Earthquake and fishes
- Landslips caused by an earthquake of 3.4 magnitude close to the border with China led to mass fish death in the Kameng River in Arunachal Pradesh, it is learnt.
- The landslips dumped several tonnes of mud and rock into the river, substantially reducing the flow of water.
- The river turned blackish due to very high turbidity resulting in low dissolved oxygen that killed the fish.
- Commercial 5G networks began to be deployed in 2020 and are expected to reach 12% of world mobile connections (1.1 billion) and generate revenues up to U.S.$1.3 trillion by 2025 for operators.
- The technology that 5G uses will improve data transfer speed at unexpected higher levels almost 100 times more and reduce latency times helping mission-critical services
- Moreover, the Supreme Court of India’s ruling on the dues being sought by the Department of Telecommunications (estimated to be more than ₹90,000 crore has further exacerbated the financial condition of telecom companies.
- It is no wonder then that the number of telecom operators has come down to a handful from around 15 a few years back. In this scenario, the huge investment required for 5G may add to their worries.
- The uses of 5G in India may encompass enhanced outdoor and indoor broadband, the Internet of things, smart cities, smart agriculture, energy monitoring, remote monitoring, smart grids, telehealth, industrial automation, remote patient monitoring and industrial automation to name some of the areas.
- There is great potential for India to move to an advanced digital revolution
- The deployment of 5G in India needs to be carefully planned after a cost benefit analysis by independent experts which will create a level-playing field through market mechanism.
- A level-playing field should be created for all telecom companies with more focus on companies which have the experience of ensuring telecom networks to remote areas and the potential to provide affordable coverage.
- As the deployment of 5G network is expensive, both the Central and State governments may need to consider measures which stimulate fibre investment, attract investment through public private partnerships (PPPs) and facilitate investment funds on a nominal interest basis
- The Government also needs to address information asymmetry and negative externalities through laws and regulations/taxes and subsidies.
- The deployment of 5G technology will also need right of access to government infrastructure such as traffic lights, lamp posts, etc. where wireless operators can deploy electronic small cell apparatus.
- At the same time, reasonable fees may be charged by State and local governments to operators for affordable deployment of 5G equipment.
Climate change and South Asia as an unit
- The absence of a South Asian initiative on climate change led by India, accrues to a number of obvious reasons: India-Pakistan tensions that have led to the degradation of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) process
- events in Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover which will bring it closer to its Central Asian rather than South Asian neighbours.
- the differences over pollution issues within the Bangladesh Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) grouping that has held up its initiatives like the common Motor Vehicle Agreement (due mainly to Bhutan’s opposition);
- And slow movement amongst the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) countries along the Bay of Bengal.
- South Asia is a cohesive geographical unit that is sheltered by the Himalayas to the north, fed by its many glaciers in an intricate network of rivers that fall into the ocean, and buffeted by the same climate and monsoon conditions.
- Second, South Asia is slowly becoming the world’s biggest area of concern when it comes to climate change.
- According to this year’s Global Climate Risk Index, India and Afghanistan are among the top 10 countries worldwide in terms of vulnerability, but South Asia classifies for the overall lowest values.
- By one estimate, 20 out of 23 major cyclone disasters in the world in the past have occurred around the Bay of Bengal region, and global warming, coastal degradation and soil salinity as well as water scarcities cause the deaths of thousands in South Asia each year.
- The Asian Development Bank now predicts a decrease of 11% in South Asian GDPs by 2100 if “Business-As-Usual (BAU) Emissions” are maintained.
- With global warming and sea levels rising, other estimates predict there will be nearly 63 million climate migrants in South Asia by 2050
- According to the World Bank’s newly launched South Asia road map, climate-smart investment opportunities in South Asia total a whopping $3.4 trillion, with “energy-efficient green buildings” alone representing an investment potential of more than $1.5 trillion.
- Green transport connectivity and infrastructure, electric vehicles could represent another $950 billion in investment opportunities by 2030
- India and other countries in the region access global banks, including the BRICS-led New Development Bank (NDB), the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and Asian Development Bank for projects individually, there is no single South Asian entity the banks could work with for a more targeted focus and more concessional financing for the problem that faces the region.
- Third, growing carbon footprints as well as post-COVID-19 economic compulsions are driving countries into closer regional coalitions, looking for solutions closer home, than those provided by globalisation and long-distance supply chains? South Asia has remained an exception, persistently showing lower inter-regional trade and connectivity.
False criminal cases
- It is often alleged that false cases of cruelty are registered by the police at the behest of the estranged wife under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and many innocent relatives of the husband are roped in overzealously.
- This Section, along with Section 304B on dowry deaths, was brought in to check the menace of increasing dowry deaths and the cruelty meted out to married women by their in-laws in 1983.
- But its misuse has outraged many since then. Similarly, allegations are levelled sometimes for the misuse of certain provisions of the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
- Realising the misuse of Section 498A, the Supreme Court in Rajesh Sharma vs State of Uttar Pradesh (2017) issued certain guidelines, including the formation of district Family Welfare Committees (FWCs), restraint on arrest till the complaint was examined by the committee, the disposal of the proceedings by a senior judicial officer in case of a settlement between the parties, etc
- The Supreme Court in Subhash Kashinath Mahajan vs State of Maharashtra (2018), taking cognisance of the abuse of the process of the courts with regard to certain provisions of the SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, issued certain guidelines, including the holding of a mandatory preliminary inquiry to avoid false implication of an innocent individual, the approval of the appointing authority before the arrest of a public servant, etc.
- However, in 2019, the Supreme Court in Union of India vs State of Maharashtra and Ors., overruled the above judgment and held that the guidelines were opposed to the protective discrimination given to members of SC and ST communities as envisaged under the Constitution.
- The Supreme Court, in its landmark judgment in Arnesh Kumar vs State of Bihar (2014), asked the police to satisfy themselves on the necessity of an arrest under the parameters laid down in Section 41 of the CrPC.
- As per data compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in the report Crime in India 2020, about 5% of the cases under Section 498A were found to be false.
- About 9.4% were either non-cognizable or civil in nature or with insufficient evidence in the end. Similarly, about 12% of the cases under the SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act were found to be false by the police, and about 7% were either non-cognizable or civil in nature or with insufficient evidence in the end.