Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics (CEDA)
National Informatics Centre (NIC) and NIC Services Incorporated (NICSI) have jointly set up a Centre of Excellence for data analytics.
The Centre aims to support Government departments to unlock the hidden potential of the data that they are generating as part of the governance processes and use it to improve the overall governance.
It seeks to kick-start and fast track the adoption of advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities.
It shall provide quality data analytic services to government departments at all levels by identifying appropriate tools and technologies and deploying people with right expertise.
As part of its service offerings, it will help the departments understand their business requirements and define their analytic needs, Identify the data sets that are required to meet the analytic needs, determine access to the relevant data sources (both within as well as outside the government) and build the required data analytic solutions.
It also seeks to integrate departmental data silos and deliver an integrated whole-of government analytics for an integrated policy formulation.
Source: The Hindu
The Supreme Court has upheld the Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid. The court also upheld the passage of the Aadhaar Act as a Money Bill.
The court ruled that the Aadhaar programme served the “larger public interest” in ensuring that the poor have access to resources. It found that the programme eliminated any chance of duplication and that enrolment was foolproof.
However, the apex court’s five-judge constitution bench also struck down several provisions in the Aadhaar Act.
Where Aadhaar is not needed?
Where Aadhaar is mandatory?
Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act struck down:
What was the contention against Aadhaar before the Supreme Court?
The main questions raised during the hearing on Aadhaar were:
What did the government argue in favour of Aadhaar?
During the hearing, the government argued that Aadhaar would help weed out ghost beneficiaries of welfare schemes. The government argued that is using Aadhaar as an enabler of various facets of the right to life of teeming millions of Indian residents including their right to food, the right to livelihood, the right to receive pensions and other social assistance benefits like scholarships etc. by the genuine beneficiaries.”
The Supreme Court’s Right to Privacy verdict:
On August 24, 2017, a nine-judge Bench ruled that the right to privacy is a fundamental right, a shot in the arm for the petitioners. However, the court had also ruled that “besides national security, the State may have justifiable reasons for the collection and storage of data. In a social welfare state, the government embarks upon programmes which provide benefits to impoverished and marginalised sections of society. There is a vital State interest in ensuring that scarce public resources are not dissipated by the diversion of resources to persons who do not qualify as recipients.”
Justice B N Srikrishna report:
The Justice B N Srikrishna panel was appointed to recommend a data protection framework to the government. It submitted its recommendations in July this year. The Srikrishna data protection report highlighted individuals’ constitutional rights over their data and said efforts need to be made to protect data at any cost. It recommended steps for protection of personal information, defining obligations of data processors as also rights of individuals, and mooting penalties for violation.
Stating that Aadhaar empowers the marginalised sections of society and gave them an identity, the SC asked the Central government to introduce a robust data protection law as soon as possible.
Aadhaar will undoubtedly be a game changer for the poor and the country as a whole. Every technology has some risks. A mature society must take measures to mitigate risks and not abandon the technology.
Source: The Hindu
Section 497 of IPC
The Supreme Court has declared Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code as unconstitutional saying that the penal provision on adultery was manifestly arbitrary and dents the individuality of women.
Important observations made by the Supreme Court:
Why strike it down?
Section 497 perpetuates subordinate status of women, denies dignity, sexual autonomy, and is based on gender stereotypes. Section 497 based on women as chattel, seeks to control sexuality of woman, hits the autonomy and dignity of woman. Besides, Section 497 perpetrates subordinate nature of woman in a marriage.
Therefore, it should be struck down for violation of Articles 14, 21.
Here are the problems with Section 497 which the petitioners wanted to be addressed:
The petitioners want the adultery law to be made gender neutral. This is because the law calls for the man to be punished in case of adultery, but no action is suggested for the woman.
As per Section 497, a woman whose husband has had sexual intercourse with another woman cannot file a complaint because the law makes no such provision for her.
Moreover, the adultery law in IPC reduces women to an object because no consent of the married woman is required for a man to have sexual intercourse with her. As per Section 497, if the woman’s husband agrees, the act is not a crime. This is the reason many have called this law an anti-women law.
What is Section 497?
Section 497 of the 158-year-old IPC says, “Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.”
Past Supreme Court judgements on adultery:
Source: The Hindu
Agmark online system
The government has launched an online platform for processing applications related to quality certification mark ‘Agmark’ for agricultural products.
The online system will make processes easy, reliable and cost effective. It also has provisions for online receipt of fees from the applicants as payments can be received in digital mode through bharatkosh.gov.in website.
What is Agmark?
WAYU- Air Pollution Mitigation Device
Air pollution control device WAYU (Wind Augmentation Purifying Unit) for traffic junctions was recently inaugurated in Delhi.
About WAYU (Wind Augmentation Purifying Unit):
WAYU is developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) as a part of Technology Development Project funded by Department of Science and Technology.
The device has the capacity to purify air in an area of 500 meter square. The device consumes only half a unit of electricity for 10 hours of running and has a maintenance cost of only Rs. 1500 per month.
How it works?
Umbrella scheme of Border Infrastructure and Management (BIM)
The Centre has approved ₹8,606 crore for 60 projects being implemented under the umbrella scheme of Border Infrastructure and Management (BIM) to meet special development needs of people living in those areas.
Highlights of the scheme:
The projects are being implemented in 17 states having the international borders with Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh. The projects are implemented in 111 border districts to meet special development needs of border population with focus on people living within 50 kms of the international border.
The schemes include construction of roads, schools, primary health centres, promotion of rural tourism, border tourism, promotion of sports activities, cleanliness mission, protection of heritage sites, supply of drinking water, community centres, connectivity, drainage, to enable sustainable living in border areas.
Construction of helipads in remote and inaccessible hilly areas which do not have road connectivity, skill development training to farmers for the use of modern and scientific technique in farming, organic farming are some of the other areas where the projects are being implemented.
Key facts for Prelims:
India shares borders with Pakistan (3,323 km), China (3,488 km), Nepal (1,751 km), Bhutan (699 km), Myanmar (1,643 km) and Bangladesh (4,096 km).
International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons is observed every year on 26 September across the world.
The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons was proclaimed by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in December 2013 as follow-up to its high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament which was held on 26 September 2013, in New York, US.
UNGA called for urgent commencement of negotiations in Conference on Disarmament of comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons to prohibit their possession, development, production, acquisition, testing, stockpiling, transfer and use or threat of use, and to provide for their destruction.
Report by Ramsar Convention
State Disaster Response Fund
Liquidity Coverage Ratio