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Insights Daily Current Events, 28 December 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 28 December 2015

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Topic: Social issues (Prelims)

Alathur to become first organic block panchayat

Alathur is all set to become the first block panchayat in Kerala to achieve self-sufficiency in production and consumption of organically grown vegetables.

Details:

  • The block panchayat has begun a novel initiative in this regard with the cooperation of eight grama panchayats under it.
  • By the end of the next economic year, the block will produce all fruits and vegetables for its residents based on the requirement.
  • A farmers’ market without the involvement of middlemen will also be set up at Vadakkanchery in the block.
  • After achieving self-sufficiency, retail outlets will be started in other parts of the State to sell the excess quantity of fruits and vegetables.

Implementation:

  • The project is being implemented with the help of Hill Area Development Authority, Integrated Watershed Development Programme and Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • The Agriculture Department will coordinate the farming activities with the help of local bodies. Efforts are already on to ensure the active involvement of the masses in the project.
  • Under this scheme, loans with subsidies will be made available to interested farmers, besides supply of seeds and organic fertilizers.

sources: the hindu.

 

Paper 1 and 2 Topics: Social empowerment and Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.

Devadasi system: Home Ministry asks States to take strong action

The Union Home Ministry has asked all States to take strong action against those involved in the practice of ancient Devadasi system which is against dignity of women.

  • It was recently found that the ancient Devadasi system continues to exist in some parts of the country.
  • The Ministry has said the Devadasi system is inhuman and one of the most heinous practices against women degrading them to the lowest level.
  • It has directed that the laws against it be implemented “in letter and spirit” and steps taken to ensure that the victims are rehabilitated. Listing all existing legal provisions under the Indian Penal Code and state laws, the ministry has directed initiation of special drives for identification of all victims and their rehabilitate.

The ministry’s decision comes a month after the Supreme Court fined it for failure to file an affidavit on time during the hearing of a public interest litigation which sought total prohibition on the Devadasi practice.

What is Devadasi system?

Devadasi system is a religious practice whereby parents marry a daughter to a deity or a temple. The marriage usually occurs before the girl reaches puberty.

  • The practice of Devadasi system in any form is in total contravention of the provisions of Section 370 and 370A as amended through Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 as well as Section 372 of Indian Penal Code.
  • It is also against Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, the letter said. These provisions have been strengthened with enhanced punishment.
  • In recent decades, the practice has been used to push young girls into prostitution.
  • While various state governments have enacted laws to stop such practices, the tradition remains entrenched in some parts of the country, especially some southern states.

sources: the hindu, wiki.

 

Paper 3 Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT.

Gadget buffs may have to forego their fix

Vivek Gupta, an All India Trinamool Congress MP, has proposed a law to prevent children and teenagers from being addicted to technological gadgets arguing that they are isolating themselves socially and that the rising addiction is destroying the country’s cultural ethos.

  • The Private Member’s Bill that was introduced in Rajya Sabha on December 4 comes amidst a global debate on the subject with a growing number of experts expressing concern over the addictive properties of these devices.

What the Bill says?

  • The Bill says that the problem of gadget addiction in the country is getting serious by the day and the excessive use of technological gadgets is extremely detrimental to the health of population especially young and growing children.
  • The Bill also says that the gadgets, such as mobile phones, laptops, gaming devices and tablets, are turning children into couch potatoes; hampering their physical, mental and psychological growth as well as making them isolated from the society.

Digital addicts:

  • A survey by IT security solutions firm, Kaspersky Lab, has revealed that 73% of the respondents in India were found to be ‘digital addicts’.
  • Due to this “disorder,” people stay glued into their technological gadgets at all times of the day.

The Bill argues that this problem is slowly but steadily penetrating into Indian households and has the capability of destroying the ethos of cultural traditions of the country.

Important provisions in the Bill:

  • The Bill calls for setting up of digital detoxification centres to ensure that the “patients suffering from gadgets or Internet overdose are treated in an effective manner so that they can live a more peaceful and happy life.”
  • The Bill also mandates the creation of National Research Centre for Prevention of Technological Gadget Addiction in the country.

International experience:

  • China became the first country in the world to declare Internet addiction a clinical disorder in the year 2008. Later, in the year 2013, South Korea’s government stated that one in every five students was addicted to smartphone usage.
  • A study published by the Japanese government too said that in the 2013, 8.1% of about 100,000 junior-high and high-school students polled were likely to be “pathologically” addicted to the Internet.
  • The Government of South Korea has passed a Shutdown Law also known as Cinderella Law whereby children under the age of 16 are not allowed to access gaming websites from midnight till 6 a.m.

Significance of this Bill:

  • Through the Bill, Mr Gupta makes a case to recognise addiction to gadgets as a mental illness and a form of substance abuse, while insisting that the government take steps to create appropriate awareness about the addiction through television, radio and print.
  • With efforts being made to promote the digital technologies in the country at every stage by the government, the Bill says, it is also necessary that appropriate laws are created in order to prevent the ill effects of the over usage of the same.

sources: the hindu.

 

Paper 3 Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.

China adopts tough anti-terror law

China has adopted its first counter-terrorism law that grants overarching powers to security agencies amid criticism from the U.S. over privacy and freedom of speech.

Details:

  • The law allows the military to venture overseas on counter-terror operations and requires technology firms to give sensitive data like encryption keys to the government.
  • The PLA and the country’s armed police forces may carry out such operations with the approval from the Central Military Commission.
  • Public security and national security authorities may also send personnel overseas for counter-terrorism missions, with the approval from the government and agreements from countries concerned.
  • The law also restricts the right of media to report on details of terror attacks, including a provision that media and social media cannot report on details of terror activities that might lead to imitation, nor show scenes that are “cruel and inhuman”.

The draft law has attracted Western concern as it could require technology firms to hand over sensitive information such as encryption keys to the government.

sources: the hindu.