[Premium] Blockchain Technology & Cryptocurrency – In a Nutshell

Blockchain technology, also known as the decentralised, distributed ledger technology, has gained popularity in India in the last 2 years. According to studies, in the next 5 years, Blockchain has the potential to add value to the tune of USD 5 billion across all sectors in India.

Various banks in India have been increasingly adopting this technology. Utilising this distributed ledger technology, a group of India’s 11 largest banks including ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Bank, Yes Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, RBL Bank, South Indian Bank, and Axis Bank have launched the 1st ever blockchain-linked loan system in the country. This not only guarantees transparency in loan disbursement but also eliminates any communication challenge among the different banks.

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One Nation One Card – Everything You Need to Know

Recently the Prime Minister has launched the indigenously-developed National Common Mobility Card (NCMC).Dubbed as ‘One Nation One Card’, the inter-operable transport card would enable the holders to pay for their travel expenses (bus, metro, railways), toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping and even withdraw money across the country.This type of system already exists in various developed countries like UK, Singapore, etc. and now it will be used in India too.

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) – The Debate on Security Vs Human Rights

A debate on Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has been sparked off after the Congress in its manifesto announced that it would review the AFSPA Act in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Since independence, J&K has been the focal point of national and global political agendas and the 2019 General Elections is no different. Here’s what the act is all about:

[Premium] Defamation in India – IPC Section 499 and 500 Vs Freedom of Speech

Recent happenings across the country against individual rights and free speech have questioned the relevance and the validity of certain laws such as Sedition law, defamation law, and the AFSPA. Sedition law has already been discussed here. In this article, we are going to discuss the defamation law in India, the associated issues and the way forward. AFSPA will be discussed in the next article.

It has been claimed that criminalization of defamation has a harsh effect on the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 and hence demands have been raised to make it as a civil offence. However, the Supreme Court in its 2016 judgement approved the constitutional validity of criminal defamation laws such as IPC sections 499 and 500 which led to widespread criticism across all political circles.

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State Funding of Elections: Is it feasible in India?

Indian elections cost huge sums of money. This money hardly comes from contributions by sympathizers of the political party but from big corporate houses. Such contributions have largely come from undeclared income/black money and this increases corruption in the electoral process. It highlights the need for implementing effective reforms in electoral finance.In the previous article, we have discussed the Electoral Bonds Scheme for bringing transparency in electoral finance. In this article, we are going to discuss another such reform called State funding of elections as a measure to bring transparency and eliminate corruption in the electoral process.

[Premium] Electoral Bonds – Is it effective to bring Transparency in Political Funding?

The State Bank of India (SBI) has opened a 20-day window from where an individual, acting singly or in concert with others, can buy electoral bonds and donate money to political parties. Purchasers of these bonds have been granted anonymity, thereby creating opacity in what should have been a transparent process. Data gathered in response to an RTI query revealed that there has been a 62% jump in donations collected through electoral bonds this year (2019).

Notably, Election Commission of India (ECI) has told the Supreme Court that the electoral bonds, wreck transparency in political funding. In its affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, the EC pointed to the amendments made to key laws, with dangerous consequences.

This article explains the following in an analytical manner with a mindmap for better understanding & quick revision:

  1. What are Electoral Bonds?
  2. What is the need for Electoral Bonds (Pros)?
  3. What are the concerns against Electoral Bonds (Cons)?
  4. What are the reforms needed in Indian electoral financing?
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Mission Shakti – Why is it Path-Breaking?

Recently, the DRDO’s anti-satellite missile system (ASAT) project named Mission Shakti successfully destroyed a live satellite in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) (300 km altitude). With this test, India became the fourth country after the US, Russia, and China to achieve the feat. It is considered to be a milestone for the institutions and a significant development in terms of strengthening the country’s overall security. However, the test also sparked controversy regarding space militarization and space debris.