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19th January Current Affairs

Covid pandemic fuelled rise in online child sexual abuse: CRY study

(GS-II: Governance, Social Justice)

In News:

The Covid-19-induced lockdown and online education have impacted more than 60 per cent children in the country negatively.

Details:

Key findings from POCSO and Beyond: Understanding Online Safety during COVID Report –

Adolescent girls and boys within 14-18 years, belonging to the lower income strata were figured as the most vulnerable age group.

Just 30 per cent of the parents said they would go to the police station and file a complaint, while 70 per cent ruled out that possibility.

Only 16 per cent of parents claimed to be familiar with any OCSEA-related laws, indicating a lack of information and faith in the legal system and law enforcement.

Nearly 33 per cent of the parents among the respondents reported that strangers approached their children via Online Platforms.

Laws on sharing of online Child Sexual Abusive Material (CSAM) in India:

In India, viewing adult pornography in private is not an offence.

As per the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2002, it is punishable to show children any pornographic content.

Current system of detecting CSAM in India:

Help from foreign agencies

Operation Megh Chakra and Operation Carbon:launched by the CBI.

Startups are powering India’s Space Odyssey 2.0

(GS-III: Achievements of Indians in science & technology)

In News:

With the space sector opening up, startups have begun to rapidly transform the industry.

Measures for encouraging the private sector in the space programme:

Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) in Ahmedabad.

IN-SPACe is an autonomous, single-window nodal agency; formed to promote, authorise, monitor and supervise the space activities of NonGovernmental Private Entities (NGPEs) in India.

With the formation of IN-SPACE, over 100 companies have come up in this sector and in 2022 they raised as much as $110 million.

Reforms in the space sector enable more private players to provide end-to-end services.

NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL), is mandated to transfer the matured technologies developed by the ISRO to Indian industries.

Change in strategy: the present supply-based model has been changed to a demand-driven model, wherein NSIL shall act as an aggregator of user requirements and obtain commitments.

Regulatory regime:

The first to be updated was the SpaceCom and SpaceRS policies, further liberalizing the traditional Satellite Communication and Remote Sensing sectors, respectively, thus enabling entrepreneurs and industries to take up end-to-end activities in these domains.

Private players’ entry will support the Indian space Industry in the following ways:

Participation in the private sector will give rise to new innovations and technology.

It will provide an opportunity to harness the talent pool in the country, by providing them with immense opportunities for exploration.

A reduction in the cost of operation with efficient practices, building a supply chain to accommodate the downstream players.

Also, it will allow procuring non-Indian orbital resources to build their space-based systems for communication services in and outside India.

Private players find smaller satellite markets a more lucrative option.

Advantages of smaller satellites:

Smaller satellites use industry-grade rather than space-grade components.

These smaller satellites are parked closer to earth, where radiation is lower and have a shorter lifespan.

Moreover, while an INSAT class satellite will cost at least ₹400 crores, smaller satellites can be built for just ₹10 crores

Above all, they do not need large launch vehicles such as the PSLV or GSLV, which cost ₹300 crore and ₹450 crores, respectively.

Potential: According to European Space Agency data, anywhere between 70,000 to 100,000 satellites will be launched in the next 15 years and over 80% will be small satellites weighing less than 500 kg.

Role of ISRO in the Private space industry:

The private sector will rely on ISRO for infrastructure—be it launch facilities, tracking systems, technology transfers and capacity building

ISRO will focus on non-commercial greater complexity scientific missions such as focusing on deep-space missions and putting an Indian in space through its Gaganyaan

ISRO has set up NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL) to handle the commercial end of the business.

ISRO is the 6th largest space agency in the world and holds an exceptional success rate

Indian Space Association (ISpA): ISpA aspires to be the collective voice of the Indian Space industry.

The introduction of the Indian Space Activities Bill will give greater clarity to private players on how to be an integral part of the space sector.

Limitations of the private sector in space:

Policy Bottlenecks: India is yet to legislate specific space laws to regulate the private sector. Hence, ensuring openness and clarity about the working framework becomes difficult in the current situation.

Monopolization: Space is capital intensive industry, and only a few rich corporates can afford the investment. Hence, accommodating all players and ensuring an equitable platform becomes difficult.

Funding: India’s space budget of $1.7 billion (in 2022) was minuscule compared to the US’s $30 billion and China’s $14 billion (which includes $1 billion from its private players).

Profit Motive: Space in general, should be an enabler of Technological equity for citizens. This aspect becomes difficult to ensure when private entities operate with profit interest.

Intellectual property issue: The lack of a robust space-centric IPR policy in India, raises issues regarding sharing and diversification of space resources.

Conclusion:

At present, India needs a space policy, which can be clear and liberal on private players. With this proposed new policy for space, India wants to tap into the private sector, which could help the industry grow.

Bhopal Declaration

In News:

Bhopal Declaration was released after discussion in the two-day meeting of Think-20 under G20 in Bhopal

About the Declaration:

It was released after the Think20 (T20) meeting of G20 countries’ think tanks and research centres.

Highlights of the declaration:

  • To focus more on inclusive development
  • Care for the welfare of every section of society in comparison to GDP
  • Give special attention to children
  • Encourage the model of development led by women
  • Bridge the gap between North and South
  • Work together to ensure the health of all
  • Importance of localization in achieving G-20 sustainable development goals
  • Triangular cooperation of government, society, and private organizations

Rare species of duck sighted in Manipur’s Loktak lake after over 90 years

In News:

A rare species of duck, Greater Scaup, locally known as Sadangman, was recently sighted in Loktak lake in Manipur’s Bishnupur district after a gap of over 90 years.

About Greater Scaup:

IUCN Status: Least Concern

The greater scaup (Aythya marila) is a medium-sized diving duck belonging to the family

The greater scaup species is distributed in Asia, Europe, the United States, and Canada.

It is a rare visitor to the Indian Subcontinent.

It is known as Scaup in Europe and Bluebill in North America, Greater Scaup breeds in Alaska, Siberia, north Canada and on the eastern side of Europe and they flock to warmer regions during the Winter season.