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9th July Current Affairs

Meghalaya tribal council to revisit Instrument of Accession

(GS-II: Separation of powers between various organs; dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions, tribal Councils, 5th schedule, 6th schedule etc)

In News:

A tribal council in Meghalaya has called for a meeting of traditional heads to revisit the Instrument of Accession that made the Khasi domain a part of the Indian Union more than seven decades ago.

Details:

The chief executive member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) agreed that the Instrument of Accession and Annexed Agreement signed with the Dominion of India between December 15, 1947, and March 19, 1948, should be studied.

The KHADC said the provisions can be added to the Sixth Schedule, which “can be amended by Parliament”.

Background:

Meghalaya is divided into three regions dominated by as many matrilineal communities – the Khasis, Garos and Jaintias. The Khasi hills straddle 25 Himas or States that formed the Federation of Khasi States.

The conditional treaty with these States was signed by Governor-General of India, Chakravarty Rajagopalachari, on August 17, 1948.

Nagaland was granted special status under Article 371A, which was an idea of the Federation of Khasi States.

INSTRUMENT OF ACCESSION OF THE KHASI STATE:

It was signed between the Khasi rulers and the Dominion of India.

Agreement (which shall be regarded as part of Instrument of Accession), Khasi accepted that the Dominion Legislature may make laws for the said Khasi States in respect of any matter.

Sixth Schedule:

  • The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution provides for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to safeguard the rights of the tribal population in these states.
  • This special provision is provided under Article 244(2) and Article 275(1) of the Constitution.
  • The Sixth Schedule provides for autonomy in the administration of these areas through Autonomous District Councils (ADCs).
  • These councils are empowered to make laws in respect of areas under their jurisdiction, which cover the land, forest, cultivation, inheritance, indigenous customs and traditions of tribals, etc. and also to collect land revenues and certain other taxes.

Forest landscape restoration

(GS-III: Environmental Conservation)

In News:

Ministry Of Environment, Forest And Climate Change To Organize Hariyali Mahotsav. The article is important from Mains perspective.

Details:

Hariyali Mahotsav: The Mahotsav is being organized to create awareness about the importance of trees and green cover to protect our environment against air pollution and global warming.

Van Mahotsav: (“celebrate the forest”):. The history of Van Mahotsav Day goes back to July 1947, when it was first organised by the Punjabi botanist, M.S. Randhawa. It is a pan-India tree planting festival celebrated in July every year.

Status of forest restoration:

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), deforestation and forest degradation contribute around 12% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

30% of forestland is degraded in India. The total area occupied by primary forests in India has decreased by 3.6%.

Nearly two billion hectares of degraded land in the world (and 140 million hectares in India) have scope for potential restoration as forest land.

What should be done:

‘Forest landscape restoration’: Forest landscape restoration is the process of regaining ecological functionality and improving human welfare across deforested or degraded forest landscapes.

It seeks to involve- communities, champions, government, vulnerable forest-dependent people and landowners in the process of designing and executing mutually advantageous interventions for the up-gradation of landscapes.

According to academics from the World Resources Institute, forest ecosystems enrich soil fertility and water availability, enhancing agricultural productivity, and in turn the rural economy.

Ensure the diversity of the species while planting trees: Natural forests with diverse native tree species are more efficient in sequestering carbon than monoculture tree plantations.

Case study: In Punjab, the community is proactively planting native species such as Jhand, Desi Kikar and Pharwan, which are resilient and acclimatised. And most of these saplings have a high survival rate of 90%, a vital requirement for sustainable reforestation activities.

Promote Sustainable forest crops (agroforestry): It reduces food insecurity and empowers women, allowing them to gain access to more nutritional diets and new income streams.

Agroforestry lessens rural-to-urban migration and contributes to an increase in resources and household income.

Planting trees is deeply linked to the ‘wholistic’ well-being of all individuals, the community, and the planet.

International:

The span 2021-2030 is the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, emphasising efforts to restore degraded terrestrial ecosystems including forests.

Bonn Challenge (2011): It was launched with a global goal to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.

India joined the Bonn Challenge in 2015, pledging to restore 26 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2030. An additional carbon sink of 2.5 billion-3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through forest and tree cover is to be created by 2030.

India:

Programmes include: Compensatory Afforestation, the National Afforestation Programme, the National Mission for a Green India (Green India Mission), the Nagar Van scheme and the Forest Fire Prevention and Management Scheme, etc.

Green Skill Development Programme for youth who aspire to attain employment in the environment and forest sectors.

State governments: Telangana has initiated a large-scale tree planting programme called ‘Telanganaku Haritha Haram’ using drones.

Issues: Forest restoration in India faces hurdles in terms of the identification of areas for restoration, a lack of importance accorded to research and scientific strategies in tree planting, stakeholders’ conflicts of interest, and financing.

India gets elected to the Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

(GS-I: Indian Culture – Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times)

In News:

India has been elected as a member of the Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage for the 2022-2026 cycle.

Background:

India has previously served as a member of the ICH Committee twice – from 2006 to 2010 & from 2014 to 2018.

India is also a member of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO(2021-2025).

India ratified the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in September 2005.

About:

The Intergovernmental Committee of the 2003 Convention consists of 24 members and is elected in the General Assembly of the Convention according to the principles of equitable geographical representation and rotation.

States Members to the Committee are elected for a term of four years.

With 14 inscriptions on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, India also ranks high in the listing of intangible cultural heritage.

After the inscription of Durga Puja in 2021, India submitted the nomination for Garba of Gujarat to be discussed in 2023.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):

  • It is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN).
  • It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture.
  • It is also a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG), a coalition of UN agencies and organizations aimed at fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • UNESCO’s Headquarters are located in Paris and the Organization has more than 50 field offices around the world.
  • It has 193 Members and 11 Associate Members (As of April 2020) and is governed by the General Conference and the Executive Board.
  • Three UNESCO member states are not UN members: Cook Islands, Niue, and Palestine.
  • While three UN member states (Israel, Liechtenstein, United States) are not UNESCO members.

Union Minister for Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports launches revised schemes of Cash Awards, National Welfare and Pension to sportspersons

(GS-II: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of society, mechanism, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these schemes etc)

In News:

Union Minister for Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, launched revised schemes of Cash Awards, National Welfare and Pension to sportspersons, Web Portal for Schemes of Department of Sports and National Sports Development Fund website.

Key Amendments:

Applicants can apply directly: Now any individual sports person can directly apply for all three schemes as per his/her eligibility.

Reducing time limit: Applicants now need to apply online for a cash award scheme within six months from the last date of closing of the particular event.

Ease in the verification process: The verification process in all three schemes has been eased to a great extent to reduce the processing time.

Pension benefits to Deaflympics: Deaflympics means deaf sports for deaf athletes who compete at an elite international level.

Website for NSDF: Development of a dedicated interactive website yas.gov.in for ‘National Sports Development Fund’ (NSDF).

This Fund is based on CSR contributions from Central & State Governments, PSUs, private companies, individuals etc. for the promotion and development of sports in the country.

Meritorious Sportsperson Pension Scheme:

  • This scheme is formed to attract and retain the best sporting talent in our country to achieve excellence in sports
  • It provides incentive as well as financial security to meritorious sportspersons in recognition of their outstanding performance in international competitions.
  • The assured monthly income will be compensation for the opportunities spurned by them in pursuit of their high ambition and achievement in sports.
  • Sportspersons who have won Gold, Silver or Bronze medals in the following international competition will get a monthly pension under this scheme:

○Olympic Games

○World Cup in Olympics

○Asian Games disciplines

○Asian Games

○Commonwealth Games

○Paralympic Games

SCHEME OF CASH AWARDS TO MEDAL WINNERS IN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS EVENTS AND THEIR COACHES:

  • The cash awards were introduced in 1986 and Amended in 2020.
  • To incentivize the achievements of outstanding sportspersons, encourage and motivate them for higher achievements and to act as inspiring role models for attracting the younger generation to take up sports.
  • The Awards will be given in the following disciplines:

○Sports disciplines in Olympic Games/ Asian Games/ Commonwealth

○Games Chess

○Billiards & Snooker