1) International Prize in Statistics: It was established in 2016 and is awarded biennially to an individual or team for achievements using statistics to advance science, technology etc.
- It is considered equivalent to the Nobel Prize in the field of statistics.
- The ultimate goal of the International Prize in Statistics is to enhance public understanding of the depth and scope of statistics.
- It is managed by the five major statistical organizations: the American Statistical Association; Institute of Mathematical Statistics; International Biometric Society; International Statistical Institute; and Royal Statistical Society.
- The Indian-American statistician Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao has been awarded the 2023 International Prize in Statistics.
2) National party: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was recognised as a national party by the Election Commission while suspending the national party status of the All India Trinamool Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and the Communist Party of India (CPI).
- The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 stipulates the criteria for recognition as a national or state party which is in its ‘Political Parties and Election Symbols, 2019’ handbook.
- After the first general elections, only four parties retained their national status: the Congress, the Praja Socialist Party, the Communist Party of India, and the Jana Sangh.
- Now there are 6 National Parties in India: BJP, CPI-Marxist, INC , National People’s Party (NPP), BSP and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)
3) The Deemed Forest Case of SC: There is no comprehensive definition for “forests” in India.
- The ambiguity around this term was clarified by the Supreme Court in T N Godavarman Thirumulpad case where it defined “forest” to include any piece of land that resembles the dictionary meaning of forest for the purpose of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
- This case also conceptualized “deemed forests”
- Deemed forests were conceived as areas those has not been notified under the legislation, but are recorded as forests in government records. These are lands that have characteristics of forests, irrespective of ownership.
- Once forests are “deemed”, they cannot be de-reserved or utilized for non-forest purposes without prior approval of the Centre. Deemed forests, comprise about 1% of India’s forest.
- In Godavarman case the Court ordered the setting up of expert committees in each state to identify deemed forests to remove any ambiguities. This decision paved the way for the preservation of forest areas in India to be continuously monitored by the Supreme Court, mandating the state governments to obtain clearances for affecting or implementing changes to lands classified as deemed forests.
4) Process of Inclusion in the ST List- The process to include tribes in the ST list begins with the recommendation from the respective State governments, which are then sent to the Tribal Affairs Ministry, which reviews and sends them to the Registrar General of India for approval.
- This is followed by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes’ approval before the list is sent to the Cabinet for a final decision.
- The recognition of STs is done at the state level rather than at the national level. States. Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and Puducherry have no population of Scheduled Tribes as per Census 2011
- As per Article 342, the Parliament has the power to amend the list of STs. Such amendment may either include or exclude a community from the ST list. The process of adding or removing a community from the ST list does not require a formal amendment of the Constitution.
5) KURMI COMMUNITY: Kurmi is a non-elite tiller caste in India’s lower Gangetic plain, particularly in the southern regions of Awadh, eastern Uttar Pradesh, and parts of Bihar.
- The Kurmis earned praise from Mughal and British administrations for their remarkable work ethic, superior tillage and manuring, and gender-neutral society.
- The Kurmi community is now categorised as OBC in Odisha, West Bengal, and Jharkhand, with the Odisha government additionally recognising the community as Socially and Educationally Backward Classes.
- State Governments of Jharkhand and West Bengal have consistently suggested that this community be added to the ST list.