Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – International Affairs
Joint Military Exercise MAITREE-2019 between India and Thailand will be conducted at Umroi (Meghalaya) from 16-29 Sep 2019.
Exercise MAITREE is an annual training event which is being conducted alternatively in Thailand and India since 2006.
The scope of this exercise covers company level joint training on counter terrorism operations in jungle and urban scenario.
The joint military exercise will enhance the level of defence co-operation between Indian Army (IA) and Royal Thailand Army (RTA) which in turn will further foster defence cooperation and bilateral relations between the two nations
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-II- Health
MDH sambar masala were recalled from retail stores in California after tests by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed positive for salmonella.
Salmonella is a group of bacteria that can cause food-borne illnesses known as salmonellosis
Individuals who develop salmonellosis may show symptoms such as nausea, diarrhoea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after contracting the infection.
In some cases the diarrhoea is severe, and there is risk of it spreading from the intestines to the bloodstream and to other parts of the body. In such cases, the infection (enteric fever) may result in death if the infected individual is not treated with antibiotics on time.
According to estimates by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Salmonella causes 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalisations and about 450 deaths in the United States every year.
WHO identifies Salmonella as one of four key global causes of diarrhoeal diseases.
Salmonellosis in humans is generally contracted through the consumption of contaminated food of animal origin (mainly eggs, meat, poultry, and milk), although other foods, including green vegetables contaminated by manure, have been implicated in its transmission.
Jan Soochna Portal
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-II – RTI
The first-ever public information portal was launched in Rajasthan – named Jan Soochna Portal – to provide information about government authorities and departments suo motu to the public
This is in lines with true spirit of the Right To Information Act, which calls for voluntary disclosure of information by government authorities
The portal initially gives information pertaining to 13 departments – such as the number of beneficiaries of schemes, works undertaken in different areas, land records and social security pensions — will be available on the portal
With different sections divided into districts, blocks and panchayats, the portal empowers the common people with access to useful information, without the need to file RTI application.
The portal would eventually turn out to be an effective medium for “digital dialogue” with the people as well as a strong instrument for ensuring transparency in governance
The portal has brought yet another distinction to Rajasthan, where the RTI movement had started in 1990s.
SAHIBGANJ MULTI-MODAL TERMINAL (MMT)
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-III -Economy
PM Modi inaugurated the second riverine Multi-Modal Transport Terminal at Sahibganj, Jharkhand
It has been constructed on River Ganga (NW-1) under the Jal Marg Vikas Project under the PPP model.
Acting as a point of convergence for Road-Rail-River routes, Sahibganj MMT is strategically located in the logistic chain of Eastern Transport Corridor of India.
The MMT will specially benefit the coal sector, stone chips, fertiliser, cement and sugar industries in the states Jharkhand and Bihar by connecting them to global markets.
It will also provide alternate route for Nepal bound cargo and open up international markets for sea trade for land locked states of Jharkhand and Bihar.
The terminal will be connected to North-East States via Bangladesh by a river-sea route.
This is the second riverine multi-modal terminal in the country, the first has been built in Varanasi and was inaugurated in November, 2018.
Tabrez Ansari case
Lynching has assumed a rising trend in recent times – Dadri lynching case of cow slaughtering, Jharkhand Lynching case and recent Tabrez Ansari case.
Recent Police decision of dropping charges against those accused of lynching Tabrez Ansari is a cause of concern.
Lynching is one of the ways used by majority to intimidate the minority sections of the society.
There have been many incidences of Mob Lynching
Incidents of gang-rapes (especially Dalits)
Freedom and Fundamental Rights of J&K people were suppressed
Inefficient NRC process
Atrocities towards minorities
Lynching is not defined in the Indian legal system and there are no punishments with regards to lynching thus giving a free way to hate crime perpetrators
India’s criminal justice system has always been biased against disadvantaged castes, women and Muslims
There is open bias of the criminal justice system (as visible in recent mob lynching case of Tabrez Ansari)
Tolerance of the open and profound injustice done to “other people”
Increasingly dominant behavioural and socio-psychological trends
Violation of right to equality and the right to freedom; Right to life
The judiciary—the bulwark of a liberal democratic state—has not always played its role adequately
Weak response by the state
Lynching is an egregious manifestation of prejudice, intolerance, and contempt towards the rule of law.
The strategic silence of the State and the ineffective law and order machinery has further given legitimacy to mob lynching.
It is high time that the States and the Centre show some urgency so that creeping threats are prevented from metastasizing into an out-of-control monster.
The biased outcome of the lynching case must concern us all.
As Martin Luther King quoted – “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Quote from the article:
“Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.” – Nelson Mandela
Note: We can use above quote in essays or while answering questions related to Freedom, Minority rights/issues and Oppression.
Nelson Mandela in his speech on freedom said above words, “freedom is indivisible”.
According to him, ‘Freedom’ is an abstract idea, which is unable to be divided or separated.
Mandela as a child used to believe he is always free and in everywhere. But as grew up, he felt the chains of oppression.
Freedom can’t be seen rather it is felt. It is like the air. Mandela realized not only he was suppressed, barred but also his people were too. Even the oppressor and oppressed both were suffering from the lack of freedom, according to him.
Connecting the dots:
Lynching by mobs has become a recurring phenomenon in India. What can be the possible factors behind this trend? Examine. Also suggest ways to address it.
TOPIC: General Studies 3:
Environment and Ecology, Bio diversity – Conservation, environmental degradation, environmental impact assessment, Environment versus Development.
Land Reforms in India.
Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment
Afforestation – Step towards green initiative
India has committed to restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.
It proposes to create a carbon sink of close to three billion metric tonnes through additional tree cover.
At UN Convention to Combat Climate Change, Prime Minister Narendra Modi committed to reduce carbon emission by planning afforestation programs in India.
According to a recent study from Centre for Science and Environment –
Soil degradation causes more carbon emission compared to any other activity indicating the need to restore the soil.
Soil stores three times more carbon than that of atmosphere.
Focus should be on reducing carbon sink with intensive afforestation programs.
Right tree species with better forestry measures is a centre point of focus.
‘Carbon credit markets’ have failed to generate funds for the developing world
World countries have moved from regime of mandatory commitments (as part of 1997 Kyoto Protocol) to voluntary ones (under the 2015 Paris accord). This shift has negatively impacted carbon credit markets.
Developing countries like India were issued carbon emission reduction certificates (which were bought by EU countries for funding clean projects). However, these certificates were often underpriced and were accorded to wrong projects, and hence failed to positively reduce carbon emission/carbon credits.
Global funding for afforestation — Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation plus conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+) — failed to provide accurate carbon pricing and negotiate rights of traditional communities.
The way ahead:
A multilateral body just for funding green initiatives must be set up.
Step towards green initiatives – such as policy push to solar power and the efforts to shift to EVs – should be accelerated.
Policy focus should be mainly on afforestation (through effective implementation of CAMPA)
Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA)
Started from Supreme Court of India in 2002.
This is the amount paid by the developers who have utilized the forest lands for their construction work/projects.
Ensures that the destroyed forest land is restored by regenerating the forest trees elsewhere in non-forest areas.
Last November UNEP released a report on ‘emissions gap’ which indicated the global carbon emission reached its highest in 2017 after 3 years of stagnation.
As the soil emits more carbon than any other sources, steps has to be taken to reduce carbon emission from soil.
Afforestation is a crucial measure to combat carbon emission there by helping green initiative movement.
Connecting the dots:
What do you mean by Emission Trading Scheme (ETS)? Does India need one? Discuss.
What is the National REDD+ strategy? What are its objectives? Explain.