. Growth is expected to continue and, the elimination of extreme poverty in the next decade is within reach, said the bank, which warned that the country’s development trajectory faces considerable challenges. 

Rail Transport in India

Rail transport is the most commonly used mode of long-distance transportation in India. Indian Railways (IR) is the primary operator of rail operations throughout the country, a state-owned organization of the Ministry of Railways, which historically had its government budget. The rail network traverses the length and width of the country, covering a total of 63,140 km (39,200 miles).

It is one of the world’s largest and busiest rail networks, transporting over 5 billion passengers and over 350 million tonnes of freight annually. Its operations cover 28 states and 3 Union territories and link the neighbouring countries of Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In March 2020, the national rail network comprised 126,366 km (78,520 mi) of track over a route of 67,368 km (41,861 mi) and 7,325 stations. It is the fourth-largest national railway network in the world (after those of the United States, Russia, and China).

Indian Railways is headed by a Four-member Railway Board whose chairman reports to the Ministry of Railways. The Railway Board also acts as the Ministry of Railways. The officers manning the office of Railway Board are mostly from organised Group A Railway Services and Railway Board Secretariat Service. IR is divided into 18 zones, headed by general managers who report to the Railway Board. The zones are further subdivided into 71 operating divisions headed by divisional railways managers (DRM).

A plan for a rail system in India was first put forward in 1832, but no further steps were taken for more than a decade. In 1844, the Governor-General of India Lord Hardinge allowed private entrepreneurs to set up a rail system in India. Two new railway companies were created and the East India Company was asked to assist them. Interest from a lot of investors in the UK led to the rapid creation of a rail system over the next few years.

Railways were first introduced to India in 1853, and by 1947, the year of India’s independence, they had grown to forty-two rail systems. In 1951 the systems were nationalised as one unit to become one of the largest networks in the world. India’s first passenger train, operated by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway and hauled by three steam locomotives (SahibSindh and Sultan), ran for 34 kilometres (21 mi) with 400 people in 14 carriages on 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge track between Bori Bunder (Mumbai) and Thane on 16 April 1853.

It was as late as 1895 that India saw the birth of its first locomotive. The locomotive, an F class 0-6-0 metre gauge numbered F-734, was built at Ajmer for the Rajputana Malwa Railway. It weighed 38 tonnes. The locomotive, to be used for hauling mixed trains, was built at a cost of Rs 15,869. This locomotive has outside connecting rods and side rods. It was also used on the Bombay Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CI) network. Today, the locomotive has been stored as one of the outdoor exhibits at the National Railway Museum, New Delhi.

In June 1950, the Railway Board put forward a plan to divide the railways in India into six zones to get things organized. However, after some formalities, the actual plan was implemented a year later, by April 1951.

On April 14, 1951, the Southern Railway was formed by merging the Madras Railway, the South Marhatta Railway, the South Indian Railway and the Mysore Railway. On November 5, 1951, the Central Railway was constituted by bringing together the Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR), the Nizam Railway, the ScindiaRailway and the Dholpur Railway.

On the same day, the Western Railway was constituted by merging the Bombay Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CI), the Sourashtra Railway, the Rajasthan Railway and Jaipur Railway. The merger of Eastern Punjab Railway, the Jodhpur Railway, the Bikaner Railway and some upper divisions of the East India Railway led to the formation of the Northern Railway on April 14, 1952.  Oudh Railway, Tirhut Railway and the Assam Railway formed the North Eastern Railway and the remaining divisions of the East India Railway and the Bengal Nagpur Railway constituted the Eastern Railway on the same day. These were the first six zones of Indian Railways.

On March 31, 1978, the railways were split into nine zones. The Northern zone with its headquarters at Delhi (Delhi junction), the North Eastern zone with its headquarters at Gorakhpur, the North East Frontier with its headquarters at Maligaon (Guwahati), the eastern zone with its headquarters at Kolkatta (Howrah junction), the south eastern zone with its headquarters at Kolkatta again (Howrah junction), the south central zone with its head offices at Secunderabad, the southern zone at Chennai (Chennai Central) and the Central and Western Railways with their administrative headquarters at CST and Churchgate respectively.

In 1977, the country’s first railway museum was set up at Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. The first of its kind in the country, this unique museum covers a land area of over 10 acres, comprising an elegantly designed octagonal building housing nine display galleries and a large open area laid out to simulate a Railway Yard. With constant emphasis on improvements and additions, the museum can now boast of being one of the finest rail museums in the world and a very popular tourist attraction of the country’s capital. On an average, this museum has around 1,000 visitors daily.

What is Employment Screening and How to Do Employment Screening

Employment screening enables you to verify the skills, experience and qualifications of a candidate to assist you in making your hiring and recruitment decisions. This provides you with all of the available information about a candidate to make the most accurate decision and safeguard your hiring process. Employment screening also helps to protect your company’s reputation and ensure that your financial and people risk is minimised.

Photo by Edmond Dantu00e8s on Pexels.com

Many employers will conduct pre-employment screenings before they send you a job offer. Potential employers will typically perform a screening sometime during the interview process to assist in their hiring decision. There are a variety of screenings potential employers can use to get a thorough understanding of your background. In this article, we will explain what pre-employment screening is and how you can prepare for it.

What is pre-employment screening?

Also sometimes called a “background check,” a pre-employment screening is a verification of your information and background. Employers can use screenings to determine if you can handle sensitive or confidential information and to assess skills that are relevant to the position.

Depending on the job, employers can conduct one or more of these common pre-employment screens:

  • Social security number (SSN) tracing is used to find all of the names, date of birth and addresses associated with that SSN. This trace makes it possible for employers to find areas to search for additional records.

  • Criminal history screenings check records in various local, state, national, federal and even international databases. Some criminal history screenings may require you to submit your fingerprints. Criminal record checks will often include a combination of records derived from multiple sources. They can be done at county, state, federal, or even international levels. Companies can commonly access this data from just online databases.
  • Using those databases to check criminal records is referred to as screen-scraping. This process can sometimes turn up charges against job applicants that are very old or have been dismissed.
  • The general consensus is that the most effective method of getting an accurate picture of a job candidate is to have real people looking through hard copies of records, in order to ensure that they are getting information about the correct person and the true outcome of all criminal cases.
  • Pre-employment screening services are offered by government agencies such as the FBI and the Department of Transportation to employers who want information about driving or criminal records.
  • It’s possible that checking criminal records will protect a company in any negligent hiring lawsuits. However, there are laws in many states which specify just how information from these criminal records can be used when evaluating job candidates.
  • Criminal background checks will often include the following:
  • FBI Fingerprint Database Search – Submitting fingerprints to the FBI database will not necessarily result in a comprehensive picture of a job candidate’s criminal history. That is because the database depends upon local jurisdictions to provide information regarding arrests and their final dispositions. A great deal of information may be missing. This search should comprise only one small part of any pre-employment screening.
  • National Criminal Record Search (NCRD) – This database is constructed from information in the repositories at the municipal, circuit, district, and superior court levels, plus the FBI, Department of Corrections, U.S. Customs, DEA, U.S. Marshal, Department of Justice and Secret Service. It identifies criminal offenses not only where the job candidate has worked or lived, but from all over the country. The national database allows instant access to hundreds of millions of records, including the National Sex Offender Registry.
  • Federal Criminal Records Search – Bank robbery, embezzlement, interstate drug trafficking are just some examples of the type of federal offenses that won’t show up on state and county level searches because they fall under federal jurisdiction. That is why a search of federal crime records is suggested for a thorough pre-employment screening.
  • Statewide Criminal Records Search – Records of felonies and misdemeanors are usually found in the central repositories of each state. The information is provided by courts, corrections, and law enforcement agencies all over the state. However, the quality of these searches can vary widely from state to state, since each one gets to decide how data is imported and who is allowed access to it. The information is not always accurate, or up to date. Depending on the state, the records may not even cover all levels of its court system.
  • County Criminal Record Search – Local county and municipal records will be available through this search.

  • Public records screenings can search motor vehicle records, driving history, credit history, bankruptcy records, workers’ compensation records, civil records and sometimes medical records.

  • Verifications and credentials screenings check the accuracy of your education or degree received, previous employment, professional certifications or licenses, professional references and military service records. Particularly for entry-level employees, employers like to verify a job applicant’s degree, academic performance or major. The Family Right to Privacy Act requires that schools obtain consent from the former student before they release any type of academic records.
  • These reports will verify the dates students attended the academic institution, which fields were studied, the degree earned, grade point averages, and the date of graduation. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) covers all of the background checks included in an education verification screening.

  • Controlled substance screenings are conducted by a health care provider to ensure your employment complies with company-wide policies on illicit substances.

  • Lie detector or polygraph tests can only be required by companies that provide security services or manufacture or distribute controlled substances. Most private companies are not allowed to use lie detector tests as a form of pre-employment screening. However, certain types of businesses are exempt from this prohibition, such as alarm, guard or armored car services, as well as those who dispense, distribute, or manufacture pharmaceuticals.

  • Pre-employment assessments are tests your potential employer may ask you to take to determine your abilities as they relate to the role.

Drug Testing

Drug testing is probably one of the most common screenings that employers use to ensure that job candidates will be productive employees and as a preventative measure against injuries in the workplace.

Drug tests identify illegal substances potential employees may have ingested or been exposed to. It must be done in strict compliance with laws of the state where the business is located.

Worker’s Compensation Claims History

Screening for worker’s compensation claims that a job applicant has filed in the past is not available in all states. Furthermore, in those states where it is available, it must be conducted in strict compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Credit History Screening

Pre-employment screening of the credit history of job candidates is regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Employers are not only required to obtain the consent of all applicants to perform such a search, they must also provide the applicant with access to the results.

Still, many employers consider such a screening to be helpful as an indicator of irresponsible behavior if the search turns up financial problems. On the other hand, it is also considered evidence of trustworthiness and reliability if the applicant has a positive report.

Sex Offender Registry Screening

Employers may conduct searches through registries at both the state and Federal level to find out if job applicants are on sex offender lists. This type of pre-employment screening allows them to avoid endangering their staff or tarnishing their reputation by removing sex offenders from their pool of prospective employees.

Motor Vehicle Records Screening

This information comes from a state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and is usually immediately available. Records of license suspensions, accidents, convictions, violation or any disciplinary actions are included in the results from DMV. Companies whose employees operate motor vehicles in the course of their work, such as trucking, delivery or sales, are most likely to require this type of pre-employment screening.

Employment Verification

Employers verify previous employment listed on resumes and job applications using this type of pre-employment screening. It is also used to check the accuracy of dates of employment, job title, and other related details. However, some of the employers which job candidates list on their resume or application may have policies which limit what type of information they will provide about a former employee.

Another important screening element is to verify that a job applicant is eligible to work in this country. All workers in the United States are required to complete an I-9 Employment Verification Form in order to prove their identity and eligibility.

Supervisor/Reference Interviews

Employers will sometimes want to interview references or former supervisors, in order to evaluate the ability of a candidate to perform the job in question. In these cases, the employers will usually be required to provide written permission from the applicant before anyone will speak with them.

This pre-employment screening will provide information regarding the possibility that a job applicant might prove to be a threat to the economy or national security foreign policy of the United Sates.

A county based search of civil records is commonly used by employers as a guide to a job candidate’s character. This pre-employment screening will reveal lawsuits which are based on the applicant’s failure to fulfill the terms of a contract, it will also reveal all civil lawsuits which have been filed against the potential employee.

A civil records search will also make it easy to see whether a job candidate makes a habit of filing lawsuits. It can be a useful tool for determining whether a potential employee is reliable or not.

Licensing and Professional Certification Verification

Companies will always want to verify that their employees have any licenses that are required for their work. This would include attorneys, medical personnel, engineers, accountants, real estate agents, and more.

The pre-employment screening will reveal whether a license is valid, the expiration date, and whether the applicant has been the subject of any type of disciplinary action.

Military Service Records

Records available on veterans will show the dates served, the type of discharge, and the rank held at time of discharge.

Bankruptcy Records

It’s easy to verify whether a job applicant has filed for bankruptcy. However, employers are prohibited from using that information against the applicant.

Medical Records Verification

Companies are not allowed to check a job candidate’s medical records under any circumstances. They are not even allowed to ask specific questions about a candidate’s medical history.

Applicants may be asked whether they can perform all of the responsibilities of a job. If the answer is yes, an employer has no choice but to accept it as the truth.

One exception is when companies make medical exams a requirement of that job, and all similar ones, so that everyone in those positions are required to undergo an exam. In other words, they can’t require a person who is limping to have a medical exam unless all other applicants are also required to undergo an exam as a requisite of employment.

Marine Pollution

INTRODUCTION

Pollution in ocean is a major problem that is affecting the ocean and the rest of the Earth, too.Pollution in the ocean directly affects ocean organisms and indirectly affects human health and resources.Oil spills, toxic wastes, and dumping of other harmful materials are all major sources of pollution in the ocean.

Marine Pollution:

Marine pollution is a combination of chemicals and trash,most of which comes from land sources and is washed
or blown into the ocean.

CAUSES:

Some of the main causes for the marine pollution is as follows

• Ocean dumping

Land runoff

• Oil spills

• Littering

• Ocean mining

• Noise pollution

Ocean dumping:

Deliberate disposal of hazardous wastes at sea from vessels, aircraft, platforms or other human-made structures.

Land runoff:

Eighty percent of marine pollution comes from land run off.

Oil spills:

Contamination of seawater due to an oil pour, as a result of an accident or human error, is termed an oil spill.

Littering:

Marine litter is not only ugly it can harm ocean ecosystems wildlife, and humans. It can gure coral reels and bottom dwelling species and entangle or drown ocean wildlife. Some marine animals ingest smaller plastic particles and choke or starve

Ocean Mining (Deep Sea Mining):

Mining under the ocean for gold, silver, copper, cobalt,etc is another source for ocean pollution.Deep sea mining could even make climate change worse. The disruption caused by the machines may release carbon stored in deep sea sediments.

Noise Pollution in the ocean:

Ocean noise refers to sounds made by human activities that can interfere with or obscure the ability of marine animals to hear natural sounds in the ocean.

Devastating Effects of Ocean Pollution:

1. Effect of Toxic Wastes on Marine Animals:

The oil spilled in the ocean could get on to the gills and feathers of marine animals, which makes it difficult for them to move or fly properly or feed their children.

2. Disruption to the Cycle of Coral

Reefs:

Oil spill floats on the surface of the water and prevents sunlight from reaching to marine plants and affects the process of photosynthesis.

3. Depletes Oxygen Content in Water:

When oxygen levels go down, the chances of survival of marine animals like whales, turtles, sharks, dolphins, penguins for a long time also goes down.

4. Failure in the Reproductive System of Sea Animals

Chemicals from pesticides can accumulate in the fatty tissue of animals, leading to failure in their reproductive system.

5. Effect on Food Chain:

Chemicals used in industries are ingested into small animals in the ocean and are later eaten by large animals, which then affects the whole food chain.

6. Affects Human Health:

Animals from impacted food chain are then eaten by humans, which affects their health as toxins from these contaminated animals get deposited in the tissues of people and can lead to cancer, birth defects or long term health problems.

Solutions to Ocean Pollution:

1. Reducing the Use of Plastic Products

2. Use Reusable Bottles and Cutlery

3. Recycle Whatever You Can

REDUCE DISCHARGE OF SEWA IN THE OCEAN

4. Stop Littering the Beach, and Start

Cleaning It

5. Reducing the Use of Chemical Fertilize

6. Reducing the Energy Use

Conclusion

• We must help to stop ocean pollution, by recycling, using decomposable materials instead of plastic or glass to decrease our accumulating waste. Marine animals are suffering due to our actions, and if we do not put a halt to pollution soon, we too will suffer the consequences.

Code of Ethics

A code of ethics sets out an organization’s ethical guidelines and best practices to follow for honesty, integrity, and professionalism. It is a document that outlines the core values and ethics of business that professionals must follow. The codes of ethics are determined by the professional body, company management or the association. The main types of codes of ethics include a compliance-based code of ethics, a value-based code of ethics, and a code of ethics among professionals.

A code of ethics will start by setting out the values that underpin the code and will describe an organization’s obligation to its stakeholders. The code is publicly available and addressed to anyone with an interest in that organization’s activities and the way it operates. It will include details of how the organization plans to implement its values and vision, as well as guidance to staff on ethical standards and how to achieve them.

Types of Codes of Ethics

A code of ethics can take a variety of forms, but the general goal is to ensure that a business and its employees are following state and federal laws, conducting themselves with an idea that can be exemplary, and ensuring that the business being conducted is beneficial for all stakeholders. The following are three types of codes of ethics found in the business.

Compliance-Based Code of Ethics

For all businesses, laws regulate issues such as hiring and safety standards. Compliance-based codes of ethics not only set guidelines for conduct but also determine penalties for violations. In some industries, including banking, specific laws govern business conduct. These industries formulate compliance-based codes of ethics to enforce laws and regulations. Employees usually undergo formal training to learn the rules of conduct. Because noncompliance can create legal issues for the company as a whole, individual workers within a firm may face penalties for failing to follow guidelines.

To ensure that the aims and principles of the code of ethics are followed, some companies appoint a compliance officer. This individual is tasked with keeping up to date on changes in regulation codes and monitoring employee conduct to encourage conformity.

This type of code of ethics is based on clear-cut rules and well-defined consequences rather than individual monitoring of personal behaviour. Despite strict adherence to the law, some compliance-based codes of conduct do not thus promote a climate of moral responsibility within the company.

Value-Based Code of Ethics

A value-based code of ethics addresses a company’s core value system. It may outline standards of responsible conduct as they relate to the larger public good and the environment. Value-based ethical codes may require a greater degree of self-regulation than compliance-based codes.

Some codes of conduct contain language that addresses both compliance and values. For example, a grocery store chain might create a code of conduct that espouses the company’s commitment to health and safety regulations above financial gain. That grocery chain might also include a statement about refusing to contract with suppliers that feed hormones to livestock or raise animals in inhumane living conditions.

Code of Ethics Among Professionals

Financial advisers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or a state regulator are bound by a code of ethics known as a fiduciary duty. This is a legal requirement and also a code of loyalty that requires them to act in the best interest of their clients.

Certified public accountants, who are not typically considered fiduciaries to their clients, still are expected to follow similar ethical standards, such as integrity, objectivity, truthfulness, and avoidance of conflicts of interest, according to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).