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The Hindu Editorial News Analysis 30th Nov 2017

A Neutral Internet

  • TRAI finally came out with clear guidelines in favour of Net neutrality.
  • Cannot be discriminatory treatment of websites
  • TRAI warned providers against the practice
  • TRAI’s new guidelines will help the cause of building the Internet as a public platform with open access to all
  • Concerns of service providers should not be dismissed
  • Internet- Believe it is now an essential good
  • Infrastructure that serves as the backbone of the Internet has not come without huge investments by private service providers
  • Government to decide on services that count as “specialised” and deserve exceptional treatment
  • Make sure that exceptions are not used as loopholes
  • Policymakers will also need to think hard.


Eliminate torture

  • Law to prevent custodial cruelty is in India’s interests
  • GoI has informed the Supreme Court that it is seriously considering 273rd
    Report of the Law Commission,
  • Which has recommended that India ratify the United Nations Convention
    against Torture and pass a law to prevent torture & punish its perpetrators.
  • Delay in India ratifying the UN Convention, which it had signed in 1997
    1)-First conduct negotiations
    2)-Reach agreement, the treaty is signed
    3)-Parliament gives its approval, ratification
  • There can be no reason to further delay legislative measures
  • India has made many requests-> Absence of an anti-torture law may
    prevent these countries from acceding to India’s requests.
  • United Kingdom refused to send two persons
  • Conditions in India‟s prisons, especially the chronic problem of over-crowding
  • The Prevention of Torture Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in 2010 but it
    lapsed after it was referred to a Select Committee in the Rajya Sabha.
  • Law Commission- government should accept the recommendations without
    delay as it not only provides a penal framework for
    1)-Punishing public servants who inflict torture,
    2)-Lays down that just compensation be paid to victims.

Electric cars and us

  • They are far less polluting, but pose a challenge to Indian driving practices
  • While adopting a technology, Indians have made changes to their attitudes
  • Don‟t consider lanes important.
  • Breaking rules
  • Charging the battery
  • Electric cars present a unique opportunity for Indian drivers.
  • Instead of tamping down the technology,
  • we can instead change our habits
    1)-Be mindful of lanes,
    2)-Wait our turn,
    3)-Be polite and respectful
    4)-Make our driving smoother.

Against gender rights

  • Decision to re-introduce the 2016 Bill on transgender rights makes
    a mockery of democratic norms
  • Journey of the Bill
  • Supreme Court‟s landmark decision in NALSA v. Union of India
  • Recognised that transgender persons have fundamental rights.
  • Judgment was followed by a private member‟s Bill, Rights of Transgender
    Persons Bill, 2014, which was unanimously passed in the Rajya Sabha.
  • Instead of introducing it in Lok Sabha, the Ministry uploaded its own Bill,
    the Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2015
  • 2015 Bill, which was largely based on the 2014 Bill
  • Fairly progressive->Identified as a „man‟, ‟woman‟ or „transgender‟.
  • 2016 Bill, highly diluted- “partly female or male; neither female nor male”.
  • Re-drafting the definition of a „transgender person‟ to make it
    1)-Inclusive and
  • Setting up a grievance redress mechanism to address cases of discrimination
  • Granting reservations to transgender persons
  • Law must grant equal civil rights to transgender persons
    (marriage, divorce and adoption), thus opening the door for the legal system
  • The Ministry‟s decision to re-introduce the 2016 Bill disregards pre-legislative
    consultative policy which requires Ministries to grant a minimum of 30 days
    for public comments and to place a summary of feedback/comments received
    from the public/other stakeholders on their website.

Cryptocurrencies• here to stay

  • Bitcoin saw its value trading at above $10,000 (about •6.43 lakh) per bitcoin, up by about 900% from its value on January 1, 2017.
  • At a time when the Indian government is in the process of determining the legality of cryptocurrencies, it is important to understand what exactly a virtual currency means for the layman
  • Cryptocurrency is a basically a digital asset that has been created to function as a medium of exchange, like cash.
  • Uses cryptography to ensure the
    1)-Security of transactions —
    2)-Authentication and
    3)-Prevention of duplicate transactions
    4)-To control the creation of new units of currency- No central bank
  • This is different from cash in that cryptocurrencies have no physical form
  • At the moment, the Reserve Bank of India has banned transactions in India
    using cryptocurrencies.
  • The panel-submitted its report in August.
  • The contents have not yet been made public.
  • What do the experts say?
  • cryptocurrencies are here to stay
  • The only way to regulate their value and quantity is for central banks to issue
    their own digital currencies.
  • While the value of digital currencies such as bitcoin are market- determined
  • Still a lot of analysis to be done regarding the effect of such a central
    bankbacked digital currency

Prelims Focus Facts-News Analysis

  • Page-1,12– U.S. now within range of N. Korea‟s nuclear weapons
     North Korea said it successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile
    (ICBM) on Wednesday in a “breakthrough” that puts U.S. mainland within the
    range of its nuclear weapons
  • Page-7– India unlikely to cut malaria burden by half in 2020: WHO
  • Weak surveillance a key impediment, other South Asian nations do better
  • India accounted for 6% of global malaria cases and 7% of deaths caused by it in 2016, according to a report released on Wednesday by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
  • Maldives, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan achieved malaria-free status
    in 2015 and 2016 respectively
  • India and Nigeria, two major contributors to the global burden of malaria.

Page-11- Singapore offers India logistical base

  • Nations agree on more cooperation, activity in Strait of Malacca &
    Andaman sea
  • Strait of Malacca and the Andaman Sea even as the
    two countries concluded a wide ranging naval agreement for
    maritime cooperation including logistical support.
  • Page-11– New radio technology for Navy
  • Defence Acquisition Council on Wednesday approved the procurement of
    more than 260 Software Defined Radios (SDR) for the Navy at a cost of more
    than •490 crore.
  • “This is the first indigenously designed and developed SDR to be procured
    by any of the three services.
  • The development of the SDRs was carried out by the Defence Electronics &
    Applications Laboratory of the DRDO.
  • Bharat Electronics Limited will be the production Agency.
  • This technology will improve
    1)-Information sharing and
    2)-Situational awareness through secure voice communications and
    3)-Data transfer capabilities
  • 4,327 Kashmiris get a reprieve(दण्डविराम)-J&K-•>First-time stone-throwers
    Competition Commission slaps 52-crore penalty on BCCI
  • For anti-competitive practices with respect to the Indian Premier League.
  • Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will consider revocation of the
    suspension of the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) at its Special General Meeting in New Delhi on December 11
  • 2018 men’s hockey World Cup-Location-?

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