Current Affairs Analysis

10th December 2019 Current Affairs Analysis -IASToppers

Natyasastra; Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019; 6th schedule; 125th amendment bill; Human Development Index (HDI) 2019; What is World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) dispute settlement mechanism? Green Good Deeds campaign; What is Red tourism? What is Long march of China? Reason for infants becoming susceptible to measles infection; anti-TB drugs; What are Rare Diseases? South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC); International Anti-Corruption Day; What is Tyre pyrolysis?
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
December 13, 2019

Contents

Government Schemes & Policies

  • Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 gets President’s assent
  • PM urges SAARC to take effective steps to defeat terrorism

Issues related to Health & Education

  • Infants become susceptible to measles infection earlier than thought
  • Combination therapy using malaria drug quickly clears TB
  • Patients with rare diseases wait for support

Economy

  • India home to 28% of world’s poor: Human Development Index 2019

Bilateral & International Relations

  • Hong Kongers mark half year protest anniversary with huge rally
  • The WTO’s dispute settlements mechanism is all but dead. This is why India should worry
  • BRICS to include ‘Green Good Deeds’ movement in next ministerials
  • The rise of red tourism in China

Art & Culture

  • A comprehensive overview of Natya Sastra

Science & Technology

  • Panel pulls up 19 States for tyre disposal

Key Facts for Prelims

  • International Anti-Corruption Day

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Government Schemes & Policies

Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 gets President’s assent

Indian President gave his assent to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, turning it into an Act.

Citizenship-Amendment-Bill-2019-gets-Presidents-assent

Background

In 2016, a Bill was introduced to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955. The bill sought to provide citizenship to six minorities — Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who came to India before 2014.

Citizenship-Amendment-Bill-2019-1

It was lapsed due to dissolution of Lok Sabha. Subsequently, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha in December 2019.

Highlights of the bill

Eligibility for citizenship for certain illegal migrants

  • The bill amended the Act to provide that illegal migrants from religious minorities – Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians – from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, eligible for Indian citizenship.
  • In order to get this benefit, they must have also been exempted from the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 by the central government.

 Exception

  • Provisions on citizenship for illegal migrants will not apply to the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, or Tripura, as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution. These tribal areas include Karbi Anglong (in Assam), Garo Hills (in Meghalaya), Chakma District (in Mizoram), and Tripura Tribal Areas District.  It will also not apply to the areas under the ‘Inner Line’ under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.  The Inner Line Permit regulates visit of Indians to Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Nagaland.  

Citizenship by naturalization:

  • The Act allows a person to apply for citizenship by naturalisation, if the person meets certain qualifications. One of the qualifications is that the person must have resided in India or been in central government service for the last 12 months and at least 11 years of the preceding 14 years.
  • The Bill further reduces the period of naturalization to 5 years.

Grounds for cancelling OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) registration: 

The Act provides that the central government may cancel registration of OCIs on five grounds registration through fraud,

  1. Showing disaffection to the Constitution,
  2. Engaging with the enemy during war,
  3. Necessity in the interest of sovereignty of India,
  4. Security of state or public interest, or
  5. If within five years of registration the OCI has been sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more.

The Bill added one more ground for cancelling registration, that is, if the OCI has violated any law that is in force in the country. 

About 6th schedule

  • The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India allows for the formation of Autonomous District Councils to administer regions which have been given autonomy within their respective states (i.e., Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram).

6th-Schedule-2

Features of 6th Schedule

  • The tribal areas in the four states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoramhave been constituted as autonomous districts. But, they do not fall outside the executive authority of the state concerned.
  • The governor is empowered to organise and re-organise the autonomous districts. Thus, he can increase or decrease their areas or change their names or define their boundaries.
  • If there are different tribes in an autonomous district, the governor can divide the district into several autonomous regions.
  • Each autonomous district has a district councilconsisting of 30 members, of whom four are nominated by the governor and the remaining 26 are elected on the basis of adult franchise. The elected members hold office for a term of five years (unless the council is dissolved earlier) and nominated members hold office during the pleasure of the governor. Each autonomous region also has a separate regional council.
  • The district and regional councils administer the areas under their jurisdiction. They can make laws on certain specified matters like land, forests, inheritance of property, marriage and divorce, social customs and so on. But all such laws require the assent of the governor.
  • The district and regional councils within their territorial jurisdictions can constitute village councils or courtsfor trial of suits.
  • The district and regional councils are empowered to assess and collect land revenueand to impose certain specified taxes.
  • The acts of Parliament or the state legislature do not apply to autonomous districtsand autonomous regions or apply with specified modifications and exceptions.
  • The governor can appoint a commission to examineon any matter relating to the administration of the autonomous districts or regions. He may dissolve a district or regional council on the recommendation of the commission.

Background

  • Under the Govt. of India Act, 1935, the hill areas of Assam were divided into two categories-Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas.
  • The Lushai Hills (now Mizoram) the Naga Hills and the North Cachar Hills were under the excluded areas, over which the provincial ministry had no jurisdiction.
  • The Khasi and Jaintia Hills, the Garo Hills, and the Mikir Hills were partially excluded areas. These districts had five representatives in the Assam Legislative Assembly.
  • Briefly, these areas were administered by the state government subject to the special powers of the Governor. The 1935 Constitution did not give local self-government or political autonomyto the hill tribes of the excluded and partially excluded areas to manage their local affairs according to their own genius and ability.
  • In order to ensure their participation in decision making and safeguarding tribal interests, the Government of India appointed a Sub-Committee of the Constituent Assembly – the North-East Frontier (Assam) Tribal and Excluded Areas Committee– under the Chairmanship of Gopinath Bardoloi, Chief Minister of Assam.
  • The Bardoloi Committee’s recommended for a simple set-up (District Councils) of the tribal areas, which were incorporated into the Article 244 (2) of the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  • The Bardoloi Committee also made provision forRegional Council for the tribes other than the main tribe. This scheme sought to build up autonomous administration (District Councils and the Regional Council) in the hill areas of Assam so that the tribal people could preserve  their traditional way of life, and safeguard their customs, and cultures.
  • The Committee also recommended the abolition of the excluded and the partially excluded areasand representation of the hills districts in the legislative Assembly.

About 125th amendment bill

  • Passed in January 2019, the Bill amends provisions related to the Finance Commission and the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
  • It increases the financial and executive powers of the 10 Autonomous Councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of the north-eastern region.

Provisions

  • The amendments provide for elected village municipal councils, ensuring democracy at the grassroot level.
  • The village councils will be empowered to prepare plans for economic development and social justice including those related to agriculture, land improvement, implementation of land reforms, minor irrigation, water management, animal husbandry, rural electrification, small scale industries and social forestry.
  • The Finance Commission will be mandated to recommend devolution of financial resources to them.
  • The Autonomous Councils now depend on grants from Central ministries and the State government for specific projects. At least one-third of the seats will be reserved for women in the village and municipal councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura after the amendment is approved.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

PM urges SAARC to take effective steps to defeat terrorism

In an oblique reference to Pakistan, in a letter to the SAARC secretariat to mark the 35th SAARC Charter Day, Prime Minister of India has said that India’s efforts for greater collaboration among the SAARC countries have repeatedly been challenged with threats and acts of terrorism.

PM-Modi-urges-SAARC-countries-to-take-effective-steps

  • SAARC Charter Day is commemorated every year on 08 December to mark the signing of this Charter.

Background

  • In the last three years, India has been distancing itself from the SAARC due to security challenge from terror networks based in Pakistan, which is also a member of SAARC.
  • The 2016 SAARC summit was cancelled after India refused to join it on the account of Uri attack in Jammu and Kashmir, India expressed its inability to participate in the summit.

SAARC

SAARC-countries-1

  • South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries are — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • SAARC was established with the signing of the SAARC Charter in Dhaka (Bangladesh) in 1985.
  • Its objective is to promote the welfare of the people of South Asia and to improve their quality of life, and to accelerate economic growth, among other things.
  • Its secretariat is at Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • SAARC summits are usually held biennially and hosted by member states in alphabetical order. The member state hosting the summit assumes the Chair of the Association.

 [Ref: Indian Express]

 

Issues related to Health & Education

Infants become susceptible to measles infection earlier than thought

Contrary to the common notion that maternal antibodies against measles protect infants for the first six months of age, a small study shows that antibodies from the mother almost disappear by the end of three months. Hence, infants become susceptible to measles infection at the end of three months and not six months as earlier thought.

Infants-become-susceptible-to-measles-infection-earlier-than-thought

What is the current belief on measles?

  • Currently, as per the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation, children in countries like India with ongoing transmission of measles are vaccinated only at 9-12 months of age. In countries with no ongoing transmission, the first dose is administered when the baby is 12-15 months of age.
  • This is due to the belief that babies are considered to be protected against measles through maternal antibodies for the first six months.

Reason for infants becoming susceptible to measles infection

  • In the region where measles is not yet eliminated (such as in India), many mothers gain immunity through natural infection (when the body is exposed to viruses through an infection, the immune system automatically creates antibodies and immune cells).
  • Such mothers are also continually exposed to the virus, leading to repeated immunologic boosting and more robust antibody levels.
  • However, in countries where measles has been eliminated or is close to elimination, mothers gain immunity through childhood vaccination, which has been associated with lower antibody levels compared with natural infection.
  • Hence, Infants born to mothers in countries where measles virus has been eliminated have lower maternal antibodies, leaving them susceptible to infection before they receive the first measles vaccination dose.

If Indian mother have robust immune system due to prevalence of measles, why there is many infection of measles in India?

  • The vaccine coverage with two doses is less than 95% to offer protection to infants who are yet to be vaccinated.
  • Hence, infants in India who are too young to receive the first dose of the vaccine are at greater risk of getting infected.

Recommendation

The best strategy for protecting infants against measles is adequate community protection delivered through high coverage [over 95%] of two doses of measles-containing vaccine.

About Measles

Measles

  • Measles, also known as rubeola or morbill, is a highly contagious viral disease.
  • Measles is caused by infection with the rubeola virus. The virus lives in the mucus of the nose and throat of an infected child or adult.
  • It can cause fatal complications including encephalitis, severe diarrhoea and dehydration, pneumonia, ear infections and permanent vision loss.
  • Measles typically begins with a high fever, and 2-3 weeks later, a characteristic rash appears on the face and then spreads over the body.

Measles-1

Types of measles

There are two types of measles:

  1. i) Measles: This is the standard form caused by the rubeola virus.
  2. ii) Rubella, or German measles: This is caused by the rubella virus.
  • German measles can have severe consequences during pregnancy such as miscarriage, foetal death or congenital defects known as congenital rubella syndrome (CRS).
  • Under the Global Vaccine Action Plan, measles and rubella are targeted for elimination in five WHO Regions by 2020.
  • Severe measles is more likely among poorly nourished young children.
  • There is no specific treatment available for Measles. However, the measles vaccine has been in use since the 1960s. The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is generally given at 12 to 15 months of age.

Measles Status in India

  • India reported more than 47,000 measles cases and 1,200 rubella cases during May 2018 and April 2019.
  • India, along with ten other WHO South East Asia Region member countries, have resolved to eliminate measles and control rubella/congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) by 2020. Rubella control is achieved when a country reduces the number of rubella cases by 95% as compared to cases in 2008.
  • India initiated the world’s largest Measles-Rubella (MR) Campaign in February 2017, targeting children and adolescents aged between 9 months and 15 years. Under the programme, two doses of measles and rubella vaccines are to be given at ages 9-12 months and 16-24 months.
  • In 2018, children in 28 states/UT have been vaccinated under MR campaign.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Combination therapy using malaria drug quickly clears TB

Researchers from Bengaluru have made an important discovery of the mechanism used by TB bacteria to tolerate TB drugs, which necessitates longer treatment of six-nine months.

Combination-therapy-using-malaria-drug-quickly-clears-TB

About the new discovery

  • Currently, it is believed is that only the non-replicating or slowly metabolising TB bacteria become tolerant to anti-TB drugs (i.e., are not being killed by TB drugs). This resulted in longer treatment of TB (6-9 months).
  • However, as per new research, bacteria inside the macrophages can also tolerate anti-TB drugs even when actively multiplying.

How did the researches managed to kill bacteria tolerant to anti-TB drugs?

Anti-TB drugs induce oxidative stress to kill bacteria inside macrophages. However, the drug tolerant bacteria act against oxidative stress by using lowering the pH (becoming acidic).

  • Researches used anti-malaria drug chloroquine in combination with a TB drug isoniazid to kill TB bacteria.
  • Researchers reversed the pH within macrophages, by using chloroquine drug, to its normal state (neutralises the pH) to kill such bacteria. This prevented the bacteria from inducing the mechanism to protect themselves from oxidative stress. So no drug-tolerant TB bacteria emerged. Once the pH is neutralised, the isoniazid drug was able to eradicate TB from animals.
  • In addition, the drug combination also reduces the chances of TB relapse.

What are Macrophages?

  • Macrophages are important cells of the immune system that are formed in response to an infection or accumulating damaged or dead cells.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Patients with rare diseases wait for support

The applications of about 190 seeking treatment of rare diseases support has been pending with the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for several months. And a National Policy for Treatment of Rare Diseases is yet to be finalised.

Patients-with-rare-diseases-wait-for-support

What are Rare Diseases?

National-Policy-for-Treatment-of-Rare-Diseases-2017

  • There is no universally accepted definition of a rare disease. Different countries define rare diseases differently.
  • In general, a rare disease is a health condition of low prevalence that affects a small number of people compared with other prevalent diseases in the general population.
  • As per World Health Organization (WHO), a rare disease should be defined as one with frequency less than 6.5 – 10 per 10,000 people.
  • In India, the most common rare diseases include Haemophilia, Thalassemia, Sickle-cell Anaemia and Primary Immuno Deficiency in children, auto-immune diseases, Lysosomal storage disorders such as Pompe disease etc.

National Policy for Treatment of Rare Diseases, 2017

  • In 2017, The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare formulated a National Policy for treatment of Rare Diseases, with a corpus of Rs 100 crore, to provide financial assistance for the treatment of rare diseases.
  • However, government rolled it back in December 2018 for modification.

Need for National Policy for Treatment of Rare Diseases

  • Rare diseases are, in most cases, serious, chronic, debilitating and life threatening illnesses, often requiring long-term and specialised treatments/management.
  • In addition, they often result in some form of handicap, sometimes extremely severe.
  • Moreover, they disproportionately impact children: 50% of new cases are in children and are responsible for 35% of deaths before the age of 1 year.
  • The impact on families is often catastrophic in terms of emotional as well as financial drain, as the cost of treatment is prohibitively high. As a result, parents of children suffering from rare diseases, filed writ petitions in the Delhi High Court, seeking directions that the government provide the treatment for free.
  • Such policy is needed to make definition of Rare diseases and to make cost estimation of treatment.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Economy

India home to 28% of world’s poor: Human Development Index 2019

The annual HDI 2019 report ranked India at the 129th position on 2019’s HDI, one rank above last year’s ranking, out of a total 189 countries.

India-home-to-28-of-worlds-poor

Highlights of Human Development Index (HDI) 2019

Global Highlights

Top 3 countries: Norway (1st), Switzerland (2nd) and Ireland (3rd).

  • At 71, Sri Lanka is ranked much higher than China (85th). Maldives is ranked at 104, much ahead of its South Asian counterparts like Bhutan (134), Bangladesh (135), Nepal (147) and Pakistan (152).
  • As the number of people coming out of old poverty (based on access to health services) is increasing, the world is going towards another type of poverty based on technology, education and climate.

India specific Highlights

Rank of India: 129th out of 189 countries

  • India remains the home to 28% poor people out of a global population of the 1.3 billion.
  • South Asia, of which India is the largest country, constitutes 41 % of the world’s poor.
  • Between 1990 and 2018, India’s HDI value increased by 50 % (from 0.431 to 0.647), which places it above the average for countries in the medium human development group and above the average for other South Asian countries.
  • Despite progress of India, group-based inequalities persist on the Indian Subcontinent, especially affecting women and girls.

Human Development Index (HDI)

Human-Development-Index

  • The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistical tool used to measure a country’s overall achievement.
  • It is launched annually by the United Nations Development Programme.
  • Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq created HDI in 1990.

Indicators

Calculation of the index combines four major indicators:

  • Life expectancy for health,
  • Expected years of schooling,
  • Mean of years of schooling for education and
  • Gross National Income per capita for standard of living.

Key Facts

India ranks at a low 122 (of 162) countries on the 2018 Gender Inequality Index.

[Ref: Down To Earth]

 

Bilateral & International Relations

Hong Kongers mark half year protest anniversary with huge rally

Vast crowds of democracy protesters thronged Hong Kong’s streets in a forceful display of support for the movement on its six-month anniversary, as organisers warned the city’s pro-Beijing leaders they had a last chance to end the political crisis.

Hong-Kongers-mark-half-year-protest-anniversary-with-huge-rally

To know more about Hong Kong protest, refer to IASTopper’s main article here: https://www.iastoppers.com/hong-kong-protest-umbrella-revolution-2019-mains-articles/

[Ref: The Hindu]

 

The WTO’s dispute settlements mechanism is all but dead. This is why India should worry

The World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) dispute settlement mechanism is on the brink of collapsing. Of the three members currently on the seven-member body, the terms of two ended on December 10.

The-WTOs-dispute-settlements-mechanism

What is World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) dispute settlement mechanism?

  • The Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization, set up in 1995, is a standing body of 7 persons that hears appeals from reports issued by panels in disputes brought on by WTO members.
  • A dispute arises when a member government believes another member government is violating an agreement or a commitment that it has made in the WTO.
  • By joining the WTO, member countries have agreed that if they believe fellow members are in violation of trade rules, they will use the multilateral system of settling disputes instead of taking action unilaterally.

What is the issue?

  • The dispute settlement mechanism requires at least three members to function.
  • However, as the United States has blocked the appointments of new members and the reappointments of members who had completed their four-year tenures, the membership of the body has decreased to three persons (instead of the required seven).
  • The US believes the WTO is biased against it, and has criticised it for being unfair.
  • In 2019, several developing countries met in India to discuss ways to prevent the WTO’s dispute resolution system from collapsing all together. However, their efforts have not produced the desired results.

Impact

  • The WTO appellate body would no longer be in a position to consider new appeals after December 10 and will have a negative impact on the multilateral trading system as a whole.

Impact on India

  • Due to absence of adequate number of staff in dispute settlement, India has been impacted directly as a result of this situation. India has several critical trade disputes currently pending at the WTO.
  • In February 2019, it said that it would be unable to staff an appeal in a dispute between Japan and India over certain safeguard measures that India had imposed on imports of iron and steel products.
  • India has so far been a direct participant in 54 disputes, and has been involved in several cases as a third party.
[Ref: Indian Express]

 

BRICS to include ‘Green Good Deeds’ movement in next ministerials

The BRICS ministerial on Environment has agreed to include “Green Good Deeds”,in its official agenda in the next ministerials of the grouping in Brazil and Russia.

BRICS-to-include-Green-Good-Deeds-movement

  • Green Good Deeds’ are the societal movement, launched by Environment Minister of India, to protect environment and promote good living.

About Green Good Deeds campaign

Green-Good-Deeds”-campaign-2

  • In February 2018, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change launched a nationwide campaign called Green Good Deeds.
  • It is a societal movement to protect environment and promote good living.
  • It focuses to inculcate simple lifestyle habits, which citizens can easily adopt in an effort to reduce the hazards of climate change and global warming.

 [Ref: PIB]

 

The rise of red tourism in China

Red Tourism, which attracts tourists in hordes to sites that showcase China’s revolutionary past, is beginning to breed prosperity in the countryside.

The-rise-of-red-tourism-in-China

What is Red tourism?

  • Red tourism is related to historical sites and places which record China’s revolution led by the Communist Party of China from 1921 to 1949.
  • Because both China’s five stars flag and the Communist flag are red, the Chinese named these historical sites as red scenic spots and visiting such places as Red tourism.
  • The Long March of China is today at the heart of China’s flourishing red tourism industry.

How does the emergence of Red tourism affect china?

  • It helps in eliminating rural poverty
  • Promote the legitimacy of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

What is Long march of China?

The Long March (1934 – 1935) was a military retreat undertaken by the Red Army of the Communist Party of China to evade the pursuit of the Kuomintang (KMT or Chinese Nationalist Party) army.

Background

  • The Chinese Communist Party originated in 1921. Civil war in China between the Nationalists (Kuomintang) and the Communists broke out in 1927. As a result, the Communists fled to the western part of Jiangxi province and established the Soviet Republic of China there.
  • In 1931, Communist leader Mao Zedong was elected chairman of the Soviet Republic of China.
  • Between 1930 and 1934, the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek launched a series of encirclement campaigns against the Chinese Soviet Republic. Under the leadership of Mao, the Communists employed guerrilla tactics to successfully resist the first four campaigns, but in the fifth, Chiang raised a huge force and built fortifications around the Communist positions. Mao Zedong was removed as chairman.
  • With defeat imminent, the Communists decided to break out of the encirclement and started to retreat back. This is known as the Long March.
How did Mao Zedong again become a leader?
  • During the Long March which occurred over a year, Mao use secrecy and other tactics to confuse the Nationalists during their retreat.
  • The city of Zunyi is a pivotal landmark in Lon march. During a meeting of party leaders in the captured city of Zunyi, he changed his strategy by breaking his force into several columns that would take varying paths to confuse the enemy. The successful capture of the Loushan pass was critical in preventing the Red Army’s entrapment in Zunyi city.
  • The march ended at Shaanxi province of China. The Long March marked the emergence of Mao Zedong as the undisputed leader of the Chinese Communists.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Art & Culture

A comprehensive overview of Natya Sastra 

Sangeet Natak Akademi in association with Kalakshetra Foundation and Bharata Ilango Foundation for Asian Culture (BIFAC) organised Natyasastra Utsav – Sastra & Prayoga’ in Delhi.

A-comprehensive-overview-of-Natya-Sastra

About Natyasastra

Natya-Sastra-1

  • It is a Sanskrit text on the performing arts, written by the sage Bharata Muni.
  • It is believed that the Natyashastra was discovered in the 19th century, with Sir William Jones being the first scholar to have referred to in Abhijnanasakuntalam in English translation.
  • Prahasana is one of the ten genres/dasarupakas given in the Natyashastra. Every rupaka has one dominant rasa.
  • The manuscripts of Natyashastra or their copies have been found from Almora, Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Darbhanga, Chennai, Nepal, Pune, Thiruvanantapuram, Ujjain and Tamil Nadu. These have been found in Bhojimol, Newari and Devanagari

Natyashastra in Modern Times

  • Rabindranath Tagore in Bengal and Bhartendu Harishchandra at Kashi (Benaras) made strong efforts to regenerate the spirit of Indian theatre, and these efforts lead to a revival of interest in the Natyashastra.
  • It ultimately led to the establishment of the National School of Drama in New Delhi, the Kalidasa Akademi at Ujjain, the Kerala Kala Mandalam in Kerala etc.
  • Such activities raised the very significant issue of continuity and change in traditional Indian forms of theatre. Scholars such as Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan began the tremendous work on establishing the interlinks between the Natyashastra and regional forms of theatre.
  • Their work has been also able to establish that theatric traditions contributed significantly to the re-structuring of the Natyashastra text. In fact, during what was believed to have been a period of apparent discontinuity of the Natyashastra traditions during medieval times, its legacy continued to thrive in textual traditions through the contributions of authors such as Dhanika-Dhananjaya, Hemachandra, Saradatanaya etc.
  • Natyashastra not only exercised its influence on regional Indian theatre traditions but also on the theatric traditions of neighbouring Asian countries – Bali, Indonesia, Siam/Thailand, Japan (Noh theatre).
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Science & Technology

Panel pulls up 19 States for tyre disposal

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has pulled up 270 tyre pyrolysis units in 19 States for employing technology that is polluting and harmful to the health of workers employed.

Panel-pulls-up-19-States-for-tyre-disposal-1

What is Tyre pyrolysis?

  • Tyre pyrolysis refers to a technique of breaking down used tyres in the absence of oxygen. Shredded tyres, at temperatures between 250 C and 500 C, produce liquid oil and gases.
  • While this is considered a safer technique than burning tyres, pyrolysis leaves fine carbon matter, pyro-gas, oil as residue and the inadequate management of these by-products poses health risks.

Background

  • The National Green Tribunal in 2014 prohibited used tyres from being burnt in the open or being used as fuel in brick kilns, because of the toxic emissions.
  • It asked the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to look at ways to dispose used tyres safely. Subsequently, the board issued a set of guidelines, in which pyrolysis was recommended as an acceptable mode.
  • However, in April 2019, more than 40% of tyre pyrolysis units were not complying with rules.

What is Pyrolysis?

  • Pyrolysis is a process of chemically decomposing organic materials at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen.
  • Since no oxygen is present, the organic material does not combust. Instead, the chemical compounds (i.e. cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) that make up the material decompose into combustible gases and charcoal.

Key Facts

  • India discards about 100 million tyres everyday and only a fraction of it is recycled. India is also responsible for 6% of the global tyre waste.
  • India is also a recipient of used tyres from Australia and the U.K., which are sent for recycling and disposal.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Key Facts for Prelims

International Anti-Corruption Day

International Anti-Corruption Day has been observed annually, on 9 December, since the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on 31 October 2003 to raise public awareness for anti-corruption.

International Anti-Corruption Day

2019 Anti-Corruption Day campaign covers the following three areas: 

  • Corruption – An impediment to the Sustainable Development Goals 
  • Corruption – #YouthForJustice leading the change
  • United Against Corruption – Take action – Lead the change – Be the change 
[Ref: UN]

 

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