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GS-2


Executive and the Judiciary

Speed up trial of politicians, says SC: (The Hindu)

Context:

  • A Supreme Court bench directed the Centre to frame a scheme for setting up special courts exclusively to deal with criminal cases involving political persons.

Why this scheme has been directed by SC?

  • The effort has been initiated to cleanse politics of criminality and corruption.
  • It takes years, probably decades, to complete the trial against a politician.
  • There are still 1,581 criminal cases pending against Members of Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies at the time of the 2014 elections.

What are special courts and tribunals?

  • Several specialised Courts and Tribunals are established in India to reduce the burden of pending cases.
  • These special Courts and Tribunals specialise in certain area/laws and ensure that the citizens are not overly inconvenienced in the resolution of minor disputes.

Examples of special courts and tribunals:

  1. Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT): In order to reduce the Non-Performing Assets of the Banks and Financial Institutions in the public and private sector, the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) was established.
  2. It aims for expeditious adjudication and recovery of debts due to banks and financial institutions.
  3. Consumer Court: To protect the rights of the consumers of India and establish a mechanism for settlement of consumer disputes, a three-tier redressal forum containing District, State and National level consumer forums has been setup.
  • The District Consumer Forum deals with consumer disputes involving a value of upto Rupees twenty lakh.
  • The State Commission has jurisdiction in consumer disputes having a value of upto Rs.1 crore.  
  • The National Commission deals in consumer disputes above Rs.1 crores, in respect of defects in goods and or deficiency in service.
  • Family Court: Family Courts were introduced through The Family Courts Act, 1984 to promote conciliation in and secure speedy settlement of disputes relating to marriage and family affairs.
  • Labour Court: Labour Courts deal with all types of disputes between employers and employees under Labour laws in India.
  • Motor Accident Claims Tribunal: The Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal deals with matters related to compensation of motor accidents victims or their next of kin.

Election Commission and criminal cases involving political persons:

  • The existing law disqualifies politicians sentenced to a jail term of two years or more from contesting elections for six years from the date of release from prison.
  • Election Commission favored a life term ban on MPs, MLAs from contesting election after being convicted in criminal cases.
  • But Commission supports the plea to the extent that there should be a mechanism for decriminalisation of politics.

What problems Indian judiciary is facing today?

  • Lack of judges piles up a significant amount of cases which gets unnoticed for years.
  • Lack of judges and inefficient management is the reason behind delay in justice delivery.
  • Inadequate data on pending cases and lack of scientific maintenance of data makes it difficult to analyse problems and propose sustainable solutions for the judiciary.
  • Judicial proceedings are prohibitively expensive which is a major drawback for the under privileged one.
  • Judiciary lacks expertise in dealing with new age problems like Corp Tax, Cyber laws, International treaties, Climate change and its conservative attitude is exploited and corrupt go scot free.
  • Corruption is also a major issue in judicial system as it is any other government department especially in lower courts increasing transparency and accountability corruption can be bought down.
  • Absence of separate Commercial Courts to adjudicate on disputes of civil nature resulting in large number of pending civil suits related to various business and services related disputes in the high courts.

What is the Representation of People Act, 1951?

  • Article 324 to 329 of Part XV of the Constitution deals with the electoral system in our country.
  • Constitution allows Parliament to make provisions in all matters relating to elections to the Parliament and State Legislatures.
  • In exercise of this power, the Parliament has enacted laws like Representation of the People Act 1950 (RPA Act 1950), Representation of the People Act 1951 (RPA Act 1951) and Delimitation Commission Act of 1952.

Objectives:

It is an act of Parliament of India to provide for:

  • The conduct of elections of the Houses of Parliament and to the House or Houses of the Legislature of each State,
  • the qualifications and disqualifications for membership of those Houses,
  • the corrupt practices and other offences at or in connection with such elections and
  • the decision of doubts and disputes arising out of or in connection with such elections.

India, Bhutan security indivisible: President: (The Hindu)

Context

  • The President Ram Nath Kovind said that the security of India and Bhutan is “indivisible and mutual”, indicating a closer engagement between India and Bhutan.

Token of Thanks

  • The President conveyed deep appreciation for the King of Bhutan’s personal involvement and guidance and the support provided by Bhutan in addressing the recent situation in the Doklam area.
  • Mr Kovind added that the manner in which both India and Bhutan stood together to address the situation in the Doklam area is a clear testimony to India – Bhutan’s friendship.

Significance

  • The Rashtrapati Bhavan statement is significant as it seeks to end speculation over India’s decision to send troops into land caught in a dispute between Bhutan and China.
  • The visit by the Royal couple to Delhi is being seen as not just a personal one, but one that signals a tacit endorsement of India’s actions during the Doklam crisis, as well as a reaffirmation of ties.

A Brief History of India Bhutan Relations

  • India and Bhutan share cordial relations. It is based on a shared cultural heritage from historical past
  • As quoted by our Honble Prime Minister, India Bhutan relationship is like ‘milk and water‘. They cannot be separated
  • Bhutan signed a treaty with British India in 1910. According to this treaty, the British guided the defence and foreign affairs of Bhutan
  • Bhutan was the first country to recognize India’s independence in 1947
  • India Bhutan Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation was signed in 1949. This treaty was updated in 2007.
  • Diplomatic relations between the two countries were officially established in 1968 after the appointment of a Indian representative as a resident in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan
  • India Bhutan Trade and Commerce Agreement was signed in 1972. It provided for free trade and commerce between the two countries.

Areas of Cooperation:

Diplomatic Cooperation:

  • Regular visits between highest level Government functionaries of both the countries have become a tradition.  For example, in 2014, our Prime Minister chose Bhutan as his first country to visit after getting elected.
  • India sends foreign service officers to Bhutan to maintain good diplomatic relations

Security Cooperation:

  • Border relationship between India and Bhutan has remained very peaceful. There are no outstanding border disputes between the two countries.
  • Both the countries have conducted joint military operation against insurgents. The most notable was in 2004, the Royal Bhutanese army conducted operations against ULFA (United Liberation Front of Assam)

Economic Cooperation:

  • The currency of Bhutan is Indian Rupees
  • India remains the single largest trading partner of Bhutan
  • In 2016 a new trade agreement was signed. This agreement aims at cutting down the documentation related to trade and establishing additional trading points in Bhutan
  • India has provided large scale financial assistance to Bhutan for its Five Year Plans
  • In the hydropower sector, many hydropower projects in Bhutan has been developed with India’s assistance
  • India imports around 1540 MW of hydropower from Bhutan
  • India has provided a standby credit facility of Rs 1000 crores to help Bhutan overcome the rupee liquidity crunch.

Cultural and Educational Cooperation:

  • India Bhutan foundation was established in 2003 for improving people to people cooperation in the areas of culture, education and environment protection
  • India has provided scholarships for Bhutanese students studying in Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses in Indian institutions

Environment Cooperation:

  • India is considering to involve Bhutan in National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayas. The project aims at protecting the Himalayan ecosystem that has been endangered by numerous ecological problems.

Areas of Contentions

  • The Motor Vehicles Agreement that was signed in 2015 involving Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) was blocked by Bhutan’s upper house citing environmental concerns.
  • India has been occasionally complained by Bhutan for meddling in its internal affairs. For Example, India’s decision to withdraw its subsidies in cooking gas and kerosene in 2013. The timing of the decision was few weeks before general election in Bhutan and was seen as an attempt to influence the election outcome.
  • Bhutan wants to increase its export power tariff to India that is complained for being lesser than its cost of production

Nirmala flags Indian Ocean issues: (The Hindu)

Context:

  • India has expressed concern at the increased militarisation in the Indian Ocean.
  • Concerns have also been raised against the extra-regional nations setting up a frequent presence in the region.

International activities in the maritime domain:  

  • China has set up or acquired stakes in a series of infrastructure facilities in the region.
  • The country has also recently opened its first overseas military base at Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.
  • The Chinese Navy has also maintained a steady presence of warships and submarines in the Indian Ocean under the garb of anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

Indian Navy’s mission based deployment:

  • Indian Navy has approved new mission-based deployment plan for deploying mission-ready ships and aircraft along critical sea lanes of communications and choke points in Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

Objective of the mission:

  • Under this mission-based deployment plan, Indian Navy’s 14-15 ships will be deployed year-round in region.
  • These deployments are expected to meet any eventuality across spectrum of operations ranging from acts of maritime terrorism and piracy to Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) missions.
  • This also aims at maintaining 24/7 and round the year vigil with ships being sustained and turned around on station.
  • The areas where these ships and corvettes and surveillance aircraft are being deployed include the Malacca Strait, North Andaman Sea, Andaman Sea, Andaman Sea including Bangladesh and Myanmar, Lakshadweep islands and Maldives, besides Madagascar and Persian Gulf.
  • These vessels will monitor increased Chinese presence in these areas.

Major maritime challenges faced by India:

  • The Indian security establishment is on high alert to tackle the newest frontier of terror – Maritime Terrorism.
  • The terrorist organisations could misuse hundreds of Indian fishing boats seized over the years.
  • Piracy is part of a maritime insecurity environment in which different threats and forms of transnational organized crime, in particular fishery crimes, are linked.
  • The sea provides an easy way for international crime syndicates, unscrupulous traders and non-state actors to distribute their wares, or to provide belligerents with highly sophisticated weapons.
  • India’s land and marine boundaries is also exposed to infiltration by terrorists/militants and large scale illegal migration.
  • The frequent straying of fishermen into neighbouring country waters has not only jeopardised the safety of the fishermen but has also raised national security concerns.

GS-3


Pollution and conservation

Mass bathing in Ganga aggravates anti-microbial resistance woes: (The Hindu)

Context:

Mass bathing in the Ganga during pilgrimages may be contributing to Anti-microbial resistance (AMR), say a government-commissioned report on the threat from AMR.

Introduction:

  • The government report – Scoping Report on Antimicrobial Resistance in India — made public on Wednesday  and cites compilation of all scientific studies done in India on the threat from AMR, causes and sources that aggravate it.
  • The report was commissioned by the Department of Biotechnology and the UK Research Council and prepared by the Centre for Disease Dynamics and Economic Policy.
  • Anti-microbial resistance (AMR) is the reason for certain key antibiotics becoming ineffective against diseases, including tuberculosis.
  • Researchers from the Newcastle University in the United Kingdom and the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi sampled water and sediments at seven sites along the Ganga in different seasons.
  • In 2014, researchers that levels of resistance genes that lead to “Superbugs” were found to be about 60 times greater during the pilgrimage months of May and June than at other times of the year.

The government report on Antimicrobial Resistance:

  • The report was commissioned by the Department of Biotechnology and the UK Research Council and prepared by the Centre for Disease Dynamics and Economic Policy.
  • India has some of the highest antibiotic resistance rates among bacteria that commonly cause infections in the community and healthcare facilities.
  • Resistance to the broad-spectrum antibiotics fluoroquinolones and third generation cephalosporin was more than 70% in Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella pneumoniae, and more than 50% in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
  • Other than ‘cultural factors’ such as bathing in the Ganga, the drivers of AMR included excessive use of antibiotics in the livestock industry and unchecked discharge of effluents by the pharmaceutical industry. However, in spite of the challenge, too little work had been done so far to understand it.
  • “This mapping exercise indicates that AMR research studies in India were of limited scope in all areas, ” the researchers noted.

Global comparison:

  • In 2014, India was the highest consumer of antibiotics, followed by China and the United States. However, the per-capita consumption of antibiotics in India was much lower than in several other high-income countries.

What is antimicrobial resistance?

  • Antimicrobial resistance happens when microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites) change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics). Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as “superbugs”.
  • AMR is the ability of a microorganism like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites to stop an antimicrobial such as antibiotics, antivirals, and antimalarials from working against it.
  • As a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others.
  • According to WHO, Antimicrobial resistance is resistance of a microorganism to an antimicrobial drug that was originally effective for treatment of infections caused by it.
  • It is not a country specific issue but a global concern that is jeopardizing global health security.
  • Antimicrobial resistance is one of the major public health problems.
  • In India the infectious disease burden is among the highest in the world

Challenges:

  • Inadequacy of public finance which will result in the conditions favorable for development of drug resistance.
  • Antimicrobial resistance will result in difficulty in controlling the diseases in the community and ineffective delivery of the health care services.  Neonates and the elderly both are more prone to infections and are vulnerable
  • families of bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health and most of these 12 superbugs have presence in India.

How do bacteria become resistant to antibiotics?

  • Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in some way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections. The bacteria survive and continue to multiply causing more harm.

How do bacteria become superbugs?

  • Superbugs. Mutations in bacteria can result in them becoming resistant to antibiotics, turning the bacteria into a ‘superbug’. Superbugs can develop while a person is taking a course of antibiotics.

Why is antimicrobial resistance a global concern?

  • New resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally, threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases, resulting in prolonged illness, disability, and death.
  • Without effective antimicrobials for prevention and treatment of infections, medical procedures such as organ transplantation, cancer chemotherapy, diabetes management and major surgery (for example, caesarean sections or hip replacements) become very high risk.
  • Antimicrobial resistance increases the cost of healthcare with lengthier stays in hospitals and more intensive care required.
  • Antimicrobial resistance is putting the gains of the Millennium Development Goals at risk and endangers achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Spread of resistance-genes that promote life-threatening bacteria

What accelerates the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance?

  • Antimicrobial resistance occurs naturally over time, usually through genetic changes.
  • The misuse and overuse of antimicrobials is accelerating this process.
  • In many places, antibiotics are overused and other misused in people and animals, and often given without professional oversight.
  • Antimicrobial resistant-microbes are found in people, animals, food, and the environment in water, soil and air. They can spread between people and animals, and from person to person.
  • Poor infection control and inadequate sanitary conditions and inappropriate food-handling encourage the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
  • Discharge of antimicrobial waste into environment by pharmaceutical industry.
  • Lack of new antibiotic being developed.
  • Poor infection control in hospitals and clinics.

Solutions:

  • Preventing the spread of resistance-genes that promote life-threatening bacteria could be achieved by improving waste management at key pilgrimage sites.
  • Rationalizing antibiotic use to limit antibiotic resistance in India.
  • Improving regulation of drug production and sales.
  • Better managing physician compensation.
  • Regulating medical sector particularly in the prescription of medicine.
  • Improving management of health care delivery system.
  • Promoting investment for antimicrobial resistance activities, research and innovation.
  • Strengthening India’s commitment and collaborations on antimicrobial resistance at international, national and sub-national level.

UN says carbon emissions gap could affect climate target: (The Hindu)

Context:

Paris Agreement pledges leave deficit that could raise temperature by 3°C

Introduction:

  • In its annual review, the UN says the gap between carbon cutting plans and the reductions required to keep temperature rises below 2 degrees Celsius is “alarmingly high”.
  • The goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change, as agreed at the Conference of the Parties in 2015, is to keep global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
  • It also calls for efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The UN Environment Emissions Gap Report 2017:

  • According to the UN Environment Emissions Gap Report 2017 there is a big carbon emissions gap exists between the levels that can be achieved in 2030 with present climate commitments, and what need to be done using set pathways to limit increase in global average, temperature to less than 2° Celsius or a more ambitious 1.5° C by the year 2100.
  • The report says full implementation of the unconditional Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and comparable action afterwards “could result in a temperature increase of about 2° C by 2100 relative to pre-industrial levels” while full implementation of conditional NDCs would marginally lower that projection by about 0.2°C.
  • Fossil fuels and cement production account for about 70% of greenhouse gases, the report noted
  • The alarming number and intensity of extreme weather events in 2017, such as hurricanes, droughts and floods, add to the urgency of early action.
  • The 2°C emissions gap for the full implementation of both the conditional and unconditional NDCs for 2030 is 11 to 13.5 gigatonne CO2 equivalent (GtCOe).
  • The report warns that other greenhouse gases, such as methane, are still rising, and a global growth spurt could send CO2 emissions upward.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC):

  • The national pledges by countries to cut emissions are voluntary.
  • The Paris Agreement requires all Parties to put forward their best efforts through “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs) and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead.
  • This includes requirements that all Parties report regularly on their emissions and on their implementation efforts.
  • In 2018, Parties will take stock of the collective efforts in relation to progress towards the goal set in the Paris Agreement.
  • There will also be a global stock take every 5 years to assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the Agreement and to inform further individual actions by Parties.

India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC)

  • India’s INDC include a reduction in the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 level.
  • India has also pledged to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
  • India will anchor a global solar alliance, INSPA (International Agency for Solar Policy & Application), of all countries located in between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.

What’s new in this year’s report?

  1. Global greenhouse gas emissions: The Emissions Gap Report includes an assessment of the emissions associated with the Nationally Determined Contributions and current policies of each of the G20 members, including the European Union.
  2. Exploring “negative emission technologies”: This year’s report explores removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as an additional way to mitigate climate change, over and above conventional abatement strategies.
  3. The role of short-lived climate pollutants: The report describes the opportunities offered by limiting emissions of the so-called short-lived climate pollutants. Reductions of these pollutants will limit the rate of short-term warming, and when sustained and combined with reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, they help to limit long-term warming, which is the ultimate aim of closing the emission gap.

What is Paris Agreement?

  • Paris Agreement is an international agreement to combat climate change.
  • Paris climate accord or Paris climate agreement, is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) dealing with  greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.
  • The language of the agreement was negotiated by representatives of 196 parties at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Paris   and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015
  •   As of October 2017, 195 UNFCCC members have signed the agreement, and 169 have become party to it.
  • The Agreement aims to respond to the global climate change threat by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • In the Paris Agreement, each country determines, plans and regularly reports its own contribution it should make in order to mitigate global warming. There is no mechanism to force a country to set a specific target by a specific date, but each target should go beyond previously set targets.
  • In June 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States   from the agreement, causing widespread condemnation in the  European Union and many sectors in the United States. Under the agreement, the earliest effective date of withdrawal for the U.S. is November 2020.

Aims of Paris Agreement

As countries around the world recognized that climate change is a reality, they came together to sign a historic deal to combat climate change – Paris Agreement. The aim of Paris Agreement is as below:

  1. Keep the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.
  2. Pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  3. Strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.

Solutions:

  • The Paris accord pledges only a third of what is needed to avoid climate catastrophe, and adopting new technologies in key sectors, at investments of under $100 per tonne of emissions, could cut them by up to 36 gigatonnes per year by 2030, which is more than sufficient to bridge the current gap.
  • A large part of the potential to close the emissions gap lies in solar and wind energy, efficient appliances and passenger cars, afforestation and stopping deforestation.
  • Strong action on plugging other greenhouse gases, such as hydrofluorocarbons, through the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, and other short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon, could contribute.
  • Co2 emissions have remained stable since 2014, driven in part by renewable energy, notably in China and India.
  • The government needs to deliver much stronger pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions when they are revised in 2020.

India mulls national e-commerce policy: (The Hindu)

Context:

India is considering drafting a comprehensive national e-commerce policy to develop an ecosystem that would support exports and protect consumer interests.

Introduction:

  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) was working on a paper on e-commerce, which will soon be put in public domain for debates and comments.
  • However, starting negotiations on WTO rules in e-commerce would be premature as the contours of this space are still in the dark,”, according to the Sudhanshu Pandey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
  • Several countries were enthusiastic about negotiating multilateral rules to govern international trade through e-commerce. However, such rules could hurt the interest of most developing countries, including India.

India’s position:

  • India is in favour of promoting e-commerce, rulemaking for domestic e-commerce, developing an ecosystem to support exports and protecting the consumers’ interest.
  • The developed countries including the US are pushing for inclusion of new issues like investment facilitation and e-commerce in the WTO’s ministerial meeting held in Argentina in December
  • India may be very hesitant to be party to e-commerce related negotiations at the WTO level, but the country has been more receptive to such negotiations in at a regional level, particularly the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (Rcep) the proposed free trade agreement with the 10-ASEAN countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) and its six Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) partners, viz. Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, Korea and India.

Global e-commerce market:

  • Global e-commerce market was estimated at $25 trillion of which trans-border component was a minuscule 5% — meaning the remaining 95% was domestic e-commerce trade.
  • The size of the Indian e-commerce market was just $30 billion
  • The varied arms of the Centre were trying to address the issues pertaining to their domain to help in formulating an overarching national policy for e-commerce.

Challenges:

There were many challenges in starting international negotiations; the key areas which India needed to look at include:

  • Data flows, server and data localisation,
  • Transfer of technology and mandatory sharing of telecom infrastructure.
  • Several nations were in favour of continuing in line with the Work Programme on E-Commerce approved in 1998.
  • India needed a harmonised approach at both the WTO and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations while balancing its interests.

What is E-Commerce?

  • Electronic commerce or e-commerce is a type of business model, or segment of a larger business model, that enables a firm or individual to conduct business over an electronic network, mainly from the internet.
  • Electronic commerce operates in all four of the major market segments: business to business, business to consumer, consumer to consumer and consumer to business.
  • E-Commerce processes are conducted using applications, such as email, fax, online catalogues and shopping carts, electronic data interchange (EDI), file transfer protocol and web services and e-newsletters to subscribers.
  • Electronic commerce emerged in the early 1990’s and its use has increased at a rapid rate. Today the majority of companies have an online presence.

Some statistics related to e-commerce:

  • With $ 681 billion in online retail sales in 2016, China is the largest market for e-commerce globally, followed by the US, and the fastest growing one is India.
  • India has an Internet user base of about 243.2 million as of January 2014.
  • Despite being third largest user base in the world, the penetration of Internet is low compared to markets like United States, United Kingdom or France but is growing at a much faster rate, adding around 6 million new entrants every month.
  • In India, cash on delivery is the most preferred payment method, accumulating 75% of the e-retail activities.  The retail market in India is expected to rise from 2.5% in 2016 to 5% in 2020.

Types of e-commerce:

  • There are several types of electronic commerce. The most common is business to consumer, in which a business sells products or services directly to consumers over the Internet.
  • Another type of electronic commerce is business to business, where companies sell products or services to other companies over the Internet.
  • Consumer to business electronic commerce involves consumers selling products or services to businesses.
  • There is consumer to consumer e-commerce, which is where consumers sell their products to other consumers.

Some advantages of e-commerce are given below:

  • Faster buying and selling procedure, as well as easy to find products.
  • Buying and selling day and night
  • More reach to customers, there is no theoretical geographic limitations.
  • No need of physical company set-ups
  • Easy to start and manage a business.
  • Customers can easily select products from different providers without moving around physically.
  • E-Commerce helps in creating new job opportunities due to information related services, software app and digital products.
  • E-commerce offers the consumer or enterprise various information they need, making information into total transparency, and enterprises are no longer is able to use the mode of space or advertisement to raise their competitive edge.

Some disadvantages of e-commerce are given below:

  • The invention of faster internet connectivity and powerful online tools has resulted in a new commerce arena-E-Commerce. E commerce offered many advantages to companies and customers but it also caused many problems.

The issues and problems which affect the development of Internet, e-commerce and e-business applications are discussed below:

  • There is no guarantee of product quality
  • Mechanical failures can cause unpredictable effects on the total processes.
  • As there is minimum chance of direct customer to company interactions, customer loyalty is always on a check.
  • There are many hackers who look for opportunities, and thus an e-commerce site, service, payment gateways; all are always prone to attack.
  • E-commerce is lack of human interaction for customers, especially who prefer face-to-face consumption

Security and Privacy issue:

  • The Internet is not a particularly secure place. The information is widely published throughout the Internet which can be used for criminal and near-criminal activities.
  • The second aspect is that since the Internet is an open system, details of its underlying technologies are freely available to anybody. This means that the way data passes through the Internet is in the public domain; the consequence of this is that, theoretically, anyone with the right tools can eavesdrop on data passing from one computer on the Internet to another
  • Conflict of laws in cyberspace is a major hurdle for harmonization of legal framework for e-commerce around the world.
  • Net Neutrality Issue:  Net Neutrality is a principle which advocates that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or changing deferentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.

Solutions:

  • E-commerce readiness: It is essential to fully understand the payment and logistical infrastructure, consumer behaviour, retail opportunity and technological developments.
  • Scope of growth: It is also important to look at the internet penetration, demographics of the online buying population.
  • Barriers to entry: Players should understand the regulatory environment and connect with solution providers, content distribution networks, and digital agencies.
  • Competition: There is also a need to do an in-depth assessment of what competitors are doing, their online strategy and the nature of each offering.

Prelims Related News

Scientists mine ‘star scar’ in France:

Context:

  • An astrobleme was made by a massive space rock that crash-landed more than 200 million years ago in Rochechouart , has intrigued scientists since its discovery in the 19th century.

What is an Astrobleme?

  • An astrobleme, literally means ‘star scar’
  • It is the name given to traces left by a major meteorite impact.

What is the significance of this Astrobleme?

  • The astrobleme in Rochechouart is unusually close to the surface, making it easier to study.
  • The drilling, scheduled through November, will yield 20 core samples.
  • Some scientists hope to tease out remaining mysteries about how such meteorites form, and what that might tell us about their evolution in space.
  • Others are on the hunt for chemical traces that could shed light on the emergence of life on Earth, and which of the raw ingredients essential for life came from space.
  • Geologists are curious about how such a cataclysmic impact might have released water held within rock formations.
  • While palaeontologists are looking at how an event that could destroy life, at the same time, creates conditions for new lifeforms to emerge.
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