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23 Aug, 2020

14 Min Read

Namath Basai: Kerala

GS-I :

Namath Basai: Kerala

  • The Kerala State government is carrying out a unique programme called “Namath Basai” of teaching tribal children in their mother tongue.


  • The programme is being implemented by the Samagra Shiksha Kerala (SSK).
  • SSK is an overarching programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class 12.
  • It aims at improving school effectiveness measured in terms of equal opportunities for schooling and equitable learning outcomes.
  • It has succeeded in retaining hundreds of tribal children in their online classes using their mother tongue as language of instruction.
  • Teaching in the tribal language has to a good extent stopped students from dropping out, which is quite usual in hamlets
  • It offers pre-recorded classes through a YouTube channel in three tribal languages in Attappady valley in Palakkad District Kerala.
  • These languages belong to the Irula, Muduka and Kurumba tribes.
  • It is being introduced in the tribal belts of Wayanad and Idukki as well. Classes are offered in the Oorali, Muthuvan and Paniya languages in Idukki.
  • Wayanad has the highest number of tribals in Kerala followed by Idukki.

Source: TH

Sri Lanka to Draft a New Constitution

GS-II : International Relations Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka to Draft a New Constitution


  • The Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (elected in 2019), while addressing the inaugural session of the Parliament, said that Sri Lanka will draft a new Constitution and abolish the 19th Amendment that curtailed the powers of the President and strengthened the role of Parliament.
  • Sri Lanka’s new Cabinet includes members from the Rajapaksa family.
  • Mahinda Rajapaksha is the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
  • The Rajapaksa led Sri Lanka People’s Party (SLPP) won a landslide victory in the recently held parliamentary elections (August 2020), allowing the influential family to consolidate power for the next five years.

19th Amendment:

  • It was passed in 2015 during the former President Maithripala Sirisena-Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s term (2015-19).
  • It sought not only to clip the President’s executive powers but also to strengthen the independence of key pillars such as the judiciary, public service and elections.
  • It brought back the two-term limit on Presidency.
  • It was hailed by many, including members of civil society, as a progressive legislation in contemporary Sri Lankan history, even as its critics found it falling short in some respects.
  • However, the Rajapaksa camp viewed its clauses as primarily intended to prevent its leaders’ return to power.
  • It prevented dual citizens from contesting elections. At the time, two of the Rajapaksa family members including the current president were dual citizens of the USA and Sri Lanka.
  • Its abolishment will strengthen Rajapaksa's grip on power because the country will return to its previous constitutional status, in which the President could appoint officials for the police, judiciary and public service and dissolve Parliament anytime after one year.

New Constitution:

  • The President said that the new Constitution would prioritise the concept of “one country, one law for all the people.”
  • Sri Lanka's constitution has been changed 19 times since 1978, creating a lot of uncertainties and confusion.
  • Changes will be made to ensure the stability of Parliament and people’s direct representation, while retaining the salutary aspects of the proportional representation system.
  • Rights activists see the planned changes to the Constitution as an attempt to further empower the SLPP and the Rajpaksha brothers’ mainly Buddhist - Sinhalese speaking electorate.
  • The Rajapaksa family, which dominated the government from 2005 to 2015, witnessed the climax of the country’s long civil war (1983-2009).
  • The war divided Sri Lanka along ethnic lines - pitting the majority Buddhist Sinhalese-dominated government against Tamil rebels who wanted a separate state.
  • The rebels were defeated by government forces in 2009.

Source: TH

Participatory Notes

GS-III : Economic Issues Foreign investment

Participatory Notes

  • P-notes are Offshore Derivative Instruments (ODIs) issued by registered Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) to overseas investors who wish to be a part of the Indian stock markets without registering themselves directly.
  • P-notes have Indian stocks as their underlying assets.
  • Though P-note holders have less stringent registration requirements, they have to go through a proper due diligence process of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).


  • SEBI was established in 1992 in accordance with the provisions of the SEBI Act, 1992.
  • Its functions include protecting the interests of investors in securities and promoting the development of, and regulating the securities market and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

About Foreign Portfolio Investors

  • FPIs are non-residents who invest in Indian securities like shares, government bonds, corporate bonds, etc.
  • SEBI (Foreign Portfolio Investors) Regulations, 2019 are related to FPIs.
  • Foreign Portfolio investment is different from Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as it does not give investors direct ownership of a company’s assets.

Capital Market

  • Financial markets are classified on the basis of the maturity of financial instruments traded in them.
  • Instruments with a maturity of less than one year are traded in the money market. E.g. Treasury Bills, Commercial Papers, etc.
  • Instruments with longer maturity are traded in the capital market. E.g. shares, debentures, etc.

Source: TH

Harit Path Mobile App

GS-II : Governance e-Governance

Harit Path Mobile App


  • Recently, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has developed a mobile App, ‘Harit Path' to facilitate creation of Green Highways across the country.

About Harit Path Mobile App

  • The App will help to monitor location, growth, species details, maintenance activities, targets and achievements for each and every plant.
  • In order to track the growth and health of the plants, photographs along with data of the plants captured using Harit Path App shall be uploaded every 3 months on NHAI’s Artificial Intelligence powered Big Data Analytics platform – Data Lake.
  • Highway contractors shall be accountable for proper upkeep and maintenance of the plantation and liable to replace the missing/dead plants.
  • Payment: Performance and growth of the plants shall be linked to the payment to the contractors for this work.
  • Recently, NHAI has completed 25 years of its service, to commemorate this it has undertaken ‘Harit Bharat Sankalp’ a nation-wide plantation drive.
  • Under this initiative, NHAI planted over 25 lakh plants in 25 days along the stretches of the National Highways between 21st July to 15th August 2020.

Source: TH

Synthetic Flavanoids


Synthetic Flavanoids


  • Recently, scientists from Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune have found the first synthetic route for producing flavonoid molecules related to the treatment of tuberculosis and chikungunya.
  • ARI is an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.

About Flavonoids:

  • It is for the first time that scientists have been able to synthesize the flavonoid molecules such as rugosa flavonoids, podocarp flavone and isoflavone in a lab.
  • These three molecules have so far been isolated from plants only and are found to inhibit tuberculosis and chikungunya.
  • Flavonoids are part of the polyphenol class of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) found in almost all fruits and vegetables. Along with carotenoids (organic pigments), they are responsible for the vivid colours in fruits and vegetables.
  • Polyphenols have historically been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine and are associated with skin protection, brain function, blood sugar and blood pressure regulation.
  • These are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits as well.
  • A diet rich in flavonoids can protect from diseases related to heart, liver, kidney, brain and other infectious diseases.

Source: TH

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