News: Vice President has released two reports; ‘Status of Sex Ratio at Birth in India’ and ‘Elderly Population in India: Status and Support Systems’, brought out by the Indian Association of Parliamentarians for Population and Development (IAPPD).
- IAPPD: It is a national level Non-Governmental organization(NGO) established in the year 1978.
- Purpose: To moderate the pace of population growth for a smoother course of development so as to ensure an overall improvement in the quality of life of the people and maintain a proper balance between population and development.
- It has a Board of Trustees comprising the Chairman, Executive Secretary, Treasurer and Members look after the smooth running and functioning of the IAPPD.
- Standing Committee: It has a standing committee consisting of 37 Members of Parliament (MPs), Ex. MPs and Legislators belonging to different political parties of India.
News: Assam government has inaugurated the country’s longest ropeway over a river in Guwahati,Assam.
- About the ropeway: It is a 1.8-km-long ropeway over the Brahmaputra river connecting Guwahati to North Guwahati.
- Significance: The ropeway ride will facilitate the passengers to look out for the Urvashi island and catch a glimpse of the Umananda temple which was built by Ahom King Gadadhar Singha.
News: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology has flagged the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill,2019.
- DNA Technology Regulation Bill,2019: The bill provides for the regulation of use of DNA technology for establishing the identity of certain persons.
|Key Provision of the Bill
|DNA Data Bank: The Bill provides for the establishment of a National DNA Data Bank and Regional DNA Data Banks for every state, or two or more states. Every Data Bank will be required to maintain indices for the following categories of data: (i) a crime scene index, (ii) a suspects’ or undertrials index (iii) an offenders’ index (iv) a missing persons index and (v) an unknown deceased persons’ index.
|Sensitive Information: DNA profiles can reveal extremely sensitive information of an individual such as pedigree, skin colour, behaviour, ill ness, health status and susceptibility to diseases. Storing of DNA Data: In the absence of robust data protection legislation, the security of a huge number of DNA profiles that will be placed with the National DNA Data bank and its regional centres is questionable. DNA Data in Civil matters: The Bill provides that DNA profiles for civil matters will be stored in the data banks but without a clear and separate index.The committee questioned the necessity for storage of such profiles pointing out that this violates the fundamental right to privacy.
|DNA Regulatory Board: The Bill provides for the establishment of a DNA Regulatory Board, which will supervise the DNA Data Banks and DNA laboratories. The Secretary, Department of Biotechnology will be the ex officio Chairperson of the Board.
|Independent Scrutiny: The committee recommended that independent scrutiny must be done of the proposals to destroy biological samples and remove DNA profiles from the database.
|Consent: A written consent by individuals is required to collect DNA samples from them. Consent is not required for offences with punishment of more than seven years of imprisonment or death.
|Perfunctory Consent: The Bill refers to consent in several provisions but in each of those, a magistrate can easily override consent, thereby in effect, making consent perfunctory.
|Removal of DNA Profiles: The bill provides for the removal of DNA profiles of suspects on the filing of a police report or court order and of undertrials on the basis of a court order.Profiles in the crime scene and missing persons’ index will be removed on a written request.
|The bill should be amended to ensure that if the person has been found innocent his DNA profile, even the crime scene and missing persons index data must be removed immediately.
|Offences:The Bill specifies penalties for various offences, including: (i) for disclosure of DNA information or (ii) using DNA samples without authorization.
News: Indian Navy has effectively carried out Mission Based Deployments (MBD) to protect maritime interests by deploying ships and aircraft at major and sensitive locations.
- Mission-Based Deployments(MBD) policy was adopted by the Indian Navy in 2017.
- Under this, the Navy regularly deploys ships for Presence and Surveillance Missions (PSM), off critical choke points / sea lanes in the Indian Ocean Region(IOR).
- In addition to the anti-piracy deployment, IN ships were also Mission Deployed for
- Operation ‘GULFDEP’ in the Persian Gulf
- Operation ‘CENTDEP’ in the central Indian Ocean Region
- Operation ‘NORDEP’ in the northern Bay of Bengal and
- Operation ‘MALDEP’ in the Andaman Sea and approaches to the Malacca Strait.
News: Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics(IUCAA) has said that AstroSat has detected an extreme ultraviolet(UV) light from a galaxy called AUDFs01 which is 9.3 billion light-years away from Earth.
- AstroSat: It is India’s first dedicated multi wavelength space observatory launched on a PSLV-XL in 2015.
- Aim: The mission aims for a detailed understanding of our universe.One of the unique features of the mission is that it enables the simultaneous multi-wavelength observations of various astronomical objects with a single satellite.
- Objectives: The scientific objectives of the mission are:
- To understand high energy processes in binary star systems containing neutron stars and black holes
- Estimate magnetic fields of neutron stars
- Study star birth regions and high energy processes in star systems lying beyond our galaxy
- Detect new briefly bright X-ray sources in the sky
- Perform a limited deep field survey of the Universe in the Ultraviolet region.
News: The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the livelihood of several folk artistes including ‘Behrupiyas’.
- Behrupiya: The word behrupiya is a derivative of the Sanskrit word bahu (many) and roop (form).They are impersonators mostly known to perform in villages and markets all over India.
- Where is it performed? It is performed in Indian States like Rajasthan, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Gujarat as also some neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh.
- Arthashastra makes a mention of religious processions in the Mauryan times where artistes dressed as gods and were taken out in tableaux all around the kingdom.
- Due to their expertise with disguise and impersonation, behrupiya were recruited as spies by medieval Indian kings.
Other Traditional Theatre Artforms:
- Bhand Pather: It is the traditional theatre form of Kashmir.
- Bhavai: It is the traditional theatre form of Gujarat.
- Maach: It is the traditional theatre form of Madhya Pradesh.
- Bhaona: It is a presentation of the Ankia Naat of Assam.
- Dashavatar: It is the most developed theatre form of the Konkan and Goa regions.
- Krishnattam: It is a folk theatre of Kerala are based on the theme of Lord Krishna – his birth, childhood pranks and various deeds depicting victory of good over evil.
- Mudiyettu: It is a traditional folk theatre form of Kerala that is celebrated in the month of Vrischikam (November-December).
- Koodiyattam: It is one of the oldest traditional theatre forms of Kerala, and is based on Sanskrit theatre traditions.
- Yakshagaana: It is the traditional theatre form of Karnataka, is based on mythological stories and Puranas.
- Therukoothu: It is the most popular form of folk drama of Tamil Nadu, literally means “street play”.It is mostly performed at the time of annual temple festivals of Mariamman (Rain goddess) to achieve rich harvest.
News: Chief of the Air Staff has launched a mobile application called “MY IAF”.
- MY IAF: It aims to provide career related information and details for those desirous of joining the Indian Air Force (IAF).
- Developed by: It has been developed by Indian Air Force(IAF) in association with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) as a part of Digital India initiative.
- Digital India: It is a flagship programme launched in 2015 by the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
- C-DAC: It is the premier R&D organization established in 1988 under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY) for carrying out R&D in IT, Electronics and associated areas.
News: Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution has asked State Governments/UTs to include all eligible disabled persons under the National Food Security Act(NFSA),2013.The disabled persons should get their entitled quota of food grains under NFSA & Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana as per provisions of the Act.
- NFSA,2013: It aims to provide food and nutritional security by ensuring access to an adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices.
- Coverage: It covers upto 75% of the rural population and upto 50% of the urban population for receiving foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System(TPDS).
- Categories: Identification of beneficiaries under the Act is under two categories- households covered under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH) within the coverage determined for the State/UT.
- Foodgrains Entitlement: 5 kg per person for PHH category and 35 kg per household for AAY households.
- Prices: Rs 1/2/3 per kg for nutri-cereals/wheat/rice respectively.
- Nutritional Support to women and children: Children in the age group of 6 months to 14 years and pregnant women and lactating mothers will be entitled to meals as per prescribed nutritional norms under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Mid-Day Meal(MDM) schemes
- Maternity Benefit: Pregnant women and lactating mothers will also be entitled to receive maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000.
- Women Empowerment: Eldest woman of the household of age 18 years or above to be the head of the household for the purpose of issuing ration cards.
- Grievance Redressal Mechanism : Grievance redressal mechanism at the District and State levels
- Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana: It was announced as part of the relief package during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure sufficient food for the poor and needy during the coronavirus crisis.
- Features: Under the scheme, about 81 Crore National Food Security Act(NFSA) beneficiaries are being provided with an additional quota of free-of-cost foodgrains (Rice/Wheat) at a scale of 5 Kg per person per month over and above their regular monthly entitlement.