News & Editorial Analysis 29 May 2023
The Hindu News Analysis
1 – National Human Rights Commission:
Statutory and Non-Statutory Bodies
The National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC-India) has had its accreditation postponed by the UN-backed Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) for the second time in ten years.
GAHNRI, a global network of NHRIs, was formerly known as the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs).
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) provides secretariat support, and it is organised as a non-profit entity (in accordance with Swiss legislation).
It manages the interaction between NHRIs and the UN system for protecting human rights.
Principles of Paris:
They were established in 1991 and ratified by the UN General Assembly (1993) and UN Human Rights Commission (1992).
They offer the global standards that NHRIs can be evaluated against.
They outlined six key requirements that NHRIs must adhere to. Which are:
Competence and authority.
freedom from governmental control.
Guaranteed independence by law or the constitution.
adequate investigative authority.
GANHRI Accreditation: Its Importance:
Institutions having “A status” accreditation have complied completely with the Paris Principles.
It is the only non-UN organisation with an internal accreditation process that allows access to UN committees as well as speaking privileges and seating at human rights treaty bodies.
It was created on October 12th, 1993, in accordance with the Paris Principles, and is governed by the Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA) of 1993 [Amended in 2019].
a watchdog for the advancement and defence of Indian citizens’ human rights. According to the PHRA, human rights are those that protect an individual’s life, liberty, equality, and dignity and are enshrined in the Indian Constitution or international treaties and are upheld by Indian courts.
A Chairperson who has served as the Chief Justice of India or a Judge of the SC. Two members who are currently or have previously served as the Chief Justice of an HC.
7 ex-officio participants:
National Commission for Minorities, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, NCSC, NCST, NCBC, NCW, and the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities.
By the President of India, on the advice of a committee made up of the Prime Minister (Chairperson), the Union Home Minister, the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Rajya Sabha Deputy Speaker, and the President of the Lok Sabha.
Only after consulting with the CJI may the sitting SC Judge or sitting Chief Justice of any HC be appointed.
the defence of human rights and the suggestion of actions for their successful execution.
investigation of allegations of human rights violations or negligence on the part of a public employee in preventing such violations.
Makes recommendations to the GoI for the efficient implementation of treaties and other international instruments after doing research on them.
Review the obstacles to the exercise of human rights and suggest suitable solutions.
conduct and encourage human rights-related research.
to travel to jails and observe how the prisoners are doing.
Participate in human rights education across diverse societal groups and raise awareness among the general public.
Support the initiatives of NGOs and organisations engaged in human rights education, etc.
Why has NHRC-India accreditation been postponed?
political involvement in appointments; lack of independence.
responsibility and a lack of diversity (in the leadership and workforce).
inadequate protection for vulnerable communities, religious minorities, and human rights advocates.
involving the police in investigations into abuses of human rights.
inadequate engagement with civil society.
The aforementioned goes against the “Paris Principles.”
The government ought to make its judgements enforceable.
Human rights advocates, members of civil society, and others should be included in NHRCs.
The NHRC ought to have a team of impartial investigators.
Source à The Hindu
2 – Decarbonizing Transport Sector:
Infrastructure related issues
The ITF Transport Outlook 2023 states that taking immediate action to decarbonize transport will aid in attaining the 2015 Paris Agreement’s objectives.
The International Transport Forum (ITF) presented the ITF Transport Outlook 2023 at the Leipzig Transport Summit.
The Annual Summit of Transport Ministers is organised by a Transport Policy Think Tank that is administratively integrated with the OECD but politically independent.
Leipzig Transport Summit (Germany):
The ITF’s 64 member countries’ transport ministers convened under the event’s theme, “Transport Enabling Sustainable Economies.”
The yearly Summit is currently being presided over by the United Kingdom.
ITF Transport Outlook 2023’s High Lights:
The transport sector may still lower its CO2 emissions by nearly 80% over the next 25 years (relative to 2019) if decarbonization efforts are advanced.
This decline will make it possible to achieve the Paris Agreement objective of keeping the rise in global temperature to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
To achieve this highly ambitious scenario:
Look for a grouping of policies that work in harmony to reduce pointless travel activity.
Improve transportation efficiency by switching to carbon-free modes of transportation.
Increase the use of affordable fuels and technology to move more people and products while producing less emissions.
A benefit of achieving this ambitious goal is:
With aggressive policies in place, the total capital expenditure requirements for essential infrastructure (roads, rails, airports, and ports) will be 5% lower than under the status quo.
The ITF’s Decarbonising Transport initiative encourages carbon-neutral transport to slow global warming.
Forum for Decarbonizing Transport in India: The initiative, which was started by NITI Aayog and WRI India, intends to reduce Asia’s peak level of GHG emissions (from the transportation sector).
Electric vehicles: National Electric Mobility Mission Plan, FAME Scheme, PLI Scheme incentives, etc.
CNG and other alternative fuels, ethanol blends, hybrid cars, BS (VI) standards, etc.
Source à The Hindu
3 – Sengol:
A historic “sengol” sceptre (a Symbol of Transfer of Power) that was given to Jawaharlal Nehru on the eve of Independence will be presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inauguration of the new Parliament building.
What the Problem Is:
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) received a letter from renowned dancer Padma Subrahmanyam that sparked a thorough investigation into the famous Sengol, a sceptre from Tamil Nadu. On August 15, 1947, the Sengol ritual was found to have taken place soon before Nehru’s famous midnight speech. Up until this point, the sceptre had been stored at his home-turned-museum in Prayagraj.
Regarding the “sengol” sceptre:
The “sengol” sceptre is what?
The “sengol” sceptre is a five-foot-long, stick-like object coated in gold and made of silver. At the summit of the sceptre is a carving of a bull known as a Nandi. This is done to serve as a reminder to everyone of the value of equitable and fair leadership in the nation.
It stands for the idea that whomever bears it ought to exercise fair and just judgement when making decisions. It is thought to be related to the Chola dynasty, a long-gone Tamil Nadu empire.
The name “Sengol” derives from the Tamil word “semmai,” which means excellence; it stands for the personification of strength and authority.
According to C Rajagopalachari:
C. Rajagopalachari, the previous Governor-General of India, proposed utilising the “Sengol” sceptre for the ceremonial handover of power. Rajaji recommended the “Sengol” sceptre when Lord Mountbatten, the Viceroy of British India, requested for a suitable emblem. The ancient Chola dynasty’s equivalent ceremonial, in which authority was transferred from one monarch to another, served as inspiration for him.
The “Aanai” Order:
In the Chola tradition, an order known as “aanai” was given to the new monarch during the ceremonial of power transfer in addition to the presentation of the sceptre. This order stands for the obligation to uphold the tenets of “dharma” with steadfast fidelity, ensuring the realm is one of justice and fairness.
Vummidi Bangaru Chetty created it:
The ‘Sengol’ sceptre was created by goldsmith Vummidi Bangaru Chetty of Chennai, who took on the historic duty of creating this emblem.
Source à The PIB
4 – India Bangladesh Rail Link:
Bangladesh has received 20 Broad Gauge locomotives from the Indian Ministry of Railways to help with the growing number of passenger and freight train operations.
Three passenger train pairs now run between India and Bangladesh. Which are:
Maitree Express travels between Kolkata and Dhaka.
Bandhan Express travels between Kolkata and Khulna.
Mitali Express connects New Jalpaiguri and Dhaka.
Additional projected parts include:
Rail connection between Akhaura and Agartala.
railway between Mahihasan and Shahbazpur.
Additional train connections between India and its neighbours include:
Janakpur-Jaynagar Railway (Jaynagar-Kurtha), India-Nepal.
Thar Express (Jodhpur-Karachi) between India and Pakistan (indefinitely stopped).
The Trilateral High Way between India and Myanmar is currently under construction.
In addition, the Indian government has offered to let Bangladesh use the PM-GATI SHAKTI IT system, which offers comprehensive geographical data for better planning and streamlining.
Source à The Hindu
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The Hindu Editorial Analysis
HUMAN ANIMAL CONFLICT:
According to reports, the rice-eating rogue elephant Arikomban, which was relocated from Chinnakanal to Periyar Tiger Reserve, has been seen close to Kumily Town.
Arikompan, which is formed from the Malayalam words “ari” for “rice” and “kompan” for “tusker,” has over the years acquired both a personality and a reputation, much like other elephants do.
In search of sustenance, it broke into homes and stores.
The State Forest Department produced an affidavit describing the harm Arikompan had caused since both the locals and the forest workers had grown afraid of the elephant’s erratic raids during the previous ten years.
Based on this, the Kerala High Court, after consulting an expert committee, decided on April 13 that the animal be relocated, first to Parambikulam and then to the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
When human activities, such as resource extraction, infrastructure construction, or agriculture clash with wild animals, both people and animals suffer the consequences. This is referred to as a human-animal conflict.
Economic Losses: Conflict between humans and animals can cause serious financial losses for individuals, particularly farmers and livestock keepers. Wild animals can kill cattle, damage infrastructure, and destroy crops, which can put a strain on finances.
Threats to Human Safety: Especially in locations where people and wildlife cohabit, wild animals can be a hazard to human security. Large predator attacks, including those by lions, tigers, and bears, can leave victims dead or seriously injured.
Ecological harm: Conflict between humans and animals may be harmful to the environment. For instance, when people kill predators, it may increase the population of prey, which may subsequently result in ecological imbalances.
Human-animal conflict can also be a barrier to conservation efforts because it alters people’s perceptions of wildlife and makes it challenging to put conservation strategies into action.
Human-animal conflict can also have psychological effects on individuals, particularly those who have been the targets of attacks or have had their property damaged. Trauma, worry, and terror might result from it.
Motives behind the conflict:
Urbanisation and growth.
Insufficient protected zones.
surge in population.
increase of agriculture.
Changes in the climate.
expansion of ecotourism.
Significant growth in the population of animals that reproduce frequently, such as wild boars and peacocks.
Steps the government has taken:
Project Elephant was introduced by the Indian government as a centrally sponsored scheme in 1992.
The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 establishes the guidelines for the protection and conservation of wildlife in India.
There are 106 national parks, 567 wildlife sanctuaries, and 105 conservation reserves now in existence.
Project Tiger: It was established by the Indian government in 1973, and while there were only 9 tiger reserves at the time, there are now 53 in India.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) established the Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) programme at the tenth Conference of the Parties in 1997.
Operation Thunderbird: To combat wildlife crime, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), under the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, organised an operation in India.
Plan Bee: The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has embraced this novel approach to keep elephants away from railway tracks, and there are plans to use it nationwide to protect elephant lives.
How to deal with:
To raise villagers’ awareness of the problems and wildlife, the forest department needs to strengthen communication and involvement with the community.
Wildlife corridors: Without having to overcome barriers created by people, which could endanger animals and possibly humans, animals can freely move from one habitat patch to another.
Participation of the Community: In order for these measures to be effectively planned and put into action, the impacted communities must be involved and sound conservation practises must be taken into account.
Increasing the number of protected areas is necessary for animal conservation and to prevent any interactions between people and animals.
These include barriers (fences, nets, and trenches), security and early-warning systems, deterrents and repellents (sirens, lights, beehives), translocation (moving wildlife), compensation or insurance, offering risk-reduction alternatives, and managing tensions between parties involved in these situations.
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The Indian Express Editorial Analysis
LET THERE BE AMUL:
Concern should be expressed about recent objections to Amul’s growth into Karnataka and Tamil Nadu because it is ideal for the cooperative movement to spread throughout the nation.
In India, there is a distinctive social movement known as “cooperatives” that involves people participating in democracy at the local level.
A cooperative society is a business that is owned, managed, and used by the people who pay for its products and services.
Here, the individuals or group members collaborate to pool resources for their overall advantage and advancement.
The Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act of 2002 and the Cooperative Societies Act of 1912 both govern cooperatives.
History: Farmers in western Maharashtra revolted against the tyranny of money lenders over agricultural loans in the late 1890s, which led to the formation of cooperative organisations in India. In order to protect the interests of underprivileged farmers in Maharashtra, the British government in India enforced the Cooperative Society Act in 1904.
These cooperative societies in India started out in the agricultural markets and eventually grew into the credit sector, housing and development, fishing markets, banking, etc.
India’s Cooperative Sector:
The largest cooperative movement in the world, the Indian cooperative movement, is present in over 98% of rural India and has more than 8.50 lakh societies with 290 million members.
because of prosperous cooperatives like AMUL, KAVIN, and others. India now produces more milk than any other nation in the globe (22.0%) and accounts for 57% of all milk produced in Asia.
In the top 300 cooperatives list based on the ratio of turnover to GDP per capita and in the agriculture and food industries segment, IFFCO and GCMMFL are ranked first through third globally.
In India, there are around 8,55,00 cooperative societies, and 13 crore individuals are directly connected to them.
In 91% of the villages around the nation, cooperative societies exist.
Cooperatives are crucial in creating facilities for the 86% of small farmers in the nation who are unable to invest in farming themselves, such as cold storage.
In the nation, there are roughly 6000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO).
In the nation, there are 65,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS).
Indian cooperative success stories:
Agriculture and Allied Sectors: Sittilingi Organic Farmers Association (SOFA), Co-operative Rural Development Trust (CORDET), National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), Indian Farmers Fertilisers Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), AMUL, KAVIN.
Banking Sector: Bharat Cooperative Bank, Saraswat Cooperative Bank, and Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank.
The limiting issues include inadequate infrastructure, poor management, excessive reliance on the government, dormant membership, failure to perform elections, a lack of professionalism, etc.
The distribution and use of power at the Board level is a cause for worry, despite the fact that cooperatives are democratic corporate organisations.
In general, the chairman of the board’s main responsibility is to preside over meetings, assist in developing rational business suggestions, and help the group reach informed judgements.
Promotional organisations like the National Co-operative Union of India and state cooperative unions/federations must take a larger initiative to develop member education activities in order to raise awareness among cooperative members and the general public. outdoor studies have demonstrated that outdoor initiatives and educational instructors are becoming less successful because of:
their absence of programming
absence of funds;
insufficient availability of support materials; and
lack of programmes for trainer education.
Mismanagement and Manipulation: If some secure procedures are not used to administer such cooperatives, a very large membership ends up being mismanaged.
Money became such a potent instrument in elections for governing bodies that the richest farmers typically held the top positions of chairman and vice-chairman and used the organisation to further their own interests.
Lack of Knowledge: People are not adequately informed on the Movement’s goals or the policies governing cooperative institutions.
According to studies, between 90 and 92 percent of PACS members in Uttar Pradesh had never seen a copy of the bylaws governing their own cooperatives.
Restricted Coverage: The majority of these societies have only a small number of members, and they only operate in one or two communities.
The Co-operative Movement has struggled due to a lack of adequately qualified staff.
Steps the Government Has Taken:
The goal of the new proposed National Cooperative Policy 2023 is to strengthen cooperatives as a genuine people-based movement that reaches all levels of society and to create a cooperative-based economic model with a special emphasis on “Make in India.”
The Ministry of Cooperation 2021 was founded to support the growth of Multi-State Cooperatives (MSCS), to improve the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ for cooperatives, and to enhance cooperatives at the grassroots level.
With relation to the cooperatives operating in India, a new Part IXB was added by the Constitution (97th Amendment) Act, 2011.
Article 19(1)(c) of Part III of the Constitution was amended by the addition of the phrase “cooperatives” following the words “unions and associations”.
By elevating it to the level of a fundamental right of citizens, this permits all citizens to establish cooperatives.
In the Directive Principles of State Policy (Part IV), a new Article 43B titled “Promotion of Cooperative Societies” has been added.
‘Cooperative Societies’ is a State subject included as Item 32 of List-II (State List) in the Constitution’s Seventh Schedule.
National Cooperative Policy of 2002: It strives to provide cooperatives with all-around development and the required support, encouragement, and help in order to ensure that cooperative societies are an autonomous, self-sufficient, and democratically controlled society.
National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) was founded in 1962.
Under the Societies Registration Act of 1860, the National Council for Cooperative Training (NCCT) is registered as an autonomous society.
The Multistate Cooperative Societies (MSCS) Act of 2002 has been amended.
Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) computerization.
streamlining the cooperative sector’s training and education requirements.
coordination and convergence of multiple ministries’/departments’ plans and cooperatives’ concerns.
Urban cooperative banks that are not on the schedule, state cooperative banks, and district central cooperative banks have been informed that they are now eligible to join the scheme as member credit institutions by the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust (CGTMSE). This will extend the CGTMSE scheme’s reach into the cooperative sector and aid in supplying cooperatives with sufficient, affordable, and timely finance to support cooperative-based economic growth models.
The Rural Credit Survey Committee advocated for governmental involvement in cooperatives at all levels in 1954.
The S.T. Raja Committee was chosen by the Indian government to make recommendations for changes to the Cooperative Law.
Steps to Take:
First, the Cooperative Society Registrar’s authority needs to be reduced.
The RCS has evolved into a tool of control and inspection in practically all States, imposing uniform by-laws and amending them when particular societies deviate from them.
Transferring tasks from the RCS to cooperative federations, like in Singapore, is necessary.
Second, the distinction between rural and urban areas in cooperative regulation is illusory and out of date.
When regulation is based on the cooperative nature of organisations, such disparities are irrelevant.
Third, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for rural banks and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for urban banks should transfer regulation and oversight of cooperative banks to a new agency.
Fourth, there are important takeaways from the Netherlands, where divided markets have helped cooperative banks succeed.
Adopting a multi-agency strategy in India has had an impact on the effectiveness of both commercial and cooperative banks, particularly following bank nationalisation.
Linkages between the commercial bank and cooperative sectors at different levels could instead offer stronger synergy.
A well-run and thriving cooperative sector holds great promise for stimulating the economy, reducing poverty, and uplifting the underprivileged, particularly small and marginal farmers. It will assist in accomplishing the goals of sustainable development and doubling farm income. In the end, it will help India grow to a $5 trillion economy by 2024.
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