- Protesting is a fundamental right: UN(TH) As authorities worldwide grapple with swelling demonstrations over issues like political rights and racial justice, a UN committee reaffirmed on Wednesday that protesting peacefully, online or in person, is a fundamental human right.
- The government we deserve(IE) The problem lies not with the parliamentary system but with the political culture of the country. This is demonstrated above all by the way voters make their choices based on communal, caste and other primordial considerations and in response to emotional appeals rather than making informed choices about public needs and services.
- 4year UG courses in, M.Phil. out in new education policy(TH)The new National Education Policy approved by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday will introduce four-year undergraduate degrees with multiple entry and exit options, abolish the M.Phil. degree, and establish a common higher education regulator with fee fixation for both private and public institutions.
- NEP focus: leave no child behind, bridge digital divide(TH) It also aims to double the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education, including vocational education, from 26.3% in 2018 to 50% by 2035, with an additional 3.5 crore new seats.
GS2: International Relations
- A quest for order amid cyber insecurity(TH) Acceding to the Budapest Convention, or Convention on Cybercrime of the Council of Europe (CETS No.185), which started as a European initiative but has attracted others, is an option that we should examine.
- Fewer species, more disease(TH) In order to ensure that another crisis such as this does not occur again, India should strictly enforce the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972, which prohibits the trade of 1,800 species of wild animals/plants and their derivatives; the Biological Diversity Act of 2002; strategies and action plans including the National Biodiversity Targets; and the National Biodiversity Mission.
GS3: Defence technology
- India’s Rafale fighter jets: Here’s everything from speed to weapon capabilities(IE) The MICA air-to-air missile on Rafale is for both, close-quarter dogfights, and for BVR. At the last-minute, India has also asked for HAMMER (Highly Agile and Manoeuvrable Munition Extended Range), which is an air-to-ground precision guided missile produced by French conglomerate Safran, and can be used against bunker-type hardened targets within the range of 70 km.
- Cryptocurrency poses a threat to govt’s monopoly(Mint) Any currency has its value if it can be exchanged for goods or services and if it is a store of value (it can maintain purchasing power over time). Cryptocurrencies, in contrast to fiat currencies, derive their value from exchanges. The extent of involvement of the community in terms of demand and supply of cryptocurrencies helps determine their value.
- Explained: How aerial seeding is helping plantation in hard-to-access Aravalli regions(IE) Aerial seeding is a technique of plantation in which seed balls – seeds covered with a mixture of clay, compost and other components – are sprayed on the ground using aerial devices.
- Centre launches pilot project to reduce emissions from agriculture (DTE) The Green-Ag Project is funded by the Global Environment Facility, while the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation, and Farmers’ Welfare (DAC&FW) is the national executing agency. Other key players involved in its implementation are Food and Agricultre Organization (FAO) and the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
GS3: Science & Technology
- A plan for Indian self-sufficiency in an AI-driven world(Mint) It was against this backdrop that a committee set up by India’s government on governing non personal data, led by Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, recently put out its draft report for public consultation. At the report’s core is an effort to ensure that non-personal data is actually shared and made available widely to enable the development of a strong domestic AI industry.
- Message from Hon'ble Prime Minister of India at International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) at the Start of ITER Assembly(PIB) The ITER Organization is celebrating the Start of Assembly of the ITER Tokamak with a ceremony today on 28th July 2020 at Saint-Paul-Lez-Durance, France. Invited Head of States of all ITER member countries are participating either in person, or electronically through remote mode, or conveying his/her message. The Celebration has been hosted virtually by President Macron.