Set up State, district-level panels to monitor TV channels, HC tells govt.
The Karnataka High Court directed the State government to constitute committees at the State and district-levels to monitor content and operation of television channels for violation of Programme and Advertisement Codes framed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.
Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995:
The regulation of cable television network under the Act is ensured through a two step process. In order to keep track of cable operators, it has mandate a compulsory registration for cable operators. It also lays down provisions to regulate content to be broadcasted by the cable operator.
Registration of Cable Operators
In order to regulate cable television networks, it was made mandatory for cable television network operators to be registered. Procedure for registration is laid down is section 5 of the Act. Any person who is operating or desires to operate a cable network may apply for registration to the registering authority.
An application for registration of cable operator has to be made under Form 1 along with the payment of fees of Rs.50 to the head post master within whose territorial jurisdiction the office of cable operator is situated. The registration certificate which is issued by the registering authority after inspection is valid for 12 months and can be renewed.
The registering authority may also refuse the registration of a cable operator. The reason for such refusal has to be recorded in writing and communicated to the applicant.
Section 4A was inserted into the Act by the TRAI (Amendment) Act, 2002. Section 4A deals with “transmission of programmes through addressable system”. [Refer to section on “2003- Amendment to the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 (Amendment Act)”].
The Central Government, in public interest can put an obligation on every cable operator to transmit or retransmit a programme of any pay channel through addressable system. In public interest the central government may also ‘specify one or more free-to-air channels to be included in the package of channels’ (basic service tier). The Central Government may also, in public interest specify the maximum amount which can be charged by the operator to the subscriber for receiving the programmes transmitted in the basic service tier provided by such cable operators. The cable operators have to publicize to subscribers the subscription rates of each pay channel at regular intervals.
Sections 5 and 6 of the Act deal with advertisement code and programme code. All cable services should be in conformity with the codes. Under section 7, cable operators have to maintain a register as to the content transmitted or retransmitted. All cable operators shall compulsorily re-transmit Doordarshan channels.
Section 9 of the Act mandates ‘use of standard equipment in cable television network’. It is the duty of the cable operator to make sure that the cable television networks do not interfere with authorized telecommunication systems.
SC removed whip-issuing power
The Congress called the Supreme Court order on the rebel Karnataka MLAs “highly problematic”, and asked how could the Congress or its legislature party leader in the Assembly, Siddaramaiah, follow it since it was not a party to the case.
The top court’s order took away the Congress’’s power to issue whip to the rebel MLAs under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.
The order of the Supreme Court directly impacts and abrogates the authority of the Congress to issue a whip in exercise of the powers under Schedule X of the Constitution.
The vote to decide the fate of the JD(S)-Congress government in Karnataka was not held amid a demand by Congress that the motion be deferred until the Speaker was able to decide on the fate of his whip.
Meaning: A whip in parliamentary parlance is a written order that party members be present for an important vote, or that they vote only in a particular way. The term is derived from the old British practice of “whipping in” lawmakers to follow the party line.
Appointment: In India all parties can issue a whip to their members. Parties appoint a senior member from among their House contingents to issue whips — this member is called a Chief Whip, and he/she is assisted by additional Whips.
Kinds of whips: The importance of a whip can be inferred from the number of times an order is underlined.
A one-line whip, underlined once, is usually issued to inform party members of a vote, and allows them to abstain in case they decide not to follow the party line.
A two-line whip directs them to be present during the vote.
A three-line whip is the strongest, employed on important occasions such as the second reading of a Bill or a no-confidence motion, and places an obligation on members to toe the party line.
Defiance of whip:
In India, rebelling against a three-line whip can put a lawmaker’s membership of the House at risk.
The anti-defection law allows the Speaker/Chairperson to disqualify such a member; the only exception is when more than a third of legislators vote against a directive, effectively splitting the party.
What is the Tenth Schedule?
The Tenth Schedule, which was inserted in the Constitution by the Constitution (Fifty-Second Amendment) Act, 1985, popularly known as the “anti-defection law”, provides for the disqualification of Members of Parliament and state legislatures who defect.
Paragraph 2 of the Schedule says that “a member of a House belonging to any political party shall be disqualified from being a member of the House… if he has voluntarily given up his membership of such political party; or if he votes or abstains from voting in such House contrary to any direction issued by the political party… without obtaining… prior permission…”
Animals seek refuge on highlands
Kaziranga National Park (KNP)’s man-made highlands have turned into islands of relative safety for the park’s animals as large parts of Assam remain inundated by flood waters.
Among the handful of species that have taken refuge in these patches of higher ground are the one-horned rhino and the water buffalo, while most other animals have moved to the hills of Karbi Anglong district just beyond a highway that runs along the southern fringe of the park.
Two decades ago, the Assam Forest Department constructed 111 highlands as an experiment. It helped keep a few animals above the water level but served little purpose when 75% or more of the park was flooded.
In 2017, the park authorities started work on 33 more highlands that were bigger in dimension.
These highlands have helped us reduce the animal casualty during floods this year.
7,000 species added to IUCN ‘Red List’
Mankind’s destruction of nature is driving species to the brink of extinction at an “unprecedented” rate, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) warned, as it added more than 7,000 animals, fish and plants to its endangered “Red List”.
The group has now assessed more than 1,05,000 species worldwide, around 28,000 of which risk extinction.
While each group of organisms face specific threats, human behaviour, including overfishing and deforestation, was the biggest driver of plummeting populations.
The IUCN Red List Categories:
The IUCN Red List Categories define the extinction risk of species assessed. Nine categories extend from NE (Not Evaluated) to EX (Extinct).
Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN) and Vulnerable (VU) species are considered to be threatened with extinction.
The IUCN system uses a set of five quantitative criteria to assess the extinction risk of a given species. In general, these criteria consider:
The IUCN Red List brings into focus the ongoing decline of Earth’s biodiversity and the influence humans have on life on the planet. It provides a globally accepted standard with which to measure the conservation status of species over time.
Scientists can analyze the percentage of species in a given category and how these percentages change over time; they can also analyze the threats and conservation measures that underpin the observed trends.
SAGAR MAITRI MISSION-2
Oceanographic research vessel of DRDO, INS Sagardhwani, embarked on a two-month long SAGAR MAITRI (SM) Mission-2 from Southern Naval Command (SNC) in Kochi.
Implementing agency: Sagar Maitri is a initiative of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The prime objectives of the SAGAR MAITRI Mission:
Data collection from the entire North Indian Ocean, focussing on the Andaman Sea and adjoining seas and establishing long-term collaboration with eight IOR countries in the field of ocean research and development. The other IOR countries, include Oman, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Myanmar.
It aligns with PM Narendra Modi’s policy declaration of Safety And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).
MAITRI (Marine & Allied Interdisciplinary Training and Research Initiative) is the specific scientific component of DRDO.
Significance: SAGAR MAITRI Mission-2 commemorates the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of India’s lone research ship INS Kistna’s missions as part of the historic International Indian Ocean Expeditions(IIOE), which took place during 1962-65.
Digitisation of AYUSH
Ministry of AYUSH has conceptualized AYUSH GRID Project for digitising AYUSH healthcare delivery at all levels.
The AYUSH Grid Project is the proposed IT backbone for the entire AYUSH sector covering the healthcare systems Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy. AYUSH Grid is envisaged as an omnibus digital eco- system that would lead to all round development of the AYUSH sector in fields of healthcare delivery at all levels, research, education, schemes and various health programs.
To develop a network of People, Knowledge and Technology for radical, sustainable and wholesome transformation of AYUSH sector, and play a pivotal role in taking care of holistic health care needs (i.e. curative, preventive and promotive health) and socio- economic wellbeing of Indian citizens and further extending the benefits to entire world population.
To create an organic and dynamic information and communication technology (ICT) powered network interconnecting all streams of AYUSH in their key functional areas viz. health care delivery, capacity building, research & development, AYUSH drug regulation and education. This will be beneficial for all stakeholders of AYUSH and also helpful for effective governance. Strategies for development will be in sync with the national and international policies and health care needs.
The main components of AYUSH GRID Project are as under:
INDIAN CYBER CRIME COORDINATION CENTRE (I4C)
The Minister for Home Affairs informed Rajya Sabha today about the scheme Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C).
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has rolled out a scheme ‘Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C)’ for the period 2018-2020.
It is a 7-Pronged Scheme to combat cyber crime in the country, in a coordinated and effective manner.
The scheme has following seven components: