Worldwide, there are fewer than four women for every 10 men in leadership positions. In the Asia-Pacific region that includes India, the ratio drops to 1:10, according to a recent report by McKinsey Global Institute, some of whose findings were reported in The Indian Express Monday. In some countries in East Asia, there are only 12-20 women leaders for every 100 men. The situation has improved somewhat over the last few years; women’s representation on Boards increased from 6% in 2011 to 13% in 2016, but this is still low compared to the average of 28% in advanced economies.
In India, women’s representation is 43% among tertiary educated graduates, 25% among entry-level professionals, 4% in senior management, and 11% among Board members. The report notes that even in Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, three of the region’s more advanced economies, the gender imbalance is notable. The Philippines, a traditionally matriarchal society, is the country in the world nearest to gender parity but even there, only 15% of Board members are women.
“The relative lack of women in the top positions in business has its roots far earlier in the talent pipeline that runs from enrollment in tertiary education to entry-level positions, middle management, and the boardroom. In the seven countries we highlight in this research, the share of women erodes the further they are along this pipeline, with different patterns and bottlenecks among countries,” the report says.
Fact Check, Ground reality
Polvaram irrigation project: 55% work done, Rs 13,700 cr spent
The Polavaram multipurpose irrigation project, coming up at Polavaram in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, is an earth-cum-rock dam across the river Godavari that will store 194 thousand million cubic (TMC) feet of water. As reported in The Indian Express Tuesday, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has written to Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari to release the balance of the central funding due to the state. Out of the current estimated cost of Rs 50,000 crore, over Rs 13,700 crore has been spent on the project, which is over 55% complete at present. The amount includes Rs 8,619 crore that has been spent after the Centre declared it as a national project from April 2014. The Centre has so far reimbursed the state with Rs 6,800 crore of the Rs 8,619 crore.
The project envisages a 150-foot-high dam and a reservoir over West and East Godavari and Khammam, with a tail-end more than 150 km away, touching Bastar in Chhattisgarh and Malkangiri in Odisha. Andhra envisages harnessing of 170 TMC feet, of which 80 TMC feet will be diverted to the river Krishna to ease the pressure on two existing dams on that river. A 183 km right main canal has been constructed connecting the two rivers. The left main canal, 181 km long, will create 7.2 lakh acres of new ayacut in north Coastal Andhra. About 23 TMC will be diverted to Visakhapatnam for drinking as well as industrial use. The two canals will provide water to over 600 villages along the way.
Tip for Reading List
How to read signs of alien life
In the last decade, scientists have discovered thousands of planets outside the solar system. Could some of these planets host life? And if so, will humans be able to recognise it as life?
In a set of five review papers published in Astrobiology, scientists under NASA’s Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NexSS) took an inventory of the most promising signs of life, called biosignatures. They considered how to interpret the presence of biosignatures, should they be detected. For example, telescopes can examine the light reflecting off a distant world to show us the kinds of gases in their atmospheres and their “seasonal” variations, as well as colours like green that could indicate life. These kinds of biosignatures can all be seen on Earth from space, but the new worlds will differ significantly. Many of the promising planets are around cooler stars, which emit light in the infrared spectrum, rather than our Sun’s high emissions of visible light.
The scientists assert that oxygen remains the most promising biosignature, but it is not foolproof. Abiotic processes could also generate oxygen; conversely, a planet lacking detectable levels of oxygen could still be alive. Rather than measuring a single characteristic, the NExSS scientists argue that scientists should be looking at a suite of traits. The five papers on ‘Exoplanet Biosignatures’ are open access, and can be read on liebertpub.com/toc/ast/18/6.