- GS Paper 2: Reservation
- Prelims Exam: Tribe in different states
- Mains Exam: Procedure of admitting any tribe under ST category
Why in News?
In poll-bound Himachal Pradesh, the recent announcement by the Center to bring the Hatti community under the Scheduled Tribes list in Sirmaur district is spreading resentment among some sections.
Background of Anger
Other ST community think that Job reservations will be wiped out
Dalit villagers are afraid of atrocities and discrimination against them increasing if the Hatti community is notified as an ST.
“Most of those who are Hattis are actually Bhats, Khash, and Kanaits
— traditionally considered as upper-caste.
- Atrocities against Dalits in Sirmaur is an issue and those committing the atrocities are from Hattis communities.”
About Schedule Tribe (ST)
The Na tional C ommission f or Scheduled Tribes explains a scheduled tribe is one with Primitiveness, geographical isolation, shyness and social, educational & economic backwardness due to these reasons are the tr aits tha t distinguish Scheduled Tribe communities of our country from other communities. Like the definition for Scheduled Castes, which was carried over from British-era legislation, the definition
for “Scheduled Tribes” has been retained from the 1931 Census.
Distribution of Tribes
The Scheduled Tribes are notified in 30 States/UTs and the number of individual ethnic groups, etc. notified as Scheduled Tribes is 705.
The tribal population of the country, as per 2011 census, is 10.43 crore, constituting 8.6% of the total population. 89.97% of them live in rural areas and 10.03% in urban areas.
The decadal population growth of the tribal’s from Census 2001 to 2011 has been 23.66% against the 17.69% of the entire population.
The sex ratio for the overall population is 940 females per 1000 males and that of Scheduled Tribes 990 females per thousand males.
Broadly the STs inhabit two distinct geographical areas – the Central India and the North- Eastern Area. More than half of the Scheduled Tribe population is concentrated in Central India, i.e., Madhya Pradesh (14.69%), Chhattisgarh (7.5%), Jharkhand (8.29%), Andhra Pradesh (5.7%), Maharashtra (10.08%), Orissa (9.2%), Gujarat (8.55%) and Rajasthan (8.86%).
The other distinct area is the North East (Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh).
More than two-third of the ST population is concentrated only in the seven States of the country, viz. Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
There is no ST population in 3 States (Delhi NCR, Punjab and Haryana) and 2 UTs (Puducherry and Chandigarh), as no Scheduled Tribe is notified.
|Definition and Specification of STs|
|Educational, Economic and Public Employment – related Safeguards|
|15||Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race caste, sex or place of birth|
|16||Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment|
|19||Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc.|
|46||Promotion of Educational and Economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled tribes and other weaker sections.|
|335||Claims of Scheduled castes and Scheduled Tribes of services and posts.|
|330||Reservation of seats for Scheduled Casts and Schueduled Tribes in the House of the people.|
|332||Reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assemblies of the States.|
|334||Reservation of seats and special representation to cease after sixty years.|
|243D||Reservation of seats (in Panchayats)|
|243T||Reservation of seats|
|Agency for monitoring safeguards|
|338A||National Commission for Scheduled Tribe|
Policies and Acts related to ST welfare Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006
- The Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006 recognizes the rights of the forest dwelling tribal communities and other traditional forest dwellers to forest resources, on which these communities were dependent for a variety of needs, including livelihood, habitation and other socio-cultural needs.
Protection of Civil Right Act
An Act to prescribe punishment for the [preaching and practice of – “Untouchability”] for the enforcement of any disability arising therefrom for matters connected therewith.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, –
- [(a) “civil rights” means any right accruing to a person by reason of the abolition of “untouchability” by article 17 of the Constitution]
- [(aa)] “hotel” includes a refreshment room, a boarding house, a lodging house, a coffee house and a cafe
- [(b)]“place”includes a house, building and other structure an premises; and also includes a tent, vehicle and vessel
- (c) “place of public entertainment” includes any place to which the public are admitted and in which an entertainment is provided or held.
- Explanation:“Entertainment”includes any exhibition, performance, game, sport and any other form of amusement.
- (d) “place of public worship” means a place, by whatever name known, which is used as a place of public religious worship or which is dedicated generally to, or is used generally by, persons professing any religion or belonging to any religious denomination or any section
Prevention of AtrocitiesAct, 1989
An Act to prevent the commission of offenses of atrocities against the members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, to provide for Special Courts for the trial of such offenses and for the relief and rehabilitation of the victims of such offenses and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 or PESA is a law enacted by the Government of India to cover the “Scheduled areas”, which are not covered in the 73rd amendment of Panchayati Raj Act of the Indian Constitution. It was enacted on 24 December 1996 to enable Gram Sabhas to self-govern their natural resources. It is an Act to provide for the extension of the provisions of Part IX of the Constitution relating to the Panchayats to the Scheduled Areas.
DISQUALIFICATION OF LEGISLATIVE MEMBERS
- GS Paper 2: Polity
- Prelims Exam: Representation of the People’s Act 1951
- Mains Exam: How we can reduce criminalization of politics?
Why in News
The Vidhan Sabha Secretariat stated that after the court sentenced Azam Khan to three years in prison, his membership in the House ceased to exist in accordance with Section 125 of the Representation of the People’s Act 1951 and Sections 505(1) and 153(A) of the IPC.
About Representation of the People’s Act 1951
- The Representation of People’s Act 1951 was enacted by Parliament in accordance with Article 327 of Part 15 of the constitution. The Representation of People’s Act deals with:
- It is an act of Parliament of India which provides for the conduct of election of the Houses of Parliament and to the House or Houses of the Legislature of each State.
- The qualifications and disqualifications for membership of those Houses, the corrupt practices and other offences at or in connection with such elections and the decision of doubts and disputes arising out of or in connection with such elections.
- It was introduced in Parliament by law minister Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
Features of the Act
- A person who has been found guilty of a crime and received a jail term of at least two years is disqualified from the date of his conviction.
- There is a provision that allows for the appointment of a district election officer to preside over polling stations.
- If the election commission is satisfied, disqualification for corrupt practices, dismissal for corruption or disloyalty, or failing to submit an election expense account.
- Every political party is allowed to accept any amount of contribution offered to it from any individual or company that is not a government entity. Additionally, foreign contributions are not permitted to be accepted by any political party.
- A party is recognised as a state party if it wins four Lok Sabha seats from any state or all of the states and receives 6% of the legitimate votes in four or more states during a general election or election to a state legislative assembly.
- If a party obtains two seats in the Legislative Assembly and receives 6% of the valid votes cast in the general election for the state legislative assembly, it is recognised as a state party.
- The High Court shall be the court with jurisdiction to hear an election petition.
Section 125 of the Representation of the People’s Act 1951
Any person who promotes or seeks to promote, in connection with an election under this Act, emotions of animosity or hatred amongst different groups of Indian citizens based on factors such as religion, race, caste, community, or language is punishable by up to three years in prison, a fine, or both.
What is Hate speech?
- The term “hate speech” is not defined by law in any particular way. Laws that criminalise “hate speech” are interpreted to relate to statements, publications, acts, signs, and representations that incite violence and sow discord among communities and groups.
- “Hate speech typically is an incitement to hatred primarily against a group of persons characterised in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, and the like,” according to the Law Commission of India’s 267th Report.
- As a result, hate speech is defined as “any word, whether written or spoken, sign, or visible representation within the hearing or sight of an individual with the intention to cause fear or alarm, or incitement to violence.”
- Hate speech is generally regarded as a restriction on the right to free speech that seeks to prevent or bar speech that exposes an individual, group, or aspect of society to hate, violence, mockery, or indignity.
What are Sections 505(1) and 153(A) of the IPC? Sections 505(1) of the IPC
The purpose of Section 505 of the IPC is to prevent and punish the dissemination of false and malicious news that aim to disturb public tranquility. The offence carries a possible three-year sentence in prison, a fine, or a combination of the two.
153(A) of the IPC
- The Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 153A deals with the offence of encouraging hostility, animosity, or emotions of hatred between various groups on the basis of religion, race, place of birth, domicile, language, etc. and acting in a way that undermines the maintenance of peace.
- The offence is a cognizable offence, and the maximum sentence is three years in prison, a fine, or a combination of the two. However, the punishment for an offence committed in a place of worship is increased up to five years in prison and a fine.
Judicial interpretation on Hate speech:
- In Shreya Singhal v. Union of India (2015): Concerns regarding Section 66A of the Information Technology Act of 2000 were brought up in relation to the fundamental right to free speech and expression protected by Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution. The court made a distinction between discussion, advocacy, and incitement and held that the first two were the core provisions of Article 19(1).
- Arup Bhuyan v. State of Assam 2011: The Court ruled that a person cannot be penalised for a simple act unless they used violence or incited others to use violence.
- S. Rangarajan Etc vs P. Jagjivan Ram 1989: In this case, the court ruled that the right to free speech cannot be restricted unless the situation that results from it poses a threat to the community or the public interest, and that this threat cannot be hypothetical, remote, or improbable.
GLOBAL TB REPORT
- GS Paper 2: Government policies and interventions
- Prelims Exam: Global TB report
- Mains Exam: Health system of India
Why in News
According to the Health Ministry, India’s TB incidence for the year 2021 is 210 per 100,000 population – compared to the baseline year of 2015 (incidence was 256 per lakh population) and there has been an 18% decline which is 7 percentage points better than the global average of 11%.
About Global TB Report 2022
- The World Health Organization publishes the Global TB report each year to give a thorough evaluation of the tuberculosis epidemic and the advancement of nations in preventing, detecting, and treating the disease at the global, regional, and national levels. The study is mostly based on information obtained by the World Health Organization from national health ministries.
- On March 24, the world observes World Tuberculosis (TB) Day in an effort to raise awareness about the TB epidemic’s devastating effects on people’s health, society, and the economy.
Features of the Report
- While reacting to the World Health Organization (WHO) Global TB Report 2022, Health Ministry stated that there has been an 18% decline which is 7 percentage points better than the global average of 11%.
- According to the Ministry, India had done better in major metrics as compared to other countries over time.
- India is at the 36th position in terms of T.B incidence rates (from the largest to the smallest incidence numbers).
- A WHO analysis estimates that 10.6 million individuals contracted tuberculosis (TB) in 2021, a rise of 4.5% over 2020, and that 1.6 million people passed away from the disease (including 187 000 among HIV positive people).
- “While the COVID-19 pandemic impacted TB Programmes across the world, India was able to successfully offset the disruptions caused, through the introduction of critical interventions in 2020 and 2021 – this led to the National TB Elimination Programme notifying over 21.4 lakh TB cases – 18% higher than 2020.
- Spending on key TB services has decreased globally, from USD 6 billion in 2019 to USD 5.4 billion in 2021. This falls short of the worldwide goal of 13 billion USD yearly by 2022 by more than 50%.
- In 2021, domestic funding accounted for 79% of the funding for TB services over the previous ten years. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria is the primary source of outside money for low- and middle-income nations (Global Fund). The US is the Global Fund’s top donor.
- In just 4 years, more than 10 million people have received the TB-prevention treatment for HIV-positive individuals, considerably exceeding the global target of 6 million between 2018 and 2022. 7 nations—India, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—accounted for 82% of individuals who started preventive TB therapy last year.
World Health Organization (WHO)
- The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health.
- WHO is the first global health organization established in 1948, has replaced a number of regional and national health organizations.
- Within the United Nations system, its main responsibility is to direct and coordinate international health.
- Its Headquarter is in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Functions: Controlling epidemics, enforcing quarantines, and standardizing medications are some of its specialized duties. WHO advocates for all people to attain “the highest attainable degree of health.”
Reports Published by WHO: World Health Report
- Global Nutrition Report
- World Vision Report
- Ambient Air Pollution Report
- World Report on Hearing
DRAFT TELECOM LAW
- GS Paper 3: Industrial Growth
- Prelims Exam: Draft Indian Telecommunication Act, 2022
Why in News
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology raised several questions on implication on data privacy of citizens with vague definitions of “public interest” and “national security” in the draft Indian Telecommunication Act, 2022
About draft Indian Telecommunication Act, 2022
- The Act aims to bring in sweeping changes to how the telecom sector is governed, primarily by giving the Centre more powers in several areas to do so.
- The Act consolidates three separate acts that govern the telecommunications sector:
- Indian Telegraph Act 1885
- Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act 1933
- The Telegraph Wires, (Unlawful Protection) Act 1950
What are the changes introduced by the government.
The government had released the draft of The Indian Telecommunication Act, 2022, wherein it proposes significant changes:
- Inclusion of messengers: One of the significant changes is inclusion of new-age over-the-top communication services like WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram in the definition of telecommunication services.
- Licensing of telecom services: As per the law, providers of telecom services will be covered under the licensing regime, and will be subjected to similar rules as other telecom operators.
- Covering OTT services: This issue has been under contention for several years now with telecom service providers seeking a level-playing field with OTT apps over communication services such as voice calls, messages, etc. Operators had to incur high costs of licences and spectrum, while OTT players rode on their infrastructure to offer free services.
Other focus areas
- In order to lessen the sector watchdog’s role as a recommendatory agency, the Centre is also looking to alter the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act (TRAI Act).
- The telecom department is required by the existing TRAI Act to consult the regulator before awarding a service provider a new licence. This provision is removed from the Draft Act.
- The provision that allowed TRAI to ask the government for the data or papers required to make this recommendation has also been eliminated.
- Moreover, the act proposes to remove the provision where if the DoT cannot accept TRAI’s recommendations or needs modification, it had to refer back the recommendation for reconsideration by TRAI.
Data Privacy Bill
- The Bill aimed to provide protection of digital privacy to individuals relating to their personal data, specify the flow and usage of data, and create a relationship of trust between persons and entities processing the data.
- The bill categorizes data into three categories—critical, sensitive and general. Sensitive data—financial, health, sexual orientation, biometrics, transgender status, religious or political beliefs and affiliation—can be stored only in India. However, data can be processed outside India with explicit consent.
- Critical data will be defined by the government from time to time and has to be stored and processed in India.
Any data that is non-critical and non-sensitive will be categorized as general data with no restriction on where it is stored or processed.
What are the Concerns
“The draft law has serious loopholes that can be misused for infringing on privacy. Using ‘public interest/emergency’ and ‘national security’ as the reasons, overarching power is being vested with the administration without adequate oversight mechanism.
- Insolvency of telecoms: The DoT has also suggested that the assigned spectrum would return to the Center’s authority in the event that a telecom entity in possession of spectrum goes through bankruptcy or insolvency.
- It is not yet clear from insolvency proceedings whether spectrum owned by a defaulting operator belongs to the Center or if banks may take possession of it.
- Grant Relief: The Act accords the Centre powers to defer, convert into equity, write off or grant relief to any licensee under extraordinary circumstances, including financial stress, consumer interest, and maintaining competition, among other things.
- Replacement of USOF: It replaces the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) with the Telecommunication Development Fund (TDF).
- USOF is the pool of funds generated by the 5% Universal Service Levy that is charged upon all telecom fund operators on their Adjusted Gross Revenue.
- Rural connectivity has mostly been aided by the USOF.
- GS Paper 3: Agriculture ,Cropping patterns
- Prelims Exam: Geographical condition requirement of rice , Trade of rice
- Mains Exam: Role of rice in economy
Tourists and pilgrims on their way to the Thirunelli Sree Mahavishnu temple in Kerala’s Wayanad are flocking to a farm at Thrissilery to view the Ashoka Chakra created by a progressive farmer.
The origin of tambo art or rice paddy art can be traced to Japan where people plant paddy of various varieties and hues to create the desired images.
The share of paddy has increased from 17.5 per cent in 1980-81 to 40.1 per cent in 2019-20 while the share of maize has declined from 5.6 per cent to 1.4 per cent, bajra from 1 per cent to 0.3 per cent, pulses from 5 per cent to 0.5 per cent, and oilseeds from 3.7 per cent to 0.6 percent during the same period.
Rice Growing Regions
The rice growing areas in the country can be broadly grouped into five regions as given below:
- North-Eastern Region: This region comprises Assam and North eastern states. In Assam rice is grown in the Basin of Brahmaputra River. This region receives very heavy rainfall and rice is grown under rain fed conditions.
- Eastern Region: It comprises Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. In this region rice is grown in the basins of Ganga and Mahanadi rivers and has the highest intensity of rice cultivation in the country. This region receives heavy rainfall and rice is grown mainly under rainfed conditions.
- Northern Region: This region comprises Haryana, Punjab, Western Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. The region experiences low winter temperature and a single crop of rice from May-July to SeptemberDecember is grown.
- Western Region: This region comprises Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Rice is largely grown under rainfed condition during June-August to October – December.
- Southern Region: This region comprises Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Rice is mainly grown in deltaic tracts of Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri rivers and the non-deltaic rainfed area of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Rice is grown under irrigated conditions in deltaic tracts.
Geographical Conditions for Growth of rice:
Rice grows best in areas of warm, humid climate; rice requires temperatures between 20°C and 35°C and a well- distributed rainfall of about 100 cm or irrigation facilities.
- Fertile soil. Delta and valley soils are the most suitable. Soils with higher clay content are preferred for its cultivation due to their better moisture retention capacity.
Rice export from india
India is one of the biggest exporters of rice in the world.
- India is the leading exporter of the Basmati Rice to the global market.In the financial year 2018-19, India exported around 4.4 million metric tons of Basmati rice worth USD 4.7 billion.
- The Indian states with the highest areas of Basmati rice under production are Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand and Western Uttar Pradesh.
- Basmati rice is a major ingredient in Biryani,Ghee Rice in India.
Non Basmati rice
According to APEDA (Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority), “any rice other than Basmati Rice is named as Non-Basmati rice.” In 2018-19, India exported 7.5 million metric tons of Non-Basmati rice worth USD 3 billion. The main export destinations were Nepal, Benin, Senegal, Bangladesh and Guinea.
Recently, India has banned exports of broken rice and imposed a 20% duty on exports of non-Basmati rice except for parboiled rice to boost domestic supplies amid a fall in area under the paddy crop in the current Kharif season.
- India is the world’s biggest exporter of rice which accounts for more than 40% of global rice shipments and it competes with Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Myanmar in the world market.