UPSC PRELIMS + IAS MAINS
1. Consider amending Official Languages Act: Supreme Court tells Centre (IE)
Do you Know👉 As per Article 343 of the Constitution, the official language of the Union is Hindi along with English
• Context: The Central government should consider amending the Official Languages Act of 1963, to include scheduled languages other than Hindi and English as an official language of the Government of India, the Supreme Court said.
• Scheduled languages are those languages which are listed in the 8th schedule of the Constitution and are given official recognition and encouragement by the Central government.
o However, all official communication and publication of rules and notifications by the Central government are in Hindi and English.
• The Central government submitted that as per Article 343 of the Constitution, the official language of the Union is Hindi along with English.
• The Constitution of India does not have any provision whereby it may be inferred that all the languages mentioned in the 8th schedule of the Constitution would be used as official languages of the Union.
The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India
• It consists of languages recognized by the Constitution.
• Originally, it had 14 languages but presently there are 22 languages.
• They are: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri (Dongri), Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Mathili (Maithili), Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.
• Sindhi was added by the 21st Amendment Act of 1967; Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were added by the 71st Amendment Act of 1992; and Bodo, Dongri, Maithili and Santhali were added by the 92nd Amendment Act of 2003.
2. Yesss…… Sikkim Is Fully Organic!
Headline: Sikkim, India’s first ‘fully organic’ state wins FAO’S Future Policy Gold Award 2018 (IE)
• Context: India’s first “100 per cent organic state” Sikkim has won the “Oscar for best policies”, conferred by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for the world’s best policies promoting agroecological and sustainable food systems.
• Sikkim is the first organic state in the world. All of its farmland is certified organic.
• Organic Agriculture means no synthetic external inputs such as chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides and synthetic hormones or Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have been used in agricultural production.
• Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has the mandate to regulate the manufacture, distribute, sell or import “organic foods” in India under the Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017 notified under the provisions of the Food Safety Standards Act, 2006.
o Non-food items are not covered under the mandate of FSS Act, 2006.
Which systems of certification are recognized in the Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017?
• The Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017 recognize already established two systems of certification i.e.:
o Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, and
o National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) implemented by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
• The Accredited Certification Bodies in case of NPOP and Local Group in case of PGS-India are responsible for certifying the Organic Food.
• If a food is marked ‘organic’, it does not mean it does not contain insecticides and contaminants. However, their limit is regulated.
• Ministry of Commerce has implemented the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) since 2001.
• Fruits, vegetables, fibre and animal products which do not contain chemical pesticides, fertilizers, genetically-modified organisms and induced hormones can be certified as organic food in India.
Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana
• “Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana” of the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare is an elaborated component of National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
• Under PKVY Organic farming is promoted through the adoption of an organic village by cluster approach and Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) certification.
• Expected outcomes
o Promotion of commercial organic production through certified organic farming.
o The produce will be pesticide residue free and will contribute to improving the health of the consumer.
o It will raise the farmer’s income and create a potential market for traders.
o It will motivate the farmers for natural resource mobilization for input production.
• Programme implementation
o Fifty or more farmers will form a cluster having 50-acre land to take up organic farming under the scheme. In this way, during three years 10,000 clusters will be formed covering 5.0 lakh acre area under organic farming.
o There will be no liability on the farmers for expenditure on certification.
o Every farmer will be provided at Rs. 20,000 per acre in three years for the seed to harvesting of crops and to transport produce to the market.
o Organic farming will be promoted by using traditional resources and the organic products will be linked with the market.
Organic Farming Policy of 2005
o Maintenance of soil fertility by encouraging and enhancing the biological cycle within farming systems involving micro-organisms, soil flora and fauna, plants and animals.
o Identification of areas and crops suitable for organic farming.
o Setting up of model organic farms for getting seed material for organic cultivation.
o Assurance of production and supply of quality organic input.
o Adoption of biological methods for pest and disease control.
o Promotion of group certification.
Directive Principles of State Policy, Article 47 – Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health
3. About Fit India Youth Club:
1️⃣A nation-wide initiative, the Fit India Youth Club, on the occasion of the 73rd Independence Day of the country today. The Fit India Youth Club, a part of the Fit India Movement endeavours to harness the power of youth to create mass awareness about the importance of fitness, across the country.
2️⃣The Fit India Youth Clubs bring together fitness and voluntarism in a unique way in which 75 lakh volunteers of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and National Service Scheme, along with Scouts and Guides, NCC and other youth organisations will come together to register as Fit India Youth Clubs in every block in the country, under the aegis of a district unit.
3️⃣Each member of the club will motivate people from the community to take up fitness activities of 30 to 60 minutes in his or her daily routine. Additionally, the clubs will organise and encourage schools and local bodies to organise one community fitness programme every quarter.