In matrilineal Meghalaya, taking the family name of the father
Tags: Syllabus: GS2/ Mechanisms, Laws, Institutions & Bodies for Protection & Betterment of these Sections
• Recently, a tribal council issued an order prohibiting the issuance of a Scheduled Tribe (ST) certificate to any Khasi individual who adopts their father’s surname.
More about the news
- The order:
- The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has instructed the headmen of all villages and urban localities in the Khasi domain to refrain from issuing ST certificates to those who adopt their father’s surname instead of adhering to tradition and adopting their mother’s clan name.
- According to the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Khasi Social Custom of Lineage Act of 1997, in order to legally belong to their mother’s Khasi clan, an individual or their mother cannot adopt the “personal laws” of their non-Khasi father (or spouse).
- KHADC claimed that the move is for the preservation and protection of the age-old tradition of the community.
Matriliny in Meghalaya
- The Khasis are one of three indigenous matrilineal clans in the state’s remote northeast. They number around 1.39 lakh. Garos and Jaintias are the other two groups.
- What constitutes Matriliny?
- Children take their mother’s surname, husbands move into their wives’ homes, and ancestry is tracked through the clan of the woman who gave birth to them.
- The youngest daughter (khatduh) is given the entire inheritance of the family or clan.
- The khatduh takes on the role of “custodian” of the property and is expected to take care of her aging parents and any unwed or impoverished siblings.
- Khasi marrying non-Khasi person:
- Obtaining the Khasi tribal certificate is necessary for any Khasi woman who marries a non-Khasi in order to apply for the ST certificate for her children.
- Activism to switch to the patrilineal system:
- Since the 1960s, advocates campaigning for men’s rights among the Khasis have advocated for a shift from the matrilineal to the patrilineal system.
Difference between ‘matrilineal’ & ‘matriarchal’ society
- Matriliny is constructed according to inheritance norms. Matrilineal societies typically have the daughter inherit the family fortune.
- Matriarchy, on the other hand, develops in relation to the distribution of power and dominance among women.
- Women are the heads of the household in a matriarchal society.
- One example is the state of Meghalaya, which operates under a matrilineal system. However, the term “matrilineal” is sometimes misunderstood and even thought to be matriarchal.
- However, this is not the case for the Khasi people. The spouse is still expected to take the lead in the home, and men of advanced years still contribute greatly to society.
- Women have historically been excluded from positions of power in traditional matrilineal societies, such as the village council.
|About the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs)
Commission for Union Public Service (UPSC)
Tags: Syllabus: GS 2 / Indian Polity
• UPSC Chairman Manoj Soni has sworn in under the Official Secrets Act. Since April of 2022, he had been the company’s Chairman.
History of UPSC
• The first Public Service Commission in India was established thanks to the Government of India Act of 1919. The Act enacted the reforms advocated for in the report by India’s Secretary of State Edwin Montagu and the Viceroy, Chelmsford.
The Government of India Act of 1919 called for the creation of a statutory Public Service Commission, and a 1924 report by the Royal Commission on the Superior Civil Services in India (commonly known as the Lee Commission) urged its swift creation.
• Sir Ross Barker was appointed as the first Chairman of the Public Service Commission on October 1, 1926.
• The Government of India Act of 1935 reorganized it into the Federal Public Service Commission.
• On January 26, 1950, following the adoption of the Constitution of India, the Federal Public Service Commission changed its name to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
• The UPSC is a constitutional organization with offices in New Delhi.
• A Public Service Commission for the Union and for each state is established under Articles 315 to 323 of Part XIV of the Constitution, titled Services Under the Union and the States.
Union and State Public Service Commissions are the subject of Article-315. If two or more states vote in favor of creating a unified Public Service Commission for their region, Parliament may create a legal mechanism for the creation of a Joint State Public Service Commission.
The appointment and tenure of members is addressed in Article-316.
A member of a Public Service Commission may be removed from office or suspended under the provisions of Article-317.
Article 318 addresses the Commission’s authority to establish rules governing its employees’ working conditions.
Prohibition relating to the holding of offices by former members of the Commission is addressed in Article-319.
The roles of several public service agencies are defined in Article-320.
Article 321 deals with Public Service Commissions’ authority to take on new responsibilities.
Public Service Commission Expenses are addressed under Article-322.
Public Service Commission Reports are discussed in Article-323.
• UPSC must be consulted on all matters involving recruitment to civil services and offices of the Union, per Article 320 of the Constitution.
To fill positions in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and other pan-Indian services, it administers the Civil Services Examination.
• It establishes and revises Recruitment Rules for Government services and positions.
• It hears complaints of misconduct in the various branches of the Civil Service.
• The commission is accountable to the President and may provide recommendations to the Government through the President, although this advice is not legally binding.
• Art 318 gives the President of India the authority to appoint the Commission’s size.
• Currently, the UPSC is presided over by a Chairman, and it can have no more than ten total members.
- The President of India appoints the Union Public Service Commission’s Chairman and other members in accordance with Article 316 of the Indian Constitution. Nearly half of the Commission’s members must have served in government for at least ten years prior to their appointments.
- Conditions of service cannot be changed to his detriment after his appointment, as per Art. 318, and the President of India has the authority to do so.
- A member of a UPSC shall hold office for a term of six years from the date on which he enters upon his office or until he attains the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier.
- Members of the UPSC may be appointed to serve as the Chairman of the UPSC or the Chairman of a State Public Service Commission, but not in any other capacity with the Central or State Governments of India or any of the States of India. This is in accordance with Article 319 of the Constitution.
- After the President has sent the matter to the Supreme Court for inquiry, the Court must rule that the Chairman or another member of a UPSC should be removed from office on the basis of “misbehavior.”
- If the UPSC Chairman or any other member is found to be insolvent, takes on additional employment during his term of office, or is deemed unfit to continue in office due to mental or physical illness, the President may order his removal from office.
Tags: Syllabus: GS2/ Health
- Expressions of Interest for clinical trials for domestic producers of Dengue vaccine have been submitted by Serum Institute of India and Panacea Biotec.
Dengue Virus (DENV)
• The dengue virus (DENV) is responsible for causing dengue, which is a viral infection spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.
• DENV is a member of the family Flaviviridae of arthropod-borne flaviviruses (arboviruses) and is a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA molecule.
- Dengue fever occurs predominantly in urban and semi-urban parts of the world with a tropical or sub-tropical climate.
- Presently, DENV may be found in at least one hundred distinct nations across Asia, the Pacific, the Americas, Africa, and the Caribbean.
- The virus spreads from human to human via the bite of an infected female mosquito, most commonly the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Although other members of the Aedes genus can serve as vectors, their impact is often minor compared to that of Aedes aegypti.
- People who are viremic for DENV can spread the virus to mosquitoes, and vice versa. That includes both persons with obvious symptoms of dengue fever and those who have the virus but are otherwise healthy.
- Infectious disease can be spread from human to mosquito up to 2 days before symptoms appear, and up to 2 days after the fever has subsided.
- Evidence suggests that the virus can be passed from an infected pregnant woman to her unborn child.
- Rare examples of transmission by blood products, organ donation, and transfusions fall under the category of “other transmission modes.” The virus can also be transmitted between female mosquitoes via transovarial transmission.
- a very high temperature (above 40 degrees Celsius/104 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Symptoms include a severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscular and joint problems, and so on.
- Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, bloating, a rash, and sickness.
- People who contract dengue for a second time are at higher risk of developing severe symptoms. Dengue’s severe symptoms typically manifest themselves after the fever subsides:
- Constant nausea and vomiting Severe abdominal discomfort
- symptoms such as heavy breathing,
- nosebleeds, and exhaustion
- Discomfort; o Blood in Stool or Vomit;
- Extreme Thirst; o Paleness;
- The dengue-carrying mosquitoes are most active in the daytime. Wearing clothing that covers as much of your body as possible will help prevent dengue fever.
- Mosquito nets, preferably nets sprayed with insect repellent window screens, if you plan on sleeping during the day.
- chemical insecticides (such DEET, Picaridin, or IR3535) to ward off mosquitoes.
- To stop mosquitoes from breeding, don’t let water sit about your residence. When possible, keeping breeding water covered will help.
- Vaporizers and coils are .
- drink lots of fluids, take acetaminophen (paracetamol) for discomfort,
- stay away from NSAIDs like ibuprofen and aspirin,
- and keep an eye out for more severe symptoms.
- Only one vaccine, Dengvaxia, has been given the go light for widespread distribution. However, this vaccination can only provide protection to those who have already been exposed to the dengue virus in the past. There are now a number of potential dengue vaccines in testing.
Researchers from the Serum Institute of India plan to test two possible vaccinations in a Phase III randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment including 10,335 healthy adults (aged 18-80) across 20 sites with support from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
• The Phase-III protocol was approved by the Drugs Controller General of India in January 2023, and the business is currently working to ramp up vaccine production with trials set to begin in August/September of this year.
• The ICMR has noted that a dengue vaccine should be effective regardless of the individual’s prior sero-status and age, induce a sustained immune response, and provide protection against all four serotypes of dengue. It should also have an acceptable short- and long-term safety profile (no antibody dependent enhancement).
Why India Sees Massive Dengue Outbreaks Every Year
• Mosquito breeding is facilitated by stagnant water caused by inadequate sewage systems in many Indian cities.
Due to water scarcity in many parts of India, many individuals have taken to storing water in their homes. Because of this, the area is ideal for mosquito breeding.
Because of other widespread health concerns, the government is not making sufficient efforts to create a vaccine against Dengue.
• People aren’t educated enough to know how to protect themselves from mosquito bites and where potential breeding grounds might be.
Tags: Syllabus: GS2/Health/Governance
- In the districts of Tamil Nadu, 22 persons had perished after drinking fake alcohol.
What is the alcohol in liquor?
• The alcohol level of various alcoholic beverages ranges from around 5% in beer to about 12% in wine to about 40% in distilled spirits (all by volume).
• Alcoholic beverages used for social occasions almost invariably include ethanol. Ethanol is technically a psychoactive drug because it inhibits neurotransmission in the body when consumed in sufficient quantities to produce the characteristic effects of intoxication.
• No amount of its ingestion is considered safe by the World Health Organization. Dependence develops after prolonged usage, and the risks of developing cancer and cardiovascular disease increase.
What is spurious liquor?
- Spurious liquor is characterized by the presence of methanol in the liquid mixture. Often, methanol is added to a home-made liquor, like arrack, to augment its intoxicating effects or bulk out the volume.
- The legal limit for methanol in various liquors is laid out in the Food Safety and Standards (Alcoholic Beverages) Regulations 2018. Coconut fenny has a “absent” value, while country liquor has 50 grams per 100 liters and pot-distilled spirits have 300 grams per 100 liters.
|What is methanol (CH3OH)?
How does spurious liquor kill?
Methanol is what gives fake liquor its lethal edge, yet healthy people have trace amounts of it in their bodies (4.5 ppm in their breath, according to a 2006 research). An adult, however, can be fatally affected by more than 0.1 ml of pure methanol per kilogram of body weight.
• Methanol, when consumed, is converted to formaldehyde (H-CHO) by ADH enzymes in the liver. Formic acid (HCOOH) is produced when ALDH enzymes break down formaldehyde.
• Long-term formic acid accumulation causes a dangerous disease known as metabolic acidosis. Acidosis can cause acidemia, a condition in which the blood’s pH becomes more acidic below the usual value of 7.35.
Methanol consumption also causes a syndrome called methanol-induced optic neuropathy, which can cause permanent or irreversible vision loss or even blindness.
- Brain swelling, bleeding, and death are all possible outcomes of methanol intoxication.
How can such poisoning be treated?
- Methanol stays in the body for a while after ingestion before being flushed out. After 48 hours, as much as 33% is reportedly still there.
- Two quick treatments exist for methanol intoxication.
- Ethanol can be given as an option since it competes favorably with methanol for the ADH enzymes. This prevents formaldehyde formation from occurring from the methanol.
- An alternative is to give a drug called fomepizole, which has a similar mechanism of action in that it delays the action of the ADH enzymes, causing the body to create formaldehyde at a pace that the body can swiftly eliminate.
- Dialysis may be recommended by medical staff to remove methanol and formic acid salts from the blood and reduce the risk of further kidney and eye damage.It may take a few days for the harm to become apparent if the person ingested ethanol in addition to the methanol, further delaying treatment and increasing mortality.
Alcohol Prohibition in India
- As of right now, total prohibition exists in five states (Bihar, Gujarat, Lakshadweep, Nagaland, and Mizoram) and exists in a less stringent form in a few others.
- Alcohol policy is a matter for each individual state, despite the fact that India’s constitution strongly supports alcohol prohibition (Article 47, DPSP).
- The manufacture, sale, and distribution of alcoholic beverages are all decisions that are left entirely up to the individual states.
Arguments in favour of Liquor ban
It is feasible to run a thriving economy without selling alcohol, thus this is not a loss of revenue. Corruption can be contained and black money hidden overseas can be repatriated if the government takes strict measures to prevent tax evasion.
The DPSP highlights the duty of state governments to ensure the public’s health. The State must improve its citizens’ diets, living conditions, and health, as stated in the Directive Principles of State Policy.
• Dangerous to Health – It is common knowledge that alcohol is harmful to health, and no medical professional has ever advocated for the consumption of alcoholic beverages as a means to better health. In addition to harming the liver, it interferes with the body’s ability to function normally.
Alcoholism disproportionately affects the poor because it diverts resources that could be used to raise living standards instead to satisfying an alcoholic’s cravings.
• Social Problems: Alcohol is a factor in the proliferation of domestic violence, the weakening of family ties, the divorce of parents, and the neglect of children.
Because alcohol is so accessible, more and more young people are becoming dependent on it, and crime rates are rising as a result. When it comes to criminal activity, it seems that intoxication plays a significant role.
• Crime rate: if the government outlaws alcohol, the crime rate will go down.
Arguments against Liquor ban
The government claims that the excise duty it collects on alcoholic beverage sales provides sufficient revenue for the growth of the economy.
Legal Considerations Withdrawal symptoms and the inability to get and consume alcohol would likely lead to an increase in criminal activity.
• An increase in violent crime, which is to be expected given that, during alcohol prohibition, people resort to increasingly nefarious means to satisfy their thirst. This is the main concern that motivates the ban on alcoholic beverages.
Legal Drinking Age: Articles 21 and 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution are used extensively in defense of the claim that the right to consume and trade liquor is included in the Fundamental Rights provided by the Indian Constitution.
• It is not a basic human right for any Indian citizen to buy, sell, or consume alcoholic beverages at this time. The sale of alcoholic beverages in India is controlled exclusively by individual state governments.
Experts maintain that raising public knowledge is the best course of action, rather than further prohibition, particularly in jurisdictions where such usage is already illegal.
• Inelastic behavior: experts maintain that even in states without a ban on booze, there is a significant increase in mortality attributable to fictitious alcohol use.
WHO Issues Warning About Artificial Sweeteners
Tags: Syllabus: GS2/ Health
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a new guideline on non-sugar sweeteners (NSS), discouraging its usage for weight management or lowering the risk of NCDs.
What are the WHO guidelines regarding use of non-sugar sweeteners?
- Weight loss is not aided by sugar substitutes. They do not help adults or children maintain a lower body fat percentage over time.
- Long-term use of NSS may have unintended consequences, according to the existing research. These include an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular illnesses, and mortality in adults.
- One study has previously linked the use of the artificial sweetener Erythritol to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
What are the non-sugar sweeteners (NSS) or Artificial Sweeteners?
- Non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) are a class of artificial sweeteners that are chemically synthesized to taste similar to sugar. They are calorie-free and can even be sweeter than regular sugar in some cases.
- Sweetness varies from 30-1,300 times that of sucrose, a common table sugar. Beverages, juices, dairy, sweets, processed meals, jams, and other sweetened foods all utilise them.
- Acesulfame K, aspartame, advantame, cyclamates, neotame, saccharin, sucralose, stevia, and stevia derivatives are all examples of commonly used NSS. The FDA has designated the first five of these as GRAS, or generally recognized as safe. Japan has been using the plant-based sweetener stevia since the 1970s, but the FDA has yet to authorize it.
Health Concerns with Artificial Sweeteners
- Saccharine was utilized during both wars as a substitute for sugar. It has been shown to cause bladder cancer in experimental animals.
- Patients with the extremely rare condition known as phenylketonuria should avoid using aspartame. Cancers of the brain and CFS/ME have been linked to it.
- A more damaging study (published in a top journal, ‘Nature Medicine’ a few days ago) shows that the artificial sweetener erythritol (sold alone or combined with other artificial sweeteners like stevia) can induce thrombosis (clotting), thus having potential to cause heart attack or stroke over a three year period.
India’s Pension Sector
Tags: Syllabus: GS 3 / Economy
• In May of 2023, the Eighth All-India Pension Adalat met in Delhi.
All India Pension Adalat
• Pension Adalats, which are being organized by Ministries/Departments across India to take up difficult issues, would be linked via Video Conferencing (VC) at different locations.
• In 2017, the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare launched Pension Adalat as an experimental program. Technology was used during the 2018 National Pension Adalat to help retirees get their problems solved quickly.
• The Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare has held 7 All India Pension Adalats, discussing a total of 24218 cases, of which 17235 have been resolved.
Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA)
- Established in 2003 per the recommendations of the Indian government’s “OASIS” (an acronym for old age social & income security) report, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) is the regulatory body for overall supervision and regulation of pensions in India. It operates under the jurisdiction of the Union Ministry of Finance.
National Pension System (NPS)
- The NPS, the major pension system for government employees, was established in 2004.
- For federal workers, NPS is a defined contribution plan to which the government contributes a matching amount. Pension fund assets are valued at current market prices, therefore returns are also decided by market forces.
- To deliver NPS to the employees of corporate entities, including PSUs, PFRDA established the “NPS-Corporate Sector Model” in 2011; in 2009, NPS was made available to all individuals aged 18–70, including those working in the unorganized sector (on a voluntary basis).
Atal Pension Yojana (APY)
- The APY program began operations in 2015.
- The scheme is open to anybody between the ages of 18 and 40, although particularly targets the poor and the unorganized.
- When the subscriber reaches age 60, they will begin receiving their pension. Therefore, it is anticipated that APY pension benefits will begin no earlier than 2035.
Sanchar Saathi Project
Tags: Syllabus: GS 3 / Science and Technology
- The Sanchar Saathi portal was launched by the Union Minister of Communications with the goal of ensuring the users’ safety and security.
Sanchar Saathi initiative
- Sanchar Saathi is a citizen-focused portal created by the Telecom Department. It has the following features:
- Be familiar with the mobile connections associated with your name.
- To disable a lost or stolen cell phone, use the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR).
- ASTR (Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition driven Solution for Telecom SIM Subscriber Verification) – to spot fraudulent subscribers. o TAFCOP (Telecom Analytics for Fraud Management and Consumer Protection).
Know Your Mobile
• It makes it easier for citizens to validate the realness of their mobile device’s IMEI.
Each mobile phone has a special 15-digit number called an International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI).
Phones that support two SIM cards will have two unique IMEIs. In the event of a lost or stolen device, the IMEI number can be used to locate it over the network.
• The IMEI of every mobile phone manufactured in India must now be registered with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
Centralized Equipment Identity Register (CEIR)
- You can use the Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT) citizen-centric platform, CEIR, to track down your misplaced or stolen mobile phone and have it permanently removed from any and all telecom networks in India.
- The solution enables Law Enforcement Agencies to track the gadget in the event that it is stolen and subsequently used. In addition to preventing mobile devices with incorrect or counterfeit IMEIs from using Indian networks, the service allows citizens to resume using their phones as usual after they have been located.
Telecom Analytics for Fraud Management and Consumer Protection (TAFCOP)
- Using the TAFCOP module, a mobile subscriber can verify the number of SIM cards issued in his or her name via paper-based means.
- Users are able to report suspicious connections in the system. In addition, it enables users to prevent unnecessary connections.
- The abbreviation for “Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition powered Solution for Telecom SIM Subscriber Verification” (or “ASTR”) is based on those two phrases.
- This facial recognition system uses artificial intelligence to search subscriber records of telecom companies for duplicate accounts belonging to the same person.
- The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) permits an individual to obtain up to nine legal mobile phone connections with just one form of identification. In other words, the ASTR checks to see whether more than nine connections have been made to a single person’s photo, and if so, it blocks those connections to prevent cyber fraud.
Working of ASTR:
- To encode human faces in subscriber images while taking into account head tilt, facial expression, and image opacity or darkness, convolutional neural network (CNN) models are used.
- The next step is to compare each individual’s face to every other one in the database, classifying those who are most similar together. If there is a match of at least 97.5% between two faces, then ASTR will determine that the faces are identical.
- After a facial match has been made, ASTR’s algorithm employs what it calls “fuzzy logic” to find names that are close to or approximate spellings of the matched faces.
Significance: Need of this initiative
- With 117 crore users, India’s telecom market is now the second largest in the world. Mobile phones are used for a wide variety of purposes beyond just making and receiving calls, including banking, entertainment, online education, healthcare, accessing government services, etc.
- Users must be safeguarded against identity theft, falsified Know Your Customer (KYC), mobile device theft, banking frauds, etc.