Land Acquisition Act – Key amendments passed by Lok Sabha

On 10 March 2015, Lok Sabha adopted nine amendments moved by the government to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

Following are some of the key amendments:

  • Social infrastructure removed as an exempted category.
  • Land can be acquired up to 1 km on both sides of the designated railway line or road of the industrial corridor.
  • Before issuing notification, the government should ensure that land acquired is bare minimum required for the project.
  • The appropriate government must conduct survey of its wasteland including arid land and maintain a record.
  • Acquisition of land for private hospitals, educational institutions no longer counted as public purpose.
  • Compulsory employment to at least one member of affected family of a farm labourer.
  • Land acquisition, rehabilitation authority should hold hearings in district where acquisition takes place.
  • Court shall take cognizance of offence provided in the procedure laid down in section 197 of Code of Criminal Procedure.
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The state and Islam: Converting the preachers

SAUDI ARABIA has long used a simple method to regulate mosques. The oil kingdom lavishes clerics with money and perks that can suddenly vanish if their preaching goes astray. If that does not work they are fired or parked in jail. Now Saudi preachers face a new constraint: starting next year authorities will install centrally monitored cameras in every mosque to record what goes on inside. The move is ostensibly meant to prevent theft and regulate energy use, but few doubt the real intention is to tighten the state’s grip on Islam, part of a trend across the Middle East.

Critics have long reviled Saudi Arabia for its sponsorship of a rigidly puritanical brand of religion. The ruling Al Saud family, whose legitimacy rests in part on a 270-year-old pact with the Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam, has tended to shrug off the complaints. But in recent months it has worried about a backlash from conservatives angered by the government’s enthusiastic support for the crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, as well as its participation in the American-led military coalition against Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq. Apparently fired up by IS propaganda, radicals in the kingdom have lately targeted “infidel” Westerners and “deviant” Shias in a string of small but deadly terror attacks.

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via The Economist

Six charts that show how India should approach emission cuts

In the face of the much-touted US-China climate deal, India’s strategy of piggybacking on China to avoid taking compulsory carbon emission cuts has backfired.

The international pressure is now firmly on India—the third largest polluter in the world—to act decisively against climate change. However, a closer look at climate data shows that while population and steep economic growth are the two reasons why India has become a major carbon emitter, it is much less responsible for climate change than many other comparable nations.

Here are six charts that show how India should juggle the trinity of international pressure, its own development concerns and the need for a clean environment for its own sake.

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via Livemint.

Essay – Corporate Social Responsibility

The evolution of the concept and definition of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has an impressive history associated with it. During the 1960s and 1970s, meaning of CSR was further expanded and. In the 1980s, more empirical research and alternative themes began to mature. These alternative themes included corporate social performance (CSP), stakeholder theory, and business ethics theory.

One of the most frequently asked questions is: what is the meaning of “Corporate Social Responsibility” ? There are various definitions provided by various organisations. The most appropriate and common definition is: Corporate Social Responsibility is that exercise which helps the companies to have a positive impact on the society in the process of managing their business.

According to the book “Making Good Business Sense” by Lord Holme and Richard Watts, “Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large”.

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Current Affairs sections updated with October 2014 News

The Current Affairs sections – Notes on Current Affairs, Current GK, Appointments Etc, Sports News have been updated with October 2014 news.

These sections are useful for those preparing for Civil Services Exam, UPSC Exams, SSC Exams, Assistant Grade Exam, LIC and other Insurance Recruitment exams, Defence Services exams like NDA & CDS, Bank PO, RBI, Clerks’ Recruitment Exams, MBA, Hotel Management, CLAT, CSAT etc

Essay [for Civil Services mains exam and Bank PO Exam Descriptive Questions]: National Solar Mission

To develop solar energy as an effective alternative source of power, the government of India, on 11 January 2010, launched the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), under the brand name “Solar India”. The main target of the Mission is to deploy 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022. Besides, JNNSM is also working on reducing the cost of solar power generation through aggressive R&D, development of critical raw materials indigenously, and formulation of large scale deployment goals.

JNNSM is a major initiative to promote ecologically sustainable growth and, at the same time, address the energy security challenges faced by India.

The infrastructure and technology cost to develop solar energy parks is very high at the moment, as compared to the power sources such as coal, and even oil. For solar energy to become one of the prime sources, it is important that rapid scale-up of capacity and technologies is achieved so that the cost can be driven-down towards parity with current sources of power. It is hoped that JNNSM will achieve parity with coal-based thermal plants by 2030.
The Mission is also encouraging use of number of off-grid solar applications, especially in the rural areas, which are already cost-effective.

Fortunately, India has a vast solar energy potential. Approximately 5,000 trillion kWh per year energy can be produced using solar power. However, the constraint is on availability of space to put the solar panels and development of effective storage. Besides, the monsoon period has its own disadvantage vis-a-vis solar power due to extended cloud cover in the monsoon months. To develop solar power resource the Indian scientists and engineers will need to (i) develop solar panels that can create more energy per sq meter, (ii) batteries that have higher capacity to store energy while occupying lesser space, and (iii) photo-voltaic cells that can produce energy even during the cloud cover. Theoretically, a small fraction of the total incident solar energy (if captured effectively) can meet the entire country’s power requirements.

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