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PIB Summaries 01 August 2023

CONTENTS

  1. India and Papua New Guinea Sign MoU for Sharing India Stack
  2. Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2023
  3. ULLAS Initiative

India and Papua New Guinea Sign MoU for Sharing India Stack


Context:

Recently, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) of India and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) of Papua New Guinea have taken a significant step towards digital transformation by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to share India Stack.

Relevance:

GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Highlights of the MoU between India and Papua New Guinea
  2. India Stack

Key Highlights of the MoU between India and Papua New Guinea:

  • Sharing of India Stack to support identity, data, and payment services on a large scale.
  • Implementation of population-scale Digital Public Infrastructure and Transformational Platforms/projects for improved living standards and governance efficiency.
  • Strengthening digital identity systems and digital payment mechanisms to enable seamless transactions.

India Stack:

  • India Stack is a set of APIs (Application Programming Interface) that enables governments, businesses, startups, and developers to utilize a unique digital infrastructure to address challenging issues related to presence-less, paperless, and cashless service delivery in India.
  • It is a government-led initiative aimed at establishing a robust digital infrastructure to facilitate various digital services across different sectors.
  • The components of India Stack are owned and maintained by different agencies.
  • The primary goal of India Stack is to streamline and enhance identity verification, data exchange, and digital payment processes, making them more accessible and efficient for citizens.
  • It includes digital public goods, which are digital resources and tools made available to the public to support different digital services and initiatives.
  • Key components of India Stack include Aadhaar, a unique biometric-based identification system, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for instant digital payments, and Digital Locker for secure storage of personal documents.
  • The vision of India Stack is not limited to India alone; it can be adapted and applied to other nations, whether developed or emerging, to improve their digital infrastructure and services.

Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2023


Context:

Recently, the Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2023 was passed in Lok Sabha during the monsoon session and aims at giving a boost to Ease of Living and Ease of Doing Business.

Relevance:

GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2023
  2. Need
  3. Benefits
  4. Concerns

Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2023:

  • The Jan Vishwas Bill aims to amend 183 provisions in 42 Central Acts administered by 19 Ministries/Departments, covering diverse sectors like environment, agriculture, media, industry, trade, information technology, copyright, motor vehicles, cinematography, and food safety, among others.
  • The primary objective of the Bill is to decriminalize minor offenses that do not pose any threat to public interest or national security. Instead, these offenses will be replaced with civil penalties or administrative actions.
  • Background:
  • The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on 22nd December 2022 and has been referred to the Joint Committee of Parliament for further review and consideration.
Key Features of the Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2023:
  • Conversion of Offences: The Bill aims to replace imprisonment clauses and/or fines in certain provisions with penalties.
  • Adjudicating Officers: Penalties will be determined by adjudicating officers appointed by the respective Ministries/Departments.
  • Compounding of Offences: The Bill introduces compounding of offenses in certain provisions, allowing offenders to settle cases by paying a certain amount without going through a court trial.
  • Periodic Revision: Fines and penalties will be revised every three years, with an increase of 10% of the minimum amount for various offenses in specified Acts.
  • Repealing Obsolete Provisions: The Bill removes all offenses and penalties under the outdated Indian Post Office Act of 1898.

Need:

The key reasons for introducing the Jan Vishwas Bill are as follows:

  • Rationalize criminal provisions to ease the burden on the justice system by focusing on more serious offenses.
  • Address technical and procedural defaults without imposing harsh penalties.
  • Achieve a balanced approach that matches the severity of the offense with the prescribed punishment.
  • Foster a favorable legal environment that promotes business growth by eliminating barriers and hindrances.

Benefits:

  • Efficient Justice System: The introduction of administrative adjudication mechanisms reduces pressure on the justice system and helps in reducing case pendency, ensuring more efficient justice dispensation.
  • Trust-Based Governance: The Bill promotes trust-based governance by assuring citizens, businesses, and government departments that minor, technical, or procedural defaults will not lead to imprisonment.

Concerns:

  • Quasi-Decriminalization: Critics argue that the Bill represents a form of ‘quasi-decriminalization,’ and more efforts are needed to achieve true decriminalization.
  • Technical Competence: Concerns were raised about the technical competence of adjudicating officers under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, for handling legal proceedings.

ULLAS Initiative


Context:

Recently, the Union Minister of Education launched the logo, slogan-Jan Jan Sakshar and mobile application of ULLAS in New Delhi.

Relevance:

Facts for Prelims

ULLAS Initiative: Empowering Lifelong Learning and Literacy

  • The Understanding Lifelong Learning for All in Society (ULLAS) initiative is a transformative education program aimed at revolutionizing literacy and learning across India.
  • It fosters an inclusive learning ecosystem that reaches every individual, filling the gaps in basic literacy and essential life skills.
  • Implemented through volunteerism, ULLAS provides basic education, digital and financial literacy, and critical life skills to individuals aged 15 and above who missed the opportunity for formal schooling.

Key Aspects of ULLAS Initiative:

  • Slogan: ULLAS: Nav Bharat Saksharta Karyakram
  • ULLAS App: The user-friendly and interactive ULLAS app is available on both Android and iOS platforms. It serves as a digital gateway, connecting learners to diverse educational resources through the DIKSHA portal of NCERT.
  • Registration: The ULLAS app allows learners and volunteers to register easily, either through self-registration or by surveyors.
  • Significance: The initiative focuses on promoting functional literacy, vocational skills, and essential life skills such as financial literacy, legal literacy, and digital literacy. Empowering citizens to actively participate in nation-building is another crucial aspect of the program.
  • Continuous Learning: ULLAS fosters a culture of continuous learning and knowledge-sharing within communities, contributing to a well-informed and empowered society.

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