• Current Affair,16 December 2019

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    1. The Disha Bill
    2. Accessible India Campaign
    3. REGISTRATION OF PRESS AND PERIODICALS BILL, 2019
    4. THE CODE ON SOCIAL SECURITY, 2019
    5. The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019
    6. Virtual Police Station inaugurated at Andhra University
    7. National Symposium of Heads of Police Training Institutions
    8. Veteran Telugu actor and writer Gollapudi Maruti Rao passes away
    9. 7th Economic Census: India’s 1st digital census
    10. Prime Minister chairs first meeting of National Ganga Council
    11. India- Nepal
    12. 36th International Geological Congress 2020
    13. Bangladesh govt publishes list of Pakistan collaborators during 1971 Liberation War
    14. China suspends additional tariffs on US goods after two sides announce major breakthrough in trade war
    15. Rohit Sharma becomes brand ambassador of La Liga in India

    NATIONAL NEWS

    1. Disha Bill

    • The Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly has passed the Andhra Pradesh Disha Bill, 2019 (Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2019).
    • It envisages the completion of investigation in seven days and trial in 14 working days, where there is adequate conclusive evidence, and reducing the total judgment time to 21 days from the existing four months.
    • It prescribes life imprisonment for other sexual offences against children and includes Section 354 F and 354 G in IPC.
    • In cases of harassment of women through social or digital media, the Act states two years imprisonment for the first conviction and four years for second and subsequent convictions.For this, a new Section 354 E will be added in IPC, 1860.
    • As per the Bill, the Andhra Pradesh government will establish, operate and maintain a register in electronic form, to be called the ‘Women & Children Offenders Registry’. This registry will be made public and will be available to law enforcement agencies.
    • The government will establish exclusive special courts in each district to ensure speedy trial.These courts will exclusively deal with cases of offences against women and children including rape, acid attacks, stalking, voyeurism, social media harassment of women, sexual harassment and all cases under the POCSO Act.
    • The government will constitute special police teams at the district level to be called District Special Police Team to be headed by DSP for investigation of offencesrelated to women and children.
    • The government will also appoint a special public prosecutor for each exclusive special court.

    2. Accessible India Campaign 

    • The deadline for the government’s Accessible India Campaign (AIC) has been extended to March 2020 due to slow progress.
    • Accessible India Campaign (AIC) is the nationwide flagship campaign of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
    • The aim of the Campaign is to make a barrier free and conducive environment for Divyangjans all over the country. The campaign has the vision to build an inclusive society in which equal opportunities are provided for the growth and development of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) so that they can lead productive, safe and dignified lives.
    • For creating universal accessibility for Persons with Disabilities, the campaign has been divided into three verticals: Built Environment; Transport and Information & Communication Technology (ICT) ecosystem.
    • Making 50% of all the government buildings of NCT and all the State capitals fully accessible by December 2018.
    • Completing accessibility audit of 50% of government buildings and making them fully accessible in 10 most important cities/towns of States by December 2019.
    • Ensuring that 50% of railway stations in the country are converted into fully accessible railway stations by March 2018.
    • Ensuring that 25% of Government owned public transport carriers in the country are converted into fully accessible carriers by March 2018.
    • Conducting accessibility audit of 50% of all government (both Central and State Governments) websites and converting them into fully accessible websites by March 2017.

     

    1. REGISTRATION OF PRESS AND PERIODICALS BILL, 2019

     

    • The regulation of printing presses and newspapers printed in India and their registration is governed by the „Press and Registration of Books (PRB)Act, 1867‟, as amended from time to time.
    • Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has prepared a draft Bill titled “Registration of Press and Periodicals (RPP)” Bill, 2019” to replace the existing PRB Act,1867. A copy of the draft Bill is attached herewith.
    • The Bill proposes to remove the existing provisions relating to registration of Books and matters connected thereto.
    • The Bill proposes to do away with the existing procedure of furnishing of declaration by publishers/ printers before the District Magistrate and its subsequent authentication.
    • The process of title and registration of periodicals including newspapers is proposed to be effected centrally by the Press Registrar General as a simultaneous process.
    • The Bill enables the Central Government and the State Government to frame appropriate rules/ regulations to regulate the criteria/ conditions for issuing Government advertisements in newspapers, accreditation of newspapers and such other facilities for newspapers.
    • The Bill proposes to have a simple system of registration of e-papers.
    • The Bill proposes to do away with the earlier provision under the PRB Act, 1867 of prosecution of publishers.

     

    1. THE CODE ON SOCIAL SECURITY, 2019

     

    • to amend and consolidate the laws relating to social security of the employees and the matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
    • This Act may be called the Code on Social Security, 2019. (2) It extends to the whole of India. (3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint; and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Code and any reference in any such provision to the commencement of this Code shall be construed as a reference to the coming into force of that provision.
    • The applicability of the Chapters specified in columns (1) and (2) of the First Schedule shall, without prejudice to the applicability of the other provisions of this Code, be such as is specified in corresponding entry in column (3) of that Schedule. (5) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (4), where it appears to the Central Provident Fund Commissioner whether on an application made to him by the employer of an establishment or otherwise, that the employer and majority of employees of that establishment have agreed that the provisions of Chapter III should be made applicable to that establishment, the Central Provident Fund Commissioner, may, by notification, apply the provisions of the said Chapter to that establishment on and from the date of such agreement or from any subsequent date specified in the agreement. (6) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (4), where it appears to the Director General of the Corporation, whether on an application made to him by the employer of an establishment or otherwise, that the employer and majority of employees of that establishment have agreed that the provisions of Chapter IV should be made applicable to that establishment, the Director General of the Corporation, may, by notification, apply the provisions of the said Chapter to that establishment on and from the date of such agreement or from any subsequent date specified in the agreement. (7) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (4), an establishment to which any Chapter applies at the first instance shall continue to be applied thereafter even if the number of employees therein at any subsequent time falls below the threshold specified in the First Schedule in respect of that Chapter.
    1. The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019

     

    • The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, on December 11, 2019. The Bill seeks to provide for protection of personal data of individuals, and establishes a Data Protection Authority for the same.
    • Applicability: The Bill governs the processing of personal data by: (i) government, (ii) companies incorporated in India, and (iii) foreign companies dealing with personal data of individuals in India. Personal data is data which pertains to characteristics, traits or attributes of identity, which can be used to identify an individual.  The Bill categorises certain personal data as sensitive personal data.  This includes financial data, biometric data, caste, religious or political beliefs, or any other category of data specified by the government, in consultation with the Authority and the concerned sectoral regulator.
    • Obligations of data fiduciary: A data fiduciary is an entity or individual who decides the means and purpose of processing personal data. Such processing will be subject to certain purpose, collection and storage limitations.  For instance, personal data can be processed only for specific, clear and lawful purpose.  Additionally, all data fiduciaries must undertake certain transparency and accountability measures such as: (i) implementing security safeguards (such as data encryption and preventing misuse of data), and (ii) instituting grievance redressal mechanisms to address complaints of individuals.  They must also institute mechanisms for age verification and parental consent when processing sensitive personal data of children.
    • Rights of the individual: The Bill sets out certain rights of the individual (or data principal). These include the right to: (i) obtain confirmation from the fiduciary on whether their personal data has been processed, (ii) seek correction of inaccurate, incomplete, or out-of-date personal data, (iii) have personal data transferred to any other data fiduciary in certain circumstances, and (iv) restrict continuing disclosure of their personal data by a fiduciary, if it is no longer necessary or consent is withdrawn.
    • Grounds for processing personal data: The Bill allows processing of data by fiduciaries only if consent is provided by the individual. However, in certain circumstances, personal data can be processed without consent.  These include: (i) if required by the State for providing benefits to the individual, (ii) legal proceedings, (iii) to respond to a medical emergency.
    • Social media intermediaries: The Bill defines these to include intermediaries which enable online interaction between users and allow for sharing of information. All such intermediaries which have users above a notified threshold, and whose actions can impact electoral democracy or public order, have certain obligations, which include providing a voluntary user verification mechanism for users in India.
    • Data Protection Authority: The Bill sets up a Data Protection Authority which may: (i) take steps to protect interests of individuals, (ii) prevent misuse of personal data, and (iii) ensure compliance with the Bill. It will consist of a chairperson and six members, with at least 10 years’ expertise in the field of data protection and information technology.  Orders of the Authority can be appealed to an Appellate Tribunal.  Appeals from the Tribunal will go to the Supreme Court.
    • Transfer of data outside India: Sensitive personal data may be transferred outside India for processing if explicitly consented to by the individual, and subject to certain additional conditions. However, such sensitive personal data should continue to be stored in India.  Certain personal data notified as critical personal data by the government can only be processed in India.
    • Exemptions: The central government can exempt any of its agencies from the provisions of the Act: (i) in interest of security of state, public order, sovereignty and integrity of India and friendly relations with foreign states, and (ii) for preventing incitement to commission of any cognisable offence (i.e. arrest without warrant) relating to the above matters. Processing of personal data is also exempted from provisions of the Bill for certain other purposes such as: (i) prevention, investigation, or prosecution of any offence, or (ii) personal, domestic, or (iii) journalistic purposes.  However, such processing must be for a specific, clear and lawful purpose, with certain security safeguards.
    • Offences: Offences under the Bill include: (i) processing or transferring personal data in violation of the Bill, punishable with a fine of Rs 15 crore or 4% of the annual turnover of the fiduciary, whichever is higher, and (ii) failure to conduct a data audit, punishable with a fine of five crore rupees or 2% of the annual turnover of the fiduciary, whichever is higher.  Re-identification and processing of de-identified personal data without consent is punishable with imprisonment of up to three years, or fine, or both.
    • Sharing of non-personal data with government: The central government may direct data fiduciaries to provide it with any: (i) non-personal data and (ii) anonymised personal data (where it is not possible to identify data principal) for better targeting of services.
    • Amendments to other laws: The Bill amends the Information Technology Act, 2000 to delete the provisions related to compensation payable by companies for failure to protect personal data.

     

    1. Virtual Police Station inaugurated at Andhra University

      

    • Chief Minister S. Jagan Mohan Reddyinaugurated the Virtual Police Station at Andhra University. This is the first such facility in the State of Andhra Pradesh.
    • The AU facility is seen as a pilot project and will later be replicated at other educational institutions. The initiative is expected to help bridge the gap between students and the police department
    • The Virtual Police Station has been set up on the suggestion of Andhra University’s Vice-Chancellor to make it easy for students to report their grievances.

     

    1. National Symposium of Heads of Police Training Institutions

    • The 37th National Symposium of Heads of Police Training Institutionsheld in New Delhi. It Symposium was organized by Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D).
    • The themeof the Symposium was ‘Optimal Utilization of Resources-Through Sharing and Networking’.
    • A Directory of Indian Police Training Institutions (DIPTI) which has information on the resources of around 300 Police training institutions all over the country, was also released during the event.

     

    1. Veteran Telugu actor and writer Gollapudi Maruti Rao passes away

    • Former Nandi Award winner and renowned Telugu actorand writer Gollapudi Maruti Rao passed away recently. He enthralled people with his writings and acting for several decades and also acted in around 250 films in about four decades.
    • He was a multi-faceted personality as he was a journalist, playwright, writer, actor and television personality.
    • Some of his memorable films as an actor include ‘Intlo Ramayya, Veedhilo Krishnayya’, ‘Challenge’, ‘Samsaram oka Chadarangam’, ‘Aditya 369’ and ‘Leader’.
    1. 7th Economic Census: India’s 1st digital census 

    • 7thedition of the Economic Census was launched in New Delhi.
    • To carry out the economic census, Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MoSPI) tied up with Common Service Centres Network (CSCN). CSC is an SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) under Ministry of Electronics and IT(MeitY).
    • It is for the first time the census is being conducted in digital platform named ICT (Information and Communication Technology).
    • Delhi is the 26th statewhere the survey has been launched. The survey process is already on in 20 states and 5 UTs (Union Territories).
    • ICT:The digital platform ICT which is used for the first time will provide high accuracy and data security. The ICT is being used for data capture, validation, report generation and dissemination. It will also help in faster analysis of the data
    • It is for the first time the census is being conducted on digital platform named ICT (Information and Communication Technology). Digital platform has reduced time of survey to 6 months from 2 years earlier.
    • Delhi is the 26th statewhere the survey has been launched. The survey process is already on in 20 states and 5 UTs (Union Territories).
    • ICT:The digital platform ICT which is used for the first time will provide high accuracy and data security. The ICT is being used for data capture, validation, report generation and dissemination. It will also help in faster analysis of the data.
    • Time duration: The entire census process in which survey of around 45lakh establishments and households will be done, would be completed in around 3 months.
    • Over 1.5 lakh trained enumerators have been deployed for the Pan-India survey. The fieldwork of the census started in June 2019.
    • CSC head:The head of operations of CSC is Mr Nepal Chandra Sen.
    • CSO director General: Mr A.K Sadhu is the Director General (DG- Social Statistics) of Central Statistics Office (CSO).
    • National Economic Survey, is conducted every five years. It is very crucial for framing of policies and planning for the government and other organizations. Thus for the first time digital technology has been implemented.
    • First Census:the 1st census was conducted in the year 1978.
    • Census coverage: The census will cover geographical spread/clusters of economic activities, ownership pattern; persons engaged etc. of the establishments engaged in economic activity.

     

    1. Prime Minister chairs first meeting of National Ganga Council

    • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi chaired the first meeting of the National Ganga Council in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
    • The Council has been given overall responsibility for superintendence of pollution prevention and rejuvenation of River Ganga Basin, including Ganga and its tributaries. The first meeting of the Council was aimed at reinforcing the importance of a ‘Ganga-centric’ approach in all departments of the concerned states as well as relevant Central Ministries.
    • Today’s meeting was attended by Union Ministers for Jal Shakti, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Health, Urban Affairs, Power, Tourism, Shipping and Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Vice Chairman Niti Aayog and other senior officials. The state of West Bengal was not present in the meeting and Jharkhand did not participate because of the ongoing elections and the Model Code of Conduct being in force.
    • Prime Minister, while reviewing the progress of work done and deliberating on various aspects of cleaning river Ganga with a focus on ‘swachhta’, ‘aviralta’ and ‘nirmalta’. He observed that Maa Ganga is the holiest river on the sub-continent and its rejuvenation should embody a shining example of cooperative federalism. Prime Minister said that rejuvenation of Ganga has been a long pending challenge for the country. He noted that a lot had been accomplished since the Government took up ‘Namami Gange’ in 2014 as a comprehensive initiative integrating various government efforts and activities with the aim of pollution abatement, conservation and rejuvenation of Ganga, notable achievements being zero waste creation by paper mills and reduction in pollution from tanneries; but much more needs to be done.
    • For the first time, the Central Government had made commitment of Rs. 20,000 crores for the period 2015-20 to the five states through which Ganga passes, to ensure adequate as well as uninterrupted water flows in the river. Rs. 7700 crores have already been spent so far, prominently for construction of new sewage treatment plants.

     

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    1. India- Nepal

     

    • the Indian embassy of the govt of India has deployed Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) to provide consultancy services for Post-Earthquake reconstruction of 11Cultural Heritage sites in Nepal.
    • Agreement signing:The agreement was signed between Dr. Ajay Kumar, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India and Dr. C.T. Mishra, Member Secretary of INTACH in Kathmandu, Nepal.
    • INTACH: INTACH is one of the largest heritage organizations of the world and has 190 chapters across India. It was awarded with a special consultative status for the United Nations(UN) Economic and Social Council(ECOSOC) in 2007.
    • INTACH will provide project management assistance in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and Solukhumbhu districts of Nepal. It will work with Nepal’s Department of Archeology(DoA), Civil Aviation to reconstruct/ conserve Cultural Heritage sites as per the Nepal govt’s guidelines.

     

    1. 36th International Geological Congress 2020

     

    • India is to host the 36thInternational Geological Congress (IGC) in New Delhi on the first week of March 2020. The theme of the conference is ‘Geosciences: The Basic Science for Sustainable Development’. The event is to be organized by the Ministry of Mines.
    • As an initiative of the event a half-day interactive workshop was held in New Delhi. The event was inaugurated by M. Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences and Anil Kumar Jain, Secretary Coal & Mines.
    • India is the only Asian country that is to host the IGC for the second time, it hosted the 22nd IGC for the first time in 1964, the event was inaugurated by the then President of India Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

     

    1. Bangladesh govt publishes list of Pakistan collaborators during 1971 Liberation War

     

    • The Bangladesh government today published the first list of 10789 collaborators who helped the Pakistan army during the 1971 liberation war. The collaborators known as Razakars colluded with the Pakistan army to engage in rape, murder and looting of Bangladeshi people who were fighting the liberation war. Razakar was a militia force formed by the Pakistan military through an ordinance promulgated in 1971 to help the army suppress any rebellion in the country.
    • Announcing the list in Dhaka on Sunday, Minister of Liberation War Affairs  AKM Mozammel Huq said that the names would be published on the government website soon. He said the list of other anti-liberation war organisations like Al-Badr and Al Shams will be released later.
    • The process for preparation of the list of Razakars was started in May this year based on the recommendation of the parliamentary standing committee of the ministry.
    • In 1972, the first government of Bangladesh under Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had enacted a law to identify and prosecute the collaborators of Pakistan. Based on this 37000 people were arrested as war criminals but 26,000 of them facing non-heinous charges were later released under a general amnesty given by the Sheikh Mujib government. After the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975, the act was repealed by the military government and 11,000 Razakars accused of heinous crimes like rape and murder were freed.

     

    1. China suspends additional tariffs on US goods after two sides announce major breakthrough in trade war

     

    • China suspended additional tariffs on US products today after Washington and Beijing announced a major thaw in their trade war Friday.
    • China’s finance ministry announced today that it will suspend the planned addition of 10 percent and 5 percent tariffs on some US imports. The Ministry also said that China will continue to suspend additional tariffs on US-made autos and spare parts.
    • The move follows US President Trump’s cancellation of new tariffs on Chinese products as part of a phase one trade deal.
      On Friday, China’s commerce ministry said, it had agreed with the US a mini-deal that includes a progressive rollback of tariffs and the protection of intellectual property rights.
    • The two sides have yet to sign the agreement, which represents a major breakthrough in the 21-month standoff between the world’s two largest economies.

    SPORTS NEWS

    1. Rohit Sharma becomes brand ambassador of La Liga in India

     

    • The top tier of Spanish club football“La Liga” has announced cricketer Rohit Sharma as its brand ambassador in India.
    • Rohit Sharma is the first non-footballerin the 90 year-old history of the league to have become a brand ambassador.
    • The top tier of Spanish club football has been ramping up its fan base in India through a series of initiatives. These initiatives includes grassroot development programme like La Liga Football Schools and a digital broadcast deal with Facebook.

     

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