UPSC Prelims News of 29 October 2022
Context: The Union government has imposed restrictions on use of herbicide glyphosate, considering risk to human and animal health.
- Composition: It is a non-selective organophosphorus compound, specifically a phosphonate. It works by inhibiting the plant enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase.
- Applications: Glyphosate is used majorly in tea plantations in India where it is applied to control weeds.
- The chemical is also used on non-crop areas such as irrigation channels, railway sidings, fallow land, bunds, parks, industrial premises etc to control unwanted growth.
- Threat: Glyphosate is believed to be carcinogenic to humans.
- Glyphosate can also affect working of kidney and liver.
- Pregnant women and children may have higher risks, affecting their normal growth.
Measures to Tackle Use:
- Glyphosate can only be applied through pest control operators (PCOs). PCOs are given license to use deadly chemicals for treating pests such as rodents.
- Companies must return all certificates of registration for manufacture and sale of the chemical to the authorities to ensure implementation of order.
- Failure to return the registration certificates within three months will necessitate action under the Insecticides Act of 1968.
Saka Panja Sahib
Context: The gurdwara management bodies of India and Pakistan will jointly observe the centenary of Shaheedi Saka Panja Sahib.
About Saka Panja Sahib Event:
- The event occurred on October 30, 1922 when two Sikhs died and several others were injured at Hasan Abdal railway station after the railway authorities under British government refused to stop the train taking Sikh prisoners from Amritsar to Attock.
- The Sikhs from nearby Panja Sahib wanted to serve langar (community kitchen food) to the Sikh prisoners but were told that the train would not stop at the Hasan Abdal railway station.
- In protest, the Sikhs gathered on the railway tracks. Even as the train approached, the Sikhs continued to stay put, demanding their right to serve langar to the Sikh prisoners.
- The train finally came to a halt, but two Sikh protesters, Bhai Karam Singh and Bhai Partap, were killed.
- They are hailed as martyrs of Saka Panja Sahib who sacrificed their lives fighting for rights of Sikhs against the British.
- Significance of event:
- The event made British realize that Sikhs cannot be suppressed in the fight for the right over their gurdwaras and Guru’s langar.
- It was also a prelude for a wider struggle to free gurdwaras from mahants and British.
Gurdwara Panja Sahib:
- Gurdwara Panja Sahib is built on the site believed to be visited by Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak Dev, along with his companion Bhai Mardana.