The Indo-Us Solar Panel Dispute and The Glaring Lack of a WTO Framework To Address Environmental Concerns


In the 2016 Indo-US dispute pertaining to Indian schemes relating to solar cells and solar modules (WT/DS456/AB/R), the WTO Appellate Body ruled against India for favouring domestically sourced solar panels over international panels, despite India raising issues relating to energy security and the environment.

Rather than critique the Appellate Body’s reasoning, I have chosen to critique the broader WTO legal framework in so far as it fails to provide sufficient flexibility for member nations to further energy security and environmental objectives. I have chosen the 2016 Indo-US dispute for the purposes of illustration, as it helps in clear identification of the interests that lack sufficient protection in the present regime.

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Dr. Usha Ramanathan’s Talk on the UIDAI Litigation

[Ed Note : The following post is based on Dr. Ramanathan’s enlightening talk  at the NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. It has been authored by Karthik Subramaniam and Yashasvi Raj, first year students of the aforementioned university, who,  in a slightly longer but informative read aptly put forth Dr. Ramanathan’s views on the Aadhar issue and its judicial journey.

Dr. Usha Ramanathan, an internationally recognized legal expert, is currently research fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies and professor at the Indian Law Institute. Since 2009, she has consistently brought forth the loopholes in the Aadhar project, exposing its shoddy functioning.]

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Is Artificial Intelligence the Future of Art?

[Ed Note : In an interesting read, Arvind Pennathur talks about machines which can make artwork, paintings and the like!  Is art becoming a science and science becoming an art? Is it possible? Read to find out more.]

Integration of advanced technology into society has become increasingly normal in the past five years as innovative minds constantly push the boundaries of what is achievable and what can be realistically implemented. A large part of this resurgence of complex applied sciences is due to the proliferation of artificial intelligence (abbreviated as AI), into various aspects of everyday life during the 21st century. Ever since its introduction, it has became a staple of the modern world and is being used in a wide variety of ways, right from performing day to day human tasks to performing functions too precise or nuanced for humans, including more creative purposes such as self driving cars[1], news anchoring[2], writing movie scripts[3] and making music that is virtually indistinguishable from the music that is composed by a human[4]. In lieu of these advancements and the pace at which they have come, it is no exaggeration to say that AI is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

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Comments on the Srikrishna Committee Report and the Draft Data Protection Bill 2018 – III

[Ed Note : The following post, the third post in the series of posts containing comments to the Report and Draft Bill, 2018  published on the MeitY website, has been authored and compiled by students of NALSAR University of Law. This post contains comments on the enforcement mechanism of the Draft Bill, 2018.

The first post in the series an be found here. Keep watching this space for more posts!]

Immediately, the Personal Data Protection Bill (hereinafter known as ‘the Bill’) makes it clear as to whom its provisions will affect. Section 2 of the Bill states that it will apply to processing of any personal data by the State, any Indian company, or any Indian citizen or other person incorporated under Indian law[1].

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Regulation of Artificial Intelligence : The Way Ahead

The “employee” at JP Morgan called COIN,  “recruited” in June 2017, is highly efficient to say the least. It does work that earlier took 3,60,000 hours in a matter of seconds. Meanwhile, in a few developed countries ghost cars that are programmed to “drive themselves”, that is, driverless cars, are hitting the roads. On the military front, among other machines, Russia has created a semi – autonomous robot soldier called Ivan that can accurately copy the movements of a human. Attempts are being made to make Ivan fully autonomous. If Russia can create one Ivan, in time, it can also create an army of Ivans. USA also has similar “soldiers”.

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