Why in news:
The Union Food Secretary has informed that 90 LMT of the 175 LMT fortified rice required this year already produced for distribution till now under the rice-fortification programme.
Fortified Rice Distribution
PM had announced the fortification of rice in his Independence Day speech in 2021. In April 2022 Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has accorded its approval for supply of fortified rice throughout the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman-PM POSHAN [erstwhile Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDM)] and Other Welfare Schemes (OWS) of Government of India in all States and Union Territories (UTs) by 2024 in a phased manner.
The entire cost of rice fortification (around Rs. 2,700 crore per annum) would be borne by the Govt. of India as part of food subsidy till its full implementation upto June, 2024.
The following three phases are envisaged for full implementation of the initiative:
● Phase-I: Covering ICDS and PM POSHAN in India all over by March, 2022 which is under implementation.
● Phase-II: Phase I above plus TPDS and OWS in all Aspirational and High Burden Districts on stunting (total 291 districts) by March 2023.
● Phase-Ill: Phase II above plus covering the remaining districts of the country by March 2024.
● The Department of Food and Public distribution has been coordinating all ecosystem related activities with all relevant stakeholders like State Government / UT, line Ministries/Department, Development Partners, Industries, Research Institutes etc. The FCI and State Agencies are already engaged in procurement of fortified rice.
Benefits of fortified Rice
● Fortified rice helps in preventing Cretinism, Goiter, IIH (Thyrotoxicosis), and Brain damage.
● It is a cost-effective and sustainable option.
● Improvement in foetal and neonatal health and improvement in productivity of the population.
● Fortifying rice with micronutrients thus is an ideal vehicle and offers an immediate opportunity to bridge dietary nutrient gaps and improve health outcomes, particularly among vulnerable populations.
● As per the WHO’s meta-analysis on rice fortification, an outlay of around ₹2,800 crore per annum for rice fortification can avert 35 per cent of the total or 16.6 million Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) per year with no known risk of toxicity.
Risk associated with Rice Fortification
● Against nature: Fortification and enrichment upset nature’s packaging. Our body does not absorb individual nutrients added to processed foods as efficiently compared to nutrients naturally occurring.
● Immunity issues: They lack immune-boosting substances.
● Overnutrition: Fortified foods and supplements can pose specific risks for people who are taking prescription medications, including decreased absorption of other micronutrients, treatment failure, and increased mortality risk.
Government response to the risk
● The Union government said that the rice fortified with three micronutrients – iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 – for mass distribution under the ongoing food schemes was nutritious and safe while asking the public to not fall for “rumours” about harmful effects.
● According to the study of the Centre for Community Medicine of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences only 0.01% of the population may face health risk due to consumption of fortified rice, particularly those ailing with thalassemia major
Jal Jeevan Mission
The story so far: The Centre announced that over 50 per cent of rural households have access to tap water supply, just as the NDA government completes eight years in power.
What is the Jal Jeevan Mission?
● Flagged off by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 Aug 2019.
● The Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) aims at ensuring potable drinking water security in every rural household and public institution across India by 2024.
● In collaboration with States and Union Territories (UTs), the Centre plans to develop reliable drinking water sources or augment existing sources and provide a Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) to every rural household.
● The scheme also aims to develop bulk water transfer facilities, treatment plants and a robust in-village water distribution network.
● The fund-sharing pattern for Centre and States/UTs is:
○ 100 per cent for those UTs without a legislature
○ In a ratio of 90:10 for North Eastern and Himalayan States/UTs with legislatures.
○ It is a 50:50 split for the remaining states.
● For Support and Water Quality Monitoring System (WQMS) activities, the Centre-States/UTs funding share is:
○ 100 per cent for all UTs,
○ in a ratio of 90:10 for North Eastern and the Himalayan States
○ 60:40 for other States.
State-wise progress under JJM
● As per the JJM dashboard, FHTC coverage across India has improved from 17 per cent in August 2019 to 49.10 per cent as of April 2022.
● Telangana, Haryana and Goa have 100-per-cent FHTC coverage.
● States with over 90 per cent FHTC coverage are – Punjab, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar.
● States with the least FHTC coverage are — Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.
● Tap water connections to schools and Anganwadis too have gone up from 2019 to 2022.
Demolition drives violate international law
Context: Recently, Communal clashes broke out during Ram Navami processions in several parts of the country. Subsequently, the State governments bulldozed the houses of those who were allegedly involved in rioting.
● The bulldozing machines— the new symbols of brute state power — are not just demolishing houses and shops but also bulldozing rule of law and our constitutional order.
● This idea of serving ‘justice’, quick and cold, through bulldozers has directly encroached upon the Right to adequate housing.
● The act of bulldozing houses without due process and legal sanction also amounts to a breach of India’s international law obligations.
● The use of such brute state power violates various domestic legal provisions.
Right to adequate housing
● The right to housing is not only a fundamental right recognised under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, it is also a well-documented right under the international human rights law framework, which is binding on India.
● The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) recognises “the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions”. Furthermore, countries are under an obligation to take “appropriate steps” to ensure the realisation of these rights such as the right to adequate housing.
● The rights recognised under ICESCR can be restricted by States only if the limitations are determined by law in a manner compatible with the nature of these rights and solely to promote society’s general welfare.
● Any limitation imposed on the rights given in the Covenant such as the right to adequate housing cannot lead to the destruction of these rights. This is categorically recognised in ICESCR.
● International law also prohibits arbitrary interference in an individual’s right to property. It also stipulates that “everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks”.
● This same right is also provided by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). it provides that everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others and that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
● Thus, arbitrary interference with an individual’s property is a gross violation of the ICCPR.
● The international human rights law identified above has been judicially incorporated by the Supreme Court of India into the Indian legal system.
● The apex court in cases like Bachan Singh vs State of Punjab, Vishaka vs State of Rajasthan, and recently in the famous Puttaswamy vs Union of India has laid down the principle that the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution must be read and interpreted in a manner which would enhance their conformity with international human rights law.
● The Madhya Pradesh government claims that these demolitions are in response to illegal encroachments.
● The UP govt has passed the Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damages to Public and Private Property Act, 2020 in the wake of recovering losses from the rioters and those who were involved in damaging public property.
● The State governments have said that such actions have been taken to secure the Rights of People who choose to live peacefully.
Archeological survey of India
Why in News:
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) said that the Central Advisory Board of Archaeology (CABA) is expected to meet nearly eight years after its last meeting in October 2014.
Under the Ministry of Culture
● Premier organization for the archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation. Maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance
● It regulates all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.
● Also has a separate wing for Under Water excavations
Why in News:
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently announced his vision for a new decentralized web platform that is being called Web 5.0 and is being built with an aim to return “ownership of data and identity to individuals”.
What do the terms Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 mean?
● Web 1.0 was the first generation of the global digital communications network. It is often referred to as the “read-only” Internet made of static web-pages that only allowed for passive engagement.
● The next stage Web 2.0 in the evolution of the web was the “read and write” Internet. Users were now able to communicate with servers and other users leading to the creation of the social web. This is the World Wide Web that we use today.
● Web 3.0 is an evolving term that is used to refer to the next generation of Internet – a “read-write-execute” web – with decentralization as its bedrock.
○ It speaks about a digital world, built leveraging the blockchain technology, where people are able to interact with each other without the need of an intermediary.
○ Web 3.0 will be driven by Artificial Intelligence and machine learning where machines will be able to interpret information like humans.
What is Web 5.0?
● Being developed by The Block Head (TBH), Web 5.0 is aimed at “building an extra decentralized web that puts you in control of your data and identity”.
● Talking about the idea on its website, the TBH says: “The web democratized the exchange of information, but it’s missing a key layer: identity. We struggle to secure personal data with hundreds of accounts and passwords we can’t remember. On the web today, identity and personal data have become the property of third parties.”
● Simply put, Web 5.0 is Web 2.0 plus Web 3.0 that will allow users to ‘own their identity’ on the Internet and ‘control their data’.
● Both Web 3.0 and Web 5.0 envision an Internet without threat of censorship – from governments or big tech, and without fear of significant outages.
What are the use cases for Web 5.0?
● On its website, the TBH presents two use cases for how Web 5.0 will change things in the future.
● About changing the “control of identity”, it says: “Alice holds a digital wallet that securely manages her identity, data, and authorizations for external apps and connections. Alice uses her wallet to sign in to a new decentralized social media app. Because Alice has connected to the app with her decentralized identity, she does not need to create a profile, and all the connections, relationships, and posts she creates through the app are stored with her, in her decentralized web node. Now Alice can switch apps whenever she wants, taking her social persona with her.”
● Talking about giving users control over their own data, it cites example of another user, Bob, and describes him as a music lover who hates having his personal data locked to a single vendor as it forces him to regurgitate his playlists and songs over and over again across different music apps.
Places in News:
● Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa
● Bordered by Mali to the northwest, Niger to the northeast, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and the Ivory Coast to the southwest.
● Previously called as Republic of Upper Volta (1958–1984).
● The largest ethnic group in Burkina Faso is the Mossi people,