Prelims Specific Questions :-
1) Eaglenest wildlife sanctuary, is located in which of the following Indian state:
- West Bengal
- Arunachal Pradesh
2) Greenhouse Gas Bulletin Report is released by which of the following organization:
- Indian Meteorological Department (IMD)
- International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC)
- World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
- Green Peace
3) Srikrishna committee, in news, is related to which of the following:
- To examine issues related to data protection
- Formulating food policy in the long term
- Unemployment and Public Welfare
- To look into GST revenue shortfall faced by states
Prelims Specific News Items: –
1) Unesco World Heritage forests: India’s Sundarbans among 5 sites with highest ‘blue carbon’ globally
Researchers at UNESCO, the World Resources Institute and the International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN) have released a new assessment of greenhouse gas volumes emitted from and absorbed by forests in UNESCO World Heritage sites.
What are the key findings of the report on UNESCO World Heritage Forests?
The researchers have assessed the gross and net carbon absorbed and emitted by 257 UNESCO World Heritage forests between 2001 and 2020.
What about Indian Sundarbans?
According to the research, India’s Sundarbans National Park is among five sites that have the highest blue carbon stocks globally.
The other four sites are the Bangladeshi portion of the Sundarbans, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Everglades National Park in the United States and the Banc d’Arguin National Park in Mauritania.
What is Blue Carbon –
Blue carbon is an organic carbon that is mainly obtained from decaying plant leaves, wood, roots and animals. It is captured and stored by coastal and marine ecosystems.
What are the suggestions given by the report?
- Strong and sustained protection of UNESCO World Heritage sites and their surrounding landscapes to ensure their forests could continue to act as strong carbon sinks and stores for future generations.
- Maintaining and strengthening ecological connectivity through improved landscape management.
- Integrating the continued protection of UNESCO World Heritage sites into international, national and local climate, biodiversity and sustainable development strategies.
4) No money left in MGNREGA coffers; 21 States in the red
- It guarantees 100 days of work a year to every rural household with an aim to enhance the livelihood security of people.
- The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 introduced the scheme. In 2010, NREGA renamed as MGNREGA
- The Act currently covers all districts except for those that have a 100% urban population.
- The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) in association with the state governments monitors the implementation of the scheme.
Key Features of the MGNREGA
- Demand-driven scheme: Worker will get the work whenever he demands and not when the Government has work available.
- Employment Allowance: Gram Panchayat has the mandate to provide employment within 15 days of a work application. If it fails, the worker will get an unemployment allowance.
- Timely Payment: Payment of wages within 15 days of completion of work. In case of failure, the worker will get a delay compensation of 0.05% per day of wages earned.
- Women empowerment: Minimum one-third of the workers should be women
- Minimum wages: Wage payment should be according to the Minimum Wages Act 1948 for agricultural laborers in the State.
- Gram Sabhas conduct Social audits to enable the community to monitor the implementation of the scheme.
- Both the Center and the States share the funding of the scheme.
5) Suicides among farm workers rose 18% in 2020
The number of agricultural labourers who died by suicide in 2020 was 18% higher than the previous year, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report released on Thursday. However, suicides among landowning farmers dropped slightly during the pandemic year.
6) Top officials liable for sale of toxic crackers: SC
The Supreme Court said Chief Secretaries and top administrative and police officials will be held personally liable if banned varieties of firecrackers are found to be used in any of the States.
If it is found that any banned firecrackers are manufactured, sold and used in any particular area, the Chief Secretary of the State (s), the Secretary (Home) of the State(s) and the Commissioner of Police of the area, District Superintendent of Police of the area and the SHO/police officer incharge of the police station shall be held personally liable,” the top court ordered.
The court had allowed the use of ‘green’ or environment-friendly crackers made without toxic ingredients.
7) North, South Blocks to turn museums
The Central Government has informed the Supreme Court that the North and South Blocks, which house core Ministries and the Prime Minister’s Office, will be turned into “national museums” based on a theme called “India in making: prehistoric to present date”, as part of the Central Vista redevelopment plans.
The future museums would be a “public space”. Presently, the nation’s most important decisions are made in these buildings, where access is limited.
“Museums will be open to the public at large and serve important public purposes,”
8) Art for heart’s sake: Deepavali with Raja Ravi Varma
About Raja Ravi Varma –
Raja Ravi Varma (29 April 1848 – 2 October 1906) was an Indian painter and artist. He is considered among the greatest painters in the history of Indian art.
His works are one of the best examples of the fusion of European academic art with a purely Indian sensibility and iconography. Additionally, he was notable for making affordable lithographs of his paintings available to the public, which greatly enhanced his reach and influence as a painter and public figure.
Some notable works of Raja Ravi Varma :
- Mohini playing with a ball
- Yashoda and Krishna
- Village Belle
- Lady Lost in Thought
- Damayanti Talking to a Swan
- The Orchestra
- Arjuna and Subhadra
- The heartbroken
- Swarbat Player
- Lord Krishna as Ambassador
- Jatayu, a bird devotee of Lord Rama is mauled by Ravana
9) UIDAI seeks indemnity from Data Bill
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has asked for exemption from the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Law. In an interaction with the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Data Protection Bill 2019 at its office in Bengaluru, UIDAI functionaries said the authority is already being governed by the Aadhaar Act and there cannot be duplicity of laws.
Ironically, it was making Aadhaar compulsory for many key services including the banks that first triggered the data privacy debate. The genesis of this Bill lies in the report prepared by a Committee of Experts headed by Justice B.N. Srikrishna. The committee was constituted by the government in the course of hearings before the Supreme Court in the right to privacy case (Justice K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India).
10) Document with NPR form removed from Census site
A Home Ministry official, however, said that “the NPR proforma was yet to be finalised.” Though NPR was first compiled in 2010 and updated in 2015, the new questions were added during a trial exercise in September 2019.
The exercise has been opposed by some States and citizen groups as NPR is the first step toward compilation of the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRC) according to Citizenship Rules, 2003. NPR already has a database of 119 crore residents. The NPR is to be conducted along with the first phase of Census. The House listing and Housing Census and NPR update were to be conducted simultaneously from April-September 2020 but the exercise was postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
About NPR :-
- The National Population Register (NPR) is a Register of usual residents of the country.
- It includes names of all those who have resided in the country for more than 6 months or have planned to live in the country for 6 months.
Past NPR :- The data for National Population Register was collected in 2010 along with the house-listing phase of Census of India 2011. The updation of this data was done during 2015 by conducting door to door survey.
The responsibility of conducting the decennial Census rests with the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India under Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
The Census Act was enacted in 1948 to provide for the scheme of conducting population census with duties and responsibilities of census officers.
11) India, Israel to boost military cooperation #IR_India_Israel
To further advance the bilateral defence cooperation, India and Israel have agreed to form a task force to formulate a comprehensive 10year roadmap to identify new areas of cooperation.
This was agreed at the 15th India-Israel Joint Working Group ( JWG) meeting on bilateral defence cooperation held on October 27 in Tel Aviv, Israel, a Defence Ministry statement said.
12) Nationwide PCV drive launched
Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya launched a nationwide expansion of Pneumococcal 13-valent Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) under the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) as a part of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
“Pneumonia caused by pneumococcus is the most common cause of severe pneumonia in children. Around 16% of deaths in children occur due to pneumonia in India. The nationwide rollout of PCV will reduce child mortality by around 60%”.
About Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP)
- Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) is a vaccination programme launched by the Government of India in 1985. It became a part of Child Survival and Safe Motherhood Programme in 1992 and is currently one of the key areas under National Rural Health Mission since 2005.
- Under UIP, Government of India is providing vaccination free of cost against ten vaccine preventable diseases i.e. Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, severe form of Childhood Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and Meningitis & Pneumonia caused by Hemophilus Influenza type B across the country; Japanese Encephalitis in JE endemic districts and Rotavirus diarrhoea in selected states.
- Mission Indradhanush (MI) was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) on 25th December 2014 with the aim of expanding immunization coverage to all children across India.
- The Mission Indradhanush aims to cover all those children who are either unvaccinated, or are partially vaccinated against vaccine preventable diseases. India’s Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) provide free vaccines against 12 life threatening diseases, to 26 million children annually. The Universal Immunization Programme provides life-saving vaccines to all children across the country free of cost to protect them against Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis B, Pneumonia and Meningitis due to Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib), Measles, Rubella, Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Rotavirus diarrhoea. (Rubella, JE and Rotavirus vaccine in select states and districts).
13) Fiscal deficit touches 35% of annual budget target
What is Fiscal Deficit?
Fiscal Deficit: Fiscal deficit is the difference between the government’s total expenditure and its total receipts excluding borrowing.
Gross fiscal deficit = Total expenditure – (Revenue receipts + Non-debt creating capital receipts).
Non-debt creating capital receipts are those receipts which are not borrowings and, therefore, do not give rise to debt. Examples are recovery of loans and the proceeds from the sale of PSUs.
Revenue Receipts: Revenue receipts are those receipts that do not lead to a claim on the government. They are therefore termed non-redeemable. They are divided into tax and non-tax revenues.
Non-tax revenue of the central government mainly consists of interest receipts on account of loans by the central government, dividends and profits on investments made by the government, fees and other receipts for services rendered by the government. Cash grants-in-aid from foreign countries and international organisations are also included.
Editorial of the day
Editorial 1 – Support for the national cricket team or its players is no litmus test for patriotism
What is the issue –
In Jammu and Kashmir, the police have registered two cases against unknown persons under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and other sections. In Uttar Pradesh, three students from J&K have been charged under IPC Sections 153A (promoting enmity between groups), 505 (creating or publishing content to promote enmity) and, later, Section 124A, sedition.
The wisdom, propriety or acceptability of celebrating Pakistan’s victory is beside the point. From moral, tactical, and practical perspectives, this sweeping policing are unwise. No democracy, least of all a country of India’s size and diversity, can demand unyielding uniformity and conformity from its population, on all questions and at all times. It is unlikely that any of these charges will stand judicial scrutiny, but that only makes this spectacle a ridiculous distraction for the stretched law enforcement system. Far from enforcing national integration as the purported aim of this heavy-handed police action is, it will only brew more resentment and social disharmony apart from derailing young lives.