- Shigmotsav festival
- Concerns on Global Hunger Index
- Failure of first inter-state tiger relocation project
- Posting retired judges to clear backlog in HC
- Supreme Court flags concern over misuse of electoral bonds
Context: Recently, the Goa government permitted the celebrations of the Shigmotsav Festival.
- Shigmotsav festivalalso known as Shigmo is a spring festival celebrated in the state of Goa.
- The festival is the celebration of a rich, golden harvest of paddyby the tribal communities of Goa.
- Communities: Agricultural communities including the Kunbis, Gawdas and Velips celebrate the festival.
- Shigmo street parade floats as the highlight. It is held as an annual affair in the state capital, Panjim and other major cities like Margao, Mapusa, Vasco, and Ponda.
- These colour-parties usually see people dressed in vibrant clothing performing traditional folk dances to depict the historical legacy of the Maratha War that backs this festival.
- The float parades have, over the years, been a draw for tourists both domestic and international.
Two Variants of the Festival:
- Dhakto Shigmo: It is celebrated by the rural population, farmers and the labour class.
- Vhadlo Shigmo: It is of greater importance and is celebrated by everyone.
Concerns on Global Hunger Index
Context:The methodology and data accuracy of the Global Hunger Index (GHI) are questioned by the government.
- The government has questioned the GHI report alleging that children considered healthy were also counted to determine the ranking.
- India was ranked at the 94th position out of 107 countries that were studied.
- It is released annually by Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide
- The GHI scores are based on a formula that captures three dimensions of hunger—insufficient caloric intake, child undernutrition, and child mortality—using four component indicators:
- UNDERNOURISHMENT: the share of the population that is undernourished, reflecting insufficient caloric intake
- CHILD WASTING: the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (low weight-for-height), reflecting acute undernutrition.
- CHILD STUNTING: the share of children under the age of five who are stunted (low height-for-age), reflecting chronic undernutrition.
- CHILD MORTALITY: the mortality rate of children under the age of five.
- India has the highest prevalence of wasted children under five years in the world, which reflects acute undernutrition.
- The report put India under serious category with the score of 27.2.
- In the region of the south, east, and south-eastern Asia, the only countries which fare worse than India are Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, and North Korea.
- The child stunting rate in India was 37.4 %. The child wasting was at 17.3 %.
- The undernourishment rate of India was at 14% and child mortality at 3.7 %.
Failure of first inter-state tiger relocation project
Context:Recently, a tigress shifted as part of India’s first inter-state translocation project in 2018 from Madhya Pradesh to Odisha has returned home after spending 28 months in Satkosia Tiger Reserve
Inter-state Tiger Relocation Project
- It was initiated in 2018 wherein two big cats, a male (Mahavir) from Kanha Tiger Reserve and a female (Sundari) from Bandhavgarh from Madhya Pradesh were relocated to Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Odisha.
- The relocation was meant to serve two purposes:
- Reducing tiger population in areas with excess tigers to majorly reduce territorial disputes; and
- To reintroduce tigers in areas where the population has considerably reduced due to various reasons
- It was started under the project of “augmentation and recovery of tiger population in Satkosia tiger reserve”.
- Under the project, six tigers (three pairs) from different reserves of Madhya Pradesh were to be sent to Odisha.
- The two key factors were considered for choosing the animal:
- First, a dispersing young animal which is to find a new; and
- Second, an adult transient which was yet to establish any territory
Posting retired judges to clear backlog in HC
Context:The Supreme Court pushed for the appointment of retired judges to battle pendency of cases in High Courts.
- There are suits pending in chartered courts, and in North India, some courts have cases pending for 30 years.
- Retired judges who had handled certain disputes and fields of law for over 15 years could deal with them faster if brought back into harness as ad-hoc judges.
- The appointment of ad-hoc judges would not be a threat to the services of other judges. “Ad-hoc judges will be treated as the junior most.
- The Chief Justice said the appointment of ad-hoc judges was provided for in the Constitution under Article 224A.
- Under the Article, the Chief Justice of a High Court for any State may at any time, with the previous consent of the President, request any person who has held the office of judge of that court or of any other High Court to sit and act as a judge of the High Court for that State.
- The court orally outlined prospective guidelines for the appointment and functioning of an ad hoc judge
- If in a particular jurisdiction, the pendency goes beyond a certain limit, say eight or 10 years, the Chief Justice may appoint a certain retired judge with expertise in those fields of laws as an ad hoc judge.
Supreme Court flags concern over misuse of electoral bonds
Context:The Supreme Court recently flagged its concern that political parties could misuse crores of rupees received as donations through electoral bonds to bankroll violent protests or even terror.
- The court asked the government whether there was any “control” over how these donations were used by the political parties.
- An application was filed by the Association for Democratic Reforms, represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan, to stay the sale of electoral bonds scheduled between April 1 and April 10, prior to the crucial Assembly elections in five States, including West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
- Electoral bonds scheme introduces anonymity in political donations. The sale of bonds in April should be stopped,” petitioner urged.
CONCERNS RAISED BY THE SC:
- A political party which wants to buy electoral bonds can use the money to finance a protest.
- There is no control of the government on how the money is put to use.
- There is no guarantee that a political party will use the entire funds for political purpose alone and not for terrorism or other activities.
- Parties can use the funds for activities outside their political agenda. Along with election expenditure, a party can also start a violent protest.
- Mr. Venugopal, appearing for the government, said only parties registered under the Representation of the People Act could receive donations through electoral bonds, and that they should not have secured less than 1% of the votes polled in the previous elections.
- Mr. Venugopal said the sale was announced after getting permission from the Election Commission of India.
- The Election Commission is supporting electoral bonds or we will go back to the pre-existing situation of donations coming in by cash.
- Chief Justice Bobde then asked whether the purchasers of electoral bonds disclosed whether the money paid was black or white. When a businessman goes and buys bonds, does he have to disclose whether he purchases them with white or black money? Does he have to pay tax?
- Government said the buyers have to use white money. The purchase is through bank drafts, cheques or electronic transfer.