China expanding mass surveillance systems

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By Sanjeev Sharma
New Delhi, Jan 14 |
China devoted resources to expanding mass surveillance systems nationwide, in the absence of meaningful legal protections against unlawful or abusive government surveillance, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in its World Report 2022.

Chinese companies with reported links to the government continue to draw global scrutiny for their data collection practices, the HRW report said.

March 2021 marked the fifth anniversary of the landmark Anti-Domestic Violence Law, yet victims continued to face an uphill battle in seeking authorities’ protection and accountability for their abusers. In February, an article by former journalist Ma Jinyu on the violent abuses she suffered by her husband ignited a heated discussion on social media about the government’s persistent failure to prosecute domestic violence.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), announced in 2013, is the government’s trillion-dollar infrastructure and investment program stretching across some 70 countries. Some BRI projects have been criticized for lack of transparency, disregard of community concerns, and negative environmental impacts, the HRW said.

The HRW published a report last August that documented economic, social, and cultural rights violations in Cambodia resulting from the Lower Sesan 2 dam’s displacement of nearly 5,000 people between 2013 and 2018 and impacts on the livelihoods of tens of thousands of others upstream and downstream.

The dam was a BRI project funded mainly by a Chinese-state owned bank and built by a Chinese-state owned electricity generation company.

China Labour Watch, an NGO, reported, in April, that overseas Chinese workers working on BRI infrastructure projects in Algeria, Indonesia, Pakistan, and other countries were victims of human trafficking and forced labour, including being deceived into working illegally, held against their will, and forced to work while infected with Covid-19 in early and mid-2020.

China is by far the largest emitter of greenhouse gases globally, making a major contribution to the climate crisis that is taking a mounting toll on human rights around the globe.

China’s imports of agricultural commodities drive more deforestation globally than those of any other market, including the imports of all 27 member states of the European Union (EU) combined.

Canada, the EU, the UK, and the US imposed coordinated and bilateral targeted sanctions on Chinese government officials and companies responsible for serious human rights violations, including international crimes, in Xinjiang. The US also imposed sanctions on several senior Hong Kong officials for imposing the National Security Law. In August, the US gave Hong Kong people in the US a temporary 18-month “safe haven.”

In September, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed “regret” that the authorities had not given her meaningful access to Xinjiang, and said that her office would issue an assessment of human rights in that region

Parliamentarians in Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and the UK passed resolutions accusing the Chinese government of committing genocide against Uyghurs; some also called on their governments to limit participation in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The UK Parliament passed a non-binding motion supporting a diplomatic boycott of the Games. Members of the European Parliament halted the EU’s proposed Comprehensive Agreement on Investment with China, citing human rights concerns, and freezing consideration of the deal for as long as they are subject to Beijing’s counter sanctions. In September, they also adopted a recommendation for a new, more assertive, and better coordinated EU strategy on China, placing human rights at its core.

Multinational companies came under greater pressure to withdraw operations from Xinjiang over concerns about forced labor. Those who publicly expressed concerns about that issue, including H&M and Nike, were then targeted for a boycott by consumers in China, the HRW said.

International technology companies continued to facilitate censorship in their operations in China. According to a May New York Times report, Apple created a mechanism to proactively reject or remove apps the company believes could run afoul of government censors

New research shows that Chinese government-linked disinformation campaigns have spread in scope, languages used, and platforms globally, including in 2021 on the origin of Covid-19.

In response to sanctions imposed on Chinese government officials, companies, and agencies, in March, Chinese authorities accused several EU officials and civil society groups of “maliciously spread(ing) lies and disinformation”, and imposed vague sanctions on them. In July, Beijing announced another round of sanctions on US-based individuals and organisations, including Human Rights Watch.

(Sanjeev Sharma can be reached at Sanjeev.s@ians.in)

Source: IANS

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A Beginner-Friendly Guide to Solar Charge Controllers

A Beginner-Friendly Guide to Solar Charge Controllers

The solar charge controller is one of the most crucial components of a home solar system. Its main function is to modulate the amount of energy flowing from the solar arrays to the battery to prevent overcharge. In doing so, it ensures that the batteries are charged as efficiently as possible and eliminates the risk of a fire or an explosion in the batteries because of overcharging.

In this article, we will look at solar charge controllers to help you get a basic understanding of this essential component.

 

Luminous Solar Charge controller - 10 Amp 1 Review : Amazon.in: Garden &  Outdoors

Image Courtesy: Luminous

Types of Solar Charge Controllers 

There are two types of solar charge controllers widely in use: The PWM type solar charge controllerand the MPPT solar charge controller. Let’s have a closer look at both these types of controllers.

  1. PWM: The PWM solar charge controller, also known as Pulse Width Modulation, is a basic controller that functions as an electric switch to ensure that the amount of current flowing from the array matches the voltage of the batteries. They work by slowly reducing the amount of power that flows into the battery while it’s approaching its capacity. Once the battery has reached its capacity, the PWM controller maintains a trickle flow of power to ensure that the battery remains charged.
  1. MPPT: MPPT or Maximum Power Point Tracking charge controllers are more advanced compared to PWM controllers. Unlike a PWM charge controller, they track the flow of current in real-time to ensure maximum power generation from the solar arrays and then match that power output to the battery’s voltage. This makes them more efficient since they unleash the full potential of the solar panels. However, they are costlier, but their efficiency justifies the price.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Solar Charge Controller  

There are a few things that you need to consider when buying a solar charge controller, such as:

Voltage Rating 

Ensure that the max input and output voltage of the solar charge controller is either equal to or greater than the array and battery bank voltage you possess. Most 12V panels can produce up to 21V; however, they operate at 18V. So, when you are buying a solar charge controller, make sure that they are designed to handle the full range.

Safety Features

Charge controllers play a critical role in ensuring the safety of your off-grid solar power system. While most of the charge controllers come with overcharge protection, you should ideally look for additional safety features like:

  • Protection Against Under Voltage- Under-voltage can be damaging for batteries; therefore, get a charge controller that can disconnect the load before the batteries incur any damage because of over-discharge.
  • Overcharge Protection– It’s a crucial safety feature because overcharges can result in short circuits.
  • Low-temperature Cut-Off- This comes in handy when the batteries are too cold to be able to operate at safe levels. 

Temperature Compensation

You must get a charge controller that can compensate for temperatures if the batteries are in an unheated compartment or are partially heated, and there is a risk of the temperature dropping below 60-degree Fahrenheit. Solar charge controllers that come with temperature compensation can significantly increase the lifespan of your batteries.

Additionally, always ensure that you invest in the highest-grade solar charge controllers for your home solar system as that will increase the overall efficiency and service life of the entire system.

It’s best to choose branded charge controllers that are known for their efficiency and value for money. In case you are looking for some of the best solar charge controllers in the market, you should check out the exceptional range of solar charge controllers by Luminous. They have been market leaders in the solar category, and all their products are designed using the highest-grade components. So, in case you are hunting for the best solar charge controllers you can buy, do check out their range right away!

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10 Ways to Identify the Best Medical Insurance for Yourself

10 Ways to Identify the Best Medical Insurance for Yourself

Are you looking for the best medical insurance for yourself? Don’t worry because we are here to help you navigate your way to a perfect medical insurance. You must know that buying medical insurance is a task that requires thorough research, but some points need more focus to obtain the best medical insurance. In this article, we will show the ten ways to identify the best medical insurance for yourself.

In India, nearly 500 million people had medical insurance coverage in 2020, as per a Statista report. It is almost half the population of the country. These people choose various methods to identify a suitable medical insurance policy by taking advice from friends, family, acquaintances, and online websites.

But the best way to finalize a medical insurance plan is to gather all the potential policies and compare them. By doing so, you will realize the different perks and advantages of various policies on your own. You must consider the below 10 points to identify the best medical insurance plan.

  1. High Insurance Cover

Before buying medical insurance, you must decide how much insurance cover you require. With the expected insurance amount, you will get a list of several best medical insurance policies that provide such covers. The best medical insurance policy will always have the highest possible insurance cover.

  1. Affordable Premium Amount

The next step in identifying the best medical insurance policies is their premium amount. There is no use in considering insurances with high premium costs. So, always consider medical insurance that is within your affordable range.

  1. Facility To Add Family Members

The best medical insurance policies always have facilities to add family members or spouses. The benefit of such joint insurance plans is that the final premium amount will be much low and the total insurance cover will be higher. Therefore,having a family medical insurance policy is good because it provides maintenance and renewal easiness.

  1. Lesser Waiting Period

Insurance providers have a certain amount of time set as a waiting period for people with pre-existing medical conditions. The duration of this waiting period can be anywhere between two to four years for the best medical insurance providers. It will benefit you if the policy’s waiting period is as low as possible.

  1. Lifetime Validation

Sometimes insurers limit the policyholder’s age, and after a certain age, they cannot renew the policy and get insurance. If this happens to you, you will have to search for new insurance companies. To avoid this trouble at a later stage, you should always choose a medical insurance policy that has lifetime validity.

  1. Claim Restoration

An excellent feature of the best medical insurance policy is claim restoration. Claim restoration is the restoring the insured sum in the same policy year after depletion due to a medical emergency.

  1. Day-Care Benefits

Day-care benefits are an essential feature of the best medical insurance policies. They cover the charges incurred during a less than 24-hour treatment at a hospital.

  1. Plenty Of Network Hospitals

Some of the best medical insurance policies can be claimable at every hospital. But if that facility is not available, you can choose a policy with the maximum number of network hospitals. You should also make sure that there are enough network hospitals in your location.

  1. Faster Claim Settlement

You should ensure that your insurance provider has a rapid claim settlement or reimbursement facility. Any delay in the payment can affect the accessibility of medical facilities to the patient. The best medical insurance plan will always have faster or 24-hour claim settlement procedures.

  1. High Claim Settlement Ratio

It would be best to verify that the insurance provider has a higher claim settlement ratio. A higher claim settlement increases your chances of claim approval.

Conclusion

There may be several points to look for in medical insurance. But these 10 points hold higher significance as they reflect the quality of insurance policies. The best medical insurance is the one that considers all these points in their policy statement.

One of the best medical insurance providers, Care Health Insurance, has policies that provide the maximum benefits. Check out their official website or connect with an agent today to know more about the best medical insurance plans.

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A Comprehensive Guide To Use A Term Plan Calculator

A Comprehensive Guide To Use A Term Plan Calculator

An insurance plan is a great scheme that gives life cover with several other benefits. If the insurance policy is from a trustworthy insurance provider, one could always rely on it. It will protect their family from financial troubles in their absence.

Finding a good term plan is in itself a challenging task. With plenty of insurance providers and policies, selecting the perfect one will be like finding a needle in a haystack. But, with the right tools, you can easily find suitable term plan insurance. A term plan calculator is one such tool. But before you go into the term plan calculator, first understand term plan insurance.

Know How to Use Term Life Insurance Calculator to Your Advantage

Features of A Term Plan Insurance

A term plan insurance is an insurance policy that gives life cover for a pre-defined term. You can decide how long the term should be on the basis of your requirement. Some insurance agencies cap the maximum age limit at 70 according to the guidelines of IRDA. And some of them provide lifetime term plans.

A term plan insurance is extremely beneficial for individuals who are the sole breadwinners of their families. You could understand other benefits of term plan insurance from its features. The given below are some of the distinguishable features of a term plan insurance.

  • Affordable
  • Money-back Policy
  • Multiple Options to Receive Assured Sum
  • Rider Benefits
  • Tax Relaxations
  • Critical Medical Cover

Term Plan Calculator

A term plan calculator is a tool that helps you select the perfect term plan insurance. Most insurance providers have a term plan calculator in one capacity or other on their websites. They provide the exact term plan premium amount.

Most term plan calculators use personal information and preferences to find a suitable plan. They provide various plans to the user to compare and choose. The term insurance comparison helps the user find the best plan fromthe suggested options.

Step-by-step Instruction for a Term Plan Calculator

A term plan calculator is very easy to use. And it gives you results in a matter of time. You could easily understand the functions by just looking at them. But some points require explanation. Here you will find the detailed information of every field and input found in a common term plan calculator.

Age: Input the current age.

Gender: Input the gender.

Nicotine/Tobacco User: Input whether the insured person is a nicotine/tobacco user or not. Every term plan calculator has this field.

Premium Payment Mode: Choose the interval between two premium payments in this field. There are options of a single payment, monthly, bi-annual, annual, and multi-annual payment options. You can even manually input the gap between two premiums.

Premium Payment Term: You have to choose your desired duration premium payments in this field. You can choose for how many years you would like to pay premiums.

Policy Term: In this field, you have to select the validity of your term plan insurance. Depending on your need, you can choose between a single year, 5 years, 10 years, or more. And if the insurance provider has no term renewal, you can even choose lifetime validity. You can choose a different policy term no matter what premium payment term you selected. For example, the separate fields of payment term and policy term will help you have a policy for 10 years while paying only for 5 years.

Assured Sum: In this field of the term plan calculator, you must input the expected sum you want from the policy. Some good insurance providers have options to select up to 2 crores assured sum.

Add-ons: In the add-ons section, the term plan calculator will have different extra coverages along with the life cover. You can select any covers from the options. Every cover will also mention its respective price.

Riders: Another field of term plan calculator is the addition of Riders. With this feature, you can add different riders. They can be your spouse or other close family members. You can save a lot of money on such group policies compared to individual policies. If you choose to add any rider, you will also have to fill in a few extra personal details.

Calculate: After filling all the fields, press the calculate button at the bottom of the term plan calculator.

Results: Now, the calculator will show you results in the form of a premium amount for this personalized plan that you created. It will also show other suitable plans which cater to your needs.

If you are content with the premium amount, you can move ahead with purchasing the term insurance. But if you are not satisfied, you could always modify the inputs till you get a suitable premium amount and term insurance.

Conclusion

After the selection process comes the document submission, policy approval and other formalities. Some insurance providers even ask the insured persons to submit a medical health check-up report. It is to make sure you are healthy at the policy joining time. And if the policy gets approval after the verification, you can pay the premium. The insurance provider will then send the policy documents by mail.

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