Knowledge Byte # 128
Rat Hole Mining
Most of the minerals in India are nationalised and their extraction is possible only after obtaining due permission from the government. But in most of the tribal areas of the north-east India, minerals are owned by individuals or communities. In Meghalaya, there are large deposits of coal, iron ore, limestone and dolomite etc. Coal mining in Jowai and Cherapunjee is done by family members in the form of a long narrow tunnel, known as rat hole mining.
Source: NCERT books
Knowledge Byte # 127
‘Kudre’ in Kannada means horse. The highest peak in the western ghats of Karnataka resembles the face of a horse. That’s its name is Kudremukh. The Bailadila hills look like the hump of an ox, and hence its name.
Source: NCERT books
Knowledge Byte # 126
- ‘Karez’(also known as ‘Qanat’) is believed to be one of the best ancient water systems in the world.
- It is a water harnessing technology that originated in Iran/Persia. Muslim dynasties of ruling class descending from Persia or having influential connections with Persian kings may have invited expert engineers from Persia.
- Presumably the silk route may have been the information highway to transfer the cultural and traditional knowledge.
- Though the ‘Karez’ system was built in the 16th century by Ali Adil Shah–I, his successor, Ibrahim Adil Shah–II, brought in several changes by adding more structures to strengthen it.
- ‘Karez’ is nothing but the Underground canals, built to underground water streams which are meant to provide drinking water to civilian settlements and garrison inside the Bidar fort. This system was very much needed in a city like Bidar where the soil was rocky and drilling wells to accommodate drinking water was difficult.
- The ‘Karez’ technology basically taps into the ground water sources (or natural springs) and transports it through an underground tunnel to the settlement, ending in surface canal and/or pools in the village for multiple uses like drinking, washing, ablution, watering livestock, and also further used for irrigating fields, orchards and gardens.
Knowledge Byte # 125
Doctrine of Harmonious Construction
- This doctrine was brought about to bring harmony between the different lists mentioned in the Schedule 7 of the Constitution of India. Different subjects are mentioned in different lists in this schedule.
- However, there can be a situation where an entry of one list overlaps with that of another list. This is the time when this doctrine comes into the picture.
- The doctrine or the rule of harmonious construction is adopted when there is a conflict between two or more statues or between the parts or provisions of the statues. As per this doctrine the courts try to avoid conflicts between the provisions of the statutes. The doctrine follows a very simple rule that every statute has made for a purpose and specific intent as per law and it should be read as a whole and interpreted accordingly. Thus the provisions are so interpreted that the conflict between the two statues or its provisions is avoided and each of them is given effect. The interpretation consistent of all the provisions of the statute should be adopted.
Knowledge Byte # 124
India, South Africa, and Indonesia have boycotted the “Osaka Track” on the “digital economy” at the G20 leaders’ summit in Osaka, Japan.
“Osaka Track” on the “digital economy” is an initiative launched by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that seeks the removal of prohibitions on data localization and urges nations to negotiate rules on data flows, cloud computing among others. Countries such as US and Europe have supported it.
A plurilateral agreement would undermine the core WTO principles for arriving at multilateral consensus-based decisions. There is a fear that plurilaretal treaties would deny the “policy space” for digital-industrialization of some countries. So India, South Africa, Indonesia and a large majority of developing countries chose not to sign the declaration on Osaka Track.
Knowledge Byte # 123
Blue Flag Project
Launched in December 2017 by the Environment Ministry, the prime objective of the project is to enhance standards of cleanliness, upkeep and basic amenities at beaches. Under the project, each state or union territory has been asked to nominate a beach which will be funded through the ongoing Integrated Coastal Management Programme.
To achieve the Blue Flag standards, a beach has to strictly comply with 33 environment and tourism-related conditions. The standards were established by the Copenhagen-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in 1985. For example- a beach must be plastic-free and equipped with a waste management system. Clean water should be available for tourists, apart from international amenities. The beach should have facilities for studying the environmental impact around the area.
If approved, beaches are given the qualification for a year and must apply annually to continue meriting the right to fly the flag at their locations.
Knowledge Byte # 122
This refers to the various liabilities of an organisation that are not explicitly mentioned in its balance sheet. Different accounting tricks may be employed by corporations as well as governments to hide the true nature of their financial risks. A business corporation, for instance, might classify a long-term lease as an operating lease in order to avoid showing additional liabilities on its balance sheet. Since balance sheet figures can often be misleading to investors, businesses are mandated by regulators to disclose any off-balance sheet financing activity in the footnotes attached to the balance sheet.
Knowledge Byte # 121
The life-cycle hypothesis suggests that individuals plan their consumption and savings behaviour over their life-cycle. They intend to even out their consumption in the best possible manner over their entire lifetimes, doing so by accumulating when they earn and dis-saving when they are retired. The key assumption is that all individuals choose to maintain stable lifestyles.
The hypothesis is that people who are young usually have several years of productive employment ahead of them, so they tend to borrow money to fund their education and consumption needs, while people who are older tend to be more conservative about their borrowing and spending habits as they have fewer years of productive employment ahead of them.
The life cycle hypothesis was proposed by Italian economist Franco Modigliani and his student Richard Brumberg in 1957.
Knowledge Byte # 120
This refers to severe anxiety that is fuelled by medical information found on the internet. People who try to self diagnose their health condition by searching their symptoms on search engines usually suffer from cyberchondria as they often misdiagnose their condition. They may, for instance, experience the unfounded fear that they suffer from severe diseases like cancer even though the symptoms they experience may be better explained by a medical condition that is far less serious.
While cyberchondriacs may be searching the internet to feel better, the information they find on the internet might, in fact, increase their anxiety.
Knowledge Byte # 119
Wald’s maximin model
In decision theory and game theory, Wald’s maximin model is a non-probabilistic decision-making model according to which decisions are ranked on the basis of their worst-case outcomes – the optimal decision is one with the least worst outcome. It is one of the most important models in robust decision making in general and robust optimization in particular.
It is also known by a variety of other titles, such as Wald’s maximin rule, Wald’s maximin principle, Wald’s maximin paradigm, and Wald’s maximin criterion. Often ‘minimax’ is used instead of ‘maximin’.
Knowledge Byte # 118
This refers to the theory that while making decisions under uncertainty, apart from the possible benefits of their decisions, people also take into account the likely regret that they will experience in case their decisions fail to yield the expected benefits. Further, the delayed feedback that people receive about what they should have done after failing to achieve the desired benefit can cause them to experience regret. Regret theory was first developed by British economists Graham Loomes and Robert Sugden in their 1982 paper “Regret theory: An alternative theory of rational choice under uncertainty”.
Knowledge Byte # 117
Rotten Kid Theorem
The Rotten Kid Theorem says that in the presence of parents who equally care about the welfare of all their children, even selfish children within the family possess a strong incentive to be kind of their siblings. This is because any harm caused by the selfish child to the other children in the family will push the parents to allocate more wealth to the well-being of the other children and will in turn reduce the selfish child’s own share of the family wealth.
The rotten kid theorem was proposed by American economist Gary Becker in 1974 paper, “A theory of Social Interactions”.
In his original work, Becker paints a hypothetical situation in which children will receive gifts of money income from a wealthy, altruistic parent to make them happy. One of the children is a selfish, “rotten”, child who would take pleasure in harming his sibling. However, if he chose to actually hurt his sibling, the altruistic parent would help the victim, and curtail help to the wrongdoer. That way, the altruist would function as a means of transferring utility between the rotten kid and his sibling. In the process the parent would also bring about an incentive not to wrong the sibling in the first place, because any utility robbed of the sibling would be automatically taken away from the rotten kid.
Knowledge Byte # 116
Different Notices Issued by INTERPOL
- A Red Notice is a request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition. It is issued by the General Secretariat at the request of a member country or an international tribunal based on a valid national arrest warrant. However, the arrest of the fugitive is based on the rule of the member nation where he or she is located.
- A Yellow Notice is issued to help locate missing persons, often minors, or to help identify persons who are unable to identify themselves. This is highly useful in cases of human trafficking or in case of missing persons due to calamities
- A Blue Notice is issued to collect additional information about a person’s identity, location or activities in relation to a crime. This does not guarantee extradition or arrest of the person.
- A Black Notice is a request to seek information on unidentified bodies in member nations.
- A Green Notice is issued to provide warnings and intelligence about persons who have committed criminal offences and are likely to repeat these crimes in other countries.
- An Orange Notice is issued to provide warnings about warn of an event, a person, an object or a process representing a serious and imminent threat to public safety.
- A Purple Notice is a request to seek or provide information on the modus operandi, objects, devices and concealment methods used by criminals. Last year the Interpol issued such notices to highlight human trafficking and modern day slavery prevalent in the fisheries sector.
Knowledge Byte # 115
Interpol is the shorter and better known name of the International Criminal Police Organization, a network comprising 194 member nations, including India.
The agency, with its headquarters in Lyon, France, was established in 1923. It’s website says, “Our role is to enable police around the world to work together to make the world a safer place. Our high-tech infrastructure of technical and operational support helps meet the growing challenges of fighting crime in the 21st century.”
The Interpol basically connects police across the world even if these individual member nations do not have diplomatic relations. The Interpol facilitates information exchange, knowledge sharing and research between nations. This is done by issuing colour-coded ‘notices’ in four languages – English,Spanish, French, and Arabic. The Interpol doesn’t have law enforcement powers such as arrest. When a member nation approaches it with a specific request backed with court orders, the Interpol sends it out to other countries. The information received is sent back to the country.
Knowledge Byte # 114
‘Group Polarisation’ in psychology
Also known as the group polarisation effect, this refers to the tendency among groups to assume positions that are far more extreme than the initial positions of the individual members of the group following a group discussion. Increased interaction between like-minded individuals can cause groups as a whole to assume more extreme positions. Such polarisation, however, may not happen when the group consists of individuals with vastly different view points. A group of liberals, for instance, may assume an extreme liberal position after a discussion. The same may not happen in a group that consists of both liberals and conservatives.
Knowledge Byte # 113
The term is used by meteorologists to indicate a mid-latitude cyclone that intensifies rapidly.
A bomb cyclone happens when atmospheric pressure in the middle of the storm drops at least 24 millibars over 24 hours, quickly increasing in intensity. The lower the pressure, the stronger the storm.
How it works?
Deep drops in barometric pressure occur when a region of warm air meets one of cold air. The air starts to move and the rotation of the earth creates a cyclonic effect. The direction is counterclockwise in the Northern hemisphere leading to winds that come out of the northeast.
Knowledge Byte # 112
Harvard MBA Indicator in finance
This refers to a stock market indicator that gauges the future performance of the stock market based on the employment choices of Harvard MBAs. When more than 30% of MBAs graduating from Harvard Business School choose to work in jobs in the financial sector, such as in investment banking and private equity, it is a strong signal to sell stocks. On the other hand, if less than 10% of Harvard MBAs pick jobs in the financial sector, it is a strong signal to buy stocks. The indicator thus uses the number of Harvard Business School graduates choosing to work in the financial sector after graduation as an indicator of the popularity of stocks among investors.
Knowledge Byte # 111
‘Diffusion of responsibility’ in Sociology
This refers to a social phenomenon wherein individuals who are members of a group refuse to take personal responsibility for their actions. Instead, each individual assumes that other members of the group are responsible for group outcomes. Such diffusion of responsibility is often considered to be the result of lack of ownership among individual members of a group. Since no single person is held responsible for any group outcome, members of the group lack any significant positive or negative incentive to take responsibility for their actions. The concept has been used to explain the behaviour of mobs, crowds, and groups of people in general.
Knowledge Byte # 110
Gause’s Law in Ecology
Also known as the competitive exclusion principle, this refers to the proposition that the populations of two competing species cannot remain at stable levels over time. When two species compete for control over a limited amount of resources, the dominant species will take advantage over its weak competitor. This will cause the weaker species to get excluded from its previous territory and its population to drop over time. The law is named after Soviet biologist Georgii Gause although it was formulated first by American biologist Joseph Grinnell in his 1904 paper “The Origin and Distribution of the Chestnut-Backed Chickadee”.
Knowledge Byte # 109
‘Arbitrage’ in Finance
This refers to the process of purchasing an asset from one market and selling it in another market. Commodities and financial securities are the most common assets which are targeted by swift speculators looking for profits. There is usually at least some risk involved in the process of arbitrage as the price of the asset could change drastically during the time when the speculator holds the asset, imposing huge losses on him. It has been argued that arbitrage helps to allocate assets to their most urgent needs of society, thus improving economic efficiency. Competition between speculators usually lowers the profits from arbitrage over time.
Knowledge Byte # 108
This refers to those sectors of the economy which produce stuff that weigh lighter than other sectors that manufacture traditional goods and services. The term is used to emphasise the changing nature of economies as they increasingly concentrate on producing stuff that is intangible but also of much more valuable to consumers. Economic growth in the previous centuries depended largely on increasing the total quantity of physical inputs that went into production. Now, producing things of higher value requires the use of intellectual capital more than physical capital, which explains the rapid increase in the size of the weightless economy.
Knowledge Byte # 107
Article 15 in The Constitution Of India
Knowledge Byte # 106
Voter apathy is perceived apathy among those eligible to vote in an election. This can happen when voters are disillusioned with the electoral process or with the political parties and candidates, or when don’t think their vote will count, or when they don’t care much for the issues around them. In India, voter turnouts have been going up in the past decade largely due to the Election Commission’s efforts to enhance voter participation in the country, the media’s effort to raise public interest in elections and an increase in the number of women coming out to vote.
Knowledge Byte # 105
Hamilton’s Rule in Biology
This refers to a biological rule that determines when an animal will engage in altruistic behaviour that seemingly does not improve its own well-being. Hamilton’s rule, named after the English evolutionary biologist W.D. Hamilton, states that an animal will engage in altruistic behaviour only when the indirect benefits that it derives from such behaviour are greater than the direct reproductive cost that it incurs. When an animal shares common genes with another animal that is in need of help, for instance, it is likely to exhibit altruism. This has led many biologists to believe that altruism could simply be selfish behaviour at the gene level.
Knowledge Byte # 104
Differential Reproduction in Biology
This refers to the difference in the reproductive success rate of various individual members or groups within a species. Differential reproduction could be due to a number of reasons including the specific genetic make-up of individuals or groups which might make some of them better suited for the purpose of reproduction when compared to others. Characteristics like height, intelligence, disease resistance, etc. are some examples of factors that could explain the differential reproductive success of different members within a species. Reproductive success is considered an important determinant of groups that are favoured by the process of natural selection.
Knowledge Byte # 103
Kübler-Ross Model in Psychology
This refers to the five emotional stages that a person usually goes through during a period of grief. They are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. However, not all people who experience grief go through all these stages. Some people may skip past some of the stages. The duration of each stage of grief may also vary from person to person depending on various reasons. The Kübler-Ross model was first proposed by Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying, based on her study of patients who were terminally ill.
Knowledge Byte # 102
This refers to the various prominent differences in the physical characteristics of males and females of the same species apart from just their primary reproductive characteristics. These differences may include size, colour, shape, cognitive abilities, and various other distinct characteristics. Sexual dimorphism, which is prevalent across various species, has been attributed by scientists to the process of sexual selection. It is believed that males or females with certain characteristics may have been favoured by the opposite sex. This might have caused genes responsible for these characteristics to be passed on to future generations, thus magnifying differences between the sexes.
Knowledge Byte # 101
The wisdom of repugnance, or the yuck factor, also known informally as “appeal to disgust”, is bioethics shorthand that describes the belief that an intuitive (or deep-seated) negative response to some thing, idea or practice should be interpreted as evidence for the intrinsically harmful or evil character of that thing, and that just because something freaks people out it is therefore unethical.
James Hughes gives the example that if someone who was guided by the yuck factor didn’t like chocolate cake, they would probably say there is something unethical about chocolate cake.
Furthermore, it refers to the notion that wisdom may manifest itself in feelings of disgust towards anything which lacks goodness or wisdom, though the feelings or the reasoning of such ‘wisdom’ may not be immediately explicable through reason.
Knowledge Byte # 100
Also known as Hayflick phenomenon, this refers to the natural limit that exists on the number of times a normal cell population divides before cell division stops. After each cell division, the telomeres at the ends of the cell decrease in length slightly. This process continues until the cell becomes so short that it cannot divide further. The phenomenon is named after American anatomist Leonard Hayflick who first proposed the idea after conducting a study of human fetal cells in 1961. It was earlier believed that cells can divide forever and are thus immortal. The Hayflick limit differs across various organisms with the human cell dividing about 50 to 70 times over its lifespan.
Knowledge Byte # 99
This refers to an approach to monetary policy where the primary mandate of a central bank is to manage the rate of price inflation in the wider economy. Economists who support inflation targeting believe that a stable inflation rate is essential to keep the economy fully employed while protecting the value of the currency at the same time. Central banks with an explicit inflation targeting mandate usually have a target range of inflation. They try to keep inflation within the target range by adjusting the economy’s money supply. The policy of inflation targeting, which was first introduced in some European countries in the 1970s, became a popular approach in the 1990s.
Knowledge Byte # 98
This refers to any market platform where investors speculate on the probability of a future event or outcome. Prediction markets have been created to forecast elections, the weather, consumer demand, and a number of other things that are normally hard to predict. Instruments that are linked to various future outcomes are issued in these markets and openly traded by investors. The predictions of these markets are considered to be more reliable than the opinion of experts because investors are willing to bet real money to back their personal opinion. In fact, prediction markets have been empirically shown to be more reliable predictors of the future.
Knowledge Byte # 97
Turkheimer’s laws’ in Biology
This refers to a set of laws regarding the heritability of various behavioural traits and the relative influence of genes and environment on human behaviour.
The first Turkheimer law states that all human behavioural traits are heritable.
The second law states that the influence of genes on human behaviour is greater than the family environment.
The final law argues that a significant number of behavioural traits may be explained neither by genes nor the family environment.
Turkheimer’s laws were proposed by American psychologist Eric Turkheimer in his 2000 paper “Three Laws of Behavior Genetics and What They Mean”.
Knowledge Byte # 96
This refers to a theory of social behaviour which states that the behaviour of human beings is influenced significantly by the way other members in society label them. It has been used to explain a variety of social behaviour among groups, including deviant criminal behaviour.
According to this theory, individuals who are labelled as criminals by society, for instance, may be more likely to engage in criminal activities simply due to such social labelling. By the same logic, positive labelling by society can influence individuals to exhibit positive behaviour.
The labelling theory was developed and popularised by American Sociologist Howard S. Becker in his book Outsiders.
Knowledge Byte # 95
Policy of Subsidiary Alliance
Subsidiary Alliance was basically a treaty between the British East India Company and the Indian princely states, by virtue of which the Indian kingdoms lost their sovereignty to the English. It was framed by Lord Wellesley, the Governor-General of India from 1798 to 1805. It was actually used for the first time by the French Governor-General Marquis Dupleix.
- An Indian ruler entering into Subsidiary Alliance with the British had to dissolve his own armed forces and accept British forces in his territory.
- He also had to pay for the British army’s maintenance.If he failed to make the payment, a portion of his territory would be taken away and ceded to the British.
- In return, the British would protect the Indian state against any foreign attack or internal revolt.
- The British promised non-interference in internal affairs of the Indian state but this was rarely kept.
- The Indian state could not enter into any alliance with any other foreign power.
- He could also not employ any other foreign nationals other than Englishmen in his service. And, if he were employing any, on the signing of the alliance, he had to terminate them from his service. The idea was to curb the influence of the French.
- The Indian state could also not enter into any political connection with another Indian state without British approval.
- The Indian ruler, thus, lost all powers in respect of foreign affairs and the military.
- He virtually lost all his independence and became a British ‘protectorate’.
- A British Resident was also stationed in the Indian Court.
Knowledge Byte # 94
KILOGRAM GETS NEW DEFINITION
Until 20th May 2019, the kilogram derived its provenance from the weight of a block of a platinum-iridium alloy housed at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in France.
All other prototypes that served as national reference standards, including the one at New Delhi’s CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (NPL), were calibrated to it.
On May 20, the kilogram joined other standard units of measure such as the second, metre, ampere, Kelvin, mole and candela that would no longer be defined by physical objects.
The measures are all now defined on the basis of unchanging universal, physics constants. The kilogram now hinges on the definition of the Planck Constant, a constant of nature that relates to how matter releases energy.
The CSIR-NPL, which is India’s official reference keeper of units of measurements, released a set of recommendations requiring that school textbooks, engineering-education books, and course curriculum update the definition of the kilogram.
The institute is also in the process of making its own ‘Kibble Balance’, a device that was used to measure the Planck Constant and thereby reboot the kilogram.
Knowledge Byte # 93
A catch-22 is a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules or limitations. The term was coined by Joseph Heller who used it in his 1961 novel Catch-22.
It is an impossible situation where you are prevented from doing one thing until you have done another thing that you cannot do until you have done the first thing.
Example: “How am I supposed to gain experience [to find a good job] if I’m constantly not hired because I don’t have experience?”
Knowledge Byte # 92
The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for humanitarian treatment in war.
The singular term Geneva Convention usually denotes the agreements of 1949, negotiated in the aftermath of the Second World War (1939–45).
The First Geneva Convention is related to the Amelioration* of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field
The Second Geneva Convention is related to the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea
The Third Geneva Convention is related to the Treatment of Prisoners of War
The Fourth Geneva Convention is relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War
Knowledge Byte # 91
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 is an international treaty that defines a framework for diplomatic relations between independent countries.
It specifies the privileges of a diplomatic mission that enable diplomats to perform their function without fear of coercion or harassment by the host country.
This forms the legal basis for diplomatic immunity.
As of October 2018, it has been ratified by 192 states.
India is also a party to this Convention.
Knowledge Byte # 90
International Chemical Weapons Convention(CWC)
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is an arms control treaty that outlaws the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons and their precursors.
It is administered by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an intergovernmental organization based in The Hague, The Netherlands.
Any chemical used for warfare is considered a chemical weapon by the Convention.
The main obligation of member states under the convention is to effect this prohibition, as well as the destruction of all current chemical weapons. All destruction activities must take place under OPCW verification.
Knowledge Byte # 89
Hague Code of Conduct
The International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation, also known as the Hague Code of Conduct (HCOC), was established on 25 November 2002 as an arrangement to prevent the proliferation of ballistic missiles.
It is the only normative instrument to verify the spread of ballistic missiles.
The HCOC does not ban ballistic missiles, but it does call for restraint in their production, testing, and export.
As agreed by the conference in The Hague, Austria serves as the Immediate Central Contact (Executive Secretariat) and therefore coordinates the information exchange of the HCOC.
While the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) has a similar mission, it is an export group with only 35 members.
Total members in HCOC is 138.
Knowledge Byte # 88
Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage(CSC)
CSC an important multilateral treaty relating to liability and compensation for damage caused by a nuclear incident.
The CSC was adopted in 1997 aiming at increasing the amount of compensation available in the event of a nuclear incident through public funds.
The fund is to be made available by the Contracting Parties on the basis of their installed nuclear capacity and UN rate of assessment.
It also aims at establishing treaty relations among States that belong to the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage, the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy or neither of them.
Knowledge Byte # 87
UNHCR – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees –The 1951 Refugee Convention
The Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, also known as the 1951 Refugee Convention, is a United Nations multilateral treaty that defines who is a refugee, and sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum.
The Convention also sets out which people do not qualify as refugees, such as war criminals.
The Convention also provides for some visa-free travel for holders of travel documents issued under the convention.
The core principle is non-refoulement, which asserts that a refugee should not be returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or freedom. This is now considered a rule of customary international law.
Knowledge Byte # 86
Biological Weapons Convention
The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) is the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the development, production and stockpiling of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction.
The BWC entered into force on 26 March 1975.
The Convention was the result of prolonged efforts by the international community to establish a new instrument that would supplement the 1925 Geneva Protocol. The Geneva Protocol prohibits use but not possession or development of chemical and biological weapons.
Knowledge Byte # 85
The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) is an international document which was adopted by UN member states between 14th and 18th of March 2015 at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan and endorsed by the UN General Assembly in June 2015.
It is the successor agreement to the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005–2015), which had been the most encompassing international accord to date on disaster risk reduction.
The Sendai Framework is a 15-year, voluntary, non-binding agreement which recognizes that the State has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders including local government, the private sector and other stakeholders.
Knowledge Byte # 84
The African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Pelindaba is named after South Africa’s main Nuclear Research Centre.
It establishes a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Africa.
The treaty was signed in 1996 and came into effect with the 28th ratification on 15 July 2009.
The Treaty prohibits the research, development, manufacture, stockpiling, acquisition, testing, possession, control or stationing of nuclear explosive devices in the territory of parties to the Treaty and the dumping of radioactive wastes in the African zone by Treaty parties.
The Treaty also prohibits any attack against nuclear installations in the zone by Treaty parties and requires them to maintain the highest standards of physical protection of nuclear material, facilities and equipment, which are to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes.
Knowledge Byte # 83
COMPREHENSIVE NUCLEAR-TEST-BAN TREATY (CTBT)
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a multilateral treaty that bans all nuclear explosions, for both civilian and military purposes, in all environments.
It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 September 1996, but has not entered into force, as eight specific states have not ratified the treaty.
Each State Party undertakes not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion, and to prohibit and prevent any such nuclear explosion at any place under its jurisdiction or control.
Each State Party undertakes, furthermore, to refrain from causing, encouraging, or in any way participating in the carrying out of any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion.
India, Pakistan and North Korea have not yet signed this treaty.
Knowledge Byte # 82
The Zangger Committee, also known as the Nuclear Exporters Committee came due to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) which entered into force in 1970.
Under the terms, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards must be applied to nuclear exports.
Each State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to provide:
(a) source or special fissionable material, or
(b) equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production of special fissionable material,
to any non-nuclear-weapon State for peaceful purposes, unless the source or special fissionable material shall be subject to the safeguards required by this Article.
Knowledge Byte # 81
The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies is a multilateral export control regime (MECR) with 42 participating states.
The Wassenaar Arrangement was established to contribute to regional and international security and stability by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilizing accumulations.
Knowledge Byte # 80
The Wassenaar Agreement was an agreement reached in 1982 between employers’ organisations and labour unions in the Netherlands to restrain wage growth in return for the adoption of policies to combat unemployment and inflation, such as reductions in working hours and the expansion of part-time employment.
Knowledge Byte # 79
THE AUSTRALIAN GROUP
The Australia Group (AG) is an informal forum of countries to help member countries identify exports which need to be controlled so as not to contribute to the development and spread of chemical or biological weapons.
Established in 1985.
Coordination of national export control measures assists Australia Group participants to fulfil their obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention to the fullest extent possible.
This is achieved by members through the harmonisation of export controls like using licensing measures.
All member countries are members of the
- Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention (BTWC) and
- Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)
Knowledge Byte # 78
MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CONTROL REGIME(MTCR)
It is a multilateral export control regime.
It is a multilateral, consensus – based grouping of 35 member countries who are voluntarily committed to the non-proliferation of missiles capable of carrying chemical, biological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
It controls the export of the technologies and materials involved in ballistic missile systems and unmanned aerial vehicles particularly capable of carrying nuclear warheads of above 500kg payload for more than 300 km.
This is a non–treaty association of member countries with certain guidelines about the information sharing, national control laws and export policies for missile systems and a rule-based regulation mechanism to limit the transfer of such critical technologies of these missile systems.
Knowledge Byte # 77
NPT (Nonproliferation Treaty) is an international treaty, which came into force in 1970. The main objective was to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology.
Apart from India, Pakistan and Israel have also not signed NPT.
India refused to sign NPT because
1.The NPT defines “nuclear weapons states” as those that tested devices before 1967, which means India cannot ever be one.
2.No fixed timelines have been mentioned for disarmament.
3.NPT is unfair treaty as nuclear weapon states have no obligation to give them up while non-nuclear states are not allowed to have them.
India conducted its first Nuclear test -Pokhran-I (Smiling Buddha), in 1974.
Knowledge Byte # 76
NUCLEAR SUPPLIERS GROUP(NSG)
Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment, and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons.
The NSG was founded in response to the Indian nuclear test in May 1974 and first met in November 1975.
As of 2019, the NSG has 48 participating governments with European Commission and the Zangger Committee(Nuclear Exporters Committee) Chair participate as observer.
NSG includes the five nuclear weapon states US, UK, France, China, and Russia.
India is not a member of NSG. Countries like China, New Zealand, Ireland, Turkey and Austria are opposing India’s membership to NSG. Main reason is that India is not signatory of Non Proliferation Treaty(NPT).
Knowledge Byte # 75
OUTER SPACE TREATY
It is an international treaty binding the parties to use outer space only for peaceful purposes.
The treaty came into force in 1967, after being ratified by the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and several other countries.
The Outer Space Treaty represents the basic legal framework of international space law. Among its principles, it bars states party to the treaty from placing weapons of mass destruction in Earth orbit, installing them on the Moon or any other celestial body, or otherwise stationing them in outer space.
However, the treaty does not prohibit the placement of conventional weapons in orbit and thus some highly destructive attack strategies such as kinetic bombardment are still potentially allowable.
The treaty explicitly forbids any government to claim a celestial resource such as the Moon or a planet.
India is a member to this treaty.
Knowledge Byte # 74
ANTARCTIC TREATY SYSTEM
The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington in 1959 by 12 countries and entered into force in 1961 and has since been acceded to by many other nations.
The total number of Parties to the Treaty is now 53.
The primary purpose of the Antarctic Treaty is to ensure “in the interests of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord.“
It prohibits military activity, except in support of science; prohibits nuclear explosions and the disposal of nuclear waste; promotes scientific research and the exchange of data; and holds all territorial claims in abeyance.
Knowledge Byte # 73
The Arctic Council is a high-level intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, with the involvement of Arctic indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues, in particular on issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic. The Arctic Council has conducted studies on climate change, oil and gas, and Arctic shipping.
Knowledge Byte # 72
Mercosur, officially Southern Common Market is a South American trade bloc established by the Treaty of Asunción in 1991 and Protocol of Ouro Preto in 1994.
Its full members are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Venezuela is a full member but has been suspended since December 1, 2016.
Associate countries are Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Suriname.
Observer countries are New Zealand and Mexico.
Mercosur’s purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency.
It is now a full customs union and a trading bloc.
Knowledge Byte # 71
NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT(NAFTA)
The North American Free Trade Agreement is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America.
The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994.
The goal of NAFTA was to eliminate barriers to trade and investment between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
NAFTA also sought to eliminate non-tariff trade barriers and to protect the intellectual property rights on traded products.
NAFTA established the CANAMEX Corridor for road transport between Canada and Mexico, also proposed for use by rail, pipeline, and fiber optic telecommunications infrastructure.
It superseded the 1988 Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Canada, and is expected to be replaced by the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement once it is ratified.
Knowledge Byte # 70
TRANSATLANTIC TRADE AND INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP (TTIP)
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed trade agreement between the European Union and the United States, with the aim of promoting trade and multilateral economic growth.
Its main three broad areas are Market access; Specific regulation; and broader rules and principles and modes of co-operation.
Common criticisms of TTIP includes “reducing the regulatory barriers to trade for big business, things like food safety law, environmental legislation, banking regulations and the sovereign powers of individual nations”, or more critically as an “assault on European and US societies by transnational corporations”.
The European Parliament is empowered to approve or reject the agreement.
Knowledge Byte # 69
ORGANIZATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT(OECD)
OECD is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 36 member countries founded to stimulate economic progress and world trade.
It is a forum of countries committed to democracy and the market economy, providing a platform to compare policy experiences, seeking answers to common problems, identify good practices and coordinate domestic and international policies of its members.
OECD mandate covers economic, environmental and social issues.
It acts by peer pressure to improve policy and implement “soft law” – non binding instruments that can occasionally lead to binding treaties.
Knowledge Byte # 68
ORGANIZATION OF THE PETROLEUM EXPORTING COUNTRIES(OPEC)
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is an intergovernmental organisation of 14 nations, headquartered in Vienna, Austria.
The stated mission of the organisation is to coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of its member countries and ensure the stabilization of oil markets, in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers, and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.
Knowledge Byte # 67
INDIA-AFRICA FORUM SUMMIT(IAFS)
The India–Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) is the official platform for the African-Indian relations.
IAFS is held once in every three years.
It was first held from April 4 to April 8, 2008 in New Delhi, India. It was the first such meeting between the heads of state and government of India and 14 countries of Africa chosen by the African Union. Libya and Egypt’s heads of state did not attend.
Agenda: Rising oil and food prices were the top concerns for the African and Indian leaders during the summit.The priority areas are: agriculture, trade, industry and investment, peace and security, promotion of good governance, ICT.
Knowledge Byte # 66
South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation(SASEC)
The South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program, set up in 2001, brings together Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka in a project-based partnership to promote regional prosperity by improving cross-border connectivity, boosting trade among member countries, and strengthening regional economic cooperation.
Founded in 2001.
Headquarter: Manila, Philippines
Asian Development Bank (ADB) serves as the Secretariat for the SASEC member countries.
It seeks to strengthen multimodal cross-border transport networks that boost intraregional trade and open up trade opportunities with East and Southeast Asia.
Knowledge Byte # 65
The Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) is an initiative by six countries – India and five ASEAN countries, namely, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam for cooperation in tourism, culture, education, as well as transport and communications.
It was launched in 2000 at Vientiane, Lao PDR.
Both the Ganga and the Mekong are civilizational rivers, and the MGC initiative aims to facilitate closer contacts among the people inhabiting these two major river basins.
The MGC is also indicative of the cultural and commercial linkages among the member countries of the MGC down the centuries.
The 1st MGC Ministerial Meeting was held in Vientiane from 9-13 November 2000.
Knowledge Byte # 64
INDIAN OCEAN RIM ASSOCIATION(IORA)
Formerly known as the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative and Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC).
IORA is an international organisation consisting of coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean.
The IORA is a regional forum, tripartite in nature, bringing together representatives of Government, Business and Academia, for promoting co-operation and closer interaction among them.
It is based on the principles of Open Regionalism for strengthening Economic Cooperation particularly on Trade Facilitation and Investment, Promotion as well as Social Development of the region.
The Coordinating Secretariat of IORA is located at Ebene, Mauritius.
Knowledge Byte # 63
INDIA BRAZIL AND SOUTH AFRICA(IBSA)
The IBSA Dialogue Forum is an international tripartite grouping for promoting international cooperation among these countries.
The forum provides the three countries with a platform to engage in discussions for cooperation in the field of agriculture, trade, culture, and defence among others.
It also aims at increasing the trade opportunities among the three countries, as well as facilitate the trilateral exchange of information, technologies and skills to complement each other strengths.
Subsequently, it promotes the international poverty alleviation and social development with main focus being on equitable development.
The IBSA Dialogue forum was formalized through the adoption of the “Brasilia Declaration“.
Knowledge Byte # 62
SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANISATION(SCO)
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), or Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai, China by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
In July 2015 in Ufa, Russia, the SCO decided to admit India and Pakistan as full members. Both signed the memorandum of obligations in June 2016 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, thereby starting the formal process of joining the SCO as full members. On 9 June 2017, at a summit in Astana, India and Pakistan officially joined SCO as full members.
The official working languages of SCO are Chinese and Russian.
Observer status is given to four countries: Iran, Mongolia, Belarus and Afghanistan.
The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is a permanent organ of the SCO which serves to promote cooperation of member states against the three evils of terrorism, separatism and extremism.
All SCO members but China are also members of the Eurasian Economic Community.
Knowledge Byte # 61
BRAZIL RUSSIA INDIA CHINA SOUTH AFRICA(BRICS)
BRICS is an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
All five countries are members of G20.
The BRICS members are all leading developing or newly industrialised countries, but they are distinguished by their large, sometimes fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional affairs.
Since 2009, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits.
Bilateral relations among BRICS nations have mainly been conducted on the basis of non-interference, equality, and mutual benefit.
BRICS developed New Development Bank (NDB) which will have capital of USD 50 billion with each country contributing USD 10 billion, while the monetary fund will have USD 100 billion at its disposal.
Since 2012, the BRICS group of countries have been planning an optical fiber submarine communications cable system to carry telecommunications between the BRICS countries, known as the BRICS Cable.
Knowledge Byte # 60
Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation(BIMSTEC)
BIMSTEC is an international organisation of seven nations of South Asia and South East Asia.
The BIMSTEC member states—Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand , Nepal and Bhutan —are among the countries dependent on the Bay of Bengal.
It’s headquarter is in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The 4th Summit in 2018 was hosted in Nepal, Kathmandu.
Established in 1997. However the first summit was hosted in 2004 in Thailand, Bangkok.
The main objective of BIMSTEC is technological and economic co-operation among south Asian and south east Asian countries along the coast of the Bay of Bengal.
Knowledge Byte # 59
BANGLADESH-CHINA-INDIA-MYANMAR FORUM FOR REGIONAL COOPERATION(BCIM)
The Bangladesh–China–India–Myanmar Forum for Regional Cooperation (BCIM) is a sub-regional organisation of Asian nations aimed at greater integration of trade and investment between the four countries.
The multi-modal corridor will be the first expressway between India and China and will pass through Myanmar and Bangladesh.
These advantages are envisaged to accrue from greater market access for goods, services and energy, elimination of non-tariff barriers, better trade facilitation, investment in infrastructure development, joint exploration and development of mineral, water, and other natural resources and through closer people to people contact.
Knowledge Byte # 58
BANGLADESH, BHUTAN, INDIA, NEPAL(BBIN) INITIATIVE
The Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) Initiative is a sub regional architecture of countries of South Asia.
It meets through official representation of member states to formulate, implement and review quadrilateral agreements across areas such as water resources management, connectivity of power, transport, and infrastructure.
India proposed a SAARC Motor Vehicle Agreement during the 18th SAARC summit in Kathmandu in November 2014. Due to objections from Pakistan, an agreement could not be reached.
The BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) was signed on 15 June 2015 at the BBIN transport ministers meeting in Thimpu, Bhutan. The agreement will permit the member states to ply their vehicles in each other’s territory for transportation of cargo and passengers, including third country transport and personal vehicles.
Bhutan has decided not to ratify this agreement. India is still in discussion though.
Knowledge Byte # 57
Economic Union is a Common Market extended through further harmonization of fiscal/monetary policies and shared executive, judicial & legislative institutions. European Union (EU) is an example.
Knowledge Byte # 56
Integration provided by a Common market is one step deeper than that by a Customs Union. A common market is a Customs Union with provisions to facilitate free movements of labour and capital, harmonize technical standards across members etc. European Common Market is an example.
Knowledge Byte # 55
In a Customs union, partner countries may decide to trade at zero duty among themselves, however they maintain common tariffs against rest of the world. An example is Southern African Customs Union (SACU) amongst South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland. European Union is also an outstanding example.
Knowledge Byte # 54
Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)
These terms describe agreements which consist of an integrated package on goods, services and investment along with other areas including IPR, competition etc. The India Korea CEPA is one such example and it covers a broad range of other areas like trade facilitation and customs cooperation, investment, competition, IPR etc.
Knowledge Byte # 53
Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
In FTAs, tariffs on items covering substantial bilateral trade are eliminated between the partner countries; however each maintains individual tariff structure for non-members. India Sri Lanka FTA is an example. The key difference between an FTA and a PTA is that while in a PTA there is a positive list of products on which duty is to be reduced; in an FTA there is a negative list on which duty is not reduced or eliminated. Thus, compared to a PTA, FTAs are generally more ambitious in coverage of tariff lines (products) on which duty is to be reduced.
Knowledge Byte # 52
Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA)
In a PTA, two or more partners agree to reduce tariffs on agreed number of tariff lines. The list of products on which the partners agree to reduce duty is called positive list. India MERCOSUR PTA is such an example. However, in general PTAs do not cover substantially all trade.
Knowledge Byte # 51
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of nations in South Asia.
Its member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
SAARC comprises 3% of the world’s area, 21% of the world’s population and 3.8% of the global economy, as of 2015.
SAARC was founded in Dhaka on 8 December 1985.Its secretariat is based in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The organization promotes development of economic and regional integration.
It launched the South Asian Free Trade Area(SAFTA) in 2006.
SAARC maintains permanent diplomatic relations at the United Nations as an observer and has developed links with multilateral entities, including the European Union.
Knowledge Byte # 50
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership(RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the six Asia-Pacific states with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements.
Knowledge Byte # 49
ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS(ASEAN)
ASEAN is a regional organization comprising 10 Southeast Asian states which promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic integration amongst its members.
Its principal aim is to accelerate economic growth, social progress, and socio cultural evolution, promote Southeast Asian studies, alongside the protection of regional stability.
Headquarters: Jakarta, Indonesia
Founded: 8 August 1967
Members: Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Brunei, Laos.
ASEAN plus 6 : ASEAN plus People’s Republic of China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India.
Knowledge Byte # 48
APEC-ASIA PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is an inter-governmental forum for 21 Pacific Rim member economies that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Headquartered in Singapore.
The APEC was established in 1989.
The criterion for membership is that the member is a separate economy, rather than a state. As a result, APEC uses the term member economies rather than member countries to refer to its members. One result of this criterion is that membership of the forum includes Taiwan (officially the Republic of China, participating under the name “Chinese Taipei”) alongside People’s Republic of China, as well as Hong Kong, which entered APEC as a British colony but it is now a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.
APEC also includes three official observers: ASEAN, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council.
India is not a member.
Knowledge Byte # 47
The G4 nations comprising Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan are four countries which support each other’s bids for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.
Unlike the G7, where the common denominator is the economy and long-term political motives, the G4’s primary aim is the permanent member seats on the Security Council.
However, the G4’s bids are often opposed by the Uniting for Consensus movement or Coffee table countries, and particularly their economic competitors or political rivals.
The United Kingdom and France have backed the G4’s bid for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.
Japan has support from the United States and the United Kingdom.
Knowledge Byte # 46
The G20 (or Group of Twenty) is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union.
Founded in 1999.
Purpose – Bring together systemically important industrialized and developing economies to discuss key issues in the global economy.
It was founded with the aim of studying, reviewing, and promoting high level discussion of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability.
It seeks to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organization.
Singapore formed the Global Governance Group(3G), an informal grouping of 28 non-G20 countries with the aim of collectively channeling their views into the G20 process more effectively.
A sherpa is the personal representative of a head of state or government who prepares an international summit, particularly the annual G7 and G20 summits.
Knowledge Byte # 45
The Nixon shock was a series of economic measures undertaken by United States President Richard Nixon in 1971, the most significant of which was the unilateral cancellation of the direct international convertibility of the United States dollar to gold.
Nations began to demand redemption of their dollars for gold in 1971, high inflation rate, unemployment rate high etc.
While Nixon’s actions did not formally abolish the existing Bretton Woods system of international financial exchange, the suspension of one of its key components effectively rendered the Bretton Woods system inoperative. While Nixon publicly stated his intention to resume direct convertibility of the dollar after reforms to the Bretton Woods system had been implemented, all attempts at reform proved unsuccessful. By 1973, the Bretton Woods system was replaced de facto by the current regime based on freely floating fiat currencies.
Knowledge Byte # 44
G7(Group of 7)
The Group of Seven (G7) is a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
These countries, with the seven largest IMF-described advanced economies in the world, represent 58% of the global net wealth ($317 trillion).
The G7 countries also represent more than 46% of the global gross domestic product (GDP) based on nominal values, and more than 32% of the global GDP based on purchasing power parity.
The European Union is also represented at the G7 summit. In March 2014 Russian Federation was suspended by G7 members from the political forum G8 following the annexation of Crimea.
The organization was founded to facilitate shared macroeconomic initiatives by its members in response to the collapse of the exchange rate 1971, during the time of the Nixon shock, the 1970s energy crisis and the ensuing recession.
Knowledge Byte # 43
NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION(NATO)
NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is an international alliance that consists of 29 member states from North America and Europe.
This organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.
It was established at the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949.
Article Five of the treaty states that if an armed attack occurs against one of the member states, it shall be considered an attack against all members, and other members shall assist the attacked member, with armed forces if necessary.
All members have militaries, except for Iceland which does not have a typical army (but does, however, have a coast guard and a small unit of civilian specialists for NATO operations). Three of NATO’s members are nuclear weapons states: France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Knowledge Byte # 42
COUNCIL OF EUROPE
(Not to be confused with European Council or Council of the European Union.)
The Council of Europe is an international organisation whose stated aim is to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe and promote European Culture.
Founded on 5 May 1949
It has 47 member states and its distinct from the European Union.No country has ever joined the EU without first belonging to the Council of Europe.
The Council of Europe is an official United Nations Observer.
Unlike the EU, the Council of Europe cannot make binding laws, but it does have the power to enforce select international agreements reached by European states on various topics.
The best known body of the Council of Europe is the European Court of Human Rights, which enforces the European Convention on Human Rights.
Knowledge Byte # 41
The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe.
The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one.
EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development.
The Maastricht Treaty established the European Union in 1993 and introduced European citizenship.The latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009.
Knowledge Byte # 40
Objective of Common Wealth Nation:
The Commonwealth’s objectives were first outlined in the 1971 Singapore Declaration, which committed the Commonwealth to the institution of world peace; promotion of representative democracy and individual liberty; the pursuit of equality and opposition to racism; the fight against poverty, ignorance, and disease; and free trade. To these were added opposition to discrimination on the basis of gender by the Lusaka Declaration of 1979, and environmental sustainability by the Langkawi Declaration of 1989. These objectives were reinforced by the Harare Declaration in 1991. The Commonwealth’s current highest-priority aims are on the promotion of democracy and development, as outlined in the 2003 Aso Rock Declaration.
Knowledge Byte # 39
COMMON WEALTH OF NATIONS
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organization of 53 member states, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire.
The Commonwealth operates by intergovernmental consensus of the member states, organized through the Commonwealth Secretariat and non-governmental organization, organized through the Commonwealth Foundation.
It was originally created as the British Commonwealth through the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference, and formalised by the United Kingdom through the Statute of Westminster in 1931.
The current Commonwealth of Nations was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949, which modernised the community, and established the member states as “free and equal”.
Member states do not have any legal obligation to one another.
Knowledge Byte # 38
International Whaling Commission(IWC)
The IWC is the global body charged with the conservation of whales and the management of whaling.
The IWC currently has 89 member governments from countries all over the world.
Formation: December 2, 1946
IWC was set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry.
An integral part of the convention is legally binding Schedule which sets out specific measures.
These measures include catch limits (which may be zero as is the case for commercial whaling ) by species and area, designating specified areas as whale sanctuaries, protection of calves and females accompanied by calves, prescribe open and closed seasons and areas for whaling and restrictions on hunting methods.
Knowledge Byte # 37
INTERNATIONAL SEABED AUTHORITY(ISA)
The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is an intergovernmental body based in Kingston, Jamaica, that was established to organize, regulate and control all mineral-related activities in the international seabed area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, an area underlying most of the world’s oceans.
UNCLOS defines the international seabed area, the part under ISA jurisdiction as “the seabed and the ocean floor and the subsoil thereof, beyond the limits of national jurisdiction”.
It was established by the Law of the Sea Convention.It has obtained Observer status in the United Nation.
Formation: 16 November 1994.
Purpose: Regulate deep seabed mining and ensure the marine environment is protected from any harmful effects which may arise from mining activities.
Knowledge Byte # 36
International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA)
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons.
The IAEA was established as an autonomous organisation on 29 July 1957.
Though established independently of the United Nations through its own international treaty, the IAEA Statute, the IAEA reports to both the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council.
The IAEA has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
Total Membership : 171( India is also its member )
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), which joined the IAEA in 1974, withdrew its membership of the IAEA in 1994.
Knowledge Byte # 35
Permanent Court Of Arbitration(PCA)
PCA is an intergovernmental organization located at The Hague in the Netherlands.
The PCA is not a court in the traditional sense but provides services of arbitral tribunal to resolve disputes that arise out of international agreements between member states, international organizations or private parties.
The cases span a range of legal issues involving territorial and maritime boundaries, sovereignty, human rights, international investment, and international and regional trade.
PCA has no sitting judges. Instead parties themselves select the arbitrators.The rulings of PCA are binding but the tribunal has no powers for enforcement.This is evident from South China Sea Dispute.
The PCA sometimes gets confused with the International Court of Justice, which has its seat in the same building. The PCA is however not part of the UN system, although it does have observer status in the UN General Assembly since 1993.
Knowledge Byte # 34
Difference between ICC and ICJ
ICC is set up under the Rome Statute. It was established as an independent international organization in 2002 and is not governed by UN.
All the member states of UN automatically become members of ICJ whereas nations individually become members to ICC by signing Rome Statute.
The ICJ has no jurisdiction to try individuals accused of war crimes or crimes against humanity. The ICC tries individual people for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression, according to the Rome Statute.
ICJ is not a criminal court; it does not have a prosecutor able to initiate proceedings and settle disputes between member states, with their consent, on issues of sovereignty, trade, natural resources, treaty violations, treaty interpretations, etc.
Knowledge Byte # 33
International Criminal Court(ICC)
ICC is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in The Hague, in the Netherlands.ICC has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, crime of aggression and war crimes.
ICC is the world’s first permanent international criminal court.
It was created by the ‘Rome Statute’. So, states which become party to the Rome Statute becomes member of ICC, thus totaling 123 members.
It began its functioning on 1 July 2002, the date that Rome Statute entered into force.The Rome Statute is multilateral treaty which serves as ICC’s foundational and governing document.
The ICC has jurisdiction to prosecute individuals and is independent of United Nations (UN).It may receive case referrals from UN Security Council and can initiate prosecutions without UN action or referral.
Knowledge Byte # 32
Financial Action Task Force(FATF)
It is an inter‐governmental policy making body.
It aims to establish international standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
It was established in 1989 during the G7 Summit in Paris (France) to combat the growing problem of money laundering.
It comprises over 39 countries. There are currently 38 members of the FATF; 36 jurisdictions and 2 regional organisations (the Gulf Cooperation Council and the European Commission).
India is a member.
FATF Secretariat is housed at the headquarters of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) in Paris.
Knowledge Byte # 31
The Boxes of WTO
The agricultural subsidies, in the WTO terminology have in general been identified by ‘boxes’ which have been given different colours.
Amber Box: All subsidies which are supposed to distort production and trade fall into amber box.
Blue Box: Amber box with conditions. Any subsidy which would normally be in the amber box, is placed in the blue box if it requires farmers to go for a certain level of production.
Green Box: The agricultural subsidies which cause minimal or no distortions to trade are put under the green box. They must not include price support. It is also called production neutral box.
S&D Box – Social and Development Box : This box allows developing countries for some subsidies to the agricultural sector under certain conditions.
Knowledge Byte # 30
World Trade Organization(WTO)
WTO is the only intergovernmental organization which regulates international trade.
The WTO officially commenced under the Marrakesh Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade(GATT).
Founded in 1995
Headquarter – Geneva, Switzerland
Membership: 164 member states
The WTO deals with regulation of trade between participating countries by providing a framework for negotiating trade agreements and a dispute resolution process.
Most Favoured Nation status
Most Favoured Nation is a treatment accorded to a trade partner to ensure non-discriminatory trade between two countries vis-a-vis other trade partners.
Under WTO rules, a member country cannot discriminate between its trade partners. If a special status is granted to a trade partner, it must be extended to all members of the WTO.
National Treatment Clause
The principle of giving others the same treatment as one’s own nationals. GATT Article 3 requires that imports be treated no less favourably than the same or similar domestically-produced goods once they have passed customs.
Knowledge Byte # 29
New Development Bank
The New Development Bank was formerly referred to as the BRICS development Bank.
NDB is a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS states(Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
The idea for setting up the bank was proposed by India at the 4th BRICS summit in 2012 held in Delhi
Formation: July 2014 (Treaty signed) and July 2015 (Treaty in force).
Headquarter – Shanghai, China
The first regional office of the NDB is in Johannesburg, South Africa.
K. V. Kamath, from India, is the first elected president of the NDB.
The bank supports public or private projects through loans, guarantees, equity participation and other financial instruments
Knowledge Byte # 28
ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK(ADB)
Established in 1966.
Headquarter – Manila, Phillipines
It was conceived as a financial institution that is Asian in nature and character and fosters economic growth and cooperation in one of the poorest regions in the world.
From 31 members at its establishment in 1966, ADB has grown to encompass 67 members—of which 48 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside.
The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and non-regional developed countries.
ADB assists its members, and its partners, by providing loans, technical assistance, grants, and equity investments to promote social and economic development.
ADB is an official United Nations Observer.
India became a member of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as a founding member in 1966.
Knowledge Byte # 27
BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS(BIS)
Established in 1930.
The BIS is owned by 60 central banks, representing countries from around the world that together account for about 95% of world GDP.
Its head office is in Basel, Switzerland and it has two representative offices: in Hong Kong SAR and in Mexico City.
BIS is a bank for central banks.
The mission of the BIS is to serve central banks in their pursuit of monetary and financial stability, to foster international cooperation in those areas and to act as a bank for central banks.
With regard to our banking activities, BIS’s customers are central banks and international organizations. BIS does not accept deposits from, or provide financial services to, private individuals or corporate entities.
Knowledge Byte # 26
The BoP crisis of the early 1990s made India borrow from the IMF which came on some conditions. The medium term loan to India was given for the restructuring of the economy on the following conditions:
i.Devaluation of rupee by 22 percent(done in two scenarios fortnights – rupee fell from ‘21’ to ‘27’ against every US Dollar).
ii.Drastic custom cut to a peak duty of 30 percent from the erstwhile level of 130 percent for all goods.
iii.Excise duty to be increased by 20 percent to neutralize the loss of revenue due to revenue cut.
iv.Government expenditure to be cut by 10 percent per annum( the burden of salaries, pensions, subsidies etc ).
Knowledge Byte # 25
Special Drawing Right(SDR)
The SDR is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries’ official reserves. The SDR is the unit of account for the IMF, and is not a currency per se. SDRs instead represent a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged.
The SDR basket now consists of the following five currencies: U.S. dollar (41.73%), Euro (30.93%), Chinese yuan(Renminbi) (10.92%), Japanese yen (8.33%), British pound (8.09%).
Knowledge Byte # 24
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND(IMF)
IMF was conceived at an UN conference in Bretton Woods, in July 1944.The 44 countries at that conference sought to build a framework for economic cooperation to avoid a repetition of the competitive devaluations that had contributed to the Great Depression of the 1930s.With the membership of 189 countries, the Fund’s mandate was updated in 2012 to include all macroeconomic and financial sector issues that bear on global stability.A core responsibility of the IMF is to provide loans to member countries experiencing actual or potential balance of payments problems.Unlike development banks, the IMF does not lend for specific projects.
Knowledge Byte # 23
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to countries for capital programs.The World Bank was created at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, along with the International Monetary Fund(IMF).The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development(IBRD) and the International Development Association(IDA), which is the concessional lending arm of IBRD, are collectively known as World Bank.The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group, which is a part of the United Nation.All decisions of the World Bank are guided to the promotion of foreign investment and international trade and to the facilitation of capital investment.Total member countries: 189
Knowledge Byte # 22
INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION UNION (ITU)
It is the specialized agency for information and communication technologies(ICTs). It is responsible for the allocation of radio spectrum and satellite orbits and for the standardization and the development of ICTs world wide. The work of ITU covers the whole ICT sector from digital broadcasting to the Internet and from mobile technologies to 3D TV.
It is unique among UN in having both public and private sector membership. Its membership includes 193 Member States and around 800 public and private sector companies, and academic institutions as well as international and regional telecommunication entities, known as Sector Members and Associates, which undertake most of the work of each Sector.
Its secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland. Membership of ITU is open to only Member States of the United Nations, which may join the Union as Member States and also to private organisations.
Knowledge Byte # 21
WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANISATION(WIPO)
The mission of WIPO is to promote innovation and creativity for the economic, social and cultural development of all countries.It is headquartered at Geneva, Switzerland.
WIPO’s predecessor was The United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property(BIPRI). It administered two conventions such as Paris Convention and Berne Convention for the protection of Industrial property and literacy & artistic works respectively.
Marrakesh Treaty of WIPO – It is to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired and print disabled. India was the first country to sign this treaty.
Marrakesh Agreement- The Marrakesh Agreement, manifested by the Marrakesh Declaration, was an agreement signed in Marrakesh, Morocco by 124 nations on 15 April 1994, marking the culmination of the 8-year-long Uruguay Round and establishing the World Trade Organisation, which officially came into being on 1 January 1995.
Knowledge Byte # 20
INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION ORGANISATION(ICAO)
ICAO was created after the Chicago Convention on Internal Civil Aviation.It became a specialized agency of the United Nations linked to Economic and Social Council(ECOSOC).Its secretariat is located in Montreal, Canada.It sets standard and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency as well as for aviation environmental protection.
ICAO introduced a market based measure for international aviation to measure carbon emission called as “CORSIA- Carbon offsetting and Reporting Scheme for International Aviation”.
Knowledge Byte # 19
INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION(ILO)
The International Labour Organisation was created in 1919 by the Versailles Peace Treaty ending World War 1.Its secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.It is responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards.
In June 2017, India has ratified two core conventions of ILO.
- Convention 138: Related to admission of age to employment(Minimum Age specified is 14 year)
- Convention 182: Related to worst form of child labour
- There are 8 fundamental/core conventions of ILO out of which 6 has been ratified by India.
- The other 4 conventions ratified by India are related to:
a.Forced Labour Convention (029),
b.Equal Remuneration Convention(100),
c.Abolition of Forced Labour Convention(105) and
d.Discrimination(Employment and Occupation) Convention(111).
Knowledge Byte # 18
INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE
It is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It is located at The Hague, in the Netherlands.It settles legal disputes between states and gives advisory opinions to the United Nations and its specialized agencies.It is composed of 15 judges appointed by the General Assembly with the term of 9 years. Every sitting judge must be from a different nation.
Justice Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected for a second term on 20 November 2017 in ICJ.
It hears cases related to war crimes, illegal state interference, ethnic cleansing and other issues.The court settles legal disputes between nations only and not between individuals, in accordance with international law.If a country does not wish to take part in a proceeding it does not have to do so, unless required by special treaty provisions. Once a country accepts the Court’s Jurisdiction, it must comply with its decision.The Court can only hear a dispute when requested to do so by one or more states. It can not deal with a dispute on its own motion.
Knowledge Byte # 17
UNITED NATION SECURITY COUNCIL(UNSC)
The Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of International peace and security.The Council has 15 members: 5 Permanent- US, UK, Russia, France and China and 10 members elected by the General Assembly for 2-year term.All the members have one vote and permanent members have veto power.While other organs of the UN can only make “recommendations” to member states, the Security Council has the power to make binding decisions on member states.
G4 nations- 4 countries bid for permanent seats in UNSC- Brazil, Germany, India and Japan.
Uniting for Consensus(Coffee Club)- These are group of countries who are opposing the expansion of permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council under the leadership of Italy.Other members in Coffee Club- Spain, Malto, San Marino, Pakistan, South Korea, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Columbia and Turkey.
Knowledge Byte # 16
The UN is an international organization founded in 1945 after the World War II.
It’s predecessor, the League of Nations, created by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 was disbanded in 1946.
It’s mission is to maintain international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.
- Headquarter- New York
- Official Languages- Arabic, English, French, Chinese, Spanish, Russian
- Members- 193 + 2 countries that are non-member observer states: the Holy See and the State of Palestine.
- Secretary General – Antonio Guterres (Portugal)
Knowledge Byte # 15
- A pressure group is a group of people who are organized actively for promoting and defending their common interest. It is so called as it tries to bring a change in the public policy by exerting pressure on the government.
- They are also called interest groups or vested groups.
- They neither contest elections nor try to capture political power.
- The pressure groups influence the policy-making and policy-implementation in the government through legal and legitimate methods like lobbying, correspondence, publicity, petitioning, public debating etc. However, sometimes they resort to illegitimate and illegal methods like strikes, violent activities and corruption which damages public interest and administrative integrity.
- Examples: AITUC, FICCI, ASSOCHAM etc.
Knowledge Byte # 14
Electronic Voting Machines: In 1989, a provision was made to facilitate the use of EVMs in elections.
1.The EVMs were used for the first time in 1998 on experimental basis in selected constituencies in the elections to the assemblies of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.
2.The EVMs were used for the first time in the general elections(entire state) to the Assembly of Goa.
Knowledge Byte # 13
CONDITIONS FOR RECOGNITION AS A STATE PARTY
If the party secures 6 percent of the valid votes polled in the state at a general election to the legislative assembly of the state concerned; and, in addition, it wins 2 seats in the assembly of the state concerned; OR
If the party secures 6 percent of the valid votes polled in the state in a general election to the Lok Sabha from the state concerned; and, in addition, it wins 1 seat in the Lok Sabha from the state concerned; OR
If the party wins 3 percent of seats in the legislative assembly at a general election to the legislative assembly of the state concerned or 3 seats in the assembly, whichever is more; OR
If the party wins 1 seat in the Lok Sabha for every 25 seats or any fraction thereof allotted to the state at a general election to the Lok Sabha from the state concerned.
Knowledge Byte # 12
CONDITIONS FOR RECOGNITION AS A NATIONAL PARTY
If the party secures six percent of valid votes polled in any four or more states at a general election to the Lok Sabha or to the legislative assembly; and, in addition, it wins four seats in the Lok Sabha from any state or states; OR
If the party wins two percent of seats in the Lok Sabha at a general election; and these candidates are elected from three states; OR
If the party is recognized as a state party in four states.
Knowledge Byte # 11
TYPES OF POLITICAL PARTIES
- Reactionary Parties: cling to old socio-economic and political institutions.
- Conservative Parties: believe in status-quo.
- Liberal Parties: aim at reforming the existing institutions.
- Radical parties: aim at establishing a new order by overthrowing the existing institutions.
On the basis of political ideologies, political scientists have classified the political parties as leftist, centrist and rightist parties. They have placed the radical parties on the left, liberal parties in the centre and reactionary and conservative parties on the right.
Leftist = Radical = CPI and CPM
Centrist = Liberal = Congress
Rightist = Reactionary and Conservative = BJP
Knowledge Byte # 10
Lok Adalat is the dispute resolution system presided over by a sitting or retired judicial officer as the chairman, with two other members, usually a lawyer and a social worker. There is no court fee. If the case is already filed in the regular court, the fee paid will be refunded if the dispute is settled at Lok Adalat. The whole emphasis in the Lok Adalat proceedings is on conciliation rather than adjudication. They are regularly organized primarily by the State Legal Aid and Advice Boards with the help of District Legal Aid and Advice Committees.
The procedural laws and the Evidence Act are not strictly followed while assessing the merits of the claim by the Lok Adalat. But, if no compromise or settlement is accomplished, the case is to be returned to the court which referred it. Then the case will proceed in the court from the stage immediately before the reference.
Every award of Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be decree of Civil Court.Every Order made by the Lok Adalat shall be final and binding on the parties.No appeal shall lie from the order of Lok Adalat.
Knowledge Byte # 9
Public Interest Litigation
Public interest litigation is the use of the law to advance human rights and equality, or raise issues of broad public concern. It helps advance the cause of minority or disadvantaged groups or individuals. In 1981 Justice P.N. Bhagwati in S.P. Gupta vs Union of India, firmly established the validity of public interest litigation as follows, “Where a legal wrong or a legal injury is caused to a person or to a determinate class of persons by reason of violation of any constitutional or legal right or any burden is imposed…and such person or determinate class of persons by reasons of poverty, helplessness or disability or socially or economically disadvantaged position unable to approach the court of relief, any member of public can maintain an application for an appropriate direction, order or writ in the courts to seek judicial redress.”
Knowledge Byte # 8
Few Doctrines Related to Judicial Review
Doctrine of Severability: While interpreting the impugned law, the court has to see whether the law as a whole or some parts of it is unconstitutional. The court can declare the impugned law, as a whole or any part of it, unconstitutional as the case may be.
Doctrine of Progressive Interpretation: It means that the courts have interpreted the provisions of the constitution in the light of social, economic and legal conditions prevailing at that point of time.
Doctrine of Prospective Overruling: It is based on the premise that judicial invalidation or new interpretation of law will not affect the past transactions or vested rights but will be effective as regards future transactions only.
Doctrine of Empirical Adjudication: While exercising the power of Judicial review, the courts are not supposed to deal with hypothetical cases and therefore, it is necessary that the matter brought before a court must be of concrete nature.
Presumption in favour of constitutionality: While doing the Judicial Review, the court always begins with the presumption that the legislature does not exceed its powers, nor does it make any law that is inconsistent with the spirit of the Constitution.
Knowledge Byte # 7
Procedure Established by Law vs. Due Process of Law
The concept of Judicial Review in India is based on the ’procedure established by law ’ as against the ‘due process of law’ on which the American version of Judicial Review is based.
Under the ‘procedure established by law’, the court examines a law only from the point of view of the legislature’s competence and sees that the prescribed procedures have been followed by the executive. In other words, the court examines only the procedural aspect.
The expression ‘due process of law’ implies that the court can examine the law, not only from the point of view of Legislature’s competence but also the aspect of intention or motive behind the law. In other words, the court examines the law from the angle of substantive and procedural grounds of being unreasonable as well.
Knowledge Byte # 6
Types of Writs issued by Supreme Court for enforcement of Fundamental Rights
Habeas Corpus: It is an order by a Court to the detaining authority to produce the arrested person before it so that it may examine whether the person has been detained lawfully or otherwise. The writ has only one purpose, to set at liberty a person who is confined without legal justification.
Mandamus: It is an order from a superior court to a lower court or tribunal or public authority to perform his legal duty. It is a writ issued to a public official to do a thing which is a part of his official duty, but he has failed to do, so far. It can be issued against judicial as well as administrative authorities.
Prohibition: It is a writ issued by a superior court to lower court or a tribunal forbidding it to perform an act outside its jurisdiction. It can be issued only against the judicial or quasi-judicial authorities.
Certiorari: This writ is issued by a superior court to some inferior court or tribunal to transfer the matter to it or to some other authority for proper consideration. A High Court can issue Certiorari against itself in administrative capacity but not in judicial capacity. While the writ of prohibition is available during the proceedings before a subordinate court, Certiorari can be resorted to only after the order or decision has been announced.
Quo Warranto: This kind of writ is issued to ensure that the person holding a public office is qualified to hold the office.
Knowledge Byte # 5
The Information Fusion Centre
It has been established at the Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre(IMAC), Gurugram. It will facilitate transfer of commercial shipping information between countries in the Indian Ocean Origin. At present, data will be shared by virtual means- telephone calls, faxes, emails and video conferencing.
The centre will in future host liaison officers from foreign countries for quicker analysis of information and timely inputs.It will also impart training in maritime information collection and sharing.
Knowledge Byte # 4
Doctrine of Progressive Realisation of Rights
Once a right is recognised and given to the public, it can not be taken back by the state at a later date. In a progressive and an ever-improving society, there is no place for retreat or regression. The society has to march ahead. The doctrine mandates that the law of the country should be in consonance with its modern ethos, it should be ‘sensible’ and ‘easy to apply’. This doctrine, as a natural corollary, gives birth to the doctrine of non-retrogression.
Knowledge Byte # 3
Its is about safeguarding the rights and interests of the poor and marginalised sections of society who are often the biggest sufferers from the menace of climate change. This brings in ethical and political perspective in global warming rather than the conventional way of looking at climate issue only from purely environmental angle.
Knowledge Byte # 2
Distributed Denial of Service(DDoS) Attack
Mirai, reaper and Saposhi,some time back, is a malware which is capable of taking over electronic devices and turning them into bots, which can then be used for any purpose. DDoS is nothing but a malware attack. A malicious software first creates a network of bots-called botnets.It then uses all the botnets to ping a single server at the same time. As the number of pings are far beyond the server’s capacity, the server reaches and denies service to its consumers. DDoS attacks knock off web services and network connectivity by bombarding servers with millions of packets, which in turn overload the server’s target, making them defunct.
Knowledge Byte # 1
Also called nuclear twilight, this refers to the cooling and darkening of the globe that is expected to happen as a result of a severe nuclear explosion. It is believed that the smoke, dust and other byproducts of a huge nuclear explosion could form a thick layer of soot over the earth’s atmosphere and prevent the entry of sunlight to its surface, which could lead to widespread crop failure and famine.