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20-November-2023-Daily-Current-Affairs

November 20, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 pm

MAKING PUBLIC EDUCATION INCLUSIVE

GS 2 (POLITY AND GOVERNANCE): SOURCE – THE HINDU

Odisha has undertaken transformative initiatives in public education, such as Odisha Adarsha Vidyalayas, ‘Mo School’ Abhiyan, and 5T-High School Transformation, aiming to elevate the quality of government schools and compete with private institutions. The state’s commitment to inclusivity, alumni engagement, and technology integration is reshaping the education landscape.

Revolutionary Reforms in Education

Odisha Adarsha Vidyalayas (OAVs)

  • OAVs bring qualitative English-medium education to rural and semi-urban areas.
  • Recognition and ranking highlight their success in providing quality education, ranking fifth among government-run day schools.

Mo School Abhiyan

  • Promotes alumni engagement for mentorship, collaboration, and financial contributions.
  • Creates a significant impact on school infrastructure and overall engagement.

5T-High School Transformation Programme

  • Driven by transparency, technology, teamwork, and timeliness.
  • Focuses on comprehensive changes, emphasizing technological advancements and holistic development in high schools.

Analysis and Key Data

Enrollment Shift

  • Government schools witness a surge in enrollment, with 81% of students choosing them over private alternatives.
  • In 2019-20, private schools had 16,05,000 students; by 2021-22, this number reduced to 14,62,000.

Financial Contributions

  • Over ₹797 crore contributed by more than 5.5 lakh contributors, including ministers, MPs, and professionals.
  • School Adoption Programme impacts 40,855 schools.

Challenges

  • Historical perceptions challenge parental trust in government schools.
  • Affordability concerns persist despite reforms.
  • Perceived quality gap compared to private schools poses a challenge.

Way Forward

Continuous Alumni Engagement

  • Strengthen collaborations between schools and alumni for sustained improvement.
  • Explore mentorship programs and alumni-led initiatives for ongoing school development.

Enhancing Perceived Value

  • Implement awareness campaigns showcasing positive changes in government schools.
  • Highlight success stories and academic achievements to alter perceptions.

Financial Inclusivity

  • Introduce scholarship programs or financial aid to address economic barriers.
  • Collaborate with governmental and non-governmental organizations for educational subsidies.

Technology Integration

  • Expand technological resources in schools for interactive learning.
  • Introduce digital literacy programs for a technology-driven future.

BORDER PEACE AND TRANQUILITY AGREEMENT

GS 2 (INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS): SOURCE – THE HINDU

India and China, historical rivals with a conflict in 1962, forged their first-ever border agreement, the Border Peace and Tranquility Agreement (BPTA), in 1993. Aimed at preserving peace along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the agreement sought to mitigate the risk of unplanned confrontations. Three decades later, the legacy of the BPTA is marred by contested interpretations, unfulfilled commitments, and a persisting border crisis.

BPTA: A Historic Yet Contested Agreement

Context and Signing

  • Negotiated after the Sumdorong Chu standoff, a diplomatic breakthrough in the early 1990s.
  • Signed in 1993 during PV Narasimha Rao’s tenure as Prime Minister.
  • Emphasized peaceful coexistence, commitment to the LAC, and mutual military reduction for friendly relations.

Legacy and Challenges

  • Maintained peace for nearly two decades but led to infrastructure development and incidents, culminating in the Galwan clash in 2020.

Ambiguity Surrounding the LAC

Inherent Ambiguity

  • Rooted in the BPTA, the primary issue undermining border agreements.
  • India’s discomfort with the term “LAC” proposed by China in 1959 remained a contentious point.

Ambiguous Formulation

  • BPTA allowed clarifications of the LAC where necessary, indicating a lack of shared perception about the 1959 LAC.
  • Attempted to prevent constant confrontation without definitively rejecting China’s version.

Impact on Subsequent Agreements

  • Paved the way for positive developments like confidence-building measures (1996) and the appointment of Special Representatives (2003).
  • Negotiations for a final boundary settlement stalled, and mechanisms to clarify LAC claims remained incomplete.

Infrastructure Development and Tensions

  • Race for Facts on the Ground: Ambiguity over the LAC fueled infrastructure development and increased patrols.
  • Unforeseen Consequences: BPTA inadvertently contributed to a slowdown in boundary negotiations as both sides aimed to strengthen their positions along the LAC.

The Current Crisis

  • Blatant Disregard: Ongoing crisis since 2020 witnessed both nations disregarding commitments in the first article of the BPTA.
  • Stalled Boundary Negotiations: Amidst the crisis, efforts to settle the boundary dispute have almost completely stalled.
  • A Challenging Relationship: The 30-year-old border remains unsettled, reflecting the broader complexities of the India-China relationship.

Conclusion

The BPTA, a significant milestone in India-China relations 30 years ago, leaves behind a legacy fraught with ambiguities and contested interpretations. As the ongoing border crisis persists, achieving a lasting resolution and fostering peaceful coexistence between the two nations poses ongoing challenges.

LADAKH EYES MORE PRODUCTION OF SEA BUCKTHORN POST GI TAG

GS 2 (POLITY AND GOVERNANCE): SOURCE – THE HINDU

The Geographical Indication Registry has conferred the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag upon ‘Ladakh Sea Buckthorn,’ marking the fourth such recognition in Ladakh, following Apricot, Pashmina, and Ladakhi Wood Carving. Sea buckthorn, thriving in the Himalayan region’s cold deserts, stands out for its resilience, producing sour yet vitamin-rich orange or yellow berries. Recognized as the ‘Wonder Plant’ or ‘Ladakh Gold,’ every part, from berries to thorns, serves various purposes, including medicine, food, fuel, and fencing.


>Ladakh Sea Buckthorn:

  • GI Recognition: Ladakh Sea Buckthorn secures the fourth GI tag in Ladakh, highlighting its unique geographical origin and distinctive qualities.
  • Plant Characteristics: Indigenous to Europe and Asia, this plant flourishes in Ladakh’s cold deserts, enduring extreme temperatures. It yields sour, vitamin C-rich berries.
  • Versatility: Every component of the plant, including leaves, twigs, roots, and thorns, serves medicinal, food-related, and practical purposes. It also plays a crucial role as a food source for various animals.

Geographical Indication (GI) Tag:

  • Definition: A sign denoting products with a specific geographical origin, possessing unique qualities or reputation due to that origin.
  • Nodal Agency: Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • Legal Framework: Enacted through the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, aligning with the WTO’s TRIPS Agreement.
  • Validity: GI tags remain valid for ten years, emphasizing the protection of products linked to their geographical origins.

 

HOW THE MANDATORY REPORTING PROVISION UNDER POCSO WORKS

GS 2 (SOCIETYAND SOCIAL JUSTICE): SOURCE – INDIAN EXPRESS

A recent ruling by the Himachal Pradesh High Court has stirred legal debates on the interpretation of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, specifically regarding the nature of the offence and its eligibility for pre-arrest bail. The POCSO Act, in effect since November 14, 2012, aims to combat sexual exploitation and abuse of children, bringing clarity to previously undefined or inadequately penalized offences.

Interpretation of the POCSO Act

POCSO Act Overview

  • Objective: Address sexual offences against children.
  • Child Definition: Individuals below 18 years.
  • Amendments: Enhanced penalties, including the death penalty, post the Nirbhaya Case in 2019.

Section 21 and CrPC Reference

  • Reporting Mandate: Section 21 requires reporting of sexual offences against children.
  • Bailability Uncertainty: The court refers to the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for clarity, which classifies offences based on their maximum punishment.

Case Context

  • Accusation: Hotel manager accused of not reporting a sexual offence against a minor.
  • Charges: Sections 376 and 506 of IPC, along with Sections 6 and 21 of the POCSO Act.
  • Legal Framework: POCSO mandates reporting under Section 19; non-reporting incurs penalties under Section 21.

Supreme Court’s Perspective

Reporting Obligations

  • Seriousness: Failure to report child sexual abuse deemed a serious crime by the Supreme Court.
  • Professional Obligations: Certain professionals, including medical practitioners and educators, have specific obligations to report such cases.

Balancing Reporting and Privacy

  • SC’s Attempt: Recent case (X vs The Principal Secretary) attempts to balance POCSO reporting with privacy provisions under other acts.
  • Minors’ Rights: Recognition of minors’ rights to privacy and reproductive autonomy.
  • Exemption Proposal: Suggested exemption for registered medical practitioners from disclosing minors’ identities when reporting under POCSO.

Conclusion

The Himachal Pradesh High Court’s recent decision prompts discussions on POCSO Act interpretation, particularly its alignment with the CrPC. Simultaneously, the Supreme Court’s efforts to strike a balance between mandatory reporting and minors’ privacy rights highlight the intricate challenges in addressing child sexual abuse within the legal framework.

ISRO AND IIT GUWAHATI MAKE SCIENCE BREAKTHROUGH, DETECT EMISSIONS OF BLACK HOLE

GS 3 (SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY): SOURCE – INDIAN EXPRESS

Indian researchers have achieved a significant milestone by detecting X-ray polarization for the first time from a black hole outside the Milky Way. The observations focus on the black hole in the Large Magellanic Cloud-X-3 (LMC X3), positioned 200,000 light years away from Earth. This breakthrough sheds light on the nature of X-ray emissions from black holes.

Detection Methodology

Observation Source

  • Location: Large Magellanic Cloud-X-3 (LMC X3).
  • Distance: 200,000 light years from Earth.
  • Instrumentation: Utilized Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE), Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) Mission, and Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR).

Mission Significance

  • IXPE Mission: NASA’s inaugural mission to study X-ray polarization.
  • ISRO’s Role: Upcoming ISRO mission, X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat), poised to be the second satellite equipped with X-ray polarization capabilities.

X-ray Polarimetry Insights

Polarization Revelation

  • Nature of Emissions: X-ray polarimetry reveals the polarized nature of emissions from the black hole.
  • Dynamic Characteristics: Polarization indicates changes in the degree and angle of X-ray emissions.

Significance of X-ray Polarimetry

Observational Technique

  • Identification: X-ray polarimetry uniquely identifies the source of radiation near black holes.
  • Study Areas: Enables exploration of cosmic ray origins, understanding black hole properties, and examining matter interactions with the highest achievable magnetic fields in the universe.

Conclusion

The groundbreaking detection of X-ray polarization from a black hole beyond the Milky Way by Indian researchers, employing advanced technologies like IXPE, NICER, and NuSTAR, signifies a crucial advancement in astrophysical observations. This breakthrough contributes to enhanced insights into the behavior and characteristics of black holes, cosmic rays, and the interactions between matter and extreme magnetic fields in the universe.

CENTRAL WATER COMMISSION (CWC)

GS 2 (POLITY AND GOVERNANCE): SOURCE – THE HINDU

In 2023, the Central Water Commission (CWC) reports low water levels in the reservoirs of southern Indian states, attributed to below-normal rainfall, notably in October, which ranked as the sixth driest in 123 years.

About CWC

CWC, a leading technical organization in India’s water resources sector, operates under the Ministry of Jal Shakti.

Its mandate includes initiating and coordinating water resource schemes in collaboration with relevant state governments, emphasizing control, conservation, and optimal utilization of water resources to address the impact of erratic rainfall patterns on reservoir levels.

MEASLES

GS 3 (SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY): SOURCE – INDIAN EXPRESS

  • The Indian government has refuted the World Health Organization’s (WHO) report stating that 11 lakh children in India missed measles doses, asserting that the claim lacks factual accuracy.

                 

  • Measles, a highly contagious viral infection, predominantly affects children, spreading through the respiratory tract and causing symptoms such as high fever, cough, runny nose, and a widespread rash.
  • The virus can lead to severe complications and poses a public health risk. The primary preventive measure against measles is the administration of the MR (measles-rubella) vaccine.
  • Discrepancies between the government’s clarification and the WHO report highlight the importance of accurate data and communication in public health matters, emphasizing the need for collaboration to ensure effective vaccination coverage and disease prevention.

Details

Date:
November 20, 2023
Time:
7:30 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: