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Table of Contents

Global Warming

Global Warming is the increase in the temperature of the earth’s surface, which occurs following the entrapment of the heat energy radiating from the earth by heat trapping greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide surrounding the earth. These heat-trapping gases are due to the burning of fossil fuels in cars, power plants, factories and homes.

Deforestation

Deforestation is clearing Earth’s forests on a massive scale, often resulting in damage to the quality of the land. It is the destruction of the forest and its undergrowth. The great expansion in human population and economic activity has come at the expenses degrading our environment Forests provide an environment at services that are essential for life

Air Pollution

Harmful gases and tiny particles (like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide), when released into the air, pollute the air. It is due to the pollution of industrialization and urbanization. Air Pollution has severe and widespread effects on the ecosystems around the world. It has adverse effects on the local environment, it affects the health and biodiversity of plant communities. It causes acid rains and smog.

Greenhouse Gasses

Greenhouse Gases are Carbon Dioxide, Chlorofluorocarbons, Methane, Nitrous Oxide. These gases radiating from the earth’s surface. Instead of escaping into space are radiated back to earth resulting in the gradual increase in the temperature

Noise Pollution

Noise Pollution is amongst the most pervasive pollutants. Noise negatively affects human health and well being. It causes hearing loss, stress, high blood pressure, sleep loss, distraction and a general reduction in the quality of life

Water Pollution

Water Pollution occurs when a body of water is adversely affected due to the addition of large amounts of harmful materials which make unfit for use. It affects agriculture. Humans may be exposed to toxic chemicals. Various diseases may spread due to lead and mercury poisoning.

Ozone Layer

Ozone Layer in the Stratosphere blocks out the sun’s deadly ultraviolet rays. It acts as our planet’s natural sunblock.The total amount of ozone usually stays constant because its formation and destruction occur at about the same time. Certain manufactured substances

( eg chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons) can destroy ozone faster than it can be formed. CFC, Carbon tetrachloride and methyl bromide are among those that deplete the ozone layer.

Ozone Depletion

Ozone Depletion Due to man-made chemicals the Ozone layer in the stratosphere decrease causing a hole which then lets in the harmful rays UV radiation to reach the earth

Desertification

Desertification refers to land degradation in arid, semi-arid areas caused by climatic changes and human activities. It occurs because dryland ecosystems, which cover over one-third of the world’s land area, are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and inappropriate land use. It is the combined effect of accelerated erosion the wind and water, woodland destruction, soil waterlogging, salination and over gazing in a dry land.

CRZ

CRZ is a Coastal Regulation Zone. It is a notification that helps the coastal ecosystem of India such as the Wildlife Protection Act, Environment Protection Act and the Coastal Regulation Zone notification. There are four types of CRZs

Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy comes from either directly or indirectly from the sun. There is wind energy and water (wave ) energy ie Ocean energy. The Renewable Energy Power Sector includes wind energy, ocean energy, small hydropower programmes, geothermal energy, solar energy and biomass-based energy

Non Renewable Energy

Non-renewable energy includes various fossil fuels including petroleum products, coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy. The global resources of fossil fuel and uranium or thorium are limited and will be eventually be depleted.

Dereliction

Dereliction  refers to the constant or willful neglect by the various activities of human  interaction with the environment which results in an undesirable change in the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of air, water and soil

Kyoto Protocol

Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which caused global warming. The meeting was to negotiate binding limitations on greenhouse gasses for developed nations. It aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

Chipko Movement

Chipko Movement was a movement to save trees from being cut by embarrassing them. Local people demanded the use of forests products but instead outside contractors to fell ash trees. The local decides to hug the trees to prevent the feeling.

Mangroves

Mangroves Serve as a natural shield, standing guard against impending natural disasters, mangroves are an indispensable part of the ecology. They are salt tolerant plants of tropical and subtropical inter-tidal regions of the world Mangroves are treasures of nature and cannot be taken for granted,

Carbon Credits

Carbon Credits Countries are given fixed limits for the emission of Co2. This emission permission is known as Carbon Credit. If a country has 1000 carbon-equivalent greenhouse gases in the atmosphere it has to reduce its emission level by 52 Carbon equivalent of greenhouse gasses. The country then has 948 units of carbon credit in its possession.

It can sell this excess carbon unit to another country which has exceeded it carbon emission. Carbon Credits have a monetary value and can be bought and sold in the international markets at the prevailing market price.

Sustainable Development

Sustainable development is defined as a pattern of social and structured economic transformation which optimises the economic and social benefits available in the present, without jeopardizing the key potential for similar benefits in the future.

Governance

Governance means the process of decision making and the process by which decisions are implemented. It has eight major characteristics. It is participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive , effective and efficient.

Homosexuality

Homosexuality is a form of sexual behaviour in which a person shows an emotional and physical attachment for members of his own sex. It is present in both males and females, In the latter, it is called Lesbianism. Homosexuals are perfectly normal physically and mentally.

Accountability

Accountability Is being answerable. Accountability is necessary when responsibility is assigned and authority is delegated This is fundamental to the functioning of any truly democratic society. Types of accountability are Corporate Accountability, Disaster Accountability, Administrative Accountability, Political Accountability, Financial Accountability.

State Violence

State Violence is the use of the state’s force against its own people to assert state policy and interest. Fore is implemented by the state’s agency which includes the police.  It can be by private individuals and organizations such as security guards, hired criminals and even religious cults with the tacit approval or instigations by the state.

Trade Unions

Trade Unions are voluntary organizations of workers formed to protect and promote their interests through collective strength. They play a crucial role in industrial harmony which is indispensable for economic growth and prosperity

Positive Discrimination

Positive Discrimination Designates the set of measures adopted by the Indian Government in favour of certain disadvantaged social categories, the purpose of which is to rectify the inequalities and discrimination that afflict them and to correct the inequalities eg scheduled caste, scheduled tribe, women, and physically handicapped in India.

Right to Development

Right to Development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human being are entitled to participate and contribute to and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development in which all human rights and fundamental freedom can be fully realised

Corruption

Corruption is any gratification or payment other than legal remuneration as a motive or reward for showing favour to a person

corruption can be of two types

  • cooperative corruption when a voluntary offer or a bribe is made to a corrupt individual
  • Extorted corruption when a corrupt officer extracts a bribe or forces a citizen to give a bribe

UDHR

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted and proclaimed by The General Assembly of December 10th 1948. The declaration affirms the dignity and worth of all people, and the equal rights of women and men. The UDHR maintains that “All humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights

Domestic violence is when one adult in a relationship misuses power to control another; It is the establishment of control and fear through violence and other forms of abuse. The violence may involve physical abuse, sexual assault and threats.     Sometimes it is more subtle, like making someone feel worthless, and not letting them have any money or not

Peasant Movement In Bengal , the struggle for reduction of landlords share of the produce from half to one-third developed in most districts. This was successful. The most violent and bitter of the peasant struggles was waged in Telangana. It took the form of guerilla action against Razakars and later against the forces of the Indian Union, Now they claim a  separate state

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome:

  • physical contact and advances
  • demand for sexual favours
  • display of pornography
  • sexually coloured remarks
  • any other unwelcome physical , verbal, non-verbal conduct  of sexual nature

In 1997  the Supreme Court recognized Sexual harassment as  discrimination against women.

CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all form of discrimination against Women)

It recognizes the basic equality of men and women. An instrument was necessarily to address the problem of violation of women’s right. CEDAW defines discrimination against as any “ distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex.

CRC (Convention on the Right of the Child)

The CRC provisions are very comprehensive, covering all possible areas and issues. Child labour is a complex and multidimensional problem It is a social evil and it is a violation of human rights and should be universally condemned.

Two legislative measures pertaining to children:

Children are the future of any country. They bring development and prosperity. But they are also the most vulnerable part of the society and can be easily targeted. In India there are a number of laws related to children in order to protect them and to give them a better and sound development.

Two legislative measures are:

Free compulsory education for children in the age group 6-14

prohibits employment of children in hazardous factories below the age of 14yrs

e.g.: mine, match industries etc

Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development is“the pattern of social and economic development which optimizes the societal benefits available in the present, without compromising on  the likely potential for similar benefits in the future”

Sustainable development would mean undertaking developmental activities and projects which would work closely in harmony with nature and without disrupting local social system now and in future.  In order to be sustainable, the development has to improve the well-being of societies, enable everyone to participate in the developmental process and the benefits of development should be shared by all the people . Besides, these improvements will have to be extended to the future generation as well over many generations. Some actions recommended are :

● Government policies to reduce  population growth, provision of health care

● Reducing consumption per person

● Reducing pollution, cleaner technologies, less waste, waste disposal , eco-labelling

● Government measures for Energy conservation  and preservation of natural resources

● Education on population control and environmental protection

● Reducing poverty and social instability

Right to Development (same as DRD)

The United Nations established the right to development as an inalienable human right in 1986. The declaration seeks to ensure people’s right to personal and financial improvement and progress. The Right to Development is based on human dignity and implies the right to self-determination and full sovereignty over wealth and natural resources.

The right to development was first recognized in 1981 in Article 22 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights as a definitive individual and collective right. Article 22(122) provides that: “All peoples shall have the right to their economic, social and cultural development with due regard to their freedom and identity and in the equal enjoyment of the common heritage of mankind.”

The right to development was subsequently proclaimed by the United Nations in 1986 in the “Declaration on the Right to Development,” which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 41/128. The Right to development is a group right of peoples as opposed to an individual right, and was reaffirmed by the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.

Transplantation of Human Organs Act

The Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994

The Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994 was enacted by the Parliament during 1994 and came into force on February 4, 1995 in the States of Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra and all the Union Territories. Thereafter it was adopted by all States except the States of Jammu & Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh, which have their own legislations to regulate transplantation of Human Organs.

Purpose of the Act

The main purpose of the Act is to regulate the removal, storage and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes and to prevent commercial dealings in human organs.

The Act contains detailed provisions relating to the authority for removal of human organs, preservation of human organs, regulation of hospitals conducting the removal, storage or transplantation of human organs, functions of appropriate authority, registration of hospitals and punishment/penalties for offences relating to aforesaid matters.

ULFA

[most of the stuff is from Wiki, since these are all historically recorded factual incidents, events or pieces of information.]

The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) is a militant outfit operating in the Indian state of Assam. The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) is an extremist organization reportedly formed in 1979, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. The group was thought to be formed by a few Assamese rebels with the purpose of forming a separate country of Assam, independent of Indian rule.

It seeks to establish an independent state of Assam with an armed struggle in the Assam conflict. The Government of India banned the organisation in 1990 citing it as a terrorist organisation, while the United States Department of State lists it under “other groups of concern.”

The ULFA was founded on 7 April 1979 in Sivasagar, Assam by some youths which included Paresh Baruah, Arabinda Rajkhowa, Anup Chetia, Pradip Gogoi, Bhadreshwar Gohain and Budheswar Gogoi. The organisation’s purpose was to engage in an armed struggle to form a socialist Assam.

As of 2005, the ULFA still exists and continues with its same objectives. Since the early 1980s, the group has been reportedly involved in various terrorist operations in Assam and other northeastern states of India. The organization is also known as United Liberation Front of Assam.

HIPPO

Conservation biologists, scientists who try to stop endangered species from dying out, use the word ‘hippo’ to remember the different things that threaten animals and plants, because each letter of ‘hippo’ stands for a different threat.

  • H – Habitat Destruction
  • I – Invasive Species
  • P – Pollution
  • P – Population Growth
  • O – Over Harvesting

Seven Sisters

The Seven Sister States is a popular term for the contiguous states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura prior to inclusion of the state of Sikkim into the North Eastern Region of India.

AFSPA in North Eastern States (issues)

Passed on 11 September 1951, AFSPA provides legal security to the armed forces carrying out the operations in troubled areas of seven sisters.

In 1951, the Naga National Council Nation’. There was a boycott of the first general election of 1952 which later extended to a boycott of government schools and officials.

  • In order to deal with the situation, the Assam government imposed the Assam Maintenance of Public Order (Autonomous District) Act in the Naga Hills in 1953 and intensified police action against the rebels. When the situation worsened, Assam deployed the Assam Rifles in the Naga Hills and enacted the Assam Disturbed Areas Act of 1955, providing a legal framework for the paramilitary forces and the armed state police to combat insurgency in the region.
  • But the Assam Rifles and the state armed police could not contain the Naga rebellion and the rebel Naga Nationalist Council (NNC) formed a parallel government “The Federal Government of Nagaland” on 23 March 1956.
  • The Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Ordinance 1958 was promulgated by the President Dr. Rajendra Prasad on 22 May 1958. It was replaced by the Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Act, 1958 on 11 September 1958.
  • The Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Act, 1958 empowered only the Governors of the States and the Administrators of the Union Territories to declare areas in the concerned State or the Union Territory as ‘disturbed’.

Stockholm Summit

In 1972, at Stockholm, the UN had its first “Earth Summit”. The 1972 Stockholm conference focused international attention on environmental issues , specially to related to environmental degradation. It highlighted the fact that pollution does not recognize geographical boundaries but affects the whole world. The  Earth Summit produced an action plan which laid out clearly the educational, informational, social and cultural aspects of environmental issues

  • To provide countries the necessary technical and financial assistance
  • Preparing national report on environment, monitoring environmental development
  • Support and encourage projects for social, educational and cultural programs
  • To encourage exchange of information on methods and work in progress
  • To establish a common methodology for assessing environmental development and preparing reports

Kyoto Protocol

The world climate is changing. Temperatures are rising and so are natural disasters.  All this is the result of global warming due to the excessive accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The largest contributor to the problem is carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, factories , cars and other sources.

The UN adopted the UNFCCC ( UN Framework Convention of Climate change) in 1992 to address this issue of increase in CO2 emission. Reducing greenhouse gases became the  key to tackling global warming .

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which causes global warming.

From December 1 -11, December 1997, more than 160 nations met in Kyoto, Japan to set targets on greenhouse gas emissions for developed nations. Developed nations agreed to limit their emissions relative to the levels emitted in 1990.

  • December 1977 – The treaty was negotiated in Kyoto
  • March 1998 – opened for signature
  • March 1999 – closed for signature
  • Nov 2004 – Russia ratified the treaty
  • Feb 2005 – Treaty came into force.

As of September 2005, 156 countries have ratified the agreement . Notable exceptions are US and Australia

Objectives of the Protocol:

The Kyoto protocol aims to tackle global warming by setting targets for nations to reduce greenhouse gases emission worldwide.  The protocol sets the emissions limits and reduction obligations with respect to CO2, methane, Nitrous oxide, Hydrofluorocarbons, Perfluorocarbons and  Sulphur hexafluoride. Of these CO2 is the most important which is emitted by fossil fuels.

These targets vary between countries and regions but globally the initial target is to reduce to 5% percent below 1990 levels by 2012. The individual target ranges from 7 % for US, 8% for EU & others, 10% for Iceland.

Kyoto protocol provides “Carbon Credit “ . Countries are given fixed limits for emission of CO2. This emission permission is known as Carbon Credit. Supposing a country emitted 100 units of green house gases, it has to reduce its emission level by 52 units. This means the country has 48 units of carbon credit in its possession. Countries can trade in carbon credit.  If the above country has reduced its emission by more than 52 units , it can exchange/sell this excess carbon units to another country which has exceeded its emission limit. Carbon credits have a monetary value and can be exchanged or bought and sold in international market at the prevailing market price. A tonne of carbon credit is sold at Euro 12-15

E.g. Russia today easily meets its targets and can sell off its credits for millions fo dollars to other countries that don’t yet meet their targets.

Benefits:

✔ Reduced Rate of global warming

✔ Better climate and environmental conditions

✔ Better health conditions

✔ Long term economic benefit

✔ Flexibility in meeting emission targets

Drawbacks

✔ Limited participation

✔ Short term economic cost

✔ Rise in cost of living

India signed and ratified the protocol in August 2002 . Developing countries like India, China and Brazil do not have any obligations of this Protocol beyond monitoring and reporting emission. Since India is exempted from the framework of the treaty, it is expected to gain from the protocol in terms of transfer of techno logy and related foreign investments.

Shetkari Sanghatana

Shetkari Sanghatana, also known as farmers’ Organisation, was founded by Sharad Anantrao Joshi. The organisation was for farmers with aim of ‘freedom of access to markets and technology’ and ‘remunerative agricultural prices’.

The movement gathered momentum in 1973, following a lengthy gap period of 28 years since 1945.

The movement was a response to the hindrance in the economic growth process of small farmers and agricultural workers, whereby a handful of rich farmers were privatizing the benefits of development, which in turn increased the general socioeconomic inequalities in the society.

The main motives behind the Shetkari Sanghatana were to suppress the so called rising capitalism and extremism in India and promote socialism. The movement was against the policy of liberalization which left farmers helpless. But it supported the liberalisation in agriculture afterwards with several new reforms in agriculture sector.

Furthermore, it led to formation of new agricultural policy in India; increased the status of farmers in the society; contributed to eradicate poverty, and hence, increased the contribution of agriculture sector to the economy.

Therefore, it’s a boon for the livelihood of the farmers.

Silent Spring – (Bringing public awareness)

Silent Spring is a book published in the US in the mid 1960’s warning people about the disastrous effects of pesticides and particularly DDT.  It warned that indiscriminate use of the pesticide could kill hundreds of species of insects and harm human beings. The author Rachel Carson was an environmentalist.

DDT was the most powerful pesticide the world had ever known, was capable of killing hundreds of different kinds of insects at once.

The book describes how the pesticide enters the food chain and accumulates in fatty tissues of humans and animals and causes cancer and genetic disorders. It remains toxic even after it is diluted by rainwater. The book describes how  a courageous woman took on the chemical industry and raised important questions about the impact of human activities on nature .

Silent Spring was named the most influential book in the last 50 years . The book challenged the widely accepted notion that man was destined to control nature.  As a result of the book and its reception, the Environmental protection Agency was established in 1970. DDT and other pesticides have been completely banned in the US.  Several birds including eagles were thus saved from extinction.

The main theme of silent springs was Man as a part of nature has a duty to protect nature from destruction. The silent Spring launched the environmental movement world wide. Although there were critics who challenged her initially and launched a negative propaganda about the book, Silent Spring remained the best seller and world began to take note of what the book wanted to  say.

Legal Rights to Women:

The following various legislation’s contain several rights and safeguards for women:

  1. Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (2005) is a comprehensive legislation to protect women in India from all forms of domestic violence. It also covers women who have been/are in a relationship with the abuser and are subjected to violence of any kind—physical, sexual, mental, verbal or emotional.
  2. Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (1956) is the premier legislation for prevention of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. In other words, it prevents trafficking in women and girls for the purpose of prostitution as an organised means of living.
  3. Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act (1986) prohibits indecent representation of women through advertisements or in publications, writings, paintings, figures or in any other manner.
  4. Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act (1987) provides for the more effective prevention of the commission of sati and its glorification on women.
  5. Dowry Prohibition Act (1961) prohibits the giving or taking of dowry at or before or any time after the marriage from women.
  6. Maternity Benefit Act (1961) regulates the employment of women in certain establishments for certain period before and after child-birth and provides for maternity benefit and certain other benefits.
  7. Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (1971) provides for the termination of certain pregnancies by registered medical practitioners on humanitarian and medical grounds.
  8. Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act (1994) prohibits sex selection before or after conception and prevents the misuse of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for sex determination leading to female foeticide.
  9. Equal Remuneration Act (1976) provides for payment of equal remuneration to both men and women workers for same work or work of a similar nature. It also prevents discrimination on the ground of sex, against women in recruitment and service conditions.
  10. Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act (1939) grants a Muslim wife the right to seek the dissolution of her marriage.
  11. Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act (1986) protects the rights of Muslim women who have been divorced by or have obtained divorce from their husbands.
  12. Family Courts Act (1984) provides for the establishment of Family Courts for speedy settlement of family disputes.
  13. Indian Penal Code (1860) contains provisions to protect Indian women from dowry death, rape, kidnapping, cruelty and other offences.
  14. Code of Criminal Procedure (1973) has certain safeguards for women like obligation of a person to maintain his wife, arrest of woman by female police and so on.
  15. Indian Christian Marriage Act (1872) contain provisions relating to marriage and divorce among the Christian community.
  16. Legal Services Authorities Act (1987) provides for free legal services to Indian women.
  17. Hindu Marriage Act (1955) introduced monogamy and allowed divorce on certain specified grounds. It provided equal rights to Indian man and woman in respect of marriage and divorce.
  18. Hindu Succession Act (1956) recognizes the right of women to inherit parental property equally with men.
  19. Minimum Wages Act (1948) does not allow discrimination between male and female workers or different minimum wages for them.
  20. Mines Act (1952) and Factories Act (1948) prohibits the employment of women between 7 P.M. to 6 A.M. in mines and factories and provides for their safety and welfare.
  21. The following other legislation’s also contain certain rights and safeguards for women:
    1. Employees’ State Insurance Act (1948)
    2. Plantation Labour Act (1951)
    3. Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act (1976)
    4. Legal Practitioners (Women) Act (1923)
    5. Indian Succession Act (1925)
    6. Indian Divorce Act (1869)
    7. Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act (1936)
    8. Special Marriage Act (1954)
    9. Foreign Marriage Act (1969)
    10. Indian Evidence Act (1872)
    11. Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (1956).
  22. National Commission for Women Act (1990) provided for the establishment of a National Commission for Women to study and monitor all matters relating to the constitutional and legal rights and safeguards of women.
  23. Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal). Act (2013) provides protection to women from sexual harassment at all workplaces both in public and private sector, whether organised or unorganized.

National Health Policy (2015)

The National Health Policy was endorsed by the Parliament of India in 1983 and updated in 2002. The National Health policy was to provide health for all by the year 2001 AD. However the management of health program has posed a serious threat and unless health management is given priority that it deserves, health plans will not yield the desired results.

The draft National Health Policy, 2015 has proposed a target of raising public health expenditure to 2.5 % from the present 1.2% of GDP. It also notes that4 0% of this would need to come from central expenditure.

The policy suggests making health a fundamental right similar to education and denial of the same could be punishable. The Centre shall enact, after due discussion and on the request of three or more states a National Health Rights Act, which will ensure health as a fundamental right, whose denial will be justiciable.

The new policy is being introduced almost 13 years after the last health   policy was drafted.

As per the NHP 2015, government plans to rely mostly on general taxation for financing health care expenditure.With the projection of a promising economic growth, the fiscal capacity to provide this level of financing should become available.

Global Warming

Global warming causes climates to change. “Global warming” refers to rising global temperatures, while “climate change” includes other more specific kinds of changes, too.

Rising global temperatures, which is called Global warming, leads to other changes around the world, such as stronger hurricanes, melting glaciers, and the loss of wildlife habitats. That’s because the Earth’s air, water, and land are all related to one another and to the climate. This means a change in one place can lead to other changes somewhere else. For example, when air temperatures rise, the oceans absorb more heat from the atmosphere and become warmer. Warmer oceans, in turn, can cause stronger storms.

Warmer global temperatures in the atmosphere and oceans leads to climate changes affecting rainfall patterns, storms and droughts, growing seasons, humidity, and sea level.

Also, while “global warming” is planet-wide, “climate change” can refer to changes at the global, continental, regional and local levels. Even though a warming trend is global, different areas around the world will experience different specific changes in their climates, which will have unique impacts on their local plants, animals and people. A few areas might even get cooler rather than warmer.

Carbon Credit

Carbon credits are a tradable permit scheme. It is a simple, non-compulsory way to counteract the greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change and global warming. Carbon credits create a market for reducing greenhouse emissions by giving a monetary value to the cost of polluting the air. The Carbon Credit is this new currency and each carbon credit represents one tonne of carbon dioxide either removed from the atmosphere or saved from being emitted. Carbon credits are also called emission permit. Carbon credit is in the Environment and Pollution Control subject. Carbon credits are certificates awarded to countries that are successful in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

Carbon credits are generated as the result of an additional carbon project. Carbon credits can be created in many ways but there are two broad types:

1. Sequestration (capturing or retaining carbon dioxide from the atmosphere) such as aforestation and reforestation activities.

2. Carbon Dioxide Saving Projects such as use of renewable energies

These credits need to be authentic, scientifically based and Verification is essential.

Carbon credit trading is an innovative method of controlling emissions using the free market.

Naxalism

Naxalism originated as a rebellion against lack of development and poverty at the local level in the rural parts of eastern India. The term ‘Naxal’ derives its name from a village called Naxalbari in the State of West Bengal where the movement had its origin.

On 26th May, 1967 the main uprising of Naxalism happened in a village called Naxalbari in West Bengal. After which it has spread gradually in West Bengal and the neighbouring states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Orissa etc. The main cause of the rise of the Naxal movement was a revolt against the government and the land ceiling acts that were implemented and practiced at that time. The peasants were ignored predominantly by the government which lead to an uprising with armed rebellion during that time.

The main ideology of the Naxals was to take over the government and establish their own government in the state because after years of neglect they lost every faith that they used to have on the political system of the country.

POCSO

India has one of the largest population of children in the world – Census data from 2011 shows that India has a population of 472 million children below the age of eighteen, of which 225 million are girls. Protection of children by the state is guaranteed to Indian citizens by an expansive reading of Article 21[3] of the Indian constitution, and also mandated given India’s status as signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Child sexual abuse laws in India have been enacted as part of the nation’s child protection policies.The Parliament of India passed the ‘Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Bill, 2011’ regarding child sexual abuse on 22 May 2012 into an Act.] The rules formulated by the government in accordance with the law have also been notified on the November 2012 and the law has become ready for implementation. There have been many calls for more stringent laws.

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 was enacted to provide a robust legal framework for the protection of children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography, while safeguarding the interest of the child at every stage of the judicial process. The framing of the Act seeks to put children first by making it easy to use by including mechanisms for child-friendly reporting, recording of evidence, investigation and speedy trial of offences through designated Special Courts.

Right to Education

Right to Education has received considerable focus  during the last decade. Many groups and agencies made determined efforts to ensure that all children in India receive at least the minimum of education irrespective of their socio-economic status and their ability to pay for education. Education is an essential human right and achieving this for all children is one of the biggest moral challenges of our times. The right to education is included  in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Convention on the rights of children.

The National policy on education was a significant step in the history of education but has not achieved much due to lack of strategy for implementation

Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ)

Indian coastline stretches about 7500 kms including two island territories.This  coastline is facing grave problems. India has been identified as one amongst the 27 countries that are most vulnerable to the impacts of global warming.

There are a few law and notification that help protect the coastal ecosystem of India such as :

  • Wild life protection act
  • Environment Protection act
  • Coastal Regulation act

The CRZ act has been the most effective notification for protection of the Indian coast.

During the early part of the present decade, India notified “coastal stretches of seas, bays, estuaries, creeks, rivers and backwaters which are influenced by tidal action (in the landward side) up to 500 meters from the HTL and the land between the LTL and HTL as the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ)”.

Further, activities such as industries, disposal of hazardous substances, fish processing, effluent discharge, landfilling, land reclamation, mining, harvesting ground water, construction and landscape alteration are banned within CRZ with a few exclusive exceptions. Important national activities within CRZ requiring waterfront, such as ports and harbours, defence requirements and thermal plants are regulated and cleared after critically evaluating the proposal.

India’s coastal and marine environments are under increasing  pressure from urban development, tourism, recreational activities and resource exploitation.

A number of official reports were prepared on the subject and with the result in the year 1981, Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi directed to the Chief Ministers of coastal states that, owing to their aesthetic and environmental value, beaches had to be kept clear of all activities up to 500 m from the highest water line.

For the purpose of controlling, minimizing and protecting environmental damage to sensitive coastal stretches from unplanned human interference, The Government of India, in 1991, issued a major notification under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, framing rules for regulation of various coastal zone activities. These rules are called the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules.

On February 19, 1991, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (“MOEF”) issued a notification under Section 3 of the Environment Protection Act of 1986, seeking to regulate development activity on India’s coastline. The approach adopted by the first notification was to define the ‘High Tide Line’ (“HTL”) and ‘Coastal Regulation Zone’ (“ CRZ”) and thereafter specify the activities permitted and restricted in the vicinity of the CRZ. This regulated zone was further divided into four categories (CRZ I-IV) as per permitted land use.

● The concept of classification of CRZ into four zones has continued in the 2011 notification with the following delineation:

  1. CRZ I- ecologically sensitive areas such as mangroves, coral reefs, salt marshes, turtle nesting ground and the inter-tidal zone.
  2. CRZ II- areas close to the shoreline, and which have been developed.
  3. CRZ III- Coastal areas that are not substantially built up, including rural coastal areas.
  4. CRZ IV- water area from LTL to the limit of territorial waters of India

Dereliction:

Dereliction means conscious and willful neglect. Various human activities create various environmental problems resulting in the imbalance in the ecosystem – an undesirable change in the characteristics of air, water and soil. .

  • We neglect to protect the environment willfully introducing pollutants.
  • We dump solid wastes ( industrial, domestic, sewage, agricultural) , liquid wastes , gaseous wastes and radioactive wastes etc
  • Air gets polluted by burning fuels, coal, petroleum, emission from vehicles etcAll industries that produce chemicals release effluent gases into the atmosphere causing pollution. Air pollution affects human health, plants, animals, climate and causes acid rain and also damage of monuments. Air pollution can be controlled by
    • Use of  purified petrol
    • Modernizing industries
    • Installing air treatment plants
    • Using alternative energy source
    • Treating emissions
  • Water pollution is caused by effluents from industries, dumping of wastes, domestic and industrial, use of fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides etc. it can be controlled by
    • Proper water treatment measures to remove contaminants
    • Controlled of pesticides and other chemicals

Renewable Energy

  • Fossil fuels are non-renewable i.e they draw on finite resources that will eventually dwindle, becoming too expensive or too environmentally damaging.
  • On the contrary renewable sources of energy like Wind and solar energy are constantly replenished and will never run out.
  • Clean sources of energy and have a lower environmental impact than conventional energy
  • It is energy for the future.
  • Renewable sources will not run out
  • Most renewable energy investments are spent on materials and infrastructure rather than costly energy imports
  • Energy Security – It helps to decrease depends on foreign oil supplies
  • Most renewable energy investments are spent on materials and workmanship to build and maintain all facilities , rather than on costly energy imports
  • Incase of oil supply – dependence will decrease – greater impact in national energy policy

Some of the renewable sources of energy

  • Solar energy
  • Wind energy,
  • Geo -thermal energy
  • Ocean energy
  • Biomass
  • Hydrogen
  • Small Hydro power programmes

Silent Spring Carson, Rachel (1907 – 1964) Environmental Movements)

  • Silent Spring: – Her book on the dangers on misusing pesticides, “Silent Spring” has become a classic of environmental literature.
  • The books begins with a shocking fable of one composite town’s “Silent Spring” after pesticides have decimated insects and the birds that feed upon them.
  • The main part of the book is a massive documentation of the effects of organic pesticides on all kinds of life, including birds and humans.
  • The final sections are quite restrained, drawing a hopeful picture of the future, if feasible alternatives to the use of pesticides such as biological controls – are used in conjunction with and as a partial replacement of chemical sprays.
  • She showed convincing evidence that long-lasting chemical pesticides, such as DDT, had already caused destruction among many kinds of living things, and quite possibly irreversible damage in humans.
  • It showed that DDT and other chemicals that were used to enhance agricultural productivity were fatal, and were poisoning our lakes, rivers, oceans and ourselves.
  • Rachel Carson in her book talks about the effects of the huge number of chemicals introduced every year
  • She identified that the chlorinated hydrocarbons and organophosphates threatened not only the marine life but also identified other effects of these toxicants on surface and ground water contagion, by leakage, runoff and direct spray as contamination problems.
  • She acknowledged the rising cancer hazards caused by polluted water and recognized that water treatment plants did not take off the chemicals because the multiple chemicals in catch basins interacted to form noxious compounds thus heightening the risk of cancer.
  • Carson noticed that herbicides were not a problem to animals at that time.  She stated that the biological species were harmed by the chemical treatment of soil, which had distressed the equilibrium and caused an imbalance in the ecosystem.
  • Carson was nowhere against the use of chemicals for pest control, but she promoted the appeal and enormous potential of biological control instead of chemicals and use of natural products and less toxic chemicals like pyrethrins.
  • Her other concern was that the scientists and the government did not look in to the problems caused by these pesticides on wildlife and were mainly addressed the concern of classical toxicity of the pesticides.  Hence no testing was done on.

Narmada Bachao Andolan

Narmada Bachao Andolan is a people’s movement forward from local people’s movements in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.

Through peaceful means, the NBA has brought much media attention to the plight of the native people along the river.   Medha Patkar is a prominent leader of the group.

Organization

  • In 1985, Medha Patkar and others formed the Narmada Ghati Dharangrast Samiti in Maharashtra, working with some thirty-three tribal villages at risk from the Sardar Sarovar dam.
  • They demanded proper rehabilitation and the right to be informed about which areas were to be submerged.
  • There was also a Gandhian group called the Narmada Ghati NavNirman Samiti that worked in the villages of the Nimad Plains in Madhya Pradesh.

Issue

  • It involves construction of 30 large dams, 35 medium sized dams and 3000 small dams.
  • It will submerge 900000 hectares of land, including 300000 hectares of forest land and 200000 hectares of farm land.
  • Most of which are from Nimar – an ancient and a very fertile agricultural belt in the country
  • In addition to these about 140000 peasants, are likely to be affected by the construction of canals etc., (the 75000 Km. long canal network alone will require about 73000 hectares of land).
  • Several thousands of fishermen living downstream will also be adversely affected
  • It will submerge 245 villages (19 in Gujarat, 33 in Maharashtra, and 193 in Madhya Pradesh).  It will result into displacement of over a lakh people, mostly tribals.
  • The overwhelming majority of them are tribal people
  • Most of them are dependent on primitive agriculture, gathering forest produce and grazing livestock in the forests.  The degree of commercialization is very minimal. These people (mostly Bhils and Bhilalas) have waged an incessant struggle throughout history to retain hold over these forests and hills.  This struggle has both shaped their identity and formed a strong attachment to their lands.
  • Perhaps none understand the land and the forests, its potentials and products and methods of using them on a sustainable basis better than these people.
  • The dam first threatens to submerge the forests, i.e., the home of the adivasis and when it reaches its full projected height will submerge the lands of the peasant villages further upstream.
  • There have been suggestions for reducing the height of the dam so as to reduce the submergence area.
  • But that might only save the peasant villages and whatever the height of the darn the adivasi settlements will be submerged
  • Over a lakh of people, mostly tribals, being in the submergence area, were not adequately and properly resettled and rehabilitated.
  • That environmental damages of constructing such huge dams would be huge
  • Baba Amte and the noted writer Arundhati Roy, among others, became involved and associated with the NBA.

Tactics

The NBA organized mass public meetings, hunger strikes, rallies, and intellectual debates and thereby created environmental public awareness against the project.  The matter was ultimately resolved by the intervention of the Supreme Court of India.

Role of Media

The media has a tremendous influence in shaping public attitudes and beliefs, “The media in any democratic country play an important public service function by providing a platform for advocacy and for awareness generation.

Issues such as the Narmada Bachao Andolan have remained in focus because the mass media continue to cover them prominently.

Groups and their problems remain invisible beyond their immediate geographies unless they are talked about in the media.

When the media take note, opinion makers take note, and they in turn influence communities and policy makers and implementers.  “We need very strong advocacy effort to influence people to make changes, and advocacy cannot work without the support of the mass media.

To chronicle the history of the resistance movement against the dams through press release, images, interviews, film, books, reports and other media

By organizing art performances such as skits, plays, and dance dramas

To record art including creative writing, poetry, painting and songs

Books on Narmada Straggle:-

  • In 1999, writer Arundhati Roy wrote a celebrated essay, “Greater Common Good” in which she brilliantly vivisects the politics behind the Sardar Sarovar Project.
  • The essay resulted in a great deal of discussion in the media

Children’s Rights and CRC ( Convention on the Rights of the Child)

The UN convention on the Rights of Child affirms that Children are born with fundamental freedoms and the inherent rights of all human beings.

CRC is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights for the child. . In 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years old often need special care and protection that adults do not. The leaders also wanted to make sure that the world recognized that children have human rights too. The whole hearted support of the world community to the UN’s efforts in promoting and protecting rights of the child received tremendous support of the world community.

A child means anyone below the age of 18 years. The Convention sets out these rights in 54 articles and two Optional Protocols.

It spells out the basic human rights that children everywhere have:

  • the right to survival;
  • to develop to the fullest;
  • to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation;
  • to participate fully in family, cultural and social life.

The convention provides for

  • Protection against all forms of discrimination
  • devotion to the best interests of the child;
  • right to preserve his identity including nationality, name and family relations
  • the right to life, survival and development; and
  • respect for the views of the child.
  • Right to freedom of expression, thought and religion
  • Access to information
  • Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment may be imposed on a child

By agreeing to the Convention, national governments have committed themselves to protecting and ensuring children’s rights and are obliged to take all actions in the light of the best interests of the child.

CEDAW – Convention on Elimination of Discrimination against Women

International instruments such as UDHR and ICCPR have all recognized the basic equality of men and women. However there was a need for a specific instrument addressing the problems of violation of Women’s rights. The UN adapted the CEDAW to ensure protection of women’s rights in 1979. It is a landmark agreement that affirms fundamental human rights and equality for women all over the world.

It Consists of a preamble and 30 articles, and it defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination.

Discrimination is

Any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which affects the women from exercising their human rights and fundamental freedom in any field

To achieve the goal of CEDAW , the state should

  • Condemn discrimination against women
  • to take actions to  end discrimination against women in all forms
  • to incorporate this principle of equality of men and women in their legal system,
  • modify or abolish existing laws, regulations, customs and practices which are discriminatory against women.   
  • Establish competent national tribunals and other public institutions to protect women.
  • to take appropriate measures against all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of women.

In countries that have ratified CEDAW, women are working  with their governments to improve the status of women and girls, and as a result have changed laws and policies to create greater safety and opportunity for women and their families. CEDAW can make a difference for women and girls, specifically to:

  • Reduce sex trafficking & domestic violence
  • Provide access to education & vocational training
  • Ensure the right to vote

India and Women’s Rights – CEDAW

The constitution of India provides the legal framework  for protecting human rights of women. The constitution guarantees Right to Equality, Right to freedom of speech, Right to exploitation , Right to religion, property, Constitutional remedies etc. India has several other specific laws to protect the interests of women.

  • Factories Act – regulates working conditions and working hours. . Rest room , crèches for children, separate toilets for women . Maximum Weights that can be carried by women etc
  • Contract Labor Act – Separate provision of utilities for women and fixed working hours
  • Maternity benefit Act
  • Equal Remuneration Act – prohibits wage discrimination
  • Domestic Violence Act
  • Dowry Prohibition  Act
  • Immoral Traffic (prevention) Act
  • Sexual Harassment and Sexual harassment at the workplace
  • Hindu Succession Act – assures women of her share in property both as daughter and wife.The incorporation of CEDAW principles have been evident in the judgments by the Supreme Court.  Various Commissions have been set up for better protection of women’s rights

Sexual Harassment at Workplace 2013

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 is a legislative act in India that seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work. It was passed by the Lok Sabha (the lower house of the Indian Parliament) on 3 September 2012. It was passed by the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of the Indian Parliament) on 26 February 2013.

The Bill got the assent of the President on 23 April 2013.

The Act came into force from 9 December 2013.

This statute superseded the Vishakha Guidelines for prevention of sexual harassment introduced by the Supreme Court of India. It was reported by the International Labour Organization that very few Indian employers were compliant to this statute.

Most Indian employers have not implemented the law despite the legal requirement that any workplace with more than 10 employees need to implement it.

According to a FICCI-EY November 2015 report, 36% of Indian companies and 25% among MNCs are not compliant with the Sexual Harassment Act, 2013.

The government has threatened to take stern action against employers who fail to comply with this law.

Child Labor

UN Convention on the rights of the child proclaimed that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance and the child should grow up in family environment for the development of his or her personality.

However child Labor is a big issue. It is a complex issue and multi-dimensional problem,.  It is a social evil and the violation of human rights and should be universally abolished. In India the constitution prohibits the employment of children in factories . No child below 14 should be employed in any factory or mine or hazardous work“.  The law provides for free and compulsory education for children,. Child labor is prohibited in any sphere of activity .

However violations continue as children are employed for long working hours in factories, hotels, and households and even in hazardous industries. The Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) act was therefore adopted and yet there are millions of child labor in India. UNESCO reported that 20% of Indian GNP is contributed by child labor.

In addition to child labor there are several other issues related to child abuse, neglect, malnutrition, child kidnap, lack of education, growing number of street children, children crime etc

India has yet to fully implement US convention on child right. What is needed is a  Code of Child Right and political leadership and commitment to protect children’s rights.

Juvenile Justice

  • The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill 2015 has been passed by the Rajya Sabha. It was introduced in Parliament after public outrage because one of the offenders in the 2012 gang rape case was a few months short of 18 years of age. The bill had already been passed by the Lok Sabha in May. It now needs the President’s assent to become law.
  • The bill allows for juveniles 16 years or older to be tried as adults for heinous offences like rape and murder. Heinous offences are those which are punishable with imprisonment of seven years or more.
  • The bill mandates setting up Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees in every district. Both must have at least one woman member each.
  • Once the bill becomes law, the decision to try a juvenile 16 years or older as an adult will be taken by the Juvenile Justice Board, which will have a judicial magistrate and two social workers as members. If the board decides against it, the juvenile will be sent for rehabilitation.
  • The Child Welfare Committees will look at institutional care for children in their respective districts. Each committee will have a chairperson and four other members, all specialists in matters relating to children.
  • The government says it listed the bill more than a dozen times in the monsoon session and the ongoing winter session but it could not be taken up due to disruptions. The opposition, led by the Congress, had assured support to pass the bill today.
  • The bill aims to “consolidate and amend the law relating to children alleged and found to be in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection by catering to their basic needs through proper care, protection, development, treatment, social reintegration, by adopting a child-friendly approach.”
  • The proposed law also aims at adjudicating and disposing cases dealing with juveniles keeping in mind “the best interest of the children and their rehabilitation.”
  • India is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which mandates that all children under the age of 18 years be treated equal.  The pending bill has been criticised for violation of the Convention.
  • The bill also deals with adoption of children and lays down the eligibility criteria for adoptive parents. A central adoptive resource agency will frame the rules for adoption, which will be implemented by state and district level agencies.

Domestic and Family Violence Act of 2012

The Act empowers Magistrates Courts to issue civil Domestic Violence Orders to protect and safeguard people who experience domestic and family violence.

Domestic Violence Orders are either long-term protection orders or shorterterm temporary protection orders that last until the court makes a final decision about issuing or varying a protection order. Applications for Domestic Violence Orders can be made by the police, an aggrieved person or someone acting on behalf of an aggrieved person. It is a criminal offence for a respondent to breach the conditions of a Domestic Violence Order once they have been properly notified of the order.

The Act obliges police to investigate domestic violence and empowers them to issue short-term police protection notices (PPNs) to protect victims or, where necessary, detain a respondent in custody. A detained person must be released from custody on specified release conditions. It is an offence for a respondent to breach the conditions of a PPN or any of their release conditions.

The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (DFVP Act) has objects and principles to guide its administration and to provide a framework for service providers and courts. The main objects of this Act are to:

  • maximise the safety, protection and wellbeing of people, including children , who fear or experience domestic violence, and to minimise disruption to their lives
  • prevent or reduce domestic violence and the exposure of children to domestic violence
  • ensure that people who commit domestic violence are held accountable for their actions.

Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques

Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act (1994) prohibits sex selection before or after conception and prevents the misuse of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for sex determination leading to female foeticide. It is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to stop female feticides and arrest the declining sex ratio in India. The act banned prenatal sex determination.

This process began in the early 1990s when ultrasound techniques gained widespread use in India. There was a tendency for families to continuously produce children until a male child was born.

Foetal sex determination and sex selective abortion by medical professionals has today grown into a Rs. 1,000 crore industry (US$ 244 million).

Social discrimination against women and a preference for sons have promoted female foeticide in various forms skewing the sex ratio of the country towards men. According to the decennial Indian census, the sex ratio in the 0–6 age group in India went from 104.0 males per 100 females in 1981, to 105.8 in 1991, to 107.8 in 2001, to 109.4 in 2011. The ratio is significantly higher in certain states such as Punjab and Haryana (126.1 and 122.0, as of 2001).

The main purpose of enacting the act is to ban the use of sex selection techniques after conception and prevent the misuse of prenatal diagnostic technique for sex selective abortions.

Features of the Act

Offences under this act include conducting or helping in the conduct of prenatal diagnostic technique in the unregistered units, sex selection on a man or woman, conducting PND test for any purpose other than the one mentioned in the act, sale, distribution, supply, renting etc. of any ultra sound machine or any other equipment capable of detecting sex of the foetus. Main provisions in the act are:

  1. The Act provides for the prohibition of sex selection, before or after conception.
  2. It regulates the use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques, like ultrasound and amniocentesis by allowing them their use only to detect :
    1. genetic abnormalities
    2. metabolic disorders
    3. chromosomal abnormalities
    4. certain congenital malformations
    5. haemoglobinopathies
    6. sex linked disorders.
  3. No laboratory or centre or clinic will conduct any test including ultrasonography for the purpose of determining the sex of the foetus.
  4. No person, including the one who is conducting the procedure as per the law, will communicate the sex of the foetus to the pregnant woman or her relatives by words, signs or any other method.
  5. Any person who puts an advertisement for pre-natal and pre-conception sex determination facilities in the form of a notice, circular, label, wrapper or any document, or advertises through interior or other media in electronic or print form or engages in any visible representation made by means of hoarding, wall painting, signal, light, sound, smoke or gas, can be imprisoned for up to three years and fined Rs. 10,000.

Special Economic Zone in Maharashtra

The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) policy in India first came into inception on April 1, 2000. The prime objective was to enhance foreign investment and provide an internationally competitive and hassle free environment for exports. The idea was to promote exports from the country and realising the need that level playing field must be made available to the domestic enterprises and manufacturers to be competitive globally.

A special economic zone (SEZ) is a geographical region that has economic laws that are more liberal than a country’s domestic economic laws. India has specific laws for its SEZs.

The category ‘SEZ’ covers a broad range of more specific zone types, including free-trade zones (FTZ), export processing zones (EPZ), free zones (FZ), industrial estates (IE), free ports, urban enterprise zones and others. Usually the goal of a structure is to increase foreign direct investment by foreign investors, typically an international business or a Multinational Corporation (MNC)

How do SEZs help a country’s economy?

SEZs play a key role in rapid economic development of a country. In the early 1990s, it helped China and there were hopes (perhaps never very high ones, admittedly) that the establishment in India of similar export-processing zones could offer similar benefits — provided, however, that the zones offered attractive enough concessions.

Traditionally the biggest deterrents to foreign investment in India have been high tariffs and taxes, red tape and strict labour laws. To date, these restrictions have ensured that India has been unable to compete with China’s massively successful light-industrial export machine. India’s goods exports in 2004 were an estimated $68 bn compared with $594 bn for China, and the stock of inward FDI, at $42 bn, was less than a tenth of China’s $544 bn.

What is the role of state governments in establishing SEZs?

State governments will have a very important role to play in the establishment of SEZs. Representative of the state government, who is a member of the inter-ministerial committee on private SEZ, is consulted while considering the proposal. Before recommending any proposals to the ministry of commerce and industry (department of commerce),the states must satisfy themselves that they are in a position to supply basic inputs like water, electricity, etc.

MIDC

Too much extra content just for elaboration

Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) is a project of the government of Maharashtra state in India and is the leading corporation of Maharashtra. It provides businesses with infrastructure such as land (open plot or built-up spaces), roads, water supply, drainage facilities and street lights. Mr. P. Anbalagan, IAS, is the CEO of MIDC (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation).

The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation has set up IT parks. It is developing industrial areas with essential infrastructure like internal roads, water, electricity etc for faster industrial development . Also, with a view to arresting pollution, it has started hazardous waste management and common effluent plants on a joint venture basis with the help of local industrial associations.

With both the State government and the MIDC taking a proactive role in supporting diversified industrial development, Maharashtra manages to retain its status as the leader of  Indian industrial growth.

Right to Development

Development refers to the comprehensive social, economic, cultural and political process which aims at the constant improvement of the well being of all the people on the basis of their active participation

The right to Development is an inalienable human right by which every individual and all people are entitled to participate in, contribute to , and enjoy social, economic, cultural and political development in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully satisfied.

The UN adopted the declaration on the right to Development in 1986. Every human being wants to develop, improve their standard of living and enhance quality of life. However, it is seen that only a section of society benefits from the development process and others remain deprived of the fruits of development and often become victims of it. i.e development of some takes place at the cost of others.

Now it is  universally accepted that Right to Development is everybody’s right. Weaker sections of  society like women, children and tribals have a higher claim over this right because their development is yet to take place. Similarly certain regions within a country are underdeveloped as compared to other regions.

Tribal Movement:

Although tribal societies are considered to be rigid, changes are taking place – from within as well as due to political interventions.  There have been rapid changes over the years that have caused a serious disintegration of the tribal societies.

They have started raising their demands before the political authorities. There are also certain organizations , non-tribal like the Christian Missionaries that act on their behalf. These give rise to movements sometimes  of a violent nature. At the end of 1960’s there were 36 ongoing movements of which 14 were concentrated in North east. The movements were for

  • Political autonomy –  Demand for Separate state within Indian union ( Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya became separate states in 1960’s) and also for complete secession from Indian Union
  • Forest biased movements
  • Cultural movements – (demand for preservation of tribal language)

Jharkhand Movement:

Jharkhand literally means “the land of the jungles”. And the Jharkhands are the original inhabitants (adivasis) of the region. They consist of tribes such as mundas, santhals, Savaras etc

After independence outsiders kept pouring in and the tribals were reduced to minority.  Also a lot of tribals moved out to far of states like Gujarat, Maharashtra , Karnataka , Assam.  It was felt that Jharkand was developing but not the Jharkhandis. Of the 7 industries set up in the region, the tribal representation was low.  

A small tribal educated   group emerged in these societies by the western education introduced by Christian  Missionaries. These educated tribals showed concern for modernizing tribal societies and for conservation of traditional values. Tribal politics gradually developed into a struggle for freedom.  

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha ( 1972) was established and the all-India Jharkhand Students Union (1986) went through a lot of ups and downs.  Jharkhand state was created in 2000 by carving out 18 districts of Bihar but some Tribal dominated districts are still not part of Jharkhand.

Bodo Movement:

  • Bodos are one of the earliest settlers of Assam  and are the largest tribes of Assam. They ruled over Assam till 1825. Bodos are ethnic and linguistic community .
  • 47% of population of Assam were Bodos in 1947 but they declined to 27% in 1971.
  • Even after independence, the area had been facing neglect in the area of development. It soon became a centre of dissent and demands for secession.
  • The Bodos wanted more autonomy for the Bodo tribes and the Assamese were concerned with the expulsion of foreigners
  • The Assam Government passed the Illegal Migrants Detection Tribunal Act . This further irritated the Bodos since for the rest of the country only the Foreigners Registration Act was applicable. They felt there should be a single law regarding foreigners throughout the country
  • Language was another problem. The Assamese language was imposed on Bodos.
  • The Bodos  were facing a loss of identity and culture.  
  • In 1968 all Bodo Students Union raised the slogan of Divide Assam Fifty- Fifty.
  • The tribals were agitated by the rise of Assamese  nationalism which protected the Assamese speaking population. In 1984, all BOdo students Union gave a call for a separate state of Bodoland.
  • Following the riots for 8 years a settlement provided for creation of “Bodoland Autonomous Council”.  

The policies of the government towards the tribals have changed over the years.  They are working towards encouraging traditional arts and culture, respecting tribal rights to land and forest rights and providing support and training

Eg., The Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest rights) bill 2005 was passed by the government. The Bill allows tribals and non-tribals living in forests (upto 2005)  rights to use their forest land for livelihood since it is their ancestral land and they need the land to sustain their culture.

Forest Rights Act

In the colonial era, the British diverted abundant forest wealth of the nation to meet their economic needs. While procedure for settlement of rights was provided under statutes such as the Indian Forest Act, 1927, these were hardly followed. As a result, tribal and forest-dwelling communities, who had been living within the forests in harmony with the environment and the ecosystem, continued to live inside the forests in tenurial insecurity, a situation which continued even after independence as they were marginalised.

The symbiotic relationship between forests and forest-dwelling communities found recognition in the National Forest Policy, 1988. The policy called for the need to associate tribal people in the protection, regeneration and development of forests. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, was enacted to protect the marginalised socio-economic class of citizens and balance the right to environment with their right to life and livelihood.

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 is a result of the protracted struggle by the marginal and tribal communities of our country to assert their rights over the forestland over which they were traditionally dependent. This Act is crucial to the rights of millions of tribals and other forest dwellers in different parts of our country as it provides for the restitution of deprived forest rights across India, including both individual rights to cultivated land in forestland and community rights over common property resources. The notification of Rules for the implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006 on 1st Jan 2008, has finally paved the way to undo the ‘historic injustice’ done to the tribals and other forest dwellers.  

Provisions of the Act

The rights which are included in section 3(1) of the Act are:

  1. Right to hold and live in the forest land under the individual or common occupation for habitation or for self-cultivation for livelihood by a member or members of a forest dwelling Scheduled Tribe or other traditional forest dwellers;
  2. Community rights such as nistar, by whatever name called, including those used in erstwhile Princely states, Zamindari or such intermediary regimes;
  3. Right of ownership, access to collect, use, and dispose of minor forest produce( includes all non-timber forest produce of plant origin) which has been traditionally collected within or outside village boundaries;
  4. Other community rights of uses of entitlements such as fish and other products of water bodies, grazing (both settled or transhumant) and traditional seasonal resource access of nomadic or pastoralist communities;
  5. Rights including community tenures of habitat and habitation for primitive tribal groups and pre-agriculture communities;
  6. Rights in or over disputed lands under any nomenclature in any State where claims are disputed;
  7. Rights for conversion of Pattas or leases or grants issued by any local council or any State Govt. on forest lands to titles;
  8. Rights of settlement and conversion of all forest villages, old habitation, unsurveyed villages and other villages in forest, whether recorded, notified or not into revenue villages;
  9. Right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource which they have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use;
  10. Rights which are recognised under any State law or laws of any Autonomous Dist. Council or Autonomous Regional Council or which are accepted as rights of tribals under any traditional or customary law of the concerned tribes of any State;
  11. Right of access to biodiversity and community right to intellectual property and traditional knowledge related to biodiversity and cultural diversity;
  12. Any other traditional right customarily enjoyed by the forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes or other traditional forest dwellers, as the case may be, which are not mentioned in clauses-1 to 11, but excluding the traditional right of hunting or trapping extracting a part of the body of any species of wild animal.

Land Acquisition Act

The Land Acquisition Act, 1894 was a British era law that governed the process of land acquisition in India until 2013 and continues to do so in Pakistan and Myanmar. It allows the acquisition of land for some public purpose by a government agency from individual landowners after paying a government-determined compensation to cover losses incurred by landowners from surrendering their land to the agency.

In India, a new Act, The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, replaced this law.

The Government of India believed there was a heightened public concern on land acquisition issues in India. Of particular concern was that despite many amendments, over the years, to India’s Land Acquisition Act of 1894, there was an absence of a cohesive national law that addressed fair compensation when private land is acquired for public use, and fair rehabilitation of land owners and those directly affected from loss of livelihoods.

The Government of India believed that a combined law was necessary, one that legally requires rehabilitation and resettlement necessarily and simultaneously follow government acquisition of land for public purposes.

The existing police system was created in an age in which the crimes as witnessed in the contemporary society were far from imagination. Indian police force was trained in the past to serve the objective of colonial rule and has not yet been granted the much needed autonomy, resources. Over the past one and half century, though the performance of police is NOT entirely disappointing, we have seen a “steady deterioration of standards of policing, the increasing lawlessness amongst the policemen themselves and the attitude of complacency and complicity amongst the leadership in the police organizations.”

Existing police system functions in an authoritarian setting. “It has become a coercive apparatus of the government. We need reforms to make police efficient, effective, people friendly and accountable;  to arrest the corruption and break the police nexus with anti-social elements; to bring attitudinal changes in police personnel to assist the community when needed. We need a new framework for police system which can “reflect the expectations of the people regarding the police in the modern democratic society.

The use of scientific investigation methods to strengthen the criminal justice system, enabling the police to tackle futuristic trends and organized crime including cyber crime.” All in all, we need 21st century police system to deal with 21st century crimes.

Food Security Act 2013

The National Food Security Act, 2013 (also Right to Food Act) is an Act of the Parliament of India which aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people.

It was signed into law on 12 September 2013, retroactive to 5 July 2013.

The National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA 2013) converts into legal entitlements for existing food security programmes of the Government of India. It includes the Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services scheme and the Public Distribution System. Further, the NFSA 2013 recognizes maternity entitlements. The Midday Meal Scheme and the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme are universal in nature whereas the PDS will reach about two-thirds of the population (75% in rural areas and 50% in urban areas).

Under the provisions of the bill, beneficiaries of the Public Distribution System (or, PDS) are entitled to 5 kilograms (11 lb) per person per month of cereals at the following prices:

  • Rice at ₹3 (4.2¢ US) per kg
  • Wheat at ₹2 (2.8¢ US) per kg
  • Coarse grains (millet) at ₹1 (1.4¢ US) per kg.

Pregnant women, lactating mothers, and certain categories of children are eligible for daily free cereals.

The bill has been highly controversial. It was introduced into India’s parliament on 22 December 2011, promulgated as a presidential ordinance on 5 July 2013, and enacted into law on 12 September 2013.

Odisha government implemented food security bill in 14 district from 17 November 2015

Assam government implemented Act on 24 December 2015.

Migration and Identity Crisis

  • Bangladesh borders India on three sides, sharing 4,096 kilometers (around 2,500 miles) of border with the Indian states of West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.
  • Ever since the partition of British India in 1947, successive waves of people facing hostile conditions, persecution, intolerance, and adverse economic situations in what constitutes present-day Bangladesh have found sanctuary in India. While some of them later returned to their homes in Bangladesh, the majority chose to assimilate within India.
  • India’s geostrategic location, its relatively sound economic position with its neighbors, and its liberal democratic credentials have long made it a magnet for people in other parts of the region who are fleeing persecution in their countries of origin or looking for a better life.
  • Bangladeshis in India are members of the Bangladeshi Diaspora who currently reside in India. The mass migration into India since Bangladesh independence has led to the creation of anti foreigner movements, instances of mass violence and political tension between Bangladesh and India, but it has also created measurable economic benefits for both the nations
  • Refugees/illegal immigrants from Tibet, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have found shelter in India. While refugees coming from other areas [including Tibet, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Myanmar] have been dealt with in a somewhat systematic, although ad hoc, manner, the influx/rush of refugees/illegal immigrants from Bangladesh has largely been left unattended.
  • This neglect has adversely impacted the interests of local populations in the areas seeing large-scale influxes of illegal immigrants as well as India’s national security interests. Further, the absence of national refugee laws has blurred the distinction between refugees and economic migrants, leading to the denial of any assistance to even genuine asylum seekers. It now poses an enormous problem for India and the millions of affected people. Further delay in addressing the problem will only make matters worse.
  • According to a commentator, the trip to India from Bangladesh is one of the cheapest in the world, costing around Rs.2000[$30US] which includes the fee for the Tour Operator. As Bangladeshis are culturally similar to the Bengali People in India, they are able to pass off as Indian citizens and settle down in any part of India to establish a future for a very small price. This false identity bolstered with false documentation available for as little as Rs.200 [$3 US] can even make them part of the vote bank
  • There is no reliable figure on the exact number of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh in India. An analysis of population growth and demographic statistics for Bangladesh and India in the last four censuses of 2011, 2001, 1991, and 1981, however, suggests with reasonable certainty that their number exceeds 15 million. Most of them have settled in states along the border with Bangladesh, and some subsequently moved to other parts of India, including its remote corners. A large number are engaged in menial jobs in metropolitan cities in different parts of India.

Whistleblower Protection Act 2011

Whistle Blowers Protection Act, 2014 is an Act in the Parliament of India which provides a mechanism to investigate alleged corruption and misuse of power by public servants and also protect anyone who exposes alleged wrongdoing in government bodies, projects and offices. The wrongdoing might take the form of fraud, corruption or mismanagement. The Act will also ensure punishment for false or frivolous complaints.

The Whistle Blowers Act is an Act which provides the mechanism to investigate alleged corruption and misuse of power by public servants and government authorities. It also protects anyone who exposes such alleged wrongdoing in government bodies, projects and offices. This wrongdoing might include fraud, corruption, mismanagement or shoddy work.

Essentially, the purpose of this Act is to encourage people to come forward with their complaints exposing any sort of wrong illegal activities taking place in government offices or being done by government officials. To further encourage them, the Act also protects their identity in order to ensure their safety. These people are termed as ‘whistleblowers’.

Every such complaint must be registered with the State or Central Vigilance Commission. While the name of the complainant must be provided at the time of lodging the complaint, from thereon, the identity of the complainant will be protected. The Act also provides for punishments for someone knowingly registering false or frivolous complaints.

This Act came about as a result of a multitude of cases of harassment and even torture of people who came forward with damaging information about government departments. For example, Satyendra Dubey, an engineer, was murdered in 2003 because he blew the whistle in a corruption case in the NHAI Golden Quadrilateral project. A similar fate also awaited Shanmughan Manjunath, an Indian Oil Corporation officer who was murdered for sealing off a petrol pump that was selling adulterated fuel.

Powerful Movements

1. STICKING TO A CAUSE

Chipko Movement, 1973

The 1980s saw the debate on environment move from just deforestation to the larger issues of depletion of natural resources. The 1980s saw the debate on environment move from just deforestation to the larger issues of depletion of natural resources

“In the wake of reckless deforestation, a unique movement has bubbled,”observed India Today in March 1982. The 1980s saw the debate on environment move from just deforestation to the larger issues of depletion of natural resources.“

Chipko movement in the Garhwal Himalayas, shoved aside urban armchair naturalists.

Led by Chandni Prasad Bhatt and Sunderlal Bahuguna, it was a people’s revolt against mindless deforestation.

And they did it simply. By hugging trees when the woodmen came to axe them,”said India Today in January 1990.

2. SOUND OF NATURE

The Silent Valley Project, 1978

The Silent Valley hydroelectric project was to dam the Kunthipuzha RiverThe Silent Valley hydroelectric project was to dam the Kunthipuzha River

It was a battlefield of personal agendas, between the then prime minister Morarji Desai, the Kerala government and the environmentalists.

The Silent Valley hydroelectric project was to dam the Kunthipuzha River, submerging the entire biosphere reserve and destroying its four-million-year-old rainforests.

In 1980, the M.G.K. Menon Committee set up to review the project, came out with a recommendation to scrap it.

With 40 per cent of its so-called surplus power being supplied to other parts and many villages of Kerala waiting to be electrified, this grassroots movement became the bedrock of Indian environmental activism (India Today, August 2003).

3. RESCUE MISSION

Jungle Bachao Andolan, 1980s

“Most states exist in the bliss of ignorance,” observed India Today in March 1982. It was this observation that led to the birth of the Jungle Bachao Andolan, that began in Bihar and later spread to states like Jharkhand and Orissa.The tribals of Singhbhum district of Bihar bubbled up a protest when the government decided to replace the natural sal forests with highly-priced teak, a move that was termed “a greed game, political populism”.

4. REAPING A CHANGE

Navdanya Movement, 1982

Whether it’s about empowering women or anti-globalisation campaigns,environmental activist Vandana Shiva has always had an upper hand in her fights against the authorities. Her ecofeminist movement reinstated a farming system centred on engaging women,changing the current system.She founded Navdanya in 1982, an organisation promoting biodiversity conservation and organic farming.The organisation has not only helped create markets for farmers, but also promoted quality food for consumers, connecting the seed to the cooked food.

5. DIFFERENT ROUTE

Development Alternatives, 1983

Labelled The Green Doer (India Today, December 2002), Ashok Khosla empowered people by creating jobs. Through Development Alternatives, an NGO that he found in 1983, he began work towards financial, social and environmental sustainability at the grassroot level. Over the years, his 15 environmentally-sound and commercially-viable technologies have generated more than three lakh jobs across India.

6. HIGH TIDE

 Narmada Bachao Andolan, 1985

Medha Patkar

 Narmada Bachao Andolan announced the arrival of the India Greens, protesting against destructive development.

“One of the largest and most successful environmental campaigns, Narmada Bachao Andolan began with a wide developmental agenda, questioning the very rationale of large dam projects in India” (India Today, December 2007).

7. SUSTAINING FORCE

Tarun Bharat Sangh, 1985

In Alwar’s Hamirpur village, he is addressed as Ram.

Rajinder Singh, founder of Tarun Bharat Sangh and winner of the 2001 Ramon Magsaysay Award acquiring the position wasn’t a cakewalk.

He brought water to about 850 parched villages in Rajasthan and motivated villagers to harvest rainwater.“He advocated small ponds and check dams but did not oppose big dams or canal networks blindly,” said India Today in December 2003.

8. AVERTING DISASTER

Saving the Western Ghats, 1988

Home to sanctuaries like Bandipur and Nagarhole, Western Ghats, a biological treasure trove, was struck by an epidemic— deforestation in the 1980s. “The Union Government’s Forest Department estimates that within the last three decades, 4.5 million hectares of forests or an area the size of Tamil Nadu has vanished,” said India Today in March 1982. The Kailash Malhotraled Save the Western Ghats march, a 100-day padayatra across the hills, succeeded in imparting the message of environmental degradation and human rights.

9. TASTE OF WAR

Target soft drinks, 2003

She earned the image of a fierce public warrior, when she took on powerful cola manufacturers. “Sunita Narain, director, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), threw two cola giants, Coca Cola and Pepsico in the line of fire as 12 major brands of soft drinks in Delhi showed 15 to 87 times more levels of deadly pesticides known to cause cancer and other diseases.” (India Today, August 2003).

10. CLIMATE CRUSADER

And so did The Research and Energy Institute.

R.K. Pachauri became the watchdog of global warming. And so did The Research and Energy Institute.

“Through his organisation, he stands at the forefront of international campaigns to reduce the debilitating climatic changes sweeping across the globe,” said India Today in February 2005.

  1. Carbon Credits

Near the end of the 20th century, concerns about global warming and environmental degradation grew. The aim of the carbon credit system is the reduction of the release of harmful gases from industrial activity. Industrial production is deemed a significant contributor to increased greenhouse gases.

Carbon credit is a fairly simple system that can become more complex through trades, purchases and swaps. Put simply, countries and individual companies can earn carbon credits, each of which allows the industry to produce one ton of carbon dioxide gas over and above their limits.

A carbon credit is a permit or certificate allowing the holder to emit carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. The credit limits the emission to a mass equal to one ton of carbon dioxide. The issuance of carbon credits aims to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Countries are given fixed limits for the emissions of CO2. The emission permission is known as Carbon Credit. Supposing a country emitted 100 Carbon Equivalent Greenhouse gases, then it has to reduce its emission level by 52 Carbon Equivalent Greenhouse gases, which means that the country has 48 units of Carbon Credit in its possession.

Countries can also trade in carbon credits. If any country has reduced its emission then it can exchange/sell the excess carbon units to another country which has exceeded its emission limit.

The backbone of the carbon credit system is a government or other regulating bodies that can attempt to limit the total tons of carbon dioxide emitted through the issuance and regulation of carbon credit. Carbon credit policies place a cost on carbon emissions by creating credits valued against one ton of hydrocarbon fuel. A carbon credit is fundamentally a permit that allows the receiver to burn a specified amount of hydrocarbon fuel over a specified period. The ceding of carbon credits are to companies or groups that act to reduce carbon emissions measurably. Companies or nations may trade carbon certificates to help balance total worldwide emissions.

The goal of the carbon exchange is to universally lower the amount of carbon emissions being produced, which will in turn lower the amounts of air pollution and the threat of global warming. While credits can change hands, prices are dictated by the current marketplace. This means that while some companies will always be looking to purchase credits for a one-time use, it makes better financial sense for many companies to lower their emissions to their set quota, rather than to risk fines or purchase large amounts of credits. Credits can, however, buy a company time to make the adjustments because in the short term it may be more practical to purchase credits than undertake a major overhaul of equipment and business purposes.

An Example of Carbon Credits

Under the cap-and-trade or emissions program, a company emitting less than its capped limit may sell unused credits to a company exceeding its limit.  For example, Company A has a cap of 10 tons but produces 12 tons of emissions. Company B also has an emission cap of 10 tons but emits only eight, resulting in a surplus of two credits. 

Company A may purchase the additional credits from Company B to remain in compliance.  Without the purchased carbon credits, Company A would face penalties. When the fines exceed the cost to buy, the company will favor purchasing the credits.  However, sometimes the price to acquire the credits exceeds the fines.  As a result, some companies accept the penalties and continue operations and the emissions of hydrocarbons.


Pre-Conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Technique

Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994 (PNDT), was amended in 2003 to The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition Of Sex Selection) Act (PCPNDT Act) to improve the regulation of the technology used in sex selection.

Implications of the amendment are

  • Amendment of the act mainly covered bringing the technique of pre conception sex selection within the extent of the act
  • Bringing ultrasound within its extent
  • Empowering the central supervisory board, constitution of state level supervisory board
  • Provision for more stringent punishments
  • Empowering appropriate authorities with the power of civil court for search, seizure and sealing the machines and equipments of the violators
  • Regulating the sale of the ultrasound machines only to registered bodies

What is PCPNDT ?

Prenatal diagnosis employs a variety of techniques to determine the health and condition of an unborn fetus. Without knowledge gained by prenatal diagnosis, there could be an untoward outcome for the fetus or the mother or both. congenital anomalies account for 20 to 25% of perinatal deaths. Specifically, prenatal diagnosis is helpful for:

  • Managing the remaining weeks of the pregnancy
  • Determining the outcome of the pregnancy
  • Planning for possible complications with the birth process
  • Planning for problems that may occur in the newborn infant
  • Deciding whether to continue the pregnancy
  • Finding conditions that may affect future pregnancies

There are a variety of non-invasive and invasive techniques available for prenatal diagnosis. Each of them can be applied only during specific time periods during the pregnancy for greatest utility. The techniques employed for prenatal diagnosis include:

  • Ultrasonography
  • Amniocentesis
  • Chorionic villus sampling
  • Fetal blood cells in maternal blood
  • Maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein
  • Maternal serum beta-HCG
  • Maternal serum unconjugated estriol
  • Pregnancy-associated plasma protein A
  • Inhibin A

The Act

Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act (1994) prohibits sex selection before or after conception and prevents the misuse of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for sex determination leading to female foeticide. It is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to stop female feticides and arrest the declining sex ratio in India. The act banned prenatal sex determination.

This process began in the early 1990s when ultrasound techniques gained widespread use in India. There was a tendency for families to continuously produce children until a male child was born.

Foetal sex determination and sex selective abortion by medical professionals has today grown into a Rs. 1,000 crore industry (US$ 244 million).

Social discrimination against women and a preference for sons have promoted female foeticide in various forms skewing the sex ratio of the country towards men. According to the decennial Indian census, the sex ratio in the 0–6 age group in India went from 104.0 males per 100 females in 1981, to 105.8 in 1991, to 107.8 in 2001, to 109.4 in 2011. The ratio is significantly higher in certain states such as Punjab and Haryana (126.1 and 122.0, as of 2001).

The main purpose of enacting the act is to ban the use of sex selection techniques after conception and prevent the misuse of prenatal diagnostic technique for sex selective abortions.

Features of the Act

Offences under this act include conducting or helping in the conduct of prenatal diagnostic technique in the unregistered units, sex selection on a man or woman, conducting PND test for any purpose other than the one mentioned in the act, sale, distribution, supply, renting etc. of any ultra sound machine or any other equipment capable of detecting sex of the foetus. Main provisions in the act are:

  1. The Act provides for the prohibition of sex selection, before or after conception.
  2. It regulates the use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques, like ultrasound and amniocentesis by allowing them their use only to detect :
  1. genetic abnormalities
  2. metabolic disorders
  3. chromosomal abnormalities
  4. certain congenital malformations
  5. haemoglobinopathies
  6. sex linked disorders.
  1. No laboratory or centre or clinic will conduct any test including ultrasonography for the purpose of determining the sex of the foetus.
  2. No person, including the one who is conducting the procedure as per the law, will communicate the sex of the foetus to the pregnant woman or her relatives by words, signs or any other method.
  3. Any person who puts an advertisement for pre-natal and pre-conception sex determination facilities in the form of a notice, circular, label, wrapper or any document, or advertises through interior or other media in electronic or print form or engages in any visible representation made by means of hoarding, wall painting, signal, light, sound, smoke or gas, can be imprisoned for up to three years and fined Rs. 10,000.

Compulsory registration

The Act mandates compulsory registration of all diagnostic laboratories, all genetic counselling centres, genetic laboratories, genetic clinics and ultrasound clinics.[1]


AFSPA

In simple terms, AFSPA gives armed forces the power to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”. They have the authority to prohibit a gathering of five or more persons in an area, can use force or even open fire after giving due warning if they feel a person is in contravention of the law. If reasonable suspicion exists, the army can also arrest a person without a warrant; enter or search a premises without a warrant; and ban the possession of firearms.

Any person arrested or taken into custody may be handed over to the officer in charge of the nearest police station along with a report detailing the circumstances that led to the arrest.

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts (AFSPA), are Acts of the Parliament of India that grant special powers to the Indian Armed Forces in which each act terms “disturbed areas”. According to The Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1976 once declared ‘disturbed’, the area has to maintain status quo for a minimum of 3 months.

One such Act passed on 11 September 1958 was applicable to the Naga Hills, then part of Assam. In the following decades it spread, one by one, to the other Seven Sister States in India’s northeast(at present it is in force in Assam, Nagaland, manipur excluding Imphal municipal council area, Changlang, Longding and Tirap districts of Arunachal Pradesh).

Another one passed in 1983 and applicable to Punjab and Chandigarh was withdrawn in 1997, roughly 14 years after it came to force. An Act passed in 1990 was applied to Jammu and Kashmir and has been in force since.

The Acts have received criticism from several sections for alleged concerns about human rights violations in the regions of its enforcement alleged to have happened.

Revocation

Politicians like P. Chidambaram and Saifuddin Soz of Congress have advocated revocation of AFSPA, while some like Amarinder Singh are against its revocation.

What is a “disturbed area” and who has the power to declare it?

A disturbed area is one which is declared by notification under Section 3 of the AFSPA. An area can be disturbed due to differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities. The Central Government, or the Governor of the State or administrator of the Union Territory can declare the whole or part of the State or Union Territory as a disturbed area. A suitable notification would have to be made in the Official Gazette. As per Section 3 , it can be invoked in places where “the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary”.

The Ministry of Home Affairs would usually enforce this Act where necessary, but there have been exceptions where the Centre decided to forego its power and leave the decision to the State governments.

What’s the origin of AFSPA?

The Act came into force in the context of increasing violence in the Northeastern States decades ago, which the State governments found difficult to control. The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Bill was passed by both the Houses of Parliament and it was approved by the President on September 11, 1958. It became known as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958.

Which powers are given to the Armed forces under the AFSPA?

1. Any suspect can be arrested without a warrant.

2. Armed forces can search any house without any warrant and required force can be used to search it.

3. Under this law the armed forces have the authority to prohibit gathering of five or more persons in an area.

4. In some cases the forces can open fire on the disturbing factors after giving due warning if they found any suspicious person.

5. If a person is repeated offender and tries to disturb the peace of the area, then armed forces are entitled to use force till his death.

6. If the Armed Forces suspect that any militant or offender is hiding in any house/building then the site or structure can be destroyed by the forces.

7. Any Vehicle can be stopped and searched.

8. Even in the case of wrongful action by the armed forces, legal action is not taken against them.

Arguments in the favour of AFSPA

1. On the basis of the power given to the armed forces, they are able to protect the boundaries of the country.

2. In the absence of strict law, the armed forces will not be able to tackle the insurgent inside the country esp. in the Kashmir and North eastern region of the country.

3. The powers given in the AFSPA boost the moral of the armed forces to ensure the rule of law in the disturbed areas of the country.

Arguments against the AFSPA

1. There are so many examples when the oppressive powers given to the armed forces have been misused.

2.The armed forces are conducting fake encounters and sexually exploiting the women in the disturbed areas.

3. AFSPA,violates human rights.

4. Some critics compared AFSPA with the Rowlatt act of the British time because like the Rowlatt Act, any suspicious person can be arrested on the basis of doubt in the AFSPA also.

Critics of the AFSPA law argue that there is no need to run the country on the basis of bullet while the matter should be resolved on the basis of the ballet.

AFSPA could not achieve its desired goals even after 60 years of its implementation. So the state government of the disturbed area along with the central government should find out an alternative to of this law and come out with flying colours.

Which States are, or had come under this Act?

It is effective in the whole of Nagaland, Assam, Manipur (excluding seven assembly constituencies of Imphal) and parts of Arunachal Pradesh. The Centre revoked it in Meghalaya on April 1, 2018. Earlier, the AFSPA was effective in a 20 km area along the Assam-Meghalaya border. In Arunachal Pradesh, the impact of AFSPA was reduced to eight police stations instead of 16 police stations and in Tirap, Longding and Changlang districts bordering Assam.

Tripura withdrew the AFSPA in 2015. Jammu and Kashmir too has a similar Act.

How has this Act been received by the people?

It has been a controversial one, with human rights groups opposing it as being aggressive. Manipur’s Irom Sharmila has been one if its staunchest opponents, going on a hunger strike in November 2000 and continuing her vigil till August 2016. Her trigger was an incident in the town of Malom in Manipur, where ten people were killed waiting at a bus stop.

The Act has been criticized by Human Rights Watch as a “tool of state abuse, oppression and discrimination”.

The South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre argues that the government’s’ call for increased force is part of the problem.

“This reasoning exemplifies the vicious cycle which has been instituted in the North East due to the AFSPA. The use of the AFSPA pushes the demand for more autonomy, giving the people of the North East more reason to want to secede from a state which enacts such powers and the agitation which ensues continues to justify the use of the AFSPA from the point of view of the Indian Government.” – The South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre


AFSPA in North Eastern States (issues)

In 1951, the Naga National Council Nation’.[11] There was a boycott of the first general election of 1952 which later extended to a boycott of government schools and officials.

 In order to deal with the situation, the Assam government imposed the Assam Maintenance of Public Order (Autonomous District) Act in the Naga Hills in 1953 and intensified police action against the rebels. When the situation worsened, Assam deployed the Assam Rifles in the Naga Hills and enacted the Assam Disturbed Areas Act of 1955, providing a legal framework for the paramilitary forces and the armed state police to combat insurgency in the region. But the Assam Rifles and the state armed police could not contain the Naga rebellion and the rebel Naga Nationalist Council (NNC) formed a parallel government “The Federal Government of Nagaland” on 23 March 1956.

 The Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Ordinance 1958 was promulgated by the President Dr. Rajendra Prasad on 22 May 1958. It was replaced by the Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Act, 1958 on 11 September 1958.

The Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Act, 1958 empowered only the Governors of the States and the Administrators of the Union Territories to declare areas in the concerned State or the Union Territory as ‘disturbed’.

The reason for conferring such a power as per “Objects and Reasons'” appended to the Bill was that “Keeping in view the duty of the Union under Article 355 of the Constitution, interalia, to protect every State against internal disturbance, it is considered desirable that the Central government should also have power to declare areas as ‘disturbed’, to enable its armed forces to exercise the special powers”.

The territorial scope of Act also expanded to the five states of the North-East – Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram. In addition, the words “The Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Act, 1958” were substituted by “Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958”, getting the acronym of AFSPA, 1958.

Recently the Tripura state government has decided to withdraw the controversial Act, citing significant reduction in the extent of terrorist activities in the state. In June 2015, after review, the AFSPA in Nagaland state was extended by one more year.

In November 2016, Government of India has extended AFSPA in three districts of Arunachal Pradesh- Tirap, Changlang and Longding. The period has further been extended by another 6 months in above three districts of Arunachal Pradesh in April, 2018.These have been declared as “disturbed area” under Section 3 of the AFSPA. In these districts, Naga underground factions including National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) and NSCN (Khaplang) are involved in extortion, recruitment of locals, and rivalry.

AFSPA Removed

NEW DELHI: With insurgency-related incidents in the northeast region down by 85% from the levels recorded at the peak of militancy two decades ago, the Centre has withdrawn the  Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) totally from Meghalaya as well as from eight out of 16 police stations in Arunachal Pradesh, with effect from March 31, 2018.

AFSPA, which gives special powers and immunity to the armed forces deployed in areas declared “disturbed” under the Act, had been in force in Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh for almost 27 years.

A Union home ministry official told TOI that areas of the two states bordering Assam were declared “disturbed” in 1991 to avoid a spillover effect of insurgency by Assam-based outfits like the United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa).

In 2015, the Tripura  government had lifted AFSPA from the state after 18 years. Until September 30, 2017, all areas falling within a 20-km belt in Meghalaya bordering Assam were notified as “disturbed” areas. Effective from October 1, 2017, this was reduced to a 10-km belt.

However, on March 31, 2018, it was decided that given the improved situation, AFSPA need no longer be in force even in this 10-km stretch.

CRC – Children’s Rights (Convention on the Rights of the Child)

The UN convention on the Rights of Child affirms that Children are born with fundamental freedoms and the inherent rights of all human beings.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child was the first instrument to incorporate the complete range of international human rights— including civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights as well as aspects of humanitarian law. The Convention defines a child as any human being under the age of eighteen, unless the age of majority is attained earlier under national legislation.

In 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years old often need special care and protection that adults do not. The leaders also wanted to make sure that the world recognized that children have human rights too. The whole hearted support of the world community to the UN’s efforts in promoting and protecting rights of the child received tremendous support of the world community.

A child means anyone below the age of 18 years. The Convention sets out these rights in 54 articles and two Optional Protocols. It spells out the basic human rights that children everywhere have: the right to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life.

The four core principles of the Convention are

  • Non-discrimination
  • Devotion to the best interests of the child
  • The right to life, survival and development
  • Respect for the views of the child.

Every right spelled out in the CRC is inherent to the human dignity and harmonious development of every child. The Convention protects children’s rights by setting standards in health care; education; and legal, civil and social services.

By agreeing to undertake the obligations of the CRC (by ratifying or acceding to it), national governments have committed themselves to protecting and ensuring children’s rights – and they have agreed to hold themselves accountable for this commitment before the international community. States parties to the Convention are obliged to develop and undertake all actions and policies in the light of the best interests of the child.

CRC and India

India ratified UNCRC on 11 December 1992, agreeing in principles all articles except with certain reservations on issues relating to child labor. In India there is law that children under the age of 18 should not work, but there is no outright ban on child labor, and the practice is generally permitted in most industries except those deemed “hazardous”.

Although a law in October 2006 banned child labor in hotels, restaurants, and as domestic servants, there continues to be high demand for children as hired help in the home.

The Constitution of India prohibits the employment of children in factories. No child below 14 should be employed in any factory or mine or hazardous work“. The law provides for free and compulsory education for children

Current estimates as to the number of child laborers in the country range from the government’s conservative estimate of 4 million children under 14 years of age

CEDAW

International instruments such as UDHR and ICCPR have all recognized the basic equality of men and women. However there was a need for a specific instrument addressing the problems of violation of Women’s rights. The UN adapted the CEDAW to ensure protection of women’s rights in 1979

On 18 December 1979, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. It entered into force as an International Treaty on 3 September 1981 after the twentieth country had ratified it. By the tenth anniversary of the Convention in 1989, almost one hundred nations have agreed to be bound by its provisions.

The Convention was the culmination of more than thirty years of work by the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, a body established in 1946 to monitor the situation of women and to promote women’s rights. The Commission’s work has been instrumental in bringing to light all the areas in which women are denied equality with men. These efforts for the advancement of women have resulted in several declarations and conventions, of which the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women is the central and most comprehensive document.

It Consists of a Preamble and 30 articles, and it defines what constitute discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination.

Discrimination

Any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which affects the women from exercising their human rights and fundamental freedom in any field

By accepting the Convention, States commit themselves to undertake a series of measures to end discrimination against women in all forms, including:

  • to incorporate the principle of equality of men and women in their legal system, abolish all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women;
  • to establish tribunals and other public institutions to ensure the effective protection of women against discrimination; and
  • to ensure elimination of all acts of discrimination against women by persons, organizations or enterprises.

Why is CEDAW Important?

  • It provides a complete definition of sex-based discrimination, described as any exclusion, restriction or distinction on the grounds of sex, which intentionally or unintentionally impairs or nullifies the recognition, enjoyment and exercise of women’s social, cultural, political and economic rights.
  • CEDAW recognises the root causes of discrimination, including within culture. CEDAW recognises that traditional gender roles and stereotypes have to be eliminated if we are to be successful in ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls.
  • The view of equality in CEDAW is based on the principle of ‘substantive equality’ between men and women. This principle acknowledges that equality of opportunity and equal treatment is not enough to redress women’s inequality. In fact, it recognises that equal opportunity initiatives can actually have a negative impact on women if women spend time and energy to take advantage of these initiatives but see no result. Substantive equality means looking at women’s lives and the condition of their lives as a measure of whether equality has been achieved.
  • CEDAW holds its States parties – which includes the UK Government – to account to respect, protect and fulfil women’s human rights. It does this by investigating and making recommendations to address gender inequality at all levels (e.g., family, community, market and state).

In countries that have ratified CEDAW, women are working with their governments to improve the status of women and girls, and as a result have changed laws and policies to create greater safety and opportunity for women and their families. CEDAW can make a difference for women and girls, specifically to:

  • Reduce sex trafficking & domestic violence
  • Provide access to education & vocational training
  • Ensure the right to vote

The Convention provides the basis for realizing equality between women and men through ensuring women’s equal access to, and equal opportunities in, political and public life — including the right to vote and to stand for election — as well as education, health and employment.  States parties agree to take all appropriate measures, including legislation and temporary special measures, so that women can enjoy all their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Convention is the only human rights treaty which affirms the reproductive rights of women and targets culture and tradition as influential forces shaping gender roles and family relations.  It affirms women’s rights to acquire, change or retain their nationality and the nationality of their children.  States parties also agree to take appropriate measures against all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of women.

Countries that have ratified or acceded to the Convention are legally bound to put its provisions into practice.  They are also committed to submit national reports, at least every four years, on measures they have taken to comply with their treaty obligations.


POCSO

India has one of the largest population of children in the world – Census data from 2011 shows that India has a population of 472 million children below the age of eighteen, of which 225 million are girls. Protection of children by the state is guaranteed to Indian citizens by an expansive reading of Article 21[3] of the Indian constitution, and also mandated given India’s status as signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Child sexual abuse laws in India have been enacted as part of the nation’s child protection policies.The Parliament of India passed the ‘Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Bill, 2011’ regarding child sexual abuse on 22 May 2012 into an Act.] The rules formulated by the government in accordance with the law have also been notified on the November 2012 and the law has become ready for implementation. There have been many calls for more stringent laws.

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 was enacted to provide a robust legal framework for the protection of children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography, while safeguarding the interest of the child at every stage of the judicial process. The framing of the Act seeks to put children first by making it easy to use by including mechanisms for child-friendly reporting, recording of evidence, investigation and speedy trial of offences through designated Special Courts.

The new Act provides for a variety of offences under which an accused can be punished.

It recognises forms of penetration other than penile-vaginal penetration and criminalises acts of immodesty against children too. Offences under the act include:

  • Penetrative Sexual Assault: Insertion of penis/object/another body part in child’s vagina/urethra/anus/mouth, or asking the child to do so with them or some other person
  • Sexual Assault: When a person touches the child, or makes the child touch them or someone else
  • Sexual Harassment: passing sexually coloured remark, sexual gesture/noise, repeatedly following, flashing, etc.
  • Child Pornography
  • Aggravated Penetrative Sexual Assault/ Aggravated Sexual Assault

The act is gender-neutral for both children and for the accused. With respect to pornography, the Act criminalises even watching or collection of pornographic content involving children. The Act makes abatement of child sexual abuse an offence.

Application and Implementation of POCSO

The Definition of Age

The Act defines a child as a person under the age of 18 years. However, this definition is a purely biological one, and doesn’t take into account people who live with intellectual and psychosocial disability.

A recent case in SC has been filed where a woman of biological age 38 yrs but mental age 6 yrs was raped. The victim’s advocate argues that “failure to consider the mental age will be an attack on the very purpose of act.” SC has reserved the case for judgement and is determined to interpret whether the 2012 act encompasses the mental age or whether only biological age is inclusive in the definition.

Contradictions with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971

The POCSO Act was passed to strengthen legal provisions for the protection of children below 18 years of age from sexual abuse and exploitation. Under this Act, if any girl under 18 is seeking abortion the service provider is compelled to register a complaint of sexual assault with the police. However, under the MTP Act, it is not mandatory to report the identity of the person seeking an abortion. Consequently, service providers are hesitant to provide abortion services to girls under 18.

Child-friendly process

It also provides for various procedural reforms, making the tiring process of trial in India considerably easier for children. The Act has been criticised as its provisions seem to criminalise consensual sexual intercourse between two people below the age of 18. The 2001 version of the Bill did not punish consensual sexual activity if one or both partners were above 16 years.

Child Welfare Committee

A sexually abused child is considered as “child in need of care and protection” under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.   Police officer should therefore inform the Child Welfare Committee about every case under the Act within 24 hours. CWC can appoint a support person for the child who will be responsible for psycho-social well-being of the child. This support person will also liaison with the police, and keep the child and child’s family informed about progress in the case.

Mandatory Reporting

According to the Act, every crime of child sexual abuse should be reported. If a person who has information of any abuse fails to report, they may face imprisonment up to six months or may be fined or both.

Many child rights and women rights organisation has criticised this provision. According to experts, this provision takes away agency of choice from children. There may be many survivors who do not want to go through the trauma of criminal justice system, but this provision does not differentiate. Furthermore, mandatory reporting may also hinder access to medical aid, and psycho-social intervention. It contradicts the right to confidentiality for access to medical, and psychological care.

Legal Aid

Section 40 of the Act allows victims to access legal aid. However, that is subject to Code of Criminal Procedure. In other words, the lawyer representing a child can only assist the Public Prosecutor, and file written final arguments if the judge permits. Thus, the interest of the victim often go unrepresented.

Consent

The law presumes all sexual act with children under the age of 18 is sexual offence. Therefore, two adolescent who engage in consensual sexual act will also be punished under this law. This is especially a concern where adolescent is in relationship with someone from different caste, or religion. Parents have filed cases under this Act to ‘punish’ relationships they do not approve of.

Salient Features

  • The Act defines a child as any person below eighteen years of age, and regards the best interests and well-being of the child as being of paramount importance at every stage, to ensure the healthy physical, emotional, intellectual and social development of the child.
  • It defines different forms of sexual abuse, including penetrative and non-penetrative assault, as well as sexual harassment and pornography, and deems a sexual assault to be “aggravated” under certain circumstances, such as when the abused child is mentally ill or when the abuse is committed by a person in a position of trust or authority with the child, like a family member, police officer, teacher, or doctor.
  • People who traffic children for sexual purposes are also punishable under the provisions relating to abetment in the Act. The Act prescribes stringent punishment graded as per the gravity of the offence, with a maximum term of rigorous imprisonment for life, and fine.

Coastal Regulatory Zone (CR)[Importance, Notification, Examples]

Under the Environment Protection Act, 1986 of India, notification was issued in February 1991, for regulation of activities in the coastal area by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

As per the notification, the coastal land up to 500m from the High Tide Line (HTL) and a stage of 100m along banks of creeks, estuaries, backwater and rivers subject to tidal fluctuations, is called the Coastal Regulation Zone(CRZ).

CRZ along the country has been placed in four categories. The above notification includes only the intertidal zone and land part of the coastal area and does not include the ocean part. The notification imposed restriction on the setting up and expansion of industries or processing plaits etc. in the said CRZ.

Coastal Regulation Zones(CRZ) are notified by the govt of India in 1991 for the first time. Under this coastal areas have been classified as CRZ-1, CRZ-2, CRZ-3, CRZ-4. And the same they retained for CRZ in 2003 notifications as well.

Classification of CRZ in India

For regulation of developmental activities, the coastal stretches within 500m of HTL on the landward side are classified into four categories, viz.

  • Category I (CRZ-I)
  • Category II (CRZ – II)
  • Category III (CRZ-III)
  • Category IV (CRZ-IV)

Category I (CRZ -I):

  • Exploration of natural gas and extraction of salt are permitted
  • Areas that are ecologically sensitive and important, such as national parks/marine parks, sanctuaries, reserve forests, wild habitats, mangroves, corals/coral reefs, areas likely to be inundated due to rise in sea level consequent upon global warming and such areas as may be declared by the authorities.
  • Areas between the Low Tide Line and High Tide Line

Regulations

  • No new constructions shall be permitted within 500m of the HTL.

Category II (CRZ -II):

  • These areas form up to the shoreline of the coast. Unauthorised structures are not allowed to construct in this zone.
  • The area that have already been developed up to or the shoreline.

Regulations

  • Buildings shall be permitted neither on the seaward side of the existing road or on the seaward side of the existing and proposed road
  • Reconstruction of the authorized building to be permitted subject to the existing FSI/FAR norms and without change in the existing use
  • The design and construction of buildings shall be consistent with the surrounding landscape and architectural style

Category III (CRZ -III):

  • Rural and urban localities which fall outside the 1 and 2. Only certain activities related to agriculture even some public facilities are allowed in this zone
  • Areas that are relatively undisturbed and those which do not belong to either Category I or II. These include coastal zone in the areas (developed and undeveloped) and also areas within Municipal limits or in other legally designated urban areas which are not substantially built up.

Regulations

  • The area up to 200m from the HTL is be earmarked as ‘No Development Zone’.
  • No construction shall be permitted in this zone except for repairs of existing authorized structures not exceeding existing FSI, existing plinth area and existing density.
  • However, the following uses may be permissible in this zone-agriculture, horticulture, gardens, pastures, parks, play fields, forestry and salt manufacture from sea water.

Category IV (CRZ-IV):

  • Coastal stretches in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and small islands, except those designated as CRZ I, CRZ II and CRZ III.
  • this lies in the aquatic area up to territorial limits. Fishing and allied activities are permitted in this zone. Solid waste should be let off in this zone. This zone has been changed from 1991 notification, which covered coastal stretches in islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep

The Central Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change notified new Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms to replace the existing CRZ Notification of 2011 on January 18.

Why are CRZs important for India?

  • India has a long coastline of 7516 km, ranging from Gujarat to West Bengal, and two island archipelagos (Andaman Island and Lakshadweep).
  • Our coastal ecosystems provide protection from natural disasters such as floods and tsunamis.
  • Coastal waters provide a source of primary livelihood to 7 million households.
  • Our marine ecosystems are a treasure trove of biodiversity, which we are only beginning to discover and catalogue.
  • Thus, our coastline is both a precious natural resource and an important economic asset, and we need a robust progressive framework to regulate our coast.

Objectives of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011

  • To ensure livelihood security to the fishing communities and other local communities living in the coastal areas;
  • To conserve and protect coastal stretches and;
  • To promote development in a sustainable manner based on scientific principles, taking into account the dangers of natural hazards in the coastal areas and sea level rise due to global warming.

Achievements of CRZ rules, 2011

  • It widens the definition of CRZ to include the land area from HTL to 500 m on the landward side, as well as the land area between HTL to 100 m or width of the creek, whichever is less, on the landward side along tidal influenced water bodies connected to the sea.
  • The concept of a ‘hazard line’ has been introduced.
  • Clearances for obtaining CRZ approval have been made time-bound. Further, for the first time, post-clearance monitoring of projects has been introduced
  • Introduction of the Coastal Zone Management Plans, which will regulate coastal development activity and which are to be formulated by the State Governments or the administration of Union Territories.
  • The 2011 Notification also lists out certain measures that have to be taken to prevent pollution in the coastal areas/coastal waters.

Drawbacks of CRZ rules, 2011

  • Although the no-development zone of 200 metres from the HTL is reduced to 100 metres, the pro­vision has been made applicable to “traditional coastal communities, including fisher-folk”, thereby giving the chance for increased construction on the coast and higher pressure on coastal resources
  • Disallowing Special Economic Zone(“SEZ”) projects in the CRZ
  • There are no restrictions for expansion of housing for rural communities in CRZ III.

Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification 2018 Benefits:

  • The proposed CRZ Notification, 2018 will lead to enhanced activities in the coastal regions thereby promoting economic growth while also respecting the conservation principles of coastal regions.
  • It will not only result in significant employment generation but also to better life and add value to the economy of India.
  • The new notification is expected to rejuvenate the coastal areas while reducing their vulnerabilities.

The MoFCC said that the new CRZ notification, issued under Section 3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 seeks to “to promote sustainable development based on scientific principles taking into account the dangers of natural hazards, sea level rise due to global warming” and “to conserve and protect the unique environment of coastal stretches and marine areas, besides livelihood security to the fisher communities and other local communities in the coastal area”.


Conservation biologists, scientists who try to stop endangered species from dying out, use the word ‘hippo’ to remember the different things that threaten animals and plants, because each letter of ‘hippo’ stands for a different threat.

  • H – Habitat Destruction
  • I – Invasive Species
  • P – Pollution
  • P – Population Growth
  • O – Over Harvesting

Habitat Destruction

Forests all over the world are being cut down and burned for many reasons. Forests in the tropics are cleared to make room for farms, but tropical forest soil is very poor, and so farmers have to keep moving on and destroying more and more forests to grow their crops.

Companies also cut down forests for their timber, or to make room for other plantations, in which most native animals and plants cannot survive. Each year, 1% of the world’s tropical forest is destroyed. This doesn’t seem like much but it all adds up, and is not good news for native plant and animal species. Wetlands – lakes, ponds, marshes, swamps and rivers – are also very threatened habitats.

A habitat is the natural home for an animal or plant. Habitat destruction is when an animal or plant loses its natural home. Usually caused by something humans have done. If an animal’s habitat gets destroyed, it might die out. If this happens, it can affect all animals above it on the food chain.

Humans are a major cause of habitat destruction. The number of human beings on our planet has risen steeply in the last few centuries. This huge increase is putting pressure on natural resources. Our needs are growing, and these needs are often causing habitat destruction

  • Logging
  • Agriculture
  • Building Roads and Cities
  • Forest Fires

Invasive / Introduced Species

Invasive or introduced pest species have caused many native animals and plants to become extinct across the world. Introduced species often have a very harmful effect on native species.

For example, 24 rabbits were introduced to Australia in 1859 for hunting. Rabbits breed quickly, and, in an environment without any of their natural predators, their numbers increased so quickly that in less than a hundred years there were 600 million across the whole continent. The rabbits took over the resources and habitats of native species, like the bandicoot, which is now endangered.

An invasive species is a species occurring, as a result of human activities, beyond its accepted normal distribution and which threatens valued environmental, agricultural or other social resources by the damage it causes.

Sometimes, a new plant or animal is taken from its natural environment and introduced into a new ecosystem. Or a new plant or animal enters a new environment as its original habitat is destroyed. The effects can be drastic. Some native plants and animals are decimated. While others may flourish to higher-than-average levels due to the new introduced species.

Pollution

Pollution contaminates the natural environment with harmful substances produced by human activity. Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms.

An obvious example of pollution is an oil spill. This happens when oil is released accidentally into the sea from a tanker, pipeline or refinery. The spill forms a thin layer of oil, called a slick, poisoning sea life, and damaging the fur and feathers of seabirds and mammals. Due to contaminated atmosphere, most animals ran away in search of an appropriate place to live. We all witness the lack of biodiversity in cities.

Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants.

Pollutants

A pollutant is a waste material that pollutes air, water or soil.Three factors determine the severity of a pollutant:

  • Its chemical nature
  • The concentration
  • The persistence

Types

  • 1. Water pollution

Water pollution is the presence in water of harmful material, such as sewage, dissolved metals, waste from farms and factories and includes crude oil spilled from shipwrecked tankers. The three main substances that pollute water are nitrates from fertilizers, sewage and detergents. Pollution causes harm to living things in water and can also harm to people’s health, and can problems such as cancer. The main sources of water pollution is from sewage, farms and factories.

  • Air pollution

Harmful gases and tiny particles (like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide) when released into the air pollute the air. The smoke released from burning fuel, from factories and not to forget the motor cars are the major sources of air pollution.• Air pollution is one of the major cause of that funny cough, asthma and burning eyes that you develop.

These are following gases that are known as the”Big Six” air pollutants”:

  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Sulfur Oxide
  • Nitrogen Oxide
  • Hydrocarbons (Benzene, Terpene, etc.)• Particulates
  • Noise pollution

The harmful noise in our environment, such as the sound of cars in a city, loud speakers ,etc. is called noise pollution.Noise pollution can cause ear problems or even permanent deafness, especially to older people.

  • Land pollution

All that plastic and dirt that you throw on the ground dirties the land and when you don’t maintain the hygiene, the disease prevails.

  • Light pollution

Is too much artificial light at night which makes it difficult to see the stars and planets. Light pollution is an effect of modern civilization.• It is most severe in highly industrialized, densely populated areas of North America, Europe, and Japan and major cities in the Middle East and North Africa, but even relatively small amounts of light can be noticed and create problems.

Population Growth / Explosion

The growth of the human population is the biggest threat to natural environments today. There are over 7 billion people in the world. Quite simply, there isn’t enough room for natural environments to coexist with all these people, and the land they need to provide them with food and shelter. As a result, in the race of survival of the fittest, animals and plants get crushed under the skyscrapers.

With the world’s population estimated to double within the next 12 years, more people means increased use of natural resources, possible increase in habitat destruction and more waste generated.

Over Harvesting / Over Consumption

People want whale oil and whale meat, elephant ivory, and rhino and tiger trophies. Although all of these animals are now protected by law from hunting, illegal poaching still continues.

Other species are over-harvested, they are used faster than they can be replaced, which is likely to lead to decline and extinction. Cod is now too rare to be caught in many areas off the coast of America and in the North Sea – and the situation is the same for many other types of fish. Plant species can also be easily over-harvested, the Brazil nut tree might be in danger of extinction, because not enough of its nuts are being left in the rainforest to grow into new tree.

If we all do a little bit to help preserve natural resources, we will help prevent many more species of animals and plants becoming endangered. Museums are probably the only place we can find the remains of extinct animals but that day isn’t too far that our children will visit a museum to see a tiger instead of zoo or national parks. Human existence will be nothing without the valuable plants and animals. They belong to the earth as much as we are, their existence is what gives us an identity. All of us must cherish them.

Over harvesting is an extreme use of some important areas like wetlands and damaging them without knowing that these areas could help many people. Most of wetlands that people destroy by overusing them could make drinking water for those people who don’t have fresh water. Over harvesting is also when you over harvest an animal to an extent were the population goes extremely low or evento extinction

Also called Overexploitation, refers to harvesting a renewable resource to the point of diminishing returns.Sustained overexploitation can lead to the destruction of the resource.The term applies to natural resources such as: wild medicinal plants, grazing pastures, fish stocks, forests water aquifers


ULFA

[most of the stuff is from Wiki, since these are all historically recorded factual incidents, events or pieces of information.]

Introduction

The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) is a militant outfit operating in the Indian state of Assam. The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) is an extremist organization reportedly formed in 1979, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. The group was thought to be formed by a few Assamese rebels with the purpose of forming a separate country of Assam, independent of Indian rule.

It seeks to establish an independent state of Assam with an armed struggle in the Assam conflict. The Government of India banned the organisation in 1990 citing it as a terrorist organisation, while the United States Department of State lists it under “other groups of concern.”

The ULFA was founded on 7 April 1979 in Sivasagar, Assam by some youths which included Paresh Baruah, Arabinda Rajkhowa, Anup Chetia, Pradip Gogoi, Bhadreshwar Gohain and Budheswar Gogoi. The organisation’s purpose was to engage in an armed struggle to form a socialist Assam.

As of 2005, the ULFA still exists and continues with its same objectives. Since the early 1980s, the group has been reportedly involved in various terrorist operations in Assam and other northeastern states of India. The organization is also known as United Liberation Front of Assam.

Philosophy and Tactics

The ULFA has adopted violent tactics in order to achieve its objectives. Since the early 1990s, several people have been killed and extensive damage has been caused to property as a result of the terrorist acts carried out by the group.

The operations of ULFA have been primarily aimed at government officials as well as security force personnel in Assam. The group claims that Assam can be liberated only through an armed struggle against the government of India. According to Indian intelligence reports, in the last two decades, ULFA militants have killed hundreds of security force personnel, and also many civilians as well as political leaders. Since the early 2000s, ULFA militants have reportedly targeted a number of public installations and civilian structures, causing significant damage to property as well as human life. Indian authorities allege that the group has also carried out a number of extortions and kidnappings in exchange for exorbitant ransoms.

In fact, as thought by the Indian government and monitor groups, extortion from businesses is the main source of funding for the ULFA. The group has also been charged with extensive drug trafficking from neighboring countries. Analysts state that the money generated from drug trafficking is used to buy arms and explosives. According to published reports, the organization also engages in legal business holdings in other countries, especially Bangladesh. These reports suggest that ULFA has a number of legal businesses in various cities of Bangladesh, another source of funding for the group.

History

Ulfa during its heyday (late eighties and nineties of the last century) was quite popular among many indigenous Assamese people of the Brahmaputra valley. Majority of the supporters felt that a powerful organisation was necessary to get the voice of a peripheral region heard in the corridors of power in Lutyens Delhi. But gradually, the organisation’s undue emphasis on collection of money and weapons in the name of furthering the ‘revolution’ led to mindless violence throughout the state. It witnessed a period marked by growing disillusionment and anger amid its supporters. In their bloody conflict with the security agencies, many innocent people lost their lives and several thousands were permanently maimed. It is estimated that more than ten thousand local youths perished during that turbulent period. In the process, owing to the twin factors of increasing pressure by the security agencies and dwindling support among its core sympathisers, its importance in Assam has been steadily declined.

According to ULFA sources, it began operations in 1990. Sunil Nath, former Central Publicity Secretary and spokesman of ULFA has stated that the organisation established ties with the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland in 1983 and with the Burma based Kachin Independence Army in 1987. Military operations against the ULFA by the Indian Army began in 1990 and continue into the present. On 5 December 2009, the chairman and the deputy commander-in-chief of ULFA was taken into Indian custody.

In 2011, there was a major crackdown on the ULFA in Bangladesh, which greatly assisted the government of India in bringing ULFA leaders to talks. In January 2010, ULFA softened its stance and dropped demands for independence as a condition for talks with the Government of India.

On 3 September 2011, a tripartite agreement for “Suspension of Operations” against ULFA was signed between the Indian government, the Assam government and the ULFA.

ULFA according to itself

The ULFA is a revolutionary political organisation engaged in a liberation struggle against state terrorism and economic exploitation by India for the establishment of a Independent, independent Assam for the Indigenous Assamese people. It does not consider itself a secessionist organisation, as it claims that Assam was never a part of India and as a matter of fact the Treaty of Yandaboo was signed in 1826 by General Sir Archibald Campbell on the British side, and by Governor of Legaing Maha Min Hla Kyaw Htin from the Burmese side. With the British army at Yandabo village, only 50 miles from the capital Ava, the Burmese were forced to accept the British terms without discussion.

According to the treaty, the Burmese agreed to

  1. Cede to the British Assam, Manipur, Rakhine (Arakan), and Tanintharyi (Tenasserim) coast south of Salween river
  2. Cease all interference in Cachar and Jaintia
  3. Pay an indemnity of one million pounds sterling in four instalments
  4. Allow for an exchange of diplomatic representatives between Ava and Calcutta
  5. Sign a commercial treaty in due course.

It claims that among the various problems that the Indigenous Assamese people are confronting, the problem of national identity is the most basic, and therefore it seeks to represent “independent minded struggling indigenous Assamese peoples” irrespective of race, tribe, caste, religion and nationality.

ULFA according to Government of India

The Government of India (GOI) has classified it as a terrorist organisation and had banned it under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in 1990. Concurrently, GOI started military offensives against it, named Operation Bajrang November 1990, Operation Rhino September 1991, Operation All Clear December 2003 and Operation Rhino 2 led by the Indian Army. The anti insurgency operations still continues at present under the Unified Command Structure.

More on these Site :

https://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/india/states/assam/terrorist_outfits/ulfa.htm


Naxalites / Naxalism and Impact

The Impact, and Effects are taken from this site. Have a read

There are too many points on the origin or the genesis of Naxalism. It started out with a good aim, but its means were not of the noble one. History is witness to many who share this arc. You may read this for answer right now, and might be similar to books. But do research this topic on your own.

Naxalism originated as a rebellion against lack of development and poverty at the local level in the rural parts of eastern India. The term ‘Naxal’ derives its name from a village called Naxalbari in the State of West Bengal where the movement had its origin.

On 26th May, 1967 the main uprising of Naxalism happened in a village called Naxalbari in West Bengal. After which it has spread gradually in West Bengal and the neighbouring states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Orissa etc. The main cause of the rise of the Naxal movement was a revolt against the government and the land ceiling acts that were implemented and practiced at that time. The peasants were ignored predominantly by the government which lead to an uprising with armed rebellion during that time.

The main ideology of the Naxals was to take over the government and establish their own government in the state because after years of neglect they lost every faith that they used to have on the political system of the country.


Impact of Naxalism

Impact on Economic Development

The economic condition of a state plays a pivotal role in its development. The Naxalite movement has severely impacted the economy of the affected states as well as India as a whole.

Macroeconomic Effects of the Naxal Movement are :-

1. Reduction in per capita GDP growth

2. Higher inflation rates

3. Lower tax revenues since Naxals run a parallel government in their areas preventing the governing agencies to collect taxes etc.

4. Lower domestic investment and higher expenditure on defense at the cost of lower expenditure on education and health

5. Lower exports, reduced bilateral trade flows and reduced foreign direct investment inflows. – Due to the Naxal violence and their extortion business foreign and domestic investment remains low. These problems are coupled with the lack of good transportation facilities which are also a victim of Naxal violence.

Micro-economic effects include

  • Lower Tourist Inflows
  • Lower Regional Tourism Market Share
  • Reduced Usage Of Public Transport
  • Reduced Long Term Investments In Agriculture And Other Potential Sectors
  • Reduced Enrollment In Schools
  • Lower Job Availability And Lack Of Substantial Opportunities

Damage done to Trade and Economy

  • Damaging Road Construction Machinery
  • Shutting Down And Destroying Bank Branches
  • Damage To Railway Lines
  • Highways And Telecom Towers thereby inhibiting communication and transport and destruction of the pipeline for transporting iron ore slurry in Chhattisgarh.

According to reports, power and steel industry projects in Chhattisgarh with investments of the order of Rs.130 billion were stagnated due to Naxalite disturbances.

Positive Social and Political Impacts

As elaborated above the economic implications of the Naxalite movement are not so positive but still the movement has sustained for nearly 45 years and seems far from losing its steam. This has been possible only because the Naxalites have received unwavering support from the lower caste villagers and adivasis who were time and again crushed by the higher caste zamindars or governance authorities before the Naxal surge. A plethora of reasons contribute towards their sustained support:-

  1. Forest (Conservation) Act 1980 placed the reserved forests of the entire country in the hands of the Centre. No portion of these reserves could be utilized without the prior permission of the government. This rule led to the eviction of many adivasis from the forests and their frequent abuse by the hands of forest officers. The Naxalites stepped into such disputes and provided protection to these adivasis from the forest officers as well as eviction from their habitat. This is a perfect example of the adversities attached to centralization.
  2.  The law and administration provides no succor to displaced people and treats them with hostility since such internally displaced forest dwellers tend to settle down again in some forest region which is prohibited. The Naxalite movement has come to the aid of such victims. The reason for displacement of people normally is extremes of poverty and social oppression, due to some irrigation or power plant projects and poor evicted from government lands. One such example was the displacement of adivasis by irrigation projects in Orissa who migrated to the forests of Andhra Pradesh. Without Naxal intervention these adivasis would have been evicted by forest officials from there as well.
  3. The Minimum Wages Act remains an act on paper for most of the rural India. It is reported that the Naxalites have ensured payment of decent wages to the labourers. A famous example of this is the increase in payment rates secured by the Naxalites for tendu leaf pickers used for rolling beedis. The exploitation was so severe that the rates over the years increased over fifty times what the tendu patta contractors used to pay.
  4. The pressure exerted by the Naxalite movement has had some effect in ensuring proper attendance of teachers, doctors etc. in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra  and Chattisgarh.
  5. In the matter of physical infrastructure like roads, school buildings, etc., the Naxalite movement has on certain occasions exerted pressure for its improvement but in certain locations and various occasions they have obstructed the laying of roads, rail lines and construction activites for the fear of police and paramilitary raids.
  6. The slogan of the Naxalites from the beginning has been ‘land to the tillers’. They nearly brought an end to the absentee landlordism system although this activity is still prevalent in some places. The land seized from the rich landlords was given in the hands of the peasants who cultivated that land. This reallocation of land alleviated the situation of peasants. Either very rich land lords were targeted who would not be substantially affected by loss of a few acres of land or the cruel land lords were. Although there have been instances when such land acquisitions have occurred due to political or personal reasons rather than just ones.
  7. Partly because of the efforts of the government and partly because of the Naxal threat bonded labour or ‘begar’ (bonded labour) has been nearly abolished.
  8. The Equal Remuneration Act is yet another law made by the government that just proved to be a paper tiger. There has been no specific improvement in the situation of women in the Naxal ruled areas although there have been no reports of atrocities against women as well. The pay difference between men and women continue under the Naxal rule also. There are certainly some women in the Naxal cadres and the movement is supported by women.

Negative Impact of Naxalism

  • The recent increase in militancy amongst the Naxal cadres has attracted a lot of criticism. The Indian Government has gone ahead and stated that Naxalites are now the single biggest internal security threat for the country.
  • The immediate economic and social problems of the masses took a back seat and the battle for the supremacy with the state became the central theme. There have been a range of acts of violence which have no direct consequence on the rights of the people but invariably end up harming the masses.
  • Naxalites have always attempted to disrupt elections thereby not only preventing masses from choosing their leaders but also inhibiting them from exercising their fundamental right to vote.
  • In April 2010, NDTV reported that the Naxals in the Jharkhand region have set aside their ideals and emerged as a mining mafia. The report claims that a multi crore mining scam is being staged by the Naxalites.
  • The Maoist extortion business is estimated to be around a whopping 2000 crore rupees. All contractors have to pay 5-10% of the project cost to Naxalites as ‘protection money’.
  • There have been repeated incidents of Naxalites blowing up schools, trains and rail lines apart from government buildings which harm the common masses more than the politburo of governance.

Prominent Factors responsible for the growth of Naxalism

1. Mismanagement of Forests:

It is one of the main reasons for the spread of Naxalism. It started with the British government. The monopolization of the forest started with the enactment of various forest laws. The integration with the wider world led to an influx of a new class like moneylenders. The administrative machinery became more exploitative and extortionate at functional level.

2. Tribal policies not implemented well:

Even during the post Independence era, the government was not able to stop the process of the tribal alienation and their displacement caused by large projects. Even the issues of food security were not fully sorted out. Consequently, Naxalism made inroads in Orissa and other states.

3. The Growing inter and intra regional disparities:

Naxalalism attract people who have poor livelihood like fishermen, farmers, daily labourers and bamboo cutters. The government policies have failed to stem the growing inter and intra regional disparities. The poor people think that Naxalism can provide solutions to their problems.

4. Absence of proper Industrialisation and lack of land reforms:

The half-hearted implementation of land reforms by the government has yielded negative results. The agrarian set up has not been defined in the absence of proper implementation of survey and settlement. This further damaged the agriculture production and the rural economy. Absence of proper industrialization has failed to generate employment for rural people leading to dissatisfaction with the government. It is also one of the causes behind Naxalism.

5. Geographical Terrain:

Naxalism thrives in areas covered with forests. It helps them fight against the police and the army by waging Guerrilla warfare.

6. Middle Class Youth:

The educated youths have been the largest supporters of the Naxalite movement as the maximum of the youths involved in the movement are medical and engineering graduates. Universities have turned up to be a pitch for the creation of radical ideologies.

Causes and Consequences of Deforestation and measures

Its made big so that its better to remember extra points and get more clarity.

Deforestation is the permanent destruction of forests in order to make the land available for other uses. Deforestation in India is the widespread destruction of major forests in India. It is mainly caused by environmental degradation by stakeholders such as farmers, ranches, loggers and plantation corporations.

Deforestation is the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land for use such as arable land, pasture, urban use, logged area, or wasteland. Deforestation can also be seen as removal of forests leading to several imbalances ecologically and environmentally and results in declines in habitat and biodiversity. Urbanization, Mining, Fires, Logging and Agricultural activities are few of the causes of deforestation.

Causes of Deforestation

Deforestation can happen quickly, such as when a fire sweeps through the landscape or the forest is clear-cut to make way for an oil palm plantation.  

There are many causes of deforestation. The WWF reports that half of the trees illegally removed from forests are used as fuel.

Some other common reasons are:

  • To make more land available for housing and urbanization
  • To harvest timber to create commercial items such as paper, furniture and homes
  • To create ingredients that are highly prized consumer items, such as the oil from palm trees
  • To create room for cattle ranching
  • Burning trees and clear cutting.

1. Fuelwood Harvesting

Wood is still a popular fuel choice for cooking and heating around the world, and about half of the illegal removal of timber from forests is thought to be for use as fuelwood.

2. Agriculture:

Conversion of forests to agricultural land to feed growing needs of people. There are an estimated 300 million people living as shifting cultivators who practice slash and burn agriculture and are supposed to clear more than 5 lakh ha of forests for shifting cultivation annually. In India, we have this practice in North-east and to some extent in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and M.P. which contribute to nearly half of the forest clearing annually.

Expanding agriculture, due to an increased population and shifts in diet, is responsible for most of the world’s deforestation. As the human population continues to grow, there is an obvious need for more food. In addition, agricultural products, such as soy and palm oil, are used in an ever-increasing list of products, from animal feed to lipstick and biofuels. Rising demand has created incentives to convert forests to farmland and ranch land. Once a forest is lost to agriculture, it is usually gone forever—along with many of the plants and animals that once lived there.

3. Commercial logging:

(Which supplies the world market with woods such as meranti, teak, mahogany and ebony) destroys trees as well as opening up forest for agriculture. Cutting of trees for fire wood and building material, the heavy lopping of foliage for fodder and heavy grazing of saplings by domestic animals like goals.

4. Fire

Fires are a natural and beneficial element of many forest landscapes, but they are problematic when they occur in the wrong place, at the wrong frequency or at the wrong severity. Each year, millions of acres of forest around the world are destroyed or degraded by fire. The same amount is lost to logging and agriculture combined. Fire is often used as a way to clear land for other uses such as planting crops. These fires not only alter the structure and composition of forests, but they can open up forests to invasive species, threaten biological diversity, alter water cycles and soil fertility, and destroy the livelihoods of the people who live in and around the forests.

5. Mining:

This causes environmental impacts like erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, and contamination of soil, groundwater and surface water by chemicals from mining processes. In some cases, additional forest logging is done in the vicinity of mines to increase the available room for the storage of the created debris and soil.

Contamination resulting from leakage of chemicals can also affect the health of the local population if not properly controlled. Extreme examples of pollution from mining activities include coal fires, which can last for years or even decades, producing massive amounts of environmental damage.

6. Increase in population:

The needs also increase and utilize forests resources. To meet the demands of rapidly growing population, agricultural lands and settlements are created permanently by clearing forests.

7. Urbanization and industrialization:

Since Industrialization and Urbanization needs land to grow, so major amount of forest lands are cut in order to promote Industrialization and Urbanization. This creates harmful effect on environment and forest ecological balance.

8. Construction of dam reservoirs:

For building big dams, large scale devastation of forests takes place which breaks the natural ecological balance of the region. Floods, droughts and landslides become more prevalent in such areas. Forests are the repositories of invaluable gifts of nature in the form of biodiversity and by destroying these we are going to lose these species even before knowing them. These species could be having marvelous economic or medicinal value. These storehouses of species which have evolved over millions of years get lost due to deforestation in a single stroke.

9. Forest fires:

They may be natural or manmade, and cause huge forest loss.

10. Overgrazing:

Overgrazing occurs when plants are exposed to intensive grazing for extended periods of time, or without sufficient recovery periods. It can be caused by either livestock in poorly managed agricultural applications, or by over populations of native or non- native wild animals.

Overgrazing reduces the usefulness, productivity, and biodiversity of the land and is one cause of desertification and erosion. Overgrazing is also seen as a cause of the spread of invasive species of non-native plants and of weeds.

Consequences of Deforestation:

Depending on the needs of the social group concerned, deforestation has made it possible for communities to be built. Forest makes way for residential houses, office buildings and factories. Governments are able to built reads to make trade and transport easier and therefore more convenient to residents.

Deforestation can also mean the conversion of forest land to productive land for agricultural uses. This results in better and more abundant production of food and materials, virtually eradicating periods of want and lack. Economically, deforestation has contributed much in giving many communities the opportunity to make positive changes in their times. Unfortunately, the negative consequences of deforestation for outweigh its positive effects.

Here are few of them.

1. Food problems:

Non suitability of deforested area for conservation. Most of the area that has undergone deforestation is actually unsuitable for long-term agricultural use such as ranching and forming. Once deprived of their forest cover, the lands rapidly degrade in quality, losing their fertility and arability.

The soil in many deforested areas in also unsuitable for supporting annual crops. Much of the grassy areas are also not as productive compared to more arable soils and are therefore not fit for long-term cattle grazing.

2. Exposing soil to heat and rain:

Heavy rainfall and high sunlight quickly damage the topsoil in clearings of the tropical rain forests. In such circumstance, the forest will take much longer to regenerate and the land will not be suitable for agricultural use for quite some time.

3. Flooding:

Deforestation can result to watersheds that are no longer able to sustain and regulate water flows from rivers to streams. Trees are highly effective in absorbing water quantities, keeping the amount of water in watersheds to a manageable level. The forest also serves as cover against erosion. Once they are gone, too much water can results to downstream flooding, many of which have cause disasters in many parts of the world.

The fertile topsoil is eroded and flooded into the lower regions, many coastal fisheries and coral reefs suffer from the sedimentation brought by the flooding. This results to negative effects in the economic viability of many business and fatalities in wildlife population.

4. Coss of biodiversity:

This is probably most serious consequence of Deforestation. Put simply, it means the destruction and extinction of many plants and animal species, many of un-home remain unknown and whose benefits will be left undiscovered.

5. Displacement of indigenous communities:

Some indigenous people’s may of life and survival are threatened by the loss of forests. Fewer trees results an in secure future for forests workers.

6. Climate change:

Deforestation can cause the climate to become extreme in nature. It increases CO2 concentration in atmosphere and contributes to global warming.

7. Economic loss:

The occurrence and strength of floods and droughts affecting the economy. It also leads to loss of future markets for ecotonism. The value of a forest is often higher when it is left standing than it could be worth when it is harvested.

8. Health issues:

The stress of environmental change may make some species more susceptible to the effect of insects, pollution and diseases.

9. Loss of species:

Seventy percent of the world’s plants and animals live in forests and are losing their habitats to deforestation, according to National Geographic. Loss of habitat can lead to species extinction. It also has negative consequences for medicinal research and local populations that rely on the animals and plants in the forests for hunting and medicine.

10. Water cycle:

Trees are important to the water cycle. They absorb rainfall and produce water vapor that is released into the atmosphere. Trees also lessen the pollution in water, according to the North Carolina State University, by stopping polluted runoff. In the Amazon, more than half the water in the ecosystem is held within the plants, according to the National Geographic Society.

11. Soil erosion:

Tree roots anchor the soil. Without trees, the soil is free to wash or blow away, which can lead to vegetation growth problems. The WWF states that scientists estimate that a third of the world’s arable land has been lost to deforestation since 1960. After a clear cutting, cash crops like coffee, soy and palm oil are planted. Planting these types of trees can cause further soil erosion because their roots cannot hold onto the soil. “The situation in Haiti compared to the Dominican Republic is a great example of the important role forests play in the water cycle,” Daley said. Both countries share the same island, but Haiti has much less forest cover than the Dominican Republic. As a result, Haiti has endured more extreme soil erosion, flooding and landslide issues.

12. Life quality:

Soil erosion can also lead to silt entering the lakes, streams and other water sources. This can decrease local water quality and contribute to poor health in populations in the area.

The disturbance of native people: Many native tribes live in the rainforests of the world, and their destruction is the destruction of these peoples’ homes and way of life. For example, the film “Under the Canopy” takes a look at the Amazon rainforest and the people who live there, including an indigenous guide named Kamanja Panashekung.

13. Increased Greenhouse Gases

In addition to the loss of habitat, the lack of trees also allows a greater amount of greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere. Presently, the tropical rainforests of South America are responsible for 20% of Earth’s oxygen and they are disappearing at a rate of 4 hectares a decade. If these rates are not stopped and reversed, the consequences will become even more severe.

14. Water in the Atmosphere

The trees also help control the level of water in the atmosphere by helping to regulate the water cycle. With fewer trees left, due to deforestation, there is less water in the air to be returned to the soil. In turn, this causes dryer soil and the inability to grow crops, an ironic twist when considered against the fact that 80% of deforestation comes from small-scale agriculture and cattle ranching.

15. Destruction of Homelands

As large amounts of forests are cleared away, allowing exposed earth to whither and die and the habitats of innumerable species to be destroyed, the indigenous tribes who depend on them to sustain their way of life are also irreparably damaged.

The loss of forests has an immediate and direct effect on their lifestyle that we in the modern world, despite our own dependency on what the rainforest provides, will never know. The level of immediacy is exponentially greater.

The governments of nations with rainforests in their borders also attempt to evict indigenous tribes, and often succeed, before the actual clear-cutting begins. One of the pre-emptive effects of deforestation.

Solutions to Deforestation

1. Green Business

If corporations have the power to destroy the world’s forests, they also have the ability to help save them. Companies can make an impact by introducing “zero deforestation” policies that clean up their supply chains. That means holding their suppliers accountable for producing commodities like timber, beef, soy, palm oil and paper in a way that does not fuel deforestation and has a minimal impact on our climate.

Companies should set ambitious targets to maximize the use of recycled wood, pulp, paper and fiber in their products.

Green business concerns re-use and recycling. Green methods of production and utilization of resources can immeasurably reduce deforestation. Particularly, it’s the focus on re-using items, reducing the use of artificial items, and recycling more items. Paper, plastics, and wood are linked to the destruction of forests and other natural resources.

By focusing on recycling paper, plastics, and wood products as well as adopting responsible consumerism, it means there will be less dependence on the natural resources and trees. It will also reduce government and company imports of raw-materials from forest regions in other parts of the world.

2. Eco-forestry

Eco-forestry is a move on saving the worlds forest. It acknowledges that sometimes, the use of trees for various human activities or reasons can be inevitable. Per se, eco-forestry underscores the need of cutting down trees in an environmentally friendly manner. It is where only cautiously selected trees are fell and transported with the least possible damage to the area. Also, eco-forestry not only calls for the preservation of the forest regions ecosystem but also allows for controlled and green timber extraction.

3. Law and Regulations

Due to the nature and extent of forest destruction, efforts to stop the human activities can be complemented by laws and regulation at governmental and organizational levels. As much as people increasingly become aware of deforestation consequences, some people focus more on the immediate economic gains at the expense of the long-term environmental damage.

This attitude has encourages illegal logging for timber and other valuable resources like rubber and palm oil. Therefore, stopping deforestation and preserving the natural vegetations demands rules, laws, and regulations from organizations and governments to aid in enforcing forest preservation policies. Laws on timber, wood fuel, farming, and land use among other forest resources must be advanced and enforced to limit deforestation.

4. Community Forestry

Community forestry is whereby local communities together with their local government and other local organizations such as schools, corporate, and universities join hands to start localized tree planting programs and management of their local forests. On various occasions such as public holidays, opening ceremonies, environment days, or other periodic localized activities, concerned local citizens can create awareness and plant trees.

This can be done within the surrounding areas as a method of boosting environmental sustainability and keeping the local forests viable. All local learning institutions, hospitals, local government headquarters, and the rest of the community can ensure trees are planted and the local forests are protected against damage as a way of finding solutions to the deforestation menace.

5. Replanting (Reforestation)

Replanting or tree planting utilizes almost the same aspect as community forestry. However, it entirely focuses of replanting, a feature commonly known as reforestation. Reforestation is the restoration or replanting of forests that have been reduced by fire or felling. It requires an ongoing process and should not be viewed as a onetime thing.

People, communities, governments, and organizations are all active actors. It involves selecting and dedicating large tracts of land mainly for the purpose of cultivating forests. For instance, in local communities and urban centers, it can be done around market areas, in game/wildlife reserves, or within city parks. Replanting, therefore, qualifies restorative measure of deforestation.

6. Sensitization and Educative Campaigns

Deforestation can also be counteracted through awareness and sensitization. Sensitization and educative campaigns can be a simple but a more workable solution. Initiating awareness creation champagnes makes it easy for people to detect the causes, effects, and ways of counteracting deforestation. Personal experiences from adversely affected communities such as farmers can be used to emphasize the negative effects of deforestation.

Thus, making conscious efforts to share information with people including family, friends, colleagues, and the entire community on deforestation and its effects is an appropriate measure of standing up in unison to combat the clearing of forests.

7. Joint Organizations

Conservation, wildlife, rainforest, and nature protection agencies among other environmental programs can join together with a common goal of preserving, restoring, and protecting forests to ensure permanence of the world’s natural resources. When such big organizations work together, it makes it easier to install the proper forest management mechanisms. Far-reaching impact can likewise be realized if environmental conservation and protection organizations work together.

8. Land Use Planning

Cities and urban centers continue to grow day after day as more and more people claim their share of living in cities and the urban areas. Agricultural practices also continue to expand as farmers and consumer demands call for better productivity and quality food products respectively. As a result, the urban sprawl and agricultural expansion have kept on clearing forests to create more room for their respective activities.

In response to this threat, creation of proper land use planning techniques can offer the fastest and the most feasible solution to deforestation. Land use planning that centers on environmentally friendly development techniques like urban agriculture and lessening urban and suburban sprawl can considerably cut back deforestation.

Global Statistics

  • About half of the world’s tropical forests have been cleared, according to the FAO.
  • Forests currently cover about 30 percent of the world’s landmass, according to National Geographic.
  • The Earth loses 18.7 million acres of forests per year, which is equal to 27 soccer fields every minute, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
  • It is estimated that 15 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation, according to the WWF.
  • In 2016, global tree cover loss reached a record of 73.4 million acres (29.7 million hectares), according to the University of Maryland.

Indian Statistics and Forecasts

  • According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, we are losing 130,000 square km of forest cover every day.
  • Another study by the Center for Global Development shows that if the loss of vegetation continues unabated at this rate, forests covering an area nearly the size of India will be destroyed by 2050.
  • This rapid loss of natural forest across the world is increasingly concerning.
  • Forest goods and services, once thought to be abundant, are now a scarce resource. This affects not only half the world’s land-based species of plants and animals, but also more than a billion people that are dependent on forests for livelihood.
  • The situation in India is no different. India has been trying to achieve its target of keeping 33 percent of its geographical area under forest cover for decades, but the 2017 State of Forest report shows that it is still struggling to get above 22 percent.
  • India has seen rapid deforestation in recent years, primarily due to its focus on economic development. According to government data, 14,000 sq.km of forests were cleared to accommodate 23,716 industrial projects across India over the last 30 years.
  • While market-friendly reforms have succeeded in pulling millions of Indians out of poverty, economists say a significant proportion of the population is not reaping the benefits of economic growth.
  • Nearly 275 million poor people in India (more than a fifth of the population), especially tribal communities, depend on forests for subsistence and livelihoods. Almost 50 percent of the food requirements of forest dwellers are provided by forests.
  • Many of these communities already suffer from limited access to health and educational services and benefit little from the government’s economic development programmes. Destroying forests has devastating consequences for them.
  • The draft National Forest Policy 2018, as envisaged by the Indian government, has the potential to do exactly that.

Facts about Forests and Deforestation

Facts 1: Forests cover 30% of the earth’s land.

Facts 2: It is estimated that within 100 years there will be no rainforests.

Fact 3: On an average, a person in the United States uses more than 700 pounds of paper every year.

Facts 4: One and a half acres of forest is cut down every second.

Facts 5: Loss of forests contributes between 12 percent and 17 percent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. (World Resources Institute)

Facts 6: If the current rate of deforestation continues, it will take less than 100 years to destroy all the rainforests on the earth.

Facts 7: The rate of deforestation equals to loss of 27 football fields every minute.(WWF)

Facts 8: There are more than 121 natural remedies in the rain forest which can be used as medicines.

Facts 9: According to Rainforest Action Network, the United States has less than 5% of the world’s population yet consumes more than 30% of the world’s paper.

Facts 10: The over exploitation of forests is making it extremely difficult to replant a new ecology.

Facts 11: 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon forest.

Facts 12: Up to 28,000 species are expected to become extinct by the next quarter of the century due to deforestation.

Facts 13: 25% of cancers fighting organisms are found in the amazon.

Facts 14: 13 million hectare per year in South America and Africa and South East Asia is converted from a forest to an agriculture land.

Facts 15: Deforestation has considerably stopped in places like Europe, Pacific, North America and some parts of Asia due to lack of agricultural land.

Facts 16: Half of the world’s tropical forests has already been cleared.

Facts 17: 4500 acres of forests are cleared every hour by forest fires, bulldozers, machetes etc.

Facts 18: Poverty, over-population, Unequal land and Agriculture access are the main causes of man- made deforestation.

Facts 19: The total world forest loss so far is 7.3 million hectares per year.

Facts 20: 1.6 billion people across the globe depend on forest products for their livelihoods there by adding more to deforestation.

Facts 21: Almost half of world’s timber and up to 70% of paper is consumed by Europe, United States and Japan alone.

Facts 22: Industrialized countries consume 12 times more wood and its products per person than the non-industrialized countries.

Facts 23: The United States has less than 5% of the world’s population but consumes more than 30% of the world’s paper.

Facts 24: Fuel wood in sub Saharan African countries is consumed up to 200% times more than the annual growth rates of the trees. This is causing deforestation, lack of timber resources and loss of habitat for the species living in it.

Facts 25: Trees are important constituents of the ecosystem by absorbing carbon.

Facts 26: Soil erosion, floods, wildlife extinction, increase in global warming, and climate imbalance are few of the effects of deforestation.

Facts 27: Worldwide more than 1.6 billion people rely on forests products for all or part of their livelihoods.

Facts 28: Tropical forests, where deforestation is most prevalent, hold more than 210 gigatonnes of carbon.

Facts 29: According to Forestry Department Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, about half the world’s tropical forests have been cleared or degraded.

Facts 30: Tropical rainforests which cover 6-7% of the earth’s surface, contain over half of all the plant and animal species in the world!

Facts 31: Deforestation affects water cycle. Trees absorb groundwater and release the same into the atmosphere during transpiration. When deforestation happens, the climate automatically changes to a drier one and also affects the water table.

Facts 32: The world’s forests store 283 billion tons of carbon present in the biomass.

Fact 33: Money to save trees is majorly collected online.

Fact 34: One can save up to 20 square feet of forest with online contributions thereby conveniently prevent deforestation.

Fact 36: 41 pounds of junk mails(physical) are sent to almost every adult in the United States.

Fact 37: 44% of the junk mail goes unopened.

Fact 38: People in America spend more than 275 million dollars to dispose junk mails.

Fact 39: The paper industry is fourth largest in producing greenhouse gas thereby majorly contributing to deforestation.

Sipe was made so that paper and xeroxes can be saved xD

Importance and Features of Environmental Movements in India with suitable example.

An environmental movement can be defined as a social or political movement, for the conservation of environment or for the improvement of the state of the environment. The terms ‘green movement’ or ‘conservation movement’ are alternatively used to denote the same.

The environmental movements favour the sustainable management of natural resources. The movements often stress the protection of the environment via changes in public policy. Many movements are centred on ecology, health and human rights.

Environmental movements range from the highly organized and formally institutionalized ones to the radically informal activities. The spatial scope of various environmental movements ranges from being local to the almost global.

Major Environmental Movements in India

Some of the major environmental movements in India during the period 1700 to 2000 are the following.

1.Bishnoi Movement

Bishnoi Movement
  • Year: 1700s
  • Place: Khejarli, Marwar region, Rajasthan state.
  • Leaders: Amrita Devi along with Bishnoi villagers in Khejarli and surrounding villages.
  • Aim: Save sacred trees from being cut down by the king’s soldiers for a new palace.

What was it all about: Amrita Devi, a female villager could not bear to witness the destruction of both her faith and the village’s sacred trees. She hugged the trees and encouraged others to do the same. 363 Bishnoi villagers were killed in this movement. The Bishnoi tree martyrs were influenced by the teachings of Guru Maharaj Jambaji, who founded the Bishnoi faith in 1485 and set forth principles forbidding harm to trees and animals. The king who came to know about these events rushed to the village and apologized, ordering the soldiers to cease logging operations. Soon afterwards, the maharajah designated the Bishnoi state as a protected area, forbidding harm to trees and animals. This legislation still exists today in the region.

2. Chipko Movement

Chipko Movement
  • Year: 1973
  • Place: In Chamoli district and later at Tehri-Garhwal district of Uttarakhand.
  • Leaders: Sundarlal Bahuguna, Gaura Devi, Sudesha Devi, Bachni Devi, Chandi Prasad Bhatt, Govind Singh Rawat, Dhoom Singh Negi, Shamsher Singh Bisht and Ghanasyam Raturi.
  • Aim: The main objective was to protect the trees on the Himalayan slopes from the axes of contractors of the forest.

What was it all about:

Short Version

Mr. Bahuguna enlightened the villagers by conveying the importance of trees in the environment which checks the erosion of soil, cause rains and provides pure air. The women of Advani village of Tehri-Garhwal tied the sacred thread around trunks of trees and they hugged the trees, hence it was called ‘Chipko Movement’ or ‘hug the tree movement’.

The main demand of the people in these protests was that the benefits of the forests (especially the right to fodder) should go to local people. The Chipko movement gathered momentum in 1978 when the women faced police firings and other tortures. The then state Chief Minister, Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna set up a committee to look into the matter, which eventually ruled in favor of the villagers. This became a turning point in the history of eco-development struggles in the region and around the world.

Long Version

The Chipko Movement started in the Garhwal Himalayas, and its roots can be traced back to the early 1970s. The felling of trees was reducing the integrity of the soil in the Alaknanda Valley region, and was decreasing the land protection. As a result, the intensity of flooding started to increase. This was largely determined to be due to the indiscriminate felling of trees in the region, aggravated more by the Government repeatedly sanctioning outside contractors to destroy forests.

After trying to reason with the contractors and even arguing, shouting slogans and beating drums to drive them away, in a final show of protest, the villagers hugged forest trees rather than allow them to be logged for export. In later years, however the movement turned its attention to broader ecological concerns, and the collective protection and management of forest.

The first Chipko action took place spontaneously in 1973 and over the next five years spread to many districts of the Himalayas in Uttar Pradesh. They resisted commercial felling and excessive tapping of resin from pine trees. They protested against forest auctions. The Chipko demand for declaration of Himalayan forests as protected forests was recognized by the government. The Chipko protests in Uttar Pradesh achieved a major victory in 1980 with a 15-year ban on green felling in the Himalayan forests of that State.

A similar ban was later also implemented in the states of Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh. The movement spread to Himachal Pradesh in the north, Karnataka in the south, Rajasthan in the west, Bihar in the east and to the Vindhyas in central India. In addition to the ban in Uttar Pradesh, the movement succeeded in halting clear felling in the Western Ghats and the Vindhyas, as well as generating pressure for a natural resources policy more sensitive to people’s needs and environmental factors.

The Chipko Movement was the result of a number of initiatives. Its leaders and activists have primarily been village women, acting to save their means of subsistence and their communities. Men have been involved, too, however, and some of them have given wider leadership to the movement. One of the most prominent leaders has been Sunderlal Bahuguna, a Gandhian activist and philosopher, whose appeal to Indira Gandhi resulted in the green-felling ban and whose 5,000-kilometre foot march in 1981-83 was crucial in spreading the Chipko message.

The Chipko movement went on to inspire many future environmentalists and non-violent protests and movements the world over.

It occurred at a time when there was hardly any environmental movement in the developing world, and its success meant that the world immediately took notice of this tree hugging movement. Chipko inspired many such eco-groups, helped in slowing down the rapid deforestation, exposed vested interests, increased ecological awareness, and demonstrated the strength of  people power.

Above all, it stirred up the existing civil society in India, which started looking more at the tribal and marginalized people and taking their issues more seriously. It has been made to appear that Chipko is against development. On the contrary, Chipko is for ecologically sound development and against unsustainable destructive economic growth. Chipko’s demand is conservation of not merely local forest resources but the entire life support system and human survival.

3. Save Silent Valley Movement

Silent Valley
  • Year: 1978
  • Place: Silent Valley, an evergreen tropical forest in the Palakkad district of Kerala, India.
  • Leaders: The Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP) an NGO, and the poet-activist Sughathakumari played an important role in the Silent Valley protests.
  • Aim: In order to protect the Silent Valley, the moist evergreen forest from being destroyed by a hydroelectric project.

What was it all about: The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) proposed a hydroelectric dam across the Kunthipuzha River that runs through Silent Valley. In February 1973, the Planning Commission approved the project at a cost of about Rs 25 crores. Many feared that the project would submerge 8.3 sq km of untouched moist evergreen forest. Several NGOs strongly opposed the project and urged the government to abandon it.

In January 1981, bowing to unrelenting public pressure, Indira Gandhi declared that Silent Valley will be protected. In June 1983 the Center re-examined the issue through a commission chaired by Prof. M.G.K. Menon. In November 1983 the Silent Valley Hydroelectric Project was called off. In 1985, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi formally inaugurated the Silent Valley National Park.

4. Jungle Bachao Andolan

Jungle Bachao Andolan
  • Year: 1982
  • Place: Singhbhum district of Bihar
  • Leaders: The tribals of Singhbhum.
  • Aim: Against government’s decision to replace the natural sal forest with Teak.

What was it all about: The tribals of Singhbhum district of Bihar started the protest when the government decided to replace the natural sal forests with the highly-priced teak. This move was called by many as “Greed Game Political Populism”. Later this movement spread to Jharkhand and Orissa.

5. Appiko Movement

Appiko Movement
  • Year: 1983
  • Place: Uttara Kannada and Shimoga districts  of Karnataka State
  • Leaders: Appiko’s greatest strengths lie in it being neither driven by a personality nor having been formally institutionalised. However, it does have a facilitator in Pandurang Hegde. He helped launch the movement in 1983.
  • Aim: Against the felling and commercialization of natural forest and the ruin of ancient livelihood.

What was it all about: It can be said that Appiko movement is the southern version of the Chipko movement. The Appiko Movement was locally known as “Appiko Chaluvali”. The locals embraced the trees which were to be cut by contractors of the forest department. The Appiko movement used various techniques to raise awareness such as foot marches in the interior forest, slide shows, folk dances, street plays etc. The second area of the movement’s work was to promote afforestation on denuded lands. The movement later focused on the rational use of ecosphere through introducing alternative energy resourceto reducece pressure on the forest. The movement became a success. The current status of the project is – stopped.

Long Version

Uttar Kannada is a heavily forested district in the state of Karnataka in the western part of the country. The district is unique in that it traverses five important terrestrial eco zones. From the west to the east there is the narrow coastal plain, the evergreen and moist deciduous forests of the Western Ghats, the dry deciduous forests and further east the scrublands, making it one of the most important centers of biodiversity in the Western Ghats.

People have traditionally been involved in agro forestry and have maintained unique multi-tiered spice orchards dominated by betel nut. The clear felling of natural forests has led to severe soil erosion and drying up of perennial water resources.

Moved by the destruction of essential ecological processes, the youth of Salkani village in Sirsi, in 1983, launched a Chipko movement which was locally known as ‘Appiko Chaluvali’. They embraced the trees to be felled by contractors of the forest department. The protest within the forest continued for thirty eight days and finally the falling orders were withdrawn. The success of this agitation spread to other places and gave birth to a new awareness all over southern India.

6. Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA)

Narmada Bachao Andholan
  • Year: 1985
  • Place: Narmada River, which flows through the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
  • Leaders: Medha Patker, Baba Amte, adivasis, farmers, environmentalists and human rights activists.
  • Aim: A social movement against a number of large dams being built across the Narmada River.

What was it all about: The movement first started as a protest for not providing proper rehabilitation and resettlement for the people who have been displaced by the construction of Sardar Sarovar Dam. Later on, the movement turned its focus on the preservation of the environment and the eco-systems of the valley. Activists also demanded the height of the dam to be reduced to 88 m from the proposed height of 130m. World Bank withdrew from the project.

The environmental issue was taken into court. In October 2000, the Supreme Court gave a judgment approving the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam with a condition that height of the dam could be raised to 90 m. This height is much higher than the 88 m which anti-dam activists demanded, but it is definitely lower than the proposed height of 130 m. The project is now largely financed by the state governments and market borrowings. The project is expected to be fully com­pleted by 2025.

Although not successful, as the dam could not be prevented, the NBA has created an anti-big dam opinion in India and outside. It questioned the paradigm of development. As a democratic movement, it followed the Gandhian way 100 percent..

Long Version

Narmada Bachao Andolan, started in 1985, is a powerful mass movement against the construction of a huge dam on the Narmada river. Narmada is India’s largest west flowing river, which supports a large variety of people with distinguished cultures and traditions ranging from the indigenous (tribal) people inhabited in the nearby jungles to the large rural population. Plans were made to harness the flowing waters and build several dams along the river.

The Narmada Valley Development Plan is a multi-crore project that will generate big revenue for the government. The proponents are of the view that it will produce 1450 MW of electricity and pure drinking water to 40 million people over thousands of villages and towns. The proposed Sardar Sarovar Dam and Narmada Sagar, the two largest of a multitude of dams, however, have ignited major dispute and opposition.

Opponents say that this hydro-project will devastate human lives and biodiversity by destroying thousands of acres of forests and agricultural land. Not to mention that it will also deprive thousands of people of their livelihood and displace millions of people. They believe that the water and energy could be provided to the people through alternative technological means that would be ecologically beneficial.

The two proposals are already under construction, supported by a multi-million dollar loan by the World Bank. Led largely by Baba Amte and Medha Patkar, it has now been turned into an international protest, gaining support from NGO’S all around the globe. Protestors have gone as far as rallies, demonstrations, hunger strikes and marches.

The media has heavily gotten itself involved with the issue, with there being several films and even books on the Narmada Valley Plan and the Andolan. In fact, the Andolan was able to pressurize the World Bank into holding back on its loan. Many have requested that even if the plan be carried out, at least efforts be made to rehabilitate and restore the lives of the people affected by it. This is something celebrities have endorsed as well, notably Aamir Khan.

The plan is said to largely just be beneficial to rich farmers who can grow cash crops. The movement has gone far beyond being just a protest against a dam to become a symbol of humanity against indiscriminate development and destruction of nature. While development work has currently stopped and people are being rehabilitated, the NBA is still active, working till every last person has a home to go to.

7. Tehri Dam Conflict

Tehri Dam
  • Year: 1990’s
  • Place: Bhagirathi River near Tehri in Uttarakhand.
  • Leaders: Sundarlal Bahuguna
  • Aim: The protest was against the displacement of town inhabitants and environmental consequence of the weak ecosystem.

Tehri dam attracted national attention in the 1980s and the 1990s.  The major objections include, seismic sensitivity of the region, submergence of forest areas along with Tehri town etc. Despite the support from other prominent leaders like Sunderlal Bahuguna, the movement has failed to gather enough popular support at national as well as international levels.

8. Silent Spring

Silent Spring is a book published in the US in 1962 warning people about the disastrous effects of pesticides, particularly DDT.  It warned that indiscriminate use of the pesticide could kill hundreds of species of insects and harm human beings.

The author Rachel Carson was an environmentalist and marine biologist. DDT was the most powerful pesticide the world had ever known, capable of killing hundreds of different kinds of insects at once. The book describes how the pesticide enters the food chain and accumulates in fatty tissues of humans and animals and causes cancer and genetic disorders. It remains toxic even after it is diluted by rainwater.

The book describes how a courageous woman took on the chemical industry and raised important questions about the impact of human activities on nature. She was initially greatly criticized for her findings and her credibility as an environmentalist was challenged by negative propaganda.

However, Silent Spring was named the most influential book in the last 50 years. The book challenged the widely accepted notion that man was destined to control nature. President Kennedy eventually set up the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970. DDT and other pesticides have been completely banned in the US.  Several birds including eagles were thus saved from extinction.

The main theme of Silent Spring was that Man, as a part of nature, has a duty to protect nature from destruction. The Silent Spring launched the environmental movement worldwide. Despite the initial negative propaganda, Silent Spring remained a best seller and the world began to take note of what the book wanted to say. In fact, former Vice President, Al Gore, drew influence for his environmentalism directly from Carson’s game-changing book.


Explain the landmarks in the history of human rights culminating in the UDHR and explain its Significance

tl:dr Significance of UDHR

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a historic document that was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its third session on 10 December 1948 as Resolution 217 at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France. Of the then 58 members of the United Nations, 48 voted in favor, none against, eight abstained, and two did not vote

Why does it matter?

 The UDHR is among the most important documents of the 20th century. It has been translated into 337 different languages. It has become a touchstone for actions by governments, individuals, and nongovernmental groups. It has been ratified by every country in the world. Practically no other international instrument can claim this honor. In short, the UDHR has acquired a moral and political significance matched by few documents.

It provides both a guide to present action and an evolving set of ideas for future implementation at the national level. Increasingly, the UDHR’s principles have been embodied in what states do and it serves as the foundation for the International Bill of Rights and several other crucial human rights agreements. And, not least, the UDHR has proven a remarkably flexible foundation for a continued broadening and deepening of the very concept of human rights.

How did the UDHR come into being?

Every country in the world had been touched directly or indirectly by World War II. Seventy million people perished. Planning for a future international organization to succeed the League of Nations started during the war. In the spring of 1945, 50 governments and hundreds of nongovernmental organizations met in San Francisco. The states hammered out the “constitution” of a new United Nations.

The preamble to the U.N. Charter includes these famous words: “We the peoples of the United Nations determined … to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small …”

The U.N. Charter called for a commission on human rights, which was chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt. With the help of the U.N.’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(geddit? unesco!), the new Commission on Human Rights studied how different cultures, nations and philosophers viewed human rights.

In September 1948, the commission sent its draft to the U.N. General Assembly. Lengthy debates clarified the draft language and built increasing consensus. Discussion and approval took two full years, including 81 meetings, 168 amendments to the draft text and nearly 1,400 votes. The climax came on Dec. 10, 1948, when the General Assembly adopted the UDHR without a single dissenting vote, although eight states abstained.

Structure and content

The underlying structure of the Universal Declaration was introduced in its second draft, which was prepared by René Cassin. Cassin worked from a first draft, which was prepared by John Peters Humphrey. The structure was influenced by the Code Napoléon, including a preamble and introductory general principles. Cassin compared the Declaration to the portico of a Greek temple, with a foundation, steps, four columns, and a pediment.

The Declaration consists of a preamble and thirty articles:

  • The preamble sets out the historical and social causes that led to the necessity of drafting the Declaration.
  • Articles 1–2 established the basic concepts of dignity, liberty, equality, and brotherhood.
  • Articles 3–5 established other individual rights, such as the right to life and the prohibition of slavery and torture.
  • Articles 6–11 refer to the fundamental legality of human rights with specific remedies cited for their defence when violated.
  • Articles 12–17 established the rights of the individual towards the community (including such things as freedom of movement).
  • Articles 18–21 sanctioned the so-called “constitutional liberties”, and with spiritual, public, and political freedoms, such as freedom of thought, opinion, religion and conscience, word, and peaceful association of the individual.
  • Articles 22–27 sanctioned an individual’s economic, social and cultural rights, including healthcare. Article 25 states: “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services.” It also makes additional accommodations for security in case of physical debilitation or disability, and makes special mention of care given to those in motherhood or childhood.
  • Articles 28–30 established the general ways of using these rights, the areas in which these rights of the individual can not be applied, and that they can not be overcome against the individual.

These articles are concerned with the duty of the individual to society and the prohibition of use of rights in contravention of the purposes of the United Nations Organisation.

Significance and Features of the UDHR

Pretty long list

The charter of the united nation aim is to protect the human rights and individual freedoms at the international level. In lieu of implement the mandate of the states, the UN adopted universal proclamation of human rights. The declaration is nothing but lengthiness of the ideology of what states parties have conceived in the charter.

  • In 1948, the UN Resolution A/RES/217(III)[A] adopted the Declaration on a bilingual document in English and French, and official translations in Chinese, Russian and Spanish. 
  • In 2009, the Guinness Book of Records described the Declaration as the world’s “Most Translated Document” (370 different languages and dialects). The Unicode Consortium stores 431 of the 503 official translations available at the OHCHR (as of June 2017).
  • The adhesion of the declaration in true sprite will bring peace and security.
  • The declaration with its non-binding nature has conventional recognition without any exception by the whole international community. 
  • All the states – even the communist countries (like former USSR) – which were distrustful in the beginning step by step realized the significance and started defending declaration.
  • The regular consultation to the declaration and the development of the provisions later crystalline into covenant on economic, social and cultural rights, covenant on civil and political rights, and the adoption of self directed texting on various aspects of human rights. All these texts colleague the status on the declaration is the part of customary international law.
  • In its preamble, governments commit themselves and their people to progressive measures that secure the universal and effective recognition and observance of the human rights set out in the Declaration. 
  • Eleanor Roosevelt supported the adoption of the Declaration as a declaration rather than as a treaty because she believed that it would have the same kind of influence on global society as the United States Declaration of Independence had within the United States. In this, she proved to be correct. Even though it is not legally binding, the Declaration has been adopted in or has influenced most national constitutions since 1948. 
  • UDHR has also served as the foundation for a growing number of national laws, international laws, and treaties, as well as for a growing number of regional, sub national, and national institutions protecting and promoting human rights.
  • The declaration became an extension of the charter of the united nation. On various occasions, the various organs of the UN enclosed the Security Council and the general assembly marked its provisions in a number of resolutions and documents.
  • The world conference on human rights held at Vienna in 1993 made references to the UDHR and paid its protection to it.
  • The states parties advanced their claims basing on the provisions of the declaration especially the developing states from the developed country.
  • The international court of justice and the municipal courts in a number of cases made significant references to UDHR in their outcome, led for wide judicial acknowledgement.
  • In 1978 on its 30th anniversary, 84 states paid extortion to the declaration in the Tehran conference of human rights.
  • As a mark of respect to the declaration and its principles, the UN crystallized its millennium goals basing on the unfulfilled dreams of it. This mental object will drive the states to discharge their responsibilities to accomplish the standards they themselves set in the proclamation.
  • The across-the-board recognition and respect given to the declaration universally, and recreation of December 10 every year by the world community guide scholars to term it as the MAGNA CARTA of the world, in upholding the rights and important liberties of the everyone’s.

Day by day men working hard to change themselves. For this reason there rights and duties are arisen. As a human being the claim some rights from the state or internationally. UDHR helps them to get such right and protection. For this reason significance of UDHR is increasing consecutively.

What does the UDHR say?

 The UDHR sets forth a number of objectives — some to be achieved immediately, others as rapidly as feasible. The UDHR also provided the foundation for a series of other international agreements, both global and regional. Finally, the UDHR inspired people around the world to claim their rights, not simply accept the diktat of others.

The UDHR provides “a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.” Every “individual and every organ of society” shall promote “respect for these rights and freedoms … by progressive measures …” The goal was “to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance.”

Underlying the entire declaration is a basic value, as stated in Article 1: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” This assertion ran in the face of centuries of practice and widespread beliefs. The UDHR could not, by itself, reverse or transform popular attitudes. Nonetheless, it pointed in a crucial direction.

What are some of the results of the UDHR?

Several major treaties, ratified by more than 100 countries, trace their origins to the UDHR. They include, in chronological order:

  • The International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (1965).
  • The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966).
  • The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966).
  • The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979).
  • The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984).
  • The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989).

When a country ratifies an international agreement, it assumes a legal obligation. Citizens of states signing on to the UDHR and its progeny thus possess rights they may not have fully enjoyed earlier because their government has acknowledged and pledged to respect those rights. Signatories to many human rights treaties must prepare and submit regular reports on their citizens’ freedoms. All these reports go to U.N. specialists who study them carefully and recommend where changes are needed.

Citizens groups increasingly provide their own reports, with additional details. Thus, one of the hopes of the drafters of the UDHR has been increasingly met: People have a voice in their own destiny.

Still other international agreements have stemmed from the UDHR:

  • Prosecution of indicted war criminals by the International Criminal Court, functioning as of 2002.
  • The “responsibility to protect,” as approved by the General Assembly in 2005, which places a moral obligation on countries to help states wracked by widespread disturbances or civil wars.
  • An August 2006 agreement on a draft convention on the rights of the disabled.
  • Adoption of a Universal Declaration of Indigenous Rights by the U.N. in September 2007.
  • Reducing or eliminating the death penalty in much of Europe and elsewhere.
  • Giving more attention to how transnational corporations affect human rights where they operate.

These developments required significant discussion. Nearly 20 years passed between adoption of the UDHR and the “entry into force” — full acceptance into international law — of the two international covenants described above. Twenty-five years of discussion preceded general assembly acceptance of the Universal Declaration of Indigenous Rights. On the other hand, agreement about establishing the International Criminal Court came within four years and the convention on children’s rights in less than a year. The picture is thus mixed.

Crime and Politicians, Causes of Corruption, Growth of corruption in India and remedial measures

This seems like a special answer which has probability of being asked so I have included tons of points

Corruption is an issue that adversely affects India’s economy of central, state and local government agencies. Not only has it held the economy back from reaching new heights, but rampant corruption has stunted the country’s development.

The term “corruption” has always been considered under voodoos and conspiracies. Corruption in India is an issue that adversely affects it’s economy of central, state and local government agencies. Not only has it held the economy back from reaching new heights, but rampant corruption has stunted the country’s development. India continues to be among the most corrupt countries in the world.

 A study conducted by Transparency International in 2005 recorded that more than 62% of Indians had at some point or another paid a bribe to a public official to get a job done. In a study conducted in 2008, Transparency International reported that about 50% of Indians had first hand experience of paying bribes or using contacts to get services performed by public offices.

Although, Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perception Index ranks the country 78th place out of 180 countries reflecting steady decline in perception of corruption among people.

Source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_Perceptions_Index

The largest contributors to corruption are entitlement programs and social spending schemes enacted by the Indian government. Examples include the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and the National Rural Health Mission. Other areas of corruption include India’s trucking industry which is forced to pay billions of rupees in bribes annually to numerous regulatory and police stops on interstate highways.

The media has widely published allegations of corrupt Indian citizens stashing millions of rupees in Swiss banks. Swiss authorities denied these allegations, which were later proven in 2015–2016. The Indian media is largely controlled by extremely corrupt politicians and industrialists who play a major role by misleading the public with incorrect information and use the media for mud-slinging at political and business opponents.

The causes of corruption in India include excessive regulations, complicated tax and licensing systems, numerous government departments with opaque bureaucracy and discretionary powers, monopoly of government controlled institutions on certain goods and services delivery, and the lack of transparent laws and processes. There are significant variations in the level of corruption and in the government’s efforts to reduce corruption across different areas of India.

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Top / Prominent Corruption Scams/Cases in India

1. Indian Coal Allocation Scam – 2012 – 1,86,000 Crore

While many think that 2G scam remains the biggest one in size in India. But this coal allocation scam dwarfs it by the amount involved. This scam is in regards to Indian Government’s allocation of nation’s coal deposit to PSU’s and private companies. The scam happened under Manmohan Singh government and came out in 2012.

The basic premise of this scam was that wrongful allocation of Coal deposits by Government without resorting to competitive bidding, which would have made huge amounts to the Government (to tune of 1.86 Lakh crore). However, the coal deposits were allocated arbitrarily.

2. 2G Spectrum Scam – 2008 – 1,76,000 Crore

We have had a number of scams in India; but none bigger than the scam involving the process of allocating unified access service licenses. At the heart of this Rs.1.76-lakh crore worth of scam is the former Telecom minister A Raja – who according to the CAG, has evaded norms at every level as he carried out the dubious 2G license awards in 2008 at a throw-away price which were pegged at 2001 prices.

In some respects, this remains the biggest scam in India if you consider the inflation. The 2G spectrum allocation happened 5 years earlier than Coal Scam which came out in 2012.

The cases are still going on against many people including A. Raja, M. K. Kanimozhi and many telecommunication companies as well.

3. Wakf Board Land Scam – 2012 – 1.50,000 Crore

In March of 2012, Anwar Maniapddy, the chairman of Karnataka State Minorities Commission submitted a sensational report which alleged 27,000 acres of land, which was controlled by Karnataka Wakf Board had been allocated illegally or misappropriated. The value of land which was misappropriated was in tune of 1.5 to 2 lakh crore rupees.

The land managed by Wakf board, a Muslim charitable trust, is typically donated to under-privileged and poor people of Muslim community. However, the report alleged that nearly 50 percent of the land owned by Wakf board was misappropriated by Politicians and Board members in conjunction with real estate mafia at fraction of actual land cost.

The investigations for this are currently ongoing.

4. Commonwealth Games Scam – 2010 – 70,000 Crore

The news that India was going to host the Commonwealth Games in 2010 created a lot of buzz and preparations began taking place to try and make it one of the memorable events in Indian sports history. But sadly or unsurprisingly, it ended up bringing shame to the nation as reports of large scale corruption by the officials of the Games’ Organising Committee started to float around. And the poor living arrangements for athletes and representatives from other competing nations attracted a lot criticism from the international media.

Investigations revealed an embezzlement of ₹ 90 crore in the project and the Chairman of the CWG games, Suresh Kalmadi, along with his two aides, were jailed for 10 months for financial irregularities.

It is estimated that out of Rs. 70000 crore spent on the Games, only half the said amount was spent on Indian sportspersons. The Central Vigilance Commission, involved in probing the alleged corruption in various Commonwealth Games-related projects, has found discrepancies in tenders – like payment to non-existent parties, will-ful delays in execution of contracts, over-inflated price and bungling in purchase of equipment through tendering – and misappropriation of funds.

5. Telgi Scam – 2002 – 20,000 Crore

As they say, every scam must have something unique in it to make money out of it in an unscrupulous manner- and Telgi scam had all the suspense and drama that the scandal needed to thrive and be busted. Abdul Karim Telgi had mastered the art of forgery in printing duplicate stamp papers and sold them to banks and other institutions. The tentacles of the fake stamp and stamp paper case had penetrated 12 states and was estimated at a whooping Rs. 20000 crore plus. The Telgi clearly had a lot of support from government departments that were responsible for the production and sale of high security stamps.

6. Satyam Scam – 2009 – 14,000 Crore

The scam at Satyam Computer Services is something that will shatter the peace and tranquility of Indian investors and shareholder community beyond repair. Satyam is the biggest fraud in the corporate history to the tune of Rs. 14000 crore.

The company’s disgraced former chairman Ramalinga Raju kept everyone in the dark for a decade by fudging the books of accounts for several years and inflating revenues and profit figures of Satyam. Finally, the company was taken over by the Tech Mahindra which has done wonderfully well to revive the brand Satyam.

7. Bofors Scam – 1980s & 90s – 100 to 200 Crore

The Bofors scandal is known as the hallmark of Indian corruption. The Bofors scam was a major corruption scandal in India in the 1980s; when the then PM Rajiv Gandhi and several others including a powerful NRI family named the Hindujas, were accused of receiving kickbacks from Bofors AB for winning a bid to supply India’s 155 mm field howitzer.

The Swedish State Radio had broadcast a startling report about an undercover operation carried out by Bofors, Sweden’s biggest arms manufacturer, whereby $16 million were allegedly paid to members of PM Rajiv Gandhi’s Congress.

Most of all, the Bofors scam had a strong emotional appeal because it was a scam related to the defense services and India’s security interests.

8. The Fodder Scam – 1990s – 1,000 Crore

If you haven’t heard of Bihar’s fodder scam of 1996, you might still be able to recognize it by the name of “Chara Ghotala,” as it is popularly known in the vernacular language. In this corruption scandal worth Rs.900 crore, an unholy nexus was traced involved in fabrication of “vast herds of fictitious livestock” for which fodder, medicine and animal husbandry equipment was supposedly procured.

9. The Hawala Scandal – 1990-91 – 100 Crore

The Hawala case to the tune of $18 million bribery scandal, which came in the open in 1996, involved payments allegedly received by country’s leading politicians through hawala brokers. From the list of those accused also included Lal Krishna Advani who was then the Leader of Opposition.

Thus, for the first time in Indian politics, it gave a feeling of open loot all around the public, involving all the major political players being accused of having accepted bribes and also alleged connections about payments being channeled to Hizbul Mujahedeen militants in Kashmir.

10. Harshad Mehta & Ketan Parekh Stock Market Scam – 1992 – 5000 Crore Combined

Although not corruption scams, these have affected many people. There is no way that the investor community could forget the unfortunate Rs. 4000 crore Harshad Mehta scam and over Rs. 1000 crore Ketan Parekh scam which eroded the shareholders wealth in form of big market jolt.

Reasons for Growth and Causes of Corruption in India

There are abundant reasons for the cause of corruption in India. The primary reasons being lack of effective management in organisation. Due to mismanagement, there is a weak control on various departments and their working. This uncontrolled and unsupervised administration gives way to rise in corruption in small scale, which results in large scale corruption. Besides, appointment of inefficient managers, supervisors and executives at various levels of hierarchy also leads to mismanagement. Secondly, lack of support for good leaders. Due to fewer good leaders, they find hard to eradicate corruption from the society. But due to lack of support and cooperation from important sections of the society, good leaders are often defeated and suppressed.

Hindrances for Development

Corruption leads to loss of wealth and prosperity which is a great loss for the future of India. For the past ten years, India has shown growth in corruption rate, where the country has lost billions and billions dollars of money in various scams, which are tax payer’s money. Many developmental projects are taking unnecessary delay for their completion due to corruption. This leads to backwards in every field like sports, technology, medicine, research, economy, defence, and infrastructure.

Obstacles for Business

Corruption in public services sector carries high risks for conducting good businesses. Companies are likely to unwanted red tapes, petty corruption, bribes for finalizing any procedures or deals. Payments to expedite public services, such as police protection, water supply, and government assistance will be a headache. Likewise, irregular payments to government officials even for applying business license are proving to be a major hindrance for business. Companies personally feel bad, when they have to bribe officials even for getting a water or electrical connection.

Backwardness and Poverty

Due to corruption in India, the Indian government is unable or lacked the will to eradicate poverty. While the rich are becoming richer, the poor are becoming more poorer. Despite the announcement of rehabilitation and monetary packages, corrupt people in various government departments and contractors, suck the fund through various means leaving very little for the end users.

Brain Drain and Loss of Talent

Corrupt government employee and mediators offer jobs to unskilled and incapable candidates by taking bribe leaving the management with poor decision making. When good employees in private sectors also face harassment due to government policies and corruption in India they move to foreign countries. This is a tremendous loss for the country as a developing nation without the contribution of talented and creative people can never grow.

Loss of Faith in Judicial System

There is a high risk of corruption in India while dealing with India’s judiciary, particularly in lower court levels put the common man in great stress. With bribes often exchanged in return for favorable court decisions leads to people to lose faith in judiciary. Besides, prosecution of office abuse by public servants is tough, as it requires authorized by a minister prior to launching an appeal. Such a legal hurdle hinders the judicial process. Besides, delaying the allotment of judges and creation more courts leads to delay in justice. When it comes with resource shortages negatively impact the efficiency of the court system; the current backlog of cases runs into crores.

Loss of Natural Resources

India is abundant in natural resources, but corruption in India leads to loss the precious resources. Widespread problems in the illegal mining of sand, results loss revenue also severely disturbing water resources in the country. Bribery in the mining industry is common, leading very huge revenue for the government. This mainly due to the fact that there is a lack of oversight and transparency, for example, it is estimated that nearly half of the iron ore exported from the state of Goa has been mined illegally.

Lack of effective management and organisation:

Due to mismanagement and disorganisation, there is a weak control on various departments and their working. This leads to lack of coordination and control among departments and levels of organisation. This uncontrolled and unsupervised administration gives rise to corruption on large scale. Besides, appointment of inefficient and incapable managers and executives on various levels of hierarchy also leads to mismanagement and disorganisation. The only cause of this wrong appointment is corruption. Hence, corruption breeds corruption.

Lack of Economic stability:

Economical crisis and price hike are major causes of corruption. Economical crisis leads to unemployment and change in standard of living. It develops a feeling of insecurity in the minds of affected people. Most of the people do not have patience and courage to face this situation. In order to regain their employment and to maintain standard of living and status,this affected people engage themselves in illegal and immoral activities. They do not want to work hard again for achieving the same position and post. They use various illegal short cuts for achieving them.

Lack of effective leadership:

Good leaders can only lead people towards growth, development and progress. They play significant role in eradication of social evils. In India, there is tremendous shortage of good leaders. Leaders convey message of citizens to the administration and government.They lead the people against corruption and social evils. A country cannot survive without honest and sincere leaders. There is urgent need of leaders like Mahatma Gandhiji or Medha Patkar’s.

Lack of support:

There are few good leaders in India. They strive hard to eradicate corruption from the society. But due to lack of support and cooperation from people, the voice and efforts of these great leaders are often suppressed. People of India are more concerned with their life than the development and protection of their country against social evils. Many citizens have accepted corruption as a part of their life. They think, it is useless and waste of time, to support leaders against corruption.

Lack of values:

Home and educational institution play a significant role in character building of citizens. Moral values are only taught in most of these institutions. But, they are not properly inculcated in individual. This is the basic cause of corruption. Many parents and teachers do not practise what they preach. Hence,their preaching does not bring out desired results. Children imitate parents. If parents are corrupt,it is more likely that children will also become corrupt.

Lack of love for country:

Due to rapid modernisation and globalisation, people are becoming more and more selfish. They are only concerned with self enrichment and wealth accumulation. The only objective of many Indian is to become rich as soon as possible. They consider themselves as patriotic just by celebrating independence and republic day. They do not know the actual meaning of patriotism. They are not concerned with development of nation and rights of others. Due to this attitude, they easily get involved in corruption and immoral activities. During strike and protests, many politically affiliated citizens damage and destroy public property.

Lack of proper system:

In India, corruption exists in all levels and areas of system. Very few honest people survive in this corrupt system. Those who raise their voice against corruption are killed or forced to resign. This accelerates the growth of corruption. Most of the people involved in Indian system have take corruption as part and parcel of their duties. They don’t have hatred or ill feeling towards corruption. They think that without it, we cannot survive and sustain in this system. Besides, systems are interrelated and interdependent. As a result, corruption spreads like tumour in all the systems.

Lack of satisfaction:

Greed results from non-satisfaction. People are not satisfied with their current status, position and wealth. They want to become millionaire in a short span of time. Growth and richness is not bad. But it is sad to see that the Indian are adopting illegal and immoral ways to achieve them. Many Indians are engaged in unhealthy competitions of wealth accumulation(with relatives, colleagues and neighbours).

Lack of autonomy:

Establishment and expansion of private and business sector depend on approval of politician. Many politician misuse their authority and power. They have only one criterion for approval “Pay us otherwise you will not get paid”. Entrepreneurs consider bribery as tax like other official taxes. Bribery has become necessary for the establishment of organisation. Companies and contractors secure contracts and government projects due to bribe. Good quotations and work of company does not considered to be criteria for securing contracts.

Lack of good control and vigilance:

In India, some agencies are working day and night to stop corruption. But some officials of these agencies get tempted towards illegal commissions and leave corrupt people without any penalty and punishment. Corruption breeds corruption. To keep a check on crores of people, more agencies and more honest officials are required. Hence, there is a tremendous shortage of these agencies and officials in India. This results in lack of control and vigilance on illegal activities.

Lack of good remuneration:

In private sector, employer decides salary and employment benefits. He has complete freedom and there is no pressure on him from government. Due to this fact, many employers pay less for more work. They exploit employees of their companies. Even the working conditions in most of the establishments are worse.Employee does not have any social security and retirement benefits. Employees get frustrated and adopt illegal means to make their earnings better and future secure.

Lack of employment:

Many unemployed educated youth fall prey to corruption. They are willing to pay huge amount for jobs. Many employer take undue advantage of this situation. They take bribe and give appointment letters. The appointed employee uses all means (legal and illegal) to recover his lost money as early as possible. Hence,Corruption breeds corruption. When these employees achieve power and authority. They take bribe from candidates for jobs. These tradition of corruption continues from generation to generation without any check and control.

Lack of seats and educational institutions:

In order to fulfil dreams and ambitions of their children, parents pay huge donation to secure admission for their children. Hence, the basis of admission is not merit but money. Management use maximum utilisation of quota granted to them. Every year there is a increase in donation amount. Affluent students who secured less percentage in examinations, easily gets admissions by paying huge donations. Poor students who secured good percentage struggle day and night to get admissions. Many a time their efforts go in vain due to lack of seats and more number of applicants.

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Measures for Corruption

Right to Information

The Right to Information Act (RTI) gives one all the required information about the Government, such as what the Government is doing with our tax payments. Under this act, one has the right to ask the Government on any problem which one faces. There is a Public Information Officer (PIO) appointed in every Government department, who is responsible for collecting information wanted by the citizens and providing them with the relevant information on payment of a nominal fee to the PIO. If the PIO refuses to accept the application or if the applicant does not receive the required information on time then the applicant can make a complaint to the respective information commission, which has the power to impose a penalty up to Rs.25, 000 on the errant PIO.

Report Complaints

Another potent check on corruption is Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). It was setup by the Government to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the areas of vigilance. If there are any cases of corruption or any complaints thereof, then that can be reported to the CVC. CVC also shoulders the responsibility of creating more awareness among people regarding the consequences of giving and taking of bribes and corruption.

Courts

Establishment of special courts for speedy justice can be a huge positive aspect. Much time should not elapse between the registration of a case and the delivery of judgment.

Laws

Strong and stringent laws need to be enacted which gives no room for the guilty to escape.

In many cases, the employees opt for corrupt means out of compulsion and not by choice. Some people are of the opinion that the wages paid are insufficient to feed their families. If they are paid better, they would not be forced to accept bribe.

Value education:

Parents and teachers should inculcate moral values in children.Practice is more persuasive than preaching. The best way to inculcate values in children is not only to preach but to set an example by actual doing.They should set themselves as a models of good behaviour. They should narrate stories based on moral values. Teacher should not only teach morals in value education period but they should inculcate values in pupils by correlating value education with various subjects and activities. They should not leave any stone unturned for achieving this great purpose.

Effective and regular vigilance:

Strict action should be taken against lazy and corrupt officials. Number of agencies and officials should be increased. They should be properly trained in the latest investigative skills. Government should supervise and monitor these agencies. They should be quick and active in their duties. They should not delay their investigation and inspection .Since,these delay is the cause for loss of tremendous wealth of nation.

Responsible citizen:

If an individual is corrupt,he cannot expect those in power to be free from corruption. Hence, it is essential for every citizen to perform his duties faithfully and to the best of their abilities . Every citizen should strive hard to eradicate corruption. People of India should report cases of corruption to vigilance department immediately without delay. They should follow up the cases of corruption. Since, merely reporting the evil practice is not sufficient for its complete eradication.

Strong and Effective leadership and administration:

All those who are granted powers and authority by people should fulfil their promises and pledge. They should strive their utmost to eradicate corruption from systems and administrations. They should give up hypocrisy. Government and vigilance agencies should keep a check on their source of income and bank accounts. If any leader is not performing his duties properly, then he should be immediately terminated from the position. It should be performance based position. Government should do performance appraisal of leaders regularly.

Media:

Media has wider coverage and impact. It plays an important role in changing the life of people. It should frequently expose the cases of corruption. It should educate people against corruption on regular basis. Journalists and editors should give complete information about the issues related to corruption in their newspapers. Reporters should give more importance to the news and information on corruption, they should report corruption cases immediately.

Legislation:

Government should frame strict and stringent anti-corruption laws . Severe punishments and penalties should be imposed on corrupt people. The justice and proceedings should not be delayed. Immediate action should be taken against corrupt people. The punishment should act as a good lesson for other corrupt people.

Social organisation:

Non government organisations should work in coordination with people and vigilance departments for prevention of illegal activities. They should devise and plan innovative strategies and methods against corruption.

Declaration of wealth and assets:

It should be made mandatory for political leaders and government officials to declare their wealth and assets.Investigation agencies should strictly and properly check their claims and declaration.

Transparency:

Every process of selection, dealing and appointments of different fields should be made transparent.People should be made aware of reasons and merit for selection of candidates, contracts,tenders, etc.

Advertising:

Advertising and marketing agencies should educate and aware people against corruption. There should be appealing ads on internet, vehicles, bus stops, railway stations,sign boards and television.

Serials and films:

Films are powerful medium of mass communication. Films have powerful influence and widespread appeal. Films can be used to create public opinion against corruption.Producers should make certain popular serials and movies against corruption. Serials should have different episodes dealing with various types of corruption and their cures.

Appointment and admissions:

Selection of students, managers, officers and executives should only be based on merit. It is the responsibility of candidates and parents to critically examine the selection and appointment procedures. They should report irregularities to the higher authorities without delay.

Religious sermon:

In India, people show very strict adherence to their faith and belief. They are very sensitive towards religion, place of worship and religious leaders. They have deep attachment and great respect for preachers and spiritual orators.They try to adopt the teachings of their spiritual leaders in day to day life. Hence, religious leaders should give sermons against corruption.

Loyalty and patriotism:

Every citizen of India should become patriotic in true sense.He should give priority and preference to the development of his nation. He should always remain loyal to their beautiful culture, ethics and country. Social workers, political leaders, media and teachers should inculcate true patriotism in the citizens of India.

Dedicated and diligent leaders:

There should be more dedicated, devoted and diligent leaders like Medha Patkar and Anna Hazare. These leaders dedicated their whole life for eradicating corruption. It is the responsibility of every citizen of India to support and cooperate with leaders who are sincerely striving against corruption.

Coordination and control:

All government and non government agencies should work in coordination with media, educational institutions and corporate sectors to control and eradicate corruption. They should be united in their efforts against corruption.

Creative Writers:

Pen is mightier than sword. Creative writers should write appealing articles and books against corruption. They should write interesting short stories based on honesty.

College and Universities:

These institutions should educate and train the youth against corruption. They should organise symposium, debates,group discussion, seminars and lectures for this purpose.

Gratitude:

We Indian should show gratitude towards all those honest people who sacrificed and laid their lives for eradicating corruption from our beautiful country. It is now our turn to take this greatest responsibility and make our nation free from corruption.


Criminalization of Politics in India.

It has been an accepted fact that corruption is universal. Corruption in India is a phenomenon that one can face practically at every level and in every walk of life.- Government departments, police, municipal authorities, or educational institutions like schools or colleges. Today bribing is a way of life-  even to get legitimate things done from public servants.

Corruption is defined as the use of public office for private gain, or in other words, use of official position, rank or status for own personal benefit.

Bribery, Extortion, Fraud, Favoritism to friends, relatives, using influence , using public property for private use are all corrupt behavior.  Fraud and embezzlement can be done  by an official alone but others such as bribery, extortion and influence peddling involve two parties – the giver and taker in a corrupt deal.

Corruption  takes  place at all levels:   At high level and at the top –  leading politicians who are well off, have lots of  privileges, yet  become   corrupt    due to greed  for wealth and power  to retain   their positions whereas at  Low levels corruption  ( eg money paid for traffic violations )  is due to  low income  levels.

Corruption has led to deteriorating Law and order situation in the country. Democratic principles have been discarded.  Today the number of politicians with clean image can be counted on fingers.

1. The following cases highlight how corrupt politicians misuse  their power and position and  interfere with the judicial system.

  • 46 cases were registered against Jayalalitha,  Before becoming CM, her assets were only 6 crores, which grew to 67 crores after she became CM.  Attempt was made to  move Supreme Court to withdraw all pending cases against her.  In spite of all the cases she was once again elected to power.
  • Refusal of  permission to the CBI to prosecute Balram Yadav, former SP Health minister in the Ayurveda Scam

2, Equally dangerous is the rapid rise in influence and authority of regional political leaders in national affairs.

  • The riots after Babri Masjid demolition- Muslim groups protesting violently against the demolition and Shiv Sena ‘s planned attack on Muslims. The  Maharashtra government and the police did very little to stop the riots

3.  A no. of cases have come to light where financial irregularities have been found in government transactions

  • In purchase of weapons during the Kargil war and contract for coffins.  The total loss to the government was about 20000 million
  • 950 crore fodder scam in Bihar, shows the nexus between corrupt officials , politicians and mafia.
  • The case of Telgi Fake stamp paper – Despite knowing the scam, the crime branch did not do much to stop . Only when Telgi was arrested by Karnataka Police, the scam came to light  
  • Commonwealth Games Scandal-    India was shamed by  Corruption involved in construction of the Games infrastructure, & Management of the games. A number of  corruption charges have been levelled against Suresh Kalmadi, a politician and President of  Indian Olympic Association  
  • Adarsh Society Scam – Flats meant for the wives of the martyrs in Kargil War, were grabbed by Ministers, powerful politicians and some big Army officers. Ashok Chavan had to resign as the  Chief Minister of Maharashtra
  • 2G Spectrum  case – Several Irregularities were found in allocation of  2G Telecom Spectrum. It  cost about  Rs. 1,90,000 crores to the government. The man behind the scam, Telecom Minister of India, A. Raja, had to resign

4. Along with corruption, Criminalization of Indian politics is a major threat to democracy. People with criminal records manage to become MPs and MLA’s .  Nearly 1/4th  of Indian Parliament members face criminal charges, “including human trafficking, immigration rackets, embezzlement, rape and even murder”. At state level, specially Bihar and UP it is worse.

  • Shibu Soren, Papu Kalani, Mohammad Shahabuddin – all involved in murder cases and facing trials are elected as MP
  • Senior Haryana  IPS officer R K Sharma, ordered elimination of Indian Express journalist Shivani Bhatnagar when he felt her blackmailing can cost him his job.
  • The trial of Nitish Katara murder case and Jessica Lal  murder cases  showed how money, power and politics were used to  tamper with evidence &   cover up the crime
  • Satyendra Dubey , an engineer, working for government of India was murdered when he tried to expose the corruption within the National  Highway Authority Road project in Bihar.

5. Our Police have become more and more corrupt and inefficient . They commit atrocities, and violate human rights. Their nexus with the politicians is all the more serious. Politicians want subordinate inefficient police so that they can become their partners in crime.  Eg

  • Various communal riots across India has shown how political interference in the functioning of the police can lead to loss of life and property but how police misconduct goes unpunished
  • The involvement of  Gujarat police in 2002 Godhra riots is  well known.  The police refused to register complaints, conducted shoddy investigations and fudged evidences. Those officers who tried to stop the attack on minorities were transferred . One police superintendent who stopped an attack on school , rescued 400 students and registered criminal cases against the attackers was transferred while the Police Commissioner who supported the riots  was promoted.
  • How the Bhagalpur police gouged out the eyes of 31 under trials in 1980 haunt the crime scene in Bihar
  • Police nexus with the underworld , and drug smugglers

The net effect of politicization of crime is

  1. An ineffective state
  2. Failure of police in enforcing law and order
  3. Increase in crime rate
  4. Country’s progress gets hindered

The above are the big names.  But we all know that many police take bribes, as do telephone lineman, various officials in municipal corporation and in income tax departments.  People in general have become disgusted with the decline in law . But the crime is growing because people are not raising their voice and even tolerating corruption. The laws have many loopholes and procedures for investigation are complicated.  What we need is honest politicians, and reforms in our judicial and police system and general public awareness .


Womens and Children rights

This Answer is open for contribution and suggestions

Women’s Human Rights

Women’s rights are the fundamental human rights that were enshrined by the United Nations for every human being on the planet nearly 70 years ago. These rights include the right to live free from violence, slavery, and discrimination; to be educated; to own property; to vote; and to earn a fair and equal wage.

As the now-famous saying goes, “women’s rights are human rights.” That is to say, women are entitled to all of these rights. Yet almost everywhere around the world, women and girls are still denied them, often simply because of their gender.

Winning rights for women is about more than giving opportunities to any individual woman or girl; it is also about changing how countries and communities work. It involves changing laws and policies, winning hearts and minds, and investing in strong women’s organizations and movements.

Women in India often face a tough time when it comes to getting their equal share of things – whether it’s equal pay, equal way or equal say. One of the problems behind this situation is lack of knowledge of legal and constitutional rights of a woman. If many women themselves don’t know their own rights very well, what are we to expect of India as an equal society? After Independence, lots of provisions have been introduced to improve the social condition of women and to give them a platform where they can utilize their potential for their betterment and contribute positively towards the growth of their country. The Indian Constitution is pretty progressive in that regard, and has added a number of rights and sanctions that protect women. Some of these are:-

Constitutional Rights to Women:

The rights and safeguards enshrined in the constitution for women in India are listed below:

  1. The state shall not discriminate against any citizen of India on the ground of sex [Article 15(1)].
  2. The state is empowered to make any special provision for women. In other words, this provision enables the state to make affirmative discrimination in favour of women [Article 15(3)].
  3. No citizen shall be discriminated against or be ineligible for any employment or office under the state on the ground of sex [Article 16(2)].
  4. Traffic in human beings and forced labour are prohibited [Article 23(1)].
  5. The state to secure for men and women equally the right to an adequate means of livelihood [Article 39(a)].
  6. The state to secure equal pay for equal work for both Indian men and women [Article 39(d)].
  7. The state is required to ensure that the health and strength of women workers are not abused and that they are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their strength [Article 39(e)].
  8. The state shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief [Article 42].
  9. It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women [Article 51-A(e)].
  10. One-third of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Panchayat shall be reserved for women [Article 243-D(3)].
  11. One-third of the total number of offices of chairpersons in the Panchayats at each level shall be reserved for women [Article 243-D(4)].
  12. One-third of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Municipality shall be reserved for women [Article 243-T(3)].
  13. The offices of chairpersons in the Municipalities shall be reserved for women in such manner as the State Legislature may provide [Article 243-T(4)].

Legal Rights to Women:

The following various legislation’s contain several rights and safeguards for women:

  1. Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (2005) is a comprehensive legislation to protect women in India from all forms of domestic violence. It also covers women who have been/are in a relationship with the abuser and are subjected to violence of any kind—physical, sexual, mental, verbal or emotional.
  2. Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (1956) is the premier legislation for prevention of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. In other words, it prevents trafficking in women and girls for the purpose of prostitution as an organised means of living.
  3. Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act (1986) prohibits indecent representation of women through advertisements or in publications, writings, paintings, figures or in any other manner.
  4. Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act (1987) provides for the more effective prevention of the commission of sati and its glorification on women.
  5. Dowry Prohibition Act (1961) prohibits the giving or taking of dowry at or before or any time after the marriage from women.
  6. Maternity Benefit Act (1961) regulates the employment of women in certain establishments for certain period before and after child-birth and provides for maternity benefit and certain other benefits.
  7. Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (1971) provides for the termination of certain pregnancies by registered medical practitioners on humanitarian and medical grounds.
  8. Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act (1994) prohibits sex selection before or after conception and prevents the misuse of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for sex determination leading to female foeticide.
  9. Equal Remuneration Act (1976) provides for payment of equal remuneration to both men and women workers for same work or work of a similar nature. It also prevents discrimination on the ground of sex, against women in recruitment and service conditions.
  10. Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act (1939) grants a Muslim wife the right to seek the dissolution of her marriage.
  11. Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act (1986) protects the rights of Muslim women who have been divorced by or have obtained divorce from their husbands.
  12. Family Courts Act (1984) provides for the establishment of Family Courts for speedy settlement of family disputes.
  13. Indian Penal Code (1860) contains provisions to protect Indian women from dowry death, rape, kidnapping, cruelty and other offences.
  14. Code of Criminal Procedure (1973) has certain safeguards for women like obligation of a person to maintain his wife, arrest of woman by female police and so on.
  15. Indian Christian Marriage Act (1872) contain provisions relating to marriage and divorce among the Christian community.
  16. Legal Services Authorities Act (1987) provides for free legal services to Indian women.
  17. Hindu Marriage Act (1955) introduced monogamy and allowed divorce on certain specified grounds. It provided equal rights to Indian man and woman in respect of marriage and divorce.
  18. Hindu Succession Act (1956) recognizes the right of women to inherit parental property equally with men.
  19. Minimum Wages Act (1948) does not allow discrimination between male and female workers or different minimum wages for them.
  20. Mines Act (1952) and Factories Act (1948) prohibits the employment of women between 7 P.M. to 6 A.M. in mines and factories and provides for their safety and welfare.
  21. The following other legislation’s also contain certain rights and safeguards for women:
  22. National Commission for Women Act (1990) provided for the establishment of a National Commission for Women to study and monitor all matters relating to the constitutional and legal rights and safeguards of women.
  23. Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal). Act (2013) provides protection to women from sexual harassment at all workplaces both in public and private sector, whether organised or unorganized.

CEDAW

International instruments such as UDHR and ICCPR have all recognized the basic equality of men and women. However there was a need for a specific instrument addressing the problems of violation of Women’s rights. The UN adapted the CEDAW to ensure protection of women’s rights in 1979

On 18 December 1979, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. It entered into force as an International Treaty on 3 September 1981 after the twentieth country had ratified it. By the tenth anniversary of the Convention in 1989, almost one hundred nations have agreed to be bound by its provisions.

The Convention was the culmination of more than thirty years of work by the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, a body established in 1946 to monitor the situation of women and to promote women’s rights. The Commission’s work has been instrumental in bringing to light all the areas in which women are denied equality with men. These efforts for the advancement of women have resulted in several declarations and conventions, of which the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women is the central and most comprehensive document.

Why is CEDAW Important?

  • It provides a complete definition of sex-based discrimination, described as any exclusion, restriction or distinction on the grounds of sex, which intentionally or unintentionally impairs or nullifies the recognition, enjoyment and exercise of women’s social, cultural, political and economic rights.
  • CEDAW recognises the root causes of discrimination, including within culture. CEDAW recognises that traditional gender roles and stereotypes have to be eliminated if we are to be successful in ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls.
  • The view of equality in CEDAW is based on the principle of ‘substantive equality’ between men and women. This principle acknowledges that equality of opportunity and equal treatment is not enough to redress women’s inequality. In fact, it recognises that equal opportunity initiatives can actually have a negative impact on women if women spend time and energy to take advantage of these initiatives but see no result. Substantive equality means looking at women’s lives and the condition of their lives as a measure of whether equality has been achieved.
  • CEDAW holds its States parties – which includes the UK Government – to account to respect, protect and fulfil women’s human rights. It does this by investigating and making recommendations to address gender inequality at all levels (e.g., family, community, market and state).

In countries that have ratified CEDAW, women are working with their governments to improve the status of women and girls, and as a result have changed laws and policies to create greater safety and opportunity for women and their families. CEDAW can make a difference for women and girls, specifically to:

  • Reduce sex trafficking & domestic violence
  • Provide access to education & vocational training
  • Ensure the right to vote

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Children Rights

Children’s rights are the human rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care afforded to minors.

The 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) defines a child as “any human being below the age of eighteen years, unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.”

Children’s rights includes their right to association with both parents, human identity as well as the basic needs for physical protection, food, universal state-paid education, health care, and criminal laws appropriate for the age and development of the child, equal protection of the child’s civil rights, and freedom from discrimination on the basis of the child’s race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability, color, ethnicity, or other characteristics. Interpretations of children’s rights range from allowing children the capacity for autonomous action to the enforcement of children being physically, mentally and emotionally free from abuse, though what constitutes “abuse” is a matter of debate. Other definitions include the rights to care and nurturing.

There are no definitions of other terms used to describe young people such as “adolescents”, “teenagers”, or “youth” in international law, but the children’s rights movement is considered distinct from the youth rights movement. The field of children’s rights spans the fields of law, politics, religion, and morality.

The UN convention on the Rights of Child affirms that Children are born with fundamental freedoms and the inherent rights of all human beings.

Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

CRC  is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights for the child. . In 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years old often need special care and protection that adults do not. The leaders also wanted to make sure that the world recognized that children have human rights too. The whole hearted support of the world community to the UN’s efforts in promoting and protecting rights of the child received tremendous support of the world community.

A child means anyone below the age of 18 years. The Convention sets out these rights in 54 articles and two Optional Protocols. It spells out the basic human rights that children everywhere have: the right to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life. The convention provides for

  • Protection against all forms of discrimination
  • devotion to the best interests of the child;
  • right to preserve his identity including nationality, name and family relations
  • the right to life, survival and development; and
  • respect for the views of the child.
  • Right to freedom of expression, thought and religion
  • Access to information
  • Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment may be imposed on a child

By agreeing to the Convention, national governments have committed themselves to protecting and ensuring children’s rights and are obliged to take  all actions in the light of the best interests of the child.

India – Human Rights of Child – Child Labor

UN Convention on the rights of the child proclaimed that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance and the child should grow up in family environment for the development of his or her personality.

However child Labor is a big issue. It is a complex issue and multi-dimensional problem,.  It is a social evil and the violation of human rights and should be universally abolished. In India the constitution prohibits the employment of children in factories . No child below 14 should be employed in any factory or mine or hazardous work“.  The law provides for free and compulsory education for  children,. Child labor is prohibited in any sphere of activity .

However violations continue as children are employed for long working hours in factories, hotels, and households and even in hazardous industries. The Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) act was therefore adopted and yet there are millions of child labor in India. UNESCO reported that 20% of Indian GNP is contributed by child labor.

In addition to child labor there are several other issues related to child abuse, neglect, malnutrition, child kidnap, lack of education, growing number of street children, children crime etc  

India has yet to fully implement US convention on child right. What is needed is a  Code of Child Right and political  leadership and commitment to protect children’s  rights.  

Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) POCSO

India has one of the largest population of children in the world – Census data from 2011 shows that India has a population of 472 million children below the age of eighteen, of which 225 million are girls. Protection of children by the state is guaranteed to Indian citizens by an expansive reading of Article 21[3] of the Indian constitution, and also mandated given India’s status as signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Child sexual abuse laws in India have been enacted as part of the nation’s child protection policies.The Parliament of India passed the ‘Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Bill, 2011’ regarding child sexual abuse on 22 May 2012 into an Act.] The rules formulated by the government in accordance with the law have also been notified on the November 2012 and the law has become ready for implementation. There have been many calls for more stringent laws.

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 was enacted to provide a robust legal framework for the protection of children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography, while safeguarding the interest of the child at every stage of the judicial process. The framing of the Act seeks to put children first by making it easy to use by including mechanisms for child-friendly reporting, recording of evidence, investigation and speedy trial of offences through designated Special Courts.

The new Act provides for a variety of offences under which an accused can be punished.

Cause and Consequences of Global Warming

Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, cloud forests are dying, and wildlife is scrambling to keep pace. It has become clear that humans have caused most of the past century’s warming by releasing heat-trapping gases as we power our modern lives. Called greenhouse gases, their levels are higher now than at any time in the last 800,000 years.

We often call the result global warming, but it is causing a set of changes to the Earth’s climate, or long-term weather patterns, that varies from place to place. While many people think of global warming and climate change as synonyms, scientists use “climate change” when describing the complex shifts now affecting our planet’s weather and climate systems—in part because some areas actually get cooler in the short term.

Global warming is the term used to describe a gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and its oceans, a change that is believed to be permanently changing the Earth’s climate.

There is great debate among many people, and sometimes in the news, on whether global warming is real (some call it a hoax). But climate scientists looking at the data and facts agree the planet is warming.

While many view the effects of global warming to be more substantial and more rapidly occurring than others do, the scientific consensus on climatic changes related to global warming is that the average temperature of the Earth has risen between 0.4 and 0.8 °C over the past 100 years. The increased volumes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released by the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing, agriculture, and other human activities, are believed to be the primary sources of the global warming that has occurred over the past 50 years.

Scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate carrying out global warming research have recently predicted that average global temperatures could increase between 1.4 and 5.8 °C by the year 2100. Changes resulting from global warming may include rising sea levels due to the melting of the polar ice caps, as well as an increase in occurrence and severity of storms and other severe weather events.

There has been almost 40% increase in Carbon dioxide levels since the Industrial  revolution. The earth is losing its ability to soak up billions of tons of CO2 each year. If more of our carbon pollution stays in the atmosphere, emissions will have to be cut much more to prevent global warming reaching a dangerous level.

The ozone layer, carbon dioxide, water vapor and other gases in the air block the harmful rays of the sun from reaching the earth and preserve some of the heat, making the earth a tolerable place to live on. However, due to many processes and human activities, the presence of these heat-trapping gases is increasing and more and more heat is being stored on the earth.

Causes of Global Warming

The world’s leading climate scientists believe that human activities are very likely the main cause of global warming since the mid-twentieth century, mostly because of:

Fossil Fuels

Has grown exponentially since industrialization; more burning of coal by engines and industries has led to even more CO2 emission. The massive use of fossil fuels is obviously the first source of global warming, as burning coal, oil and gas produces carbon dioxide – the most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere – as well as nitrous oxide.

Waste Disposal

Waste management methods like landfills and incineration emit greenhouse and toxic gases – including methane – that are released into the atmosphere, soil and waterways, contributing to the increase of the greenhouse effect.

Methane emissions:

Livestock has increased and they release methane when they digest their food; methane is produced by rice paddies through the work of oxygen-deprived bacteria; methane is also released by crystal ice structures as they melt.

Intensive Farming

Another cause of global warming is intensive farming, not only with the ever-increasing livestock, but also with plant protection products and fertilizers. In fact, cattle and sheep produce large amounts of methane when digesting their food, while fertilizers produce nitrous oxide emissions.

More use of fertilizers and pesticides:

Lead to more emission of nitrogen and ammonia; leads to ocean pollution

Mining

Modern life is highly dependent on the mining and metallurgical industry. Metals and minerals are the raw materials used in the construction, transportation and manufacturing of goods. From extraction to delivery, this market accounts for 5% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Overconsumption

Overconsumption also plays a major role in climate change. In fact, it is responsible for the overexploitation of natural resources and emissions from international freight transport, which both contributes to global warming.

Deforestation

Cutting down trees that store and use up CO2. The exploitation of forests has a major role in climate change. Trees help regulate the climate by absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere. When they are cut down, this positive effect is lost and the carbon stored in the trees is released into the atmosphere.

Effects of Global Warming:

(i) Global Temperature Increase:

It is estimated that the earth’s mean temperature will rise between 1.5 to 5.5°C by 2050 if input of greenhouse gases continues to rise at the present rate. Even at the lower value, earth would be warmer than it has been for 10,000 years.

(ii) Rise in Sea Level:

With the increase in global temperature sea water will expand. Heating will melt the polar ice sheets and glaciers resulting in further rise in sea level. Current models indicate that an increase in the average atmospheric temperature of 3°C would raise the average global sea level by 0.2-1.5 meters over the next 50-100 years.

One meter rise in sea level will inundate low lying areas of cities like Shanghai, Cairo, Bangkok, Sydney, Hamburg and Venice as well as agricultural lowlands and deltas in Egypt, Bangladesh, India, China and will affect rice productivity.

This will also disturb many commercially important spawning grounds, and would probably increase the frequency of storm damage to lagoons, estuaries and coral reefs. In India, the Lakshadweep Islands with a maximum height of 4 meters above the sea level may be vulnerable.

Some of the most beautiful cities like Mumbai may be saved by heavy investment on embankment to prevent inundation. Life of millions of people will be affected by the sea level rises who have built homes in the deltas of the Ganges, the Nile, the Mekong, the Yangtze and the Mississippi rivers.

(iii) Effects on Human Health:

The global warming will lead to changes in the rainfall pattern in many areas, thereby affecting the distribution of vector-borne diseases like malaria, filariasis, elephantiasis etc. Areas which are presently free from diseases like malaria; schistosomiasis etc. may become the breeding grounds for the vectors of such diseases.

The areas likely to be affected in this manner are Ethiopia, Kenya and Indonesia. Warmer temperature and more water stagnation would favour the breeding of mosquitoes, snails and some insects, which are the vectors of such diseases. Higher temperature and humidity will increase/aggravate respiratory and skin diseases.

(iv) Effects on Agriculture:

There are different views regarding the effect of global warming on agriculture. It may show positive or negative effects on various types of crops in different regions of the world. Tropical and subtropical regions will be more affected since the average temperature in these regions is already on the higher side.

Even a rise of 2°C may be quite harmful to crops. Soil moisture will decrease and evapotranspiration will increase, which may drastically affect wheat and maize production. Increase in temperature and humidity will increase pest growth like the growth of vectors for various diseases. Pests will adapt to such changes better than the crops. To cope up with the changing situation, drought resistant, heat resistant and pest resistant varieties of crops have to be developed.

Solutions or Ways to stop global warming:

i. Plant More Trees and Stop Contributing to Deforestation:

This is by far the easiest measure to save our planet from the hazards of global warming. Global warming can be attributed to the large scale concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That being said planting trees can help in absorbing this harmful gas and help in regulating its amount in the atmosphere and help in preventing global warming by lessening greenhouse effect.

ii. Switch to Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs:

Every household which uses incandescent bulbs contributes to global warming on a large scale. On the whole, these bulbs add 300 lbs of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year. Replacing incandescent bulbs with energy saving Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) can help in reducing carbon dioxide generation and help you to save 60 percent of energy.

iii. Reuse and Recycle Products:

Reusing and recycling various products which we use in our day to day life can also help you in doing your bit to stop global warming. For instance, recycling paper will make sure that the large scale felling of trees to produce paper is stopped, and these trees will in turn absorb the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and reduce global warming.

iv. Unplug Appliances:

Unplugging appliances to save energy is yet another effective way to address the problems of global warming. Simply unplugging all the electronic devices which are not in use can help in saving 20 per cent energy. More importantly, it will also help in reducing your electricity bill by 10 percent every month.

v. Avoid Keeping Electrical Appliances on Standby:

Similarly, keeping electronic appliances on standby also contributes to loss of energy and global warming, and therefore is best avoided. One may feel that keeping a single computer on standby won’t make a big difference, but when millions of people think in this manner it does make a drastic difference.

vi. Use a Programmable Thermostat:

A thermostat helps in regulating the temperature by altering heat supply. Make sure that you keep your thermostat as low as possible during the winter, and as high as possible during the summer. Lowering the thermostat by 2 degrees in winter and increasing it by 2 degrees in summer can help in keeping 2,000 lbs of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

vii. Promote the use of organic products:

Promoting the use of organic foods is also one of the effective ways to prevent global warming. The tendency of organic soils to capture carbon dioxide far exceeds that of the soil used in conventional farming. Estimates suggest that we can get rid of 580 billion lbs of carbon dioxide if we resort to organic farming for food production.

viii. Use Vehicles Efficiently:

One of the leading causes of pollution, vehicles dump a great amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. If we stop using vehicle we can cut down of great amount of pollution. If you can’t resist vehicle, you can opt to efficient driving tips, such as turning the engine off at red lights and driving at moderate speeds, and contribute in curbing global warming. Ideally though, you should opt for public transport or other environment friendly modes of transportation such as cycling.

ix. Resort to Alternative Sources of Energy:

One of the most talked about global warming solution is to switch to alternative energy sources such as solar power and wind power. You can easily harness these sources of nature to generate power, and replace fossil fuels with it. Doing away with fossil fuels alone will help in reducing the huge amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere every day.

x. Become a Responsible Citizen:

This is the most important among the various measures to curb global warming. We need to acknowledge the fact that we are responsible for this menace to a great extent. Just implementing the simple steps to stop global warming mentioned above can make a huge difference. You can also come up with your own novel ways to contribute for this cause.

For instance, one of our readers had made a valid point by saying, “If we sacrifice the unnecessary luxuries in our life, we can contribute in saving the tremendous amount of energy which goes in their production.” Resorting to these 10 ways to stop global warming can help us to curb the problem to a significant extent.


Cause and Remedial Measures of Ozone Depletion

Ozone depletion, gradual thinning of Earth’s ozone layer in the upper atmosphere caused by the release of chemical compounds containing gaseous chlorine or bromine from industry and other human activities. The thinning is most pronounced in the polar regions, especially over Antarctica. Ozone depletion is a major environmental problem because it increases the amount of ultraviolet (UV) radiation that reaches Earth’s surface, which increases the rate of skin cancer, eye cataracts, and genetic and immune system damage. The Montreal Protocol, ratified in 1987, was the first of several comprehensive international agreements enacted to halt the production and use of ozone-depleting chemicals. As a result of continued international cooperation on this issue, the ozone layer is expected to recover over time.

Causes:

Human activities like industrialisation and others have polluted the environment. These pollutants contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as an ingredient. These CFCs are the main elements causing depletion of Ozone layer. Chlorine, Bromine, Florine etc. halone gases are the main destroyers of 03.

Due to refrigerator, plastic, paints and aerosol industries such compounds are produced. Electronics and optical industries also produce ozone destroying chemicals. UV rays separate chlorine from the CFC and this chlorine reacts with Ozone (03) and turns it into simple oxygen (O2). At present USA, Europe, Chile, Australia etc are at danger due to Ozone Depletion.

Effects:

The Ozone depletion has various consequences dangerous to lives on the Earth. The UV can cause skin cancer and other diseases of skin. It increases temperature of the Earth and therefore ice melts. This in turn raises level of the sea and may submerge the islands and the coastal areas causing damage to lives and property.

The following are its other harmful effects:

(i) Increase in solar UV-B radiation adversely affects a number of important biological systems. Magnitude of the effects of enhanced levels of UV-B may vary among species and cultivators. Sensitive plants often show reduced photosynthesis, growth, flowering and yield.

(ii) Depletion of ozone layer has resulted in many skin related diseases. Melanoma, the particular form of skin cancer, is reported in many areas.

(iii) It reduces the crop productivity.

(iv) The depletion of ozone layer will induce eye cancer in the animals.

(v) The depletion of ozone layer leads to loss of various plants from terrestrial and aquatic habitats.

(vi) Due to it, UV radiation may cause greenhouse effect.

(vii) Ozone enters the body during breathing and thus causing lung disorders in human beings.

(viii) Ultraviolet radiation causes blood vessels near the skin’s surface to carry more blood, making the skin hot, swollen or red causing sunburns.

According to the World Bank estimates, diseases attributable to ozone depletion are about 3 lakh cases of skin cancer annually and 17 million cases of cataracts.

Efforts:

To cope with this phenomenon, international community has started efforts of reducing ozone depleting chemicals. For this, many agreements and conventions are signed. Vienna Conference of 1983 and the Montreal Protocol of 1987 are among these efforts. They prohibit production of CFCs.

London Conference is also one of the important landmark in this direction. Kyoto Protocol 1997 is also related to that. But, for this, international consensus is required on technological measures. They require to develop ozone friendly technologies and to share it with other nations also.

(i) The use of plastic should be banned in the country.

(ii) The production and use of CFCs should be banned.

(iii) The use of CFCs in aerosol, spray cans, egg crates etc. should be banned and their substitutes should be used.

(iv) New technologies should be adopted to recapture the CFCs released from the air-conditioners and refrigerators.

Desertification

The desert is cradle of civilization – certainly, throughout their existence civilized peoples have been turning their birth place into a desert. On a world wide scale, fast depletion of vegetal resources and gradual degradation of various ecosystems can closely be co-related with the increasing population of men and animals.

The term ‘Desertification’ from grammarian point of view means conversion of a fertile land towards a infertile land or desertic land. The United Nations Conference (Nairobi, 1977) defines the term as “the intensification or extension of desert conditions”; it is a process which induces a reduction of biological productivity with consequent-reduction of the biomass of plants, grazing capacity of this land for cattle, the yields of crops and of human beings.

It refers to a type of land degradation in which a relatively dry land region becomes increasingly arid, typically losing its bodies of water as well as vegetation and wildlife. It is caused by a variety of factors, such as climate change and human activities. Desertification is a significant global ecological and environmental problem. The immediate cause is the removal of most vegetation. This is driven by a number of factors, alone or in combination, such as drought, climatic shifts, agriculture, overgrazing and deforestation for fuel or construction materials. In many environments, the rate of erosion and runoff decreases exponentially with increased vegetation cover. Unprotected, dry soil surfaces blow away with the wind or are washed away by floods, leaving infertile lower soil layers that bake in the sun and become an unproductive hardpan.

Techniques exist for mitigating or reversing the effects of desertification. Some of them are:

  • Reforestation: planting seedlings.
  • Enriching of the soil and restoration of its fertility is often done by plants: the Leguminous plants which extract nitrogen from the air and fixes it in the soil, and food crops/trees as grains, barley, beans and dates are the most important.
  • Managed grazing: Restoring grasslands store CO2 from the air into plant material. Grazing livestock, usually not left to wander, would eat the grass and would minimize any grass growth while grass left alone would eventually grow to cover its own growing buds, preventing them from photosynthesizing and killing the plant.

Desertification may be defined as packages of processes which bring about changes in the ecosystems of arid and semi-arid zones causing reduction in productivity, alteration in the density of life forms, reduction in biomass, acceleration in soil degradation and other hazards (Saxena, 1989).

Desertification is the extension of desert-like conditions as a result of man’s impact on the ecosystems of semi-arid regions. It takes place principally in desert marginal regions and involves a complex of physico geographical processes having negative confluences on land use and ultimately leading to a loss of natural ecological equilibrium (Ibrahim, 1985)

Desertification is the work of man. (Grove, 1974) Desertification can be defined as a package of processes which brings about certain basic changes in a particular ecosystem and converts it from a relatively non desertic to a desert terrain (Shankarnarayan, 1988).

DeforestationDesertification
1. It is removal, decrease or deterioration of forest cover of an area.1. It is conversion of former moist and fertile land into arid desert area.
2. Rainfall decreases to only minor extent.2. Rainfall is less than the potential evaporation.
3. Moderation of temperatures is reduced.3. Temperature is either high or low.
4. It leads to soil erosion.4. Desertification is a product of soil erosion.
5. Deforestation often causes flash floods.5. Floods do not occur.
6. Deforested area can be used variously as cropland, industrial area, residential area, fallow land, etc.6. Desertified area cannot be put to any use.

Anti State Violence ; Insurgency with reference to North East

Anti State Violence – Naxalism and its Impact

The  Naxalite movement erupted violently in 1967. It started as a spark in a small village , Naxalbari and within a few years spread to distant parts of India. The United Front government openly supported the movements of the landless who began seizure of land and also forcible harvesting. Many students from urban areas also joined the peasants in their struggle. With the fall of the second United Front  government the police action against the peasant movements intensified and the first phase of Naxalbari movement fizzled out

Naxalism arose from certain basic factors – social injustice, economic inequality and the failure of the system to redress the grievances of  the suffering people .

The Naxalbari uprising lasted just 52 days. The failure of the movement in Naxalbari was due to lack of strong party organization, powerful mass base , ignorance of military affairs and a formal attitude towards land reforms.

But it left a far reaching impact on many other parts of India specially   Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, UP and MP.  

The  Naxalite violence was at a peak from about mid 1970 to mid  1971. Terrorist activities were on the increase .

  • Naxalite leaders like Charu Mazumdar, influenced people to create hundreds of Naxalbari throughout India. and called for revolutionary struggle. He  even  set the target for liberation of India by 1975. A large no. of West Bengal youth responded to his call.  He called upon the youth to join the poor and landless peasants and go to villages in large numbers instead of wasting their energy in passing exams.
  • There were raids on government offices damaging property and brutal attacks on policemen
  • In the atmosphere  of violence anti social elements infliltrated into the Naxalite ranks which had a bad effect on the organisations’ discipline and ideology. The anti social elements used the Naxalite umbrella to settle their own scores.
  • The government took joint operations by the army and the police to tackle the violence. Suspected Naxalites were arrested, illicit weapons , ammunition and explosives were seized resulting in drop in violent activities
  • Internal differences were building up within  the organization which had a disintegrating effect. Also the Government pressure on Naxalites was building up and by 1972  almost all top Naxalite leaders were arrested.  Charu’s death marked the end of a phase in the Naxalite movement.  Emergency declared in 1975 led to banning of almost all Naxalite groups in the country
  • New opportunities for Naxalites again grew in 1977 with the defeat of Mrs Indira Gandhi . 4 Naxalite groups demanded the release of all political workers and withdrawal of cases against them .  The then Home Minister  agreed to release the Naxalite prisoners.  
  • The movement again touched a peak in 1991 and today it is in a fragmented state. There are about 40 odd groups operating in different parts of the country.

The origin and growth of Naxalite movement is due to a no. of complex economic, social and political factors – extreme poverty, economic inequalities and exploitation , unemployment , income inequalities . The factors which gave rise to Naxalism in the country still persist even today. The Movement has its ups and down but it continues to have a large support base because of the intellectual appeal of  its ideology. The movement has developed an inherent strength.

Insurgency in Northeast India

An insurgency is a rebellion against authority (for example, an authority recognized as such by the United Nations) when those taking part in the rebellion are not recognized as belligerents (lawful combatants). An insurgency can be fought via counter-insurgency warfare, and may also be opposed by measures to protect the population, and by political and economic actions of various kinds and propaganda aimed at undermining the insurgents’ claims against the incumbent regime. As a concept, insurgency’s nature is ambiguous.

The Northeast region of India comprising of eight states – Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Tripura and Sikkim. North East India is a region poorly connected to the Indian mainland by a small corridor – Silghuri Corridor (also known as Chicken Neck – with a narrow width of only 23 kilometers.). North Eastern India has been facing problems of insurgency for near 5 decades, but things are now settling down and peace started to prevail.

What is insurgency?

An insurgency is an armed rebellion against a constituted authority when those taking part in the rebellion are not recognized as belligerents. Incase of Indian scenario it can be seen as armed rebellion and violent protests against Indian Government or authority.

Insurgency in North East India

Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Tripura had been witnessing conflict since 1950-60 period, but since 1990, the intensity of conflicts started to decrease. Now the only state where prominent insurgency exist is Manipur. But in this region several armed factions operate. Some groups call for a separate state, others for regional autonomy while some extreme groups demand complete independence.

Reasons for conflict in North East India:

  • Historical reasons – loosely administered under British India.
  • Tensions between these states and the central government.
  • Tensions between tribal people, who are natives of these states, and migrant peoples from other parts of India.
  • Geographical reasons – not well connected with present Indian mainland.
  • Developmental reasons – Poorly developed due to lack of fund from Center/States.
  • Environmental reasons.
  • Military reasons – AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Power Act).
  • Foreign Policy – Look easy policy and market changes bought.
  • External support – China and Myanmar.

To gain a holistic understanding of the problem that has historical and contemporary dimensions, it is important to assess and understand the various facets of the problem that interact with each other.

Historical reasons for the conflict

The historical connections among the traditional tribes in the Northeast are largely of Tibeto-Burman/Mongoloid stock and closer to Southeast Asia than to South Asia. It is ethnically, linguistically and culturally very distinct from the other states of India. Though cultural and ethnic diversity per say are not causes for conflict, but one of the major problem areas is that the Northeast is territorially organized in such a manner that ethnic and cultural specificities were ignored during the process of delineation of state boundaries in the 1950s, giving rise to discontentment and assertion of one’s identity. Whereas,the colonial rulers took nearly a century to annex the entire region, and administered the hills as a loose ‘frontier area’, with the result, that large parts of the northeastern hill areas never came in touch with the principle of a central administration before.

Hence, their allegiance to the newly formed Indian nation-state was lacking from the beginning – accentuated by the creation of East Pakistan (today’s Bangladesh) – which meant the loss of a major chunk of the physical connection between mainland India and Northeast India. Interestingly, 99 percent of the Northeast’s boundaries is international and only one percent is domestic boundary.

Issues of Governance (Nagaland and AFSPA)

The Indian government’s past and ongoing processes of national integration, state-building and democratic consolidation have further aggravated the conflict scenario in the region. For instance, the eight states comprising the Northeast is populated by nearly 40 million inhabitants who vary in language, race, tribe, caste, religion, and regional heritage. Therefore, most often, the clubbing of all these states under the tag of ‘northeast’ has tended to have a homogenizing effect with its own set of implications for policy formulation and implementation; not to mention local aversion to such a construct.

The politico-administrative arrangements made by the Centre have also been lacking. For instance, the introduction of the Sixth Schedule Autonomous Councils (currently there are ten such Councils in the region and many more demanding such status) ended up creating multiple power centers instead of bringing in a genuine process of democratization or autonomy in the region. Moreover, Para 12 (A) of the Sixth Schedule clearly states that, whenever there is a conflict of interest between the District Councils and the state legislature, the latter would prevail. It is even alleged that it is “a mere platform for aspiring politicians who nurture ambitions to contest assembly polls in the future” (Teresa Rehman, Tehelka, 30 January 2009).

The AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Power Act) for instance, shows the inability and reluctance of the government to solve the conflict with adequate political measures. The AFSPA was passed on 18 August, 1958, as a short-term measure to allow deployment of the army to counter an armed separatist movement in the Naga Hills, and it has been in place for the last five decades and was extended to all the seven states of the Northeast region in 1972 (with the exception of Mizoram).

It was part of a bundle of provisions, passed by the central government, to retain control over the Naga areas, in which the Naga National Council (NNC) demanded further autonomous rights. The AFSPA became a powerful measure for the central and the state government to act against actors challenging the political and territorial integrity of India. As a result, the Indian army for the first time since its independence was deployed to manage an internal conflict. But, instead of resolving the problem, it led to an ongoing escalation of the conflict by bringing it on a military level. The regular violations of human rights has led to a radicalization and militarization of the region and weakened also the supporters of a political solution.

According to the Human Rights Watch Report (August 2008), “The Act violates provisions of international human rights law, including the right to life, the right to be protected from arbitrary arrest and detention, and the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. It also denies the victims of the abuses the right to a remedy.” A fact-finding commission, appointed by the government in 2004, complained that the “AFSPA has become a symbol of oppression, an object of hate and an instrument of discrimination and high handedness”.

Though the conflict in the region is mired with complex political-economic issues, such as, struggle over natural resources, migration related issues, displacement, social exclusion, and so on, according to Dr Clemens Spiess, “the politics of identity lie at the heart of the bigger part of the current conflict constellations in the Northeast”.

Bodo Movement:

  • Bodos are one of the earliest settlers of Assam  and are the largest tribes of Assam. They ruled over Assam till 1825. Bodos are ethnic and linguistic community .
  •  47% of population of Assam were Bodos in 1947 but they declined to 27% in 1971.
  • Even after independence, the area had been facing neglect in the area of development. It soon became a centre of dissent and demands for secession.
  • The Bodos wanted more autonomy for the Bodo tribes and the Assamese were concerned with the expulsion of foreigners
  • The Assam Government passed the Illegal Migrants Detection Tribunal Act . This further irritated the Bodos since for the rest of the country only the Foreigners Registration Act was applicable. They felt there should be a single law regarding foreigners throughout the country
  • Language was another problem. The Assamese language was imposed on Bodos.
  • The Bodos  were facing a loss of identity and culture.  
  • In 1968 all Bodo Students Union raised the slogan of Divide Assam Fifty- Fifty.
  •  The tribals were agitated by the rise of Assamese  nationalism which protected the Assamese speaking population. In 1984, all BOdo students Union gave a call for a separate state of Bodoland.
  • Following the riots for 8 years a settlement provided for creation of “Bodoland Autonomous Council”.  

The policies of the government towards the tribals have changed over the years.  They are working towards  encouraging traditional arts and culture, respecting  tribal rights to land and forest rights and providing support and training

Eg., The Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest rights) bill 2005 was passed by the government. The Bill allows tribals and non-tribals living in forests (upto 2005)  rights to use their forest  land for livelihood since it is their ancestral land and they need the land to sustain their culture.

>extra

Recommendations to solve North East India Problems

Insurgency

  • Thorough background check of all insurgents groups should be carried out before the central government enters into any Ceasefire or Suspension of Operations Agreements with the insurgents.

Political

  • Political solutions to the Assam problem should be discussed openly as widely as possible to avoid backlash from the tribal and the minority population of the state.
  • A system of work permit should be issued so that the illegal Bangladeshi migrants do not end up as Indian citizens.
  • The Autonomous District Councils should be empowered.
  • Governance should be improved in a step by step manner. Strict supervision by senior officials should be initiated to improve the delivery system of the government.

Development

  • The Ministry of the Development of the North East region (DoNER) be merged with the North East Council (NEC) for better strategic planning and coordination of various developmental projects in the region.
  • Focus of the Ministry f DoNER and NEC should be on investment in mega-projects which will make big difference to the development of the region.
  • Institutional capacities in the North east should be developed urgently.
  • Pragmatic land use policy should be formulated for attracting industries in the region. Micro, small and medium enterprises should be encouraged.
  • Local tourism should be promoted. Tourists residing in the eight North Eastern states should be encouraged to travel within the region.
  • Niche tourism or high end tourism should be encouraged. Medical and higher education tourism should be encouraged.
  • The North east should become a single economic unit without disturbing the political boundaries of the states. No internal traffic barriers in the region. Exclusive five year plan for the North east focusing on development of infrastructure.

Look East Policy

  • Greater awareness about the Look East Policy and its benefits to the North East should be generated among he policymakers and the intelligentsia of the region.
  • Ties with Myanmar should be deepened by exploiting Myanmar’s anxieties about China as well as existing deep civilization and spiritual ties.
  • The North East region must be included in the India-ASEAN Vision for trade and cooperation. Development Plan for the North East should factor India-ASEAN strategic cooperation.
  • Integrated and bottoms up approaches are required for integration of the North east in the Look East Policy. The North East should formulate plans as to how it can engage with the ASEAN. Better coordination of efforts by all the Northeastern states should be ensured.
  • Visa offices of Bangladesh and Myanmar should be located in the North East.
  • Centres/Departments for the studies of neighbouring countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh, Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal in Universities should be set up in universities to understand India’s neighbours better.

Border issues

  • Special economic zones along India-Bangladesh border, especially in Meghalaya and Assam should be set up.
  • States should focus more on the development and security of the border areas.
  • Sentiments of the people of Arunachal Pradesh should be taken into consideration by the central government while discussing the frameworks for resolution of the border dispute with China.
  • Matching infrastructure and military capability should be build to ensure peace and enable negotiations from a position of strength.
  1. Tribal Issues and Movements

Many Tribes live in widely dispersed villages, with families living on farms surrounded by fields. A temple or public platform under a large tree is the a central place where males from upper and middle castes meet and spend their time.

Tribals have traditional hunted and collected food in the forest. Many Tribes believe that if someone is ill it is because they were attacked by an evil spirit of been cursed by a witch. Many regions where tribals live are off limits to outsiders. This is so their cultures are not disrupted and the tribals are not exploited or harmed.

Alcoholism is a problem among some tribes. Many tribes make their own home-brewed beers or spirits. Most are derived from rice or some other grain. Additionally, opium use is common among some tribes. The government often provides opium rations to the tribes but illegal cultivation also occurs. Some tribe members have been awarded with opium for catching convicts.

Most tribes are concentrated in heavily forested areas that combine inaccessibility with limited political or economic significance. Historically, the economy of most tribes was subsistence agriculture or hunting and gathering. Land, if seen in terms of ownership at all, was viewed as a communal resource, free to whoever needed it.

Tribal members traded with outsiders for the few necessities they lacked, such as salt and iron. A few local Hindu craftsmen might provide such items as cooking utensils. The twentieth century, however, has seen far-reaching changes in the relationship between tribals and the larger society and, by extension, traditional tribal economies. In previous generations, families might have purchased silver jewelry as a form of security; contemporary tribal people are more likely to buy minor consumer goods.

Problems

  • Tribes live in secluded and largely inaccessible regions of the country. They live in harmony with nature but are deprived and poor..                                                 
  • Tribes largely engage in shifting agriculture. However there has been large scale encroachments on their already limited land.The government has declared a large part of the land as forest area for conservation. The traditional food security is thus being threatened.                                                                                         
  • In some areas due to the communication revolution, the tribals are linked to urban industrial centres, non-tribals migrate to tribal homelands reducing the % of tribal population .  Tribal population is also reducing due to natural calamities, lower fertility rate, high mortality rate etc. Many tribes have become extinct.
  • Tribals have also been evicted from their land by governments macro development plans. Eg 5 factories were set up in tribal areas of Bihar .                                        
  • Education is not encouraged by parents.There are different dialects for several communities which makes educating even more difficult.                                        

Tribal Movement:

Although tribal societies are considered to be rigid, changes are taking place – from within as well as due to political interventions.  There have been rapid changes over the years that have caused a serious disintegration of the tribal societies.

They have started raising their demands before the political authorities. There are also certain organizations , non-tribal like the Christian Missionaries that act on their behalf. These give rise to movements sometimes  of a violent nature. At the end of 1960’s there were 36 ongoing movements of which 14 were concentrated in North east. The movements were for

  • Political autonomy –  Demand for  Separate state within Indian union ( Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya became separate states in 1960’s) and also for complete secession from Indian Union
  • Forest biased movements
  • Cultural movements – (demand for preservation of tribal language)

Jharkhand Movement:

Jharkhand literally means “the land of the jungles”. And the Jharkhands are the original inhabitants (adivasis) of the region. They consist of tribes such as mundas, santhals, Savaras etc

After independence outsiders kept pouring in and the tribals were reduced to minority.  Also a lot of tribals moved out to far of states like Gujarat, Maharashtra , Karnataka , Assam.  It was felt that Jharkand was developing but not the Jharkhandis.  Of the 7 industries set up in the region, the tribal representation was low.  

A small tribal educated   group emerged in these societies by the western education introduced by Christian  Missionaries. These educated tribals showed concern for modernizing tribal societies and for conservation of traditional values. Tribal politics gradually developed into a struggle for freedom.  

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha ( 1972) was established and the all-India Jharkhand Students Union (1986) went through a lot of ups and downs.  Jharkhand state was created in 2000 by carving out 18 districts of Bihar but some Tribal dominated districts are still not part of Jharkhand.

Bodo Movement:

  • Bodos are one of the earliest settlers of Assam  and are the largest tribes of Assam. They ruled over Assam till 1825. Bodos are ethnic and linguistic community .
  •  47% of population of Assam were Bodos in 1947 but they declined to 27% in 1971.
  • Even after independence, the area had been facing neglect in the area of development. It soon became a centre of dissent and demands for secession.
  • The Bodos wanted more autonomy for the Bodo tribes and the Assamese were concerned with the expulsion of foreigners
  • The Assam Government passed the Illegal Migrants Detection Tribunal Act . This further irritated the Bodos since for the rest of the country only the Foreigners Registration Act was applicable. They felt there should be a single law regarding foreigners throughout the country
  • Language was another problem. The Assamese language was imposed on Bodos.
  • The Bodos  were facing a loss of identity and culture.  
  • In 1968 all Bodo Students Union raised the slogan of Divide Assam Fifty- Fifty.
  •  The tribals were agitated by the rise of Assamese  nationalism which protected the Assamese speaking population. In 1984, all BOdo students Union gave a call for a separate state of Bodoland.
  • Following the riots for 8 years a settlement provided for creation of “Bodoland Autonomous Council”.  

The policies of the government towards the tribals have changed over the years.  They are working towards  encouraging traditional arts and culture, respecting  tribal rights to land and forest rights and providing support and training

Eg., The Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest rights) bill 2005 was passed by the government. The Bill allows tribals and non-tribals living in forests (upto 2005)  rights to use their forest  land for livelihood since it is their ancestral land and they need the land to sustain their culture.

Forest Rights Act

In the colonial era, the British diverted abundant forest wealth of the nation to meet their economic needs. While procedure for settlement of rights was provided under statutes such as the Indian Forest Act, 1927, these were hardly followed. As a result, tribal and forest-dwelling communities, who had been living within the forests in harmony with the environment and the ecosystem, continued to live inside the forests in tenurial insecurity, a situation which continued even after independence as they were marginalised.

The symbiotic relationship between forests and forest-dwelling communities found recognition in the National Forest Policy, 1988. The policy called for the need to associate tribal people in the protection, regeneration and development of forests. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, was enacted to protect the marginalised socio-economic class of citizens and balance the right to environment with their right to life and livelihood.

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 is a result of the protracted struggle by the marginal and tribal communities of our country to assert their rights over the forestland over which they were traditionally dependent. This Act is crucial to the rights of millions of tribals and other forest dwellers in different parts of our country as it provides for the restitution of deprived forest rights across India, including both individual rights to cultivated land in forestland and community rights over common property resources. The notification of Rules for the implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006 on 1st Jan 2008, has finally paved the way to undo the ‘historic injustice’ done to the tribals and other forest dwellers.  

Provisions of the Act

The rights which are included in section 3(1) of the Act are:

  1. Right to hold and live in the forest land under the individual or common occupation for habitation or for self-cultivation for livelihood by a member or members of a forest dwelling Scheduled Tribe or other traditional forest dwellers;
  2. Community rights such as nistar, by whatever name called, including those used in erstwhile Princely states, Zamindari or such intermediary regimes;
  3. Right of ownership, access to collect, use, and dispose of minor forest produce( includes all non-timber forest produce of plant origin) which has been traditionally collected within or outside village boundaries;
  4. Other community rights of uses of entitlements such as fish and other products of water bodies, grazing (both settled or transhumant) and traditional seasonal resource access of nomadic or pastoralist communities;
  5. Rights including community tenures of habitat and habitation for primitive tribal groups and pre-agriculture communities;
  6. Rights in or over disputed lands under any nomenclature in any State where claims are disputed;
  7. Rights for conversion of Pattas or leases or grants issued by any local council or any State Govt. on forest lands to titles;
  8. Rights of settlement and conversion of all forest villages, old habitation, unsurveyed villages and other villages in forest, whether recorded, notified or not into revenue villages;
  9. Right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource which they have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use;
  10. Rights which are recognised under any State law or laws of any Autonomous Dist. Council or Autonomous Regional Council or which are accepted as rights of tribals under any traditional or customary law of the concerned tribes of any State;
  11. Right of access to biodiversity and community right to intellectual property and traditional knowledge related to biodiversity and cultural diversity;
  12. Any other traditional right customarily enjoyed by the forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes or other traditional forest dwellers, as the case may be, which are not mentioned in clauses-1 to 11, but excluding the traditional right of hunting or trapping extracting a part of the body of any species of wild animal.

Land Acquisition Act

The Land Acquisition Act, 1894 was a British era law that governed the process of land acquisition in India until 2013 and continues to do so in Pakistan and Myanmar. It allows the acquisition of land for some public purpose by a government agency from individual landowners after paying a government-determined compensation to cover losses incurred by landowners from surrendering their land to the agency.

In India, a new Act, The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, replaced this law.

The Government of India believed there was a heightened public concern on land acquisition issues in India. Of particular concern was that despite many amendments, over the years, to India’s Land Acquisition Act of 1894, there was an absence of a cohesive national law that addressed fair compensation when private land is acquired for public use, and fair rehabilitation of land owners and those directly affected from loss of livelihoods.

The Government of India believed that a combined law was necessary, one that legally requires rehabilitation and resettlement necessarily and simultaneously follow government acquisition of land for public purposes.

Aims and objectives

The aims and objectives of the Act include:

  • To ensure, in consultation with institutions of local self-government and Gram Sabhas established under the Constitution of India, a humane, participative, informed and transparent process for land acquisition for industrialisation, development of essential infrastructural facilities and urbanisation with the least disturbance to the owners of the land and other affected families
  • Provide just and fair compensation to the affected families whose land has been acquired or proposed to be acquired or are affected by such acquisition
  • Make adequate provisions for such affected persons for their rehabilitation and resettlement
  • Ensure that the cumulative outcome of compulsory acquisition should be that affected persons become partners in development leading to an improvement in their post acquisition social and economic status and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Limits on acquisition

The Act forbids land acquisition when acquisition would include multi-crop irrigated area. However such acquisition may be permitted on demonstrable last resort, which will be subjected to an aggregated upper limit for all the projects in a District or State as notified by the State Government.

In addition to the above condition, wherever multi-crop irrigated land is acquired an equivalent area of cultivable wasteland shall be developed by the state for agricultural purposes. In other type of agricultural land, the total acquisition shall not exceed the limit for all the projects in a District or State as notified by the Appropriate Authority.

These limits shall not apply to linear projects which includes projects for railways, highways, major district roads, power lines, and irrigation canals.

Police Reform

“… Serious internal security challenges remain. Threats from terrorism, left wing extremism, religious fundamentalism, and ethnic violence persist in our country. These challenges demand constant vigilance on our part. They need to be tackled firmly but with sensitivity.”

These were the words of former Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, at one of the conferences of Chief Ministers on internal security, (2012) six years ago. Several years have passed, a new government has been in power, but internal security of the country is still threatened by multiple threats. With the advancement in technology, newer versions of threats are continuously arising in the form of cyber-attacks, bank frauds, and organised crimes, just to name a few, which need to be tackled in a more specialised manner. Current National Security Advisor Ajit Doval termed this kind of war ‘fourth generation war’, a warfare with an invisible army and warned the police officers “…this war cannot be won by the armies. This is the war of a policeman and if you win, the country wins and if you lose then the country loses.”

Under the Constitution, police is a subject governed by states. Therefore, each of the 29 states have their own police forces.  The centre is also allowed to maintain its own police forces to assist the states with ensuring law and order.  Therefore, it maintains seven central police forces and some other police organisations for specialised tasks such as intelligence gathering, investigation, research and record-keeping, and training.

The primary role of police forces is to uphold and enforce laws, investigate crimes and ensure security for people in the country.  In a large and populous country like India, police forces need to be well-equipped, in terms of personnel, weaponry, forensic, communication and transport support, to perform their role well.  Further, they need to have the operational freedom to carry out their responsibilities professionally, and satisfactory working conditions (e.g., regulated working hours and promotion opportunities), while being held accountable for poor performance or misuse of power.

In such a scenario, the role of a policeman becomes very important. Against all these security threats, the first line of defence is the police system. Internal security is very much a prerogative of police and efficient policing is needed in order to tackle these threats. But for that, the police system needs to be efficient, effective and technologically sound.

Need for Police Reforms

The existing police system was created in an age in which the crimes as witnessed in the contemporary society were far from imagination. Indian police force was trained in the past to serve the objective of colonial rule and has not yet been granted the much needed autonomy, resources. Over the past one and half century, though the performance of police is NOT entirely disappointing, we have seen a “steady deterioration of standards of policing, the increasing lawlessness amongst the policemen themselves and the attitude of complacency and complicity amongst the leadership in the police organizations.”

Existing police system functions in an authoritarian setting. “It has become a coercive apparatus of the government. We need reforms to make police efficient, effective, people friendly and accountable;  to arrest the corruption and break the police nexus with anti-social elements; to bring attitudinal changes in police personnel to assist the community when needed. We need a new framework for police system which can “reflect the expectations of the people regarding the police in the modern democratic society.

The use of scientific investigation methods to strengthen the criminal justice system, enabling the police to tackle futuristic trends and organized crime including cyber crime.” All in all, we need 21st century police system to deal with 21st century crimes.

Reforms must be addressed by well thought out laws . A good model for Police Reforms would be the Model Police  Act drafted by Sorabjee Committee.

The committee has made sweeping recommendations and if implemented the country could see a new era of police system. Some of the recommendations include,

  1. State Police Complaint Authority to look after the complaints of misconduct against the officers of the rank of SP and above. The “District Complaint Authority” would look into the complaints against officers of the rank DSP and below.
  2. Noting that accountability of police officers is paramount, the committee suggested to introduce criminal penalties for some of the common derelictions like non-registration of FIR, unlawful arrest and detentions.
  3. National Security Commission headed by the union home minister for the selection and placement of chiefs of central police organizations like BSF, CRPF, SSB, CISF, etc. In states the State Security Commission would act as a watchdog and be headed by the Chief minister.
  4. Fixed tenure for senior officers so that they are free of “political transfers”. The “Police Establishment Board” would look after transfers, postings and promotion of officers below the rank of DSP and other personnel.
  5. Bifurcation of investigation and law and order duties. This, if implemented, will definitely help improve the quality of investigation and hence the conviction rate.


The recommendations made by Soli Sorabjee committee have a far reaching implications and it is only hoped that these are implemented at the earliest and in letter and spirit.

The way forward

Noida (Nithari) Killings of 2006, Ruchika Girhotra case have again ignited the debate of police reforms. As a first sign, Central Police Awards Committee (CPAC) “has taken a generic decision to authorize the Ministry of Home Affairs to recommend the withdrawal of police medal to all persons who are convicted for moral turpitude and for an act that brings disrespect to police forces, or any officer who is dismissed from the service by Centre or the state for his act which brought disrepute to the police.”

Modern day police need to be highly professional, service oriented, free from extraneous influences and yet accountable to the people. Today, there is a general agreement for replacing the colonial era Police Act of 1861. The new Police Act, as proposed by the government based on the recommendations of Soli Sorabjee Committee, has codified many reform recommendations in the past including measures for attitudinal changes of police. Also, the concern for human rights, weaker sections, women have been addressed.

It is high time that both the government and the civil society take responsibility for the police reforms. There are reforms that people can initiate. “Every society gets the police it deserves. After all, policemen come from the same society and reflect the attitudes and behaviors that are found in the society.”Civil Society and the media can help improve the status and efficiency of the police by exposing the loop holes. If “people can cooperate in law enforcement, there is bound to be welcome response from other side that eventually results in better law and order situation.” It is not fair to blame the government all the time. It’s time for the people to accept their responsibilities and force the government to realize that police reforms are too important to neglect and too urgent to delay.

Illegal Immigration / Illegal immigration from Bangladesh faced by India (Challenges)(pretty big)

First half of the Answer can give you enough idea. Second big half is to provide further insight

Bangladeshis in India are members of the Bangladesh diaspora who currently reside in India. The mass migration into India since Bangladesh independence has led to the creation of anti-foreigner movements, instances of mass violence and political tension between Bangladesh and India, but it has also created measurable economic benefits for both nations.

Estimates of the number of Bangladeshis in India vary widely. A census carried out in 2001 by the Indian government estimated there were 3.1 million Bangladeshis residing in India, based on place of birth and place of last residence.

A different 2009 estimate claimed that there were 15 million Bangladeshis who had taken residence in the country.

In 2012 Mullappally Ramachandran, the minister of state for home claimed that nearly 1.4 Million Bangladeshi migrants entered India in the last decade alone.

In 2007 the Indian government stated that there were up to 20 million Bangladeshis living in India illegally, though Samir Guha Roy of the Indian Statistical Institute called these estimates “motivatedly exaggerated”. After examining the population growth and demographic statistics, Roy instead states that many of the presumed illegal Bangladeshis are actually Indian citizens migrating from neighbouring states.

Pre partition – 1970s

Before the Partition of India internal migration was commonplace between the region which is now Bangladesh and the regions of Assam and West Bengal. While under colonial rule Assam was sparsely populated and the British, who wanted to exploit the resources from the region wished to see it settled. Through internal migration labour was brought from the northern regions of India, West Bengal and the region which now comprises Bangladesh.

During the Bangladesh liberation war it is estimated that up to 10 million people fled from East Pakistan to India so as to escape the genocidal actions being carried out by the West Pakistan armed forces.There were outbreaks of cholera throughout the refugee camps, the World Health Organization estimated 51,000 cases and it is estimated that 3000 people died from the disease.

Reasons for illegal immigration

According to a commentator, the trip to India from Bangladesh is one of the cheapest in the world, costing around Rs. 2000 (around $30 US), which includes the fee for the “Tour Operator”. As Bangladeshis are culturally similar to the Bengali people in India, they are able to pass off as Indian citizens and settle down in any part of India to establish a future,  for a very small price. This false identity, bolstered with false documentation available for as little as Rs. 200 ($3 US).

Anti-immigrant reaction

In 1978, observers noticed the names of an estimated 45,000 Bengali illegal immigrants on the electoral rolls in Assam. This led to a popular movement against undocumented immigrants known as the Assam Movement, which insisted on striking the names of illegal immigrants from the electoral register and advocated for their deportation from the state. The movement demanded that anyone who had entered the state illegally since 1951 be deported, though the central government insisted on a cutoff date of 1971. There was widespread support for the movement, though it tapered off between 1981 and 1982.

Toward the end of 1982 the central government called elections, and the Assam Movement called for people to boycott them. This resulted in the 1983 Nellie massacre, described by Antara Datta, as one of the largest and most severe pogroms since the Second World War. Previously, the All Assam Students Union (AASU) had emphasised economic reasons for the protests and had employed only nonviolent methods. The Nellie massacre, a result of a buildup of resentment over immigration,claimed the lives of at least 2,191 people, though unofficial figures run to more than 5,000. No investigation of the incident has ever been launched. The AASU denied any involvement in the massacre, and since then there have been no instances of communal violence in Upper Assam.

False documentation

Samir Guha Roy of the Indian Statistical Institute called the government estimates of illegal Bangladeshis “motivatedly exaggerated”. After examining the population growth and demographic statistics, Roy instead states that a significant numbers of internal migration is sometimes falsely thought to be illegal immigrants. An analysis of the numbers by Roy revealed that on average around 91000 Bangladeshi nationals might have crossed over to India every year during the years 1981–1991 but how many of them where identified and pushed back is not known. It is possible that a large portion of these immigrants returned on their own to their place of origin.

Most of the Bengali speaking people deported from Maharashtra as illegal immigrants are originally Indian citizens from West Bengal. In Assam, Muslims are usually targeted by the protesters, being branded as illegal immigrants, “though many have lived in the region for generations”. There were also reports of harassment of Muslims in the char areas by policemen despite submitting proof of citizenship.

**

  • Bangladesh borders India on three sides, sharing 4,096 kilometers (around 2,500 miles) of border with the Indian states of West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.
  • Ever since the partition of British India in 1947, successive waves of people facing hostile conditions, persecution, intolerance, and adverse economic situations in what constitutes present-day Bangladesh have found sanctuary in India. While some of them later returned to their homes in Bangladesh, the majority chose to assimilate within India.
  • India’s geostrategic location, its relatively sound economic position with its neighbors, and its liberal democratic credentials have long made it a magnet for people in other parts of the region who are fleeing persecution in their countries of origin or looking for a better life.
  • Bangladeshis in India are members of the Bangladeshi Diaspora who currently reside in India. The mass migration into India since Bangladesh independence has led to the creation of anti foreigner movements, instances of mass violence and political tension between Bangladesh and India, but it has also created measurable economic benefits for both the nations
  • Refugees/illegal immigrants from Tibet, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have found shelter in India. While refugees coming from other areas [including Tibet, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Myanmar] have been dealt with in a somewhat systematic, although ad hoc, manner, the influx/rush of refugees/illegal immigrants from Bangladesh has largely been left unattended.
  • This neglect has adversely impacted the interests of local populations in the areas seeing large-scale influxes of illegal immigrants as well as India’s national security interests. Further, the absence of national refugee laws has blurred the distinction between refugees and economic migrants, leading to the denial of any assistance to even genuine asylum seekers. It now poses an enormous problem for India and the millions of affected people. Further delay in addressing the problem will only make matters worse.
  • According to a commentator, the trip to India from Bangladesh is one of the cheapest in the world, costing around Rs.2000[$30US] which includes the fee for the Tour Operator. As Bangladeshis are culturally similar to the Bengali People in India, they are able to pass off as Indian citizens and settle down in any part of India to establish a future for a very small price. This false identity bolstered with false documentation available for as little as Rs.200 [$3 US] can even make them part of the vote bank
  • There is no reliable figure on the exact number of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh in India. An analysis of population growth and demographic statistics for Bangladesh and India in the last four censuses of 2011, 2001, 1991, and 1981, however, suggests with reasonable certainty that their number exceeds 15 million. Most of them have settled in states along the border with Bangladesh, and some subsequently moved to other parts of India, including its remote corners. A large number are engaged in menial jobs in metropolitan cities in different parts of India.

Challenges and Assam Accord

  • The huge number of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, particularly in the Border States, has proved to be a huge challenge for India with serious implications for its resources and national security.
  • It has substantially contributed to changing the demographic pattern in the northeastern states of India, where the locals feel overwhelmed by the outsiders. This has adversely affected their way of life and led to simmering tension between the two sides.
  • It has also fueled insurgency in some of these states. In Assam, for example, the presence of a disproportionately large number of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and former East Pakistan, and their enrollment as voters, led to a popular movement there (1979–1985) that demanded their deportation.
  • The Indian Parliament passed the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act in 1983 in an attempt to address the problem, but the measure failed to make any impact (and was ultimately set aside by the Supreme Court in 2005).

Social impact of illegal migration

  • Crisis of identity: 
    The influx of immigrants created a crisis of identity among the indigenous Assamese. Their cultural survival will be in jeopardy, their political control will be weakened and their employment opportunities will be undermined by such illegal migration. Assamese found that though the immigrants had settled in Assam, most of them failed to identify themselves with the mainstream. The recent Bodo-Muslim violence in the BTAD has its root on the issue of illegal migration.
  • Environmental degradation: 
    Large areas of forest land were encroached upon by the immigrants for settlement and cultivation. The state experienced declining percent of land area under forest from 39% in 1951-52 to about 30% now. (2016)
  • Difficult to identify the illegal migrants: 
    Due to the similar language spoken by illegal migrants from Bangladesh and the indigenous Bengali speaking Muslim of Assam, it becomes difficult to identify and deport the illegal migration from Assam soil.
  • Community tension: 
    The commission on integration and Cohesion found that tension usually exist with the presence of high levels of migration combine with other forms of social exclusion like poverty, poor housing etc.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangladeshis_in_India
https://carnegieindia.org/2016/06/29/illegal-immigration-from-bangladesh-to-india-toward-comprehensive-solution-pub-63931

Displacement and Rehabilitation

Infrastructural development projects carried out by states, frequently result in the displacement of peoples from homes that stand in the way of dams, highways, or other large-scale construction projects. In the past, poor rural farmers have been victims of  large scale development projects in developing countries. Development projects like dams and road building have displaced a large number of people from their place.

Among the many cases of forced displacement in India, Narmada River Dam project is the most widely discussed, criticized  and publicized.

Displacement results in

  • Loss of land, job and home
  • Food insecurity
  • Social disintegration
  • Loss of access to common property
  • Marginalization

In India, there are roughly  60 million displaced persons and project-affected persons from various states . As more and more land is required for industrial growth, the number of displaced persons are in the increase.  50-60 million project affected persons (PAP) have been  deprived of a livelihood without physical relocation .

The majority of the PAP are tribals, rural  poor communities like fisherfolk, quarry workers  and landless dalits and scarcely 20% have been rehabilitated. The rest are left to fend for themselves.  The situation has worsened with the onset of  globalisation.. A number of  Special  Economic Zones (SEZs) are being planned all over India. The coal sector has been told to triple its production ,and massive dams are planned  in several  states. The outcome is  more land and more displacement.

Issues

  • PAPs have not received enough land and also face acute problems of fuel and fodder
  • Lack of facilities in the new site, primary health centre, school, dispensary
  • PAP’s are finding it difficult to adapt to new sites
  • Quality of land given is poor
  • There have been cases of human rights violation
  •  Income in the new sites lower than the income of farmers in their old village

Although relocation has been done in some cases, the rehabilitation is not satisfactory. There is family partition, unproductive land, loss of income , cut off from socio-cultural network, etc.

There has been several protests against project related displacements and the SEZ. What is required a comprehensive rehabilitation policy?

On October 11, 2007, the central government announced the National Policy for Rehabilitation and Resettlement 2007 (NPRR 2007), replacing the National Policy of 2003. The policy addresses some of the issues of rehabilitation and minimizing displacement, with the objective of striking a balance between the need for development and protecting the interests of the farmers and the landless. However there are criticisms about the policy and its implementation.

MIDC

Too much extra content just for elaboration

Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) is a project of the government of Maharashtra state in India and is the leading corporation of Maharashtra. It provides businesses with infrastructure such as land (open plot or built-up spaces), roads, water supply, drainage facilities and street lights. Mr. P. Anbalagan, IAS, is the CEO of MIDC (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation).

The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation has set up IT parks. It is developing industrial areas with essential infrastructure like internal roads, water, electricity etc for faster industrial development . Also, with a view to arresting pollution, it has started hazardous waste management and common effluent plants on a joint venture basis with the help of local industrial associations.

With both the State government and the MIDC taking a proactive role in supporting diversified industrial development, Maharashtra manages to retain its status as the leader of  Indian industrial growth.

History

After the formation of Maharashtra state on 1 May 1960, the government of Maharashtra constituted a “Board of Industrial Development” (BID) on 1 October 1960, under the chairmanship of Shri. S. G. Barve, I.C.S. The committees recommendations received in the industries department were taken up for implementation. As per the Borkar Committee’s recommendations, development of Ulhas Valley Water Supply was entrusted to the Board of Industrial Development (BID). The BID framed the legislation; it was introduced before the state legislation and passed in the form of “Maharashtra Industrial Act” which gave birth to MIDC, as a separate corporation on 1 August 1962. A small ceremony at Wagle estate, Thane, under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister Shri Y.B. Chavan, marked the birthday of MIDC on 1 August 1962. 

The key historical policy decisions taken by MIDC changed the socioeconomic scenario of the state as its activities spread in the interior. The important policy decision of setting up “independent filtered, potable water supply system of adequate capacity” as essential infrastructure for industrial development was the most intelligent step taken by MIDC in the beginning. It stabilised the population base near the industrial areas. The simultaneously strategic decision taken to provide water supply to nearby population from the capabilities created by MIDC of their own water supply system resulted in phenomenal urban growth in the nearby small towns and villages. The growth of Kalyan complex and Pimpri-Chinchwad are results of this key policy decision taken by MIDC.

Up to date 233 industrial areas are developed by MIDC in Maharashtra on 53120 hectors. With the experience of 45 years, MIDC observed that certain industries are required to be provided some specialized facilities. For the growth of industries and specialized parks/industrial clusters are developed with specialized infrastructure facilities. In this way IT & BT Parks, Wine Parks, Textile Parks, Chemical Zones, Food Parks, Leather Park, Floriculture Park and Electronic Zone etc. are developed by the MIDC.

Achievements

  • Built 225 industrial complexes with 1,300,000 acres (5,300 km2) of land
  • Developed specialized parks for different industrial sectors, including IT, BT, wine (grape processing) Park, Silver Zone, gems and jewellery, textiles, leather, chemical industry, electronics, food processing, floriculture etc.
  • Elaborate network of industrial & domestic water supply, total quantity supplied 1285 MLD

DRD (Declaration for the Rights to Development)

The United Nations established the right to development as an inalienable human right in 1986. The declaration seeks to ensure people’s right to personal and financial improvement and progress. The Right to Development is based on human dignity and implies the right to self-determination and full sovereignty over wealth and natural resources.

The right to development was first recognized in 1981 in Article 22 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights as a definitive individual and collective right. Article 22(122) provides that: “All peoples shall have the right to their economic, social and cultural development with due regard to their freedom and identity and in the equal enjoyment of the common heritage of mankind.”

The right to development was subsequently proclaimed by the United Nations in 1986 in the “Declaration on the Right to Development,” which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 41/128. The Right to development is a group right of peoples as opposed to an individual right, and was reaffirmed by the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.

The right to development is now included in the mandate of several UN institutions and offices.

The Preamble of the Declaration on the Right to Development states “development is a comprehensive economic, social, cultural and political process, which aims at the constant improvement of the well-being of the entire population and of all individuals on the basis of their active, free and meaningful participation in development and in the fair distribution of benefits resulting therefrom.”

Development refers to the comprehensive social, economic, cultural and political process which aims at the constant improvement of the well being of all the people on the basis of their active participation  

Article 1

The right to Development is an inalienable human right by which every individual and all people are entitled to participate in, contribute to , and enjoy social, economic, cultural and political development in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully satisfied.

The UN adopted the declaration on the right to Development in 1986. Every human being wants to develop, improve their standard of living and enhance quality of life. However, it is seen that only a section of society benefits from the development process and others remain deprived of the fruits of development and often become victims of it. i.e development of some takes place at the cost of others.

Now it is  universally accepted that Right to Development is everybody’s right. Weaker sections of  society like women, children and tribals  have a higher claim over this right because their development is yet to take place. Similarly certain regions within a country are under developed as compared to other regions. .

Provision of the Declaration of the Right to Development

  • Right to Development is inalienable human right. Every one has a right to participate and contribute to development and enjoy the benefits of development
  • States have the primary responsibility for the creation of national and international conditions favourable for development – States should formulate appropriate development policies, undertake all measures and encourage all people to participate in all spheres of development
  • States should eliminate all obstacles to development
  • Sustained action is required to promote rapid development
  • States should ensure that massive violations of human rights are eliminated – resulting from racial discrimination, apartheid, foreign domination etc.
  • Equal opportunity should be provided for all for development . Women should play an active role in the development process. Ensure that equal opportunities are provided to all sections of  the community –  access to basic resources ( education, health services, food, housing, employment and fair distribution of income)

The process of development should be transparent and accountable.  

Rights to Development is often treated as a collective right.  It is not logical to treat it as collective right as every human is entitled to the Right to development . The human person is the active participant and beneficiary of the development .

The Right to Development is generally accepted but not legally binding.

National Health Policy (2015)

The National Health Policy was endorsed by the Parliament of India in 1983 and updated in 2002. The National Health policy was to provide health for all by the year 2001 AD. However the management of health program has posed a serious threat and unless health management is given priority that it deserves, health plans will not yield the desired results.

The draft National Health Policy, 2015 has proposed a target of raising public health expenditure to 2.5 % from the present 1.2% of GDP. It also notes that4 0% of this would need to come from central expenditure.

The policy suggests making health a fundamental right similar to education and denial of the same could be punishable. The Centre shall enact, after due discussion and on the request of three or more states a National Health Rights Act, which will ensure health as a fundamental right, whose denial will be justiciable.

The new policy is being introduced almost 13 years after the last health   policy was drafted.

As per the NHP 2015, government plans to rely mostly on general taxation for financing health care expenditure.With the projection of a promising economic growth, the fiscal capacity to provide this level of financing should become available.

The government is also keen to explore the creation of a health cess on the lines of education cess for raising money needed to fund the expenditure it would entail. Other than general taxation, this cess could mobilize contributions from specific commodity taxes such as the taxes on tobacco, and alcohol, from specific industries and innovative forms of resource mobilization.

While there is an intent to increase spend on health care, the draft policy also stresses on the role of private sector. While the public sector is to focus on preventive and secondary care services, the document recommends contracting out services like ambulatory care, imaging and diagnostics, tertiary care down to non-medical services such as catering and laundry to the private sector.

The NHP 2015 highlights the urgent need to improve the performance of health systems,

  • with focus on improving maternal mortality rate, controlling infectious diseases
  • tackling the growing burden of non-communicable diseases, bringing down medical expenses among other things.
  • Maternal mortality currently accounts for 0.55% of all deaths and 4% of all female deaths in the 15 to 49 year age group.

The policy statement also assures universal access to free drugs and diagnostics in government-run hospitals. However, it proposes to pose public health system as pre-paid services instead of social service.

A step in the right direction

The policy is a first step in achieving universal health coverage by advocating health as a fundamental right, whose “denial will be justiciable”.

The current government spending on health care is a dismal 1.04 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), one of the lowest in the world; this translates to Rs.957 per capita in absolute terms. The draft policy has addressed this critical issue by championing an increase in government

spending to 2.5 percent of GDP (Rs.3,800 per capita) in the next five years.

Suggestions & Concerns

The national programmes provide universal coverage only with respect to certain interventions such as maternal ailments, that account for less than 10 percent of all mortalities.

Over 75 per cent of the communicable diseases are outside their purview and only a limited number of non-communicable diseases are covered.

It is, therefore, crucial for the Union government to undertake proactive measures to upgrade the health-care services of poorly performing

States such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

As it stands, health will be recognised as a fundamental right through a National Health Rights Act only when three or more States “request” it. Since health is a State subject, adoption by the respective States will be voluntary.

Though a different approach has been taken to improve adoption and implementation by States, the very objective of universal health coverage that hinges on portability will be defeated in the absence of uniform adoption across India.

Additional : New Health Policy 2017

Not going into details but theres a sequel to this thing.

The new health policy declares it will increase health spending to 2.5% of gross domestic product (GDP), which is Rs 2.83 lakh crore ($42 billion)–nearly as much as the budget estimate for defence spending for 2017-18, from 1.16% of GDP in 2015.

The 2002 policy said the government–then headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)–would increase health spending to 2% of GDP, which never happened either under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA-1) or during 10 years of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) administration.

This is not the first time India is failing to achieve health targets. The 12th five-year plan (2012-17) had a target to reduce IMR to 25 and MMR to 100, reduce total fertility rate–children born per woman of childbearing age (15 to 49 years)–to 2.1 and raise sex ratio in the 0-6 year age group to 950 per 1,000 by 2017, which it has failed to achieve, according to National Family Health Survey 2015-16 data.

Apart from setting targets, the NHP 2017 is also planning to introduce yoga “more widely in schools and workplaces as part of promotion of good health”.  The policy also seeks to move away from “sick care to wellness” with the thrust on “prevention and health promotion”.

Special Economic Zone in Maharashtra

The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) policy in India first came into inception on April 1, 2000. The prime objective was to enhance foreign investment and provide an internationally competitive and hassle free environment for exports. The idea was to promote exports from the country and realising the need that level playing field must be made available to the domestic enterprises and manufacturers to be competitive globally.

A special economic zone (SEZ) is a geographical region that has economic laws that are more liberal than a country’s domestic economic laws. India has specific laws for its SEZs.

The category ‘SEZ’ covers a broad range of more specific zone types, including free-trade zones (FTZ), export processing zones (EPZ), free zones (FZ), industrial estates (IE), free ports, urban enterprise zones and others. Usually the goal of a structure is to increase foreign direct investment by foreign investors, typically an international business or a Multinational Corporation (MNC)

SEZs were introduced to India in 2000, following the already successful SEZ model used in China. Prior to their introduction, India relied on Export Processing Zones (EPZs) which failed to make an impact on foreign investors. 

By 2005, all EPZs had been converted to SEZs. As of 2017, there are 221 SEZs in operation, with a further 194 approved for 2018. For developers to establish an SEZ in India, applications can be made to the Indian Board of Approval. Companies, partner firms, and individuals may also apply by completing Form-A which is available on the Department of Commerce’s website.

There are four types of SEZs in India, which are categorised according to size:

  • Multi-sector (1,000+ hectares)
  • Sector-specific (100+ hectares)
  • Free Trade & Warehousing Zone (FTWZ) (40+ hectares)
  • Tech, handicraft, non-conventional energy, gems & jewellery (10+ hectares).

A comprehensive list of all SEZs in India

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_special_economic_zones_in_India

How do SEZs help a country’s economy?

SEZs play a key role in rapid economic development of a country. In the early 1990s, it helped China and there were hopes (perhaps never very high ones, admittedly) that the establishment in India of similar export-processing zones could offer similar benefits — provided, however, that the zones offered attractive enough concessions.

Traditionally the biggest deterrents to foreign investment in India have been high tariffs and taxes, red tape and strict labour laws. To date, these restrictions have ensured that India has been unable to compete with China’s massively successful light-industrial export machine. India’s goods exports in 2004 were an estimated $68 bn compared with $594 bn for China, and the stock of inward FDI, at $42 bn, was less than a tenth of China’s $544 bn.

What is the role of state governments in establishing SEZs?

State governments will have a very important role to play in the establishment of SEZs. Representative of the state government, who is a member of the inter-ministerial committee on private SEZ, is consulted while considering the proposal. Before recommending any proposals to the ministry of commerce and industry (department of commerce),the states must satisfy themselves that they are in a position to supply basic inputs like water, electricity, etc.

Are SEZ’s controlled by the government?

In all SEZs the statutory functions are controlled by the government. Government also controls the operation and maintenance function in the seven central government controlled SEZs. The rest of the operations and maintenance are privatised.

Are SEZs exempt from labour laws?

Normal labour laws are applicable to SEZs, which are enforced by the respective state governments. The state governments have been requested to simplify the procedures/returns and for introduction of a single window clearance mechanism by delegating appropriate powers to development commissioners of SEZs.

Who monitors the functioning of the units in SEZ?

The performance of the SEZ units are monitored by a unit approval committee consisting of development commissioner, custom and representative of state government on an annual basis.

Migration and Identity Crisis

  • Bangladesh borders India on three sides, sharing 4,096 kilometers (around 2,500 miles) of border with the Indian states of West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.
  • Ever since the partition of British India in 1947, successive waves of people facing hostile conditions, persecution, intolerance, and adverse economic situations in what constitutes present-day Bangladesh have found sanctuary in India. While some of them later returned to their homes in Bangladesh, the majority chose to assimilate within India.
  • India’s geostrategic location, its relatively sound economic position with its neighbors, and its liberal democratic credentials have long made it a magnet for people in other parts of the region who are fleeing persecution in their countries of origin or looking for a better life.
  • Bangladeshis in India are members of the Bangladeshi Diaspora who currently reside in India. The mass migration into India since Bangladesh independence has led to the creation of anti foreigner movements, instances of mass violence and political tension between Bangladesh and India, but it has also created measurable economic benefits for both the nations
  • Refugees/illegal immigrants from Tibet, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have found shelter in India. While refugees coming from other areas [including Tibet, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Myanmar] have been dealt with in a somewhat systematic, although ad hoc, manner, the influx/rush of refugees/illegal immigrants from Bangladesh has largely been left unattended.
  • This neglect has adversely impacted the interests of local populations in the areas seeing large-scale influxes of illegal immigrants as well as India’s national security interests. Further, the absence of national refugee laws has blurred the distinction between refugees and economic migrants, leading to the denial of any assistance to even genuine asylum seekers. It now poses an enormous problem for India and the millions of affected people. Further delay in addressing the problem will only make matters worse.
  • According to a commentator, the trip to India from Bangladesh is one of the cheapest in the world, costing around Rs.2000[$30US] which includes the fee for the Tour Operator. As Bangladeshis are culturally similar to the Bengali People in India, they are able to pass off as Indian citizens and settle down in any part of India to establish a future for a very small price. This false identity bolstered with false documentation available for as little as Rs.200 [$3 US] can even make them part of the vote bank
  • There is no reliable figure on the exact number of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh in India. An analysis of population growth and demographic statistics for Bangladesh and India in the last four censuses of 2011, 2001, 1991, and 1981, however, suggests with reasonable certainty that their number exceeds 15 million. Most of them have settled in states along the border with Bangladesh, and some subsequently moved to other parts of India, including its remote corners. A large number are engaged in menial jobs in metropolitan cities in different parts of India.

Challenges and Assam Accord

  • The huge number of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, particularly in the Border States, has proved to be a huge challenge for India with serious implications for its resources and national security.
  • It has substantially contributed to changing the demographic pattern in the northeastern states of India, where the locals feel overwhelmed by the outsiders. This has adversely affected their way of life and led to simmering tension between the two sides.
  • It has also fueled insurgency in some of these states. In Assam, for example, the presence of a disproportionately large number of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and former East Pakistan, and their enrollment as voters, led to a popular movement there (1979–1985) that demanded their deportation.
  • The Indian Parliament passed the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act in 1983 in an attempt to address the problem, but the measure failed to make any impact (and was ultimately set aside by the Supreme Court in 2005).

Social impact of illegal migration

  • Crisis of identity: 
    The influx of immigrants created a crisis of identity among the indigenous Assamese. Their cultural survival will be in jeopardy, their political control will be weakened and their employment opportunities will be undermined by such illegal migration. Assamese found that though the immigrants had settled in Assam, most of them failed to identify themselves with the mainstream. The recent Bodo-Muslim violence in the BTAD has its root on the issue of illegal migration.
  • Environmental degradation: 
    Large areas of forest land were encroached upon by the immigrants for settlement and cultivation. The state experienced declining percent of land area under forest from 39% in 1951-52 to about 30% now. (2016)
  • Difficult to identify the illegal migrants: 
    Due to the similar language spoken by illegal migrants from Bangladesh and the indigenous Bengali speaking Muslim of Assam, it becomes difficult to identify and deport the illegal migration from Assam soil.
  • Community tension: 
    The commission on integration and Cohesion found that tension usually exist with the presence of high levels of migration combine with other forms of social exclusion like poverty, poor housing etc.

History of Naxalism

The Naxalites, also sometimes called the Naxals, is a loose term used to define groups waging a violent struggle on behalf of landless labourers and tribal people against landlords and others. They are various militant Communist groups operating in different parts of India.

The Naxalites say they are fighting oppression and exploitation to create a classless society. The Naxals are considered far-left radical communists, supportive of Maoist political sentiment and ideology. Their opponents say the Naxalites are terrorists oppressing people in the name of a class war. Naxalite movement has its origins a place called Naxalbari in West Bengal. On May 25th 1967 a section of Communist Party (Marxist)(CPM) cadres rose in revolt against the oppression of peasants in Naxalbari. They were led by CPM leaders Charu Mazumdar and Kanu Sanyal. CPM which advocated parliamentary politics did not support the rebellion. Rebels who were then known as Naxalites broke away from CPM and formed Naxalites movement. Naxalite movement based itself on the principles of Mao (Late leader of Chinese communist Party) and Che Guevara. Many University graduates in India, including those from IITs joined the rebels and the rebellion spread to rest of West Bengal and Kerala. Rebellion also benefited from the ongoing drought in India which affected peasants. By 1972 the movement was literally dead, due to efforts by the Indira Gandhi Government which used Patriotic sentiment to win over support of the general public. In early 1980s, a Naxalite group in Andhra Pradesh state started operations against state police in adivasi areas. Slowly operations extended into the neighboring states such as Madhya Pradesh. At the same time another Naxalite group carried out operation against state police in Bihar state.  Two groups later joined together to form the Communist Party.

 Over the years, as the principles diluted, Naxalite movement saw much of its membership waning away. Nevertheless, it has an endless supply of men and women, victims of State apathy to their condition joining its ranks, which shows that many still believe in the cause. For the past 10 years, it has grown mostly from displaced tribals and natives who are fighting against exploitation from major Indian corporations and local corrupt officials. The Chinese government has been found to have provided sanctuary to leaders of the movement, and the Pakistani ISI to have provided financial support. Today Naxalites have approximately 20000 well armed cadres. In addition they have more than 30000 cadres committed to the movement active in various states. They have also have sophisticated weapons including mortars. Success of Communist Party (Maoist) in Nepal has encouraged Naxalites. Naxalites are building networks in the urban areas such as New Delhi, Calcutta and Bombay. Although Naxalite armed wing known as People liberation army is no match to Indian army in a conventional war, it is equally matched in guerrilla and asymmetrical warfare.

The members of the Naxal movement initially try to infiltrate and develop their bases in underdeveloped areas where there exist some sort of an administrative vacuum. Once these bases become strong enough, the Naxalites start expanding their influence in the surrounding areas as well. While taking advantage of the feeling of neglect among the people, the Naxalites start educating them about their exploitation by the Indian state and how to bring an end to such exploitation through an armed struggle. Many youths get inspired by the radical ideas advocated by the Naxal movement and try to achieve these goals. However, once they realize that the movement is not as ideal as they had initially expected, they try to come out of it.

It is claimed that the Naxalites have long abandoned their ideology and are nothing more than a group of terrorists now.   People who live in regions not under Naxal influence often fail to identify with their ideology and have no trouble justifying the “terrorist” tag. It is believed that the Naxalites extort money from owners of small tracts of land when they cannot do so from the rich landowners. They are also accused of collecting “tax” from the tribals and the poor who they claim to protect. The mass-murder of policemen and government officials has made them unpopular with all political parties.  The Naxalites are known to use very brutal methods, including severing of heads, the hacking of limbs and the gouging out of eyes, as they demonstrated in Gadchiroli recently. As protection against the Naxalites’ terror tactics, many villagers have formed local armies. In clashes between the Naxalites and these local forces, it is invariably the adivasis and the poor farmers who suffer the most.

                 Since the Naxal movement does not believe in peaceful discussion and emphasizes on armed struggle, the Indian government has not been able to bring about much results through dialogue. However, the hopes that the Naxalites will feel the pressure within a few years once the Indian government starts putting its act together. The desired results have not been achieved so far particularly because the police force, which should have been in the forefront of the fight against Naxalism, has been highly neglected and it is particularly ineffective in the Naxal affected areas. In many areas, the actual number of police personnel is much lower than the posts sanctioned. Thus, a huge number of police posts lie vacant. At a time when unemployment is still a big issue in India, many youths can take up the police profession. If enough youths from Naxal affected areas can be recruited into the police, law and order can be improved in those areas to some extent. In recent years the intelligence gathering system in Naxal affected areas has improved and that is why the government has been able to catch hold of a few CPI-Maoists top brass in the last few months.

                The movement has lost several top leaders and cadres in the past few years. Naxal publications have, as a result, underlined the need to preserve their leaders, even at the expense of decreasing the number of armed actions against the state. It has also been admitted by the top Naxal leadership that the act of expanding the movement into new areas too fast, without the adequate ground level work that should have preceded it, has spread the movement too thin and weakened it as a result. Assuming that the Naxal leaders are practical strategists, they can be expected to retreat into a self-preservation-and-recoup mode, rather than venturing into an all out war with the state, which enhances the risk of their decapitation. Odd violence would continue, for that is necessary to keep their community intact.

Direct fallout of this strategy will be a visible decline in the number of fatalities among the security forces and civilians, which can conveniently be interpreted by the state as an improvement in the situation. The real dangers flow from such a misinterpretation. In 2011, Fatalities were significantly less than 2010, in Naxal violence. There are reasons to believe that much of the improvement in the situation is primarily due to policy of a tactical retreat by the Naxals, and not by a dramatic expansion in the capacities of the forces. By all means, anti-Naxal operations have remained CRPF-governing tactics. One would have expected that several years after the CRPF got deployed in the Naxal theatres, this basic trait of fighting the extremists would have been internalized. The fact that the CRPF Director General had to reiterate it, underlines the huge challenges of breaking the shackles of a defensive mindset that has pervaded the CRPF since the huge reversals it suffered in 2010. It is not surprising that the success rate of even the specialized anti-Naxal commando COBRA battalion of the CRPF, according to an estimate, has remained at a meager 17 per cent. Since the middle of 2011, a development-led approach has become the focus of New Delhi’s counter-Naxal strategy. Enormous amount of resources and efforts are being made available to develop areas that are “worst affected by left-wing extremism”. Amidst this official hullabaloo, serious efforts to instill a sense of purpose among the forces must continue. The state is bound to discover, sooner than later, that the strategy of developing conflict affected areas without neutralizing extremist firepower, is not only an unsustainable project, but also counter-productive.

India has a very large middle class based on service sector. This middle class is slowly affected by the global recession as the demand for Indian software engineers and call centers are being squeezed. At the same time due to the delay in monsoon, drought is feared in many states. Over the last two decades successive Indian governments focused on service sector to the detriment of agriculture. Already Indian government has banned wheat exports. Drought coupled with global recession will be a disaster to Indian economy. These conditions will only strengthen naxalite movement. They also have support among the urban progressive intelligentsia. With people’s support it can survive and grow as the economic crisis hits the middle classes and urban areas. It is a matter of time before naxalite movement emerges as major challenge to Indian state.

Source

Terrorism (Everything)

Terrorism is, in its broadest sense, the use or threatened use of violence (terror) in order to achieve a political, religious, or ideological aim. Terrorism found in India includes ethno-nationalist terrorism, religious terrorism, left wing terrorism and narco terrorism.

Terrorism is not new and even though it has been used since the early times of recorded history, it can be relatively hard to define terrorism.

Terrorism has been described variously as both a tactic and strategy; a crime and a holy duty; a justified reaction to oppression and an inexcusable abomination. Obviously, a lot depends on whose point of view is being represented. Terrorism has often been an effective tactic for the weaker side in a conflict. As an asymmetric form of conflict, it confers coercive power with many of the advantages of military force at a fraction of the cost. Due to the secretive nature and small size of terrorist organizations, they often offer opponents no clear organization to defend against or to deter.

Terrorism is a criminal act that influences an audience beyond the immediate victim. The strategy of terrorists is to commit acts of violence that draws the attention of the local populace, the government, and the world to their cause. The terrorists plan their attack to obtain the greatest publicity, choosing targets that symbolize what they oppose. The effectiveness of the terrorist act lies not in the act itself, but in the public’s or government’s reaction to the act. For example, in 1972 at the Munich Olympics, the Black September Organization killed 11 Israelis. The Israelis were the immediate victims. But the true target was the estimated 1 billion people watching the televised event. Those billion people watching were to be introduced to fear – which is terrorism’s ultimate goal.

History of Terrorism

Terrorist acts or the threat of such action have been in existence for millennia. Despite having a history longer than the modern nation-state, the use of terror by governments and those that contest their power remains poorly understood. While the meaning of the word terror itself is clear, when it is applied to acts and actors in the real world it becomes confused. Part of this is due to the use of terror tactics by actors at all levels in the social and political environment.

Ideology and motivation will influence the objectives of terrorist operations, especially regarding the casualty rate. Groups with secular ideologies and non-religious goals will often attempt highly selective and discriminate acts of violence to achieve a specific political aim. This often requires them to keep casualties at the minimum amount necessary to attain the objective. This is both to avoid a backlash that might severely damage the organization, and also maintain the appearance of a rational group that has legitimate grievances. By limiting their attacks they reduce the risk of undermining external political and economic support.

In contrast, religiously oriented and millenarian groups typically attempt to inflict as many casualties as possible. Because of the apocalyptic frame of reference they use, loss of life is irrelevant, and more casualties are better.

Losses among their co-religionists are of little account, because such casualties will reap the benefits of the afterlife.

Likewise, non-believers, whether they are the intended target or collateral damage, deserve death, and killing them may be considered a moral duty.

The Kenyan bombing against the U.S. Embassy in 1998 inflicted casualties on the local inhabitants in proportion to U.S. personnel of over twenty to one killed, and an even greater disparity in the proportion of wounded (over 5000 Kenyans were wounded by the blast; 95% of total casualties were non-American ). Fear of backlash rarely concerns these groups, as it is often one of their goals to provoke overreaction by their enemies, and hopefully widen the conflict.

Causes of Terrorism with examples

People are not born terrorists. Therefore, it is a significant point that the terrorism is a long process and a political strategy selected from among a range of other options to achieve their goals. The process of terrorism has an historical background, which involves people who think that the political system is treating them harshly.

Terrorists may belong to any culture or country.

Many reasons have been specified for the causes of terrorism. The researchers and other experts have devoted the vast time and efforts for explaining terrorist conduct. They give many reasons for the cause of terrorism, like political history, modern politics, government policies, ideological reasons, cultural tensions and economic trends etc.

1.   Ethno-Nationalism

The desire of group of persons in the society to separate from the existing government and to formation of their new nation can cause the creation of terrorist organizations.

At present, Hamas is one of the most dangerous ethno-nationalist groups involving in different types of terrorist activities like suicide bombings for attacking against Israel with the objective of creating a separate state i.e. Palestinian. Chechen terrorist organizations are also ethno-nationalists, as they attack against the citizens and government of Russia in order to establish their own nation. In India also there are numerous terrorist groups, who want to create separate nations like in J & K and in Eastern States of India.  

Around the world, there are many terrorist groups exist, who wants independence from their original state. So, ethno-nationalism is a main cause of terrorism. It can be controlled peacefully and politically by listening and solving the grievances of terrorist groups.

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2. Terrorism due to Alienation or Discrimination

Many groups of people came from their home land to other  countries for employment or education and ultimately settled there. Many times, they face discrimination from the original citizens of the countries where they shifted. These groups may become jaded towards the society and feel excluded. Due to sentiments of discrimination and isolation, these groups become more conservative and start terrorist acts against the original citizens and government.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks, in USA is the best example of this type of terrorism. The persons involved in this attack were migrant Muslims, who went to Germany, from their native nation, for their education. They felt discriminated in Europe and they created a terrorist group with other conservative Muslims and attacked in USA on 1109-2001. Due to discrimination, they became more jaded with the society.

3. Religion

Religion is treated to be a significant cause of terrorism. Although, religion is not the major cause for terrorism but it plays an important role in terrorism, in entire world. As Hoffman gave example of religious terrorism in his book “Inside Terrorism” that Thugs of ancient India killed the innocent people to terrorize in the name of the God Kali and Jewish Zealots cut the throats of Romans in public to combat their occupation of Israel. Religion has long been a factor of terrorism.

The terrorist attacks based upon religion are more dangerous in nature than other types of terrorism. The religious head entices the young people by saying that they would be reward, after death by God and make them ready for suicide bombing which are harder to defend.

In India also, religion is main reason of terrorism. The maximum number of terrorist incidents and deaths of innocent civilians have occurred due to religious terrorism. In Punjab, some Sikh groups chose terrorism to create an independent state called Khalistan based on Sikh religion. In J&K, Muslims belonging to different organisations chose terrorism for creation of independent Muslim nation and for this purpose, they attack on innocent public.

4. Socio-Economic Status

Terrorism may also be caused due to difference of economic standards of different countries. Due to economic differences between the rich countries and poor countries lead to humiliations, frustrations and victimizations in groups of persons belonging to poor countries as they make comparison about their economic conditions with the citizens of rich countries. The modern media and internet also play a vital role to create awareness about the opportunities and resources available in other countries. For example, by comparing the economic differences between themselves and the Western countries, enraged the Muslims youths of underdeveloped countries which increase tension and frustration. This permitted the terrorist organizations to get attention and entry to their countries and associate with them for the purpose of terrorist activities. The simple mean to check this type of terrorism is through economic development of the underdeveloped countries.

5. Political Grievances

The grievances against a certain political policy or lack of political participation in states may be of reason to join or form terrorist groups. The Left- and right-wing terrorists are the example of this type of terrorism. It is akin to ethno-nationalist terrorism, but in this, the demand is not to create new state but to change the political policy within the nation.

6. Poverty and Economic Problems due to Globalisation

The more important factor of terrorism is disparity in the distribution of resources. This is a main cause of terrorism. Approximately, 15% of the world population utilizes 85% of the total resources. UN statistics show that the situation is more deteriorating in the developing countries as compared to last 30 years. In underdeveloped countries, a small group of people have enriched themselves. So, it is also one of the reasons that the wealthier countries are constantly exposed to terrorist attacks by a small group representing people from the underdeveloped countries. In India, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Bihar are prime examples of terrorism due to economic causes. Where unemployment, exploitation of landless by land owners and absence of land reforms, etc., are main causes of terrorism.  These economic grievances and gross social injustice have given rise to ideological terrorist groups such as the various Marxist/Maoist groups operating under different names.

7. Anti Democracy

The democratic government represents the people and provides political means to voice against grievances, where terrorism should not have place but Some Scholars and experts say that the democracy is facilitator or instigator for terrorism because of its openness. Few experts treat this openness is a big flaw of the system which is also reason of terrorism. They think that due to this openness, terrorists get publicity of their cause in the absence of strong censorship.

8. The Accidental Guerrilla

Lastly, a theory “accidental guerrilla” put forth by David Kilcullen. Kilcullen describes it as “A terrorist organization moves into an area with poor government or that is conflict ridden (he uses Al Qaeda specifically), then uses this safe haven to spread their ideologies to other areas and as a base to carry out violent acts.”

Commonly Observed Intent of Terrorist Groups

A terrorist group commits acts of violence to –

  • Produce widespread fear
  • Obtain worldwide, national, or local recognition for their cause by attracting the attention of the media
  • Harass, weaken, or embarrass government security forces so that the the government overreacts and appears repressive
  • Steal or extort money and equipment, especially weapons and ammunition vital to the operation of their group
  • Destroy facilities or disrupt lines of communication in order to create doubt that the government can provide for and protect its citizens
  • Discourage foreign investments, tourism, or assistance programs that can affect the target country’s economy and support of the government in power
  • Influence government decisions, legislation, or other critical decisions
  • Free prisoners
  • Satisfy vengeance
  • Turn the tide in a guerrilla war by forcing government security forces to concentrate their efforts in urban areas. This allows the terrorist group to establish itself among the local populace in rural areas

Types of Terrorism

Researchers have classified terrorism into six categories.

  • Civil disorder – A form of collective violence interfering with the peace, security, and normal functioning of the community.
  • Political terrorism – Violent criminal behavior designed primarily to generate fear in the community, or substantial segment of it, for political purposes.
  • Non-Political terrorism – Terrorism that is not aimed at political purposes but which exhibits “conscious design to create and maintain a high degree of fear for coercive purposes, but the end is individual or collective gain rather than the achievement of a political objective.”
  • Quasi-terrorism – The activities incidental to the commission of crimes of violence that are similar in form and method to genuine terrorism but which nevertheless lack its essential ingredient. It is not the main purpose of the quasi-terrorists to induce terror in the immediate victim as in the case of genuine terrorism, but the quasi-terrorist uses the modalities and techniques of the genuine terrorist and produces similar consequences and reaction.
  • Limited political terrorism – Genuine political terrorism is characterized by a revolutionary approach; limited political terrorism refers to “acts of terrorism which are committed for ideological or political motives but which are not part of a concerted campaign to capture control of the state.
  • Official or state terrorism –“referring to nations whose rule is based upon fear and oppression that reach similar to terrorism or such proportions.” It may also be referred to as Structural Terrorism, defined broadly as terrorist acts carried out by governments in pursuit of political objectives, often as part of their foreign policy.

Factors of Terrorism

Terrorism is the threat or use of violence against civilians to draw attention to an issue. Why do some people commit terrorist acts? Personal psychology? Religious fervor? Ideological commitment? Among the multitude of causes that may lead a person to resort to terrorism, there is none that conclusively links a sole cause to the act. Ethnicity, nationalism/separatism, poverty and economic disadvantage, globalization, (non)democracy, Western society, disaffected intelligentsia, dehumanization, and religion all have arguments confirming a possible existing link, as well reservations against a causal relation. Some of major factors are given under

1. Extreme Poverty

2. Unequal Distribution of Resources

3. Economic Exploitation

4. Over-Population

5. Illiteracy

6. Unemployment

7. Extremism & Sectarianism

8. Imbalance Opportunity Structure

9. Weak Social Bonds

10. Political Instability

11. Deprivation of Fundamental Rights

12. Institutional Evasions

13. Anathema of Social Injustice

14. Vicegral Political Dispensation

15. Social Imbalance & Regional Disparities

16. Proliferation of Weapon of Mass Destruction

17. Impact of Proxy War of Afghanistan (1979-1989)

18. Policies Against Islamic Revolution of Iran (1979)

19. Political Insurgency

Impact of Terrorism

Terrorism has occurred throughout history, but today the world is experiencing a global rebirth of attacks. Today it no longer affects only small societies, such as isolated third world countries who fell victim to regular terrorist attacks, but the whole world is becoming more familiar with Arab and Muslim names. The terrorist violence that is on the rise today has informed citizen all over the world about different types of terrorism. Also with the resurgence the world is experiencing of terrorism, the Nation’s have been to do what they can to eliminate terrorism.

Terrorists attempt not only to create panic but also to weaken confidence in the government and the political leadership of the target country. Terrorism therefore is designed to have psychological effects that reach farther beyond the impact on the immediate victims of an attack. Terrorists mean to frighten and therefore scare a wider crowd, such as a rival ethnic or religious group, an entire country and its political control, or the entire international community. Terrorist groups are generally small and have few members, limited firepower, and other resources. For this reason they rely on intense bloody and destructive acts of hit-and-run violence to attract attention to their group and their cause. Through the media they are able to create a larger voice for themselves and create hostilities among people.

The very flexibility and adaptability of terror throughout the years has contributed to the confusion. Those seeking to disrupt, reorder or destroy the status quo have continuously sought new and creative ways to achieve their goals. Changes in the tactics and techniques of terrorists have been significant, but even more significant are the growth in the number of causes and social contexts where terrorism is used.

Nationalism is the devotion to the interests or culture of a group of people or a nation. Typically, nationalists share a common ethnic background and wish to establish or regain a homeland.

Religious extremists often reject the authority of secular governments and view legal systems that are not based on their religious beliefs as illegitimate. They often view modernization efforts as corrupting influences on traditional culture.

Special interest groups include people on the radical fringe of many legitimate causes; e.g., people who use terrorism to uphold anti abortion views, animal rights, radical environmentalism. These groups believe that violence is morally justifiable to achieve their goals. Some of major impacts are given under

1. Social Ferment & Confusion

2. Mass Killing & Destitute

3. Economic Setbacks

4. National Image & Identity

5. Atmosphere of Uncertainty & Anxiety

6. Deterioration of Law & Order

7. Trust Deficit

8. Social Intolerance

9. Curse of Human Rights Violations

10. Endangering Integrity of the Country

11. Racial Discrimination

12. General Sense of Vandalism

13. Social Isolation

14. Suicide Bombing: A MASS Hysteria

15. Radicalization of Certain Segments of Society

Measures of Terrorism

Terrorism has been a subject of concern worldwide. People feel helpless when they start pondering on how to control it. There always seems a need for more arms and weapons to fight it, a need for more budgets and complex plans, armies and trained people to combat it.

It is true that you create your own reality. You bring into your experience what you think about the most. So it is logical that we must think about what we want instead of what we don’t. Controlling terrorism then becomes very simple- Firstly- ask ‘how to create peace?’ instead of ‘how to control terrorism?’. When you ask “how to create peace?” you put your focus on peace and that becomes your field of attention rather than ‘terror or terrorism’.

1. Uniform Opportunity Mechanism

2. Employment

3. Role of Mass Media

4. Literacy

5. Alleviation of Poverty

6. Role of International & Regional Organizations

7. Policy of Dialogue & Political Engagement

8. Restoration of Writ of State

9. Combating Religious Militancy

10. National Consensus

11. Effective National Security Strategy

12. Global Cooperation

13. Atmosphere of Strategic Reconciliation

14. Choking Supplies of Financial Oxygen

15. development Based on Equality & Justice

16. Differentiating Myth from Reality

Renewable and Non Renewable Resources

Fossil fuels are non-renewable i.e they draw on finite resources that will eventually dwindle, becoming too expensive or too environmentally damaging.  On the contrary renewable sources of energy like Wind and solar energy are constantly replenished and will never run out.

Importance of Renewable Energy

  • Clean sources of energy and have a lower environmental impact than conventional energy
  • It is energy for the future. Renewable sources will not run out
  • Most renewable energy investments are spent on materials and infra structure rather than costly energy imports
  • Energy Security – It helps to decrease depends on foreign oil supplies  

Some of the renewable sources of energy are  solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, ocean energy, biomass, Hydrogen etc.

a. Wind Energy :

Wind energy is a clean and renewable source of electric power and is the world’s fastest growing energy source. For hundreds of years we have been using wind energy for pumping water or grinding grains. Modern  wind turbines (like windmills) can generate electricity. The wind turbines can be used as stand alone applications which are  typically used for water pumping or communications.  Or they can be connected to a utility power grid or connected to solar cell system.

For utility scale sources of wind energy, a large number of wind turbines  are built close together to form a wind plant. Several electricity providers today use wind plants to supply power to their customers

India has made considerable progress in utilizing wind  energy –  We have the world’s largest wind resource assessment program, and expansion of the resources base. Large private and public sector units are being motivated to set up wind power projects.  India now has the 5th largest wind power installed capacity in the world – 1870 MW

b. Energy from the Ocean:  

Ocean can produce thermal energy from the sun’s heat and mechanical energy from the tides and waves.  Oceans cover more than 70% of earth’s surface and are the world’s largest solar collectors. The sun’s heat heats up the ocean surface more than the deep ocean water . the temperature difference creates thermal energy. This can be used for many applications including electricity generation.

  • Closed cycle system ; Ocean’s warm surface water is used to vaporize a low boiling fluid like ammonia, The vapors expand and turn a turbine which activates a generator to produce electricity
  • Open system – Actually boils the surface water by operating at low pressures to produce steam that drives  a turbine and generator

Mechanical energy from ocean is  generated by tides and waves  activity . Tides are driven by gravitational pull of the moon and waves are driven by wind. As a result tides and wives are intermittent sources of energy. A dam is usually used to convert tidal energy into electrical energy by forcing the water through turbines . For wave energy, there are different systems.

Ocean thermal energy conversion have many uses –to generate electricity , desalinate water, and various other industrial applications . I

C. Geo Thermal energy

Geothermal energy comes from the natural  heat of the earth.  This heat is stored in rock and water within the earth and can be extracted by drilling wells . This energy can be used for heating purposes , district heating , horticulture and recreational uses such as spas.  It can also be used for electricity production.  Geo thermal power plants use steam produced from hot water found below the earth’s surface .

d. Solar energy:

Solar energy can be directly used for heating and lighting homes, for generating electricity , solar cooking, and a variety of industrial uses.

  • Solar cells convert sunlight directly into electricity . Solar cells are used to power calculator and watches.
  • New Power plants use solar power systems-  solar energy is used to  generate steam which rotates a large turbine  that  activates a generator that produced electricity.  
  • Solar hot water – Sunlight can be used to heat water used in buildings and swimming pools. The solar heating system for buildings have a solar collector where the solar heat is absorbed and the water is heated. The storage  tank holds the hot water.
  • India has a potential for 35 MW per Sq Km solar thermal power generation.  A  140 MW solar power project is being set up at Mathania near Jodhpur in Rajasthan . It is the first of its kind and among the largest such projects in the world.  

e. Biomass Energy:

All organic matter is known as biomass and the energy released from biomass when eaten or burnt or converted into fuels is called Biomass Energy. Biomass can be broken down by anaerobic digestion using bacteria in oxygen free atmosphere that produces biogas containing methane . Biogas can be used to generate heat/electricity  Biomass can also be used to produce heat  and /or electricity by combustion.

Biomass includes straws, stalks, stems, agro industrial products residues like shells, husks, forestry residues etc.

Biomass power/cogeneration programs are used in sugar mills, paper mills and rice mills where biomass  resources are generated or consumed in their main production processes.

Use of Biomass energy as  an alternate source of energy is being encouraged through favorable government policies . India has the largest cogeneration program in the sugar mills . the sugar mills has an established potential of 3500 MW of power generation using bagasse

f. Small hydropower program

It refers to hydro energy plants producing less than 10 MW electricity.  Hydro power is produced by movement of water streams, rising and fall of tides , wave energy . This is a major thrust area in our program for non conventional source of energy. It is recognized that small hydro power plants have a critical role in improving the overall energy scenario of the country and specially for remote areas. It has an estimated potential of 15000 MW . There are over 8 manufacturers in the country in this field,

g. Hydrogen as the Future Fuel

Hydrogen is available only in combined  form – in water and hydrocarbons and many organic compounds. Hydrogen can be separated from hydrocarbons through the application of heat. Electrical current can be used to separate hydrogen from water. Some algae and bacteria using sunlight, can give out hydrogen under certain conditions.

Hydrogen is high  in energy and does not produce pollutants when burnt. Space shuttles use hydrogen . In future hydrogen can be used as energy carrier like electricity.

Renewable sources of energy are fast becoming important to contributing to the economy of the country .  Effort is on and but there is a greater potential for this development . Equally important is energy efficiency – using less energy to accomplish the same task.  Less energy also means less pollution  

Non Renewable Sources of Energy

It includes fossil fuels, including petroleum products, coal, natural gas and nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is mainly obtained from nuclear fission of  radioactive materials like uranium and thorium. The global resources of fossil fuels , uranium and thorium are limited and eventually be depleted.  Use of fossil fuels has negative impact on environment such as air pollution, global warming and acid rains. Thus it has become necessary to restrict the use  of fossil fuels and replace them with renewable sources.  

Natural gas is the cleanest source among fossil fuels. It can be easily transported through pipelines. It burns without smoke  and can be used for domestic and industrial purposes. It can also be used for power generation and as a raw material for petrochemical industries and fertilizer plants.

Nuclear energy has a tremendous potential but any leakage may cause devastating nuclear pollution . eg. the world’s worst Chernobyl disaster.  Disposal of nuclear waste is also a problem.

Man has over exploited natural resources to serve his primary need as well as his comfort needs. The continued and careless use of these resources will result in degradation of these resources.  It has therefore become necessary  to use these natural resources in such a way that they can be saved for future use and are not lost.  Both management and conservation are important as some of the natural resources are getting depleted very fast.  

Forest Right Act

Forest Rights Act

In the colonial era, the British diverted abundant forest wealth of the nation to meet their economic needs. While procedure for settlement of rights was provided under statutes such as the Indian Forest Act, 1927, these were hardly followed. As a result, tribal and forest-dwelling communities, who had been living within the forests in harmony with the environment and the ecosystem, continued to live inside the forests in tenurial insecurity, a situation which continued even after independence as they were marginalised.

The symbiotic relationship between forests and forest-dwelling communities found recognition in the National Forest Policy, 1988. The policy called for the need to associate tribal people in the protection, regeneration and development of forests. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, was enacted to protect the marginalised socio-economic class of citizens and balance the right to environment with their right to life and livelihood.

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 is a result of the protracted struggle by the marginal and tribal communities of our country to assert their rights over the forestland over which they were traditionally dependent. This Act is crucial to the rights of millions of tribals and other forest dwellers in different parts of our country as it provides for the restitution of deprived forest rights across India, including both individual rights to cultivated land in forestland and community rights over common property resources. The notification of Rules for the implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006 on 1st Jan 2008, has finally paved the way to undo the ‘historic injustice’ done to the tribals and other forest dwellers.  

Provisions of the Act

The rights which are included in section 3(1) of the Act are:

  1. Right to hold and live in the forest land under the individual or common occupation for habitation or for self-cultivation for livelihood by a member or members of a forest dwelling Scheduled Tribe or other traditional forest dwellers;
  2. Community rights such as nistar, by whatever name called, including those used in erstwhile Princely states, Zamindari or such intermediary regimes;
  3. Right of ownership, access to collect, use, and dispose of minor forest produce( includes all non-timber forest produce of plant origin) which has been traditionally collected within or outside village boundaries;
  4. Other community rights of uses of entitlements such as fish and other products of water bodies, grazing (both settled or transhumant) and traditional seasonal resource access of nomadic or pastoralist communities;
  5. Rights including community tenures of habitat and habitation for primitive tribal groups and pre-agriculture communities;
  6. Rights in or over disputed lands under any nomenclature in any State where claims are disputed;
  7. Rights for conversion of Pattas or leases or grants issued by any local council or any State Govt. on forest lands to titles;
  8. Rights of settlement and conversion of all forest villages, old habitation, unsurveyed villages and other villages in forest, whether recorded, notified or not into revenue villages;
  9. Right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource which they have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use;
  10. Rights which are recognised under any State law or laws of any Autonomous Dist. Council or Autonomous Regional Council or which are accepted as rights of tribals under any traditional or customary law of the concerned tribes of any State;
  11. Right of access to biodiversity and community right to intellectual property and traditional knowledge related to biodiversity and cultural diversity;
  12. Any other traditional right customarily enjoyed by the forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes or other traditional forest dwellers, as the case may be, which are not mentioned in clauses-1 to 11, but excluding the traditional right of hunting or trapping extracting a part of the body of any species of wild animal.

Whistleblower Protection Act 2011

Whistle Blowers Protection Act, 2014 is an Act in the Parliament of India which provides a mechanism to investigate alleged corruption and misuse of power by public servants and also protect anyone who exposes alleged wrongdoing in government bodies, projects and offices. The wrongdoing might take the form of fraud, corruption or mismanagement. The Act will also ensure punishment for false or frivolous complaints.

The Whistle Blowers Act is an Act which provides the mechanism to investigate alleged corruption and misuse of power by public servants and government authorities. It also protects anyone who exposes such alleged wrongdoing in government bodies, projects and offices. This wrongdoing might include fraud, corruption, mismanagement or shoddy work.

Essentially, the purpose of this Act is to encourage people to come forward with their complaints exposing any sort of wrong illegal activities taking place in government offices or being done by government officials. To further encourage them, the Act also protects their identity in order to ensure their safety. These people are termed as ‘whistle blowers’.

Every such complaint must be registered with the State or Central Vigilance Commission. While the name of the complainant must be provided at the time of lodging the complaint, from thereon, the identity of the complainant will be protected. The Act also provides for punishments for someone knowingly registering false or frivolous complaints.

This Act came about as a result of a multitude of cases of harassment and even torture of people who came forward with damaging information about government departments. For example, Satyendra Dubey, an engineer, was murdered in 2003 because he blew the whistle in a corruption case in the NHAI Golden Quadrilateral project. A similar fate also awaited Shanmughan Manjunath, an Indian Oil Corporation officer who was murdered for sealing off a petrol pump that was selling adulterated fuel.

Now while this Act has received praise for its encouragement of people who blow the lids off of major corruption and embezzlement scams, it has received criticism for failure to provide protection to whistle blowers beyond non-disclosure of identity. It also received significant criticism for extending only to the government sector and employees working for the government of India, ruling out state government employees and corporate whistleblowers. This is a strange omission after cases such as the Satyam scam and the Sahara scam. If enacted properly, this Act can help reduce corruption and wrongdoing in government departments, and can hopefully reduce the reluctance of people to come forward in such a manner in fear of retaliation.

The Act was further amended in 2015, which further specified the powers of the CVC/SVC, the procedure for registering a complaint and the categories of complaints that can be recorded.

Domestic and Family Violence Act of 2012

The Act empowers Magistrates Courts to issue civil Domestic Violence Orders to protect and safeguard people who experience domestic and family violence.

Domestic Violence Orders are either long-term protection orders or shorterterm temporary protection orders that last until the court makes a final decision about issuing or varying a protection order. Applications for Domestic Violence Orders can be made by the police, an aggrieved person or someone acting on behalf of an aggrieved person. It is a criminal offence for a respondent to breach the conditions of a Domestic Violence Order once they have been properly notified of the order.

The Act obliges police to investigate domestic violence and empowers them to issue short-term police protection notices (PPNs) to protect victims or, where necessary, detain a respondent in custody. A detained person must be released from custody on specified release conditions. It is an offence for a respondent to breach the conditions of a PPN or any of their release conditions.

The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (DFVP Act) has objects and principles to guide its administration and to provide a framework for service providers and courts. The main objects of this Act are to:

  • maximise the safety, protection and wellbeing of people, including children , who fear or experience domestic violence, and to minimise disruption to their lives
  • prevent or reduce domestic violence and the exposure of children to domestic violence
  • ensure that people who commit domestic violence are held accountable for their actions.

The DFVP Act aims to identify and protect the person who is most in need of protection in a relationship while taking into consideration vulnerabilities of particular groups.

Principles of the Law

  • People who fear or experience domestic violence should be treated with respect and disruption to their lives minimised.
  • Perpetrators should be held accountable for their use of violence and its impact on others but if possible be provided with an opportunity to change for example by being given an opportunity to participate in an approved counselling and/or program by way of voluntary intervention order.
  • Any response to domestic violence should take into account any characteristics that make a person particularly vulnerable.
  • In circumstances where there are cross applications the person most in need of protection should be identified.
  •  In circumstances in which there are conflicting allegations of domestic violence or indications that both persons in a relationship are committing acts of violence, including for their self protection, the person who is most in need of protection should be identified.
  • A civil response under this Act should operate in conjunction with, not instead of, the criminal law.
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