INDIAN POLITY, GOVERNANCE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
1. PARLIAMENT PASSED NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR HOMOEOPATHY (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2021
THE CONTEXT: Parliament passed National Commission for Homoeopathy (Amendment) Bill, 2021
- It amends the National Commission for Homoeopathy Act, 2020.
- The 2020 Act replaced the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973. The 1973 Act set up the Central Council of Homeopathy for regulating homoeopathic education and practice. The 2020 Act replaced the Council with a national commission for regulating homoeopathic education and practice.
- The National Commission was constituted on July 5, 2021 to supersede the Central Council and on the same date the 1973 Act was repealed. The 2021 Bill specifies that all powers exercised and functions performed by the Board of Governors (as under the 1973 Act) will be deemed to have been done under the 2020 Act and will continue to remain in force.
2. PARLIAMENT PASSED NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR INDIAN SYSTEM OF MEDICINE (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2021
THE CONTEXT: Parliament passed National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
- It amends the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020.
- The 2020 Act replaced the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970. The 1970 Act set up the Central Council of Indian Medicine to regulate the education and practice of the Indian Medicine system (includes Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy).
- The 2020 Act replaced the Council with a National Commission for regulating education and practice of the Indian medicine system. Since, the setting up of the National Commission was taking time; the 1970 Act was not repealed immediately with passage of the 2020 Act.
- The National Commission was constituted on June 11, 2021 to supersede the Central Council and on the same date the 1970 Act was repealed. The 2021 Bill specifies that all powers and functions of the Board of Governors (as under the 1970 Act) will be deemed to have been done under the 2020 Act and will continue to remain in force.
3. 14 STATES SET TO REOPEN SCHOOLS FOR CLASSES X-XII
THE CONTEXT: At least 14 States and Union Territories have reopened or plan to reopen schools partially this month.
- Almost all States only plan to bring back older students despite the Indian Council of Medical Research’s recommendation to start with primary school students.
- Almost 50% of teachers across the country have been vaccinated.
- A parliamentary panel had noted that school closures have hurt the social fabric of families, led to an increase in child marriages and in children being pressed into work at home.
- The expected learning losses are likely to impact the cognitive capabilities of students. Warning that children’s nutrition and mental health have also been affected.
- Over 15 lakh schools across the country shut their doors in March 2020, and only a few reopened briefly before the second wave of the pandemic.
- More than 25 crore school children have been dependent on online or distance education since then, with many from poor or remote communities effectively losing more than a year of schooling.
Reference: The Hindu
4. BEGGARS REHABILITATION SCHEME
THE CONTEXT: The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated a scheme “SMILE – Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise”, which includes sub-scheme – ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of persons engaged in the act of Begging’.
- As per the Census of 2011 data available on the website of Registrar General of India, there are 4,13,670 beggars and vagrants in the Country.
- The focus of the scheme is on providing basic necessaries like food, shelter homes, medical facilities, counseling, rehabilitation, basic documentation, education, skill development and economic linkages of the persons found to be engaged in begging.
- Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has identified ten cities namely Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Indore, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur and Patna for undertaking pilot projects on Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Persons engaged in the act of Begging, which provides for the whole range of services including awareness generation, identification, rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counseling, education, skill development and sustainable settlement of persons engaged in begging.
5. QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ELDERLY INDEX
THE CONTEXT: Quality of Life for Elderly Index was released by Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM). The Index has been created by the Institute for Competitiveness at the request of EAC-PM and it sheds light on an issue often not mentioned- problems faced by the elderly.
- The report identifies the regional patterns of ageing across Indian States and assesses the overall ageing situation in India. The report presents a deeper insight into how well India is doing to support the well-being of its ageing population.
- The Index framework includes four pillars: Financial Well-being, Social Well-being, Health System and Income Security, and eight sub-pillars: Economic Empowerment, Educational Attainment & Employment, Social Status, Physical Security, Basic Health, Psychological Wellbeing, Social Security and Enabling Environment.
- This index broadens the way we understand the needs and opportunities of the elderly population in India. It goes far beyond the adequacy of pensions and other forms of income support, which, though critical, often narrows policy thinking and debate about the needs of this age group.
- The index highlights that the best way to improve the lives of the current and future generations of older people is by investing in health, education and employment for young people today.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE REPORT
- The Health System pillar observes the highest national average, 66.97 at an all-India level, followed by 62.34 in Social Well-being. Financial Well-being observes a score of 44.7, which is lowered by the low performance of 21 States across the Education Attainment & Employment pillar, which showcases scope for improvement
- States have performed particularly worse in the Income Security pillar because over half of the States have a score below the national average, i.e., 33.03 in Income Security, which is the lowest across all pillars. These pillar-wise analyses help States assess the state of the elderly population and identify existing gaps that obstruct their growth
- Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh are top-scoring regions in Aged and Relatively Aged States, respectively. Chandigarh and Mizoram are top-scoring regions in Union Territory and North-East States category.
- The Aged States refer to States with an elderly population of more than 5 million, whereas Relatively Aged States refer to States with an Elderly population of less than 5 million.
6.VRUKSHA BANDHAN PROJECT
THE CONTEXT: In a unique initiative Ministry of Tribal Affairs in partnership with The Art of Living Foundation, Aurangabad, Maharashtra launched Vrushka Bandhan Project where 1100 tribal women are creating Rakhis for Raksha Bandhan with seeds of indigenous trees, which is a unique contribution to increasing forest cover & combating climate change.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
- The project based on Gauadharit paramparagat kheti seeks to preserve and revive the Traditional Ecological Knowledge of tribal communities and protect them from the negative effects of chemical agriculture.
- Once used, the seeds can be sown in soil, thereby benefiting the environment and provide employment to tribal women associated with the project.
ENVIRONMENT, GEOGRAPHY AND AGRICULTURE
7. KAZIRANGA GUARDS EQUIPPED WITH SATELLITE PHONES
THE CONTEXT: Kaziranga has become the first National Park in India to have been equipped with satellite phones.
- The satellite phones will be used in pockets of the park’s six ranges with no wireless or mobile connectivity.
- The satellite phones will give an edge to the forest personnel over the poachers and also during emergencies like flood.
- The public is barred from using satellite phones in India.
Reference: The Hindu
8. NASA’S NEW TOOL MAKES IT POSSIBLE TO SEE FUTURE SEA LEVEL RISE
THE CONTEXT: NASA has created a visualization tool that makes data on future sea level rise from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) accessible to the public.
- The tool is easy to navigate: One needs to pull up the tool’s layers of maps, click anywhere on the global ocean and coastlines, and pick any decade between 2020 and 2150. The tool then pulls up comprehensive data on the projected sea level rise.
- The tool displays possible future sea levels under several greenhouse-gas-emission and socioeconomic scenarios. These include a low-emissions future , a business-as-usual trajectory with emissions on their current track and an accelerated emissions scenario.
- Scientists from NASA said the tool has been developed to help governments to forecast future scenarios and develop coastal resources accordingly.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
9. INDIA SUCCESSFULLY TESTS DRDO-DEVELOPED INDIGENOUS TECHNOLOGY CRUISE MISSILE
THE CONTEXT: India has successfully tested the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)-developed Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile off the coast of Odisha’s Balasore district.
- The missile flew for around 150 km with an indigenous cruise engine.
- More tests would be conducted in near future.
- Earlier, on July 23 India had successfully test-fired indigenously developed New Generation Akash Missile (Akash-NG), a Surface to Air Missile defence system in Balasore. It was the second test firing of the 30 km strike-range air defence missile systems in two days.
10. BACKCHANNEL TALK BETWEEN INDIA, PAK WAS ON BEFORE BALAKOT AIR STRIKES
THE CONTEXT: According to a new book by the journalists, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) exchanged messages with top Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officials as part of a unique back channel connection between the two countries that involved two foreign journalists Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark in 2018-2019, including after the Pulwama attack.
August 12, 2021 Prelim Practice Questions
Q 1. Consider the following National Parks of Assam:
1. Dibru-Saikhowa NP
2. Kaziranga NP
3. Manas NP
4. Nameri NP
Arrange them in East-West direction of their location and select the correct answer from code given below:
Q2. Quality of Life for Elderly Index was released by
a) NITI AAYOG
b) Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM)
c) Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
d) Ministry of Health
Answer for August 11, 2021 Prelims Practice Questions
Q1 ANSWER: C)
- Statement 1 is incorrect: It was launched in 2016 with an aim to provide deposit free LPG connection to BPL households
- Statement 2 is correct: LPG connection under scheme is given only in the name of adult woman (above 18 years of age) of household.
- Statement 3 is correct: Second phase of the scheme provides first refill of cylinder and cooking stove free of cost.
Q2. ANSWER: A)
- The Kakori Train Action or Kakori Conspiracy was a train robbery that took place at Kakori, a village near Lucknow, on 9 August 1925 during the Indian Independence Movement against the British colonial rule.
- The robbery was organized by Hindustan Republican Association and more than 40 persons were arrested in this incident and they were finally sentenced to death by the British government and also severe punishments were given to those people who helped this incident.