20 August 2015



Chattisgarh’s torture cells exposed  –  (social issues)

·   No food and water for two days while being produced in courts, no doctor to treat sick inmates, no possibility of meeting or speaking to family members. These are some of the observations made by former National Commission for Women (NCW) member Shamina Shafiq on the condition of women prisoners lodged in Central Jail in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, in December 2012.

·  The conditions in the jail have not improved much since 2012 and the report is equally relevant now as well.

Editorial: Mullah Omar: a myth of convenience  –  (International Relations)


· The dismantling of the Mullah Omar myth was expected to create some fragmentation in the jihadi networks but the fracturing is proving to be messier than anticipated, as events in Afghanistan show, following the U.S. taking a back seat in the region



Perspective: Yuan makes its first market move  –  (Economics)

·         Last week China, devalued its currency by 3% against dollar.

·         The devaluation announcement came within days of China’s export figures for July recording a negative growth, owing mainly to the slow pickup in demand from developed-country markets.

·         China’s Central Bank said that the devaluation marked the transition to a flexible, more market-based system of determining China’s exchange rates. In contrast, the system that existed until now was one in which the value of the Chinese currency (especially in relation to the U.S. dollar) had largely been fixed by the government.

·          China is trying to get the renminbi included in the basket of currencies in International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). The IMF has set a precondition that China should remove restrictions on foreign capital flows and shift to a flexible exchange rate system.

Perspective: Early Experiments with Technology  –  (science and technology)


·  The Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE), India’s first attempt to use technology as an educational tool, celebrates its 40th anniversary this month

·  Marking the first major India-U.S. partnership in space, SITE used National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s first direct broadcasting satellite to beam television programmes to remote Indian villages.



Future Forecast: Plan for Paris: looking beyond emission cuts  –   (Environment)

·   In the lead up to the Paris Climate Summit — Conference of Parties (CoP) 21 — an important buzzword in international climate circles is INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) that each country needs to commit itself to as its climate policy.

·  Much of this is tacitly expected to mean a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions rather than adaptation, which would be about transforming or changing systems and institutions to enable us live in a warmer world.

·  While we eventually have to reduce emissions to zero in order not to completely destroy the earth’s ecosystems, we also need to learn how to live on a planet that is on average at least about 2-3 degrees Celsius warmer than in pre-industrial times.

· Countries with huge populations like India, Indonesia etc. would be most affected by the climate change.

Sharp rise in crime against children  –   (Social Issues)


·  The number of reported crimes against children, which had more than doubled between 2012 and 2013, increased by 50 per cent between the last two years, new data from the National Crime Records Bureau show.

·   A significant number of these cases could involve consenting girls or women whose parents register cases of kidnap and rape against their male partners



Conviction rates up, but not for rape  –   (Social Issues)

·  Despite an increase in the number of cognisable crimes in India during 2014, the rate of conviction rose as well.

·   Mizoram and Kerala have high conviction rates, while Bihar and West Bengal have the lowest conviction rates, at just over 10 per cent.

India Post, 10 entities get nod for payment banks  –  (Economics)


·   The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) gave approval in principle for 11 entities to set up payments banks.

·    They are India Post, Reliance Industries Ltd., Aditya Birla Nuvo, Tech Mahindra, Sun Pharma, National Securities Depository Ltd., Airtel M Commerce Services Ltd., Vodafone m-pesa Ltd., Cholamandalam Distribution Services Ltd., Fino PayTech Ltd. and Paytm.

·  Payments banks will take deposits and remittances, but will not advance loans.



E-commerce industry $1.2m revenue in every 30 seconds  –   (Economics)

· The global e-commerce industry generates over $1.2 million revenue in every 30 seconds with Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter contributing $5,483, $4,504 and $4,308 respectively, reveals a joint study conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) and Deloitte.

·  Social networks are contributing significantly to the growth of e-commerce business revenue.

·  The maturity of social media and its reach across masses and classes makes it a suitable platform for online sales. Social media pages provide information regarding new products in the market, user reviews and ratings of the product, recommendations, and information technology (IT) products.

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