Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission
- The Centre’s proposed plan to create a heritage village and boost tourism at Singaperumal Koil and nearby villages, about 40 km south of Chennai, is expected to give a much-needed fillip to the region’s development.
- The ‘Rurban Mission’ covers Singaperumal Koil and six villages nearby — Appur, Chettipuniyam, Guruvanmedu, Kolathur, Reddipalayam, and Venkatapuram.
- Singaperumalkoil region has become one of the most sought-after residential locations for the past two decades due to industrial units and tech parks.
- The region is home to ancient temples and popular among them is the cave temple of Padalathri Narasimha at the heart of the village.
- A rock-cut temple built by the Pallavas was reported to be 1,500-year old.
- The village Chettipuniyam is known for its 400-year old Yoga Hayagreevar temple
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Study in Religious Composition in India
- The study, based on data sourced from India’s decennial census and the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)
- It looked at the three main factors that are known to cause changes in the religious composition of populations — fertility rate, migration, and conversions.
Highlights of the study
- The religious composition of India’s population since Partition has remained largely stable, with both Hindus and Muslims, the two largest religious groups, showing not only a marked decline but also a convergence in fertility rates
- Muslims, who had the highest fertility rate, also had the sharpest decline in fertility rates.
- From 1992 to 2015, the total fertility rates of Muslims declined from 4.4 to 2.6,
- Hindus fertility rate declined from 3.3 to 2.1
- The study indicates that the gaps in childbearing between India’s religious groups are much smaller than they used to be.
- The average fertility rate in India today is 2.2, which is higher than the rates in economically advanced countries such as the U.S. (1.6), but much lower than what it was in 1992 (3.4) or 1951 (5.9).
- The study notes that due to the “declining and converging fertility patterns”, there have been only marginal changes in the overall religious composition of the population since 1951, the year India conducted its first census as an independent nation.
- Out of India’s total population of 1,200 million, about 8 million did not belong to any of the six major religious groups.
- Within another category, mostly comprising Adivasi people, the largest grouping was of Sarnas (nearly 5 million adherents), followed by Gond (1 million) and Sari Dharma (5,10,000).
- Sex-selective abortions have caused an estimated deficit of 20 million girls compared with what would naturally be expected between 1970 and 2017
- Sex-Selective practice is more common among Indian Hindus than among Muslims and Christians.
- Religion is by no means the only or even the primary factor affecting fertility rates, the study noted that women in central India tended to have more children, with Bihar and Uttar Pradesh showing a total fertility rate (TFR) of 3.4 and 2.7 respectively, in contrast to a TFR of 1.7 and 1.6 in Tamil Nadu and Kerala respectively.
- The study says that since the 1950s, migration has had only a modest impact on India’s religious composition.
- More than 99% of people who live in India were also born in India, and migrants leaving India outnumber immigrants three-to-one, with “Muslims more likely than Hindus to leave India”, while “immigrants into India from Muslim-majority counties are disproportionately Hindu.”
- Religious conversion has also had a negligible impact on India’s overall composition, with 98% of Indian adults still identifying with the religion in which they were raised.
National Curriculum Framework
- The Centre has started the process to revise school textbooks by appointing a new panel
- The panel will be chaired by Chairman K. Kasturirangan, former Indian Space Research Organisation along with a 12-member steering committee
- This committee will be responsible for developing a new National Curriculum Framework (NCF).
- Dr. Kasturirangan also chaired the drafting committee for the National Education Policy, 2020 which recommended the development of a new NCF.
- The steering committee has been given a tenure of three years to complete its task
- The last such framework was developed in 2005. I
- t is meant to be a guiding document for the development of textbooks, syllabi, and teaching practices in schools across the country.
- The subsequent revision of textbooks by the National Council of Educational Research and Training will draw from the new NCF.
- The steering committee will develop four such frameworks, one each to guide the curriculum of school education, teacher education, early childhood education, and adult education.
National Snakebite Awareness Summit
- It is organized by the leading health awareness institution Integrated Health & Wellbeing (IHW) Council
- The Summit has underlined the need to spread awareness on means to prevent attacks by snakes as well as gather adequate data to formulate the right and better ways to treat the cases at the primary health centers.
- The summit was held on the eve of the International Snakebite Awareness Day, observed on 19 September every year.
India records on snake bite
- In the 20-year period from 2000 to 2019, the country recorded 1.2 million snakebite deaths with an average of 58,000 deaths every year.
- As much as 97 percent of these deaths happened in villages and more than half of the dead were men in their most productive years.
International Snakebite Awareness Day
- It is commemorated on September 19 every year since 2018, representing an opportunity to raise awareness of one of the world’s biggest hidden health crises.
- Snakebite particularly affects the most vulnerable members of society – often those living in remote rural areas, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
- The WHO said agricultural workers and people living in poorly constructed homes face the highest risk and often have limited access to education, health care, and even footwear.
- It is a slimy foam, also known as marine mucilage, and has been appearing increasingly on Greek beaches during the summer of 2021.
- Sea snot mostly consists of microscopic algae known as phytoplankton.
Effects of Sea Snout
- While phytoplankton alone isn’t harmful to the environment, when mixed with rising water temperatures, wastewater, pesticides, and global warming, it flourishes and can reproduce at a harmfully rapid rate, affecting biodiversity, blocking sunlight from entering the water, and reducing oxygen levels in the sea.
- The heating of the atmosphere under the greenhouse phenomenon increases the temperature of the oceans and the seas, making them more appropriate for certain microorganisms that thrive in warmer waters, while they also create an environment uninhabitable for other animals and plants.
Recent Incidents of Sea Snout
- Beaches on the Chalkidiki (Halkidiki) peninsula this September show that the Aegean Sea indeed occasionally sprouts such organic foam.
- Greeks seas, the marine heatwave in the second half of June 2021 increased the average daily temperature of the Aegean Sea to 28 degrees Celsius, which is a whole 4 degrees higher than previous years.
- The outbreak of sea snot in the Aegean Sea has been much less impactful than the recent overflow of sea snot in the Marmara Sea in neighboring Turkey.
- It forms every so often but usually dissipates after a while
State Food Safety Index
- Gujarat, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu have topped an index that ranks states on food safety parameters for the 2020-21 year
- Large State Toppers: Gujarat, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu
- Small State Toppers: Goa, Meghalaya, and Manipur.
- Union territories: Jammu and Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar Island and Delhi
About the Index
- It is released by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India
- This is the third index on food safety of the Food and Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
- It is released on the completion of 15 years of the formation of the regulatory body.
- The index ranks states on five parameters of food safety:
- human resources and institutional data
- food testing facility
- capacity building besides consumer empowerment
- Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is an autonomous body
- It is established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.
- The FSSAI has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India
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TRIFED to train people on pearl farming
- The Tribal Affairs Ministry has roped in a Jharkhand-based firm to train people belonging to Scheduled Tribes in pearl farming.
- The ministry plans to develop 25 clusters of Van Dhan Vikas Kendra (VDVK) in Jharkhand where pearl farming can be undertaken.
- A VDVK is a center for skill up-gradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facilities.
- A typical Van Dhan Vikas Kendra includes 20 tribal members and 15 such centers constitute one VDVK cluster.
- The MoU with Purty Agrotech will promote the art of growing pearls among other tribal entrepreneurs across India and tap the potential of this market
- The government agency will impanel Purty Agrotech as a supplier of pearls which will be sold through the network of 141 Tribes India outlets and various e-commerce platforms for this purpose.
- TRIFED plans to handhold VDVK clusters involved in pisciculture and helps them further develop oyster breeding
- It is an agency under the Tribal Affairs Ministry
- It was established in August 1987 under the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 1984 by the Government of India
- It was launched as a National level Cooperative body under the administrative control of the then Ministry of Welfare of India
- The basic mandate of bringing about socio-economic development of tribals of the country by institutionalizing the trade of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) & Surplus Agricultural Produce (SAP) collected/ cultivated by them.
TRIFED and Big Basket
- It signed a pact with e-commerce firm Big Basket for the promotion and sale of hand-made authentic forest products sourced by tribals.
- TRIFED by converging with Big Basket can leverage their infrastructure, expertise, and reach in order to make the organics, naturals, and Van Dhan products available to a wider clientele across the country
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- It is a Navy exercise between India and Indonesia
- Indian Naval ships Shivalik and Kadmatt arrived at Jakarta, Indonesia to participate in the third edition of bilateral exercise ‘Samudra Shakti’ with the Indonesian Navy.
- It is in pursuance of India’s Act East Policy
- It was conceived in 2018 as a bilateral maritime exercise between India and Indonesia.
- The exercise has matured in complexity over the last two editions and will involve the conduct of complex maritime operations including Military Interdiction Operations (MIO), Cross Deck Landings, Air Defence serials, Practice Weapon Firings, Replenishment Approaches, and Tactical Manoeuvres.
Global Innovation Index (GII)
- India has climbed two spots and has been ranked 46th by the World Intellectual Property Organization in the Global Innovation Index 2021 ranking
- India has been on a rising trajectory over the past several years in the Global Innovation Index (GII) and rose from a rank of 81 in 2015 to 46 in 2021.
Reasons for the uplift
- Immense knowledge capital
- vibrant startup ecosystem
- Public and private research organizations.
- The Scientific Departments like the Department of Atomic Energy; the Department of Science and Technology; the Department of Biotechnology and the Department of Space
- The Global Innovation Index (GII) is an annual ranking of countries by their capacity for, and success in, innovation.
- It is published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization, in partnership with other organizations and institutions
- It is based on both subjective and objective data derived from several sources, including the International Telecommunication Union, the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum.
- The index was started in 2007 by INSEAD and World Business a British magazine.
- The GII is commonly used by corporate and government officials to compare countries by their level of innovation.
- The GII is computed by taking a simple average of the scores in two sub-indices, the Innovation Input Index and Innovation Output Index, which are composed of five and two pillars respectively.