Insights Daily Current Affairs, 10 April 2017
Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
Kolkata- Khulna-Dhaka bus service flagged off
A Kolkata-Khulna-Dhaka bus service was recently ceremoniously flagged off from Kolkata. This is a part of several initiatives being taken to strengthen bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh.
- This is for the first time, Kolkata and Khulna are being directly connected through a bus route.
- It will be a 409 Km long bus route from Kolkata via Khulna to Dhaka.
Presently, the bus services are being operated on the Kolkata-Dhaka and Kolkata- Dhaka-Agaratala routes. They are being run by the State Transport Corporations of West Bengal and Tripura, besides Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation.
Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
Indo – Mongolian Joint Exercise : Nomadic Elephant
Twelfth iteration of Indo – Mongolian Joint Military Exercise Nomadic Elephant is presently underway at Vairengte in Mizoram.
- Nomadic Elephant is aimed at training the troops in Counter Insurgency & Counter Terrorism Operations under the United Nations mandate.
- The joint training will also lay emphasis on conducting operations by a joint subunit, comprising of troops from both the armies, in adverse operational conditions aimed at enhancing the interoperability between the two armies.
UN counter terrorism strategy:
- Mongolia is a landlocked unitary sovereign state in East Asia.
- It is sandwiched between China to the south and Russia to the north.
- It is also the world’s second-largest landlocked country behind Kazakhstan and the largest landlocked country that does not border a closed sea.
Paper 2 Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
Meeting of Inter-State Council
The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh recently chaired the 11th Standing Committee meeting of the Inter-State Council.
- The council was attended by Chief Ministers of various states.
What is the inter-state council?
The Council is a recommendatory body to investigate and discuss subjects, in which some or all of the states or the union government have a common interest.
- Article 263 of the Constitution of India provides for the establishment of an Inter-State Council.
- It considers recommendations for the better coordination of policy and action, and also matters of general interest to the states.
- The inter-state council is not a permanent constitutional body for coordination between the states and union government. It can be established ‘at any time’ if it appears to the President that the public interests would be served by the establishment of such a council.
What is the composition of the inter-state council?
The Council shall consist of:
- Prime minister who is the chairman.
- Chief ministers of all states who are members.
- Chief ministers of union territories and administrators of UTs as members.
- Six union ministers of cabinet rank in the union council of ministers nominated by the prime minister are also members.
Paper 2 Topic: Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
Bharat ke Veer
It is a web portal and mobile application launched recently on the occasion of Valour Day of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
- The portal is an IT based platform, with an objective to enable willing donors to contribute towards the family of a braveheart who sacrificed his/her life in line of duty.
- This website is technically supported by National Informatics Centre (NIC) and powered by State Bank of India.
What it does?
This domain allows anyone to financially support the bravehearts of his choice or towards the “Bharat Ke Veer” corpus. The amount so donated will be credited to the account of ‘Next of Kin’ of those Central Armed Police Force/Central Para Military Force soldiers.
To ensure maximum coverage, a cap of 15 lakh rupees is imposed and the donors would be alerted if the amount exceeds, so that they can choose to divert part of the donation to another braveheart account or to the “Bharat Ke Veer” corpus.
Who will manage the fund?
“Bharat Ke Veer” corpus would be managed by a committee made up of eminent persons of repute and senior Government officials, who would decide to disburse the fund equitably to the braveheart’s family on need basis.
The Valour Day is celebrated in remembrance of an act of unparalleled bravery displayed by a small contingent of CRPF personnel, pitted against a full-fledged infantry brigade of Pakistani Army, trying to overrun their post, at Sardar Post, Rann of Kutch, Gujarat on April 09, 1965. They not only defeated the Pakistani brigade but also killed 34 Pakistani soldiers and captured 4 of them alive. The CRPF successfully defended the post till the arrival of reinforcements. The saga of valour of Sardar Post is a rich source of inspiration to the officers and men of CRPF and befittingly 9th April is observed as the “Valour Day”.
Paper 2 Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
Vulnerable tribes: lost in a classification trap
A recent Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) publication has brought to the fore startling revelations about the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in the country including the fact that no base line surveys have been conducted among more than half of such groups.
Highlights of the survey:
- According to the survey, of the 75 PVTGs, base line surveys exists for about 40 groups, even after declaring them as PVTGs. Base line surveys are done to precisely identify the PVTG families, their habitat and socio-economic status, so that development initiatives are implemented for these communities, based on the facts and figures.
- Among the 75 listed PVTG’s the highest number are found in Odisha (13), followed by Andhra Pradesh (12), Bihar including Jharkhand (9) Madhya Pradesh including Chhattisgarh (7) Tamil Nadu (6) Kerala and Gujarat having five groups each. The remaining PVTGs live in West Bengal (3) Maharashtra (3), two each in Karnataka and Uttarakhand and one each in Rajasthan, Tripura and Manipur. All the four tribal groups in Andamans, and one in Nicobar Islands, are recognised as PVTGs.
- Some of the PVTGs are distributed in more than one State. The Birhor are recognised as a PVTG in four States, while 10 other group are PVTG in two States, namely the Sahariya, Kurumba, Koraga, Korwa, JenuKuruba, Kattunayakan, Katkari/Kathodi, Kharia, Kolam, and Lodha. Thus, the number of the PVTGs at the national level would be 63.
- Regional and State-specific variations in welfare schemes for PVTGs has also been highlighted. While Odisha has established exclusive micro-projects for the PVTGs, there are none such in for the five PVTGs in Gujarat.
- In Tamil Nadu, development schemes are being monitored through the Tribal Research Centre, Ooty, and implemented by the State government. However, in Karnataka, all affairs of two the PVTGs are handled by the Social Welfare Department, which extends some schemes as per their knowledge, barely receiving any professional advice. Only recently, the Karnataka Tribal Research Centre was been established at Mysore while many States did so decades ago.
- In some cases, a PVTG receives benefits only in a few blocks in a district, while the same group is deprived in adjacent blocks. The reason is that micro-projects extend benefits only within their jurisdiction.
- There is a huge variation in the number of PVTGs ranging from a few individuals as in case of Great Andamanese, Onge and Sentinelese and about a little more than a thousand people as in the case of Toda of Nilgiris. Although PVTGs are slowly witnessing decadal increase in their population, quite a few still face stagnation such as the Birhor in central India. Some are declining like the Onge and Andamanese.
- Smallest population size among the PVTGs are the Senteneles (as per the last contact effort on March 9, 2005, groups of 32 and 13 persons were sighted at different places). They still shy away from others. The Great Andamanese (57 persons) and the Onge (107 persons in 2012 as per Andaman Adim Janjati Vikas Samiti) are the dwindling populations. In main land, the Toto of West Bengal (314 families with 1,387 persons as per 2011 census) and the Toda of Tamil Nadu (1,608, inclusive of 238 Christian Todas as per TRC, Udagamandalam [Ooty], 2011)) have population less than 2000 persons. The Saharia people of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are the largest among the PVTGs with population more than 4 lakhs.
- Literacy rate among the PVTGs has gone up significantly over the past. From a single digit literacy rate, the figures have increased to 30 to 40 % in many of the PVTGs. However, as is the case with entire India, female literacy rate is still considerably lower compared to male counterpart.
- The authors have pointed out at a considerable increase in the age of marriage among PVTGs. The incidence of girl child being married while still being a minor, among these tribes has been decreasing.
The survey has asked the State governments to conduct baseline surveys to arrive at accurate demographic and socio-economic figures of the PVTGs. It also points out that the PVTG list requires revising and refinement to avoid overlapping and repetition.
PVTGs are more vulnerable among the tribal groups. Due to this factor, more developed and assertive tribal groups take a major chunk of the tribal development funds, because of which PVTGs need more funds directed for their development. In this context, in 1975, the Government of India initiated to identify the most vulnerable tribal groups as a separate category called PVTGs and declared 52 such groups, while in 1993 an additional 23 groups were added to the category,making it a total of 75 PVTGs out of 705 Scheduled Tribes, spread over 17 states and one Union Territory(UT), in the country (2011 census).
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
Industry charts agenda for India-Bangladesh trade
Leading industry bodies of India and Bangladesh, the FICCI and the FBCCI, have brought out a six-point agenda to boost trade and investment between India and Bangladesh.
The agenda includes:
- Setting up a Joint Task Force on Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers.
- Setting up a Joint Task Force to promote Indian investments in Bangladesh in the focus areas of infrastructure, education, healthcare, power and tourism.
- Connectivity initiatives for expansion of sub-regional cooperation among BBIN (Bhutan-Bangladesh- India-Nepal) countries to cover links through road, rail, rivers, sea, transmission lines, petroleum pipelines and digital.
- Pursuing joint investments and a road-map for cooperation in the Bay of Bengal in exploration of hydrocarbons, marine resources, deep sea fishing, preservation of marine ecology and disaster management.
- Collaboration in knowledge sharing to facilitate innovation and research and forming a partnership on skill development.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 1 Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
‘Swachagraha-Bapu Ko Karyanjali’ exhibition
To mark the 100-year anniversary of Satyagrah movement, led by Mahatma Gandhi, an exhibition ”swachagraha” Bapu Ko Karyanjali” – A Mission, An Exhibition, at the National Archives of India, was recently inaugurated.
- The exhibition aims to sensitise future generations to fulfill Gandhi’s dream of Swachh Bharat, ”where society’s reflection would be as clean as the thought within, of every citizen of India.
- The ‘digital’ and ‘experimental’ exhibition hopes to from a link between the essential principle of Satyagrah ‘Jeevan-Chakra’ evolved with the ‘Swacchagraha movement’.
- The exhibition succinctly depicts the events that unfolded in Champaran on April 10, 1917, when Gandhi started the Satyagrah movement, to fight for the rights of Indigo plantation farmers living in the region.
About the Satyagraha:
It was undertaken in the erstwhile undivided Champaran district in northern Bihar. Mahatma Gandhi went there in April, 1917 on learning about the abuses suffered by the cultivators of the district, forced into growing indigo by British planters/estate owners.
- Even Gandhi was reluctant to commit himself to task in the beginning. But he was so thoroughly persuaded by Rajkumar Shukla, an indigo cultivator from Champaran that he decided to investigate into the matter.
- Gandhi’s method of inquiry at Champaran was based on surveys by the volunteers. The respondents who willingly gave statements should sign the papers or give thumb impressions. For those unwilling to participate, the reasons must be recorded by the volunteers. The principal volunteers in this survey were mostly lawyers like Babu Rajendra Prasad, Dharnidhar Prasad, Gorakh Prasad, Ramnawami Prasad, Sambhusaran and Anugraha Narain Sinha.
- In June 1917, the British administration declared the formation of a formal inquiry committee with Gandhi aboard. The Government accepted almost all its recommendations to the benefit of the ryats. The principal recommendation accepted was complete abolition of Tinkathia system. It was a major blow to the British planters who became resentful. But they could not prevent the passage of Champaran Agrarian Act in Bihar & Orissa Legislative Council on March 4, 1918.
Facts for Prelims:
- Navy’s flagship anti-submarine aircraft Tu-142M will be turned into a museum.
- The aircraft will be given to the Andhra Pradesh government to be converted into a museum and kept on the Beach Road close to the Submarine Kursura in Visakhaptnam.
World Homeopathy Day:
- World Homoeopathy Day is being observed on 10 April 2017.
- It commemorates the 262nd birth anniversary of the founder of Homoeopathy, Dr. Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician.