Smart Cities

what are Smart Cities?

  • A ‘smart city’ is an urban region that is highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability.
  • It is a city where information technology is the principal infrastructure and the basis for providing essential services to residents.
  • There are many technological platforms involved, including but not limited to automated sensor networks and data centres.
  • In a smart city, economic development and activity is sustainable and rationally incremental by virtue of being based on success-oriented market drivers such as supply and demand.
  • They benefit everybody, including citizens, businesses, the government and the environment.

What are the core infrastructure in a Smart City?

  • According to the documents released on the Smart Cities website, the core infrastructure in a smart city would include:
  • Adequate water supply
  • Assured electricity supply
  • Sanitation, including solid waste management
  • Efficient urban mobility and public transport
  • Affordable housing, especially for the poor
  • Robust IT connectivity and digitalisation
  • Good governance, especially e-Governance and citizen participation
  • Sustainable environment
  • Safety and security of citizens, particularly women, children and the elderly
  • Health and education

Everything about Surrogacy

What is surrogacy?

  • Surrogacy is where a woman becomes pregnant with the intention of handing over the child to someone else after giving birth.
  • Generally, she carries the baby for a couple or parent who cannot conceive a child themselves – they are known as “intended parents”.
  • There are two forms of surrogacy.
  • In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother’s egg is used, making her the genetic mother.
  • In gestational surrogacy, the egg is provided by the intended mother or a donor.
  • The egg is fertilised through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and then placed inside the surrogate mother.

Is surrogacy legal?

  • It varies from country to country.
  • Countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Bulgaria prohibit all forms of surrogacy.
  • In countries including the UK, Ireland, Denmark and Belgium, surrogacy is allowed where the surrogate mother is not paid, or only paid for reasonable expenses.
  • Paying the mother a fee (known as commercial surrogacy) is prohibited.
  • Commercial surrogacy is legal in some US states, and countries including, Russia and Ukraine.

Where do people go for surrogacy?

  • countries popular with parents for surrogacy arrangements are the US,  Thailand, Ukraine and Russia.
  • Mexico, Nepal, Poland and Georgia are also among the countries described as possibilities for surrogacy arrangements.
  • Costs vary significantly from country to country, and also depend on the number of IVF cycles needed, and whether health insurance is required.

Cambodia the new destinations:

  • While Cambodia has become popular among people — both Indians and from other parts of the world — countries such as Ukraine and Kenya are attracting doctors from India.
  • India is no longer on the surrogacy map and after Bangkok and Thailand stopped surrogacy, Cambodia opened up.
  • As in the early days of surrogacy in India, the lack of proper laws or guidelines in Cambodia has proved a big attraction.
  • There is growth in surrogacy in Cambodia since last year.
  • There is a huge pressure building and Cambodia is ill-prepared to handle it.
  • Besides, there are no laws in place in Cambodia.
  • Doctors who offered surrogacy service in India are aware of the new hubs.

Important Commitees

N.K.Singh committee To review the FRBM Act of 2003
Ratan Watal Committee On digital payments
Anil Kakodkar Committee On railway safety
A.K.Bhargava Net Neutrality
Madhukar Gupta committee India Pakistan Border issue
Aravind Subramanian Tackle shortage of pulses in India
Bibek Debroy committee Railways and privatization of railways
Shekatkar committee Defense
Shyam Benegal committee Film certification
Shankar Acharya committee To pre pone the financial year to Jan from Apr
Sailesh Nayek Committee Coastal Regulation Zone
Harun Rashid Khan Committee Corporate bond market
Kelkar committee PPP
Parthasarthy Shome committee GAAR recommendations
Madhav Chitale committee De-saltation of Ganga
Amitabh Kant committee
  • look at easing the policy regime for e-commerce players, including the rules for foreign direct investment
  • Bottlenecks of digital payments

Universal basic income

Core concept : It was proposed by left liberal political philosopher Philippe van Pari in his book real freedom for all. According to him, basis for universal basic income is the fair distribution of real freedom to pursue the realisation of ones conception of the good life. Core of the concept of basic income is […]

Global Innovation Index (GII)

The Global Innovation Index (GII) aims to capture the multi-dimensional facets of innovation and provide the tools that can assist in tailoring policies to promote long-term output growth, improved productivity, and job growth. The GII helps to create an environment in which innovation factors are continually evaluated. The Global Innovation Index 2016 (GII), in its […]

About Ease of Doing Business Index

  • Word Bank releases Doing Business reports and it review business regulations and their enforcement across countries.
  • It was introduced in 2004.
  • A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.
  • The rankings are determined by sorting the aggregate distance to frontier scores on 10 topics, each consisting of several indicators, giving equal weight to each topic. These are:
    1. Starting a business – Procedures, time, cost and minimum capital to open a new business
    2. Dealing with construction permits – Procedures, time and cost to build a warehouse
    3. Getting electricity – procedures, time and cost required for a business to obtain a permanent electricity connection for a newly constructed warehouse
    4. Registering property – Procedures, time and cost to register commercial real estate
    5. Getting credit – Strength of legal rights index, depth of credit information index
    6. Protecting investors – Indices on the extent of disclosure, extent of director liability and ease of shareholder suits
    7. Paying taxes – Number of taxes paid, hours per year spent preparing tax returns and total tax payable as share of gross profit
    8. Trading across borders – Number of documents, cost and time necessary to export and import
    9. Enforcing contracts – Procedures, time and cost to enforce a debt contract
    10. Resolving insolvency – The time, cost and recovery rate (%) under bankruptcy proceeding

Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan

  • Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan envisages to improve the quality and coverage of Antenatal Care (ANC) including diagnostics and counselling services as part of the Reproductive Maternal Neonatal Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) Strategy.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan has been launched by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India.
  • The program aims to provide assured, comprehensive and quality antenatal care, free of cost, universally to all pregnant women on the 9th of every month.
  • It is for the woman who are not from urban areas. Semi urban and rural areas will be preferred