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Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security

Important points:

  • SC was told that the right to know is a fundamental right and it cannot be curtailed by banning information on the Internet.
  • It was also stated that,there is distinction between information and advertisement. A person out of curiosity wants to know or study something. The right to know is a fundamental right and we cannot curtail it.
  • It said that it has to see whether section 22 of the PNDT Act does not go against the Article 19(1)(a) of Constitution which gaurantees the freedom of speech and expression.
  • Section 22 of the Act pertains to prohibition of advertisements relating to pre-natal determination of sex and punishment for its contravention.
  • Center replies to it, that it is difficult to control or supervise the content on the Internet but the stand of the other side is that there should be no advertising.
  • The center says, the prohibition under Section 22 should be only on paid ads for sex determination or online advertisements masquerading as information.
  • Internet majors Microsoft and Google told the bench that they cannot block the information on the information expressway but they can certainly block the advertisements with regard to pre-natal sex determination under the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act.
  • What google has to say, The counsel for Google said it will comply with the apex court direction by removing advertisements based on terms linked to gender selection tests but cannot delete the contents with regard to research materials or medical journals.
  • It said that preventive blockage of the content is very difficult and can only be done by curative blockage.
  • The Internet maajors said that if the content with regard to pre-natal sex determination is blocked then entire research materials or journals will get blocked.

The outcome:

  • The three Internet search engines — Microsoft, Google India and Yahoo! India — gave their assurances to the Supreme Court that they would neither advertise nor sponsor advertisements violative of the PNPCDT Act.
  • In case the nodal officers detect illegal online content, they would communicate with the search engine’s experts, which would take it off within the next 36 hours of receiving the information.

Source: The Hindu

Paper 5-GS-IV, Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources

India plans to buy three more Scorpenes.

You should know:

  • India and France will step up negotiations to expand the Scorpene submarine contract.
  • India will push for incorporating several upgrades in the proposed three new submarines that the two sides would be discussing.
  • Mazgaon Docks Ltd. (MDL), Mumbai, is manufacturing six Scorpene conventional submarines with technology transfer from DCNS under a $3.75-billion deal signed in October 2005.
  • After a series of delays, the first submarine Kalvariis now in advanced stages of sea trials and expected to be commissioned in a few months.
  • The second submarine Khanderi was launched in January and is undergoing sea trials.
  • All submarines are expected to be launched from MDL by 2020 and both sides are on to firm up a deal before that to keep the production line running and preserve the expertise.
  • The six SSNs will be constructed under the Make in India programme.
  • INS Arihant’s sea trials (which began a year ago) are proceeding satisfactorily.

Why more submarines?

  • India is steadily cranking up military force-levels and infrastructure in the strategically-located Andaman and Nicobar Command in a bid to effectively counter China’s strategic moves in the IOR as well as ensure security of sea lanes converging towards Malacca Strait, as was reported by TOI earlier.
  • The aim is to ensure the islands are not only well protected but also act as a strategic location for basing aircraft, warships and submarines. The proximity of A&N Islands to Malacca Strait makes them very strategic since they overlook busy sea lanes and choke points.
  • China, in sharp contrast, has 51 conventional and five nuclear submarines, and is on course to induct another five JIN-class SSBNs with the 7,400-km range JL-2 missiles.
  • The frequent forays of Chinese conventional and nuclear submarines in the Indian Ocean region, with halts from Colombo to Karachi, has only added to India’s strategic challenges in the region over the last couple of years.
  • The combat edge India has over Pakistan is also fast eroding, with Islamabad recently ordering eight more advanced diesel-electric submarines from Beijing.
  • The maritime capability perspective plan has laid down the route for the Navy to become a 198-warship and 600-aircraft force by 2027, even though it’s currently grappling with critical operational deficiencies in submarines, multi-role helicopters and minesweepers.

Source:Indian Express

Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

With Brexit, U.K.-India pact could boost trade

Important to note:

  • There is great potential for future growth in trade between Indian and the U.K.
  • The potential for the growth in India-U.K. trade following Brexit is 26%
  • Indian tariffs are higher on average than the other way round — 14.8% versus 8.4%
  • So, much of the growth would come from a reduction on tariffs on the Indian side.
  • Indian exports to the U.K. could rise by as much as 12%, with sectors such as clothing, industrial and mechanical appliances such as turbo jets and transmission shafts seeing strong growth.
  • the opportunity for increasing the exports of services as well as new exports such as non-industrial diamonds, and specific mechanical devices.

India was trying for this:

  • While India h1as been negotiating a broad-based trade and investment agreement with the European Union since 2007, it has remained inconclusive… India was also unable to build and expand on its trade ties with the U.K. as it was part of the EU.
  • But with Brexit, Britain offers a fresh start for India to engage on a whole and exciting new level on sectors which have been largely dormant due to EU regulations.

India is best option for Britain:

  • Britain cannot commence negotiations with India on a trade deal while it remains within the E.U., but both nations have been exploring the specifics of their trading relationship.
  • A joint working group between the two countries set up last year will be conducting an audit on the current situation and potential future.
  • The audit’s terms of reference are currently being established, and is set to commence shortly.

Source:Times of India