Note:-We know that we are publishing the articles little late and at this juncture we need your support and patience to hold on to us as we are carrying out few things that could benefit in your preparation for times to come.We sincerely hope for your understanding in this matter.Few more initiatives are in planning phase and will be rolled out beginning of May.Moreover , there is few tasks that are pending such as MCQS and Economic Survey Summary etc which will be provided soon.
Buddhist inscription found in Gadag district
A new inscription that sheds more light on the history of Buddhism in Karnataka has been discovered at Lakkundi village in Gadag district in Karnataka.It is for the first time that an inscription related to Buddhism has been found in Lakkundi, a place of antiquarian interest with nearly 50 temples, 101 stepped wells and a large number of inscriptions spread over the Chalukya, Kalachuri, Seuna and Hoysala periods.
About the inscription:
- The inscription’s lower portion has been severed off. The inscription makes salutations to Lord Buddha, ‘dhamma’, ‘sangha’ and Tara Bhagavati. It also admires Hoysala ruler Veeraballala II and others.
- There is also a mention about a merchant but that part has been lost. There are possibilities of the inscription speaking about donations to a Buddhist monastery located at Lakkundi.
- Besides, it was among a handful of inscriptions making specific reference to the Tara Bhagavati cult of the Vajrayana Buddhism which was in vogue here till 12th century. The period of this inscription could be assigned to the regime of Hoysala king Veeraballala II (1173–1220 CE).
- Discovery of this inscription establishes the existence and popularity of Buddhism in this part of the State. In all possibility, a Buddhist monastery existed in this village or in the vicinity.
To push mineral hunt, government to change 1967 data-sharing guidelines
The Ministry of Defence has decided to alter the guidelines issued in 1967 that bar putting in public domain geological and geospatial data related to 40% of India’s landmass, in order to enable faster exploration of mineral riches. This move is expected to boost mining in the country.
This would speed up mining operations in areas where exploration had been done in the past by government agencies but the findings were not in the public domain and thus, out of reach for private mining firms.
While the Geological Survey of India has a data sharing and accessibility policy, the ministry of defence had imposed a number of restrictions on the dissemination of maps, ground and aero geophysical data and data pertaining to restricted areas, in August 1967.
- About 40% of the country falls within the restricted area. An estimated 10% of territory with obvious geological potential also falls in such restricted areas.
- Availability of comprehensive data is critical for attracting the private sector into exploration. Though India has digitised a lot of its baseline geo-science data — including gravity contour maps, aeromagnetic, radiometric and geo-chemical mapping — it cannot be put in the public domain or shared without a defence ministry clearance for ‘restricted’ areas. The lack of credible geological data had also dented investor interest so far.
Government revives talks to revamp Factories Act
Background :- The government is reviving talks on revamping the Factories Act of 1948 and has called a meeting of all state governments, central ministries, trade unions and industry representatives to discuss a new legislation.The Factories Act is a legislation that deals with safety, health and welfare of workers. The present Factories Act is applicable on factories (with electricity connection) with 20 workers and factories, without electricity, with 10 workers.
Proposals Under New factories Act :-
- Speeding up registration and compliance processes to help new entrepreneurs and start-ups.
- Increase the level of competency of the inspectors (only BTech degree)
- The inspection could take place without prior consent if there is a complaint from any worker or for carrying out investigation into a reported accident. This has been proposed to remove the arbitrariness in inspection.
- Existing inspectors with five years of experience or more, and a degree or diploma on industrial safety will continue to be eligible to inspect a factory.
- All factories that manufactures or deals with “hazardous substance and processes and dangerous operations will be covered under this Act even if they employ a single worker.” The sectors that manufacture hazardous processes include coal, gas, iron and steel, petroleum, cement and leather.
- For setting up factories with hazardous activities, the site appraisal committee — a body with representatives from environment, meteorological, town planning departments — will have to convene a meeting within 15 days of receiving an application.
- The committee will have to compulsorily send its recommendations within the next 30 days to the state government, from 90 days at present.
- The proposed law will apply to all factories that employ at least 40 workers.
Recent Categorization of Industries :-
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has developed the criteria of categorization of industrial sectors based on the Pollution Index which is a function of the emissions (air pollutants), effluents (water pollutants), hazardous wastes generated and consumption of resources.
Industrial Sectors having Pollution Index score of 60 and above – Red category
Industrial Sectors having Pollution Index score of 41 to 59 – Orange category
Industrial Sectors having Pollution Index score of 21 to 40 – Green category
Industrial Sectors having Pollution Index score incl. & upto 20 –White category
The salient features of the ‘Re-categorization’ exercise are as follows:
- Due importance has been given to relative pollution potential of the industrial sectors based on scientific criteria. Further, wherever possible, splitting of the industrial sectors is also considered based on the use of raw materials, manufacturing process adopted and in-turn pollutants expected to be generated.
- The Red category of industrial sectors would be 60.
- The Orange category of industrial sectors would be 83.
- The Green category of industrial sectors would be 63.
- Newly-introduced White category contains 36 industrial sectors which are practically non-polluting.
- There shall be no necessity of obtaining the Consent to Operate’’ for White category of industries. An intimation to concerned SPCB / PCC shall suffice.
- No Red category of industries shall normally be permitted in the ecologically fragile area / protected area.
The details of the industries falling under Red, Orange , Green and White categories are presented in tables 1, 2, 3 & 4 respectively (given below).
The newly introduced White category of industries pertains to those industrial sectors which are practically non-polluting, such as Biscuit trays etc. from rolled PVC sheet (using automatic vacuum forming machines), Cotton and woolen hosiers making (Dry process only without any dying/washing operation), Electric lamp (bulb) and CFL manufacturing by assembling only, Scientific and mathematical instrument manufacturing, Solar power generation through photovoltaic cell, wind power and mini hydel power (less than 25 MW).
Five Excerpts From Ambedkar’s Historic ‘Grammar of Anarchy’ Speech
On 25 November 1949, a day before the Constitution was formally adopted by the Constituent Assembly, BR Ambedkar rose in the central hall of the Parliament and almost in a prophetic tone delivered a speech which is described as amongst the greatest speeches made in the Indian Parliament. This oration, where Ambedkar reflects on the Indian Constitution, it’s context, nature and possibilities related to it, is now referred to as the ‘Grammar of Anarchy’ speech. While the speech deserves to be read in full, here are five important excerpts from it which reflect the scholarship, observation and vision of Ambedkar.
1. How Good is the Constitution?
Ambedkar did not believe that just because he was the chairman of the drafting committee, the committee had come up with a Constitution that would be noble and all-powerful for all time to come. Even after producing a document like the Indian constitution, Ambedkar was clear that it was only an instrument in the hands of the people. An instrument by itself is not bad or good, useful or worthless. It is what one does with it that matters.
Much in the same way, Ambedkar believed that howsoever good a constitution may be, what mattered in the end was what kind of people put it into practice and how they did it.
“As much defence as could be offered to the constitution has been offered by my friends Sir Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar and Mr.. T.T. Krishnamachari. I shall not therefore enter into the merits of the Constitution. Because I feel, however good a Constitution may be, it is sure to turn out bad because those who are called to work it, happen to be a bad lot. However bad a Constitution may be, it may turn out to be good if those who are called to work it, happen to be a good lot. The working of a Constitution does not depend wholly upon the nature of the Constitution. The Constitution can provide only the organs of State such as the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. The factors on which the working of those organs of the State depend are the people and the political parties they will set up as their instruments to carry out their wishes and their politics. . . If they adopt the revolutionary methods, however good the Constitution may be, it requires no prophet to say that it will fail. It is, therefore, futile to pass any judgement upon the Constitution without reference to the part which the people and their parties are likely to play.”
2. On Communists and Socialists
In this section of the speech, Ambedkar takes to task the Communists and the Socialists for their contrived and malicious opposition to the newly-created Constitution. Best to get to the quote straight away here:
“The condemnation of the Constitution largely comes from two quarters, the Communist Party and the Socialist Party. Why do they condemn the Constitution? Is it because it is really a bad Constitution? I venture to say ‘no’. The Communist Party want a Constitution based upon the principle of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. They condemn the Constitution because it is based upon parliamentary democracy. The Socialists want two things. The first thing they want is that if they come in power, the Constitution must give them the freedom to nationalize or socialize all private property without payment of compensation. The second thing that the Socialists want is that the Fundamental Rights mentioned in the Constitution must be absolute and without any limitations so that if their Party fails to come into power, they would have the unfettered freedom not merely to criticize, but also to overthrow the State.”
3. The Admission of Fallibility
Is ignorance of one’s greatness a final proof of it? Is an admission of fallibility a stamp of wisdom?
Ambedkar, on part of his generation, was willing to concede what most people will never—that a later generation might want to do things differently and that they would and should have every right to do so.
This concession becomes all the more important when it is looked in its temporal context. India was a newly independent, divided and poor country. At the time, the only thing that could be said with certainty about India’s future was that it was uncertain. Secondly, the Constituent Assembly was comprised of many accomplished men and women. Given the uncertainty of the times and the credentials of the Constituent Assembly, it would have been very easy for Ambedkar to accord an infallibility to the Constitution produced by such a group.
However, he was willing to grant the future generation of Indians as much right to govern themselves in the way they wanted as he accorded to his own.
“The Assembly has not only refrained from putting a seal of finality and infallibility upon this Constitution as in Canada or by making the amendment of the Constitution subject to the fulfilment of extraordinary terms and conditions as in America or Australia, but has provided a most facile procedure for amending the Constitution. I challenge any of the critics of the Constitution to prove that any Constituent Assembly anywhere in the world has, in the circumstances in which this country finds itself, provided such a facile procedure for the amendment of the Constitution. If those who are dissatisfied with the Constitution have only to obtain a 2/3 majority and if they cannot obtain even a two-thirds majority in the parliament elected on adult franchise in their favour, their dissatisfaction with the Constitution cannot be deemed to be shared by the general public.”
4. The Greater Threat Lies Within
At the dawn of the Indian republic, Ambedkar was worried that an old tragedy might strike again—the failure of some Indians to think beyond their or their community’s interest. He quoted examples from India’s history to prove that his fears weren’t unfounded, that rather than an external power, what India had to be most wary of, were its own internal divisions.
“It is not that India was never an independent country. The point is that she once lost the independence she had. Will she lose it a second time? It is this thought which makes me most anxious for the future. What perturbs me greatly is the fact that not only India has once before lost her independence, but she lost it by the infidelity and treachery of some of her own people. In the invasion of Sind by Mahommed-Bin-Kasim, the military commanders of King Dahar accepted bribes from the agents of Mahommed-Bin-Kasim and refused to fight on the side of their King. It was Jaichand who invited Mahommed Gohri to invade India and fight against Prithvi Raj and promised him the help of himself and the Solanki Kings. When Shivaji was fighting for the liberation of Hindus, the other Maratha noblemen and the Rajput Kings were fighting the battle on the side of Moghul Emperors. When the British were trying to destroy the Sikh Rulers, Gulab Singh, their principal commander sat silent and did not help to save the Sikh Kingdom. In 1857, when a large part of India had declared a war of independence against the British, the Sikhs stood and watched the event as silent spectators.
Will history repeat itself? It is this thought which fills me with anxiety. This anxiety is deepened by the realization of the fact that in addition to our old enemies in the form of castes and creeds we are going to have many political parties with diverse and opposing political creeds. Will Indian place the country above their creed or will they place creed above country? I do not know. But this much is certain that if the parties place creed above country, our independence will be put in jeopardy a second time and probably be lost for ever. This eventuality we must all resolutely guard against. We must be determined to defend our independence with the last drop of our blood.“
5. On the ‘Grammar of Anarchy’
The preservation of democracy in any new state is contingent upon its political and social stability. This is not to say that the state shouldn’t have competing political or social groups, but that the conflicts among them are sought to be resolved within the framework of the constitution. So while there can be massive upheaval at the micro-level, there is continuity and stability at a macro-level.
Even if inadvertently, Indian political parties seem to have heeded Ambedkar’s advice to forsake unconstitutional methods to achieve their objectives. As a result, even the most bitter political conflicts today in India are sought to be resolved within the limits of the Constitution.
“If we wish to maintain democracy not merely in form, but also in fact, what must we do? The first thing in my judgement we must do is to hold fast to constitutional methods of achieving our social and economic objectives. It means we must abandon the bloody methods of revolution. It means that we must abandon the method of civil disobedience, non-cooperation and satyagraha. When there was no way left for constitutional methods for achieving economic and social objectives, there was a great deal of justification for unconstitutional methods. But where constitutional methods are open, there can be no justification for these unconstitutional methods. These methods are nothing but the Grammar of Anarchy and the sooner they are abandoned, the better for us.”