The Hindu: 30th March 2012, Friday

1. BRICS eyes bank: Frontpage

Relevance: The much awaited BRICS’s Delhi Declaration is out with no or very little surprises. We have already covered everything, just brush up once more.

2. Northern railway: Pg4

Clue: Take out a moment and read about all the 17 railway zones in India and their headquarters.

3. A blot upon the nation:Pg6

Relevance: The continuance of this inhuman practice of Manual Scavenging even after 60yrs of independence is a matter of national shame.

Clue: Know about the various initiatives being taken by the GOI in curbing this practice like Employment of Manual Scavengers and construction of dry laterines( prohibition) act 1993, National scheme for liberation and rehabilitation of scavengers, Art 42,38 and other DPSPs etc.

Other major hurdles are the continuance of “Open discharge system” of Railways, lack of alternate livelihood opportunities available, lack of holistic urban planning, non implementation of laws ( till 2006 not a single prosecution was done under the 1993 Act), lack of initiatives by states( since sanitation is a state subject) etc.

Safai Karamchari Andolan is the single largest movement launched under the leadership of Bezwada Wilson with the aim of total eradication of manual scavenging, know more about its activities and achievements. But one thing is sure, if we really want to get rid of this inhuman practice and ensure a life of dignity for all, we need to generate the alternate livelihood opportunities through NRLM, MNREGA etc. and focus on their effective implementation, let alone the proposed amendments in the 1993 act.

4. Bamboo of contention: Pg6

Clue: The article doesn’t carry much information but it does reminds you to prepare the horticulture sector in general.Know about the initiatives like National Horticulture Mission, its major components, activities including setting up of Bio control labs, Vermi compost units, plant health clinics etc, Horticulture mission for North east and Himalayan states, National Bamboo Mission (launched in 2006-7 in 27 states includes opening up of Bomaboo nurseries, Bamboo Bazars etc), Ministry of Commerce’s Vishesh Krishi Upaj Yojana, Central Institute of Horticulture(Nagaland) etc.

Do you know the fact that horticulture sector contributes about 30% of the total agricultural GDP? Read India Year Book’s Ch4 for further details.

5. Shifting stands in Mali: Pg12

Relevance: Important for 5 marker type of questions in mains.

Clue: Know about the nation of Mali in general, President Toure,Tuaregs, neighboring countries like Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, Central African Rep. etc.

6. Arab Leaders: Pg16

Clue: Know few prominent facts about the west Asian organisations like Arab league(22 members, HQ Cairo), GCC(6 members, HQ Riyadh) etc.

7. Other potential 2 markers and tidbits: TAPI and CASA projects(Pg16), Bhitarkanika River(Pg22).

I found only these items useful in Friday’s paper. If you could spot some thing more which is relevant to CSE please feel free to post in comments section.

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