GS Paper: 1- Important personalities
Important for Prelims exam: Mahaparinirvan Diwas
Mains exam: Contributions of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar
Why in news?
On Mahaparinirvan Diwas, the Prime Minister recently paid tribute to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and recalled his exceptional service to our nation.
What is Mahaparinirvan Diwas?
- Parinirvana is a Sanskrit phrase that signifies liberation or freedom after death and is considered one of the primary concepts and aims of Buddhism.
- According to the Buddhist classic Mahaparinibbana Sutta, Lord Buddha’s death at the age of 80 is regarded the original Mahaparinirvan.
- Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar’s immeasurable contribution to society and achievements are commemorated on December 6th. Ambedkar’s death anniversary is known as Mahaparinirvan Diwas because of his reputation as a Buddhist leader.
Who was Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar?
- Babasaheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar was a social reformer, jurist, economist, author, orator, polyglot (knowing or using numerous languages), scholar, and comparative religions thinker.
- He was born in Mhow, Central Province, in 1891. (now Madhya Pradesh).
- He was India’s first Law Minister and is renowned as the Father of the Indian Constitution.
- He was the Chairman of the new Constitution’s Drafting Committee.
- He was a well-known leader who advocated for the rights of Dalits and other socially disadvantaged groups.
- In March 1927, he led the Mahad Satyagraha against Hindus who were protesting the Municipal Board’s decision.
- The Mahad Municipal Board (Maharashtra) issued an order in 1926 to open the tank to all groups. Previously, untouchables were not permitted to utilise Mahad tank water.
- He attended all three Round Table Conferences.
- Dr. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi formed the Poona Pact in 1932, which rejected the notion of separate electorates for the oppressed classes (Communal Award). However, the number of seats earmarked for the poor was increased from 71 to 147 in provincial legislatures and to 18% in the Central Legislature.
- His proposals to the Hilton Young Commission formed the basis of the Reserve Bank.
Election and designation:
- He was elected to the Bombay Legislative Assembly as a lawmaker in 1937. (MLA).
- In 1942, he was selected as a Labour member of Viceroy’s Executive Council.
- Dr. Ambedkar accepted Prime Minister Nehru’s offer to join the first Cabinet of independent India in 1947.
Shift to Buddhism:
- In 1951, he resigned from the cabinet due to disagreements over the Hindu Code Bill.
- In 1956, he became a Buddhist.
- In 1990, he received India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna.
- Mooknayak (1920)
- Bahishkrit Bharat (1927)
- Samatha (1929)
- Janata (1930)
- Annihilation of Caste
- Buddha or Karl Marx
- The Untouchable: Who are They and Why They Have Become Untouchables
- Buddha and His Dhamma
- The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women
- Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha (1923)
- Independent Labor Party (1936)
- Scheduled Castes Federation (1942)
- He died on December 6, 1956.
- Chaitya Bhoomi is a B R Ambedkar memorial in Mumbai.
Relevance of Ambedkar in Present Times:
- In India, caste-based inequality exists. While Dalits have gained a political identity through reservation and the formation of their own political parties, they fall behind in the social (health and education) and economic dimensions.
- There has been an increase in communal polarisation and political communalization. To avert irreparable harm to the Indian Constitution, Ambedkar’s notion of constitutional morality must take precedence over religious morality.
OBC sub-categorisation panel’s report in ‘final stages’
GS Paper: 2- Government Polices and Interventions
Prelims exam: OBC Sub-categorization
Mains exam: OBC Sub-categorization and need for Sub-categorization
Why in News?
After more than five years of its formation, the commission for the sub-categorisation of the Other Backward Classes (OBC) is now in the final stages of finishing its task. Before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, this is seen as a key development.
OBCs and their sub-categorization
- Under the central government, OBCs are given a 27% reservation in both employment and education.
- The Supreme Court’s Constitution Bench reopened the legal debate around the sub-categorization of SCs and STs for reservations in September 2020.
- In the Central List of OBCs, there are over 2,600 communities, and there is a perception that only a few affluent communities have secured a significant portion of the 27% quota.
Need for Sub-categorization
- Sub-categorization, or the creation of reservation-related groups inside OBCs, is justified on the grounds that it will provide “equitable distribution” of representation among all OBC communities.
- The Rohini Commission was established on October 2, 2017, to examine this.
- It was given 12 weeks to submit its report at the time, but many extensions have since been granted, with the most recent one being until October 10.
- The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) was given constitutional status by the Center before the Rohini Commission was established.
What are the objectives of the Commission?
- Initially, three terms of reference were established:
- To assess the extent of unequal distribution of reservation benefits among the castes or groups that make up the wide category of OBCs in relation to those classes that are on the Central List;
- To develop the mechanism, standards, guidelines, and parameters for sub-categorization within these OBCs;
- To undertake the task of identifying the respective castes, communities, sub-castes, or synonyms in the Central List of OBCs and classifying them into their relevant sub-categories.
- When the Cabinet extended it on January 22, 2020, the fourth term of reference was added:
- To examine each entry in the Central List of OBCs and suggest editing to remove any repetitions, ambiguities, contradictions, or transcriptional or spelling errors.
Why are there so many extensions being granted?
- This was added in response to a letter the Commission sent to the government on July 30, 2019.
- The Commission identified various anomalies in the list as it is currently structured when producing the central list of OBCs that are sub-categorized.
- The Commission believes that these need to be clarified or rectified before the central list of subcategories is prepared.
What strides has it already made?
- The Commission stated in a letter it sent to the government on July 30, 2019, that the draft report is ready (on sub-categorization).
- The list of communities on the central list is being studied by the Commission in accordance with the most recent term of reference provided (on January 22, 2020).
How efficiently has it worked?
- The lack of data regarding the population of different communities to compare with their representation in jobs and admissions has been a challenge for the Commission.
- Despite the then-Home Minister’s August 31, 2018, announcement that OBC data would also be collected in the 2021 Census, the government has remained silent since then.
- The inclusion of OBCs in the Census has been demanded by many OBC groups.
What conclusions has it reached so far?
- The OBC admissions to central higher education institutions and the 1.3 lakh central positions filled under the OBC quota over the previous five years were both examined by the Commission in 2018.
- The results showed that only 25% of all sub-castes classed as OBCs received 97% of all jobs and educational seats; 24.95% of these jobs and seats went to only 10 OBC communities.
- 994 OBC sub-castes have a total representation of just 2.68% in recruitment and admissions, while 983 OBC communities, or 37% of the total, have neither employment nor educational representation.
China reiterates ‘No First Use’ Nuke Policy
GS Paper: 2- International Relation
Prelims exam: No First Use Policy
Mains exam: Nuclear disarmament
Why in News?
China reacted to a US report that said Beijing had significantly increased its nuclear arsenal. It claimed that it to its policy of no first use of nuclear weapons.
About ‘No First Use’ Doctrine
NFU is a pledge to never use nuclear weapons first in any situation, including as a pre-emptive strike, first strike, or in reaction to any form of non-nuclear attack, according to nuclear ethics and deterrence theory.
What is the stand of nuclear-armed nations on No First Use?
- The only nuclear-armed nation with an unconditional NFU policy is China.
- With the exception of a reaction to chemical or biological assaults, India maintains an NFU policy.
- Nuclear weapons may be used first in a conflict in France, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the UK, and the US, according to their respective policies.
- Israel has no publicly known viewpoint because it denies having a nuclear arsenal.
Why advocate for worldwide NFU commitments at this time?
- After the US bombed Japan, there have never been any situations that may have led to a nuclear exchange.
- We run acceptable high chances of nuclear weapons use between and in addition to the unstable situation on the Korean peninsula.
- Russia and NATO amid the ongoing Ukrainian Invasion
- Pakistan and India Nuclear weapons are acquired by jihadists
- China and the US because of provocations involving Taiwan and the South China Sea
- The likelihood that nuclear weapons will be used—whether intentionally, unintentionally, or as a result of error—is actually at its highest point since the darkest days of the Cold War.
- The establishment of a global NFU would make the world safer right away by eliminating confusion regarding what a nuclear-armed nation may do in an emergency.
- It takes away the pressure and incentive for any one nation to “go nuclear” first in a crisis and create a moral obligation on others.
Effects of a nuclear conflict
- Any nuclear weapon use would trigger severe retaliation.
- Not to mention the terrible consequences from a nuclear conflict.
- According to a 2014 analysis, a purportedly “limited” nuclear conflict in South Asia involving the use of 100 nuclear weapons would have worldwide repercussions.
- The atmosphere would be filled with millions of tonnes of smoke, which would cause temperatures to drop and harm the world’s food supply.
- There would be a risk of starvation-related death for two billion people.
- Making nuclear weapons irrelevant to national security would require the implementation of Global No First Use policy.
- These measures would render nuclear weapons useless in the perspective of military strategists, open the way for future nuclear disarmament talks, and hasten the destruction of these weapons.
- Additionally, it would act as a “confidence-building measure” to increase mutual trust between nuclear-armed nations.
- As a result, cooperation is made easier in the effort to reduce nuclear risks and finally get rid of all nuclear weapons.
National Crisis Management Committee
GS Paper: 2- Governance
Prelims exam: National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC)
Mains exam: National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) and its functions
Why in News?
The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), which is chaired by the cabinet secretary, recently met to discuss how well state and union territory governments and central ministries/agencies were prepared for a possible cyclone over the Bay of Bengal.
About National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC)
- The committee was established by the Indian government after a natural disaster to efficiently coordinate and carry out activities and relief efforts.
- Cabinet Secretary is in charge of it.
- The Agriculture Secretary must seek guidance and give all essential information about the formation of such a committee.
- In the Cabinet Secretariat, it has been formed.
- Oversee the command, control, and coordination of the catastrophe response.
- As deemed necessary, provide the Crisis Management Group (CMG) with guidance.
- Cabinet Secretary, who is the Chairperson.
- Secretaries of Ministries, Departments, and Organizations having Specific Responsibility for Disaster Management.
NATIONAL BAMBOO MISSION
GS Paper: 2- Government Policies and Interventions
Prelims exam: National Bamboo Mission
Mains exam: Importance of Bamboo Sector
Why in News?
The National Bamboo Mission has recently been reorganised, and the Ministry of Agriculture has formed an Advisory Group to streamline the development of the bamboo sector (NBM).
What is National Bamboo Mission?
The redesigned National Bamboo Mission (NBM) was established as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme in 2018-19. (CSS).
NBM primarily focuses on the development of the entire value chain of the bamboo sector in a cluster approach mode, beginning with planting material, plantation, and the establishment of facilities for collection, aggregation, processing, marketing, micro, small, and medium enterprises, skilled labour, and brand building initiatives.
- Connecting farmers to markets in order to provide agricultural producers with a quick market for the bamboo they cultivate and to boost the availability of adequate raw materials to domestic industry.
- To increase the area under bamboo cultivation on non-forest government and private properties in order to complement agricultural income and contribute to climate change resistance.
- It also works with corporations and premier universities to develop the abilities of traditional bamboo craftsmen to meet the demands of modern markets.
- The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare is the Nodal Ministry.
Significance of Bamboo:
- The bamboo sector is undergoing a transition as new options for resource exploitation open up.
- Bamboo is a multipurpose plant that may provide people with ecological, economic, and livelihood security.
- Recently, the Prime Minister dedicated the new terminal of Bengaluru (Kempagowda) Airport, demonstrating the adaptability of bamboo as an architectural and structural material and defining the future of this natural resource as the ‘green steel.’
- Plastic may be replaced with environmentally friendly mouldable granules made from bamboo. Because of its rapid growth and availability, bamboo is a dependable source of ethanol for bio-energy generation.
- Bamboo-based lifestyle items, cutlery, home décor, handicrafts, and cosmetics are also on the rise.
Status of Bamboo Production in India: India has the most bamboo land (13.96 million hectares) and is the second wealthiest country in terms of bamboo variety, behind China, with 136 species (125 indigenous and 11 exotic).
- States must carry out the objectives of the National Bamboo Mission in order to contribute to the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan through a “Aatmanirbhar Krishi” programme (self-reliant farming).
- With an abundance of bamboo and a fast rising sector, India should attempt to establish itself in global markets for both engineered and handcrafted items by increasing exports.
|Initiatives to promote Bamboo:
Bamboo Clusters: Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Uttarakhand, and Karnataka are among the nine states where the Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has virtually inaugurated 22 bamboo clusters.
MSP Increase: The Central Government has increased the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP).
MFP encompasses all non-timber forest produce of plant origin, such as bamboo, canes, fodder, leaves, waxes, resins, and a variety of foods such as nuts, wild fruits, lac, tusser, and so on.
Bamboo Removed from ‘Tree’ Category: In 2017, the Indian Forest Act 1927 was revised to remove bamboo from the category of trees.
As a consequence, anybody can cultivate and sell bamboo and its products without the requirement for a felling and transport permit.