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24th September 2022

  • Published
    24 September 2022

World Rivers Day 2022

Context

The World Rivers day is going to be celebrated on 25th of September for the year 2022.

About
  • Objective: Annually celebrated to raise and spread awareness about the role and importance of rivers and other waterways and the threats that could potentially endanger the waterways around the world, as well as to promote the improved stewardship of all waterways for sustainable development.    
  • Mark Angelo was the first to observe this day and the first Rivers day was celebrated in
  • The events include activities like visiting local rivers, cleaning up creeks, rowing water games etc.
  • In around 100 countries globally will participate in the event to spread awareness regarding saving rivers in different countries, including India.

Threats to Rivers

  • The Rivers in every country face an array of threats and thus need to be sustainably managed.
  • The Ganga and other rivers in India have been facing a serious threat from pollution, dams, construction, sand mining and other human activities, impacting people and species dependent on them for their existence.

Importance of Rivers

  • Rivers play an important role in ecosystem and are extremely helpful to human life.
  • They are one of the biggest sources of freshwater.
  • Rivers not only provide us with fresh drinking water, but also provide water for domestic needs (e.g., food, energy, recreation, hygiene) and agricultural purposes (e.g., irrigation).
  • They also provide a pathway to enable people and goods to move or transport from place to place.

Some of the Major River and Significance

  • The Ganga: The 2,704 km (1,680 mi) river rises in the western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.
    • It flows south and east through the Gangetic plain of North India, receiving the right-bank tributary, the Yamuna, which also rises in the western Indian Himalayas.
  • The Brahmaputra: The Brahmaputra originates in the Mansarovar Lake, also the source of the Indus and the Satluj.
    • It flows eastward, parallel to the Himalayas. Reaching Namcha Barwa (7757 m), it takes a U-turn around it and enters India in Arunachal Pradesh and known as dihang.
  • Godavari: The River with second longest course within India, Godavari is often referred to as the Vriddh (Old) Ganga or the Dakshin (South) Ganga
    • The river is about 1,450 km (900 miles) long.
    • It rises at Trimbakeshwar, near Nasik and Mumbai (formerly Bombay) in Maharashtra around 380 km distance from the Arabian Sea,
  • Indus: The Indus originates in the northern slopes of the Kailash range in Tibet near Lake Manasarovar.
    • It follows a north-westerly course through Tibet. It enters Indian Territory in Jammu and Kashmir.

Some Conservation Strategies in India

  • Namami Gange Project
  • Ganga Rejuvenation
  • Narmada Bachao Andolan

Efforts to identify Child Marriages

Context

In Odhisha’s Navagarh district, the administration has launched the ‘Aliva programme’ to keep a record of all adolescent girls in the district to come across the information regarding their child marriage and its prevention.

About

About the Programme

  • Under Aliva Programme, the following features were included;
  • Anganwadi workers had been asked to identify every adolescent girl in their jurisdiction.
  • The 100-page register maintains a record of the girl along with the name of her father.
  • Data of the adolescent girl including, address, education status, birth registration date, Aadhaar Card Number, contact details and family details is to be noted.
  • The age of the girl should be approved by the local school head master, father, supervisor and child marriage prohibition officer (CMPO).
  • Also, information about child marriage, educational progress, skill training status and health issues of the adolescent girls is registered.
  • The programme is targeted to be implemented for 10 years from 2020 to 2030 under Odisha government’s child marriage prevention strategy.

Child Marriages in India

  • Child marriage, according to the Indian law, is a marriage where either the woman or man is below the age of 21.
  • Most child marriages involve girls, many of whom are in poor socio-economic conditions.
  • Child marriages are prevalent in India.
  • Estimates vary widely between sources as to the extent and scale of child marriages. A 2015–2016 UNICEF report estimated that India's child marriage rate is 27%.
  • The Census of India has counted and reported married women by age, with proportion of females in child marriage falling in each 10 year census period since 1981.

What are the reasons for early age marriages?

  • Socio-cultural factor and patriarchal societies
  • Religious affair: Practice of child marriage, or Kanya Dan(gift of a daughter, in Sanskrit)
  • Social importance and familial pride and prestige attributed to it
  • Other factors include:
    • Lack of education
    • Less awareness about rights
    • Lack of empowerment
    • Lack of say in decision-making

Impact

  • Impact on women’s health: Mortality, childhood stunting and underweight, impact on overall childhood, reproductive health issues
  • Social issue: domestic violence, mental health issues, widespread gender inequality and discrimination
  • Public health issue: Childbirth complications, high risk of infections, affected child health
  • Economic impact: Lower empowerment, intergenerational cycle of poverty.      

Laws related to Child Marriage Prohibition

  • The Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929: The Child Marriage Restraint Act, also called the Sarda Act, was a law to restrict the practice of child marriage.
  • This Act defined the age of marriage to be 18 for males and 14 for females.
  • In 1949, after India's independence, the minimum age was increased to 15 for females, and in 1978, it was increased again for both females and males, to 18 and 21 years, respectively.
  • The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006:
  • Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA): It provides for prohibition of solemnisation of child marriages and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

G4 Countries and consensus on UN Security Council

Context

Recently, the G4 countries have collaborated to reiterate support for each other’s bids to become permanent members of the UNSC, and for representation of African countries in the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly.

About

The Common Consensus

  • The group is primarily focused on UN Security Council (UNSC) reform and permanent membership of the body for G4 members.
  • Reiterated the joint commitment to work towards negotiations that leads to Reformed Multilateralism.
  • The G4 also reiterated its support for African countries being represented in a permanent and non-permanent capacity on a reformed Council.

India is currently a non-permanent member of the UNSC, with its two year term ending on December 31 this year.

  • They also agreed on that the UN decision making body needs to be reformed as global issues.
  • They demanded for more transparent working of the council’s decision making body.

G4 Countries

  • The G4 nations, comprising Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan, are four countries which support each other's bids for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.
  • Unlike the G7, where the common denominator is the economy and long-term political motives, the G4's primary aim is the permanent member seats on the Security Council.
  • Each of these four countries have figured among the elected non-permanent members of the council since the UN's establishment

United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and G4 Countries

  • The UN currently has five permanent members with veto power in the Security Council: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • The G4 nations are regularly elected to two-year terms on the Security Council as non-permanent members by their respective regional groups.
  • Brazil and Japan were elected for five terms each, Germany for four terms (one term as West Germany and three terms as unified Germany) and India for four terms.

The Ambedkar tourist circuit

Context

Recently, the Central government has announced a special tourist circuit encompassing five key sites associated with Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

Dr. B. R Ambedkar

  • Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (14 April 1891 – 6 December 1956) was an Indian jurist, economist, social reformer and political leader.
  • He headed the drafting committee the Constitution of India from the Constituent Assembly.
  • He also served as Law and Justice Minister in the first cabinet of Jawaharlal Nehru.
  • He inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement after renouncing Hinduism, fighting the caste system prevalent in India at that time.
  • Ambedkar graduated from Elphinstone College, University of Bombay, and studied economics at Columbia University and the London School of Economics, receiving doctorates in 1927 and 1923 respectively and was among a handful of Indian students to have done so at either institution in the 1920s.
  • He also trained in the law at Gray's Inn, London. In his early career, he was an economist, professor, and lawyer.
  • His later life was marked by his political activities; he became involved in campaigning and negotiations for India's independence, publishing journals, advocating political rights and social freedom for Dalits, and contributing significantly to the establishment of the state of India.
  • In 1956, he converted to Buddhism, initiating mass conversions of

Key highlights of the Tourist Circuit

  • The five cities in the tourist circuit as announced by the government are;
    • Mhow (his birthplace),
    • London (where he resided and studied),
    • Nagpur (also studied here),
    • Delhi (where he passed away) and
    • Finally Mumbai (where he was cremated)
  • These sites are already visited by Dalits as pilgrimage spots; the idea is to attract members of the public from outside the Dalit community.

Malawi first country in southern Africa to eliminate trachoma: WHO

Context

Malawi has become the first country in southern Africa to eliminate trachoma as per the World Health Organization (WHO) report.

Background
  • Most trachoma cases occur in poor areas of Africa, where 85% of people with active disease reside.
  • In areas where trachoma is prevalent, infection rates among children under 5 years can be 60% or more.

About Trachoma

  • Trachoma (truh-KOH-muh) is a bacterial infection that affects eyes.
  • It's caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.
  • Trachoma is contagious, spreading through contact with the eyes, eyelids, and nose or throat secretions of infected people.
  • It can also be passed on by handling infected items, such as handkerchiefs.
  • It is one of the conditions known under neglected tropical diseases.
  • Symptoms:
  • Trachoma may cause mild itching and irritation of your eyes and eyelids. 
  • Swollen eyelids and pus draining from the eyes

The advanced form of trachoma is called trichiasis. Over time, if it’s not treated, trichiasis can lead to blindness.

Guidelines for Trachoma: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified five stages in the development of trachoma:

  • Inflammation — follicular: The early infection has five or more follicles — small bumps that contain lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell — visible with magnification on the inner surface of your upper eyelid (conjunctiva).
  • Inflammation — intense: In this stage, your eye is now highly infectious and becomes irritated, with a thickening or swelling of the upper eyelid.
  • Eyelid scarring: Repeated infections lead to scarring of the inner eyelid. The scars often appear as white lines when examined with magnification. Your eyelid may become distorted and may turn in (entropion).
  • In-turned eyelashes (trichiasis): The scarred inner lining of your eyelid continues to deform, causing your lashes to turn in so that they rub on and scratch the transparent outer surface of your eye (cornea).
  • Corneal clouding (opacity): The cornea becomes affected by an inflammation that is most commonly seen under your upper lid. Continuous inflammation compounded by scratching from the in-turned lashes leads to clouding of the cornea.

Editorial

The PFI Challenge

Context:  

The nationwide searches and raids at various offices of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and arrests of its leaders have turned the spotlight on the activities of the organisation.

It’s Emergence:

  • The PFI was formed in 2007 through the merger of National Democratic Front in Kerala, Karnataka Forum for Dignity, and Manitha Neethi Pasarai in Tamil Nadu.
  • The PFI emerged from a radical strand in Muslim politics that found acceptance within a section of the community after the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 and the rise of Hindutva agendas.
  • It was also influenced by ideas of political Islam that gained ground after the Iranian revolution in the late 1970s. 

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ThinkQ

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QUIZ - 24th September 2022

Mains Question:

Question: “Besides negatively impacting girls, their children and the community, child marriage also affects a nation’s economy”. In the light of this statement, discuss the immediate and direct pathway to address the challenge. (150 words)

Question Mapping

  • Subject: Society (GS I)
    • Sub-topic: Issues related to Women
  • Subject: Polity and Governance (GS II)           
    • Sub-topic: Government policies and Interventions, Issues related to Health

Approach

  • Introduction- Brief about child marriage in India and contributing factors
    • Patriarchal norms
    • Social norms, family honor, poverty
  • Discuss implication
    • immediate and long-term detrimental consequences on health
    • domestic violence and mental health issues
    • financial insecurity, gender inequality
    • impact on economy
  • Suggest measures to address the challenge
    • Increase girls' access to education
    • Economic participation and opportunity
    • Health and survival, and political empowerment
  • Conclude accordingly 

 

*Give example of Odisha’s Nayagarh, a data-driven solution to child marriage

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