8th March Current Affairs
March 8, 2021
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March 10, 2021
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9th March Current Affairs

‘The Opportunity Index 2021’ report

In News:

It is a new report by LinkedIn.


The survey, conducted in January, saw participation from more than 10,000 respondents across the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. It covered 2,285 respondents in India.

Key findings:

9 in 10 or 89 per cent of women were negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

About 85%, or four in five working women in India believe they have missed out on a raise, promotion, or work offer because of their gender. This average stands at 60% for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.

More women in India have experienced the impact of gender on career development when compared to the APAC region.

Challenges for women:

  • Lack of time and discrimination for family care.
  • Gender is a barrier when it comes to attaining opportunities.
  • Lack of guidance through networks.
  • Workplace discrimination because of household responsibilities.

The US 2021 President’s Trade Agenda and 2020 Annual Report

In News:

It is an annual report submitted by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to the US Congress.

Key observations made by the USTR:

While India’s large market, economic growth, and progress towards development make it an essential market for many U.S. exporters, a general and consistent trend of trade-restrictive policies have inhibited the potential of the bilateral trade relationship.

Recent Indian emphasis on import substitution through a “Make in India” campaign has epitomised the challenges facing the bilateral trade relationship.

The report describes the Trump administration’s revocation of India’s preferential trading status under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) program in June 2019 and the ensuing discussion to achieve a mini trade deal (“package”) throughout 2020.

About the Make in India campaign:

Launched by Prime Minister Modi in 2014 to incentivise production in India.

It seeks to encourage manufacturing in India and galvanize the economy with dedicated investments in manufacturing and services.

To achieve it’s goal, targets were identified and policies outlined.

To increase the manufacturing sector’s growth rate to 12-14% per annum in order to increase the sector’s share in the economy.

To create 100 million additional manufacturing jobs in the economy by 2022.

To ensure that the manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP is increased to 25% by 2022 (revised to 2025) from the current 15-16%.

What are spectrum auctions?

In News:

The government has received bids worth ₹77,146 crore on the first day of the auction for telecom airwaves, exceeding its own pre-bid estimates of about ₹45,000 crore.


Airwaves worth ₹3.92 lakh crore have been put up for sale across 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz frequency bands.

What are spectrum auctions?

Devices such as cellphones and wireline telephones require signals to connect from one end to another. These signals are carried on airwaves, which must be sent at designated frequencies to avoid any kind of interference.

The Union government owns all the publicly available assets within the geographical boundaries of the country, which also include airwaves.

To sell these assets to companies willing to set up the required infrastructure to transport these waves from one end to another, the central government through the DoT auctions these airwaves from time to time.

These airwaves are called spectrum, which is subdivided into bands which have varying frequencies. All these airwaves are sold for a certain period of time, after which their validity lapses, which is generally set at 20 years.

Chinese cyber attack foiled: Power Ministry

In News:

Recently, few “State-sponsored” Chinese hacker groups targeted various Indian power centres. However, these groups have been thwarted after government cyber agencies warned it about their activities.

Union Power Ministry has clarified that:

There is no impact on any of the functionalities carried out by the Power Sector Operations Corporation (POSOCO) due to the referred threat.

No data breach/data loss has been detected due to these incidents.

Prompt actions are being taken by the Chief Information Security Officers at all these control centres under operation by POSOCO for any incident/advisory received from various agencies.

US Report on the incident:

According to U.S. cyber security and intelligence firm:

Chinese state-sponsored actors may have deployed malware into Indian power grids and seaports as border tensions between India and China began escalating last May, culminating in a deadly clash along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in mid-June.

An October 12 grid failure in Mumbai may have been caused by the Chinese malware.

There is still some evidence of ongoing intrusion although a significant amount of it has subsided recently.

Steps taken by the Government to spread awareness about cyber crimes:

  • Online cybercrime reporting portal has been launched to enable complainants to report complaints pertaining to Child Pornography/Child Sexual Abuse Material, rape/gang rape imageries or sexually explicit content.
  • A scheme for establishment of Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) has been established to handle issues related to cybercrime in the country in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.
  • Establishment of National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) for protection of critical information infrastructure in the country.
  • All organizations providing digital services have been mandated to report cyber security incidents to CERT-In expeditiously.
  • Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre) has been launched for providing detection of malicious programmes and free tools to remove such programmes.
  • Formulation of Crisis Management Plan for countering cyber-attacks and cyber terrorism.

What needs to be done ahead?

  • Regularly issue alerts/advisories.
  • Capacity building/training of law enforcement personnel/ prosecutors/ judicial officers.
  • Improving cyber forensics facilities etc.
  • Speed up investigation.

Finally, ‘Police’ and ‘Public Order’ are State subjects as per the Constitution of India. States/UTs are primarily responsible for prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of crimes through their law enforcement machinery.