Table of Contents:
Useful News Articles
A. GS1 Related:
‘Bhakti challenges communal religion’
Location: Hindu, Page 11
– John Stratton Hawley – New book – A Storm of Songs
B. GS2 Related:
1. J&K – Governor’s Rule, for now
Category: Constitution, Parliament
Location: Hindu, Front page
– Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra imposed Governor’s Rule in the State
– efforts to persuade PDP president Mehbooba Mufti to take oath as Chief Minister failed.
2. Jallikattu: Bull Taming is fair game?
Category: Religion, Governance
Location: Multiple papers
– The Ministry of Environment and Forests had, on 7 January, issued a notification, keeping the bull on a list of animals that should not be used for performance.
– However, the government cited culture and tradition as reasons to allow the bull to be used as a performing animal in sports such as Jallikattu and cart-racing in some states.
– In May 2014, the Supreme Court passed final orders on the issue of Jallikattu, banning the sport.
– The court ruled that the sport was inherently cruel in nature and that culture or tradition could not be a reason to allow practices which unnecessarily inflict cruelty on animals for human pleasure
– The judgment by the Supreme Court invoked Section 22 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
– The Animal Welfare Board strongly argued the case and the court decided that that the sport violated the law
– Central government paved the way for lifting the ban on Jallikattu through a notification, despite the Supreme Court ban on the traditional Pongal sport of taming the bull.
Assignment: Has the executive overreached in passing this order going against the judiciary?
C. GS3 Related:
Category: Labour Reforms
Location: IE, Page 6
– Delhi dialogue panel readies draft policy on hiring contract labour
– Includes compulsory payment of minimum wages, inclusion of Employee’s State Insurance and provident fund
– An effort to root out exploitation in the work force
Category: Agriculture, Insurance, Financial Inclusion
Location: IE, Page 9
– it will bring down the rate of premium to be paid by farmers to a maximum of 2.5 per cent of the sum insured.
– The rest will be paid by the government.
– Currently, farmers have to pay premium ranging from 4 to 15 per cent to insure crops.
– Rates: 2.5 per cent of the sum insured as premium for kharif crops (paddy, maize, millet, etc), 2 per cent for all rabi crops except wheat, 1.5 per cent for wheat and 2 per cent for all pulses
Assignment: List out various insurance scheme available to farmers.
Video lecture related to Financial Inclusion:
3. Odd-Even Formula Debates Continue 🙂
Category: Pollution, Urban Planning
Location: IE: Page 4
– Odd-Even to last only till Jan 15th
– Money collected via challans to be used to give subsidy to bicycles…
Category: Climate Change
– Could humans have brought about on Earth changes so dramatic that they catalysed a whole new geological epoch?
– Yes, indeed, suggests a paper in Science, which lists out a range of anthropogenic (human-induced) “signatures” — on land, at sea and in the air
– To indicate that the Earth has transitioned from the Holocene to a new epoch: the Anthropocene.
Assignment: Revise major “extinction events”, Get latest number on global warming.
Category: Technology + Ethics
Location: IE, page 18 (Science page)
– Stem cell controversy – why block genuinely useful technology?
– New Rules in U.S on tissue usage – allows use of tissues left over after clinical trials for experiments
6. Some nice Numbers 🙂
D. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
— None very relevant today —
Category: Governance, Crime
Written by P Chidambaram
– Govt should admit it was lucky to get sudden drop in oil prices! 🙂
– In May 2014, Brent crude oil was selling at USD 109.5 per barrel.
– In September 2014, it was selling at USD 97.5 per barrel, and then the crash began.
– Its impact on the price of the Indian basket of crude oil can be gathered from the following:
– Two days ago, Brent crude price fell below USD 34 per barrel!
– Where did the money go? Gone with the wind, Chidambaram claims 🙂
What India must do—and not do—in its war against terrorists
Topic: Internal Security
Category: External/Border Issues
i. Modi’s visit to Pakistan could have been a trigger for the terrorist attacks
ii. Plenty of mismanagement and corruption in Punjab
iii. We need more systematic foreign policy with pakistan
iv. Continue to pursue extra-diplomatic policies that hurt its errant neighbour – sch as no cricket
v. U.S closer to India than pakistan now, maybe. 🙂
— None very relevant today —
E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
iii. Stem cells
F. Fun with Question Framing 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements about the Bhakti Movement in India:
1. It originated in some parts of Central India
2. Its doctrine is the foundation of modern Vaishnavite Hinduism
3. It was egalitarian in outlook
Which among the above statements is/ are correct?
a) 1, 2 & 3
b) 2 & 3
c) 1 & 2
d) 1 & 3
Question 2: Which of the following statements are false:
a) Jaliikattu is a bull taming sport
b) Organised as part of Pongal harvest festival celebration since the Sangam age
c) Complete ban on Jaliikattu was seeked since it involves cruelty to animals
d) None of the above
Question 3: Examine the statements below:
1. Zygote: is a Totipotent cell
2. There are two kinds of stem cells: embryonic and adult stem cells
3. Adult stem cells are more controversial than embryonic
a) Only 1 and 2 are true
b) Only 2 and 3 are true
c) Only 1 and 3 are true
d) All of the above
Question 4: Consider the following statements, which is correct:
a) Labour issues are under the concurrent list via Article 246 of the Indian constitution
b) There are only a few consolidated and well defined labour laws in India
c) All the current labour laws are modern and updated to needs of modern India
d) National Renewal Fund (NRF) is a measure to help mothers get better education
e) All of the above
Question 5: Modified National Agriculture Insurance Scheme:
a) is a component of National Crop Insurance Programme (NCIP)
b) covers only crops notified by state Govt in each season
c) higher premium is levied for risker crops
d) All of the above