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30 June Current Affairs

Cyber Capabilities and National Power Report: IISS

In News:

The report was recently released by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

Details:

The report analyses the cyber ecosystem of each state and how it intersects with international security, economic competition and military affairs.

The countries are assessed in seven categories:

  • Strategy and doctrine.
  • Governance, command and control.
  • Core cyber-intelligence capability.
  • Cyber empowerment and dependence.
  • Cyber security and resilience.
  • Global leadership in cyberspace affairs.
  • Offensive cyber capability.

The report has divided the countries into three tiers of cyber power:

First Tier: States with world-leading strengths across all the categories in the methodology. The United States of America is the only country in this tier.

Second Tier: States that have world-leading strengths in some of the categories. Australia, Canada, China, France, Israel, Russia and the United Kingdom are in this tier.

Third Tier: States that have strengths or potential strengths in some of the categories but significant weaknesses in others. India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, North Korea and Vietnam are in this tier.

Highlights of the report:

The US is the only top-tier cyber power because of its increased risk of ransomware attacks carried out by hackers.

The US was the only country in the top tier in terms of cyber security because of its unparalleled digital-industrial base, its cryptographic expertise and the ability to execute “sophisticated, surgical” cyber strikes against adversaries.

China, which falls under the second-tier countries, is at least a decade behind the US when it comes to cyber power.

India Specific Observations:

Despite the geo-strategic instability of its region and a keen awareness of the cyber threat it faces, India has made only “modest progress” in developing its policy and doctrine for cyberspace security.

The military confrontation with China in the disputed Ladakh border area in June 2020, followed by a sharp increase in Chinese activity against Indian networks, has heightened Indian concerns about cyber security, not least in systems supplied by China.

India is currently aiming to compensate for its weaknesses by building new capability with the help of key international partners – including the US, the UK and France – and by looking to concerted international action to develop norms of restraint.

India’s approach towards institutional reform of cyber governance has been “slow and incremental”, with key coordinating authorities for cyber security in the civil and military domains established only as late as 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Way ahead for India:

India’s “best chance” of moving up to the second tier of cyber powers is “by harnessing its great digital-industrial potential and adopting a whole-of-society approach to improving its cyber security.

International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2021

In News:

The day June 26 was chosen by the UN General Assembly, on December 7, 1987, as International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Objective: To create awareness about issues related to drugs and seek international cooperation to combat its effects on health, society, and governance.

Theme and its significance:

This year, the theme is ‘Share Facts On Drugs, Save Lives’.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the motive is to combat misinformation by sharing real facts on drugs — from health risks and solutions for the world drug problem to evidence-based prevention, treatment, and care.

World Drug Report 2021:

Around 275 million people used drugs globally in the last year. Over 36 million people suffered from drug use disorders.

Rise in the use of cannabis during the pandemic has been reported by most countries.

Non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs has also been observed in the same period.

The latest global estimates say, about 5.5 per cent of the population between 15 and 64 years have used drugs at least once in the past year.

Over 11 million people globally are estimated to inject drugs – half of them have Hepatitis C.

Opioids continue to account for the largest burden of disease-linked to drug abuse.

Indian Government has taken several policy and other initiatives to deal with drug trafficking problem:

The ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’ or a ‘Drugs-Free India Campaign’ was flagged off on 15th August 2020 across 272 districts of the country found to be most vulnerable based on the data available from various sources.

Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has begun implementation of a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for 2018-2025.

The government has constituted Narco-Coordination Centre (NCORD) in November, 2016.

The government has constituted a fund called “National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse” to meet the expenditure incurred in connection with combating illicit traffic in Narcotic Drugs; rehabilitating addicts, and educating public against drug abuse, etc.

Attorney-General

In News:

The Union government has extended the tenure of Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal by a year. He will continue as the government’s top law officer till June 30, 2022.

Attorney General- Facts:

The Attorney General for India is the central government’s chief legal advisor, and its primary lawyer in the Supreme Court of India.

He is a part of the Union Executive.

Appointment and eligibility:

He is appointed by the President of India under Article 76(1) of the Constitution and holds office during the pleasure of the President.

He must be a person qualified to be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court.

He should be an Indian Citizen.

He must have either completed 5 years in High Court of any Indian state as a judge or 10 years in High Court as an advocate.

He may be an eminent jurist too, in the eye of the President.

Powers and Functions:

The Attorney General is necessary for giving advice to the Government of India in legal matters referred to him. He also performs other legal duties assigned to him by the President.

The Attorney General has the right of audience in all Courts in India as well as the right to participate in the proceedings of the Parliament, though not to vote.

The Attorney General appears on behalf of Government of India in all cases (including suits, appeals and other proceedings) in the Supreme Court in which Government of India is concerned.

He also represents the Government of India in any reference made by the President to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution.

The Attorney General can accept briefs but cannot appear against the Government.

He cannot defend an accused in the criminal proceedings and accept the directorship of a company without the permission of the Government.

The Attorney General is assisted by Solicitor Generals and Additional Solicitor Generals.

Statistics day

In News:

Celebrated on 29th June every year.

Details:

Observed in recognition of the notable contributions made by Late Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in the fields of statistics, statistical system and economic planning.

Theme:

The theme of Statistics Day, 2021 is Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)– 2 (End Hunger, Achieve Food Security and Improved Nutrition and Promote Sustainable Agriculture).

Contribution of PC Mahalanonobis to Statistics (1893 –1972):

He is referred to as the chief architect of Indian statistical system as well as father of statistical science in India.

He established the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in 1931 in Kolkata. The institute founded the journal Sankhya, along the lines of Karl Pearson’s Biometrika. In 1959 it was made an autonomous body of Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation.

He also helped in the establishment of Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), the National Sample Survey (NSS) and the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI).

He introduced three key concepts to the theory and practice of sample surveys which are: Pilot surveys, Optimum survey design and Inter Penetrating Network of sub-samples technique (IPNS).

In 1936 he introduced a statistical measure named the Mahalanobis distance. It is widely used in cluster analysis and classification techniques.

The Mahalanobis model, was employed in the Second Five Year Plan, which worked towards the rapid industrialisation of India.