The Hindu Newspaper Analysis for UPSC
What is veto power?
- The UNSC veto power is the power of the five permanent members of the UNSC to veto (strike down) any “substantive” resolution.
- The veto power originates in Article 27 of the United Nations Charter.
How and when is the veto power used?
- Each member of the UNSC shall have a vote.
- Decisions of the UNSC on procedural matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members.
- Decisions of the UNSC on all other matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members, including the concurring votes of the permanent members.
- This means that a negative vote from any of the permanent members will block the adoption of a draft resolution.
- A permanent member that abstains or is absent from the vote will not block a resolution from being passed.
- Rare blossoms: Visitors take pictures amid Neelakurinji flowers (Strobilanthes kunthiana) in bloom at the Seethalayyana Giri Hill Ranges in Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka. The flowers bloom once in 12 years .
About the flower
- It is a shrub that is found in the shola forests of the Western Ghats in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
- Locally known as Kurinji, the flowers grow at an altitude of 1,300 to 2,400 metres.
- Nilgiri Hills, which literally means the blue mountains, got their name from the purplish blue flowers of Neelakurinji that bloom only once in 12 years.
- Kurinjimala Sanctuary of Kerala protects the kurinji in approximately 32 km2 core habitat in Kottakamboor and Vattavada villages in Idukki district.
- Kurinji Andavar temple located in Kodaikanal of Tamil Nadu dedicated to Tamil God Murugan also preserves these plants.
- The Paliyan tribal people living in Tamil Nadu used it as a reference to calculate their age.
- Karnataka has around 45 species of Neelakurinji and each species blooms at intervals of six, nine, 11 or 12 years.
- “Soft power”, as American political scientist Joseph Nye Jr. said in the late 1980s, is a “power of attraction through culture, political ideas, and policies rather than coercion” that military hard power exhibits.
- This is now being reflected in increased interest, especially by smaller nations in the world, in investing more and doing well in elite sports as it is thought that success in international sporting events boosts a nation’s chances of attaining soft power.
- China uses its superiority in elite sports to build “people-to-people” relations with other countries. For example, athletes from African countries such as Madagascar are trained in swimming, badminton, table tennis, etc. in China, which helps Beijing create a positive impact on a wider population and result in better formal relations as well.
- There is also China’s memorandum of understanding with countries such as Kenya so that Chinese runners can train with Kenyan athletes, as they are among the best in the world when it comes to long-distance running.
- India’s medal tally in the Tokyo Olympics Games — seven — was its most decorated Olympic Games in Indian history.
- In September 2014, the Ministry of Sports launched the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) to improve India’s performance at the Olympics and Paralympics — there is extra monetary assistance and training from the best national and international coaches.
- In 2016, a NITI Aayog report came up with a 20-point plan to improve India’s Olympics performance.
- A reply in Parliament (2018) said that India spends only three paise per day per capita on sports. In contrast, China spends ₹6.1 per day per capita.
- At the heart of India’s participation in the 77th General Assembly is the call for a ‘reformed multilateralism’ through which the United Nations Security Council should reform itself into a more inclusive organisation representing the contemporary realities of today.
- The COVID-19 pandemic was a weak moment for UN’s multilateralism. It highlighted the UN’s institutional limitations when countries closed their borders, supply chains were interrupted and almost every country was in need of vaccines.
- UN-led multilateralism has been unable to provide strong mechanisms to prevent wars.
- G4 (Brazil, India, Germany and Japan)
- The L.69 Group is a group of developing countries from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific.
- They form a major bloc that is united by the common cause of achieving the lasting and comprehensive reform of the United Nations Security Council.
- The group currently has 42 countries as its members.
- The draft telecommunication Bill, put out last week for public comments, hints at a disturbing governmental pursuit, for more control over a range of digital applications and over-the-top streaming services that millions of Indians use daily.
- It seeks to do this by bringing them under the ambit of telecommunication services, the operation of which would require a licence — that is if the draft provisions do go through.
- According to it, for instance, the Government has the powers to prevent a message from being transmitted “on the occurrence of any public emergency or in the interest of the public safety”.
- With most students back in school after pandemic restrictions were eased, cases of food poisoning due to the consumption of mid-day meals have resurfaced. In the last 90 days, close to 120 students suffered from food poisoning across schools in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.
- The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has audited several States in the past decade and has cited many reasons that could lead to low standards of mid-day meal preparation such as poor infrastructure, insufficient inspections, irregular licensing, limited reporting and absence of feedback mechanisms.
About the Mid-Day meal scheme:
- The scheme guarantees one meal to all children in government and aided schools and madarsas supported under Samagra Shiksha.
- Students up to Class VIII are guaranteed one nutritional cooked meal at least 200 days in a year.
- The Scheme comes under the Ministry of HRD.
- It was launched in the year 1995 as the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP – NSPE), a centrally sponsored scheme. In 2004, the scheme was relaunched as the Mid Day Meal Scheme.
- The Scheme is also covered by the National Food Security Act, 2013.
- India’s non-oil exports to the UAE have grown 14% between June and August, the Commerce and Industry Ministry said on Sunday, attributing the uptick to the bilateral deal between the two nations that came into effect this May.
- The sharpest jump in Indian exports to UAE was seen in sugar (up 237%), cereals (161%), vegetables (82%), inorganic chemicals (74%) and electrical machinery and equipment (67%).