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Current Affairs 06 July 2023

CONTENTS

  1. Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022
  2. New Scheme for Pregnant Minor Victims of Sexual Assault
  3. Solar radiation management
  4. 125th Birth Anniversary of Alluri Sitarama Raju
  5. Gutti Koya tribe

 Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022


Context:

The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022, which was initially proposed in November, is anticipated to be presented during the Monsoon Session of Parliament commencing on July 20. The draft Bill has received approval from the Union Cabinet.

Relevance:

GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Significance of a Privacy Law
  2. Concerns around the draft Bill
  3. Comparison of India’s proposal with other countries

Significance of a Privacy Law

Part of a comprehensive technology regulations framework:

  • The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022, is a crucial component of the overall technology regulations framework being developed by the government.
  • This framework includes other bills such as the Digital India Bill and the draft Indian Telecommunication Bill.

Protection of personal data:

  • The proposed law focuses on the processing of digital personal data within India. It also extends to data processing outside the country if it involves offering goods or services to individuals in India or profiling them.

Obligations for data fiduciaries:

  • Entities collecting personal data, referred to as data fiduciaries, are required to maintain data accuracy, ensure data security, and delete data once its purpose has been fulfilled.

Voluntary undertakings and settlement fees:

  • The Bill is expected to allow entities that violate its provisions to bring the matter to the data protection board and potentially avoid proceedings by accepting settlement fees.
  • Repeat offenses may incur higher financial penalties.

Penalty for data breaches:

  • The highest penalty prescribed for failing to prevent a data breach is Rs 250 crore per instance.
  • The definition of “per instance” is subject to interpretation by the data protection board, which may consider the number of people impacted and multiply it by the penalty amount.

Concerns around the draft Bill

Wide-ranging exemptions for the central government:

  • The Bill is reported to retain provisions that allow the central government and its agencies to be exempted from adhering to the privacy provisions.
  • These exemptions are based on reasons such as national security, relations with foreign governments, and maintenance of public order.

Control of the central government in appointing members of the data protection board:

  • The draft Bill is said to maintain the central government’s control in appointing members of the data protection board, which is the adjudicatory body responsible for handling privacy-related grievances and disputes.
  • This raises concerns about the independence and impartiality of the board.

Potential impact on the Right to Information (RTI) Act:

  • There is apprehension that the new privacy law could weaken the Right to Information Act.
  • Personal data of government functionaries may receive protection under the law, making it challenging to share such information with RTI applicants.

Likely changes in the final draft:

Cross-border data flows:

  • The approach to cross-border data flows is expected to change from a ‘whitelisting’ approach to a ‘blacklisting’ mechanism.
  •  Instead of specifying a list of countries where data transfers are allowed (whitelist), there may be a list of countries where transfers would be prohibited (blacklist).

Stricter provision on “deemed consent”:

  • The provision on “deemed consent” is likely to be reworded to impose stricter requirements on private entities.
  • However, government departments may still have the ability to assume consent while processing personal data based on grounds of national security and public interest.

Comparison of India’s proposal with other countries:

  • EU model: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union focuses on comprehensive data protection laws for processing personal data. It is known for its strict regulations and obligations on organizations processing data.
  • US model: Privacy protection in the United States is largely centered around “liberty protection” and focuses on safeguarding individuals’ personal space from government intrusion. It allows for the collection of personal information as long as individuals are informed about it.
  • China model: China has recently introduced new laws on data privacy and security, such as the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) and the Data Security Law (DSL). These laws aim to protect personal data, grant new rights to data subjects, and impose restrictions on cross-border data transfers.
  • Global adoption: According to UNCTAD, approximately 137 out of 194 countries have enacted legislation to protect data and privacy. Adoption rates vary across regions, with Africa and Asia showing higher adoption rates compared to Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
  • India’s proposal: While the specifics of India’s data protection legislation are still being finalized, it is expected to contribute to the overall global trend of countries strengthening data protection and privacy laws. The proposal will shape India’s unique approach to balancing privacy rights, data protection, and national security concerns.

Source: Indian Express


New Scheme for Pregnant Minor Victims of Sexual Assault


Context:

The Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, has introduced a new scheme targeting pregnant minor victims of sexual assault who lack family support. The scheme, which has a budget of Rs 74.10 crore, aims to provide critical care and support to these victims throughout the country. It will include provisions such as shelter, food, legal aid, and other necessary assistance to ensure their well-being.

Relevance:

GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Major Provisions of the Scheme for Pregnant Minor Victims of Sexual Assault
  2. Nirbhaya Fund
  3. Mission Vatsalya Scheme

Major Provisions of the Scheme for Pregnant Minor Victims of Sexual Assault

Eligibility Criteria and Documentation:
  • Victims below the age of 18 who become pregnant due to rape or assault as per the POCSO Act, 2012, and are orphans or abandoned by their families.
  • Possession of an FIR is not mandatory to avail the scheme’s benefits.
Provisions:
  • Medical, financial, and infrastructural support will be provided under the Nirbhaya Fund.
  • Dedicated shelters will be established for these victims, either as standalone shelters or within existing
  • Child care institutions (CCIs).
  • Separate safe spaces within CCIs will be provided to cater to the specific needs of minor rape victims.
  • Integrated support will be provided, including education, police assistance, healthcare, and legal support.
  • Insurance coverage will be extended to the minor victim and her newborn, ensuring access to justice and rehabilitation.
About Child Care institutions [CCIs]
  • Child Care Institutions (CCIs) are facilities established under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
  • These institutions provide care and protection to children who are in need of such services. CCIs include various types of facilities that cater to the specific needs of children, ensuring their safety, well-being, and development.
  • Some examples of CCIs are Children Home, Open Shelter, Observation Home, Special Home, and Specialized Adoption Agency.
  • These institutions play a crucial role in providing a supportive environment for children who may be in difficult circumstances or require temporary or long-term care and protection.
Implementation:
  • The scheme will be implemented through the administrative structure of Mission Vatsalya in collaboration with State governments and Child Care Institutions (CCIs).
  • The existing network of 415 POCSO fast-track courts across India will help expedite justice for minor victims of rape.
Need:
  • According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data from 2021, there were 51,863 reported cases under the POCSO Act.
  • A majority of these cases (64%) fell under sections 3 and 5 of the Act, which deal with penetrative sexual assault and aggravated penetrative sexual assault, respectively.
  • Many victims, particularly girls, become pregnant as a result of these assaults and face additional physical and mental health challenges when disowned or abandoned by their families.

Nirbhaya Fund:

  • Establishment: The Nirbhaya Fund was created by the Government of India in 2013 following the Nirbhaya Case.
  • Objective: It is specifically aimed at financing projects to improve women’s safety and security.
  • Management: The fund is managed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD).
  • Empowered Committee: The Empowered Committee (EC), chaired by the MWCD Secretary, consists of officials from various ministries and recommends programs for funding under the Nirbhaya Fund.
  • Major Projects: The fund supports projects such as the Central Victim Compensation Fund (CVCF), One Stop Centers (OSCs), Universalization of Women Helpline (WHL), and Mahila Police Volunteer (MPV).
  • Funding Approval: The EC has approved programs worth approximately Rs. 9,800 crores since the establishment of the Nirbhaya Fund.

Mission Vatsalya Scheme:

  • Launch: The Mission Vatsalya Scheme was launched by the MWCD in 2021.
  • Objective: The scheme provides a roadmap to achieve development and child protection priorities aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Focus Areas: It emphasizes child rights, advocacy, and awareness while strengthening the juvenile justice care and protection system with the motto of ‘leave no child behind’.
  • Legal Framework: The scheme is implemented based on the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 (JJ Act) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 (POCSO Act).
  • Implementation Approach: The scheme is implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme in partnership with state governments and union territory administrations.
  • Objectives: It aims to support universal access and improve the quality of services related to child protection across the country.

Source: Indian Express


Solar Radiation Management


Context:

Solar radiation management (SRM) has emerged as a potential tool to counter the effects of global warming by reflecting sunlight back into space.

Relevance:

GS I: Geography

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Solar Radiation Management
  2. Advantages of Solar Radiation Management (SRM)
  3. Disadvantages of Solar Radiation Management (SRM)

About Solar Radiation Management

Solar Radiation Management (SRM) is a climate engineering technique aimed at mitigating global warming by reducing the amount of solar radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface. It involves various methods to reflect or block incoming sunlight, including:

Methods:
  • Stratospheric Aerosol Injection (SAI): This method involves injecting reflective particles, such as sulfate aerosols, into the stratosphere to scatter and reflect sunlight back into space, simulating the cooling effect of volcanic eruptions.
  • Marine Cloud Brightening (MCB): MCB involves spraying fine droplets of substances, like seawater, into low-level marine clouds to enhance their reflectivity. This increases the clouds’ ability to reflect sunlight, leading to a cooling effect.
  • Space Sunshades: This approach proposes the placement of large mirrors or screens in space, either in orbit around the Earth or at Lagrange point 1, to block or deflect sunlight before it reaches the Earth’s surface. This would decrease the amount of solar energy absorbed by the Earth.
Each of these methods has its own advantages and challenges:
  • SAI is based on replicating the cooling effect of volcanic eruptions but requires regular injection of particles and may have potential side effects on ozone depletion.
  • MCB focuses on enhancing the reflective properties of marine clouds but is dependent on specific weather conditions and has limited regional applicability.
  • Space sunshades offer more control over the amount of sunlight blocked but are complex, expensive, and raise concerns about space debris and long-term maintenance.

Advantages of Solar Radiation Management (SRM):

  • Rapid temperature reduction: SRM techniques could provide a relatively quick reduction in global temperatures, offering temporary relief from extreme climate events.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Depending on the method used and the scale required, SRM approaches could be cost-effective compared to other climate mitigation options, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Reversibility: SRM techniques have the potential to be reversible on short timescales. If the deployment of SRM is stopped or adjusted, the effects can be mitigated or reversed relatively quickly.

Disadvantages of Solar Radiation Management (SRM):

  • Limited scope: SRM does not address all aspects of climate change. It cannot mitigate ocean acidification, biodiversity loss, or sea-level rise caused by thermal expansion.
  • Unintended consequences: SRM could have negative or unintended side effects on regional and global climate systems. It may alter precipitation patterns, impact monsoons, exacerbate droughts or storms, and affect crop yields.
  • Ethical and geopolitical challenges: SRM raises ethical and geopolitical concerns. It may create winners and losers among countries or regions, raising questions of justice, equity, consent, liability, and responsibility for the deployment and consequences of SRM techniques.

Source: Indian Express


125th Birth Anniversary of Alluri Sitarama Raju


Context:

The President of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu graced and addressed the closing ceremony of the 125th Birth Anniversary of Alluri Sitarama Raju at Hyderabad.

Relevance:

GS I: History

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Alluri Sitarama Raju
  2. Significance in Indian Independence Movement

Alluri Sitarama Raju

Early Life and Background:
  • Alluri Sitarama Raju, born on July 4, 1897, in Visakhapatnam district, Andhra Pradesh, India.
  • Belonged to the Kondadora or Kondareddy tribal community.
Resistance against Colonial Rule:
  • Led the Rampa or Manyam Rebellion in August 1922 against colonial oppression.
  • Rebellion fueled by anti-government sentiment and threats to tribal livelihoods.
  • Attacked police stations in the Godavari agency, coinciding with the Non-Cooperation Movement led by Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Rebellion lasted until May 1924 when Raju was captured and executed.
Mobilization of Tribal Communities:
  • United various tribal communities, including Koyas, Savaras, and Chenchus, against British authorities.
  • Aimed to instill self-esteem and pride among tribes, encouraging resistance against colonial oppression.
  • Guerrilla Warfare Strategies:
  • Utilized guerrilla warfare tactics, taking advantage of the natural terrain of the Eastern Ghats.
  • Employed hit-and-run tactics, ambushed British patrols, and disrupted supply lines.
Preservation of Tribal Culture:
  • Emphasized the preservation of tribal traditions, culture, and customs.
  • Promoted the use of indigenous methods and practices, fostering tribal identity and unity.
Symbol of Resistance:
  • Alluri Sitarama Raju emerged as a symbol of resistance against British rule.
  • His fearless leadership inspired Indians, especially those from tribal communities, to join the fight for independence.

Significance in Indian Independence Movement:

  • Alluri Sitarama Raju played a crucial role in the Indian independence movement as a tribal leader and freedom fighter.
  • His contributions in organizing armed resistance, mobilizing tribal communities, employing guerrilla warfare tactics, and promoting indigenous culture left a lasting impact on the struggle for independence.

Source: The Hindu


Gutti Koya Tribe


Context:

Gutti Koya tribes people erect stone memorials in the event of death of their three most important service providers namely physician, priest and village leader.

Relevance:

Facts for Prelims

About Gutti Koya tribe

The Gutti Koya tribe is a tribal community primarily found in the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha in India. Here are some key points about the Gutti Koya tribe:

  • Language: The Gutti Koya people speak the Koya language, which belongs to the Dravidian language family.
  • Cultural Event: One of the most important cultural events celebrated by the Gutti Koya tribe is the Sammakka Saralamma Jatra. This grand fair takes place once every two years on the full moon day of the Magha Masam (January or February) in Medaram village, Warangal district, Telangana.
  • Shifting Cultivation: The Gutti Koya tribe practices a form of shifting cultivation known as Podu. This traditional agricultural practice involves clearing small patches of land in the forest for cultivation and then moving on to a new plot after a few years. The sustainability of this practice has been a topic of discussion, as it balances economic survival with environmental sustainability.
  • Scheduled Tribe (ST) Status: The Gutti Koya tribe is recognized as a Scheduled Tribe in Chhattisgarh. However, they have not been granted Scheduled Tribe status in their migrated states like Telangana.
  • Livelihood: The Gutti Koya people earn their living through activities such as animal husbandry and the collection of minor forest produce. These include gathering non-timber forest products like medicinal herbs, fruits, nuts, and other natural resources.

Source: Indian Express


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