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ARTICLES

ARTICLES

ARTICLES

The idea of a universal basic income (UBI) has been gaining ground globally. While Switzerland held a referendum on it last year (it was voted down), Finland introduced it earlier this year. What is UBI? Universal Basic Income is a radical and compelling paradigm shift in thinking about both social justice and a productive economy. It could be to the twenty first century what civil and political rights were to the twentieth. It is premised on the idea that a just society needs to guarantee to each individual a minimum income which they can count on, and which provides the necessary material foundation for a life ... Read More...

  Mar 17, 2017   General Category

On 24 November, the apex court ordered a ban on the sale (not the use) of firecrackers in Delhi and NCR. The verdict, though, sounded tentative—the Court took more than a year to act on a petition by two toddlers demanding a ban on crackers before the Dussehra and Diwali season in 2015, in contrast to its proactive support for the odd-even policy despite its tenability being doubted. The Delhi government, for its part, also now seems to acknowledge the relative ineffectiveness of the odd-even car rationing policy, though keeping this option open if pollution threatens to choke the city again. ... Read More...

  Mar 16, 2017   General Category

Waste-to-energy plants could sustainably dispose of municipal solid waste, while generating electricity. Management of solid waste or garbage has three elements: Segregation of biodegradable or wet waste from dry waste at source. Once segregation is achieved, municipal governments can use wet waste to produce compost and biogas in biomethanation plants. The dry waste, after removing recyclable elements, should go to waste-to-energy plants: This will reduce the volume of waste that remains to be sent to landfills. Read More...

  Mar 15, 2017   General Category

In the Union Budget 2015-16, government sponsored micro insurance was launched for the disadvantaged sections of the society. Eligibility: Available to people in age group 18 to 70 years with bank account. Premium:  Rs.12 per annum. Payment Mode: The premium will be directly auto-debited by the bank from the subscribers account. This is the only mode available. Risk Coverage:  For accidental death and full disability - Rs.2 Lakh and for partial disability – Rs.1 Lakh. Eligibility: Any person having a bank account and Aadhaar number l... Read More...

  Mar 13, 2017   General Category

Published by: World Wide Fund for Nature WILDLIFE Based on a study conducted in 2007, the following percentage of India’s wildlife is threatened with extinction: Mammals-41% Birds-7% Reptiles-46% Amphibians-57% Freshwater Fish-70% Four of the 386 species of mammals evaluated are already extinct FORESTS India aims for 33% forest cover but currently has only 21.3% of forest and tree cover. This makes it one of the countries with the lowest per capita availability of forests in the world. 25% of ... Read More...

  Mar 11, 2017   General Category

Solar and Wind power tariffs have hit new lows in India. Tariffs for solar power have hitherto ranged from Rs3.9 per kWh to Rs5.9 per kWh. Recently, this has further gone below the sub Rs3/unit mark. Wind power has also followed suit as cost has come down to Rs3.46/unit. Reasons for cost reduction: Transparent auction mechanism Auction of contracts to develop the world’s largest solar power plant of 750 MW capacity in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh have pushed the solar power tariffs to a record low of Rs2.97 per kWh. India has set a target of generating 60GW of wind power by 2022, up from 28,700.44 MW at the end of December. The ... Read More...

  Mar 10, 2017   General Category

In the ever-expanding universe of Indo-US cooperation, perhaps the brightest and most alluring star is the deepening partnership between the Indian and US navies. Consider two recent pronouncements: Admiral Harry Harris, the commander of the Hawaii-based Pacific Command (Pacom), revealed, that both navies are engaged in “sharing...information regarding Chinese maritime movement in the Indian Ocean,” especially submarines. Reliance Defence and Engineering Ltd announced that it had won a contract to service ships of the US Seventh Fleet. ... Read More...

  Mar 09, 2017   General Category

The Government of India has taken a pioneering initiative for conserving its national animal, the tiger, by launching the ‘Project Tiger’ in 1973. From 9 tiger reserves since its formative years, the Project Tiger coverage has increased to 47 at present, spread out in 18 of our tiger range states. This amounts to around 2.08% of the geographical area of our country. The tiger reserves are constituted on a core/buffer strategy. The core areas have the legal status of a national park or a sanctuary, whereas the buffer or peripheral areas are a mix of fores... Read More...

  Mar 08, 2017   General Category

On January 26, 1986, as New Delhi celebrated its Republic Day, South Yemen was being engulfed in a civil war that threatened the lives of thousands of foreigners living there. The 850 Indians in the country were forced to wait for several days until New Delhi finally managed to convince a merchant ship to pick them up. Fast forward almost 30 years, to April 2015, when Yemen was on fire once again. This time, however, the Indian government successfully conducted Operation Raahat to evacuate almost 5,000 Indians and nearly 1,000 citizens from 41 other countries. Besides Air India aircraft, the Indian Navy deployed vessels, and the Indian Air F... Read More...

  Mar 07, 2017   General Category

 -  http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37789594    -  Two new critically endangered plant species spotted in Eravikulam National Park   ... Read More...

  Mar 05, 2017   General Category

The National Hydrology Project (NHP) is intended for setting up of a system for timely and reliable water resources data acquisition, storage, collation and management. It will also provide tools/systems for informed decision making through Decision Support Systems (DSS) for water resources assessment, flood management, reservoir operations, drought management, etc. NHP also seeks to build capacity of the State and Central sector organisations in water resources management through the use of Information Systems and adoption of State-of-the-art technologies like Remote Sensing. The MoWR, RD&GR has adopted a paradigm shift in the management of water... Read More...

  Mar 06, 2017   General Category

Project Elephant was launched by the Government of India in the year 1992 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with following objectives: To protect elephants, their habitat & corridors To address issues of man-animal conflict Welfare of captive elephants Financial and Technical support are being provided to major elephant bearing States in the country. Main activities under the Project are as follows: Ecological restoration of existing natural habitats and migratory routes of elephants; Development of scientific and planned management for conservation of elephant habitats and viable population of Wild Asiatic eleph... Read More...

  Mar 05, 2017   General Category

The Census (2011) data showed a significant declining trend in the Child Sex Ratio (CSR), calculated as number of girls for every 1000 boys between age group of 0-6 years, with an all-time low of 918 in 2011 from 976 in 1961. The decline in CSR has been unabated since 1961. This is an alarming indicator for women disempowerment. It reflects both pre-birth discrimination manifested through gender biased sex selection, and post birth discrimination against girls. The decline is widespread across the country and has expanded to rural as well as tribal areas. Alarmed by the sharp decline, the Government of India has introduced Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP) pro... Read More...

  Mar 04, 2017   General Category

Ties between China and Japan have been strained by a territorial row over a group of islands, known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu islands in China. What is the row about? At the heart of the dispute are eight uninhabited islands and rocks in the East China Sea. They have a total area of about 7 sq. km and lie north-east of Taiwan, east of the Chinese mainland and south-west of Japan's southern-most prefecture, Okinawa. The islands are controlled by Japan. Read More...

  Mar 02, 2017   General Category

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) will be set up as a public limited company under the Department of Posts with 100 per cent government equity. The total corpus of the payments bank is of Rs 800 crore, which will have Rs 400-crore equity and Rs 400-crore grant. A total of 650 branches of the postal payments bank would be established in India, which will be linked to rural post offices. India has 154,000 post offices, of which 139,000 are rural post offices. IPPB will obtain banking licence from the Reserve Bank of India (... Read More...

  Mar 01, 2017   General Category

Now that the dust has settled on Marina beach, where young protesters had camped to demand that the ban on Jallikattu—a traditional sport of bull jostling—be lifted, let’s discuss the larger and more serious issue of culture, tradition and their practice in the modern world. There is no doubt that traditional cultures had empathy with ecology—people had learnt to live with nature, optimise its resources and rationalise its use during scarcity. This “sustainable use” was woven into rituals, practices and beliefs, and became part of cultures. But times change, and so do the approaches and sensibilities of society. Read More...

  Feb 28, 2017   General Category

India is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, which includes in its ambit a wide variety of habitats, such as marshes, swamps, lakes, coastal lagoons, mangroves, peat lands, coral reefs, and numerous man-made wetlands, such as ponds, salt pans, reservoirs, gravel pits, sewage farms, and canals. The Central Government is desirous of mainstreaming full range of wetland biodiversity and ecosystem service values in sectoral development planning and decision making based on integrated management approach. The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on 14 December 2016 notified the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 20... Read More...

  Feb 27, 2017   General Category

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) sent 104 satellites into orbit and the wild applause was soon followed by growing mutterings about India’s space agency adding to space junk. However, it’s irrational to blame the agency. If anything, carrying multiple payloads lowers orbital debris as each rocket used to send satellites to space also adds to the space junk. ISRO is also ideally located for launches because its proximity to the Equator gives the rockets an extra velocity kick into space so they use less fuel to launch heavier payloads. And unlike space tourism, satellites serve a practical purpose, providing data that support communication, naviga... Read More...

  Feb 26, 2017   General Category

What is Guar Gum? Guar Gum Powder is extracted from the Guar Seed after a multistage industrial process. The most important property of Guar Gum is its ability to hydrate rapidly in cold water to attain uniform and very high viscosity at relatively low concentrations. Guar Gum, either modified or unmodified is a very versatile and efficient natural polymer covering a number of applications in various industries like food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, paper, textile, construction, oil & gas well drilling, mining etc, due to its cost effective emulsifying and thickening properties. Functions: It is widely used in oil and gas well drilling du... Read More...

  Feb 25, 2017   General Category

The Union Budget has made a broad-brushed allocation of ₹2,675.42 crores to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), an apparent increase by 18.88% from last year. Even as the issues of forest management, resource conservation, pollution control and wildlife protection are manifest to be increasingly interconnected, they are treated in isolation with attention paid only at the macro-level. Often proactive measures for environment are disproportionately counter-balanced by lax regulation in other sectors such as energy and large industries. Areas of concern •     In light of the increasing challenges... Read More...

  Feb 24, 2017   General Category