Advantages and Disadvantages of International Trade

free_zoneInternational trade is trade among different countries or trade across political frontiers. International trade, thus, refers to the exchange of goods and services between one country or region and another. However, International trade has many advantages as well as disadvantages.

Advantages of International Trade:

(i) Optimal use of natural resources – International trade helps each country to make optimum use of its natural resources. Each country can concentrate on production of those goods for which its resources are best suited. Wastage of resources is avoided.

(ii) Availability of all types of goods – It enables a country to obtain goods which it cannot produce or which it is not producing due to higher costs, by importing from other countries at lower costs.

(iii) Advantages of large-scale production – Due to international trade, goods are produced not only for home consumption but for export to other countries also. Nations of the world can dispose of goods which they have in surplus in the international markets. This leads to production at large scale and the advantages of large scale production can be obtained by all the countries of the world.

(iv) Specialization – Foreign trade leads to specialization and encourages production of different goods in different countries. Goods can be produced at a comparatively low cost due to advantages of division of labour.

(v) Stability in prices – International trade irons out wild fluctuations in prices. It equalizes the prices of goods throughout the world (ignoring cost of transportation, etc.)

(vi) Exchange of technical know-how and establishment of new industries – Underdeveloped countries can establish and develop new industries with the machinery, equipment and technical know-how imported from developed countries. This helps in the development of these countries and the economy of the world at large.

(vii) Increase in efficiency – Due to international competition, the producers in a country attempt to produce better quality goods and at the minimum possible cost. This increases the efficiency and benefits to the consumers all over the world.

(viii) Development of the means of transport and communication – International trade requires the best means of transport and communication. For the advantages of international trade, development in the means of transport and communication is also made possible.

(ix) International co-operation and understanding – The people of different countries come in contact with each other. Commercial intercourse amongst nations of the world encourages exchange of ideas and culture. It creates co-operation, understanding, and cordial relations amongst various nations.

(x) Ability to face natural calamities – Natural calamities such as drought, floods, famine, earthquake etc., affect the production of a country adversely. Deficiency in the supply of goods at the time of such natural calamities can be met by imports from other countries.

(xi) Employment opportunities – When countries export goods they require more man power which will ultimately increase employment opportunities.

(xii) Other advantages – International trade helps in many other ways such as benefits to consumers, international peace and better standard of living.

Disadvantages of International Trade:

(i) Impediment in the Development of Home Industries – International trade has an adverse effect on the development of home industries. It poses a threat to the survival of infant industries at home. Due to foreign competition and unrestricted imports, the upcoming industries in the country may collapse.

(ii) Economic Dependence – The underdeveloped countries have to depend upon the developed ones for their economic development. Such reliance often leads to economic exploitation. For instance, most of the underdeveloped countries in Africa and Asia have been exploited by European countries.

(iii) Mis-utilisation of Natural Resources – Excessive exports may exhaust the natural resources of a country in a shorter span of time than it would have been otherwise. This will cause economic downfall of the country in the long run.

(iv) Political Dependence – International trade often encourages subjugation and slavery. It impairs economic independence which endangers political dependence.

(v) Import of Harmful Goods – Import of spurious drugs, luxury articles, etc. adversely affects the economy and well-being of the people.

(vi) Storage of Goods – Sometimes the essential commodities required in a country and in short supply are also exported to earn foreign exchange. This results in shortage of these goods at home and causes inflation.

(vii) Danger to International Peace – International trade gives an opportunity to foreign agents to settle down in the country which ultimately endangers its internal peace.

(viii) World Wars – International trade breeds rivalries amongst nations due to competition in the foreign markets. This may eventually lead to wars and disturb world peace.

(ix) Hardships in times of War – International trade promotes lopsided development of a country as only those goods which have comparative cost advantage are produced in a country. During wars or when good relations do not prevail between nations, many hardships may follow.

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Concept of Maintenance under the Hindu Marriage Act

hinduThe provisions of maintenance pendent lite and permanent alimony have been provided under sections 24 and 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act respectively. Unlike the provisions of maintenance in other statutes, it provides relief to both the husband and the wife from the other party.

Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act deals with Maintenance pendente lite and expenses of proceedings. It states “Where in any proceeding under this Act it appears to the Court that either the wife or the husband, as the case may be, has no independent income sufficient for her or his support and the necessary expenses of the proceeding, it may, on the application of the wife or the husband, order the respondent to pay the petitioner the expenses of the proceeding such sum as, having regard to the petitioner’s own income and the income of the respondent, it may seem to the Court to be reasonable.”

It was observed by the Delhi High Court in the case of Manish Kumar v. Mrs. Pratibha (18-9-2008) that the object and intent of Section 24 is to enable the husband or the wife, as the case may be, who has no independent source of income for his or her support and necessary expense of proceedings under the Act to obtain maintenance expenses pendente lite so that the proceedings may be continued without any hardships on his or her part. The benefits granted under section 24 are only temporary in nature.

Kanchan v. Kamalendra (AIR 1993 Bom 493) – Section 24 entitles not only the wife but also the husband to claim maintenance pendente lite on showing that he has no independent source of income. However, the husband will have to satisfy the court that either due to physical or mental disability he is handicapped to earn and support his livelihood. It was held that since the husband was able-bodied and was not mentally ill and only because his business had closed down, he could not be granted any maintenance, it being opposed to spirit of section 24 of the Act

Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act deals with Permanent alimony and maintenance. Section 25 provides for the grant of permanent alimony and maintenance to any of the party to a marriage at the time of passing any decree under the Act or at any time subsequent thereto. Section 25 resorts to at the time of passing of the decree of divorce. The court shall take into account the status of opposite party in fixing the amount for maintenance. The court has been empowered to rescind or modify the order at any subsequent stage if the circumstances so warrant; and if petitioner becomes inchoate or remarries at any subsequent stage the court may at the instance of the other party vary, modify or rescind any such order in such manner as the court may deem just.

Amount of alimony and maintenance

The Supreme Court in the case of U. Sree v. U. Srinivas (11-12-2012), observed that “…while granting permanent alimony, no arithmetic formula can be adopted as there cannot be mathematical exactitude. It shall depend upon the status of the parties, their respective social needs, the financial capacity of the husband and other obligations.” It further observed that “…it is the duty of the Court to see that the wife lives with dignity and comfort and not in penury. The living need not be luxurious but simultaneously she should not be left to live in discomfort. The Court has to act with pragmatic sensibility to such an issue so that the wife does not meet any kind of man-made misfortune.”

So, there is no hard and fast formula for calculating the amount of alimony and maintenance. It all depends on the facts and circumstances of each case.

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World Water Day 2016 – Better Water, Better Jobs

12575429-Illustration-Celebrating-World-Water-Day-StockWorld Water Day is an international observance celebrated on March 22 every year. The day focuses attention on the importance of freshwater and advocates for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This day is an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference.

Water is the essential building block of life. But it is more than just essential to quench thirst or protect health; water is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development.

World Water Day dates back to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro where an international observance for water was recommended. The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day. It has been held annually since then. Each year, UN-Water — the entity that coordinates the UN’s work on water and sanitation — sets a theme for World Water Day corresponding to a current or future challenge. The engagement campaign is coordinated by one or several of the UN-Water Members with a related mandate. The occasion of World Water Day is also used to highlight required improvements for access to WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) facilities in developing countries.

The theme for this year World Water Day is Water and Jobs (Better water, better jobs) – This theme shows the correlations between water and jobs created either directly or indirectly by water sources on the globe. Today, half of the world’s workers – 1.5 billion people – work in water-related sectors. Moreover, nearly all jobs, regardless of the sector, depend directly on water. Yet, despite the indelible link between jobs and water, millions of people whose livelihoods depend on water are often not recognized or protected by basic labour rights. So this year’s World Water Day theme focuses on the central role that water plays in creating and supporting good quality jobs.

“We can take bold action to address water inequity as part of our efforts to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon message for World Water Day 2016

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Sources of Hindu Law – Ancient and Modern

Sources_of_Hindu_PhilosophyThe word ‘Hindu’ first appeared in the Old Persian language which was derived from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historic local designation for the Indus River in the north-western part of the Indian subcontinent. A Hindu is an adherent of Hinduism. It is believed that Hindu law is a divine law. It was revealed to the people by God through Vedas. Various sages and ascetics have elaborated and refined the abstract concepts of life explained in the Vedas. The sources of Hindu law are ancient as well as modern.

Ancient Sources of Hindu Law

  1. Sruti – Sruti means “what is heard”. The sruti is believed to contain the very words of the Deity. The sruti comprise the four veds, the six vedangas and eighteen Upanishadas. The four vedas are known as Rig-Veda, Sum-Veda, Yajur-veda and Atharva-Veda. The Vedangas are appendages to Ved and are six in number. The Upanishadas are known as Vedantas or concluding portions of the Vedas and embody the highest principles of Hindu religion.
  2. Smriti – The word ‘Smriti’ is derived from the root “smri” and literally Smriti means, that which was remembered. Both the Sruti and Smriti refer to the utterances and precepts of the Deity. The Sruti contains the very words of Deity, whereas in Smriti the language is of human origin but the rules are divine. The three principal Smriti are Code of ‘Manu’, Code of ‘Yajnavalkaya’ and Code of ‘Narada’.
  3. Digests and Commentaries – Commentaries (Tika or Bhashya) and Digests (Nibandhs) covered a period of more than thousand years from 7th century to 1800 A.D. In the first part of the period most of the commentaries were written on the Smritis but in the later period the works were in the nature of digests containing a synthesis of the various Smritis and explaining and reconciling the various contradictions.
  4. Custom & Usages – Custom may be defined as a habitual course of conduct generally observed in a community. Custom is a rule which, as a result of very long usages, has obtained the force of law in a particular community or is a particular district. Thus custom plays a very important part in Hindu law. It modifies and supplements the written law.

Modern Sources of Hindu Law

  1. Justice, equity and good conscience – Equity means fairness in dealing. Modern judicial systems greatly rely on being impartial. True justice can only be delivered through equity and good conscience. In a situation where no rule is given, a sense of ‘reasonableness’ must prevail. According to Gautama, in such situation, the decision should be given that is acceptable to at least ten people who are knowledgeable in shastras. Yagyavalkya has said that where ever there are conflicting rules, the decision must be based on ‘Nyaya’.
  2. Precedent – Judicial decisions, to some extent, have become a source of Hindu law. Decisions of the Privy Council and of high courts are binding on the subordinate courts. The doctrine of stare decisis started in India from the British rule. All cases are now recorded and new cases are decided based on existing case laws. Today, the judgment of SC is binding on all courts across India and the judgment of HC is binding on all courts in that state.
  3. Legislation – Legislations are Acts of Parliament which have been playing a profound role in the formation of Hindu law. The Hindu law has been modified and supplemented in certain respect by the acts of legislations. Few examples of important Statutes are The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, The Hindu Succession Act, 1956, The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956, etc.
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Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulations, 2016

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued the ‘Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulations, 2016. The prohibition of discriminatory tariff for data services is necessary to ensure that service providers continue to fulfill their obligations in keeping the internet open and non-discriminatory.

Prohibition of discriminatory tariffs – Regulation 3 deals with Prohibition of discriminatory tariffs. It states that no service provider shall offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content. It further states that no service provider shall enter into any arrangement, agreement or contract, by whatever name called, with any person, natural or legal, that has the effect of discriminatory tariffs for data services being offered or charged to the consumer on the basis of content.

Reduction of tariff in public emergency – Regulation 4 deals with exemption for certain content stating that notwithstanding anything contained in regulation 3, a service provider may reduce tariff for accessing or providing emergency services, or at times of grave public emergency.

Penalty in case of contravention – Rule 5 deals with the penalty in case of contravention of the Regulations i.e. an amount of rupees fifty thousand for each day of contravention, subject to a maximum of rupees fifty lakh.

Savings – Noting contained in the regulations shall affect any packs, plans or vouchers of these regulations with unexpired validity subscribed by a consumer before the date of commencement of these regulations. Further, no plan, pack or voucher already subscribed by a pre-paid or post-paid consumer providing differential data tariff based on content, shall be in operation beyond a period of six months from the date of these regulations coming into effect.

Therefore, TRAI has mandated the following:

  1. a) No service provider shall offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content.
  2. b) No service provider shall enter into any arrangement, agreement or contract, by whatever name called, with any person, natural or legal, that has the effect of discriminatory tariffs for data services being offered or charged by the service provider for the purpose of evading the prohibition in this regulation.
  3. c) Reduced tariff for accessing or providing emergency services at times of public emergency has been permitted.
  4. d) Financial disincentives for contravention of the regulation have also been specified.
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First Information Report – Purpose of Registration and Mandatory Nature

Picture-firAn information given under section 154(1) Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) is commonly known as first information report (FIR) though this term is not used in the CrPC. Section 154 (1) of CrPC provides that every information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence if given orally, to an officer in-charge of a police station shall be reduced in writing by him or under his directions.

Necessary ingredients of FIR

(1) It is the information that is given to a police officer

(2) It provides information first in point of time

(3) Information must be related to a cognizable offense

(4) It is the basis on which investigation into the offense commences

Purpose and Object of registration of FIR

(1) To reduce the substance of information disclosing commission of a cognizable offence, if given orally, into writing.

(2) If information is given in writing, then to have it signed by the complainant.

(3) To maintain record of receipt of information as regards commission of cognizable offences.

(4) To initiate investigation on receipt of information as regards commission of cognizable offence.

(5) To inform Magistrate forthwith of the factum of the information received.

Registration of FIR mandatory

A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in Lalita Kumari v. Govt. of U.P [12 November 2013] held that the registration of First Information Report is mandatory in Cognizable offences and no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation. Also action will be taken against the police officer for his failure to register a First Information Report (FIR) on the complaint of a cognizable offence. If the information does not disclose a cognizable offence but indicates the necessity for an inquiry ‘a preliminary inquiry may be conducted only to ascertain whether a cognizable offence is disclosed or not’.

The cases in which preliminary inquiry may be made are:

(a) Matrimonial disputes/family disputes;

(b) Commercial Offences;

(c) Medical negligence cases;

(d) Corruption Cases;

(e) Cases where there is abnormal delay/laches in initiating criminal prosecution,

 

 

 

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What is Patent – Inventions that are patentable and not patentable?

Patented stamp

Patented stamp

Patents are a form of intellectual property. A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for detailed public disclosure of an invention. Basically a Patent is a legal document granted by the government giving an inventor the exclusive right to make, use, and sell an invention for a specified number of years. The purpose of the patent system was to encourage the development of new inventions, and in particular to encourage the disclosure of those new inventions.

What is patentable?

To qualify for a patent, the invention must meet three basic tests.

  1. Novel – The invention must be novel meaning that the invention did not previously exist.
  2. Non-obvious – The invention must be a significant improvement to existing technology. Simple changes to previously known devices do not comprise a patentable invention.
  3. Useful – The proposed invention must be useful.

An invention is said to be new if, prior to the date of filing or to the priority date accorded to the application from an earlier application for the same invention, it was not already known to the public in any form (written, oral or through use), i.e. it did not form part of the state of the art.

Inventions not patentable in India

According to Section 3 of Indian Patent Act, 1970, the following inventions are not patentable-

(a) obvious to natural laws

(b) cause damage to health of any living being

(c) living being or non-living being occurring in nature.

(d) new form of known substance with no significant improvement in efficiency

(e) mixture of two substances resulting in new substance

(f) obvious way of re-arranging things

(g) agricultural or horticultural methods

(i) any treatment for curing a disease of living beings.

(j) plants and animals, biological processes

(k) software, business methods or algorithms

(l) any copyrighted content

(m) any method of performing mental act or method of playing game

(n) a presentation of information

(o) topography of integrated circuits

(p) an invention which in effect, is traditional knowledge or is based on the properties of traditional knowledge.

Apart from these any invention relating to the atomic energy is also not patentable as per section 4 of Indian Patent Act, 1970.

 

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