THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 10 August 2019 (Taken for a ride: on India’s gender-blind transport system )

Taken for a ride: on India’s gender-blind transport system

Mains Paper 3: Economy
Prelims level : Not much
Mains level : Measures to improve public transport system


  • Economy by New-Delhi based NGO Jagori revealed that 51% of women in the capital faced harassment inside public transport, and another 42% while waiting for public transport.
  • Ola’s survey ahead of International Women’s Day 2019, highlighted how only 9% of the surveyed women commuters in the country felt safe in public transport, but still used it due to the lack of other options.

How to make public transport safe for all?

  • Rope in traffic police at large bus depots, MRTC railway stations,
  • Provide functional and responsive helplines,
  • Ensure elevators and escalators are functional,
  • Better footpaths and clean subways,
  • Create safe and usable cycling tracks,
  • Set up the gender advisory committee,
  • Most importantly, educate and sensitize men.

Major problems

  • As per a 2017 report by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, women may turn down better employment opportunities further away from home in favor of lower-paid local jobs when the public transport system is unreliable or unaffordable.
  • This holds true especially for those belonging to lower-income groups, thus impacting their access to better jobs, education and basic necessities
  • The report also states that over 84% of trips by women are by the public, intermediate public and non-motorised modes of transport
  • Efforts to improve our crumbling public transport systems — used by a majority of the population — haven’t been addressed.

Motor Vehicles Bill 2019

  • The bill provides some relief to passengers as far as app-based taxi-hailing services go.
  • It gives power to the Centre to regulate these services and set ground rules on safety and surge pricing, and get them to invest in customer care teams .
  • It points out issues of road safety, heftier fines for errant drivers, vehicle recall norms.
  • There’s no mention of better roads or infrastructure development.

Way forward

Prelims Questions:

Q.1) With reference to ‘the Leader of the Opposition’ in the Parliamentary system of India, consider the following statements:
1. The Indian Constitution recognizes this position and accords the holder the
status of a Union Cabinet Minister.
2. The Leader of Opposition gets the same salary as that of a Union Cabinet

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both
D. None

Answer: B
Mains Questions:
Q.1) What are the key problems to the public transport system? How to make public transport safe for all?