1.1. Ten New Names For 'Swachh Iconic Places' Initiative
· The Union government has announced the name of 10 new iconic places under the Phase II of Swachh Iconic Places initiative.
· The new iconic places under Phase II are - Somnath Temple in Gujarat; Gangotri, Yamunotri and Char Minar in Hyderabad; Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain; Church and Convent of St Francis of Assissi in Goa; Adi Shank arachar ya’s abode Kaladi in Ernakulam; Gomateshwar in Shravanbelgola; Baijnath Dham in Devghar; and Gaya Tirth in Bihar.
· Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) is an initiative of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation under Swachh Bharat Mission. The Swachh Bharat Mission covers all rural and urban areas. The urban component of the mission will be implemented by the Ministry of Urban Development, and the rural component by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
· The aim of Swachch Iconic Places is to make 100 places model Swachch Tourist Destinations that will enhance the experience of visitors.
· The ten Iconic places that are already under implementation in Phase I are: Ajmer Sharif Dargah, CST Mumbai, Golden Temple (Amritsar), Kamakhya Temple (Assam), Maikarnika Ghat (Varanasi), Meenakshi Temple (Madurai) Shri Mata Vaishno Devi (Katra, J&K), Shree Jagannath Temple (Puri), The Taj Mahal (Agra), Tirupati Temple (Tirumala).
For details on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Plz refer Sec 1.3 in Part 7 (Nov 2016) of CA Magazine.
1.2. Conference on Dara Shikoh Held in New Delhi
· The international conference on "Dara Shikoh: Reclaiming Spiritual Legacy of India" has been organised by Indian Council Of Cultural Relations (ICCR).
· The objective of the conference is to present Dara Shikoh's contribution and initiatives in bringing about spiritual homogenisation of Hinduism and Islam, and thereby building a cohesive social and cultural edifice of India.
· The conference saw the participation of eminent scholars, academics and historians from the US, Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and India.
· Dara Shikoh was the eldest son of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. He was also the heir- apparent of the Mughal Emperor. However, Dara Shikoh was defeated and killed by his younger brother Aurangzeb in a struggle for the imperial throne.
· Through his research and study of Vedas and Upanishads, Dara Shikoh concluded that a common spiritual basis existed between Hinduism and Islam which should be comprehended and celebrated.
· In his foreword to the monumental work, "Siri-Akbar" (The Great Secret), Dara Shikoh wrote that a great deal of Quranic wisdom existed in upanishads.
· Dara Shikoh documented the Quranic terms and their Sanskrit equivalents from Upanishads. He aspired to build a cultural model for India which, if it prevailed, would have saved South Asia from many tragedies which it faced in the future.
· The study of India begins with the translation of the Upanishads and Dara Shikoh had them translated into Persian. The Europeans at that time did not read Sanskrit and so they read the Upanishads in Persian which were later translated into Latin.
1.3. Panel Moots UID Numbers For Cows
Why In News
A unique identification number for animals has been suggested by an expert panel to evolve a mechanism to stop trafficking of cattle across the Indo-Bangla border. The committee was set up in pursuance of the court order.
Recommendations Of The Committee
· Each animal should be tagged with proper records of identification details, including age, breed, sex, lactation, height, colour, horn type, tail switch and special marks.
· The Chief Secretary of respective States should regularly monitor the performance of various departments of the State governments, including RTO, state police and animal husbandry department and ensure prevention of cattle smuggling /illegal transportation of cattle by way of periodic reports.
· At the central level, monitoring could be done by Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC)/Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF).
· Union Ministry of Agriculture has devised a method for tamper proof identification of cattle using polyurethane tags with a unique identification number sequence.
· The panel recommended strict enforcement of the Export Import Policy by the relevant customs authorities, transport department, police and border guarding forces as per the law.
· The panel said even where animals are travelling with a licence across the border, care may be taken to check the manner in which they are being transported to prevent cruelty to them.
Need For Tagging
· The Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act read with Export Import Policy (Exim policy) of India mandates that cattle can only be exported from the country with a valid licence from the regional licensing authority.
· However, in absence of proper data base and identification methods, the implementing authority finds difficulties in preventing smuggling.
· Cattle smuggling has become a “by-product” of the dairy industry. Stray, “retired” and abandoned cattle face high risk of falling into smugglers’ hand. So, cattle smuggling should be stopped at the source, instead of on the India-Bangladesh border at the cost of the lives of BSF jawans.
· According to the government, four BSF jawans were killed and 302 injured in skirmishes with cattle smugglers over the past three years.
· The issue also includes concern over smuggling of cattle to Nepal for being sacrificed at the Gadhimai festival, held once in five years.
1.4. Child Artists Can Work Only For 5 Hours A Day
Why In News
The Labour Ministry has proposed the draft Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017 to fix the working conditions for child artists and for employing children in family enterprises.
· While a child artist will not be allowed to work for more than five hours a day, a child “assisting” in a family business can only work for three hours a day. The permission of the district magistrate would be mandatory for engaging a child artist. Children will be allowed to assist their family in running family enterprises “without affecting” their school education. The family would include parents, real siblings, and “real brother and sister of the parents.
· Such children will not be allowed to engage in any production, supply or retail chain which is “remunerative for the family and hazardous activities.” At least 20% of the income earned by the child artist will be required to be deposited in a fixed deposit account “in a nationalised bank”. The money would be credited to the child after she turns 18.
· The production unit must nominate a person, who would be held responsible for the safety and security of the child artiste. A child cannot take part in a “street performance for monetary gain”.
· The government had brought recently Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, which put a blanket ban on employment of children below 14 years of age.
· However, it had made two exceptions in favour of child labour: children could work as child artistes (in the entertainment sector), and could “help” in their family enterprises.
· This act was criticized for tweaking the law in such a way that children are in some form or other available for employment.
· There were no clarity on different issues such as definition of family, number of hours that a child can actually work. It created problems in implementation of act.
· In this context, the draft rule is laudable and a positive step towards regulating the child labour in India.
· For details on child labour, plz refer Sec 4.3 in Part 4(Aug 2016) of CA Magazine.