Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - September 21, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

Kerala to have certified snake handlers

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


Context

  • Kerala becomes the first to institutionalize snake handling in the country, the Kerala Forest Department has framed guidelines for rescuing snakes and releasing them in uninhabited areas.
  • The move to certify snake handlers comes amid allegations of unscientific approaches by snake catchers that tend to create stress to the animal and pose risk to their and others’ lives.

Background

  • Kerala has reported 334 deaths and 1,860 other cases of snake bites during the last three years.
  • There have also been allegations of snakes being supplied for criminal purposes.

About the Guidelines

  • It is mandatory for snake handlers, aged between 21 and 65 years, to seek certification.
  • The applications will be screened by the Assistant Conservators of Forest (ACF, Social Forestry) to prepare lists of snake handlers in each district.
  • Various parameters, including experience, age, health as well as track record will be considered during the selection process.
  • Those short-listed will be required to undergo mandatory training on safe and scientific handling of snakes.
  • While the certification will be valid for five years, the respective ACFs can withdraw or cancel the same if the snake handler is found to be involved in any illegal or unethical practices.
  • Certified snake handlers will be required to wear protective gear and equip themselves with safety equipment while on the task.
  • Rescued snakes will also have to be released in the presence of forest officials at the earliest.
  • If found injured, the snake can be released only after ascertaining its fitness.
  • Non-native species, however, cannot be released and have to be handed over to the Forest Department.

Source: The Hindu.

Mahalaya

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


Context

  • The day of Mahalaya marks the beginning of Devi Pakshaand the end of the Pitri Paksha, the latter of which, is a period of mourning.
  • Hindus consider Pitri Paksha to be inauspicious, because shradhh or death rites are performed during this period. It is a 16-day lunar period during which people remember and pay homage to their ancestors using food and water offerings.

Background

  • While there are many stories and/or folklore associated with the day, largely, people believe that on this day, Goddess Durga officially begins her journey from Mount Kailash — where she resides with her husband Lord Shiva — to her maternal home on Earth. 
  • Bengalis celebrate it with much fervour and remark intermittently, about the festive autumn weather and the ‘pujo-pujo‘feel.
  • It is believed Goddess Durga undertakes this week-long journey with her children — Ganesha, Kartik, Lakshmi and Saraswati — on a vehicle of her choice. It could be a palanquin or a boat, an elephant or a horse.

About the Highlights

  • Mahalaya is celebrated roughly seven days before Durga Puja.
  • Every Bengali household wakes up early in the morning — even before the sun — to customarily listen to a collection of songs and mantras called ‘Mahishasura Mardini’, in the sonorous voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra.
  • These mantras invoke the Goddess; the most famous one being Jago Tumi Jago (meaning, ‘awaken, oh Goddess!’)
  • Some Hindu households also perform the ritual of pitritarpan on this day, wherein they offer prayers to the deceased in the form of ‘pind-daan‘ on the banks of River Ganga.

Source: Indian Express.

Get Started with UPSC Preparation

Current Affairs

Detailed Analysis

IAS Counselling

by Subject Experts

Free Material

for UPSC Preparation

Less than 34,000 inter-state migrant workers in 2019-20, says government

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Social empowerment.


Context

  • In the last five years, there have been no inter-State migrant workers registered in the Delhi, Dehradun or Patna regions.
  • Nationwide, there were less than 34,000 workers registered in 2019-20 under the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (ISMW) Act, 1979, according to a response to a recent Right to Information Act request.

Background

  • In response to another recent RTI request, the Indian Railways said it only keeps data on “casualties arising from consequential train accidents”, and thus has no information regarding deaths on the Shramik Special trains which transported migrants during the lockdown.
  • The Labour Ministry told Lok Sabha that it had no data on the migrant workers who lost their jobs or lives during the lockdown.
  • However, it claimed that over one crore migrant workers returned to their home States during the lockdown.

About the Highlights

  • The ISMW Act, which came into force four decades ago, is meant to protect vulnerable workers who leave their own home State for employment, most of them hired through contractors.
  • It applies to every establishment and contractor who has five or more migrants on their rolls and prohibits their employment without a certificate of registration.
  • According to the Act, each registered worker must be issued a pass book with details of employment, wages and benefits.

Source: The Hindu.

Ministry of MSME announces new guidelines to support artisans including Pottery & Beekeeping activity

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


Context

  • Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, MSME, had announced expanding and doubling the support to Artisans who might be interested in making Agarbatti few days ago.
  • Taking the efforts further, the Ministry has now come out with new guidelines for two more schemes which include Pottery Activity and Beekeeping Activity.

Background

  • These new initiatives of the Ministry with beneficiary oriented Self-Employment schemes, are aimed at rejuvenating the grass root economy contributing to Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
  • For Pottery Activity Government will provide assistance of pottery wheel, Clay Blunger, Granulator etc.

About the Guidelines

  • It will also provide Wheel Pottery Training for traditional pottery artisans and Press Pottery training for pottery as well as non-pottery artisans in Self- Help Groups.
  • There is also provision to provide Jigger-Jolly training programme for pottery as well as non-pottery artisan in Self-Help Groups.
  • A total of 6,075 Traditional and others non-traditional pottery artisans, Rural Un-employed youth, Migrant Labourers will get benefitted from this Scheme.
  • As Financial support for the year 2020-21, an amount of 19.50 crore rupees will be expended to support 6,075 artisans with a Centre of Excellence, with MGIRI, Wardha, CGCRI, Khurja, VNIT, Nagpur and suitable IIT or NID or NIFT etc, for product development, advance skill programme and quality standardization of products.
  • Additional amount of 50 crore rupees has been provisioned for setting up of clusters in Terracotta, Red clay pottery, with new innovative value added products to build pottery to crockery or tile making capabilities, under 'SFURTI' scheme of the Ministry.
  • In case of the Scheme for Beekeeping Activity, Government will provide assistance of Bee boxes and Tool kits.
  • Under this scheme, Bee boxes, with Bee colonies, will also be distributed to Migrant workers in Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan districts.

About the Highlights

  • A five-day beekeeping training will also be provided to the beneficiaries through various Training Centres or State Beekeeping Extension Centres or Master Trainers as per prescribed syllabus.
  • This is being done in order to create sustainable employment and to provide supplementary income for the beekeepers or farmers, to create awareness about Honey and other Hive Products, to help artisans adopt scientific Beekeeping and Management practices, to utilize available natural resources in beekeeping and to create awareness about the benefits of beekeeping in cross pollination.
  • To begin with, Scheme proposes to cover, during 2020-21, a total of 2,050 Beekeepers, Entrepreneurs, Farmers, Unemployed Youth, Adivasis will get benefitted from these projects or programme.
  • For this purpose, a financial support of 13 crore rupees during 2020-21 has been provisioned to support 2,050 artisans which include 1,250 people from Self-Help Groups and 800 Migrant labourers, with a Centre of Excellence with CSIR or IIT Or other Top class Institute to develop honey based new value added products.
  • Additional amount of 50 crore rupees has also been kept for developing Beekeeping honey clusters under the 'SFURTI' scheme of the Ministry.

Source: AIR News.

J&K: LG Manoj Sinha launches National Generic Document Registration System

Focus: GS2.

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


Context

  • In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha launched the National Generic Document Registration System (NGDRS) at a ceremony organized at Deputy Commissioner's office in Srinagar.
  • NGDRS represents a major shift from the existing manual registration system to online registration of all transactions in sale-purchase and transfer of land.
Background
  • Stamp papers have been replaced by e-stamps which have been incorporated in coordination with Stockholding Corporation of India.
  • J&K will be the 10th among States and UTs to become part of NGDRS.
  • The Lt Governor remarked that today’s launch marks another step of the government towards the establishment of an accountable and transparent governing system where the welfare of common citizen is at the core.
About the Highlights
  • The overall intent is to ensure hassle-free service delivery and transparency in the registration process by online uploading of the document, appointment with the registration office, e-stamp, and a one-time visit to the Registration office.
  • The entire process has been reduced to 15 minutes which earlier would take several days in view of multiple steps involved.
  • Now all 5 steps are under the digital process.
  • The Lt Governor handed over an Endorsement Deed and an e-stamp generated through NGDRS to a Srinagar resident marking the launch of NGDRS.
  • Earlier, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary briefed the Lt Governor about the progress of Land Record Digitization in the district.
  • In the first phase, apart from District Srinagar four other districts-Jammu, Samba, Kathua and Udhampur have also been included under NGDRS coverage.
  • The Lt Governor directed the officers to launch the system in the rest of the Union Territory before 31st October this year.
  • He remarked that the launching of NGDRS is a big step towards National Integration and a leap towards ‘One Nation One Software’.

Source: AIR News.

2 farm bills clear Rajya Sabha hurdle amid protests

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.


Context

The Rajya Sabha passed two contentious farm bills by voice vote as the House witnessed chaotic scenes after some slogan-shouting opposition members lead by the Trinamool Congress climbed on to the chairperson’s podium demanding a discussion.

Background

  • The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, was passed by the upper house.
  • The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, part of the broader farm liberalisation plan, could not be taken up and the House was adjourned for the day.

About the Highlights

  • It seeks to provide for a national framework on farming agreements.
  • It protects and empowers farmers to engage with agri-business firms, wholesalers, exporters, processors, large retailers for farm services.
  • It enables the farmers to sale their future farming produce at a mutually agreed price in a fair and transparent manner.
  • It provides for an effective dispute resolution mechanism transparent time lines for redressal.

About the need

  • Agriculture in India is highly fragmented because of its small holding sizes.
  • It highly depends on Indian weather.
  • There also exists production uncertainties and market unpredictability.
  • Thus, agriculture is highly risky here and inefficient in input & output management.
  • Thus, this Famers bill has been introduced in order to transfer the risk of market unpredictability from the farmer to the sponsor.

About the significance

  • It will empower farmers to engage with processors, wholesalers, aggregators, wholesalers, large retailers, exporters.
  • It will also create a level playing field without fear of exploitation.
  • It will also reduce marketing costs and double the farmer’s income.
  • The legislation will also act as a catalyst to attract private sector investment for building supply chains.
  • As a result, Farmers will get access to technology and advice for high value agriculture. 
  • Farmers will be engaged in direct marketing. 
  • Farmers Agreement of Price Assurance Bill 2020 Farmers Agreement of Price Assurance Bill 2020.

Source: Indian Express.

Indus Water Treaty turns 60

Focus: GS2.                                

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests.


Context

  • September 19 this year marks the 60th anniversary of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) between India and Pakistan.
  • The Indus Waters Treaty is a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan, brokered by the World Bank signed in Karachi in 1960.

Background

  • According to this agreement, control over the water flowing in three “eastern” rivers of India — the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej was given to India.
  • The control over the water flowing in three “western” rivers of India — the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum was given to Pakistan.

About the Treaty

  • The treaty allowed India to use western rivers water for limited irrigation use and unrestricted use for power generation, domestic, industrial and non-consumptive uses such as navigation, floating of property, fish culture, etc. while laying down precise regulations for India to build projects.
  • India has also been given the right to generate hydroelectricity through the run of the river (RoR) projects on the Western Rivers which, subject to specific criteria for design and operation is unrestricted.

About the Highlights

  • Back in time, partitioning the Indus rivers system was inevitable after the Partition of India in 1947.
  • The sharing formula devised after prolonged negotiations sliced the Indus system into two halves.
  • Equitable it may have seemed, but the fact remained that India conceded 80.52 per cent of the aggregate water flows in the Indus system to Pakistan.
  • It also gave Rs 83 crore in pounds sterling to Pakistan to help build replacement canals from the western rivers.
  • Such generosity is unusual of an upper riparian.
  • India conceded its upper riparian position on the western rivers for the complete rights on the eastern rivers.
  • Water was critical for India’s development plans.

Source: Indian Express.

***********************************************************

Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements wrt Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020:
    1. The new legislation will create an ecosystem where the farmers and traders will enjoy freedom of choice of sale and purchase of agri-produce.
    2. It will also promote barrier-free inter-state and intra-state trade and commerce outside the physical premises of markets notified under State Agricultural Produce Marketing legislations.
    3. The Bill also proposes an electronic trading in transaction platform for ensuring a seamless trade electronically. 

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

         A. 1 and 2 only
         B. 2 and 3 only
         C. 1 and 3 only
         D. AOTA

Solution: D

  1. Blue Flag’ certification is awarded by:
         A. Foundation for Environmental Education
         B. OECD
         C. World Bank
         D. Asian Development Bank

Solution: A




    Talk to us for

    UPSC preparation support!














Options

Do you want to become an IAS officer like Saumya Sharma?
Study Online at  Neostencil Logo

Your Exam segments is being saved. Please wait....

Select Exam(s) you are interested in

IAS IES/GATE IIT-JEE NEET STATE PSC CSIR UGC NET OTHERS
please enter valid OTP