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Prelim Bits 22-04-2024 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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April 22, 2024

Voluntary code of Ethics

X (formerly Twitter) recently announced that it withheld some posts on the orders of the Election Commission of India as it had agreed to the ‘Voluntary Code of Ethics’ for social media platforms.

  • Emergence - Election commission (EC) set up a committee under Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha in 2019.
  • The committee suggested changes to the Representation of People Act (RPA), 1951 (deals with conduct of Lok Sabha and state assembly elections) to cover social media posts in the 48-hour period (silence period) before polling, when conventional campaigning is banned.
  • The Internet and Mobile Association of India, along with social media platforms, would go on to present code of ethics to the Election Commission in March 2019.
  • After that the code extended to all elections in the future.

About the code

  • The code says social media platforms will voluntarily undertake information, education and communication campaigns to spread awareness about elections, including about electoral laws.
  • Grievance redressal - Moreover, the social media platforms created a high-priority dedicated grievance redressal channel for taking action on the cases reported by the EC.
  • The code said valid legal orders of the EC would be acknowledged and/or processed within 3 hours for violations reported under Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and other valid legal requests would be acted upon “expeditiously”.

Model Code of Conduct (MCC)

  • The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is a document from the Election Commission of India.
  • It lays down the minimum standards of behaviour for political parties and their candidates contesting elections.
  • It is effective as soon as the poll dates are announced.

 

References

  1. The Indian Express | Voluntary Code of Ethics
  2. Economic Times | voluntary code of ethics

Israel's Air Defence System

Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system recently intercepts rockets launched from Lebanon towards Israel over the Israeli Lebanese border.

  • Israel’s air defence system is meant to provide multi-layered defences against a range of aerial threats, which includes aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
  • It includes systems such as Arrow 2 and Arrow 3, David’s Sling (Stunner), Iron Dome, Patriot Advanced Capability-2, PAC-3 and advanced fighter jets.
  • They are designed to counter specific threats and are integrated to work in tandem to provide a full-proof protection from projectiles.
  • It previously intercepted 99% of the incoming projectiles from Iran.

Components of Israel’s defence system

The Arrow system

  • It is a family of anti-ballistic missiles, capable of intercepting long-range missiles.
  • It is developed in collaboration with the US.

Arrow-3

  • It has the capability of intercepting missiles outside the Earth’s atmosphere and it was employed to intercept long-range missiles launched by the Houthi militia in Yemen.
  • The Houthis are believed to be backed by Iran.

The David’s Sling (or Stunner)

 

 

  • It is Israel’s medium-range air defence system, which can intercept cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and aircraft.
  • It also has an advanced phased-array radar for easier detection with a range of 300 kilometres.

Iron Dome

  • It is Israel’s indigenous short-range air defence system.

Patriot PAC-2 and PAC-3

  • These are air defence systems that can intercept a range of missiles and target aircraft and drones made by the U.S.

F-16 and F-35

 

  • These fighter jets play a major role in air defence, being equipped with air-to-air missiles.

Iron Beam

  • Israel is developing it to intercept incoming threats with laser technology.
  • It is yet to be fully operational.

 

Reference

The Indian Express | Israel’s multi-layered air defence system

Pahariya Tribes

Jharkhand’s Pahariya tribe aims to achieve seed independence by depositing native varieties in community-led banks.

  • The name Paharia is believed to have been derived from the word Pahar meaning hills.
  • History- Pahariya tribes are the original inhabitants of the Rajmahal Hills, now known as the Santal Parganas.
  • They finds mentioned in Megathenes’ book as well as Hiuen Tsang’s travelogue.
  • Habitat - They live mainly in the states of Jharkhand and West Bengal.
  • There are also scattered groups of them in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha.
  • Cultivation - They practise Jhum or shifting cultivation.
  • Language - They predominantly speak Malto language, Dravidian language.
  • In Jharkhand, the Pahariyas are divided into 2 groups:
    • Mal Pahariya - These individuals inhabit the southern hills of Damin-i-koh and the southern and eastern regions of the Santhal Parganas.
    • They belong to the Proto-Australoid race.
    • Shauria Pahariya (or Maler Paharia) - This group is predominantly found in the Santhal Parganas.
    • They speak Malto, their native language, which shows influences from Havli and Chharisgarhi languages.
  • Religion - The Mal Paharias follow a solar deity called Dharmer Gosain like their Sauria Paharia counterparts.
  • Scheduled tribes - They are listed as a Scheduled Tribe by the governments of West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand.
  • The Indian government labels them a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG) in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

 

References

  1. Down to Earth | Seeds of solace
  2. Dr. Ramdayal Munda Tribal Welfare Research Institute | Pahariya tribes

Indelible ink

With the first phase of voting for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections beginning recently, a left hand with only its index finger extended, marked by purple-black indelible ink, is visible everywhere.

  • About - The indelible ink is devised to prevent a person from casting more than one vote, has been used in Indian elections for long.
  • It also travelled to other parts of the world to be used in other elections.
  • The process - Once a voter has her credentials checked at the polling booth, and before she casts her vote by pressing a button on the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), the indelible ink is applied on her finger.
  • RPA, 1951 - The ink is mentioned in the Representation of the People Act (RPA) of 1951.
  • Section 61It states that rules may be made under the Act for the marking with indelible ink of the thumb or any other finger of every elector who applies for a ballot paper or ballot papers for the purpose of voting at a polling station before delivery of such paper to him.
  • Making - Indelible ink contains silver nitrate.
  • It is a colourless compound which becomes visible when exposed to ultraviolet light, including sunlight.
  • The higher silver nitrate’s concentration, say around 20%, the higher will be the ink’s quality.
  • It can remain resistant to soap, liquids, home-cleansing, detergents, etc for up to 72 hours after application.
  • This water-based ink also contains a solvent like alcohol to allow its faster drying.
  • Maker of the indelible ink- The indelible ink was first manufactured at the Election Commission’s request by the government’s Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR).
  • Mysore Paints & Varnish Ltd. has been licensed to manufacture the ink and has been in the business since 1962.
  • It is exported to more than 25 countries that include Canada, Ghana, Nigeria, Mongolia, Malaysia, Nepal, South Africa and the Maldives.

India’s 4P Model

  • 4P model - Political leadership, Public financing, Partnerships and People’s participation.
  • It came out of the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Conference (MGISC) held in Delhi in October 2018.

International recognition of India’s substantial contribution to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) - 6 (water and sanitation) led to Prime Minister Modi being awarded the Global Goalkeeper award at New York in September 2019.

Political leadership

  • Prime Minister Modi announced Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), open defecation in India on 2014 to restore dignity, health and security to communities, especially women and girls.
  • The declaration of the goal to achieve a clean India was followed by the creation of institutional and financing mechanisms.
  • The PM also closely monitored the progress of the SBM on the ground, including by the use of technology.

Public financing

  • It is a direct follow-up to the first, through a high-level policy decision to finance the implementation of sanitation a public good across the country.
  • Investment in sanitation influenced both poverty reduction and led to an improvement in the quality of life for India’s population.
  • As a result, the Indian government, Centre and state, invested as much as $20 billion on sanitation.

Partnerships

  • The SBM is implemented partnership with international bodies such as the World Bank, Unicef, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, state and district administrations.
  • Partnerships were key and led to the creation of a national team Swachh Bharat.

People’s participation

  • It became the hallmark of the SBM, which had captured the imagination of the nation.
  • Each of the 6 lakh villages in India decided to take it upon itself to become open defecation free.
  • Rural communities took matters into their own hands and engaged in mass movements to encourage all households to build toilets and use them.
  • Women and girls went from being beneficiaries of the programme to leaders in their own right, and many led jan andolans to declare their villages open defecation free.

 

Reference

The Indian Express | 4P model of India

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