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bharat ias - NGT orders closure of industries near Bellandur Lake

NGT orders closure of industries near Bellandur Lake

NGT orders closure of industries near Bellandur Lake  Context Announces environment compensation for garbage dumping  What has happened? Banning the dumping of any kind of municipal solid waste around Bellandur Lake, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed immediate and complete shut-down of all industries around the water body  The Verdict Closed: All the industries located in the vicinity of Bellandur Lake and discharging effluent are hereby directed to be closed Joint Inspection Team:No industry is permitted to operate unless inspection by a joint inspection team is conducted and analysis of effluent is found to be within the permissible limits SPCB:The green panel ordered the State Pollution Control Board to seal industries violating its directions Compensation: An environment compensation of ₹5 lakh on anyone found dumping waste in and around the lake  Clean the Lake NGT directed a committee comprising officials of BDA (Bangalore Development Authority), KLCDA (Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority) and UDD to oversee one-time cleaning of the lake in one month, including desilting, removal of all waste from the lake and surface cleaning. The bench directed all authorities to ensure that no untreated sewage enters the lake  Namma Bengaluru Foundation At the forefront of the fight to save the lake, announced the formation of a 10-member committee — United Bengaluru for Bellandur — comprising the petitioners, local residents and experts to ensure implementation of the NGT’s directions  Apology by Law Department Law Department officials apologised to the bench, which took exception to their interpretation of its May 4, 2016 order on buffer zones around lakes and drains Officials from the UDD and BBMP promised to withdraw the circular based on the legal opinion that the NGT order was only prospective and not retrospective UDD officials said they would await a clarification from the NGT on the nature of the May 4 order   UDD: Urban Development Deptt of Karnatka BBMP:Bruhat Bengaluru MahanagaraPalike      ...

Publishes on : 08-May-2017 11:13 AM
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bharat ias - The great climate churn

The great climate churn

The great climate churn   Context Regional and global planning is essential to combat extreme events  What has happened? Unprecedented rates of glacier melts have been reported both in the Antarctic and the Arctic  Nature magazine A massive crack in Antarctica’s fourth-biggest ice shelf has surged forward by at least 10 kilometers since early January  Relatively Stable The earth has enjoyed a more or less stable temperature for the last 10,000 years Inter Glacials Prior to that there were several ice ages and periods of warmer temperature, also known as inter-glacials The ice ages are believed to have been caused by small shifts in the earth’s orbit, but all the reasons for the temperature fluctuations observed are not yet entirely understood  The melting Antarctic The Antarctic ice sheet is 14 million sq km in area and holds a large amount of frozen fresh water. (In comparison, the area of India’s land mass is about 1.3 million sq km.)  Larsen C Shelf Several media reports over the last few months have covered the expanding rift or crack along the Larsen C shelf in the Antarctic, which is expected to break off at any time. Larsen A and B collapsed in 1995 and 2002 respectively Even though the Larsen C collapse by itself, since it is in the water, will not raise sea levels, it will hasten the melting of the glacier it is connected to.  Rising sea levels In the Arctic, if all the ice in the Greenland ice sheet were to melt, it would raise global sea levels by about 7 metres (or 23 feet)  Ice Melt Increased in summer For the last several years, glaciologists have noticed that ice melt in the summer has increased and covers a larger area than previous years  Increasing Surface Melt Scientists now realise that a lot of the recent melt has been due to increasing surface melt, in addition to calving or breaking off of chunks of ice.  Factors speeding up the Glacial Melt Soot and Dust: Soot and dust carried by air from various places, bacteria and algal pigments in the meltwater, any other pigments in the glacier can all reduce the reflection of the sunlight, thus increasing the absorption of heat energy by the ice More Solar Radiation Absorption: This consequently increases ice melt, which then absorbs more solar radiation, thus accelerating a feedback process Meltwater Flow into Deep Shafts: The meltwater flows into deep shafts, or moulins, that then speed up the flow of the glacier  Other phenomena that seem to have an influence on glacier melt Warm Temperatures over Greenland: Temperatures in Northern Greenland have been much warmer and in fact, surface melt has doubled Greenland’s contribution to sea level rise over the period 1992-2011 to 0.74 mm per year CO2 Concentrations highest: Carbon dioxide concentrations have crossed 400 ppm in the atmosphere and are the highest they have been in the past 4,00,000 years  Global response needed Global Community Aware The global community is well aware that many large and densely populated cities are located along the coast and in low-lying deltas Protecting the Coast costly Protecting the coast is an expensive undertaking and even then dikes, sea walls and similar structures provide only partial protection, based on studies undertaken by the Dutch Delta Committee and others  India East Coast In the east coast especially certain low-lying districts, are extremely vulnerable to intensive storms, which then lead to flooding, salt-water intrusion, and loss of land and livelihoods West Coast On the west coast, while there are generally fewer storms, the concern is coastal erosion and flooding from sea level rise Affects the Economy too Flooding in Chennai two years back did not affect just the land, but went through the economy as a whole and Swiss Re, the reinsurance company, has estimated losses to the economy due to the floods to be $2.2 billion Coastal Regulation Zone should be enforced Thus, enforcing the coastal regulation zone, protecting vulnerable districts and the most vulnerable communities which rely on ecosystems and the sea for their livelihoods are areas that need strengthening  Regional Agreements Needed Regional agreements related to refugees from climate effects need to be initiated As a country which has generally been open to refugees from Tibet, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, initiating and taking forward the conversation on regional planning for extreme events such as sea level rise would be important for India, the largest country in the region    ...

Publishes on : 08-May-2017 11:09 AM
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bharat ias - Redefining citizenship

Redefining citizenship

Redefining citizenship  Context Supreme Court decisions modifying the electoral process in recent years  What has happened? The absence of a constitutional right to vote has consequences  Some of the Decisions by SC: Citizens are entitled to cast a ‘none of the above’ vote Prisoners are disqualified from standing for election during periods of incarceration The concealment of criminal antecedents constitutes a corrupt practice under the law Electoral appeals to caste and religion are impermissible  Disquieting developments These decisions although welcome raise fundamental questions about the nature of our democracy, and are deeply disquieting for a number of reasons  Reasons for concern  Use of Words First, the court has increasingly used the regrettable, caste-based taxonomy of ‘purity’ and ‘pollution’ in its decisions  Right to Vote not a Constitutional right The court has refused to categorically recognize the right to vote as an inalienable constitutional right, frequently holding that it is a privilege that can be taken away as easily as it is granted Effects: The absence of a constitutional right to vote has real consequences, for it makes it easier to impose wide restrictions on who can exercise that right, and the circumstances in which they may do so  Embargo on the voting rights of prisoners Blanket prohibitions on voting are the surest way of alienating a political community. The embargo is particularly draconian, for all prisoners, regardless of the seriousness of their offences or the length of their sentences, are denied the vote Moreover, prisoners awaiting trial are also denied this ‘privilege’  Conclusion   The right to vote and the right to contest elections are fundamental markers of citizenship in a constitutional democracy. Incrementally yet decisively, the court is changing what it means to be a citizen of this country...

Publishes on : 08-May-2017 11:05 AM
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bharat ias - Circumspection, My Lords

Circumspection, My Lords

Circumspection, My Lords   ·       The Supreme Court has, over the years, created milestones in judicial pronouncements resulting in historic shifts, positively impacting the nation in its onward march for justice. ·       The genesis of Public Interest Litigation in listening to the voice of the voiceless and giving access to the poor, the marginalised and the weak is a unique experiment to be lauded. It has also effectively, on occasion, dealt with the corroding effect of corruption. ·       But for the Supreme Court’s proactive role, it would have taken many more years for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to be the fuel of preference in the transportation sector.  Dealing with bonded labour, neglected children, the non-payment of minimum wages to workers, violations of labour laws, sexual harassment at the work place, harassment while in police custody, are a few examples where the court has constructively intervened. Merits Of Pil ·        Vigilant citizens can find an inexpensive remedy because there is only a nominal rate of court fees. ·        Litigants can focus attention on and achieve results pertaining to larger public issues especially in the field of human rights, consumer welfare and the environment. Demerits ·        Many people started handling PIL as a tool for harassment because frivolous cases can be filed without heavy court fee as compared to private litigations. ·        Due to the flexibility of character of the PIL, the opposite party gets an opportunity to ascertain the precise allegation and respond to specific issues. ·        The judiciary has been criticised due to the overstepping of its jurisdiction and that it is unable to implement its orders effectively. CASE OF LIQOUR BAN ·        some areas, the Supreme Court is ill-equipped to make judicial pronouncements. The recent decision invoking Article 142 of the Constitution of India, prohibiting the sale of liquor in establishments, restaurants, vends, etc., within 500 metres of national and state highways makes one question the role of the Supreme Court. Recognising the desire of the court to save lives lost due to drunken driving, such judicial diktats are not the outcome of a legal suit between parties. The location of hotels, restaurants or vends, selling liquor is a pure policy decision, best left to governments to take ·        There is also a constitutional issue which arises. Should the Supreme Court, given the fact that the subject matter of liquor is within the exclusive domain of state legislatures, through judicial diktat, impose a decision on state governments? My objection is not limited to this constitutional issue. I am more concerned about the consequences of such judicial diktats. ·        The Supreme Court, when issuing this directive, was perhaps not fully equipped with all the facts. That the states could have moved the Supreme Court and informed it of the consequences of its decision is indeed proof that the decision was taken without being fully cognisant of the facts. That hotels would lose their five-star ranking is one such consequence. That millions associated with the liquor business would lose their jobs is another consequence. ·        That the state will lose a vital source of revenue, which would become part of the Consolidated Fund of the state for multifarious state programmes, is yet another consequence. Public interest is a very unruly horse. OTHER CASES ·        Sometimes, the use of Article 142 has  economic consequences that tend to destabilise the economy. ·        The cancellation of all telecom licenses to serve the cause of public interest without individual culpability jeopardised the survival of entities. Rising non-performing assets (NPAs) are, to some extent, the result of judicial decisions. Courts may not, or may choose not to, consider their impact on the economy. ·        The telecom sector is, till today, reeling under the after-effects of the Supreme Court judgment. ·        The consequences of cancellation of all allocations of coal mines have adversely impacted the balance-sheets of public sector banks. One of the consequences of such omnibus cancellations is defaults on bank loans. The consequent NPAs impact the economy. ·        The decision to ban the sale of diesel cars with an engine capacity of 2000 cc and above is yet another instance of judicial overreach. This, in fact, jeopardised possible foreign investment. The decision was later reviewed. In the long term, such decisions dampen the spirits of foreign investors.      ...

Publishes on : 08-May-2017 11:02 AM
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bharat ias - 3 new schemes to facilitate access to justice

3 new schemes to facilitate access to justice

3 new schemes to facilitate access to justice Why in news: ·       Prasad launched the schemes, namely, ‘Pro-bono (in public interest) legal services’, ‘Tele-law service’ and ‘Nyaya Mitra’, which aim to connect those in need of legal aid with lawyers through use of technology ·       Emphasising “digital inclusion for Digital India”, Union Minister of Law and Justice inaugurated three welfare initiatives that would facilitate access to justice for the poor. ·       Under the ‘Pro-bono legal services’, lawyers can register themselves to volunteer pro-bono services for litigants who are unable to afford it. ·       ‘Tele-law service’ seeks to connect litigants with lawyers through video conferencing facilities. ·       Under Nyaya Mitra, a retired judicial officer, or an executive officer with judicial experience, will be put in charge of assisting those suffering due to judicial delays    ...

Publishes on : 08-May-2017 11:00 AM
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