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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS ANALYSIS

17th November 2021

. No.Topic NamePrelims/Mains
1.    What is the National Population RegisterPrelims & Mains
2.    New Information Technology (IT) RulesPrelims & Mains
3.    Should Petroleum be brought under GST regimePrelims & Mains
4.    About the CAATSA Law of USAPrelims & Mains
5.    About the Mullaperiyar Dam IssuePrelims & Mains
6.    What are Detention Centres for ForeignersPrelims & Mains

 

  1. What is the National Population Register: 

GS II

Topic – Indian Constitution and its various provisions:

  • About the NPR:
  • Although NPR was first incorporated in 2010 and reviewed in 2015, new questions were part of a trial involving 30 lakh respondents in September 2019.
  • This work has been opposed by other countries and civil society groups as the NPR is the first step in compiling the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRCs) in terms of the Citizenship Act, 2003.
  • How is NPR different from the Census:
  • The purpose of the NPR is to establish a comprehensive identity website for all ordinary citizens of the country and “it is the responsibility of every ordinary person in India to register with the NPR.”
  • Although the same data is collected through Census, in terms of Section 15 of the Census Act, 1948, all personal information collected in the Census is confidential and is “only aggregated data released at various levels of administration.”
  • Criticism surrounding NPR:
  • Many countries ruled by opposition parties have opposed the review of the NPR because of its links to the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to be implemented.
  • In terms of Citizenship Laws enacted in 2003, the NPR is the first step in compiling the National Register of Citizens of India (NRIC) or NRC.
  • What is NPR:
  • The NPR is a general citizen register that is linked to local details up to the village level and is updated periodically “to cover changes due to birth, death and migration”.
  • The next phase would be reviewed in conjunction with the 2021 housing and housing census but was postponed due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
  • Who is the general resident:
  • A general resident is defined for NPR purposes as a person who has lived in the area for 6 months or more or who intends to stay in the area for 6 months or more.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • National constitutional provisions.
  • NPR data components.
  • Who is the average resident?
  • Who is preparing for NPR?
  • How can one obtain Indian citizenship?
  • Can an Indian citizen hold dual citizenship?
  • What are long-term visas?
  • Recent amendments to the National Law.
  • Source – https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/1032-doubtful-cases-from-nrc-referred-for-further-action/article37526505.ece
  1. New Information Technology (IT) Rules 2021:

GS II

Topic – Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. 

  • What are the exact rules:
  • If a social media intermediary has more than 50 lakh registered users in India, so it is classified as an ‘intermediary’ under Section 2(1)(w) of the IT Act, 2000 and as an SSMI (Significant Social Media Intermediary) under the New IT Rules 2021.
  • And, SSMIs are mandated under New IT Rules 2021 to appoint a Chief Compliance Officer, a Nodal Officer and a Grievance Officer, all of whom should be Indian Residents.
  • What the rules say in case of non-compliance:
  • Non-compliance means breach of provisions of the New IT Rules, which can lead to an organization loosing the status of intermediary and the immunity provided therein.
  • Thus, a loss of the intermediary status makes an organization liable for criminal action in case of complaints as the immunity provided from liabilities over any 3rd part data hosted by the organization is lost.
  • When were the New IT Rules framed:
  • The IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 were framed and notified by Centre on 25 February 2021.
  • This was done in exercise of the powers provided under Section 87 (2) of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
  • The New IT Rules, 2021 superseded the IT (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules released in 2011.
  • Key Features of the New IT Rules:
  • Mandatory to set-up a grievance redressal system for all Over The Top (OTT) and digital portal all over India à Will help social media users to raise grievances against misuse of the social media platform.
  • All Significant Social Media Intermediaries (SSMI) have to mandatorily appoint a Chief Compliance Officer, a Nodal Officer and a Grievance Officer, all of whom should be Indian Residents.
  • Nodal Officer appointed therein has to be in touch of law enforcement agencies 24/7.
  • The Grievance Officer appointed therein will have to register the grievance within 24 hours and dispose it off within 15 days.
  • If there is any complaint against the dignity of users, specially women, about exposed private parts of individuals or nudity or sexual act or impersonation, etc, then social media platforms are required to remove that content within 24 hours after a complaint is made.
  • Monthly Report à Indicating the number of complaints received and their status of redressal will have to be published.
  • There shall be 3 levels of regulations for news publishers – self regulation, a self-regulatory body which shall be headed by a retired judge or an eminent person and the final oversight will be from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, including codes of practices and a grievance committee.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • Broad features of the New IT Rules
  • Criteria to define Significant Social Media Intermediaries
  • Exact Grievance Redressal Mechanism provided under New IT Rules.
  • Source – https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/facebook-to-depose-before-house-panel/article37531500.ece
  1. Should Petroleum be brought under GST regime:

GS III

Topic – Economy related issues:

  • Why in News:
  • The Central Government has recently reduced the excise duty on petrol by Rs 5 per litre and on diesel by Rs 10 per litre.
  • Taking cue from the same, many state governments have also reduced the VAT they charge on petrol and diesel by around Rs 5 to Rs 12 per litre.
  • How much do we pay for petrol and diesel:
  • Union and state government taxes include about 55 percent and 52 percent of the retail price of petrol and diesel respectively.
  • These account for approximately 135 percent and 116 percent of the base prices of two products respectively.
  • The central levy of petrol and diesel accounts for about 36 percent of the retail price and the state share is estimated at 20 percent (diesel) to 28 percent (petrol).
  • Including fossil fuels/petroleum in the GST:
  • GST Constitution Amendment Bill 122 of 2014 adopted a delayed choice option.
  • Under the delayed choice process, petroleum products will be included in the GST from the date on which the council may recommend.
  • Accordingly, sections 9 (2) and 5 (2) of the CGST / SGST Act and the IGST Act respectively, clearly provide for GST tax on these products from the date on which the Council may recommend.
  • Therefore, keeping the petroleum products under the GST is not easy to accomplish by central government alone.
  • How much will be the revenue loss if petroleum is included under GST:
  • The 28% GST tax on basic value will cost about Rs 5.40 a litre on petrol and Rs 5.45 per litre on diesel.
  • Current taxes are at least Rs 32.90 per litre on petrol and Rs 31.80 litre per lire on diesel.
  • However, bringing petroleum under the GST will reduce petrol and diesel prices by around Rs 55 a litre.
  • This will result in an estimated loss of Rs 3 lakh crore due to petrol and Rs 1.1 lakh crore due to diesel.
  • Conclusion:

Clearly, importing petroleum products under the GST will not reduce oil prices alone, unless the Union and state governments are willing to significantly reduce their revenues.

  1. About the CAATSA Law of UPSC:

GS II

Topic – International Relations:

  • Why in the News:
  • Prominent lawmakers in USA continue to express their support for the lifting of sanctions on India by USA for purchasing the S-400 missiles from Russia.
  • What is the problem:
  • India is likely to get the delivery of the S-400 missile in November, which is likely to open US sanctions under the 2017 law, Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
  • What is CAATSA, and how did the S-400 agreement violate this Act:
  • The Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)’s main objective is to oppose Iran, Russia and North Korea with punitive measures.
  • It was released in 2017.
  • It includes sanctions against countries involved in key trade with Russia’s defence and intelligence industry.
  • What is the S-400 air defense missile system? Why does India need it:
  • The S-400 Triumf is a Russian-to-air (SAM) missile system designed by Russia.
  • It has the world’s most fierce SAM System (MLR SAM), thought ahead of the US advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) program.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • Powers of the US president under CAATSA.
  • Types of sanctions that can be imposed.
  • Important defence agreements between India and Russia.
  • An overview of the Iran Nuclear agreement.
  1. About the Mullaperiyar Dam Issue:

GS III

Topic – Water Conservation:

  • Why in News:
  • The Supreme Court has instructed the Steering Committee to take a swift and decisive decision regarding the high water level that can be maintained at the Mullaperiyar dam, amid heavy rains in Kerala.
  • Background:
  • The SC formed a permanent Steering Committee in 2014 to oversee all matters pertaining to the Mullaperiyar dam.
  • The dam is the source of the conflict between Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  • What is the problem:
  • Kerala said the water should not be more than 139 meters, just as the court ordered on August 24, 2018, when the State was hit by floods.
  • This is because the lives of 50 lakh people could be in danger if the water level rises in the dam.
  • However, Tamil Nadu challenged the decision, citing 2006 and 2014 Supreme Court rulings, which adjusted the water level to 142 meters.
  • What’s next:
  • The court has asked officials in Kerala and Tamil Nadu to co-operate responsibly and avoid any conflict.
  • The Court also made it clear that this was not a political game.
  • Now, the steering committee will have to decide on the high water level and inform the court about it.
  • About the Mullaperiyar Dam:
  • Although the dam is located in Kerala, it is used by Tamil Nadu following a 1886 lease agreement for 999 years (Periyar Lake Lease Agreement) signed between the Maharaja of Travancore and the Indian Secretary of State for Periyar Irrigation operations.
  • Built between 1887 and 1895, the dam redirected the river to flow into the Bay of Bengal, replacing the Arabian Sea and supplying water to the arid rain of Madurai at the Presidential Palace in Madras.
  • The dam is located at the confluence of the Mullayar and Periyar rivers in the Idukki region of Kerala
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • The Mullayar and Periyar River areas.
  • About the Periyar Lake Lease Agreement of 1886.
  • Interstate River Water Disputes Act, 1956 (IRWD Act).
  • Source – https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/back-to-square-one/article37524743.ece?utm_source=op-ed&utm_medium=sticky_footer
  1. What are Detention Centres for Foreigners:

GS II

Topic – Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

  • What are detention centres?
  • They are places designated to keep illegal migrants (people who have entered a country without necessary documents) once they are detected by the authorities till the time their nationality is confirmed and they are deported to the country of their origin.
  • Detention centres were set up in Assam after the Union government authorized the state to do so under the provisions of the Foreigners’ Act, 1946 and the Foreigners Order, 1948.
  • Foreigners Act, 1946:
  • It replaced the Foreigners Act, 1940conferring wide powers to deal with all foreigners.
  • The act empowered the government to take such steps as are necessary to prevent illegal migrants including the use of force.
  • The concept of ‘burden of proof’lies with the person, and not with the authorities.
  • The act originally empowered the government to establish tribunalswhich would have powers similar to those of a civil court.
  • Amendments (2019) to the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964empowered even district magistrates in all States and Union Territories to set up tribunals to decide whether a person staying illegally in India is a foreigner or not.

 

 

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