GS Paper I- Indian Heritage and Culture.

42 Indian Languages Heading Towards Extinction.

Background

  • More than 40 languages or dialects in India are considered to be endangered and is believed to be heading towards extinction as only a few thousand people speak them.
  • According to a report of the census directorate, there are 22 scheduled languages and 100 non-scheduled languages in the country which are spoken by a large number of people – one lakh or more.
  • However, there are around 42 languages which are spoken by less than 10,000 people. These are considered endangered and may be heading towards extinction.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • A list prepared by UNESCO has also mentioned about the 42 languages or dialects in India which are endangered and they may be heading towards extinction.
  • The languages or dialects which were considered endangered, include 11 from Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Great Andamanese, Jarawa, Lamongse, Luro, Muot, Onge, Pu, Sanenyo, Sentilese, Shompen and Takahanyilang), seven from Manipur (Aimol, Aka, Koiren, Lamgang, Langrong, Purum and Tarao) and four from Himachal Pradesh (Baghati, Handuri, Pangvali and Sirmaudi).
  • The other languages in the endangered category are Manda, Parji and Pengo (Odisha), Koraga and Kuruba (Karnataka), Gadaba and Naiki (Andhra Pradesh), Kota and Toda (Tamil Nadu), Mra and Na (Arunachal Pradesh), Tai Nora and Tai Rong (Assam), Bangani (Uttarakhand), Birhor (Jharkhand), Nihali (Maharashtra), Ruga (Meghalaya) and Toto (West Bengal).
  • The Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore, has been working for the protection and preservation of endangered languages of the country, under a central scheme.
  • Under the programme, grammatical descriptions, monolingual and bilingual dictionaries, language primers, anthologies of folklore, encyclopedias of all languages or dialects especially those spoken by less than 10,000 people are being prepared.
  • Apart from the 22 scheduled languages, there are 31 other languages in the country which were given the status of official language by various state governments and Union territories.
  • According to the census data, there are 1,635 rationalised mother tongues, 234 identifiable mother tongues and 22 major languages in the country.

Sources- TOI.

 

GS Paper II- Governance.

MHA Organises Watan Ko Jano Programme To Take 200 Kashmiri Youths, Children On Nation-Wide Tour.

Background

  • More than 200 youths and children, who were hit by militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, are on a country-wide tour to familiarise with India’s rich cultural and historical heritage.
  • The Home Ministry sponsored programme, Watan Ko Jano, is being organised to give exposure to the youth and children of Jammu and Kashmir about the cultural and socio-economic development taking place in other parts of the country.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The youths and children hit by militancy and from weaker sections of the society were identified for the purpose and taken on a visit to different places of the country from 11 to 20 February, the statement said.
  • While meeting some of the youths on 18th February, 2018, Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed happiness that the youths could visit various parts of the country.
  • Singh said the youths from the state are an inseparable part of the country. He also expressed happiness over the fact that one more group of 500 students will also visit various parts of the country after this group.
  • Unity in diversity is the unique value of the country and these children are also a reflection of it. With this tour, the youths will be able to see the development of modern India, he said.
  • The children have visited Ajmer, Jaipur and Agra and will now visit the historical places in Delhi. The home minister said the youths have certain responsibilities towards the nation and they should take interest in education, respect elders and do something that will make their parents and country proud.

Sources- Firstpost.

GS Paper III- Environment, Bio-Diversity.

MoU Signed Between Botanical Survey Of India And Natural History Museum, UK.

Background

  • Botanical Survey of India (BSI) and Natural History Museum (NHM), UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the field of genetic/taxonomic studies, research and training, conservation in India, including species and habitat conservation assessments, etc on 17th February, 2018.
  • The MoU was signed by Director, BSI Dr Paramjit Singh and Head of the Algae, Fungi and Plants Division, NHM, Dr Sandra Knapp, in the presence of Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The MoU will pave the way for BSI staff to work in Natural History Museum, London and vice-versa and they will share fairly and equitably the benefits that may arise from the collection, study and conservation of the plant materials such as seeds, herbarium specimens and tissue samples and exchange associated data and images. NHM will help BSI in capacity building in areas of systematic botany and long-term conservation of plant genetic resources in India.
  • Botanical research has a long history in India, and modern scientific institutions have developed over two centuries. The collection of Indian plants held in UK institutions, together with India’s own tremendous collections, are an invaluable resource for modern Indian botanical science.
  • Collections, digitisation and study by Indian scientists will make these openly available for wider scientific use in India in areas such as biodiversity conservation, environmental protection, and preservation of plant resources for use in traditional health systems by rural communities.
  • Lakhs of herbarium specimens of Indian plants are located in the Natural History Museum in London, and a renewed partnership with the Botanical Survey of India is creating digital images of these specimens to make them available to Indian science. Three staff members of BSI have received Rutherford Fellowships (funded by the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – BEIS) to undertake this important work in London. They have received training in all aspects of digitisation and herbarium curation, and have already imaged some 16,000 sheets in plant families that are essential to crop science and food security. At the same time two botanists from NHM are working in BSI herbaria throughout the country, identifying specimens, capacity building, interacting with young Indian taxonomists and exchanging ideas.
  • Both countries are committed to the use of scientific evidence to support the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity, CITES and the Nagoya Protocol – this MOU will enable research that will underpin these national responsibilities.

Sources- Business-Standard.