Current Affair-April 22, 2021

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CURRENT AFFAIRS

World Press Freedom Index 2021

  • The World Press Freedom Index for the year  2021 has been released.
  • It is produced by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). RSF is a French non­governmental organisation.

India ranking

  • WPF Index has again ranked India at 142nd out of 180 countries.
  •  In 2016, India’s rank was 133, which has steadily climbed down to 142 in 2020.
  •  The RSF report says India is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists trying to do their job properly.

Dangerous for journalist: Report

  • Journalists are ex­posed to every kind of at­tack.
  • Police violence against reporters
  • Ambushes by political activists
  • Reprisals instigated by crimi­nal groups or corrupt local officials.

India reponse

  • In February last year, fearing such an adverse as­sessment, a cell was set up in 18 Ministries to find ways to improve the posi­tion on 32 international in­ dices.
  • The Information and Broadcasting Ministry was delegated to look at the free­dom of press index.
Source: The Hindu

Gender bias and inclusion in advertising in India – UNICEF

  • A study on analysis of Indian adver­tisements on television and YouTube  was released   by UNICEF and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (GDI) titled “Gender bias and inclusion in advertising in India”.
  • The research measures over 1,000 television and You­ Tube advertisements aired across India in 2019. The ads analysed were those that re­ceived the most reach.

Findings

  • Wo­men characters dominate screen time and speaking time, but one of the drivers of this is their depiction for selling cleaning supplies and food and beauty products to wo­men consumers. For exam­ple, almost all the detergent and food commercials depicted a woman taking care of her family who speaks di­rectly to women viewers about caring for their fami­lies.
  • Greater percentage of fe­male characters is depicted as married than male cha­racters. Female characters are three times more likely to be depicted as parents than male characters.
  • While male characters are more likely to be shown making decisions about their future than female characters.
  • Female are twice as likely to be shown making household decisions than male charac­ters.
  • Female characters are more likely to be shown do­ing the following activities than male characters — shopping, cleaning, and being in­volved in the purchase or preparation of meals.
  • Male cha­racters are more likely to be shown as smart than female characters. Male characters are almost twice as likely to be shown as funny than fe­male characters
  • Two­-thirds of female cha­racters in Indian ads have light or medium­light skin tones — a higher percen­tage than male characters (52.1%).
  • Female characters are nine times more likely to be shown as “stunning/very attractive” than male cha­racters.
  • Female characters are also invariably thin, but male characters appear with a variety of body sizes in In­ dian advertising

Significance of study

  • Misrepresentation and harmful stereotypes of wo­men in advertising have a significant impact on wo­men and young girls- how they view themselves and their value to society.
  • While we do see female re­presentation dominate in In­ dian ads, they are still marginalised by colorism, hypersexualisation, and without careers or aspira­tions outside of the home.
  • The stark inequality must be addressed to ensure an equitable society.
Source: The Hindu

Earth Day

  • April 22 is Earth Day. It is an international event celebrated around the world to pledge support for environmental protection.
  • The year 2021 marks the 51st anniversary of the annual celebrations.
  • Theme 2021:  ‘Restore Our Earth’.
  • In 2009, the United Nations designated April 22 as ‘International Mother Earth Day’. Mother Earth is clearly urging a call to action.

The importance of Earth Day

  • Earth Day was first observed in 1970, when 20 million took to the streets to protest against environmental degradation. The event was triggered by the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, as well as other issues such as smog and polluted rivers.
  • For over the next half century, Earth Day continued to play an important role in environmental activism.
  • The landmark Paris Agreement was signed on Earth Day 2016.
  • Earth Day aims to “build the world’s largest environmental movement to drive transformative change for people and the planet.”
  • The movement’s mission is “to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide.”

Theme 2021

  • This year’s theme focuses on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems.
  • In this way, the theme rejects the notion that mitigation or adaptation are the only ways to address climate change. 
  • This year, seven major climate-related events are taking place in parallel on April 22, including the Leaders’ Summit on Climate hosted by the United States, and the Exponential Climate action Summit on Financing the Race to Zero emissions.
Source: Indian Express

New study on Tyrannosaurus

  • A new study has been published in the journal Royal Society Open Science by palaeontologists from the Netherlands on the Tyrannosaurus.
  • It has further lowered the estimate of speed of Tyrannosaurus.

Findings

  • Tyrannosaurus had a preferred walking speed of just 5 kmph– about the same as the average walking speed of humans.
  • The study calculates the total number of T. rexes to have inhabited Earth over a two-to-three millennia period at around 2.5 billion.

The Tyrannosaurus rex

  • The Tyrannosaurus rex, the most storied of all dinosaurs, is considered the most fearsome eating machine to have evolved on Earth.
  • It lived toward the end of the Cretaceous period, around 66 million to 68 million years ago.
  • It is believed that an adult member of the species stood 12 feet tall and 40 feet long, and weighed between 5,000 to 7,000 kg.
  • The dinosaur inhabited what is today’s western United States.
  • It was not found in India; the fiercest of all Indian dinosaurs was probably the Rajasaurusnarmadensis, followed by another specimen of the Abelisauridae family, the Indosuchusraptorius.

   (Geological Time scale)

Source: Indian Express

Forest Governance by Indigenous and Tribal Peoples” – Report by FAO and FILAC

  • The report on ‘Forest Governance by Indigenous and Tribal Peoples’ has been jointly published by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the Fund for the Development of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean (FILAC).

Findings

  1. Deforestation rates are significantly lower in indigenous and tribal territories, where governments have formally recognized collective land rights.
  2. On an average, indigenous and tribal territories in the Amazon Basin lost 0.17% of the carbon stored in their forests each year between 2003 and 2016 due to deforestation and forest degradation.
  3. In contrast, forests outside indigenous territories and protected areas lost 0.53% each year.
  4. Improving the tenure security of these territories is an efficient and cost-effective way to reduce carbon emissions.

Indigenous people

  • The indigenous people follow forestry management practices such as assisted forest regeneration, selective harvesting and reforesting and assisted growth of trees within existing forests. These form an efficient and cost-effective way to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Cultural, geographic, economic and political conditions and factors that have favored the preservation of the forests in the indigenous and tribal peoples’ territories” are changing drastically. The consequences can cause serious, irreversible harm both environmentally and financially.
  • These people who dwell in forests have a vast wealth of culture, knowledge and natural resources but have the lowest incomes and poorest access to services.
  • They were also among the worst-hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, healthwise and economically.

Recommendations

  • To respond to these challenges, the FAO report proposed a set of investments and policies that have great potential to reactivate the economies of the indigenous and tribal territories, mitigate climate change, preserve biological and cultural diversity, and reduce social and environmental conflicts.
  • The proposal is based on six pillars:
  1. Recognition of collective territorial rights
  2. Compensation for environmental services
  3. Community forest management
  4. Revitalization of ancestral knowledge
  5. Strengthening of grassroots organizations and
  6. Mechanisms for territorial governance

Other studies

  • The first ever Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, which assessed the status of biodiversity on the planet, also said that the rate of decline in biodiversity is lower in areas where indigenous people own land. However, the knowledge and perspective of the indigenous communities is absent in the global approaches to conservation.
  • The recent forest fires in Odisha’s Similipal highlighted the importance of engaging local communities in the first line of action.
  • The report calls for a new relationship with indigenous peoples and to “allocate resources to revitalize their intangible wealth of cultures and ancestral knowledge”.
Source: Downtoearth

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