- Odisha takes its first step towards promoting turtle tourism
- Odisha’s beach witnessed its first turtle festival on January 13, 2019, where tourists, researchers and environmentalists gathered to promote eco-tourism, which in turn could help conserve Olive Ridley turtles.
- It’s aimed at promoting and revering the idea of conserving the vulnerable turtles.
- It was organised by Cox & Kings Foundation, a philanthropic arm the travel company, in partnership with Humane Society International–India (HIS- India) and few local organisations.
- The conservation project emphasises on empowering the locals as they are the primary stake holders and the only means of sustaining any conservation efforts in the long run.
- Odisha has half of the world’s Olive Ridley turtle population, 90 per cent of India’s turtle population lives in the state.
Olive Ridley Turtle
- The Olive ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world, inhabiting warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
- These turtles, along with their cousin the Kemps Ridley turtle, are best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
- Though found in abundance, their numbers have been declining over the past few years.
- The species is recognized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red list.
- Devadasi custom
- Recently, studies done on the Devadasi practice by the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru, and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai reveal that more than thirty-six years after the Karnataka Devadasis (Prohibition of Dedication) Act of 1982 was passed, the State government is yet to issue the rules for administering the law.
Highlight of studies.
- In the studies it is found that special children, with physical or mental disabilities, are more vulnerable to be dedicated as Devadasis about 19%.
- The girls from socio-economically marginalised communities continued to be victims of the custom, and thereafter were forced into the commercial sex racket.
- Law in IPC: The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012, and Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act of 2015 have not made any reference to it as a form of sexual exploitation of children.
- Devadasi system is a banned religious practice in some parts of India whereby parents marry a daughter to a deity or a temple.
- The marriage usually occurs before the girl reaches puberty.
- The Union Home Ministry in December 2015 had asked all states to take strong action against those involved in the heinous practice which is against the dignity of women.
What happens actually?
- As a part of the ritual, the girls are dressed up as a bride and once the ceremony is over, their dresses are removed by five boys, virtually leaving them naked.
- They are denied to live with their families and have education.
- They are forced to live in Mathamma temple deemed to be like a public property and face sexual exploitation.
- This practice is allegedly “another form of Devadasi system”, which is still practiced in some parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
- NHRC observations: The rights panel has observed that if the allegations are true, these amount to violation of human rights, including the right to education, rights to life and dignity besides the childrens rights.
- Citizenship Bill: Chakma and Hajong communities in a spot
- The contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has put the spotlight on Bengali Hindus in Assam.
- The Citizenship Bill would serve as a legal basis for legitimising the claims of Chakma and Hajong refugees as the indigenous people of our State.
- The Chakmas and Hajongs are ethnic people who lived in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, most of which are located in Bangladesh.
- Chakmas are predominantly Buddhists, while Hajongs are Hindus.
- They are found in northeast India, West Bengal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.
- The Chakmas and Hajongs living in India are Indian citizens.
- The Chakmas and Hajongs living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts fled erstwhile East Pakistan in 1964-65, since they lost their land to the development of the Kaptai Dam on the Karnaphuli River.
- “Womaniya on GeM”
- The Commerce Ministry launched “Womaniya on GeM”.
- This initiative will enable women entrepreneurs and women self-help groups [WSHGs] to sell handicrafts and handloom, accessories, etc. directly to various Government ministries, departments and institutions.
- The initiative aligns with Government’s initiatives for MSMEs, especially to reserve 3 percent in government procurement from women entrepreneurs.
- This initiative will also address goals and objectives under United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
About Government e-Marketplace (GeM)
- GeM is an Online Market platform to facilitate procurement of goods and services by various Ministries and agencies of the Government.
- It has been envisaged as National Procurement Portal of India It aims to enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement of goods and services and eliminate corruption.
- It functions under Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D), Ministry of Commerce and Industries.
- It is completely paperless, cashless and system driven e-market place that enables procurement of common use goods and services with minimal human interface
- Trishna Gas Project
- The National Wildlife Board has given its approval for the Trishna Gas project of ONGC which falls in the Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary in the Gomati district of Tripura.
- Trishna gas project ONGC has discovered 10-12 gas bearing wells in the Trishna Wildlife sanctuary.
- The gas extracted from these wells would be supplied to the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO) owned 100 MW gasbased thermal power project at Monarchak in Sonamura subdivision of Sipahijala district of Tripura.
About National Wildlife Board
- National Board for Wild Life is a statutory organization constituted under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
- It is an apex body to review all wildlife-related matters and approves projects in and around national parks and sanctuaries.
- National Wildlife Board consist of :
- The National Board for Wild Life is chaired by the Prime Minister
- Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is the vice-chairman of the Board
- the members include 15 non-government members,
- 19 ex-officio members
- 10 government officials such as secretaries.
Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary
- The Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1988.
- The vegetations in the sanctuary fall under four broad categories of tropical semi-evergreen forest, the east Himalayan lower Bhanar sal, Moist mixed deciduous forest and the Savanah woodland.
6.‘Ama Ghare LED’ scheme
- Odisha government has launched the ‘Ama Ghare LED’ scheme.
- Under this scheme about 95 lakh families in the State will each get four LED bulbs free of cost.
Highlight of Scheme
- Under the scheme, 9-watt LED bulbs will be distributed to the beneficiaries registered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and the State Food Security Scheme (SFSC).
- Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (OPTCL) will implement the scheme and the bulbs will be distributed through camps and PDS outlets across the State.
- The beneficiaries will have to produce biometric authentication to get the benefits of the scheme.