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14th June Current Affairs

National e-Governance Service Delivery Assessment 2021 Report

(GS-II: Governance Related issues)

In News:

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:

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.

Among Union Territories, Jammu & Kashmir ranked the highest with an overall compliance of nearly 90%.

Among the Remaining States, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh had a compliance of more than 85%.

Amongst all the States and UTs, Kerala had the highest overall compliance score.

Ranking of central ministries:

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.

The Ministry Portal of Home Affairs had the highest overall compliance score.

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.

What is Web 5.0?

(GS-III: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights)

In News:

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

Aim:

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.

Enforcement Directorate

(GS-III: Important Security Agencies)

In News:

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.

About Enforcement Directorate:

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).

In the year 1957, this Unit was renamed as ‘Enforcement Directorate’.

Presently, it is part of the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.

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:

Processing cases of fugitive/s from India under Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.

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.

The ‘war on drugs’

(GS-II: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

In News:

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.

Details:

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:

  • To be accepted by the peers.
  • Increasing economic stress.
  • Changing cultural values.
  • Neurotic pleasure.
  • 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.

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

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.

Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has begun implementation of a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for 2018-2025.

The government constituted the Narco-Coordination Centre (NCORD) in November, 2016.

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.