Insights Daily Current Affairs, 13 May 2017

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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 13 May 2017


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Measures announced by the Government to curb the menace of online Child Sexual Abuse Material

 

Based on the consultations of the Inter-Ministerial Committee, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MEITY) in collaboration with Ministry of Women and Child Development has issued immediate interim measures to curb the menace of Online Child Sexual Abuse Material. MEITY has issued this Order under Section 79(2) (c) of the Information Technology Act 2000 to curb online child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

 

online

Background:

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has been making several efforts to deal with the problem of online Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). In a major step, a stakeholder Consultation was held last year on this issue wherein it was decided that the Ministry will establish a National Alliance against Online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation, focusing primarily on the online content. Subsequent to this decision, an Inter-Ministerial Committee(IMC) was constituted on request of the WCD Ministry. The IMC includes MHA, MEITY, Ministry of Law, Ministry of External Affairs and Department of Telecom.

 

What’s the interim measure?

Under this order, the Internet Service Providers(ISPs) shall be required to adopt and implement the Internet Watch Foundation(IWF) Resources by 31st July 2017. This foundation maintains a dynamic global list of websites and URLs which contain CSAM. Implementation of IWF Resources will result in the relevant content being blocked/removed on an ongoing basis.

 

Way ahead:

This is an interim measure till the IMC puts in place a centralized mechanism to monitor online CSAM. The Order of MEITY also reiterates that the ISPs will continue to observe due diligence requirements described under the IT Act for removing and disabling any content which is in violation of the extant rules and regulations.

 

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

New series WPI, IIP released with base year 2011-12

 

The government has released the new series of WPI and IIP with new base year of 2011-12, a long pending demand of the economists and experts.

 

Need for the new base year:

The Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, revises the base year of the macroeconomic indicators, as a regular exercise, to capture structural changes in the economy and improve the quality and representativeness of the indices. Revisions in the IIP are necessitated to maintain representativeness of the items and producing entities and also address issues relating to continuous flow of production data. In the past, such changes were effected at the time of a revision in the base year.

 

What you need to know?

WPI:

 

wpi

(Published by the Economic Adviser in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.)

  • In the revised series, WPI will continue to constitute three major groups namely primary articles, fuel & power and manufactured products. There is increase in number of items from 676 to 697. In all 199 new items have been added and 146 old items have been dropped.
  • In the new series of WPI, prices used for compilation do not include indirect taxes in order to remove impact of fiscal policy. This is in consonance with international practices and will make the new WPI conceptually closer to ‘Producer Price Index’, the government said.
  • A new “WPI Food Index” will be compiled to capture the rate of inflation in food items.
  • Seasonality of fruits and vegetables has been updated to account for more months as these are now available for longer duration.
  • Item level aggregates for new WPI are compiled using geometric mean (GM) following international best practice and as is currently used for compilation of All India CPI.
  • The government has also set up a high-level technical review committee for dynamic review in order to keep pace with the changing structure of the economy.

 

IIP:

(It is compiled and published monthly by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) six weeks after the reference month ends.)

  • To facilitate a dynamic revision of the item list of products and the panel of factories, a technical review committee has been set up. The committee will be chaired by secretary, ministry of statistics & programme implementation. According to the govenrment release, the committee will meet at least once a year for identifying new items that need to be included in the item basket and removing those that have lost its relevance in the industrial sector or are no longer being produced.
  • The new IIP series has a total of 809 items occurring in the manufacturing sector in the item basket (405 item groups), where 149 new items have been added and 124 items have been deleted from the 2004-05 series. The earlier series had 620 items (397 item groups) in the manufacturing sector.
  • The growth rates of the old and new series are not strictly comparable, the government press release said.
  • In the new series, there has been an increase in number of factories in panel for reporting data and closed ones have been removed.
  • The electricity sector now includes data from renewable energy sources. The coverage of the mining sector has undergone a change on account of the MCDR Amendment Rules, 2016.
  • The number of source agencies reporting data for compilation of IIP in the new series will be 14 as compared to 15 in the current series. This is on account of the fact that data on ‘Iodised Salt’ in the new series will be provided by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

 

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

 

Northern Zonal Council meeting

 

The 28th meeting of the Northern Zonal Council consisting of the States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Union Territory of Chandigarh was recently held at Chandigarh under the Chairmanship of Shri Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister.

  • The Zonal Council discussed and deliberated upon 18 items of common interest among the member states. The major items discussed were ‘Need for fiscal and infrastructural harmony in Northern States; Joint efforts for export of fruits, flowers and vegetables from the States; Sharing of Water of various rivers of the region and also hydropower among States.

 

zonal council

What you need to know about zonal councils?

Zonal councils have been established by the Parliament to promote interstate cooperation and coordination. They are statutory bodies established under the States Reorganisation Act 1956 and not constitutional bodies. They are only deliberative and advisory bodies.

 

There are 5 five Zonal councils namely:

  • The Northern Zonal Council, comprising the States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Union Territory of Chandigarh.
  • The Central Zonal Council, comprising the States of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
  • The Eastern Zonal Council, comprising the States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, and West Bengal.
  • The Western Zonal Council, comprising the States of Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli.
  • The Southern Zonal Council, comprising the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry.

 

The North Eastern States i.e. (i) Assam (ii) Arunachal Pradesh (iii) Manipur (iv) Tripura (v) Mizoram (vi) Meghalaya (vii) Sikkim and (viii) Nagaland are not included in the Zonal Councils and their special problems are looked after by the North Eastern Council, set up under the North Eastern Council Act, 1972.

 

Composition:

  • Chairman – The Union Home Minister is the Chairman of each of these Councils.
  • Vice Chairman – The Chief Ministers of the States included in each zone act as Vice-Chairman of the Zonal Council for that zone by rotation, each holding office for a period of one year at a time.
  • Members- Chief Minister and two other Ministers as nominated by the Governor from each of the States and two members from Union Territories included in the zone.
  • Advisers- One person nominated by the Planning Commission (which has been replaced by NITI Ayog now) for each of the Zonal Councils, Chief Secretaries and another officer/Development Commissioner nominated by each of the States included in the Zone.
  • Union Ministers are also invited to participate in the meetings of Zonal Councils depending upon necessity.

 

The main objectives of setting up of Zonal Councils are:

  • Bringing out national integration.
  • Arresting the growth of acute State consciousness, regionalism, linguism and particularistic tendencies.
  • Enabling the Centre and the States to co-operate and exchange ideas and experiences.
  • Establishing a climate of co-operation amongst the States for successful and speedy execution of development projects.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

 

India to learn from London transport

 

India is set to draw on the lessons from the strong public transport system in place in London under an MoU signed recently between Transport for London (TfL) and India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

 

london

Key facts:

  • The agreement will involve sharing expertise on the mobility and efficiency of India’s transportation systems, as well as around logistical issues such as planning and delivery.
  • It will also cover TfL’s experience in ticketing, providing information, financing and infrastructure maintenance work, as well as promotion of the use of public transport.
  • Other areas of cooperation in the future were likely to include innovation around buses, including electric buses, and the use of water transport in urban centres.

 

Background:

London’s transport system is considered one of the best equipped in the world, deploying a wide range of options from the Underground train network to an extensive bus network, the Dockland Light Railway, trams, ferries and even a cable car. During the visit, Mr. Gadkari was given a presentation on strategy and policy reforms around the bus system, as well as other forms of transport.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate. 

 

Officials from Arctic nations to meet amid drilling concerns

 

High-level officials from the world’s eight Arctic nations are meeting in Alaska amid concerns about the future of the sensitive region after United States President Donald Trump called for more oil drilling and development.

  • No formal discussions were set in Alaska on key issues such as climate change, development and drilling. But those issues will provide a backdrop as the chairmanship of the council passes from the US to Finland.

alaska_siberia

What is the Arctic Council?

The Arctic Council is an advisory body that promotes cooperation among member nations and indigenous groups. Its focus is on sustainable development and environmental protection of the Arctic.

 

What it does?

It does not make policy or allocate resources, and its decisions must be unanimous. In terms of being a reflection of a nation’s priorities, it can only go so far since all eight have to agree to the same thing.

 

Composition:

  • Eight member countries constitute the council: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States as these are the eight countries with sovereignty over the lands within the Arctic Circle.
  • Observer status is open to non-Arctic states approved by the Council at the Ministerial Meetings that occur once every two years. Observers have no voting rights in the Council. Presently, there are 12 observer states including India and China.

 

Sources: the hindu.


  

Facts for Prelims:

 

Florence Nightingale Awards:

  • The President recently conferred Florence Nightingale Awards to 35 Nurses.
  • The Florence Nightingale awards are given to the outstanding nursing personnel employed in Central, State/UTs.
  • Nurses working in Government, Voluntary Organizations, Mission institutions and the private institutions can apply with the due recommendation of concerned State Government.
  • The Florence Nightingale Awards carries Rs.50,000/- cash, a certificate, a citation certificate and a Medal.

 

Derby Air-to-Air Beyond Visual Range Missile:

  • Tejas, the Light Combat Aircraft successfully demonstrated an Air-to-Air Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile firing capability by releasing Derby Air-to-Air BVR missile in RADAR guided mode.
  • The missile launch was performed in Lock ON after Launch mode for a BVR target in the look down mode and the target was destroyed.
  • Debry is developed by Israeli defence company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to meet the combat needs of the armed forces.
  • The Derby AAM can be integrated onto a variety of fighter aircraft and Mirage and is capable of engaging aerial threats from short ranges and near-beyond visual range. Derby can also be configured as a surface-to-air missile (SAM).

 

In news- Zoji La:

  • The Srinagar-Leh highway connecting Ladakh region with the rest of Jammu and Kashmir has been officially re-opened for traffic.
  • The over 500-km highway passes through the Zojila Pass — 3,528 metres above the mean sea level — which remains annually closed during winter months as it receives heavy snowfall. Zoji La pass, located o NH 1D connects a valley of Kashmir with Ladakh.