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13th September 2022

Gyanvapi Mosque case

Context

The Varanasi District Court recently dismissed the challenge by Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee against the civil suits that sought the right to worship Maa Shringar Gauri and other deities within the Gyanvapi mosque premises.

The Case:

  • The court had ordered the inspection in april on a petition by five Hindu women seeking round-the-year access to pray at “a shrine behind the western wall of the mosque complex”.
  • The Anjuman Intezamia moved the Supreme Court, arguing that the proceedings were an attempt to change the religious character of the mosque. 
  • The Places of Worship Act, 1991 bars the conversion of the religious character of a place of worship from how it existed on August 15, 1947.
  • In May, the Supreme Court, underlining the “complexity of the issues involved in the civil suit”, transferred the case to the District Judge.
  • The site is currently opened for Hindu prayers once a year — on the fourth day of the chaitra navratri in April.
  • The petitioners have also sought permission to pray to other “visible and invisible deities within the old temple complex”.

Gyanvapi Mosque:

  • The Gyanvapi Mosque is believed to have been built in 1669 during the reign of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who ordered the demolition of the existing Vishweshwar temple and its replacement by a mosque. 
  • The plinth of the temple was left untouched, and served as the courtyard of the mosque.
  • The name of the mosque is said to have derived from an adjoining well, the Gyanvapi, or Well of Knowledge.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple:

  • The present Kashi Vishwanath Temple was built in the 18th century by Rani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore, immediately to the south of the mosque. 
  • The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 — which mandates that the nature of all places of worship, except the one in Ayodhya that was then under litigation, shall be maintained as it was on August 15, 1947.

No encroachment of any such place prior to the date can be challenged in courts — applies to the disputed complex in Varanasi.

MeitY Startup Hub and Meta collaborate to accelerate XR Technology Startups

Context

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) Startup Hub in collaboration with Meta will launch a program to support and accelerate XR technology startups across India.

About
  • India is uniquely placed to play a pivotal role in the metaverse with a large talent pool of creators, developers and a vibrant technology ecosystem.
  • The world looks to it for supply technology, innovation and talent to cater to the greater demand for digital products. 
  • This collaboration is part of the Indian Government’s efforts for skilling in emerging and future technologies.

MeitY Startup Hub:

  • The MeitY Startup Hub is a national platform focused on promoting technology innovation, start-ups, and the creation of intellectual properties.
  • It was launched in 2019.
  • MeitY Startup Hub (MSH) aims to serve as an integrating platform for startups and incubators.
  • According to the government, it has supported more than 3,000 startups, with a vision to ramp it up to more than 10,000 in the next three to five years.

XR Technology:

  • Extended reality, or XR, is an emerging realm of technology that combines real and virtual environments.
  • Extended Reality (XR) is an umbrella term encapsulating Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR), and everything in between.
  • The term is also used to refer to human-machine interactions generated through wearables and computer technology.
  • It includes representative forms such as augmented reality, mixed reality and virtual reality and the areas interpolated among them.
  • The term first popped up in the 1960s when Charles Wyckoff filed a patent for his silver-halide “XR” film, intended for photographing extremely bright light events, such as nuclear explosions.

Potential of XR

  • Globally, XR is poised to be a US$160 billion industry by 2023.
  • In India, the XR spending will exceed US$6.5 billion by 2022 from under US$2 billion in 2020 due to growing smartphone penetration—a key driving factor—which is expected to double during the same timeframe.

Simple technology to produce hydrogen gas at room temperature

Context

Researchers have developed a technique to produce hydrogen from water at ambient temperatures without the need for electricity.

About
  • The researchers used a composite made out of gallium and aluminium to produce hydrogen gas from water. 
  • Aluminium is an excellent candidate material for this purpose because the highly reactive metal easily reacts with the oxygen molecules in water to release hydrogen gas.
    • But the pure form of the metal is so reactive that it instantly reacts with air to create a coating of aluminium oxide on its surface, meaning it cannot react with water.
  • Gallium is liquid at slightly above room temperature and it removes the aluminium oxide coating that forms on the bare metal, allowing it to be in direct contact with the water and react with it.
    • The reaction of aluminium and gallium with water to produce hydrogen gas is already common scientific knowledge but the new technology features innovations that bring it closer to practical applications.
  • After the process, we could easily recover 95 per cent of Gallium that was used, without optimisation.
    • The only other product that was formed was Alumina [Aluminium Oxide], which can be used for many other applications.
    • Alumina has many applications including in spark plugs, abrasion-resistant tiles and cutting tools.

What is Hydrogen?

  • Hydrogen is the simplest element. An atom of hydrogen consists of only one proton and one electron.
  • It’s also the most plentiful element in the universe. Despite its simplicity and abundance, hydrogen doesn’t occur naturally as a gas on the Earth – it’s always combined with other elements.
  • Water, for example, is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen (H2O).
  • Hydrogen is high in energy, yet an engine that burns pure hydrogen produces almost no pollution.
  • NASA has used liquid hydrogen since the 1970s to propel the space shuttle and other rockets into orbit.
  • Hydrogen fuel cells power the shuttle’s electrical systems, producing a clean byproduct – pure water, which the crew drinks.

Ayurveda Day

Context

All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), under the Ministry of Ayush, recently launched the Ayurveda Day 2022 programme.

About

About Ayurveda Day:

  • The Ayurveda Day is being observed every year from 2016, on the day of Dhanwantri Jayanti.
  • This year, it will be celebrated on 23rd October 2022.
  • Objective: The main objectives of the day are:
  • To focus on strengths of Ayurveda and its unique treatment principles,
  • To work towards reducing the burden of disease and related mortality by utilising the potential of Ayurveda
  • To tap into the potential of Ayurveda to contribute towards National Health Policy and National Health programmes
  • To promote Ayurvedic principles of healing in society.
  • Thus, Ayurveda Day is more an occasion of re-dedication to the profession and the society, than one of festivities or celebrations
  • AIIA has been chosen as the nodal agency for driving the Ministry’s mandate for Ayurveda Day in 2022.
  • Theme 2022: Har Din Har Ghar Ayurveda.

About Ayurveda:

  • The word Ayurveda derived from AYU and VEDA. 
  • AYU means life VEDA means science or knowledge. Ayurveda means the science of life.
  • Charaka defines "That science is designated as Ayurveda which deals with advantage and disadvantage as well as happy and unhappy states of life along with what is good and bad for life, its measurement and the life itself”.
  • Branches of Ayurveda
    • Kaya Chikitsa- Medicine.
    • Shalya Tantra- Surgery.
    • Shalakya Tantra- ENT and Opthalamology.
    • Kaumarbhritya- Paediatrics and Obstretics.
    • Agad Tantra- Toxicology.
    • Bhut Vidya- Psychiatry.
    • Rasayan- Rejuvenation therapy and geriatrics.
    • Vajikaran- Sexology (Including Aphrodisiac for better progeny )

All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA):

  • The AIIA serves as a central government establishment and as an apex institute for Ayurveda.
  • It serves as a state of the art facility for Ayurveda treatment.
  • Diplomats, delegates, foreign visitors as well as common public can avail of opportunities for education, research and treatment.
  • The institute is thus aiding medical tourism as well as research and development in the field of Ayurveda.
  • Focusing on education and research in Ayurveda, the institute does the following:
  • Fundamental research in Ayurveda
  • Drug development
  • Standardisation
  • Quality control
  • Safety Evaluation
  • Scientific validation of Ayurvedic Medicine

Implementing new adoption rules

Context

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has written to State governments, asking them to immediately implement the revised adoption rules requiring adoption orders to be passed by District Magistrates (DMs) instead of courts with effect from September 1.

About
  • All the cases pertaining to adoption matters pending before the Courts shall be transferred to the District Magistrates from the date of commencement of the Rules i.e. 01.09.2022.
  • The instructions come despite concerns raised over jurisdiction of DMs in civil matters such as inheritance and succession.
  • Concerns:
    • There is no clarification as to what happens to the orders that have been passed between September 1 and September 12.
    • Courts were not informed about the amendments and the Centre has also not yet notified Adoption Regulations 2022 detailing the process to be followed by the DMs.

Adoption:

  • Adoption means the process through which the adopted child is permanently separated from his biological parents and becomes the lawful child of the adoptive parents with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities that are attached to a biological child.
  • The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act 2015 read with Adoption Regulation, 2017 has recognized five kinds of adoption namely,
    • an abandoned, surrendered, destitute child adopted by unrelated person living within the country
    • an abandoned, surrendered, destitute child adopted by unrelated person living outside the country
    • a related child by relatives living within the country
    • a related child by relatives living outside the country
    • adoption of a child by step parents within the country

Central Adoption Resource Authority

  • Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutory body of Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.
  • It functions as the nodal body for adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions.
  • CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003.
  • CARA primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated /recognised adoption agencies.

Editorial

India has lost its way in the use of International Law

Context

In its journey of 75 years of freedom, India has discussed a wide variety of issues but India’s tryst with international law has not been undertaken. At the time of independence, India embarked upon international law which was euro-centric in character and has remained committed to the UN Charter. Over the year, its engagement with international law norms in multiple fields has increased but it has failed to leave an impact.

Missing 'elements of Lawfare’:

  • Through International Solar Alliance (ISA), and Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), India has been instrumental in influencing international laws, but still, it has areas where it lacks a firm standing, for example:
  • Articulation of its national interests internationally: Indian generalist diplomats unlike their western counterparts aren’t much versed in the language of international law to gain legitimacy for their actions.
  • Missing elements of international law in the diplomatic toolkit: Instances like- India’s failing to legally challenge Pakistan’s denial of most favoured nation status to India at the World Trade Organization and forgetting to cite Pakistan’s specific breaches of the treaty and customary international law in order to rubbish Pakistan’s falsehoods against India are few of the areas where Indian diplomats have performed miserably.
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ThinkQ

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QUIZ - 13th September 2022

Mains Question:

Q1. Given the huge mismatch between the number of people wanting to adopt children and the number of children legally available for adoption, suggest remedial measures to ensure that “orphan and abandoned children found begging on the streets are made available for adoption at the earliest”. (150 words)

Approach

  • Introduction- Brief about adoption rules in India
    • Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 (HAMA) 
    • Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. 
  • Stakeholder (Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), Ministry of Women and Child Development)
  • Loopholes/Challenges
    • Long and complicated process
    • Eligibility issues
  • Suggest remedial measures
    • Streamlining of process
    • Mention recent recommendation of SC 
  • Conclude accordingly
  • Subject: Polity & Governance (GS-II)
    • Sub-topic: Government Policies & Intervention, Governance
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