12th August 2021 Daily Current Affairs

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Who among the following is known as Father of Indian archaeology?

 a) Sir William Jones

 b) James Princep

 c) Max Mueller

 d) Alexander Cunningham

2)Consider the following statements regarding Prayaga Prashasti.

1. It was composed in Sanskrit by Nagasena.

2. It describes the circumstances of Samudragupta’s accession, his military campaigns in north India and the Deccan.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

 a) 1 only

 b) 2 only

 c) Both 1 and 2

 d) Neither 1 nor 2

3)Following the rejection of the recommendations of the Simon Commission by Indians, an all-party conference was held at Mumbai in May 1928. The conference appointed a drafting committee under Motilal Nehru to

 a) Draw up a constitution for India

 b) Dwell on the future leadership of the Indian National Congress (INC)

 c) Prepare the roadmap to the next non-cooperation movement

 d) None of the above

Prelims Specific Questions:-

Parliamentary Committee on Official Language :- The Union Home Minister has chaired the 36th meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Official Language.

About Parliamentary Committee on Official Language:

The Parliamentary Committee on Official Language was set up in 1976 under section 4 of the Official Languages Act,1963.

Mandate: The Committee shall review the progress made in the use of Hindi for the Official purposes of the Union and submit a report to the President making recommendations. The President shall then lay the report before each House of Parliament and send it to all the State Governments.

Composition: The Committee comprises 30 members of Parliament, 20 from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha.

Chairman: The Chairman of the Committee is elected by the members of the Committee.  As a convention, the Union Home Minister has been elected as Chairman of the Committee from time to time.

2) Two wetlands of Haryana — Sultanpur National Park and Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary — have been included in the Ramsar list. With this, the number of protected Ramsar sites in India has now gone up to 46.

About Sultanpur National Park:

Sultanpur National Park is situated in the Gurgaon district of Haryana. The park is spread across 353 acres.

The park is an important wetland that harbours rich plant and animal life. It supports more than 220 species of resident, winter migratory and local migratory waterbirds at critical stages of their life cycles. 

More than ten of these are globally threatened, including the critically endangered sociable lapwing.

About Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary:

Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Jhajjar district of Haryana. In 2009, it was declared as a bird sanctuary by the Indian Government.

3)West Africa records 1st death from ‘highly infectious’ Marburg virus :- 

Marburg virus disease(MVD) was formerly known as Marburg hemorrhagic fever.

The virus causes hemorrhagic fever and belongs to the same family (Filoviridae family) as the Ebola virus.

First Case: The virus was initially detected in 1967 after simultaneous outbreaks in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany; and in Belgrade, Serbia.

Symptoms: The common symptoms of a virus are fever, headache, fatigue, abdominal pain and gingival haemorrhage.

Transmission: Marburg is transmitted to people from fruit bats. The virus spreads among humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of the patient, surfaces and materials.

4) Google rolls out new features to improve child safety online :-

To give kids and teens a safer experience online, Google has announced a host of changes in its policies and product to limit their exposure to explicit content, including blocking advertising targeted at the under-18 age group.

In the “coming weeks and months”, the technology giant will roll out a new policy that will enable anyone under 18, or their parent or guardian, to request the removal of their images from Google Image results.

“Of course, removing an image from Search doesn’t remove it from the web, but we believe this change will help give young people more control of their images online,” the company said in a blog.

5) US Senate passes Biden’s massive $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill :-

The US Senate on Tuesday approved the colossal $1.2 trillion infrastructure investment plan backed by President Joe Biden, a huge win for the Democratic president.

By funding work on roads, bridges and ports, as well as clean water and high-speed internet, Mr. Biden said the Bill — which still needs House approval — would create thousands of high-paying jobs for people without college degrees.

Editorial of the Day

An urban job guarantee scheme is the need of the hour :- The Standing Committee on Labour stated in its report of August 3, 2021 that “there is an imperative need for putting in place an Employment Guarantee Programme for the urban workforce in line with MGNREGA.”

Both male and female employment rates in urban India, which in the immediate pre-pandemic period were already lower than historical rates, fell sharply in April-June 2020. Even in July-September 2020 they remained significantly below the pre-pandemic level, as much as 13 per cent lower for women.

But even this partial recovery in employment rates is misleading, because it was essentially due to a fairly big increase in the number of unpaid workers who helped in their family enterprises (like small shops and the like) — once again, dominantly among women workers (Figure 2). This is hardly a sign of labour market dynamism; more a reflection of the complete absence of other employment opportunities.

This is confirmed by the significant increase in open unemployment rates in urban areas, which have spiralled upwards well beyond the historical highs that were so widely discussed from in the 2017-18 labour force survey.

Some State governments have attempted to bring in urban employment schemes on their own, but they are so cash-strapped — especially after the additional pandemic-related expenditures that were thrust on them by the insufficient spending by the Centre — that it has been all but impossible to do anything that would have a sufficient impact on the ground.

Despite that, the efforts by the State governments of Kerala, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh, suggest that there are initiatives that could be built upon and improved.

What Lessons can we get from these state schemes for Urban employment :-

  • One, an urban livelihood scheme can be launched within the existing fiscal space. If not, the Union and States can provide resources together.
  • Two, separate minimum wages for rural and urban areas do not cause migration to urban areas since the higher cost of living in urban areas has an offsetting effect.
  • Three, the focus must shift from asset creation to service delivery. Restricting it to asset creation or wage material ratios may be suboptimal in urban settings. The focus should be on enhancing the quality of municipal services.
  • Four, such a scheme is like an ‘economic vaccine’ and will protect people against unemployment. It should be administered at the national level rather than at the State level.

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