Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 15 September 2023

Hindi Diwas 2023

GS Paper - 1 (Culture)

Hindi Diwas Celebrated on 14 September every year, Hindi Diwas aims to raise awareness about the language and also commemorate the event when it was adopted as one of the official languages of India. The Constituent Assembly of India in 1949, recognised and adopted Hindi — an Indo-Aryan language written in the Devanagari script — as the official language of the newly-formed nation.

Significance of Hindi Diwas

  • It is an occasion to celebrate the linguistic diversity and cultural richness of India, with a focus on the Hindi language’s importance in the country’s identity.
  • It’s also a day to honour and promote the use of Hindi while respecting the multilingual fabric of India.

History of Hindi Diwas

  • The history of Hindi Diwas goes all the way back to the early days of the Indian independence movement.
  • In 1918, a group of Hindi scholars and activists formed the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan (Hindi Literary Conference) to promote the use of Hindi as a national language.
  • The Sammelan played a major role in the adoption of Hindi as the official language of India.
  • On 14 September 1949 the Constituent Assembly of India adopted Hindi as the official language of the newly independent nation.
  • This decision was taken to promote and develop Hindi as the lingua franca of India and to unite the diverse linguistic and cultural regions of the nation. The first Hindi Diwas was celebrated in 1953.
  • Hindi is one of the two official languages of the Union government — the other being English.
  • It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of the Republic of India. It is said that owing to the efforts of Beohar Rajendra Simha, along with Hazari Prasad Dwivedi, Kaka Kalelkar, Maithili Sharan Gupt and Seth Govind Das, Hindi was recognised as one of the two official languages.
  • In fact, it happened on Beohar Rajendra Simha’s 50th birthday, who happened to have illustrated the original final manuscript of the Constitution of India.

Difference between World Hindi Day and Hindi Diwas

  • Hindi Diwas marks the moment when Hindi was declared the national language of India.
  • In contrast, World Hindi Day is celebrated on 10 January to honor the inception of the World Hindi Conference.
  • National Hindi Diwas focuses on celebrating Hindi’s role within India as the national language, while World Hindi Day is a global tribute to the language’s international significance.

Cabinet approves eCourts project phase-III

GS Paper - 3 (e-governance)

The Union Cabinet approved the third phase of eCourts Project as a central sector scheme with a financial outlay of Rs 7,210 crore to be implemented over four years. The eCourts Mission Mode Project is the prime mover for improving access to justice using technology in line with the PM's vision of "Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas".

More about eCourts project

  • As part of the National eGovernance Plan, the eCourts Project has been under implementation since 2007 for ICT enablement of the Indian Judiciary. The Phase II of the project has concluded in 2023.
  • Phase III of the e-Courts Project, beginning 2023, in India is rooted in the philosophy of "access and inclusion".
  • The third phase is aimed at ushering in a regime of maximum ease of justice by moving towards digitalonline and paperless courts through digitisation of the entire court records including legacy records and by bringing in universalisation of e-filing/e-payments through saturation of all court complexes with e-Sewa Kendras.
  • It will put in place intelligent smart systems enabling data-based decision-making for judges and registries while scheduling or prioritising cases.

Objective of the Phase-III

  • The main objective of the Phase-III is to create a unified technology platform for the judiciary which will provide a seamless and paperless interface between the courts, the litigants and other stakeholders.
  • Citizens who do not have access to technology can access the judicial services from eSewa Kendras, thus bridging the digital divide, the government said.
  • Digitisation of court records also enables processes to become more environmental friendly by minimising paper-based filings and reducing the physical movement of documents.
  • Besides, virtual participation in the court proceedings can reduce costs associated with court proceedings such as travel expenses for witnesses, judges, and other stakeholders, while payment of court feesfines and penalties can be made from anywhere, anytime.

First ever Kidneys grown inside pig embryos

GS Paper - 3 (Biotechnology)

Scientists have grown kidneys that are made up of more than 50 per cent human cells and implanted them in pigs for up to 28 days. The research brings up hopes of generating human organs for transplants inside pigs. This research is “an important and interesting step,” said transplant immunologist Massimo Mangiola to ScienceNews. But he did note that real-life “xenotransplants” are probably still years away. But the study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell still marks the first time a “humanised” organ with both animal and human cells was grown inside another species.

Why it is important

  • It is a simple demand and supply mismatch. It is estimated that 10% of the country’s population is living with some degree of liver damage and around 2 lakh of these people reach end stage kidney failure every year.
  • Of them, probably 5,000-8,000 people are able to get a kidney transplant.
  • Another 20,000 are able to manage their disease with dialysis. The rest, unfortunately, die.
  • This shortage in human organ donors could potentially be solved by technologies that can grow human organs in other animals.

How the kidneys were grown in pigs

  • The researchers began by creating pig embryos that could not form kidneys on their own. They did this by disabling two genes that are responsible for the development of the organs.
  • After that, they introduced human stem cells into pig embryos, hoping that they would transform into kidney cells in the pigs and assemble into the organs.
  • Of course, the human cells were genetically engineered to help them integrate in the foreign environment. This was done by increasing how much two pro-survival genes were expressed.
  • They then implanted over 1,800 of these hybrid embryos in the reproductive systems of 13 female pigs.
  • They then allowed the embryos to grow for 25 to 28 days before removing and analysing them.
  • This was because of ethical considerations, including the possibility of producing pigs with human-like brains if the human cells were to spread beyond the kidneys.
  • Only five of the embryos were successfully implanted but they were able to develop early kidney structures, including miniature tubules, which were made of 50 to 65 per cent human cells.
  • Integrating cells from pigs and humans has proven more difficult than combining cells from rats and mice.
  • Pig cells often compete with human cells when transplanted into human tissue, meaning that the human cells could quickly die off. But this study is a marked improvement and could hold promise.

Why pigs?

  • Pigs replaced nonhuman primates as the preferred source of organs for xenotransplantation in the 1990s, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
  • There are many reasons. They have short gestation periods and produce large litters. They have organs that are close in size to that of humans.
  • Also, they are less likely to transfer zoonotic diseases to humans and their tissues like heart valves and skin grafts have been successfully transplanted into people for years.
  • In fact, US Surgeons already successfully transplanted a pig heart into a human. In January 2022, David Bennet received a genetically-engineered pig heart. Unfortunately, he died two months later due to heart failure. Researchers are now working on improving this method.

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