The Most Popular Trends In Education For 2020

The drastic growth of technological capabilities means that a variety of media and learning-support tools now exist to help students receive a high-quality education through the Internet. The teachers can see how their students have engaged with the live broadcast and recorded classes, therefore, they have a more efficient tracking system that allows them to provide more timely coaching as needed. It must involve some kind of ‘innovation’ or growth in education. For instance, virtual reality can make the learning process exciting.

Growth mindset, Personalized Learning (Mobile or blended learning), Project-based learning, Online learning or e-learning, Robotics, AI , IoT ,Critical thinking, Adaptive Learning Algorithms ,Artificial Intelligence,Soft skills traaining etc are predicted as the most popular education trends of this year.

Student trend: reduced attention spans
To hold the attention of this students, the education content presented to them must have excellent visuals and dialogue along with an interesting storyline that will hold their attention for a reasonable amount of time. This younger group cares more about the narrative and the visual nature of the content that interests them than other age groups.

This change in attention trends also has a noteworthy impact on how instructors adjust their classes and keep students engaged with the material. Teachers need to find ways to design classes that will retain the attention of their students, and adapt the course delivery method and pace. However, do not forget that when students have material in front of them that is highly visual and engaging, they have excellent potential to pay attention. These modern students want to be challenged, and they value interaction. For teachers who learn how to engage with these students, they can present rewarding opportunities for classroom growth.

Facilitating learning rather than teaching

The best teachers will be those who can help students take ownership of their learning.As teachers become more involved in the students’ learning process, they will also find themselves in a position to receive immediate feedback on their teaching effectiveness. Their ability to facilitate these skills in their classroom will become obvious quickly as the class moves through the material.Teachers who want to focus more on student development rather than simply knowledge delivery or through lectures will find this new model to be very much rewarding.

Personalized learning (Any time or self-paced learning)

The students can learn at their own pace , without worrying about the time constraints. The recorded video lessons available online can be played back any number of times till they get a good grasp on the subject in their flexible timings.Online assessments are also given , evaluated and reports are generated.

Moreover, value-added certifications offered online can enhance the employability of the students.This kind of learning can happen using mobile gadgets ,  as well.

Soft skills training: a major trend in higher education

In an effort to prepare students for their future careers, schools must have the training in place to help students nurture and grow in these skill areas. Their students will be more employable and have strong alumni success rates.

Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning systems use data to adjust learning for students on an individual scale. From path to pace, adaptive learning is one avenue of personalised learning. The goal, as always, is to provide customised education to deliver the right content at the right time.With adaptive learning, teachers can create engaging, personalized learning experiences. This enables a more inclusive approach to education, meaning at risk and advanced students both get the attention they need.

As class sizes continue to grow, adaptive learning provides an effective way for teachers to guide every student through each challenging lesson without overburdening themselves.

Emerging Technologies

The goal here is to facilitate more innovative teaching methods while enabling more engaging learning opportunities. When used correctly, the opportunity here is huge. Students will have access to cutting edge learning experiences without ever leaving their hometowns, with a realistic simulation of those historical places.

Blockchain Technology – Blockchain is providing great collaboration and secure data exchange opportunities for the organizations as well as individuals. Security protocols followed in blockchain are unique and difficult to hack. This recent and innovative technology will make a significant difference in the way schools handle student credentials and certificate verification. It provides an option to store digital copies of credentials like certificates in a collaborated and the distributed environment.This avoids the cases of lost original certificate and helps with a better way of student record authentication.

Artificial Intelligence Learning  – The impact of artificial intelligence in the field of education has just started to flourish.They alter the education tools used.In this tech era, there are more sites that use AI technology to assess a student’s progress. Apps like Duolingo and writing tools like No Red Ink focuses on how AI provides individual revisions and internet-based learning.They try to provide smart spaces to students to learn better and show continuous improvement in their educational standards.

Internet of Things (IoT) – IoT is helping many sectors for automation and control. Internet of Things(IoT) smart devices are gaining popularity in the market. It is likely to be used in higher education as well. Many use cases like face detection, monitoring student vehicles, analysis of machine performance can be done using IoT.

The Final Thoughts

The latest education is trending towards individualized learning. Student engagement is the primary focus and educators will continue to find new ways to customize the learning experience for each student.Technology will play a big role in this continuous process of shift paradigm. The institutions that learn how to remain on top of these changes will position themselves for growth and success. As the instruments we use advance, our approach to education will evolve into a more data-driven process. Sooner education will become more robotic, rather that teachers will be able to build their lesson plans around real-time insights into their students’ needs.

For further information on the above topic, please refer the below link :

https://brandequity.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/business-of-brands/future-shock-25-education-trends-post-covid-19/75729537

 

 

Violence and Masculinity in Cinema

The Indian cinema landscape is one that has seen massive evolution in terms of themes and contents over the years. It is globally recognized for its idiosyncrasies and manner of representations. Cinema has reflected what our human experiences are, and what our society has created and holds onto as ideals. But the art form itself is a vehicle of change, often bringing many issues into the limelight and generating public discourses. Cinema has great influential capacity and can reinforce or challenge many notions. Oscar Wilde said that “Life imitates art more than art imitates life”. This is often verifiably true. Heroes in movies often become the standards that youngsters aspire to be, and many have paid dearly for trying to do whatever possible to look like or be like a character they saw on screen.

A particularly interesting phenomenon in a lot of mainstream cinema is the violence portrayed in it. Anyone who has watched a couple popular movies will agree that this is not an isolated phenomenon, but something considered intrinsic to the storyline. We should also note that most of the scenes of violence are hugely exaggerated, even to the point of being comical. The hero seems to have inhuman powers and those around him, no matter how many in number will typically always fail in defending themselves, let alone in attacking him. The slow-motion editing and sound effects, the camera work as well as the dialogue all together create a certain kind of sensationalism which is to lead the audience into outbursts of applause. This prompts us to ask what part violence plays in the story and why do we have such portrayals of it.

First off, it is understood that these scenes are supposed to be praised and are to emphasize the heroic position of the character. While the villain may unleash such violence and prove that he is a worthy opponent, his capacities always fall short of the hero. And it is almost unheard of that a heroine, even if the movie is focused on her, engages in such violence to prove anything. The notion is not even considered. Violence becomes intertwined with an idea of masculinity, apparently best depicted through aggression and overpowering, even if it means destroying. We can also consider how this might be influenced by the stereotypical motif found in many stories of the West and the East, of the hero who saves the damsel in distress, often fighting many monsters to accomplish the task. Patriarchal ideas of men having to save women, and also having to ‘prove’ their masculinity through certain acts have contributed to these ideas. It is also worth remembering that these notions are detrimental to both women and men. Aggression becomes ‘natural’ for men and an overt representation of it in cinema is applauded. On the other hand, a woman who might even be angry for a legitimate reason is considered as ‘too-emotional’ or ‘hysterical’. These double standards are seen in cinema as well, engrained in our consciousness so well that we dare not question it.

The legitimacy afforded to violent heroes who consider their conquest of enemies and women as trophies influence a generation growing up seeking for acceptance. They look up to these people as heroes and without anyone to tell them otherwise, let themselves be controlled by their anger. This might be learnt at a young age, but it lasts for a lifetime. Is it any wonder then that domestic violence and abuse increases on a day to day basis, even in the homes of those considered well-educated? As long as we are praising heroes who are heroic by virtue of their beating up anyone who dares to cross them, even when the hero might be in the wrong, we are perpetuating the notion that violence is power. And power is also considered praise-worthy and something everyone should aspire to have. It is also a quest for power that affirms rape culture and rape jokes in the minds of many, and when violence is glorified on screen, it is bound to have its effects on the psyche. Perhaps it is time that we chose to look more closely at the various causes rather than the symptoms that plague us, and change the things we affirm and promote as something worth aspiring to in society.

National Education Policy after 2020

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the new National Education Policy (NEP) with an aim to introduce several changes in the Indian education system – from the school to college level. A single regulator for higher education institutions, multiple entries and exit options in degree courses, discontinuation of MPhil programs, low stakes board exams, common entrance exams for universities are among the highlights of the policy.  Speaking to reporters, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said the changes are important as the policy, which was framed in 1986 and revised in 1992, had not been revised since then.

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The NEP 2020 aims at making “India a global knowledge superpower”.The new academic session will begin in September-October – the delay is due to the unprecedented coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak – and the government aims to introduce the policy before the new session kicks in. The committee — which suggested changes in the education system under the NEP — was headed by former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan. The NEP was drafted in 1986 and updated in 1992. The NEP was part of the election manifesto of the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) ahead of the 2014 elections.

Either one of the mother tongue or the local/regional language will be the medium of instruction up to Class 5 in all schools, the government said Wednesday while launching the National Education Policy 2020. Among other changes in the revision of the NEP, last done over three decades ago, is the extension of the right to education to cover all children between three and 18 years of age. The policy also proposes vocational education, with internships, for students from Class 6, a change to the 10+2 schooling structure, and a four-year bachelor’s program. NEP 2020 will bring two crores, out-of-school children, back into the mainstream, the government has claimed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted saying he “wholeheartedly welcomed” the policy, which he called a “long due and much-awaited reform in the education sector”.

In a bid to ramp up digital learning, a National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) would be created. “E-courses will be developed in eight regional languages initially and virtual labs will be developed,” Amit Khare, Higher Education Secretary, said. Top 100 foreign colleges will be allowed to set-up campuses in India. According to the HRD Ministry document, listing salient features of policy, “such (foreign) universities will be given special dispensation regarding regulatory, governance, and content norms on par with other autonomous institutions of India.” Standalone Higher Education Institutes and professional education institutes will be evolved into multi-disciplinary education. “There are over 45,000 affiliated colleges in our country. Under Graded Autonomy, Academic, Administrative and Financial Autonomy will be given to colleges, on the basis of the status of their accreditation,” he further said.

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Here are the important points in the National Education Policy 2020:

  1. The mother tongue or local or regional language is to be the medium of instruction in all schools up to Class 5 (preferably till Class 8 and beyond), according to the policy. Under the NEP 2020, Sanskrit will be offered at all levels and foreign languages from the secondary school level.
  2. The 10+2 structure has been replaced with 5+3+3+4, consisting of 12 years of school and three of Anganwadi or pre-school. This will be split as follows: a foundational stage (ages three and eight), three years of pre-primary (ages eight to 11), a preparatory stage (ages 11 to 14), and a secondary stage (ages 14 to 18). According to the government, the revised structure will “bring hitherto uncovered age group of three to six years, recognized globally as a crucial stage for the development of mental faculties, under school curriculum”.
  3. Instead of exams being held every year, school students will sit only for three – at Classes 3, 5, and 8. Assessment in other years will shift to a “regular and formative” style that is more “competency-based, promotes learning and development, and tests higher-order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking and conceptual clarity”.
  4. Board exams will continue to be held for Classes 10 and 12 but even these will be re-designed with “holistic development” as the aim. Standards for this will be established by a new national assessment center – PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development).
  5. The policy, the government has said, aims at reducing the curriculum load of students and allowing them to become more “multi-disciplinary” and “multi-lingual”. There will be no rigid separation between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities and between vocational and academic stream, the government said.
  6. To that end, the policy also proposes that higher education institutions like the IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) move towards “holistic education” by 2040 with greater inclusion of arts and humanities subjects for students studying science subjects, and vice versa.
  7. The NEP 2020 proposes a four-year undergraduate program with multiple exit options to give students flexibility. A multi-disciplinary bachelor’s degree will be awarded after completing four years of study. Students exiting after two years will get a diploma and those leaving after 12 months will have studied a vocational/professional course. MPhil (Master of Philosophy) courses are to be discontinued.
  8. A Higher Education Council of India (HECI) will be set up to regulate higher education; the focus will be on institutions that have 3,000 or more students. Among the council’s goals is to increase the gross enrolment ratio from 26.3 percent (2018) to 50 percent by 2035. The HECI will not, however, have jurisdiction over legal and medical colleges.

The Cabinet also approved changing the name of the HRD ministry to the education ministry.

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS

Human nature has proven to be chaotic and even in most civilized times, there have been conflicts and where there is conflict there is a violation of human rights. Human rights are a collection of basic rights that everyone is entitled to. International human rights are a branch of international law that strives to safeguard and to advance human rights at all times. International rights are made up of treaties signed by sovereign states, customary international law. States that ratify it are compelled to agree, protect and empower human rights in their state. Other sources include declarations, conventions which are made by an international organization. The universal declaration of human rights is an authoritative instrument used as a base framework for international human rights. it was proclaimed and adopted by the United Nations general assembly. It is not a legally binding document. Global treaties like the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. All the documents are aimed to prevent violation of human rights. The treaties also prevent torture, degradation of humans, discrimination based on gender, colour or race. it prohibits violation against women and children.
States have to respect the basic rules of both International Humanitarian Law and International Human rights. International Humanitarian Law is applied in times of conflict whereas international human rights are applied at all times regardless of the situation. The states that have ratified the treaties are bound to follow the international human rights as they assume obligations to respect, safeguard human rights The states have to make domestic laws or measures to help combat human rights violation with legislations. Include the right to life, right to religion, right to freedom of speech, right to freedom from degrading treatment, freedom of thought, and right to freedom to opinion and expression, right to freedom of discrimination on basis of race, colour or gender. Right to education is also included in human rights. No human is born racist or unequal but is made. This makes education an important tool to help people understand the importance of human rights.
The threat of terrorism has made a more dangerous society where there is a rampant violation of human rights. Recent wars and violence in the world have made it pretty susceptible to the human rights violation. Human rights are based on basic principles that make society a more civilized place. It revolves around rights and equality between men and women and everything that humanity stands for. Human Rights Council keeps a look for human rights violations. The laws are designed to safeguard human rights and to enforce and empower it. Human rights are spoken in all religions. Governments must take domestic laws to protect their citizens and others. The importance of human rights is incomparable in this world. Human rights are fundamental to human growth and are essential. to make a better society, we need education of human rights. An important part of a civilized society thus making the concept of human rights has to be of universally applicable.

Addressing Mental Health

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Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave. Trying to tell the difference between expected behavior and signs of mental illness isn’t always easy, there is not a simple standard test to diagnose someone with a mental health issue. Having a gene with links to a mental health disorder, such as depression or schizophrenia, does not guarantee that a condition will develop. Likewise, people without related genes or a family history of mental illness can still have mental health issues.

Mental health conditions such as stress, depression, and anxiety may develop due to underlying, life-changing physical health problems, such as cancer, diabetes, and chronic pain. Each issue related to mental health has different symptoms but the common signs of disturbed mental health in adults and teenagers can be excessive worrying or fear, confused thought or problems concentrating and learning, extreme mood changes, avoiding friends and social activities, strong feelings of irritability and anger, difficulty in relating to people, change in sleep schedules or feeling tired all the time, change in eating habits, delusions or hallucinations, overuse of alcohol or drugs, suicidal tendencies, inability to carry out daily activities, and changes in personality.

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Everyone has some risk of developing a mental health disorder, no matter their age, sex, income, or ethnicity. Young children can develop mental health conditions but their behavior and symptoms are mostly ignored. The most important thing is not to be afraid of reaching out to someone for help, acceptance is the first and most important step towards your mental health. Talk to people you trust.

Acknowledging the warning signs can help, getting an accurate diagnosis helps and for that seeking professional help is a good plan, to begin with. After a proper diagnosis, a psychiatrist can help develop a treatment plan which could be medication or therapy. Getting a proper diagnosis is just a first step, working on your goals is very important. Treatment varies from diagnosis and by the person, there is no fixed treatment of the same diagnosis, for some medication can help while for some counseling or therapy or social support can work.

Technology Trends predicted in 2020

IEEE Computer Society (IEEE CS) tech experts present what they believe will be the most widely adopted technology trends in 2020.

The topmost technology trends predicted to reach adoption in 2020 are:

  1. Non-volatile memory (NVM) products, interfaces and applications. 

The NVM Express (NVMe) describes it as “an open collection of standards and information to fully expose the benefits of nonvolatile memory in all types of computing environments from mobile to data center. NVMe is designed from the ground up to deliver high bandwidth and low latency storage access for current and future NVM technologies.”NVMe is an interface specification for connecting storage to servers via the PCI Express bus. In basic terms, it is a faster way for SSDs to communicate with their host systems. It helps to overcome the bottleneck that occurred when very fast flash was connected to systems via the SAS or SATA connections that were originally designed for HDDs (Hard disk drives).

 NVMe over Fabric connects SSDs to networks. NVM Express (NVMe) SSDs will replace SATA ( Serial ATA) and SAS SSDs within the next few years, and NVMe-oF(NVMe Over Fabrics )  will be the dominant network storage protocol in five years. Flash memories uses two technologies – NAND and NOR. Flash memory are used in modern PC and modems which can be easily updated when necessary. NOR flash provides high-speed random access, reading and writing data in specific memory locations; it can retrieve as little as a single byte. NAND flash reads and writes sequentially at high speed, handling data in small blocks, however it is slower on read when compared to NOR. NAND Flash Memory is widely used NVM. NVMe enables NAND tiering technologies and programming functions that increase endurance, enable computational storage, and allow more memory-like access to data.  Emerging memory technologies such as MRAM (Magnetic RAM), ReRAM (Resistive RAMs , RRAM, and Memristor being the most common name) and PCM (also called PRAM, Phase-Change Memory ) technology will provide future higher performance NVMe devices.
  • Digital twins, including cognitive twins. 

digital twin is a virtual model of a process, product or service. This pairing or bridging of the virtual and physical worlds allows analysis of data and monitoring of systems to avoid problems before they even occur, prevent downtime, develop new opportunities and even plan for the future by using simulations. Industry is using digital twins to deliver more accurate, intelligent and engaging interactions.They are an exact replica of something in the physical world. It provides data-driven representations of physical systems using IoT sensors and analytics. Digital twins offer engineers virtual tools for managing assets and resources while improving performance. Companies develop digital twins by attaching sensors to their products and equipment in order to monitor systems and model system dynamics. More than a blueprint or schematic, it  combines a real-time simulation of system dynamics with a set of executive controls. Serving as both an interactive simulation and a set of administrative tools, digital twins manage facilities, systems, and machines, while gathering data to drive performance.

Digital twins are data-driven learning systems.They combine data from human experts with machine intelligence to drive the evolution of work in new and unexplored ways. By detecting anomalies and automating repair processes, they can model and simulate entire procedures and processes. Most importantly, the technology enables firms to anticipate problems and prevent mistakes before they occur.Digital twins consist of three components: A data model , a set of analytics or algorithms and a set of executive controls. A key feature of any IoT implementation, this technology enables companies to simulate processes and improve operations over time. Manufacturers tend to use digital twin technology to improve operations such as plant processes and machine performance in order to optimize supply chains. Digital twins are a reality in the manufacturing industry, and major IoT platforms, like Siemens MindSphere, are supporting them. They have also become a widespread tool in complex system operations; railways and power plants have been used in cities since Jan 2019. Cognitive digital twins are in the early stages of trial and experimentation. In one example, a digital twin of an aircraft’s engine enables pilots to monitor the health of an engine in real time. Using digital twin technology to manage entire factories, companies like Siemens are simulating and testing systems at the level of individual machines. General Electric has built digital twins of jet engine components that predict their remaining life and the optimum maintenance intervals.

Summing up ….

NVMe (Non-volatile memory Express) is an interface specification for connecting storage to servers via the PCI Express bus. In basic terms, it is a faster way for SSDs to communicate with their host systems. It helps to overcome the bottleneck that occurred when very fast flash was connected to systems via the SAS or SATA connections that were originally designed for HDDs (Hard disk drives). NVMe over Fabric(NVMe-oF) connects SSDs to networks. A digital twin is a virtual model of a process, product or service.They are data driven learning systems.

Kindly refer the below link to know further :

https://www.enterprisestorageforum.com/storage-hardware/nvme-5-key-facts-about-nonvolatile-memory-express.html

Surrogacy

The word “surrogate” is rooted in Latin “Subrogare” (to substitute), which means “appointed to act in the place of.” It means a substitute, especially a person deputizing for another in a specific role, so the surrogate mother implies a woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a child with the intention of giving away this child to another person or couple, commonly referred to as the “intended” or “commissioning” parents. Surrogacy is an important fertility treatment, wherein advent of in vitro fertilization (IVF) has made motherhood possible for
women without uterus, with uterine anomalies preventing pregnancies, with serious medical problems, or with other contraindications for pregnancy, to achieve motherhood through the use of embryo created by themselves or donor and transferred to the uterus of gestational carrier. This technique has also made it possible for gay couples and single men to achieve fatherhood by having embryo created with their sperm and donor oocytes.

Types of surrogacy

Surrogacy is of two types: traditional and gestational. Traditional (genetic/partial/straight)
surrogacy is the result of artificial insemination of the surrogate mother with the intended
father’s sperm, making her a genetic parent along with the intended father. Gestational
surrogacy (host/full surrogacy) is defined as arrangement in which an embryo from the intended parents or from a donated oocyte or sperm is transferred to the surrogate uterus. In gestational surrogacy, the woman who carries the child has no genetic connection to the child. Surrogacy may be commercial or altruistic, depending upon whether the surrogate receives financial reward for her pregnancy. If surrogate receives money for the surrogacy
arrangement, it is considered commercial, and if she receives no compensation beyond reimbursement of her medical and other pregnancy-related expenses along with the insurance coverage for her, it is referred to as altruistic.

PROS OF SURROGACY


1)It fulfils the wish for the couples to complete their family.
2)It is the good alternate for the women who have infertilities due to certain reasons. It is the latest tool for the fight against the infertility.
3) Women have the positive experience by helping the peoples to have their own child.
4) In commercial surrogacy the poor women are greatly helped by getting the money to meet their need and also can be used or the future purpose for their own child or for their families.
5)Any person can have the privilege of having the child whether they are couples, lesbian, gay or single person.

CONS OF SURROGACY

1) There can be explotations of the women regarding the surrogacy for the money.
2)Women can be treated as a labour which provides the facilities for the birth of the child.
3)If both the commissioning parents and surrogate mother refuses to keep the child, then there will be the violation of rights of the child.
4)Only the wealthy people can afford it.

SUGGESTIONS

1) The rights of the surrogate mother should be procted in every possible manner.
2) There should be a proper contract done to avoid the anomalies between the commissioning parents and the surrogate mother and also to protect the rights of the child.

Thanks….

BIODIVERSITY.

BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOT :

Biodiversity is the collection of flora and fauna of a place. Biodiversity Hotspot is a region which is a prime location for the existence of rich biodiversity but also faces the threat of destruction. It is a place which needs our immediate and constant attention to survive and thrive in the future as well. This idea of identifying hotspots was put forth by Norman Myers in 1988. By now, a total of 35 biodiversity hotspots have been identified out of which most of them lie in tropical forests. Almost 2.3% of the land surface of Earth is represented by these hotspots. These also comprise of around 50% of the world’s most common plant species and 42% of terrestrial vertebrates prevalent. Sadly, these biodiversity hotspots have been losing 86% of their habitats some of which are still on the verge of extinction due to serious threats posed by climate change and human intervention.

BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOT IN MAHARASHTRA :

India’s western state and economy hub Maharashtra is also blessed with verdant natural beauty. With the biodiversity hot spot Western Ghats beginning from this state, the Zoological Survey of India recently found that the state has 1065 species of vertebrates and 642 species of invertebrates. The assessment was carried out by ZSI beginning from the time of its inception in 1959 till last year. The areas for the study included the protected areas national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, tiger reserve, wetlands and almost all districts of the state.

RICH BIODIVERSITY IN INDIA :

Invasion hotspots in India delineated through intersection of ...

As it has been already mentioned, India is a country rich in biological diversity. It is situated in the Indomalaya ecozone and comprises of 2 out of the 35 biodiversity hotspots in the world. The third one, that is, Indo Burma lies partially in North-East India. In India, there are approximate-
-350 mammals which make up 7.6% of world species
-1224 birds which make up 2.6% of the world species
-197 amphibians which make up 4.4% of the world species
-408 reptiles which make up 6.2% of the world species
-2546 fishes which make up 11.7% of the world species
-15000 flowering plants which make up 6% of the world species.

HISTORY OF BIODIVERSITY IN INDIA :

India originally belonged to Gondwana from where many Indian species (descendants of taxa) originated. Due to the collision of Peninsular India with the Laurasian landmass, there was a mass exchange of species which took place. However, what caused most turmoil was the eruption of volcanoes and climate change 20 million years ago which led to the extinction of many Indian forms. After this, mammals were seen entering India through from Asia through the Himalayas as a result of which out of the Indian species, there were 12.6% mammals and 4.5% birds which were endemic and 45.8% reptiles as well as 55.8% amphibians.

IN THE INDIA WESTERN GHATS:

Western Ghats – a biodiversity hotspot | JLR Explore

There are more than 6000 vascular plants here which belong to more than 2500 genus. 3000 plants out of these are endemic. Most of the spices found in the world such as black pepper and cardamom all are believed to have originated in the Western Ghats. Most of the species are however present in the Agasthyamalai Hills situated in extreme South. The region is also home to around 450 species of birds, 140 mammals, 260 reptiles and 175 amphibians. Such diversity is quite beautiful as well as rare but now lies on the verge of extinction. The vegetation in this region was originally spread over 190,000 square kilometres but has reduced to 43,000 square kilometres today. Only 1.5% of the original forest is still prevalent in Sri Lanka.

Underwriting in shares

When private company wants raise fund from public will go for the initial public offering. In IPO the company need get minimum subscription of shares from the public. If the IPO was not able raise minimum subscription then the ipo will fail. So to assure that the underwriter will guarantee the company to subscribe for the shares if the shares were not purchased by the public. Underwriter will come with agreement with the company that if ipo under subscribed then underwriter will purchase such shares. Underwriter will help the company to fix the price for the selling of share in the ipo. Even helps in meeting requirement for the ipo.

Arctic’s Ice is Melting: Nature is in Serious Danger

                                                                                                  -SHUBHANKAR

The obvious news has been confirmed by a group of scientists, that the Arctic is melting. Not only is it melting, its melting at a faster rate now. Around 100 climate scientists went to the arctic and have claimed that they’ve probably witnessed the Arctic’s final summer with ice. Now, that’s a big claim which is very terrifying in the near future for humans. The magnitude of melting of the ice is happening at a very rapid rate. With this rapid development, the major issue is the melting which is now happening at a very large scale. The melting of arctic has raised some serious questions on the environment policy employed by the various powerhouses of the world.

In my opinion, the common people have to understand that their day to day activities are making the earth’s temperature rise at a faster rate, leading to the melting of ice at arctic and leading to the rise in natural calamities all over the world at a very large scale. The use of vehicles at a large scale by people, the use of refrigerators and air conditioners, etc. by people on an increasingly large scale has given rise to the emission of greenhouse gases in the environment. The greenhouse gases make the temperature of the earth rise to seriously high levels. With the rise in temperature, its obvious that the ice would melt and result in natural calamities like floods, tsunamis, etc. What the people need to know that the activities of them have made the earth’s temperature rise. Be it the overuse of air conditioners on an unprecedented scale or the omission of harmful gases from the factories all over the world.

One thing is for certain that, if countries don’t focus on saving the environment, it could haunt the people really badly. With the rise in the cases of natural calamities over the years, the main factor has been the climate change. The governments should make sure that policies are made for saving the environment, making it a topic for discussion in public domain. The government needs to give this topic utmost importance, because the time is very less before everything destroys and we have no option left. The use of the top brains need to be made efficiently so that some solution is found out for this big problem. See, with the rise in sea level, the situation of flooding will definitely increase, resulting in loss of lives of people. But who is to blame? It’s the people themselves. Don’t people think that the overuse they do of air conditioners, it could lead to death of somebody innocent. Yes, it is from natural calamity, but its not that natural. It’s the human made calamity, made from the wrong doings of people, be it the industries omitting harmful gases day in and day out.

In the end, I want to say that the people as well as the government of all nations need to understand that if the environment is harmed at this pace, it will not be long before natural calamities be a part and parcel of the daily routine of the future generation. And if this happens, Earth will surely not remain a place for survival of humans.   

Great places for tourism in India

India is one of the fastest growing countries in the world, not just economically, but also in tourism. Tourism makes a great contribution to the Indian economy, and helps our country grow faster. Tourism generates about 9.2 % of Indian GDP single handedly. Millions of people visit India every year as tourists. India is famous for its serene beaches, enticing palaces, wide green landscapes, enchanting hill stations and for its calming religious places. India with its vast culture and diverse habitants houses many different monuments, palaces and historical artifacts. Every place in India has its own history and importance. A tourist must visit India many times in order to cover every significant place. We have tourists visiting India multiple times, so that they can relive their memories. India is so rich in its cultural heritage, that every person on this earth would want to visit India, at least once in their lifetime. Places like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh are some of the places one wouldn’t want to miss. 

Let us now look at some of the world heritage sites in India:- 

1. Agra fort:- It was built in the 16 th century by the Mughal emperors and Is one of the 

most prominent architecture of its time.

2. Ajanta caves:- Famous because it’s richly decorated with paintings like sigiriya 

paintings.

3. Ellora caves:- It’s famous for the Buddhist, Jain and Hindu temples and its rock cut 

architecture.

4. Taj Mahal:- It was built by the famous Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in Agra in the 

memory of his third wife Mumtaz Mahal.

5. Sun Temple:- It is situated in Orissa and is famous for its Kalinga architectural 

designs.

6. Mahabalipuram monuments:- It was built by the emperor’s of Pallava Dynasty as it 

depicts architectural designs of their time. It’s famous for its temples, chariots and mandapas.

7. Churches and Convents of Goa:- The churches and Convents in Goa are built by the 

Portugese, French and Britishers. They are one of the oldest pieces of architecture existing even today.

8. Khajuraho monuments:- They consist of famous Jain and Hindu temples in Jhansi. 

They are famous for their erotic figures and sculptures.

9. Monuments of Hampi:- Situated in the prosperous kingdom of Vijayanagar of 

Karnataka, they are famous for their Dravidian style of architectural designs and for the famous Virupaksha temple.

10. Fatehpur Sikri:- It is Famous for its four monuments, the Jama masjid, the Buland darwaza , Diwan-e-khas and Diwan-e-aam. 

These don’t even constitute a percentage of what India possesses. India is a country filled with culture and traditions not just Indian but also various others. As Indian’s we must not only take pride in these but also do our best in protecting them, as various historical sites are getting damaged due to intense pollution and lack of proper protection. The government is trying it’s level best to protect them and now it’s our turn. Imagine ten years down the lane we just have ruptures and ruins of these beautiful sites. It’s better to take proper action now, than regret later.

Grit: How Mental toughness matters?

Grit is the perseverance and determination to achieve one’s long term goals in life. Grit is also called mental toughness. Grit, is our key to success and self confidence. It becomes more important than our IQ itself. Grit requires, strong passion for doing things, even if things get boring, tiring and frustrating, they wouldn’t give up on their dreams, because of their passion for it. Have you ever wondered why the kid in school who was always the intelligent one or the teacher’s pet or an all-rounder, ended not becoming successful in their careers? It was because of the lack of grit. Grit does much more than intelligence or IQ does to a human being. Grit gives us the extra push we need to achieve something in life. Grit is the ability to persevere even when you face obstacles or fail, it is the ability to work harder, in order to achieve your goals. This is the reason, you find that students who were once failing in school, are very successful in their lives, this is because of their mental toughness, to not give up after failing, and to keep working hard, until they achieve it. 

Importance of grit:- 

Grit can make you hard working. It can make you committed to your work, so that you stick with it until the end. Grit is the driver of both intelligence and talent, so talent without grit or intelligence without grit is equal to a vehicle without fuel that helps it work. Some people are born talented or born smart but without enough grit in life they can never become successful or achieve their goals. Only grit can transform intelligence and talent into a skill that paves your way to success. Grit helps you overcome failure easily. It helps you do extra always, like run an extra round during your exercise sessions, or do extra research on your homework. 

There are some basic characteristics of grit, they are:- 

● Staying strong and overcoming your pain and fear:- A lot of people are way more courageous than they think they are. We need to overcome our fear of failing, a child overcomes it’s fear of starting the first day at school, entrepreneurs overcome their fear of failing when they have to start a new business. Grit helps us overcome them and achieve success in life. 

● Staying committed and positive always:- Have you noticed how determined businessmen are ?. If they won’t be resilient and determined, then they will lose, as there is a lot of cut throat competition in the world of business. We must also be confident and always committed in achieving our goals to be successful. 

● Staying put in order to achieve goals:- Nothing in this world is easily achieved, everything requires hard work, commitment and confidence. Everyone faces failure in life, but a person with grit will always endure the pain, and overcome the failure and try again. If we don’t stick with our goals and try again, we will never achieve them. Grit is a very important aspect of life that is often neglected. People always strive to 

be intelligent and talented, but fail to realise that it’s ultimately the grit that brings them success.

Karnataka, one State many worlds

 Karnataka is a beautiful land of culture, art and a wide landscape. It extends from Belgaum in the north all the way to Bangalore down the south. It is a land with a rich cultural heritage. It is famous for its serene beaches, tasty food and amazing monuments and historical artifacts. The native language of Karnataka is Kannada, but you find people right from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, who’ve made Karnataka their home. You find people from all the religions here as well. This Southern state of India is surrounded by different states such as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh , Kerala, Goa and Maharashtra. It is also surrounded by the Arabian sea. It ranks second in housing famous monuments in India. It is also famous for its hill stations and beautiful palaces. Bangalore is its capital situated towards the south. There are a lot of tourist attractions in Karnataka that you shouldn’t miss at any cost. There are a lot of palaces, waterfalls, dams , temples, mosques and churches which are a sight to behold. I have curated a few of the most beautiful and amazing places, which you should know about. 

1. Mysore palace:- It is the major attraction of the Mysore City, which is also called the 

city of palaces. The detailed carvings on it’s pillars and the beautiful hand sculpting is a delight to everyone’s eyes. Only mobile photography is allowed inside the palace, one cannot use their cameras. The best time to visit the palace is during the Dasara festivals, the palace is completely decked up with enticing lights. The best part about it is the rich customs and traditions followed during these times. Do not forget the Jamboo savari, it is a treat to watch.

2. Jog falls:- It is a waterfall on the Sharavathi river ,located in the western ghats of Uttara Kannada district. It is the second highest waterfall in India. It is a major attraction for the tourists. The best time to visit Jog falls is during the monsoons, it creates a beautiful sight with rainbows appearing every now and then. The water falls down directly without streaming into the rocks. August-December is the time when there is, best flow . There is a dam nearby associated with it called the Linganamakki dam.

3. Bandipur National Park:- It is a tiger reserve located in the state of Karnataka. It has the second highest tiger population in India. It was used by the Maharaja’s of Mysore as their private hunting reserve. Later after independence it went on to become Bandipur National Park. Adjacent to it is the Nagarhole National Park. There are about 150,000 cattles in this reserve, so diseases might be transmitted from the cattles to the wildlife. These diseases are feared to destroy the flora and fauna of the reserve. There is a national highway passing through the reserve, this has killed a lot of animals in the reserve. Night traffic is banned to save these animals. 

  These are just few places which one must not miss to see in their lifetime, but there are a lot     more wonderful places this beautiful state possesses and takes pride of it. 

History of political parties in India

Organized group of citizens who form a unit , sharing similar political views, and who try to control the government are political parties. Indian political history dates back to the pre-independence times. People have a right to form their own political party and they usually work for the common interest of the nation. There are three types of political systems basically they are:- 

● One party political system:- Here there is only one political party in place, and they elect their leaders, from this party only. Example:- Russia, China etc 

● Two party political system:- Here there consist of two political parties, who compete to run the government. Example:- USA, Canada etc. 

● Multiple party political system:- Here there can be any number of political parties in place. Example:- India, Pakistan etc. 

There are about seven recognised parties as of today, they are:- 

● Bharatiya Janata Party (1980) 

● Indian National Congress (1885) 

● Communist Party of India (Marxist) (1964) 

● Communist Party of India (1925) 

● National Congress Party (1999) 

● All India Trinamool Congress (1998) 

Pre-independence era political parties:- 

● Muslim League 

● Shiromani akali dal 

● Swaraj Party 

● Communist Party of India 

● Dravidar Kazhagam 

● National Conference 

● All India forward bloc 

Advantages of having a multi political party system:- 

● India is a democratic country, and every citizen has a right to form, or be a part of a political party. 

● It brings about transparency in the election process , though there still exists foul play in the election process. 

● The political parties are held accountable to the needs of, common public and their problems. 

● India , one of the most diverse countries in the world, is best suited with a multi political party system. This way, all the sections of the society are given recognition and their voices are heard. 

● This system negates the single dictatorship of one political party. There is a healthy competition among the parties. 

Disadvantages of having a multi political party system:- 

● Due to many parties in place, there might be political instability in the country. 

● There is a lot of corruption seen today because of a number of parties existing. 

● To implement a policy or a decision, the government will take a very long time, due to the opinion and disagreements among the various political parties. 

● The regional parties work for just one particular part of a society, hence the other communities can go unheard. 

● Most of the political parties can work for the interest of certain religions, thereby creating religious issues in the country. 

There are negatives and positives with the multi political party system, but it surely does more good to our country, and India with its huge population and diverse culture, is best suited with this type of a political system. The only major issue we all have to fear is the threat to our unity and security of our country. Every system has its own loopholes, no government in this world has ever achieved perfection, as long as people are different, there will be differences in their viewpoints as well. The only thing that can make us better, is the improvement seen in the country and its political parties.

Traditional Television vs OTT

Electronic television was originally invented Sir Philo Farnsworth, on September 7th, 1927, who was an American. On earlier days, having a Television was of a great deal. It was considered as a luxury because of its High cost. If one person had a television set, others gathered his home to watch news or sports. Televisions came after radio which became hugely popular worldwide as it provided audio also as well as videos. Television is a media where we ought to find and surf across a lot of channels, films and television shows in various languages, by paying off a fixed price. Shows such as Ramayana, Mahabharata on Cable television broke all the records and attracted a lot more viewers. Traditional television mandatorily needs Cable connectivity. There are several dealers all over India who provides these facilities to people regularly. This media works by sending transmission signals and transmits them through antennas, also Satellite televisions are also available which takes the help of Satellites for communications . Televisions basically confers people to their homes and it is a favorite time pass for many. Various shows all over the world are made specifically for this platforms. The Target audience for media platform is all the age group from children to old age. A person can choose any show according to his preference and watch the same. Televisions created a vast impact on people as because people from all over the world can enjoy these shows if it is live telecasted. Cartoons, Music, games also can be relished on. Televisions serves a great bundle of entertainment for those elders or the housewives who watch particular serials on their free times. T.V. can be used for a student’s purpose as well as it can help as a means of knowledge to children, in a funny way, without going anywhere else, when special classes are provided. Television is probably the best platform for Broadcasting International News.

OTT stands for Over the Top which is in fact a relatively new Technical concept. This is an online media platform which provides content entertainments like Films, Television shows e t c. OTT do not requires a cable connectivity. the best part here is that several latest films are being launched here, or directed and made for this platform only, hence this created an immense trend across the world, and is also adopted by our country. OTT mostly refers to such media field via high speed Internet connections rather than the Cable connections, as used by televisions. By charging appropriate data, these contents can also be passed through smartphones supporting the same. Television was more of an offline Platform whereas OTT is an online platforms. Here you can make your own time to watch a series or even download that to see it afterwards. OTT is so much well-liked and approved by the youngsters because they have a busy study schedule for which they do not have time to watch regularly. OTT cuts off a lot of costs as you get to see only what you pay for, not extras. Also you don’t have to sit and watch unnecessary advertisements in between. You do not have to go to Cinema Halls, just have to download the movie and watch it for free. OTT has encouraged raw talents to show their creativity and gave new life to dynamic entertainment shows. Televisions basically has single handedly controlled the market and distribution o such creations till this day before onset of OTT platforms. OTT holds the copyright of the shows to and is the sole supplier. OTT is also known as Online or Media TV.

According to KPMG Media and Entertainment report 2018, the Indian OTT market is expected to grow 45 per cent to reach R.s. 138 billions by end of Fiscal year, 2023. Reports by Ernst and Young states that number of OTT users in country will reach 500 million by 2020, making India 2nd biggest market after US. 5 most subscribed OTT platforms are Disnep + Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Sony LIV, Netflix and Voot.

Sushant Singh Rajput’s father files FIR against actor’s friend for abetting suicide

A major development in the Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide case, the late actor’s father has filed an FIR against Rhea Chakraborty and five other people for abetment of suicide and a string of other charges. Bihar Police has reached Mumbai and has sought Mumbai Police’s help in investigating the case.

According to sources, Rhea Chakraborty, who was reportedly Sushant’s girlfriend, used his credit cards on a Europe tour, sacked one of his bodyguards, and even has stakes in the late Bollywood actor’s company.  According to the latest reports, a four-member team has reached Mumbai and is discussing Sushant’s case with Mumbai Police. Bihar Police have asked for women constables from Mumbai Police for help in the investigation. Interestingly, this development has come weeks after Rhea Chakraborty had called for a CBI investigation into Sushant’s death, tagging Union Home Minister Amit Shah in a post on Instagram. Before claiming that she had received rape and death threats on social media over Sushant’s death, the Bollywood actress explained that she “only wanted to understand what prompted him to take the step”.

sushant-singh-rajput-suicide-july-28th-update-actors-father-files-fir-against-ex-girlfriend-rhea-chakraborty-in-patna-920x518

“My son was at the peak of his acting career till May 2019. During that period, Rhea and her relatives developed an acquaintance with my son, under a deliberate conspiracy, so that Rhea could establish herself in the film industry and with an eye on Sushant’s wealth… He was later made to rent a house that was haunted, and that had an impact on my son,” Rajput’s father, K K Singh, has said in the FIR. The FIR has been filed under IPC Sections 306 (abetment of suicide), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 380 (theft in dwelling house), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating). The Patna Police are enquiring about the statements of 38 persons, including Bollywood directors Mahesh Bhatt, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and Aditya Chopra, which were recorded by the Mumbai Police.

Quoting the lawyer ANI shared, “FIR registered now as a family was in shock & Mumbai Police wasn’t registering FIR, but forcing them to give names of big production houses & get them involved. Sushant’s father has expressed his inability to go to Mumbai to fight the case due to his health issues. Therefore, the case was filed in Patna.

Rhea had earlier requested home minister Amit Shah to initiate a CBI investigation in Sushant’s death case. The Chehre actor addressed Sushant as her boyfriend for the first time in her post.

Sushant passed away on June 14 and till now close to 40 people have been interrogated as part of the ongoing investigation. Meanwhile, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has said that the state government will initiate a CBI probe in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case if needed. Lok Janshakti Party president Chirag Paswan talked to Thackeray over the phone on the matter. Earlier, Rhea Chakraborty had requested Home Minister Amit Shah for a CBI inquiry into Sushant’s untimely demise. “Respected @amitshahofficial sir, I’m Sushant Singh Rajputs girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, it is now over a month since his sudden demise. I have complete faith in the government, however, in the interest of justice, I request you with folded hands to initiate a CBI inquiry into this matter. I only want to understand what pressures prompted Sushant to take this step.” Apoorva Mehta heads Karan Johar’s production house and was called in by the police to record his statement. Karan Johar is also reportedly likely to be called in by the Mumbai police to record his statement in the case related to the investigation of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. Kangan Ranaut, who has expressed her willingness to co-operate during the investigation, will also be recording her statement soon.

The actor’s death has also made waves in political circles with Lok Janshakti Party chief Chirag Paswan writing to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, saying “On behalf of every Bihari, I urge you to conduct a fair inquiry into the matter so that no talented person is victimized in future due to factionalism and nepotism in Bollywood.” Sushant Singh Rajput made his Bollywood debut in 2013 with the movie – “Kai Po Che”. He was appreciated for his performance in the 2015 movie “Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!”, “MS Dhoni: The Untold Story”, “Sonchiriya” and “Chhichhore”.His death led to a deluge of tribute and recriminations on social media involving the Hindi film industry, which has been battling allegations of nepotism and cliques. “Dil Bechara”, his last movie that was released online on Friday on Disney+ Hotstar, has drawn praise from critics.

The Rights of the Accused

An accused or arrested person is the one who has charged for a crime, but not necessarily has committed the crime. The term arrest means apprehension of a person by legal authority so as to cause deprivation of liberty. They are the arrested as the police officers think that there is a chance for that person to be the criminal, this is usually taken on the benefit of doubt after considering all the evidences and issues. They cannot be arrested merely by suspicion or information, a doubt has to arsise considering all the factors, only them one can be arrested. Arrest can tekr place with and without a warrant, Section 41 of the CrPC (Criminal Procedural Code), 1973 states the situations where a peron can be arrested without a need for a warrant, for example rape, murder, etc. In India it is presumed that a person is always innocent till proven guilty, and we also lay down the principle that no matter whoever it is, either the innocent or guilty including criminals , have the right to life which is enshrines in the Indian Constitution under the article 21. This article states that “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law.” This right can be invoked only if it has been decided by the court that a person can no longer can be alive, by issuing a death sentence, or in the case of life imprisonment, the decisions are taken after reviewing the offences, arguments by both parties, evidence, and the necessary legislations. So, every person including the accused have certain rights and they will we discussed in the article. Subsequently the accused have several rights that are vested in them, and are to be followed during the time of investigation, trial and all the procedures he is concerned with. The accused has the right to know that hes certain rights. The rights of the accused can be divided into two broad categories:

  1. Rights at the time of arrest, and
  2. Rights at the time of trial

The rights that are included under the above two categories will be discussed below:

1. Right to know the grounds of arrest : A person who has been arrested, has the the following rights which enable him to know the reasons for the arrest. They have been discussed as follows:

  • Article 22(1) of the constitution states that no police officer can arrest a person without telling the person reasons behind his arrest.
  • Section 50 and 50A  of the CrPC states that there is a duty on the part of police officer to states the reasons for his arrest, this is applicable when a police officer arrests the person without a warrant, and this action should also be informed to the person’s relatives or friends.
  • According to Section 55 of CrPC, if a junior has been delegated the work to arrest a certain person without warrant , then the junior has to give the order of delegation, along with reasonable reason for the arrest.
  • Section 75 of CrPC provides that when the warrant for arrest is being issued, it shall be notified and checked by the arrested person, the warrant shall be furnished in case of any changes.

2.  Right to be produced before the Magistrate without delay : The arrested person shall be taken to the magistrate before 24 hours, failing so it would make the respective authorities responsible for wrong arrest or detention. This right has been clearly explained in article 22(1) of the constitution, along with section 56 and 76 of the CrPC. 

3. Information regarding right to be released on bail : If a person arrested without a warrant, and is accused of a bailable offence, then the police officers have to give information, that they have the right to get a bail on payment of a certain amount. Section 50(2) of the CrPC has stated that a person has a right to get bail, and they shall inform the arrested person that, so that they can make arrangements for attaining the bail.

4. Right to fair and just trial : This right has two components i.e, the right to fair trial, and the right to speedy trial. 

  • Right to fair trial should be granted as everyone is equal before law. The law of equality has been clearly enshrined under article 14 of the Constitution. The trial must be fair, should be conducted in open court, and shall also be recorded using camera but there can be exceptional sensitive cases where camera recording is considered unnecessary. 
  • Even Though the right to speedy trial has not been mentioned anywhere, the Supreme court gave a judgment in Huissainara Khatoon v/s Home Secretary, State of Bihar case where it as held that the trial shall be disposed as diligently and expeditiously as possible. 

5. Right to consult a lawyer : Every person who has been arrested has the right to consult a lawyer of their own choice. This element has been stated under article 22(1) which states that one could choose their lawyer to defend them in the court, the same has been stated under section 41D of CrPC in the case of interrogation, and section 303 of CrPC when criminal proceeding are happening. Hence, when all the above situations take place one has a right to a legal practitioner. 

6. Right to free legal aid: When a person is not financially capable of hiring a lawyer for defending them, in that case the state has the duty to provide free legal aid to all the accused person who have been poverty stricken, this has been stated under article 39A of the constitution. The duty of the states was again reminded in Khatri v/s Bihar case. The same has also been provided under article 302 of CrPc.

7. Right to remain silent : One has the right to remain silent during the trial, it cannot be presumed that a person is guilty just because he is unanswering all the questions. It has been enshrined under article 20(3) that no person can be compelled to be a victim against oneself. In the Nandini Satpathy v/s P.L. Dani case it has been stated that no person shall be forced to confess something as they have a right to remain silent. 

8. Right to be examined by a medical practitioner : Under the section 54 of the CrPC, it has bee stated that the accused person has the right to get a medical examination done, if the accused claims that there are some details which would prove that he has not committed the crime, this is also applicable when the accused claims that he has some detail on him which proves that there was a commission of crime by someone else on him, this right can be availed. 

All the above 8 rights are the major ones which play an important role in the rights of the accused. However there have been other rights stated under the sections 55A, 358, 41, 46, 49 of the CrPC. They contain rights like right to health care ans safety of the accused, right to avail compensation when illegally arrested, etc. There have been cases like In D.K Basu vs  State of West Bengal and others which is a landmark judgement,Joginder Singh vs. State of U.P ,and many other cases which played an important role in achieving today’s state of accused rights. 

All the above rights have comes to present states only after many efforts ov different people. The main intention behind it was to reduce the number of illegal and custodial deaths, which are mainly caused due to illegal arrests. Not only that, we should remember  that the accused and criminal are also normal human beings like the all of use, hence they should be deprived of right to life, and the right to have rights. The rights have fulfilled its objectives mainly to decrease the number of custodial deaths. In spite of all the rights, there are cases which have been reported where the police are misusing their authority and position, by invoking the rights of the accused, to gain some money out of the process. There also have been cases where the accused in has not been informed about his rights, and he was totally unaware of them, due to which he was exploited. Police officers are the keepers of law and rights, thy are not supposed be doing the above crimes, instead they should play an important role in making sure everyone is exercising their rights in the society. The legislation should get more stringent in regard with the crimes of police officers, as stricter the legislation lesser the problems. Continuous efforts are taking place, and one day in the future we might see no misuse of rights, and when no one is deprived of them too. 

The Law of Criminal Conspiracy

A criminal conspiracy is when two or more people come into an agreement to commit a crime in the future. It can either be a unlawful crime or, a lawful action which has been achieved by unlawful means. The mere agreement between two people does not amount to criminal conspiracy, some other action has to take place which pursues the objectives in the agreement. Criminal conspiracy is an punishable offence as stated under section 120 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860. This crime has been defined under section 120A as : “When two or more per­sons agree to do, or cause to be done

a.an illegal act, or                                                                                                                     b. an act which is not illegal by illegal means, such an agree­ment is designated a criminal conspiracy:                                                                                                                            Provided that no agreement except an agreement to commit an offence shall amount to a criminal conspiracy unless some act besides the agreement is done by one or more parties to such agreement in pursuance thereof. Explanation.—It is immaterial whether the illegal act is the ultimate object of such agreement, or is merely incidental to that object.”

Section 120B of the IPC has provided for the punishment of criminal conspiracy, it states that any person who has committed the crime of criminal conspiracy will either be punished with the death sentence, or an imprisonment for a minimum of two years or above will take place. The same punishment will apply in the case of abetment to the offence. Any person who has committed any other offence  will be punished with either with an imprisonment not exceeding 6 months, or a fine, in some cases even both. 

The offence of conspiracy was considered a civil offence before, but after considering the abetment concept to the conspiracy, and the commission of various crimes like murder, robbery, etc which involve criminal conspiracy, it was considered that this should be regarded as a crime. The position of criminal conspiracy has been changed when the section 120A and 120B has been added through the V A chapter to the IPC. Now we will be discussing the essentials for an act to be considered as criminal conspiracy, they have been discussed as follows:

  • Two or more people: For an act to be considered as criminal conspiracy only when two or more than two minds are conspiring for or against something. Only one conspiring wont be a criminal conspiracy.
  • Commission of an illegal act: Mere agreement between the wto or more parties to do something is not considered as conspiracy, and act  has to be done which is prohibited by the IPC, and it completely forbidden by law, then the parties will be accountable fro criminal conspiracy.
  • Commission of a crime by illegal means: When a completely legal act is committed through various illegal means by two or more people as they have caused ommission , then is is regarded that the person has committed the crime of criminal conspiracy. 
  • Meeting of minds: The person involved in the criminal conspiracy are regarded to commit that when each and everyone know the intention behind the actions that are going to take place, if they don’t know them they they will not be liable for criminal conspiracy. This plays an important role in proving that there has been a conspiracy.

A question may arise that what if only one of the two people is present in the crime, and second one has not played part in the crime, in that case only the person committing it will be convicted. But if the second person has committed small mistakes which helped the first person th commit the crime, then he will also be jointly liable. 

Now lets take the help of an example to understand, lets assume that A, B, C and D commit a bank robbery, A is responsible for cutting the wires to go into the bank, and C and D go into the bank and steal all the money, and when all this is happening B is standing outside the bank, and he is not aware of the situation that bank robbery is going to happen, his duty was a driver who would just drop them to a particular place. So in the above situation C and D are clearly a part of the criminal conspiracy, whereas A has committed abetment, i.e supported the crime by leading a way into the bank, hence B will also be a part of the criminal conspiracy as an abettor. B had no idea of what was happening , therefore he would not be liable for criminal conspiracy. Hence, we can see that there was meeting of minds between A, C and D. We have to remember that crime is a combination of actus rea that is the physical action, and mens rea which is the mental wrong intention to commit the crime, thus one would be liable only if both take place. 

To sum it up, the law of criminal conspiracy has been clearly explained through the above examples and provisions. Hence, it becomes important to take into consideration every small thing while one is proving for criminal conspiracy. Only if all the essentials are fulfilled we can come to a conclusion that a crime has taken place, It is very difficult to prove the meeting minds point, but we have to understand that the mental intention of a person plays a very important rile in deciding if one is a criminal or not. Hence, investigation should be conducted in a very clear and transparent manner, without leaving the smallest of smallest detail. 

Honour Killing : Need for a Law

Honour killing or shame killing is the term used when one member of the family (especially male) kills another member of the family (especially female) because that member has brought shame to the family’s culture tradition by committing something wrong acc ording to the members of the family. That act committed has affected the reputation of the family, the act can take the form of divorce (even if husband was abusive), love marriage (and not arranged same gotra marriages), marrying a person of the lower caste, commission of adultery, etc. These sort of killings can also be termed as cultural killing, as it is done when a person acts beyond the scope of the code of conduct laid down in that particular culture,household, and community, by breaching the code and this is considered to be “illegal” or “immoral”. This has been  happening in many places in the nation, but there has not been any specific legislation only for Honour killing, it usually comes under the category of murder or homicide. We will be discussing the international and national aspects of law with regard to honour killing. 

Honour Killings are considered as a gross violation of human rights against a women as it has proven that theory are more vulnerable to this than that of men. Killing a women for the purposes of honor is highly violating their rights. There have been several international conventions and conferences namely the International Convention on Human Rights (1948),  International Convention of Civil and Political Rights (1966), Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979), have stated that the human rights of women should be duly protected and “honor” is no defence to honour killing as a means to protecting the culture and tradition, and this is against the principle of right to life as stated under the UDHR (Universal Declaration Of Human Rights), 1948. There have other international laws with respect to this, but the above ones are the most important ones.

Now lets look into the laws present in India regarding Honour Killing, as stated above there has not been any specific ;legislation on the topic of Honour Killing, even though it has been highly prevalent. We will be looking into other provisions in other legislation where one could be punished for heinous crime. As honor killing is nor so different form mourder and homicide which have been mention in the Indian Penal Code, 1860, it is assumed that they are sufficient to decide the punishment and penalty in the case of honour killing. The provisions of the IPC have been discussed as follows:

  • Sections 299-304: Penalises any person guilty of murder and culpable homicide not amounting to murder.  The punishment for murder is life sentence or death and fine.  The punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder is life imprisonment or imprisonment for upto 10 years and fine.
  • Section 307: Penalises attempt to murder with imprisonment for upto 10 years and a fine.  If a person is hurt, the penalty can extend to life imprisonment.
  • Section 308: Penalises attempt to commit culpable homicide by imprisonment for upto 3 years or with fine or with both.  If it causes hurt, the person shall be imprisoned for upto 7 years or fined or both.
  • Section 120A and B: Penalises any person who is a party to a criminal conspiracy.
  • Sections 107-116: Penalises persons for abetment of offences including murder and culpable homicide.
  • Section 34 and 35: Penalises criminal acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.

However, in spite of the above provisions a bill is being proposed in the parliament to amend specific provision of different laws like, the  Indian Penal Code, 1860,  and Indian Evidence Act  the Special Marriages Act, 1954,  and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 as there have been a rise in the cases of honour killing, the bill soughts to bring necessary amendment in these acts in order to decrease the crimes related to honour killing. The bill in question is still pending. The amendments that are ought be but under the bill are an amendment was thought to be brought in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, so that burden of proof can be shifted to the accuses, hence the accused who are the family members and panchayats, in this case have to prove their innocence by giving reason that an honour killing has not taken place. In the same manner an amendment has to be brought to section 300 of the IPC, to include honour killing as a different type of murder, and the process for marriage has to be shorter an easier under the Special Marriages Act, 1954 so that the couple couple can not be prone to honour killing. An amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 disallowing same gotra marriage has to be demanded.  After seeing the above provisions, it can be concluded that a separate legislation or amendments to the present act has to be brought  for honour killing as soon as possible. The efforts taken have to be completed, and a new legislation has to be brought. 

To sum it up, we Indians tend to give a lot of importance to culture and tradition, as they form the core part of our lives. It has been proven that in some specific areas like Haryana, uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in North India, and Kerala, Tamil Nadu, in South India, honour killings are highly prevalent. These are not new in rural areas but they also exist in urban areas too, and even in other states in the nation. How much ever developed we are, there are certain things in which our thinking doesn’t change, we tend to stick to our old ways and myths, instead of becoming dynamic ans change as per the changes in the society. Caste and culture play an important role in politics, education and in almost everything in the nation. There have been cases where a person in the family is highly educated, ans still has committed this crime. Even education is not able the change the mentality of a person. Its high time we take measures to eradicate this mental disease existing in the corners of every society. Its time we change and bring a change regarding this issues. Developments should not only take place in terms of money and economy, it has to take place in the way we accept newer thing in life. Tradition and culture should no longer be a excuse for killing a person, we have to keep in mind that even the cultural concepts are prone to subjective opinion. It is not stated anywhere that a change cannot happen, and one cannot deviate from one’s culture, we are the ones who are thinking like that. We should understand that there is no honour in killing a person

SECULARISM

The term secular was not included in the original constitution. But, the spirit of secularism was ever found in the constitution. The Preamble declares that the constitution secures ‘to all citizens liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship’. The 42 Amendment Act, 1976 inserted the term ‘secular’ in the Preamble.

Secularism: Western View

The concept of secularism refers to guaranteeing every individual the liberty of managing his religious affairs, embracing a religion and worship. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, ‘secularism means being non-spiritual and having no concern with religious matters. It is used in the sense of being opposed to religion. However, secularism and religion are not hostile to each other but are mutually exclusive. Secularism does not oppose religion or advocate the abandonment of religion. Religion and secularism can perfectly coexist. It refers to being neutral to religious affairs.

Secularism in India

The western view of secularism is not acceptable in the Indian context. The founding fathers of the constitution sought to establish India as a secular state. It is ‘the state that is not going to make any discrimination whatsoever on the ground of religion or community against any person professing any particular form of religious faith. This means, in essence that no particular religion in the state will receive any state patronage whatsoever. The state is not going to establish, patronize or endow any particular religion to the exclusion of or in preference to others and that no citizen in the state will have any preferential treatment or will be discriminated against simply on the ground that he professed a particular form of religion. In other words, in the affairs of the state the professing of any particular religion will not be taken into consideration at all.’

The constitution guarantees the following freedoms to all persons in India:

  1. Freedom of conscience and the right to profess practise and propagate a religion of his faith
    (Article 25).
  2. Freedom to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes and administer their affairs (Article 26).
  3. Freedom to own and acquire properties (Article 26).
  4. The right not pay any tax for the promotion of any particular religion (Article 27).
  5. Prohibition on imparting religious instructions in the state-run/state-funded educational institutions (Article 28).
  6. Prohibiting discrimination with regard to places of public importance (Article 15).
  7. Providing equal opportunity in matters of public employment (Article 16).
  8. Right of the minorities to conserve their language, script and culture (Article 29).
  9. Right of the minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice
    (Article 30).

This clearly indicates that secularism in Indian context is based on ‘freedom, equality and tolerance’. The constitution does not erect a wall separating state and religion. It requires the state to be non partisan. The state will not identify itself with any religion. The state is neither theistic nor theocratic nor an atheistic state. The state is envisaged as an ‘Irreligious State’. Moreover, the constitution guarantees the right to religion subject to reasonable restrictions so that equality is established. Thus, Indian secularism is a ‘progressive’ concept.

Every individual is guaranteed with the right to conscience that is, one can embrace any religious faith, or remain agnostic or even atheistic. The state shall keep itself away from ‘man–God’ relations and shall only regulate the ‘man–man’ relations. The Supreme Court has held that the right to conscience is an absolute right and must not be subject to regulation. Irrespective of this the state shall treat every individual equally and must not treat any one preferentially or discriminate any of them. The state must keep equidistance from all religions. In case of any privilege or patronage accorded to any religion shall be available to all religions equally. All religions must be provided with equal opportunity for development. The provisions of Articles 14, 15 and 16 guarantee equality by prohibiting any discrimination on the ground of religion. Towards promoting equality, Article 44 directs the state to secure a uniform civil code for all citizens.

The religious denominations/groups are guaranteed the freedom to manage their religious affairs and establish institutions for that purpose. They also have the right to acquire and own property as a fundamental right even after the constitution (44 Amendment Act) which repealed the right to property as a fundamental right. On the same lines the educational institutions established by the minorities also enjoy the right to property as fundamental right. Further, the constitution guarantees the right not to pay tax if the proceeds of such tax are to be used for the promotion of any particular religion. This is a towering feature of Indian secularism. Tax is compulsory exaction of money and the power to impose tax is an important feature of sovereign power.

The state-run or state-funded educational institutions are prohibited from imparting any religious instructions. However, the institutions set-up by the religious groups, imparting religious instructions are permitted but no one should be compelled to receive them. In case of minors, the consent of their parents or guardians is essential for imparting religious instructions. This is fully in conformation with the Preamble and Article 25 (1) which guarantees the right to conscience as an absolute freedom.

Given the complexities of Indian culture, the debate on secularism is different from that in other countries. In India the religion happens to be the basis for the caste and the associated discriminatory practices. Traditionally the social evil practices such as untouchability, gender disparity, etc., were justified on ground of religion. Hence, the restrictions on this right are essential. Further, the state needs to be empowered to regulate the right in order to promote social reforms. It is also essential to regulate the economic, financial, political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice. Similarly, the educational institutions established by the minorities are also subjected to the regulation of the state with respect to the quality of education. The state must prevent any regressive education in the garb of religious freedom.

The constitution guarantees the right to the individuals and conferred power on the state to create conducive conditions for the smooth and harmonious exercise of the same. Thus, the concept of secularism in India is a progressive one.

Investments

Investments are made on the perspective to get the gain by over the period of time. Aim of investment is to increase in wealth by keeping it safe. There are many ways one can invest his wealth but need to calculate it’s risk and return. The investment must have the qualities of keeping the capital safe along with liquidity. Because when the need arise one can utilise it.

Qualities of good investments

Capital safety : The investment should have the quality of capital safety. The investment should not lose its value over the period of time. It should grow over the period of time.

Liquidity: The investors must in the position to use the investment when the need arises. The investment made by him should be liquid where it can be possible to convert in to cash easily.

Capital growth: The investment should grow over the period of time as the investors can get good return for their long term holdings.

Must consider time value of money : The return which the investor get from the investment should consider the time value of money.

Profitable: The investment need to give good profit in return to the investors for making the investment.

PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY

‘Parliamentary democracy, democratic form of government in which the party (or a coalition of parties) with the greatest representation in the Parliament (legislature) forms the government, its leader becoming Prime Minister. Executive functions are exercised by members of the Parliament appointed by the Prime Minister to the cabinet. The parties in the minority serve in opposition to the majority and have the duty to challenge it regularly’. It is also known as Cabinet Form of Government with ministerial responsibility. The Constitution of India sets up parliamentary form of government to both the union and the states. Indian system is a legacy of the British rule and follows the English Parliamentary System.

Characteristic Features of Parliamentary Democracy

Parliamentary democracy has certain important features which are:

  1. Dual Executive
    In the parliamentary democracy, there are two executives namely, the titular head and the real executive head. The former is the head of the state and the latter is the head of the government. In India, the President is the titular head and the Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers is the real executive head. Constitution regulates the relationship between the two.
  2. Bicameral Legislature
    In the parliamentary democracy, there are two Houses namely, the Council of States and the House of the People.
  3. Responsible Government
    A responsible government is one which is responsible to the people. It is essential that the government enjoys the confidence of the Parliament for making laws to govern the country. Responsible government refers to two elements of parliamentary government in British derived parliamentary systems. First, the government— Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, is accountable to the Lower House of Parliament. Hence, the government must maintain majority support in the Lower House; loss of that support means that the government must resign. In this sense, responsible government is another term for parliamentary government; a ministry is ‘responsible’ to Parliament for the activities of government and must resign if it loses the confidence of the lower house. Thus, a government whose accountability to people is ensured through the answerability to the Houses of the Parliament for all its acts, is a ‘Responsible Government’.
  4. Ministerial Responsibility
    The parliamentary form of government is otherwise known as ‘Cabinet Form of Government with Ministerial Responsibility’. The collective responsibility of the Council of Ministers to the House of People for all acts of commission and omission of the government and the individual minister being answerable to the Houses of Parliament for the performance of the ministry/department in his charge are two dimensions of ministerial responsibility.
  5. Weak Separation of Powers
    Montesquieu, a French social and political philosopher coined the term ‘separation of powers’ in his book ‘Spirit of the Laws’. According to him, the political authority of the state is divided into legislative, executive and judicial powers in order to promote liberty most effectively. Separation of powers is an essential element of the Rule of Law and limits one branch from exercising the core functions of another and prevents the concentration of power and provides for checks and balances. The legislature enacts the laws, the executive implements and administers the law and public policy and the judiciary interprets the constitution and laws and decide disputes. In the presidential form of government there is a complete separation of powers. However, this arrangement is weak in the parliamentary system. ‘The parliamentary government has a sort of link between the executive, the legislative and the judiciary.’ In the parliamentary system there is a strong executive branch government but answerable to and controlled by the legislature.
  6. Continuous coordination of Legislature and Executive
    ‘The presidential government has complete separation of powers of the three principal organs of the state, each embodying the sovereignty of the people in the different aspects of the state’s activities and there is no link between them.’ Hence, in this form the executive is pivoted on the President and he is the chief executive and the source of all executive power. In such a system the imminent danger of personality cult is unavoidable. As a consequence, there is a need for continuous coordination of the executive and legislature. This is a natural feature in the parliamentary form of government as there is no complete separation of powers. Furthermore, given the low rate of literacy and low level of political socialization in India it would be difficult to resolve any conflict between the three organs of the government. The coordination system inherent to the parliamentary form helps resolving such conflicts by itself without the citizen playing a role. To quote Shri K. Hanumanthaiya, ‘Instead of having a conflicting trinity it is better to have a harmonious governmental structure’.
  7. Complete and Continuous Responsibility of Executive to Legislature
    The founding fathers wanted to establish a responsible and accountable government; they wanted the government to be sensitive to public expectations, hence, they had chosen the parliamentary form of government. The ‘complete and continuous responsibility’ of the executive to the Parliament is the most distinctive characteristic feature of a parliamentary democracy. Hence, the parliamentary system of government is also known as cabinet form of government with ministerial responsibility. According to M. V. Pylee, the parliamentary system works under the ‘principle of concentrated authority under strict control’. This on the one hand enables an ‘intimate cooperation’ between the Council of Ministers and the Parliament and on the other fixes’ responsibility of the council to the Parliament. Hence, the council is under the constant vigil of the Parliament which is the ‘real merit’ of the Parliament system.

Organisational Culture

Organisational Culture is quite complex. Every organisation has its own unique personality just like people have and this personality of organisations is known as culture. Organisational Culture may be defined as the personality or traits of an organisation. It refers to a system of shared assumption, values, beliefs and customs of the employees of the organisation and how these things result into mixed meaning. These values have a strong influence on employee behaviour as well as on organisational performance. It shows the unofficial aspects of the organisation instead of its professional aspect. An organisation’s culture can be one of its strongest asset for some organisations. Culture or shared values within the organisation may help in increasing the performance. Organisational Culture helps in defining that what type of people will prefer working in an organisation and who will be successful. In many research studies it is found that there is a relationship between organisational culture and company performance with respect to success indicators such as sales, volume, revenue, market share, profit, goodwill and stock prices. Organisational Culture also acts as a effective control mechanism for dictating employee behaviour. It is the most powerful way of controlling and managing employee behaviour than using organisational rules and regulations. Culture is a source of competitive advantage for organisations. It normally includes an organisation’s expectation, experiences, philosophy and values that it hold together. It is an invisible but a powerful tool that influences the behaviour of the employees in the organisation. Organisational Culture includes many things like the way the organisation treats its employees and customers, the extent to which the organisation provides freedom in decision making and personal expression to its employees and how information and power flow through its hierarchy. Organisational Culture helps the organisation in increasing its productivity and performance and it provides the guidelines on customer care and service, quality and safety of product, attendance and punctuality, etc. Organisational Culture is unique for each and every organisation and one of the hardest things to change. It is interwoven with processes, technologies, learning and certain other events. The elements of organisational culture are first, artefacts. The tangible things which represents our culture is known as artefacts. For the company it acts as reminders and trigger. Example: first product of the company, awards gained, etc. Second, stories and histories. Culture can also be passed through stories and histories in planned manner through learning devices. Third, symbols and symbolic action. It is also similar to artefacts. It reminds the people about its norms and beliefs. It can vary from image of its products to handshake between different member. It is very important to maintain the organisation culture and this can be done through following ways:-

  • Behaviour of Manager and Team – It is a very effective method of maintaining organisational culture. It consists of incorporating those programmes and behaviour that the managers, work group and employees notice.
  • Role Modelling, Coaching and Teaching – As we know, learning by doing which means we learn new things when we see, observe and do. Same goes here employees learn about various aspects of organisational culture by observing the behaviour of the managers towards them.
  • Allocation of Rewards, Recognition and Status – Rewards system also helps in teaching the employees about the organisational culture. As rewards, recognition and penalties shows the behaviour and importance of both the managers and the organisation.

Organisational Culture has many importance too. They are:-

  • Acts as a Talent Attractor – Organisational Culture plays a major role for prospective employees as they consider it as a important factor before joining any organisation.
  • Makes Everyone Successful – If the culture of the organisation is good it helps an individual in becoming successful by investing proper time and talent.
  • Builds Social Bonds – Organisational Culture acts as a social bond as it connects all the employees together and they consider themselves as a part of the organisation.

So lastly, it is very important and vital for every organisation to follow organisational culture.

Securatization

Securatization is the process of convertion of debts in to the marketable securities. As banks gives loans for many purposes, by giving loans the cash will get outflowed but inflow will be after the some years. So banks may get liquidity problems,may not able to give loans to other people. To overcome from this the securatization will help the banks. as loans are given by banks on mortgage the banks will sell such receivable to Special purpose vehicle and get the cash from SPV. Special purpose vehicle will appoint credit rating agency to rate the different loans. The SPV will convert such debts in to marketable securities, where the investors can invest in such securities. Based the rating given by the credit rating agency the investors will invest in the securities. The investors will get the interest for their investment.

Benifits

  1. Helps banks to maintain liquidity
  2. Helps banks to give new loans where bank can generate more interest
  3. Investors can invest according to the credit rating and get returns

S-400 missile to China

The S-400 Triumf, previously known as the S-300PMU-3, is an anti-aircraft weapon system developed in the 1990s by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau as an upgrade of the S-300 family. It has been in service with the Russian Armed Forces since 2007. Considered to be the most advanced missile defense system in the world, the S-400 ‘Triumf’ system is capable of destroying targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers and a height of up to 30 kilometers.

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In 2017, the S-400 was described by The Economist as “one of the best air-defense systems currently made”, and Siemon Wezeman of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said it “is among the most advanced air defense systems available.” China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India, and Qatar expressed their appreciation for the S-400 system, and China was the first foreign buyer to make a government-to-government deal with Russia in 2014.

Amid a global uproar against China – coronavirus, a military standoff with India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the South China Sea, US – in just the past six months, Moscow has now announced the suspension of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems to Beijing, with the resumption of deliveries yet to be ascertained.

Russia has announced the suspension of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems to China and said the resumption of further deliveries is yet to be ascertained. Citing Chinese newspaper Sohu, UAWire reported, “This time, Russia announced the postponement of the delivery of missiles for the Chinese S-400 system. To a certain extent, we can say that it is for the sake of China. Getting a gun is not as easy as signing an invoice after receiving a weapon.” “They say that the work on delivering these weapons is quite complicated. While China has to send personnel for training, Russia also needs to send a lot of technical personnel to put the weapons into service,” Sohu said.

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Post-Russia’s announcement, China has reportedly said that Moscow was forced to make such a decision as it “is worried that the delivery of S-400 missiles at this time will affect the anti-pandemic actions of the People’s Liberation Army and does not want to cause trouble to China.” In 2018, China received the first batch of S-400 missile, a military-diplomatic source told Russia`s TASS news agency. Meanwhile, it should be noted that the suspension comes merely days after Russia had accused China of espionage, despite the two nations sharing considerably good relations over the years. This assertion had come up after Russian authorities had found the president of its St Petersburg Arctic Social Sciences Academy, Valery Mitko handing over classified material to the Chinese intelligence.

Untangling Gender and Sex: Beyond He or She

It’s easy to fictionalize an issue when you’re not aware of the many ways in which you are privileged by it.

– Kate Bornstein

One can imagine many raised eyebrows at the idea of this distinction between sex and gender. Aren’t they the same; two names given to the same phenomenon? Yes, and No.

Yes, because these two terms are often used interchangeably by people at large. No, because thinking of the terms as meaning the same thing is an error. The terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ are closely linked, yet they are not synonyms. There is a subtle difference between the two as stated by psychologists and anthropologists across the globe. Today, let us explore how they are different.

The word sex has its root probably in Middle English which means “section” or “divide”. If we go further back, sex means the number six in Latin. On the other hand, the word gender is derived from Middle English which in turn is derived from Old French which is ultimately derived from the Latin word genus. Genus means “kind” or “type” or “sort”.

If we quote from the Medilexicon’s medical dictionary, we find two definitions of sex and gender respectively:

Sex is “the biologic character or quality that distinguishes male and female from one another as expressed by analysis of the person’s gonadal (gonad is an organ in animals that produces gametes, especially a testis or ovary), morphologic (internal and external), chromosomal, and hormonal characteristics.”
Gender is “the category to which an individual is assigned by self or others, on the basis of sex.” To put it in a nutshell, sex refers to biological differences while gender refers to socio-cultural differences. This will become clearer by way of examples. Sex and gender have different characteristics. Some features related to sex are – while males have testicles, females have ovaries; while males have penis; females have vagina, females get pregnant while males do not; females can breastfeed their babies, males cannot; at the time of birth, males tend to weigh more than their female counterparts; generally, males have deeper voices than females.

Some features related to gender are – women have long hair and men short; women contribute more to household chores than men do ; some cultures expect their women to cover their heads when they step out of the house while there is no such injunction for men; up till the twentieth century women were not allowed to vote in a number of countries (UK granted female franchise in 1928) ; some professions, like teaching and nursing, are considered to be more suitable for women while others like, climbing the corporate ladders, are more appropriate for men (women are now breaking these barriers); men are regarded as bread earners and protectors of women in the majority of cultures.

This means while sex is a natural or biological feature, gender means a cultural or learned feature – the set of characteristics that a society or culture defines as masculine or feminine. As stated succinctly by the French writer and feminist, “one is not born a woman, but becomes one”. We can extend this to mean that one is not born a man but becomes one, too.

While a person is born with a sex, gender is dictated by socio-cultural norms in which he or she finds himself or herself. Gender is not about being born with a penis or vagina but how we feel about ourselves, or identify with a particular group, men or women. Some people are transgender which means their gender identity is not aligned with their biological sex. A person born with a man’s body might identify more with women and vice-versa. Sexual identity is about our attraction to people of a particular sex. While it is largely true that opposite sexes attract, people of the same sex also experience attraction and hence terms like gay, lesbian, bisexual.

Needless to say, cultural norms vary and so do the gender roles. For example in India, it is normal for Sikh men to have long locks while in some matriarchal societies in Africa, women are supposed to provide for the family while men take care of the kids and household.

Similarly, the sexual differences among people cannot be categorized into two binary opposites. While females have XX sex chromosomes, men have XY chromosomes. There are some babies who are born with XO chromosomes (Tuner Syndrome) or XXY chromosomes (Klienfelter’s Syndrome). They are intersex which may have sex organs that appear to be somewhat female or male or both. A lot of times surgeries are performed on such babies right after their births so as to assign a particular sex to them. However, psychologists advise that such surgeries should be postponed till the babies grow up and can decide for themselves which sex they identify with more, male or female, and accordingly go for sex change procedures. Otherwise, they may experience an identity crisis which may lead to depression or even suicides.

In our culture, gender education is given to kids on the basis of their sex from an early age. While men are told that they need to be aggressive and not emotional (men don’t cry), women are told that they have to be feminine (don’t laugh loudly, learn how to cook, don’t study too much else who will marry you). However, such roles can prove to be a disadvantage for both male and female. What about those men who are fragile? Or those women who do not want to marry and bear children but to make a career? Hence, it is stands to reason that such choices should be granted to different sexes irrespective of the expected gender roles in order to ensure the fullest developments of their personalities in accordance with their innate abilities or desires.

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In a nutshell, sex is what lies beyond your legs. Gender is what lies between your ears.

Trigger Warnings

Trigger Warnings (TW) are labels that we are well-acquainted with today. The term comes from the vocabulary of therapy especially for PTSD, where an individual who has undergone trauma is ‘triggered’ by something that they come across, creating a negative emotional response. It has been extrapolated into mainstream discourse as a measure to help in such situations. ‘Trigger warning’ is meant to be used before content that some may find distressing or triggering owing to their past traumas or experiences. It appears widely on social media platforms, spaces of activism, and even in classrooms to alert students about potentially distressing images or texts that may come up in class. These can include images such as those of violence or mutilation, discussions or descriptions of instances relating to racism, sexism, misogyny, discrimination, rape, murder, etc. , or any topic that is connected to traumas. Trigger warnings acknowledge the existence of trauma and give them legitimacy, allowing individuals to mentally prepare themselves should the content be triggering.

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However, a careful understanding of the dynamics of trigger warnings is worth looking into in the current scenario since the term is a pointer towards a much larger framework of engagement. Particularly when cancel culture is in vogue and anyone who speaks against anything that is not agreed upon by those who control that space is “cancelled”, labeling what others say as ‘triggering’ can be used as a weapon to attack anyone who might disagree. It is important to note that this is not about legitimate concerns and harm inflicted, but about those who use such labels as a defense to escape accountability or use activism as a facade for their own ends. While there are always individuals whose experiences have made their apprehension of such content extremely difficult, there seems to be an increasing proclivity towards considering being triggered as providing legitimacy, especially if one’s voice is to be heard. A Harvard researcher opines that it only encourages people to see trauma as central to their identity. However, that is not healthy for them. There can come a point when any opinion that might be against or even deviant from the popular discourse among a certain group be considered “triggering”. It can be used to permit behaviors that focus on destroying rather than constructively criticizing. Mindful responses are given away in favor of immediate reactions, creating echo chambers where no one who might disagree is allowed to enter. This only leads to the deterioration of any movement or cause, since it effectively cuts off all engagement with another.

It is also important to understand that while we may be able to move away by seeing the label TW, there is someone, and often a group of people, for whom what we move away from seeing is their everyday lived reality. It is our privilege, to an extent, that lets us walk away. While we should not discount our mental states, we should not promote avoidance as a coping mechanism. Adoption of trigger warnings itself has been questioned by academicians who opine that it only leads to lower levels of resistance and consequently, a decreasing capacity to engage or bring change. It is interesting that therapy for those who have experienced trauma does not go the way of avoiding all triggers, but gradually increasing exposure to them under the guidance of an expert. Only then can we say that the person is on the road to healing. This is a difficult process but considered necessary. Otherwise, the patient will be a victim of the experience all through their lives. And a growing of body of research suggests that trigger warnings do not really help a person who faces such struggles. In fact, it might even have the opposite effect by making him weaker and more sensitive to anything that could potentially cause distress. Seeing TW itself can instinctively cause a negative reaction. This will also render him incapable of adequate response when he might be faced with such a situation in real life without any warning. Avoidance does not help with learning nor with the skills to properly respond. Being fragile in such respects is not something to be aspired to, but something to be dealt with gently for those who are struggling, and to be overcome with support and care.

So, while trigger warnings are useful, the manner in which we think about them might need to change. They should not be an excuse to leave every single time, but more of a “proceed with caution” sign. They should exist as a marker that reminds us of the need for change, and an opportunity to be mindful of how we engage with the content that is presented to us. We might not be able to deal well with all content overnight, but gradually we will be able to not leave the space but stay and meaningfully act in spite of our discomfort, and to provide encouragement to those facing similar struggles. It will also allow us to be better allies to those the mention of whose experiences we find triggering. Our mental health is important, but strength can be built over time with exposure, and we should consider if we are to privilege how something makes us feel over how that something is a lived reality that is affecting lives on the ground, and what we can do about it.

A Lost and Found Case

Twenty years, 10 months and two weeks after her daughter vanished, Cynthia Haag was inside the row house she refused to abandon – lest her missing child come back – when her phone started to ring. Her other daughter was on the line, saying she’d just gotten an unexpected message on Facebook.

It was from Crystal. The long-lost child.

Haag steeled herself for yet another disappointment. But when she saw the Facebook profile picture later that day in March last year, she knew immediately. Same white straight teeth. Same crinkled eyes. Same luminous smile. The daughter whom she’d last seen as a 14-year-old girl: now a mature adult.

Questions started tumbling in her mind. Why did Crystal leave? Where had she been? Why had she come back? And, most basic of all, was she OK?

Within a half-hour, Haag’s older daughter, Bianca Davis, was in the car, driving north to New York City, where Crystal was living north of Harlem. Late that night, after word had spread throughout the West Baltimore neighborhood, and the house had filled with people, Crystal finally appeared.

Her hair was now short. She spoke Spanish somehow. And she was no longer Crystal Haag, who would have been 35, but had adopted the alias of Crystal Saunders, who was 44. In that moment, however, none of those changes mattered.

“Still my pretty girl,” Cynthia said, hugging her.

Her missing daughter was finally home, but the hard part was just beginning.

‘I cried every day’

Roughly half a million children are reported missing every year, the vast majority of whom are soon found or return. For a small number, however, it can take months before they’re with their families again, and for a smaller number still, it can take up to a year, possibly even two. But it’s extraordinarily rare that a missing child who eventually comes back is away for as long as Crystal. Between 2011 and 2016, only 56 children were gone longer than 20 years and returned, according to a report by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

There’s a conventional narrative to how these reunions play out – with tears and hugs and the promise of a new and happier beginning. “The fairy tale ending,” is how Meaghan Good, the curator of The Charley Project, a database of the long-term missing, described it. But in many cases, experts say, the situation is significantly more complicated.

“It’s not as simple as being found and restarting your life,” said Robert Lowery, an official with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children who edited its report on long-term missing children. “There are feelings on both sides that they’ll have to reconcile, but that takes a lot of time and patience and understanding.”

The longer someone is gone, the more difficult that can become.

Lori Peterson, 60, a mother in Colorado Springs, Colorado, learned that a decade ago when her son, Derek, reappeared after four years. A troubled teen who ran away from a residential treatment facility at age 16, he’d spent much of the four years either homeless or living on the other side of the country, in North Carolina. Meanwhile, back in Colorado Springs, Peterson deteriorated. Convinced he was dead, the family started doing DNA tests to see if he matched any cadavers. “I cried every day on the way to work, and then cried all the way home,” she said.

Then for him to suddenly come back, after everything they’d been through, after they’d held a candle service to finally put him to rest? It was at first challenging to forgive him. And in some ways, the damage was irreversible. “It’s not really a mother-son relationship,” Peterson said of her bond with her son. “I missed those years of him going from a teenager to a man, and there are things I don’t know about him.”

The majority of kids who go missing are runaways like her son. But not all who vanish had behavioural issues. Some simply disappear without their family having any indication of why. Some are like Crystal.

Had she been abducted?

It was April 26, 1997, a Saturday. Cynthia was working as a cashier at the local grocery store. She wasn’t making much in those days, just a few bucks per hour, but felt proud that food was always on the table and her children had clean clothing. She was busy all of the time, working and parenting, but she was making it as a single mom.

That morning, she looked up at work to see 14-year-old Crystal, her fourth child, smiling as usual. Cynthia knew her as a burst of light – “a sweet girl” who won an award in the fifth grade for always complimenting others, who liked school, and who got along with everyone, classmates and three siblings included.

Crystal got some milk and cereal, and came over to her mom. “Stay around the house today,” Cynthia recalls saying, and her daughter said she would. That was the last time she saw her for 21 years. In the first few hours after Cynthia returned home and found Crystal was gone, she called friends, relatives, anyone who might know where Crystal was before finally contacting the police.Her mind ran through possibilities. Had she been abducted? Did she run away? She refused – then and later – to think that her daughter had been killed or had somehow died.

From then on, she looked for Crystal in the face of every brown-haired girl. One day, she was going down Baltimore Street in the back of a taxi, and thought she saw her outside one of the clubs, on the sidewalk, but by the time she ran over, the girl was gone. Another time, there she was again, this time on the back of a bus, pulling away, to who knew where.

“She always wore a baseball cap,” Cynthia said. But that clue wasn’t enough to find her. Cynthia stopped celebrating Christmas – it just seemed wrong without Crystal – and years went by, with intermittent Baltimore police reports charting the passage of time:

April 29, 1997: “Crystal Haag has not returned.”

Aug. 19, 1999: “Investigation continues.”

May 3, 2006: “Crystal’s case is still open.”

Sep. 20, 2010: “All efforts to locate [her] have been exhausted.”

A new identity

Crystal remembers those years differently than her mother. She said she barely got along with her siblings. She said she sneaked out all of the time. And she said she was not the happy kid her mother recalled. In fact, she was so miserable and so scared that the only plan that made sense to her was to escape.

When she was 9, she recalled, a neighbour began sexually assaulting her, and for the next few years, it happened so much that it seemed to be almost normal. She never told anyone about it, but when she became a teenager, she began to suspect there wasn’t anything normal about it. The abuse by then had gone on for so long that, she said, she’d begun to think her mother had to have known – a suspicion that solidified into belief. Her mother called it ridiculous and untrue. “What kind of mother would do that?” Cynthia said.

After getting her milk and cereal from the grocery store that spring Saturday in 1997, Crystal did not stay at home as her mother had requested. She went to hang out with friends for hours. She knew her mother would be mad, so decided to stay out even longer. “And then it was 12 [a.m.], and I wasn’t going back,” she said.

She boarded a bus to New York, she said, and recalls walking the streets of the city as morning broke, seeing Statue of Liberty license plates. She didn’t have anything with her, but remembers feeling little fear. Those first few nights, she slept outside, homeless, until she made it up to Upper Manhattan, where she introduced the world to a new person: Crystal Saunders, a 23-year-old woman, though she now doesn’t remember why she chose that name.

Soon she was cleaning houses and apartments, living in a heavily Dominican neighborhood, pregnant with her first child by a local man and equipped with a fake drivers’ license. Later, she said, she even acquired a Medicaid card, which for pregnant women in New York City is relatively easy to obtain without official documentation.

The new identity at first was easy to remember, she said, because she had changed only small details. The last name. The age – believable because she looked so much older than she was. As for her family? She told people she didn’t have one, and often they didn’t press the issue. “It’s not a rare thing to not have a family,” she said.

But over time, as Crystal learned fluent Spanish, birthed four children, immersed herself in the Dominican community and even adopted new relatives – people she referred to as “grandpa,” “grandma” and “cousin” on social media – she didn’t have to remember anymore. Her new identity had subsumed the old.

And so on Jan. 29, 2014, the date Crystal actually turned 31, she posted an image on Instagram. It showed her holding a birthday cake. “Happy 40th to me!!!!!!” wrote Crystal, who was by then working in the food industry.

“We have seen this before,” said Lowery of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. “Some of these kids don’t want to be found, and they assume new identities.”

In the national records database, Nexis, Crystal Marie Saunders, now 45, is a fully-realized person, with a list of New York addresses, a 2010 lien against her in the amount of $1,282, and a felony conviction for criminal sale of a controlled substance. But for Crystal Marie Haag: nothing.

‘I just want to love her’

When her oldest child, Bryan, now 20, reached his late teens, he started asking questions. Where was her family? Everyone has at least some family, he said. At first she didn’t tell him what she’d been doing regularly since Facebook came into existence: furtively checking in on her family back in Baltimore.

She badly wanted to reach out to them and often thought of Cynthia. But she was terrified to contact her relatives, ashamed by what she’d put them through. Only after her son started urging her did she write her sister, Bianca. And then it all happened so fast. Bianca was coming to get her. Crystal was walking through the door of a home she’d left 21 years ago. And Cynthia was so overjoyed to see her – even asking Crystal to sleep in her bed that night – that Crystal decided to stay.

The joy at the reunion, however, soon gave way to uncertainty, even resentment.

Crystal: “She treats me like a child … but I have kids myself.”

Cynthia: “It’s like meeting a whole new person. She leaves as a child, and comes back as a grown adult.”

Crystal: “It’s been very difficult, and sometimes it’s easier to just stay away.”

Cynthia: “I just want to love her.”

But in addition to that, Cynthia had to know why she had left for so long. Crystal, after equivocating for months, finally came out with it. She’d been raped continuously as a child. And she’d thought that Cynthia had known.

Cynthia said she was shocked. She said she’d had no idea that had happened, but no matter how many times she says it, Crystal said she still isn’t certain it’s the truth. She loves her mother – that’s why she came home, why she wondered about her for so many years – but there are so many issues weighing down their relationship that it seems stuck at times.

Still, both keep trying, as months go by, 2018 turning to 2019. Crystal these days lives with an aunt in the same neighbourhood, and often sees her mother, who’s on disability. They’re in each other’s lives, each wanting more. “I just wish we were a bit closer,” said Cynthia, now 61.

But it’s a start. It’s also the end of something else: With her daughter back home, Cynthia will finally move out of the house that she’d refused to leave all of these years.

“Within the next year,” she said. “I’m gone. It’s time to go.”

International Tiger Day

“Let us keep the tigers in jungles & not in history, save tigers”

Global Tiger Day, often called International Tiger Day, is an annual celebration to raise awareness for tiger conservation, held annually on 29 July. It was created in 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit. In the summit, governments of tiger-populated countries vowed to double the tiger population by 2022. Almost a decade has passed since then. The goal of the day is to promote a global system for protecting the natural habitats of tigers and to raise public awareness and support for tiger conservation issues. According to the WWF experts Darren Grover,  the world had lost around 97 percent of wild tigers in the last 100 years. Currently, only 3,000 tigers are left alive compared to around 100,000 Tiger a century ago.  Many international organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), are also involved in the conservation of the wild tigers.

“The roar is rare.”

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The awe-inspiring tiger is one of the most iconic animals on Earth. The tiger population across the world dropped sharply since the beginning of the 20th century but now for the first time in conservation history, their numbers are on the rise. Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, on Tuesday, released the detailed Status of Tigers Report 2018. According to the report, released on the eve of Global Tiger Day, tigers were observed to be increasing at a rate of 6 percent per annum in India from 2006 to 2018. In good news for India, Environment Minister, Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said, the country “has 70 percent of world’s tiger population”, after releasing a report on tiger census ahead of International Tiger Day on July 29.

There are a number of different issues that tigers all around the world face. There are a number of threats that are driving tigers close to extinction, and we can do our bit to make sure that we do not lose these incredible creatures. Some of the threats that tigers face include poaching, conflict with humans, and habitat loss.  Poaching and the illegal trade industry is a very worrying one. This is the biggest threat that wild tigers face. Demand for tiger bone, skin, and other body parts is leading to poaching and trafficking. This is having a monumental impact on the sub-populations of tigers, resulting in localized extinctions. We often see tiger skins being used in home decor. Moreover, bones are used for medicines and tonics. This has seen illegal criminal syndicates get involved in the tiger trade in order to make huge profits. It really is a worrying industry. In fact, it is thought to be worth 10 billion dollars per annum in the United States alone. This is why we need to support charities and work hard to put an end to poaching and the illegal trade of tiger parts. While this represents the biggest threats to tigers, there are a number of other threats as well. This includes habitat loss. Throughout the world, tiger habitats have reduced because of access routes, human settlements, timber logging, plantations, and agriculture. In fact, only around seven percent of the historical range of a tiger is still intact today. That is an incredibly small and worrying amount. This can increase the number of conflicts between tigers, as they roman about and try to locate new habitats. Not only this, but genetic diversity can reduce because it can cause there to be inbreeding in small populations.

Since the tiger is an “umbrella species”, its conservation enables the conservation of their entire ecosystems. Several studies have shown that Tiger reserves harbor new species, which are found practically every year. Tiger reserves have also improved the water regimes in regions where they are located, improving groundwater tables and other water bodies, thus contributing favorably to the climate. This year marks the tenth International Tiger Day. On International Tiger Day, several countries discuss issues related to tiger conservation and also try to amass funds for wildlife preservation. Moreover, many celebrities also pitch in for International Tiger Day and try to spread awareness about the conditions of tigers using their massive social media presence. India is especially important for International Tiger Day 2020 as the country currently has 75% of all tigers on the planet. A lot of people are not aware of these threats, and so spreading the knowledge can help to make sure that we all do our bit to ensure that the tiger’s future is a fruitful one. There will be a lot of videos, infographics, and interesting pieces of content going around that you can share with others.

Male_Tiger_Ranthambhore

“Tiger is a symbol of Beauty, Bravery, Strength and Nationality. So Save the Tiger, Save the Nation’s Pride.”

INDIAN EPIDEMIC ACT

The novel coronavirus has focused all attention to our countries public healthcare and how our country is handling this crisis. The Indian legal system already has an act called the Indian epidemic act, an act in the constitution that states how a country will handle the crisis and foreseeable public health care needs. First India has two acts that prepare our country to face disasters. The first act is the disaster management act of 2005 and the Indian epidemic act 1897. These two acts were enacted when the COVID-19 outbreak hit India.


The Indian epidemic act was first made in the British rule when the bubonic plague hit the town of Mandvi in the Bombay presidency. The disease spread at a higher pace because Mandvi was a densely populated place and kept on increasing due to the inflow of people to the city. Seeing this, the queen and the British government enacted the Indian Epidemic act of 1897. It aimed to curb to spread of the infection in the city. The act has 4 parts where it explains the provision of the act which has been amended from time to time. This act gives the central and the state government power amidst an outbreak of a dangerous disease to enact laws because the ordinary law isn’t equipped to deal with the outbreak disease. The government is allowed to make temporary regulations that can prevent further increase of infection of the disease and punish those who violate the regulations. The act permits the government state and central to inspect citizens who are travelling and to distinguish and separate or segregate those who may have been infected. It also powers the government to inspect and hold ships that are leaving and coming to India. The section 2 and 2A of the Act also prescribes the punishment which is the same as sec 188 of the Indian penal code, the persons who are charged with violating the act can spend up to 6 months in jail and a 1000 rupee fine. Section 4 of the act protects government officials from any prosecution on good faith.
The Central government passed another ordinance which is called as The Indian Epidemic Ordinance which allowed the act to be amended and provisions added to punish those who attack or harm doctors or health care professionals. Those guilty can spend up to 7 years in jail and all cases must be resolved within a year. The offence is non-bailable.

State governments formulated its ordinances specific to tackle state-specific problems. The outbreak also brought out problems of its own, medical health care workers were attacked, migrant workers were stranded without proper provisions for food or shelter. The sudden lockdown affected everyone. The already poor conditions of the workers are aggravated by the lockdown. India needs to update the act. This act is 123 years old. The act itself has colonial baggage. It needs to be amended to fit contemporary India. It also needs to be more stringent and tough. With a fragile and underfunded public healthcare system and a complex and old legal system, we must stay vigilant to get through this pandemic.

HIMALAYAN GLACIER MELTING DOUBLED

The melting of Himalayan glaciers has doubled since the turn of the century. Joshua Maurer, from Columbia University ‘s Lamont – Doherty Earth Observatory, used a computer tool that enabled converting US spy satellite images of mid-1970s into 3D maps. It led to declassify the satellite data to create the first detailed, four – decade record of ice along the 2,000km mountain chain. The scientists thus found the changes in 650 Himalayan glaciers. On average, the glacier surfaces sank by 22cm a year from 1975 to 2000.But the melting has accelerated, with an average loss of 43cm a year from 2000 to 2016.The analysis shows that 8bn tonnes of ice are being lost every year and not replaced by snow, with the lower level glaciers shrinking in height by 5 meters annually.

As per the report at least a third of the ice in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya ranges was already doomed to melt by the end of the century. Serious consequences will be felt by those who rely on the great rivers that flow from the peaks into India, Pakistan, China and other nations. Increasingly, uncertainty and irregular water supplies will impact the 1 billion people living downstream from the Himalaya mountains in South Asia. The study shows that only global heating caused by human activities can explain the heavy melting.