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Apartments vs Nature – A Recap Of Maradu Demolition Case

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Apartments vs Nature – A Recap Of Maradu Demolition Case

Few cases have been marked in Indian history were nature has bagged justice in the court combat with humans. Kochi Maradu demolition case is one of such controversial cases which became a great lesson in the Indian history for builders. So let’s go back in the timeline to unravel 13 years of the controversial saga.

When it all began

In between 2005 and 2006, four apartments got the permission to be built in Maradu, a 1,235 sq km municipality in the heart of Kochi on the Vembanad. Four luxurious apartments; Golden Kayaloram with 40 apartments in 17 floors, Alfa Serene with 80 apartments in 32 floors, H2O Holy Faith with 91 flats in 19 floors and Jains Coral Cove with 128 apartments in 19 floors were built promising breathtaking view of backwaters. In 2005, CPM ruled Maradu panchayat permitted the builders to carry on, where the real problem began. In 2006 construction was granted. However, after nine months, the panchayat issued notice to the builders, which was directed by Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA). One builder chose not to construct the apartment after the notice.

Why notice was issued?

Vembanad Lake, which is one of the largest Lake in Kerala, comes under the National Wetlands Conservation Programme. The environmental act of 1986 has placed some areas under the Coastal Region Zone (CRZ). The notice was issued as the site violated the norms of CRZ III, Floor Area Ration and other building rules– where no constructions are allowed within 200m from the coast, and it applies to all densely populated rural areas. The fences of the apartment touch dangerously close to the water body, thus violating the environmental laws. It is mandatory to get approval from CRZ for any construction near the coastal area, but Maradu panchayat didn’t get any clearance or permit from CRZ and continued with the building.

Builders POV

In 2016, the case was filed which was put forth by KCZMA against the builders stating that it was built without their permission. The apex court formed a technical committee for further study in this case, and the court was in favour of KCZMA. Now, the builders stated that in 2010, Maradu was termed as a municipality before that it was Panchayat, so CRZ III doesn’t apply to this particular site. However, the rules and norms state that the previous designation of the site doesn’t matter. So Maradu strictly falls under the CRZ III zone.

Apartments vs Nature – A Recap Of Maradu Demolition Case

Source: Twitter

Residents Vs court

The people who got dragged into this mishap were the innocent residents. Without the knowledge of the background scene of legal entanglement, 246 families had occupied in these apartments and lost their life savings. They conducted several rallies, protest, and hunger strikes. On September 24, 2019, the Maradu municipality issued notices, for the residents to move out. When they were reluctant, power and water supply were cut, and they eventually moved out.

Demolition and aftermath

On May 8, 2019, the Supreme Court declared the construction illegal and ordered the demolition of the apartments. The Kerala government dilly-dallied on the implementation of the court order, which invited the wrath of the apex court. Later the State government appointed Snehil Kumar Singh, the Fort Kochi RDO, as a special officer for implementing the demolition work. Mumbai based Edifice engineering and Tamil Nadu based Vijay Steels and Explosives were given the task. Controlled Explosion techniques were used so that the debris doesn’t fall outside but fall inwards. Three hours before demolishment 2,000 people were evacuated from the nearby area, and two National Highways and roads were blocked.

On January 11, H20 Holy Faith and Twin towers of Alpha Serene were demolished with a 5-minute gap between the two demolishment. On January 12, Jains Coral Cove and Golden Kayaloram were demolished at 11.03 and 2.30 pm respectively. As per the order by Supreme Court, an interim compensation of, rupees 25 lakhs were given to each family. Two builders and a former officer were arrested associated with this case.

The residents in the neighbourhood of the flats, especially Alfa Serene, raised concern over cracks developed in their houses as pre-demolition works gained momentum. This prompted the district administration to ensure nearby houses for damages suffered from the demolition work.

Everyone involved in this case has a significant role to play, the builders who salivated for profit, the officers for whom the law was just another back page of a notebook, the banks who gave loan clearance. ‘To build, it took years and to demolish just seconds’ irony is that nature also plays through the same law. This case has taught a potent lesson that nature and law is something that should not be bend because it snaps after some time.

I'm an aspiring writer and a passionate daydreamer. I like to spill grey words through my pen and create a positive impact on people. If novels are my door to thousands of lives then coffee is the fuel to my life.

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All You Need To Know About National Institute Of Food Technology Entrepreneurship And Management Bill 2021

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National Institute Of Food Technology Entrepreneurship And Management Bill 2021

On July 26, 2021, Lok Sabha passed a bill under the ministry of Food Processing Industry. The bill is titled as National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2021. The main motive of this bill is to address issues with the Food Processing Industry, Entrepreneurship and one Institution for National Importance. With the passing of this bill, the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) and National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) is now merged as Institutions of National Importance, and it aims at providing various research and advancement in learning about the Food Industry and its associated branches. The bill was first introduced in the house in February 2019 but was pending due to protest by the opposition.

Significance of Institutions of National Importance (INI)

With the passing of this bill, the institutions enjoy greater autonomy through which they can carry out various courses, research attracting skilled faculties and students from all over the country and overseas. Good standards in education will be adopted to improve the present and future of education in this branch and sector, overcoming the technological gap in the country. This law aims to improve and introduce new changes in food, bio-nanotechnology, cold chain technology etc. The desired efforts will be taken in terms of human resources and infrastructure developments, labs for research etc. Liberty to open centres anywhere in India is also granted to INI and include courses regarding food technology certification and improving the workforce of the country.

Some other important features of this act are the Institution has been authorized with the Board of Government, Senate and other acting Authorities. The Council of Board will include 16 members from different branches from the same field. The Head will be Chairperson, who will be a skilled person from the Food Industry, the Director, Dean and Registrar. Members appointed from Centre and State Governments, Members from FSSAI and Council of Agriculture Research, as mentioned in the bill. The 16 members of the board will carry out work of taking administrative decisions, creating annual budgets and paths for institution progress as an organization, establishing departments, their appointment terms of services, faculties etc. The Board of Council also holds power to grant Honorary Degrees and Diplomas. The Senate shall be the principal academic body of the Institute, consisting of the people such as Director as the Chairperson; Registrar; Full-time skilled level Professor; and Three academically skilled Individuals nominated by the board from the field.

The Union Minister of Food Processing Industry, Mr Pashupati Kumar Paras, expressed his gratitude to PM Modi for this landmark step in this industry from his Twitter handle, indicating new opportunities in Food Technology Industries. Therefore, this Act looks promising on paper with new opportunities and in Educational Development. Amidst the Pegasus Spyware and repeal of the farm laws, this looks positive from the Modi Government.

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Fake News: Accountability Of News Organisations

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Fake News II News Aur Chai

Fake news is false news stories or hoaxes, which are deliberately released to misinform and to create chaos in society or among readers. Fake news is one of the main reasons behind the disruption of peace in society and it becomes more dangerous in volatile places. Fake news is generally shared with propaganda to mislead the audience by hiding or twisting the truth. However fake news isn’t new to the web, it recently became an enormous problem in today’s digital world. Fake news mostly comes from sites that are bogus or have sensationalized stories.

Most of the users do not check the facts before sharing the information on their social media, which can be a reason for widespread fake news. So, it is important to differentiate between fake news and authentic news to maintain harmony in society and to avoid false news and its repercussions.

Fake News Stories

  • On 2nd April, a team of doctors, health workers, and revenue officials were attacked by the family members of a 65-year-old man who died of COVID-19 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh because of the fake video which claimed that healthy Muslims were being injected with the virus, reiterating the risks and physical manifestations of misinformation.
  • On March 22, 2020, Mr. Modi’s new term ‘Janta curfew’ has sparked a buzz on the Internet. Social media users started interpreting PM Modi’s concept of ‘Janta curfew’ in their own ways. Social media was flooded with a certain ‘scientific explanation’ behind the curfew as to how it will break the chain of transmissions of the deadly coronavirus infection. The claim was found out to be misleading. PM Modi, while announcing the curfew, didn’t mention this particular ‘scientific’ logic behind it.
  • Rumours were circulated on WhatsApp groups about a kidnapping gang operating in India’s western state of Maharashtra in 2018. The rumors eventually cause a mob lynching, that killed five migrant workers because they were suspected of being kidnappers.
  • On November 13, 2016, when the government of India has demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and planned to replace them with new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes, rumors were spreading about Rs 2000 notes. Rumors claimed the new higher denomination currency comes with a Nano-GPS chip which acts as a reflector, giving precise location coordinates of the currency to permit every note to be tracked. However, the RBI officials had dismissed these as false and said the new Rs 2000 note does not have a Nano-GPS chip as is being claimed on social media, WhatsApp.
  • In the pandemic situation, where vaccination has become crucial, in a series of viral videos it was seen that people are claiming that magnet was attracted to the arms of alleged COVID-19 vaccinated recipients. This kind of fake news can create misconceptions about vaccines and people may not take their jab of vaccines. The Centre has declined the claims that Covid-19 vaccines can make people ‘magnetic’. It has also dismissed theories about microchips in coronavirus vaccines.

Need of Accountability

False information on social media can cause huge problems. It is often done to influence political processes. Need for Accountability increases in such situations because the false information provided by certain news organizations can create a ruckus in society. Before publishing the news, it is necessary to check the facts.

If the news organizations, shared misinformation unintentionally they must remove the content right away and they should apologize to the readers. If fake news is spread with propaganda to create chaos in society, then the news organization should be punished under the law. The information must be checked before sharing it with other people.

 

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Curious Case Of Pegasus: Explained

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Pegasus II News Aur Chai

Pegasus is a spyware that can hack the victims’ mobile phones and read their SMS messages and emails. The Pegasus spyware is owned by an Israeli software company named NSO Group. According to the various reports, this company has targeted more than 50,000 phone numbers at the Global level, of which 300 are in India for surveillance.

The news broke out after the 17 media partners investigated. This investigation brought into the picture information about a leaked database of mobile telephone numbers of Indian Ministers, Opposition leaders, journalists, the legal community, business people, government officials, scientists, activists and many influential personalities of the nation.

Pegasus Spyware and India

According to the report by the agency, the Israeli company which sells Pegasus around the world says that its clients are confined to ‘vetted governments”, believed to number 36. The NSO Group also says that ‘the target list in India is not ours, never was.’ Their refusal of the leaked database has created a loophole in understanding this case.

This whole case has violated the integrity of democratic institutions. According to the report by the agencies, after the mobile phones of the opposition leader Rahul Gandhi and various other leaders were hacked under the Pegasus spyware surveillance. Multiple tweets were made against the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) government in India. This whole case has become one of the major threats in the political arena and the Indian Democracy.

Though at the start, it was used for national security purposes. The explosive expansion of surveillance technology vendors has become a vast human rights and a global security issue. If such surveillance technologies increase, it might cause a lot of problems to countries around the globe. Hence, as a precaution, all these countries need to work on regulating this technology.

According to the reports by the agency, one of the targeted phones by the Pegasus spyware was of the former election commissioner of India, Ashok Lavasa. Various such people and such opposition leaders were somehow against the BJP government having their phones hacked with the NSO-owned spyware. All these instances and the names in the leaked list have pointed figures towards the Modi Government.

The Modi government’s stand on this case was put forward in Lok Sabha by two serving ministers, Ashwini Vaishnaw and Prahlad Singh Patel. These two leaders were also featured in the leaked database. The recent Information Technology Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw defended the BJP government in the parliament by saying, “the expose was an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions.” She even said, ‘any form of illegal surveillance is not possible with the checks and balances in our laws and robust institutions.’

This case has adjourned the parliament proceedings due to the protests inside and outside the house of parliament by the opposition party.

Pegasus Spyware and World.

 In the statement given to the agency, Access Now, an organisation defending the digital rights of global users, said it was outraged that products sold by NSO were allegedly “used to hack and invade the private communications” of thousands of people across the globe.

At a global level, France’s Emmanuel Macron was targeted in the Pegasus spyware case. As the phone of French President Emmanuel Macron was hacked, the investigation was carried out and later on was published which was directed by the Paris-based non-profit journalism group Forbidden.  After this case came in front of the whole world, the Pegasus spyware surveillance came into the picture.

If this continues for some more time, it will ruin India’s Democratic values at a global level. As well as this might become a huge technological threat between the different nations around the globe.

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