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SYNOPSIS [2nd JUNE,2021] Day 103: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 1): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1. What are your views on the ongoing controversy related to the implementation of new IT Rules? Discuss.
This question is based on current affairs issues of implementation of new IT rule.In the first part candidate needs to briefly give an overview of new rules.In next part identity the positive and negative repercussions of these rules.At last in conclusion take a view based on the substantiation provided as the question has directive of ‘What are your view’.
The government of India had notified the ‘The Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021’, in February which came into effect on 26th May, 2021. According to these new rules, ‘significant’ intermediaries are required to have a chief compliance officer, a nodal contact person and a grievance officer — all three of whom are required to be residents of India.This has led to some friction between the social media companies like WhatsApp, twitter and others voicing their concerns regarding government overreach, privacy and creativity.
New Guidelines Related to Social Media and OTT platforms.
- Due Diligence To Be Followed By Intermediaries:The Rules prescribe due diligence that must be followed by intermediaries.Failure to do so will lead to doing away pf safe harbour provisions.
- Grievance Redressal Mechanism:It asks social media intermediaries, to establish a grievance redressal mechanism for receiving and resolving complaints from the users or victims.
- Ensuring Online Safety and Dignity of Users, Especially Women Users:Intermediaries shall remove or disable access within 24 hours of receipt of complaints of contents that erodes individual privacy and dignity.
- Enabling Identity of the Originator:Significant social media intermediaries providing services primarily in the nature of messaging shall enable identification of the first originator of the information.Required only for the purposes of prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or punishment of an offence related to sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, or public order.
- Removal of Unlawful Information:An intermediary should not host or publish any information which is prohibited under any law in relation to the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, public order, friendly relations with foreign countries etc.
- Similarly OTT platforms and digital media need to adhere rules to self classification of content ,adhere to press council of India guidelines and and cable tv act for digital news media.Further there is provision for oversight mechanism by Ministry of information and broadcasting.
Need for such rules in Indian context:
- Effective checks and balances: These rules will ensure that social media platforms have to keep better checks and balances over their platforms. This will ensure the data is not shared unlawfully. This will ensure adherence to the rule of law.
- Enhanced accountability: The new IT rules enhance government regulation over social and digital media. This will enhance accountability and prevent arbitrary actions by digital platforms like actions of twitter in case of banning Donald Trumps account and also flagging posts as manipulated media.
- Citizen empowerment: The new IT rules will lead to the empowerment of citizens. Since there is a mechanism for redressal and timely resolution of their grievances.Previously citizens had no option but to go to courts which is very exhaustive process.
- Maintenance of public order: Disinformation (Fake and wrong information) of data can be controlled. Since there is proper regulatory mechanism, disinformation can be removed easily. This will reduce instances of fake news incited violence. Violence linked with fake news in recent times such Muzzafarnagar 2013, Republic day violence at Red fort in 2021 can be handled more efficiently,
- India’s digital imprints: It will strengthen India’s position as a leader in digital policy and technological innovation. For example, China, with its larger digital population, has not been able to provide a fair and open local market for global companies in the digital space due to absence of proper IT Rules and Regulation.
Issues with the new rules :
- No discussion with stakeholders: This has become now a norm as seen with farm laws where there was unwillingness to engage with the stakeholders that matter.The new regulation has come all of sudden in the absence of open and public discussion and without any parliamentary study and scrutiny.
- Concerns over the legal basis: Questions have been raised about the very validity of the rules on technical grounds.The govt has chosen to pass these rules under the requirement to outline the due diligence that Internet intermediaries have to follow in order to be able to claim their qualified legal immunity under Section 79 of the IT Act.These rules at the outset appear unlawful even with respect to whether they could have been issued under the Information Technology Act in the manner chosen by the government.
- Using rule making power to issue primary legislation: The ability to issue rules under a statute — i.e. to frame subordinate legislation — is by its nature a limited, constrained power.The government has made massive changes to the way the internet will work in India, but without having to take the matter to Parliament at all, by amending the rules under pre-existing sections of the law.Critics argue that, with the present Internet content and social media rules, the Union Government has done precisely that.
- Data privacy concerns left unaddressed: In 2019, the government tabled a Personal Data Protection Bill in Parliament. It is yet to be turned into a law.This with provisions to find originator of the content which can lead reduction in privacy needs to be dealt with legislative process especially after Supreme Court judgement in K.S Puttaswamy where it upheld ‘Right to Privacy’ as a Fundamental right.
- The fact that, in 2021, the government is continuing to bring in new regulations regarding the digital space without yet having passed a privacy law reflects its governance priorities.
- With no privacy law insight and new government rules that undermine that fundamental right, citizens ought to be concerned about the way the state is observing all online activity.
India is one of the fastest growing digital market where there has been tremendous rise in number of mobile and internet users over the last decade.In this view the newly implemented Information technology rules were necessary to tackle the negative externalities of digital world such as child pornography, harassment, drug peddling, anti-national elements to keep society safe and secure.However this should not be used by government to curb innovation, privacy, and freedom of expression of Indian citizens.Further as the Delhi high court has said that it is mandatory for social media websites to follow the law of the land therefore all the significant entities should adhere to these new guidelines for the time being.
2. Differentiate between endogenic and exogenic forces. How do these forces affect landform development? Illustrate with the help of suitable examples.
The question is a straight forward one where the candidate needs to bring out the different aspects of endogenic and exogenic forces and how they affect the landform of earth’s surface with help of examples
Endogenic forces (internal) and exogenic forces (external) as the two major geomorphic forces that lead to the earth’s movements and gives shape to the earth’s surface. When these internal and external changes occur continuously, chemical changes and stress are triggered on the surface of the earth, which eventually leads to the formation of uneven terrains.
Difference between Endogenic and exogenic forces.
|Endogenic Forces||Exogenic Forces|
|These are internal forces that exist deep inside the Earth.||These are external forces that operate and act above or on the surface of the Earth.|
|These forces are as ‘constructive forces’ as they create relief features on the surface of the Earth. Thus, they are also known as land building forces.||These forces are ‘destructive forces’ as they result in destruction of the existing landforms through weathering and erosional activities. Thus they are also known as land wearing forces. Nevertheless, these forces also help in filling up (aggradation) of basins/depressions on the earth’s surface|
|Energy emanating from within the earth is the main force behind endogenic forces. This energy is mainly generated by radioactivity, rotation & tidal friction and primordial heat from the origin of earth||The exogenic forces derive their energy from atmosphere determined by the ultimate energy from the sun and also the gradient created by tectonic factors|
|Endogenic forces can result in both slow and/or sudden movements.||Exogenic forces leads mainly to slow movements as compared to endogenic forces.|
|Examples: mountain building forces, continent building forces, earthquakes, volcanism etc.||Examples: Winds, rivers, glaciers etc.|
Landforms formed due to endogenic forces :
1.Landforms due to Upliftment : Raised beaches, elevated wave-cut terraces, sea caves and fossiliferous beds above sea level are evidence of upliftment.
- In India, raised beaches occur at several places along the Kathiawar, Nellore, and Tirunelveli coasts.
- Several places which were on the sea some centuries ago are now a few miles inland due to upliftment.
- For example, Coringa near the mouth of the Godavari, Kaveripattinam in the Kaveri delta and Korkai on the coast of Tirunelveli, were all flourishing seaports about 1,000 to 2,000 years ago.
2.Subsidence : Submerged forests and valleys, as well as buildings, are evidence of subsidence.
- In 1819, a part of the Rann of Kachchh was submerged as a result of an earthquake.
- Presence of peat and lignite beds below the sea level in Tirunelveli and the Sundarbans is an example of subsidence.
- The Andamans and Nicobar’s have been isolated from the Arakan coast by submergence of the intervening land.
- A large part of the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Strait is very shallow and has been submerged in geologically recent times. A part of the former town of Mahabalipuram near Chennai is submerged in the sea.
3.Volcanism: Volcanism includes the movement of molten rock (magma) onto or towards the earth’s surface through narrow volcanic vents or fissures.
- The most obvious landforms created by lava are volcanoes, most commonly as cinder cones, composite volcanoes, and shield volcanoes. Eruptions also take place through other types of vents, commonly from fissures . The eruptions that created the entire ocean floor are essentially fissure eruptions
- For example: Deccan traps of India,Cinder cones of European volcanoes etc.
Landforms formed due to exogenic forces
- Weathering: It is the in-situ breakdown or loosening of surface minerals of rocks after they are exposed to weathering agents such as water, oxygen (air), organic and inorganic chemicals and temperature. Weathering is the event that comes before erosion sets in. Weathering can be further classified as – physical, chemical and biological.
- Example: In Australia, great natural icons such as Uluru (Ayers Rock), the Twelve Apostles and Karlwekarlwe (The Devil’s Marbles), as well as the Grand Canyon in the USA, glacial landscapes in Europe and the huge dune fields of the Sahara Desert in Africa are all examples of weathering and erosion in action
- Erosion and Deposition: is the acquisition and transportation of rock debris by geomorphic agents like running water, the wind, waves, glaciers etc.
- Valleys, Gorges, Canyon are formed due to erosional activity of running water.The picturesque Gorge of Narmada river in peninsula region is prime example.
- Alluvial fans, Flood plains, Oxbow lakes are depositional landforms of surface running water.All these features are visible in the course of Himalayan rivers for example Ganga, Yamuna.
- Stalactites and stalagmites are depositional landforms of ground water which are visible in Ajanta mad Ellora caves.
- Coastal landforms are created by waves and include stacks, stumps, caves, arches, bays, coves, beaches and cliffs visible at beach in Raigad.
- Mass Movements: These movements transfer the mass of rock debris down the slope under the direct influence of gravity. Also called as mass wasting, they are classified into slow movements (creep and solifluction) and rapid movements (mudflow, debris avalanche, landslides).
Therefore Endogenic and Exogenic forces both work relatively in tandem and are responsible for both the creative elements such as beaches, gorges, plateaus and also the destructive elements of earthquake and tsunamis.Thus Both are responsible for the dynamic topography on earth surface
3.What are hot springs? How do hot springs get created? Discuss their global distribution.
The answer needs to define hot spring and then elaborate on how it is formed. It should then mention about the areas where hot spring are generally formed around the world by quoting examples and also focus on hot springs in India to contextualise it.
A hot spring is a spring produced by the emergence of geothermally heated groundwater that rises from the Earth’s crust. While some of these springs contain water that is a safe temperature for bathing, others are so hot that immersion can result in injury or death .Hot springs have immense value from the aspect of tourism and also the future potential to produce geothermal energy.
Mechanism behind hot springs :
- Hot springs commonly occur when rainwater or groundwater is heated by magma underneath Earth’s surface.
- Cracks or faults in the Earth’s surface allow water to flow deeper towards the mantle, where it comes in contact with hot rocks that heat the water. Underground pressure then forces the hot water upwards, back to the Earth’s surface through the same cracks or faults. This type of hot spring usually forms in areas with volcanic activity.
- Hot springs can also be formed when absorbed rainwater is heated underground by the radioactive decay of elements present in the rock.
- If the water becomes so hot that it builds steam pressure and erupts in a jet above the surface of the Earth, it is called a geyser.
- Hot Springs are generally found around volcanoes where the crust of earth is thin which allows underground heated water to rise up.
Popular Hot springs in world:
- K Grand Prismatic Spring. This hot spring is located in Yellowstone National Park. It is the largest hot spring in the world – it is 300 feet (91 meters) wide and 160 feet (49 meters) deep. The spring is called prismatic because it seems to display all the colours of the rainbow. This coloration is caused by the presence of algae and thermophile bacteria.
- Blood Pond. This spring is located in Japan, and the water is bright red in color, resembling blood. The redness is caused literally by rust, as there are high concentrations of iron in the water.
- Jigokudani. Located in Japan’s Nagano Prefecture, this spring is nestled in an area of volcanic activity. It is famous for the snow monkeys that bathe in the hot springs.
- Pamukkale. The word pamukkale means “cotton castle” in the Turkish language. It describes the white, cascading deposits of travertine that beautify this hot spring.
- Hammam Debagh. Located in Algeria, the water from this spring cascades over a cliff. White mineral deposits along the cliff face resemble waterfalls.
- Hot Springs, Arkansas This city in southwest Arkansas was built around a number of hot springs, where bath houses were built to provide supposed health benefits.
Popular Hot springs in India :
- Panamik in Nubra valley: It is the most northern hot spring present in Panamik, a small village near siachen glacier, located at 150 m from town Leh. It is a sulphur hot spring and present at the height 10,442 feet above sea level. It is known for its medicinal properties.
Kheer Ganga hot water spring:Located at Akhara Bazar, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh 175101, it is one of the most picturesque hot spring.
- Manikaran Sahib:It is considered the most sacred hot spring and is a major attraction for several pilgrimage. Like any other hot spring, the hot water which comes deep from the earth core carries away lot of minerals mainly sulfur.Sulfur has a distinct smell which is caused by sulfur dioxide or hydrogen sulfide gas escaping into the air. It is good for curing skin diseases that is why people take bath in Manikaran’s hot water.
- Tattapani: hot water spring:On the bank of river Satluj, this Himalayan town is famous for the hot sulphur springs that erupt near the bank. For years the locals have believed that the water of these springs have miraculous properties and provides relief from joint pains, fatigue and stress.
- Gaurikund: It is located at 2040 mts above sea level and is located on the banks of Mandakini river. On the trek to Kedarnath, Gaurikund is a village situated almost 2000 mts above sea level.Gaurikund is also popular owing to the natural thermal spring in this village which was destroyed after the recent earthquake in the area but a small stream still flow through the village.
- Yumthang : Sikkim is full of amazing hot springs, known for their therapeutic value. High in sulphur content, the waters are believed to have great medicinal properties with the average temperature of the water in these hot springs close to 50c.
- Reshi: Reshi is located on the bank of river Rangeet in Sikkim. It is not very popular among tourists but it is a daily spot for locals. Close to the spot of the hot springs is also Kah-do Sang Phu which is believed to be a sacred cave of the occult fairies.
Thus, Hot Springs are created by peculiar geological reasons and therefore are distributed all over the world were these reasons are favourable.Further these springs have important role in promoting tourism and supporting local economies.Thus Hot springs have both economic and aesthetic importance all over the world.