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India Human Development Survey (IHDS) 2011-12

As per the India Human Development Survey (IHDS) survey, 4 out of 10 women in India still have no say in their marriage, 8 out of 10 need permission to visit a doctor, 6 out of 10 practise some form of head covering and the average Indian household gives over Rs.30,000 in dowry.

Excerpts of the latest data of India Human Development Survey (IHDS) 2011-12

  • Sample size: 42,000 households.
  • Covers economic data on income and expenditure, development data on education and health, and sociological data on caste, gender and religion.
  • Average wedding expense: Groom: Rs 81,952, Bride – Rs 1,26,724.
  • Average dowry: Rs.30, 000.
  • Marriage: 48% women (over 25) were married before age 18 (as opposed to 60% in 2004-5) and 59% women (over 25) with any say in marriage.
  • Around 41% of women still have no say in their marriage.
  • Say in marriage: Best states: Tamil Nadu (94%), Assam (90%), AP and Kerala – 86%, Worst States: Rajasthan (20%), UP(24%), MP & Orissa- 29%.
  • Mean age at marriage - 17.8.
  • Knew their husband before marriage (over 25): 18%.
  • Woman practice head/face covering: Highest: Rajasthan – 96%, Bihar – 91%, Haryana & MP – 88%, Lowest: T.N – 6%, AP – 13%, North east – 15%.
  • 81% women need permission to visit doctor.
  • 60% of women, including 59% of forward caste Hindus and 83% of Muslim women, practice some form of `purdah’ or `ghunghat’.
  • Most expensive weddings: Kerala & Delhi.
  • The practice of marrying a cousin or relative, more common in the south than the north, is becoming less common, but over 20% in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka still marry relatives.

About India Human Development Survey (IHDS)

  • Conducted by the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER).
  • Largest household survey. (After the government’s Nation Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) surveys.
  • NCAER is the only independent body that conducts such large-sample panel surveys.

Outcome of the survey: The data shows that with the growing level of education, urbanization and women empowerment programme the condition of women is slightly improving in the society.

ICICI Bank launched ‘branch on wheels’ in Odisha

ICICI Bank Ltd. launched ‘Branch on Wheels’ in Odisha as part their financial inclusion plans to provide banking services in remote villages in the state which are devoid of banking facilities.

  • ICICI Bank is the first private sector bank to launch Mobile Branch with ATM

About ‘Branch on Wheels’ – mobile branch with an ATM.

  • First-of-its-kind initiative by any private sector bank in India.
  • Objective: To provide basic banking services to the remote unbanked villages in the state.
  • The branch would be operated on a van. It will be stationed at specific timings of the day in pre-identified, unbanked villages at specified locations.
  • Would be equipped with a GPS tracking system, laptops with 3G connections, LED TV, a safe, a printer, public announcement system, an UV Lamp that detects forged cheques, a note counting-cum-authentication machine that identifies fake currency notes and a unique low-weight ATM.
  • Offers a wide range of banking products and services viz. savings accounts, loans, cash deposit/withdrawal, account balance enquiries, statement printing and funds transfer/DD/PO collections, among others. 

Note: Odisha is the third state where ICICI Bank has expanded its ‘Branch on Wheels’ network after Maharashtra in September 2013 and Chhatisgarh in February 2014.

‘M-Pesa’ launched in Odisha

Telecom major, Vodafone India and ICICI Bank announced the launch of mobile commerce initiative called ‘M-Pesa’ service in Odisha.

About M-Pesa service

  • A mobile money transfer and payment service that allows customers to transfer money to any mobile phone, remit money to any bank account, make utility payments, recharge of mobile, DTH payment and earn interest on deposits.
  • Empowers the un-banked and under-banked sections of the population gain access to financial services through the mobile phone.
  • This service will now be available across 202 Tehsils, 24 Districts through 1350 specially trained authorized agents including 73 Vodafone exclusive stores in Odisha.

Apart from Odisha, ‘M-Pesa’ has been rolled out in Delhi, Mumbai, West Bengal, Punjab, UP East, UP West, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Assam & North East and Haryana. It will be made available across the country in a phased manner.

“Odia”- 6th Indian classical language

The Union Cabinet gave its nod for classifying Odia as a classical language to give impetus to scholarships in the language. It is the sixth Indian language to get such prestigious tag after Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. 

There has been a long-standing demand that Odia, which is one of the oldest languages and has no resemblance to Hindi, Sanskrit, Bengali, Telugu, etc, be declared as a classical language.

What is a ‘Classical Language’ ?

A classical language is a language with a literature (art of written work) that is classical. U.C.Berkeley linguist George L. Hart defined Classical Language as follows:

It should be ancient, it should be an independent tradition that arose mostly on its own, not as an offshoot of another tradition, and it must have a large and extremely rich body of ancient literature.

Classical languages are those which are ancient, of an independent nature and not a derivative of any other tradition. And based on above, Chinese, Sanskrit, Tamil, Hebrew, Greek and Latin are considered as the Classical Languages of the World. Of these only Chinese and Tamil are used by masses now. 

In India, Tamil was the first to gain the Classical Language status, followed by Sanskrit in 2005. These two languages (Tamil and Sanskrit) are undoubtedly parental sources for many languages belonging to the Indo-European family and the Dravidian family of linguistic groups.

In 2006, the Union Minister for Tourism and Culture announced in the Rajya Sabha the creation of a new category of languages as classical languages based on 4 norms:

  • (i) High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years;
  • (ii) A body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers;
  • (iii) The literary tradition should be original and not borrowed from another speech community;
  • (iv) The classical language and literature being distinct from the modern, there may also be discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or offshoots.

committee of linguistic experts followed it up, and based on its recommendation classical status was conferred on Telugu and Kannada in 2008. Thus, the definition of classical languages has undergone several changes over the years and the latest criterion too is susceptible to changes.

Benefits of declaring Odia as classical language
  • Two major annual international awards for scholars of eminence in Odia language.
  • ‘Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Languages’ can be set up.
  • The University Grants Commission can be requested to create, to start with at least in Central Universities, a certain number of professional chairs for classical languages, for scholars of eminence in Odia language.
Which are the Classical Languages of India?

Languages thus far declared to be Classical are:

  1. Tamil (2004)
  2. Sanskrit (2005)
  3. Kannada (2008)
  4. Telugu (2008)
  5. Malayalam (2013)
  6. Odia (2014)

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