The planting of multiple crops and border crops on the same field has provided varied income and nutrient sources. OAs a result of these changes, there is reduced use of water and electricity, improved health of farmers, flourishing of local ecosystems and biodiversity and no toxic chemical residues in the environment. In early 2016, Sikkim was declared India's first fully organic State OBut organic agriculture often involves addition of large amounts of manure, vermicompost and other materials that are required in bulk and need to be purchased These turn out to be expensive for most small farm holders. Why need ZBNF? OResilient food systems are the need of the day given the variability of the monsoons due to global warming and declining groundwater in large parts of India. OThe drought-prone Rayalaseema region (Andhra Pradesh) is reportedly seeing promising changes already in farms with the ZB More encouraging is that the programme can have a positive effect on many of the sustainable development goals through improvements in soil, biodiversity, livelihoods, water, reduction in chemicals, climate resilience, health, women's empowerment and nutrition.
India's plans for a military base have hit a roadblock. Why is this tiny island of Seychelles important? INDIA Arabian Sea Bay of Bengal ASSUMPTIONISLAND AFRICA SEYCHELLES Indian Ocean
SPANNINGJUST 11.6 sqkm, a small island Why Assumption Island imp for India? in the Indian Ocean has gained new atten Anaval base there would help India secure tion with Seychelles saying that India's its merchant ships, be a resource for other plans to build a military base "will not shipping nations, and help combat China's move forward", as reported in The Sunday increasing clout in the Indian Ocean. Express. Assumption Island, a single coral India unveiled its plans for a base in island, belongs to the Outer Islands District 2015, during a trip by PM Narendra Modi, of Seychelles. With only a small village on butitfaced resistance from the opposition the sheltered western side and a 1,210-m there as well as citizens. Concerns ranged concrete airfield running from there to the from environmental ones to fears of con- southeastern coast, the island's fewinhab- flict between nuclear powers India and itants, mostly farmers and fishermen, have China. Seychelles signed an amendment t go to Victoria (the capital) for govern- pact with India lastJanuary, with safe- ment services. The island's location is ideal guards banning India from using nuclear for monitoring the Mozambique Channel, weapons on the base or using it in war, but which sees significantinternational trade. the protests continued
TH Art3] Beating plastic pollution We celebrated 'World Environment Day' (June 5) with a critical theme: beat plastic pollution, Since India was the global host of this year's event, and also one of the victims of plastic pollution, we should view this danger seriously. The Theme: The theme urges governments, industries, communities and individuals to come together and explore sustainable alternatives. O It also urges this target group to reduce the production and excessive use of single-use plastics, which are polluting our environment and threatening human health Plastic: O Plastics are organic polymers of high molecular mass and often contain other substances. Due to their low cost, ease of manufacture, versatility, non-corrosiveness and imperviousness O Plastic was invented in New York in 1907 by Leo Baekeland. They are usually synthetic, mainly derived from petrochemicals. to water, plastics are used for multiple purposes at different scales. Further, many chemists, including Nobel laureate Hermann Staudinger (father of polymer chemistry) and Herman Mark (father of polymer physics), have contributed to the materials science of plastics. However, these scientists could not have anticipated such an exponential growth of plastic production.
Critical impact O Plastic has become an indispensable material in modern society. About 50% of our plastic use is single use (disposable) and it constitutes 10% of the total waste generated 0 Ganga seetri ut ente thisis ereof hehighest Researchers exploring the Arctic have found very high levels of microplastics trapped in the ice trapped inthe ice elean Hen per yeaf Plastic disposed of on land degrades slowly and its chemicals leach into the surroundings Drinking water samples analysed from 14 countries, including India, revealed that 83% have micro-plastics concentrations. According to a United Nations Environment Programme report, the overall annual natural capital cost of plastic use in the consumer goods sector is $75 billion.
What should we do? In reality, we cannot eliminate plastic use from our day-to-day activities. However, we should not allow plastic to reach the soil or water The government should restrict plastic production and encourage recycling through appropriate policies. OThe 'Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016' need to be strictly followed. As most plastic items pass through our hands, public care, with behavioural change, is necessary. Household-wise waste segregation is the key. Every shopkeeper should go in for abd encourage the use of biodegradable packing materials while shoppers should use cloth bags. Mass public awareness on the dangers of plastic hazards is a prerequisite. Eco-friendly substitutes (cloth/paper/jute bags, leaves/areca leaf plates, paper straws) should be developed O For this, scientific and financial support (soft loans and subsidies) is required. O Charges for plastic bag use and deposit-refund for plastic bottles may be effective options. The recent decision by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on extending the mandate on packing food grains and sugar products in jute bags is welcome. Even if the intention is to promote the jute industry, it is a step that reduces plastic pollution. The Swachh Bharat Mission should emerge as a platform for plastic waste management.
TH FAQ] Right on Kashmir's rights? What prompted this human rights report? OThe first ever report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Jammu and Kashmir, including Pakistan- occupied Kashmir, published last week, has been in production since 2016. DA new wave of violence had then hit the Kashmir Valley, when protests sparked by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani were met with force by security personnel; about 51 protesters and civilians were killed in the months that followed, while more than 9,000 were injured by pellets and bullets. Consequently, the OHCRC asked India and Pakistan to allow its teams access to the State, a request that was refused.
Why is this report controversial to India? O Apart from being irked by the report's criticism of India's handling of the protests, alleged extra-judicial killings and hard tactics, the Ministry of External Affairs is also upset by the terms used to describe militants O For example, Hizbul Mujahideen, which is regarded as a terrorist organisation by India, was described in the report as an "armed group". o Wani, regarded as a terrorist by Indian security forces, was described as the o India in its official statement said the report "undermines the UN-led consensus o Finally, it makes specific recommendations aimed at India, including removing the "leader" of the organisation on zero tolerance to terrorism" Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from areas and instituting inquiries into alleged human rights violations. What was the methodology used? In the absence of direct interviews, the OHCHR used "remote monitoring" from local sources to write the report.
Is there a political or diplomatic implication of the report that can hurt India in the long run? OIndia has said that the report violates its "sovereignty and territorial integrity" as it has used terms such as "Azad Jammu and Kashmir" and "Gilgit Baltistan" to describe the part of the State under Pakistani control. India does not consider Pakistan's control over a part of Kashmir as legitimate and describes the region as Pakistan occupied Kashmir DAfter decades of delay, Pakistan, May 27, 2018, integrated Gilgit-Baltistan region into its federal structure despite strong protest from India. The OHCHR's decision to use these terms in the report can be interpreted as a sign of recognition of these regions as being part of Pakistan.
[IE Ed1] Trilateral terms Delhi's knee-jerk reaction could be explained by its intense suspicion about "third party mediation" between India and Pakistan. O It's a pity that the government was quick to dismiss the call from the Chinese ambassador to India, Luo Zhaohui, for a trilateral dialogue between Delhi, Islamabad and Beijing OBetween China's vague proposal and Delhi's definitive rejection, there might be interesting political space that is worth exploring in the not too distant future O What is important is not the shape of the negotiating table, but what is on it. Sceptics in the South Block say Luo's enthusiasm to advance the engagement of India with new ideas has not always been backed by Beijing. o Recall last year that Luo had suggested that Beijing could rename the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to overcome Delhi's objections to President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative. O That Beijing did not publicly back the idea does not necessarily mean it had nothing to do with it Confident powers often instruct their ambassadors to fly kites, deliberately, to test the reactions of the intended audience. Delhi has suggested Luo's views on the trilateral dialogue may be "personal" But ambassadors don't usually express their personal views in public. The fact is that Beijing has made no secret of its interest in promoting good relations between India and Pakistan, under the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation banner, which now has embraced the South Asian siblings as full members. - " -
[IndianExpress Art] The state is taking healthcare The government has carried out several reforms in healthcare. It assigns the highest priority to people's health and is also alive to the country's obligation under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A series of steps have been taken under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reform the country's healthcare. These include the formulation of the National Health Policy, 2017, financial aid to expecting mothers and The Avushman Bharat (AB) Scheme is the most significant of these O enforcing a ceiling on the prices of cardiac stents and knee implants, D a renewed focus on nutrition. programmes.
Non-communicable diseases and traffic deaths alone cost the country 6.5 per cent of The inability to afford treatment is the leading cause for people not seeking medical OCurrently, out-of-pocket expenditure constitutes 62 per cent of the healthcare its GDP a huge cost indeed. care. spending of families in the country most times, they have to dig into their savings or even take loans. OCatastrophic expenditure (when a household spends more than 40 per cent of its income on health) is a major cause of impoverishment in India and every year, this pushes around 63 million people below the poverty line OYoung lives are often lost for the want of treatment to easily curable conditions. OIn such cases, the suffering continues years after the loss. OThe treatment of severe health conditions can wreak havoc on families but even common diseases like dengue, malaria or broken bones can result in a financial shock to many households.
Way forward AB-NHPM has evolved a structure that accommodates the unique features of state schemes while also providing flexibility to states to exercise their choice on the mode of implementation. Olt will merge the existing schemes into one large pool, remove inefficiencies and bring in economies of scale. The states must own the scheme while the Centre is committed to offer all possible help to overcome challenges. Olt has already signed MoUs with 20 states/UTs for implementation of AB- NHPM. These MoUs provide the basis for launch of the scheme in the states/UTs and also detail the roles and responsibilities of the two stakeholders. OThe government is earnestly fulfilling its health-related commitments.
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B.Tech NIT Allahabad. Have written UPSC Mains 2 times with Physics. Channel "Sumant Kumar" on Youtube for Current Affairs Analysis.