Insights Daily Current Affairs, 03 October 2017

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 03 October 2017


 

Paper 1:

 

Topic: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

 

Commission to Examine Sub Categorization of other Backward Classes

Commission to Examine Sub Categorization of other Backward Classes

The President of India, in exercise of the powers conferred by article 340 of the Constitution, has appointed a Commission to examine the sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes.

Former Delhi High Court Chief Justice G. Rohini has been appointed by President of India as the head of the Commission.

 

Background:

The decision to appoint the commission follows an August 23 Cabinet decision to examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among caste and communities included in the broad list of OBCs. At present, there is no sub-categorisation and 27% reservation is a monolithic entity.

 

Need for subcategorization:

Sub categorization of the OBCs will ensure that the more backward among the OBC communities can also access the benefits of reservation for educational institutions and government jobs.

 

The terms of reference of the Commission are as under

  • To examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes or communities included in the broad category of Other Backward Classes with reference to such classes included in the Central List.
  • To work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters in a scientific approach for sub-categorisation within such Other Backward Classes.
  • To take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes or communities or sub-castes or synonyms in the Central List of Other Backward Classes and classifying them into their respective sub-categories.

 

Significance of this move:

This decision, taken on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, reinforces, in the spirit of his teachings, the Government’s efforts to achieve greater social justice and inclusion for all, and specifically members of the Other Backward Classes.

 

Way ahead:

The Commission is required to present their Report to the President within a period of twelve weeks of assumption of charge by the Chairperson of the Commission. On receipt of the Report of the Commission, the Central Government will consider ways and means for equitable distribution of the benefits of the reservation in Central Government jobs and admission in Central Government Institutions amongst all strata of the Other Backward Classes.

 

Sources: pib.


 

Topic: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

 

World Habitat Day: 2 October

 

The United Nations designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns.

2017 theme: Housing Policies: Affordable Homes

 

Each year, World Habitat Day takes on a new theme to promote sustainable development policies that ensure adequate shelter for all. These themes often promote one of UN-Habitat’s focal areas such as:

  • Inclusive housing and social services.
  • A safe and healthy living environment for all — with particular consideration for children, youth, women, elderly and disabled.
  • Affordable and sustainable transport and energy.
  • Promotion, protection, and restoration of green urban spaces.
  • Safe and clean drinking water and sanitation.
  • Healthy air quality.
  • Job creation.
  • Improved urban planning and slum upgrading.
  • Better waste management.

 

Sources: the hindu.

 


 

Paper 2:

 

Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

 

Nepal, India to conduct first joint tiger count

Nepal, India to conduct first joint tiger count

For the first time, Nepal and India will undertake a joint tiger census next month in their national parks, forests and protected areas adjoining the two countries using a globally-recognised method.

 

Key facts:

  • This is the first time that both the countries are counting tiger heads using the same method that is recognised globally.
  • Conservation authorities and experts would install cameras in various locations in tiger habitats as well as in buffer zones to capture and track the movements of the big cat.

 

Background:

The last tiger count conducted by Nepal in 2013 puts the number of adult tigers around 200 in the Himalayan country. Recent figures showed that since 2010, the estimated number of tigers across 13 tiger range countries including India and Nepal stood at 3,900.

  • At the International Tiger Conference in Russia in 2010, participating countries including Nepal had made a commitment to double the tiger population by 2022. This means Nepal would have at least 250 tigers, 100% increase from its 2010 tiger count which had put the number of the big cat at 125.

Tiger range countries (TRCs) are those where the big cat roams freely. The 13 tiger range countries include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

 

Significance of this move:

Tiger is an endangered animal listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), tigers have lost 93% of their historical range. Human and wildlife conflict, climate change and poaching and illegal wildlife trade are among the major reasons that has pushed the feline into the endangered category — facing risk of extinction in the wild — over the years.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3:

 

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

 

US scientists awarded Nobel in medicine for body clock insights

 

Three US scientists have won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm,” otherwise known as our biological clock.

  • Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young were awarded the prize for their research on how plants, humans and animals adapt their biological rhythm to synchronize with our planet’s day and night cycle, as the earth rotates, in order to control their daily life.

 

Background:

All living organisms on Earth have an internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, which in humans underlies why we are awake during the day and sleep at night. But our biological clock also helps regulate eating habits, hormone release, blood pressure and body temperature.

  • A person’s well-being is affected when there is a “temporary mismatch between our external environment and this internal biological clock.” For example, disruption to our clocks when someone travels across a number of time zones results in jet lag.
  • An imbalance between lifestyle and rhythm could lead to increased risk for a number of diseases including metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Significance of research in this field:

Research on the body clock has helped scientists improve health. Many drugs now on the market work best when taken at the right time. The cholesterol-cutting drug Mevacor, for example, is taken at night because levels of the enzyme it targets are highest then. The same is true for low-dose aspirin used to reduce blood pressure.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

 

Government launches wildlife action plan for next 15 years

 

The government has released the third National Wildlife Action Plan (NWAP) for 2017-31. The plan was released at the recently held meeting of Global Wildlife Program (GWP) that involves 19 Asian and African countries, United Nations, World Bank and other leading global organisations to deal with the wildlife crime.

 

Highlights of the plan:

  • The NWAP 2017-31, under which there are 250 projects, is India’s road map to conserve wildlife for the next 15 years. The plan is woven around the agenda of the United Nations’ 15th Sustainable Developmental Goal — “Life on Land”.
  • The key strategic changes in the new plan is adopting a “landscape approach” in conservation of all the wildlife — uncultivated flora (plants) and undomesticated fauna (animals) — rather than the areas where they occur.
  • This means that while till now programmes and plans related to wildlife were focused on and around national parks and sanctuaries, now the strategies would be based on the landscape of the region that may not be limited to a reserve forest system alone.
  • The plan has been divided into five components, which are further divided into 17 themes carrying 103 conservation actions. Each theme has a set of conservation actions and projects — 250, in all.
  • Man-animal conflict mitigation, adapting to the climate change, managing eco-tourism, ensuring public participation in the conservation, developing human resources, strengthening research and monitoring through modern technology like radio collars and drones and ensuring funds for the wildlife sector have been given special thrust in the planning.
  • The plan adopts a “landscape approach” in conservation of all wildlife – uncultivated flora and fauna – that have an ecological value to the ecosystem and to mankind irrespective of where they occur. It gives special emphasis to recovery of threatened species of wildlife while conserving their habitats.
  • The government has also underlined an increased role of private sector in wildlife conservation. The plan lays down that the Centre would ensure that adequate and sustained funding including Corporate Social Responsibility funds are made available for the National Wildlife Action Plan implementation.

 

Background:

India is jointly hosting the Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) with World Bank and United Nations Development Programme. The GWP will address issues related to illegal wildlife trade across 19 countries in Asia and Africa. It will act as a platform to exchange knowledge and coordinate in on-ground action for combating illegal poaching of wildlife and improve governance on wildlife conservation.

 

Sources: pib.


 

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

 

SECURE Himalaya

SECURE Himalaya

The Centre has launched a six-year project- called SECURE Himalaya– to ensure conservation of locally and globally significant biodiversity, land and forest resources in the high Himalayan ecosystem spread over four states in India.

 

Key facts:

The project – called SECURE Himalaya – was launched by the Union environment ministry in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

  • The SECURE – securing livelihoods, conservation, sustainable use and restoration of high range Himalayan ecosystems – is meant for specific landscapes. It includes Changthang (Jammu and Kasmir), Lahaul – Pangi and Kinnaur (Himachal Pradesh), Gangotri – Govind and Darma – Byans Valley in Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand) and Kanchenjunga – Upper Teesta Valley (Sikkim).
  • Protection of snow leopard and other endangered species and their habitats is one of the key components of the project which will also focus on securing livelihoods of the people in the region and enhancing enforcement to reduce wildlife crime.
  • Enhanced enforcement efforts and monitoring under the project will also curb illegal trade in some medicinal and aromatic plants which are among the most threatened species in these landscapes.

 

Sources: the hindu.