Everything about Cyberwar?

What is Cyberwar?

  • Cyberwar is a form of war which takes places on computers and the Internet, through electronic means rather than physical ones.
  • With an increasing global reliance on technology for everything from managing national electrical grids to ordering supplies for troops, cyberwar is a method of attack which many nations are vulnerable to.
  • In cyberwar, people use technological means to launch a variety of attacks.
  • Some of these attacks take a very conventional form. Computers can be used, for example, for propaganda, espionage, and vandalism.
  • Denial of service attacks can be used to shut down websites, silencing the enemy and potentially disrupting their government and industry by creating a distraction.
  • Cyberwar can also be utilized to attack equipment and infrastructure, which is a major concern for heavily industrialized nations which rely on electronic systems for many tasks.

Challenges to India’s National Security:

  • India’s reliance on technology reflects from the fact that India is shifting gears by entering into facets of e-governance.
  • India has already brought sectors like income tax, passports” visa under the realm of e -governance.
  • Sectors like police and judiciary are to follow.
  • The travel sector is also heavily reliant on this.
  • Most of the Indian banks have gone on full-scale computerization.
  • This has also brought in concepts of e-commerce and e-banking.
  • The stock markets have also not remained immune.
  • To create havoc in the country these are lucrative targets to paralyze the economic and financial institutions.
  • The damage done can be catastrophic and irreversible.

Challenges and Concerns:

  • Some challenges and concerns are highlighted below :­
  • Lack of awareness and the culture of cyber security at individual as well as institutional level.
  • Lack of trained and qualified manpower to implement the counter measures.
  • Too many information security organisations which have become weak due to ‘turf wars’ or financial compulsions.
  • A weak IT Act which has became redundant due to non exploitation and age old cyber laws.
  • No e-mail account policy especially for the defence forces, police and the agency personnel.
  • Cyber attacks have come not only from terrorists but also from neighboring countries inimical to our National interests.

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.

Everything about Ordinance

What is an ordinance and who makes it?

  • Article 123 of the Indian Constitution grants the President of India to Promulgate Ordinances when either of the two Houses of the Parliament is not in session which makes it impossible for a single House to pass and enact a law.
  • Ordinances may relate to any subject that the parliament has the power to make law, and would be having same limitations.

When an ordinance can be issued?

  • When legislature is not in session.
  • When immediate action is needed: Here the Supreme Court has clarified that the legislative power to issue ordinances is ‘in the nature of an emergency power’ given to the executive only ‘to meet an emergent situation’.

How parliament exercises control over ordinance making power of President? 

  • The constitution provides two parliamentary checks vis-a-vis the promulgation of ordinance [Art 123(2) (a)]:
  • The power of parliament to pass resolutions disapproving the provisions of the ordinance.
  • The automatic expiry of the ordinance within six weeks of the reassembly of the houses of the parliament unless passed by the parliament; this gives a chance for the parliament to debate on the ordinance and review it accordingly.

Ordinance making powers of the Governor

  • Just as the President of India is constitutionally mandated to issue Ordinances under Article 123, the Governor of a state can issue Ordinances under Article 213, when the state legislative assembly (or either of the two Houses in states with bicameral legislatures) is not in session.
  • The powers of the President and the Governor are broadly comparable with respect to Ordinance making.
  • However, the Governor cannot issue an Ordinance without instructions from the President in certain cases where the assent of the President would have been required to pass a similar Bill.

Key debates relating to the Ordinance making powers of the Executive.

  • There has been significant debate surrounding the Ordinance making power of the President (and Governor).
  • Constitutionally, important issues that have been raised include:
  • Judicial review of the Ordinance making powers of the executive;
  • The necessity for ‘immediate action’ while promulgating an Ordinance;
  • And the granting of Ordinance making powers to the executive, given the principle of separation of powers.

Important Cases:

  • In 1970, RC Cooper vs.Union of India Case the Supreme Court, held that the President’s decision on Ordinance could be challenged on the grounds that ‘immediate action’ was not required; and the Ordinance had been passed primarily to by-pass debate and discussion in the legislature.
  • In 1980, AK Roy vs.Union of India case the Court argued that the President’s Ordinance making power is not beyond the scope of judicial review.

Major Air Pollutants

Major Air Pollutants

Particulate matter (PM):

  • PM affects more people than any other pollutant.
  • The major components of PM are sulfate, nitrates, ammonia, sodium chloride, black carbon, mineral dust and water.
  • It consists of a complex mixture of solid and liquid particles of organic and inorganic substances suspended in the air.
  • The most health-damaging particles are those with a diameter of 10 microns or less, (≤ PM10), which can penetrate and lodge deep inside the lungs.
  • Chronic exposure to particles contributes to the risk of developing cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as of lung cancer.
    • Health effects:
  • There is a close, quantitative relationship between exposure to high concentrations of small particulates (PM10 and PM2.5) and increased mortality or morbidity, both daily and over time.
  • Small particulate pollution have health impacts even at very low concentrations – indeed no threshold has been identified below which no damage to health is observed.

Ozone (O3):

  • Ozone at ground level – not to be confused with the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere – is one of the major constituents of photochemical smog.
  • It is formed by the reaction with sunlight (photochemical reaction) of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) from vehicle and industry emissions and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by vehicles, solvents and industry.
  • As a result, the highest levels of ozone pollution occur during periods of sunny weather.
    • Health effects:
  • Excessive ozone in the air can have a marked effect on human health.
  • It can cause breathing problems, trigger asthma, reduce lung function and cause lung diseases.

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2): 

  • As an air pollutant, NO2 has several correlated activities.
  • At short-term concentrations exceeding 200 μg/m3, it is a toxic gas which causes significant inflammation of the airways.
  • NO2 is the main source of nitrate aerosols, which form an important fraction of PM2.5 and, in the presence of ultraviolet light, of ozone.
  • The major sources of anthropogenic emissions of NO2 are combustion processes (heating, power generation, and engines in vehicles and ships).
    • Health effects:
  • Epidemiological studies have shown that symptoms of bronchitis in asthmatic children increase in association with long-term exposure to NO2.
  • Reduced lung function growth is also linked to NO2.

Sulfur dioxide (SO2):

  • SO2 is a colourless gas with a sharp odour.
  • It is produced from the burning of fossil fuels (coal and oil) and the smelting of mineral ores that contain sulfur.
  • The main anthropogenic source of SO2 is the burning of sulfur-containing fossil fuels for domestic heating, power generation and motor vehicles.
    • Health effects:
  • SO2 can affect the respiratory system and the functions of the lungs, and causes irritation of the eyes.
  • Inflammation of the respiratory tract causes coughing, mucus secretion, aggravation of asthma and chronic bronchitis and makes people more prone to infections of the respiratory tract.
  • Hospital admissions for cardiac disease and mortality increase on days with higher SO2 levels.
  • When SO2 combines with water, it forms sulfuric acid; this is the main component of acid rain which is a cause of deforestation.

Carbon monoxide: 

  • It comes from the burning of fossil fuels, mostly in cars. It cannot be seen or smelled.
    • Health effects:
  • Carbon monoxide makes it hard for body parts to get the oxygen they need to run correctly.
  • Exposure to carbon monoxide makes people feel dizzy and tired and gives them headaches.
  • In high concentrations it is fatal.
  • Elderly people with heart disease are hospitalized more often when they are exposed to higher amounts of carbon monoxide.

What is Seagrasses? 

Seagrasses are flowering plants that form dense underwater beds in shallow water. Distinct from seaweed, the plants provide shelter and food for a large range of animals, including fish, marine mammals and birds. Many seagrass meadows have been lost because of human activities, say researchers. Seagrasses are also knows as “lungs of the sea” Seagrass, which […]