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Ancient Culture in Modern Avatar • In Telangana, an ancient storytelling tradition is helping the police fight fake news on WhatsApp. IPS officer Rema Rajeshwari has relied on the traditional practice of Janapadam to educate villagers about the perils of fake news. It involves short skits in which certain communities – primarily the lowers castes – shared religious tales and important news. As Janapadam is very popular locally, it [was] an obvious choice to use as a localised solution to a larger problem.
Tradition vs. Modernity• More than 36 years after the Karnataka Devadasis (Prohibition of Dedication) Act of 1982 was passed, the State government is yet to issue the rules for administering the law. Meanwhile the practice of dedicating young girls to temples as an offering to appease the gods persists not just in Karnataka, but has also spread to neighboring Goa.
Promoting Arts & Culture
Cinema
• Gulshan Mahal, the elegant 19th-century bungalow in South Mumbai, was once known for qawwalis and cultural gatherings. Now it is all set to return in a new avatar — as the home of the National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC).
Quality of Education• A new initiative launched by RJ govt. for identifying and resolving issues in upper primary schools situated in the rural areas through “Bal Sabha” (Children’s Assembly) is set to bring about qualitative changes in education. Besides students, the Sabhas will be attended by parents, teachers and village elders.
Universal Healthcare• Under Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, free health services to all patients, irrespective of APL or BPL category.
• It has been extended to all government medical college and hospitals. This cashless care is being provided to all persons without any requirement of income, residence or any other document.
Balanced Regional Dev.• Cabinet has approved the setting up of three AIIMS. These will be in Samba in Jammu, in Pulwama in Kashmir, and in Rajkot, Gujarat.
Healthy Diet• Cut consumption of sugar and red meat by 50%, and increase the intake of fruits, vegetables, and nuts — that is the top recommendation of a worldwide diet plan according to a special report released by the journal Lancet. Such a diet would not only be healthier but also more environment-friendly.
Mental Health• Psychiatric experts studying the behavior patterns of the Kota students have cited the intense curriculum, parental pressure and depression among reasons for the high levels of stress among the students.
Digital Addiction• Doctors at National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) have come up with a mobile app that helps reduce mobile usage. ‘Digital Detox by Shut Clinic’ tracks your pattern of mobile usage and offers self-help strategies.
Digital Consumerism• A Chinese man who sold his kidney as a teenager to buy the latest Apple iPad and iPhone in 2011 is now bedridden with organ failure.
Girl Child • More than a hundred schools in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district have installed boxes on their premises under the Swayangsiddha scheme, which encourages girls to report stalking or harassment faced either by them or anyone known to them.
Women• One Stop Centre (OSC), or Sakhi centre, is a scheme sponsored fully by the Central government under the Nirbhaya fund set up for safety of women after the gang rape of a paramedical student in Dec 2012 in New Delhi. The scheme envisages an OSC for medical, legal, psychological and police help for victims of gender-based abuse such as sexual assault or domestic violence. So far, 234 OSCs have been set up and 485 more are in the pipeline to cover all 719 districts.
• To demonstrate their commitment to the fight for gender equality, 'Women's Wall' in Kerala had a 5 million turnout, making it the fourth-largest in human chains of all time. Historically, the largest human chain was a 2017 protest in Bihar, which was estimated to include 20 million people, for prohibition of liquor.
• A third of employees have reported experiencing sexual harassment at UN over the past two years, according to the findings of the first-ever survey on such misconduct.
Child care• A pan-India survey of childcare institutions (CCI) conducted by the Centre has highlighted poor safety and security measures, inadequate monitoring of these facilities, and a lack of effort to trace parents of missing children sent to these homes.
Sports• India has expressed interest to host the 2032 Summer Olympic Games, apart from the 2026 Summer Youth Olympic Games and the 2030 Asian Games.