Ojaank IAS Academy




14 JANUARY 2023 – Current Affairs

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Voice of the Global South Summit

GS Paper-II

Context– The Honorable Prime Minister of India recently launched the “Voice of the Global South Summit,” a virtual event.
The Summit’s Details:
  • The conference was organised by India in an attempt to communicate the concerns of developing nations on the consequences of the epidemic and the war in Ukraine.
  • Finance, energy, education, international affairs, and trade are among the eight ministerial sessions planned for the event.
  • It was held under the subject ‘Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose,’ which essentially envisions bringing together nations of the global south and discussing their viewpoints and goals on a unified platform across a wide variety of topics.
Unifying the Global South:
  • The Prime Minister has set the stage for emerging countries, many of which are linked by a history of colonialism.
  • Offering to become the voice of the Global South, India during the event provided a new agenda to the world on behalf of the countries of the South: ‘react, acknowledge, respect, and change’.
  • The term “Global South” refers to countries in Asia, Africa, and South America.
Voice of global South in the ongoing Crisis:
  • According to PM, the globe is in the grip of a long-term catastrophe, and it is unclear how long this “state of instability” will remain.
  • The Global South does not have enough voice in the “eight decades old model of global governance” and that it should define the “emerging order”.
  • “Most of the global difficulties have not been produced by the Global South,” he says. But they have a greater impact on us. This has been demonstrated by the effects of the COVID epidemic, climate change, terrorism, and even the Ukraine crisis. The hunt for solutions also disregards our involvement or our voice”.
India’s goal:
  • India’s ambition in 2023 is to represent the Global South.
  • As India takes over the G20 presidency this year, it is inevitable that our goal would be to raise the voice of the Global South.
The Global North and the Global South:
  • The term “Global North” refers to countries such as the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • Asia, Africa, and South America are all part of the Global South.
Significance of categorisation:
  • For a long time, the practise of categorising nations into broad groups for simpler research has existed in the study of international political systems.
  • One example is the idea of ‘East’ and ‘West,’ with Western nations typically representing higher levels of economic growth and prosperity among their people, and Eastern countries thought to be in the process of making that shift.
The Importance of Categorization
  • The labels Global North and South differ in that they are more accurate in grouping nations together, measuring similarly in terms of income, measures of education and healthcare, and so on.
  • Another thing that most South American countries have in common is a history of colonialism, mostly at the hands of European powers.
  • The notion is being reintroduced currently in part due to the economic rise of several of these South Asian countries, such as India and China, in recent decades.
  • Many people believe that the globe is becoming multipolar, rather than unipolar, with the United States dominating international affairs.
Putting the ideal to the test:
  • Many Asian countries’ success is also regarded as undermining the notion that the North is the ideal.
  • The issue of correct name has yet to be resolved.
  • Because North nations have historically contributed to larger carbon emissions, many in the Global North have opposed to China and India’s exclusion from this, given their expanding industrialization.
  • There’s also the question of whether the South’s goal is merely to replace the North and the positions it holds, perpetuating a cycle in which a few nations amass critical resources.
  • With Asia’s growth, the persistent neglect of Africa has been called into doubt.
Way Forward
  • In this multipolar world, the entire North and South must work together to address the challenges of industrialised and emerging nations, as well as to promote the East as the West.
  • Some economists suggest that free trade and unrestricted money movements across borders might contribute to a narrowing of the North-South gap.
  • In this instance, more equitable trade and capital flows would help underdeveloped nations to progress economically.
  • There is evidence that certain South-South nations are developing high amounts of South-South aid as they undergo fast growth.
Source: The Hindu

Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2023

GS Paper- II

Context– The 33rd issue of Human Rights Watch’s World Report was just published.

This volume examines human rights practises in almost a hundred nations.

Politically driven accusations:
  • According to the HRW section on India, authorities throughout India imprisoned activists, journalists, and other government opponents on “politically motivated” criminal accusations, including terrorism.
Concerning minorities:
  • According to the research, Indian authorities have “intensified and widened” its onslaught on activist organisations and the media till 2022.
Abuse & repression
  • It went on to say that the “Hindu nationalist” Bharatiya Janata Party-led administration utilised “abusive and discriminatory measures” to oppress Muslims and other minorities.
Properties that are being demolished:
  • According to the Human Rights Watch, officials in numerous BJP-ruled states razed Muslim houses and properties without legal licence or due process as a kind of summary retribution for protests or suspected offences.
Conversions of religion:
  • Authorities also “misused” rules against forced religious conversions “to target Christians, particularly from Dalit and Adivasi tribes,” according to the report.
BilkisBano case & Violence against women:
  • The release of the 11 Hindu men convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the gang rape of BilkisBano and the murder of 14 members of her family, and the celebration of their release by some BJP members, according to HRW, “highlighted the government’s discriminatory stance toward minority communities, even in cases of violence against women.”
On J&K:
  • In the case of Jammu and Kashmir, HRW stated that “the government continued to limit free expression, peaceful assembly, and other basic rights there” notwithstanding the repeal of Article 370 and the establishment of two federally governed areas three years ago.
  • The global human rights observer mentioned probable terrorist attacks in the Kashmir Valley against minority Hindu and Sikh populations.
Welcoming the Supreme Court rulings:
  • The Human Rights Watch also cited the Supreme Court of India’s increasingly liberal rulings.
It also mentioned the following major judgements by the Supreme Court:
  • Extending abortion rights to all women, regardless of marital status or gender identity, and to anyone other than cisgender women; broadening the concept of a family to include same-sex couples, single parents, and other families.
  • It also noted the Supreme Court’s prohibition on two-finger testing.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) Information
  • Human Rights Watch (HRW) is a non-governmental organisation based in New York City.
  • The organisation strives to persuade governments, officials, corporations, and individual human rights violators to condemn abuse and protect human rights, and it frequently campaigns on behalf of refugees, children, migrants, and political prisoners.
  • It is based in New York City and performs human rights research and advocacy.
Fundamental human rights:
  • Human Rights Watch, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), condemns abuses of what the UDHR considers essential human rights.
  • This includes the death penalty and discrimination based on sexual orientation.
  • HRW campaigns for freedoms related to core human rights, such as religious freedom and press freedom.
  • It tries to effect change by publicly lobbying governments and officials to end human rights violations, as well as persuading more powerful states to exert influence over governments that violate human rights.
  • Significant Constitutional provisions in India
The six fundamental rights are:
  • Right to equality (Article 14–18)
  • Right to freedom (Article 19–22)
  • Right against exploitation (Article 23–24)
  • Right to freedom of religion (Article 25–28)
  • Cultural and educational rights (Article 29–30)
  • Right to constitutional remedies (Article 32)
Freedom of Speech and Expression:
  • It is protected as a fundamental right in the Constitution of India under Article 19(1) (a) which states that all citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression.
Freedom of Religion under the Indian Constitution:
  • Various fundamental rights are provided as well as guaranteed by our Indian Constitution under Part III.
  • Articles 25-28 of the Indian Constitution guarantee the right to freedom of religion to all citizens who are residing within the territory of India.
  • Freedom of conscience and free profession of religion. (Article 25)
  • Freedom to manage religious affairs (Article 26)
  • Freedom from payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion( Article 27)
  • Freedom to attend religious instructions ( Article 28)
  • Because India is a secular country, every person has the right to practise whichever religion he or she chooses.
  • The term “Secular” was added to our preamble by the 42nd amendment to the Indian Constitution in 1976.
Source: The Hindu

Kesavananda Bharati & Doctrine of Basic structure

GS Paper- II

Context– The Vice President recently renewed the discussion over the “Basic Structure” theory during the 83rd All-India Presiding Officers Conference in Jaipur, particularly in light of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act of 2015.
  • Article 368 of the Indian Constitution describes amendments to the Indian Constitution in reaction to new problems, as well as taking into account unanticipated and unforeseeable events that the constitution authors did not consider.
  • In its landmark 1973 ruling in the Kesavananda Bharati case, the Supreme Court held that Parliament had the ability to amend the Constitution but not its core principles or basic structures.
  • However, this fundamental concept was not specified and has subsequently evolved to include new aspects.
  • Judicial review is a technique that courts employ to investigate and assess the constitutionality of any change proposed by Parliament, and it can declare a legislation ultra vires or illegal if it violates any provision of the Constitution.
  • Regardless, the extent of the Parliament’s modifying powers became a cause of ongoing contention between the Parliament and the Supreme Court.
Who was  Kesavananda Bharati?
  • Kesavananda Bharati, who was born in 1940, was the leader of the Edneer Mutt, a Hindu monastery in Kasargod, Kerala, who challenged the Constitution (29th Amendment) Act, 1972, which included the Kerala Land Reforms Act, 1963, and its amending Act in the Constitution’s 9th Schedule.
  • The First Amendment introduced the 9th Schedule to the Constitution in 1951, along with Article 31-B, to offer a “protective cover” to land reform policies, preventing them from being challenged in court.
  • He claimed that this conduct infringed his basic right to religion (Article 25), religious freedom (Article 26), and property rights (Article 31).
A.K. Gopalan Vs. State of Madras (1950):
  • The Supreme Court ruled that Article 21 protection is only applicable against arbitrary executive action, not arbitrary legislative action.
  • Second, the Supreme Court ruled that “personal liberty” refers solely to liberty pertaining to the individual’s person or body.
Union of India vs. Shankari Prasad (1951):
  • The Supreme Court concluded that Parliament’s capacity to change the Constitution under Article 368 includes the ability to amend Fundamental Rights.
  • As a result, the Parliament can limit or eliminate any of the Fundamental Rights by implementing a constitutional amendment act, and such legislation is not unconstitutional under Article 13.
Berubari Union Case (1960):
  • According to the Supreme Court, the Preamble explains the overall goals underlying the various articles in the Constitution and thereby provides insight into the thoughts of the Constitution’s authors.
  • Despite this acknowledgement of the Preamble’s significance, the Supreme Court clearly said that the Preamble is not a component of the Constitution and hence is not enforceable in a court of law.
Golaknath vs. Punjab State (1967):
  • The Supreme Court ruled that Parliament cannot take away or limit any of the Fundamental Rights.
  • The Court ruled that the Fundamental Rights cannot be changed in order to achieve the Directive Principles.
  • The Parliament passed the 24th Amendment Act (1971), which stated that the Parliament has the authority to limit or eliminate any of the Fundamental Rights by the enactment of Constitutional Amendment Acts.
  • Furthermore, through the 25th Amendment Act, Parliament included a new Article 31C, which stated that no measure seeking to implement the socialistic Directive Principles shall be unlawful on the basis of a violation of the Fundamental Rights granted by Article 14, Article 19, or Article 31.
Kesavananda Bharati Vs. State of Kerala (1973):
  • It concerned a property dispute that was adjudicated by a special bench of 13 justices of the Supreme Court of India on April 24, 1973, with a 7-6 majority that Article 368 of the Constitution did not provide Parliament the ability to amend the essential framework of the Constitution.
  • The Court established what became known as the “Basic Structure of the Constitution,” which could not be changed even by a constitutional amendment.
Indira Gandhi Vs. Raj Narain Case (1975):
  • The Supreme Court confirmed and implemented the notion of the basic structure of the constitution.
  • The Supreme Court struck down a clause of the 39th Amendment Act (1975) that barred all courts from hearing election disputes involving the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976:
  • The Parliament responded to this judicially created theory of ‘fundamental structure’ by adopting an Act to modify Article 368, declaring that Parliament’s constituent authority is unrestricted.
  • Furthermore, no modification can be challenged in court on any grounds, including a violation of any of the Fundamental Rights.
Minerva Mills Vs. Union of India (1980):
  • “The Indian Constitution is established on the foundations of the balance between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles,” the Supreme Court said.
  • The Parliament may alter the Fundamental Rights in order to achieve the Directive Principles, as long as the amendment does not harm or destroy the Constitution’s core framework.
Case of Waman Rao (1981):
  • The Basic Structure concept was restated to draw a line of demarcation as April 24th, 1973, i.e., the date of the Kesavananda Bharati verdict, and ruled that it should not be applied retroactively to reconsider the legality of any constitutional change that occurred previous to that day.
Indra Sawhney and Union of India (1992):
  • The Supreme Court considered the meaning and breadth of Article 16(4), which provides for job reservation in favour of backward groups. It affirmed the constitutional legitimacy of the 27% reservation for OBCs subject to specific limitations (such as creamy layer exclusion, no reservation in promotion, total reserved quota not exceeding 50%, and so on).
  • ‘Rule of Law’ was added to the list of core constitutional qualities here.
S. R. Bommai vs. University of Iowa (1994):
  • The Supreme Court put down that the Constitution is federal and identified federalism as its ‘basic characteristic’.
  • It further said that the fact that the Centre has more authority than the states under the system of our Constitution does not imply that the states are mere appendages of the Centre.
Critical Analysis of Keshvanand Judgement
Arguments in Support Arguments against
  • According to Granville Austin, an American historian of the Indian Constitution, the Basic Structure Doctrine creates a balance between Parliament’s and the Supreme Court’s responsibility for maintaining the Indian Constitution’s seamless web.
  • According to legal expert Upendra Baxi, the concept supports constitutional reform, setting the path for fundamental, societal transformation by peaceful democratic methods.
  • The diversity of perspectives expressed in the Kesavananda decision provided little clarity, making it an unclear authority to limit Parliament’s amending powers.
It has given rise to :
  • Judicial Activism refers to judgements made by the court that are based, in whole or in part, on the Judge’s personal or political characteristics rather than on current or established legislation.
  • Judicial Overreach refers to the judiciary’s undue meddling with the legislative and the executive.
  • According to Raju Ramachandran, former Additional Solicitor General of India, the Basic Structure Doctrine is anti-democratic since the court’s own opinion of its own competence and efficiency becomes the only check on its own judicial power.
  • There is also criticism that unelected judges have finally gained political power not granted to them by the Constitution.
Way Forward
  • The constitution, like the public, requires modifications to accommodate and manage the tension between the political system and constitutional values.
  • Although the courts must be respected, the ambiguity surrounding basic structure must be revisited, because Parliamentary sovereignty and autonomy cannot be qualified or compromised because they are crucial to the survival of democracy.
Source: The Hindu

Agriculture’s digital drive and sustainability challenge

GS Paper- III

Context- The world’s population will reach 10 billion by 2050; agricultural area has been cut in half in the previous 50 years; 20-40% of crop output is lost to pests and disease, with an additional 10-25% lost post-harvest. Taking geopolitical events such as the Ukraine war into account, food security is a major issue for humanity. In all of this, digital technologies may be the solution to agricultural woes; more importantly, they might help us attain sustainability if we overcome hurdles.
Agriculture’s digital drive
  • Modern technology is being used in farming to increase productivity and profitability. Farmers nowadays employ digital technologies for farm management, financial services, market services, information, and other purposes.
  • Apart from big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence,’smart agriculture’ employs software for remote sensing (AI). Sensors, drones, and computer imagery combined with analytical tools to create actionable information comprise IoT in agriculture.
  • Predictive analytics enables speedy decision-making based on data mining, data modelling, and machine learning (ML).
  • Digital adoption may provide value across the whole farm-to-fork (F2F) supply chain, from planting to harvesting (of fruits, vegetables, grains, and so on) till it reaches one’s plate. Farm suppliers, farmers, food processors, merchants, retailers, and, lastly, end users are among the stakeholders in this route.
  • Precision farming increases agricultural yields while reducing resource use. It examines and analyses the demands of various fields and crops in order to help waste management, decrease production costs, maximise water use, and limit environmental consequences.
The challenges of digital adoption in the Farm to Fork (F2F) supply chain
  • For example, all risk is placed on the farmer, who is burdened by weather fluctuations, the selection of profitable products, limited access to crop insurance, and so on. In order to compensate for the load, we must deliver greater value to the farmer.
  • Decision-making in food production, crop marketing, transportation, and other areas has been more centralised in the hands of huge agricultural companies or producers. While output has increased, so has the democratisation of decision-making.
  • Digital disparities between large and small farmers, or between high- and low-income nations, characterise the sector’s digital transition.
  • A fertiliser or agricultural equipment producer may wish to assist farmers but is hampered in developing the necessary ecosystem to deliver a comprehensive solution.
  • Subsistence farmers cannot afford capital investment, and other farmers face similar financial challenges. At the agricultural level, this is a significant difficulty.
What binds these supply chain components together?
  • Which refers to strategies that boost agricultural output and revenue over time while also safeguarding the environment. Farmers use inputs just where they are needed, enhancing product quality, lowering input costs, boosting production, and assuring environmental sustainability.
  • Agritech firms may now use AI/ML models because to India’s developing digital environment and high-speed internet.
  • Precision agriculture companies are assisting farmers in significantly increasing yields.
  • Farmers may now sell their products directly to consumers, eliminating the need for middlemen, thanks to a growth in online agritech platforms. This also contributes to the development of trust and transparency between farmers and customers.
  • Rising internet use and smartphone prevalence in India have already transformed the face of agriculture in important ways, particularly how small and medium farmers work. It facilitates direct market access, allowing farmers to keep a greater part of the value produced.
Current status of Indian agriculture
  • While there is great potential for employing digital technology in agriculture in India, a number of challenges must be solved.
  • Farming technology is now being used infrequently by Indian farmers.
  • Due to tiny landholdings and substantial overpopulation, productivity is likewise low, which adds to our low degree of mechanisation.
  • Farmers are forced to rely on local traders and intermediaries to sell their farm product, which is offered at extremely cheap rates due to a lack of agricultural marketing.
  • Agriculture uses digital technologies to assist innovation and sustainable farming techniques. To guarantee its success, all modifications must provide comprehensive benefits.
Source: Indian Express

Fresh momentum to India’s ties with Egypt

GS Paper- III

Context- The decision to welcome Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al Sisi as the Chief Guest on Republic Day is a significant gesture that should help to revitalise India’s relations with the Arab world’s largest country.
What makes Egypt such an important player?
  • Egypt is a crucial actor in world events, with a population of about 110 million people, a position that spans Africa and Asia, the largest standing army in the area, a city that hosts the League of Arab States, and a diplomatic presence that punches above its weight in global affairs.
Why Egypt matters to India?
  • It is a nation with whom India had a particularly strong relationship in the first few decades following independence.
  • The personal relationship between Prime Minister Nehru and President Nasser was legendary, and the two became nonaligned movement stalwarts throughout the 1960s Cold War.
  • Politically, the two nations were close enough for India to deliver clandestine weaponry supplies to Egypt during the Suez crisis in 1956, and to consider nuclear cooperation and a joint fighter project in the 1960s.
  • It was a time when Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore were household names, and their writings were translated into Arabic by prominent Arab literary leaders.
A drift for almost 30 years
  • The two countries began to drift apart. Especially from 1981 to 2011, during President Hosni Mubarak’s extended tenure.
  • According to diplomatic legend, an apparently minor procedural blunder during the New Delhi NAM summit in 1983 was perceived as a personal affront, and it took 25 years for Mubarak to be convinced to return to India in November 2008.
Growing ties and willingness to work together
  • Egypt demonstrated its resolve again when President Sisi took office in 2014, first by his participation at the India-Africa Forum Summit in Delhi in 2015, and again through a state visit in 2016.
  • High-level interactions during the previous two years resulted in Desert Warrior, the first-ever combined tactical exercise by the two countries’ air forces, with the IAF deploying five Mirage 2000 fighters and a refuelling aircraft to El Berigat Airbase in Egypt.
  • The Egyptians are also interested in India’s Tejas fighter fighters and Dhruv light attack helicopters, albeit this is still in its early stages.
  • Equally crucial is their behind-the-scenes assistance in fighting unfriendly actions by Pakistan at venues such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), as well as their refusal to make any negative comments during the Nupur Sharma controversy.
  • Both nations have also shown mutual goodwill by assisting one other during critical periods during the previous two years.
  • When the second wave of COVID-19 hit India severely, Egypt reacted by shipping three plane loads of medical supplies and delivering 300,000 pills of Remdesivir in May 2021.
  • A year later, when Egypt, the world’s top wheat importer, was facing a catastrophic situation due to the unexpected suspension in wheat supplies from Ukraine, India reciprocated. The Indian answer also cleared the door for Egypt to tour India’s wheat-growing regions and register India for regular wheat exports to Egypt.
  • Backed by these tailwinds, bilateral commerce increased by over 75% last year to reach US$ 7 billion, however this is well below the potential given the size of the two economies. However, Egypt’s growing investment environment presents a more intriguing prospect.
Current status of Egypt’s economy and India’s investment
  • Non-oil sector growth has been anaemic, foreign exchange reserves have plummeted, and the Egyptian pound has been in free decline, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delivering a harsh pill to address some of the issues.
  • After multiple failed attempts, and compelled by the depth of the economic crisis, the Egyptian government appears to be becoming serious about implementing both economic and administrative changes.
  • Indian firms have invested in Egypt, and they have done well on the whole. Indian businesses are responding positively, with some openly stating that after years of apathy, they are now being heard and action is being made to make ease of doing business a reality.
  • The ambitious ambitions to transform the Suez Canal Economic Zone into a worldwide industrial centre are nearing completion. ReNew Power, located in Gurgaon, appears to be the first Indian company to sign a deal to establish a Green Hydrogen factory.
  • It is clearly driven by favourable tax breaks, cheap and plentiful land, 365 days of light to provide the solar energy needed for the electrolyzers, and a strategic position that allows quick access to European markets.
Way Forward
  • A broader economic connection with Egypt thus becomes a strategic objective for India.
  • While Egypt definitely has to do more to advertise itself as an investment destination in India, industry organisations such as the CII, FICCI, and ASSOCHAM must also be more proactive.
  • ReNew Power has paved the road, but it will take a collaborative government-industry effort to achieve the scale required to make an effect.
  • For the time being, there are obvious indicators that India under Prime Minister Modi and Egypt under President Sisi may finally be moving toward realising some of the promise in bilateral ties that has been dormant for the previous four decades.
Source: Indian Express

Mental Health Problem and effective policy

GS Paper- II

Context- The sixth Global Mental Health Summit, co-sponsored by more than a half-dozen mental health organisations, was convened in Chennai to explore mental health in the context of human rights, ethics, and justice. It emphasised the significance of mental health and issued a call to action against the persistent neglect by society and, in particular, governments at the federal and state levels.
National Mental Health Survey Findings
  • The most recent National Mental Health Survey (NMHS) was released in 2016 by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and WHO.
  • The survey found that the incidence of mental illnesses among people in India is about 10.6%. Anxiety disorders (7.3%) and mood disorders (4.5%) were the most frequent disorders.
  • The poll also discovered that women had a greater frequency of mental diseases than males, and that the majority of persons with mental disorders did not receive any treatment.
  • It also discovered that the incidence of mental illnesses was higher in urban regions than in rural ones, and that those with lower levels of education and income had a higher frequency of mental diseases.
  • The poll found that there is a huge gap in treatment coverage for those with mental problems, with the majority of patients receiving no care.
  • The study offered critical information for the Indian government and mental health professionals in planning and implementing mental health initiatives and policies in the country.
What constitutes good policy making on mental health?
  • Policies should be founded on solid study and scientific facts. This helps to ensure that policies handle mental health concerns effectively and are not based on assumptions or prejudices.
  • People with lived experience of mental health concerns, mental health experts, and representatives from relevant government agencies and non-governmental groups should all be included in policy development.
  • Comprehensive mental health policy should address a wide variety of concerns, including prevention, early intervention, treatment, and rehabilitation. They should also be connected with other programmes such as education, housing, and employment.
  • People should have access to adequate and inexpensive mental health treatment, which includes both pharmacological and psychosocial therapy.
  • People with mental health disorders should be treated with decency and respect, and their human rights should be maintained, according to policies.
Case study: How India tackled HIV/AIDS?
  • The importance of developing strategic actions based on epidemiological data from an active monitoring system.
  • The significance of modelling multiple possibilities for addressing the vast range of interventions necessary in different geographies and among diverse target groups in order to offer data on cost efficiency and efficacy of the interventions needed for scaling up.
  • Proactive advocacy of systemic concerns among all influencers, including the media, courts, politicians, police, and other intersectoral departments whose programmes and activities have a direct impact on the target communities.
  • The utilisation of peer leaders and civil society, which received more than a quarter of the budget. Despite the fact that the federal government supported the whole programme, each intervention was developed with active participation and conversation among the states and constituencies of local leaders.
Strategy for improving mental health policy implementation
  • Having specific and quantifiable goals and objectives can assist to ensure that policies are successfully implemented and that progress is recorded.
  • Training and capacity building for mental health professionals, as well as other important stakeholders such as community leaders, can aid in the efficient implementation of policies.
  • Involving communities in mental health policy formulation and implementation can assist to ensure that policies are responsive to the unique needs and goals of local populations.
  • Regularly monitoring and analysing policy implementation can assist in identifying any impediments or problems and making required modifications.
  • Adopting a multi-sectoral strategy that incorporates collaboration between several areas such as health, education, social welfare, housing, and employment can aid in ensuring that policies are executed in a coordinated and successful manner.
  • Policies should be adaptable to changing conditions and receptive to community and stakeholder comments and ideas.
latest research in mental health domain
  • Early intervention, according to research, can help patients recover more quickly and avoid mental health concerns from worsening.
  • There has been a growth in the use of technology to offer mental health treatment, such as smartphone applications, virtual reality, and teletherapy. These technologies have been found in studies to be useful in improving mental health outcomes.
  • The pandemic has had a substantial influence on mental health, and research has been performed to determine the magnitude of the impact and identify mitigation techniques.
  • Brain imaging tools and genetic investigations are being used by researchers to acquire a better understanding of the underlying causes of mental diseases and to develop more effective therapies.
  • To enhance mental health outcomes, there is rising interest in the use of customised medicine, which entails combining genetic and other information to adapt treatment to the particular patient.
  • Spending time in nature has been demonstrated in studies to improve mental health by lowering feelings of stress, anxiety, and sadness.
  • Poverty, education, and social support have all been identified as important socioeconomic determinants of mental health.
  • Workplace stress and burnout have been shown in studies to have a negative influence on mental health, emphasising the necessity of workplace interventions to enhance mental well-being.
  • People’s ages have nothing to do with mental health issues. This threat can affect everyone, from youngsters to the elderly. The government of the must develop and execute an effective, result-oriented mental health strategy as soon as feasible.
Source: Indian Express

Discretionary Haj Quota in India

GS Paper- I

Context– The Union Minister for Minority Affairs has abolished the discretionary Haj quota for pilgrims, in line with the Prime Minister’s determination to put an end to VIP culture in the country.

The Haj Pilgrimage
  • The holy Haj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Muslims’ holiest city.
  • It is regarded as a religious obligation for all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of performing it.
  • The pilgrimage rituals are carried out over five to six days in Dhu al-Hijjah, the final month of the Islamic calendar.
How is it managed?
  • The pilgrimage presents a tremendous logistical problem for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • To say the least, housing, feeding, and enabling safe pilgrimages for millions of pilgrims who descend on Mecca from all over the world in a short period of time is tough.
  • Thus, Saudi Arabia assigns quotas to each nation, determining the total number of pilgrims who can go from that country.
  • These quotas are often distributed based on the number of Muslims in a country. However, quotas are also significant diplomatic difficulties.
  • Countries beg Saudi Arabia for extra spots every year. After a brief hiatus due to Covid-19, the pilgrimage will return in full force in 2023.
How India manages this?
  • India and Saudi Arabia inked a bilateral agreement for Haj 2023.
  • According to the agreement, a total of 1,75,025 Indian Haj pilgrims, the biggest number in history, will be eligible to do Haj.
  • The quota given to India is subsequently apportioned among various stakeholders by the Ministry of Minority Affairs and the Haj Committee of India (HCoI).
  • According to the 2018-22 policy paper, the HCoI receives 70% of India’s overall quota, while private operators receive 30%.
Distribution of Quotas
  • Out of the total number of HCoI seats, 500 are held under the Government’s discretionary quota, with the remainder assigned to individual states based on their Muslim population.
  • If the number of applicants exceeds the number of available spaces, a lottery is held in each state to select who would travel.
What are the discretionary quotas for Haj?
  • The “Government discretionary quota” is further divided into two parts: 200 seats are reserved for the Haj Committee and 300 for those holding crucial positions at the Centre. These are some examples:
  • 100 with the President
  • 75 with the Prime Minister
  • 75 with the Vice President
  • 50 with the Minister of Minority Affairs
  • According to the previous protocol, these seats might be assigned to anyone who registered for the pilgrimage through conventional channels but were denied a spot.
  • This quota has since been eliminated, and these seats have been returned to the general pool.
Fact for Prelims
Rajmata Jijau

Context– The Prime Minister of India recently paid tribute to Rajmata Jijau on her Jayanti.

  • JijabaiBhonsle (January 12, 1598 – June 17, 1674)
  • Rajmata, Rashtramata, Jijabai, or Jijau were all names for her.
  • Jijabai was born in Deulgaon, near Sindkhed, Maharashtra, to Mahalasabai Jadhav and Lakhuji Jadhav.
  • Jijabai married Shahaji Bhosle at a young age.
  • She was the mother of Shivaji, the Maratha Empire’s founder.
  • She died at the hamlet of Pachad, near Raigad Fort.
Contributions & Role:
  • She managed and expanded her husband’s Jagir in Pune.
  • I was mentored by a wonderful man named Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
  • She nurtured Shivaji as a warrior and educated him about swarajya.
  • She also rebuilt Kevareshwar and TambadiJogeshwari temples.
Ganga Vilas: World’s Longest River Cruise
Context– The Ganga river cruise from Varanasi was launched off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Concerning Ganga Vilas
  • It will cruise over 27 river systems in India and Bangladesh to reach Dibrugarh in Assam in 51 days, covering around 3,200 kilometres.
  • The 51-day cruise itinerary includes visits to 50 tourist destinations including as World Heritage Sites, National Parks, River Ghats, and important towns such as Patna in Bihar, Sahibganj in Jharkhand, Kolkata in West Bengal, Dhaka in Bangladesh, and Guwahati in Assam.
  • It is selected to highlight the finest of the country to the rest of the globe.
  • It bills itself as the world’s longest river tour.
  • The adventure will provide travellers with the chance to engage on an experience journey and immerse themselves in the art, culture, history, and spirituality of India and Bangladesh.

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