Indian Express Explained and Editorials 4th December 2019

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Explained 1 :- Issue : Contamination of Water with Arsenic and Iron.

Data:- Among rural habitations in Indian states, 55,511 face quality issues with drinking water.

Iron is the most common contaminant of drinking water, with over 18,000 rural habitations affected, followed by salinity that affects roughly 13,000 rural habitations, arsenic (12,000), fluoride (nearly 8,000) and heavy metal.

In terms of arsenic and iron pollution, West Bengal and Assam are the worst affected.

States Not affected by these Pollutants :- States and UTs that are not affected by any of these contaminants include Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim and Tamil Nadu.

2) Kerala’s ISIS Connection :- Issue : Rising no. Of keralites joining ISIS or trying to join ISIS

Numbers :- Security agencies estimate that some 100-120 individuals from Kerala either joined, or tried to join, ISIS. Some of them moved to Syria or Afghanistan from the Middle East, where they were employed; others migrated from Kerala. Even in 2018, when ISIS was largely in retreat in Syria and Iraq, 10-odd people from Kerala made the journey.


There are 3 modules in which the keralites are joining ISIS :-

Kasaragod module moved to Afghanistan with their families “to escape from the land of the kafirs (non-Muslims)”.

Members of the Kannur module went, or attempted to go, to Syria to physically join the war on the side of the ISIS.

The third module is the so-called Omar al-Hindi module, named after Manseed Muhamed of Chokli in Kannur, alias Omar al-Hindi. Members of this group — who were convicted last month — were allegedly spread across India and the Middle East, and wanted to establish an ISIS “vilayat” in Kerala known as “Ansar-ul-Khilafa KL”.

3)Issue 3:- Between the Lines of a Survey : Here the author is talking about the issue of wrong data given by the public when govt. Officials go to collect survey data.Surveys measuring the impact of government programmes have become less reliable

The respondents are not always truthful, and seem to want to conceal the extent of benefits that they have received. But why?

Why people lie in the surveys :

When a person is asked a question about whether or not he or she has access to a facility that the government has promised to provide, there is an inherent incentive to deny having access to or receiving a benefit for the facility, in a hope that this may allow him or her to receive the benefit of the scheme again.

This is even more relevant if the people have seen the actual delivery of the promised benefits for themselves, their kin or neighbour.

What is being done to improve the Quality of Data :-

The MoSPI is committed to further improving the quality of data that it collects and presents and has made it an integral component in its Vision Document. It has also engaged with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to design skill training courses for survey enumerators, supervisors and data quality personnel who could then be used for such surveys. In addition, the MoSPI is evolving contemporary instruments and tools to better capture information and reduce respondent bias.

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