Table of Contents
Women just shouldn’t stop dreaming’
- Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot flagged off the first phase of ‘Mission Parivartan’, which is a joint venture between the government and auto-maker Ashok Leyland, to induct women drivers to operate DTC and cluster scheme buses to promote women’s safety in public transport.
The case of the missing scientific Indian
- The general apathy towards science, and the lack of scientific temper among the public and politicians, is a poor commentary on the Indian sensibility.
- Parliament underscored our commitment to propagate scientific temper by including it as a duty in Article 51A of the Constitution through the 42nd Amendment. Article 51A says, “It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.”
- This has left much of our national psyche a prisoner of obscurantism and paved the way for retrogressive religion-based politics at the expense of constitutionally guaranteed secular values.
- Scientists half-heartedly stood up for scientific causes, even when the situations demanded that they fully do so.
The implications of the 5G roll-out for law enforcement –
- With a shaky cyber security foundation, the impact on crime and criminals could be serious.
- On the one hand, the 5G roll-out is set to enhance efficiency, productivity, and security by helping the police access critical information in real-time and nab criminals.
- But there are challenges in adopting 5G. The government and telecommmunication companies must first ensure that law enforcement agencies have the necessary infrastructure to take full advantage of all that 5G can offer.
- SC should lay down norms for release of convicts on remission
- The remission was based on a direction from a two-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on a petition by one of the convicts. The question to be decided was whether the Gujarat government or the Maharashtra government was the appropriate government for considering their plea for remission.
- While passing this order, the Bench also said the remission should be considered under a policy framed in July 1992, as that was the prevailing policy on the date of their 2008 conviction. This meant that the bar on granting remission to those convicted for murder and rape, found in the current policy, will not apply to these convicts.
- First, the State government made a decision on its own without consulting with the Centre. Under Section 435 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, such consultation with the Centre is mandatory in cases probed by the CBI.
- Further, the composition of the committee that recommended remission for the convicts consisted of two BJP legislators. Ideally, a remission panel should comprise senior government officials in charge of home or law, a district judge, the prison superintendent, and officers who deal with probation and rehabilitation of offenders.
All On one side, Everybody Wants Freebies
- Of course, welfarism as a political philosophy has long roots – whether in the West or in India. Our political economy is riven with such schemes – whether one calls them freebies, loan write-offs, waivers or simply direct transfers.
- Instead of pushing for building public assets, social capacity and society, India’s policymakers seem to have pivoted towards direct transfers and welfarism (via distribution of private goods for free).
- Transfers towards capital expenditure schemes should be prioritised over other schemes.
- N.V. Ramana, heading a three-judge Bench, observed on Tuesday that the parties were “all on one side and everybody wants freebies” to continue.
IAF sacks 3 officers in missile firing case
- A Court of Inquiry (Col) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) into the accidental firing of a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in March, which landed in Pakistan, found that deviation from standard operating procedures (SOP) by three officers led to the incident.
About the BrahMos missile:
- The BrahMos is a ramjet supersonic cruise missile of a short-range developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya.
- BrahMos was named after two major rivers of India and Russia: Brahmaputra and Moskva.
- The technology used in this joint venture is based on the Russian P-800 Oniks cruise missile and similar sea-skimming cruise missiles from Russia.
- Beginning with an anti-ship missile, several variants have since been developed and it is now capable of being launched from land, sea, sub-sea and air against surface and sea-based targets and has constantly been improved and upgraded.
- The missile has been long inducted by the Indian armed forces and the Army recently deployed BrahMos along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh.
- The range of the BrahMos was originally limited to 290 kms as per obligations of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) of which Russia was a signatory.
- Following India’s entry into the club in June 2016, plans were announced to extend the range initially to 450 kms and subsequently to 600 kms. BrahMos with extended range upto 450 kms has been tested several times since.
Information about Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR):
- Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) was established in April 1987 by G-7 countries – USA, UK, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, and Japan.
- In 1992, the focus of the regime extended to on the proliferation of missiles for the delivery of all types of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), i.e., nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
- It is not a legally-binding treaty. It is an informal and voluntary partnership among 35 countries to prevent the proliferation of missile and unmanned aerial vehicle technology capable of carrying greater than 500 kg payload for more than 300 km.
- The members are thus prohibited from supplying such missiles and UAV systems that are controlled by the MTCR to non-members.
Sex ratio at birth normalises slightly: study
- The latest study by the Pew Research Center has pointed out that “son bias” is on the decline in India as the average annual number of baby girls “missing” in the country fell from 480,000 (4.8 lakh) in 2010 to 410,000 (4.1 lakh) in 2019.
- The “missing” refers to how many more female births would have occurred during this time if there were no female-selective abortions.
- It fell from 111 boys per 100 girls in 2011 to 108 boys in 2019-21, says Pew report.
- The report has also analysed religion-wise sex selection, pointing out that the gap was the highest for Sikhs.
- Tensions mar a mission to Tiangong
- Tensions between India and China since May 2020 is worrying Indian astrophysicists involved in an ambitious project to install an Indian-made spectroscope aboard the developing Chinese space station Tiangong.
- Scientists at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru, were among nine groups selected from 42 applicants in 2019 as part of a UN-led initiative that invites research teams from all over the world to compete for an opportunity to design payloads that will be shuttled to Tiangong aboard rockets of the Chinese Manned Space Agency.
- The project, called Spectrographic Investigation of Nebular Gas (SING), also involves collaboration with the Institute of Astronomy, Russian Academy of Sciences, and has been designed and developed by research students at the IIA.
- The SING project will be the first space collaboration involving India and China, and primarily deals with sending and positioning a spectrograph, an instrument that splits light into constituent frequencies and wavelengths, to study ultraviolet radiation.
DRDO Indian Navy Test Indigenous Missile
- The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Navy on Tuesday successfully flight-tested the indigenously developed Vertical Launch Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.
- The VL-SRSAM, a ship-borne weapon system, is meant for neutralizing various aerial threats at close ranges, including sea-skimming targets, and was last test-fired in June.
Benami law can’t be applied retrospectively: SC
- The Supreme Court on Tuesday declared as “unconstitutional and manifestly arbitrary” the amendments introduced to the Benami law in 2016, which apply retrospectively and can send a person to prison for three years even as it empowers the Centre to confiscate “any property” subject to a benami transaction.
- The 2016 law amended the original Benami Act of 1988, expanding it to 72 Sections from a mere nine.
- Section 3(2) mandates three years of imprisonment for those who had entered into benami transactions between September 5, 1988 and October 25, 2016. That is, a person can be sent behind bars for a benami transaction entered into 28 years before the Section even came into existence.
- Article 20(1) mandates that no person should be convicted of an offence, which was not in force “at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence”.
Acculturation (The Gist)
- A sociological concept that explains the changes that occur when two or more groups come in contact with each other and exchange aspects of their cultures.
- The concept of acculturation was coined in 1880 by American geologist John Wesley Powel.
- Sociologists understand acculturation as a two-way process, wherein the minority culture adopts aspects of the majority to fit in and the culture of the majority is also influenced by that of the minority.
Mains Practice Questions
Q.) The innovations (anusandhan) needed to be made in the agri-food space by 2047 to have a well-fed India. Explain ( 150 Words)
Q.) 2047 तक कृषि–खाद्य क्षेत्र में नवाचार (अनुसंधान) किए जाने की आवश्यकता है ताकि भारत को अच्छी तरह से खिलाया जा सके। व्याख्या (150 शब्द)
- As we celebrate 75 years of Independence and enter the Amrit Kaal toward 2047, it is time to salute our freedom fighters, soldiers, farmers, scientists, and all those who have contributed to the development of this country.
- The famous slogan of late Lal Bahadur Shastri, “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan,” was extended by Atal Bihari Vajpayee to include “Jai Vigyan”. Now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended it to, “Jai Anusandhan”.
- The innovations (anusandhan) needed to be made in the agri-food space by 2047 to have a well-fed India, with zero hunger, almost no malnutrition, climate resilience, and high incomes for our farmers.
- India, being a tropical country is endowed with plenty of solar energy; hence, exploitation of solar energy becomes an important component of the renewable energy sector.
- India is endowed with vast solar energy potential. About 5,000 trillion kWh per year energy is incident over India’s land area with most parts receiving 4-7 kWh per sq. m per day.
- Karnataka leads India’s list of states producing solar energy, with a total installed solar power capacity of about 7,100MW; followed by Telangana, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat Also, India is now the fourth-largest solar power producer in the world.
- The biggest challenge will be feeding a country whose per capita income still hovers around $2,300. The per capita income is likely to grow between 5 to 6 per cent per annum, under normal conditions.
- As they rise from low-income levels, people are likely to demand not just more food but safe and nutritious food.
- The challenge would be to align our agri-policies and strategies to the emerging demand pattern. To make the agri-food system vibrant and competitive requires significantly augmenting farmers’ incomes.
- A few out-of-the-box innovations can almost double farmers’ incomes quickly. And one such innovation is to have “solar as a third crop” on fields.
- On one acre of cultivated land, which grows two crops a year, one can have more than 400 solar panels (trees) of 10 to 12 feet in height, with due spacing for regular cultivation to continue.