Free IAS coaching day 34

Universe


Universe

Universe

• All existing matters and space as a whole forms Universe. It was termed as Cosmos when first conceived as an orderly unit and its study is called as cosmology.
• It is believed to be expanding since its creation in the Big Bang about 13 billion years ago.
• Normal matters all that are visible (star, planet and galaxies) make up less than 5 % of the total mass of the universe rest are made of dark matters. These dark matters are not seen by the astronomers but can study their effects.
THEORIES OF DEVELOPMENT
Big Bang Theory
• It is also called expanding universe hypothesis.
• Edwin Hubble, in 1920, provided evidence that the universe is expanding. As time passes, galaxies move further and further apart.
• Later Big bang theory was proposed by Georges Lemaitre in 1927.
• According to this theory billion of years ago cosmic matters were in highly compressed state and expansion started with primordial explosion which was bang in super dense ball. These exploded particles are still travelling at a speed of thousands miles per second and gave rise to our galaxies.

Steady State Theory
• The steady state theory was governed by Hermann Boudi and Thomas Gold.
• It is also known as theory of continuous creation. According to this theory universe has always existed and will always exist and will always look essentially the same, so there is no overall evolution thus balancing the average density despite the expansion.
• As old galaxies move apart the new galaxies are being formed.
Oscillating Universe Theory
• The Oscillating Universe Theory was advocated by Dr. Alan Sandage.
• This theory postulates that the universe not only expands but it also contracts. The time interval between the two phases is presumed to be billions of years. It is a mixture of both Big Bang an Big Crunch theory.
GALAXY
• A Galaxy is a large collection of stars, gas, dust, and dark matter bounded by gravitational force. At times they are so big that they are called as Island Universe.
• The studies related to the distant spaces with optical and radio telescopes indicate that about 100 galaxies are visible universe.
Structure and composition of Galaxies
• Elliptical Galaxies – Elliptical galaxies can be classified on the basis of their ellipticity, ranging from nearly spherical (E0) to highly elongated (E7). These have low portion of open clusters and low rate of new star formation.
• Spiral Galaxies – Spiral galaxies have a central nucleus with great spiral arms trailing round it resembling pin wheel. Andromeda Galaxy and Milky Way are the examples of such galaxy. The spiral arms are thought to be areas of high-density matter, or “density waves”.
• Irregular Galaxies – Irregular galaxies are youthful in nature with no sharp and boundary thinning out gradually, these galaxies contain large amount of gas and dust. This type of galaxy is the result of gravitational interaction or collision between formerly regular galaxies.
THE STAR FORMATION
• The distribution of matter and energy was not even in the early universe. These initial density differences gave rise to differences in gravitational forces and it caused the matter to get drawn together.
• These formed the bases for development of galaxies. A galaxy contains a large number of stars. Galaxies spread over vast distances that are measured in thousands of light-years. The diameters of individual galaxies range from 80,000-150,000 light years.
• A galaxy starts to form by accumulation of hydrogen gas in the form of a very large cloud called nebula.
• Eventually, growing nebula develops localised clumps of gas. These clumps continue to grow into even denser gaseous bodies, giving rise to formation of stars.
• The formation of stars is believed to have taken place some 5-6 billion years ago

Planets
The following are considered to be the stages in the development of planets:
• The stars are localized lumps of gas within a nebula. The gravitational force within the lumps leads to the formation of a core to the gas cloud and a huge rotating disc of gas and dust develops around the gas core.
• In the next stage, the gas cloud starts getting condensed and the matter around the core develops into small rounded objects. These small-rounded objects by the process of cohesion develop into what is called planetesimals. Larger bodies start forming by collision, and gravitational attraction causes the material to stick together. Planetesimals are a large number of smaller bodies.
• In the final stage, these large number of small planetesimals accrete to form a fewer large bodies in the form of planets
SOLAR SYSTEM
• Solar System constitute of heavenly bodies revolving around an average star known as SUN.
• Our solar system consists of the sun (the star), 8 planets, 63 moons, millions of smaller bodies like asteroids and comets and huge quantity of dust-grains and gases. The Nebula from which our Solar system is supposed to have been formed, started its collapse and core formation some time 5-5.6 billion years ago and the planets were formed about 4.6 billion years ago.
• Eight Planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune
• Inner Planets – Out of the eight planets, mercury, venus, earth and mars are called as the inner planets as they lie between the sun and the belt of asteroids
• Outer Planets – the other four planets are called the outer planets.
• Terrestrial Planets – Alternatively, the first four are called Terrestrial, meaning earth-like as they are made up of rock and metals, and have relatively high densities.
• Jovian Planets – The rest four are called Jovian or Gas Giant planets. Jovian means Jupiter like. Most of them are much larger than the terrestrial planets and have thick atmosphere, mostly of helium and hydrogen.
• The terrestrial planets were formed in the close vicinity of the parent star where it was too warm for gases to condense to solid particles. Jovian planets were formed at quite a distant location. The terrestrial planets are smaller and their lower gravity could not hold the escaping gases.
• All the planets were formed in the same period sometime about 4.6 billion years ago. Till recently (August 2006), Pluto was also considered a planet. However, in a meeting of the International Astronomical Union, a decision was taken that Pluto like other celestial objects (2003 UB313)discovered in recent past may be called ‘dwarf planet’. Some data regarding our solar system are given in the box below
The Moon
• The moon is the only natural satellite of the earth. Like the origin of the earth, there have been attempts to explain how the moon was formed.
• In 1838, Sir George Darwin suggested that initially, the earth and the moon formed a single rapidly rotating body. The whole mass became a dumb-bell-shaped body and eventually it broke.
• It was also suggested that the material forming the moon was separated from what we have at present the depression occupied by the Pacific Ocean. However, the present scientists do not accept either of the explanations.
• It is now generally believed that the formation of moon, as a satellite of the earth, is an outcome of ‘giant impact’ or what is described as “the big splat”. A body of the size of one to three times that of mars collided into the earth sometime shortly after the earth was formed. It blasted a large part of the earth into space. This portion of blasted material then continued to orbit the earth and eventually formed into the present moon about 4.44 billion years ago
Asteroid
• A small rocky body orbiting the sun is termed as asteroid. Large numbers of these, ranging enormously in size, are found etween the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, though some have more eccentric orbits. The asteroid is categorized by their spectra, with most falling into three basic groups: carbonaceous (C-type), silicate (S-type), and metal-rich (M-type).
Meteor
• A meteoroid is a small rocky or metallic body travelling through space and range in size from small grains to 1 meter-wide objects. When it enters the atmosphere to become visible is called as a meteor. It is also known as “shooting star” or “falling star.” One can see nearly 20 million of meteors in a day. On an average nearly each day nearly one to two reaches Earth.
The rings of Saturn
• The rings are made up of countless small particles, ranging in size from micrometers to meters and orbit about Saturn.
They are most extensive planetary ring system of any planet in the Solar System. The ring particles are made almost entirely of water ice, with a trace component of rocky material. There is still no consensus as to their mechanism of formation; some features of the rings suggest a relatively recent origin, but theoretical models indicate they are likely to have formed early in the Solar System’s history.
Dwarf planet
• A dwarf Planet is a planetary-mass object that is neither a planet nor a natural satellite. It orbits the Sun, and is massive enough for its shape to be in hydrostatic equilibrium under its own gravity, but has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.
• The term dwarf planet was adopted in 2006. Currently, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) recognizes five dwarf planets: Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, Seden and Eris.
• Pluto as dwarf planet Pluto is called a “dwarf planet.” A dwarf planet orbits the sun just like other planets, but it is smaller. A dwarf planet is so small it cannot clear other objects out of its path. Similarly, Pluto is in a region called the Kuiper (KY-per) Belt. Thousands of small, icy objects like Pluto are in the Kuiper Belt. The orbit of which Pluto follows takes 248 days to revolve round the sun once and its oval in nature. There are moments when it is nearest to the sun causing the ice present on the planet to melts. Pluto having about one-fifteenth the gravity of Earth, its atmospheres altitude rises more than any other planet

Citizen Charter/E-Governance/RTI


Citizen Charters E-governance Right to Information

Citizen Charter

The Citizens’ Charter is an instrument which seeks to make an organization transparent, accountable and citizen friendly. A Citizens’ Charter is basically a set of commitments made by an organization regarding the standards of service which it delivers.
BENEFITS OF CITIZEN CHARTER
• It enhances accountability by providing citizens with a clear understanding of service delivery standards, including timetables, user fees for services, and options for grievance redress.
• It increases organizational effectiveness and performance by making a public commitment to adhere to measurable service delivery standards.
• It creates a way for both internal and external actors to objectively monitor service delivery performance.
• It creates a more professional and client-responsive environment for service delivery.
• It fosters improvements in staff morale.
• It decreases opportunities for corruption and graft by increasing transparency and educating citizens about their rights.!
• It increases government revenues by ensuring that the money citizens pay for services goes into the government’s coffers (and not into employees’ pockets).
PROBLEMS FACED IN IMPLEMENTING THE CHARTERS
As pointed out, the Citizens’ Charters initiative in India had started in 1997 and the Charters formulated are in a nascent stage of implementation. Introduction of a new concept is always difficult in any organisation. Introduction and implementation of the concept of Citizens’ Charter in the Government of India was much more difficult due to the old bureaucratic set up/procedures and the rigid attitudes of the work force. The major obstacles encountered in this initiative were:-
1. The general perception of organisations which formulated Citizens’ Charters was that the exercise was to be carried out because there was a direction from the top. The consultation process was minimal or largely absent. It thus became one of the routine activities of the organisation and had no focus.
2. For any Charter to succeed, the employees responsible for its implementation should have proper training and orientation, as commitments of the Charter cannot be expected to be delivered by a work force that is unaware of the spirit and content of the Charter. However, in many cases, the concerned staff were not adequately trained and sensitised.
3. Sometimes, transfers and reshuffles of concerned officers at the crucial stages of formulation/implementation of a Citizens’ Charter in an organisation severely undermined the strategic processes which were put in place and hampered the progress of the initiative.
4. Awareness campaigns to educate clients about the Charter were not conducted systematically.
5. In some cases, the standards/time norms of services mentioned in Citizens’ Charter were either too lax or too tight and were, therefore, unrealistic and created an unfavourable impression on the clients of the Charter.
6. The concept behind the Citizens’ Charter was not properly understood. Information brochures, publicity materials, pamphlets produced earlier by the organisations were mistaken for Citizens’ Charters.
STEPS TO IMPROVE CITIZEN CHARTERS
Internal restructuring should precede Charter formulation: As a meaningful Charter seeks to improve the quality of service, mere stipulation to that effect in the Charter will not suffice. There has to be a complete analysis of the existing systems and processes within the organization and, if need be, these should to be recast and new initiatives adopted.
One size does not fit all: This huge challenge becomes even more complex as the capabilities and resources that governments and departments need to implement Citizens’ Charters vary significantly across the country. Added to these are differing local conditions. The highly uneven distribution of Citizens’ Charters across States is clear evidence of this ground reality.
Involve customers in the creation of guarantees, standards, redress policies, complaint systems, and customer service agreements: This is necessary to know what is important to the customer. It is prudent not to assume what the customer wants. Customer surveys are useful here, but face-to-face contact with customers is even more important. Customer councils and different types of customer voice tools can be used for this.
Educate customers about the services that an organisation provides, so they will have realistic notions of what is possible and will understand their own responsibilities: Often services won’t work unless customers uphold their end of the deal. e.g., tax agencies can’t send speedy refunds if taxpayers don’t fill out their returns completely and accurately.
Firm commitments to be made: Citizens’ Charters must be precise and make firm commitments of service delivery standards to the citizens/consumers in quantifiable terms wherever possible.
Redressal mechanism in case of default: Citizens’ Charter should clearly lay down the relief which the organization is bound to provide if it has defaulted on the promised standards of delivery.
Periodic evaluation of Citizens’ Charters: Every organization must conduct periodic evaluation of its Citizens’ Charter preferably through an external agency. This agency while evaluating the Charter of the organisation should also make an objective analysis of whether the promises made therein are being delivered within the defined parameters.
Benchmark using end-user feedback: Systematic monitoring and review of Citizens’ Charters is necessary even after they are approved and placed in the public domain. Performance and accountability tend to suffer when officials are not held responsible for the quality of a Charter’s design and implementation.
Hold officers accountable for results: All of the above point to the need to make the heads of agencies or other designated senior officials accountable for their respective Citizens’ Charters. The monitoring mechanism should fix specific responsibility in all cases where there is a default in adhering to the Citizens’ Charter.
Include Civil Society in the process: Organizations need to recognize and support the efforts of civil society groups in preparation of the Charters, their dissemination and also facilitating information disclosures.
SEVOTTAM MODEL
Sevottam is a Service Delivery Excellence Model which provides an assessment-improvement framework to bring about excellence in public service delivery. The need for a tool like Sevottam arose from the fact that Citizens’ Charters by themselves could not achieve the desired results in improving quality of public services. Besides, the absence of a credible grievances redressal mechanism within organizations was also becoming a major impediment in improving service delivery standards. Thus, it was felt that unless there is a mechanism to assess the outcomes of various measures, the reform initiatives would not yield the desired results. The Sevottam model works as an evaluation mechanism to assess the quality of internal processes and their impact on the quality of service delivery.
The Sevottam model has three modules. The first component of the model requires effective Charter implementation thereby opening up a channel for receiving citizens’ inputs into the way in which organizations determine service delivery requirements. Citizens’ Charters publicly declare the information on citizens’ entitlements thereby making citizens better informed and hence empowering them to demand better services. The second component of the model, ‘Public Grievance Redress’ requires a good grievance redressal system operating in a manner that leaves the citizen more satisfied with how the organization responds to complaints/grievances, irrespective of the final decision. The third component ‘Excellence in Service Delivery’, postulates that an organization can have an excellent performance in service delivery only if it is efficiently managing well the key ingredients for good service delivery and building its own capacity to continuously improve service delivery.
An organization which meets Indian Standard 15700:2005 will be entitled for “Sevottam” certification, “Sevottam” being the Indian name for excellence in service delivery. This is known as Charter Mark Scheme. Given the largely negative opinion prevalent about the quality of government services in the country, the implementation of “Sevottam” is going to be a challenging exercise.

National Cyber Security Policy 2013


National Cyber Security Policy 2013

The “National Cyber Security Policy” aims at facilitating creation of secure computing environment and enabling adequate trust and confidence in electronic transactions and also guiding stakeholders actions for protection of cyber space.
The National Cyber Security Policy document outlines a road-map to create a framework for comprehensive, collaborative and collective response to deal with the issue of cyber security at all levels within the country.
The policy recognises the need for objectives and strategies that need to be adopted both at the national level as well as international level.
The objectives and strategies outlined in the National Cyber Security Policy together serve as a means to:
i. Articulate our concerns, understanding, priorities for action as well as directed efforts.
ii. Provide confidence and reasonable assurance to all stakeholders in the country (Government, business, industry and general public) and global community, about the safety, resiliency and security of cyber space.
iii. Adopt a suitable posturing that can signal our resolve to make determined efforts to effectively monitor, deter & deal with cyber crime and cyber attacks.
Under the policy a National and sectoral 24X7 mechanism has been envisaged to deal with cyber threats through National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC). Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has been designated to act as a nodal agency for coordination of crisis management efforts. CERT-In will also act as umbrella organization for coordination actions and operationalization of sectoral CERTs.
A mechanism is proposed to be evolved for obtaining strategic information regarding threats to information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, creating scenarios of response, resolution and crisis management through effective predictive, prevention, response and recovery action.
The policy calls for effective public and private partnership and collaborative engagements through technical and operational cooperation. The stress on public-private partnership is critical to tackling cyber threats through proactive measures and adoption of best practices besides creating a think tank for cyber security evolution in future.
Another strategy which has been emphasized is the promotion of research and development in cyber security. Research and development of trustworthy systems and their testing, collaboration with industry and academia, setting up of ‘Centre of Excellence’ in areas of strategic importance from the point of view of cyber and R&D on cutting edge security technologies, are the hallmarks of this strategy laid down in the policy.
The policy also calls for developing human resource through education and training programmes, establishing cyber security training infrastructure through public private partnership and to establish institutional mechanisms for capacity building for law enforcement agencies. Creating a workforce of 500,000 professionals trained in cyber security in the next 5 years is also envisaged in the policy through skill development and training. The policy plans to promote and launch a comprehensive national awareness programme on security of cyberspace through cyber security workshops, seminars and certifications with a view to develop awareness of the challenges of cyber security amongst citizens.
The policy document aims at encouraging all organizations whether public or private to designate a person to serve as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) who will be responsible for cyber security initiatives. Organizations are required to develop their information security policies properly dovetailed into their business plans and implement such polices as per international best practices. Provisions of fiscal schemes and incentives have been incorporated in the policy to encourage entities to install trustworthy ICT products and continuously upgrade information infrastructure with respect to cyber security.

Cyber Crimes


Cyber Crimes

Cyber-crime encompasses any criminal act dealing with computers and networks.
Some common cyber-crimes are:
a) Stalking:
Cyber stalking is use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk someone
b) Hacking
“Hacking” is a crime, which entails cracking systems and gaining unauthorized access to the data stored in them.
c) Phishing
Phishing refers to the receipt of unsought emails by customers of financial institutions, asked them to enter their username, password or other personal information to access their account for some reason.
d) Squatting
Cyber-squatting is the act of registering a famous domain name and then selling it for a fortune.
e) Software Piracy
It is an illegal reproduction and distribution of software for business or personal use. This is considered to be a type of infringement of copy right and a violation of a license agreement.
f) Cyber pornography
This would include pornographic websites; pornographic magazines produced using computers (to publish and print the material) and the Internet (to download and transmit pornographic pictures, photos, writings etc).
g) Sale of illegal articles
This would include sale of narcotics, weapons and wildlife etc., by posting information on websites, auction websites, and bulletin boards.
h) Cyber-terrorism
Cyber-terrorism is the adaptation of terrorism to computer resources, whose purpose is to cause fear in its victims by attacking electronic resources.
i) Cyber Defamation
This occurs when defamation takes place with the help of computers and / or the Internet. E.g. someone publishes defamatory matter about someone on a website or sends e-mails containing defamatory information to all of that person’s friends.
Challenges in Monitoring Cyber Crimes
a) Server Location and Laws of Different Countries: Lack of Geographical Boundaries makes social media regulation an arduous task. Major Complicating Factors to secure the networks and Media Much of the hardware and software that make up the communications ecosystem is sourced externally.
b) Encrypted Message: Use of phones/whatsapp to send and receive messages, concerns the government because the communications sent via such devices and applications are encrypted and could not be monitored and consequently hinders the country’s efforts to fight terrorism and crime.
c) Complicated Networks: The task of securing the networks is also complicated by the fact that much of the infrastructure is in the hands of private companies who see measures such as security auditing and other regulations and frameworks as adding to their costs. Source of Origin is difficult to find out.
GOI has launched National Cyber Security Policy 2013 which aims at protection of information infrastructure in cyberspace, reduce vulnerabilities, build capabilities to prevent and respond to cyber threats and minimize damage from cyber incidents through a combination of institutional structures, people, process, technology and cooperation.

Organized Crime


Organized Crime

Organized crime is defined as “those involved, normally working with others, in continuing serious criminal activities for substantial profit, elsewhere”.
Organized criminals that work together for the duration of a particular criminal activity or activities are what we call an organized crime group. Organized crime group structures vary.
The core organized crime activity is the supply of illegal goods and services to countless numbers of citizen customers.
It employs illegitimate methods-monopolization, terrorism, extortion and tax-evasion to drive out or control lawful ownership and leadership, and to extract illegal profits from the public.
Types of Organized Crime
A. Drug Abuse and Drug Trafficking: It is perhaps the most serious organised crime affecting the country and is truly transnational in character. India is geographically situated between the countries of Golden Triangle and Golden Crescent and is a transit point for narcotic drugs produced in these regions to the West, India also produces a considerable amount of licit opium, part of which also finds place in the illicit market in different forms. Illicit drug trade in India centres around five major substances, namely, heroin, hashish, opium, cannibas and methaqualone.
B. Smuggling: Smuggling, which consists of clandenstine operations leading to unrecorded trade, is another major economic offence. The volume of smuggling depends on the nature of fiscal policies pursued by the Government.
C. Money Laundering & Hawala: Money laundering means conversion of illegal and Ill-gotten money into seemingly legal money so that it can be integrated into the legitimate economy. Besides, tax evasion and violation of exchange regulations play an important role in merging this ill-gotten money with tax evaded so as to obscure its origin.
D. Terrorism & Narco-Terrorism: Terrorism is a serious problem which India is facing. Conceptually, terrorism does not fall in the category of organized crime, as the dominant motive behind terrorism is political and/or ideological and not the acquisition of money-power. The Indian experience, however, shows that the criminals are perpetrating all kinds of crimes, such as killings, rapes, kidnappings, gun-running and drug trafficking, under the umbrella of terrorist organizations.
E. Contract Killings: The offence of murder is punishable under section 302 1PC by life imprisonment or death sentence. Conviction rate in murder cases is about 38%. The chance of detection in contract killings is quite low. The method adopted in contract killings is by engaging a professional gang for a monetary consideration.
F. Kidnapping for Ransom: Kidnapping for ransom is a highly organized crime in urban conglomerates. There are several local as well as inter-State gangs involved in it as the financial rewards are immense vis-a-vis the labour and risk involved.
G. Illegal-Immigration: A large number of Indians are working abroad, particularly in the duff region. Young people want to move to foreign countries for lucrative jobs. Large scale migration is fostered by the high rate of unemployment in the country and higher wage levels in foreign lands.
H. Prostitution: Trading in sex and girl-running is a very profitable business in which the underworld plays an important part.

Sai Praveen

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