National Tourism Day
Every year on January 25, the country observes National Tourism Day.
More about National Tourism Day
- To increase awareness of the value of tourism to the Indian economy, the government designated January 25 as National Tourism Day.
- The purpose of the day is to raise awareness among the general public about the value of tourism in terms of social, political, economic, and cultural factors.
- Ministry: In India, the national policies for the development and promotion of tourism are formed by the ministry of tourism.
Potential of India’s Tourism sector
- • India offers several forms of tourism such as cultural, nature, heritage, educational, business, sports, rural, medical, cruise and eco-tourism.
- • India provides diverse geographical regions, world-class tourist attractions, and specialised travel services including adventure travel and cruises.
- Historical Linkages : India has traditionally been a well-liked choice for tourists seeking spiritual awakening and self-discovery.
- As demonstrated by Megasthenes, Hiuen-Tsang, Marco Polo, and Fa-Hien, other notable foreign travellers have visited India over the years and have written memoirs, travelogues, poems, and books on their experiences.
- People travel to India to reconnect with their inner selves.
- One of the biggest service sectors in India is the tourism and hospitality sector.
- The Make in India initiative includes the tourism industry as a key pillar.
- India’s tourism sector is a major economic multiplier and is more important as the country strives for rapid economic growth and employment creation.
- The growth of infrastructure with multiple uses, such as hotels, resorts, and restaurants as well as infrastructure for transportation (airports, highways, ships, and railroads), is frequently facilitated by tourism.
- One of the industries that employs the most women is the tourism sector.
- Affected by Pandemic:
- The tourism industry has been heavily hit by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic: The World Tourism Organization has said that tourist arrivals around the world are not expected to return to their pre-pandemic levels until 2024.
- Safety and Security:
- Safety & security of tourists is the most important factor which governs whether people will come to that destination or not.
- Increasing the rate of Sexual Abuse of women, Theft, Credit Card Fraud. Moreover, Identity Theft, Food Poisoning, Terrorism. Also, Public Violence is affecting Indian Tourism to a high intent.
- Lack of Proper infrastructure or foundation:
- Reliable transportation, health care, and stability. Additionally, constant connectivity and other human resources are essential for long-term tourism.
- Insufficient Digital Promotion and Marketing:
- Grand promotion and suitable digital marketing push are excessively indispensable for a nation’s travel industry improvement. The Digital marketing of the Indian Tourism industry is not to the point yet.
- 100% FDI is permitted under the automatic route in the tourism sector.
- 100% FDI allowed in tourism construction projects, including the development of hotels, resorts, and recreational facilities
- Budgetary allocation:
- In the Union Budget 2022-23, Rs. 2,400 crore has been allocated to the Ministry of Tourism which is 18.42% higher than the allocation for FY 2021-22.
- National Conference on Tourist Police: The National Conference on Tourist Police (to develop tourist oriented policing) was organised in October 2022 by the Ministries of Tourism and Home Affairs with the goal of collaborating with the police and educating them on how to meet the needs of both domestic and international tourists.
- ‘Yuva Tourism’ clubs : The Tourism Ministry has started creating “Yuva Tourism” groups in collaboration with the Ministry of Education to cultivate young ambassadors for Indian tourism.
- The new draft National Tourism Policy 2022 : The policy has been formulated after situational analysis including the impact of COVID-19 and taking into account future projections for the tourism sector with a vision for India@100.
- Visit India Year 2023: In order to improve India’s market share in the international tourist industry, the Ministry of Tourism has declared 2023 to be “Visit India Year.”
- As the birthplace to four major world religions, i.e., Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism, India can truly claim to be the world’s spiritual beacon. This is at the core of the Visit India Year 2023.
- Swadesh Darshan Scheme
- National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) Scheme:
- Dekho Apna Desh initiative:
- India’s workforce has to be trained so that people there can gain the skills necessary to work in the travel and tourism industry.
- Players in the tourism industry would need to reevaluate new business models and use innovation and virtual strategies.
- In order to develop infrastructure and address the issue of end connectivity, which adversely impacts the experiences of foreign travellers, it is important to emphasise the importance of public-private collaborations.
Prospective Renewable Power in India
India is one of the top seven nations in terms of potential for renewable energy, according to the most recent data from the Global Solar Power Tracker and the Global Wind Power Tracker.
Key Highlights of Report
- o India aims to add 76 GW of utility-scale solar and wind power by 2025, which could reduce carbon emissions from burning coal by up to $19.5 billion year (more than 15 lakh crore).
- India plans to add an additional 420 GW of wind and solar power by 2030, which would increase the annual savings from avoiding coal power to more than $58 billion, with total savings reaching $368 billion by 2030
- India versus other countries:
- India makes up 5% of all potential utility-scale solar power globally, coming in fourth behind China, the United States, and Australia.
- It is ranked 17th in the world for potential wind power capacity.
- With 387,258 MW, China currently has the highest potential for renewable energy, followed by Australia, Brazil, the United States, Vietnam, Greece, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan.
- o If India’s plans to convert from coal to sustainable energy are successful, annual savings might soar.
- By giving up coal, India will become wealthier and cleaner. When opposed to the erratic prices of fossil fuels, renewable energy sources are a far better choice for developing new energy infrastructure because their costs are continuing to decline.
- Reasons for the growth of renewable energy:
- Expansion of electricity coverage: Higher demand for energy is a result of increased access to electricity and the provision of last-mile connectivity to all houses through the SAUBHAGYA plan or Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (see inset).
- As urbanisation increases, there is also an Increase in the per capita consumption of energy leading to the growth of energy demand.
- Growth: Despite the COVID-induced slowdown, India is one of the few countries which are looking at a substantial growth rate in the future, thus increasing the requirement of energy in the post-COVID world.
- COVID has helped individuals realise how important hygiene is. Additionally, this has improved people’s perceptions of clean energy. Therefore, thermal energy, being one of the largest emitters of pollution, will naturally be considered an inferior source of energy
- Growing acceptance of electric mobility: Electric and hybrid vehicles have become the technology of choice around the world. This will create additional power demand for charging the needs of the Electric vehicles.
- Rise in importance of clean energy: India’s commitments under the Paris climate deal: Apart from decreasing the energy intensity and creation of carbon sink, India has also committed itself to meet 40% of its total energy demand from non-fossil sources.
- Thus, it is imperative to invest in renewable energy to meet this target.
- Personal energy invested by the PM: The Indian government is dedicated to expanding the part of renewable energy in India’s total energy share, and the PM has set the goals and reaffirmed this commitment. The goal for renewable energy was originally 175 GW, however it has since been increased to 450 GW by 2030.
- Air Pollution: Rise in the levels of air pollution in Delhi and other major cities have led to a change in the policy direction towards clean energy driven growth in India.
- Benefits of renewable energy:
- Sustainability: Renewable energy is a cleaner source of pollution, thus, benefiting the environment in general and reducing pollution and the associated diseases in particular.
- Atmanirbhar Bharat: Investment by the private sector in renewable energy would also be helpful in fulfilling the Government’s objective of self-reliance. It will also create employment opportunities in the country.
- Last-mile connectivity: As renewable energy can also be decentralised, therefore, it is better placed to extend last-mile connectivity in remote areas, where it might not be financially feasible to stretch the main grid. This is also economical for the government and households as decentralised connectivity decreases the Transmission and distribution losses.
- Low maintenance cost
- Government Solar Mission (NSM)
- The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM)
- Phase-II of the Atal Jyoti Yojana (AJAY)
- Solar Parks Initiative
- India’s goal to include 175 gigawatts of renewable energy into its overall power generation by 2022 has not been met.
- Because developing and putting into action clean energy projects demand considerable investments, finding financing for green energy ambitions is a huge barrier.
- Getting land for renewable energy projects is a big problem because there is frequently fierce opposition from local populations who might be reluctant to give up their land for these projects.
- For governments at the federal and state levels, constructing energy storage infrastructure and establishing more progressive legislation to promote sustainable energy programmes can be very difficult tasks.
- India’s transition from coal to clean energy is beneficial for all parties involved and a positive step toward the country’s goal of net zero emissions by 2070.
- To create novel strategies and solutions that can assist address these challenges, governments and private sector organisations must cooperate and work together.
- Due to its size and tremendous potential for growth and development, India’s energy demand is predicted to rise more than that of any other nation in the next decades.
- It is crucial that the majority of this additional energy demand is satisfied by low-carbon, renewable sources.
Protection for disclosure of journakistic sources
• According to a recent Supreme Court ruling, journalists are still required to reveal their sources.
- The CBI aimed to wrap up its probe into how a newspaper and a few news outlets broadcast and published reporting on a specific incident.
- The “papers utilised by the news channel were falsified,” the CBI claimed.
- Because the “users of the falsified documents did not disclose their source, there is insufficient material/evidence to substantiate the criminal conspiracy,” it was unable to determine who had forged the documents.
Legal protection for disclosure of journalistic sources in India
- There is no explicit law in India that guards against asking journalists to reveal their sources.
- All citizens have the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 of the Constitution.
- Investigative authorities have the authority to request information from anybody, including journalists.
- A journalist has the same right to be compelled to testify in court as any other citizen.
- The journalist may be charged with contempt of court if she refuses.
- Although the Supreme Court broadly upholds press freedom, including journalists’ rights to secure the safety of their sources, individual courts have reached differing conclusions on this matter.
- For instance, the Supreme Court stated in October 2021 that one of the essential requirements for the media to enjoy its right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 is the safeguarding of “journalistic sources” when it established a committee to look into the Pegasus malware.
- In the lack of a specific legislation, a court’s discretion is frequently exercised in certain circumstances.
- The Court had stated that one of the essential requirements for press freedom is the protection of journalistic sources.
- Without this protection, sources could be reluctant to help the media inform the public on issues of public interest.
Jurisdiction of Press Council of India
- The Press Council of India (PCI) Act, which was passed in 1978, gives it the authority of a civil court to hear complaints where a publication has
- “offended against the public’s taste or norms of journalistic ethics, or that an editor or working journalist has engaged in any unethical behaviour.”
- A newspaper, news organisation, journalist, or editor cannot be made to divulge their sources during Council hearings, nevertheless.
Recommendations for a change in law
• In its 93rd Report published in 1983, the Law Commission of India proposed changing the Indian Evidence Act to recognise the journalistic privilege.
- The report suggested insertion of a new provision which would read:
- “If a person obtains information with the express or implied understanding that the source will be kept confidential, no court may order that person to reveal the sources of material in a publication for which he is accountable.
- The Law Commission re-proposed this revision in its 185th report on the changes to the Evidence Act.
- The report suggested insertion of a new provision which would read:
- United Kingdom:
- The 1981 Contempt of Courts Act establishes a presumption in support of reporters who want to conceal the identity of their sources.
- However, in the “interest of justice,” some restrictions apply to this privilege.
- Because the press is particularly mentioned in the First Amendment, which guarantees free speech in the United States, the Supreme Court has ruled that journalists do not have the right to decline to testify in a federal grand jury case and identify sources.
- The European Court of Human Rights:
- An attempt to coerce a journalist into disclosing his source for a news report violated his right to free speech and expression, according to a landmark 1996 decision by the European Court of Human Rights.
- United States:
- A number of journalists have been put behind bars for refusing to reveal their sources.
- Nevertheless, a number of US states have “shield laws” that defend journalists’ rights in varied degrees.
- The Freedom of the Press Act in Sweden provides extensive protection for journalists’ rights, including those of state and local government workers who might freely share information with media.
- In reality, a source may request legal action against a journalist who discloses their identity without permission.
- France and Germany:
- In France and Germany too, journalists can refuse to disclose sources in an investigation.
|The Indian Evidence Act
National Voters Day
• The Election Commission of India celebrated the 13th National Voters’ Day (NVD) on January 25, 2023. (ECI).
About National Voters Day
• Since 2011, it has been observed on January 25 each year to commemorate the founding date of the Election Commission of India, which was January 25, 1950.
• The primary goal of the NVD celebration is to increase voter participation by raising voter awareness among the populace.
o At the nationwide NVD events, new voters are congratulated and given their Elector Photo Identity Card (EPIC).
• It is one of the biggest festivities in the nation since it is observed at the level of the nation, the state, the district, the constituency, and the voting booth.
• This year’s National Voter Day (NVD) theme, “Nothing Like Voting, I Vote for Sure,” is intended for voters and expresses a person’s desire to participate in the election process by exercising their right to vote.
- Other highlights of this year’s NVD
- The election process is intended to be festive and inclusive, and this is reflected in the logo. The tick symbol in the logo represents the voter making an informed choice.
- The finger with ink on it symbolises the participation of each and every voter in the nation, while the Ashoka Chakra in the background signifies the largest democracy in the world.
Image Courtesy: PIB
• Recent research suggests that “immune imprinting” may reduce the effectiveness of bivalent boosters.
More about the news
- Variant-specific or bivalent boosters have been introduced in nations like the UK and the US with the belief that they may offer superior protection against coronavirus infection compared to the original vaccine.
- However, research suggests that immunological imprinting, a bodily process, may be rendering these new boosters much less effective than anticipated.
- Bivalent boosters:
- Bivalent boosters are made to counter both the Omicron strains and the original Covid-19 strain.
More about immune imprinting
- When the body encounters a newer or slightly different variety of the same pathogen, it has a tendency to repeat its immune response depending on the original variant it met through infection or vaccination. This tendency is known as immunological imprinting.
- Scientists first noticed the phenomena in 1947, noting that
- According to a publication in the journal Nature, “People who had previously had the flu and were then immunised against the current circulating strain developed antibodies against the first strain they had encountered.”
- The term “imprinting” has since replaced the earlier phrase “original antigenic sin,” which was used to describe it.
- Over time, scientists have come to understand that imprinting serves as the immune system’s database.
- How does it work?
- It enhances the body’s ability to fight off subsequent infections.
- Memory B cells, which circulate in the bloodstream and rapidly create antibodies whenever the same strain of the virus infects someone again, are produced by our body when it is first exposed to a virus.
- The issue arises when the body comes into contact with a comparable but distinct form of the virus.
- In these circumstances, the immune system activates memory B cells instead of producing new B cells, which in turn make cross-reactive antibodies, which bind to characteristics shared by both the old and new strains.
- Although some protection from the new strain is provided by these cross-reactive antibodies, they are not as potent as the ones created by the B cells when the body first encountered the original virus.
- Ways to deal with immune imprinting
- Nasal vaccines: Some scientists have said nasal vaccines might be better at preventing infections than injected ones.
- They believe the mucous membranes would create stronger protection, despite carrying some imprint of past exposure.
- Spacing vaccine shots: Researchers are also trying to find if spacing out coronavirus vaccine shots on an annual basis, could help with the problem of imprinting.
- Nasal vaccines: Some scientists have said nasal vaccines might be better at preventing infections than injected ones.
Pan-sarbecovirus vaccines: The development of so-called pan-sarbecovirus vaccines, which will provide protection against all COVID-causing variations and perhaps even more SARS and related viruses, is another area of intense research.
Cases of the norovirus have recently been found in Kerala.
- It is believed that the virus, which has been circulating among humans for more than 50 years, is one of the main causes of gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines).
- It is estimated that the virus kills 200,000 people year throughout the world, with children under the age of five and people over 65 accounting for the majority of fatalities.
- Because the virus can survive in colder climates and outbreaks tend to occur more frequently in the winter and in nations with a colder climate, it is commonly referred to as “winter vomiting illness.”
Spread: Norovirus is a very contagious virus and can spread through:
• Direct touch with an infected individual;
• Eating or drinking tainted food or water
• Placing your unclean hands in your mouth after touching contaminated surfaces.
- Diarrhea,Vomiting,Nausea,Stomach pain
- Outbreaks are common and they can happen anytime, but they occur most often from November to April.
Severity of Virus
• The majority of patients recover in one to two days.
• The virus makes people get severely dehydrated which can be serious and even fatal in the very young, older adults, and people with other health problems.
- Wash hands often, Rinse fruits and vegetables, Cook shellfish thoroughly, Stay home when sick and for two days after symptoms stop, Avoid preparing food for others when sick and for two days after symptoms stop.
- • No actual treatment is provided. Drinking lots of liquids is the best piece of advise. It will become better in 48 to 72 hours if one continues to rehydrate.
|Do you know ?
Norovirus in India
Supporting MSMEs for a Resilient Global Supply Chain
• Recently, the fourth Plenary Session of the B20 India Inception Meeting on Building Resilient Global Value Chains was convened in Gandhinagar by the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Textiles.
What are MSMEs?
- MSMEs or Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises are businesses that are defined by their investment and turnover levels. They are considered an important sector of the economy as they create jobs, generate income, and promote entrepreneurship.
Classification of MSMEs:
- Based on their investment and turnover levels:
- Classification of MSMEs : (Based on the nature of activities and sectors)
- Manufacturing Enterprise: Making products for any of the sectors included in the first schedule of the 1951 Industries (Development and Regulation) Act
- Service Enterprise: Delivering or providing services that fall under the definition of the “Services” sector in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act of 2006.
|Advantages of MSMEs||Challenges of MSMEs|
Important government schemes for MSMEs:
- Harmonizing value chain: To make it simpler for international businesses to incorporate India in its value chains, the government must concentrate on linking India’s value chains with the rest of the world and developing logistics that are quicker and easier.
- Quality assurance: The government will concentrate on making quality the most crucial element in India’s success story by taking initiatives like defining international benchmarks, bringing Indian standards into line with those of other countries, and raising the bar for quality among customers.
- Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA): It will assist MSMEs in India and the UAE in maximising the advantages of the District’s designation as an export centre.
- As part of this programme, each district will be examined for its distinctive products in order to determine its area of expertise.
- This project is anticipated to aid in the promotion of regional goods, which will support the local economy.
- Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY)
- Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP):
- Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE): This scheme provides collateral-free credit to micro and small enterprises through a credit guarantee mechanism.
- Stand Up India: The programme offers financial support to women, scheduled caste (SC), and scheduled tribal (ST) business owners who are starting new ventures.
- What more can be done?
- Access to finance: The government can work to improve access to finance for MSMEs by providing credit guarantees, offering tax incentives for lending to MSMEs, and encouraging banks and other financial institutions to lend to MSMEs.
- Infrastructure development: The construction of roads, the provision of electricity and water supplies, and improvements to transportation are just a few examples of how infrastructure can be improved where MSMEs are concentrated.
- Skilled labor: Taking steps to improve the availability of skilled labor by investing in vocational education and training programs, and encouraging workers to acquire new skills.
- Simplifying regulations: The government can make rules and procedures for MSMEs simpler, for example, by easing the administrative load on MSMEs and streamlining registration and compliance procedures.
- Support for technology adoption: The government can support the adoption of new technologies by MSMEs by providing subsidies, tax incentives, and other forms of financial assistance to help them modernize their operations.
- Support for innovation: The government can help MSMEs to innovate by providing funding, mentorship, and other forms of support to help them develop new products and services.
Need for enabling ecosystem: The government is putting its efforts into building an environment that is less complicated, quicker, and supports MSMEs’ ease of doing business in order to become a reliable and resilient partner in global value chains.
Tethered drone system
The Army has started the acquisition process for three specialised technologies to strengthen its combat edge, including 100 robotic mules for logistics needs in remote border regions and 130 tethered drone systems for long-term observation.
About Tethered drone system
- It comprises drones that come with a ground-based tether station and can be used for surveillance of targets beyond the line of sight for a prolonged period.
- They can also be launched in an untethered mode for a certain duration to confirm inputs.
- Features: Two aerial vehicles with integrated Electro-Optic/Infrared payloads, a remote video terminal and generator set, a battery charger, an extra battery for each drone, and a modular carrying case for the entire system will be included in each tethered drone system.
- The systems are required to have a minimum of 60 percent indigenous content and will be procured under the ‘Buy India’ category.
- Benefits: these drones will have an advantage over others in the Army’s Inventory due to an enhanced surveillance capability over an extended period of time.
- “Longer flight duration for constant surveillance, even for targets beyond the line of sight, with little risk of getting jammed will aid the troops on ground by arming them with the correct intel and target acquisition,
|Do you Know?
Dr. Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, a renowned Indian architect, passed away at the age of 95.
About BV Doshi
- He was an urban planner and educator and was one of the most distinguished Indian minds in the world of architecture.
• He embodied the more romantic or artistic approach in the modern architecture that arose in India after Independence.
Works and Projects
- His works ranged from small houses, institutional buildings and offices to large housing projects, campuses, and townships.
• Many of his projects, such as the School of Architecture at CEPT, the Institute of Indology, Hussain Doshi Gufa, his own office called Sangath, his own home and Tagore Hall have become iconic.
• His architectural style, which combined Indian sensibilities with brutalist, modernist architecture from Europe, won over many admirers.
Awards and Honors
- In 1995, he received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
- In 2011, he received the Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters, France’s highest artistic honour.
- He was the first Indian architect to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2018, which is regarded as one of the most prestigious awards in the area of architecture.
- In 2020, BV Doshi received the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honour.
- In 2022, the Royal Institute of British Architects awarded him the gold medal.
- • Paths Unknown (2011),
- Balkrishna Doshi: Writings on Architecture and Identity (2019),
- and Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People (2019).
Islands named after Param Vir Chakra awardees
The prime minister gave awards for the Param Vir Chakra to 21 of the largest nameless islands in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
More in News
• The naming took place to commemorate Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 126th birthday, which is recognised as Parakram Diwas (Day of Valor).
• Ross Island, which was renamed Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep in 2018, will have a proposed memorial built there.
• Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep were also given to Neil Island and Havelock Island, respectively.
Significance of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in India’s Independence
- The islands were first controlled by the Dutch, then by the British, and were taken over by the advancing Japanese military during World War II for three years (1942-45).
- The islands were formally handed over to Bose’s Azad Hind government in 1943, although effective control remained with Japan.
- It is the land where Subhas Chandra Bose unfurled the national flag for the first time in 1943.
- Before his departure, he renamed Andaman as Shaheed (“Martyrs”) Island, and Nicobar as Swaraj (“Freedom”) Island.”
Param Vir Chakra
- Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the then-President of India, founded it on January 26, 1950, as a Gallantry Medal with retroactive effect from August 15, 1947. It is the highest military decoration awarded in India.
- The honour is given for “the most outstanding valour in the face of the adversary.”
- Mrs. Savitri Khanolkar created the medal. Dadhichi, a vedic rishi, served as an inspiration to the designer.
- The medal is made of bronze alloy. The state crest is located in the centre and is surrounded by four Indra’s Vajra replicas, the Shivaji sword on either side, and a 32 mm purple ribbon.
- It is celebrated on 23rd of January, on this day in 1897, Neta Ji was born in Cuttack, Odisha.
- It was first observed in 2021 on the 124th birth anniversary of Netaji.
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