bharat ias - The coast  isn’t clear for India’s nuclear power quest.

The coast isn’t clear for India’s nuclear power quest.

The coast  isn’t clear for India’s nuclear power quest. Proposed Nuclear power plants have long been the center of controversy, another addition to this list is Kovvada village of Andhra Pradesh, where government has planned strings of nuclear power plants under the 2008 India-US Civil Nuclear Agreement in 2008. Basic facts Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is planning to install six nuclear reactors, each generating 1,594 megawatts (MW), or 9,564 MW of power overall in this coastal region of Andhra Pradesh. A cluster of both U.S. and Russian nuclear power plants have been proposed along the coastline that will generate 30,000 MW by 2031. Why area has become nuclear favorite? State’s huge requirement of power as it shifts gear from agriculture to industrialization has led the state government to welcome the proposal for building nuclear power plants in the area. Second factor is ready availability of government land. And there is virtually no resistance from the people unlike other areas like Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra and even Gujarat. Steps taken in the process of acquisition:- Government is planning to acquire around 2000 acres of land, which is partly fertile and partly fallow. Acquisition will be affecting and displacing about 3,000 families. In the process, Andhra Pradesh government has declared a ban on land registration. It means nobody can buy or sell land, or use it as collateral to raise loans either for health emergencies or marriages. While NPCIL is being moderate in the process. It has deposited the first tranche of Rs.359 crore of the Rs.1,000crore it has earmarked as relief and rehabilitation (R&R) package. What are the criticisms facing the project? There are many gaping holes in partial survey of private land by the Revenue Department officials, many farmers alleging under-measurement to reduce compensation amounts. There are concerns that a significant amount of plantation land will be lost in the process. No scientific criteria were adopted in site selection. Four fault lines run through the region. A Fukushima-like disaster cannot be ruled out. Any earthquake like incident can lead to a serious tragedy. Exposure to radioactivity could lead to genetic disorders and cancer. Kovvada and its surrounding villages have a good number of people within the “exclusion” zone. In the “emergency” zone up to 16 km, there are 66 villages. In the next “sterilised” zone up to 5 km where no development should take place, there are 42 villages. Even , the immediate vicinity of the nuclear plant up to 1.5 km from the project site have a good number of people within. Another important issue is the Indian Civil Nuclear Liability law having a low liability cap. The liability for Kovvada is put at Rs.1,300crore for a plant which is expected to cost around Rs.4 lakh crore. Project viability Telangana-based voluntary organisation Human Rights Forum, warns India that GE-Hitachi and Westinghouse nuclear reactors are neither cost-effective nor power-efficient and that they have a huge risk factor. The first units of the six nuclear reactors in Kovvada will not produce electricity for the grid before 2031. According to some estimates, tariffs for electricity from Kovvada will be very high, with first-year tariffs in the range of Rs.19.80 to Rs.32.77 per kilowatt hour.   ic1...

Publishes on : 05-Jan-2017 01:06 PM
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bharat ias - Marital rape and making it a legal punishment:

Marital rape and making it a legal punishment:

Marital rape and making it a legal punishment:    Issue: proposal has been made for making marital rape a criminal offence what is marital rape: Marital rape(also known as spousal rape and rape in marriage) is non-consensual sex (i.e., rape) in which the perpetrator is the victim's spouse. It is a form of partner rape, domestic violence and sexual abuse Approximations have quoted that every 6 hours; a young married woman is burnt or beaten to death, or driven to suicide from emotional abuse by her husband. The UN Population Fund states that more than 2/3rds of married women in India, aged between 15 to 49 have been beaten, raped or forced to provide sex. In 2005, 6787 cases were recorded of women murdered by their husbands or their husbands’ families. 56% of Indian women believed occasional wife-beating to be justified.   History for making marital rape a criminal offence The marital rape exemption can be traced to statements by Sir Mathew Hale, Chief Justice in England, during the 1600s. He wrote, “The husband cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife, for by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract, the wife hath given herself in kind unto the husband, whom she cannot retract.” Not surprisingly, thus, married women were never the subject of rape laws. Laws bestowed an absolute immunity on the husband in respect of his wife, solely on the basis of the marital relation. The revolution started with women activists in America raising their voices in the 1970s for elimination of marital rape exemption clause and extension of guarantee of equal protection to women.   What is marriage: marriage is a civil contract and a religious ceremony. It is a contract of the greatest importance in civil institutions, and it is charged with a vast variety of rights and obligations, cohabitation being one of them. Pros of making marital rape a criminal offence marital rape is violate of the right to privacy guaranteedunder Article 21 of the Constitution.making marital rape a criminal offence guarantee right to privacy woman's right toself-determination (i.e., control) of all matters relating to her body, and the withdrawal of the exemption or defense of marital rape. Protect human rights and promote gender equalityor physical integrity ,psychological and/or sexual freedom and integrity, and not solely a violation of morality, honour or decency marital rape is a gross double-standard in law and as central to the subordination of avoid subordination of womenmaking marital rape a criminal offence is needed Justice J.S. Verma committee, had also recommended sweeping changes in the law relating to offences against women, called for marital rape to be made an offence.thusmarital rape should be made a criminal offence uphold the bodily autonomy of all women, irrespective of their marital status.   The 172nd Law Commission report had made the following recommendations for substantial change in the law with regard to rape. ‘Rape’ should be replaced by the term ‘sexual assault’. the pressing need for protection of woman, here are some effects a rape victim may have to live with,- Physical injuries to vaginal and anal areas, lacerations, bruising. Anxiety, shock, depression and suicidal thoughts. Gynecological effects including miscarriage, stillbirths, bladder infections, STDs and infertility. Long drawn symptoms like insomnia, eating disorders, sexual dysfunction, and negative self image .this shows there is a need for changes in law   cons of making marital rape a criminal offence it may deter boys from agreeing to marry at the right age and preferring to go in for pre-marital or extra-marital affairs It might become a weapon that could be misused. The traditional bonding present in marriage may come under stake such a law could be a threat to the institution of marriage, particularly in the Indian context, even if the idea behind it is to prevent the husband from having non-consensual sex with the wife. ...

Publishes on : 05-Jan-2017 01:03 PM
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bharat ias - The Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016

The Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016

 The Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016   Issue The central government has proposed a bill to regulate the acquisition, dissemination, publication and distribution of geospatial information of India which is likely to affect the security, sovereignty and integrity of India. What is the Purpose of this bill ? To stop wrongly depicting the map of India including international boundaries. Is this bill new? No, this sort of draft bill was 1st introduced in 2012 but Pathankot attack is the immediate trigger for re-introduction and also Certain social networking sites showed and still showing Jammu & Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh as part of Pakistan and China respectively What is Geospatial Information? “Geospatial Information” means geospatial imagery or data acquired through space or aerial platforms such as satellite, aircrafts, airships, balloons, unmanned aerial vehicles including value addition;  or graphical or digital data depicting natural or man-made physical features, phenomenon or boundaries of the earth or any information related , including surveys, charts, maps, terrestrial photos referenced to a co-ordinate system and having attributes What is there in the bill? According to the draft bill, it will be mandatory to take permission from a government authority before acquiring, disseminating, publishing or distributing any geospatial information of India. The draft Bill will ensure that online platforms like Google will have to apply for a license to run Google Maps or Google Earth in India. Also, no person shall depict, disseminate, publish or distribute any wrong or false topographic information of India including international boundaries through internet platforms or online services or in any electronic or physical form. Violation of This Geospatial Information Regulation law?? ( if it becomes a law): Those who violate will be punished or penalized or both for Illegal acquisition of geospatial information of India – Fine ranging from Rs.1 crore to Rs. 100 crore and/or imprisonment for a period up to seven years. Violation of This Geospatial Information Regulation law?? ( if it becomes a law): Those who violate will be punished or penalized or both for Illegal acquisition of geospatial information of India – Fine ranging from Rs.1 crore to Rs. 100 crore and/or imprisonment for a period up to seven years. for Illegal dissemination, publication or distribution of geospatial information of India – Whoever disseminates, publishes or distributes any geospatial information of India in contravention of section 4, shall be punished with a fine ranging from Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. 100 crore and/or imprisonment for a period up to seven years. for Misuse of geospatial information of India outside India – Fine ranging from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 100 crore and/or imprisonment for a period up to seven years What others view about this bill? Pakistan says Jammu & Kashmir is a disputed territory as per UNSC resolution & India can’t show J&K as a part of it India: Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India & it is an internal matter so no one has right to interfere Some more voices against this bill within India Many startups oppose this bill as they fear it could create a License Raj for Digital India as Bill seeks to criminalize all collectors and disseminators of geospatial data without prior vetting by the government This bill affects ventures like Latlong and MapUnity which create maps for apps Bill also affects new age companies like food delivery, e-commerce, cab aggregators etc. therefore Save the Map movement is started by an open source data activist and some more professionals  are also opposing  the bill....

Publishes on : 05-Jan-2017 01:01 PM
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bharat ias - Farmer needs a new deal

Farmer needs a new deal

Farmer needs a new deal Reform of agricultural markets and land lease laws must be a priority. far history:. Agrarian distress emerged as the most disturbing problem during the 1990s. Its severity and spread witnessed a sharp increase in the post-WTO period till 2004-05. Indicators: Two common indicators used to show the severity of agrarian distress are indebtedness of farm households and the number of farmers’ suicides. Some people also cite the decline in the number of cultivators in the country as a consequence of agrarian distress, which may be partly true, particularly in the disadvantaged agricultural regions. Cause: Evidence shows that the incidence of farmer suicides in India involves multiple causes. Falling farm income is one of them. When the farmer’s income is chronically lower than his family expenditure, he borrows money from some source to meet the gap. Expenditure on social ceremonies and health expenses, which are not part of regular household expenditure, also force the farmer to borrow, particularly from non-institutional sources. The accumulated debt becomes so large that it becomes impossible to repay it from the household income. Some farmers are forced to sell a part or whole of farm land and other family assets to repay loans and to meet social expenditure. Some others undergo humiliation as loan defaulters. The loss of honour pushes many to take the extreme step of ending their life A second cause of crisis results from a sudden income loss due to crop failure or price crash. In the absence of crop insurance or adequate relief, crop failure can have a devastating effect on farm income. Further, there is no mechanism to escape the effect of a price crash. Any loss of income of a severe nature on account of crop failure or market failure becomes a source of distress and frustration. This is more pertinent in the case of high value commercial crops. A year or two of high prices influences many farmers to direct excessive resources towards risky commercial crops. The sudden increase in supply is often met with a violent price crash. Without risk coverage, price volatility can have a killing effect on farm income. Solution: One, enable farmers to get better prices for their produce and encourage crop diversification. One acre of land under high value crops can generate more income than five acres under cereals. pricerealisation and the success of diversification critically depend on a healthy and competitive market. Agricultural markets in India have not moved towards competition and efficiency after the 1970s. Prices of farm commodities often fall in the harvest season and skyrocket in the lean season. There are frequent cases of cartelisation in agricultural markets working against producers. Unless state governments initiate market reforms and take agriculture marketing to the next stage, farmers will continue to suffer from excessive intermediaries, low scale and segmentation. Agrarian distress can be mitigated to a large extent by an efficient and competitive agriculture market. Mechanisms like the “deficiency price payment” and price insurance for different sets of crops can protect farmers from market and price risk. augmenting farmers’ income is to scale-up the farms. Average farm-size in India is very small and shrinking. The latest available data from the agriculture census for 2010-11 shows that 47 per cent farm households operate on plots less than an acre, with an average of 2,200 sqmetres of agricultural land. Further, this small piece of land is fragmented and about half of it has no access to irrigation. Obviously, many such farmers would like to shift to non-agricultural activities and many would like to increase their farm-size by leasing land from other farmers. present land lease laws discourage formal and transparent land lease arrangements. The landowner fears any formal lease contract will make it difficult to get the land back from the lessee while the tenant is unable to access credit and avail other benefits available to a landowner. The liberalisation of the existing land lease laws will help both marginal and sub-marginal farmers. Those who leave farming can have secured ownership and earn rent and those who stay in farming can increase the size of operational holdings and have better access to credit and other facilities. provide alternative sources of livelihood to needy farm households. The estimates of farm income prepared by this writer show that income from agriculture alone is not enough to keep more than 50 per cent of farm households out of poverty. Any supply shock or price shock pushes such households deeper into poverty and the many marginally-above-poverty families into the poverty trap. However, many such farmers who earn an income from non-farm sources are able to escape poverty. The landholdings of a majority of our farmers are so small that these cannot generate income for decent living. Therefore, they need to be provided alternative sources of employment and income. The most common cause for crop failure is water stress. Irrigation is the best insurance against crop failure. The area under public sources of irrigation has not expanded to reflect the huge investment in irrigation made after the Tenth Plan. The thrust on irrigation envisioned under the various components of the recently launched Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana offers hope as well as the scope for reducing water stress in agriculture. ...

Publishes on : 05-Jan-2017 12:56 PM
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bharat ias - Transport problems in urban india

Transport problems in urban india

Transport problems in urban india Introduction: As India is becoming urbanized, urban areas play a critical role in sustaining economic growth. City efficiency largely depends upon the effectiveness of its transport systems. Poor transport systems stifle economic growth and developmentThus , transport is backbone of country’s development. Means of transportation in city private owned vehicles, government owned vehicles and intermediate vehicle services. Issues: Increased fuel consumption Increasing levels of noise and air pollution cost of travel Safety issues Poor condition of public transport Reasons: Increasing urban population Bad condition of city roads Encroachment on footpaths that contributes in poor discipline in pedestrians who are forced to use roads to walk Absence of functional hierarchy of road network results into mixing up of local and regional traffic There is a lack of adequate public transport. There is a lack of civic sense towards traffic Absence of Mass Transit System Existing public transport system is over crowded during peak hours There is substantial increase in average household income. This has led to high private vehicle ownership Inadequate transportation infrastructure . Existing infrastructure can’t cope with the increasing demand Transport demand in most of the Indian cities has increased substantially due to increase in population as a result of both natural increase and migration from rural areas and smaller towns. lack of effective road-safety policies Steps for Solving the Problems of Urban Transport There is no readymade universally acceptable solution to the urban transport problem. Planners, engineers, economists and transport technologists each have their own views, which when combined, invariably produced a workable strategy. Whatever policy evolved should be considered firstly, in the light of time it takes to implement them and secondly, all policies need to be appraised in terms of their cost. The following common steps may be helpful in solving the problems of urban transport: Development of Additional Road Capacity: One of the most commonly adopted methods of combatting road congestion in medium and small towns or in districts of larger centres is the construction of bypasses to divert through-traffic. This practice has been followed throughout the world including India. Mid-twentieth century planners saw the construction of additional road capacity in the form of new or improved highways as the acceptable solution to congestion within major towns and cities. Traffic Management Measures: Temporary and partial relief from road traffic congestion may be gained from the introduction of traffic management schemes, involving he reorganisation of traffic flows and direc­tions without any major structural alterations to the existing street pattern. Among the most widely used devices are the extension of one-way systems, the phasing of traffic-light controls to take account of traffic variation, and restrictions on parking and vehicle loading on major roads. On multi-lane highways that carry heavy volumes of commuter traffic, certain lanes can be allocated to incoming vehicles in the morning and to outgoing traffic in the afternoon, producing a tidal-flow effect. Recent experiments using information technology have been based upon intelligent vehicle highway systems (IVHS), with the computerised control of traffic lights and entrances to freeways, advice to drivers of alternative routes to avoid congestion, and information on weather and general road conditions. The IVHS can be linked up with advanced vehicle control systems, making use of in-car computer to eliminate driver error and control automatic braking and steering when accidents are imminent. Traffic management has been extensively applied within urban residential areas, where excessive numbers of vehicles produce noise, vibration, pollution and, above all, accident risks, especially to the young.. Effective Use of Bus Service: Many transportation planning proposals are aimed specifically at increasing the speed and schedule reliability of bus services, and many European cities have introduced bus priority plans in an attempt to increase the attractions of public transport. Bus-only lanes, with or against the direction of traffic flow, are designated in heavily congested roads to achieve time savings, although such savings may later be dissipated when buses enter inner-city areas where priority lanes at intersections and certain streets may be restricted to buses only, particularly in pedestrianised shopping zones. Parking Restrictions: As we have seen, it is not possible to provide sufficient space for all who might like to drive and park in the central areas of large towns. Parking thus must be restricted and this is usually done by banning all-day parking by commuters or making it prohibi­tively expensive. Restrictions are less severe – off-peak, so that shoppers and other short-term visitors who benefit the economy of the centre are not deterred. Separate arrangements must be made for local residents, perhaps through permits or reserved parking. City authorities can thus control public car-parking places, but many other spaces are privately owned by businesses and reserved for particular employees. The effect of this is to perpetuate commuting to work by car. Promoting the Bicycle: The benefits of cycling have long been recognised. The bicycle is cheap to buy and run and is in urban areas often the quickest door-to-door mode (It is a benign form of transport, being noiseless, non-polluting, energy-and space-efficient and non-threatening to most other road users. A pro-cycling city would promote fitness among cyclists and health among non-cyclists. Cycling is thus a way of providing mobility, which is cheap for the individual and for society. Promoting Public Transport: If ETM aims to shift trips away from cars, then attractive alter­natives are required. Cycling and walking may be appropriate for the shorter distances, but transferring longer trips requires that a good quality public transport system is in place to ensure that the city can function efficiently. This means that: Fares need to be low enough for poor people to be able to afford them; There must be sufficient vehicles for a frequent service to be run throughout the day; Routes must reflect the dominant desire lines of the travelling public and there should be extensive spatial coverage of the city so that no one is very far from a public transport stop; Speeds of buses need to be raised relative to cars by freeing them from congestion; It is not enough to provide public transport: it also has to be coordinated. Multi-modal tickets may be one essential ingredient of a functional urban transport system, but the key item is the integration of services by the provision of connections between modes. Other Measures: Some of the other measures useful for urban transport planning are: Restrictions on road capacity and traffic speeds, Regulating traffic access to a link or area, Charging for the use of roads on a link, or area basis, Vehicle restraint schemes, Rail rapid transit, Transport coordination, and Public transport improvement, etc. ...

Publishes on : 05-Jan-2017 12:55 PM
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