Periyar, the social reformer of Tamil Nadu

  • Early Life and Political Career
    • Born Erode Venkatappa Ramasamy in 1879.
    • Started as a Congressman but left due to disagreements over caste discrimination.
    • Associated with the Justice Party and Self-Respect Movement, advocating against Brahmin dominance.
  • Social Reforms
    • Promoted self-respect, social equality, and women’s rights.
    • Championed inter-dining and discarding caste suffixes.
    • Criticized religious traditions and emphasized rational thinking.
  • Dravidian Movement
    • Redefined Tamil identity as egalitarian and free from caste.
    • Advocated for an independent Dravida Nadu (Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada speakers).
  • Legacy
    • Considered “Thanthai Periyar” (Father Figure) of modern Tamil Nadu.
    • His ideology emphasizes social justice, self-respect, and linguistic pride.



Gibraltar Arc, a dormant subduction zone

  • Location and Significance
    • Located beneath the Strait of Gibraltar, connecting Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea.
    • Forms a natural boundary between Europe and Africa.
    • Meeting point of Eurasian and African tectonic plates.
  • Subduction and Potential Impact
    • Currently dormant subduction zone (African Plate under Eurasian Plate).
    • Potential to become active in millions of years.
    • May reshape the Atlantic Ocean configuration.
  • Comparison with other Subduction Zones
    • Similar to Lesser Antilles Arc (Caribbean) and Scotia Arc (near Antarctica).


Income and Wealth Inequality in India

  • Key Findings of the World Inequality Lab Report
    • Rising inequality since the early 1980s, accelerating since the 2000s.
    • Top 0.1% income share reached nearly 10% of national income in 2022.
    • Top 1% income and wealth share at record highs (22.6% and 40.1% respectively).
    • Wealth concentration within the top 1%:
      • Top 0.01% share – 22%
      • Top 0.001% share – 16%
    • Decline in the bottom 50% income share since 1991 (from 11% to 6-7%).
    • Potential regressiveness of India’s income tax system.
  • Recommendations
    • Restructure tax code to consider both income and wealth.
    • Increase public investment in health, education, and nutrition.
    • Implement a “super tax” on the wealthiest to generate revenue for social programs.
    • Improve the quality of economic data collection.




Global E-waste Monitor (GEM) 2024 Report

E-waste Crisis

  • E-waste: Electronic waste (old, discarded electronic devices).
  • Environmental and health risks if not properly handled.

GEM Report

  • Prepared by UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

Key Findings

  • E-waste generation surged from 34 billion kg (2010) to 62 billion kg (2022).
  • Expected to reach 82 billion kg by 2030.
  • Only 13.8 billion kg formally collected and recycled (2022).

Reasons for E-waste Increase

  • Faster technological advancements (shorter lifecycles).
  • Higher electronic device consumption rates.
  • Limited repair options for many devices.
  • Growing electronification in various aspects of life.
  • Inadequate e-waste management infrastructure.

Informal Recycling Sector

  • Handles significant e-waste globally (high-income & low-income countries).
  • Driven by lack of formal e-waste management systems.

Regional Disparities

  • Europe leads in documented e-waste recycling (42.8%).
  • Africa faces challenges (low recycling rate despite lower generation).
  • Asia generates a large portion (30 billion kg) but limited progress in management.

Policy Adoption

  • 81 countries have e-waste policies/regulations.
  • 67 countries have Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for e-waste.


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