Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Daily Current Affairs

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy- UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 24th December 2021

CURRENT AFFAIRS 24-12-2021

Daily Current Affairs – Topics

  • Tamil Literature: Literature of Sangam Age
  • Karnataka’s Anti-Conversion Legislation
  • Disruptions in Parliament
  • Spices Sector in India
  • Kerala’s SilverLine Project

1.Tamil Literature: Literature of Sangam Age

#GS1-Ancient Indian History

Context

  • The Hindi translation of Tolkppiyam and the Kannada translations of 9 works of Classical Tamil literature were recently issued by the Minister of State for Education.
  • Tamil literature may be traced back to the Sangam Era, which was named after a gathering of poets (sangam).

In depth information

Period of the Sangam:

  • The Sangam Period in South India (the area south of the Krishna and Tungabhadra rivers) runs roughly from the 3rd century B.C. to the 3rd century A.D.
  • It was named after the Sangam academies that flourished under the royal patronage of the Pandya kings of Madurai during that time period.
  • Eminent intellectuals gathered at the sangams to act as censors, and the best writing was rendered in the form of anthologies.
  • The earliest examples of Dravidian literature were these literary works.
  • During the Sangam Age, three dynasties controlled South India: the Cheras, Cholas, and Pandyas.

There are three Sangams:

  • According to Tamil traditions, three Sangams (academies of Tamil poets) were held in the ancient South Indian region known as Muchchangam.
  • The First Sangam is said to have taken place at Madurai, with gods and legendary sages in attendance. This Sangam’s literary work is unavailable.
  • Only Tolkappiyam survived from the Second Sangam, which was held in Kapadapuram.
  • Madurai also hosted the Third Sangam. A few of these Tamil literary works have survived and can be used to recreate the Sangam period’s history.

Literature of the Sangam:

  • Tolkappiyam, Ettutogai, Pattuppattu, Pathinenkilkanakku, and two epics named Silappathikaram and Manimegalai are among the Sangam literature.
  • The Sangam literature is separated into two halves, Patinenmelkanakku and Patinenkilkanakku, based on the period of composition. The former refers to works written between 200 and 100 BC and is considered to be some of the earliest Tamil poetry still extant. The latter is a collection of 18 poetry works written between the years 100 and 500 AD. The Kural (Thirukural), Naladiyar, Palamoli, and other Patinenkilkanakku writings were written before the reign of the Imperial Pallavas.
  • The literature is separated into two divisions based on context and interpretation: the Aham (inner) and the Puram (outer) (outer). The former is concerned with abstract discussions of human characteristics such as love, sexual connections, and so on, whereas the latter is concerned with human experiences such as heroism, social life, customs, philanthropy, and ethics, among other things.
  • Nearly 30000 lines of poetry have been grouped in eight Ettuttokoi anthologies in the existing Sangam literature. The Patinenkilkanakku, which is the oldest and historically more significant group, and the Pattupattu are further subdivided.

Tolkappiyam

  • In Tamil literature, Tolkappiyam is regarded as the source of all literary norms.
  • It is a study that deals with Tamil language, literature, and society.
  • It is the earliest Tamil literary work that has survived to the present day.
  • It is believed to be from the 4th or 5th century AD.
  • It has a lot of sutras that are very detailed and cover a wide range of topics.
  • The text is organised in three sections, each of which comprises nine Iyals (subchapters) and a total of 1612 sutras.
  • This text delves into aspects of epic and dramatic literature such as orthography, figures of speech, social behaviours, human psychology, and so on.
  • Sanskrit has only a little and tangential influence on this work.
  • The Aham and Puram classifications of literature were given careful consideration; all of these features distinguished Tamil literature from those of other Dravidian languages.
  • Ettutogai
  • Aingurunooru, Narrinai, Aganaooru, Purananooru, Kuruntogai, Kalittogai, Paripadal, and Padirruppatu make up Ettutogai (Eight Anthologies).
  • The Pattuppattu
  • Thirumurugarruppadai, Porunarruppadai, Sirupanarruppadai, Perumpanarruppadai, Mullaippattu, Nedunalvadai, Maduraikkanji, Kurinjippatttu, Pattinappalai, and Malaipadukadam are the 10 works that make up Pattuppattu (Ten Idylls).
  • It contains eighteen works on ethics and morals, according to
  • Tirukkural, written by Thiruvalluvar, a great Tamil poet and philosopher, is the most important of these texts.
  • Silappathikaram and Manimegalai are two Tamil epics written by ElangoAdigal and SittalaiSattanar, respectively.
  • They also provide useful information about Sangam society and politics.

 

2. Karnataka’s Anti-Conversion Legislation

#GS2-Government Policies , Religious conversions issues

Context

  • The Karnataka Cabinet recently approved the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021.

In depth information

The Bill’s Major Highlights

  • Any marriage that occurs solely for the purpose of unlawful conversion or vice versa by a man of one religion with a woman of another religion, either by converting himself before or after marriage or by converting the woman before or after marriage, shall be declared null and void by the family court or, if the family court is not established, the court having jurisdiction to try such case, on a petition basis.
  • Steps to convert:
  • According to the bill, anyone planning to change to another religion must notify the district magistrate at least thirty days ahead of time.
  • The individual performing the conversion must also give one month’s notice, after which the district magistrate will conduct an investigation through the police to determine the true intent of the conversion.
  • After being converted, the individual must notify the district magistrate within 30 days of the conversion and appear before the magistrate to prove his or her identity.
  • If the district magistrate is not notified, the conversion will be ruled null and void.
  • Following the conversion, the district magistrate must notify the revenue authorities, social welfare, minority, backward classes, and other departments, who will then take efforts to protect the person’s rights to reservations and other benefits.

Making a formal complaint:

  • Conversion complaints can be brought by family members of a person who is being converted, as well as any other individual who is related to or involved with the person who is being converted.
  • Forcible conversion of persons from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities, juveniles, and women to another religion is punishable by up to ten years in prison, according to the Bill.
  • Conversion is a cognizable and non-bailable offence that carries a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of?25,000 for those caught breaking the law, as well as a sentence of three to ten years in prison and a fine of?50,000 for those converting minors, women, and members of the SC and ST communities.
  • The bill also provides for a 5 lakh compensation for victims of forced conversions.

Objectives and Goals

  • Its goal is to prevent conversion through deception, force, fraud, marriage allurement, compulsion, and undue influence.
  • Protection of the right to religious liberty
  • It protects the right to religious liberty and prohibits the conversion of people from one faith to another without their consent.

Checking the Constitutionality of Religious Conversion

  • The Indian Constitution aims to religious tolerance, stating that everyone is “equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practise, and propagate religion” (Article 25).
  • This wording was not without controversy; in fact, the word “propagate” was one of the most contentious in the Indian Constitution.
  • The prevalence of interfaith marriage is the central concern.
  • In India, the Special Marriage Act of 1954 can be utilised to marry interfaith/intercommunity couples.
  • The Act, on the other hand, demands a 30-day notice to the magistrate before a couple can register their marriage.
  • When the parties are from different faiths, communities, or castes, a public announcement like this can, and has, put them in risk from their family/community members.
  • As a result, the only option available to interfaith couples is for one of them to change to the other’s religion and marry.

Problems with such legislation

  • The anti-conversion laws have been challenged on the grounds that they are being used to prosecute innocent people.
  • Patriarchal dominance: It is often assumed that such conversions are the result of ‘coercion’ or ‘deception,’ and that Hindu women should thus be ‘protected’ against conversion.
  • Minorities are targeted: These laws target Muslims, and there have been reports of interfaith couples being hounded by militant groups and state government officials.
  • Freedom of Conscience: It is apparent that women are regarded paternally, as if they require protection at the expense of their right to make informed judgments about changing their faith or choosing a friend or life partner.

What about Conversion Incentives?

  • There are numerous examples of poor people being enticed to convert in exchange for a more respectable social life.
  • The remedy, they believe, lies in tackling the underlying issues:

Discrimination must be eliminated.

  • Providing impoverished and disadvantaged people with high-quality, free education
  • Improving the availability and quality of free health care and drugs
  • Improving nutrition and ensuring that everyone has access to suitable employment possibilities
  • How has Parliament dealt with anti-conversion legislation?
  • Following independence, Parliament introduced a number of anti-conversion laws, but they failed to pass due to a lack of majority support.
  • In 1954, the first Indian Conversion (Regulation and Registration) Bill was established in post-independence India, with the goal of enforcing “missionary licensure and conversion registration with government officials.”

This bill was voted down.

  • The Backward Communities (Religious Protection) Bill, introduced in 1960, “aimed at checking conversion of Hindus to ‘non-Indian religions,’ which, according to the Bill’s definition, included Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism,” and the Freedom of Religion Bill, introduced in 1979, “sought official curbs on inter-religious conversion.”
  • These bills failed due to a lack of majority support.

Conclusion

  • Anti-conversion laws are clearly discriminatory and violate the right to equality.
  • Interfaith marriages, on the other hand, should not be predicated on religious conversion. The majority of society is understandably concerned about this.
  • Instead of continuing on this destructive path, the government might endeavour to remove barriers to interfaith marriage and eliminate the societal stigma associated with such unions.
  • Couples who want to form an interfaith marriage are supported and protected.

 

3.Disruptions in Parliament

#GS2- Separation of Powers

Context

  • Both Houses of Parliament just adjourned sine die, with both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha presiding officers expressing concern about disturbances.
  • In depth information

The Houses’ Performance

  • During the 18 sittings, the Rajya Sabha only used 47.9% of its allowed time. It only transacted for 45 hours and 6 minutes of the scheduled sitting time of 95 hours and 6 minutes.
  • The Lok Sabha was in session for 83 hours and 20 minutes, with 18 hours and 48 minutes of disruption.
  • The House performed “far below its capability,” owing in large part to the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs for the duration of the session, which drove the battle lines in Parliament even deeper than previously.
  • Even Chief Justice N.V. Ramana had expressed his dissatisfaction with the absence of debate in Parliament.
  • According to PRS Legislative Research, the current Lok Sabha session is the third least productive in the recent two decades.

What exactly is the problem?

  • Even Chief Justice N.V. Ramana has previously expressed dissatisfaction with the paucity of debate in Parliament. He called it a “sad state of affairs,” saying that the lack of quality debate left many aspects of the laws unclear, adding to the court’s workload.

So, what’s next?

  • Such remarks should be considered in the context of legislatures that are frequently disrupted, disorderly, and violent, all of which have negative consequences.
  • The best approach to counter them is to guarantee that legislatures work properly by maintaining their dignity and decorum, as such statements are gaining traction among the public as a result of what they witness in the legislatures.

What is the primary worry right now?

  • Disruption is displacing debate as the bedrock of our legislative process.
  • According to a PRS (PRS Legislative Research) research, frequent disruptions of Parliamentary proceedings resulted in the Lok Sabha working for 61% of its allocated time and the Rajya Sabha working for 66% of its scheduled time during the 15th Lok Sabha (2009-14).
  • According to a PRS analysis, the 16th Lok Sabha (2014-19) lost 16% of its scheduled time due to disruptions, which was better than the 15th Lok Sabha (37%), but worse than the 14th Lok Sabha (14%). (13 percent ).
  • The Rajya Sabha used up 36% of its allotted time. It had lost 32% and 14% of its planned time in the 15th and 14th Lok Sabhas, respectively.

Parliamentary Disruptions and Their Consequences

  • obstruct democratic representation
  • Faith in Parliament is eroding.
  • Money from the taxpayers has been squandered.
  • The opposition’s inability to hold the government accountable has resulted in laws being passed more in form than content.

Actions to be Taken

  • Additional teeth for MPs:
  • Parliament can give members of the public more opportunities to question the government.
  • Committees of ethics: Strengthening is required.
  • The Productive Parliamentary Index measures how productive parliamentarians are. Disincentivize MPs by showcasing the output and output of each session: Strict adherence to the Code of Conduct might be a helpful deterrent.
  • Increasing the number of sitting days:
  • A schedule of meetings should be made public.
  • Both parties have a sense of accountability:
  • The smooth running of the House was the duty of all stakeholders, and it had to be done with everyone’s combined desire and agreement.

  

 4. Spices Sector in India

#GS3-Cropping Patterns

Context

  • The publication ‘Spices Statistics at a Glance 2021’ was just launched by the Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
  • The book emphasises the increase in spice output and land area in the country over the last seven years, from 2014-15 to 2020-21.

In depth information

  • Spices are aromatic flavourings derived from plant parts such as seeds, fruits, bark, rhizomes, and rhizomes.
  • They’re used to season and preserve food, as well as as medications, colours, and fragrances.
  • For thousands of years, spices have been highly prized as trading items.
  • Spice is derived from the Latin word species, which meaning “merchant” or “wares.”
  • Spice demand has risen dramatically as a result of the acknowledgment of spices as a health supplement, particularly during the pandemic period.
  • The increased export of spices such as turmeric, ginger, cumin, and chilli, for example, demonstrates this.

India’s Spice Industry:

  • Spices are produced, consumed, and exported in huge quantities in India.
  • Almost all spices thrive in India’s diverse climes, which range from tropical to subtropical to temperate.
  • In truth, practically all of India’s states and union territories grow at least one spice.
  • The Spices Board is responsible for 52 spices, according to a law passed by Parliament.
  • The Spices Board (Ministry of Commerce and Industry) is India’s leading institution for the development and promotion of spices around the world.

The Spices Board Act of 1986 formed it.

  • Some states in India grow spices with a high market value on both the national and international markets.
  • The best example is Kashmiri saffron, the best saffron in the world.
  • Saffron from Kashmir has been designated as a Geographical Indication (GI).
  • Spices Trade: The export of spices accounts for 41% of all horticulture crops in the country’s total export revenues.
  • It is only behind marine products, non-basmati rice, and basmati rice in terms of agricultural commodities.

Initiatives by the government:

  • The fifth session of the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH), created under the Codex Alimentarius Commission, was recently inaugurated by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) (CAC).
  • The Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) was established by the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH).
  • Establishment: It was founded in the year 2013.
  • Referencing Criteria:
  • To develop global standards for spices and culinary herbs in whole, ground, cracked, or crushed form, including dried and dehydrated.
  • To avoid duplication, contact with other international organisations as needed during the standard-development process.

 

5. Kerala’s SilverLine Project

#GS3- Infrastructure

Context

  • SilverLine, a semi-high-speed railway project that would run trains at 200 km/h between the state’s northern and southern ends, has sparked protests across Kerala.

In depth information

What exactly is the SilverLine initiative?

  • Thiruvananthapuram in the south and Kasaragod in the north will be connected by a 529.45-kilometer route that will pass through 11 districts and 11 stations.
  • KRDCL, often known as K-Rail, is a joint venture between the Kerala government and the Union Ministry of Railways that was established to carry out this project.
  • The project, which is being carried out by the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL), has a 2025 completion date.

Project Characteristics

  • The project will include electric multiple unit (EMU) trains, each with a minimum of nine cars that may be expanded to a maximum of twelve.
  • In business and standard class, a nine-car rake can accommodate up to 675 passengers.
  • On a normal gauge track, the trains can travel at a top speed of 220 km/h, completing journeys in less than four hours in either direction.
  • There will be under-passages with service roads every 500 metres.

For the Silver Line project, there is a requirement.

  • Time savings:
  • It now takes 12 hours on the existing network. When the project is finished, it will take less than four hours to go from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram at 200 km/hr.
  • Old infrastructure:
  • Kerala’s existing railway infrastructure would not be able to satisfy future needs.
  • Terrain restrictions:
  • Due to the numerous curves and turns on the existing route, most trains travel at a 45 km/h average speed.
  • De-congestion:
  • The project will relieve a substantial amount of traffic from the present length and let commuters go more quickly, reducing traffic congestion and helping to prevent accidents.
  • Others:
  • The project would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, aid in the expansion of Ro-Ro services, create jobs, connect airports and IT corridors, and allow communities it travels through to expand more quickly.

Concerns about the Project

  • Major rhetoric:
  • Separate protests have been organised by all political parties.
  • Huge capital outlay: T
  • hey claim the project is a “astronomical swindle in the making” that will put the state more in debt.
  • Families would be displaced:
  • The project was financially unviable, and it would result in the eviction of almost 30,000 people.
  • Its course runs through valuable wetlands, paddy fields, and hills, causing significant environmental damage.
  • Flood hazard:
  • The construction of embankments on either side of the main section of the railway will obstruct natural drainage, resulting in flooding during heavy rains.

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