Prelims Practices Questions
I.) With reference to Asiatic Lions consider the following statements:–
1. They are bigger than African Lions.
2. They have been listed in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below –
A.) 1 only
B.) 2 only
C.) Both 1 and 2
D.) Neither 1 nor 2
II.) Kushiyara River flows in which of the following state?
C.) Himachal Pradesh
Note :- The Kushiyara River is a distributary river in Bangladesh and Assam, India. It forms on the India-Bangladesh border as a branch of the Barak River, when the Barak separates into the Kushiyara and Surma.
III.) Consider the following statements:
1. It is a kharif crop.
2. It requires temperature between 21 degrees and 30 degrees Celsius.
3. It is sensitive to excessive moisture and water logging.
Which of the following crop requires the above conditions?
Mains Question of the Day
Question:- What are the major Global challenges that the world is dealing in the third decade of 21st century?
Prelims Specific Facts
1. Reserve Bank raises rates by 50 bps, brings down growth outlook to 7%
- The Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on Friday raised the policy repo rate by 50 basis points (bps) to 5.9%, with RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das citing the ‘persistence of high inflation that necessitated the withdrawal of monetary accommodation to restrain broadening of price pressures and contain second round effects’.
- “This action will sup port medium-term growth prospects,” Mr. Das added.
- The committee also voted by a 5:1 majority to “re main focused on withdrawal of accommodation to ensure that inflation re mains within the target going forward”.
2. Punjab Assembly passes Bill to dissolve Vigilance Commission
- The Punjab Assembly on Friday passed a Bill to dissolve the State Vigilance Commission, with Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann saying the body was not serving any useful purpose. It was only being a burden on the exchequer, he added. The Assembly also passed two other Bills to tackle the evasion of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and making gram panchayats the exclusive owner of the common village land. The State antigraft body was set up under the Punjab State Vigilance Commission Act, 2020 by the previous Congress government to curb corruption among the State’s public servants.
- The same issues, said Mr. Mann. Therefore, to avoid overlapping, contradictory findings, resultant delays and gaps in communication, it has become necessary to repeal the Act, he said.
- The Punjab Assembly also passed the Punjab Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2022.
3. L-G writes to Delhi
- Government of NCT of Delhi v Union of India:-
- The Court judged that the Chief Minister and not the Lieutenant Governor (LG) is the executive head of the National Capital Territory (NCT) government. Hence, the LG is bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers on all matters where the Delhi Assembly has to the power to make laws.
- KEY ISSUES
- Should Delhi be treated like a Union Territory with the Lt. Governor as its administrative head or as a Special State where the Lt. Governor is bound by the advice of the Chief Minister?
- On 4th July 2018, the five-judge Bench unanimously held that the Chief Minister is the executive head of the NCT.
- The confusion arose due to the special nature of Delhi which is a Union Territory with the features of a State, such as having an elected legislature. The 69th Amendment to the Constitution in 1992 added Article 239AA, which mandated an elected Assembly for Delhi. The special provisions added through the 69th Amendment created confusion with respect to the jurisdiction of the Delhi Government vis-a-vis the Centre.
- On 4th July 2018, the Constitution Bench ruled that the Lt. Governor is bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.
Editorial of the Day
Letting go of a chance to democratise telecom services
- The Telecom Bill misses the opportunity for the democratisation of telecommunication services. Now, it has preferred a move towards centralisation of power through its new licensing regime.
- The Telecom Bill will usher in a wave of stricter regulations and centralised power by introducing licences for telecommunication services. The definition for such services has been significantly expanded under Clause 2(21) of the Telecom Bill to include online communication service providers such as WhatsApp, Apple Watch, Jitsi, etc.
- The argument that over-the-top (OTT) services are a “substitute” of the services provided by telcos, often termed as the “same service, same rules” argument, is flawed as the two have inherently different functionalities. For instance, while telecom operators act as the gatekeepers to the underlying broadband infrastructure, OTT services can only be accessed through telco-controlled infrastructure.
- Such a move may lead to uncertainty in treatment, build adhocism, and pose overbearing compliance and legal costs on service providers, having deleterious effects on innovation.
- Further, the expansion of the definition of telecommunication services to include OTT communication services, coupled with the requirements for interception under Clause 24(2)(a) may signal the death knell for end-to-end encryption (E2EE) in India. While previously Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 authorised interception of messages transmitted through telegraphs, this has not halted attempts, regardless of success, by the executive to expand the provision to include OTT communication Services.
- There is ongoing litigation before the Supreme Court of India in which the traceability requirement of the Information Technology Rules, 2021 is under challenge. However, the Telecom Bill formalises these attempts of the executive to bypass the privacy protecting practice of E2EE and requires OTT communication service providers such as Whatsapp and Signal to intercept or disclose any message or class of messages to the authorised officer. These attempts are in stark contrast with the recommendations and learnings evolved in the last decade by the Supreme Court in its right to privacy decision (2017) and the Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee Report on data protection (2018). Both of these signalled the urgent need for reform of the existing surveillance framework in the country due to its lack of independent oversight and propensity for misuse.
- Clause 24(2)(b) of the Telecom Bill lays down, for the first time, a specific power for suspension of Internet services (Internet shutdowns). In addition to the impact Internet shutdowns have on the fundamental right to free speech of citizens, the high economic costs of such shutdowns have also been consistently raised as a criticism. Here, the Telecom Bill, which recognises socio-economic growth as one of its stated objectives, fails to take sufficient steps to deliver on its promise.
- Learnings and recommendations from the Supreme Court’s decision in 2020 in Anuradha Bhasin vs Union Of India and the 2021 report of the Standing Committee on Information Technology find no place in the Telecom Bill.
Judgment: 4G restoration in J&KOn January 10th, a Bench comprising N.V. Ramana, Subhash Reddy and B.R. Gavai JJ, in Anuradha Bhasin v Union of India and Ors., had held that the suspension/restriction of internet services should not be done in a disproportionate way. Thus, the Court held that the degree and scope of restrictions had to be proportionate to the situation that the Government was trying to address by way of these restrictions. In order to ensure that the Government does not impose such restrictions indefinitely, the Court had directed a Review Committee to undertake periodic reviews of such suspension orders.