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Q.1) India is reconsidering its position on becoming a member of the Budapest Convention on cyber crime, especially after a push for digital India. In this context, discuss briefly about Budapest Convention and why India should sign it?(GS-3)

India is reconsidering its position on becoming a member of the Budapest Convention because of the surge in cyber crime, especially after a push for digital India. The move, however, is being opposed by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) on the grounds that sharing data with foreign law enforcement agencies infringes on national sovereignty and may jeopardise the rights of individuals.

Budapest Convention:

  • The Budapest Convention provides for the criminalisation of conduct, ranging from illegal access, data and systems interference to computer-related fraud and child pornography, procedural law tools to make investigation of cybercrime and securing of e-evidence in relation to any crime more effective, and international police and judicial cooperation on cybercrime and e-evidence.
  • The Convention has 56 members, including the US and the UK.
  • The Budapest Convention, also known as the Convention on cybercrime, is the first international treaty seeking to address Internet and computer crime.
  • It was drawn up by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, with the active participation of the Council of Europe’s observer states Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United States.

Significance of Budapest convention:

  • The rising incidents of sharing pornography over the Internet.
  • It will form effective mechanism to strictly monitor cyberspace and block websites flouting Indian law, especially on child pornography.
  • It helps in   harmonizing national laws, improving investigative techniques, and increasing cooperation among others.
  • The governments are struggling not only with the increasing levels of cybercrime but also with the complexities of securing electronic evidence (e-evidence) of any type of crime or economic offence.
  • Securing e-evidence for criminal justice purposes is particularly challenging in the context of cloud computing where data is distributed over different services, providers, locations and often jurisdictions, and where mutual legal assistance is often not feasible.
  • Needed to address security and the rule of law in cyberspace.
  • The more cyber issues affect core national interests, the more difficult it becomes to reach international consensus.

Conclusion:

Foreign policy considerations may have prevented India’s accession to the Budapest Convention. Given the surge in cybercrime and the vision of a Digital India, it may be time for the government of India to reconsider its position.

Q.2) The goal of comprehensive social security coverage remains mere slogan in many parts of the world as per the recently released World Social Protection Report by the International labour organization. Discuss(GS-1)

World Social Protection Report 2017-19, released by the International Labour Organization. Major findings of the report are given below.

Major findings of the report

  • No security: A vast majority of people (4 billion) live without any safeguard against the normal contingencies of life, according to the study
  • Access to only on social protection benefit: Less than half (45.2%) have guaranteed access to only one social protection benefit in the face of a whole gamut of risks such as ill health, unemployment, occupational injuries, disability, and old age
  • Universal health, a mere slogan: More than half the population in rural areas are not covered by universal health programmes, as compared to less than a quarter in urban locations. The goal of comprehensive coverage evidently remains a mere slogan in several parts of the world
  • Pension amount not enough: The expansion of old-age pensions to include 68% of people in the retirement age is a move in the right direction. However, the levels of support are not adequate enough even to lift people out of poverty. A trend away from the privatisation of pension protection in Poland, Argentina, Hungary, among others, is perhaps a moment for other countries to rethink

The goal of comprehensive social security coverage remains a mere slogan:

The latest report sheds some light on why the above mentioned task seems almost elusive

  • Nearly two-thirds of children are not covered by any form of social protection, meaning that their education is unlikely to rank as a priority among households
  • Furthermore, 41% of mothers of newborns receive no maternity benefits.
  • Only 27.8% of persons with severe disabilities worldwide receive appropriate support. This precludes effective interventions to alleviate the impact of different impairments on daily living.
  • Less than half (45.2%) have guaranteed access to only one social protection benefit in the face of a whole gamut of risks such as ill health, unemployment, occupational injuries, disability, and old age.
  • More than half the population in rural areas is not covered by universal health programmes, as compared to less than a quarter in urban locations.

Q.3)  Write a short note on any two of the following.

a) Agni V(GS-3)

b) Passport holder under Emigration Check Required (ECR) category

c) Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER)

a) Agni V

  • Agni-5, India’s nuclear capable missile, was recently successfully test fired.
  • Agni- 5 is the intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile.
  • It is the latest in India’s “Agni” family of medium to intercontinental range missiles.
  • Agni-5 has a range of over 5,000 km and can carry about a 1,000-kg warhead.
  • It can target almost all of Asia including Pakistan and China and Europe.
  • The 17-metre long Agni-5 Missile weighs about 50 tonnes and is a very agile and modern weapon system.
  • The surface-to-surface missile is a fire-and-forget system that cannot be easily detected as it follows a ballistic trajectory.
  • India describes the Agni – 5 missile system as a ‘weapon of peace’.
  • Only the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – China, France, Russia, the United States and Britain, along with Israel, have so far possessed such long-range missiles.

b) Passport holder under Emigration Check Required (ECR) category

  • Passport holders under the Emigration Check Required (ECR) category have faced exploitation, especially in West Asia. Protecting their human rights has become a priority, as the government is reaching out to diaspora Indians and Indians working abroad
  • ECR passport holders are being serviced by the Protector General of Emigrants so that their human rights are safeguarded abroad.
  • It is expected that with an orange passport, ECR passport holders will stand out in difficult situations and their passports will allow for quick processing of their documents.

c) Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER)

  • Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) or Gross Enrollment Index (GEI) is a statistical measure  used in the  education sector and by the  UN in its Education Index.
  • It is used  to determine the number of students enrolled in school at several different grade levels (like elementary, middle school and high school).
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO), describes ‘Gross Enrolment Ratio’ as the total enrolment within a country “in a specific level of education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the population in the official age group corresponding to this level of education.”
  • The GER is widely used to show the general level of participation in and capacity of higher education.
  • Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Higher education in India is calculated for 18-23 years of age group.
  • Total enrolment in higher education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage to the eligible official population (18-23 years) in a given school year.
  • The GER is widely used to show the general level of participation in and capacity of higher education.
  • Data includes details on gender wise gross enrolment ratio in higher education for all categories, SC and ST.

 

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