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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 26th February 2020

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  • February 26, 2020
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 26th February 2020

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


(Cauvery Water Management Authority )CWMA drops discussion on Mekedatu dam

Part of: GS Prelims –Polity and GS-II- River disputes

In news:

  • Tamil Nadu and Puducherry strongly objected to Karnataka’s bid to seek approval for the Mekedatu dam project, at the fifth Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA)

From Prelims Point of View:

Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA)

  • Formed by the Centre.
  • Under  Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 
  • To adjudicate upon the water dispute regarding the Inter-State river Cauvery and the river valley thereof among the States of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the Union territory of Puducherry.
  • Implement the water-sharing award of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal
  • water sharing will be as modified by the Supreme Court

Cauvery River

  • The river rises on Brahmagiri Hill of the Western Ghats in southwestern Karnataka state, flows in a south easterly direction through the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, and descends the Eastern Ghats in a series of great falls.
  •  Some of its tributaries are Arkavathi, Hemavathi, Lakshmana Theertha, Shimsa, Kabini and Harangi.

India, U.S. ‘Comprehensive Global Strategic Partners’, ink deals on energy

Part of: GS Prelims –Polity and GS-II- International relations

In news:

India and the United States strengthened their partnership with agreements on healthcare and energy, and issued a joint statement that designated the two countries as “Comprehensive Global Strategic partners”.

Highlights:

  • India – US called upon Pakistan to rein in cross-border terror threats 
  • Sought justice for the victims of 26/11 attack and the Pathankot terror attack of 2016.
  • Called for concerted action against all terrorist groups including Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, the Haqqani Network, TTP, D Company, and all their affiliates
  • Both India – US  recognized the efforts of the ASEAN region to create a code of conduct in the South China Sea region.
  • Agreed to undertake development activities in third countries and intensify cooperation in the space domain
  • U.S. and India were working to revitalise the quadrilateral initiative consisting of Japan, the U.S., India and Australia
  • Both sides also working on cybersecurity and counter-terrorism issues.

From Prelims Point of View:

Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad)

  • Informal strategic dialogue between India, USA, Japan and Australia 
  • Objective : to ensure and support a “free, open and prosperous” Indo-Pacific region
  • First mooted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe 
  • In 2017, India, the US, Australia and Japan gave shape to the long-pending “Quad” Coalition to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence (especially China).

ASEAN

  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional organization to promote political and social stability amid rising tensions among the Asia-Pacific’s post-colonial states.
  • Secretariat – Indonesia, Jakarta.
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 26th February 2020

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 26th February 2020

Src: Financetwitter 


Five Supreme Court judges infected with swine flu

Part of: GS Prelims –Sci & Tech and GS-II- Health 

From Prelims Point of View:

Swine Flu

  • Human respiratory infection caused by an influenza strain that started in pigs.
  • First recognised in the 1919 
  • Swine flu is caused by the H1N1 virus strain, which started in pigs.

Symptoms 

  • Fever, cough, sore throat, chills, weakness and body aches. 

Spreads

  • Airborne respiratory droplets (coughs or sneezes).
  • Skin-to-skin contact (handshakes or hugs)
  • Saliva (kissing or shared drinks). 
  • Touching a contaminated surface (blanket or doorknob)
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 26th February 2020

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 26th February 2020

Src: The Hindu

For More information read this : https://iasbaba.com/2019/03/all-india-radio-air-ias-upsc-swine-flu-awareness-and-cure/


Hosni Mubarak, ousted by Arab Spring in 2011, dies

Part of: GS Prelims –Polity and GS-II- International relations

In news

  • Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubara died 
  • He was swept from power, like other regional potentates, by the popular uprisings of the 2011 Arab Spring.

From Prelims Point of View:

Arab Spring :

  • A series of antigovernment protests, uprisings and armed rebellions that spread across the Middle East. 
  • Reasons : Oppressive regimes and a low standard of living 
  • Protests begin in Tunisia
  • Revolution spread like fire to five other countries: Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain and Syria
  • Result of the revolution: Either the regime was toppled or major uprisings or social violence occurred, including riots, civil wars, mass murdering or insurgencies.

(MAINS FOCUS)


Governance

Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. 
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill, 2019 – Part II – Issues with Data localisation

Click here for Part-I of the article

The draft law is a comprehensive piece of legislation that seeks to give individuals greater control over how their personal data is collected, stored and used.

Data localisation in draft Bil

  • The PDP Bill enables the transfer of personal data outside India, with the sub-category of sensitive personal data having to be mirrored in the country (i.e. a copy will have to be kept in the country). 
  • Data processing/collecting entities will however be barred from transferring critical personal data (a category that the government can notify at a subsequent stage) outside the country.

Purpose of localisation

  1. Sovereignty and government functions; referring to the need to recognise Indian data as a resource to be used to further national interest (economically and strategically), and to enable enforcement of Indian law and state functions. 
  2. Economic benefits of data localisation will accrue to local industry in terms of creating local infrastructure, employment and contributions to the AI ecosystem. 
  3. Protection of civil liberties –the argument is that local hosting of data will enhance its privacy and security by ensuring Indian law applies to the data and users can access local remedies.

Analysis of the provision of Data Localisation

  • The earlier version of the bill released by the Justice Srikrishna Committee in 2018 required both personal and sensitive personal data to be mirrored in the country (subject to different conditions) – so as to serve the purposes of data localisation
  • The liberalised provision in 2019 bill is however welcomed by business as it limits the costs of data transfer business and provides a degree of flexibility to them
  • The changes in the 2019 draft reflect a more proportionate approach to the issue as bill provides a tiered system for cross-border data transfer based on the sensitivity/vulnerability of the data
  • This seems to be in accord with the Supreme Court’s dicta in the 2017 Puttaswamy case, where the Court had made it clear that an interference in the fundamental right to privacy would only be permissible if inter alia deemed necessary and proportionate

Data Localisation & Protection of User Privacy – Analysis

  • Security of data is determined more by the technical measures, skills, cybersecurity protocols, etc. put in place rather than its mere location. Localisation may make it easier for domestic surveillance over citizens. 
  • The degree of protection afforded to data will depend on the effectiveness of the applicable data protection regime.
  • Insofar as privacy is concerned, this could be equally protected through less intrusive, suitable and equally effective measures such as requirements for contractual conditions and using adequacy tests for the jurisdiction of transfer. Such conditions are already provided for in the PDP Bill as a set of secondary conditions 
  • Further, the extra-territorial application of the PDP Bill also ensures that the data protection obligations under the law continue to exist even if the data is transferred outside the country.

The bill has also attracted criticism on other grounds such as 

  • The exceptions created for the state
  • The limited checks imposed on state surveillance
  • Various deficiencies in the structures and processes of the proposed Data Protection Authority

Way Ahead:

  • Reforming surveillance related laws 
  • Entering into more detailed and up-to-date mutual legal assistance treaties
  • Enabling the development of sufficient digital infrastructure
  • Creating appropriate data-sharing policies that preserve privacy and other third party rights, while enabling data to be used for socially useful purposes.

Conclusion

It becomes important for the joint parliamentary committee currently examining the Bill to conduct a more in-depth evaluation of the localisation provisions in the law. The joint parliamentary committee ought to, ideally, identify the need, purpose and practicality of putting in place even the (relatively liberal) measures contained in the PDP Bill.

Connecting the dots

  • Should users be given the choice to select where the data can be stored – like in a European Union or California (two jurisdictions which have strong data protection laws and advanced technical ecosystems).

Science & Technology

Topic: General Studies 3:

  • Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life. 

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

5G- Rollout should not be in hurry

Central government had set a target of 2020 for the commercial launch of 5G services, largely in line with rest of the world. 

What is 5G?

  • It is the next generation cellular technology that will deliver multi-Gbps peak rates, ultra-low latency, massive capacity, and a more uniform user experience
  • Speed will be range of 2-20 Gigabit per second (Gbps) in contrast to 4G link speeds in averaging 6-7 Megabit per second (Mbps) in India
  • But once 5G becomes commercial, users will be required to change their current devices in favour of 5G-enabled ones.

Applications of 5G

  • Expansion of wireless technologies —across completely new sectors of the economy from industrial (robotics) to commercial, educational, health care (Tele-surgery), agricultural (sensors), financial (block chain technology) and social sectors (climate studies).
  • Internet-of-Things (IOT)- 5G will form the backbone of IOT. 5G will help in creating cyber-physical networks which not only interconnect people, but also interconnect and control machines, objects, and devices
  •  Sensor-embedded network that will allow real time relay of information across fields such as manufacturing, consumer durables and agriculture. 
  • Smart transport infrastructure -5G will enable vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, making driverless cars, among other things, a reality.

Economic Impact of 5G adoption

  • 5G is expected to create a cumulative economic impact of $1 trillion in India by 2035.
  • 5G-enabled digitalisation revenue potential in India will be above $27 billion by 2026. 
  • Additionally, global telecom industry GSMA has forecast that India will have about 70 million 5G connections by 2025.

Major challenges of adopting 5G are 

  1. Standardisation of 5G:
  • As it stands today, 5G is not a defined standard.
  • Fragmentation of next generation approaches will only mean that development time and costs will increase.
  • Thus, there is a need for standardising an approach and bringing all of the major technology partners on board
  1. Huge Investments required for enabling infrastructure:
  • 5G will require a fundamental change to the core architecture of the communication system. Simply upgrading the existing Long Term Evolution core will not be able to support 5G
  • A report on 5G by Deloitte stated that rolling out 5G might require an additional investment of $60-70 billion. 
  1. Pricing Issue: 
  • There is a strong correlation between broadband price and adoption levels: for example – 1% increase in mobile broadband prices results in 0.13% decrease in adoption rates (low income) according to International Telecommunication Union
  • And a 1% decrease in mobile broadband adoption results in 0.19% decrease in GDP per capita (low income).
  1. 5G enabled Devices & its affordability
  • 5G smartphone models are likely to cost much more than present phone— with enhanced features, cameras and sensors to support AR and VR applications
  • A significant number (close to 300 million) of users are still on 2G/2.5G networks — and feature phones are widely in use. Device cost is of relevance to a price-sensitive market like India.
  1. Financial Health of Telecom Sector:
  • By end of 2019, the industry’s cumulative debt was pegged at around ₹7 lakh crore. 
  • Also, total mobile revenues in India have fallen by more than 20 per cent over past four years. 
  • This restricts telecos capability to roll out 5G in a sustainable manner.
  1. Uncertainity in 5G spectrum Auction
  • The COAI has also pointed out that 5G is overpriced by at least 30% to 40% compared to international standards and auction in other markets such as South Korea and the U.S. 
  • Telecos have pointed out that the reserve price of these airwaves is very high. Besides, there are currently no India-specific use cases for deployment of 5G.
  1. Potential health hazards of tens of thousands of radiating base stations.

Even technologically advanced countries like Israel are refusing to implement 5G on account of a host of unknowns like potential health impact of 5G radiations

  1. Dependence on China: Huawei which is a Chinese firm owns the majority of 5G technology in the world. However, there are concerns that dependence on China for critical infrastructure like 5Gcould compromise India’s security.

Conclusion

Inspite of the potential benefits of 5G, India needs to be cautious while rolling out 5G. A balanced assessment of its potential applications and demand must be made. Realistic and gradual expansion up the value chain is needed. In this scheme of things, more mature policy making is expected.

Connecting the dots

  • US ban on Huawei
  • 5G Spectrum allocation
  • Aggregate Gross Revenue (AGR) issue of telecos and its impact on 5G rollout

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


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

Note: 

  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers. 
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q1. Which one of the following rivers thrice forks into two streams and reunites a few miles farther on, thus, forming the islands of Srirangapattanam, Sivasamudram and Srirangam? 

  1. Cauvery 
  2. Tungabhadra
  3. Krishna 
  4. Godavari

Q 2. In which of the following regions of India are shale gas resources found? 

  1. Cambay Basin
  2. Cauvery Basin
  3. Krishna-Godavari Basin

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1.  1 and 2 only 
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Q3. Which one of the following is not an ASEAN member?

  1. Cambodia 
  2. China 
  3. Laos
  4. Philippines

ANSWERS FOR 25 FEB 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 C
2 B
3 D
4 C

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