The Hindu Editorial News Analysis 19th Dec 2017

For a safe cyberspace

  • Cyber security needs to be integrated in every aspect of policy and planning
  • India is one of the key players in the digital and knowledge-based economy, holding
    more than a 50% share of the world’s outsourcing market
  • Technology-inspired programmes such as Aadhaar, MyGov, Government e-Market,
    DigiLocker, Bharat Net, Startup India, Skill India and Smart Cities are propelling India
    towards technological competence and transformation.
  • India is already the third largest hub for technology-driven startups in the world and its
    Information and Communications Technology sector is estimated to reach the $225 billion
    landmark by 2020
  • However, these achievements come with problem: innovation in technology, enhanced
    connectivity, and increasing integration in commerce and governance also make
    India the fifth most vulnerable country in the world in terms of cybersecurity breaches,
    according to the Internal Security Threat Report of 2017 by Symantec(United States).
  • Till June 2017, 27,482 cybersecurity threats had been reported in the country, according to
    the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team’s report.
  • As this is a 23% increase from 2014 •- figures, it coincides with rapid growth and
    innovation in the ICT sector.
  • The good news, though, is that India recognises this.
  • The second Global Cybersecurity Index, released by the International Telecommunication
    Union in July, which measured the commitment of nations to cyber security, found that
    India ranked 23 out of 165 nations
  • Types of attacks
  • Of the cybersecurity attacks, Ransomware attacks have been the most common in the
    last few years
  • Apart from WannaCry and Petya, other Ransomware attacks that made news globally
  • Ransom demand rose from $294 in 2015 to $1077 in 2016, according to Symantec
  • While Windows operating systems were the most vulnerable to cyberattacks, a number
    of Android threats have been reported in the last couple of years.
  • 2016, the •1
    st known Ransomware, named KeRanger, targeting Mac users was also reported
  • The Mirai botnet malware affected 2.5 million home router users and other Internet of Things
    devices.
  • At the 15th Asia Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team conference in Delhi, Minister
    for Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad highlighted the need for
    robust cybersecurity policies and frameworks.
  • Announced that it will award a grant worth •5 crore to startups working on innovations in
    the •field of cybersecurity.
  • India needs to quickly frame an appropriate and updated cybersecurity policy, create
    adequate infrastructure, and foster closer collaboration between all those involved to
    ensure a safe cyberspace
  • Need for a Geneva-like Convention to agree on some high-level recommendations
    among nations to keep the Internet safe, open, universal and interoperable

The urban heat island effect

  • Rapid urbanisation increases temperatures
  • Rapid and unplanned urbanisation of cities and concomitant reduction in vegetation results
    in increased rise in temperature compared to non-urban areas.
  • IIT-Bhubaneswar studied
  • Rapid urbanisation combined with changes in land use pattern between 2000 and 2014 led to about 1.8°C warming of Bhubaneswar
  • Found that increase in urbanisation has been rapid at 83% in the last 15 years. This has led
    1)- 89% decrease in dense vegetation,
    2)-About 2% decrease in water bodies and
    3)-Nearly 83% decrease in crop fields during the same period.
  • These changes have led to increase in the urban heat island effect

Hidden •figures of Indian science

  • It’s strange how India ignores some of its best intellectuals
  • Many of the greatest scientists that independent India has produced are little known, like
    hidden •figures in their own homeland.
    1)- Amal Kumar Raychaudhuri in cosmology,
    2)- G.N. Ramachandran in protein crystal structures, and
    3)- C.K. Majumdar and Dipan Ghosh who extended the quantum Heisenberg spin model.
  • These are household names in the international scientific •field, but are little promoted
    by the Indian scientific establishment, even neglected in graduate teaching.
  • Dependent on political patronage for continued funding
  • Women are scarce
  • In last year’s Hollywood •lm Hidden Figures, we learnt the true story of some mathematicians who made crucial contributions to NASA’s space satellite programme, but were ignored because they were female and black
  • Indian scientists in question were usually upper-caste Hindu men who suffered
    no discrimination on account of their identity.
  • For Indian scientists, success has meant becoming a bureaucrat, rather than advancing
    research.
  • All the significant•- cant work produced in India is theoretical work
  • experimental science is very poor in India
  • To succeed, experiments require at least two conditions:
    1)-Guarantees of long-term funding and
    2)-Scientists’ collaboration with each other.
  • Funding varies with the political climate
  • Lab assistants are the hands, while scientists avoid what they regard as mere manual labour.
  • Ancient Indian science has long venerated(पूजा)

Prelims Focus Facts-News Analysis

  • Page-1– Plea seeks OBC status for farmers
  • Supreme Court has decided to entertain a writ petition seeking ‘farmers’ who do not fall
    within the creamy layer to be recognised as Other Backward Classes (OBC), as an
    occupational group irrespective of their caste and religion
  • Rajasthan activists worried over court order on pictorial warning
  • Freedom to reduce the size following a judgment of the Karnataka H C
  • Centre frames fresh rules or amends the 2008 rules,
    pictorial warnings will be printed only on 40% of
    principal area of the packages
  • Cigarette companies have partially won a legal battle
    against the Union government with the Karnataka
    High Court on Friday
  • Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules,
    2014, which had enhanced to 85% the area of pictorial warning.
  • Page-6- Rafale deal has better terms, cleared by CCS, says Nirmala
  • 36 aircraft being procured in •y-away condition, Defence Minister tells Rajya Sabha
  • The Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with
    France for 36 Rafales was arrived at to meet the critical
    requirement of the Air Force (IAF) and was cleared by the
    Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), Parliament was
    informed on Monday.
  • Page-7- HC scraps plea for martyr status to Bhagat Singh
  • Filter the petitioner was unable to reply to the query……whether there is any law under whic
    h the court has the power to issue any such direction
  • Odisha keen to translocate tigers from M.P. in February
  • Satkosia Tiger Reserve (STR) and the presence of a
    healthy prey base, the Odisha Forest and Environment department has expressed its keenness to translocate tigers from Madhya Pradesh to the STR in February to increase the big cat population.
  • Trump to unveil ‘America First’ plan
  • Will reverse Obama-era warnings on climate change and de-emphasise multinational agreements
  • Sri Lanka requests Russia to lift ban on tea imports
  • It was imposed after an insect was found in a package
  • 354 Rohingya villages destroyed’
  • The international rights group, Human Rights Watch, has
    identi•fied 40 new Rohingya villages that were burned during
    October and November in Rakhine State.
  • U.S. vetoes UN call on Jerusalem’s status
  • Other 14 Security Council members back resolution seeking to nullify Trump’s move