With the assembly elections are to be held in Tamil Nadu in 2021, Jallikattu, a traditional bull-taming sport of the state has caught the attention of the political parties in the country. The Congress leader Rahul Gandhi recently attended the Jallikattu event.
The Jallikattu is a two-thousand-year-old competitive sport and an event that honours bull owners who rear them for mating. It is a violent sport. During Jallikattu, the contestants try to tame the bull for a prize. If the contestants fail, the bull owner wins the prize.
The sport is a traditional way of preserving pure breed native bulls for the peasant community. Currently, cattle breeding has become an artificial process. The conservationists argue that Jallikattu is the best way to protect the male animals which otherwise are used only for meat.
Pulikulam, Kangayam, Umbalachery, Malai and Bargur are the popular native cattle breeds used for Jallikattu.
In 2011, the central government added bulls to the list of animals whose training and exhibition were prohibited. Later in 2014, the Supreme Court banned Jallikattu sport. Currently, the state government of Tamil Nadu has legalised Jallikattu events. In 2018, the Supreme court referred the case of Jallikattu to a constitutional bench. The case is still pending.
Concerns were raised under Article 29(1) against ban on Jallikattu. Article 29 (1) provides rights to Indian citizens to preserve their script, language and culture.
In Karnataka Jallikattu is called Kambala. The Karnataka Government too passed a law to save the sport. Except in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the sport is banned in other states such as Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) recently asked the higher education institutes across the country to establish an office for international affairs.
Under the New Education Policy, 2020, the Government of India asked colleges to expand global outreach of Indian higher education institutes to promote India as a global study destination. The offices are being set up to achieve this goal of the policy.
The UGC recently amended its regulations allowing Institutions of eminence to set up campuses abroad. The Institutions of Eminence have to receive No-Objection certificates from Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs to set up their campuses abroad. Currently there are eighteen Institutions of Eminence.
The UGC has nominated twenty Institutions as Institutions of Eminence. The nominations were made based on the recommendations of Empowered Expert Committee headed by N Gopalaswami. Only those institutions that appear in the global or national ranks shall be recommended for the Institutions of Eminence status. The public institutions are assessed based on the QS-2020 world ranking. The private institutions are assessed based on National Institution Ranking Framework (NIRF). The institutes that do not appear in QS-2020, QS-2019, NIRF are excluded from the Institutes of Eminence tag.
Pakistan recently issued special permits to Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and five other members of their family to hunt Houbara Bustard during the 2020-21 hunting season.
The controversial private hunting expeditions of Houbara Bustard by the Dubai Royals date back over four decades. The hunting continued even after the Pakistan Supreme Court imposed a blanket ban on the killing of Houbara Bustard in 2015. However, the order was reversed.
The Houbara Bustard is a large terrestrial bird found in the parts of Asia, Africa and middle east. After breeding in central Asia during spring, the Houbara bustards migrate south to spend the winter in Pakistan.
According to the International Fund for Houbara Conservation, currently there are only 42,000 Asian Houbara Bustards and 22,000 North African Houbara Bustard.
Over the four decades, the Pakistan foreign ministry extended yearly invitations to the wealthy and powerful Arabs for hunting the Houbara Bustard in the deserts of Punjab and Balochistan to strengthen their relations with the Arabs. The Arabs kill the birds for sport and also for their meat. The meat of Houbara Bustard is said to have aphrodisiac qualities.
Pakistan permits the Arabs to hunt a total of 100 bustards in a designated area during a ten-day safari. However, in 2014, a Saudi Arabian prince shot more than thousands of Houbara bustards during a three-week hunting safari. This created nationwide outrage from conservationists.
Similar expeditions had taken place in India as well in the borders of Rajasthan. The Arabs used to hunt Great Indian Bustard in the borders. The practice was banned in 1972.
Month: Current Affairs - January, 2021
Category: Environment Current Affairs • International Current Affairs
Topics: arab • Arab states • Critically endangered • Great Indian bustard • Houbara Bustard • IUCN • Pakistan • Saudi Arabia • Vulnerable
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