Free IAS coaching day 27

Asia


Asia

Asia

Asia is the World’s largest continent – 43,810,582 km². covering approximately 30% of the Earth’s land and 8.66% of the Earth’s surface.
It is bordered by the Ural Mountains to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Indian Ocean to the south.
The highest point in the World, is Mount Everest (8,848 m), situated in the Tibetan region of the Himalayas.
The longest river in Asia and third longest in the World is the Yangtze (6,211 km) which flows through China.
REGIONS
The regions of Asia include:
• Central Asia: Commonly understood as comprising; Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.
• East Asia: Commonly understood as comprising;[16] China, Hong Kong, Macau, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Mongolia.
• South Asia: Commonly understood as comprising; Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh. A common approximate synonym for South Asia is the Indian subcontinent, plus Afghanistan.
• Southeast Asia: Commonly understood as comprising; Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam.
• Western Asia (or Southwestern Asia, or Middle East minus Egypt): Commonly understood as comprising; Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.







CLIMATE
Asia lies almost entirely in the northern hemisphere and the seasons of all are similar. The seasons of southern and south-east Asia vary slightly because of the monsoons.
• Northern Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Asia
– Spring – March, April, May
– Summer – June, July, August
– Autumn – September, October, November
– Winter – December, January, February
• Southern Asia, South-East Asia
– Spring – December, January, February
– Summer – March, April, May
– Autumn – June, July, August
– Winter – September, October, November

Introduction/Institution for Cooperative Federalism


Introduction to Governing Institutions Institutions to facilitate Cooperative Federalism

Introduction to Governing Institutions

The governing institutions of India are divided as Constitutional Bodies; Statutory Bodies and Quasi-judicial Bodies.
• Constitutional bodies:
These are the bodies which are mentioned in constitution of India and so considered as more powerful and independent. For example Election Commission of India is mentioned in Article. Its mandate and power are mentioned in constitution itself as a result it has a large degree of autonomy.
The examples are:
a) Comptroller and Auditor General
b) Election Commission
c) Union Public Service Commission
d) Finance Commission
e) National Commission for SC
f) National Commission for ST
• Statutory Bodies:
A statutory body is an organization with the authority to check that another organization’s actions are legal. It is typically set up by a government or parliament. Statutory bodies ensure that other businesses or organizations stay legal and follow official rules. They are a group created by law, and they are established by government legislation.
The examples are:
a) National Human Rights Commission
b) National Commission for Women
c) National Commission for Minorities
d) National Commission for Backward Classes
e) National Law Commission
f) National Green Tribunal
• Quasi-Judicial Bodies
The executive/administration also performs judicial function, and act as a quasi-judicial authority. A quasi-judicial function stands mid-way between a judicial function and an administrative function. A quasi-judicial decision is nearer to the administrative decision in terms of its discretionary element and nearer to the judicial decision in terms of procedure and objectivity of its end-product.
A quasi-judicial function differs from a purely judicial function in the following respects:
a) A quasi-judicial authority has some of the trappings of a court & there is an obligation to act judicially.
b) A dispute between two parties is an essential characteristic of a judicial function, but this may not be true for a quasi-judicial function.
c) A court is bound by the rules of evidence and procedure while a quasi-judicial authority is not.
d) While a court is bound by precedents, a quasi-judicial authority is not.
e) A court cannot be a judge in its own cause (except in contempt cases), while an administrative authority vested with quasi-judicial powers may be a party to the controversy but can still decide it.
f) In deciding cases, courts apply pre-existing law whereas administrative authorities exercise discretion.
The examples are:
a) National Human Rights Commission
b) State Human Rights Commission
c) Central Information Commission
d) State Information Commission
e) National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
f) State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
g) District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum

Shale Gas


Shale Gas

Shale gas refers to natural gas that is trapped within shale formations due to their low permeability and cannot escape to the surface as easily as Conventional Natural Gas. Shales are fine-grained sedimentary rocks that can be rich resources of petroleum and natural gas.
Sedimentary rocks are rocks formed by the accumulation of sediments at the Earth’s surface and within bodies of water. Common sedimentary rocks include sandstone, limestone, and shale.
The extraction process of shale gas involves two methods
• Horizontal drilling:
Under this technique a vertical well is drilled to the targeted rock formation and then at the desired depth, the drill bit is turned horizontally, exposing the well to more of the producing shale.
• Hydraulic Fracturing:
In this technique, water along with chemicals and sand are pumped into the well and a fracture or crack is developed in the shale rock to release the hydrocarbons trapped in shale formations to flow from the shale into the well. Hydraulic fracturing when used in conjunction with horizontal drilling, it enables gas producers to extract shale gas at reasonable cost and rapidly as it enhances the flow of gas quickly to the desired well.
Problems in Extraction:
The importance of shale gas can be gauged from the fact that an estimated 35% of world surface rock is made of shale formations. However, extraction of shale gas is difficult and tardy process. The difficulty is mainly because of less permeability of the shale rocks, which does not allow significant fluid flow.
Due to low permeability, commercially viable production of shale gas needs fracturing of the rocks for, the fracturing provides permeability. For many years, this gas was produced from natural fractures, but as there was development of modern technologies such as horizontal drilling / hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking); more and more artificial fractures around the well bores were created.

This skyrocketed the production of shale gas and led to the so called Shale Gas Boom in United States. This shale gas boom has also contributed partially in the recent fall of global oil prices. The hydraulic farming aided shale gas production has rejuvenated the natural gas industry in the United States.
India-Shale Scenario:
Shale Gas in India Various estimates, including those by leading firms, put Indian reserves of shale oil and gas at large numbers describing Shale oil and gas are more widespread than natural oil and gas. Major regions of availability are Gujarat, Rajasthan-Cambay, Central India-Gondwana, Krishna and Godavari Basin and offshore areas in Bay of Bengal, Indo-gangetic plains, Cauvery onshore and Assam-Arakan.
The assessment of shale formations has started in India at various sites. Also, a MoU have been signed between USA and India for sharing technical knowledge in shale-gas exploration. According to the Energy Information Administration report, India’s shale gas reserves equals 96 trillion cubic feet which can supply for 26 years of the country’s Gas demand. As per the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) Hyderabad, claimed to identify 28 sedimentary basins of shale gas (natural gas found trapped in shale formations under the ground), including ten potential producing basins, across India. These have been classified according to their hydrocarbon potential, and hold an estimated 527 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of reserves.
Jambusar located near Vadodara in Gujarat is India’s first shale gas exploratory successfully drilled by ONGC in Cambay region which is estimated to have a shale gas potential of 20 TCF (trillion cubic feet).
Challenges and Environmental concerns:
• A potential problem in India could be that shale is mostly found about 2,000 meters deep on shore, in areas of human habitation; unlike oil drilling that takes place offshore. Specially designed water bore-wells may be needed in such areas to tackle escaping methane gas. Use of high-power compressors and other equipment could also unsettle local populations, while shale drilling could affect groundwater reserves.
• Also the Land acquisition will be a big problem in India.
• The gas produced from such reservoir rocks is known as ‘tight gas’ and it requires massive hydraulic fracturing technique. So the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing locally and downstream of drilling areas is also a big concern. Hydraulic fracturing involves drilling through the water table into deep underground shale gas reserves. Millions of gallons of water are then used to break the shale and release the gas. In theory, all wells should be completely incased until past the water table level. This is also a big challenge in India due to it’s lax and corrupt system. Because even after having highly strict rules and regulations in countries like US and UK, there have been numerous instances of cases breaking or being improperly formed and hazardous water being released into the groundwater. This contaminated groundwater then allows for gas to enter homes and soil, creating potentially dangerous situations, including exploding homes
• Of the 344 chemicals used for drilling, many of which have little to no safety information associated with them, over 75% are known to cause skin, eye, and sensory organ irritation. 20 to 30% cause reproductive, mutagenic, or cancerous complications. These chemicals are commonly transmitted through the air and water. Benzene, a known carcinogen, is commonly found at levels far exceeding standards in the air around fracking sites.
Shale gas is definitely going to be a useful additional energy resource for India. But the challenge lies in making it sustainable and safe.

Krishi Kalyan Cess

Krishi Kalyan Cess

A cess is a tax that is levied by the government to raise funds for a specific purpose. Collections from the Education Cess and the Secondary and Higher Education Cess, for instance, are supposed to be used for funding primary and higher and secondary education respectively.
The new cess is supposed to be levied at a rate of 0.5% on all goods and services where the government can levy service taxes.
It is supposed to promote various initiatives in the domain of agriculture and also finance them. The government already charges service taxes at the rate of 14% and the Swachh Bharat Cess is applied at a rate of 0.5%. With the KKC, the total service tax rate would effectively go up to 15%.
KKC would be levied, charged, collected and paid to Government independent of Service Tax. This needs to be charged separately on the invoice, accounted for separately in the books of accounts and paid separately under separate accounting code.
The proceeds of the Krishi Kalyan Cess shall first be credited to the Consolidated Fund of India and the Central Government may, after due appropriation made by Parliament by law in this behalf, utilise such sums of money of the Krishi Kalyan Cess for such specified purposes.

Traditional Knowledge Digital Library


Traditional Knowledge Digital Library

• TKDL is an initiative to provide the information on traditional knowledge existing in the country, in languages and format understandable by patent examiners at International Patent Offices ( IPOs), so as to prevent the grant of wrong patents.
• TKDL is a collaborative project of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, is situated in Ghaziabad, U.P.
• TKDL acts as a bridge between the traditional knowledge information existing in local languages and the patent examiners at IPOs.
• Apart from that, the non-patent database servers to foster modern research based on traditional knowledge, as it simplifies access to this vast knowledge of remedies or practices.
• It has signed agreements with leading international patent office’s such as European Patent Office (EPO), United Kingdom Trademark & Patent Office (UKPTO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office to protect traditional knowledge from biopiracy, by giving patent examiners at international patent offices access to the TKDL database for patent search and examination.
• At present, as per the approval of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, access of TKDL is available to nine International Patent Offices (European Patent Office, United State Patent & Trademark Office, Japan Patent Office, United Kingdom Patent Office, Canadian Intellectual Property Office, German Patent Office, Intellectual Property Australia, Indian Patent Office and Chile Patent Office), under TKDL Access (Non-disclosure) Agreement. Negotiations are under way to conclude the Access Agreement with Intellectual Property Office of Russia and Malaysia. As per the terms and conditions of the Access agreement, examiners of patent office can utilize TKDL for search and examination purposes only and can not reveal the contents of TKDL to any third party unless it is necessary for the purpose of citation. TKDL Access Agreement is unique in nature and has in-built safeguards on Non-disclosure to protect India’s interest against any possible misuse.
• In addition, pre-grant oppositions are being filed at various International Patent Offices, along with prior-art evidences from TKDL. Significant impact has already been realized. So far about 200 patent applications of the pharmaceutical companies of United States, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, China etc. have either been set aside/ withdrawn/ amended, based on the Prior art evidences present in the TKDL database without any cost and in few weeks/months of time, whereas APEDA had to spend about seven crores towards legal fee only for getting few claims of Basmati rice patent revoked. Similar outcome is expected in about 1200 more cases, where TKDL has filed pre-grant opposition.
• TKDL is proving to be an effective deterrent against bio-piracy and is being recognized as a global leader in the area of traditional knowledge protection. In 2011, an International Conference was organized by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in collaboration with CSIR on ‘Utilization of Traditional Knowledge Digital Library as a Model for Protection of Traditional Knowledge’, at New Delhi. Pursuant to this, WIPO in collaboration with CSIR and DIPP (Ministry of Commerce and Industry) organized an ‘International Study Visit To TKDL’ for 19 countries interested in replication of TKDL.
• TKDL has made waves around the world, particularly in TK-rich countries by demonstrating the advantages of proactive action and the power of strong deterrence. The idea is not to restrict the use of traditional knowledge, but to ensure that wrong patents are not granted due to lack of access to the prior art for Patent examiners.

Sai Praveen

Do You Like This??? Then Hit Subscribe Button. You Will Get Every Post, Which Is Worth Reading

No comments:

Post a Comment

You are Visitor number