1) National Press Day and President’s address to Press club : –
Note:- We would not have picked this news , if it was a different year. However the Press itself has been in news for the wrong reasons. The insensitive coverage of Indian Media during Nepal earth quake or Jammu & Kashmir floods has been severely criticized in the social media – such as Twitter , Quora etc. The whole ethics of media is a matter of concern and has been in focus , especially this year .This reflects in the President’s Speech too . He goes great length from evolution of India media , its ingenuity to drawing a word of caution and advising self-restraint to media. Hence , this has a greater significance from examination point of view too.
Evolution of Indian Media :-
The growth of newspapers and agencies in our country has its roots in our freedom struggle. The press in India has evolved, not through the aegis of the Government but due to the commitment of individuals who used it as a tool to fight the exploitative and oppressive policies of the colonial Government. Newspapers became the platforms for social reform movements across the country. It is a matter of pride that between 1780 until India’s Independence in 1947, more than 120 newspapers and periodicals were launched in almost every Indian language. Each of these publications carried the ideals of freedom to the doorsteps of our people and spread the message of an independent India.
The first newspaper in India was the ‘Hickey’s Gazette’ or ‘Bengal Gazette’ started on January 29, 1780 by an Irishman, James Augustus Hickey. This weekly political and commercial paper declared itself as ‘‘open to all parties but influenced by none’’ and its content included criticism of the British East India Company.
James Silk Buckingham, the Editor of the ‘Calcutta Journal’’ established in 1818, was a social reformer and close associate of Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
Samachar Darpan in Bengali founded in 1818 was the first regional language newspaper. The Times of India was born on November 3, 1838 as ‘‘The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce. It’s Editor, Robert Knight used to upbraid British officials for their nastiness towards Indians and for doing precious little to eradicate India’s poverty
The Amrita Bazar Patrika was founded on February 20, 1868 as a Bengali weekly by Sisir Ghosh and Moti Lal Ghosh. It became instantly popular because of its campaign against injustice and inequality. It overnight turned into an English weekly from March 21, 1878 in order to escape the provisions of the oppressive Vernacular Press Act.
The Hindu was founded in Madras in 1878 by the Triplicane Six – a group of law students and teachers; Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak founded the Kesari in 1881; Dadabhai Naoroji established the Voice of India in 1883.
Bande Mataramwas published in 1906 by Bipan Chandra Pal and edited by Aurobindo Ghose.
Gopal Krishna Gokhale founded the Hitavadini 1911; Tribune was started by Dayal Singh Majithia in 1881.
Motilal Nehru started the Independent in 1919 and Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian Opinion in 1904 in South Africa and Navjeevan and Young India in 1919 in India as well as the Harijan in 1932. These trailblazers became the conscience keepers of the country and through their relentless campaigns gave voice to the struggle for independence.
Word of Advise to Media:-
Today, the influence, credibility and quality of our media is well recognized all over the world. The Indian media has grown in scale, reach and revenues over the years. Its significance has further increased with higher literacy levels and the revolution in communication technologies. New media has brought about a convergence between traditional, audio-visual, digital and social media. It has become a powerful means for shaping the ideas, aspirations and behaviour of our people, even in the remotest corners of our country.
This entrusts media with an additional responsibility. They must act as a watchdog of public interest and give voice to the marginalized. Journalists must bring to public notice the array of ills and deprivations that continue to beset large number of our people. They must shape and influence public opinion even as they provide objective and balanced coverage of news.
Gloom and dark alone should not dominate news coverage. A conscious effort should be made to show what is noble and good in the society. It must highlight the positive and inspire change for the better. The power of the media should be used to reset our moral compass and promote liberalism, humanism and decency in public life.
Emotions should not overrun reason and disagreement should be expressed through debate and discussion. We must, as proud Indians, have confidence in the idea of India and the values and principles enshrined in our Constitution. India has always been able to self-correct whenever such a need has arisen.
The media has an important role to play in cleansing public life. For that, the conduct of the media itself should be above board. Independence and integrity are two sides of the same coin and it goes for every one of us including the media. Sensationalism should not substitute for objective, accurate and dispassionate reporting. While opinion is free, facts should be sacred.
Caution should be exercised in passing judgements, especially on matters where the due process of law is yet to be completed.We must never forget that careers and reputations take years to build but only minutes to demolish.
It is said accusations appear in headlines, denial in small print and contradictions are hidden away amidst cheap advertisements. The media must realise that it remains always accountable to its readers and viewers and through them, to the entire nation.
The media recognized as the fourth estate serves as a facilitator, protector and enabler of democratic institutions and processes. It is an important component in the fabric of a functional democracy. As India marches forward into the 21st century, it is extremely important that the free press of India remains strong and vibrant.
The media fraternity of India are not only providers of news, but also educators who empower our citizens and strengthen the democratic framework of our country.
2)Doyang Lake in Nagaland : –
The Centre will develop the Doyang lake in Nagaland – famous for the world’s longest travelling raptors Amur falcons – as an eco-tourism spot.
Amur falcons come to Doyang every year in millions. They come to roost here during their flight from Mongolia to South Africa, making this beautiful area in India’s northeast a bird-watchers’ paradise
The lake area had come to limelight when two of three falcons, tagged with satellite device in 2013 to understand their migratory behaviour, had returned to the lake twice after taking rounds from Mongolia to South Africa via Nagaland.
Trivia – These two falcons – named Naga and Pangti – have once again returned to the lake in Nagaland this year
The world has recognized Pangti village in Nagaland as the world’s Amur Falcon capital, as more than one million birds can be seen in just 30 minutes. It is a very rare and exciting sight
According to environment ministry, Naga tribesmen until recently used to hunt thousands of Amur falcons for meat. But last year, after a vigorous campaign by wildlife activists, they pledged to protect the bird and since then, not a single bird has been hunted in the area .
3)Government declares NSCN (K) as terrorist organization under UAPA :-
The Government has declared the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang), NSCN (K), all its formations and front organizations as a terrorist organization under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
NSCN (K) :-
The Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) is a Naga nationalist paramilitary group operating mainly in Northeast India, with minor activities in Northwest Myanmar
The main goal of the organisation is to establish a sovereign state, “Nagalim”
Nagaland (NSCN) was formed on 31 January 1980 by Isak Chishi Swu, Thuingaleng Muivah and S.S. Khaplang opposing the Shillong Accord signed by the then Naga National Council (NNC) with the Government of India. The name of the Government is called, “The People Republic of Nagaland (Nagalim)”. Later, a disagreement surfaced within the outfit leaders over the issue of commencing dialogue with the Indian Government. On 30 April 1988, the NSCN split into two factions; the NSCN-K led by S S Khaplang, and the NSCN-IM, led by Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah. The split was accompanied by a spate of violence and clashes between the factions
4) Sector Mentor Committees :-
In a significant effort to create a unified system for development of curricula and courses for skill development trainings in the country, Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy has approved the creation of “Sector Mentor Committees” that would act as integrated committees for creating model curricula for skill training courses, both long-term and short-term, in each sector.
With the establishment of Sector Mentor Committees, all existing curricula in short-term and long-term skill competency based courses would be aligned with corresponding National Occupation Standards (NOSs), Qualification Packs (QPs) and National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF). The NOSs define the standards of the particular skill that an individual needs to possess in order to carry out a function in the workplace and a group of such standards makes a QP. The NSQF organizes these qualifications according to series of levels of knowledge, skills and aptitude.
5)AMRUT Action Plans for 81 cities approved with total project outlay of Rs.5,748 cr :-
81 cities in Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Mizoram will invest Rs.5,748 cr to enhance basic infrastructure including water supply and sewerage connections under AMRUT action plans for the year 2015-16.
AMRUT:-Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation
The Mission focuses on the following Thrust Areas:-
i. Water Supply,
ii. Sewerage facilities and management,
iii. Storm Water drains to reduce flooding,
iv. Pedestrian, non-motorized and public transport facilities, parking spaces, and
v. Enhancing amenity value of cities by creating and upgrading green spaces, parks and recreation centers, especially for children.
P.S. – G20 and Indo-Nepal-China will be covered in upcoming posts.