Daily Current Affairs 04th September-2021
- Supreme court flags ‘Communal Content’ in media
- Grant in Aid for Rural Local Bodies
- e-ILP platform in Manipur
- India’s exports jumped 45.17 per cent in the month of August,2021
- Udham Singh
1.Supreme court flags ‘Communal Content’ in media
#GS1 #Communalism #GS2 #Judiciary #Fake news
Context: Recently, Supreme court bench headed by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana observed, that certain sections of the media communalised everything and this would ultimately result in giving the country a bad name.
- These observations were made during the hearing of pleas, including the one filed by Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, seeking directions to the union government to stop broadcasting “fake news” regarding last year’s religious gathering at Nizamuddin Markaz and take firm action against those responsible for it.
- The plea drew the court’s attention on how some sections of media linked Tablighi Jamaat to the spread of Covid-19.
- Such cases of communalized reporting are growing in the country in recent times. Ex: UPSC Jihad, Hadiya case, Triple Talaq case etc.
- The chief justice also noted that there was “no accountability” to hold social media and over the top content platforms for their actions.
- The solicitor general Tushar Mehta on behalf of union government drew attention to recent steps it had taken to guarantee accountability in this regard.
- That is- Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 and Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Rules of 2021.
About Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021
- The Information Technology Rules, 2021 were notified on February 25, 2021 to replace 2011 rules.
- The Rules have been notified under the Information Technology Act, 2000.
- Rules provide for certain due diligence that needs to be followed by
- Intermediaries are entities that store or transmit data on behalf of other persons. Intermediaries include internet or telecom service providers, online marketplaces, and social media platforms.
- Intermediaries are required to report cybersecurity incidents and share related information with the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team.
- The Rules prescribe the code of ethics to be observed by publishers of digital media
- Significant social media firms have to appoint a chief compliance officer and have a nodal contact person who can be in touch with law enforcement agencies 24/7.
- Grievance redressal: The Rules require the intermediaries and digital media publishers to provide for a grievance redressal mechanism.
- The intermediaries are required to designate a grievance officer to address complaints against violation of the Rules. Complaints must be acknowledged within 24 hours and disposed of within 15 days.
- It mandates a grievance redressal system for over the top (OTT) and digital portals in the country. This is necessary for the users of social media to raise their grievance against the misuse of social media.
- Removal of content: If there are complaints against the dignity of users, particularly women– social media platforms will be required to remove that within 24 hours after a complaint is made.
- There will be 03 levels of regulation for news publishers — self-regulation, a self-regulatory body, headed by a retired judge or an eminent person, and oversight from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, including codes of practices and a grievance committee.
About Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Rules, 2021
- Main objective of this rules is to provide a statutory mechanism for redressal of grievances/complaints of citizens.
- It provides for a 03-level grievance redressal mechanism
- Procedure for grievance redressal:
- A viewer can file a complaint directly to the broadcaster, who will have to respond within 15 days.
- If the complainant is not satisfied with the response, the complaint can be escalated to the self-regulating bodies set up by TV channels, which should deal with the case in 60 days
- Such appeals will be dealt with by the Inter-Departmental Committee set up under the Oversight Mechanism.
Need for Digital Media Regulation:
- Several digital media platforms operating in India are of foreign origin which necessitates domestic law for their compliance.
- These rules extend its approach to instil a sense of accountability against misuse and abuse by social media users.
- It lays a special emphasis on the protection of women against the progression of sexual offenses on social media. It also envisages checking the proliferation of fake news and hate speech.
2.Grant in Aid for Rural Local Bodies
#GS2 #Governement policies and interventions # Devolution of Powers & Finances to Local Levels # Cooperative & Competitive Federalism
Context: As per the official statement, the finance ministry has recently released a total of Rs13,385.7 crore to 25 states to given as grants to rural local bodies.
- This is the first instalment of the ‘tied’ grants for Financial Year 2021-22.
- Tied grants are released to rural local bodies for improving critical services such as sanitation, maintenance of open-defecation free status, supply of drinking water, rain water harvesting and water recycling.
- The grants have been released as per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission.
- The highest amount has been given to Uttar Pradesh ( ?2162.4 crore), followed by Maharashtra ( ?1292.1 crore), Bihar ( ?1112.7 crore) and Madhya Pradesh ( ?883.2 crore).
- So far this year, these entities have received Rs25,129.98 crore in grants.
Finance Commission (FC) Grants:
- The Union Budget provides funds to local bodies, state disaster relief funds and compensates any revenue loss to states after devolution of taxes on the recommendation of FC.
- The 15th FC has recommended over 1 lakh 42 thousand crore rupees tied to Panchayats for water & sanitation during the period 2021-22 to 2025-26.
Tied vs United Grant:
- Out of the total Grant-in-aid allocated for Panchayati Raj institutions, 60% is ‘Tied Grant’.
- Tied grants are released to the Rural Local Bodies (RLBs) for improving two critical services namely
- (a) Sanitation and maintenance of open-defecation free (ODF) status and
- (b) supply of drinking water, rain water harvesting and water recycling under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes.
- Remaining 40% is ‘Untied Grant’ and is to be utilized at the discretion of the Panchayati Raj institutions for location specific needs, except for payment of salaries.
- The States are required to transfer the grants to the Rural local bodies within 10 working days of their receipt from the Union Government.
- Any delay beyond 10 working days requires the State Governments to release the grants with interest.
Finance Commission (FC)
- It is a constitutional body that determines the formula for distributing the tax proceeds between the union and states, and among the states.
- Article 280 of the Constitution mandates the President of India to constitute a Finance Commission at an interval of 05 years or earlier.
- The Chairman of 15th FC is NK Singh.
- Its recommendations will cover a period of five years from the year 2021-22 to 2025-26.
3.e-ILP platform in Manipur
#GS2 # Government Policies & Interventions for Development # Issues & Challenges Pertaining to the Federal Structure #GS3 #Internal security
Context: Recently, Manipur Chief Minister launches e-ILP(Inner line permit) platform to regulate entry and exit into the state.
- The e-ILP platform will play a significant role in tracking visitors who are overstaying beyond the permitted duration.
- The e-ILP tracking system had been created to address the shortcomings in the procedures adopted to issue the permit and its tracking system.
- The system would help in checking whether a person, who had entered the state with a permit, had left or was still staying even after the expiration of the permitted duration.
- On several instances, administration had found visitors staying beyond their permit period without any renewal. E-ILP will automatically generates the list of people who overstayed and enable mobile tracking of these defaulters and help taking necessary action.
- An Inner Line Permit Monitoring Cell with DIG (Intelligence) as its chairman had been set up to ensure proper reading of entry and exit and to track over stay.
- e-ILP platform has a comprehensive dashboard system that actively shows varied information such as number of people entering the state on a particular day and time and a graphical break-up-based presentation of people visiting through different entry gates.
ILP in Manipur:
- The ILP system came into effect in Manipur on January 1, 2020.
- 04 types of permits are issued in Manipur — temporary, regular, special and labour permits.
- Initially, these permits were issued manually at 07 counters at different entry points, including Imphal airport.
- However, to do away with the hassle faced by travellers in applying for the permit, the state government launched an online portal in February 2020.
About ILP System:
- Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document issued by the Government of India to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period.
- It is compulsory for Indian citizens from outside those states to obtain a permit for entering into the protected state.
- The document is an effort by the government to regulate movement to certain areas located near the international border of India.
- This is an offshoot of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873, which protected Crown’s interest in the tea, oil and elephant trade by prohibiting “British subjects” from entering into these “Protected Areas” (to prevent them from establishing any commercial venture that could rival the Crown’s agents).
- The word “British subjects” was replaced by Citizen of India in 1950.
- Despite the fact that the ILP was originally created by the British to safeguard their commercial interests, it continues to be used in India, officially to protect tribal cultures in north-eastern India.
- There are different kinds of ILP’s, one for tourists and others for people who intend to stay for long-term periods, often for employment purposes.
- It is issued by the concerned State Government and can be issued for travel purposes solely.
- Such states are exempted from provisions of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
- At present, states of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur are under ILP regime.
- Foreigners need a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit tourist places which are different from ILPs needed by domestic tourists.
4.India’s exports jumped 45.17 per cent in the month of August,2021
#GS3 # Indian Economy & Issues Relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development & Employment # Effects of Liberalization on the Economy
Context: India’s merchandise exports in August jumped 45.17 per cent to USD 33.14 billion in August.
- This is 27.5% more than pre-pandemic level of August 2019.
- This growth in exports is on account of healthy growth in segments like engineering, petroleum products, gems and jewellery and chemicals
- In spite of this jump in exports, the trade deficit widened to a 04-month high of 13.87 billion, driven by the surge in gold imports.
- The trade deficit in August 2020 was USD 8.2 billion. It stood at USD 55.9 billion during April-August this fiscal as compared to USD 22.7 billion during the same period of the previous year.
- Merchandise imports in the same period rose 51.47% to $47 billion, which is also 18% higher than August 2019.
- This was the primary reason for the widened trade deficit despite an increase in export
- Oil imports in August grew 80.38 per cent to USD 11.64 billion, while gold imports jumped 82.22 per cent to USD 6.75 billion.
- Exports of engineering, petroleum products, gems and jewellery and chemicals grew by about 59 per cent to USD 9.63 billion, 140 per cent to USD 4.55 billion, 88 per cent to USD 3.43 billion, and 35.75 per cent to USD 2.23 billion, respectively.
- Growth in export in labour-intensive sector such as textiles and apparel sector has been less than expected (14%) during this period.
- The Union has achieved 163 billion of dollar merchandise exports against its target of worth $400 billion for the year.
- Though the global trade is recovering which is helping Indian exporters, government should focus on resolving increasing freight rates, large container shortages and releasing benefits under various export schemes.
#GS1 # Modern Indian History # The Freedom Struggle- Growth of Militant Nationalism & Revolutionary Activities (1905-1918)
Context: Amid criticism of the renovated Jallianwala Bagh memorial, some people raise questions over the statue of Shaheed Udham Singh installed at the Bagh.
The statue controversy:
- The Kamboj community had installed a statue of Udham Singh at Jallianwala Bagh in 2018.
- However, those criticising the renovation of Jallianwala Bagh, have been also been raising objections over the way statue has been designed.
- But the criticism is coming after 03 years since it was installed in 2018 and not a part of the renovation.
About Udham Singh:
- He was born in 1899 in Punjab.
- He is a well-known figure of the Indian independence movement.
- He is also referred to as Shaheed-i-Azam Sardar Udham Singh (the expression “Shaheed-i-Azam”, means “the great martyr”).
- Udham Singh was a political activist who got associated with the Ghadar Party while in the US.
- Udham Singh became involved in revolutionary politics and was deeply influenced by Bhagat Singh and his revolutionary group after 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
- In 1924, Udham Singh became involved with the Ghadar Party, organising Indians overseas towards overthrowing colonial rule.
- In 1927, he returned to India on orders from Bhagat Singh, bringing 25 associates as well as revolvers and ammunition.
- Soon after, he was arrested for possession of unlicensed arms. Revolvers, ammunition, and copies of a prohibited Ghadar Party paper called “Ghadr-i-Gunj” (“Voice of Revolt”) were confiscated. He was prosecuted and sentenced to five years in prison.
- On 13th March, 1940, Singh shot Michael O’Dwyer instead of General Dyer at a meeting of the East India Association and the Royal Central Asian Society at Caxton Hill.
- General Dyer, who ordered open firing on people protesting against the Rowlatt Act.
- He was sentenced to death and was hanged on 31st July, 1940 at Pentonville Prison in London.
- The Ghadar Movement was an early 20th century, international political movement founded by expatriate Indians to overthrow British rule in India.
- Ghadar is a Punjabi and Urdu word derived from Arabic which means “revolt” or “rebellion.”
- The early membership was composed mostly of Punjabi Indians who lived and worked on the West Coast of the United States and Canada, but the movement later spread to India and Indian diasporic communities around the world.
- The official founding has been dated to a meeting on 15 July 1913 in Astoria, Oregon, with the Ghadar headquarters and Hindustan Ghadar newspaper based in San Francisco, California.
- The party was established as the Hindi Association of Pacific Coast under the leadership of Lala Har Dayal with Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna as its president.
UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 04th September -2021
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