Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal paid tributes to the sacrifices made by Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS) and other martyrs of Karbala on the eve of Aashoor-e-Muharram.
It is the first month of the Islamic calendar which is a lunar Calendar. It is held to be the holiest month. The tenth day of Muharram is the Day of Ashoora, which to Shia Muslims is part of the Mourning of Muharram.
The event marks the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala, when Imam Hussein Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, was killed by the forces of the second Umayyad caliph.
Customs associated with mourning of Muharram:
Matam: It refers to the acts of lamentation for the martyrs of Karbala. There are two basic forms of matam:
Matam using one’s hands only, that is, sineh-zani or breast-beating
Matam with implements like chains, knives, swords and blades, that is, zanjeer-zani, qama-zani, etc. which involves flagellation for reenacting blood shedding of Hussein Ali.
Taziya: It refers to the Miniature Mausoleums (imitations of the mausoleums of Karbala, generally made of coloured paper and bamboo) used in ritual processions.
Alam: It consists of a coloured drape (usually black) on a wooden pole with an emblem on the top as a religious flag. It is believed that it was carried by Ali during the battle of Karbala.
14th Conference of Parties (COP14)
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the High Level Segment of the 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.
Key highlights of his speech:
During his address, the Prime Minister announced that between now and 2030, India will raise target of restoring land with degraded status from 21 million hectares to 26 million by 2030.
He also announced India’s proposal to setup a global technical support institute for the member countries of the UNCCD for their capacity building and support regarding the Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting Program.
Acknowledging the importance of the role of water, he called upon the leadership of UNCCD to conceive a “Global Water Action Agenda” which is central to the Land Degradation Neutrality strategy.
PM said that in order to further develop a scientific approach and facilitate induction of technology to land degradation issues, we have decided to set up a centre for excellence in India at the Indian Council for Forest Research and Education.
Lebanon’s Hezbollah says it has shot down an Israeli unmanned aircraft outside the southern town of Ramyah as it was heading towards the town.
Hezbollah is Lebanon’s most powerful Shia movement.
Hezbollah has three ministers in government and is represented in the Lebanese parliament. It has a strongly-armed wing, with its forces fighting in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s troops.
Israel considers Hezbollah as the most potent military threat on its border. Hezbollah and Israel fought a month-long war in 2006. The border between the two countries, which remain technically in a state of war, has been mostly calm since.
Hezbollah has been designated by the U.S. and Israel as a terrorist organisation. In 2013, EU foreign ministers banned Hezbollah’s military wing but not its political work in Europe. As a result, sanctions can be imposed on its military leaders.
Lancet Commission on malaria
A report published by The Lancet Commission on malaria eradication concludes that it is possible to eradicate malaria as early as 2050 — or within a generation — with the right strategies and sufficient funding.
Analyses indicate that socioeconomic and environmental trends, together with improved coverage of malaria interventions, will create a world in 2050 with malaria persisting in pockets of low-level transmission in equatorial Africa.
To achieve eradication by 2050, the report identifies three ways:
First, the world must improve implementation of malaria control programmes.
Second, they must develop innovative tools to overcome the biological challenges to eradication.
Third, malaria-endemic countries and donors must provide the financial investment needed.
According to a national survey to measure the coverage of iodised salt, Tamil Nadu has the lowest consumption of iodised salt despite being the third biggest producer of salt in the country.
The survey was conducted by Nutrition International in collaboration with the AIIMS, Delhi and the Indian Coalition for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD).
The survey tested the iodine content in samples of cooking salt from households to estimate the coverage of iodised salt in 29 States and 7 Union Territories in India.
Key findings of survey:
The national average for household coverage is 76.3% i.e. 76.3% of Indian households consumed adequately iodised salt, which is salt with at least 15 parts per million of iodine.
The five worst performers were Tamil Nadu (61.9%), Andhra Pradesh (63.9%), Rajasthan (65.5%), Odisha (65.8%) and Jharkhand (68.8%).
The north-eastern States are doing very well with respect to iodised salt consumption at the household level because of the distance they have from the three salt producing states.
Gujarat produces 71% of salt in the country, followed by Rajasthan at 17% and Tamil Nadu at 11%. The rest of the country accounts for a mere 1% of salt produced.
13 out of 36 States have already achieved Universal Salt Iodisation.
Five Star Movement (M5S)
As populist movements gain strength across the world, attention has turned to Italy, where members of Italy’s Five Star Movement (M5S) voted in favour of forming a coalition government with the centre-left Democratic party (PD).
The Five Star Movement (M5S) is a political party in Italy.
It was founded in 2009 by Beppe Grillo and quickly grew. It was borne out of apparent frustration with the political establishment in a country with a stagnant economy and widespread corruption at the highest echelons.
The “five stars” are a reference to five key issues for the party: (1) public water, (2) sustainable transport, (3) sustainable development, (4) right to Internet access, and (5) environmentalism.
The M5S is variously considered populist, anti-establishment, environmentalist, anti-globalist and Eurosceptic.
Since its inception in 2009, the M5S has risen to become one of the most voted-for parties in Italy. In the 2018 general election, the M5S became the largest individual party in the Italian Parliament and entered government.
CHC Farm Machinery
Union Minister of State for Agriculture launched a multilingual Mobile App “CHC Farm Machinery” during a conference on Crop Residue Management in New Delhi.
The Mobile App “CHC Farm Machinery” will allow farmers to avail custom hiring services of CHCs located in a radius of 50 km.
The App connects the farmers with Custom Hiring Centers (CHCs) in their area. with this, farmers can now get affordable access to cutting-edge technology at their doorsteps.
It can be downloaded on any android phone from Google Play Store.
Motihari-Amalekhgunj petroleum pipeline
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart K P Sharma Oli inaugurated the Motihari-Amalekhgunj petroleum pipeline through video conferencing.
The Motihari-Amlekhganj petroleum product pipeline is the first ever cross-border petroleum products pipeline in South Asia.
Route: The 69-km pipeline will transport fuel from Barauni refinery in Bihar’s Begusarai district to Amalekhgunj in southeastern Nepal, situated across the border from Raxaul in East Champaran district.
The project was first proposed in 1996, but progress was slow.
In 2017, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) signed a petroleum trade agreement to supply about 1.3 million tonnes of fuel annually to Nepal with a promise to double the volume by 2020.
The pipeline will help in tackling the oil storage problem in Nepal. The Amalekhgunj fuel depot will have the capacity to store up to 16,000 kilolitres of petroleum products.
It will drastically reduce the cost of transporting fuel to landlocked Nepal from India by doing away with transportation of petroleum products through tankers (as part of an arrangement which is in place since 1973).
Centre has set up a 3-member panel to oversee the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.
Mandate: The committee will look into the distribution of assets and liabilities of Jammu and Kashmir between two successor Union territories, which will come into existence on 31st of October this year.
Composition: The committee will be headed by Former Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra. It will have Retired IAS officer Arun Goyal and Retired Indian Civil Accounts Service officer Giriraj Prasad Gupta as members.
Background: On 5th of last month, the Centre had announced the abrogation of the special status given to J&K under Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into the two UTs.
Paralympic Committee of India (PCI)
Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) derecognised the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) for violating National Sports Development Code of India, 2011.
Government has suspended PCI in accordance with provisions under clause I (ix) and clause I (x) of Annexure-III of National Sports Development Code of India 2011.
Issue: In a letter addressed to Secretary-General of Paralympic Committee of India Chandrashekhar J. it was mentioned that a complaint was received against PCI from Rao Inderjit Singh regarding his removal from President’s post of PCI. Therefore, an explanation was sought from PCI through Ministry’s notices dated from 11 July to 29 August 2019. However, the explanation was not found satisfactory and hence the action was been taken.
Explanation provided: On 4 May 2019, PCI had conducted an Annual General Meeting (AGM) in which a resolution was adopted that barred public servants from getting elected to its executive. Thereby, Rao Inderjit Singh was removed as President by a majority vote.
Government Response: It was after removal of Rao Inderjit Singh PCI’s President that the government found PCI failing the good governance practices and also held them accountable for violating its own constitution as well as National Sports Development Code of India, 2011 in removing the elected President.
MYAS has also cited district’s registrar’s order, according to which amendment of byelaws is seen as a violation of Karnataka Societies Registration Act 1960 and 1961.
About Paralympic Committee of India:
PCI was founded in 1992. It was then earlier named as ‘Physically Handicapped Sports Federation of India’.
It is the national body responsible for selecting athletes to represent India at Paralympic Games (or Paralympics) as well as other international athletic meets.
PCI also manages Indian teams at these events.