InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically
Table of Contents:
GS Paper 1:
1. Good Governance Index 2021.
GS Paper 2:
2. Right to be forgotten.
GS Paper 3:
1. What is tokenisation and why has RBI issued new guidelines?
2. NASA’s DART Mission.
3.Panel to look into AFSPA withdrawal from Nagaland.
Facts for Prelims:
1. Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
2. Golan Heights.
3.110th anniversary of the first time Jana Gana Mana, India’s national anthem was sung publicly.
GS Paper 1:
Topics Covered: Development and related issues.
Good Governance Index 2021 was launched on the occasion of the Good Governance Day (December 25).
About the GGI:
Prepared by the Department of Administration Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG).
- The objectives of GGI are to provide quantifiable data to compare the state of governance in all states and union territories, enable them to formulate and implement suitable strategies for improving governance and shift to result oriented approaches and administration.
The GGI 2021 framework covered 10 sectors and 58 indicators:
- The sectors are agriculture and allied sectors, commerce and industries, human resource development, public health, public infrastructure and utilities, economic governance, social welfare and development, judicial and public security, environment and citizen-centric governance.
The GGI 2020-21 categorizes states and union territories into four categories:
- Other states – Group A; other states – group B; North-East and hill states and union territories.
Performance of various states:
- Gujarat has topped the composite ranking, followed by Maharashtra and Goa.
- As many as 20 states have improved their composite GGI scores in 2021.
- Delhi has topped the union territories category composite ranking.
- Among the sectors, Uttar Pradesh secured top position in the commerce and industry sector.
- In the Northeast and Hill States category, Mizoram, and Jammu and Kashmir have registered an overall increase of 10.4 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively over GGI 2019.
Limitations of the Good Governance Index:
- The limitations of the index are determined largely by the availability of data, which can be overcome with time as data becomes available from authentic and reliable government sources.
- While agreeing the importance of input and process based indicators, the framework is also limited by its focus only on outcome/output based indicators.
Did you know that December 25 is observed as the good governance day to commemorate the birth anniversary of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee?
- About GGI.
- Key features.
- Performance of various states in latest edition of the index.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
- Petitions across courts have been seeking enforcement of this “right” — a legal principle that is not yet backed by statute in India.
What is the right to be forgotten?
It allows a person to seek deletion of private information from the Internet. The concept has found recognition in some jurisdictions abroad, particularly the European Union.
What is the ‘Right to be Forgotten’ in the Indian context?
- The Right to be Forgotten falls under the purview of an individual’s right to privacy, which is governed by the Personal Data Protection Bill that is yet to be passed by Parliament.
- In 2017, the Right to Privacy was declared a fundamental right (under Article 21) by the Supreme Court in its landmark verdict (Puttuswamy case).
- The court said at the time that “the right to privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 and as a part of the freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution”.
Need for its recognition:
At least eight petitions are pending before Delhi High Court seeking removal of private information from the Internet, court records of previous convictions and proceedings, and news reports of past events. Only a few have been able to get that relief from courts so far.
Which countries have such laws?
- European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
- Russia in 2015 enacted a law that allows users to force a search engine to remove links to personal information on grounds of irrelevancy, inaccuracy and violation of law.
- The right to be forgotten is also recognised to some extent in Turkey and Siberia, while courts in Spain and England have ruled on the subject.
- About the Right to be forgotten.
- What is right to privacy?
- Highlights of Personal Data Protection Bill.
Discuss the significance of the right to be forgotten.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Inclusive growth and issues arising out of it.
The Reserve Bank of India has extended the implementation date of card-on-file (CoF) tokenisation norms by six months to June 30, 2022.
- As per new guidelines, online players will have to delete any credit and debit card data stored on their platforms and replace them with token to secure card details of consumers.
Why did the stakeholders want an extension?
While most of the leading banks including SBI, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank are ready for the switchover, other stakeholders — mostly merchants — argue that the systems at their backend are not yet ready to adopt the new regime and had sought further time in putting new norms into effect.
- If implemented in the present state of readiness, the new mandate could cause major disruptions and loss of revenue, especially for merchants.
- Disruptions of this nature erode trust in digital payments and reverses consumer habits back towards cash-based payments.
What is tokenisation?
Tokenisation refers to replacement of actual credit and debit card details with an alternate code called the “token”, which will be unique for a combination of card, token requestor and device.
- A tokenised card transaction is considered safer as the actual card details are not shared with the merchant during transaction processing.
- Customers who do not have the tokenisation facility will have to key in their name, 16-digit card number, expiry date and CVV each time they order something online. This could be cumbersome exercise.
Three steps have to be completed for smooth implementation of tokenization:
- Token provisioning: the consumer’s card number should be convertible into a token, which means the card networks have to be ready with the relevant infrastructure.
- Token processing: Consumers should be able to complete their transaction successfully through the tokens.
- Scale-up for multiple use cases: Consumer should be able to use the token for things like refunds, EMIs, recurring payments, offers, promotions, guest checkouts etc.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Awareness in space.
Just two weeks after its launch, NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft has opened its “eye” and returned its first images from space — a major operational milestone for the spacecraft and DART team.
- DART will reach its target on September 26, 2022.
About DART Mission:
- The main aim of the mission is to test the newly developed technology that would allow a spacecraft to crash into an asteroid and change its course.
- DART is a low-cost spacecraft, weighing around 610 kg at launch and 550 kg during impact.
- It also carries about 10 kg of xenon which will be used to demonstrate the agency’s new thrusters called NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster–Commercial (NEXT-C) in space.
- The spacecraft carries a high-resolution imager called Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical Navigation (DRACO). Images from DRACO will be sent to Earth in real-time and will help study the impact site and surface of Dimorphos.
- DART will also carry a small satellite or CubeSat named LICIACube (Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging of Asteroids). LICIACube is expected to capture images of the impact and the impact crater formed as a result of the collision. It can also capture images of any dust cloud formed during the impact.
Which asteroid will be deflected?
The target of the spacecraft is a small moonlet called Dimorphos (Greek for “two forms”). It is about 160-metre in diameter and the spacecraft is expected to collide when it is 11 million kilometres away from Earth.
Dimorphos orbits a larger asteroid named Didymos (Greek for “twin”) which has a diameter of 780 metres.
The spacecraft will navigate to the moonlet and intentionally collide with it at a speed of about 6.6 kilometres per second or 24,000 kilometres per hour. The collision is expected to take place between September 26 and October 1, 2022.
What are potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs)? Reference: read this.
- What are near earth objects?
- Classification of asteroids.
- Why most asteroids are found in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter?
- What are potentially hazardous asteroids? How are they classified?
- Overview of NASA’s DART Mission.
Differentiate between meteorite and asteroid.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.
The Centre has decided to constitute a committee to study the possibility of withdrawing the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from the State.
- The committee will be headed by the Additional Secretary (Northeast) in the Union Home Ministry and will include Nagaland’s Chief Secretary and Director-General of Police.
- The committee would submit its report within 45 days.
- The withdrawal of the “disturbed area” notification and the AFSPA from Nagaland will be based on the recommendations of the committee.
What’s the issue?
A group of daily wage workers who were returning to their village were killed by 21 Para Commando unit, reportedly after information that some NSCN(K) terrorists were travelling in the area.
Following the killings, the Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had demanded the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
- Rio criticised the Union Government for extending the “disturbed area” tag for Nagaland every year.
- He reminded the Centre of the criticism India had earned globally for the “draconian Act”.
How has the Centre responded to the incident?
A court of enquiry will initiate disciplinary proceedings against the Army unit and Army personnel, who are directly involved in the Oting incident. The identified persons who will face the enquiry will be placed under suspension with immediate effect.
- The State government would provide jobs to the next of kin of the deceased.
- Government jobs will be given on compassionate grounds on the basis of eligibility.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had, in Jube 2021, declared the entire State of Nagaland as a “disturbed area” for six more months under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).
- MHA said the area comprising the whole of Nagaland is in such a “disturbed and dangerous condition” that the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary.
What does the AFSPA mean?
In simple terms, AFSPA gives armed forces the power to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”.
Powers given to armed forces:
- They have the authority to prohibit a gathering of five or more persons in an area, can use force or even open fire after giving due warning if they feel a person is in contravention of the law.
- If reasonable suspicion exists, the army can also arrest a person without a warrant; enter or search premises without a warrant; and ban the possession of firearms.
- Any person arrested or taken into custody may be handed over to the officer in charge of the nearest police station along with a report detailing the circumstances that led to the arrest.
A disturbed area is one which is declared by notification under Section 3 of the AFSPA. An area can be disturbed due to differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.
- The Central Government, or the Governor of the State or administrator of the Union Territory can declare the whole or part of the State or Union Territory as a disturbed area.
Has there been any review of the Act?
On November 19, 2004, the Central government appointed a five-member committee headed by Justice B P Jeevan Reddy to review the provisions of the act in the north eastern states.
- The committee submitted its report in 2005, which included the following recommendations: (a) AFSPA should be repealed and appropriate provisions should be inserted in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967; (b) The Unlawful Activities Act should be modified to clearly specify the powers of the armed forces and paramilitary forces and (c) grievance cells should be set up in each district where the armed forces are deployed.
The 5th report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission on public order has also recommended the repeal of the AFSPA.
Naga killings point to AFSPA pitfalls:
The AFSPA gives the armed forces the licence to kill. And when they carry out such shameful operations without keeping the local police in the loop, as has been the practice for long, it gives the message that the Centre just does not care about the peace process.
Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights vs Union of India- SC’s 1997 verdict laid down guidelines for use of AFSPA:
- The 1997 judgment of a Constitution Bench held that the power under Section 4(a) of the AFSPA to use deadly force should be employed only under “certain circumstances”.
- The court noted that the “power to cause death is relatable to maintenance of public order in a disturbed area and is to be exercised under definite circumstances”.
- These preconditions include a declaration by a high-level authority that an area is “disturbed”. The officer concerned decides to use deadly force on the opinion that it is “necessary” to maintain public order. But he has to give “due warning” first.
- The persons against whom the action was taken by the armed forces should have been “acting in contravention of any law or order for the time being in force in the disturbed area”.
Did you know that in the northeast, the AFSPA is in force in Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, the Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts of Arunachal Pradesh and areas falling within the jurisdiction of eight police stations of the State bordering Assam?
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
Archbishop Desmond Tutu:
South African anti-apartheid icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu, described as the country’s moral compass, died recently.
- He was remembered for his easy humour and characteristic smile — and above all his tireless fight against injustices of all colours.
- The Archbishop won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for combating white minority rule in South Africa.
- He coined the term “Rainbow Nation” to describe South Africa when Nelson Mandela became the country’s first black President in 1994.
- Former U.S. President Barack Obama, the country’s first black leader, hailed Tutu as a “moral compass”.
- South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa called him a man of “extraordinary intellect, integrity and invincibility against the forces of apartheid”.
- The Golan Heights is a rocky plateau with an area of 1,800km² on the border between Israel and Syria in south-western Syria.
- The Golan Heights were captured by Israel from Syria in the 1967 conflict and annexed in 1981 — a move not recognized internationally.
International Recognition of Golan Heights:
- The European Union said its position on the status of the Golan Heights was unchanged and it did not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the area.
- The Arab League, which suspended Syria in 2011 after the start of its civil war has said the move is “completely beyond international law”.
- Egypt, which made peace with Israel in 1979, said it still considers the Golan as occupied Syrian territory.
- India has also not recognized Golan heights as Israel territory and has called for the return of Golan Heights to Syria.
- In 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump has announced that the US may recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
Why in News?
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett recently said the country intends to double the number of settlers living in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights with a multimillion-dollar plan meant to further consolidate Israel’s hold on the territory.
110th anniversary of the first time Jana Gana Mana, India’s national anthem was sung publicly:
- December 27 marks the 110th anniversary of the first time Jana Gana Mana, India’s national anthem was sung publicly at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress in 1911.
- Jana Gana Mana was later adopted as the national anthem by India’s Constituent Assembly on January 24, 1950.
- Rabindranath Tagore composed Bharata Bhagyo Bidhata. The first stanza of it, Jana Gana Mana, is now our national anthem.
Articles to be covered tomorrow:
- Executive shows a trend to disrespect court orders.
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