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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 25th JULY 2020

  • IASbaba
  • July 25, 2020
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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Police atrocity against special needs child

Part of: GS Mains II and IV – Governance issue; Police Reforms; Ethics 

In news: 

  • Assam police have ordered an inquiry into the caning of a special child by a policeman during lockdown.  
  • Section 92 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 discusses the punishment for atrocities against persons with disability. 

No business as usual with China 

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – India and China relations; Multilateral fora 

Context: 

  • India has made it clear to China that it will not be business as usual until there is a complete disengagement along the LAC. 
  • However, India’s engagement with China on multilateral for a like Brazil­-Russia-­India-­China-­South Africa (BRICS), Russia-­India-­China (RIC) and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) were expected to continue.  
  • External Affairs Minister to attend Foreign Ministers’ meetings of BRICS and SCO due to be held next month. 
  • Russia, which is hosting this year’s summits, has proposed September 10 for the meetings for both. 

The MEA said both sides agreed that “early and complete disengagement of the troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and de-escalation from India-China border areas in accordance with bilateral agreement and protocols and full restoration of peace and tranquillity was essential for smooth overall development of bilateral relations.” 


India-Israel to strengthen ties 

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II and III – India-Israel ties; International relations or bilateral relations; Defence 

In news: 

  • India invited greater participation from Israeli defence companies under the new liberalised foreign direct investment (FDI) regime in defence manufacturing. 
  • Indian Armed Forces are undertaking a series of emergency defence purchases, including from Israel, amid ongoing tensions with China on the border. 

Do you know? 

  • In May, the government increased the limit for FDI in defence through the automatic route from 49% to 74%.  
  • India and Israel are also collaborating in research to fight the COVID­19 pandemic. 
  • India’s defence deal with Israel – India to order more Spike Anti­-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) and additional Heron Undermanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) from Israel. 

China asked U.S. to shut Chengdu consulate 

Part of: GS Mains II – International affairs; Cold War-­style diplomacy 

In news: 

  • China ordered the U.S.  to shut Chengdu consulate in retaliation for one of its missions in the US being shuttered. 
  • 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 consulates from both countries. 

U.S. accused Russia of testing weapon in space

Part of: GS Mains II – International affairs; Cold War-­style diplomacy 

In news: 

  • U.S. and U.K. accused Russia of testifying an anti-­satellite weapon in space. 
  • U.S. Space Command said it “has evidence” that Moscow “conducted a non­-destructive test of a space-­based anti-satellite weapon” on July 15. 

Do you know? 

  • New START treaty caps the nuclear warheads of the U.S. and Russia — the two Cold War­-era superpowers. 
  • Under the Treaty, the United States and Russia must meet the Treaty’s central limits on strategic arms.  
  • Each Party has the flexibility to determine for itself the structure of its strategic forces within the aggregate limits of the Treaty.  
  • The treaty has no Constraints on Missile Defense and Conventional Strike. 

India and Sri Lanka seek to reset ties 

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – India-Sri Lanka ties; Bilateral relations 

In news: 

  • Sri Lanka, India and Japan in 2019 had agreed to jointly develop East Container Terminal (ECT) project at the Colombo Port.  
  • However, in early July, Sri Lanka Prime Minister told that there was no final decision taken on the project, when opposition parties protested that Sri Lanka was giving away national assets to India. 
  • As per the 2019 tripartite Memorandum of Cooperation, Sri Lanka’s Port Authority was to retain 100% ownership of the facility. 

Line of Credit to Sri Lanka 

  • Reserve Bank of India has agreed to a $400 million currency swap facility for Sri Lanka till November 2022. 
  • The Central Bank of Sri Lanka had sought the swap facility to help bolster the pandemic hit island nation’s foreign exchange reserves. 

Do you know? 

  • Sri Lanka owes $960 million to India 

(MAINS FOCUS)


ECONOMY/ GOVERNANCE

Topic: General Studies 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 II

Click Here for Part I of the Article 

Criticism of the report 

1. The data sets will heavily favour big tech companies.

  • Only big tech companies possess the capital and infrastructure to create such large volumes of data. Others will find it difficult to match the capabilities of these technology giants. 

2. Issues with IPR

  • As a signatory to Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), India extended copyright protection to computer databases in 1999. 
  • In such a scenario, there is a challenge of demarcation between non-personal data that cannot be shared, and non-copyright non-personal data that can be used as a public resource. 

3. Issues with Data Communities

  • The idea of communities as data principals is introduced ambiguously by the report.  
  • While it provides examples of what might constitute a community, e.g. citizen groups in neighbourhoods, there is little clarity on the rights and functions of the community.  

4. Issues with Data Custodians

  • Data custodians are thos who undertake collection, storage, processing, and use of data in a manner that is in the best interest of the data principal.  
  • It is not specified if the data custodian can be the government or just private companies 
  • Suggestion that data custodians can potentially monetise the data they hold is especially problematic as this presents a conflict of interest with those of the data principal communities. 

5. Issues with Data Trustees

  • Data trustees is envisaged by the report as a way for communities to exercise data rightsTrustees can be governments, citizen groups, or universities.  
  • However, the relationship between the data principal communities and the trustees is not clear. 
  • It is also not clear how trustees are empowered to act on behalf of the community.  

6. Issues with Data Trusts

  • The report explains data trusts comprising specific rules and protocols for containing and sharing a given set of data.  
  • Trusts can hold data from multiple custodians and will be managed by public authority.  
  • The power, composition and functions of the trust are not established. 

7. There is no clarity over thegrievance redressal mechanism in the committee’s report. 

8. For a country that does not have a personal data protection bill, the setting up of a committee to regulate non-personal data seems premature.

Way Ahead 

  • Balance Economics & Public InterestLike many other countries, India too will have to define non-personal data in a manner that protects intellectual property rights, serves genuine public interest and promotes innovation. 
  • France ModelIndia can learn from France’s National Strategy on Artificial Intelligence policy, which encourages economic players to share and pool their data with the state acting as a trusted third party. 
  • France’s policy even empowers public authorities to impose openness on certain data because of its societal benefits. 
  • EU’s philosophy on NPDIndia can also look towards the European Union’s Regulation on the Free Flow of Non-Personal Data, which recognises the free flow of non-personal data as a prerequisite of a competitive economy. 

Connecting the dots 

  • K.S. PuttaswamyCase & Right to Privacy 
  • Justice BN Srikrishna committee report on data protection law 

SOCIETY/ POLITY/ GOVERNANCE

Topic: General Studies 1 and 2

  • Social empowerment  
  • Powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
  • Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections. 

National Commission for SCs – Needs to be reimagined

Context: In 2020, new thoughts and new actions are needed by National Commission for Scheduled Castes, to advance the socio-economic empowerment of the Dalits. 

About National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) 

  • The NCSC is a constitutional body that works to safeguard the interests of the scheduled castes in India. Article 338 of the constitution of India deals with this commission. 
  • It seeks to offer the SC community protection from discrimination and exploitation, as well as providing facilities to uplift the SC community.  
  • Some of the functions of NCSC include  
  • Enquiring into complaints relating to the deprivation of the rights and safeguards of the SCs. 
  • Monitoring and investigating all issues concerning the safeguards provided for the SCs under the constitution. 
  • Taking part in and advising the central or state governments with respect to the planning of socio-economic development of the SCs. 
  • Regular reporting to the President of the country on the implementation of these safeguards 

Did You Know? 

  • Initially, the constitution provided for the appointment of a Special Officer under Article 338.This special officer was designated as the Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. 
  • The 46th Amendment to the constitution replaced the one-member system with a multi-member National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe 
  • The 89th Amendment in 2003 replaced this Commission with the following with effect from 2004: 
  • National Commission for Scheduled Castes 
  • National Commission for Scheduled Tribes 

What are the steps that can be taken by the NCSC? 

1. Strengthen the legal and judicial protection under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

  • There is a need to develop SOPs for filing and investigating cases under relevant laws and make them available in all languages at all police stations. 
  • There is also a need to reward prosecutors who succeed in getting convictions in cases charged under the SC/ST Act 
  • There should be online reporting and tracking of crimes, irrespective of jurisdiction. 
  • Enhanced training and capacity building of judges, lawyers, and policemenso that they are sensitive to issues faced by SCs  
  • Creating internal structures within government organisations to respond to complaints — just like internal complaints committees for sexual harassment  

2. To make existing government efforts more effective and participatory

  • Each ministry is supposed to set aside 15% of its spending in a Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCP), but often their outcomes are insignificant.  
  • NCSC should work with legislators to identify four or five priorities across all government schemes and reorient all spending (SCP) around those priorities. 
  • There is also a need to track the output of SCPs every quarter/month through a dashboard, just as the Niti Aayog tracks development in the “Aspirational Districts”. 

3. Incentivising Good Work

  • There can be a monthly recognition and reward for departments that do the best in improving the status of SCs 
  • There can also be ranking of states for their innovation, effectiveness, and impact in uplifting the socio-economic status of SCs— just as cities are ranked for cleanliness. 

4. Engaging with Civil Society

  • Social change is catalysed through civil society, corporations, and communities.  
  • For that the Commission can create a platform for structured engagement with civil society groups working on Dalit issues 
  • There is a need for NCSC to engage with young representatives of SCs as their aspirations would be different from previous generations 
  • NCSC can also help create a network of Scheduled Caste alumni of IIMs and IITs and encourage them to suggest and implement ideas within and around their own organisations that advance economic empowerment of Dalits 

5. Facilitating economic empowerment and entrepreneurship.

  • NSCS needs to strengthen the scheme of reservations in public sector procurement. 
  • NCSC should promote subsidised and short-term management training courses for SC entrepreneurs who want to expand and learn new skills. 
  • Members of Scheduled Castes are not usually landowners or agriculturists. So they need help in integrating and competing with local and other markets which can be done by NCSC through mentoring and other non-financial support. 

6. Cultural advancement of Dalits

  • Jobs and schemes and policing are not the only things to improve the social status of Scheduled Castes 
  • Cultural advancement of Dalits using new and old media is needed to break stereotypes regarding SCs 
  • NCSC can reward film-makers/ photographers/ artists whose works reflect Dalit concerns or Dalit pride. 
  • NCSC can also work with I&B Ministry to fund a TV series that portrays the challenges that Dalits face in a sensitive and engaging way. 

Conclusion 

Tasks of the National Commission for SCs should be reimagined to make it a transformative agency for the Dalit community 

Connecting the dots:

  • National Commission for Scheduled Tribes 
  • Issue of reservation in Promotions

(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) New START treaty is associated with –

  1. India and Sri Lanka
  2. India and Israel
  3. US and Russia
  4. US and China

Q.2) Consider the following

  1. National Commission for SCs and STs were separated into two bodies by 89th Constitutional Amendment Act
  2. National Commission for SCs consists of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and three other members appointed by the Parliament

Select the correct statements

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.3) Which one among the below given bodies is not a statutory body?

  1. National Commission for SCs/STs
  2. National Commission for Women
  3. National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
  4. National Commission for Backward Classes

ANSWERS FOR 24th July 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1  D 
2  A
3  A 
4  D 


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