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GS 2

When it isn’t right to forget

News:

  1. Right to be Forgotten, a new right proposed by Justice B.N Srikrishna Committee under Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018.

What is Right to be Forgotten: The right to be forgotten leads to allowing individuals to have information, videos or photographs, articles etc. about themselves deleted from certain internet records so that they cannot be found by search engines.

Important News:

2. Incident raising need of Right to be Forgotten:

  • Back in 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled in favor of Spanish man, who was unhappy that searching his name on Google threw up a newspaper article about his bankruptcy a decade ago.
  • The EU court in 2009 upheld his right, and said, reminding him of his unpleasant part of life is against the Justice.
  • However, Google has raised the concern that ruling will invite flood of such applications and involve huge investments in setting up an automated system for tracking such requests.

3. In India, B.N. Srikrishna Committee has submitted Draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 which has advocated for removal of very old, irrelevant and unnecessary information links from social media networks.

4. Report has laid significant emphasis on obtaining the consent of an individual to process and use personal data.

5. Draft Bill has listed out three scenarios in which an individual will have the right to be forgotten or right to restrict continuing disclosure of personal data, such as

  • If data disclosure is no longer necessary.
  • The consent to use data has been withdrawn.
  • If data is being used contrary to the provisions of the law or for illegal purpose.

6. The bill has provided for appointment of Adjudicating officer to probe into the matter.

7. Factors needs to be considered by Adjudicating officer:

  • The sensitivity of the personal data.
  • The scale of disclosure and the degree of accessibility sought to be restricted or prevented
  • The role of the data principal (to whom the data belongs to) in public life.
  • The relevance of the personal data to the public.
  • The nature of the disclosure and of the activities of the data fiduciary.

8. As far as the data protection and right to privacy is concerned the right to be forgotten sounds fine.

9. However, the Data Protection Bill is going to be a serious threat to press freedom and RTI.

10.Arguments against granting right to be forgotten.

  • Article 19(2) of the Indian Constitution did not provide “privacy” as a ground for imposing restrictions on right to information.
  • Curtailing freedom of press/journalist/individuals to criticise the public personalities for their public policies.
  • Journalist has to wait for the decision of the adjudicating officer to obtain any critical information.

11.Issues and challenges involved with Indian Draft:

  • The draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018, has a section on the Right to be Forgotten. But the proposed bill does not provide right to erasure (e.g. online link will be removed not actual data).
  • In order to obtain the personal/private information, journalist has to prove the Privacy of the data and individual is taken care of and it is in the compliance with code of ethics.

12.Exemptions proposed against claiming rights:

  • Right to be Forgotten will not apply to the processing of data in the interests of prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of any offence
  • Rights of the data principal, including the right to be forgotten, are exempted if the purpose of data processing is in the interest of the security of state.
  • On the similar grounds, a criminal cannot insist that his crime or conviction should not be shared with Media.

13.Europe Case Study:

  • The EU has been pushing heavily for a new law on data privacy – of which “right to be forgotten” is a key component
  • EU’s newest privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), forces companies around the world to follow EU rules if they want to do business in the bloc.

 

No right of way for the majority

Article

  1.  Faizan Mustafa, an eminent jurist, writes on how by rejecting homogenization of culture, Supreme Court‘s verdict on Section 377 has upheld the right of religious minorities.

Important Analysis

2. Every major religion has disapproved of homosexuality:

  • Judaism and Christianity consider homosexuality a sin and Judeo-Christian morality   had a major impact on the colonial state’s law.
  •  Islam too considers homosexuality a sin.
  •  Ancient Indian culture and mythology were more liberal but it is considered a taboo in Hindu society too

3. Supreme Court has merely decriminalized homosexuality but it has not altered the civil law on it. So all the civil laws that allow for discrimination of homosexuality still remain intact.

Divorce

  •  As per Muslim Marriage Act, 1939 a Muslim wife can still seek divorce from her   husband if he indulges in homosexuality.
  •  Under section 13 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 sodomy is still a ground for divorce.
  • Indian Divorce (Amendment) Act, 2001 makes sodomy as a ground for divorce under Christian law.

Adoption

  •  Even now homosexual couples cannot adopt a child.

Marriage

  •  Same-sex marriages have not yet been legalized.

Inheritance

  • Many parents have disinherited their homosexual children.
  • Those children can still not lay claim to their inheritance.

4. Observations of SC Judges on Section 377

  •  The law criminalizes behavior that does not conform to the heterosexual expectation of the society.
  •  Self determination lies at the core of the concept of identity.
  • CJI said that attitude and mentality needs to change and we must respect the individual for “who they are”.
  • The judges have unanimously held that freedom of choice cannot be subjected to majoritarian perceptions.
  • While striking down Section 377 the court accepted the ‘harm theory’. The court ruled that anything that is ‘neither harmful nor contagious to society’ cannot be criminalized

  5. Probable Impact of these observations

  • Ban and sale and consumption of beef:  Beef consumption cannot be prohibited now just on the ground that majority in India revere cow.
  • Anti conversion law:  Changing religion in India is a private matter of the individual and the state might not have a say on it.
  • Triple Talaq Bill: SC in Shayra Bano (2017) judgment held that Triple Divorce does not ‘dissolve a marriage or causes harm’.
  • Since this bill criminalizes the act of instant triple talaq and  prescribes a jail term of 3 years, it might not stand the scrutiny of law as it violates the ‘harm theory’

Conclusion

6. Any court judgment or laws cannot remove social prejudices on their own; however the verdict will certainly help in removing the burden on sexual minorities.

7. It will usher a ‘Choice jurisprudence’ in India and religious minorities are well within their rights to assert their choices.

 

GS 3

Non-Performing Assets: When and how did banks pile up such bad loans?

News

  1. The causes which led to NPA (non performing asset) and its present impact

Important facts

2.Impact of NPA

  • Current account deficit widened by 2.4%.
  • Rupee lost its value by 13% till now.

3.India’s position till 2008

  • Increase in Capital flow in India from $17billion in 2003-04 to $107.9 billion in 2007-08.
  • RBI intervened by purchasing dollar, which increased liquidity in Indian market, which was for favoring exporters.
  • This led to high liquidity within Indian banks.

4.Trinity problem

  • According to flemming model India was facing a trinity problem which holds that country cannot manage the three at the same time.
    • Monetary policy autonomy
    • A fixed exchange rate
    • Free capital movement
  • One has to choose any two out of three available options.
  • However a developing country like India wants capital for development, exchange rate that favors Exports and independent monetary policy to check inflation.

5.Lending by banks

  • High liquidity in banking sector and expected bright prospects in future led banks to give unprecedented lending to investors during 2004 to 2008, which was 30% more in comparison to 2001

6.Global crisis and NPA

  • Collapse of Lehman brother in US led to the global financial crisis in 2008 and slowdown of Indian economy
  • This led to increase in NPA from 2.83 lakh crore in 2014 to around 12 lakh crore in 2018

 

Why trying to save a man-eater could end up harming the tiger species

Article

  1. This article explains why trying to save a man-eater could end up harming the tiger species and should be avoided.

Important Facts

2.  India is the home to the largest tiger population in the world.

3. Project Tiger

  • Aims at conserving India’s national animal i.e. Tiger.
  • Launched in 1973
  • Currently there are 50 tiger reserves
  • The tiger reserves are constituted on a core/buffer strategy.
  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment and Forest.

4. Wild tigers are found in 18 States in India

5. The All India tiger estimation is carried out once in every four years.

6. Records show that not more than 100 people are killed or injured by the tigers in a year in India.

Background

7. A tigress in Maharashtra has been blamed for a series of human killings since 2016. Similarly   a tigress in Odisha killed a woman recently.

8. Demands have been raised to either kill the animal or to relocate it.

9. A shoot on sight order has been issued to kill the man-eater tigress of Maharashtra.

10.Supreme Court has refused to intervene in the matter.

11. Activist and NGOs have been opposing attempts to eliminate the animal.

How to manage a man –animal conflict?

12. Public outcry should not be the basis of declaring any Tiger a man-eater.

13. Examining the circumstance of an attack is crucial to determine whether an attack was accidental or deliberate.

  • Many of the attacks by tigers are incidental, for example a tigress trying to protect its cubs or tigers mistaking people on their haunches as a prey animal.

14. Next step is to identify the animal involved in multiple deliberate attacks. This can be done through DNA analysis of saliva, camera trapping etc.

15. The last step is to declare an identified serial offender a man-eater.

16.  Once declared a man eater, the animal should be removed as soon as possible.

17. 2013 standard operating procedure of NTCA says that a man eater must be caught and sent to the nearest zoo and not be released in the wild.

18.  Conservation is about saving the species and not defending individual at the cost of the species.

19. Letting a man-eater continue in the wild will result in more attacks, thus further infuriating the locals and can make every tiger in the vicinity a potential target of reprisal.

 

Not by MSPs

News.

1.Concerns associated with ensuring remunerative rates to the framers produce.

Important Facts

2.The crops are selling below Minimum Support Price (MSPs) even before starting of Kharif Marketing season.

3. Maharashtra government has ordered private traders to buy at MSPs, or face a one-year jail term.

4.Gov. of India came out with a new initiative PM-AASHA to address of MSP and Remunerative prices.

5. About Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA)

  • The Scheme is aimed at ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce as announced in the Union Budget for 2018.
  • It includes the mechanisms such as
    • Price Support Scheme (PSS)
    • Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS)
    • Pilot of Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme (PPPS).

6. Earlier initiatives of the government for farmers welfare.

  • Increasing the MSP of kharif crops by following the principle of 1.5 times the cost of production.
  • Implementation of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana and distribution of Soil Health Cards has been undertaken.

7.Concern and challenges in implementation of scheme.

  • Mechanism of private procurement & Stockist.
    • Private traders rely on principle of demand and supply, whereas MSPs follows buy and store
    • Quantum of buying, storing and disposing of grains by government agencies which has its own set problems.
    • If private traders are entrusted to procure, how they will be compensated for losses.

8 Way ahead for giving remunerative prices to farmers.

  • Liberation of Market
    • Letting the farmer to grow any crop based on market signals.
    • Market driven sell and purchase of crops.
  • National market for agricultural produce.
  • Doing away with all storage and movement restrictions of crops.
  • Government need to formulate a mechanism of payment to farmer on flat per-acre independent of the crop being grown.

 

Go figure

News

  1. The Lancet Public Health (LPH) has conducted a research on suicide rates in India.

Important facts

2. Research shows that almost 40% of women who commit suicide worldwide are from India.

3. Indian women who died by suicide were more likely to be married, to be from more developed states and, by a large margin, aged below 35.

4. The suicide rate has gone up from 25.3% in 1990 to 36.6% in 2016, which is highest in the world.

5. This public health crisis has gone unnoticed because of farmer suicides over the last two decades.

6. Reasons for Suicide

  • Women from Nuclear family join the workplace and bear double burden of handling responsibilities at both workplace and domestic ends, leading to stress.
  • Trend of early marriage, child marriage, early pregnancies, domestic violence,  deeply entrenched patriarchal culture cumulatively stress women at a young age
  • Single women households bear the stress of facing the world without the support of family.
  • Women have to continuously face new challenges in a rapidly changing society rather than traditional challenges of family.

7. The study is a joint initiative of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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