GM Crops in India – Pros & Cons

Reading Time: 7 mins Under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, growing GM crops that are not approved by the government can result in a five-year jail term and a hefty ₹1 lakh fine. Yet a Haryana farmer had grown a genetically modified (GM) variant of brinjal which is banned under the law that has landed him in controversy and the officials had forced him to uproot the crop.

There are two arguments regarding GM crops – one is “its potential in terms of increased crop yields & shelf life in the context of climate change events” and the other one is the “concern regarding its reliability and impacts on the environment and human health”.

Swachh Bharat Mission – Is it a Success or a Failure?

Reading Time: 7 mins

Poor sanitation is a primary cause of diseases worldwide = improving sanitation can have a beneficial impact on health both in households as well as communities. In order to meet the sanitation need, the government had launched the Swachh Bharat Mission in 2014. Since then, SBM became the world’s largest sanitation program by changing the behaviour of hundreds of millions of people with respect to toilet access and usage. However, there are also concerns regarding the overreporting of data, actual usage of toilets, etc. which we will discuss in this article.

The New National Commission for Backward Classes – Will it be Effective?

Reading Time: 4 mins

The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), a statutory authority established in 1993 was given limited powers such as recommending to the government the inclusion or exclusion of a community in the central list of OBCs.

Therefore the government had passed the 102nd constitution amendment act, 2018 to provide constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) and empower it to hear complaints as well as protect the interests of socially and educationally backward classes.

However, there is also a question arises whether merely passing multiple acts and giving constitutional status is enough? considering the situation where several states have not yet implemented 27% reservation for OBCs and the skewed representation of backward sections in various levels of the government.

Libyan Crisis – ExplainedPREMIUM 

Reading Time: 3 mins

Libya has been torn by violence and political instability since long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was toppled and killed by rebels in 2011. The crisis was triggered by the Arab Spring protests, a series of anti-government protests, uprisings and armed rebellions that spread across the Middle East in late 2010.

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The Anti-Defection Law / Tenth Schedule of Constitution – Explained

Reading Time: 6 mins With the end of 16th Lok Sabha, it is time to reflect on how to make this institution more effective. A crucial step would be to review the Anti-Defection Law that made the institution less effective by affecting the independence of MPs/MLAs and removing any incentive for them to research and understand on policies which have the bearing on nation-building and development process.

RTE (Amendment) Act, 2019: No-Detention ControversyPREMIUM 

Reading Time: 4 mins

The Right to Education Act, 2009 prohibits the detention of children till they complete elementary education (class 8) as detention would lead them to drop out of school.

However, this provision is amended by the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Act, 2019 to state that a regular examination will be conducted in class 5 and class 8 at the end of every academic year.

  • If a child fails the exam, he/she will be provided with the additional opportunity to take a re-examination within two months.
  • Such children will be provided with two-month remedial teaching to perform better in the re-examinations.
  • If he/she fails in the re-examination too, then the central government or the concerned state government may decide to allow schools to detain the child.
  • This change is incorporated due to the concern that automatic promotion reduces the incentive for children to learn and for teachers to teach.

This big-picture article explains the following in an analytical manner with a mindmap for quick revision:

  1. What is the no detention policy under the RTE Act?
  2. What are the advantages of No-detention policy?
  3. What are the disadvantages of no-detention policy? / Need for its removal?
  4. What are the concerns with the amendment?
  5. What is the way forward? / How to improve learning outcomes?

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