United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP14): Key Highlights & TakeawaysPREMIUM 

Reading Time: 8 mins This year, India had hosted the United Nations Convention to Combating Desertification Conference of Parties (UNCCD COP14), in New Delhi. About 8,000 participants and delegates from across 200 countries took part in this Convention. Almost 30 decisions were agreed upon after intense deliberations. The use of the term “desertification” in the Convention to Combat Desertification gives the impression that this Convention only focuses on deserts. However, this is not true. This Convention is about the sustainable management and restoration of land – which has important positive implications for water, energy, biodiversity, and livelihoods. This year’s COP, India took over the presidency and has the opportunity to bring to the limelight this lesser-known Rio Convention. By hosting UNCCD COP14, India has become the 4th country in the world along with Argentina, Kenya, and Germany to have convened all three COPs under the Rio Convention of 1992. These include the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and the UNCCD.

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[Updated] MSME Sector in India – Significance, Challenges & Initiatives

Reading Time: 5 mins Updates* What is MSME? MSME Development (MSMED) Act, 2006 classifies MSMEs based on the Investment in plant and machinery for manufacturing units Investment in equipment for service enterprises. But in February 2018, the Union Cabinet approved the amendment to MSMED Act, 2006 for classifying MSMEs from current investment in plant and machinery criteria to annual …

KUSUM Scheme: Need, Significance, DrawbacksPREMIUM 

Reading Time: 5 mins

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had launched a massive solar-pump programme called PM-KUSUM in February this year. This scheme, though well-intended, has numerous drawbacks and is in need of reforms for it to be successful in the long run.

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Competition Commission of India (CCI): Need, Composition, Functions, Challenges

Reading Time: 6 mins

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) had turned a decade old recently. 10 years since its establishment, the Commission is undertaken numerous measures to assure ease and freedom of trade and prevention of unfair practices in the Indian market. However, the current development of technology and business models is posing new and varied challenges to the CCI.

Companies (Amendment) Act 2019 & Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)PREMIUM 

Reading Time: 5 mins

Companies (Amendment) Act, 2019 had received presidential assent on 31st of July this year. India is the first nation to make Corporate Social Responsibility a mandatory duty of those who have huge profits. However, it received disapproval from the corporate sector for its stringent provisions related to Corporate Social Responsibility. This is due to the fact that the law proposes penal provisions that may include fine or imprisonment or both, to the defaulting officers. The government, therefore, had responded to this criticism by changing the defaults on corporate social responsibility as a civil offence rather than a criminal offence.

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WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism Issue: Reasons & Implications

Reading Time: 5 mins

This year, over 20 developing nations had met in New Delhi to look into ways to prevent the World Trade Organisation’s dispute resolution system from becoming defunct. The WTO dispute settlement mechanism is currently going through a crisis as the body is struggling to appoint new members to its highly understaffed Appellate Body. If this is not addressed soon, the Appellate Body may become redundant in the future.

Quantum Computing – Explained in Layman’s Terms

Reading Time: 9 mins Fifty years ago, smartphones would have been the ultimate computing wizardry. Just as classical computers were almost unimaginable to previous generations, we’re now facing the birth of an entirely new type of computation, that is, quantum computing. The country which is able to control the future of quantum technology can become an “Information Superpower” and …