According to the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) 2020-21 annual report, the Central government intends to revamp the Civil Registration System (CRS) to enable real-time birth and death registration with minimal human interaction, regardless of location.
Section 3(3) of the Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) Act, 1969 empowers the RGI (Registrar General of India) to take steps to coordinate and unify the activities of all State Chief Registrars of Births and Deaths.
In India, the Civil Registration System (CRS) is a unified process of continuous, permanent, mandatory, and universal recording of vital events (births, deaths, stillbirths) and their characteristics.
The data generated by a comprehensive and up-to-date CRS is critical for socioeconomic planning.
The NPR (National Population Register), which was first compiled in 2010 and updated in 2015 with Aadhaar, mobile, and ration card numbers, needs to be updated again “to incorporate changes due to birth, death, and migration.”
The CRS system is facing timeliness, efficiency, and uniformity challenges, resulting in delayed and under-coverage of birth and death.
To address the system’s challenges in providing timely service to the public, the Government of India has decided to implement transformational changes in the country’s Civil Registration System via an IT [information technology] enabled backbone leading to birth registration and death in real time with minimal human interaction.
The changes would involve automating the process delivery points so that service delivery was time-bound, uniform, and free of discretion.
The changes would be long-term, scalable, and location-independent.
Amendments to the RBD Act: It also proposed changes to the Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) Act of 1969, which would allow it to “maintain the database of registered births and deaths at the national level.”
The database could be used to update the Population Register, Electoral Register, Aadhar, Ration Card, Passport, and Driving License databases, according to the proposed amendments.
The RBD Act requires the registration of births and deaths, and the Chief Registrar is required to publish a statistical report on the registered births and deaths each year.
A very techno-utopian vision of governance is required, in which citizens do not need to ask for anything and the government will provide it before they do.
To achieve this techno-utopian reality, a unified population database that can be effectively used to track people in real-time must be created.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has granted Rs 3.75 crore as part of the Museums Grant Scheme for the Rs 5-crore project in Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, under the ‘Upgradation of Museums Scheme.’
The scheme was established in 2013.
Under the Scheme, the Ministry of Culture provides financial assistance to State Governments and Societies, Autonomous Bodies, Local Bodies, and Trusts registered under the Societies Act 1860 for the establishment of new Museums.
It intends to strengthen and modernise existing museums at the regional, state, and district levels.
Each year, the scheme aims to build at least one Central / State Government Museum in the State Capital.
Establishment and Development of District and Regional Museums: This component categorises museums into two types:
Category I includes government-owned state level museums as well as renowned museums with exquisite collections.
Category II includes all other museums.
The maximum amount of financial assistance available under this Component is Rs.10 crore.
Development of Museums in State Capitals: This component provides financial assistance to existing renowned museums of the Central or State Government located in state capitals.
The maximum financial assistance available under this component is Rs. 15 crore per museum.
It is proposed in this component to establish large scale museums in Public-Private Partnership Mode as joint ventures with state governments and civil society.
The maximum financial assistance available under this component is 40% of the project cost, up to a maximum of Rs. 20 Crore per museum.
A museum is an institution that stores and exhibits objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest.
ICOM (International Council of Museums) defines a museum as “a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates, and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study, and enjoyment.” ICOM is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to museums, with formal relations with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization).
The Ministry of Culture has launched the National Portal and Digital Repository for Indian Museums to digitise the Museums’ collections.
JATAN: Software for Virtual Museums: JATAN is a virtual museum builder software that allows the creation of digital collection management systems for Indian museums. It is used in several national museums throughout India.
Indonesia, the world’s largest producer, exporter, and consumer of palm oil, recently announced a ban on all exports of the commodity and its raw materials in order to reduce domestic cooking oil shortages and lower rising prices.
Indonesia supplies half of India’s annual demand for 8.3 million tonnes of palm oil. As a result, an export ban will harm India’s interests.
Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from the mesocarp (reddish pulp) of oil palm fruit.
It is used in everything from cosmetics to processed foods, cakes, chocolates, spreads, soaps, shampoo, and cleaning products, as well as biofuel.
The use of crude palm oil in the production of biodiesel is referred to as ‘green diesel.’
Indonesia and Malaysia account for nearly 90% of global palm oil production, with Indonesia producing the most, with over 45 million tonnes in 2021.
The oil palm industry has come under fire for allegedly unsustainable production practises that lead to deforestation, as well as exploitative labour practises carried over from the colonial era.
However, many people prefer palm oil because it is inexpensive, and oil palms produce more oil per hectare than other vegetable oil plants such as soybean.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, palm oil is the world’s most widely used vegetable oil, with a global production of over 73 Million Tonnes (MT) in 2020. (USDA).
For the current fiscal year FY 2022-23, it is estimated to be 77 MT.
Reuters reports that palm oil accounts for 40% of the global supply of the four most widely used edible oils: palm, soybean, rapeseed (canola), and sunflower oil.
Indonesia accounts for 60% of the global supply of palm oil.
India is the world’s largest importer of palm oil. Palm oil prices have risen this year as demand has increased due to a scarcity of alternative vegetable oils.
Soybean oil production, the second most-produced oil, is expected to fall this year due to a poor soybean season in Argentina, the world’s largest producer.
Drought harmed canola oil production in Canada last year, and the ongoing conflict has harmed supplies of sunflower oil, 80-90 percent of which is produced by Russia and Ukraine.
Global edible oil prices have risen significantly since the end of last year, owing to pandemic-induced labour shortages and global food inflation linked to the pandemic and the Ukraine crisis.
India is the world’s largest importer of palm oil, accounting for 40% of its vegetable oil consumption.
India obtains half of its annual requirement of 8.3 MT of palm oil from Indonesia.
This would result in an increase in those who are already dealing with record-high wholesale inflation.
It is also worth noting that the Centre launched the National Mission on Edible Oil-Oil Palm last year in order to increase India’s domestic palm oil production.
Ways to Increase Domestic Yield: Given the benefits of palm oil for India’s cooking needs, Indian farmers should be incentivized to intensify efforts for oil palm area expansion in order to increase palm oil production in the country.
The National Mission on Edible Oil-Oil Palm is a step in the right direction in this regard.
Diversification: India’s procurement and requirements should be diverse.
First and foremost, India should seek to import more palm oil from other countries.
Second, Tree Borne Oilseeds (TBOs) such as sal, mahua, olive, jatropha, neem, jojoba, wild apricot, walnut, tung, and others can be investigated as alternatives.
The Indian Railways’ “Plan Bee” to keep elephants off the tracks appears to have failed, with 48 pachyderms and 188 other animals killed by running trains since 2019.
The Indian Railways devised the Plan Bee as a means of luring elephants away from train tracks.
To scare the jumbos away, they use speakers that play the sound of bees.
The buzzing is heard up to half a mile (600 metres) away as trains approach vulnerable points.
The ‘Plan Bee’ has won an award from Indian Railways for “best innovative idea” for regional operator Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR).
Elephants have long been known to be terrified of the buzzing of bees and stings.
Villagers in Kerala have been using “beehive fences” to keep elephants at bay.
When elephants come into contact with the fences, bees inside the fence-attached boxes erupt in rage to defend their colonies.
Threats to elephants include increased human population, habitat destruction, increased frequency of fast trains, and government neglect.
Indian Railways’ mascot is an elephant calf named Bholu.
Himachal Pradesh’s Hatti community has requested that their community be added to the list of Scheduled Tribes.
The Hattis are a close-knit community who got their name from selling homegrown vegetables, crops, meat, and wool, among other things, at small markets called ‘haat’ in towns.
The Hattis are separated from Sirmaur by two rivers, Giri and Tons.
The Hattis’ two clans have similar traditions, and inter-marriages are common.
The Hattis have a fairly rigid caste system, with the upper castes being the Bhat and Khash and the lower castes being the Badhois.
Inter-caste marriages have traditionally been frowned upon.
Hattis in the Kamrau, Sangrah, and Shilliai areas lag behind in education and employment due to topographical disadvantages.
The Hattis are governed by a traditional council known as Khumbli, which, like Haryana’s khaps, decides on community issues.
Despite the establishment of the panchayati raj system, the Khumbli’s power has remained unchallenged.