The Union Home Ministry on Tuesday issued orders to suspend Internet in some areas in Delhi under a rarely used provision of a British-era Act.
What is Telegraph Act?
- The Indian Telegraph Act came into power in 1883. Its objective was to provide the Central Government with the power to maintain telegraph, telephones, radio communications etc.
- The act provides GoI jurisdiction to set-up, maintain, operate, sanction license and to oversee wired and wireless communications within Indian territory.
- The act gives power to law enforcement agencies to do communications surveillance and even tap phone lines.
- In exercise of the powers conferred by section 7 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, the Central Government can make certain rules to regulate the temporary suspension of telecom services due to public emergency or public safety. These rules are called the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017.
- Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 allows central and state governments to prevent the transmission of messaging during a “public emergency or in the interest of public safety”, or “in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state”.
The Supreme Court has decided to examine a petition seeking the framing of guidelines outlining the broad regulatory paradigm within which the right to free speech of broadcasters and electronic media can be judicially regulated.
- Indian Constitution guarantees its citizens freedom of speech and expression under Article 19.
- Freedom of press is not separately protected by the law, but it is protected under article 19(1) (a) of the constitution. The article says: "All citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression".
- Freedom of press is not absolute. There are reasonable restrictions under article 19(2):
- Matters related to interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India
- the security of the State
- friendly relations with foreign States
- public order
- decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court
- defamation or incitement to an offence.
Regulations of Digital media
- The government has put digital/online media platforms, films release on OTT, and audio-visual programs, under the regulatory framework of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
- These regulations added 2 new categories:
- Films and Audio-Visual programmes made available by online content providers
- News and Current Affairs on online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- News Broadcasters Association (NBA) regulates news channels
- Press Council of India monitors the print media
- Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) regulates film
- Advertising Standards Council of India regulates advertising
Need for regulation
- Video streaming platforms have become key distributors for entertainment content like movies, series etc during the lockdown period.
- This have increased their subscribers in India tremendously. But, unlike other media platforms, they do not require any certification before releases.
Need for regulating digital/social media platforms
- The influence of digital/social Media to is huge compare to print and other media these days.
- Electronic media in India is regulated under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act. However, there is no law or body to regulate digital content.
- Our country has witnessed a surge in the number of fake news items in circulation recently, especially on WhatsApp and Facebook.
- Absence of a regulatory framework in digital/ social media leads to large scale user-generated content which is unregulated
- Fake information that circulates on WhatsApp has led many lynching and other violence in our country.
Trump impeachment goes to Senate
Impeachment of President in USA:
- The USA legislature (Congress) of the United States consists of two houses:
- The Senate, in which each state, regardless of its size, is represented by two senators.
- House of Representatives, to which members are elected on the basis of population.
- The USA Constitution states that the President can be removed for conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanour.
- The House of Representatives (Lower House) has the “the sole power of impeachment” while the Senate (Upper House) has “the sole power to try all impeachments”.
- The Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court has the duty of presiding over impeachment trials in the Senate.
- First, there is an investigation by a House committee. If they realise there is enough evidence of wrongdoing, it will refer the issue to the House.
- When the full House votes, if one or more of the articles of impeachment gets a majority vote, the President is impeached. Then, the proceedings move to the Senate.
- The Senate holds a trial, overseen by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. A team of lawmakers from the House, known as managers, play the role of prosecutors. The President has defence lawyers, and the Senate serves as the jury. If at least two-thirds of the Senators present find the President guilty, he is removed, and the Vice President takes over as President.
India - UNSC Permanent seat
India has said that the UN Security Council is ﬁnding itself unable to act eﬀectively to address increasingly complex issues of international peace and security as it lacked inclusivity of those who need to be members of UNSC.
What are India’s claims?
- India is home to one-sixth of the global population.
- India is one of the founding members of the U.N.
- India made significant contribution for the UN Peace Keeping Force.
- India is an emerging economic power.
- An independent foreign policy which is very often not in sync with that of the five permanent members of UNSC (P5). Ex.: At first, India opposed authorising the use of force in Libya and then abstained from voting on the matter.
- A substantially increasing international clout.
- Victory at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) election in which the UK lost for the first time.
- International day of Yoga which was celebrated by 177 countries.
- India, Germany, Japan and Brazil together became G4 to voice a collective campaign for UNSC membership.
China’s constant disapproval:
- Diplomats have blamed China for having quietly carried out a campaign to stop India’s efforts at the UNSC.
- Apart from its own economic and territorial aspirations, this is also in support to its all-weather ally Pakistan.
The Indian Express Explained
Understanding BBV154, Bharat Biotech’s single-dose intranasal vaccine for Covid-19.
Intranasal vaccines, like Covid-19 vaccine BBV154, cut down on the need for syringes, needles and other components like alcohol swabs, as they are not injected.
What is an intranasal vaccine?
Intranasal vaccines, the solution is squirted or sprayed into the nostrils and inhaled instead of injecting it.
What are the benefits to an intranasal vaccine during a pandemic?
Intranasal vaccines cut down on the need for syringes, needles and other components like alcohol swabs, as they are not injected.
According to Bharat Biotech, BBV154 is non-invasive, eliminates needle-associated injuries and infections and is easy to administer, as it also does not require trained healthcare workers.
How many people will be tested in early-stage trials? What are the expert body’s recommendations?
- On January 18, a Subject Expert Committee (SEC) under the Indian drug regulator looked at Bharat Biotech’s animal testing data as well as its protocol to conduct phase 1/2 clinical trials of BBV154.
- After detailed deliberations, the SEC recommended that the company would have to conduct phase 1 clinical trials using 75 volunteers and submit safety and immunogenicity data for the committee’s consideration before it proceeds to the second phase of the trial. The firm would have to revise its protocol accordingly.
How CSR expenditure rules have changed for Indian companies
Recently ministry of corporate affairs amended the rules for the corporate social responsibility for Indian companies.
The Corporate Affairs Ministry has amended the rules for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenditure by India Inc
- To allow companies to undertake multi-year projects,
- Requirement that all CSR implementing agencies be registered with the government
How do the new rules enable corporations to undertake multi-year CSR projects?
- All companies with a net worth of Rs 500 crore or more, a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore or more, or net profit of Rs 5 crore or more, are required to spend 2 per cent of their average profits of the previous three years on CSR activities every year.
- The amended CSR rules allow companies to set off CSR expenditure above the required 2 per cent expenditure in any fiscal year against required expenditure for up to three financial years.
What are other key changes?
The amended rules require that any corporation with a CSR obligation of Rs 10 crore or more for the three preceding financial years would be required to hire an independent agency to conduct impact assessment of their entire project with outlays of Rs 1 crore or more. Companies will be allowed to count 5 per cent of the CSR expenditure for the year up to Rs 50 lakh on impact assessment towards CSR expenditure.
The Hindu Editorial Analysis.
We’re Not All In The Same Boat
Paying women for domestic and care work is recognition of their efforts but may not reduce and redistribute their burden.
#GS -2 #Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
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.
- Is that the electoral promise of paying women for closing domestic work and care work a progressive public policy?
- Recognition the women efforts however might not cut back and distribute their burden.
Disproportionate burden of labor among woman:
- Women bear a disproportionately high burden of unpaid domestic work and care work in India.
- The all-India Time Use Survey (2019) says that eighty two of females (six years and above) as against pure gold of males from Tamil Nadu participate in unpaid domestic work.
- The massive inequality persists albeit we glance at the people of 15-59 years: 90th of females and 24% of males participate in domestic work.
- The same inequality prevails at the all-India level as well: 81% of females (six years and above) and 26% of males participate in unpaid domestic work.
- The data suggest that females bear quite eighty three of the burden of domestic and care work each in Tamil Nadu and india.
- Cultural values, restricted role as homemaker with standing of mother, sister and better half
- Partnership and industries, not thought-about capable enough to handle it.
- Gender equality studied in isolation, The crime against boys and men go unreported, even this cluster ought to be studied.
- The laws created are gender biased instead of gender neutral laws.
- Hardly any steps for political illustration of girls
- Gender exploitation in unorganized sector go unrecorded.
- Study restricted to girls authorization instead of youth authorization.
HOW to Insure Gender Equality:
- Triple-R,(recognition, reduce, redistribute) that's ‘recognition’. Paying a wage could be a formal recognition of the actual fact that unpaid domestic and care work are not any lower than paid market work.
- The financial reward could be a recognition of their contribution to the well-being of the house and therefore the opportunities forgone by girls.
- The proposal seems progressive, for this reason and thereto live.
- Ways for the advancement of girls ought to be, Higher skill ,More formal education, larger employment chance.
- Opportunities and skills, health and safety, inequality in pay structure and right to come to a decision the scale of their family
Article 243 D – women authorisation within the Domain of Governance
In Governance this difference was visible, when decades of independence. Hence, Article 243 D of the Constitution provides provision of thirty three percent reservation for ladies within the Panchayati dominion establishments and 33 percent of the workplace of chairpersons are going to be reserved for ladies
Gender equality ought to comprehend men and women each. there's a necessity of modification in social group outlook. Men and women ought to respect one another. Real education begins at home. Therefore it's even the duty of parents and lecturers to include healthy values right from the young age.
Roots Of Government-Private Thought Partnerships.
#Gs-3 # Indian Economy
- On January 15, 2021, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) launched the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 3.0.
- This is the third phase of the scheme which was launched in 2015 to give a boost to skilling in the country. In this third version, the government wants to focus on matching local skilling requirements with local job opportunities.
Thrust of PMKVY 3.0
- The thrust of PMKVY 3.0 is on empowering States and districts to implement skilling schemes by making regional-level plans.
- The scheme guidelines state that the scheme shall be implemented in two phases.
- The first is being implemented on a pilot basis during the 2020-21 fiscal year, while simultaneously initiating the creation of an implementation framework for the second phase (2021-2026).
- The foresight and planning evident in the scheme’s guidelines signal the MSDE’s thoughtful approach towards revamping the skilling ecosystem in the years ahead.
- However, any plan of this scale is seldom the work of a few individuals , a department or even a ministry.
- It requires multiple rounds of consultations and co-working with different entities, including collaboration between the government and external partners.
- Over the last few years, there has been increasing evidence of the government and external partners working together on complex policy problems.
- At the more senior level, the government has formalized the induction of private individuals into the system by opening up lateral entry.
- Lower down the hierarchy, several central government ministries and entities, such as NITI Aayog, routinely recruit private individuals as consultants, officers on special duty or young professionals.
- Most of the lateral recruitment in government happens at this level.
- The role of this category of staff is primarily supporting the existing bureaucracy and providing them research and logistical support as and when the need arises.
- Given the staggering vacancies in the central government, such support is critical since civil servants are generally over-burdened and under-resourced.
- Lack of capacity also often becomes evident in suboptimal policy decisions and poor implementation of those policies.
- For the stage of development India is at, it is as critical as it is difficult for the government to take a step back and reflect on how to deliver on its mandate across sectors in the most effective manner.
- If capacity within the government is lacking, it is necessary to leverage the domain knowledge and resources of private individuals and entities to forge thought partnerships.
Pitfalls and solutions:
- These attempts at establishing thought partnerships between the government and private entities, while instructive, are largely disparate and episodic.
- They do not provide the definitive way forward on government-private collaboration. India faces a dearth of scholars and practitioners who are singularly focused on researching and solving India’s problems.
- As such, policy choices made in isolation from the rigorous debate, research and questioning which thought partnerships facilitate, can produce suboptimal results.
- It is therefore in the public interest that more such partnerships are forged and funded to channel external expertise and skills towards finding scalable solutions to the pressing policy challenges the country faces.