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13 August, 2019

0 Min Read

Paper Topics Subject
GS-II Sikkim from Choygal rule to Indian state
Breast milk banks to ensure all infants get protective cover
GS-III Explained: July 2019 was the hottest ever month on record; what now?
India’s economic mobility and its impact on inequality Economic Issues
M-Sand
GS-II :
Sikkim from Choygal rule to Indian state

GS-II:Sikkim from Choygal  rule to Indian state

Context

  • Last week in Sikkim, 10 MLAs from the Opposition SDF defected to the BJP, adding to the political uncertainty that has loomed over since Assembly elections this year delivered a fractured mandate.
  • The current instability follows a unique event: the voting out of a government in power for the first time in Sikkim’s history.
  • Since joining India in 1975, Sikkim has seen its government changed only twice  in both cases, the government had fallen before the new one was voted in.

Departure from Monarchy

  • Before 1975, Sikkim was ruled by the Chogyal rulers, and democratic rights were limited.
  • Analysts have described the current events as a departure from what has been called a “monarchic psychology”.
  • The overall trajectory has been seen as being geared towards strengthening democracy.

Sikkim under the Chogyal rulers

  • For 333 years before 1975, Sikkim was ruled by the Chogyals (or kings) of the Namgyal dynasty of Tibetan descent.
  • According to one account, the first ruler, Penchu Namgyal, was installed as king by Tibetan lamas in 1642.
  • At its zenith, the Sikkim kingdom included the Chumbi valley and Darjeeling. The former is part of China now.
  • After 1706, there were a series of conflicts between the powers of the region, which included Sikkim, Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet, resulting in a shrinking of Sikkim’s territorial boundaries.

Contact with British India

  • In 1814, Sikkim allied with the East India Company in the latter’s campaign against Nepal.
  • After the Company won, it restored to Sikkim some of the territories that Nepal had wrested from it in 1780.
  • In 1841, the Company purchased Darjeeling from the Namgyal rulers.
  • A treaty in 1861 made Sikkim a de facto protectorate of British India.
  • Subsequently, the Calcutta Convention of 1890 demarcated the border between Sikkim and Tibet, and was signed by Viceroy Lord Lansdowne and Qing China’s Imperial Associate Resident in Tibet.
  • The Lhasa Convention of 1904 affirmed the Calcutta Convention.

Sikkim becomes a Protectorate

  • After India became independent in 1947, the relationship between New Delhi and Gangtok had to be redefined.
  • In 1950, a treaty was signed between Maharaja Tashi Namgyal and India’s then Political Officer in Sikkim Harishwar Dayal.
  • The relationship between India and Sikkim was encapsulated in the clause: “Sikkim shall continue to be a Protectorate of India and, subject to the provisions of this Treaty, shall enjoy autonomy in regard to its internal affairs.”

Continued struggle in Sikkim

  • In the following decades, gaping income inequality and feudal control over key resources led to popular discontent against the Chogyal rulers.
  • In December 1947, diverse political groupings came together to form the Sikkim State Congress.
  • In 1949, the Chogyal agreed to appoint a five-member Council of Ministers, with three Congress nominees, and two of his own.
  • In 1953, the Chogyal introduced a new Constitution, and four general elections were held based on separate electorates in 1957, 1960, 1967, and 1970.
  • Plagued by distrust between the Chogyal and the Congress, none of these elections helped further democracy.

India comes in

  • Matters came to a head in 1973, when the royal palace was besieged by thousands of protesters.
  • The Chogyal was left with no choice but to ask India to send troops for his assistance.
  • Finally, a tripartite agreement was signed in the same year between the Chogyal, the Indian government, and three major political parties, so that major political reforms could be introduced.

From protectorate to full state

  • In 1974, elections were held, in which the Congress led by Kazi Lhendup Dorji emerged victorious over pro-independence parties.
  • In the same year, a new constitution was adopted, which restricted the role of the Chogyal to a titular post.
  • The Chogyal resented this, and refused to deliver the customary address to the elected Assembly.
  • In the same year, India upgraded Sikkim’s status from protectorate to “associated state”, allotting to it one seat each in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
  • The Chogyal was unhappy with this move, and sought to internationalize the issue. This did not go down well with Sikkim’s elected leaders, and a referendum was held in 1975.
  • A total 59,637 voted in favour of abolishing the monarchy and joining India, with only 1,496 voting against.
  • Subsequently, India’s Parliament approved an amendment to make Sikkim a full state.

Source: Indian Express

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GS-II :
Breast milk banks to ensure all infants get protective cover

GS-II: Breast milk banks to ensure all infants get protective cover

NEWS

  • A breast milk bank proposed by the Neonatology Forum (NNF), Kerala, is expected to provide solutions to all such babies who required intensive care at birth or are not able to be breastfed immediately for various other reasons.
  • There are many mothers who are not able to produce breast milk for various medical reasons.

About the milk bank

  • Any lactating mother can donate to the bank.
  • The milk stored in the bank will be pasteurised and would follow the international guidelines for safety.
  • Such milk becomes a blessing for working mothers who require joining work soon after their maternity leave.
  • Breast Milk Bank provides a cheaper option for the needy.

Protection

  • India faces the challenge of having the highest number of low birth weight babies with 20% mortality and morbidity in various hospitals.
  • Death of preterm babies is among three major causes of neonatal deaths. In all the neonatal intensive care units, about one-third of the babies would be preterm.
  • Feeding these babies with breast milk can significantly bring down the risk of infections.
  • These milk banks help the baby not just with the feed, but gives protection from many infections because of its inherent property to provide immunity to the infant.

On WHO guidelines

  • The World Health Organisation has said that breast milk is “tailor made” for human infants.
  • If for some reason, mother is not able to feed the infant, her milk should be expressed and fed, according to WHO.
  • The Neonatology Forum had been following this diktat and insists that the newborns are aggressively breastfed in the first hour.

 

Source: The Hindu

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GS-III :
Explained: July 2019 was the hottest ever month on record; what now?

GS-III: Explained: July 2019 was the hottest ever month on record; what now?

NEWS

The World Meteorological Organization announced that July 2019 matched, and broke the record for the hottest month since analysis began.

Background

  1. The previous warmest month on record was July 2016, and July 2019 was at least on par with it.
  2. July 2019 was close to 1.2°C above the pre-industrial level.

Problem

  • Exceptional heat has been observed across the globe in recent weeks, with several European countries recording temperature highs.
  • The extraordinary heat was accompanied by dramatic ice melt in Greenland, in the Arctic and on European glaciers.
  • Unprecedented wildfires raged in the Arctic devastating the pristine forests which absorb carbon dioxide and turning them into fiery sources of greenhouse gases.
  • If we do not take action on climate change now, these extreme weather events are just the tip of the iceberg.

 

 

Source: Indian Express

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GS-III : Economic Issues
India’s economic mobility and its impact on inequality

GS-III: India’s economic mobility and its impact on inequality

Context

There has been a phenomenal rise in economic inequality in India. It is important to measure the extent of economic mobility in India, which reflects the number of people moving up and down the economic ladder over time.

Facts

  1. A 2018 Oxfam study reports a significant increase in the consumption Gini index in both rural and urban areas from 1993-94 to 2011-12.
  2. According to the Global Wealth Report (GWR) 2017 by the Credit Suisse Research Institute, between 2002 and 2012, the share of the bottom 50% of the population in total wealth declined from 8.1% to only 4.2%. In the same period, the share of the top 1% of the total wealth increased from 15.7% to 25.7%.
  3. A recent survey pointed out that the mobility rate for the population is remarkably low. In 7 years, at least 7 in 10 poor households remain poor or remain in an insecure non-poor state.

Economic mobility

In a mobile economy, the households move more freely throughout the income/consumption distribution.

Importance of mobility

  • Long-term welfare effects of rising inequality depend crucially on the level of economic mobility.
  • Economic mobility or the lack of it can accentuate the adverse effects of inequality.
  • An economy with much economic mobility will result in a more equal distribution of incomes and consumption than an economy with low mobility.

Dimensions of mobility

  • Muslims are more vulnerable to falling below the poverty line over the seven-year period compared to Hindus or other religious groups.
  • Compared to upper-caste groups and OBCs, SCs and STs are less likely to escape poverty and more likely to move into poverty.
  • Between upper castes and OBCs, the latter is more likely to move into poverty and less likely to become secure non-poor.
  • Rural households are more likely to remain in poverty compared to urban households.
  • Inequality in India can be characterized as chronic since households belonging to the lower rungs of the economic ladder are likely to find themselves caught in a poverty trap.

Way ahead

  • Poverty reduction efforts should focus on ways to improve the permanent economic status of households through the acquisition of assets and capabilities, rather than dealing with temporary volatility.
  • There is also doubt on the efficacy of existing affirmative action and social programs to improve the economic status of marginalized groups in the country.

Source: Live Mint

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GS-III :
M-Sand

GS-III:M-Sand

NEWS

  • In three months, the TN State government will put in place an M-sand policy that aims to promote the use of M-sand as an alternative building material.
  • It is aimed to eliminate the pervasion of sub-standard products in the market through regulation of trade.

 Manufactured sand (M-Sand)

  • M-sand is a substitute of river sand for concrete construction.
  • Manufactured sand is produced from hard granite stone by crushing.
  • The crushed sand is of cubical shape with grounded edges, washed and graded to as a construction material.
  • The size of manufactured sand (M-Sand) is less than 4.75mm.

Why use M-sand?

  • Manufactured sand is an alternative for river sand.
  • Due to fast growing construction industry, the demand for sand has increased tremendously, causing deficiency of suitable river sand in most part of the word.
  • Due to the depletion of good quality river sand for the use of construction, the use of manufactured sand has been increased.
  • Another reason for use of M-Sand is its availability and transportation cost.
  • Since manufactured sand can be crushed from hard granite rocks, it can be readily available at the nearby place, reducing the cost of transportation from far-off river sand bed.
  • Thus, the cost of construction can be controlled by the use of manufactured sand as an alternative material for construction.
  • The other advantage of using M-Sand is, it can be dust free, the sizes of m-sand can be controlled easily so that it meets the required grading for the given construction.
  • Usage of M-sand prevents dredging of river beds to get river sand which may lead to environmental disaster like ground water depletion, water scarcity.

 

Source: The Hindu

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