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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 24th JULY 2020

  • IASbaba
  • July 24, 2020
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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Women officers to get permanent commission in Army

Part of: GS Mains I and II – Women empowerment; Gender equality; Society 

Context: 

  • Ministry of Defence issued the formal Government Sanction Letter for grant of permanent commission (PC) to women officers in the Army.  
  • The order specifies the grant of permanent commission to SSC women officers in all the 10 streams in which they presently serve. 

Do you know? 

  • The above order follows a Supreme Court verdict that directed the government that women officers be granted PC and command postings in all services other than combat. (Role of Judiciary) 
  • SC had dismissed the Union government’s submissions that women are physiologically weaker than men as a “sex stereotype” 
  • The court had found the remarks in the note not only constitutionally invalid but also discriminatory, affecting the dignity of women officers. 

Important value addition 

Prejudice & Stereotype: 

  • Prejudice refers to certain attitudes towards an individual or a group of individuals.  
  • Stereotype refers to allocation of particular roles to an individual or group of individuals. 

For example, some have a prejudice towards women that they are weak. This leads to their role allocation in the society and certain jobs have been stereotyped for women-receptionists, teachers, nurse etc. 

  • Prejudice and stereotypes lead to social inequality and exclusion.  

For example, if women are stereotyped as nurses, teachers and receptionists, they stand no chance of becoming an IAS, IPS, Astronaut, diplomat, scientist and soldier. 

Gunjan Saxena served in the Indian Air Force for eight years between 1996 and 2004. She was the first woman to receive the Shaurya Chakra, for valour during the Kargil War. 


Impact of COVID on Children

Part of: GS Mains II – Child welfare; Social issue 

Context: 

  • Several children from poor families have returned to rag-picking or begging, as their parents lost jobs due to lockdown. 

Do you know? 

  • Section 76 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 prohibits employment of children for begging. 

Juvenile delinquency on the rise  

  • Juvenile delinquency is defined as an individual under the age of 18 who fails to abide by the laws. 
  • Due to temporary closure of schools, children spend more time working rather than studying. 

Bru-Reang Refugee crisis 

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains I and II – Social/Wefare issue; Refugee issue; Human Geography – Ethnic tribes 

In news: 

  • Non-­Brus of Tripura have proposed six places for settling the displaced Brus from Mizoram. 
  • They also proposed the State government to set a limit for the number of families to be accommodated.  

Who are Brus? 

  • Brus, also known as Reangs, are ethnically different from the Mizos, with their own distinct language and dialect and form one of the 21 scheduled tribes of Tripura. 

Do you know? 

  • Displaced Bru tribals from Mizoram are living as refugees in Tripura since 1997.  
  • In 1997, roughly half the Bru population fled to Tripura, following violent clashes with the Mizo population. 
  • Recently, the union home ministry finally inked the tripartite pact which now paves the way for these displaced Bru tribals from Mizoram to permanently settle in Tripura. 
  • The Brus–spread across Tripura, Mizoram and parts of southern Assam–are the most populous tribe in Tripura. 

Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN) 

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Economy; Investment 

In news: 

  • A countrywide pilot of the newly­ developed credit protocol infrastructure for the democratisation of credit to start soon. 
  • The credit protocol infrastructure, known as Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN), will mediate the interactions between loan service providers, usually fintechs and mainstream lenders, including all large banks and NBFCs. 

Key points: 

  • Open Credit Enablement Network will democratise credit, help small businesses 
  • OCEN will act as a common language for lenders and marketplaces to utilise and create innovative, financial credit products at scale. 

India appreciates Bangladesh’s stance on Kashmir 

Part of: GS Mains II – India and its neighbourhood relations 

In news 

  • India appreciated Bangladesh’s position which regards Kashmir as an ‘internal’ matter of India. 
  • Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had raised the future of Kashmir issue during his phone conversation with Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina. 

Do you know? 

  • “India and Bangladesh are celebrating the centenary event ‘Mujib barsho this year in memory of the founder of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. 
  • Sheikh Mujib had led the anti­-Pakistan freedom struggle till the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. 

India and Israel to work on rapid test

Part of: GS Mains II – India and Israel ties; International Relations 

In news 

  • Israeli Defence Ministry research and development team and DRDO to develop rapid testing for COVID­19 in under 30 seconds. 
  • Israeli team to bring breakthrough emerging Israeli technologies for combating COVID­19 and support India’s response to the outbreak. 

Do you know? 

  • The technologies to be tested in India include an artificial intelligence based online voice test and breathalyser test, isothermal testing and testing using polyamino acids. 
  • Isothermal testing allows detection of the virus in a saliva sample with the help of a chemical reaction and produces a result within 30 minutes, while testing using Polyamino acids too detects virus proteins in a saliva sample in a few minutes. 

New warning on tobacco products

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Health/ Social issue; Welfare issue 

In news: 

  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has notified new sets of specified health warnings for all tobacco product packs by making an amendment to the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008. 
  • All tobacco products manufactured or imported or packaged on or after 1st December, 2020 shall display new warning images and ensure that all tobacco product packages shall have the specified health warnings exactly as prescribed. 
  • Violation of the above-mentioned provision is a punishable offence with imprisonment or fine. 

Important Value Additions: 

  • In India, tobacco is the cause of about one million deaths annually. 
  • India implemented larger 85% pictorial health warnings on all tobacco products from 1 April 2016. However, to remove the last bit of glamour and attraction from the tobacco packs, it must now embrace plain packaging. 
  • Plain packaging prevents tobacco packs from carrying the tobacco industry brand imagery as mobile billboards. Other than brand and product names displayed in a standard colour and font style, it prohibits the use of logos, colours, brand images or promotional information. 
  • India has taken several preparatory steps implemented by other countries like Australia and the UK that have introduced plain packaging, for example, stronger smoke-free laws, ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, increase in taxes and a report from civil society task force on plain packaging. 
  • The trade and investment agreements signed by India are also within the international trade norms relating to public health. 

Tianwen­1: China’s Mars mission 

Part of: GS Prelims – Science and Technology – Space related missions 

In news: 

  • China launched its most ambitious Mars mission. (from Hainan Island, south of China’s mainland) 
  • If the mission succeeds, China will join the U.S. in successfully landing a spacecraft on the red planet. 
  • Tianwen­1, or “quest for heavenly truth” – will look for underground water and evidence of possible ancient life. 

Do you know? 

  • Landing on Mars is notoriously difficult. Only the U.S. has successfully landed a spacecraft on Martian soil, doing it eight times since 1976. 

Miscellaneous

India and China: disengagement issue

In news: 

  • India called on China to work “sincerely” on the disengagement plan at the LAC. 
  • India expects complete disengagement and de-escalation, and full restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas at the earliest. 
  • The conduct of Chinese forces this year, including the deployment of a large body of troops and changes in behaviour, accompanied by unjustified and untenable claims, has been in complete disregard of all the mutual agreements. 

China-US: Sharp deterioration in ties

In news: 

  • China warned that it will be forced to respond after the U.S. ordered the shutdown of its Houston consulate. 
  • U.S. ­China ties have deteriorated sharply this year over issues ranging from the pandemic and telecoms­-gear maker Huawei to China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and its clampdown on Hong Kong 
  • Recent issues – arrests of Chinese researchers at U.S. universities and closure of consulate. 

(MAINS FOCUS)


INTERNATIONAL / SECURITY 

Topic: General Studies 2 and 3

  • India and its neighborhood- relations.
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas

India-South Korea Relations 

Context: Despite numerous bilateral agreements between India and South Korea the relationship has not been able to move to next level. 

Did You Know? 

  • Korean Buddhist Monk Hyecho (704–787 CE) or Hong Jiao visited India from 723 to 729 AD and wrote travelogue ”Pilgrimage to the five kingdoms of India” which gives a vivid account of Indian culture, politics & society. 
  • Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore has composed a short but evocative poem – ’Lamp of the East’ - in 1929 about Korea’s glorious past and its promising bright future. 

A brief history of India-South Korea Relation 

  • During the Korean War (1950- 53), India has played a major role in cease-fire agreement signed between both the warring sides and the ceasefire was declared on 27 July 1953. 
  • The relationship did not move much till 1990s due to South Korea’s closeness to US and India either following non-aligned or under Russian influence 
  • The economic relation between India and South Korea grew after economic reforms in India which led to signing of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2010 
  • Relations between India and South Korea was raised to the level of Strategic Partnership in January 2010 and upgraded to Special strategic partnership in 2015 
  • India has a major role to play in South Korea’s Southern Policy under which Korea is looking at expanding relations beyond its immediate region. 
  • Similarly, South Korea is a major player in India’s Act East Policy under which aims to promote economic cooperation, cultural ties and develop strategic relationships with countries in the Asia-Pacific. 

Challenges with Bilateral Relationship 

1. Stagnation in Economic relationship

  • The economic partnership is struck at $22 billion annually. 
  • Also, the defence partnership appears to have receded from great all-round promise to the mere sale and purchase of weapon systems. 

2. Cultural Prejudices on both sides preventing people-to-people ties

  • Cold War Era perception: There may be a widespread perception among South Koreans of India as a third world country, rife with poverty and hunger.  
  • Indian Diaspora: Within South Korea, the integration of Indians in the local population is far from complete, with some instances of racial prejudice or discrimination toward Indians 
  • Inadequate acknowledgment of Korean Culture: To a certain extent Indians are unable to distinguish between the cultural and social characteristics of South Koreans from that of Japanese/Chinese. 
  • All these stands in the way of a relationship based on openness, curiosity and warmth. 

3. Unfulfilled potential of Cultural Centres

  • Indian Culture Centre (ICC) was established in Seoul 10 years ago to promote people-to-people contacts. 
  • However, ICC has to reach an exponentially wider audience and its focus has to expand beyond the urban, English-speaking elite of Seoul.  
  • The same may be applicable to South Korean culture centres in India. 

Way Forward 

  • As the balance of power in the region continues to shift fast, India and South Korea may need each like never before, to protect their ways of life.  
  • However, both countries will be able to help each other only if they can fill the cultural gaps. 

Connecting the dots 

  • Challenges w.r.t. North Korea 
  • Kim Jong-un and Trump’s historic meeting in Singapore in 2018 

ECONOMY/ GOVERNANCE 

Topic: General Studies 2 and 3:

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

Non Personal Data regulation – Part I

Context:  The Committee of Experts on non-personal data governance framework (“NPD Committee”) released its draft report.  

NPD was constituted by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (“MeitY”) on September 13, 2019 under the Chairmanship of Kris Gopalakrishnan (Co-Founder, Infosys). 

What is non-personal data? 

  • In its most basic form, non-personal data is any set of data which does not contain personally identifiable information.  
  • This in essence means that no individual or living person can be identified by looking at such data. 
  • For example, while order details collected by a food delivery service will have the name, age, gender, and other contact information of an individual, it will become non-personal data if the identifiers such as name and contact information are taken out 

Significance of Non-Personal Data 

  • Can be harnessed for Public Interest: Data should be unlocked in public interest beyond the sole service of commercial interests of a few large companies. 
  • Economic Value: These data sets will help to map consumer biases and ensuretargeted delivery of services. It will unlock the doors of economic value and innovation in the country. 
  • Subject of Communities: Data, in many cases, are not just a subject of individual decision-making but that of communities, such as in the case of ecological information 

Key Takeaways from the draft report 

1. Definition: The report has classified non-personal data into three main categories, namely 

  • Public non-personal data: It involves all the data collected by the government and its agencies during execution of all publicly funded works. 
  • E.g. census, data collected by municipal corporations on the total tax receipts. 
  • Community non-personal data: It involves any data identifiers about a set of people who have either the same geographic location, religion, job, or other common social interests. 
  • E.g. The metadata collected by ride-hailing apps, telecom companies, electricity distribution companies. 
  • Private non-personal data: It can be defined as those which are produced by individuals which can be derived fromapplication of proprietary software or knowledge. E.g data generated by companies like Google, Amazon etc. 

 2. Sensitive Non-Personal Data (NPD)

  • The NPD committee has recommended classification of NPD into general NPD, sensitive NPD and critical NPD- just like the classification of personal data under the PDP Bill 
  • There will also be storage restrictions will also apply to NPD based on sensitivity-  
    • (a) general NPD can be stored anywhere in the world;  
    • (b) sensitive NPD can be transferred outside India, but it must be stored in India  
    • (c) critical NPD (subject to the definition of critical PD, which is yet to be defined) must be stored in India 

3. Different roles in the NPD ecosystem 

  • Data Principals, Data Custodians, Data Trustee and Data Trusts have been identified & their roles defined in the NPD ecosystem 

 4. Introducing a new category of ‘data businesses’

  • Entities involved in data collection or processing will be classified as ‘data businesses’ based on a certain threshold of data collected/processed. 
  • Data businesses will have to submit meta-data about data user and community from which data is collected with certain details 
  • This meta-data will be stored digitally in meta-data directories in India, which will be made available on an open access basis to citizens and organizations. 
  • Based on this meta data, ‘potential users’ can identify opportunities for combining data from multiple data businesses or governments to develop products and services. 

5. NPD Regulatory Authority:

  • The report has also suggested setting up of a new authority which would be empowered to monitor the use and mining of such non-personal data. 
  • Along with having an enforcing role (to ensure that all stakeholders in the NPD ecosystem follow rules and regulations, enforce valid data sharing requests etc.), it will also have an ‘enabling role’, which is quite broad. 
  • It will have the power to address market failures in terms of lack of information and also ensure a ‘level playing field’ with fair and effective competition in digital and data markets 

(Part-II– of the article will deal with Criticism of the report and Way Forward)

Connecting the dots 

  • The Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 
  • EU Data Protection Law 

(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”.

Q.1) Which of the following activities have been prohibited by ‘The Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act’?  

  1. Smoking in all public places 
  2. Direct and indirect advertisement 
  3. Sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors 
  4. Sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products within 100 yards of any educational institution. 

Select the code from following: 

  1. 1, 2 and 3 
  2. 2, 3 and 4 
  3. 1, 3 and 4 
  4. All of the above 

Q.2) Which of the following are correctly matched?

(Tribe) : : (State) 

  1. Reang             Tripura 
  2. Bhutia              Sikkim 
  3. Lepcha    Arunachal Pradesh 

Select the correct code:

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

Q.3) Who among the following Indian personalities wrote a quatrain in which he described Korea as the “Lamp of the East”?

  1. Rabindra Nath Tagore 
  2. Surendranath Banerjee
  3. Subash Chandra Bose
  4. Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Q.4) Which of the following is not correct about Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN):

  1.  It is a credit protocol infrastructure. 
  2. It would democratise lending and enable small borrowers to avail funds easily. 
  3. It is a common language for lenders, marketplaces to utilise and create innovative, financial credit products at scale. 
  4. It is the umbrella body which was created to operate the Account Aggregator (AA) model in the country. 

ANSWERS FOR 23rd July 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1  A 
2  C 
3  D 
4  B 


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