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Q.1) Data protection law in India is currently facing many problem and resentments due the absence of proper legislative framework. In this context discuss the relevance of data protection laws in India. How is Government dealing with the Issue?(GS 3)

Presently data protection law in India is facing many problem and resentments due the absence of proper legislative framework. In this context discuss the relevance of data protection laws in India. The theft and sale of stolen data is happening across vast continents where physical boundaries pose no restriction or seem non-existent in this technological era. India being the largest host of outsourced data processing in the world could become the epicenter of cybercrimes this is mainly due the following reasons:

1-      Growing Prominence

  • There is an unprecedented amount of personal data available with Government and Private Sector Players.
  • Digital India, Aadhaar and Demonetization drives have added to the already growing pool of personal data with various public and private players to pursue their activities

2-      March of digitization

  • With rising cybercrime and data breaches, and absence of strong data protection regulatory framework ensuring consumer protection and right to recourse, individuals tend to resort to non-electronic means for transactions.
  • With the Digital India roll-out, push on digital payments, rising e-commerce penetration, and an unprecedented number of platforms and services transacting PII of individuals, a stronger data protection regime is a must to foster trust in the data ecosystem

3-      Insufficient regulatory protection

  • The Information Technology (IT) Act 2008 Section 43A Reasonable Security Practices and Procedure rules are not a substitute for a data protection regime.

4-      Share in global digital trade

  • Cross-border data flows are increasingly becoming a key determinant for claiming a country’s share in the global digital trade.

How is Government dealing with the Issue?

1-      Information Technology Act ,2000:The Information Technology Act 2000 is an Act of the Indian Parliament notified in 2000.It is the primary law in India dealing with cybercrime and electronic commerce.

2-      The Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2008: It introduced the Section 66A which penalized sending of “offensive messages”. It also introduced the Section 69, which gave authorities the power of “interception or monitoring or decryption of any information through any computer resource”. It also introduced for  Child porn, cyber terrorism and voyeurism.

3-      The privacy (Protection) Bill, 2013

  • The Bill focuses on the protection of personal and sensitive personal data of persons.
  • There are specific provisions in the bill related to collection, storage, processing, transfer, security, confidentiality, and disclosure of sensitive personal data in the Bill.
  • The consent of the data provider is necessary.

4-    The Supreme Court said the introduction of a “carefully structured” data protection regime and its contours were matters policy matters to be considered by the Centre

5-      The government has already indicated in the court that the committee would be framing a data protection Bill similar to the “technology-neutral” draft Privacy Bill submitted by an earlier expert committee led by former Delhi High Court Chief Justice A.P. Shah to the Planning Commission of India in 2012

6-      Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology would work with the panel and hand over all necessary information to it, after which the panel will start its discussions.

Q.2) Availability of safe water is becoming a major challenge, highlight the major reasons for water scarcity in India. What steps government has initiated in order to control this situation? Suggest some measures in order to tackle the problem of  water crisis in India.(GS 3)

The availability of safe water is becoming a major challenge for India. According to a Water Aid report in 2016 India ranked among the worst countries in the world for the number of people without safe water. An estimated 76 million people in India have no access to a safe water supply .The Asian Development Bank has forecast that by 2030, India will have a water deficit of 50 per cent. According to the 2018 edition of the UN World Water Development Report, the Central India is staring at deepening water scarcity, meaning withdrawal of 40% of the renewable surface water resources.

Major reasons for water scarcity in India:

1-   Demand and Supply gap: Rising population has led to increase in demand for water. However, there persists a gap between demand and supply which has led to water scarce scenarios in many parts of India

2-      Poor water quality: Water is contaminated with bio and chemical pollutants and is unsafe for drinking.

3-      Inefficient agricultural practices and dwindling Groundwater Resources: Indiscriminate extraction of groundwater has led to declining water table in many parts of the country.

4-       Unequal Access to Water: According to WHO-UNICEF data, as of 2008, about 96 per cent of the urban population and 84 per cent of the rural population has access to improved water sources.

5-      Poor storage: In 2015, a report by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation stated that though India receives an average annual rainfall of 1170 mm, poor storage infrastructure allows it to store only 6 per cent of rainwater, compared to 250 per cent stored by developed nations.

6-      Poor planning and infrastructure:The problem of urban water supply is due to poor and leaky distribution networks leading to large amounts of “unaccounted water.”

Steps initiated by the government in order to control water crisis:

The government has taken the following steps in this direction:

1-   National Water Policy:National Water Policy has been to govern the planning and development of water resources and their optimum utilization.

2-      National River Linking Project:Interlinking project aims to address the issue of uneven distribution water but has proved to be contentious between the government and civil society groups

3-   Atal Bhujal Yojna: The Indian Government has formulated the water conservation scheme Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY) to tackle ever-deepening crisis of depleting groundwater.

4-   National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP):It aims at providing every person in rural India with adequate safe water for drinking, cooking and other domestic basic needs on a sustainable basis.

Measures:

  • Micro irrigation practices like drip and sprinkler systems have to be promoted in a big way for efficient use of water for agriculture.
  • Both in urban and rural areas, digging of rainwater harvesting pits must be made mandatory for all types of buildings.
  • Sustained measures should be taken to prevent pollution of water bodies, contamination of groundwater and ensure proper treatment of domestic and industrial waste water.
  • The UN World Water Development Report 2018 stresses nature-based solutions (NBS) to sustainably and economically manage water resources.
  • Conscious efforts need to be made at the household level and by communities, institutions and local bodies to supplement the efforts of governments and non-governmental bodies in promoting water conservation.

Q.3) Write short note on:

a)- Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan(RUSA)(GS 3)

b)  Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry(GS 3)

Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan(RUSA):

  • Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS), launched in 2013 aims at providing strategic funding to eligible state higher educational institutions.
  • The central funding (in the ratio of 60:40 for general category States, 90:10 for special category states and 100% for union territories) would be norm based and outcome dependent.
  • The funding would flow from the central ministry through the state governments/union territories to the State Higher Education Councils before reaching the identified institutions.
  • The funding to states would be made on the basis of critical appraisal of State Higher Education Plans, which would describe each state’s strategy to address issues of equity, access and excellence in higher education.
  • The key objectives of RUSA are to improve access, equity and quality in higher education through planned development of higher education at the state level.
  • RUSA would create new universities through upgradation of existing autonomous colleges and conversion of colleges in a cluster.
  • It would create new model degree colleges, new professional colleges and provide infrastructural support to universities and colleges.
  • Faculty recruitment support, faculty improvements programmes and leadership development of educational administrators are also an important part of the scheme.
  • A separate component to synergise vocational education with higher education has also been included in RUSA.
  • Besides above,  RUSA also supports reforming, restructuring and building capacity of institutions in participating state.

Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry:

  • The scheme will be implemented through Central Silk Board (CSB).
  • Recently, the government has given its approval for the scheme for the next three years from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
  • The scheme aims to achieve self sufficiency in silk production by 2022.
  • The core objective of the scheme is to improve the productivity and quality of silk through R&D intervention.
  • The focus of R&D intervention is to promote improved crossbreed silk and the import substitute Bivoltine silk so that Bivotine silk production in India enhances.
  •  All the beneficiaries under the scheme from silk farmers, seed producers and chawkirearers will be brought on a DBT mode with Aadhaar linkage.
  • A Helpline will be set up for timely redressal of grievances and all outreach programmes.
  •  Brand Promotion of Indian silk will be encouraged through quality certification by Silk Mark not only in the domestic market but in the Export market as well.
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