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29th October Current Affairs

Raskhan and Taj Bibi

In News:

Recently tourism department of Uttar Pradesh has redeveloped the tombs of Raskhan and Taj Bibi (both devotees of Lord Krishna) as a tourist complex with an open-air theatre.

Who was Raskhan?

Raskhan or Syed Ibrahim Khan was a 16th-century Sufi Muslim poet born either in Amroha or Hardoi in Uttar Pradesh.

Raskhan was his pen name in Hindi.

In his early years, he became a follower of Sri Krishna and learned the religion from Goswami Vitthalnath and spent his life in

His poetry is in the form of Doha, Padawali and Savayya.

Writings: Raskhan’s Khariboli writings are numerous, the five most important being the Sujana Raskhana, the Premavatika (most popular), the Danalila, the Astayama and a collection of Padas (rhymed couplets).

Taj Bibi: aka the ‘Mughal Mirabai’, was born in the 17th century as the daughter of a Muslim nobleman Padna Khan.

Taj Bibi was married to Emperor Akbar and was appointed by the Mughals to protect the Gokul area.

She wrote poetry during the Mughal time when the ruling class belonged to the Muslim religion.

UAPA

In News:

Prime Minister said that Central laws such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) had given an impetus to the system in a decisive fight against terrorism.

About the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act:

Passed in 1967, the law aims at the effective prevention of unlawful activities, associations in India.

The Act assigns absolute power to the central government, by way of which if the Centre deems an activity as unlawful then it may, by way of an Official Gazette, declare it so.

It has the death penalty and life imprisonment as the highest punishments.

Under UAPA, both Indian and foreign nationals can be charged.

It will apply to the offenders in the same manner, even if a crime is committed in a foreign land, outside India.

Under the UAPA, the investigating agency can file a charge sheet in a maximum of 180 days after the arrests and the duration can be extended further after intimating the court.

As per amendments of 2019:

The Act empowers the Director General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to approve the seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by the said agency.

The Act empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases of terrorism in addition to those conducted by the DSP or ACP or above rank officer in the state.

It also included the provision of designating an individual as a terrorist.

TReDS platform

In News:

The finance ministry has directed 92 operating central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) that have not onboarded the trade receivables discounting system (TReDS) despite the government’s mandate to do so.

The government mandated in 2017 that all CPSEs get registered on the TReDS.

What is the TReDS Platform?

TReDS is an institutional mechanism set up to facilitate the discounting of invoices for MSMEs from CPSE and corporate buyers through multiple financiers.

Why?

MSME receives orders but payment for the order is made only on delivery of the order. Meanwhile, they need capital to produce the order. Also, Delayed payments by the public (CPSEs) and private organizations result in a shortage of working capital for the MSMEs in their regular business operations. That’s where TReDs come in. Through this, MSMEs get instant short-term capital but at a discounted rate based on the invoices.

How does it work?

Invoice discounting is the working principle of TReDS. This involves three participants — MSME supplier, corporate/CPSE buyer, and financier.

Changes in the Cyclones

In News:

Due to the effect of global warming, fewer tropical cyclone was observed in the Bay of Bengal but their frequency has increased in the Arabian sea.

Key changes:

Proportionate increase: In comparison to the Bay of Bengal, the proportion of Arabian sea cyclones was initially 1:4, but the study found that it has become 2:4 from 2001-2020.

The decline in the frequency of cyclones in the Bay of Bengal as the warming threshold for sea surface temperature (SST) for the Bay of Bengal has already been achieved, which ranges between 26 degrees Celsius and 30 degrees

However, sea surface temperature is still gradually increasing over the Arabian sea.

According to the IISER Bhopal study, Overall, 80 per cent of tropical cyclones occurred in the pre-and post-monsoon months.

What factors are responsible for it?

Surface temperatures in the Arabian Sea have increased rapidly during the past century due to global warming.

These warmer temperatures support active convection, heavy rainfall, and intense cyclones.

The rising temperature is also enabling the Arabian Sea to supply ample energy for the intensification of cyclones.

The Arabian Sea is also providing conducive wind shear for cyclones.

For instance, a higher level of easterly wind drove the depression of Cyclone Ockhi from the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea.

Concerns: This underlines the increasing risk of disasters hitting the west coast of India if the trend continues to hold over the years.

Why spectrum needs a change in approach

(GS-III: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc)

In News:

On September 22, the government released the draft Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022, seeking to replace the colonial era Indian Telegraph Act, 1885.

Draft telecommunication bill, 2022:

Updated and Consolidated Various laws: It is an attempt by the Department of telecommunication to update the extant regulatory framework and consolidate various legislations presently governing the telecommunication landscape in India.

Repealed Old legislations: It looks to repeal three legislations i.e. the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933 and the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1950.

Introduced technological advancements: The new regulatory framework aims to bring the law at par with technological advancements and remove obsolete provisions from the colonial era laws.

Status of spectrum policy in India: India liberalized the telecom sector in 1981. It had initially adopted first-cum first licence policy during the initial days of mobile telephony. However, the 2G scam led to the replacement of the previous policy with the open auction of spectrum.

Achievement: Despite the recognised failure, India has billion-plus mobile subscribers, and 800 million internet users and hosts the second-largest telecommunications network in the world.

Existing issues concerning the spectrum policy of India:

Digital divide: Effective access to the spectrum has remained a significant barrier.

Huge potential but with technical limitations: Spectrum having the characteristics of a public good is also an inexhaustible resource.

But while spectrum per se is not depletable, there are technical limitations to its optimum utilization at a given point in time.

High cost of spectrum acquisition: Since 2010, the government has consistently used auctions for spectrum allocation, this has increased government revenues but private companies have increased the rate of mobile telephony to recoup the cost.

High reserve price: This has often led to low off-take of available spectrum and thus revenue loss for the government.

According to one estimate, spectrum cost in India is amongst the most expensive in the world.

Inequity: Commercialization of the spectrum has resulted in some areas being underserved or unserved affecting quality and quantity.

What could be the fresh approach?

Active promotion of the idea of ‘niche operators’: The draft bill incorporates practical provisions on the spectrum such as use it, share it or lose it – an awaited policy that, however, needs innovative support to be successful.

Correcting the cost of spectrum and promoting investment in underserved areas.

Adopting innovative methods: g. Canada has initiated consultations on a non-competitive local licensing framework to facilitate broadband connectivity in rural areas.

Promoting transparency: The government should build an ecosystem that inspires trust so that transparency in the assignment can be secured at a reasonable price for operators with strict service obligations.

Enhancing healthy competition.

Conclusion:

The vision of “Digital India” can never be realised if affordable broadband connectivity remains only within the reach of a few.