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It is not “our business” to check what is being taught in schools: SC

News: The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition for a direction to the government to make yoga education a compulsory part of the syllabus for Classes one to eight.

What did court said?

  • “We are nobody to say what is to be taught in schools,” a Bench, led by Justice Madan B. Lokur, orally observed.
  • The Bench denied any relief to petitioner and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, saying it was for the government to take the call on such issues.
  • His petition had sought a direction to the government to frame a National Yoga Policy, saying that right to health was part of the right to lead a dignified life under Article 21.
  • The plea, that cited the HRD Ministry, the NCERT, the NCTE and the CBSE as parties, sought a direction to “provide standard textbooks of ‘Yoga and Health Education’ for students of class one to eight”.

Why yoga?

(UNESCO) has formally inscribed Yoga in its representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

About UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

  • The UNESCO’s coveted list is made up of those intangible heritage elements that help demonstrate diversity of cultural heritage and raise awareness about its importance.
  • It was established in 2008 after Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, 2003 came into effect.
  • It compiles two lists viz. Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.
  • Now, the list includes 814 cultural sites, 203 natural and 35 with both cultural and natural qualities.

List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity from India

  1. Koodiyattam: Sanskrit Theatre of Kerala.
  2. Mudiyett: theatre ritual of Kerala. Tradition of Vedic Chanting.
  3. Kalbelia: folk songs and dances of Rajasthan.
  4. Ramlila: Traditional Performance of the Ramayana.
  5. Sankirtana: singing, drumming and dancing ritual of Manipur.
  6. Ramman: religious festival and ritual theatre of Garhwal Himalayas.
  7. Traditional brass and copper craft of utensil of Thatheras: Punjab.
  8. Chhau dance: classical Indian dance originated in the eastern Indian states.
  9. Buddhist chanting of Ladakh: recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.

Dipak Misra to be 45th Chief Justice of India

  • The Centre cleared the file for appointment of Justice Dipak Misra as the 45th Chief Justice of India with effect from August 28.

About New CJI

  • Justice Misra, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court after the present Chief Justice J.S. Khehar, who is retiring on August 27, will have a tenure of about 14 months till October 2, 2018.
  • Justice Misra was elevated to the Supreme Court on October 10, 2011.
  • He enrolled as a lawyer on February 14, 1977 and was appointed Additional Judge of the Orissa High Court in 1996.
  • After a stint in the Madhya Pradesh High Court, he became a Permanent Judge in December 1997 before assuming charge as the Chief Justice of Patna High Court in 2009 and, later on, served as Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court.

Border meeting with China on I-Day

  • Even as the border standoff between India and China is close to completing two months, officials said the ceremonial border personnel meetings to mark Independence Day will go ahead between the two militaries as planned on Tuesday.
  • Such meetings are usually held on ceremonial occasions, but there were doubts if it would happen this time.
  • There are five meeting points at Bum La and Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh, Daulat Beg Oldi and Chushul in Ladakh and Nathu La in Sikkim.
  • However, there is still no clarity on the annual bilateral military training exercise Hand-in-Hand.

Nepal to stay neutral

  • Nepal said it intended to maintain neutrality in the India-China standoff.
  • “Nepal doesn’t take sides on the issue. India and China both have not asked or pressured Nepal seeking favour.
  • We don’t see possibility of a war,” said Foreign Minister of Nepal Krishna Bahadur Mahara in Kathmandu.
  • Mr. Mahara’s statement has set the stage for a crucial week when Nepal will host key Indian and Chinese dignitaries.

U.S. government report warns of drastic impact of climate change

Whats in news?

  • The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration.

Whats next?

  • The draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now.
  • It directly contradicts claims by President Donald Trump and members of his Cabinet who say that the human contribution to climate change is uncertain, and that the ability to predict the effects is limited.
  • The report concludes that even if humans immediately stopped emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the world would still feel at least an additional 0.30 degrees Celsius of warming over this century compared with today.
  • The projected actual rise will be as much as 2 degrees Celsius. A small difference in global temperatures can make a big difference in the climate: the difference between a rise in global temperatures of 1.5 degrees Celsius and one of 2 degrees Celsius, for example, could mean longer heat waves, more intense rainstorms and the faster disintegration of coral reefs.

Food for action

News?

Centre has been asked by the Supreme Court (Swaraj Abhiyan case) to ensure that States implement key aspects of the National Food Security Act, 2013.

whats next?

  • The directives in the Swaraj Abhiyan case underscore the depressing reality that several State governments have not met key requirements in the legislation which empower the common person in securing subsidised food.
  • Sections 14, 15 and 16, which require the setting up of a grievance redress mechanism and a State Food Commission with responsibility to monitor the implementation of the law, have been heeded only in name, as in Haryana, or not at all.
  • As the court has pointed out, Article 256, which casts a responsibility on the States and the Union to ensure compliance with laws made by Parliament, also provides the remedy, as it can be invoked by the Centre to set things right.
  • Unfortunately, the NFSA, which is vital for social security through the Public Distribution System and child welfare schemes, has suffered due to a lack of political will.
  • There is great merit in providing highly subsidised foodgrains to targeted households chosen by the State governments, with a ceiling of 75% of the population in rural areas and 50% in urban areas.
  • Food Ministry data presented to Parliament show that the present system does not reflect the true scale of public grievances, with a mere 1,106 complaints received from beneficiaries nationwide in 2016, including those reported in the media.
  • The court’s intervention is wholly welcome to make the NFSA meaningful.

Transparency Provisions of NFSA

  1. Placing all PDS-related records in the public domain and keeping them open for inspection to the public
  2. Conducting periodic social audits of the PDS and other welfare schemes;
  3. Using information and communication technology (including end-toend computerisation of the PDS) “to ensure transparent recording of transactions at all levels”
  4. Setting up vigilance committees at state, district, block and fair price shop levels to supervise all schemes under the act.

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