Background :-As part of ‘68th Army Day Celebration- 2016’ and in its drive, the Army would be conducting an Army ‘Raahgiri’ with an endeavour to connect with the masses and bring the 68th Army day celebrations closer home to the general public
Important points are the cultural shows :-
Lezim– Folk dance from Maharsata
Chang Dance – Folk dance from Rajasthan
Background:-The President of India attended the seventh convocation of Vinoba Bhave University .
Important works :-
- Vinoba observed the life of the average Indian living in a village and tried to find solutions for the problems he faced with a firm spiritual foundation. This formed the core of his Sarvodaya movement.He was an ardent follower of Gandhi.
- Shri Vinoba Bhave called “Kannada” script as “Queen of World Scripts” – “Vishwa Lipigala Raani”
- Some of his works:-
- The essence of Quran
- The essence of Christian teachings
- Thoughts on education
- Swarajya Sastra
- Bhoodan Movement:- In 1951, Vinoba Bhave started his land donation movement at Pochampally in Telangana, the Bhoodan Movement.He took donated land from land owner Indians and gave it away to the poor and landless, for them to cultivate.
- Gramdan:-Then after 1954, he started to ask for donations of whole villages in a programme he called Gramdan. He got more than 1000 villages by way of donation. Out of these, he obtained 175 donated villages in Tamil Nadu alone.
- The Brahma Vidya Mandir is one of the ashrams that Bhave created. It is a small community for women that was created in order for them to become self-sufficient and non-violent in a community. This group farms to get their own food, but uses Gandhi’s beliefs about food production, which include sustainability and social justice, as a guide.
- Participated in Quit India Movement
Sarvodaya Movement :- What it means and how it came to be ?
Sarvodaya is Gandhiji’s most important socialpolitical movement. Like Satyagraha, it too is a combination of two terms, Sarva meaning one and all, and Uday meaning welfare or uplift. The conjunction thus implies Universal uplift or welfare of all as the meaning of Sarvodaya.
Gandhiji’s first encounter with this noble notion was in the form of the book titled Unto This Last by John Ruskin, which he read in South Africa in 1904. The impact of this reading was so powerful that it proved to be a life changing experience for Gandhiji.
Ruskin’s ideology was based on three fundamental tenets;
• That the good of the individual is contained in the good of all.
• That a lawyer’s work has the same value as the barber’s in as much as all have the same right of earning their livelihood from their work.
• That a life of labour, i.e., the life of the tiller of the soil and the handi-craftsman is the life worth living.
The tenets awakened Gandhiji’s embryonic sense of social obligation. He reminisces about these tenets in his autobiography, “The first of these I knew. The second I had dimly realized. The third had never occurred to me. Unto This Last made it clear as daylight for me that the second and third were contained in the first. I arose with the dawn, ready to reduce these principles to practice”.
Although Sarvodaya was a social ideology in its fundamental form, India’s immediate post independence requirement demanded that it be transformed into an urgent political doctrine. Emancipation of disparity between social classes was its objective, and it could be best implemented by political will and state machinery. It would affect in letter and spirit the singular objective of Sarvodaya; inclusive growth and progress. For Gandhiji and for India, this meant grassroot level uplift which began from the villages and from the most deprived classes, and then rose up to cover the upper social stratas.
For Gandhiji, however, this was a physical manifestation of Sarvodaya. The deeper ethos had an innate spiritual connect for him. His search of God had led him to the shanty of the most subjugated, and in the selfless service of this lowest of the lowly man, Gandhiji glimpsed God. The shanty became his shrine, and the heart of the deprived became his sanctum sanatorium. Gandhiji’s exalted aim of ultimately being one with the sublime appeared to be getting fulfilled by servicing the poorest of the poor.
The benefits of Direct Benefit Transfer
Background:-The two major issues with subsidies in India — targeting and leakages — can both be tackled by the government’s ongoing Direct Benefits Transfer push. The time is now ripe to have it for all subsidy programmes.
Leakages occur when the subsidy does not reach the recipient due to corruption, pilferage or other causes. Mis-targeting benefits higher income groups that don’t really deserve the subsidies, thereby needlessly increasing the government’s expenditure.
The government’s DBT plan, which simply involves transferring the subsidy amount directly to the beneficiaries’ bank accounts instead of having to fiddle around with differential pricing for the underprivileged, can effectively address the issue of leakages and go a long way in solving the mis-targeting problem
The case of MGNREGA wages is an example where DBT effectively addressed both issues at once. In the beginning, there were reports across the country of MGNREGA wages — at the time given in cash — being misappropriated by middlemen in such large-scale systems. In 2013, the government initiated the DBT scheme in MGNREGA after several successful pilot projects and eliminated these middlemen to a large extent. So far, in this financial year, under this scheme, Rs.20,500 crore has been credited to the accounts of almost 5 crore people. All the beneficiaries — only the beneficiaries — stood to reap benefits from MGNREGA wages.
PAHAL [Pratyaksh Hanstantrit Labh] is another example of success as long as leakage is concerned.Now, while this ensured that all LPG consumers could, in theory, avail of the subsidy, it also meant that a large proportion of the subsidies were going to people who could afford LPG cylinders at the un-subsidised rate. Towards this, and to the credit of the government, it was recently decided that people earning more than Rs.10 lakh a year would not be eligible for the LPG subsidy.
So, DBT addresses the leakages issue while the income cap addresses the mis-targeting problem.
The sweet spot created by universalising banking via the Jan-Dhan Yojana, efficient targeting via Aadhaar, and the increasing ubiquity of smartphones is so attractive that the government should make full use of it to extend DBT to all subsidy schemes. It’s a win-win.
Sport and Ethics
Background :- Corruption, Illegal betting,vested interest have drawn not only Indian sports but sports across worlds over to revisit the spirit of sports in our recent times. Lodha panel latest report vindicates the fact that – overtime sports has lost ground to “Winning” and thus sports ethics has been sidelined . In light of these events it is necessary to understand what has gone wrong with sports . Is sports is all about winning ? What do we want sports after all. With this questions in mind , lets look and analyze the spirit of sports and its current state of dismal affairs.
It is commonly accepted that through sport one learns to persevere, to sacrifice, and to be self-disciplined, to work hard, to follow orders, to be a leader, and to work with others.
Ethics And Moral Behaviour In Sport, Corbett, 1999
Is it all about winning ?
Why do we say “it’s not the winning but the taking part that counts”?
It’s a phrase echoed by the founder of the Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who said “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.”
Most people seem to agree that trying and failing is more admirable than not trying at all.
In practice, though, most people seem only to be interested in the medallists.
There are other goals to strive for apart from a medal. De Coubertin himself coined the motto “Citius, altius, fortius” – “swifter, higher, stronger” – for his Games. It is an ambiguous phrase, and one that could be taken to include striving to beat one’s personal best as well as going for gold.
Competition is not unethical. It is reasonable that winners be rewarded, even if their victories have an element of chance (and all victories have); this is the essence of a game, and games are fundamental to humanity.
Celebrating achievement is not in itself unethical – but it can drive some competitors to unethical behaviour.
What is Sports:-
Given that many enthusiasts enjoy sport for aesthetic reasons in part, it is surprising that the concept of sport has received relatively little attention from philosophers.
Two main problems leap to our attention. First, just how close is the aesthetic interest we take in sport to our interest in the arts? One is a human activity; the other a human creation. In that respect they both differ from the aesthetic appeal of natural sights and scenes. Admittedly, in most sports the principal object is winning rather than aesthetic quality, though in some sports, like ice-skating, the manner is integral to the results – marks are awarded for what is quaintly described as ‘artistic merit’.
The second problem concerns its definition. How do we define a sport? It may be a solitary activity; it may not have a winner or loser; one proposal is that it requires the arbitrary selection or creation of difficulties which it is our aim to overcome.
Symbolism of Sports:-
The Sportsworld is a lived world, like those of literature and the theater, that is highly charged with human meaning. As a dramatic and symbolic world the Sports world has its own plots, scenes, characters, and settings.
The game itself is the ritual hub of the sports universe; the team provides social structure; sports language gives the world cohesion; fans play the game vicariously through the athletes. Underneath and penetrating all the dramatic appeals is the powerful symbolism of play. The success of the Sports world rests on its ability to build its symbolic structure on the memory of play, on the illusion of play, and, finally, on the fantasy of play.
Now that we know – sports is fundamental to humanity , then what is sportsmanship?
An athlete cannot bring true courage to his fights unless he has sometimes been beaten black and blue. The fighter who has seen his own blood, whose teeth have been rattled by a blow from his opponent, who has been thrown to the ground and felt the whole weight of his rival’s body on him, who has not lost his spirit even when hurled about the ring, who, every time he has been knocked down, has got to his feet again more pugnacious than ever, this is the man who faces his next fight with confidence that is sportsmanship.
The rules beyond the field:-
There are rules in the field,but is there any rules beyond the field ?
There are many meanings in ‘how one plays the game’. Certainly it means playing by the rules of the game. But playing the game properly, with justice and integrity, also requires playing by rules beyond the game. It must conform to community ideas or ideals of ‘sportsmanship’. It is important in all societies to be the good sport, to be seen as acting fairly and accepting whatever life throws our way.
Is sports is all about playing or is it playing fair :-
‘Fair play’ is usually understood to mean using only tactics that are in accord with the spirit of the sport.
Most sports come with their own rules, conventions and opportunities for cheating :-
For example :-
- diving: falling over and pretending to have been fouled, to win your team a penalty
- faking, also called simulation: suggesting you’ve been punched, kicked or elbowed in order to get an opponent in trouble with the referee, or exaggerating a mild injury to make it seem more severe
Cricket – sledging: distracting opponents by winding them up verbally
Hence , fair play becomes important.
Other issues that malign sports:-
- Drugs for performance enhancement
- Body Modification (peptide hormones,stimulants etc)
- Technicality (cheating on the ground of technicality i.e. when a sportsman uses a technical aspect to cheat and enhance performance and does not adhere to ‘level playing field’)
What need to be done :-
The central part of any game is fair play . Fair play is much more than playing with in the rules. It incorporates the concepts of friendship, respect for others and always playing within the right spirit. Fair play is defined as a way of thinking, not just a way of behaving.
It incorporates issues concerned with the elimination of cheating, gamesmanship, doping, violence (both physical and verbal), the sexual harassment and abuse of children, young people and women, exploitation, unequal opportunities, excessive commercialization and corruption.
Fair play is a positive concept. Sport is a social and cultural activity which, practiced fairly, enriches society and the friendship between nations. Sport is also recognized as an individual activity which, played fairly, offers the opportunity for self-knowledge, self-expression and fulfillment; personal achievement, skill acquisition and demonstration of ability; social interaction, enjoyment, good health and well-being.
Sport promotes involvement and responsibility in society with its wide range of clubs and leaders working voluntarily. In addition, responsible involvement in some activities can help to promote sensitivity to the environment.
In setting a proper context of fair play :-
Encourage the adoption of high ethical standards in all aspects of society within which sport operates.
Stimulate and support those organizations and individuals who have demonstrated sound ethical principles in their work with sport.
Encourage the education profession to include the promotion of sport and fair play as a central part of the physical education curriculum.
Support initiatives aimed at promoting fair play in sport, particularly amongst the young, and encouraging institutions to place fair play as a central priority in their work.
Sports and Sports related organizations
Publish clear guidelines on what is considered to be ethical or unethical behaviour and ensure that, at all levels of participation and involvement, consistent and appropriate incentives and/or sanctions are applied.
Ensure that all decisions are made in accordance with a Code of Ethics for their sport.
Raise the awareness of fair play within their sphere of influence through the use of campaigns, awards, educational material and training opportunities. They must also monitor and evaluate the impact of such initiatives.
Establish systems which reward fair play and personal levels of achievement in addition to competitive success.
Tax on seed funding to be scrapped
Background :The government has decided to scrap a tax on seed funding provided to start-ups by Indian angel investors in the upcoming Union Budget, to help domestic financiers bankroll new entrepreneurial ventures under its Start Up India campaign.
By taxing the seed funding government used to take away approx. 30% of the investment from the start-up’s cash flow.If government takes the bigger pie , the market is left to dry.
The Seed funding tax was introduced by Finances Act 2013.
Hence this is a welcome move as India gears up to foster entrepreneurship, it is necessary that the Seed Capital is easily available.
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- Virtual assistants: Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are examples of virtual assistants that use natural language processing to understand and respond to users’ queries.
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- Bias: AI systems can be biased due to the data they are trained on, leading to unfair or discriminatory outcomes.
- Safety and privacy concerns: AI systems can pose safety risks if they malfunction or are used maliciously, and can also raise privacy concerns if they collect and use personal data without consent.
AI, or artificial intelligence, refers to the development of computer systems that can perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence, such as recognizing speech, making decisions, and understanding natural language.