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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs [Prelims + Mains Focus] – 1st August 2018

  • IASbaba
  • August 1, 2018
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains

Focus)- 1st August 2018

 

Archives


(PRELIMS+MAINS FOCUS)


National Register of Citizens (NRC)

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II and III – Welfare and Social issue; Internal Security

Fast recap:

  • NRC is the register containing names of Indian Citizens.
  • Prepared first in 1951 (after Census of 1951) – to identify who is a bona fide Indian citizen
  • Those who fail to enlist in the register will be deemed, illegal migrants.
  • The demands to update the NRC of 1951 were raised in Assam as a lot of controversy regarding illegal migration and citizenship issues.
  • In 2013, the Supreme Court finally ordered to complete the exercise by December 31, 2017, leading to the present updation of NRC in Assam.
  • After final updation, over 40 lakh out of 3.29 crore applicants were left out of draft NRC in Assam.

Today’s news:

  • Supreme Court directed authorities not to initiate any ‘action’ against those 40 lakh persons left out of the draft NRC.

Rohingya in India

Part of: GS Mains III – Internal Security

In news:

  • Union Home Ministry has advised state governments to enumerate, observe and collect biometric data of Rohingya migrants living in India.
  • The Ministry has received reports of their involvement in illegal activities.
  • The government also made it clear that the Rohingya were “illegal migrants” and not “refugees.”

Do you know?

  • Rakhine, the province in Myanmar – is from where the Rohingya hail.
  • India is not the signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, which help define the legal obligation of states to protect refugees.
  • The Foreigners Act (1946) and the Registration of Foreigners Act (1939) currently govern the entry and exit of all refugees. Both these legislations treat refugees as foreigners without due consideration of their special circumstances.

Rajasthan first State to implement National Biofuel Policy

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Environment and Ecology; Pollution; Clean Energy

In news:

  • Rajasthan has become the first State in the country to implement the national policy on biofuels.
  • National Policy on Biofuels was unveiled by the Centre in May 2018.
  • Rajasthan to lay emphasis on increasing production of oilseeds and establish a Centre for Excellence in Udaipur to promote research in the fields of alternative fuels and energy resources.

Do you know?

The Policy categorises biofuels as –

  • “Basic Biofuels” viz. First Generation (1G) bioethanol & biodiesel and
  • “Advanced Biofuels” – Second Generation (2G) ethanol, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to drop-in fuels, Third Generation (3G) biofuels, bio-CNG etc. to enable an extension of appropriate financial and fiscal incentives under each category.

Salient features:

  • Seeks to promote biofuels in the country
  • Seeks to help farmers dispose of their surplus stock in an economic manner
  • Seeks to reduce the country’s oil import dependence
  • Expanded the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing the use of sugarcane juice, sugar containing materials, starch containing materials and damaged foodgrains like wheat, broken rice and rotten potatoes for ethanol production.
  • Encourage women’s self help groups to explore the scope for additional income through the supply of biodiesel.

Important Value Additions:

  • A biofuel is a fuel that is produced through contemporary biological processes, such as agriculture and anaerobic digestion, rather than a fuel produced by geological processes such as those involved in the formation of fossil fuels, such as coal and petroleum, from prehistoric biological matter.
  • Earlier Bio-fuel policy had proposed an indicative target of 20% blending of biofuels, both for bio-diesel and bio-ethanol, by 2017.

MAA (Mothers Absolute Affection)

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains – Health; Women and Child welfare; Social issue

In news:

MAA (Mothers Absolute Affection) is a nationwide program to promote breastfeeding launched by Ministry of health and family welfare.

Government of India declared National breast feeding week 1st to 7th August 2018

Why Breast Feeding?

  • It Promotes brain development
  • Provides Optimal nutrition
  • Boosts child immunity
  • Protects child against pneumonia diarrhoea
  • Better bonding between mother and baby
  • Reduces risk of non-communicable diseases

Person in news: Gopalkrishna Gandhi

In news:

  • Rajiv Sadbhavana Award for Gopalkrishna Gandhi (Former West Bengal)
  • For promoting communal harmony and peace
  • The award carries a citation and a cash award of ₹10 lakh.
  • The award will be presented on August 20, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
  • It was instituted to “commemorate the lasting contribution made by him to promote peace, communal harmony and fight against violence.”
  • Former recipients of the award include Mother Teresa, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Mohammed Yunus, Lata Mangeshkar, Sunil Dutt, Dilip Kumar, Kapila Vatsyayan, Teesta Setalvad, Swami Agnivesh, K.R. Narayanan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Muzaffar Ali and Shubha Mudgal.

(MAINS FOCUS)


NATIONAL

TOPIC: General studies 2

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections

Assessment: Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee recommendations

Introduction:

  • India is one of the few major democracies in the world without a national privacy and data protection framework.
  • 2017 Supreme Court’s ‘Right to Privacy’ judgment (K. Puttaswamy v Union of India case) clarified that we have a fundamental right to privacy, and also, that the state has an obligation to protect this right by enacting appropriate legislation.
  • Union government tasked a committee headed by Justice B.N. Srikrishna to formulate such a law.

It was created to deal with the judicial concerns triggered by the Union government’s arguments against the fundamental right to privacy in the Supreme Court’s Aadhaar hearings, as well as concerns about the lack of effective regulation of private sector use, transfer, abuse of data that arose in the Supreme Court hearings on the challenge to the transfer of Indian user data from WhatsApp to Facebook, following its acquisition.

(It is in this context that the below article tries to critically examine the report’s recommendations and its draft Data Protection Bill.)

Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee

  • Srikrishna panel submitted a draft “The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018”
  • It recommended that critical personal data of Indian citizens be processed in centres located within the country.
  • The government should notify categories of personal data that will be considered critical.
  • The draft bill also provides for penalties for the data processor as well as compensation to the data principal to be imposed for violations of the data protection law.

Analysis:

  • The report is just a small step and leaves too many exceptions.
  • It has repeatedly focused on ensuring that the government prioritise the interests of the “digital economy” — and the wide loopholes that it leaves — is concerning.
  • For example, the model for data protection that the committee has proposed leaves too many exceptions, especially when the government is the data collector and user.
  • In doing the so, the report attempts to open the right to privacy to allow the state the most convenient means by which to realise its regulatory agenda.
  • It proposes that the basic requirement of notice-and-consent could be lowered or waived altogether for “state functions” or social welfare purposes, among others.

These are broadly-worded carve-outs that can be abused and need to be carefully reviewed.

  • One more important issue is about surveillance reform. Any data protection law will be incomplete without considering the vital question of surveillance which, at present, is conducted free of judicial oversight and at the near-arbitrary will of bureaucrats.
  • In Puttaswamy ruling, the court cited the global legal standards on privacy, including the International “Necessary and Proportionate” Principles pertaining to communication surveillance, which requires the application of judicial pre-approval for surveilling our protected information.
  • Consequently, there is also an urgent need for clear, effective institutions tasked with surveillance oversight.

Conclusion:

The draft and report are steps in the right direction, but they are not giant strides.

The Union government — including the cabinet — must consult all stakeholders, and send a stronger bill to Parliament. It must allow MPs to carefully study, openly deliberate, and finally enact the stronger legal standards on privacy that several of them — and countless Indian citizens, lawyers, and judges — have been demanding.

Connecting the dots:

  • The dawn of the information age has opened up great opportunities for the beneficial use of data. However, it has also enhanced the perils of unregulated and arbitrary use of personal data. Discuss. Also, examine the need of framing a robust law to protect individual data.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

TOPIC: General Studies 2

  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • India and the World

India and US: Defense and Strategic Relations

Introduction:

  • India finally joins the elite group of allies of the US
  • Now it is set to get access to 90 per cent defence technology and equipment, all of them for dual use from the US
  • In other words, Indian defence industry can get licenses to import sensitive US dual-use items and technology
  • The below article gives the glimpse of India-US Defense relations in context of dual use technology

History

  • Prominent leaders of India’s freedom struggle had friendly relations with the United States of America which continued well after the independence of India.
  • Since independence, India has been reluctant to maintain close ties with the US due to its non-alignment policy (to avoid involvement in the Cold War power-play between the US and Soviet Union) and closed economy.
  • From the 1990s, with the fall of the Soviet Union and LPG reforms of the Indian economy, India started to develop closer ties with the US.
  • After India’s nuclear test in 1998, under George W. Bush India started to build nuclear relations with the US, which were further strengthened in 2008 by 123 Agreement under the Barak Obama administration.
  • Taking Defense relations to further heights, in 2016 India-US signed Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), which subsequently gave India status of Major Defense Partner to the United States.

Import of Dual-Use Tech from the US: Strategic Trade Authorization

  • Countries come under Strategic Trade Authorization-1 (STA-1) list when US is reasonably sure that technology will not endanger regional stability, does not pose a threat to US national security and has minimum to zero risk of proliferation.
  • STA-1 list consists of 36 countries – either they are major US allies or NATO allies or members of all four multilateral export control regimes.
  • India is neither ally of US nor of NATO and is a member of only three out of four multilateral export control regimes.
  • India will be third Asian country after Japan and South Korea to avail exemptions under STA-1 list.
  • So far India has been part of STA-2. This list has eight countries. China, Pakistan and Russia are not part of either of the lists.

Benefits for India/Conclusion:

  • Companies will be more ready to import and manufacture defence and dual-use tech without having to go through complex licencing procedures. Since 90% of the technology is going to be licence free.
  • Trade and commerce in defence equipment is likely to go up. This progress will help in not only achieving objectives of Make in India in defence sector but also contribute in making India more self-reliant.
  • India’s part to this club is the reaffirmation of her impeccable record of being a responsible member of the concerned multilateral export control regimes.

Connecting the dots

  • US is India’s one of the most important trade partner with respect to the Defence sector, but this strategic relationship should not affect the sovereignty of India.

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)

Model questions: (You can now post your answers in the comment section)

Note:

  • Featured Comments and comments Up-voted by IASbaba are the “correct answers”.
  • IASbaba App users – Team IASbaba will provide correct answers in comment section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.

Q.1) ‘Rakhine State’ has been in the news for quite some time for large scale exodus of migrants and severe human right violations. In which of the following countries does it exist?

  1. Palestine
  2. Syria
  3. Yemen
  4. Myanmar

 Q.2) ‘Rohingyas’ are

  1. Muslim refugees from eastern Sri Lanka settled in Tamil Nadu
  2. An anti-communist political group in Syria
  3. A political group fighting for autonomy in Catalonia
  4. Muslim refugees migrating from Myanmar to Bangladesh

Q.3) Rohingya refugee issue is related to which of the following countries

  1. Myanmar and Bangladesh
  2. North Korea and South Korea
  3. Thailand and Cambodia
  4. Myanmar and Thailand

Q.4) Consider the following statements regarding ‘Refugees’

  1. India has recently signed  the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees
  2. World Refugee Day is celebrated on 20th June
  3. The 1951 Convention the only instrument relevant to the rights of refugees

Select the incorrect code

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 and 3
  3. 1 and 3
  4. Only 1

Q.5) The nine-judge constitution bench has declared that ‘Right to Privacy’ is a Fundamental Right in Constitution. According to SC, Right to Privacy is an intrinsic part of

  1. Right to freedom of Speech and Expression
  2. Right to Life and Personal Liberty
  3. Right to Equality
  4. Right against exploitation

Q.6) K. Puttaswamy v Union of India case deals with –

  1. Right to Privacy
  2. Reservation
  3. LGBT rights issue
  4. Labor Reforms

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