Wednesday, November 26, 2014

E-Cigarette Brief Notes

Write a note on e-cigarette.

“There is no sufficient evidence that e -cigarette are not harmful - US FDA
“E- cigarette cannot be used as a replacement for nicotine products - WHO

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why crude oil prices having been falling since last few months ? for UPSC IAS Main

To understand the fall in the prices we have to look at the supply and demand relations. If the supply increases, the prices are bound to fall if the increase in demand is not proportionate. 
Remember that OPEC countries account for the global 1/3 oil production.

Supply & Demand 

There has been a boom in oil drilling in the US (North Dakota & West Texas). Also the booming US Shale drilling has been another factor to reduce the demand of oil. With US becoming ever more less dependent on Gulf oil, the overall global demand of the gulf oil has reduced to certain extent and the threat from US booming oil drilling has further added to the apprehensions of Gulf losing more demand in the coming future. 
The domestic production in US has reached almost 8.7 million barrels per day and its imports from OPEC countries have reduced by over half since 2008. This is coupled with increased oil production from Saudi Arabia and also Iraq and Libya.
Further, demand in Europe has decreased with persistent industrial slowdown & once Japan restarts its nuclear power plants, the demand for oil will further decrease.

Why the prices fall remained unchecked ? What escalated or continued the process of fall ?

The OPEC members are not in agreement over the steps to be taken. This is because the threat from US booming oil sector is large which can run at break-even price of upto $ 60 a barrel. Several members of OPEC - Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait have thus lowered the prices in order to retain their market share in Europe and Asian markets.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ( ISIS ) : Brief Analysis

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Levant or simply Islamic State, is a sunni extremist jihadist organisation which wants to establish Islamic State or worldwide Caliphate.
It grew significantly under the leadership of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi since April 2013 and gained support in Iraq under the pretext of economic and political discrimination against Iraqi Sunnis by the Shia dominated government in Iraq.
Until February 2014, ISIS had close ties with Al-Qaeda after which it broke its ties.

Since June 2014, ISIS or ISIL started naming itself IS, proclaiming itself the caliphate  and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the caliph.

Ideology of Islamic State
It follows an extreme interpretation of Islam, promotes religious violence and regards those who do not agree with its interpretations as infidels. This is the ideology of Sunni extremists and IS. It wants to bring Islam to its pristine days or pure Islam, rejecting all the later modern innovations.

War against Humanity 
IS has been involved in human rights abuses of all kinds from slave trade, sex trade to killing innocents.
IS gave a call to all the sunni muslims to join IS and help establish worldwide caliphate. Many muslims from various countries have fled to West Asia to join the ranks of Islamic State.

Source of Funding of ISIS
IS is getting revenue domestically by taxing the people in the areas it controls, by selling oil, gas, electricity, looting banks, kidnappings and ransom. This means it is not dependent on foreign sources of money on which the US could place sanctions. Such huge source of funding is one of the main reason that IS has been able to fight so long with countries.