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ARTICLES

ARTICLES

ARTICLES

Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood. It also caters to the “Peer to Peer” collect request which can be scheduled and paid as per requirement and convenience. UPI was launched by National Payments Corporation of India with Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) vision of migrating towards a 'less-cash' and more digital society. UPI is built on the Immediate Payment Service(IMPS) platform. Banks have started to upload their UPI e... Read More...

  Dec 31, 2016   General Category

Under the Paris Agreement, climate action was anchored in the context of international law. This requires countries to make their own unique contribution to the prevention of dangerous climate change. The next crucial step to follow this agreement is the rapid implementation by the signing parties of concrete measures to make their individual contributions to the global goal. For the past 12 years, the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) has been keeping track of countries’ efforts in combating climate change. The varying initial positions, interests and strategies of the numerous countries make it difficult to distinguish their strengths and weakn... Read More...

  Dec 30, 2016   General Category

Among the many contributors to climate change are aerosols in the atmosphere. These tiny particles suspended in the air come from many sources, some natural and some man-made. Some aerosols are organic (containing carbon), while others are inorganic. Most aerosols reflect sunlight, and some also absorb it. Many of these nanoparticles have severe health effects in addition to climate effects. Black carbon  particles (a component of soot) originating from combustion processes have been known for some time to absorb sunlight and warm the atmosphere. More recently, “brown carbon” (light-absorbing organic carbon) has attracted interest as a possible cause of... Read More...

  Dec 29, 2016   General Category

Hyperloop is a proposed mode of passenger and freight transportation that propels a pod-like vehicle through a near-vacuum tube at airline speeds. The pods accelerate to cruising speed gradually using a linear electric motor and glide above their track using passive magnetic levitation or air bearings. The tubes can go above ground on columns or underground, eliminating the dangers of grade crossings. It is hoped that the system will be highly energy-efficient, quiet and autonomous. Tesla and SpaceX's Elon Musk has started the building revolution for this new train system dubbed Hyperloop. It will mean getting from LA to San Francisco in u... Read More...

  Dec 28, 2016   General Category

The National Commission for Women was set up as statutory body in 1992 to: review the Constitutional and Legal safeguards for women ; recommend remedial legislative measures ; facilitate redressal of grievances and advise the Government on all policy matters affecting women. In keeping with its mandate, the Commission initiated various steps to improve the status of women and worked for their economic empowerment during the year under report.  The Commission received a large number of complaints and acted suo-moto in several cases to provide speedy justice.  It took up the i... Read More...

  Dec 27, 2016   General Category

The Central Advisory Board for Education (CABE) recommended dropping no-detention policy. This controversial policy is widely being blamed for deteriorating learning levels across schools in India. Section 16 of the RTE mandates that no child can be detained in a class until the completion of his/her elementary education. The corollary of this is continuous and comprehensive evaluation prescribed in Section 29 (h).It is aimed a progressive and holistic evaluation framework, enunciated in the National Policy on Education, 1986 and also the National Curriculum Framework, 2005. The reasons for NDP are: Examinations are often used for eliminating ... Read More...

  Dec 26, 2016   General Category

Net Neutrality means an Internet that enables and protects free speech and expression  It means that Internet service providers should provide us with open networks — and should not block or discriminate against any applications or content. Without Net Neutrality, cable and phone companies could carve the Internet into fast and slow lanes. An ISP could slow down its competitors' content or block political opinions it disagreed with. ISPs could charge extra fees to the few content companies that could afford to pay for preferential treatment — relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service. This would destroy the open Internet. Read More...

  Dec 25, 2016   General Category

The Ministry of External Affairs has decided to take academics and private sector candidates in its Policy Planning and Research. It represents a significant movement towards a more interactive, open-minded approach on augmenting capacity and innovation within the Ministry of External Affairs. It is good that boundaries between the MEA and the world outside are made less rigid so as to permit innovative thinking in various areas, political, economic, developmental and cultural. Over the last few years, particularly since 2010, the MEA has inducted into its offices at headquarters, deputationists from other central services of government.... Read More...

  Dec 24, 2016   General Category

The European migrant crisis arose through the rising number of migrant arrivals in 2015 – a combination of economic migrants and refugees – to the European Union (EU) coming across the Mediterranean Sea and Southeast Europe from areas such as Africa, and the Middle East. Around 270,000 illegal migrants have reached Europe’s shores so far this year, more than in the whole of 2014, itself a record year. Italy, and, in particular, its southern island of Lampedusa, receives enormous numbers of Africans and Middle-Easterns transported by traffickers operating along the ungoverned coast of the failed state of Libya. In Poland; 70% oppose taking in as... Read More...

  Dec 23, 2016   General Category

India realizes the importance of oceans, more particularly the Indian ocean. While security in the region remains a major concern, another way to integration is cooperation in the development of a blue economy.   PM Modi, in his recent visit to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka, urged for cooperation in blue economy, which is a multi-disciplinary approach for the exploitation of hydrocarbons and other marine resources; deep-sea fishing, preservation of marine ecology, mitigating climate change by addressing environmental issues and disaster management.   With its advancement in science and technology, India is in a pos... Read More...

  Dec 22, 2016   General Category

VoLTE (Voice over LTE) is the next evolution in wireless calling. The VoLTE technology platform allows users with a compatible phone to place and receive calls over the LTE network instead of the traditional voice network. Before VoLTE, only data was transmitted over the LTE network, and voice calls were carried over the HSPA network. In May 2014, Singtel introduced the world's first commercial "full-featured" VoLTE service in Singapore. Reliance Jio announced commercial launch of 100% VoLTE service without 2G/3G based services in India on 5th Sep 2016. Difference Between 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE and VoLTE1G, 2G, 3G an... Read More...

  Dec 21, 2016   General Category

Ethical and political discussions use the concept of dignity to express the idea that everyone has an innate right to be valued, respected, and to receive ethical treatment. In politics it is used in the context of the treatment of oppressed and vulnerable groups and peoples. Supreme Court held that right to life guaranteed under Art.21 of our Constitution means life with dignity. Fundamental Duties under Article 51A exhort Indian citizens “to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women”. Abolition of untouchability (Art.17), abolition of child labour (Art.24) are also examples of enabling dignity to the lives of the oppressed and the vulnerable. In  2011, hearing ... Read More...

  Dec 20, 2016   General Category

National emergency can be declared when there is a threat to national security due to external aggression or war or armed rebellion. It was declared thrice so far- 1962, 1971 and 1975. National Emergency can be declared again if a threat occurs to national security. It may happen from external sources or from inside the country. However, according to many, the invocation of Art.352 (National Emergency) in 1975 was avoidable. Its enforcement also left many democrats disappointed as democratic freedoms were unnecessarily suspended. Following reasons make repetition of such miscarriage difficult: Constitution has been comprehensively amended ... Read More...

  Dec 18, 2016   General Category

President of India is a ceremonial institution while the American President has real powers. The veto powers of the Indian President are absolute (rejection), suspensive (returning the Bill for repassage after which it is binding on the President to assent to it) and pocket veto which is not giving a decision as there is no time limit for giving the decision. There is a consensus of opinion in India that Presidential veto is exercisable only on the advice of the Council of Ministers (Art.74) as ours is a British type of Westminster system of parliamentary democracy. After the Congress passes a bill, the President may take no action on the bill for ten days. It then becomes law... Read More...

  Dec 17, 2016   General Category

The 262nd report of the Law Commission recommended that the death penalty be abolished for all crimes except for terrorism related offences and waging war. The commission came to this conclusion based on the following reasons: Death Penalty as a Deterrent is a Myth. Arbitrariness in sentencing in Capital Offences leading to a high number of rejections (more than 95%) of trial court decisions in higher courts. Geographical Variations in imposition of death penalty: NCRB data points to geographical variations. Compared to the rest of the country, a murder convict in Kerala is about twice as likely to get the death sentence; in Jharkhand is... Read More...

  Dec 16, 2016   General Category

In 2014, China drew increased international attention due to its dredging activities within the Spratlys, amidst speculation it is planning to further develop its military presence in the area. In April 2015 satellite imagery revealed that China was rapidly constructing an airfield on Fiery Cross Reef within the Spratlys. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims on Spratlys islands. China says the outposts will help with maritime search and rescue, disaster relief and navigation that other countries can use. Coming in the wake of China declaring an air defense identification zone, or ADIZ, over the East China Sea recently a... Read More...

  Dec 15, 2016   General Category

Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) are schemes that are implemented by State governments of India but are largely funded by the Central Government with a defined State Government share. Some examples of such schemes are Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. These schemes are meant to bring about national standards in conception and implementation of developmental schemes. However, there are many issues of concern:  proliferation of CSS, top down approach, provision of flexibility to States to mould schemes according to local requirements, flow of funds, accountability, involvement of PRIs etc. Restructuring of the CCSs need to address these issues. Untied fu... Read More...

  Dec 14, 2016   General Category

Since the beginning of 2014, Ukraine was engulfed in disturbances followed by pro-Russian unrest in some south-eastern regions, a standoff with Russia regarding the annexation of Crimea  and a war between the government and Russia-backed separatists in the Donbass in eastern Ukraine. Russian take over of Crimea led to western retaliation in the form of sanctions that weakened Russian economy. Military tensions also escalated as there were fears that Russia would break Ukraine and may even occupy some former soviet satellites. Western hostility drive Russia closer to China that is threatening to polarize global politics. Nato became activated. There was ... Read More...

  Dec 13, 2016   General Category

NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog is a Government of India policy think-tank that replaced the Planning Commission. NITI Aayog seeks to foster involvement and participation in the economic policy-making process by state governments of India, a "bottom-up" approach in contrast to the Planning Commission's tradition of "top-down" decision-making. It is a body meant to streamline economic growth in the reforms-era.   Its federal efforts can be understood from the following: 1. Centralization of planning was in vogue when Planning Commission undertook socio economic planning.  Its replacement by a much leaner body with... Read More...

  Dec 11, 2016   General Category

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to five Central Asian countries- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan- reinvigorated India's traditional ties with the region. Strong relation in energy, trade, culture and security sectors with the five nations is in mutual interest.   Trade The economic development of Central Asia, specially in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, has sparked a construction boom and development of sectors like IT, pharmaceuticals and tourism. India has expertise in these sectors and deeper cooperation will give a fresh impetus to trad... Read More...

  Dec 10, 2016   General Category