IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 13th January 2020
(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)
Vanga nari (Fox- Jallikattu)
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I- Society, Culture
- The jallikattu-like event using foxes, or vanga nari in Tamil, is organised on Kaanum Pongal in Tamil Nadu villages as people believe it will bring bountiful rain and good fortune.
- The animals are muzzled and their hind legs tied with rope. After special rituals are conducted, the hapless animals are chased through the streets, much like bulls in the more conventional jallikattu. After the event, the animals are released into the forest
- Foxes are a protected species under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and hunting or capturing them is prohibited.
H9N2: India’s first case detected by National Institute of Virology, Pune
Part of: GS Prelims – Diseases and GS-II- Health
- H9N2 viruses have been observed in poultry in India several times. However, this is the first identification of the clinical human case of H9N2 virus infection
- It H9N2 is a subtype of the influenza A virus, which causes human influenza as well as bird flu.
- The H9N2 subtype was isolated for the first time in Wisconsin, US in 1966 from turkey flocks.
- H9N2 virus infections in humans are rare, but likely under-reported due to typically mild symptoms of the infections. Cases of human infection have been observed in Hong Kong, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Egypt
SEA GUARDIANS: Bilateral Naval exercise between China & Pakistan
Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains II- International Affairs
- This is the sixth joint naval exercise between china and Pakistan, but it is the first time that the exercise was named “sea guardians.”
- It was held in the northern Arabian Sea, with the purpose of enhancing security cooperation between the two countries.
- The North Arabian Sea is regarded strategically significant for China which is now developing Pakistan’s deep water Gwadar port there as a part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC) Project of China’s Belt & Road initiative
- The Gwadar is also located close to Iran’s Chabahar Port being jointly developed by Iran, India and Afghanistan to ensure a trade corridor for Indian exports to Afghanistan.
- Sea guardians is expected to become a series of naval exercises with Pakistan, similar to the ‘warrior’ series of joint land exercises and the shaheen series of joint air exercises.
Bojjannakonda: Buddhist site in Andhra Pradesh
Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains –I – History, Art & Culture
- Bojjannakonda and Lingalametta are twin Buddhist monasteries dating back to the 3rd century BC.
- These sites have seen three forms of Buddhism —
- The Theravada period when Lord Buddha was considered a teacher;
- The Mahayana, where Buddhism was more devotional; and
- Vajrayana, where Buddhist tradition was more practised as Tantra and in esoteric form
- The site is famous for many votive stupas, rock-cut caves, brick-built edifices, early historic pottery, and Satavahana coins that date back to the 1st century AD.
Indian Coast Guard Ships (ICGS) — Annie Besant and Amrit Kaur —commissioned
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Security
- ICGS Annie Besant will be based at Chennai and ICGS Amrit Kaur will be based at Haldia.
- The ships are fitted with state-of-the-art technology, and navigation equipment, along with Bofors 40/60 guns and 12.7 mm Stabilised Remote Controlled Guns for enhanced fighting efficiency.
About Rajkumari Amrit Kaur
- Kaur co-founded the All India Women’s Conference along with Margaret Cousins in 1927.
- She was also a member of Constituent Assembly and a member Sub-Committee on Fundamental Rights and Sub-Committee on Minorities.
- She went on to become independent India’s first health minister
TOPIC:General Studies 2:
- Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications.
Internet Shutdown and Section 144
- Supreme Court ruling on the internet shutdown in Jammu & Kashmir since August 5th, 2019.
- Also, in recent times whenever there is possibility of peaceful democratic protests, the administrative authorities immediately shut down internet & imposes section 144. This is used as a precautionary measure so that the protests doesn’t spiral out of hand leading to violence, arson and law & order issues disturbing public.
What is section 144?
- It is a section of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which prohibits assembly of five or more people, holding of public meetings, and carrying of firearms and can be invoked for up to two months (extendable upto 6 months)
- Section 144 also empowers the authorities to block the internet access.
What are the impact of such restrictive measures, especially blocking internet access?
- Freedom of peaceful assemble guaranteed under Article 19 (1)(b) is restricted especially when the executive orders imposing this section is not made public
- Right to Freedom of speech & expression under Article 19(1)(a) is impacted as the medium to access information i.e. internet is blocked
- Right to carry on trade activities under Article 10(1)(g) is also negatively impacted with the restrictions placed on movement of people.
- Economy of the region adversely affected as access to e-banking facilities blocked due to temporary ban on internet. Internet shutdown around the world in 2019 has cost the global economy over $8 billion.
- Delivery of government welfare provisions affected especially in today’s age of e-governance and digitization of the process
- Healthcare provisions impacted especially where government schemes like Ayushman Bharat have adopted digital means for delivery process
What was the Supreme Court ruling in case dealing with internet shutdown in J&K?
- Right to Freedom of Speech & Expression is constitutionally protected. Therefore, an order suspending internet services indefinitely is impermissible
- The Court applied the proportionality doctrine to reason that “complete blocking/prohibition perpetually cannot be accepted”.
- The review committee should be constituted under the suspension rules (of Indian Telegraph Act) that will conduct a periodic review of the suspension within seven working days of the previous review
With regard to Section 144
- Any order passed under Section 144, CrPC should be published alongside stating the material facts to enable judicial review of the same.
- Lack of public accessibility of these orders (citing National Security reasons) has prevented citizens from filing cases in High Court against such executive order
- It was against the “sealed cover jurisprudence” that is a recent phenomenon in Indian Judiciary
- Section 144 cannot be used to suppress legitimate expression of opinion
- Executive cannot arbitrarily impose section 144. Not just an apprehension of danger, but there has to be an emergency question for passing such executive orders
- Repetitive orders passed under Section 144 would be an abuse of power
Criticisms of the judgement
- The judgement was a statist expression of law. It was one one premised on legal centrism than one advancing fundamental rights.
- Lack of powers to review committee: The committee will be principally composed of bureaucrats and no independent members will lack independence and real power to overturn the initial Internet shutdown orders.
- The court stopped short of ruling that access to Internet is a fundamental right, it however said that the Internet as a medium is used to exercise other fundamental rights
- The judicial review, guaranteed by the court, itself takes a long time to provide relief as was in the present case. The Supreme Court should have given a timeframe within which such cases should be dealt with given its impact on the Democratic foundations of society.
- Given that State has balance the need to ensure liberty & National Security, such type of preventive law & order measures should be used as last resort.
Connecting the dots
- Sealed Cover Jurisprudence – Cases where such procedures was adopted
- Is Right to access internet a Fundamental right? What are the possible implications on the Indian Polity with such recognition of new right in the age of internet ?
TOPIC:General Studies 2:
- Issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure
Challenges of Non-Scheduled Indian Languages
An MP from Kerala’s Kasargud region arguing for including Tulu in the Eighth Schedule
Present Scheme of Indian Languages
- Hindi and English are the official languages of the Central Government for communication and administrative purposes, no language in India has been conferred the status of the national language.
- There is no national language in India as all the states are free to decide their own official languages. This is primarily to address the huge linguistic diversity in the country.
- The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India lists the official languages of the Republic of India. Presently, it consists of 22 languages.
- Also, till date, six languages have been conferred the status of ‘Classical Language’ in India. They are Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Sanskrit, Malayalam and Odia
- However, Article 351 of the Constitution says that it shall be the duty of the Union to promote the spread of the Hindi language, to develop it so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India
- According to the 2001 Census, India has 30 languages that are spoken by more than a million people each.
- India also has 1,599 languages, most of which are dialects. These are restricted to specific regions and many of them are on the verge of extinction.
- Article 29 of the Constitution provides that a section of citizens having a distinct language, script or culture have the right to conserve the same.
- Eighth Schedule and Classical Status
- No National Language
- Article 350B: Appointment of Special Officer for linguistic minority with the sole responsibilities of safeguarding the interest of language spoken by the minority groups.
Cause of Concern
- Many languages that are kept out of Eighth Schedule are in some ways more deserving to be included in the Schedule
- For Example: Sanskrit, an Eighth Schedule language, has only 24,821 speakers (2011 Census). Manipuri, another scheduled language, has only 17,61,079 speakers.
- Similarly, many unscheduled languages have a sizeable number of speakers: Bhili/Bhilodi has 1,04,13,637 speakers; Gondi has 29,84,453 speakers; Garo has 11,45,323; Ho has 14,21,418; Khandeshi, 18,60,236; Khasi, 14,31,344; and Oraon, 19,88,350.
Case for Tulu Language to be included in Eighth Schedule
- Tulu is a Dravidian language whose speakers are concentrated in two coastal districts of Karnataka and in Kasaragod district of Kerala.
- The Census reports 18,46,427 native speakers of Tulu in India. The Tulu-speaking people are larger in number than speakers of Manipuri and Sanskrit, which have the Eighth Schedule status.
- Robert Caldwell (1814-1891), in his book, A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian Family of Languages, called Tulu as “one of the most highly developed languages of the Dravidian family”.
Advantages of Inclusion of a Language in Eighth Schedule:
- Recognition from the Sahitya Akademi.
- Members of Parliament (MP) and Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) could speak Tulu in Parliament and State Assemblies, respectively.
- Translation of Tulu literary works into other languages
- Option to take competitive exams in Tulu including all-India competitive examinations like the Civil Services exam.
- Special funds from the Central government.
- Teaching of Tulu in primary and high school.
- Placing all language on equal footing will promote Social harmony, inclusion and National Solidarity
- Protection and preservation of diverse languages should not just remain on paper but also implemented on ground with adequate provision of funds on language development programs
Did You know?
The Yuelu Proclamation:
- The Proclamation was made by the UNESCO at Changsha, China in 2018.
- The The Yuelu Proclamation is the first UNESCO document of its kind dedicated to the protection of linguistic diversity, and is also an important supporting document for the “UN International Year of Indigenous Languages 2019”.
- It confirms that protecting linguistic diversity is the cornerstone for building a global community with a shared future, and for promoting equality, mutual learning and understanding, and facilitating exchanges around the world.
- The document calls on member states to formulate action plans to promote language and cultural diversity, and urges academic and indigenous organizations to provide the resources required to help combat the loss of indigenous languages.
Connecting the dots
- Languages are an important identity of India’s liberal and democratic society. Elaborate
- How can India accommodate the plethora of languages in its cultural discourse and administrative apparatus ?
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)
- Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.
- Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.
Q.1) Sea Guardian is a bilateral Naval Exercise between which two countries?
- India and Japan
- India and Sri Lanka
- China and Pakistan
- Pakistan and Russia
Q.2) Jallikattu often seen in the news is predominantly associated with which region/state of India?
- Tamil Nadu
Q.3) Consider the following statements about Amrit Kaur
- She co-founded the All India Women’s Conference in 1927
- She was Independent India’s first Health minister
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Q.4) Consider the following statements about H9N2
- It is a subtype of the influenza A virus, which causes human influenza as well as bird flu
- Recently in Jan 2020, H9N2 viruses has been observed for the first time in poultry in India
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Q.5) Yuelu Proclamation is related to which of the following field?
- Gender Security
- Food Safety
- Language Protection
ANSWERS FOR 11 JAN 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)
About religious liberty
About shooting down of Ukranian plane by Iran
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