The Hindu Newspaper Analysis for UPSC
- The Supreme Court said on Friday that there are different “dimensions” to menstrual pain leave, which though being a biological process, may also act as a “disincentive” for employers from engaging women in their establishments.
- A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud asked the petitioner to approach the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development Ministry to frame a policy.
- Bihar and Kerala are the only States that allow menstrual pain leave. He had sought a direction from the court under Section 14 of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.
- Japan was the first country to implement this policy in 1947. Across the globe, menstrual leave policies exist in countries like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Indonesia, Zambia, Sweden and Mexico. Spain tried recently to approve a new law to introduce paid ‘menstrual leave’.
- 2020: Zomato introduced menstrual leaves for up to ten days a year for its women and transgender employees.
- Since then, similar policies are also followed by other private companies.
Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP)
- ERCP was incepted with the aim of providing water to the drought-prone areas of the state.
- It aims to harvest surplus water available during the rainy season in rivers in southern Rajasthan, such as the Chambal and its tributaries Kunnu, Parvati, and Kalisindh.
- The project consists of the construction of two canals:
- Chambal Canal (which originates from the Chambal River)
- East Rajasthan Canal (which originates from the Mahi River)
The ERCP is a major initiative for interlinking of the Parvati, Kali Sindh and Chambal rivers.
- While Madhya Pradesh has raised objections in view of the Chambal river flowing 376 km in that State, the Rajasthan government has maintained that any of the two States could use water from its catchment area as well as 10% of the water received from the other after an agreement reached in the Inter-State Water Control Board in 2005.
- Madhya Pradesh has itself built the Mohanpura dam on the Newaj river, a tributary of Parvati river, and the Kundalia dam on Kali Sindh river, because of which about 2.65-lakh hectare irrigation area was developed in that State.
- The first was the ransomware attack on the servers of India’s premium institute, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Nearly 40 million health records were compromised and it took over two weeks for the systems to be brought online.
- Ransomwares have emerged as the most predominant of malicious cyberattacks. Here, the perpetrators demand hefty payments for the release of withheld data. Data show that over 75% of Indian organisations have faced such attacks, with each breach costing an average of ₹35 crore of damage.
- Cyber capabilities are also playing a pivotal role, as seen in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, where electronic systems in warheads, radars and communication devices have reportedly been rendered ineffective using hacking and GPS jamming.
- In 2022, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), which is India’s cybersecurity agency, introduced a set of guidelines for organisations to comply with when connected to the digital realm.
- This included the mandatory obligation to report cyberattack incidents within hours of identifying them, and designating a pointsperson with domain knowledge to interact with CERT-In.
- India’s draft Digital Personal Protection Bill 2022 proposes a penalty of up to ₹500 crore for data breaches. Recently, India’s armed forces created a Defence Cyber Agency (DCyA), capable of offensive and defensive manoeuvres. All Indian States have their own cyber command and control centres.
- India has already signed cybersecurity treaties, where the countries include the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, South Korea and the European Union.
- Even in multinational frameworks such as the Quad and the I2U2 (which India is a member of) there are efforts to enhance cooperation in cyber incident responses, technology collaboration, capacity building, and in the improvement of cyber resilience.
- Yet, there is no truly global framework, with many operating in silos.
- Nearly one year to the date of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s launch of attacks on Ukraine (February 24, 2022), the UN General Assembly’s vote on the latest resolution to criticise Russia resulted in 141 votes in favour, seven against (it includes Russia) and 32 abstentions (it includes India and China).
- Significantly, the sponsors, led by the U.S., its allies, and European Union countries, did not call for peace talks — something Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy does not favour at present, given the status quo advantage that lies with Russian forces having laid claim to about one-fifth of Ukrainian territory.
- The Pentagon announced a new package of long-term security assistance for Ukraine on Friday, marking the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion with a $2 billion commitment to send more rounds of ammunition and a variety of small, high-tech drones into the fight.
- The announcement comes just days after President Joe Biden made an unannounced visit to Kyiv and pledged America’s continuing commitment to Ukraine. In a statement, the Pentagon said the aid includes weapons to counter Russia’s unmanned systems and several types of drones, including the upgraded Switchblade 600 Kamikaze drone, as well as electronic warfare detection equipment.
- It also includes money for additional ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, artillery rounds and munitions for laser-guided rocket systems. Including this latest package, the U.S. has now committed more than $32 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion.
Group of Seven (G7)
- It is an intergovernmental organisation that was formed in 1975.
- The bloc meets annually to discuss issues of common interest like global economic governance, international security and energy policy.
- The G7 countries are the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US.
- All the G7 countries and India are a part of G20.
- The global economic outlook has improved in recent months, but uncertainties still remain, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Friday as he called upon G20 nations to resolutely address the challenges, including debt distress and threats to financial stability, confronting world economies.
- Addressing the inaugural session of the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors (FMCBG), Mr. Das said the outlook for the global economy has improved in recent months.
- The International Monetary Fund had in its January update of the World Economic Outlook said although the global economy is poised to slow this year, before rebounding next year, the outlook is less gloomy than in its October forecast, and could represent a turning point, with growth bottoming out and inflation declining.