Harit Mehta

7th December – A potential seedbed for private profits

After passing through at least two versions, Seeds Bill 2019 is now under Parliament’s consideration. The earlier versions of the Bill, in 2004 and 2010, had generated heated debates. The present version promises to be no different. International Conventions – In 1994, India signed the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). In …

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5th December – Setting the clock on intersex human rights

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019, has continued to trigger protests across the country. Without addressing the concerns of the LGBTQ community and considering any amendment to the draft Bill, the Rajya Sabha has passed the same version of the draft law that was passed by the Lok Sabha. Case – In April …

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18th November – Crossed wires – On telecom industry crisis

Two leading and important players in the telecom industry — Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea — have reported historic losses in the second quarter of this fiscal. Vodafone Idea has declared a loss of ₹50,922 crore while Bharti Airtel has reported a loss of ₹22,830 crore. Details of the woes – The losses were due …

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16th November – Explained – What bringing the Chief Justice of India’s office under RTI means

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that the office of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) is a public authority under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Background – The judgment pertained to three cases based on requests for information filed by Delhi-based RTI activist Subhash Agarwal, all of which eventually reached the Supreme Court. …

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15th November – There is nothing ‘fast’ about fast track courts

The Eleventh Finance Commission’s report was submitted in 2000 and its recommendations were for the period between 2000 and 2005. Findings of the report – The report said, “We have observed that there is a pendency of about two crore cases in the district and subordinate courts of the states. We are providing a grant …

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14th November – India walks its green talk

Among the world’s major economies, India seems the most serious about doing its bit to contain climate change. So suggests a report released by Climate Transparency, a global non-government organisation. Details – Its Brown To Green Report 2019 has reportedly noted that ours is the only country among G20 nations that is close to its …

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13th November – India is making dramatic strides in addressing extreme poverty

In 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030, of which the first two are “ending extreme poverty and hunger”. What is extreme poverty? Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than $1.90 a day, measured in 2011 purchasing power parity prices. What is WPC? The World …

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12th November – Kalapani, a small area in India map that bothers Nepal

The new political map of India, recently released by the government to account for the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, has triggered fresh protests over an old issue in Kathmandu. Details – Mapped within Uttarakhand is a 372-sq km area called Kalapani, bordering far-west Nepal and Tibet. While the Nepal government and political parties have …

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11th November – A-Z of Ayodhya Conflict

Ayodhya – In Faizabad district, Awadh, famous for its sunsets by the banks of the River Saryu. Its rich history and symbolism finds space in the writings of Tulsidas and Amir Khusrau. Buddha is said to have preached here. Jainism and Sikhism too have their imprint here. The Hindu-Muslim binary of the last century has, …

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9th November – MoU on Feni river between India and Bangladesh

On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet approved an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bangladesh on the withdrawal of 1.82 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of water from the Feni river by India for a drinking water supply scheme for Sabroom town in Tripura. Feni river and dispute – The Feni river, which forms part …

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