GS PAPER - 03 ENVIRONMENT - Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
Anti-GMO groups has alleged that Illegal cultivation of Bt brinjal which is a genetically modified variety of brinjal has been found in some parts of Haryana.
More about the news:
The farmer group has demanded that the government immediately ascertain the extent of illegal Bt brinjal cultivation.It should also take deterrent action against seed suppliers involved and destroy all Bt brinjal plots to prevent contamination.
India banned Bt brinjal in 2010
The debate around BT brinjal started in 2000 when Mahyco (Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co) came up with a GM brinjal.
Seeds were exported to Bangladesh and Philippines in 2006, as the civil society resisted field trials in India.
In 2013, the cultivation of Br brinjal was taken up by the Bangladesh government with initially successful results. A few years down the line, however, the crops lost their resistance to pests.
The story of Bt brinjal is currently similar to that of Bt cotton, which also entered India illegally and made it to the fields
The Bangladesh model clearly shows that pests develop resistance and would hinder production
We have more than 3,000 varieties of brinjal in our country; if Bt brinjal makes through, all varieties will be contaminated. A similar situation has occurred in case of cotton and farmers and horticulture officials have stopped collecting varieties from the field as they are contaminated
BT Brinjal :
The Bt brinjal refers to a group of transgenic brinjals created by inserting a crystal protein gene(Cry1Ac) from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into the genome of various brinjal cultivars.
This was developed to give resistance against lepidopteran insects in particular the Brinjal Fruit and Shoot Borer.
It was developed by Mahyco (Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company) in collaboration with the Dharwad University of Agricultural Sciences and the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.In 2010
Source :- The Hindu; Down To Earth
Madras High Court upholds marriage between man, transwoman
GS PAPER - 01 - social issues - Effects of globalization on Indian society Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has upheld that the marriage solemnised between a man and a transwoman was valid under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and ordered its registration.
The judgement comes in the backdrop of a case of a couple who sought a direction to the Joint Registrar to register their marriage that was solemnised at a Hindu temple as per Hindu rights and customs.
More about the verdict :
The bench referred to a 2014 NALSA v. Union of India (2014) Supreme Court judgement that recognised transgender persons as being of the third sex, and said there can be no discrimination against them in education and employment opportunities.
The judgement which had established the right of transgender persons to decide on their self-identified gender. The court observed that the bride who was being refused that status had chosen to express her gender as woman, and the State has no right to question it.
It was noted that the NALSA judgment was also cited with approval in theRight to Privacy case as well as Navtej Johar’s case concerning the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India.
The High Court said the Supreme Court has affirmed that Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, which grants equal rights to all citizens, applies to transgender persons also. “Gender identity falls within the domain of her personal autonomy and involves her right to privacy and dignity,” Justice GR Swaminathan observed.
Direction to ban Sex Reassignment Surgeries On Inter-Sex Infants:
The high court has also directed the Health and Family Welfare department to issue an order prohibiting the performance of sex reassignment surgery on inter-sex infants and children.
The court highlighted the need to keep them within the family and the mainstream of society by allowing to grow into their own sense of gender.
Source :- The Hindu
World’s forests in ‘emergency room’
GS PAPER - 03 ENVIRONMENT- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
A study conducted by Global forest watch has revealed that climate change has destroyed about 12 million hectares of tropical forests in 2018. The research was led by US-based World Resources Institute.
Key Highlights :
The study has reported that nearly 25% of tropical tree cover loss took place in Brazil alone, while Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia accounted for 10% each. High levels of deforestation was also recorded in Malaysia and Madagascar.
The study has also noted ne deforestation hotspots particularly in Africa, where illegal mining, small-scale forest clearing and the expansion of cocoa farms led to an increase in tree loss. Examples: Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
For the first time, researchers had also calculate the loss of undisturbed natural rainforest using satellite data.
The highest loss has been accounted in Brazil followed by DR Congo, Indonesia, Colombia and Bolivia.
However, on a positive note, the study has highlighted that the primary forest loss in Indonesia has slowed down for the second year in running, dropping by 63% compared to 2017. This is primarily after the government has imposed a prohibition on forest clearing.
The study has highlighted the paramount importance of forest cover- help regulate weather patterns, prevent flooding and erosion, provide food, water and shelter,provides oxygen, absorbs 30% of global man-made greenhouse gas emissions and oceans aside, have the greatest biodiversity on the planet.
Source :- The Hindu
Rana Dasgupta bags 2019 Tagore Literary Prize
GS PAPER - 03 AWARDS AND HONORS
The second edition of Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize was awarded to author Rana Dasgupta for his 2010 novel “Solo”.Solo is a tale of estrangement and the ultimate failure of material existence.
Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize :
Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize is a legacy to Rabindranath Tagore for his outstanding contribution to Indian and international literature as well as to the cultural,educational and humane ideas he pursued throughout his life.
The award is organised by the Maitreya Publishing Foundation.It is only awarded to Indian poets,playwrights and novelists who are writing either in languages or dialects of the Indian subcontinent or in English.
The criteria for winning the award are : creativity
outstanding literary relevance
promotion of peace and national,cultural and religious tolerance
preserving linguistic and cultural heritage and
being socially conscious in character.
Source :- Business Standard
India develops first indigenous vaccine to treat bloody dysentery
GS PAPER - 03 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology
India has indigenously developed the first ever vaccine to treat bloody dysentery known as Shigellosis.
The vaccine has been developed by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED).
Shigellosis is an infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella.
Shigellosis a type of diarrhoea
It is bloody diarrhoea, that is, stool would be accompanied with blood. It mainly affects the large intestine
Most of those who are infected with Shigella develop diarrhoea,fever and stomach cramps starting a day or two after they are exposed to the bacteria.
Shigellosis is recognised as a disease mainly affecting Asian and African nations.
The annual incidence of shigellosis throughout the world is estimated to be 164.7 million, resulting in about 1.1 million deaths, primarily of children below five years and in the elderly population.
Shigella caused many outbreaks in India causing deaths at various time periods such as Vellore (1972-1973, 1997, 2001), eastern India (1984), Andaman and Nicobar islands (1986) and Chandigarh (2003).
After the 1984 outbreak, another attack was seen in 2002 in West Bengal and the tea gardens of Siliguri. Kerala and Maharashtra were hit in 2009 and 2010.
According to the latest Lancet publication on the analysis of the Global Enteric Multicenter Study, Shigella's disease burden is maximum among all the pathogens that cause diarrhoeal diseases.
The disease is currently treated through antibiotics but considering the fact that antibiotic resistance has become a major concern,the vaccine was the need of the hour.
Vaccine - for Shigellosis:
The developed vaccine is a dead vaccine which means it is a dead germ of the bacteria causing disease which would be introduced in the body so that the immune system develops immunity against it.
Source :- Down To Earth
WHO says one in 10 children did not get vaccinated in 2016
GS PAPER - 02 GOVERNANCE - Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
According to the most recent WHO and UNICEF immunization estimates, globally, 12.9 million infants, nearly 1 in 10, did not receive any vaccinations in 2016.
Key Highlights :
WHO has said that the estimates highlight that infants have missed the first dose of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine.
The WHO has observed that the percentage of children who received their full course of routine immunizations of DTP has stalled at 86%.
This falls short of the global immunization coverage target of 90% set under Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP).
WHO has noted that all of the targets elimination of vaccine preventable diseases such as measles, rubella, and maternal and neonatal tetanus are behind schedule.
The data points out that 85% of children have been vaccinated with the first dose of measles vaccine and 64% with second dose.
Significance of Immunisation :
WHO has repeatedly highlighted the importance of immunisation- it helps prevent illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including cervical cancer, diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, pneumonia, pertussis, polio, rotavirus diarrhoea, rubella and tetanus.
Source :- The Hindu
Centre to fund research on cell-based meat by two institutes
GS PAPER - 03 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to IT.
The Department of Biotechnology has decided to fund the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and the National Research Centre on Meat for research on cell-based meat.
Cell-based meat :
Cell-based meat, also called clean meat or cultured meat, is nutritionally equivalent to conventional animal meat, and tastes, smells, looks and feels exactly the same.
Its only difference lies in the method of production. Rather than raising and slaughtering animals for meat, cell-based meat is produced through cellular agriculture, wherein cells are sourced from an animal and cultivated into meat.
The Atal Incubation Centre (AIC) of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) has been partnering with the Humane Society International (HSI) to develop and promote the clean meat sector.
The AIC and HSI have also announced the launch of ‘Centre for Predictive Human Model System’ (CPHMS), which would be dedicated for promoting the new approach of scientific research using non-animal models. The facility would propagate non-animal methodologies in life sciences research in India as it has been happening in the West.
The fledgling centre would facilitate training courses in research, conduct workshops, offer fellowship programmes, develop a network of scientists to promote the paradigm shift in research and funding, and support Ph.D students in their research.
It promises to revolutionize the food system by providing protein without harming the environment
This new method of producing meat shows strong promise of revolutionising the food system in terms of tackling pressing global issues such as food security, environmental sustainability and animal welfare.
Source :- Indian Express
Khasi ‘kingdoms’ to revisit 1947 agreements
GS PAPER - 01 HISTORY - Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
A federation of 25 Himas or Khasi kingdoms have plans of revisiting the 1948 agreements that made present-day Meghalaya a part of India.
The revisiting in consultation with legal experts and academicians is aimed at safeguarding tribal customs and traditions from Central laws in force or could be enacted, such as the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
The idea is to hold series of meetings to come to a conclusion on how best they can insulate their customs and traditions from overriding central rules and policies
Though the Constitution has provided self-rule to a considerable extent through tribal councils, there has been an increasing demand for giving more teeth to the Khasi states.
The 25 Khasi states had signed the Instrument of Accession and Annexed Agreement with the Dominion of India between December 15, 1947, and March 19, 1948.
The conditional treaty with these states was signed by Governor General Chakravarti Rajagopalachari on August 17, 1948.
During the British rule, the Khasi domain was divided into the Khasi states and British territories.
At that time, the British government had no territorial right on the Khasi states and they had to approach the chiefs of these states if they needed land for any purpose.
After independence,the British territories became part of the Indian dominion but the Khasi states had to sign documents beginning with the Standstill Agreement that provided a few rights to the states
The Khasi states, though, did not sign the Instrument of Merger unlike most other states in India.