‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Awareness in the field of IT – Social media is misused to propagate lies, hatred

Online media companies don’t take responsibility for their content: Sam Pitroda


   Brief about the father of India’s telecom revolution explanation:

  • He is deeply concerned over the way social media is being misused globally to propagate lies, hatred and false ideas.
  • He also says that in India also, social media has not been used effectively and technology is not meant to be misapplied.
  • He says that media technology companies such as Facebook and Google don’t take responsibility for the truthfulness of their content and that globally there has to be a movement on social media and ethics.

   Challenges in the use of technology:

  • Globally there has to be a movement on social media and ethics, social media and truth.
  • Social media is misused globally to propagate lies, hatred, false ideas.

   Example for Ruling out the challenges:

  • Aerial Intelligence can take satellite data and through artificial intelligence predict the agricultural yield of wheat, sugar, soya bean, coffee, tea and potato.

   What needs to change and what are the impacts of IT:

  • Information technology brings about openness, accessibility, connectivity, networking, democratization, decentralization.
  • With the Web today, we have so much good content available on every subject. From subjects like religion, how to make wine, to Physics, Chemistry, Math, health.
  • How you motivate people to learn on their own is a big challenge today. Technology is there but we still use it for the traditional class room. We still have four-year degree programmes, we still have a teacher who comes and delivers lectures. That has to change.

   Source: The Hindu


‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Liberalization of the economy – Centre to raise with U.S. non-tariff barriers

India is planning to take up with the Trump administration the “barriers” imposed by the U.S.

   Explaining the barrier:

  • The U.S. “non-tariff/Sanitary & Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) barriers” include those imposed under laws concerning bio-terrorism, child-labour, national security, ‘Buy America’ norms preferring U.S.-made items and American suppliers in U.S. Government purchases, registration fee hikes (in sectors such as pharma), food safety as well as animal and plant health regulations.

   Proposed time:

  • The date for the next TPF meeting will be fixed after the new U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) assumes office.
  • The issue would be on the agenda of the next India-U.S. Trade Policy Forum (TPF) — the main bilateral platform for discussing and resolving trade and investment issues.

   Brief about the fundamentals:

  • Countervailing duties (CVDs), also known as anti-subsidy duties, are trade import duties imposed under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules to neutralize the negative effects of subsidies.
  • Non–tariff measures (NTMs) are generally defined as policy measures other than ordinary customs tariffs that can potentially have an economic effect on international trade in goods, changing quantities traded, or prices or both.
  • Tariffs, Non-tariff barriers to trade. Import licenses. Export licenses. Import quotas. Subsidies. Voluntary Export Restraints. Local content requirements. Embargo. Currency devaluation. Trade restriction.
  • A nontariff barrier is a form of restrictive trade where barriers to trade are set up and take a form other than a tariff friction.
  • Countervailing duties (CVD) are meant to level the playing field between domestic producers of a product and foreign producers of the same product who can afford to sell it at a lower price because of the subsidy they receive from their government.

   Source: NewsUnited


‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Conservation & Environmental Impact Assessment – Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary hitches wagon to star tortoises

Successful rehabilitation of rescued reptiles earn kudos for Kerala Forest Department


   What you need to know:

  • An ambitious project of the Kerala Forest Department at the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) to rehabilitate Indian star tortoises (Geochelone elegans) seized from smugglers has turned into a major success. This makes the CWS the only rehabilitation centre for star tortoises in the country.
  • The CWS is the only place in Kerala where star tortoises are known to occur in the wild. The sanctuary is now a haven for at least 450 such tortoises seized from poachers in less than two years. The success of the programme is so overwhelming that the star tortoise has turned into an icon of the sanctuary.
  • It all began in August 2015 when Customs sleuths of the Nedumbassery International Airport seized an out-of-the-ordinary consignment that contained 200 star tortoises meant for an East Asian destination.
  • In these regions, live Indian star tortoises are considered auspicious for gaining wealth. It is the reason why Indian star tortoises, which are protected under the Wildlife Act, are poached and smuggled. Seized consignments have to be handed over to the Forest Department under law but it led to the question of where to release them.
  • Rehabilitation partly adopts the ‘soft releasing’ process in which randomly selected tortoises are taken to the wild in an enclosure from which they may enter the forest at will.
  • The enclosures are monitored to prevent attacks by wild animals, and after the entire batch leaves, the enclosures are removed
  • During the quarantine period, the natural food preferences of star tortoises were identified and found to include a herb locally known as thazhuthama, and a particular variety of cactus found abundantly inside the CWS.

   Source: News United