Voting rights are a powerful tool in the hands of citizens.
Study: a local is 41% more likely to get help from political representatives than a migrant worker.
Lockdown and its possible effects on migrants.
Migrants are invisible - disadvantaged by absence of voting rights
Last 2 decades: Number of migrants has gone up.
Economic Survey 2017: annual average flow of interstate migrants at about 9 million in the period 2011-16.
Even migrants who stay on for good struggle to get registered locally as voters as the attendantpaperwork to transfer their rights is cumbersome.
ECI is looking for a technology.
Aadhaar linked with Voter ID?
A new dimension | TH
CDS General Bipin Rawat: Quad would be a “good mechanism” to “ensureFreedom of Navigation Operations” (FONOPs) in the Indian Ocean and surrounding oceans including the Indo-Pacific.
This is a significant shift of the government’s posture towards QUAD.
Is he trying to say that India is now prepared to joinQuad military patrols?
India has not formally announced to include Australia in the annualMalabar exercise.
It is also clear that the LAC tensions and clashes, as well as the PLA’s refusal to implement border agreements, have convinced New Delhi that new strategies will be required to deal with Beijing.
India plans to host a ministerial-levelmeeting of the Quad in the next month, possibly when the India-US “2+2” meet of Foreign and Defence Ministers is held.
PM Modi, 2018: India sees the Indo-Pacific as a “geographical concept”, not a “strategyor a club of limited members”
Mr. Jaishankar: India would never be part of any “alliance system”
Appropriate strategy | TH
India recently blocked 118 Chinese apps.
NOTE: India is a massive market for technology
Over 200 Chinese apps, which were accessed by millions of Indian users, have been blocked in all till date.
The decision has been taken based on several complaints, a press release said, of these apps “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India”.
The data protection law, a dire need in this age, is not yet there.
All this does not bode well for a country with aspirations of global leadership of tech, an industry which thrives on global networks and rules.
Parliament stifled, business, and a word of advice | TH
The upcoming monsoon session of Parliament, from September 14.
How do these bodies fulfil their centralrole in a democracy while maintaining health safety of legislators and the staff working in the legislatures?
Several States have held very short sessions — some met just for a day.
Parliament will maintain physical distancing, has truncated the Zero Hour (in which members raise issues pertinent to their constituents and of wider public interest), and cancelledQuestion Hour (in which Ministers have to answer questions raised by members).
Let us quickly recap the roles of the key organs of state
The government has the mandate to take decisions and perform various public tasks.
It is accountable to the legislature which can question it, and, as an extreme step, even replace it.
The legislature is accountable to citizens through regular elections and can be voted out if it is not perceived to be making laws and policies beneficial to the public.
Finally, constitutional courts are expected to ensure that all actions are made within the boundaries of the Constitution and laws made by the legislature.
Comparision of UK & India
Parliamentary oversight has been largely absent through thelast six months.
Parliament will be meeting after 175 days, the longest gap without intervening general elections and just short of the six-month constitutional limit.
Parliamentary committees did not meet for about four months, and after that have had only in-person meetings, which have led to low attendance, given travel risks and restrictions.
This is unlike many other countries where both the plenary and committees have adopted technology to enable members to participate from home.
In this period, over 900 central and nearly 6,000 State government notifications have been issued which are related to managing the pandemic.
This is in addition to notifications on other subjects.
The absence of a functioning Parliament or Committees implies that there has been no check or guidance on government action.
However, the function would become more of a post-mortem analysis rather than an ongoingguidance mechanism.
For example, the government’s actions related to the lockdown and the hardships caused to migrants should have been questioned by Parliament.
Discussions in parliamentary forums would have helped the government get feedback on the ground situation across the country and fine-tune its response.
Directions of the Court have to be followed which removes flexibility needed to tackle evolving issues with implementation.
Parliament should recover lost ground by fulfilling its constitutionally mandated role. It has a large number of issues to discuss in the short 18-day session.
Parliament should refer those with long-termimplications (such as the farming and the banking ones) to the respective committees for detailed scrutiny.
Several events have taken place over the last six months that need thorough discussion.
We need to discuss budget.
The situation at the China border also needs to be discussed.
The absence of Question Hour and a shorter ZeroHour restricts the ability of Members of Parliament to hold the government accountable and represent public interest.
Destination Red Planet | ToI
Mars is back in the news.
July 19: United Arab Emirates sent its Hope orbiter on board a Japanese rocket
July 23: China’s Tianwen-1 mission
July 30: the United States launched NASA’s Perseverance rover
A fourth mission, by the European Space Agency and Russia, was postponed to 2022.
Every 26 months, the Earth and Mars are closest together.
This offers a brief window for a quick journey to Mars. If you miss the window, you have to wait another 26 months – which is what happened to the ESA/ Russia mission.
In 1887, the Italian astronomer GiovanniSchiaparelli undertook detailed telescopic observations of Mars and observed a dense network of features on the surface.
He called them “canali” which stands for channels in Italian, implying narrow and long depressions.
The planet has numerous features in common with Earth.
Although smaller than Earth, it has a similar rocky composition and marked seasons.
NASA missions over the decades have made it clear that an environment different from the cold, dry world we see today once existed on Mars.
Liquid water flowed on the Martian surface in the past: there are vast dry gorges and canyons etched by water and ice (Schiaparelli’s channels).
Some scientists think Mars might have harboured life – not the advanced aliens of science fiction, but more mundanebacterial life that might today be extinct.
In fact, terraforming Mars has been advocated in recent years by Mars enthusiasts and would-be colonisers such as Elon Musk, who has publicly said he wants to die on Mars.
Terraforming – or earthforming – is a Herculean feat of planet-wide engineering that will change the Martian atmosphere and allow humans to make uninhabitable Mars into a planet fit for natural life.
But first humans have to get there.
We would need large, reusable rockets
President Trump signed an order directing NASA to send astronauts to Mars in 2033.
Russia has also publicly announced intentions to send humans to Mars in the 2040-2045 time frame, and the ESA wants to do so as well.
Many technologies we now take for granted – wireless headsets, electrolytic water purification systems, camera phones, CAT scans, to name a few – owe a lot to the Apollo missions to the Moon.
In fact, some argue that the investment by the US government in the Moon race led to its current science leadership.
India calls for open, transparent, inclusive, rule-based global security architecture
Addressing the Combined Meeting of Defence Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, SCO, Commonwealth of Independent States CIS and Collective Security Treaty Organisation, CSTO Member States in Moscow today, Mr Singh said, peaceful, stable and secure region of SCO member states, which is home to over 40 per cent of global population, demands a climate of trust and cooperation, non-aggression, respect for international rules and norms, sensitivity to each other’s interest and peaceful resolution of differences.
He stressed on the need for institutional capacity to deal with both traditional and non-traditional threats above all, terrorism, drug-trafficking and transnational crime.
PM Modi interacts virtually with IPS Probationers; asks them to be & prepared to take on challenges
SC rejects review plea to postpone JEE, NEET on account of coronavirus crisis
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Record area of 1095 lakh hactare covered under current Kharif crops season: Govt
Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane concludes his two day visit to Leh
New Delhi strongly urges Beijing to sincerely engage with Indian side for expeditiously restoring peace in border areas
PM Modi congratulates winners of innovation challenge held to promote homegrown apps
Tribal Affairs Ministry signs agreement with IIPA for setting up of National Institute of Tribal Research
‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Abhiyan’ connects people of Manipur & Madhya Pradesh emotionally
US President Donald Trump urges Iran not to execute 27-yr-old popular wrestler Navid Afkari