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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

J & K OFFICIAL LANGUAGE BILL 2020

7th Sep 2020

Why in News:

Recently, The Union Cabinet approved a bill to include Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi as official languages in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, in addition to Urdu and English.

About:

  • The Bill will include Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi as official languages in the newly-created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Only English and Urdu were official languages in the former State, which was bifurcated on 5th August 2019, with Ladakh becoming a separate Union Territory.
  • In 1889, Dogra ruler Pratap Singh adopted Urdu as the official language of the princely kingdom of J&K, replacing Persian which had enjoyed that status for more than three centuries. The same was carried forward by J&K’s constituent assembly while adopting the state constitution.
  • As of now, the official language is Urdu and Kashmiri is recognised as a regional language.

Significance: 

  • Inclusion of Dogri, Hindi and Kashmiri as official languages in Jammu and Kashmir would be a fulfillment of a long-pending public demand of the region and also will  keep the spirit of equality which was ushered in after August 5, 2019,

Constitutional Provisions:

  • The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India lists the official languages of the Republic of India. Part XVII of the Indian Constitution deals with the official languages in Articles 343 to 351.
  • The Constitutional provisions relating to the Eighth Schedule occur in article 344(1) and 351 of the Constitution.
  • Article 344(1): it provides for the constitution of an official language Commission by the President, which shall consist of a Chairman and such other members representing the different languages specified in the Eighth Schedule to make recommendations to the President for the progressive use of Hindi for official purposes of the Union.

Article 351: It provides for enriching Hindi language by assimilating in it the forms, style and expressions used the languages specified in the Eighth Schedule so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India.

Article 345: Official language or languages of a State subject to the provisions of Article 346 and 347.

  • It would thus appear that the Eighth Schedule was intended to promote the progressive use of Hindi and for the enrichment
    and promotion of that language.

Languages under the Eighth schedule:  As Per Articles 344(1) and 351 of the Indian Constitution, the eighth schedule includes the recognition of the following 22 languages:

  • Of these languages, 14 were initially included in the Constitution. Subsequently, Sindhi was added in 1967; Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were added in 1992; and Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santali were added in 2003.

Other classical languages:

  • In addition, the Government of India has awarded the distinction of classical language to Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu.
  • Classical language status is given to languages which have a rich heritage and independent nature.

Ethephon Usage

Why in News?

Telangana High Court  has recently questioned the Central government to explain its decision to allow usage of Ethephon.

Key Points: 

Arguments  Against it-

The laboratory tests confirmed that Ethephon had traces of insecticide and other chemicals which is harmful to humans. 

  • There is the possibility of the powder directly coming in contact with fruits during transportation and long term usage of Ethephon was likely to cause cancer in human beings.

 Arguments in  favour :

Ethephon can be used in limited quantities. However, the State government decided to permit usage of En-Rype which has no ill-effects.

  • Ethephon is not supposed to directly come in contact with the fruits.
  • The Ethephon sachets would release Ethylene gas which would ripen the fruits and this would not result in any harm.
  • They contended that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India permitted the sale of Ethephon.

About  Ethephon:

  • In recent years, ethephon is one of the most commonly used plant growth regulators. 
  • It is being used on fruits, vegetables, and cereals for promoting pre- and post-harvest ripening.
  •  Cotton is the most important single crop use for ethephon.
  • The use of this chemical is allowed in the European Union.

FACTS FOR PRELIMS

BIPOC:

The term BIPOC became popular on the internet during the Black Lives Matter movement. It stands for “Black, Indigenous and People of Color.”

Key Points:

  • The BIPOC movement urges toacknowledge the diversity in skin color, race, and hair and advocates for in­clusivity and representation across all areas of life, from politics to skin care.
  • It speaks against the invisible discrimationthat exists in various industries.

For eg. In cosmetic industries, most of the products cater to only fair skin colours, excluding indigenous people of color and black people.

  • Standardization of beauty standards have adverse effects on the mental well-beingof people who don’t meet the conventional standards.
  • It is been seen as a substitute to degrading and offensive termslike negro, african-american and minority.

The term People of Colour (POC) came into use during the 1960s to replace the words blacks, browns or coloured people.

  • The civil rights challenges, systemic oppression and racismfaced by people under BIPOC are similar and thus, the term is used to reinforce the collective experience between Black and Indigenous people and to unite
  • Criticism:However, some people criticize the use of the term as it puts the separate problems of different groups of people in one basket thus erasing the chances of specialized solutions for each.
  • It is also being said that all groups in BIPOC do not face equal levels of injustice.
  • Also, it is said to be a colonial tendency to homogenizedifferent sets of people.

 

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