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24th July Current Affairs

Clean Ganga Fund

(GS-III: Environment and Ecology)

In News:

Ministry of Jal Shakti has informed that as on March 2021, funds of more than Rs 450 crore have been deposited in the Clean Ganga Fund.

About CGF:

It has been setup as a trust under the Indian Trust Act, 1882.

It will allow resident Indians, Non Resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origins (PIOs), Corporates (Public as well as private sector) to contribute towards the conservation of the river Ganga.

The contributions to Clean Ganga Fund falls within the purview of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity as defined in Schedule VII to the Companies Act, 2013.

The following activities are offered under CSR:

  • Ghats Construction /Modification / Extension.
  • Cleaning of Ghats.
  • Providing Amenities at important Ghats.
  • Crematoria Construction / Modification / Extension.
  • Ganga Gram.
  • Bioremediation of Nallas & Drains.
  • Information Education Communication (IEC) Activities.
  • River Surface Cleaning using Trash Skimmers.
  • Solid Waste Management.
  • Tree Plantation.

Significance of Clean Ganga Fund:

It is an initiative to harness the enthusiasm of people for Ganga and to bring them closer to the Ganga and inculcate a sense of ownership.

It involves major organizations and general public at large who are coming forward to contribute to the Ganga fund which strengthens the Mission to achieve the objective of a clean and healthy Ganga.

UNESCO world heritage sites

(GS-II: International Conventions & GS-I: Cultural aspects)

In News:

UNESCO has voted to remove Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City from its world heritage list.

Details:

The waterfront was stripped off of its status by the committee because of “irreversible loss of attributes conveying the outstanding universal value of the property”.

What is a World Heritage site?

A World Heritage site is classified as a natural or man-made area or a structure that is of international importance, and a space which requires special protection.

These sites are officially recognised by the UN and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, also known as UNESCO.

UNESCO believes that the sites classified as World Heritage are important for humanity, and they hold cultural and physical significance.

They are protected under a international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972.

Key facts:

The list is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 UNESCO member states which are elected by the General Assembly.

Each World Heritage Site remains part of the legal territory of the state wherein the site is located and UNESCO considers it in the interest of the international community to preserve each site.

To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an already classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and historically identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance.

Types:

Cultural heritage sites include historic buildings and town sites, important archaeological sites, and works of monumental sculpture or painting.

Natural heritage sites are restricted to natural areas.

Mixed heritage sites contain elements of both natural and cultural significance.

PLI Scheme for Specialty Steel

(GS-II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation & GS-III: Infrastructure development)

In News:

Union Cabinet approves Production-linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Specialty Steel.

Highlights and significance of the scheme:

The duration of the scheme is from 2023-24 to 2027-28 (five years).

It aims to boost the production of high-grade specialty steel in the country.

There are 3 slabs of PLI incentives under the scheme. The lowest being 4% and the highest is 12%, which has been provided for electrical steel (CRGO).

It has a budgetary outlay of ₹6322 crores.

It is expected to bring in investment of approximately ₹40,000 crores and capacity addition of 25 MT for speciality steel.

The scheme is expected to give employment to about 5,25,000 people of which 68,000 will be direct employment.

Coverage:

The five categories of specialty steel that have been chosen in the PLI Scheme are: Coated/Plated Steel Products, High Strength/Wear-resistant Steel, Specialty Rails, Alloy Steel Products, and Steel wires, and Electrical Steel.

What is Specialty Steel?

Specialty steel is value-added steel wherein normal finished steel is worked upon by way of coating, plating, heat treatment, etc. to convert it into high-value-added steel.

This steel can be used in various strategic applications like Defense, Space, Power, apart from the automobile sector, specialized capital goods among others.

Why was Speciality Steel chosen for the PLI Scheme?

It is because out of the production of 102 million tonnes of steel in India in 2020-21, only 18 million tonnes of value-added steel/specialty steel was produced in the country.

Apart from this, out of 6.7 million tonnes of imports in 2020-21, about 4 million tonnes import was of specialty steel alone resulting in Forex expenditure of Rs.30,000 crores.

Hence, by becoming Atma Nirbhar in producing speciality steel, India will move up the steel value chain and come at par with advanced steel-making countries like Korea and Japan.

The ‘Right to be Forgotten’ in India

(GS-II: Polity and Constitution; Fundamental Rights)

In News:

Ashutosh Kaushik, a celebrity, has approached Delhi High Court seeking removal of his videos, photographs and articles from the internet. He has cited his “Right to be Forgotten“.

What are his demands?

Kaushik’s plea mentions that the posts and videos on internet related to him have caused him psychological pain for diminutive acts, which were erroneously committed a decade ago.

The plea also says that mistakes in his personal life becomes and remains in public knowledge for generations to come.

What is the ‘Right to be Forgotten’ in the Indian context?

The Right to be Forgotten falls under the purview of an individual’s right to privacy.

In 2017, the Right to Privacy was declared a fundamental right (under Article 21) by the Supreme Court in its landmark verdict (Puttuswamy case).

What does the Personal Data Protection Bill say about this?

Right to privacy is also governed by the Personal Data Protection Bill that is yet to be passed by Parliament.

The bill exclusively talks about the “Right to be Forgotten.”

Broadly, under the Right to be forgotten, users can de-link, limit, delete or correct the disclosure of their personal information held by data fiduciaries.

But, what are the issues associated with this provision in the Bill?

The main issue with the provision is that the sensitivity of the personal data and information cannot be determined independently by the person concerned, but will be overseen by the Data Protection Authority (DPA).

This means that while the draft bill gives some provisions under which a user can seek that his data be removed, but his or her rights are subject to authorisation by the Adjudicating Officer who works for the DPA.