UPSC Essentials: Quotes of the week

Many statements made headlines this week around the themes of sedition, Rakhigarhi, monkeypox, and many more. Consolidate your current affairs by using them smartly. Essential quotes, statements, remarks, etc. From the week help you to retain the current issues in your memory and can be used wisely in your UPSC- CSE preparation.

1. “All pending trials, appeals and dates with respect to the charge framed under Section 124A of IPC be kept in abeyance” ~ Supreme Court of India

Relevance: Preliminary Examination- Current events of national and international importance

Mains Examination- GS III- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

The Supreme Court has directed that all proceedings on charges under Section 124A, the IPC provision for sedition, be kept in abeyance until the government has completed reexamining it.

Section 124A IPC: Sedition is an offense committed when “any person by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection.” towards the government established by law in India”.

Sedition laws were enacted in 17th century England when lawmakers believed that only good opinions of the government should survive, as bad opinions were detrimental to the government and monarchy.

The law was originally drafted in 1837 by Thomas Macaulay, the British historian-politician, but was inexplicably omitted when the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was enacted in 1860.

Section 124A was inserted in 1870 by an amendment introduced by Sir James Stephen when it felt the need for a specific section to deal with the offense. Today sedition is a crime under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Point to ponder: What has been the history and debate around Sedition Law?

2. “It is important to emphasize that monkeypox does not spread easily between people and the overall risk to the general public is very low.” ~ Dr. Colin Brown of the UK Health Security Agency.

Relevance: Preliminary Examination- General Science (Health and Diseases)

Recently, health authorities in the United Kingdom have confirmed a case of monkeypox, a rare viral infection similar to smallpox, in an individual who recently traveled to that country from Nigeria. Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe.With the eradication of smallpox in 1980 and the subsequent cessation of smallpox vaccination, it has emerged as the most important orthopoxvirus. The genus Orthopoxvirus contains four species that infect humans: variola (smallpox), monkeypox, vaccinia (includes buffalopox), and cowpox.

Point to ponder: What are Zoonotic Viral diseases? What are the symptoms and treatment of Monkeypox?

3. “The idea of ​​this phase of excavation is to make the archaeological site of Rakhigarhi accessible to people by exposing them for structural remains and conserving them for future viewing along with providing amenities to the visitors.” ~ Additional Director General ASI.

Relevance: Preliminary Examination- History of India

Mains Examination- GS I- Art And Culture

Rakhigarhi is an archaeological site belonging to the mature phase of the Indus Valley Civilisation, dating to 2600-1900 BCE. It was among the largest settlements of the ancient civilization. The site is located in the Ghaggar-Hakra River plain. It is in Haryana’s Hisar district. Rakhigarhi is among the five iconic sites announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her Budget Speech in February 2020.

The latest round of excavations revealed the structure of some houses, lanes and drainage systems, and a jewelry-making unit. Pieces of copper, gold jewelry, terracotta toys, earthen pots, and seals were also found.

Point to ponder: What are the other four iconic sites?

4. 89% of children between 6-23 months don’t get adequate diet.” ~NFHS

Relevance: Preliminary Examination- Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.

Mains Examination- GS II- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, and Human Resources. Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

Recently, the National Report of the 2nd phase of the fifth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) was released. It is a large-scale, multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India.

It comprises detailed information on key domains of population, health, and family welfare and associated domains like characteristics of the population; fertility; family planning; infant and child mortality; maternal and child health; nutrition and anemia morbidity and healthcare; women’s empowerment, etc.

Note: Deficiency in the diet in a child’s formative years has a direct bearing on malnutrition, with India having the highest malnutrition burden in the world. Poverty, lack of access to nutrition, lack of awareness and low education, etc. can be the reasons for a deficient diet.

Point to ponder: What are the key highlights of the NFHS-5 report?

5. “It’s time to nudge states towards implementing measures for police reform directed by the Supreme Court in its landmark Prakash Singh Verdict.” ~ Bibek Debroy ( Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the PM)

Relevance: Mains- GSII- Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures. Role of civil services in a democracy.

Political interference in police postings continues despite the landmark Prakash Singh judgment nearly a-and-a-half decade ago. The latest episode of allegations of lobbying by several IPS officers in Maharashtra has brought the issue to the limelight.

Prakash Singh served as DGP of UP Police and Assam Police, besides other postings. He filed a PIL in the Supreme Court, in 1996, seeking police reforms. In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court in September 2006 had directed all states and UTs to bring in police reforms. The ruling issued a series of measures that were to be undertaken by the governments. These measures were aimed at ensuring that the police could do their work without any political interference.

Points to ponder: What were the main measures suggested by the Prakash Singh judgment?

6. “Will INSACOG network to Covid extend countries” ~ PM at Global Summit

Relevance: Preliminary- Current events of national and international importance

Mains- International Relations

INSACOG stands for “Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genetics Consortium” or “Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics”. This forum was set up on December 30, 2020, under the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It was set up to study and monitor genome sequencing and virus variation of covid-19 strains in India.

Points to ponder: What were the takeaways of PM’s address at the global Covid summit?

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