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Here are the topics covered for 14th December 2023:
GS-2: Bihar Reservation Law
GS-3: PM-JANMAN, Anarcho-Capitalism, Web browsers
Fact for Prelims: Demaorchestia Alanensis, Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC)
Bihar Reservation Law
- The Bihar Assembly recently passed the Bihar Reservation Laws, increasing the quantum of reservations in jobs and education in the state to 75%, breaching the 50% limit upheld by the Supreme Court. This move has ignited a debate on the permissible limits of reservations in India.
- The Bihar Reservation Laws consist of the Bihar Reservation of Vacancies in Posts and Services (for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes) Amendment Act-2023 and the Bihar (in admission in educational institutions) Reservation Amendment Act, 2023.
- These laws increased the reservation to a total of 65%, including categories such as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes, and Extremely Backward Classes.
- The 50% rule, historically upheld by the Supreme Court, limits reservations for jobs or education in India to not exceed 50% of the total seats or positions. This rule was initially established in the 1963 M.R. In The Balaji case was later reaffirmed in the Mandal Commission case in 1990.
Other States Crossing the Limit:
- Several states, including Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, and northeastern states, have already breached the 50% limit.
- Chhattisgarh has reservations at 72%, while Tamil Nadu operates with 69%, protected under the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution. Some northeastern states have reservations set at 80%.
Constitutional Amendments and Reservation:
- The Constitution has witnessed several amendments related to reservations, including the 77th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1995, the 81st Constitutional Amendment Act, 2000, the 85th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2001, and the 103rd amendment to the Constitution in 2019, which introduced 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS).
- The debate on reservation policies should involve a reevaluation of the 50% cap considering evolving social dynamics, equity principles, and the changing socio-economic landscape.
- There is a need to expand exceptions beyond social exclusion and conduct a detailed review of existing reservation policies to ensure their effectiveness and alignment with current societal needs.
- The Bihar Reservation Laws have brought the reservation debate to the forefront, prompting a reconsideration of the 50% limit.
- A nuanced approach is required to balance the constitutional principles of equality with the need for affirmative action to uplift historically disadvantaged communities.
- The way forward should involve comprehensive discussions and reviews to ensure fair and just reservation policies in line with India\’s diverse and evolving society.
- The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has introduced the Pradhan Mantri-Janjati Adivasi Nyaya Maha Abhiyan (PM-JANMAN) Scheme, focused on uplifting Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
- This initiative aims to address the unique challenges faced by PVTGs and improve their infrastructure for a better future.
About PM-JANMAN Scheme:
- The scheme will be implemented by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, in collaboration with State governments and PVTG communities.
- It focuses on 11 critical interventions overseen by 9 line Ministries, ensuring the implementation of existing schemes in villages inhabited by PVTGs
- Safe housing under the PM-AWAS Scheme.
- Access to clean drinking water.
- Improved healthcare and education.
- Road and telecommunications connectivity.
- Opportunities for sustainable livelihoods.
- Establishment of Van Dhan Vikas Kendras for trading in forest produce.
- Off-grid solar power systems for1 lakh households.
- Solar street lights.
- The scheme aims to enhance the quality of life and well-being of PVTGs by addressing their multiple forms of discrimination and exclusion.
- It recognizes and values their unique contributions to national and global development.
Challenges in Implementation:
- Data Challenges: The lack of current data on PVTGs poses a significant challenge, as the last available census data is from 2001.Baseline surveys are ongoing, but an accurate and current dataset is yet to be compiled.
- Complexity and Diversity: The complexity and diversity of the needs and capacities of PVTGs across different regions and states require customized and flexible approaches..
- Stigma and Discrimination: PVTGs face stigma and discrimination in mainstream society, emphasizing the need for sensitization and awareness among stakeholders and the public.
- Coordination and Convergence: Effective coordination and convergence of the scheme with existing schemes and programs of central and state governments are crucial for the efficient delivery and utilization of resources.
Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs):
- Formerly known as Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs), PVTGs are characterized by a declining or stagnant population, pre-agrarian technology use, economic backwardness, and low literacy.
- There are 75 PVTG communities spread across 18 states and Union Territories in India. Odisha has the highest number, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and others.
Other Initiatives for PVTGs:
- Janjatiya Gaurav Divas.
- Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra.
- PM PVTG Mission.
- The PM-JANMAN Scheme represents a comprehensive effort to address the challenges faced by PVTGs, promoting their inclusion and development.
- While challenges exist, the scheme\’s holistic approach and focus on key interventions can contribute significantly to improving the lives of PVTG communities.
- The success of the scheme will depend on effective implementation, data accuracy, and collaboration among various stakeholders.
- The recent electoral victory of Javier Milei in the presidential race in Argentina has brought attention to the political philosophy of anarcho-capitalism. This philosophy advocates for the abolition of the state and the management of law and order by private companies in a free market.
- Anarcho-capitalism is a political and economic theory that emphasizes the voluntary exchange of goods and services in a society regulated by the market rather than the state.
- Coined by Murray Rothbard, a prominent figure in the American libertarian movement, anarcho-capitalists propose that private companies efficiently provide policing and legal services in a free market.
- Private Management of Law and Order: Anarcho-capitalists argue that private companies, driven by market competition, can offer superior policing and legal systems compared to state-monopolized counterparts. Individuals would pay private firms for protection and dispute resolution.
- Market Accountability: The philosophy contends that private companies, accountable to customers, would provide better services. Dissatisfied customers could switch to competing services, ensuring accountability and responsiveness.
Concerns and Criticisms:
- Armed Conflicts: Multiple private firms in a region may lead to conflicts.
- Wealth Disparities: Skepticism exists about a market-based system favoring the wealthy.
- Access to Justice: Concerns about marginalized access for the poor and potential societal inequalities.
- Private firms would aim to satisfy the larger market, ensuring fair justice.
- Market competition would make private firms accountable and responsive to public needs.
- Private firms may address the demand at the bottom of the pyramid, offering justice for the poor.
- Anarcho-capitalism, while proposing a radical shift in governance, raises significant concerns about societal order, justice accessibility, and potential conflicts.
- The responses from proponents emphasize the market-driven accountability of private firms. The debate surrounding anarcho-capitalism highlights the complexities of balancing individual freedoms, market dynamics, and the need for societal order.
- Web browsers play a pivotal role in navigating the vast landscape of the internet, providing users with access to diverse web content. This article explores the evolution, anatomy, and future trends of web browsers, shedding light on their significance in the digital realm.
- Web browsers are software applications that facilitate the exploration of the World Wide Web (www). Acting as intermediaries between servers and clients, they interpret Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) to render webpages. Examples include Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari.
- The inception of web browsers can be traced back to Tim Berners-Lee\’s introduction of the World Wide Web in 1990, accompanied by the first web browser, \’WorldWideWeb.\’ The evolution gained momentum with Mosaic\’s introduction in 1993, marking a shift from text-based to visually enriched browsing.
- Mozilla Firefox, emerging in 2004-2005, brought innovation with tabbed browsing and add-ons, challenging the dominance of Internet Explorer.
Google Chrome, launched in 2008, revolutionized speed and minimalistic design, reshaping the browser landscape.
- Data Management: Cookies store browsing data, while the cache accelerates page loading by retaining frequently accessed files.
- Security Measures: Browsers employ encryption protocols like HTTPS and warning systems to enhance user security.
- WebAssembly: Enabling near-native performance, WebAssembly is shaping the future of web browser technologies.
- VR and AR Support: Browsers are gearing up for Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) experiences, promising immersive online interactions.
- Privacy Features: Ongoing enhancements in privacy features empower users with greater control over their digital footprint.
- Web browsers continue to evolve, aligning with technological advancements and user expectations. From their humble beginnings to the sophisticated tools they are today, browsers remain integral to our online experiences.
- As they embrace emerging technologies and prioritize user privacy, the future holds exciting possibilities for the digital gateway which is the web browser.
Fact for Prelims:
- Researchers at Berhampur University in Odisha have identified a new marine amphipod species named Demaorchestia alanensis in Chilika Lake, contributing to global marine biodiversity.
- This discovery expands the global species count in the Demaorchestia genus to six, emphasizing the region\’s diverse marine life.
The newly identified species, characterized by its white color and measuring less than 15 millimeters in length, has 13 pairs of legs with various functions.
- It can be distinguished from similar species by the presence of two to three hair-like structures on the front edge of the gnathopod\’s propodus (limb).
- Belonging to the subfamily Platorchestiinae found along the Indian coast, amphipods, including Demaorchestia alanensis, serve as indicators for assessing climate change impact and coastal ecosystem health.
- The family Talitridae, to which they belong, is considered one of the oldest groups of amphipods, existing since the Jurassic age.
Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC)
- The Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) operates as an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- Established with the primary objective of setting standards for drugs in India, IPC plays a crucial role in regularly updating these standards to align with the requirements for treating prevalent diseases in the region.
- To enhance the quality of medicines, IPC publishes official documents, including the Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP), which incorporates new monographs and updates existing ones.
- Additionally, IPC contributes to the promotion of the rational use of generic medicines by issuing the National Formulary of India.
- The commission also facilitates the identification and assessment of the purity of articles under test by providing Indian Pharmacopoeia Reference Substances (IPRS), serving as a fingerprint for this purpose.