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Prelim Bits 29-04-2022 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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April 29, 2022

Plan Bee

The “Plan Bee” of the Indian Railways to keep elephants off the rail tracks seems to have failed to get the desired results with 48 pachyderms and 188 other animals killed by running trains since 2019.

  • The Indian Railways came up with the Plan Bee as a way of getting elephants to buzz off from train tracks.
  • They use speakers that play the sound of bees to scare the jumbos away.
  • The buzzing is played as trains approach vulnerable points and can be heard up to half a mile (600 metres) away.
  • The ‘Plan Bee’ has won an award for "best innovative idea" from Indian Railways for regional operator Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR).
  • Concept - Elephants have long been known to be frightened by the buzzing of bees and stings.
  • Villagers in Kerala have been using "beehive fences" to scare away marauding elephants.
  • When elephants touch the fences, bees inside boxes attached to the fences storm out angrily to defend their colonies.
  • Threats to Elephants - Increasing human population, habitat destruction, increased frequency of fast trains, and neglect on part of authorities.

An elephant calf named Bholu is the mascot of Indian Railways.

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/despite-railways-plan-bee-elephants-continue-to-die-on-rail-tracks-48-killed-since-2019/article65363916.ece
  2. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/transportation/railways/plan-bee-gets-elephants-to-buzz-off-trains/how-it-works/slideshow/70161136.cms
  3. https://www.business-standard.com/article/indian-railways/plan-bee-how-indian-railways-is-saving-elephants-from-train-accidents-118090900369_1.html

Hattis

Hatti community of Himachal Pradesh has requested the Union Government for inclusion of their community in the list of Scheduled Tribes.

  • The Hattis are a close-knit community who got their name from their tradition of selling homegrown vegetables, crops, meat and wool etc. at small markets called ‘haat’ in towns.
  • The Hattis are cut off from Sirmaur by two rivers called Giri and Tons.
  • The two clans of the Hattis have similar traditions, and inter-marriages are commonplace.
  • There is a fairly rigid caste system among the Hattis - the Bhat and Khash are the upper castes, while the Badhois are below them.
  • Inter-caste marriages have traditionally remained a strict no-no.
  • Due to topographical disadvantages, the Hattis living in the Kamrau, Sangrah, and Shilliai areas lag behind in education and employment.
  • The Hattis are governed by a traditional council called Khumbli, which like the khaps of Haryana, decide community matters.
  • The Khumbli’s power has remained unchallenged despite the establishment of the panchayati raj system.

Reference

  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-hattis-himachal-pradesh-st-status-7891780/
  2. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/shimla/himachal-pradesh-bypolls-hatti-community-to-play-key-role-in-pachhad/articleshow/71625508.cms
  3. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/decks-cleared-for-inclusion-of-hatti-community-in-himachal-in-list-of-scheduled-tribes-389595

Garbology

  • Garbology is the study of modern culture through the analysis of what is thrown away as garbage.
  • As an academic discipline, it was pioneered at the University of Arizona and long directed by William Rathje.
  • It uses colouring books, board games & activity-based learning to drive long-term behavioural change among school students, especially with regard to consumption & waste management.

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/garbology-teaches-students-scientific-waste-management/article65331204.ece
  2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/garbology
  3. http://cwmi.css.cornell.edu/TrashGoesToSchool/Garbology.html
  4. https://www.thebetterindia.com/60134/garbology-waste-management-clean-india/

National Curriculum Framework

The Union Education Minister will be launching the Mandate Document of National Curriculum Framework (NCF).

The previous National Curriculum Framework was framed in 2005.

  • National Curriculum Framework (NCF) is a system of education that is developed keeping in mind the geographical and cultural diversity as well as social environment.
  • The NCF is being drafted through a collaborative and consultative process, starting from district to state level and then National level.
  • The key goals of the National Curriculum Framework are:
    1. To promote a wholesome development of the child encompassing the academic, emotional, physical, and emotional aspects
    2. To enable the students to develop intellectual quotient by providing them varied opportunities
    3. To make the environment conducive to quality learning where the students would be encouraged to participate in various activities
    4. To foster creative thinking skills by facilitating different activities and giving the liberty to express individual thoughts within the class
    5. In response to multi-cultural attributes, the schools must ensure no student is discriminated against based on caste or religion, and social status
  • As per the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020, following four NCFs will be developed:
    1. National Curriculum Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCFECCE),
    2. National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCFSE),
    3. National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE),
    4. National Curriculum Framework for Adult Education (NCFAE).
  • In this regard, a comprehensive strategy has been worked out jointly by the Ministry of Education (MoE) and NCERT.
  • As per this strategy, at the State level- all states/UTs will first prepare their State Curriculum Frameworks (SCFs).
  • For providing inputs for the development of the 4 NCFs, 25 themes based on the perspectives of the NEP, 2020 are identified under the three categories, viz.,
    1. Curriculum and Pedagogy
    2. Cross-cutting Issues
    3. Other important areas of NEP, 2020 focussing on systemic changes and reforms.

Reference

  1. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1820867
  2. https://ncf.ncert.gov.in/#/web/about?tab=ncf
  3. https://www.iitms.co.in/blog/national-curriculum-framework.html

Perumbakkam Wetland

  • The Perumbakkam wetland is a feeding habitat for birds in Chennai, India.
  • It is an extension of the Pallikaranai freshwater marsh wetland.
  • Also, this wetland provides a peaceful environment for these birds.
  • Perambakkam wetland is home to 132 species including the white-spotted garden skink, Russell’s viper, dwarf gourami, chromide, windowpane oyster, mud crab and mullet.

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/perumbakkam-wetland-an-unfinished-business/article6364966.ece
  2. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/tn-waders-yet-to-arrive-at-perumbakkam-marshland/articleshow/82365593.cms
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