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27th May Current Affairs

Supreme Court recognises sex work as a ‘profession’

(GS-II: Protection of the Vulnerable Sections of the society)

In News:

In a momentous order, the Supreme Court of India recognised sex work to be a ‘profession.’

Details:

The apex court was hearing a plea that has raised the problems faced by sex workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plea has highlighted the destitution faced by sex workers on account of COVID-19 and sought relief measures for over nine lakh women and transgender sex workers across India.

The verdict – Guidelines:

Police forces in all states and Union territories should treat sex workers with dignity and not to abuse them, verbally or physically.

The authorities have a duty to protect them under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956.

The police and other law enforcement agencies should be sensitised to the rights of sex workers.

The newly introduced Section 354C, IPC which makes voyeurism a criminal offence, should be strictly enforced against electronic media, in order to prohibit telecasting photos of sex workers with their clients in the garb of capturing the rescue operation.

State governments should do a survey of shelter homes so that cases of adult women who are detained against their will can be reviewed and processed for release in a time-bound manner.

The Central Government and the State Governments, through National Legal Services Authority, State Legal Services Authority and District Legal Services Authority, should carry out workshops for educating the sex workers about their rights.

What necessitated this?

The attitude of the police to sex workers is often brutal and violent.

Significance of the verdict:

The court held that every individual in this country has a right to a dignified life under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Challenges ahead:

Sex workers are exposed to a slew of abuses that range from physical to mental attacks.

Most of them do not have access to clean and safe housing, as they are refused outrightly by owners or the society.

Access to essential health services are limited.

Relevant Court Judgements:

In Kajal Mukesh Singh vs State of Maharashtra (2021), the Bombay High Court said “Prostitution is not an offence, a woman has a right to choose her vocation”.

In Manoj Shaw vs State of West Bengal (2003), the Calcutta High Court observed that sex workers should be treated as victims of crime rather than the accused.

In Budhadev Karmaskar vs State of West Bengal (2011), the High Court observed that sex workers are also entitled to live a dignified life as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Param Porul Super Computer

(GS-III: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights)

In News:

PARAM PORUL, a state-of-the-art Supercomputer was inaugurated at NIT Tiruchirappalli recently.

Details:

It has been established under Phase 2 of the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).

How many Super Computers have been installed in the country so far?

As per the ministry of science and technology’s annual year-end review:

Under the National Super-Computer Mission (NSM), four new Supercomputers have been installed since July 2021 at IIT-Hyderabad, NABI- Mohali, CDAC-Bengaluru and IIT Kanpur.

What is National Supercomputing Mission (NSM)?

It is being implemented and steered jointly by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY).

Implemented by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.

Focus of the mission:

The Mission envisages empowering national academic and R&D institutions spread over the country by installing a vast supercomputing grid comprising of more than 70 high-performance computing facilities.

These supercomputers will also be networked on the National Supercomputing grid over the National Knowledge Network (NKN). The NKN is another programme of the government which connects academic institutions and R&D labs over a high speed network.

The Mission includes development of highly professional High Performance Computing (HPC) aware human resource for meeting challenges of development of these applications.

Achievements:

The first supercomputer assembled indigenously, called Param Shivay, was installed in IIT (BHU).

Similar systems Param Shakti and Param Brahma were installed at IIT-Kharagpur and IISER, Pune. They are equipped with applications from domains like Weather and Climate, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Bioinformatics, and Material science.

Demands for a separate Bhil Pradesh

(GS-III: Internal Security related issues)

In News:

The demands for a “Bhil Pradesh” have of late begun to be raised again.

What is Bhil Pradesh?

It is a demand for a separate state for tribal people in western India.

The demand is to carve out a separate state from 39 districts spread over four states: 16 in Gujarat, 10 in Rajasthan, seven in Madhya Pradesh, and six in Maharashtra.

Bhil social reformer and spiritual leader Govind Guru first raised the demand for a separate state for tribals back in 1913 after the Mangarh massacre.

Need for:

The locals say, after the division of states, tribals in the region were scattered. This suppressed their collective voices. As a result, most schemes related to their development have not benefited them.

The Mangarh massacre:

The massacre, which took place six years before Jallianwalla Bagh and is sometimes referred to as the “Adivasi Jallianwala”, saw hundreds of Bhil tribals being killed by British forces on November 17, 1913 in the hills of Mangarh on the border of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Who are Bhils?

Bhils or Bheels are an Adivasi ethnic group in West India. Bhils are listed as tribal people of the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

Bhils are one of the largest tribal group in India. They speak the Bhil languages.

Tomar king Anangpal II

(GS-I: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times)

In News:

The National Monuments Authority (NMA) (set up for the protection and preservation of monuments under the Ministry of Culture) has planned to erect a statue of Anangpal Tomar II somewhere in central Delhi and develop it into a tourist spot.

Details:

Many believe he was the founder-king of Delhi.

Who was Anangpal II?

Belonged to the Tomar dynasty that ruled parts of present-day Delhi and Haryana between the 8th and 12th centuries.

He was succeeded by his grandson Prithviraj Chauhan, who was defeated by the Ghurid forces in the Battle of Tarain (present-day Haryana) after which the Delhi Sultanate was established in 1192.

The Tomar dynasty shifted its capital in the 8th century), to Dhillikapuri (Delhi) during the reign of Anangpal II.

The Vishnu Garud Dhwaj (iron pillar) in the Qutub complex was also brought by King Anangpal Tomar II.

About Tomar Dynasty:

Tomara dynasty is one of the minor early medieval ruling houses of northern India.

According to bardic tradition, the dynasty was one of the 36 Rajput tribes.

The history of the family spans the period between the reign of Anangpal, who founded the city of Delhi in the 11th century CE, and the incorporation of Delhi within the Chauhan (Chahamana) kingdom in 1164.

Although Delhi subsequently became decisively a part of the Chauhan kingdom, numismatic and comparatively late literary evidence indicates that Tomara kings such as Anangapala and Madanapala continued to rule as feudatories, presumably until the final conquest of Delhi by the Muslims in 1192–93.