The history of Tulu and the demand for official language status
Clamour grows for Tulu to be included in the eighth schedule of the Constitution and given official language status in Karnataka and Kerala.
About Tulu language:
Tulu is a Dravidian language spoken mainly in two coastal districts Dakshina Kannada and Udupi of Karnataka and Kasaragod district of Kerala.
As per the 2011 Census report, there are 18,46,427 Tulu-speaking people in India.
Robert Caldwell (1814-1891), in his book, A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian Family of Languages, called Tulu “one of the most highly developed languages of the Dravidian family”.
Tulu has a rich oral literature tradition with folk-song forms like paddana, and traditional folk theatre yakshagana.
Eighth schedule to the Constitution:
Part XVII of the Indian constitution deals with the official languages in Articles 343 to 351.
The Constitutional provisions related to the Eighth Schedule are:
Article 344: Article 344(1) provides for the constitution of a Commission by the President on expiration of five years from the commencement of the Constitution.
Article 351: It provides for the spread of the Hindi language to develop it so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India.
Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Bodo, Santhali, Maithili and Dogri are the 22 languages presently in the eighth schedule to the Constitution.
National Food Security Act (NFSA)
The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that the States and the Union Territories have purchased nearly 3.7 lakh tonnes of foodgrains at concessional rates from the Food Corporation of India this year to supply to migrants without ration cards and others outside the protective cover of the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
With this, the centre has debunked apprehensions raised in court that those without ration cards may be left to die amid a devastating pandemic.
The Supreme Court had asked the Centre to explain “how food will reach migrant labourers without ration cards”.
National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013:
The objective is to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity.
Coverage and entitlement under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS): The TDPS covers 50% of the urban population and 75% of the rural population, with uniform entitlement of 5 kg per person per month. However, the poorest of the poor households will continue to receive 35 kg of food grains per household per month under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY).
Subsidised prices under TPDS and their revision: For a period of three years from the date of commencement of the Act, Food grains under TPDS will be made available at subsidised prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains.
Identification of Households: The identification of eligible households is to be done by States/UTs under TDPS determined for each State.
Nutritional Support to women and children: Children in the age group of 6 months to 14 years and pregnant women and lactating mothers will be entitled to meals as per prescribed nutritional norms under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Mid-Day Meal (MDM) schemes. Malnourished children up to the age of 6 have been prescribed for higher nutritional norms.
Maternity Benefit: Pregnant women and lactating mothers will also be receiving maternity benefit of Rs. 6,000.
Women Empowerment: For the purpose of issuing of ration cards, eldest woman of the household of age 18 years or above is to be the head of the household.
Grievance Redressal Mechanism: Grievance redressal mechanism available at the District and State levels.
Cost of transportation & handling of food grains and Fair Price Shop (FPS) Dealers’ margin: the expenditure incurred by the state on transportation of food grains within the State, its handling and FPS dealers’ margin as per norms to be devised for this purpose and assistance to states will be provided by the Central Government to meet the above expenditure.
Transparency and Accountability: In order to ensure transparency and accountability, provisions have been made for disclosure of records relating to PDS, social audits and setting up of Vigilance Committees.
Food Security Allowance: In case of non-supply of entitled food grains or meals, there is a provision for food security allowance to entitled beneficiaries.
Penalty: If the public servant or authority fails to comply with the relief recommended by the District Grievance Redressal Officer, penalty will be imposed by the State Food Commission according to the provision.
G7 accommodates Indian stand on need for Internet curbs
India has signed off on a joint statement by G-7 and guest countries on “open societies” that reaffirm and encourage the values of “freedom of expression, both online and offline, as a freedom that safeguards democracy and helps people live free from fear and oppression”.
The statement also refers to “politically motivated internet shutdowns” as one of the threats to freedom and democracy.
The joint statement was signed by the G-7 countries, and India, South Korea, Australia and South Africa, with host British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling them “Democracies 11”.
What India said on the need for internet curbs?
Open societies are particularly vulnerable to disinformation and cyber-attacks. Therefore, there is a need to ensure that “cyberspace remains an avenue for advancing democratic values and not of subverting it”. Hence, curbs on certain occasions are necessary.
India has been under scrutiny over Internet curbs in Jammu and Kashmir even as the Government is locked in a face-off over its new IT rules with tech giants such as Twitter, which described a police search at its offices in India last month as a “potential threat to freedom of expression”.
Similar communication shutdowns were witnessed in Delhi and Assam during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act during 2019-2020 and the farmer’s protest last January.
What procedure does the government follow to suspend Internet services?
The Information Technology Act, 2000, the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), 1973 and the Telegraph Act, 1885 are the three laws that deal with suspension of Internet services.
But before 2017, Internet suspension orders were issued under section 144 of the CrPC.
In 2017, the central government notified the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Service) Rules under the Telegraph Act to govern suspension of Internet.
These Rules derive their powers from Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, which talks about interception of messages in the “interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India”.