- Reservations Based on Place of Birth
The issue in news
- Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh recently announced that the government jobs will be reserved for the “children” of the state and legal provisions will be made for the same.
Arguments Against Providing Reservation Based on Place of Birth:
- Article 16 in the Constitution of India refers to equality of opportunity in government jobs.
- Article 16(1) provides for equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to ’employment or appointment’ to any office under the State.
- Article 16(2) provides that there cannot be any discrimination on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them. Reservation on the basis of domicile and residence would mean discrimination as even a minimal departure creates an irrational class depriving a meritorious candidate of his fundamental rights.
- This kind of parochialism encourages regionalism and threatens the unity of the nation.
Arguments in Favour :
- Article 16(3), allows for making provisions in government appointments with respect to residence (not place of birth).
- The Parliament (and not the legislature of a state) can prescribe residence within a state or union territory as a condition for certain employments or appointments in that state or union territory, or local authority or other authority within that state or union territory.
- Some states have been using the loopholes in the laws to reserve government jobs for locals.
- They have used other criteria like language tests or proof of having resided/studied in the state for a certain period of time.
- In Maharashtra, only those living in the state for over 15 years with fluency in Marathi are eligible.
- In Jammu and Kashmir, government jobs are reserved for “domiciles” In West Bengal, reading and writing skills in Bengali is a criterion in recruitment to some posts.
- It is argued that giving preferential treatment to the residents of a state will help in rightful allocation of the resources of the state and would encourage people to work within the boundaries of their state.
- This is also seen as a way to stop migration of people from backward states to metropolitans, thereby reducing the burden on such cities.
Difference between domicile status and place of birth
- According to the SC ruling in DP Joshi vs Madhya Bharat case,1955, Domicile or status of residence is a fluid concept that can change from time to time, unlike place of birth, which is fixed.
- Domicile of a person means his permanent home.
- The place of birth is one of several grounds on which domicile status is conferred.
- In 2019, the Allahabad High Court struck down a recruitment notification issued by the Uttar Pradesh Subordinate Service Selection Commission, which prescribed preference for women who were “original residents” of the state.
- In the Kailash Chand Sharma vs State Of Rajasthan case, 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that residence, be it within a state, district or any other area, cannot be a basis for preferential reservation or treatment.
- While the Constitution specifically prohibits discrimination based on place of birth, the Supreme Court, in DP Joshi vs Madhya Bharat case, 1955 has held domicile reservation, especially in educational institutions, as constitutional.
- Digital Quality of Life Index 2020: SurfShark
The issue in news
the Digital Quality of Life (DQL) Index 2020 has been released recently by SurfShark, an online privacy solutions provider.
- According to it, India ranks among the lowest in the world in terms of Internetquality.
- Coverage: It is global research on the quality of digital wellbeing in 85 countries (81% of the global population).
- Parameters: The study indexes the countries by looking at five fundamental pillars that define the digital quality of life namely, internet affordability, internet quality, electronic infrastructure, electronic security and electronic government.
- Underpinning these pillars are 12 indicators that are interrelated and work together to provide a measure of the overall digital quality of life.
- GDP and DQL: Although GDP per capita has a strong correlation with the DQL, there are countries that have a better digital quality of life with a lower GDP per capita than expected.
- 13 countries (Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Greece, etc.) exceed the expected digital quality of life by outperforming others in providing higher levels of e-security and more affordable internet connectivity.
- Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia with relatively high GDP per capita are underperforming in providing better digital wellbeing for their citizens due to low levels of internet quality and e-security.
- Affordability: The affordability of the internet plays a major role in ensuring accessibility but has a notably lower correlation with the DQL than the other pillars.
- For instance, the internet is less affordable in some Southern or Eastern European countries but people there still enjoy higher than the average digital quality of life.
- Internet Infrastructure: The stability of the internet infrastructure has become of crucial importance during the Covid-19 pandemic when video conferences replaced live meetings. Consequently, it impacted the quality of people’s digital lives.
- 7 out of 10 countries with the highest DQL are in Europe, with Denmark leading among 85 countries.
- Scandinavian countries excel in offering high-quality digital wellbeing to their citizens.
- Canada leads in American continents, Japan in Asia, South Africa in Africa and News Zealand in Oceania.
Indian Rankings: India stands at the overall rank of 57 out of the 85 countries.
- Internet Affordability: 9 place and outperforms countries like the UK, the USA and China.
- Internet Quality: 78 place and is almost at the bottom of the pillar.
- E-infrastructure: 79 place and below countries like Guatemala and Sri Lanka.
- Electronic Security: 57 position.
- E-government: 15 place and just below countries like New Zealand and Italy.
Government Initiatives Related to Internet
- Digital India Programme: It is an umbrella program to prepare India for a knowledge-based transformation.
- e-Kranti: National e-Governance Plan 2.0 which is an essential pillar of the Digital India initiative.
- Digilockers: It enables Indian citizens to store certain official documents on the cloud.
- BHIM App: To enable digital payments.
- Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan: To make citizens digitally literate.
- Bharat Net programme: To provide an optical fibre network in all gram panchayats.
- Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge
The issue in news
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has announced ‘Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge- Innovate Solutions for #Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ to provide further impetus to the Start-up ecosystem, innovation and research in the country.
- MeitY has taken various initiatives and measures to improve innovation-led ecosystem with a Technology Incubation and Development of Entrepreneurs (TIDE) scheme, Centre of Excellences in IoT/FinTech space,
- ‘Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge- Innovate Solutions for #Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ seeks to invite innovators, startups and students to use microprocessors, developed by IIT Madras and C-DAC, to generate various technology products.
- IIT Madras and Center for Development of Advance Computing (C-DAC) have developed two microprocessors named SHAKTI (32 bit) and VEGA (64 bit) respectively using Open Source Architecture under the aegis of Microprocessor Development Programme of
- The Challenge demands contestants to not only tinker with the Swadeshi Processor IPs and facilitate them with innovating the economical solutions for societal needs but also make available the entire homegrown ecosystem around Swadeshi Processors to develop the complex designs for catering to both global and domestic requirements in near future. The Challenge spread over 10 months, kick-started with the registration process through MyGov Portal on 18 August 2020 and will culminate in June 2021
- Under the Aatmanibhar Bharat Abhiyan, there is a growing need for Swadeshi Compute Hardware, that shall be part of every smart device deployed in different domains, including electronics for public utility services such as surveillance, transportation, environmental condition monitoring, to commodity appliances like smart fans/ locks/ washing machines.
- In addition, with growing penetration of smart electronics in strategic areas including space, defence and nuclear energy, the need for Swadeshi Computer Hardware is crucial.
- The dependence on external vendors, quick enhancements to suit the ever-growing requirements, and most-importantly security, further drives self-reliance in the hardware domain.
Microprocessor Development Program
- It was approved in August 2017 with 289.21 crore earmarked for the programme over four years.
- C-DAC, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras and IIT Bombay were roped in for implementation of the project.
- C-DAC is the premier R&D organisation of the MeitY for carrying out R&D in IT, Electronics and associated areas.
- The development of an indigenous microprocessor is necessary to meet domestic needs and shield the country from potential future embargoes on transfer of critical technology.
- MyGov platform was launched in 2014 by the Prime Minister of India. It is a unique first of its kind participatory governance initiative involving the common citizen at large.
- The idea of MyGov brings the government closer to the common man by the use of an online platform creating an interface for healthy exchange of ideas and views involving the common citizen and experts with the ultimate goal to contribute to the social and economic transformation of India.
- Invisible Shield against Electromagnetic Interference
The issue in News
Scientists from the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), Bengaluru, have designed a metal mesh structure to construct an invisible shield against Electromagnetic Interference (EMI).
- CeNS is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India.
- EMI is an electromagnetic emission that causes a disturbance in another piece of electrical equipment.
- Any device that has an electronic circuit can be susceptible to EMI. It compromises the performance of electrical equipment by obstructing and degrading data, sometimes even losing data completely.
- EMI can be attributed to a wide span of the electromagnetic spectrum including radio and microwave frequencies.
- In 1933, the International Special Committee on Radio Interference (CISPR) was created to address emerging concerns over EMI.
Metal Mesh Structure:
- The scientists have developed a copper metal mesh on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) sheet, instead of continuous film, which exhibits a visible transmittance of about 85%.
- Transmittance describes how much light passes through a sample. In other words, it is light that is not absorbed, scattered, or reflected. It is usually measured in percentage.
- The metal mesh networks on the substrate are more transparent than continuous film because it covers only 7% area of the substrate, unlike 100% coverage of continuous film.
- Metal mesh provides better electromagnetic shielding compared to the same thickness of continuous metal film where transparency can be compromised.
Benefits and uses :
- The main purpose of the EMI shield is to isolate a device’s energy so it doesn’t affect anything else and blocks external energy from getting in.
- Without shielding, electronics wouldn’t function as designed or may even stop working altogether.
- This ‘invisible’ shield can be used in various military stealth applications and can cover electromagnetic wave emitter or absorber devices without compromising aesthetics.
- Besides the physical shape, reducing the electromagnetic signature, which includes radar waves and radio signals, is an important element for enhancing the stealth capability of a weapon platform.
- Dhanwantri Rath: Ayurveda Health Services
The issue in News
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) and Delhi Police for extending the Ayurveda Preventive and Promotive health services in the residential colonies of Delhi Police.
- These services are to be provided through a mobile unit named ‘Dhanwantari Rath’ and Police Wellness Centres and are to be catered by AIIA, supported by the Ministry of AYUSH.
- Dhanwantari Rath and Police Wellness Centres would be outreach OPD (OutPatient Department) services of AIIA and aim to benefit the Families of Delhi Police through Ayurveda preventive health care services. Dhanwantari Rath – a mobile unit of Ayurveda health care services would consist of a team of Doctors who would be visiting Delhi Police colonies regularly.
- These Ayurveda health care services are expected to reduce the incidence/prevalence of various diseases and also reduce the number of referrals to hospitals thereby reducing cost to the healthcare system as well as patients.
- Earlier, AYURAKSHA, a joint venture of AIIA and Delhi Police aimed for maintaining the health of frontline Covid warriors like Delhi police personnel through Ayurveda immunity boosting measures was launched.
- With the latest MoU, Ayurveda Preventive and Promotive health care will be extended to the families of Delhi Police personnel.
- It is made up of two words- Ayuh and Ayuh means life and Veda means knowledge or science.
- Thus ‘Ayurveda’ in totality means ‘Science of life’.
- It incorporates all aspects of life whether physical, psychological, spiritual or social.
- It is considered as one of the ancient health care systems.
- Atharva-veda mainly deals with extensive Ayurvedic information. That is why Ayurveda is said to be the offshoot of Atharva-Veda.
- The Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) was formed in 2014 to ensure the optimal development and propagation of AYUSH systems of health care.
All India Institute of Ayurveda
- It is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of AYUSH. It has been conceived as an apex institute for Ayurveda. It aims at bringing a synergy between traditional wisdom of Ayurveda and modern tools and technology.
- The institute offers postgraduate and doctoral courses in various disciplines of Ayurveda and focuses on fundamental research of Ayurveda, drug development, standardization, quality control, safety evaluation and scientific validation of Ayurvedic medicine.