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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 14 June 2022

 

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 2:

1. Section 33(7) of the Representation of People’s Act.

2. National e-Governance Service Delivery Assessment 2021 Report.

3 . The ‘war on drugs’.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. What is Web 5.0?

2. What are virtual digital assets?

3. Enforcement Directorate.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Turban Day Act.


Section 33(7) of the Representation of People’s Act:

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

 

Context:

Recently, the Election Commission of India asked the Union Law Ministry to consider limiting the seats from which a candidate can contest to just one.

 

Who has the power in this regard?

Constitution allows the Parliament to make provisions in all matters relating to elections to the Parliament and State Legislatures.

In accordance, the Parliament has enacted the following laws:

  1. Representation of the People Act 1950.
  2. Representation of the People Act 1951.
  3. Delimitation Commission Act of 1952.

 

Section 33(7) of RPA 1951:

Section 33(7) of the Representation of People’s Act permits a candidate to contest any election (Parliamentary, State Assembly, Biennial Council, or bye-elections) from up to two constituencies.

  • The provision was introduced in 1996 prior to which there was no bar on the number of constituencies from which a candidate could contest.
  • Section 70 bars candidates from representing two constituencies in the Lok Sabha/state.

 

Why candidates should be barred from contesting from more than one seat?

  • One person, one vote & one candidate, one constituency is the dictum of democracy. However, as per the law, as it stands today, a person can contest the election for the same office from two constituencies simultaneously.
  • When a candidate contests from two seats, it is imperative that he has to vacate one of the two seats if he wins both. This, apart from the consequent unavoidable financial burden on the public exchequer, government manpower and other resources for holding bye-election is also an injustice to the voters of the constituency which the candidate is quitting from.

 

Alternative suggested by the Election commission:

The ECI has alternatively suggested that if existing provisions are retained then the candidate contesting from two seats should bear the cost of the bye-election to the seat that the contestant decides to vacate in the event of his/her winning both seats. The amount in such an event could be Rs 5 lakh for assembly election and Rs 10 lakh for parliament election.

 

SC’s views:

The Supreme Court had in December 2017 issued notices seeking replies from the Election Commission and the Centre on the issue. At the time, the Supreme Court had said the practice of one candidate contesting multiple seats was a drain on the exchequer since it necessitated bypolls. A petition has also been filed in the Supreme Court challenging Section 33(7).

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Representation of People’s Act.
  2. Section 33(7) of RPA.
  3. Laws related to Contesting in more than one constituency.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Section 33(7) of RPA.

Sources: the hindu.

National e-Governance Service Delivery Assessment 2021 Report:

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: Governance Related issues.

 

Context:

The second edition of the National e-Governance Service Delivery Assessment 2021 was released recently.

 

About the National e-Governance Service Delivery Assessment (NeSDA):

  • Constituted in 2019 by the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG).
  • It is a biennial study that assesses States, Union Territories (UTs), and focuses on Central Ministries on the effectiveness of e-Governance service delivery.

 

Criteria:

  • NeSDA 2021 covers services across seven sectors – Finance, Labour & Employment, Education, Local Governance & Utility Services, Social Welfare, Environment and Tourism sectors.
  • The assessment covered 56 mandatory services for each States & UTs and 27 services for the focus Central Ministries.

 

Performance of various states:

  1. Among the North-East and Hill States, Meghalaya and Nagaland are the leading State Portals with an overall compliance of more than 90% across all assessment parameters.
  2. Among Union Territories, Jammu & Kashmir ranked the highest with an overall compliance of nearly 90%.
  3. Among the Remaining States, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh had a compliance of more than 85%.
  4. Amongst all the States and UTs, Kerala had the highest overall compliance score.

 

Current Affairs

 

Ranking of central ministries:

  1. Among the focused Central Ministries, Home Affairs, Rural Development, Education, and Environment, Forest & Climate Change are the leading Ministry Portals with an overall compliance of more than 80% across all assessment parameters.
  2. The Ministry Portal of Home Affairs had the highest overall compliance score.
  3. The Central Public Procurement Portal, Digital Police Portal, and Bhavishya Portal are the leading Ministry Services Portals with an overall compliance of more than 85% across all assessment parameters.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. National e-Governance Service Delivery Assessment (NeSDA).
  2. NeSDA 2021 – Highlights.
  3. NeSDA – Criteria.

Mains Link:

What is good governance? Discuss.

 

Q. 1) Consider the following statements:

  1. National e-Governance Service Delivery Assessment (NeSDA) was Constituted in 2019 by the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG).
  2. It is a biennial study.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only.
  2. 2 only.
  3. Both.
  4. None.

Sources: the Hindu.

The ‘war on drugs’:

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

Context:

When British Columbia decriminalizes small amounts of some illicit drugs next year, Canada will join a growing number of countries that have taken strides toward removing penalties for drug use.

  • Canada recently decided that from Jan. 31, adults in B.C. will be allowed to possess up to 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA — a signal it will treat addiction as a mental health issue rather than a judicial one.

 

The Portuguese model:

Back in 2001, faced with a crisis of heroin overdose deaths, Portugal became the first country in the world to decriminalize the possession and use of all illegal drugs.

  • Instead of sending people to court for drug possession, its model focuses on education, treatment and harm reduction.

 

Significance of the move:

Canada’s move is the latest among the series of policy tweaks that are being either contemplated or executed by different countries to re-adjust their response in the ongoing global ‘war on drugs’.

 

What is the ‘war on drugs’?

In 1961, the UN had passed the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs which sought to prohibit the production and supply of various substances through international cooperation.

  • This marked the beginning of a global campaign to eradicate the use of illicit drugs and its production, called the ‘War on Drugs’.
  • The campaign believed that prohibition of drugs would reduce consumption.

 

Present scenario:

  • In a 2011 report, the Global Commission on Drug Policy stated, “The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world.”
  • The report claimed that in the period that such a campaign has been in play, the global market of illegal drugs has not been curtailed, but in reality has grown.

 

World Drug Report 2021:

  • Around 275 million people used drugs globally in the last year. Over 36 million people suffered from drug use disorders.
  • Rise in the use of cannabis during the pandemic has been reported by most countries.
  • Non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs has also been observed in the same period.
  • The latest global estimates say, about 5.5 per cent of the population between 15 and 64 years have used drugs at least once in the past year.
  • Over 11 million people globally are estimated to inject drugs – half of them have Hepatitis C.
  • Opioids continue to account for the largest burden of disease-linked to drug abuse.

 

Major Reasons for Drug Abuse:

  1. To be accepted by the peers.
  2. Increasing economic stress.
  3. Changing cultural values.
  4. Experimentation.
  5. Neurotic pleasure.
  6. Ineffective Policing.

 

Drug abuse cases and numbers in India:

  • According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s Crime in India 2020 report, a total of 59,806 cases were lodged under NDPS Act.
  • In 2019, there were 3.1 crore cannabis users and 2.3 crore opioid users.

 

Current Affairs

 

Indian Government has taken several policy and other initiatives to deal with drug trafficking problem:

  1. The ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’ or a ‘Drugs-Free India Campaign’ was flagged off on 15th August 2020 across 272 districts of the country found to be most vulnerable based on the data available from various sources.
  2. Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has begun implementation of a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for 2018-2025.
  3. The government constituted the Narco-Coordination Centre (NCORD) in November, 2016.
  4. The government has constituted a fund called “National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse” to meet the expenditure incurred in combating illicit traffic in Narcotic Drugs; rehabilitating addicts, and educating the public against drug abuse, etc.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About UNODC.
  2. Overview of scheme of “Financial Assistance to States for Narcotics Control”.
  3. Composition of Narco-Coordination Centre (NCORD).

Mains Link:

India is vulnerable to narcotic drug trafficking. Critically examine its causes. Also comment on the role of Government in combating drug problem.

 

Q. 2) Consider the following statements:

  1. The ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’ was launched in 2020.
  2. The government constituted the Narco-Coordination Centre (NCORD) in 2016.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only.
  2. 2 only.
  3. Both.
  4. None.

Sources: Indian Express.

What is Web 5.0?

GS Paper 3:

Syllabus: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

 

Context:

Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently announced his vision for a new decentralized web platform that is being called Web 5.0.

  • The aim is to return “ownership of data and identity to individuals”.

 

What do the terms Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 mean?

Web 1.0 is the “read-only Web,” Web 2.0 is the “participative social Web,” and Web 3.0 is the “read, write, execute Web.”

  • Web 1.0. Web 1.0 was all about reading, and getting information.
  • Web 2.0 was all about reading, writing, and creating. So, users joined social platforms, and these platforms got big because of this created content.
  • Web 3.0 is all about reading, writing and owning. So, builders and creators can now own a piece of their own community, through NFTs, tokens etc.

 

 

What is Web 5.0?

Being developed by Dorsey’s Bitcoin business unit, The Block Head (TBH).

  • Simply put, Web 5.0 is Web 2.0 plus Web 3.0 that will allow users to ‘own their identity’ on the Internet and ‘control their data’.
  • Both Web 3.0 and Web 5.0 envision an Internet without threat of censorship – from governments or big tech, and without fear of significant outages.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Web 5.0?
  2. Differences between Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0.
  3. What is the internet of things?

Mains Link:

What is web 5.0? Discuss its significance.

 

Q. 3) Consider the following statements:

  1. Web 1.0 is the read-only Web.
  2. Web 2.0 is the participative social Web.
  3. Web 3.0 is the read, write, execute Web.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only.
  2. 2 only.
  3. Both.
  4. None.

Sources: Indian Express.

What are virtual digital assets?

GS Paper 3:

Syllabus: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

 

Context:

The government has clarified that the TDS on virtual digital assets continues to be 1%.

  • The clarification from the Income Tax comes after some media reports mentioned that the TDS rate for virtual digital assets has been dropped to 0.1% from 1% as announced earlier in the budget.

 

What is 1% TDS on crypto trade?

Following the 30% taxation on the gains arising from the cryptocurrency assets, the Centre will implement the 1% TDS on the transfer or consideration of every trade from 1 July, 2022.

  • While the industry players see this move as one of the most controversial provisions over the cryptocurrency taxations, the Centre believes that the new TDS mechanism is used to trace transactions and prevent tax evasion.

 

What is TDS?

TDS is a liability enforced against the exchanges that deposit tax on behalf of sellers on the platform. It will be calculated at 1% of the transaction value.

 

Current Affairs

 

 

Tax on income from virtual digital assets:

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her Budget 2022 speech (February 1), announced a 30 per cent tax on income from virtual digital assets.

  • There has been a phenomenal rise in such transactions and the magnitude and frequency of these transactions have made it imperative to provide for a specific tax regime.

 

What are virtual digital assets and how are they different from digital currency?

In simple words, it basically means cryptocurrencies, DeFi (decentralised finance) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Prima facie, this excludes digital gold, central bank digital currency (CBDC) or any other traditional digital assets, and hence aimed at specifically taxing cryptocurrencies.

 

Does the 30% tax mean crypto assets have been legalised in India?

A tax law can’t make anything legal or illegal—that has to be done via a separate statute.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About CBDC.
  2. What are NFTs?
  3. Cryptocurrencies and their regulation in India.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of blockchain technology.

 

Q. 4) Virtual digital assets include:

  1. DeFi (decentralised finance).
  2. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
  3. digital gold.

Choose the correct answer using the codes given below:

  1. 1 only.
  2. 2 only.
  3. Both.
  4. None.

Sources: Indian Express.

Enforcement Directorate:

GS Paper 3:

Syllabus: Important Security Agencies.

 

Context:

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi recently appeared before the Enforcement Directorate for the second day for questioning in a money-laundering case related to the National Herald newspaper.

 

Current Affairs

 

About Enforcement Directorate:

  1. The origin of this Directorate goes back to 1st May, 1956, when an ‘Enforcement Unit’ was formed, in the Department of Economic Affairs, for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 (FERA ’47).
  2. In the year 1957, this Unit was renamed as ‘Enforcement Directorate’.
  3. Presently, it is part of the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.
  4. The Organization is mandated with the task of enforcing the provisions of two special fiscal laws – Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) and Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).

 

Composition:

Besides directly recruiting personnel, the Directorate also draws officers from different Investigating Agencies, viz., Customs & Central Excise, Income Tax, Police, etc. on deputation.

 

Other functions:

  1. Processing cases of fugitive/s from India under Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.
  2. Sponsor cases of preventive detention under Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974(COFEPOSA) in regard to contraventions of FEMA.

 

Special courts:

For the trial of an offence punishable under section 4 of PMLA, the Central Government (in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court), designates one or more Sessions Court as Special Court(s). The court is also called “PMLA Court”.

  • Any appeal against any order passed by PMLA court can directly be filed in the High Court for that jurisdiction.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is FEMA?
  2. What is PMLA?
  3. What is COFEPOSA?

Mains Link:

How has ED become the weapon of choice today? Discuss.

 

Q. 5) Consider the following statements:

  1. Enforcement Directorate is part of is part of the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.
  2. Any appeal against any order passed by PMLA court can directly be filed in the High Court for that jurisdiction.

Choose the correct answer using the codes given below:

  1. 1 only.
  2. 2 only.
  3. Both.
  4. None.

 Sources: the Hindu.

Facts for Prelims:

Turban Day Act:

Manitoba in Canada has enacted the Turban Day Act.

  • As per this act, April 13 every year will now be celebrated as Turban Day across the province.
  • Manitoba felt it was necessary to have a day that officially recognises the turban as a part of Canada’s diversity and multiculturalism.

Why was April 13 chosen?

The day of Baisakhi or Vaisakhi, which usually falls on April 13 or 14 each year, commemorates the birth of Khalsa Panth. It was on this day in 1699 that the tenth Guru Gobind Singh had laid the foundation of Khalsa Panth at Anandpur Sahib among his followers. Baisakhi is observed as a major festival to celebrate the birth of the Khalsa Panth.

 

Answers to Questions asked Yesterday:

Q.1) C.

Q.2) C.

Q.3) C.

Q.4) C.


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