IASCLUB Daily Current Affairs : 05 October 2019

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Urdu is an Indian language

Topic: GS –II: Constitution and Polity

Context:

Recently Punjab University, Chandigarh, had proposed to merge Department of Urdu language with school of foreign languages to be set up after merging departments of French, Russian, German, Chinese and Tibetan.

  • The move earned huge criticism from the department of Urdu of the same university and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh also objected to this move of PU and said that Urdu is an Indian language like any other Indian language.

What is the origin of Urdu Language?

  • According to the Urdu Language experts, the origin of Urdu language had taken place in India several centuries back and the names of three places-all in India- are quoted in the historical references where this language had developed and got flourished with different names.
  • the historical references indicate that origin of Urdu had taken place in Punjab state of India and the great poet Ameer Khusro, in his book ‘Ghurrat-ul- Kamal’ had written that Masood Lahori (Masood Saad Salman), a renowned poet who was born in Lahore in 11th century) had composed poetry in Hindvi (Urdu), which is also called Dehlavi.
  • This shows that Urdu was very much originated from Punjab as Lahore was the part of greater Punjab only before partition. The subject, object, auxiliary, verb, grammar, tenses of Urdu are very much Indian and like the Hindi language.

How it got developed and flourished and where?

  • Experts said that as per the historical references after its origin in Punjab, Urdu got developed and flourished in Delhi along with part of Haryana state and some states in South where it was developed in the form of ‘Dakhni (Deccani) language’.
  • Historians said that it had developed and flourished in Delhi during the period of ‘Delhi Sultanate’ from 12th to 16th century and then during the period of ‘Mughal Empire’ in Delhi from 16th century to 19th century when several court poets used this language in their great poetry and writings. And then it was also developed in Deccan states.

What is its connection with Deccan India?

  • When Delhi Sultanate and then Mughal Empire spread its wings towards the Deccan, Urdu speaking people of Delhi spread the language in South where it got developed and flourished in Dakhan (Deccan) states mainly in Karnataka, nowadays Telangana, part of Kerala and Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
  • The language derived even local words of the local languages of those states and developed it as a ‘Dakhni’ language which was a bit distinctive of Urdu language in North.
  • when Delhi Sultanate emperor Muhammad –bin-Tughlaq had decided to move his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad or Devagiri or Deogiri( a present-day Aurangabad) in 1327 in Maharasthra along with the migration of Delhi’s people, the several Urdu speaking people of Delhi spread its usage in Maharasthra for seven years till the capital of Delhi Sultanate was not reversed to Delhi in 1334. Also, the language got evolved gradually and several new words, which were not used in Northside, became part of Urdu.
  • During Bahamani Sultanate in Deccan from 14th to 16th century mainly in Maharasthra, Karnataka and Telangana, Urdu got flourished a lot as several scholars, who were the part of Deccan Sultanate used Urdu and local words which further got spread in other parts like Ahmednagar, Bijapur, Bidar and Golkonda (now in Telangana).

Urdu’s official status in India

  • It is one of the officials’ languages under the Constitution of India, it is among the 15 Indian Languages written on the Indian Currency notes. It is one of the official languages in states like Kashmir, Telangana, UP, Bihar, New Delhi and West Bengal.
  • In Punjab, all old records in the Revenue Department are available in Urdu language only.
  • Several million in Indian speak this language besides it has great impact on around four dozen cities and regions where it is spoken widely.
  • Post-independence much attention was not given to the language and several states where Urdu was a compulsory subject in school curriculum was no more a compulsory subject now.

What are the famous Urdu words we speak daily?

  • Kanoon (Law) Darwaza (Door), Kismat (Destiny), Akhbar (News Paper), Taarikh (Date),Azadi (freedom), Imaarat (Building), Hukum (Command), Bahadur (Bold), Havaa (Air), Kitaab (Book), Gunah (Crime), Aurat (Woman), Dil (Heart), Dosat (Friend), Shukriya (Thank You) etc.

Hong Kong has banned masks

Topic: GS –II: International relations

Hong Kong has invoked the Emergency Regulations Ordinance, a law enacted by its erstwhile colonial British government in 1922, to prohibit protesters from wearing masks during the massive street protests and violence in the territory.

  • It is not clear yet whether it will apply to protesters or to all people, and in which parts of the territory. Hong Kong has a problem of smog and air pollution, and it is fairly common for even ordinary Hong Kongers to wear fairly sophisticated face masks for health reasons.

What is this Ordinance?

  • The law, as amended last in 2018, “confer(s) on the Chief Executive in Council (Carrie Lam) power to make regulations on occasions of emergency or public danger”.
  • The Ordinance was originally enacted to break up the famous Seamen’s Strike of 1922, during which Chinese port workers from Hong Kong and Canton (now Guangzhou in the Zhujiang or Pearl River estuary in the Chinese mainland) stopped work to press their demands for raising wages to the levels of foreign workers, paralysing shipping operations and triggering food shortages.
  • The powers conferred by the law were last used in 1967, when at the time of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution in the mainland, a labour dispute blew up into massive rioting between communist sympathisers and the colonial government of Hong Kong.
  • The Ordinance gives the Hong Kong government sweeping powers to do virtually anything — “make any regulations whatsoever which (it) may consider desirable in the public interest”, “on any occasion which the Chief Executive in Council may consider to be an occasion of emergency or public danger”.

What is the problem with masks?

  • Protesters running on the streets, rioting and vandalising property, while wearing masks have become the standard image of the months-old unrest washing over Hong Kong. There was a sharp escalation of the violence and chaos on October 1, China’s National Day.
  • The government probably hopes that by banning face masks, it would be able to plant the fear of identification, and future retribution by the state, in the minds of protesters, which would act as a deterrence.
  • Given the determination and refusal to bend that the protesters have shown so far, however, the effectiveness of the proposed deterrence remains to be tested.

Deadly civil unrest in Iraq

Topic: GS –II: International relations

At least 46 Iraqis have died in recent days in clashes between protesters and the security forces during street demonstrations that caught the authorities by surprise.

Why are people protesting?

  • Two years after the defeat of Islamic State much of the country’s nearly 40 million population live in worsening conditions despite the country’s oil wealth.Security is better than it has been in years, but wrecked infrastructure has not been rebuilt and jobs are scarce. Youth blame this squarely on what they see as corrupt leaders who do not represent them.

Why are conditions so bad?

  • After decades of war against its neighbours, UN sanctions, two U.S. invasions, foreign occupation and sectarian civil war, the defeat of the Islamic State insurgency in 2017 means Iraq is now at peace and free to trade for the first extended period since the 1970s. Oil output is at record levels.But infrastructure is decrepit and deteriorating, war-damaged cities have yet to be rebuilt and armed groups still wield power on the streets.A culture of corruption has persisted since the era of dictator Saddam Hussein and has become entrenched under the rule of sectarian political parties that emerged after his fall.

What sparked the latest protests? Who organized them?

  • The protests do not appear to be coordinated by a particular political group. Social media calls for protests gathered pace early this week. The turnout appeared to take security forces by surprise.
  • The inadequacy of state services and the lack of jobs are the principal reasons for public anger. A series of political moves by the government has contributed, especially the demotion of a popular wartime military officer for reasons that have not been fully explained. Some at the demonstrations were protesting over the commander’s removal.

Will the government meet protesters’ demands?

  • The government has promised better employment opportunities for Iraqis.
  • This week Abdul Mahdi promised jobs for graduates and instructed the oil ministry and other government bodies to include a 50% quota for local workers in subsequent contracts with foreign companies.
  • Similar promises and pledges to improve healthcare, electricity and services were made last year by the previous government.

Is the unrest sectarian?

  • Most Iraqis have sought to avoid sectarian rhetoric after the brutal experience of Sunni hardline Islamic State – although sectarian tension still exists. These protests are about worsening economic and living conditions and are taking place mostly in Baghdad and the Shi’ite Muslim-dominated south, but cut across ethnic and sectarian lines. Anger is directed at a political class, not a sect.
  • That contrasts with protests in 2012 and 2013 that Islamic State exploited to rally support among Sunnis.

RBI’s monetary policy review

Topic: GS -III: Economic Development

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) delivered another rate cut— the fifth in as many policy review meetings to boost a slowing economy.

Key points:

  • The six-member monetary policy committee (MPC) decided to cut interest rates by 25 basis points (bps) to 5.1%, with five members voting in favour of the quantum and R.H. Dholakia for a 40 bps cut (100 bps = 1 percentage point).
  • The central bank also revised its growth forecast for the current financial sharply, from 6.9% projected in the August policy, to 6.1%. Growth forecast for the first quarter of the next financial year was also trimmed to 7.2% from 7.4%.
  • Inflation forecast for the second half of FY20 has been retained at 5-3.7%.

Scale of global wildlife trade

Topic: GS -III: Bio-diversity

A new study has found that nearly one in every five species of birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles are bought and sold on the wildlife market globally.

Other key points:

  • Out of 31,745 vertebrate species on Earth, 5,579 (18%) are traded — a finding that is 40-60 per cent higher than previous estimates.
  • The study, by researchers at the University of Florida and the University of Sheffield, is published in the journal Science.
  • Trade in wildlife breaks up as 27 per cent (1,441) of mammal species, 23 per cent (2,345) of bird species, almost 10 per cent (609) of amphibian species and 12 per cent (1,184) of reptiles. The authors predict that future trade will impact over 3,000 additional species, taking the total to about 8,700 species. They said the wildlife trade industry generates between $8 billion and 21 billion, pushing some of these species closer to extinction.
  • Trade of wildlife for luxury foods, medicinal parts and as pets are the key factors contributing to the extinction risk faced by of vertebrates globally.
  • Over 45 per cent of bird species and 51 per cent of amphibian species were found to have been traded as pets. On the other hand, 90 per cent of mammals and over 63 per cent of bird species are traded in the form of products. For example, the pangolin is hunted both for meat and its scales, while the rhino is poached for its horn. The study found that overall for vertebrates, 44 per cent are traded as pets and over 60 per cent as products.
  • The hotspots for mammal trade are in Africa and Southeast Asia, while Australia and Madagascar are the main trade hotspots for reptiles, the study said. While wildlife pet trade flourishes in the tropics, product trade is concentrated in tropical Africa and Southeast Asia, including the Himalayas.

NEWS IN BREEF

 ‘YSR VahanaMitra’ scheme,

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy launched the ‘YSR VahanaMitra’ scheme, aimed at benefiting 1, 73,102 autorickshaw and taxi drivers across the State.

More in news:

  • The beneficiaries will get ₹10,000 each per year for five years. Those who own vehicles, which is a precondition, but could not enrol for the programme, can register up to October 31.
  • 79,000 members of the Backward Classes, 40,000 SCs, 6,000 STs, 17,500 minorities, 20,000 Kapus, 398 Brahmins and 9,956 economically backward people were among the beneficiaries.

India’s first e-waste clinic to come up in Madhya Pradesh capital

The Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) have joined hands to set up the country’s first e-waste clinic, that would enable segregation, processing and disposal of waste from both household and commercial units.

  • Electronic waste will be collected door-to-door or could be deposited directly at the clinic in exchange for a fee. The CPCB will provide technical support at the unit.
  • Door-to-door collection will happen in two ways. Either separate carts for the collection of e-waste will be designed, or separate bins will be attached to existing ones meant for solid and wet waste. The clinic is being conceived in compliance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.

Editorial section:

In search of the Wuhan spirit –The Hindu

Moderate expectations–The Hindu

Rethinking college recruitment–The Hindu

Web of deception–The Hindu

 

 

 

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