10 November 2017-Current Affairs

  1. Bandhan Express
  2. Fixing accountability in school education
  3. Preventing cruelty to poultry
  4. Looking after those with Alzheimer’s, dementia.
  5. Designing tree-based programmes to meet climate goals

  1. Bandhan Express

  1. Fixing accountability in school education
  • UNESCO’s new Global Education Monitoring Report 2017/18
    • A comprehensive and nuanced look at the role of accountability in global education systems in the effort to achieve the vision of the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4: to ensure inclusive and quality education for all, and to promote lifelong learning.
    • points out that providing universal quality education depends not on the performance of teachers alone, but is the shared responsibility of several stakeholders: governments, schools, teachers, parents, the media and civil society, international organisations, and the private sector
  • Examination scores by themselves are an inadequate way of assessing the complex process of teaching and learning. Not only does an exclusive focus on test scores have the risk of leaving weaker students behind, it also leaves academically better-performing students with a narrow understanding of what education is all about.Using poor test scores to blame teachers is a bad idea for many reasons, including the risk that it might result in teachers simply teaching ‘to the test’.
  • Study of teacher absenteeism in 619 schools across six States carried out by the Azim Premji Foundation found that while the overall percentage of teachers not in school was 18.5%, most of these were either out of school on other official duty, or on bonafide leave.
  • Reference

  1. Preventing cruelty to poultry
  • The Law Commission of India, in its 269th report, drafted two new laws to end the cruelty to birds and pave the way for more compassionate processes in the poultry industry. The rules are the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Egg Laying Hens) Rules of 2017 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Broiler Chicken) Rules of 2017.
  • The health hazards from lack of hygiene and cruelty towards birds (poultry), such as confining them in battery cages,  include a rise in diseases such as cancer.
  • Recommendations/ Findings from the report
    • A more natural environment of housing that allows hens to perch and move about freely instead of the existing practice of battery cages
    • Employ better farming techniques.
    • Practices such as the breaking of beaks and the killing of young male chicks in the poultry industry should go
    • The practice of unnecessary feeding of non-therapeutic antibiotics to the birds (which eventually leads to antibiotic resistance) directly impacts human health.
    • Indian poultry industry is unable to cater to an increasing consumer base which is demanding cruelty-free meat/organically-produced eggs
    • Certification of poultry farms by State animal husbandry departments, with a distinction between produce obtained from cage free egg farming and that obtained from battery cage farming.
    • Every farm shall have at least one room or enclosure for quarantining sick hens, or hens suspected to be sick
    • Indoor chickens should be provided with a “stimulating environment” to keep them active.
    • Poultry farms should sell chickens only to licensed slaughter houses.
  • Reference
  • http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/the-pecking-order/article20085765.ece

  1. Looking after those with Alzheimer’s, dementia.
  • Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for 60 to 80 per cent of dementia cases, is a progressive, degenerative brain disease affecting a person’s memory, thinking, and the ability to interact socially. Unfortunately, there is yet no cure for it and scientists are still searching for causes of this disease which affects about one in 10 people over the age of 65 and almost one in four over 85 years. People under the age of 65 years also are prone to the disease which is known as early onset of Alzheimer’s.
  • there are over four million affected by dementia in India and as per the India Dementia Report 2010 about Rs 43,000 annually per family is spent to take care of a person affected by dementia
  • As the ageing of the population is rapidly increasing, the economic and social burden of the disease is going to rise in the coming years.
  • Ways to reduce the burden of the disease attention particularly in countries like India, which need urgent along with China, has the highest number of older people and where geriatric services are under-developed and talking of mental health issues carries stigma.
  • The Global Plan of Action on the Public Health Response to Dementia 2017-2025, adopted by 194 countries of the WHO, calls for a national dementia policy,

.The governments should meet targets for the advancement of dementia awareness, risk reduction, diagnosis, care and treatment, support for care partners and research. India has not taken the initiative yet.

  • Current treatments merely address the symptoms and not the underlying biological cause of the disease
  • Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) calls for the government to have its plan or policy on dementia which must be implemented in all states and funded and monitored by the health ministry. It  has been successful at in initiating a Kerala State Initiative on Dementia which is the first public-private partnership for dementia care and awareness.
  • What needs to be done?
    • Support from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in
      • Legal provisions to protect the rights, dignity and respect of those affected
      • minimising economic costs and the burden of the disease
      • building public campaigns and dementia-friendly initiatives
      • The framework provided by the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) should be  monitored with regard to guaranteeing the rights of people with dementia
      • . The non-communicable diseases plan of action should include building resources for strengthening brain health by associating it with physical and spiritual health.
      • Focus on supporting people with dementia to maintain their independence as much as they can and retain their inclusion in families, community and society
      • include dementia as a national health and social priority
      • provisions to identify dementia as early as possible
      • Have adequate services for its treatment with sensitivity towards the care-givers
      • Garnering support from the corporate sector to fund programmes, especially training of care givers and initiatives for research on the disease
    • Reference


  1. Designing tree-based programmes to meet climate goals
  • In 2015, India made a Bonn Challenge commitment to place into restoration 13 million hectares (Mha) of degraded land by 2020 and an additional 8 Mha by 2030. India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) have also pledged to sequester 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent additionally by 2030 through enhanced tree cover. Initial government estimates suggest that to achieve this, India will need to extend tree cover on at least 28-34 million hectares, outside of the existing forest cover.
  • neither the Bonn Challenge nor the NDCs are about large-scale plantations alone
  • The Bonn Challenge, lays emphasis on landscape approaches — a model aimed at improving the ecology of a landscape as a whole in order to benefit local livelihoods and conserve biodiversity.
  • The NDC lays emphasis not only on carbon sequestration but also adaptation to climate change through a strengthened flow of benefits to local communities that are dependent on forests and agriculture for sustenance.
  • , large-scale plantation drives, which often do not lay stress on species selection, the quality of planting materials or survival rates, nor recognise tenure and resource rights to ensure that the benefit flows to communities, do not really achieve the goals
  • We must protect healthy forest areas from deforestation, degradation and fragmentation. We must also creatively integrate trees into different land uses.
  • Tree-based interventions
  • The nation practises at least 35 types of agroforestry models that combine different trees that provide timber, fruits, fodder, fuel and fertilizers with food crops. This diversifies income from farming, and improves land productivity. Farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR) systems where farmers protect and manage the growth of trees and shrubs that regenerate naturally in their fields from root stock or from seeds dispersed through animal manure can also deliver several economic and ecosystem benefits.
  • In India, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development’s (NABARD’s) ‘Wadi’ model and the Foundation for Ecological Security’s re-greening of village commons project are good examples of tree-based interventions which are proving to have great value in terms of cost-effectiveness as well as the range of benefits they deliver to communities.
  • WADI project is a NABARD funded Tribal Development Programme (TDP) which aims at promoting sustainable livelihoods for tribal communities and enhancing their income security . “Wadi” means a ‘small orchard’ covering one or two acres. This is a five year project intended to promote orchard development among the tribal communities. It is envisaged as family centric agriculture where the emphasis is on small land holdings (1-2 acres), agro biodiversity and greater participation of women.
  • . In several parts of the world, securing tenure over forests has been established as a cost-effective way of achieving climate sequestration.
  • A performance monitoring system to quantify tree survival rates and the benefits to communities. This can be achieved through a combination of remote sensing, crowd sourced, ground-level monitoring with support from communities and civil society organisations.
  • A tool called the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM) is being used in 40 countries to find the best methods for landscape restoration. The tool includes rigorous analysis of spatial, legal and socio-economic data and draws on consultations with key stakeholders to determine the right type of interventions. In India, this tool is being piloted in Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Reference
  • http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/for-a-wider-cover/article20085761.ec

Malayalam : 10 November 2017-കറന്റ് അഫയേഴ്സ്