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ARTICLES

ARTICLES

ARTICLES

As India, along with the rest of the world, grapples with the public health crisis caused by COVID-19, it faces many unique challenges. The most acute problem is faced by migrant labourers: they have no work, no source of income, no access to basic necessities, no quality testing facilities, no protective gear, and no means to reach home. Every day, we hear of migrant labourers walking hundreds of miles, many dying in the process. The saddest is the apathy shown by the institutions meant to look out for their interests. The Supreme ... Read More...

  Jun 17, 2020   Current Affairs

While public attention is focused on COVID-19, Jammu and Kashmir suffers twin lockdowns, rising violence and unilateral government actions, all at the same time. In the 12 months of the government since 2019, Kashmir policy has comprised of measures that are perceived as disasters in the Valley, garner mixed reactions in Jammu and Ladakh, and are welcomed by some in the rest of India.The latest of these actions is the new domicile rules, notified on May 18, 2020. Based on the ... Read More...

  Jun 17, 2020   Polity

The government’s post-COVID-19 relief and recovery package has disappointed many. It provides little by way of additional budgetary resources to halt and reverse the economic and social collapse that the pandemic and the response to it has triggered. Most estimates place the additional fiscal allocation implicit in the proposals at about a tenth of the size of the package, which the government claims amounts to around 10% of GDP.In its effort to a 10% of GDP relief-cum-stimulus figure, the government has relied heavily on measures aime... Read More...

  Jun 17, 2020   Economy

The Haryana government had recently launched ‘Mera Pani Meri Virasat’ scheme, aimed at crop diversification to move away from water-guzzling paddy. Under the scheme, farmers sowing alternative crops other than paddy during the ensuing kharif season will get an incentive of ₹7,000 per acre.Eight paddy-rich blocks including Ratia, Siwan, Guhla, Pipli, Shahabad, Babain, Ismailabad and Sirsa, where the depth of groundwater level exceeds 40 metres, are included in this scheme.But, several farmers staged a tractor march in Haryana’s Fatehab... Read More...

  Jun 17, 2020   Current Affairs

What is International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC)?The IMFC advises and reports to the IMF Board of Governors on the supervision and management of the international monetary and financial system. IMFC has no formal decision-making powers.The IMFC usually meets twice a year, at the Bank-Fund Annual (usually October) and Spring Meetings. The IMFC has 24 members who are central bank... Read More...

  Jun 16, 2020   Economy

Why are British elections taking place?Nearly three-and-a-half years after the UK voted for Brexit in the 2016 referendum, it has not happened.Britain was to exit the European Union by the end of October 2019. It could not happen as there was no majority for the Conservative party of Johnson. UK requested EU for an extension. The new Brexit deadline is January 31, 2020 by when the terms of separation have to be finalised. A new House has to be constituted and a new law is to be made in time. This will be the country's first Decembe... Read More...

  Jun 16, 2020   International Relations

What is the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)?The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) was created in 1889, in an era when there were no established means for governments, parliaments or MPs to work together internationally. The IPU is the global organization of national parliaments.Its membership includes 179 Member Parliaments.Its slogan is “For democracy. For everyone.”What does it do?The IPU is the global organization of national parliament... Read More...

  Jun 16, 2020   Polity

The U.S. has given notice that it will exit the Open Skies Treaty (OST), an agreement that allows countries to monitor signatories’ arms development by conducting surveillance flights over each other’s territories. U.S. Secretary of State has announced the withdrawal citing that Russia had “continuously and flagrantly” violated the treaty.The OST came into effect in 2002 under the George W. Bush administration and it allows its 34 signatories to conduct unarmed reconnaissance flights over the territory of treaty countries. The U.... Read More...

  Jun 16, 2020   International Relations

A draft legislation on national security tabled before China’s Parliament will for the first time allow Beijing to draft national security laws for Hong Kong and also operate its national security organs in the Special Administrative Region (SAR).The draft law, expected to be passed next week by the National People’s Congress in Beijing, has been criticised by democratic parties in Hong Kong as undermining the “one country, two systems” model that gives the SAR a high degree of autonomy.Since the return to China in 1997, Hong Kong has been governed by the Basic Law, which all... Read More...

  Jun 16, 2020   International Relations

The RBI has once again stepped up at the right time with measures that will reduce the cost of capital and ease the financial burden on businesses due to the extended lockdown. With repo rate cut of 40 basis points, the RBI has reduced 1.15 percentage points from the rate in the 58 days since the lockdown began, bringing the repo rate down to 4% and the reverse repo rate to 3.35%. It is believed that the latest cut may be no more than a sentiment booster as economic activity is at... Read More...

  Jun 16, 2020   Economy

The inauguration of a road from Dharchula to Lipu Lekh (China border) by India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has been claimed by Nepal as the stretch that passes through Nepalese territory.This road follows the traditional pilgrim route for the Kailash-Mansarovar yatra. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police is also located in Kalapani since it is close to the India-China border. Indian forces are not there because of Nepal.The Nepalese government has raised the stakes further and has made a negotiated settlement more complex by authorising a ne... Read More...

  Jun 16, 2020   International Relations

How are regulations related to business?Regulation exists to protect workers, public safety, businesses, and investments. But inefficient or inadequate regulation can stifle entrepreneurial activity and business growth and impact the ease of doing business. Cumbersome red tape holds back more than individual businesses or investors: an economy’s ability to grow sustainably may suffer. Economic freedom to do business goes hand in hand with economic development and a thriving private sector, and these in turn underpin poverty elimination and the pursuit of shared prosperity. Read More...

  Jun 15, 2020   Economy

Who are the non-aligned countries?The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a forum of 120 developing world states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. After the United Nations, it is the largest grouping of states worldwide.What is meant by `non-alignment`?To understand the term, we need to go back to the post-WW-II international relations. There were two super powers (the countries that had global interests and could defend them): United State of America and the erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist Re... Read More...

  Jun 15, 2020   International Relations

What is judicial recusal?Judicial recusal is the act of abstaining from participation in an official action such as a legal proceeding by a judge. The reasons can be apparent or actual conflict of interest or any other. The basis for judicial recusal is that popular expectations of objective and impartial justice requires due process to be followed. What is the basis for judicial recusal?The doctrine of recusal is based on the following: R vs Sussex Justices, ex parte McCarthy (1924) is a leading English case on the imp... Read More...

  Jun 15, 2020   Polity

The COVID-19 pandemic could accelerate the adoption of e-commerce in the country, with online sales accounting for over 10% of Indian retail sales in the next 12-18 month period, from 5% currently.Demonetisation accelerated the adoption of digital payment in India and it is expected that COVID-19 to do the same thing for online commerce. Presently, 95% of India’s retail sales do happen at stores, and online contribute only 5%.  Read More...

  Jun 15, 2020   Health

India would now be playing a more prominent role at the World Health Organisation (WHO), with the Union Health Minister set to take charge as chairman of the WHO Executive Board at its 147th session. Indian minister would succeed Dr Hiroki Nakatani of Japan, currently the Chairman of the 34-member WHO Executive Board.The WHO, a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health, is currently at the forefront of global efforts towards containing the nov... Read More...

  Jun 15, 2020   Health

More than 90 per cent of working people in our country are engaged in the informal economy. The most vulnerable are women who suffer from multiple disadvantages — as women, as poor, informal workers and as members of the socially disadvantaged castes and communities that predominate the informal sector. They keep the wheels of the economy turning with their labour, and yet they have limited or no social protection to act as a cushion in hard times. Read More...

  Jun 15, 2020   Economy

Sound travels in the form of waves which are emitted outwards from its source. In air, the speed of these waves depends on a number of factors, such as the temperature of the air and altitude.From a stationary source, such as a television set, sound waves travel outwards in concentric spheres of growing radii.As long as the source of the sound keeps moving slower than the speed of sound itself, this source– say a truck or a plane, it remains nested within the sound waves that are travelling in all directions. Read More...

  Jun 15, 2020   Science and Technology

ChemistryJohn Goodenough, at 97 the oldest person to be awarded a Nobel prize — Britain’s Stanley Whittingham, and Japan’s Akira Yoshino won the Nobel Chemistry Prize for the development of lithium-ion batteries, paving the way for smartphones and a fossil fuel-free society.Lithium-ion batteries which are lightweight, rechargeable and powerful are   used in mobile phones to laptops and electric vehicles and can also store significant amounts of energy from solar and wind power, making possible a fossil fuel-free society. Lithium batteries have revolutioni... Read More...

  Jun 13, 2020   Awards

The Global Competitiveness Report is an annual report published by the World Economic Forum. Since 2004, the Global Competitiveness Report ranks countries based on the Global Competitiveness Index. The Global Competitiveness Index integrates the macroeconomic and the micro/business aspects of competitiveness into a single index.What is the aim of the report?The report "assesses the ability of countries to provide high levels of prosperity to their citizens". This in turn depends on how productively a country uses available resources. To this end, the Global Com... Read More...

  Jun 13, 2020   Economy