1) POSCO Act analysis: The analysis, titled ‘A Decade of POCSO’, was carried out by the Justice, Access and Lowering Delays in India (JALDI) Initiative in collaboration with the DE JURE program at the World Bank.
- The analysis has found that 43.44% of trials under POCSO end in acquittals while only 14.03% end in convictions. In 96% of the cases filed under the POCSO Act, 2012, the accused was a person known to the child victim.
- Delhi has the highest number of POCSO trials, Uttar Pradesh has the highest pendency, Chandigarh and West Bengal are the only states where the average time taken for convictions is within one year.
2) Uda Devi: born in Lucknow, she was part of the royal guard of Begum Hazrat Mahal of Awadh.
- Uda Devi is remembered for mobilising people, specially Dalit women, to take up arms against the British. In 1857, she formed an all-women battalion, today called the Dalit Veeranganas, to take part in armed uprisings against the British.
- Devi belonged to the Pasi community, which was labelled a ‘criminal caste’ by the British administration under the Criminal Tributes Act, 1871. (Pasis are traditionally pig-herders and toddy tappers and were listed as the second-largest Dalit group in Uttar Pradesh after the 2001 census.)
3) Melocanna baccifera: It is a tropical bamboo species known for its association with the occurrence of ‘bamboo death,’ ‘rat floods’ and famines in northeast India.
- During its gregarious flowering (‘Mautam’, the cyclical, mass bamboo flowering that occurs once in 48 years) the bamboo produces large fruits which draw animal visitors/predators. These predators like pests, rats etc multiply rapidly, a phenomenon dubbed as ‘rat flood’ during this period. Once the fruits are gone, they start devouring standing crops, causing famines that have claimed thousands of human lives.
- Called ‘Muli’ in northeast India, it is the largest fruit-producing bamboo and is native to the northeast India-Myanmar region.
- Earlier, it was presumed that ‘high protein in fruits/seeds’ was attracting the rats. However, a JNTBGRI study in 2016 found that the fruit actually contains very little protein. The predation is mainly due to the high content of sugars.
4) Network Readiness Index 2022: India climbs up six slots and now placed at 61st rank.
- The report has been prepared by the Portulans Institute, an independent non-profit, institute based in Washington DC.
- In its latest version of 2022, the NRI Report maps the network-based readiness landscape of 131 economies based on their performances in four different pillars: Technology, People, Governance, and Impact covering a total of 58 variables.
5) Ivory trade: For the first time since joining the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) in 1976, India did not vote against a proposal seeking to re-open the ivory trade.
- The ivory trade was globally banned in 1989 when all African elephant populations were put in CITES Appendix I. No trade is allowed in species listed in CITES Appendix I while trade is strictly regulated in those under Appendix II.
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