IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 28th December, 2015
General Studies 2:
Pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity,Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive
Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders; Governance issues
General Studies 3:
Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
Green Political Interest-Future Prospects
A sense of betrayal now exists when it comes to the environmental issues and thus, there is an urgent need for a planned course of action- for all those who want to change the narrative of a civilisation that is on a constant warpath with nature
Germination of the idea of a Green Party
A political party with ecological wisdom and participative democracy as its roots
Any living example?
German Green Party (now called Alliance ’90/The Greens), established in 1980, is one of the oldest and most prominent of these groupings (having made it to their respective Parliaments and some even to the European Parliament)
Do we really need a Green Party
A ‘yes’ and a ‘no’ situation: There is a crying need for environmental politics and reorientation or a mere attenuation with the already flawed economic developmental model will yet again leave a trail of ecological damages
The near-term viability: Almost all the recent issues that are being worked upon are restricted to short-term models and the broader contentious topics such as industrialisation and exploitation of natural resources, continue to divide people.
Knee-jerk emotional response: When we talk about environmental impacts we forget that we are talking about issues at large, which not just affect local communities but also the world at large. While it’s natural for the local communities to jump into action, a proper behavioural response is required, and this is missing.
Social Divisions: There exists a yawning divide; between urban and rural population, between the rich and the poor, between the North Indians and the South Indians and thus, it becomes difficult to move ahead with firstly, owning the cause as one’s own and secondly, owning up to the mistakes committed- as the cause of every single member of the community makes an impact upon an individual.
Can we follow the Western model:
The Elitist Viewpoint—Environmental concerns are the concerns of the urbane and the educated as they belong to the post-materialistic world and thus forma a major roadblock for India to follow the same footsteps.
Necessities of India—In India, the environmental concerns revolve around necessities and have a greater effect on the rural poor. If green politics does not restrict itself as urban environmental activism but emerges as a binding agent of all these groups and concerns, it definitely has a future in India.
Looking beyond conventional politics and politicians: There is an urgent need to incorporate fresh infusion [of people] and fresh formations which can act as the political and ecological conscience of society
Lessons from West: Pushing the boundaries of democratic space for a broad green alliance should be made the code of the day for the activists and the politicians who are working hard towards sustainable actions
Connecting the Dots
Discuss the importance of interest groups in a democracy. Analyse the importance of inclusion of ‘climate change’ in the pages of our election manifestos and more importantly in the behavioural response of an individual.
Is there a possibility for interest groups to form a political party advocating environmental rights and conservation in India? If yes, what should be its nature and objectives?
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
TOPIC: General Studies 3
Science and Technology – developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
Google and the Indian projects
The recent visit of Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, indicated that the tech giant has decided to set great store by its investments in India as evident from the announcements made regarding multiple India-specific projects aiming to create a transformational and disruptive influence.
Thread dis-connecting Google & India:
Low-bandwidth geography with relatively low Internet penetration
Telecom system, power supply and other infrastructure which are less reliable
And the connection lies in:
Large number of sophisticated surfers and skilled computer users exhibiting an overwhelmingly mobile internet population
Pilot projects catering to the above mentioned characteristics and the constraints that can be scaled up massively to deliver similar services across India
Some of the projects named are
“Project Loon”, “Tap to translate”, “Offline mapping” and “Asus Chromebit”- possessing the cutting edge of technology
Delivering free Wi-Fi at railway stations and a more streamlined search
Establishment of a new campus in Hyderabad
Training of two million Android developers generating employment and large positive externalities
Project to replace conventional cell towers and broadband infrastructure with an internet grid of balloons
A balloon can be launched and tethered in places which are geographically inaccessible and hard to connect with terrestrial infrastructure – thus providing high-quality broadband access in remote locations
Each balloon can provide connectivity to a ground area about 40km in diameter using a wireless communications technology called LTE or 4G
Need for cost-effective solutions: Avoiding interference with aircraft routes
Since Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, with its massive rural footprint, is partnering Google we can hopefully witness it delivering stable, viable Wi-Fi at reasonable cost, completely changing the dynamics of surfing and disrupting the business models of conventional telecom service providers.
“Tap to translate”
It is a fast, seamless, auto-translation service on mobile across multiple languages (beneficial for India with its multitude of national and official languages)
Make the service easily accessible so that it is used by anyone who can either see or hear thus, making a big difference to the differently-abled
To deliver mapping and locational services to users who are not on the Internet
India is currently the third-largest market for mapping services and Offline mapping’ would be a force multiplier for travellers, local businesses and emergency services as well
Taps into the demand for a simple cheap computer
Its central processing unit is the size of a chocolate bar costing just about Rs 8,000
Can be hooked to almost any external monitor and keyboard and works off cloud storage
If Chromebit is hooked on to an old personal computer, it is a cheap and instant upgrade.
The above-mentioned projects to be launched by Google hopes to create and refine the required technologies that can act as a harbinger of growth in India’s Technological pursuits, translating into vast gains for India’s digital population.
Connecting the Dots:
‘The internet has tangible value’- Critically examine
Enlist the various concerns and constraints posed by Google’s ambitions in transforming and interconnecting rural India with the rest of the world?
Real estate Bill: no pressure on officials?- On paper, the need for a real estate law that would “protect” the buyers is sound. Real estate is the largest expense item for everyone, barring the super rich
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