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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

Monthly DNA

12 Jan, 2021

82 Min Read

Status of Gender Inequality in India

GS-I : Social issues Women

Status of Gender Inequality in India

  • Is the electoral promise of paying women for carrying out domestic work and care work a progressive public policy?
  • The proposal, put forth by Kamal Haasan’s political party, Makkal Needhi Maiam, has generated curiosity and reopened the old but unsettled academic debate. On the face of it, the proposal might appear progressive. However, closer scrutiny suggests otherwise.

A disproportionate burden of work

  • Women bear a disproportionately high burden of unpaid domestic work and care work in India.
  • It would be instructive here to examine how Tamil Nadu, where the electoral promise is being made, fares vis-à-vis India. The all-India Time Use Survey (2019) says that 82% of females (six years and above) as against 24% of males from Tamil Nadu participate in unpaid domestic work.
  • The huge disparity persists even if we look at the age group of 15-59 years: 90% of females and 24% of males participate in domestic work. A similar disparity prevails at the all-India level as well: 81% of females (six years and above) and 26% of males participate in unpaid domestic work. There is an equally huge disparity in the average time spent by participating males and females.
  • While females (six years and above) in Tamil Nadu spend, on average, 261 minutes a day in unpaid domestic work, males spend only 91 minutes.
  • The corresponding figures for females and males in India are 299 minutes and 97 minutes, respectively.
  • The data suggest that females bear more than 83% of the burden of domestic and care work both in Tamil Nadu and India.
  • Can the proposed policy address the huge burden that women are forced to endure daily?
  • Posed differently, what should a progressive policy proposal aim at: paying women a wage for domestic and care work or addressing the huge gender disparity?
  • The insights offered by the feminist economist Diane Elson (2017) are pertinent. The gist of her argument is this: public policy should aim at closing the huge gender gap in unpaid domestic and care work through ‘recognition, reduction and redistribution’ (Triple-R).
  • The party’s proposal only satisfies the first component of Triple-R, that is ‘recognition’. Paying a wage is a formal recognition of the fact that unpaid domestic and care work are no less important than paid market work, as the latter is parasitic on the former.
  • Since it is women who predominantly carry out unpaid domestic and care activities, often at the expense of their employment prospects and health, the monetary reward is a recognition of their contribution to the well-being of the household and the opportunities forgone by women. The proposal appears progressive, for this reason and to that measure.

Failing two aspects

  • If the broader aim of a progressive public policy is to close the gender gap in unpaid domestic and care work, how does the proposal measure up?
  • Specifically, will paying women a wage for domestic and care work reduce their disproportionately huge daily burden?
  • The proposal not only fails miserably in this aspect, but also has the potential to increase women’s burden.
  • This is because paying monetary benefits carries with it the possible danger of formally endorsing the social norm that domestic and care work are ‘women’s work’, for which they are being paid.
  • The purportedly progressive proposal thus has the risk of furthering the gender disparity in unpaid work within homes.
  • What’s more, it also fails in the other crucial aspect of ‘redistribution’ of the burden of unpaid work.
  • In fact, it might give space for men to claim that women are bound to do these unpaid activities as they are being compensated for the time spent or income foregone, and that women can at best expect men only to help but not participate daily in carrying out these activities.
  • The fact that only 24% of men from Tamil Nadu participate in and spend less time than women on unpaid domestic work calls for a policy proposal that increases men’s participation and the time they spend in unpaid work at home.
  • Instead of incentivising men to participate more in household work and reducing women’s burden by redistributing the responsibility, the current proposal might do the opposite.
  • Incentivising men, monetarily or otherwise, to participate more and spend longer hours in carrying out unpaid domestic work is one thing, but paying women a wage for shouldering the primary responsibility is another. At best, the latter might help meet what the academic Caroline Moser referred to as ‘practical’ gender needs.
  • But it cannot possibly address the ‘strategic’ gender needs of reducing and redistributing women’s burden.
  • The electoral promise, therefore, lacks the transformative potential of achieving gender equality in sharing unpaid work.

Source: TH

FLIGHT LIEUTANANT BHAWANA KANTH

GS-I : Indian Society Role of Women and Women's organisation

FLIGHT LIEUTANANT BHAWANA KANTH

  • Bhawana Kanth is to become the first woman fighter pilot to take part in the Republic Day parade.
  • She was one of the first women fighter Pilots inducted into the Indian Air Force in 2016.
  • The other fighter pilots inducted into the Indian Air Force were Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh.

Bhawana Kanth

  • In 2019, Bhawana Kanth became the first female fighter pilot of India to qualify to undertake combat missions.
  • She received the Nari Shakti Puraskar from President of India Ramnath Kovind in March 2020.

Source: PIB

COVID Pandemic and India’s New Foreign Policy

GS-II : International Relations India and its neighborhood

COVID Pandemic and India’s New Foreign Policy

M.K. Narayanan is a former National Security Adviser and a former Governor of West Bengal

  • The year 2021 should see a cementing of the many trends that had their genesis in 2020.
  • Leadership change in the United States is perhaps the most awaited change, but is unlikely to bring about a major power shift in the international arena.
  • Even before the changeover, and despite the promise of a Biden presidency to invigorate the U.S.-Europe axis, Europe has turned its back on the U.S. and revived its China links, by ‘concluding in principle the negotiations for an EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment’.
  • In one swift move, Europe has thus shattered all hope that China would remain ostracised in 2021.
  • Many countries will now find themselves scrambling for cover. India which has greatly curtailed its relations with China since April 2020, (in the wake of Chinese aggression in Eastern Ladakh) will find itself ‘out on a limb’, with many countries likely to seek closer economic relations with China now.

A stronger China

  • The year 2021, hence, begins on a triumphal note for China and China’s Supreme Leader, Xi Jinping.
  • China is about the only major country which had a positive rate of growth at the end of 2020, and its economy is poised to grow even faster in 2021.
  • Militarily, China has further strengthened itself, and now seeks to dominate the Indo-Pacific Ocean with its announcement of the launch of its third aircraft carrier in 2021.
  • Simultaneously, it is seeking to strengthen its military coordination with Russia.
  • Consequent on all this, and notwithstanding Chinese intransigence in several matters including its heavy-handed actions in Hong Kong and Uighur, China’s position across Asia is, if anything, stronger than in 2020.
  • News emanating from China is that President Xi will further cement his position, both as Party leader and as President in 2021, despite internecine tensions within the Communist Party of China.
  • China is, hence, unlikely to concede any ground to its opponents across the world in 2021, a fact that India will need to reckon with. It cannot expect any Chinese concessions in Eastern Ladakh, until India ‘makes amends’.

Economy first for Europe

  • The new year will be dominated by strong authoritarian leaders like Xi Jinping in China, Vladimir Putin in Russia, and Recep Tayyip Erdo? in Turkey.
  • International politics may not be very different from that in 2020, but any hope that the Compact of Democracy would emerge stronger will need to be eschewed.
  • Europe, minus Britain following Brexit, and the retirement of Germany’s Angela Merkel, could become even less relevant in world affairs.
  • The China-EU Investment Treaty which saw Europe capitulating to China’s blandishments is an indication that Europe values its economy more than its politics.
  • Major changes are afoot in Eurasia and West Asia which could lead to significant shifts. Russia is beginning to display greater interest in the affairs of countries on its periphery and, together with strengthening ties with China and reaching an entente with Turkey, this seems to signal reduced interest in countries such as India.
  • In West Asia, the Abraham Accords, leading to a realignment of forces in the Arab world, have sharpened the division between the Saudi Bloc and Iran-Turkey.
  • Despite the hype surrounding the Abraham Accords, the situation, however, remains fluid and has not reduced the risk of a confrontation between Iran and Israel.
  • This does pose problems for India since both have relations with it. Meanwhile, China demonstrates a willingness to play a much larger role in the region, including contemplating a 25-year strategic cooperation agreement with Iran.
  • Saudi Arabia could find the going difficult in 2021, with a Biden Administration taking charge in Washington. The healing of wounds among the Sunni Arab states in the region should be viewed as a pyrrhic victory at best for Saudi Arabia.
  • One by-product of this could be a sharpening of hostilities between the Sunni and Shia camps.
  • Given the strategic flux in the region, Iran could well be tempted to use its nuclear capability to enhance its position, confident that the West may be unwilling to challenge it at this juncture.

India isolated

  • At the start of 2021, India seems the odd man missing as far as these developments are concerned.
  • No breakthrough in Sino-Indian relations has, or is likely to occur, and the confrontation between Indian and Chinese armed forces is expected to continue.
  • India currently plays no significant role in West Asia.
  • India-Iran relations today lack warmth. In Afghanistan, India has been marginalised as far as the peace process is concerned.
  • While India’s charges against Pakistan of sponsoring terror have had some impact globally, it has further aggravated tensions between the two neighbours, and in the process, also helped Pakistan to cement its relations with China.
  • While hostility between India and Nepal appears to have reduced lately, relations continue to be strained.
  • Through a series of diplomatic visits, India has made valiant efforts to improve relations with some of its neighbours such as Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, but as of now worthwhile results are not evident.
  • One key takeaway is that as India-China relations deteriorate, India’s neighbours are not averse to taking sides, increasing India’s isolation.
  • Whether India’s perceived marginalisation from global mainstream events as we enter 2021 signifies a sharp drop-off in its foreign policy capabilities is, no doubt, debatable. India’s foreign policy objectives are to widen its sphere of influence, enhance its role across nations, and make its presence felt as an emerging power in an increasingly disruptive global system.
  • It is a moot point though whether any of these objectives have been achieved. Today, India’s voice and counsel are seldom sought or listened to.
  • This is a far cry from what used to happen previously.
  • India will serve as the president of the powerful UN Security Council for the month of August 2021, but if it is to make a real impact, it must be seen to possess substantial weight to shape policies, more so in its traditional areas of influence.

Diplomacy and perceptions

  • Many explanations could be available for this state of affairs. Admittedly, our diplomats conduct their activities with a high degree of competence, but they are possibly hampered by other factors.
  • One, could be the kind of policy choices the country has adopted in the recent period, which has possibly altered the perception of India in certain quarters.
  • There is again a perception that India’s closeness to the U.S. has resulted in the weakening of its links with traditional friends such as Russia and Iran, impacting the country’s image.
  • Perhaps the most relevant explanation could be the shifting balance of power in the region in which India is situated, notably the rise of China, and the enlarging conflict between the two biggest powers in Asia, compelling many nations to pick sides in the conflict.
  • A less obvious, but a perhaps more relevant aspect, could also be that India’s foreign policy suffers from an ideational vacuum.
  • It is not the sharp decline in the economy, problems caused on account of the pandemic, or the growing polarisation in values across nations and societies, but more possibly India’s inability or failure in the ideational realm that lies at the root of our foreign policy inadequacies.

More misses than hits

  • Currently, India remains isolated from two important supranational bodies of which it used to be a founding member, viz., the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
  • Efforts to whip up enthusiasm for newer institutions such as the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), have hardly been successful.
  • India has opted out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) (a majority of Asian countries are members), and failed to take advantage of the RIC, or the Russia, India and China grouping, even as relations with Russia and China have deteriorated.
  • On the other hand, India’s foreign policy imperatives, across Asia and South Asia in particular, today seem to be a mixture of misplaced confidence, sometimes verging on hubris (as in the case of Nepal), a lack of understanding of the sensitivities of neighbours such as Bangladesh and long-time friends (such as Vietnam and Iran), and according to excessive importance to the policy needs and pressures of nations such as the U.S.
  • There is possibly a misplaced perception in much of Asia that the India of today is not unwilling to sacrifice its strategic autonomy under U.S. pressure.
  • As part of the ideational restructuring of India’s foreign policy, what is urgently required, apart from competent statecraft, is the adoption of prudent policies, the pursuit of realistically achievable objectives, and, above all, a demonstration of continuity of policy, irrespective of changes in the nature of the Administration.
  • These may be time-consuming but are a surer recipe for success in attaining foreign policy objectives.

Source: TH

Analysis of Qatar and GCC

GS-II : International Relations West Asia

Analysis of Qatar and GCC

  • The Gulf reconciliation summit, in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, where the kingdom and its allies decided to end their blockade of Qatar, has brought to an end, for now, their long feud.
  • In 2017, Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed the blockade and severed diplomatic ties, accusing the tiny Gulf country of supporting terrorism.
  • They also issued 13 demands for it to be lifted, which included shutting down the Qatar-funded TV network, Al Jazeera, closing a Turkish military base and reducing diplomatic relations with Iran. Qatar did not budge despite the heavy economic cost.
  • When the Saudi and Emirati airspaces were closed, Iran offered Qatar global connectivity. Al Jazeera is still live.
  • And, Qatar has invited more Turkish troops, bolstering its ties with Ankara, which is eager to play a bigger role in West Asia.
  • Moreover, it played an important role in the U.S.-Taliban deal and continued to host talks between Taliban representatives and the Afghan government.
  • If the original Saudi plan was to isolate Qatar and make it kneel, it has backfired. And in the last weeks of the Trump administration, MBS and his allies seem to have realised their strategic folly.
  • Qatar has made a few concessions to reach reconciliation.
  • The 13 specific demands were replaced by a broad agreement on non-intervention in other countries internal affairs and cooperation to ensure regional stability and security, which can be open to different interpretations from different sides.
  • After the summit, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said that the country had no intention of altering ties with Iran and Turkey.
  • In practice, the Saudi side stepped down from its demands and made amends with an unshaken Qatar as a new President is going to assume power in the U.S. The Saudi U-turn could be the result of a genuine tactical rethink.
  • The rift in the Gulf helped Iran and Turkey, Riyadh’s main rivals, while it failed to scuttle Qatar’s standing. Iran, reeling under U.S. sanctions, also got some financial relief from Qatari payouts for using its airspace.
  • By lifting the air and sea blockades, the Saudis and the Emiratis could deny Iran of those funds and also try to put up a united Arab regional front as Joe Biden is preparing to renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal.
  • The Saudis may also be hoping that bridging the Gulf between two American allies would help them warm up to the Biden administration.
  • While ending the feud is welcome, it cannot be overlooked that this unnecessary crisis was born out of an ill-thought-out Saudi-Emirati strategy of coercion. It reflects poorly on them.
  • They should learn from their mistakes and build ties based on mutual interests and cooperation, not on threats and coercion.

For full Article on Gulf Cooperation Council: click here

Source: TH

Dual Currency in Cuba

GS-II : International Relations International issues

Dual Currency in Cuba

  • As per the latest devaluation plan announced in December by President Miguel Diaz-Canel, the CUP’s artificial one-to-one parity with the U.S. dollar has been removed.
  • The currency will instead trade at 24 pesos to the greenback and the CUC will be phased out in six months.
  • The CUP is in circulation in the domestic economy and serves as the principal medium by which goods are priced and wages paid.

A dual domestic currency

  • During the turmoil in Cuba’s sugar industry and a plunge in nickel prices in the 1990s, a volatile CUP had fallen to 140 to the dollar. Against this backdrop, the CUC was introduced in 1994 as a unit of account and store of value, to prevent the country’s excessive reliance on the U.S. dollar following the end of the former Soviet Union. ‘
  • In recent years, this second currency has more or less steady at one CUC to 24 CUPs in official exchange outlets and is the predominant mode of transaction for tourists and residents at high-end shopping outlets and other imported goods.
  • Apart from the disparities attributed to the prevalence of a dual domestic currency, Havana has at times had to deftly deploy the surge in dollar remittances and tourism to bolster the peso, by legalising the greenback in the 1990s.
  • It has also had to respond in kind to American sanctions in other instances, such as when the government in 2004 imposed a 10% tax on the exchange of the dollar for CUCs.
  • Last July, Havana scrapped the 10% surcharge in a sequel to the 2019 opening of stores trading principally in dollars.
  • The recent shift is part of the government’s bid to boost dollar transactions alongside other hard currencies, especially after tourism was closed in the wake of the pandemic.
  • There is concern that the circulation of hard money could reinforce the segmentation and distortions of the past that resulted from access to the CUC for public sector companies at preferential exchange rates.

An important objective

  • The country’s switch back to a single currency was an important objective in the economic transformation plan envisioned in the 2011 Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba under former President Raul Castro.
  • Among the expected gains from a unified peso are transparency of firms in terms of costs and profits, higher economic productivity and incentives for exports.
  • Experts have opined that a corresponding devaluation of the peso was a necessary first step to discontinuing the dual currency.
  • The government of President Diaz-Canel has sought to cushion the likely impact of high inflation resulting from the devaluation with a generous wage and pension hike for state employees, besides a roll-back of subsidies to state-owned firms.
  • There are concerns, however, that it could still leave a sizeable private and informal sector labour force exposed.
  • In addition, there is the real risk that the adverse effects of high prices could further incense protesters who have been demanding protection for civil liberties and artistic freedom following the detention of a well-known rap singer.
  • Predictably, the government has been quick to dismiss the voicing of dissent as U.S. interference in Cuba’s internal affairs. Havana must take citizens along in order to implement the new reforms.

Source: TH

COVID and impact on Schooling

GS-III : S&T Health

COVID and impact on Schooling

  • The Union Education Ministry’s directive to the States to launch a mission to avoid large-scale dropouts in schools in the coming year, partly by relaxing the detention policy, should end the anxiety of millions of students about their academic prospects.
  • Managing schooling during COVID-19 has been a challenge, with UNESCO estimating that at the end of 2020, about 320 million students were locked out of schools globally.
  • South and West Asia are among the regions where students are at highest risk of not returning to schools and tertiary institutions, along with sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Assessing the problem is key to planning for 2021. The Indian school education system remains top-down in making policy, which may not advance educational reform, but the vast administrative resources can be used to quickly assess the pandemic’s impact on students, teachers and schools.
  • The pandemic year has thus far witnessed apprehensive governments keeping the majority of school instruction online, and treading carefully when it comes to reopening campuses.
  • They must prioritise the door-to-door surveys needed to identify students who are not in a position to return to classes when schools reopen, and whose economic circumstances have changed due to the pandemic’s impact on their families.
  • Clearly, the priority should be to draw up a database, to plan incentives that will prevent dropouts.
  • Education continues to be covered by a cess on tax, and the funds could be deployed in 2021 towards this objective, through the Centre’s Samagra Shiksha scheme and other COVID-19 relief plans.

  • The irrevocable role played by examinations in determining the fate of students, who come from varied backgrounds and preparation, has long been criticised for its rigidity, and these arguments were raised afresh when the Centre removed the no-detention policy under the RTE Act a couple of years ago.
  • In the year of the virus, asymmetries among groups of students stand aggravated, and any detention would be illogical and unjustified.
  • Particular mention should be made of the situation for girls, whose enrolment in higher numbers has been achieved over the years with considerable effort, as well as children in less-urbanised States where access to schools is weak.
  • When the pandemic had still not swept India in February last year, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said, among the reasons for children remaining out-of-school or dropping out were poverty, economic reasons, and ill-health.
  • The economic factors have, over the past dozen months, been exacerbated by COVID-19, while the digital divide witnessed in online education became an unprecedented cause of deprivation.
  • Moreover, vaccination cannot cover the bulk of the population quickly, and education can possibly achieve a semblance of normality only well into the next academic year.
  • This is the time to create a safety net for education, letting no student fall through.

Source: TH

List of all valleys of India

GS-I : Indian Geography Indian Geography

List of all valleys of India

Dzukou Valley wildfire

  • The wildfire at Dzukou Valley, straddling the Manipur-Nagaland border, has been doused after it raged for two weeks, officials said on Monday.
  • No fresh fire or smoke was visible.
  • The Dzukou Valley, situated at an average altitude of 2,452 metres, is a popular trekking destination known for its exotic flowers.

List of all valleys of India

  • Araku Valley = Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
  • Barak Valley = Assam
  • Chumbi Valley = Tibet, China, the intersection of India (Sikkim), Bhutan and China (Tibet) in the Himalayas
  • Doon Valley = Lower Himalayas, Uttarakhand
  • Dzüko Valley = Nagaland
  • Johar Valley, Kumaon = Uttarakhand
  • Kambam Valley = Tamil Nadu
  • Kangra Valley = Himachal Pradesh
  • Neelam Valley = Pakistan-occupied Kashmir
  • Neora Valley = Kalimpong, Darjeeling
  • Nubra Valley = Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Patratu Valley = Jharkhand
  • Pangi Valley = Himachal Pradesh
  • Pin Valley = Himachal Pradesh
  • Silent Valley = Palakkad District, Kerala
  • Valley of Flowers = West Himalayas, Uttarakhand
  • Zanskar Valley = Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Zoji La Valley = Jammu and Kashmir

Source: AspireIAS

Autism

GS-III : S&T Health

Autism

What is Autism?

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a broad term used to describe a group of neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • These disorders are characterized by problems with communication and social interaction. People with ASD often demonstrate restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped interests or patterns of behaviour.
  • ASD is found in individuals around the world, regardless of race, culture, or economic background. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, autism does occur more often in boys than in girls, with a 4 to 1 male-to-female ratio.

What is in the news?

  • In Our World, a documentary by award-winning filmmaker Shreedhar B.S. will premiere at the 51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa on January 18.
  • Produced by Mr. Shreedhar’s Shred Creative Lab Private Ltd, the film highlights autism spectrum disorder (ASD) through the lives of three children.
  • The 51-minute documentary has made an attempt to unpack the world of autistic children, and their families and bring about a nuanced understanding. The film includes candid interviews of parents, therapists, their day-to-day activities like swimming classes, horse-riding and music lessons; their special moments with parents.
  • “The message is of assimilation. We are all well aware of how autistic children are perceived; they are sidelined, treated as abnormal; often such children end up having no friends; they are not invited to birthday parties or social gatherings,” he added.

Source: TH

Abhilash Tomy

GS-I : Art and Culture Places in NEWS

Abhilash Tomy

  • Commander Tomy, the first Indian to circumnavigate the globe solo and unassisted in a sailing yacht, intends to give another shot at the Golden Globe Race next year.
  • The GGR, as it is called, is a daredevil ocean race with basic, read vintage, sailing equipment which he attempted in 2018.
  • But a vicious storm in the southern Indian Ocean dismasted him and he sustained a spinal injury.
  • He was subsequently rescued in a multi-nation effort and had to undergo surgery.
  • After recovering from his injuries, Commander Tomy, a naval pilot, was medically cleared for flying and sailing. He flew his last sortie on Dornier around Goa sometime in September and was sailing and kayaking.

Source: TH

All woman cockpit crew

GS-I : Social issues Women

All woman cockpit crew

The first non-stop flight from San Francisco to Bengaluru, flown by four women pilots, landed at Kempegowda International airport in Bengaluru at 3.07 am on Monday, flying over the North Pole and covering a distance of about 16,000 kilometers.

The flight was operated by an all-women cockpit crew of Captain Zoya Aggarwal (P1), Captain Papagari Thanmai (P1), Captain Akansha Sonaware (P2) and Captain Shivani Manhas (P2), who responded to the cheers and clapping by showing the thumbs-up sign.

Woman power Captain Zoya Aggarwal, who headed the all-woman cockpit crew of the first Air India flight from San Francisco to Bengaluru, waves after landing at the Kempegowda International Airport on Monday. They scripted history by flying non-stop for 17 hours.

Source: IE

Iran and South Korea

GS-I : Physical Geography

Iran and South Korea

  • Iran warned on Monday its seizure of a South Korean tanker in the Gulf must not be politicised after the U.S. and France urged the Islamic Republic to release the ship.
  • “We have repeatedly told... the intervening parties, whether they are the United States or France, that the case does not concern them at all and that they will not help to solve a technical problem if they politicise it,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh.
  • The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized the Hankuk Chemi and arrested its multinational crew of 20 near the strategic Strait of Hormuz one week ago.
  • The move came as Tehran urged Seoul to release billions of dollars of Iranian assets frozen in South Korea as part of U.S. sanctions.
  • The U.S. and France have called for Iran to release the ship. A State Department spokesperson called the seizure “part of a clear attempt to extort the international community into relieving the pressure of sanctions”.

Source: TH

Author Ved Mehta passes away

GS-I : Art and Culture Literature

Author Ved Mehta passes away

  • Celebrated Indian-American author Ved Mehta, who overcame blindness and became widely known as the 20th-century writer most responsible for introducing American readers to India, died in the U.S. on Saturday.
  • The New Yorker magazine, where he had been a staff writer for 33 years, announced the death on Sunday.
  • Mehta was born in pre-Partition Lahore into a well-off Punjabi family in 1934.
  • He lost his eyesight at the age of three from meningitis. He did not let this challenge get in the way of a flourishing career or stop him from showcasing his literary prowess to the world.
  • “I felt that blindness was a terrible impediment and that if only I exerted myself and did everything my big sisters and big brother did, I could somehow become exactly like them,” Mehta wrote.
  • He is best known for his 12-volume memoir, which focused on the troubled modern history of India and his early struggles with blindness.
  • Mehta brought out 24 books that included volumes of reportage on India, among them Walking the Indian Streets (1960), Portrait of India (1970) and Mahatma Gandhi and His Apostles (1977), as well as explorations of philosophy, theology and linguistics.

Source: TH

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Identical twins are not exactly genetically the same Scientists in Iceland sequenced DNA from 387 pairs of identical twins – those derived from a single fertilized egg – as well as from their parents, children and spouses. That allowed them to find “early mutations that se

What is Co-WIN?

What is Co-WIN? In good measure, the dry runs were not only a step to test the operational feasibility of various States to roll out the vaccine programme effectively, but also a recce to see if the electronic vaccine intelligence network, eVIN, used during routine immunisation programmes, and

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment of USA Constitution

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment of the USA Constitution Section 4 of the 25th Amendment allows for the immediate removal of the President “whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law

Nari Shakti Puraskar

Nari Shakti Puraskar Nari Shakti Puraskar is conferred every year on the occasion of International Women’s Day. The award is conferred by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The Nari Shakti Puruskar is awarded to individuals or groups or NGOs or institutions. The award enc

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