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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 07 January 2020

INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 07 January 2020

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1 State can regulate minority institutions.

2. Eighth Schedule.

3. NetSCoFAN

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Indian Data Relay Satellite System.

2. National Disaster Relief Fund.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. ‘Zo Kutpui’ festival.

2. Great Indian Bustards (GIB).

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

State can regulate minority institutions

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: All about minority status and constitutional provisions related.

Context: In an important judgement which could have bearing on running of all government-aided minority educational institutions across the country, the Supreme Court has held that such institutions cannot claim to have absolute right in deciding appointment of teachers and it can be regulated by a government to ensure excellence in imparting education.

What’s the issue?

These observations were made by the court while upholding constitutional validity of West Bengal Madrassas Service Commission Act, 2008, under which the selection and appointment of teachers in madrassas are to be decided by a commission.

It set aside Calcutta high court verdict declaring various provision of the law unconstitutional for being violative of Article 30.

Article 30:

It says all minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

Observations made by the Supreme Court:

Good quality of education cannot be compromised in national interest irrespective of whether it is minority or majority educational institutions.

The essence of Article 30(1) is to ensure equal treatment between the majority and the minority institutions and that rules and regulations would apply equally to the majority institutions as well as to the minority institutions.

How to strike a “balance” between the two objectives of excellence in education and the preservation of the minorities’ right?

The court explains how to strike a “balance” between the two objectives of excellence in education and the preservation of the minorities’ right to run their educational institutions.

For this, the court broadly divides education into two categories – secular education and education “directly aimed at or dealing with preservation and protection of the heritage, culture, script and special characteristics of a religious or a linguistic minority.”

  • When it comes to the latter, the court advocated “maximum latitude” to be given to the management to appoint teachers.
  • The court reasons that only “teachers who believe in the religious ideology or in the special characteristics of the concerned minority would alone be able to imbibe in the students admitted in such educational institutions, what the minorities would like to preserve, profess and propagate.”
  • However, minority institutions where the curriculum was “purely secular”, the intent must be to impart education availing the best possible teachers.

Constitutional Provisions regarding Minority Educational Institutions:

Article 30(1) recognizes linguistic and religious minorities but not those based on race, ethnicity. It recognizes the right of religious and linguistic minorities to establish and administer educational institutions, in effect recognizing the role educational institutions play in preserving distinct culture. A majority community can also establish and administer educational institution but they will not enjoy special rights under Article 30(1)(a).

 Special rights enjoyed by religious minority institutions are:

  1. Under Art 30(1)(a), MEI enjoy right to education as a Fundamental Right. In case the property is taken over by state, due compensation to be provided to establish institutions elsewhere
  2. Under Article 15(5), MEIs are not considered for reservation
  3. Under Right to Education Act, MEI not required to provide admission to children in the age group of 6-14 years upto 25% of enrolment reserved for economically backward section of society
  4. In St Stephens vs Delhi University case, 1992, SC ruled that MEIs can have 50% seats reserved for minorities
  5. In TMA Pai & others vs State of Karnataka & others 2002 case, SC ruled that MEIs can have separate admission process which is fair, transparent and merit based. They can also separate fee structure but should not charge capitation fee.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Eighth Schedule

What to study?

For Prelims: Eighth schedule.

For Mains: Need for and significance of recognition of languages.

 Context: A case for including Tulu in the Eighth Schedule.

Why Tulu should be given a place in eighth schedule?

Tulu is a textbook example of linguistic discrimination.

  • Tulu is a Dravidian language whose speakers are concentrated in two coastal districts of Karnataka and in Kasaragod district of Kerala. Kasaragod district is called ‘Sapta bhasha Samgama Bhumi (the confluence of seven languages)’, and Tulu is among the seven.
  • 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”.
  • The present-day Tulu linguistic majority area is confined to the region of Tulu Nadu, which comprises the districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi in Karnataka and the northern part of Kasaragod district of Kerala up to the river Payaswani, or Chandragiri. The cities of Mangaluru, Udupi and Kasaragod are the epicentres of Tulu culture.

Why the demand?

Efforts are being made to include Tulu in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. If included in the Eighth Schedule, Tulu would get recognition from the Sahitya Akademi. Tulu books would be translated into other recognised Indian languages. Members of Parliament and MLAs could speak in Tulu in Parliament and State Assemblies, respectively. Candidates could write all-India competitive examinations like the Civil Services exam in Tulu.

Linguistic diversity of India:

  • According to the 2001 Census, India has 30 languages that are spoken by more than a million people each.
  • Additionally, it has 122 languages that are spoken by at least 10,000 people each.
  • It 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.
  • India must accommodate this plethora of languages in its cultural discourse and administrative apparatus.

Right to Conserve?

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.

Background:

The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India lists the official languages of the Republic of India.

As per Articles 344(1) and 351 of the Indian Constitution, the eighth schedule includes the recognition of the following 22 languages.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

NetSCoFAN

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: NetSCoFAN- objectives and significance.

Context: Union Health Minister has launched NetSCoFAN, a network of research & academic institutions working in the area of food & nutrition.

What is NetSCoFAN?

It would comprise of eight groups of institutions working in different areas viz. biological, chemical, nutrition & labelling, food of animal origin, food of plant origin, water & beverages, food testing, and safer & sustainable packaging.

FSSAI has identified eight Nodal Institutions who would develop a ‘Ready Reckoner’ that will have inventory of all research work, experts and institutions and would carry out and facilitate research, survey and related activities.

  • It would identify research gaps in respective areas and collect, collate and develop database on food safety issues for risk assessment activities.

Need for and significance:

The need for identify research gaps in respective areas and collect, collate and develop database on food safety issues for risk assessment activities, will be addressed by NetSCoFAN.

Sources: pib.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Awareness in Space.

Indian Data Relay Satellite System

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: IDRSS- need, objectives and significance.

Context: India plans to ring in its own era of space-to-space tracking and communication of its space assets this year by putting up a new satellite series called the Indian Data Relay Satellite System.

What is IDRSS? Why it is vital?

The IDRSS is planned to track and be constantly in touch with Indian satellites, in particular those in low-earth orbits which have limited coverage of earth. 

It will be a set of satellites that will track, send and receive information from other Indian Satellites.

IDRSS satellites of the 2,000 kg class would be launched on the GSLV launcher to geostationary orbits around 36,000 km away.

A satellite in GEO covers a third of the earth below and three of them can provide total coverage.

 Significance:

In the coming years, it will be vital to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), whose roadmap is dotted with advanced LEO missions such as space docking, space station, as well as distant expeditions to moon, Mars and Venus. It will also be useful in monitoring launches.

The first beneficiary would be the prospective crew members of the Gaganyaan mission of 2022 who can be fully and continuously in touch with mission control throughout their travel.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Disaster and disaster management.

National Disaster Response Fund

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview of NDRF.

For Mains: It’s significance and usage.

Context: Centre releases Rs 5908 cr for flood relief to 7 states from the National Disaster Relief Fund.

The states are- Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tripura, Assam, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.

About NDRF:

National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF) was renamed as National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) with the enactment of the Disaster Management Act in 2005.

Defined in Section 46 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (DM Act).

It is a fund managed by the Central Government for meeting the expenses for emergency response, relief and rehabilitation due to any threatening disaster situation or disaster.

Constituted to supplement the funds of the State Disaster Response Funds (SDRF) of the states to facilitate immediate relief in case of calamities of a severe nature.

Key features of NDRF:

Located in the “Public Accounts” of Government of India under “Reserve Funds not bearing interest“.

Monitoring: Department of Agriculture and Cooperation under Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) monitors relief activities for calamities associated with drought, hailstorms, pest attacks and cold wave /frost while rest of the natural calamities are monitored by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) audits the accounts of NDRF.

What is it to be used for?

NDRF amount can be spent only towards meeting the expenses for emergency response, relief and rehabilitation.

For projects exclusively for the purpose of mitigation, i.e, measures aimed at reducing the risk, impact or effect of a disaster or threatening disaster situation a separate fund called National Disaster Mitigation Fund has to be constituted.

Sources of Financing NDRF:

Financed through the levy of a cess on certain items, chargeable to excise and customs duty, and approved annually through the Finance Bill.

The requirement for funds beyond what is available under the NDRF is met through general budgetary resources.

Currently, a National Calamity Contingency Duty (NCCD) is levied to finance the NDRF and additional budgetary support is provided as and when necessary.

A provision also exists in the DM Act to encourage any person or institution to make a contribution to the NDRF.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


 

‘Zo Kutpui’ festival:

Context: Mizoram govt to organise ‘Zo Kutpui’ globally to unify Mizo tribes.

  • The first festival would be held at Vanghmun, a hub town of Mizos in neighbouring Tripura.
  • The event will see the presence of many important dignitaries from various Mizoram tribes and also witness cultural programmes and traditional songs from various Mizo tribes from Mizoram and other northeastern states.

The event aims at re-unifying and strengthening brotherhood among different tribes of Mizo.

 

Great Indian Bustards (GIB):

IUCN status: critically endangered.

Found in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection)Act, 1972 and in the CMS Convention and in Appendix I of CITES.

Identified as one of the species for the recovery programme under the Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Project Great Indian Bustard — state of Rajasthan — identifying and fencing off bustard breeding grounds in existing protected areas as well as provide secure breeding enclosures in areas outside protected areas.

Protected areas: Desert National Park Sanctuary — Rajasthan, Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary – Andhra Pradesh and Karera Wildlife Sanctuary– Madhya Pradesh.