Right to Freedom of religion

Right to Freedom of religion Art 25:  P3 -Profess,Practice,Propagate Conscience – inner freedom Profess -declare openly Practice – rituals and use signs Propagate – spread but not force Opinion & belief – no state interference Conduct & practice – state can Art 26: Religious denomination  Est. institutions for religion and charity Manage its affairs Right to property Administer its property […]

CITES ( Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)

  • CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
  • Today, it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 35,000 species of animals and plants, whether they are traded as live specimens, fur coats or dried herbs.
  • It is an international agreement to which States (countries) adhere voluntarily. Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties – in other words they have to implement the Convention – it does not take the place of national laws. Rather it provides a framework to be respected by each Party, which has to adopt its own domestic legislation to ensure that CITES is implemented at the national level.

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 CORAL BLEACHING:

CORAL BLEACHING:

  • Bleaching occurs when abnormal environmental conditions, such as warmer sea temperatures, cause corals to expel tiny photosynthetic algae, draining them of their colour.
  • When water is too warm, corals will expel the algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues causing the coral to turn completely white. This is called coral bleaching.
  • Algae are vital to the coral. Corals use the organic products of photosynthesis produced by algae to help it grow.
  • The loss of algae makes the host vulnerable to disease and means it will eventually die.
  • However, coral can recover if the water temperature drops and the algae are able to re-colonise them.
  • When a coral bleaches, it is not dead. Corals can survive a bleaching event, but if they are subject to more stress, they can eventually die.

CAUSES:

  • Environmentalists blame the burning of fossil fuels for global warming.
  • Farm run-off which is rich in fertilizers and other chemicals.
  • Development activities.
  •  The coral-eating starfish
  • Disease outbreaks

 The Need To Preserve Corals:

  • To protect coastlines from the damaging effects of wave action and tropical storms
  • To provide habitats and shelter for many marine organisms
  • Corals are the source of nitrogen and other essential nutrients for marine food chains
  • They assist in carbon and nitrogen fixing
  • They also help with nutrient recycling.
  • The fishing industry depends on coral reefs because many fish spawn there and juvenile fish spend time there before making their way to the open sea
  • The Great Barrier Reef are also important for the economy and tourism.
  • The study of coral reefs is important for providing a clear, scientifically-testable record of climatic events over the past million years or so. This includes records of recent major storms and human impacts that are recorded by the changes in coral growth patterns.

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.