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Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Exam – 12 February 2021 | Legacy IAS Academy

Contents

  1. Indian laws must be followed: Government
  2. SC: Disabled are entitled to same benefits of SC/ST quota
  3. Massive gatherings at Mahapanchayats

INDIAN LAWS MUST BE FOLLOWED: GOVERNMENT

Context:

  • While Twitter was free to formulate its own rules and guidelines, Indian laws, which are enacted by the Parliament of India, must be followed irrespective of Twitter’s own rules, according to a Ministry statement.
  • The U.S.-headquartered firm Twitter has been under fire from the government over non-compliance to block accounts using hashtags related to “farmer genocide”, and accounts that security agencies suspect are backed by Khalistani sympathisers and Pakistan.

Relevance:

GS-II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is the IT Act?
  2. Amendment to the IT Act
  3. Section 69 of the IT Act
  4. Intermediaries and their obligation as per the IT Act

What is the IT Act?

  • The year 2000 saw the rise of IT Bill which it received assent of President and hence came to be the Information Technology (IT) act in which Cyber laws are contained.
  • The Aim of the Act was to provide legal infrastructure for e-commerce in India.
  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 also aims to provide for the legal framework so that legal sanctity is accorded to all electronic records and other activities carried out by electronic means. The Act states that unless otherwise agreed, an acceptance of contract may be expressed by electronic means of communication and the same shall have legal validity and enforceability.
  • In India, the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, as amended from time to time, governs all activities related to the use of computer resources.
  • It covers all ‘intermediaries’ who play a role in the use of computer resources and electronic records.
  • The role of the intermediaries has been spelt out in separate rules framed for the purpose in 2011- The Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011.

Amendment to the IT Act

  • The Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 – An act to amend the IT Act 2000 received the assent of the President on 5th February 2009.

It dealt with various changes such as:

  1. Data Protection –with no specific reference to Data Protection in 2000 Act, the ITA 2008 introduced two sections addressing Data Protection, Section 43A (Compensation for failure to protect data), and Section 72A (Punishment for disclosure of information in breach of lawful contract.
  2. Information Preservation – Section 67C refers to the Preservation and Retention of Information by Intermediaries. According to Central Government, any intermediary who intentionally or knowingly contravenes the provisions shall be punished with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years and shall not be liable to fine.
  3. Section 69 gives power to issue directions for interception or monitoring or decryption of any information through any computer source.

Section 69B authorizes to monitor and collect traffic data or information through any computer resource for Cyber security.

Section 69 of the IT Act

  • It confers on the Central and State governments the power to issue directions “to intercept, monitor or decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource”.

The grounds on which these powers may be exercised are:

  1. In the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state.
  2. Friendly relations with foreign states.
  3. Public order, or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to these.
  4. For investigating any offence.

Intermediaries and their obligation as per the IT Act

  • The term ‘intermediaries’ includes providers of telecom service, network service, Internet service and web hosting, besides search engines, online payment and auction sites, online marketplaces and cyber cafes.
  • It includes any person who, on behalf of another, “receives, stores or transmits” any electronic record. Social media platforms would fall under this definition.
  • Intermediaries are required to preserve and retain specified information in a manner and format prescribed by the Centre for a specified duration.
  • Contravention of this provision may attract a prison term that may go up to three years, besides a fine.
  • When a direction is given for monitoring, the intermediary and any person in charge of a computer resource should extend technical assistance in the form of giving access or securing access to the resource involved.
  • Failure to extend such assistance may entail a prison term of up to seven years, besides a fine.
  • Failure to comply with a direction to block access to the public on a government’s written request also attracts a prison term of up to seven years, besides a fine.

-Source: The Hindu


SC: DISABLED ARE ENTITLED TO SAME BENEFITS OF SC/ST QUOTA

Context:

The Supreme Court confirmed that persons suffering from disabilities are also socially backward and entitled to the same benefits of relaxation as Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe candidates in public employment and education.

Relevance:

GS-II: Social Justice

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Initiatives for Disabled in India
  2. Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016
  3. Benefits to Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe

Initiatives for Disabled in India

  • Rights of Person with Disabilities Act, 2016: Under this, persons with disabilities are provided reservation of seats in government higher educational institutions (not less than 5%) and government jobs (not less than 4%).
  • Accessible India Campaign.
  • DeenDayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme.
  • Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP).
  • National Fellowship for Students with Disabilities (RGMF).
  • Schemes of the National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities.

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016

  • Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept.
  • Benchmark disability refers to having at least 40% disability of any type recognized under the Act.
  • The types of disabilities have been increased from 7 to 21.
  • The Act added mental illness, autism, spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, chronic neurological conditions, speech and language disability, thalassemia, hemophilia, sickle cell disease, multiple disabilities including deaf blindness, acid attack victims and Parkinson’s disease which were largely ignored in earlier Act.
  • In addition, the Government has been authorized to notify any other category of specified disability.
  • It increased the quantum of reservation for people suffering from disabilities from 3% to 4% in government jobs and from 3% to 5% in higher education institutes.
  • Stress has been given to ensure accessibility in public buildings in a prescribed time frame along with the Accessible India Campaign.
  • Every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education. Government funded educational institutions as well as the government recognized institutions will have to provide inclusive education.
  • The Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and the State Commissioners will act as regulatory bodies and Grievance Redressal agencies, monitoring implementation of the Act.
  • A separate National and State Fund be created to provide financial support to the persons with disabilities.

Benefits to Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe

  • Article 15 (4) empowers the State to make special provision for the advancement of the SCs and the STs. E.g., providing fee concession in admission to any educational institution, building hostels for SCs/STs.
  • Article 15 (5) empowers the State to reserve seats for SCs and the STs in admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the State. However, it excludes minority educational institutions referred to in Article 30 (1).
  • Article 16 (4) empowers the State to make provisions for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of SCs/STs.

-Source: The Hindu


MASSIVE GATHERINGS AT MAHAPANCHAYATS

Context:

Punjab’s first Kisan Mahapanchayat in Ludhiana drew a massive gathering of farmers.

The attendance at these panchayats shows the growing support to the ongoing agitation against the three farm laws.

Relevance:

GS-II: Polity and Governance 

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What are Khap Panchayats?
  2. What is the message of Kisan Mahapanchayats?
  3. What is the relevance of Kisan Mahapanchayats?

What are Khap Panchayats?

  • Khap panchayat is the union of a few villages, mainly in north India though it exists in similar forms in the rest of the country.
  • These village councils run by unelected elders turned in to a quasi-judicial body promotes conservative, anti-women values in the name of preserving Indian culture and tradition.
  • Most cases are reported in northern states such as Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, where caste councils wield enormous power in village life.
  • Khaps have not only continued to flourish, but also have found patronage from mainstream political leaders.
  • Viewing communities as vote-banks and so-called khap leaders as the key actors which can swing the community’s votes, political leaders have steered clear of them.
  • Taking a cue from the political leadership, the police, bureaucrats and administrators have also not crossed paths with the khaps.

What is the message of Kisan Mahapanchayats?

  • The attendance at these events establishes that the ongoing agitation against the agri laws has taken centrestage in social as well political scenario of those states where these are being held.
  • These kisan panchayats are laying a strong foundation for a long agitation. They show that all communities have joined the ongoing stir.
  • In the way, people are turning up at these panchayats, the participation in the farmer agitation may grow in coming days.
  • These also show the intensity of the opposition to agri laws amid a feeling in the farming community that the corporates will grab their land after they are implemented.

What is the relevance of Kisan Mahapanchayats?

The Kisan Mahapanchayats have suddenly became rallying point for the ongoing agitation showing the undercurrent among the farming community and the support they are enjoying from other sections of society.

It is easier for the farmers of neighbouring areas to gather in large numbers at these events as it requires lesser time and resources in comparison to going to Delhi borders.

-Source: The Hindu

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