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ARTICLES

ARTICLES

ARTICLES

Researchers in the United Kingdom have developed a graphene-based sieve that can filter salt out of seawater, a development that could provide drinking water to millions of people around the globe. The applications could be a game-changer in countries where access to safe, clean, drinkable water is severely limited. About Graphene -- an ultra-thin sheet of carbon atoms organized in a hexagonal lattice -- was first identified at the University of Manchester in 2002 and has since been hailed as a "wonder material," with scientists ra... Read More...

  Jun 28, 2017   General Category

29 March 2017 must be recorded as one of the most significant days in the history of federalism in India. By passing the four bills relating to different aspects of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Lok Sabha has, perhaps for the first time put limitations on its own powers, in the interest of federalism, and signed off on a pooling of sovereignty in taxation matters with 32 state and Union territory legislatures. In turn, over the next couple of months all the state legislatures will share their powers of taxation. In the process of sharing and jointly exercising the powers to tax, the GST Council will be... Read More...

  Jun 27, 2017   General Category

One of the central promises of the new goods and services tax (GST) that is set to be rolled out in July is that it will allow companies to restructure their supply chains once the domestic market is truly integrated. It is hard to see how the production structure can be improved radically unless India builds a new logistics network to allow inputs, components and finished goods to move across the country seamlessly. The success of the flagship Make in India programme is also critically dependent on a modern logistics network. An effective multi-modal logistics and transport sector will make our economy more competitive. A specific programme f... Read More...

  Jun 26, 2017   General Category

Recently, the government made it mandatory to link Aadhaar numbers to tax returns and set itself a target of one year within which it would link all mobile numbers to the Aadhaar database. While the Supreme Court agreed to refer these issues to a larger bench, it seemed happy to let the government continue to incorporate Aadhaar into all aspects of our lives. OECD approach Perhaps in anticipation of these events, a number of academic papers have been published recently, agitating the need for a privacy legislation. They have broadly suggested the enactment of a law along the lines of the OECD (Organisation for Economic ... Read More...

  Jun 25, 2017   General Category

In over half a century of naval development, maritime forces have based their combat strategy and modernization on two principal concepts of operations: “sea control” and “sea denial”. A maritime power either dominates the adversary by controlling the littoral seas or denies their use to the adversary. Sea control and Sea denial Sea control is the strategy of choice for an ascendant force but entails a higher operational commitment in dictating the tempo of operations in littoral spaces over prolonged durations. In contrast, a weaker force focuses all its combat efforts in denying the adversa... Read More...

  Jun 24, 2017   General Category

Light Fidelity or Li-Fi technology is a ground-breaking light-based communication technology, which makes use of light waves instead of radio technology to deliver data. Li-Fi can compensate as the radio spectrum becomes overloaded Using the visible light spectrum, Li-Fi technology can transmit data and unlock capacity which is 10,000 times greater than that available within the radio spectrum. The visible light spectrum is plentiful, free and unlicensed, mitigating the radio frequency spectrum crunch effect. Read More...

  Jun 23, 2017   General Category

The polycentric new world order, which was gradually emerging after the end of the Cold War, has begun to fray at the edges. The primary causes are: the growing friction among the major powers, the triumphant rise of the ultra-right wing political parties, dilution in the forces of globalisation and free market economies, and the world’s inability to comprehensively defeat the Islamic State (IS) group. While the progress ... Read More...

  Jun 22, 2016   General Category

India's ties with Latin America have received a clear direction since 2015. Latin America and the Caribbean are the source of 20 percent of this country's crude imports. Right from the time Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the leaders of 11 Latin American countries in 2016 on the margins of the BRICS Summit in Brazil, the new government has kept up a steady engagement with high-level visits. India imports 20 percent of its crude from Venezuela, Columbia, Mexico and Brazil. In 2012, India overtook China as the largest Asian buyer of Venezuelan crude. India's trade with LAC has grown from less than $2 bi... Read More...

  Jun 21, 2017   General Category

  Jawaharlal Nehru once said the Indian Civil Service was “Neither Indian, nor Civil, nor a Service”. Sardar Patel said the civil service was the “steel frame of government machinery”. Thankfully, this team of rivals worked together to create a model for non-elected civil servants that served India well when the primary task was nation-building. But now that the task has shifted to poverty reduction, most citizens do not perceive the Indian state as a high-performance organisation. Read More...

  Jun 20, 2017   General Category

The Niti Aayog will soon start a process to sensitise states towards preparing a Water Management Index (WMI) which will ultimately lead the Centre's think-tank to rank them on the basis of their efforts in efficient management of water resources. The states' performance will be judged on the basis of 28 key indicators. It will cover: Water use efficiency Irrigation status Groundwater recharge Availability of drinking water for both rural and urban areas Watershed development Other sustainable practices in water-related sectors. ... Read More...

  Jun 19, 2017   General Category

What is Rubella? Rubella is a mild viral infection that mainly occurs in children. But a woman infected with the rubella virus during the early stage of pregnancy has a 90% chance of transmitting it to the foetus. The virus can cause hearing impairments, eye and heart defects and brain damage in newborns, and even spontaneous abortion and foetal deaths. Why is the measles-rubella vaccine being administered to children? Buoyed by the elimination of polio six years ago and maternal and neonatal tetanus and yaws in 2016, India has set an ambitious target of eliminating measles and controlling congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), ... Read More...

  Jun 18, 2017   General Category

New Delhi will host leading health researchers and policymakers from Africa and India. This India-Africa Health Sciences Meet (IAHSM) is a follow-up of the India-Africa Summit in October 2015. To accomplish this, there is: a proposed a $100-million India-Africa Development Fund, a $10-million Health Fund and 50,000 scholarships for African students to study in India. Africa and India together cover about a quarter of the world’s land area, support over a third of its population and harbour about half of its disease burden. Infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS, childhood diarrhoea and respiratory infections remain big challenges. Howe... Read More...

  Jun 17, 2017   General Category

About The government has come up with a new National Steel Policy 2017 that envisages increasing the capacity in the country, more than 2 fold from 122 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 300 mtpa, by 2030. The draft policy lays out two alternatives of its vision — “to create a globally competitive steel industry that promotes inter-sectoral growth” or “to create a self-sufficient steel industry that is technologically advanced, globally competitive and promotes inclusive growth.” While it focuses on impediments like high input costs, availability of raw materials, import dependency and financial stress plaguing ... Read More...

  Jun 08, 2017   General Category

Triangularity has lately become the flavour of the season in international relations discourse. Major powers, beyond their usual bilateral engagements, have been embracing the tripartite mode of engagement in recent times to establish a tactical thread for a twofold advantage: gain more in their foreign policy; and influence collectively the regional balance of power in their favour. A prominent example is the China-Pakistan-Russia triangulation. Its av... Read More...

  Jun 07, 2017   General Category

India's Twin Balance Sheet problem as referred by Economic survey are: overleveraged and distressed companies and the rising NPAs in Public Sector Bank balance sheets. The issue is important because it is holding up private investment in the country and therefore, growth in all sorts of sectors. It has identified most of the issues that prevented many measures introduced by the government - from Sarfaesi Act, to Asset Reconstruction Companies, to Strategic Debt Restructuring  and the Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets.  But it is the prescription, a Public Sector Asset Reconstruction Agency (PARA), that is disappointing b... Read More...

  Jun 06, 2017   General Category

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has launched five cyber-security tools, as part of its Cyber Swachhta Kendra (CSK), to prevent users from facing threats on the web. These tools are: Bot Removal Tool USB Pratirodh AppSamvid M-Kavach Browser JSGuard Even though all these tools will be provided free of cost, four of these tools, which are meant to guard computers, would only run on Microsoft’s Windows operating system, a move which experts have pegged to be against the government&rs... Read More...

  Jun 05, 2017   General Category

The oxygen content in global oceans has reduced by more than two per cent since 1960, with large variations in oxygen loss in different ocean basins and at different depths. The current study has predicted a decline in the dissolved oxygen inventory of the global ocean of one to seven per cent by the year 2100. Effects Just a little loss of oxygen in coastal waters can lead to a complete change in ecosystems. In fact, such a decline in oxygen content could affect ocean nutrient cycles and the marine habitat. It can have detrimental consequences for fisheries and coastal economies. It must be noted that the only orga... Read More...

  Jun 03, 2017   General Category

Digital lending consists of lending through Web platforms or mobile apps, by leveraging technology for authentication and credit assessment. Digital lending promises to be a respite for the “ordinary Indian” who is starved of institutional credit. Three out of five Indians continue to remain primarily dependent on informal credit. There is a huge unmet credit need (approximately $400 billion plus per year), particularly in the microenterprise and low-income consumer segment. Indians continue to borrow from family and friends, and moneylenders, sometimes at usurious rates, primarily because these loans are more flexible and convenien... Read More...

  Jun 03, 2017   General Category

Economic policy choices are not easy in a country like India. At present, the complication has increased because of the currency swap and deceleration in economic growth. Here are five themes that should guide economic policy. First, the policy should focus on market failures. Free markets work in enhancing prosperity but there are areas where state intervention is needed. However, in India, the state is dominant in sectors where it is not required and lacks capacity in areas where the intervention is actually desired. It often intervenes with no evidence of market failure, which affect... Read More...

  Jun 01, 2017   General Category

An alien species is a species introduced by humans – either intentionally or accidentally - outside of its natural past or present distribution, however not all alien species have negative impacts, and it is estimated that between 5% and 20% of all alien species become problematic. It is these species that are termed ‘invasive alien species’ (IAS). "An invasive alien species (IAS) is a species that is established outside of its natural past or present distribution, whose introduction and/or spread threaten biological diversity” Convention on Biological Diversity. Read More...

  May 20, 2017   General Category