GS Paper II
Context: Bangladesh-India ties have just reached the Golden Chapter of their history. The Prime Minister of Bangladesh has been invited as a special guest to the G20 Summit by the Prime Minister of India, putting the finishing touches on this bilateral friendship. Bangladesh is the only South Asian country on India’s invitation list. India’s invitation to Bangladesh as its guest demonstrates the country’s strong regard for its immediate eastern neighbour and “best friend” in the area.
India has civilizational, cultural, social, and economic ties with Bangladesh.
There is plenty that binds the two nations together, including a similar history and legacy, linguistic and cultural links, and a love of music, literature, and the arts.
It is also worth noting that India and Bangladesh share the world’s longest border, which is 4,096.7 kilometres long and ranks sixth in the world.
They created more bilateral contact and commerce with the start of economic liberalisation in South Asia.
Why Bangladesh is cardinally important to India?
South Asia’s major commercial partner of India.
Bangladesh has emerged as India’s most important commercial partner: Bangladesh will be India’s greatest commercial partner in South Asia in 2021-22, while India is Bangladesh’s second-largest trading partner and largest export market in Asia. Despite the epidemic, bilateral commerce has increased at an unprecedented 14 percent.
Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement: The two nations are also ready to sign the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which would further strengthen their trade and commercial relations.
Gateway for India’s Northeast:
Crucial location: Both Bangladesh and India have undertaken efforts in recent years to increase communication between Bangladesh and India’s Northeast, which is physically placed between West Bengal and landlocked Northeastern regions.
Initiatives to Improve Connectivity: Initiatives such as inviting India to use Chattogram and Mongla ports, adding new ports and protocol routes to the shared inland waterway network, building the Maitri and Padma Setu bridges, and the upcoming Akhaura-Agartala rail line all aim to improve trade and transportation connectivity. The Mitali Express has already begun biweekly runs between New Jalpaiguri and Dhaka.
Crucial for stability and security: Bangladesh has been an exceptional security partner for India, particularly with its zero-tolerance approach to terrorism. Bangladesh has detained and handed over militants from separatist militant organisations in the Northeast (United Liberation Front of Asom) to India on multiple occasions.
India’s Neighbourhood First and Act East Policies:
The Gulf of Bengal’s Growing Strategic Importance: The Bay of Bengal’s growing strategic importance, heightened by China’s expanding and aggressive presence in this maritime domain, has prompted India to strengthen relations with the Bay littorals in order to maintain its pre-eminence in the Bay, which it regards as a major area of interest.
Crucial for India’s Policy of Eastern Neighborhood: Additionally, since its western front remains unstable, India is attempting to strengthen ties with its eastern neighbours in order to realise its Indo-Pacific ambitions.
As China attempts to gain a foothold, India Reviving and Fostering Cooperation: While China attempts to build a firmer footing in the Bay area through advances into Bangladesh, India has felt an extra push to cultivate its ties with the nation, restoring age-old relationships and nurturing new channels for collaboration.
Vaccine Maitri Initiative in India As an example: During the pandemic, India prioritised Bangladesh and provided 10.3 crore vaccine doses, making it the largest beneficiary of their Vaccine Maitri campaign.
Key Areas of Cooperation on India’s G20 Agenda:
Climate change and disaster management:
Green Development, Climate Finance, and LiFE’: As the name implies, this segment is dedicated to raising environmental awareness and understanding the impact of climate change, with a particular emphasis on not only climate finance and technology, but also ensuring just energy transitions for developing nations worldwide.
For example, both nations committed to collaborate on climate change, with a focus on the Sundarban region, which is facing problems owing to climate-induced sea level rise.
Disaster risk reduction: Both India and Bangladesh are frequently hit by natural catastrophes such as cyclones that form in the tumultuous Bay of Bengal. As a result, the two nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Disaster Management in 2021 to address this transnational issue.
Transition to renewable energy:
Energy transition and cooperation: Since energy transitions are a key problem in India’s G20 mandate, Bangladesh has established a target of generating 40% of its electricity from sustainable energy by 2041. India and Bangladesh have boosted their energy cooperation.
Projects such as the Friendship Pipeline and the Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant, for example, have committed to strengthen collaboration in energy efficiency and renewable energy, including biofuels.
Cooperation in cyber security: Cyber security is an inherent part of Digital Public Infrastructures (DPIs), and it also happens to be one of the areas in which India and Bangladesh have committed to collaborate.
Combining forces to improve AI and cyber security: In June 2022, both nations agreed to strengthen their strategic relationship to improve AI and cyber security.
India’s objective within the G20 is to support reformed multilateralism that fosters responsible, inclusive, fair, equitable, and representative multipolar international frameworks capable of handling modern issues.
Bangladesh, as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, will become even more crucial to India in the future.
Bangladesh is a member of various multilateral platforms in India’s neighbourhood (an region in which India aims to exert influence), including SAARC, BIMSTEC, and IORA.
If India’s G20 ambitions are to be reflected in regional multilateral institutions, the country’s assistance is required.
As India attempts to define the global agenda through the G20, it requires Bangladesh’s help to put many of these ideas into effect in its neighbourhood. This will offer legitimacy to its presidency, and some of these emerging areas of collaboration may eventually add chapters to the “Golden Chapter” of India-Bangladesh ties.
Source – The Hindu
UAPA and The Concerns
GS Paper III
Context: The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), India’s anti-terror statute, has been abused and turned into an instrument of terror. In recent years, there have been two instances of this abuse. Muhammad Manan Dar, a young Kashmiri photojournalist, was arrested and imprisoned in 2021 for using his camera to record the daily life of ordinary Kashmiris. Another journalist, SidheequeKappan, was accused a year ago with involvement in a riot-instigating scheme in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh.
Unlawful (Activities) Prevention Act (UAPA):
Background: The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, enacted in 1967, is an anti-terrorism statute in India.
The goal of UAPA is to deter unlawful acts that endanger India’s sovereignty and integrity.
Amendments: Since its inception, UAPA has been revised multiple times, with each version making the legislation more strict. Until 2004, “illegal” activities referred to actions involving secession and territorial cession. Terrorist acts were added to the list of offences following the 2004 amendment.
Provisions: The UAPA authorises persons and groups to be designated as “terrorists,” and allows for their arrest and imprisonment without trial for up to 180 days.
Criticisms: UAPA has been accused for being used to repress political opposition and stifle dissent. Opponents believe that the law is too broad and imprecise, allowing for misuse and abuse.
What is Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA)?
TADA was an anti-terrorism law in India that was introduced in 1985 and remained in effect until 1995. It was adopted to enhance India’s legal framework for dealing with terrorist operations.
TADA allowed for the imprisonment of suspects without a trial for up to 180 days. It also permitted the establishment of special tribunals to hear matters involving terrorism, as well as the admission of confessions given to a police officer. TADA also made certain behaviours, such as illicit arms trafficking, sponsoring terrorism, and undermining India’s sovereignty, criminal as terrorist crimes.
TADA was also chastised for its ambiguous and wide definition of terrorism, which enabled the targeting of political dissidents.
TADA was repealed in 1995 because it was determined to be incompatible with the Indian Constitution, democratic values, and the rule of law. The legislation was repealed in 2002 and replaced with the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), which was equally condemned for its severe provisions and abuse by law enforcement authorities.
What is Prevention of Terrorism Act 2004 (POTA)?
The goal is to give the government legal instruments to combat terrorism and punish individuals who support or participate in terrorist operations.
Important Provisions: Those accused of terrorism-related actions have broad investigative and prosecutorial authorities. Suspects may be detained without charge for up to 180 days. Confessions given to police officers used as evidence in court
Criticism: The possibility of abuse and encroachment on civil freedoms. It has the potential to be used to target religious and ethnic minorities. It has the potential to be used to muzzle political opposition.
The United Progressive Alliance administration repealed it in 2004, citing worries about misuse and the possibility for human rights violations.
POTA provisions were merged into the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), which is still in effect in India today.
UAPA has one of the poorest prosecution success rates.
According to a 2022 PUCL analysis, less than 3% of UAPA arrests resulted in convictions between 2015 and 2020.
According to the research, just 1,080 of the 4,690 persons imprisoned under the UAPA between 2018 and 2020 were granted bail.
Unlike TADA and POTA, UAPA has never been examined by the courts. Its continuous misuse taints our democracy.
Some of the key concerns regarding the UAPA:
Misuse: Authorities have been chastised for using the UAPA to pursue human rights advocates, activists, and dissenters. According to critics, the legislation has been used to curb free expression and to suppress any sort of peaceful protest.
Lack of accountability: The UAPA allows for the identification of an individual or group as a terrorist entity without providing proper procedures for challenge or appeal, which many contend violates natural justice principles.
Vagueness: The categories of “terrorist actions” under the UAPA are wide and unclear, and might be interpreted in a way that violates free speech and assembly, opening the door to abuse.
Bail restrictions: The UAPA has measures that make it difficult for anyone prosecuted under the act to get bail because it requires the accused to demonstrate their innocence, transferring the burden of proof from the prosecution to the accused.
Harsh punishment: The UAPA imposes strong penalties, including life imprisonment and the death sentence, for terrorism-related acts, which many feel are disproportionate and violate human rights.
Why UAPA is necessary?
Investigative tools: The UAPA gives the government investigative and prosecutorial capabilities to investigate and prosecute people and organisations implicated in terrorist activity.
Special courts to conduct trials: It permits for the establishment of special courts to conduct trials in terrorism-related matters and provides for harsh penalty for terrorism-related actions. It also gives the government the authority to designate individuals or groups as terrorist entities and freeze their assets.
The legislation is a necessary step to safeguard sovereignty and integrity by combating not just terrorism but also other types of illegal activity such as organised crime, money laundering, and trafficking. It is regarded as a vital action to preserve the nation’s sovereignty and integrity, as well as to defend the lives and property of its residents.
To strike a balance between national security and civil liberties: It is vital to establish a balance between national security and civil rights preservation. The act has the potential to be a useful instrument in the fight against terrorism if it is enforced fairly and justly, and its provisions are not exploited to crush legitimate forms of protest or action.
Complaints about the UAPA emphasise the necessity for a balanced strategy to fighting terrorism, one that ensures national security while also protecting fundamental rights and freedoms.
Source – The Hindu
Supreme Court says NO to Sealed Cover suggestions
GS Paper II
Context: The Supreme Court has stated that it would not accept the Centre’s proposals on who should be members of a committee formed by the court to review the market regulatory environment and recommend steps, if any, to enhance it in the aftermath of the Adani-Hindenburg scandal.
The article discusses a public interest case filed in the Supreme Court, which requests the formation of an expert panel to enhance regulatory processes relating to the Adani Group.
According to the petitioners, the Adani Group has been able to avoid regulatory difficulties due to its influence over government personnel and agencies.
What is Sealed Cover Jurisprudence?
It is a practiseutilised by the Supreme Court and sometimes lesser courts of requesting or accepting material from government entities in sealed envelopes that only judges may open.
The notion of sealed cover is not defined by a specific statute.
Rule 7 of Order XIII of the Supreme Court Rules and Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872 provide the Supreme Court the authority to employ it.
Need for sealed cover jurisprudence:
Sealed cover jurisprudence is used for a variety of purposes, including:
National security: In situations involving sensitive material pertaining to defence or intelligence agencies, for example, the exposure of such information in open court hearings might jeopardise national security.
Individual privacy: It is also utilised to preserve the privacy of individuals when sensitive personal information is involved. In such instances, the court may permit the submission of such material under a sealed cover to preserve the individual’s privacy.
Commercial or trade secrets should be protected: In situations involving conflicts between firms, the exposure of sensitive information about their business activities might jeopardise their economic interests.
Nature of the power: Upholding Secrecy
If the Chief Justice or a court orders that specific material be kept under seal or deemed secret, no party will be granted access to the contents of such information.
There is an exception if the Chief Justice rules that the opposing side have access to it.
It further states that material can be kept secret if its disclosure is not deemed to be in the public’s interest.
Official unpublished papers related to state matters are protected by the Evidence Act, and a public servant cannot be compelled to divulge such materials.
Grounds of such secrecy:
Other instances where information may be sought in secrecy or confidence is when its publication:
Impedes an ongoing investigation of cases related to national security.
Details that are part of the police’s case diary.
Breaches the privacy of an individual.
Prominent cases of sealed jurisprudence.
Sealed cover jurisprudence has been frequently employed by courts in the recent past:
(1) Rafale Deal
In the matter of the contentious Rafale fighter aircraft contract, a Bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi ordered the Centre to submit data about the transaction’s decision making and cost in a sealed cover in 2018.
This was done because the Centre claimed that such facts were subject to the Official Secrets Act and the deal’s secrecy terms.
(2) Bhima Koregaon Case
In the case of Bhima Koregaon, campaigners were detained under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
The Supreme Court relied on material supplied in a sealed cover by the Maharashtra police.
Issues with such jurisprudence:
Undermines open justice: This approach appears to be detrimental to the Indian judicial system’s values of transparency and accountability.
It undermines public trust: It contradicts the concept of an open court, where rulings may be scrutinised by the public.
Promotes arbitrariness: It is also considered to increase the opportunity for arbitrariness in court judgements because judges are obliged to give forth their rationale.
Unjust trials: Furthermore, it is argued that denying accused parties access to such materials obstructs their path to a fair trial and judgement.
Perform a comprehensive and unbiased investigation: Investigate the accusations in the petition and take necessary legal action against the Adani Group if environmental rules are proven to have been breached.
Create an expert panel, as proposed by the petitioners: To assess the regulatory structure and provide recommendations for strengthening it. Experts from a variety of professions, including environmental science, law, and economics, should serve on the panel.
Ensuring that the regulatory process is transparent and accountable: Encourage a culture of environmental knowledge and responsibility among businesses by supporting environmentally friendly and sustainable activities. This might include offering incentives and assistance to businesses who adopt such methods.
Examine the following cases involving the usage of sealed covers: Make careful to use it sparingly and only when necessary to secure sensitive or secret information.
Source – The Hindu
Special Marriage Act, 1954
GS Paper I
Context: An actress recently held her interfaith-marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
What is the Special Marriage Act?
Parliament approved the Special Marriage Act of 1954 (SMA) on October 9, 1954.
It oversees civil marriages in which the marriage is sanctioned by the state rather than the religion.
The SMA requires males to be 21 years old and ladies to be 18 years old before they may marry.
Why was it enacted?
Personal law issues like as marriage, divorce, and adoption are controlled by codified religious laws.
Some regulations, such as the Muslim Marriage Act of 1954 and the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, compel one partner to convert to the other’s religion before marriage.
The SMA, on the other hand, allows marriage between interfaith or inter-caste couples without requiring them to give up their religious identity or convert.
Why is it ‘Special’?
Detachment from the family: Under Section 19 of the Act, any member of an undivided family who professes the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, or Jain faith will be regarded to affect their severance from the family once married according to secular law.
Loss of inherited property: This would have an impact on the rights, particularly the right to inheritance, of those opting to marry under the SMA.
Who can get married under the Special Marriage Act?
The Act applies to individuals of all faiths in India, including Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists.
Couples under SMA are nevertheless subject to some customary constraints, such as not being within degrees of a forbidden relationship.
When the Bill was first offered in 1952, the requirement of monogamy was deemed controversial.
Clause 4 of the SMA mandates that at the time of marriage, “neither party has a spouse surviving” or is “incapable of providing a legitimate consent to it in consequence of unsoundness of mind”.
What is the procedure for a civil marriage?
Section 5 of the Act requires the parties to the marriage to give written notice to a “Marriage Officer” of the district where at least one of the parties has resided for at least 30 days immediately preceding the notification.
Before the marriage may be celebrated, the parties and three witnesses must sign a declaration form in front of the Marriage Commissioner.
After the declaration is recognised, the parties will be granted a “Certificate of marriage,” which serves as confirmation of their marriage.
Furore over such marriages:
According to certain personal laws, the only way to be married is to convert faith in order to be equalised.
There have been reports of females being seduced and honey-trapped by guys, and those girls are now seeking their assistance to extricate themselves.
Interfaith weddings are now thought to constitute a forced conversion of the female partners.
Fundamentalists argue that males of a certain religion are taught on the nuances of religious dogma in order to entice ladies of other religions to marry in order to finish off her faith.
Source – Indian Express
Organ Transplants in India
GS Paper II
Context: Government removes age cap on cadaver organ transplants.
About organ transplantation:
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently lifted the restriction that those over the age of 65 may not get cadaver organ transplants.
Cadaveric donation includes both organ donation (taking organs such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and pancreas) and tissue donation (taking skin, corneas, tendons, and bone from brain and heart dead persons).
Several states, such as Kerala and Maharashtra, have charged registration fees ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 rupees.
The Health Ministry previously advocated a “One Country One Policy” for organ donation and transplantation.
Registration for Organ Recipients:
The government eliminates the requirement for domicile registration in order to acquire organs from a certain state/union territory.
All governments and territories have been ordered not to charge a fee for organ recipient registration.
NOTTO will now assign a unique ID to each patient upon registration, which will be carried forward even if the patient transfers to various hospitals in different states.
Age Bar Lifted:
Before, younger patients under the age of 65 were given priority.
In light of the right to life guaranteed by Article 21, the government lifts the age limit for organ donation.
Transplantation of Human Organs Act:
Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994 governs organ retrieval, storage, and transplantation.
Most states have ratified the law, although several sections are ambiguous, resulting in confusion and inconsistent implementation.
To reduce differences, the government is focusing on a ‘one nation, one policy’ approach.
Awareness and Education:
A chapter on organ donation will be introduced to the school curriculum soon to raise awareness.
Everyone, regardless of age or gender, can become an organ and tissue donor, with minors requiring parental or legal guardian approval.
Live people can only give to their direct blood relatives, but brain-dead people can donate up to 20 organs and tissues.
The Health Ministry has directed states to stop charging patients registration fees.
A chapter on organ donation awareness for kids will be included to the school curriculum.
Organ transplant: Scenario in INDIA
From 4,990 in 2013 to 15,561 in 2022, the number of organ transplants has more than tripled.
The kidney is the most often transplanted organ, followed by the liver, heart, lung, pancreas, and small bowel.
Almost 12,791 living donor transplants and 2,765 dead donor transplants were performed in 2022 alone.
Just 1,743 (14%) of the organs extracted came from deceased donors, with the vast majority coming from living donors, notably kidney and liver contributions.
In 2021, nearly all dead organ donations were made in 15 states, with the top five accounting for more than 85% of the total.
Need for Increased Organ Donations in India:
India has the world’s third greatest number of transplants, although the number of organs required is still far greater than the number of transplants.
Because heart and lungs can only be obtained from deceased donors, lifestyle disorders are increasing the need for organs.
Every year, almost 1.5 lakh people die in road traffic incidents in India, many of whom may potentially donate organs.
Organ transplantation also reduces the strain on the healthcare system by lowering the need for hospitalisation, multiple procedures, and long-term care.
India has an organ donation rate of 0.52 per million people, which is significantly lower than the rate in Spain (49.6 per million).
Organ donation can help save the lives of multiple people, as one donor can donate several organs and tissues.
Challenges of Organ Transplantation:
Lack of awareness: Because individuals are unaware of the value of organ donation and transplantation, there is a scarcity of donated organs.
Donor scarcity: Despite increased awareness, there is still a donor shortage owing to a variety of factors, including religious views and a lack of faith in the medical system.
Legal and ethical concerns: There are various legal and ethical concerns concerning organ donation, including consent, organ allocation, and the equitable distribution of organs.
Transportation and preservation: Organs must be transported and kept under specified circumstances to guarantee viability for transplantation, which presents logistical issues, particularly for organs with a limited shelf life.
Medical suitability: Due to medical issues or other circumstances, not all donated organs are acceptable for transplantation, which might restrict the quantity of available organs for transplant.
Costs: The costs of organ transplantation might be too expensive, limiting some patients’ access to therapy.
Government Steps to facilitate Organ Transplant in India:
The Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act (THOTA) oversees organ transplantation in India. It was adopted in 1994. In addition, the legislation creates the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) and State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organizations (SOTTO) to manage organ donation and transplantation activities.
The National Organ Transplant Programme (NOTP) was established in 2014 with the goal of creating a national registry of organ donors and recipients, establishing additional organ transplant centres, and raising awareness about organ donation.
Dead Organ Donation Program: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare established this programme to encourage organ donation from deceased persons.
National Organ Donation Day: The government of India has designated November 27 as National Organ Donation Day to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation and encourage people to pledge to donate their organs.
Swasth Bharat Yatra is a government-led initiative that promotes healthy living, prevents lifestyle illnesses, raises organ donation awareness, and encourages individuals to commit to give their organs.
National Organ and Tissue Transplant Registry: It has developed a National Organ and Tissue Transplant Registry to keep track of organ donations and transplants in the country in order to aid in the formulation of policies and strategies to encourage organ donation and transplantation.
It is part of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi and is in charge of the retrieval, preservation, and distribution of organs for transplantation in the Delhi-NCR region.
Although the number of organ donors has grown over the previous decade, there is still a need to boost dead donations in India.
To boost dead contributions, there is a need for increased knowledge, trust, and the number of medically certified transplant coordinators.
Ultimately, organ transplantation is important in the medical world since it gives individuals suffering from organ failure hope and improves their quality of life.
It is a critical healthcare service that needs continuing support, awareness, and education in order to boost organ donation rates and assist more people in need.
Source – Indian Express
Lead Poisoning in India: A Public Health Concern
GS Paper III
Context: A non-profit group recently raised the problem of lead poisoning in India.
About Lead Poisoning:
According to a recent report published by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), lead poisoning is a major public health concern in India, affecting millions of children and adults.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), lead metal can be swallowed, breathed through the respiratory system, or absorbed through the skin.
Lead poisoning is a major health problem caused by the buildup of lead in the body, which causes a variety of health issues.
Lead-based paints, lead batteries, polluted soil and water, and occupational exposure in sectors such as mining, smelting, and battery recycling are all major causes of lead exposure.
The think tank has emphasised how a lack of screening methods, an inability to pinpoint the source of exposure, and low enforcement of safety standards have exacerbated the situation in India.
The Crisis in India:
Half of all children in India have elevated blood lead levels, with 275 million youngsters above the acceptable limit of 5 g/dL.
Adults are also impacted, with 40% of the population suffering from elevated blood lead levels in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Andhra Pradesh.
Lead poisoning causes 4.6 million Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) and 165,000 deaths in India per year.
The Impact of Lead Poisoning:
Lead poisoning can have serious physical and developmental consequences, such as anaemia, developmental delays, and nervous system impairment.
Lead enters the circulation and travels directly to the brain, making it especially dangerous for youngsters.
If the mother drinks lead during pregnancy, the lead is passed to the foetus since there is no placental barrier.
Government steps to control lead poisoning:
The National Programme for the Prevention and Control of Fluorosis, Endemic Skeletal Fluorosis, and Arsenicosis was established in 2010 to combat lead poisoning.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) issued a notification in 2013 prohibiting the import of lead acid batteries that do not match the criteria of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
NHM (National Health Mission): It was established by the government to provide comprehensive healthcare services, such as lead poisoning screening and treatment for afflicted persons.
Lead Battery Waste Management Rules: It was developed by the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to regulate lead-acid battery disposal and encourage ecologically safe recycling.
NPHCE (National Programme for the Health Care of the Elderly): The government established it to give healthcare services to the elderly, who are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning.
CAREH (Center for Advanced Research on Environmental Health): The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) founded it to do research on environmental health concerns such as lead poisoning.
What more can be done?
Campaigns for public awareness: The government can start public awareness campaigns to educate the public about the hazards of lead poisoning and the causes of lead exposure.
Lead-based paint ban: The government has the authority to prohibit the manufacture, sale, and use of lead-based paints. Some nations have already prohibited the use of lead-based paints, and India should follow suit.
Lead battery recycling regulations: To limit the discharge of lead into the environment, the government can restrict the recycling of lead batteries.
Periodic soil testing: To detect and reduce polluted regions, the government might perform soil testing in areas with high lead exposure.
Drinking water testing: In places where there is a significant risk of exposure, the government can guarantee that drinking water is tested for lead contamination.
Occupational health and safety laws: To safeguard employees in industries that include lead exposure, the government can adopt and enforce occupational health and safety standards.
Inexpensive medical care: The government can give medical treatment and assistance to persons who have been exposed to lead.
Source – Indian Express
Facts For Prelims
World Pangolin Day
Every year on the third Saturday of February, World Pangolin Day is observed.
It is an international effort to raise awareness about pangolins and bring stakeholders together to help save these species from extinction.
Pangolins are scaly animals that feed on insects such as ants, termites, and larvae.
They are one among Asia’s most trafficked animals. Pangolins are highly sought for in nations such as China and Vietnam. Pangolin scales are employed in traditional medicine and folk medicines, and their flesh is considered delectable.
India is home to two pangolin species: the Indian Pangolin and the Chinese Pangolin.
Except for the desert area, the high Himalayas, and the North-East, the Indian Pangolin is found across India. Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka are also home to the species.
The Chinese Pangolin lives in the Himalayan foothills of Eastern Nepal, Bhutan, Northern India, North-East Bangladesh, and Southern China.
Jal Jan Abhiyan
The Prime Minister virtually inaugurates the Jal Jan Abhiyan in Rajasthan.
The Ministry of Jal Shakti and the Brahma Kumarisorganisation jointly operate it.
The programme aims to raise public awareness about the need of water conservation.
Other Campaign for water:
Catch the Rain campaign
About The Brahma Kumaris:
It is a spiritual, educational, and philanthropic organisation that began in the 1930s in Hyderabad, Sindh. LekhrajKripalani started the Brahma Kumaris movement. The organisation is well-known for the important role played by women in the movement.