Daily Current Affairs – 01-09-2023

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    Initiatives of Archeological Survey of India 

    Syllabus: GS1/Culture

    In News

    • The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) is going to launch various initiatives  to exhibit the rich cultural heritage of India.

    Adopt a Heritage 2.0 programme

    • The programme is a revamped version of the earlier scheme ‘Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan’ , launched in 2017.
      • The scheme was an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India.
    • The programme defines the amenities sought for different monuments as per Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act 1958. 
    • Under this programme, ASI invites corporate stakeholders to enhance the amenities at the monuments by utilizing their Corporate social responsibility (CSR ) funds. 
    • The selected stakeholders will develop, provide and/or maintain amenities in hygiene, accessibility, safety and knowledge categories. 
    • The term of the appointment for stakeholders will be for a period of five years initially, which may be further extended up to five years.

    ‘Indian Heritage’ Mobile App

    • The app will feature state-wise details of monuments along with photographs, list of public amenities available, geo-tagged location and feedback mechanism for citizens. 
    • The launch will be in a phased manner, with the ticketed monuments launched in Phase I, followed by the remaining monuments.

    e-permission Portal

    • The portal will be launched for obtaining permission for photography, filming and developmental projects on monuments.
    • The portal will fast-track the process for obtaining various permissions and solve operational and logistical bottlenecks involved.
    AMASR Act 1958

    • It is an Act to provide for the preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance, for the regulation of archaeological excavations and for the protection of sculptures, carvings and other like objects.
    • The Act was amended in 2010 to declare the 100-meter radius of protected monuments as prohibited areas and the next 300-meter radius as regulated areas. 

    Source:PIB

    India sees Lowest August Rainfall in a Century

    Syllabus: GS1/Indian Monsoon

    In News

    • Rainfall in August had been the least in over a century, with India getting 36% less rain than it usually does in the month.
      • Of the four monsoon months, August usually sees the most amount of rainfall (25.4 cm) after July’s 28 cm.

    About

    • The current monsoon has been uneven, with June rains 9% below average but July rains rebounding to 13% above average.
    • Rainfall in August has brought the overall national deficit to 10%, with the regional deficits being 17% in east and northeast India, 10% in central India, and 17% in southern India.
      • Soil moisture level has gone down because of scanty rainfall in August.
    • Monsoon rainfall in September is likely to be within a 10% window of the 16.7 cm that’s usual for the month. 
      • September rainfall is key for winter-sown crops.
    • The last time India recorded such severe deficits in August was in 2005, when the shortfall was about 25% of the normal, and in 2009, when India saw its biggest drought in half a century and August rainfall was 24% less than expected.

    Why was the August rainfall the lowest?

    • With a strengthening of the El Nino and unfavourable conditions both in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, August rainfall has been markedly deficient in most of India, except in northeastern India, the Himalayan States, and parts of Tamil Nadu.
      • El Nino refers to a warming of the central Pacific that usually translates to deficient monsoon rainfall over India and typically accompanied by drier conditions over the Indian subcontinent.

    Significance of Indian Monsoon

    • The monsoon, vital for India’s $3 trillion economy, delivers nearly 70% of the rain the country needs to water crops and refill reservoirs and aquifers.
    • The erratic distribution of monsoon rains has led India, the world’s largest rice exporter, to limit rice shipments, impose a 40% duty on onion exports, permit duty-free imports of pulses, and could potentially result in banning sugar exports.
    • The summer rainfall deficit could make essentials such as sugar, pulses, rice and vegetables more expensive and lift overall food inflation.

    Source: TH

    Timeline of G 20 Summits

    Syllabus: GS-2/ Regional and Global Groupings

    In News

    • The upcoming 18th G20 Annual Summit will be hosted by India. 

    Previous G 20 Summits

    S No.

    Year 

    Host (Country)

    City

    Key Points 

    2008  USA Washington DC
    • The summit was called ‘Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy’.
    • The leaders discussed the causes of the global economic and financial crisis and agreed to implement an Action Plan.
    April 2009 UK London
    • To restore credit and growth and strong regulatory provisions, expansion of Financial Stability Board (FSB)and Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), reiteration of commitment against protectionist trends (including trade, investment and services).
    September 2009 USA Pittsburgh
    • The G20 was officially designated as “the premier forum for international economic co-operation”.
    • To foster a ‘Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth’ in the 21st century through sound macroeconomic policies that prevent cycles of boom  and bust through a Mutual Assessment Process (MAP).
    June 2010 Canada Toronto
    • The leaders pledged to reduce poverty and restructure the banking system while also focusing on fiscal consolidation and sustainable development.
    November 2010 South Korea Seoul 
    • The Seoul Development Consensus for Shared Growth was adopted by the leaders and focuses on trade, investment, and development to support sustainable growth and the global economic recovery.
    2011 France Cannes
    • The leaders discussed the Eurozone crisis, put new financial regulations into place, and backed a growth and job-creation action plan.
    • The establishment of the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) was one of the key outcomes of the summit.
    2012 Mexico Los Cabos
    • The leaders concentrated on strengthening the international financial system, encouraging sustainable development, and increasing the resilience of the world economy.
    8. 2013 Russia  Saint Petersburg
    • The leaders not only agreed on the automatic exchange of tax information but also passed the Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). 
    9.  2014 Australia  Brisbane 
    • To increase the G20 countries’ collective GDP by an additional two percent. 
    • They also aimed at reducing the gender gap in the labour workforce by 25% by 2025.
    10.  2015 Turkey  Serik, Antalya
    • The member countries focused on the migration and refugee crisis.
    • The leaders agreed to financial sector reforms and support  to tackle climate change. 
    • The discussion  on the ‘Fight against Terrorism’ also took place.
    11.  2016 China  Hangzhou  There were two developments: 

    • One, the digital economy was included in the G20 agenda for the first time.
    • Two, the ‘G20 Action Plan on 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ was adopted which aims to promote sustainable development among the member countries.
    12.  2017 Germany  Hamburg
    • A special emphasis was given to ‘counter-terrorism’. 
    • The joint declaration issued at the end of the summit reiterated the importance of the Paris Agreement.
    13.  2018 Argentina  Buenos Aires There were three developments:

    • First, it reaffirmed support for the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development with universal respect for human rights and human dignity, the rule of law, justice, equality and non-discrimination”.
    • Second, it stressed the need for ramping up the efforts to deal with climate change. 
    • Third, the leaders recognised the importance of a multilateral approach to trade and reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
    14.  2019 Japan  Osaka 
    • The main focus was ‘Internet for terrorism’. They urged online platforms not to facilitate terrorism and Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism (VECT), and to prevent such content from being streamed or uploaded.
    15.  2020 Saudi Arabia Riyadh 
    • It was held via video conference due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    • The leaders pledged to work together to overcome the pandemic, restore growth, and build a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient future.
    16.  2021 Italy Rome 
    • The main focus was climate change. They kept the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees  with pre-industrial levels within reach. 
    • The leaders also pledged to achieve global net zero greenhouse gas emissions by  around mid-century.
    17.  2022 Indonesia  Bali
    • The member countries condemned the Russian aggression against Ukraine. It also condemned the use of, or threats of  nuclear weapons.

    Source: IE

    Special Session of Parliament

    Syllabus: GS2/Parliament: Structure and Functioning

    In News

    The Union government recently announced a Special Session of Parliament from September 18 to 22.

    About

    • The Special Session would have five sittings, and the government is looking forward to having fruitful discussions and debate in Parliament.
    • The government has not revealed the agenda of the session.
    • The Opposition leaders questioned the way the session was announced through a social media post without a proper notification. 

    Sessions of Parliament

    • The power to convene a session of Parliament rests with the government
    • The decision is taken by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, and is formalised by the President, in whose name MPs are summoned to meet for a session.
    • India does not have a fixed parliamentary calendar. By convention, Parliament meets for three sessions in a year.
      • The longest, the Budget Session, starts towards the end of January, and concludes by the end of April or first week of May. The session has a recess so that Parliamentary Committees can discuss the budgetary proposals.
      • The second session is the three-week Monsoon Session, which usually begins in July and finishes in August. 
      • The parliamentary year ends with a three week-long Winter Session, which is held from November to December.

    What the Constitution says?

    • The summoning of Parliament is specified in Article 85 of the Constitution. Like many other articles, it is based on a provision of The Government of India Act, 1935. 
    • Article 85(1) says, the President shall from time to time summon each House of Parliament to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit, but six months shall not intervene between its last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next session.
    • Article 85(2) says, the President may from time to time

    (a) prorogue the Houses or either House;

    (b) dissolve the House of the People.

    Recent Trends: 

    • Over the years, governments have shuffled around the dates of sessions to accommodate political and legislative exigencies. 
      • In 2017, the Winter Session was delayed on account of the Gujarat Assembly elections. 
      • In 2011, political parties agreed to cut short the Budget Session so they could campaign for Vidhan Sabha elections in five states.
    • Sessions have also been cut short or delayed to allow the government to issue Ordinances. 
      • For example, in 2016, the Budget Session was broken up into two separate sessions to enable the issuance of an Ordinance.
    • Sessions have also been stretched.
    • In 2008, the two-day Monsoon Session was extended until December to prevent the moving of another no-confidence motion. It meant that there were only two sessions that year.

    Source: TH

    Mental Health Care and Its Management

    Syllabus: GS2/Issues Relating to Health 

    In News

    • The Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare, recently tabled its report on ‘Mental Health Care and Its Management in Contemporary Times’ in the Parliament.

    Major Highlights of the Report

    • Definition: The report defines mental health as a state of well-being that enables people to cope with the stress of life. 
    • State of Mental Health: It highlighted that the mental health-related issues are rising in India and the country lags with inadequate staff, medical infrastructure and budgetary allocation. 
      • The Committee stated that India currently has 0.75 psychiatrists per lakh people, which is significantly low.
      • The Committee observed that if India targets having three psychiatrists per lakh people, it will need 27,000 more psychiatrists.
    • Global Scenario: In 2010, global economic losses of around $2.5 trillion annually were attributed to poor mental health, stemming from diminished well-being and productivity. This will surge to $6 trillion by 2030. 
    • Budgetary Allocation: Out of the total Budget Estimate (BE) for the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare(₹ 89,155 crore), allocations for mental health were as follows – 
      • National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, (NIMHANS), Bengaluru (₹ 721 crore); 
      • Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur (₹. 64 crore) and 
      • the National Tele-Mental Health Programme (₹ 134 crore).
    • Inadequate Funding: The report highlights inadequate funding for care and research. 
      • It requires not only increased financial support and expanded psychiatry residency programmes, but also establishment of positions for trained psychiatrists and ensuring an ample number of working psychologists. 

    Recommendations As per the Report

    • The Committee suggested increasing the number of seats for MD Psychiatry courses. 
    • Highlighting the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it noted the need for evidence-based interventions for developing infrastructure and other policies around mental health.
    • Quoting the Ministry of Health and Welfare commissioned mental health survey in 2015-16, the Committee said there is considerable scope to improve the treatment gap.
      • Reasons for the gap include lack of mental health professionals, weak infrastructure and stigma.
    • The Committee also recommended that the Ministry should ensure essential medicines are available concerning mental health issues and suggested that the government further leverage the network of wellness clinics and tele-medicine to benefit patients.

    Causes of Mental Illness

    • Exposure to unfavorable social, economic, geopolitical and environmental circumstances – including poverty, violence, inequality and environmental deprivation – also increases people’s risk of experiencing mental health conditions.
    • Over the past two years, the pandemic-led lockdowns and the uncertainties associated with them have had a detrimental effect on mental well-being
    • Early adverse life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse (for example, child abuse, sexual assault, witnessing violence, etc.)
    • Use of alcohol or drugs, having feelings of loneliness or isolation, etc.

    Issues and Concerns 

    • Mental health problems have been growing rapidly over the last few decades.
    • National Mental Health Survey, 2015-16, showed mental disorders at 10.6 percent among above 18-year-olds, 16 percent among the productive age group of 30-49-year-olds and lifetime morbidity affecting 150 million people with one percent reporting high suicidal risk. 
    • The human resources and treatment facilities are woefully low.
    • For policymakers, mental health is a low priority

    Government of India Initiatives 

    • National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) in 1982: To ensure the availability and accessibility of minimum mental healthcare for all in the foreseeable future.
    • Mental Healthcare Act, 2017: The act decriminalised suicide attempts in India and also included WHO guidelines in the categorisation of mental illnesses. 
      • The most significant provision in the act was “advanced directives”, which allowed individuals with mental illnesses to decide the course of their treatment. 
      • It also restricted the use of electro-convulsive therapy (ECT), and banned its use on minors, finally introducing measures to tackle stigma in Indian society.
    • Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2017: The Act acknowledges mental illness as a disability and seeks to enhance the Rights and Entitlements of the Disabled.
    • Manodarpan Initiative: An initiative under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, aims to provide psycho-social support to students for their mental health and well-being.
    • Kiran Helpline: The helpline is a step towards suicide prevention, and can help with support and crisis management.

    Way Forward

    • There is a need for an urgent and well-resourced whole-of-society approach to protect, promot and care for the mental health of people.
    • Killing the deep stigma surrounding mental health issues which prevents patients from seeking timely treatment. 
    • Making mental health an integral part of the public health programme: to help screen and identify high-risk groups and strengthen mental health interventions like counselling services. 
    • Special emphasis on schools: Pay special attention to groups that are highly vulnerable to mental health issues such as children facing domestic or sexual violence.
    • Creating a strong infrastructure for mental health care
      • Currently, only 20-30 percent of people with mental illnesses receive adequate treatment.
      • Less than two per cent of the government health budget, which itself is the lowest among all G20 countries, is devoted to mental health issues. 
    • Affordable Services: 
      • All government health assurance schemes, including Ayushman Bharat, should cover the widest possible range of mental health conditions. 

    Source: TH

    Constitutionality of Orders 272 and  273

    Syllabus :GS 2/Polity and Governance 

    In News

    The Supreme Court has heard arguments by petitioners challenging the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution . 

    About Constitutionality of Orders 272 and  273

    • In August 2019, then President issued CO 272, a Presidential Order amending Article 367, which deals with the interpretation of the Constitution. 
      • CO 272 inserted a provision in Article 367 which stated that the reference to the “Constituent Assembly” in Article 370(3) would instead be a reference to the “Legislative Assembly”.
      • This paved the way for changes to Article 370 itself. 
        • Article 370(3) reads: “Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this article, the President may declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with exceptions and modifications as he may specify: Provided that the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in Clause (2) shall be necessary before the President issues such a notification.”
      • Rajya Sabha recommended that Article 370 should cease to operate. 
        • Since Jammu and Kashmir was then under President’s Rule, the Governor of the erstwhile state assumed the powers of the Legislative Assembly, and Parliament made the recommendation on behalf of the Governor.
    • On August 6,the President issued a second proclamation, CO 273, operationalising the Rajya Sabha’s recommendation. 
      • This meant that Article 370 effectively ceased to operate.
        • Parliament passed The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, bifurcating the state into two Union Territories.

    Grounds of challenge

    • Validity of Constitutional Order 272: The petitioners argued that Article 370 had become a “permanent feature” of the Constitution that could not be made inoperable. 
      • The provision is referred to as a “temporary provision” not because it can be terminated by the President, but because the provision gave the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir the power to recommend changes to Article 370 until the state’s Constitution was enacted.
      • Once the Constituent Assembly ceased to exist, the President could not have by order revoked Article 370
      • The J & K Constitution gave permanency to Article 370 once the Constituent Assembly was dissolved. So, without a Constituent Assembly, the President could not have exercised powers under Article 370(3).
      • The petitioners argued that since the J&K Constitution explicitly prohibited even moving any Bill to change the application of the Indian Constitution to the state, CO 272 (the President’s Order of 2019) cannot confer on the Legislative Assembly the power to recommend abrogation of Article 370. 
      • Article 367 has inherent limitations to be used to issue CO 272 and an interpretative provision cannot be used for what is virtually an amendment. 
        • The power to amend the Constitution lies in Article 368 of the Constitution.
    • Validity of CO 273 : The second proclamation by the President, issued on August 6, 2019, essentially sealed the abrogation of Article 370 by the Governor of the state.
      • The petitioners argued that Rajya Sabha cannot assume powers on behalf of the Governor even under Article 356 that the Legislative Assembly itself does not have. 
      • The second part of the argument rests largely on the role of a Governor during President’s Rule. 
        • Detailing the sequence of events in 2018 which led to President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir, the petitioners argued that the entire process was unlawful.

    Source:IE

    Startup Guidelines for Technical Textiles

    Syllabus :GS 3/Economy 

    In News

    The Ministry of Textiles has approved the Startup Guidelines for Technical Textiles – Grant for Research and Entrepreneurship across Aspiring Innovators in Technical Textiles (GREAT) providing grant-in-aid upto INR 50 Lakhs for upto a period of 18 months

    Key Highlights 

    • The Guidelines provides thrust in Technical Textiles’ application areas including Agro-textiles, Building-textiles, Geo-textiles, Home-textiles, Medical-textiles, Mobile-textiles, Packaging- textiles, Protective-textiles, Sports-textiles, Smart Textiles using Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, 3D/4D Printing among others.
    • The guidelines focus on supporting individuals and companies to translate prototypes to technologies & products including commercialization.

    Overview of Technical Textile Industry

    • Technical Textiles termed as a “Sunrise” sector is finding widespread applications in diverse industries such as agriculture, medical, infrastructure development, automotive, aerospace, sports, protective clothing, packaging etc.
    • Technical textiles are classified into 12 major groups based on their application areas (Agrotech, Geotech, Buildtech, Mobiltech, Hometech, Clothtech, Indutech, Meditech, Sportstech, Protech, Packtech, Oekotech).
    • The Indian Technical Textiles market is the 5th largest in the world and is rapidly growing, both in terms of value and output. 
    • Technical Textiles account for ~15% of the overall Textiles and Apparel segment in India. 
      • Besides, the segment also holds importance from the employment and investment standpoint as end-usage of its products cater to a wide array of industries

    Related Initiatives 

    • National Technical Textiles Mission (NTTM) :The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave its approval for NTTM. 
      • The Textile Ministry has approved 20 important research projects in specialty fibres and geotextiles. 
      • The National Technical Textile Mission (NTTM) with an outlay of Rs.1,480 Crores aims to place India as one of the leaders in the global technical textile market and enhance the domestic market at the same time. 
      • It plans to grow the domestic market from USD 40 billion to USD 50 billion by 2024.
    • Technotex 2023: Envisioning Indian Technical Textiles @2047′, the 10th International Exhibition and Conference on Technical Textiles, was inaugurated
      • Technotex, organized by the Union Ministry of Textiles and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), is a flagship event comprising buyer-seller meets, an international exhibition and conference.
    • Ministry also gave the nod to 26 institutes for upgrading their laboratory infrastructure and training of trainers in the application areas of technical textiles.

    Source:PIB

    Facts In News

    Press and Registration of Books Act Amendments 

    Syllabus: GS2/Governance

    In News

    The Union government has issued a notification for the implementation of the amendments to the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, from September 1.

    About

    • Recently, the Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Act, 2023, has replaced or amended some sections in the Press & Registration of Books Act, 1867.
    • The changes substantially decriminalise and do away with imprisonment provisions for certain offences.

    Amendments

    • Regulation of Newspapers: Earlier, there was no direct role of the Press Registrar to regulate irregular/defunct newspapers. 
      • New provisions have now been added for suspension and cancellation of certificate of registration by the Press Registrar on the grounds of irregularity, ceasing of publication, not furnishing annual statement, or false statement, etc.
    • Removal of Imprisonment: As the provision of imprisonment has been removed for most violations, the quantum of fines has been rationalised and converted to penalties to be imposed by the Press Registrar.
    • Jurisdiction under PRAB: Under Section 8C of the Act, the jurisdiction of the Press and Registration Appellate Board (PRAB) included District Magistrate only. 
      • It will now include orders by  the Press Registrar also regarding imposition of penalty, and suspension/cancellation of registration by the Press Registrar.

    Source: TH

    Utkela Airport

    Syllabus: GS3/Economy

    In News 

    The Minister of Civil Aviation recently inaugurated Utkela Airport with a direct flight between Utkela and Bhubaneswar. 

    About

    • Utkela airport is owned by the Government of Odisha.
    • It has been developed as a regional airport under the UDAN scheme of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
    • The newly inaugurated Utkela – Bhubaneswar – Utkela flight route will enhance regional air connectivity and play an important role in the economic development of the Kalahandi region.
    • Utkela to Bhubaneswar air connectivity will reduce the time taken to travel from 8 hours by road to just one hour and twenty minutes by air. 
    UDAN Scheme

    • UDAN (UdeDeshkaAamNaagrik) is a regional airport development project and the Union Government’s “Regional Connectivity Scheme” (RCS).
    • It aims to connect the country’s unserved and underserved airports by revitalizing existing airstrips and airports.
    • This is a first-of-its-kind global initiative to build economically feasible flights on regional routes, making flying accessible to the average person even in small communities.
    • Two Main Components of this scheme are:
      • To build new airports and improve existing regional airports in order to increase the number of airports that are operational for scheduled civilian flights.
      • To add several hundred financially feasible, capped-fare new regional fly routes to connect more than 100 under-served and unserved airports.

    Source: PIB

    DSC A 20 (YARD 325)

    Syllabus: GS3/Defence

    In News

    ‘DSC A 20’ (Yard 325), the first ship of Five (05) Diving Support Craft (DSC) project for the Indian Navy, was launched at Titagarh, Kolkata (WB).

    • Keel of the 5th and last Diving Support Craft (DSC), i.e. DSC A 24, was also laid along with the launch of 1st DSC.

    Diving Support Craft (DSC) project 

    • It is built by M/s Titagarh Rail Systems Ltd (TRSL).
    • These ships are indigenously designed and built under relevant Naval Rules and Regulation of Indian Register of Shipping (IRS). 
    • Purpose: These ships are designed to undertake operational/ training diving operations in harbours and coastal waters. 
      • DSC are being fitted with state of the art diving equipment and tools for performing diving operations. 
    • All five (05) DSC are anticipated to be delivered to the Indian Navy in FY 2024-25.

    The significance of a Diving Support Vessel

    • A diving support vessel, as the name suggests is a ship that is used for the objective of diving into oceans. 
    • Divers, who dive into the middle of the seas as a part of the professional diving process, need proper diving support. This necessary support is provided by such a dive support vessel.
    • The concept of a diving support vessel came into existence four to five decades ago. 
    • From that time onwards, these ships have been extremely important to the field of commercial diving and for military purposes, which forms a vital part of professional diving.

    Source: PIB

    General Comment No. 26

    Syllabus:GS3/Environment

    News

    • The United Nations has recognised a new guidance on children’s rights with a special focus on climate change.

    Background

    • The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has explicitly affirmed the children’s right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
      • It  issued a comprehensive interpretation of Member States’ obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
    • This Convention, created in 1989 and ratified by 196 states, outlines universal children’s rights such as the right to life, survival and development, and the right to health.

    What is a General Comment?

    • General Comment is a document which  clarifies the content of the rights set out in a treaty in question.
    • It sometimes outlines potential violations of those rights and offers advice to states parties on how best to comply with their obligations under the treaty.

    General Comment No. 26

    • It provides a legal framework to address the adverse effects of environmental degradation and climate change on the enjoyment of children’s rights.
    • It specifies that States are responsible not only for protecting children’s rights from immediate harm, but also for foreseeable violations of their rights in the future due to States’ acts — or failure to act — today. 
    • Furthermore, it underlines that States can be held accountable not only for environmental harm occurring within their borders, but also for the harmful impacts of environmental damage and climate change beyond their borders. 

    Source:DTE

    First Woman Railway Board Chairperson

    Syllabus: Miscellaneous

    Context:

    • Jaya Verma Sinha is appointed as Chairperson and CEO, Railway Board (Ministry of Railways).

    About:

    • The Union Government appointed Jaya Verma Sinha as the first ever woman Chairperson and CEO,  in the 118 year history of the Railway Board.
      • Railway Board is the apex decision-making body of the Indian Railways.
    • She was also the first woman to be appointed as the Principal Chief Operations Manager of South Eastern Railway.
    • The Indian Railways registered an all time high growth of over 20% in the freight segment and broke the mark of 1.5 billion tonnes annually in freight in the last two years when she was Additional Member, Traffic Transportation, Railway Board.
    About the Railway Board:

    • It was established in 1905 under the Indian Railway Board Act, 1905 for controlling the administration of railways in India with certain powers of functioning under the Indian Railways Act, 1890, which was later revised as the Railways Act, 1989.
    • The Union Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, invest the Railway Board, either absolutely or subject to conditions, like
      • with all or any of the powers or functions of the Central Government under the Indian Railways Act, 1890 (later revised as the Railways Act, 1989), with respect to all or any Railways, and;
      • with the power of the officer referred to in Section 47 of the Act to make general rules for Railways administration.

    Source: BL

    2023 Ramon Magsaysay Award

    Syllabus: Miscellaneous

    In News

    Surgical oncologist R. Ravi Kannan, Director of the Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (CCHRC) in Assam, is one of the Ramon Magsaysay Awardees for 2023.

    • He has revolutionized cancer treatment in Assam through people-centered and pro-poor programs.

    Other Recipients for 2023

    • Rakshand Korvi from Bangladesh established the JAAGO Foundation aimed to address problems of access and quality education for underprivileged children.
    • Lemos Eugenio from Timor-Leste for safeguarding the environment and indigenous culture of Timor-Leste.
    • Ferrer Miriam Coronel, a Filipino peace negotiator who championed inclusivity and women’s participation in peace-building.

    About The Ramon Magsaysay Award

    • It is Asia’s premier prize and highest honor, celebrates greatness of spirit and transformative leadership in Asia. 
    • The Award is presented in formal ceremonies in Manila, Philippines on August 31st, the birth anniversary of the much-esteemed Philippine President whose ideals inspired the Award’s creation in 1957.
    • Since 1958, the Award has been bestowed on 344 outstanding individuals and organizations whose selfless service has offered their societies.
    • The Awardees are annually selected by the RMAF board of trustees, are presented with a certificate and a medallion with an embossed image of Ramon Magsaysay facing right in profile.
    • From 1958 to 2008, the Award was given in six categories annually these are:
      • Government Service, Public Service, Community Leadership, Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts, Peace and International Understanding, and Emergent Leadership.
      • Starting in 2009, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is no longer being given in fixed Award categories, except for Emergent Leadership.

    Source: TH