18th January 2022 The Hindu News Analysis

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Questions

1) Who among the following can vote through postal ballot in India?

1. A person subjected to preventive detention.

2. A public servant on election duty.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1 only

  2 only

  Both 1 and 2

  Neither 1 nor 2

2) Consider the following statements:

1.The speaker is not bound to accept the resignation of a member if s/he is satisfied that such resignation is not voluntary or genuine.

2.Constitution mandates to hold by-elections within six months of a seat getting vacated, either due to resignation or the death of a legislator.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1 only

  2 only

  Both 1 and 2

  Neither 1 nor 2

3) Consider the following statements regarding the Model Code of Conduct (MCC):

1.It has a statutory status through Representation of People Act 1951.

2.It mandates that Ministers shall not announce any financial grants in any form or promises thereof during the period MCC is in force.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1 only

  2 only

  Both 1 and 2

  Neither 1 nor 2

Prelims Specific News Analysis

1) The Union Minister of Culture has announced that the stone idol of Goat Head Yogini that had been illegally removed from a temple in Lokhari, Banda, Uttar Pradesh is being returned to India. 

What is Goat Head Yogini?

Source: PIB

Goat headed Yogini is a 10th Century Stone Idol. It originally belonged to a group of stone deities in sandstone and was installed in Lokhari temple. 

The idol had been illegally removed from a temple in Lokhari, Banda, Uttar Pradesh in the 1980s.

In October 2021, the idol was discovered in London. And now it is being returned to the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi.

Who are Yoginis?

Yoginis are a group of powerful female divinities associated with the Tantrik mode of worship. They are worshipped as a group, often 64 and are believed to possess infinite powers.

2)The Ministry of Electronics and Information (MeitY) has sought applications from 100 academia, R&D organisations, start-ups and MSMEs under its Chips to Startup (C2S) Programme.

What is the Chips to Startup (C2S) Programme?

Aim: 

– To train 85,000 qualified engineers in the area of Very-large-scale integration (VLSI) and Embedded System Design.

– To develop 175 ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits), Working Prototypes of 20 System on Chips (SoC) and IP Core repository over a period of 5 years.

Participating Institutions: The programme would be implemented at about 100 academic institutions/R&D organisations across the Country (including IITs, NITs, Government/Private Colleges and R&D Organisations). Startups and MSMEs can also participate in the programme by submitting their proposals under Academia- Industry Collaborative Project, Grand Challenge /Hackathons/RFP.

3) Inequality Kills: A study of the new OxFam report

“Inequality Kills: The unparalleled action needed to combat unprecedented inequality in the wake of COVID-19” is a report released in January 2022 by Oxfam, a U.K.-based consortium of 21 charitable organisations that have a global presence. 

The report points out a startling statistic: 160 million people were rendered poor during the pandemic, while the ten richest people doubled their fortunes since the start of the pandemic. Therefore, extreme inequality should be seen as a form of ‘economic violence’.

The report also argues that the climate crisis is undergirded by inequality between countries. It points out that the “wealthiest 1% of humanity are responsible for twice as many emissions as the poorest 50%”.

Holding governments to account the report identifies “vaccine apartheid” (unequal access to vaccines between countries) and the lack of universal vaccination programs in many countries as a cause of the emergence of multiple new strains of the coronavirus that has led to the continuation of the pandemic.

It also demonstrates how emergency government expenditure (estimated at $16 trillion) that was meant to keep economies afloat during this crisis, inflated stock prices. This resulted in billionaires’ collective wealth increasing by $5 trillion during the pandemic. Identifying this process as “the billionaire variant”.

“Extreme inequality is a form of ‘economic violence’—where structural and systemic policy and political choices that are skewed in favor of the richest and most powerful people result in direct harm to the vast majority of ordinary people worldwide.” The report identifies higher inequality with more crime and violence and less social trust.

4) Anne Frank betrayal suspect identified: book

A cold case investigation led by an ex-FBI agent has identified a Jewish notary as the prime suspect in the mystery of who betrayed teenage diarist Anne Frank and her family to the Nazis, a new book claims.

Arnold van den Bergh may have revealed the Franks’ hiding place in Amsterdam in order to save his own family, according to a six-year probe detailed in “The Betrayal of Anne Frank” by Canadian author Rosemary Sullivan, which is published.

5)About two Personalities from History

Valliyappan Olaganathan Chidambaram Pillai (5 September 1872 – 18 November 1936) was born into a Royal Family of Tuticorin. He is popularly known by his initials, V.O.C. and is also known as Kappalottiya Tamizhan or “the Tamil Helmsman”. He was a Tamil Indian freedom fighter and former leader of the Indian National Congress. Founder of Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company in 1906.

Subramania Bharathi (11 December 1882 – 11 September 1921), was a Tamil writer, poet, journalist, Indian independence activist, social reformer and polyglot. Popularly known as “Mahakavi Bharathi” (“Great Poet Bharathi”), he was a pioneer of modern Tamil poetry and is considered one of the greatest Tamil literary figures of all time. His numerous works included fiery songs kindling patriotism during the Indian Independence movement. 

He fought for the emancipation of women, against child marriage, stood for reforming Brahminism and religion. He was also in solidarity with Dalits and Muslims.

Editorial of the Day

Just what the doctor ordered for the livestock farmer

  • According to the 20th Livestock census, India has a total livestock population of approximately 537 million. Out of the total population, around 96% is concentrated in rural areas.

Issue of veterinary services

  • The M.K. Jain Committee Report has highlighted that livestock farmers face greater challenges in comparison to traditional agricultural farmers especially while accessing credit and livestock insurance.
  • Access to veterinary services is a major challenge in rural and remote areas of our country.
  • Livestock farmers are often compelled to travel far from their villages whenever their animals need treatment.
    • It adversely impacts the longevity and the productivity of their livestock.

Focus of the government

  • Government has revised the provisions of Livestock Health and Disease Control (LH&DC) programme where the focus has been on ‘Establishment and Strengthening of Veterinary Services – Mobile Veterinary Units (MVUs)’.
  • Earlier, the Government was providing doorstep services related to artificial insemination and vaccination for livestock.
  • The MVUs will build on the doorstep delivery model, as stationary hospitals cannot be easily accessed by most livestock farmers.

Benefits of Mobile Veterinary Units (MVUs)

Address the issue of testing facility

  • A Parliamentary Standing Committee has observed that inadequate testing and treatment facilities for veterinary diseases pose a major challenge, especially now where there is a drastic rise in cases of zoonotic diseases.
  • Most villages in the country lack testing facilities, and even when samples are collected, they need to be sent to blocks/districts nearby for test results.
  • So, MVUs can play a major role in plugging the gap in this regard.

Reduce antibiotic resistance

  • Problems pertaining to antimicrobial resistance occur when the animal no longer responds to a drug to which it was originally responsive.
  • The MVU model will mitigate the issue of antimicrobial resistance and is in alignment with the ‘One Health vision’ laid down by the Global Action Plan of WHO.

Avoid milk losses

  • 70% of India’s milk supply is sourced from farmers who own less than five animals, and losses due to mastitis alone amount to a milk loss of approximately 10 litres per day per farm.
    • Bovine mastitis is a condition typified by the persistent and inflammatory reaction of the udder tissue due to either physical trauma or infections caused by microorganisms.
  • The loss roughly translates into ₹300-₹350 per day.
  • So, for most farmers, death of or disease in livestock could mean the difference between sustenance and starvation.
  • MVUs have been successfully in several states with positive results and increased outreach, especially in geographically difficult terrains.

Provide employment

  • The increasing adoption of MVUs across the country will lead to a surge in employment opportunities for veterinarians and assistants.

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