- Government Bans 59 mobile apps
- PM SVANidhi Portal launch
- Skill development and PMKVY
- Gold Nanoparticles from Antarctic Bacteria
GOVERNMENT BANS 59 MOBILE APPS
Focus: GS-II Governance
Why in news?
The Ministry of Information Technology has decided to block 59 apps.
The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps.
How and Why were the apps banned?
- The blocking of apps by the Ministry of Information and Technology is provided for by the power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009.
- In view of the emergent nature of threats and in view of information available that these apps are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order, these apps were banned.
- Recently, there have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of Indians.
- The Ministry of Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.
What is the Information Technology (IT) Act?
- The Information Technology Act, 2000 is the primary law in India dealing with cybercrime and electronic commerce.
- The laws apply to the whole of India. If a crime involves a computer or network located in India, persons of other nationalities can also be indicted under the law.
- 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.
- It also defines cyber-crimes and prescribes penalties for them.
Amendment to the IT Act
The Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 dealt with various changes such as:
- 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.
- It introduced Section 66A which penalized sending “offensive messages”.
- It introduced provisions addressing – pornography, child porn, cyber terrorism and voyeurism.
- 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.
- Information Preservation – Section 67C refers to the Preservation and Retention of Information by Intermediaries.
Can the Ban of apps like TikTok be considered as curtailment of Freedom of Speech?
Article 19 (1) a. Provides for the Fundamental right of Freedom of Expression.
However, Article 19 (2) states that reasonable restrictions can be imposed on the exercise of the right in the interests of:
- the Sovereignty and Integrity of India,
- the Security of the State,
- Friendly Relations with Foreign States,
- Public Order,
- Decency or Morality or
- in relation to Contempt of Court,
- Defamation or
- Incitement to an offence.
PM SVANIDHI PORTAL LAUNCH
Focus: GS-II Social Justice
Why in news?
Secretary, Housing & Urban Affairs, launched the Beta version of PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi “PM SVANidhi” Portal.
- Leveraging on the digital technology solutions, the portal provides for an integrated end to end IT interface to users for availing benefits under the PM SVANidhi scheme.
- An integrated IT platform to provide an end-to-end solution for scheme administration is being developed by SIDBI.
- SIDBI is the scheme implementation partner for PM SVANidhi.
- One of the important features of the scheme is to nudge the beneficiaries towards digital transactions by engaging with the Digital Payment Aggregators.
SKILL DEVELOPMENT AND PMKVY
Focus: GS-II Social Justice
Why in news?
Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) – in an ASSOCHAM webinar, highlighted: skilling, up-skilling and re-skilling of the India’s workforce and the crucial role it will play in the success of Atmanirbhar Bharat and Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan.
- The government is set to get approval on the next phase of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) which will have increased focus on demand driven skill development, digital technology and skills pertaining to Industry 4.0, as the current part of the flagship skill training scheme PMKVY is about to conclude.
- District Commissioner and State Skill Development Missions (SSDMs) will also have a crucial role to play and will be connected to the industry bodies so that the demand supply gap is bridged and relevant trainings are imparted to the migrant labourers who have returned to their home state.
- National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is the implementation arm of MSDE.
- NSDC has come up with an effective application called ‘Swades’ whereby both Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Civil Aviation are also cooperating in collating this information and segregating the workforce basis their skills, so that they can later be connected with opportunities of employment within the country and add to their personal and nation’s overall growth.
GOLD NANOPARTICLES FROM ANTARCTIC BACTERIA
Focus: GS-III Science and Technology
Why in news?
The National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) and Goa University (GU) have successfully synthesized gold nanoparticles (GNPs) using psychrotolerant Antarctic bacteria through a non-toxic, low-cost, and eco-friendly way.
- The NCPOR-GU study revealed genotoxic effect of GNPs on a sulphate reducing bacteria (SRB). The GNPs displayed enough anti-bacterial properties
- These GNPs can be used as a composite therapeutic agent clinical trials, especially in anti-cancer, anti-viral, anti-diabetic, and cholesterol-lowering drugs.
- Genotoxicity describes the property of a chemical agent that is capable of damaging the genetic information of DNA and thus causing mutation of the cell, which can lead to cancer.
- Nanoparticles (NPs) have wide variety of potential applications in the fields of biomedical, optical and electronics research.
What is nanotechnology and nanoparticle (NP)?
- Nanotechnology is a technology that creates new and novel materials through controlled manipulation at a size range of 1 nm (nanometer) to 100 nm (1 nm equals to 10-9 m).
- NanoParticles are those materials that are at least one dimension smaller than 100 nanometres.
- NPs have a high surface-to-volume ratio and they can provide tremendous driving force for diffusion, especially at elevated temperatures.
Uses of Gold Nano Particles (GNPs)
- GNPs are found to have greater solar radiation absorbing ability than the conventional bulk gold, which makes them a better candidate for use in the photovoltaic cell manufacturing industry.
- GNPs are capable of transferring various drugs made out of peptides, proteins, plasmid DNAs, small interfering RNAs, and chemotherapeutic agents to target diseased cells of the human body.
- GNPs are also found to be useful in the electronics industry.
Click Here to read more about NCPOR (4th Article)