Karnataka approves New Information Technology Policy
Karnataka cabinet approved a new Information Technology Policy, 2020. The policy will help the state to increase its contribution in achieving its goal of 1 trillion USD. Also, the policy will help the state to create six million jobs. The policy is to be executed between 2020 and 2025.
The main goal of the policy is to enable IT industry to contribute 30% to India’s goal of becoming a trillion-dollar economy. The new policy aims to boost IT penetration and innovation, distributed labour force and evolve a Cyber security policy.
Why the new policy?
The economy of Karnataka is centred around its IT ecosystem. The state is the IT hub of India. The capital of the state, Bengaluru is the fourth largest technology cluster in the world. It is one of the largest contributors to the central coffers. Also, Karnataka was the first state in the country to formulate IT policy in 1997. This boosted the growth of the industry. Around 80% of global IT companies have their operations in India and Research and Development centres in the state.
However, COVID-19 induced lock down has worsened finances of Karnataka. The reduction in cash inflows from the centre has forced Karnataka into more debt. It has also led to amendment of laws on industries, land and labour.
The Cabinet also approved the following:
Through these measures, the state government is expecting an investment of over Rs 5,00 crores. Also, it is expecting to generate 43,000 direct employment in the next five years.
Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Priyojana (PMBJP)
8 immunity boosting products launched under Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Priyojana (PMBJP) for sale through Janaushadhi Kendras across country.
It is a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses through special kendra’s known as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra.
Initially launched in 2008, the scheme was rechristened in 2015.
Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the implementing agency of PMBJP.
BPPI (Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India) has been established under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. of India, with the support of all the CPSUs.
Salient Features Of The Scheme:
Ensure access to quality medicines.
Extend coverage of quality generic medicines so as to reduce the out of pocket expenditure on medicines and thereby redefine the unit cost of treatment per person.
Create awareness about generic medicines through education and publicity so that quality is not synonymous with only high price.
A public programme involving Government, PSUs, Private Sector, NGO, Societies, Co-operative Bodies and other Institutions.
Create demand for generic medicines by improving access to better healthcare through low treatment cost and easy availability wherever needed in all therapeutic categories.
Special Marriage Act, 1954
Plea in Supreme Court over certain Special Marriage Act provisions.
The petition seeks the court’s directions to strike down certain Sections.
What are the controversial provisions? Why they should be struck down?
Section 5 of the (Act) requires that a notice of intended marriage to be given by the parties to the marriage to the Marriage Officer of the district where at least one of the parties to the marriage has resided for a period of not less than thirty days immediately preceding the date on which such notice is given.
Section 6 mandates that all such notices received shall be entered in the marriage notice book and the Marriage Officer shall publish a notice by affixing a copy thereof to some conspicuous place in his office,
Sections6(2) and 6(3): The provisions under the Act require parties to an intended marriage to publish their private details for public scrutiny 30 days prior to the intended marriage.
This provision violates the right to privacy of the parties. The right to privacy is held to be an aspect of the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution.
The requirement is also in violation of right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution since no other laws prescribe such a requirement.
What is Special Marriage Act of 1954?
The SMA is a law which allows solemnization of marriages without going through any religious customs or rituals.
People from different castes or religions or states get married under SMA in which marriage is solemnized by way of registration.
The prime purpose of the Act was to address Inter-religious marriages and to establish marriage as a secular institution bereft of all religious formalities, which required registration alone.
The SMA prescribes an elaborate procedure to get the marriage registered.
One of the parties to the marriage has to give a notice of the intended marriage to the marriage officer of the district where at least one of the parties to the marriage has resided for at least 30 days immediately prior to the date on which such notice is given.
Such notice is then entered in the marriage notice book and the marriage officer publishes a notice of marriage at some conspicuous place in his office.
The notice of marriage published by the marriage officer includes details of the parties like names, date of birth, age, occupation, parents’ names and details, address, pin code, identity information, phone number etc.
Anybody can then raise objections to the marriage on various grounds provided under the Act. If no objection is raised within the 30 day period, then marriage can be solemnized. If objections are raised, then the marriage officer has to inquire into the objections after which he will decide whether or not to solemnize the marriage.
UNSC 1267 committee
Recently, the UNSC threw out a Pakistani attempt to get two Indians designated as terrorists under Resolution 1267. This was the third such attempt by Pak this year.
What is UNSC 1267 committee?
It was first set up in 1999, and strengthened after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
It is now known as the Da’esh and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee.
It comprises all permanent and non-permanent members of the UNSC.
The 1267 list of terrorists is a global list, with a UNSC stamp. It is full of Pakistani nationals and residents.
What is the process by which people are listed under UNSC 1267?
Any member state can submit a proposal for listing an individual, group, or entity.
The 1267 Committee meets as required with a notice of four working days.
Decisions on listing and de-listing are adopted by consensus.
The proposal is sent to all the members, and if no member objects within five working days, the proposal is adopted. An “objection” means curtains for the proposal.
Any member of the Committee may also put a “technical hold” on the proposal, and ask for more information from the proposing member state. During this time, other members may also place their own holds.
The matter remains on the “pending” list of the Committee until such time as the member state that has placed the hold decides to turn its decision into an “objection”, or until all those who have placed holds remove them within a timeframe laid down by the Committee.
Pending issues must be resolved in six months, but the member state that has placed the hold may ask for an additional three months. At the end of this period, if an objection is not placed, the matter is considered approved.
Any proposal for listing must meet set criteria:
The proposal must include acts or activities indicating the proposed individual/group/entity had participated “in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities” linked to “ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida or any cell, affiliate, splinter group or derivative thereof”.