- ‘Differential licensing will hurt telcos’
- Pakistan’s decision on Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara
- All insults not offence under SC/ST Act: SC
- Radio bursts detected in Milky Way for the first time
‘DIFFERENTIAL LICENSING WILL HURT TELCOS’
Focus: GS-III Industry and Infrastructure
Why in news?
Recently, various telecom operators have collectively opposed the move to introduce differential licensing via unbundling of various layers (infrastructure, network, services, and application layer).
- In 2019, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) informed that the National Digital Communications Policy 2018, under its ‘Propel India’ mission, envisages reforming the licensing and regulatory regime to catalyse investments and innovation and promote Ease of Doing Business.
- Enabling unbundling of different layers through differential licensing is one of the action plans for fulfilling the strategy.
- For that, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was requested to furnish recommendations and seek stakeholders’ (telecom operators) inputs on possible benefits and measures.
Current Licencing Regime
- The grant of telecom licenses in India is primarily governed by the Indian Telegraph Act 1885, and the Indian Wireless Telegraph Act 1933. These Acts provide an exclusive authority to the Central Government for establishing, maintaining, and working telegraphs, and wireless telegraphy equipment, and to grant licenses for such activities.
- In June 2012, the National Telecom Policy was issued with the aim to simplify the licensing framework, and to strive for the creation of One Nation-One License across services and service areas.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
- It was established by an Act of Parliament (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997) to regulate telecom services, including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services.
- It provides a fair and transparent policy environment which promotes a level playing field and facilitates fair competition.
- The TRAI Act was amended to establish a Telecommunications Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to take over the adjudicatory and disputes functions from TRAI.
- TDSAT was set up to adjudicate any dispute between a licensor and a licensee, between two or more service providers, between a service provider and a group of consumers, and to hear and dispose of appeals against any direction, decision or order of TRAI.
-Source: The Hindu
PAKISTAN’S DECISION ON KARTARPUR SAHIB GURUDWARA
Focus: GS-I Art and Culture
Why in news?
India described Pakistan’s decision to transfer the management of the Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara from a Sikh body to a separate trust as “highly condemnable”, saying it runs against the religious sentiments of the Sikh community.
- The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said India received representations from the Sikh community expressing grave concern over the decision to transfer the management and maintenance of the gurudwara from the Pakistan Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee to the administrative control of the Evacuee Trust Property Board, a non-Sikh body.
- The MEA said, the Sikh community, in its representations to India, expressed grave concern over the decision by Pakistan “targeting the rights” of the minority Sikh community in that country.
Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur
- Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, also called Kartarpur Sahib, is a gurdwara in Kartarpur, located in Shakargarh, Narowal District, in the Punjab province of Pakistan.
- It is built on the historic site where the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, settled and assembled the Sikh community after his missionary travels and lived until his death.
It is one of the holiest sites in Sikhism, alongside the Golden Temple in Amritsar and Gurdwara Janam Asthan in Nankana Sahib.
- The Kartarpur Corridor is a visa-free border crossing and secure corridor, connecting the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan to the border with India.
- The crossing allows devotees from India to visit the gurdwara in Kartarpur, 4.7 kilometres (2.9 miles) from the India–Pakistan border without a visa, creating a link which allows pilgrims holding Indian passports to easily visit both the Kartarpur shrine and Gurdwara Dera Baba Nanak on the Indian side of the border.
- The Kartarpur Corridor was first proposed in early 1999 and the corridor was built to commemorate 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikhism on 12th November 2019.
-Source: The Hindu
ALL INSULTS NOT OFFENCE UNDER SC/ST ACT: SC
Focus: GS-II Polity and Governance
Why in news?
All insults or intimidations to persons belonging to Dalit or tribal communities will not be an offence under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the Supreme Court said in a recent judgment.
Views of the Supreme Court
- “All insults or intimidations to a person will not be an offence under the Act unless such insult or intimidation is on account of victim belonging to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.”
- The court said the insult should be specifically intended to humiliate the victim for his caste.
- The court said the object of the Act is to punish the violators who inflict indignities, humiliations and harassment.
NCRB on Crime against SC and ST
- Crime against Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) saw an increase of over 7% and 26% respectively in year 2019 compared to 2018, according to the annual Crime in India 2019 report published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
- Due to “non-receipt of data” from West Bengal for 2019, the 2018 data has been used to arrive at national and city-wise figures.
- In the number of cases of rape of women belonging to SCs, Rajasthan topped the list with 554 cases, followed by Uttar Pradesh at 537 and Madhya Pradesh at 510 cases.
Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
- The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to prevent atrocities against scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
- The Act is popularly known as the SC/ST Act, POA, the Prevention of Atrocities Act, or simply the Atrocities Act.
- It was enacted when the provisions of the existing laws (such as the Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955 and Indian Penal Code) were found to be inadequate to check these crimes (defined as ‘atrocities’ in the Act).
- A number of cases of misuse of this Act has been reported from different parts of the country as mentioned in the Supreme Court verdict of 20 March 2018. In this verdict, the Supreme Court of India banned immediate arrest of a person accused of insulting or injuring a Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe member to protect innocents from arbitrary arrest.
-Source: The Hindu
RADIO BURSTS DETECTED IN MILKY WAY FOR THE FIRST TIME
Focus: GS-III Science and Technology
Why in news?
Intense pulses of radio waves known as fast radio bursts (FRB) that have been frequently detected in other galaxies, have now been found in the Milky Way, new studies have shown.
Background to FRBs
- FRBs were first discovered in 2007 and there are still many gaps in information regarding them.
- A number of theories have been suggested about the causes of FRBs including alien starships and colliding black holes.
- Many theories have also suggested that FRBs are caused by neutron stars, that are the corpses of stars which died in explosions called supernovas.
- The latest studies have now confirmed that FRBs are in fact generated by a rare type of neutron star known as a ‘magnetar’.
- Magnetars are the most powerful magnets in the cosmos. Their magnetic fields are 5,000 trillion times more powerful than that of the Earth.
-Source: Down to Earth