Daily PT Capsule Feb 10

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Daily PT Capsule UPSC Civil Services
Daily PT Capsule UPSC Civil Services

Open Source for last mile net connectivity

The telecom regulator TRAI hinted that technology-driven connectivity ventures being pursued by Google and Facebook would be acceptable only if they followed an open source framework.  This is after TRAI came up with an order supporting Net Neutrality by taking a stance against Facebook’s Free basic and other such initiatives.

Analysis

What is open source? –  In production and development, open source as a development model promotes universal access via a free license to a product’s design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone.

In the present case of Net neutrality open source would mean a model that promotes equal access to both consumers and industry players. It would include providing free net connectivity to everyone instead of providing free connectivity with limited access to just a basket of websites.

What is Free Basics? – Internet.org was rechristened Free Basics in September, just ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Facebook’s headquarters at founder Mark Zuckerberg’s invitation. According to Facebook, it is an open platform that gives Indian developers the opportunity to make their services and websites available free of cost to those who cannot afford internet access. However, this free access is limited to partner websites and applications. It was launched two years ago globally in partnership with Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Opera Software, Nokia and Qualcomm.

Although Free Basics sounds good to serve the population that is still not connected to internet it violates the basic principles of Net Neutrality.

Source: TheHindu, Business Standard

 

Easing norms for Real Estate Developers

The government is easing rules for granting construction permits around airports and monuments by developing colour-coded maps in a bid to give fillip to urban growth. Developers have to get permits from Airport Authority of India (AAI) in New Delhi to build projects around the country’s airports. The permission for such a sanction took a lot of time.

AII has come out with colour-coded zonal map. The airspaces used by jetliners for landings and take offs are highlighted in the map. No construction will be allowed in such spaces. Construction would be allowed in those areas that fall out of “colour coded” zones.

In July 2015, Urban Development Minister Mr. Naidu had reached out to all the ministries, asking them to amend the laws that hamper the real estate growth across the country.

Jaipur International Airport is the first one to develop a colour-coded map. All the other civilian airports across India, including 28 defence airports that are being used for civilian purposes, will have their maps ready by December 2016. Similarly, the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with ISRO is developing colour-coded maps for 281 monuments that fall in construction zones.

Analysis

The move is a good step in reducing the time delays in real estate development. The simplified procedure and clarity in regulation would ensure greater ease of doing business. The infrastructure sector is critical in boosting the growth of the country.

Source: TheHindu

 

Hong Kong riots on Chinese New Year

Overnight violent clashes between a group of protesters and the police in Hong Kong have injured scores, raising questions about underlying tensions in the glitzy financial hub.

Late on Monday 10th Feb, in the neighbourhood of Mong Kok — a shopping district, which was one of the epicentres of student protests in 2014 — clashes broke out after police ordered illegal street food hawkers to disperse.

It has been speculated that the Hong Kong Indigenous (HKI) is supporting it. The HKI is an amalgamation of radical groups, known for their strong anti-mainland stance. Many seek full independence for Hong Kong, or wish to drastically restrict Beijing’s role in the city, governed under the ‘One country, two systems’ formula.

Analysis

What is the One Country Two Systems Formula? –  The “One Country, Two Systems” is an implementation of two economic or political systems within one country, often stemming from the inclusion of new territory into a state after a treaty or war, such as in the acquisition of Macau in 1999 into Chinese ownership.

It is a constitutional principle formulated by Deng Xiaoping, the Paramount Leader of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), for the reunification of China during the early 1980s. He suggested that there would be only one China, but distinct Chinese regions such as Hong Kong and Macau could retain their own capitalist economic and political systems, while the rest of China uses the socialist system. Under the principle, each of the three regions could continue to have its own political system, legal, economic and financial affairs, including external relations with foreign countries. Taiwan could continue to maintain its own military force.

Hong Kong’s defacto constitution, the Basic Law, states that Hong Kong will co-exist with China as “one country, two systems” for 50 years after the handover of power  from Britain in 1997.

Due to expire in 2047, it states that the city “shall safeguard the rights and freedoms of the residents.”

The protests began after the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) came to a decision regarding proposed reforms to the Hong Kong electoral system. The decision was widely seen to be highly restrictive, and tantamount to the Chinese Communist Party’s pre-screening of the candidates for the Hong Kong Chief Executive election in 2017 before the candidates are presented to the Hong Kong electorate.

Source: TheHindu, Wikipedia

 

Sexual Harassment at workplace rules

After The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) announced on Monday (8th Feb) that R.K. Pachauri, under investigation in a sexual harassment case, has been appointed its Executive Vice-Chairman, legal experts termed the move illegal, expressing concerns about the precedent this sets for safety of women at the workplace.

Eminent lawyer Vrinda Grover said this appointment was in gross violation of the spirit of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 that builds on the foundation laid down by the Vishakha judgment of the Supreme Court in 1997. As per the new law, sexual harassment at workplace is a crime, which places multiple obligations on the employer, first and foremost being an impartial and fair enquiry. She said the woman complainant in this case was denied that, as the Internal Complaints Committee which found Mr. Pachauri guilty was dissolved and its findings were not acted upon.

Analysis

What is the Vishaka Judgement?  – The Vishaka Guidelines were a set of procedural guidelines for use in India in cases of sexual harassment. They were promulgated by the Indian Supreme Court in 1997 and were superseded in 2013 by The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.

 

Women entry in mosque

The Maharashtra government on backed the entry of women into the Haji Ali Dargah, and told the Bombay High Court  on 8th Feb that equality must rule over tradition and customs. It said that unless the Dargah Trust is able to prove that the ban is part of their religious practice with reference to Koran, women should be allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum.

The court is hearing a PIL filed by Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan that states women have always been allowed at the Dargah, but in June 2012, the trust restricted their entry into the sanctum sanctorum.

Women have unfettered rights to enter and worship and that prohibitions have to be mentioned in the Koran or its tenets and that prohibitions cannot be followed because of its interpretation by experts.

The court had also said that it will wait for the Supreme Court to decide on allowing women to enter inside the sanctum sanctorum of the 1,500-year-old Sabrimala temple in Kerala.

Analysis

The ban on women entering religious places is violative of Articles 14 (equality before law), 25 and 26 (freedom of religion) of the Constitution. The Supreme court in Sabarimala case has mentioned that “The temple cannot prohibit entry (women), except on the basis of religion. Unless you have a constitutional right, you cannot prohibit entry.” A practice that is not sanctioned by religion is not constitutional. Any practice that has come up recently will not be considered as integral to religion.

Source: The Hindu

 

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