9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – January 22, 2021

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Here is our 9pm current affairs brief for you today

About 9 PM Brief- With the 9 PM Daily Current affairs for UPSC brief we intend to simplify the newspaper reading experience. In 9PM briefs, we provide our reader with a summary of all the important articles and editorials from three important newspapers namely The Hindu, Indian Express, and Livemint. This will provide you with analysis, broad coverage, and factual information from a Mains examination point of view.

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  • Challenges to internationalisation of higher education 
  •  Vaccine diplomacy 
  •  Privacy and surveillance 
  •  Are courts encroaching on the powers of the executive?  

Challenges to internationalisation of higher education 

Source: Indian Express 

GS-2: Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources 

Synopsis: NEP, 2020 has an objective to attract International branch campuses (IBCs) of top Universities in India. But there are several challenges associated with it. 


  • Recently, National Education Policy-2020 (NEP-2020) was introduced in India. NEP-2020, for the first time has highlighted internationalisation of higher education as an objective. 
  • To achieve this, NEP-2020 allows the top 100 World Class Universities to open international branch campuses (IBCs) in India. 
  • The reason behind this is to raise the standard of research and teaching to international levels and reduce the out-bound mobility of Indian students. 

In this article. we will discuss the challenges that needs to be addressed at the implementational level before allowing International branch campuses (IBCs) in India.  

How IBCs will help to increase the inflow of foreign students? 

  • In April 2018, India launched Study in India Programme with generous scholarships to increasing the inflow of foreign students. However, it did not succeed in attracting foreign students on a large scale. 
  • It is expected that, the establishment of IBCs in India will increase in-bound mobility of students and scholars. 
  • The international standards maintained by the IBCs will attract international students to explore and experience Indian education and culture. 

What are the challenges that need to be addressed? 

Top universities are willing to open international branch campuses (IBCs) in India. But they need clarity in areas essential for operationalisation of branch campuses in India.  

First, such universities are not driven by state sponsored infrastructures. For example, the Dubai Knowledge Hub, that offered ready to move in campus, office space. IBCs wants to accumulate profits like any other business enterprise and repatriate income to their home 

Second, which subjects and areas of research to be allowed for IBCs is an area of concern. Most of the time Humanities and Social sciences are not considered due to low profits in them. 

Fourth, IBCs demands for more autonomy in curriculum design, daily functioning of the institution etc. Thus, they might take decisions against the local requirement if they feel it is not profitable. 

Fifth, IBCs will also expect to be treated on par with Indian institutions in matters of government funding and scholarships.  

 Vaccine diplomacy 

SourceIndian Express 

Gs2: India and its Neighbourhood- Relations. 

Synopsis: India’s Vaccine diplomacy will raise India’s Stature at the global arena. 


  • Till now, India has supplied Covid19 vaccines to Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles. The initial supplies of Covid19 vaccines have been sent free of cost. 
  • It is expected that India will be distributing vaccines to other countries including Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. 
  • By supplying vaccines at quick interval, India has delivered on the commitments it made to these countries. 

What is the significance of Vaccine diplomacy? 

First, it will lead to new kind of diplomacy based on the common good and common interests of the South Asian people. 

Second, India’s prevailing good reputation over manufacturing medicines will only increase in the south Asian region. This will increase the scope of Medical tourism in India. 

Third, Sale of Covid19 vaccines will be economically beneficial. For example, Countries such as Myanmar and Bangladesh have started negotiating for commercial agreements with manufacturers for more quantities. 

What is the way forward? 

India should refrain from entering into contest with China for supply of vaccines to its Neighbours. Because,  

  • First, Vaccines are a global common good. 
  • Second, the demand for anti-COVID 19 immunization across the world is increasing. it is the responsibility of all countries with the capability to manufacture the vaccine to make it available equitably to all 
  • Third, Immunization is in every country’s interest, as it is crucial to restore the movement of people and goods across nations, to build a global immunity prior to COVID19 situation. 

 Privacy and surveillance 

Source: click here 

Syllabus: GS 2 

Synopsis: Issue of WhatsApp privacy policy has again raised the concern of data privacy in India. What are the options available with the government to handle this issue? 


Facebook’s revenue model uses data on its platform to allow advertisers to target relevant consumers. 

Now Facebook Inc. wants to integrate the services from WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook. The intent behind this step is to monetise their use by consumers. 

WhatsApp is one of the most used Social Media App in India. It is capable to share user metadata and mobile information of Indian users with Facebook, its parent company.  

Now, Indian government is looking for ways to protect the data privacy of Indian Users.   

What are the steps that government can take? 

The Ministry of Electronics and IT has sent WhatsApp a series of queries. It includes, why Indian users would be sharing information with Facebook, unlike EU. 

  • Data protection laws in the EU have strict restrictions on storage and transfer of user data. Thus, data transfer from WhatsApp to Facebook is not possible in such regions.  
  • Whereas, in 2019, government in India diluted the provisions of Data protection bill. For, example, it only set the requirement of keeping sensitive personal data in India. Whereas, in the Srikrishna Committee recommended the same for all personal data.   
  • The Indian government should also bring in a strong data protection bill which aligns with the recommendations of the Srikrishna Committee. 
  • The committee tried to address concerns about online data privacy in line with the 2018 Puttaswamy judgment. 

However, data localisation also carries the possibility of domestic surveillance over Indian citizens.  

Way forward 

Privacy is better addressed by stronger contractual conditions on data sharing and better security tools being adopted by the applications that secure user data. Thus, with the data localisation, stronger checks on state surveillance are also required. 

 Are courts encroaching on the powers of the executive?  

Source: click here 

Syllabus: GS 2 

Synopsis: The instances of courts intervening in the executive matters without providing comprehensive legal reasoning are increasing. SC’s recent decision to put stay on farm laws has been analysed in this context. 


The Supreme Court is trying to make a political settlement between farmers and the government. It has put a stay on farm law and made a committee for mediation. But the court has not provided any legal or constitutional reasons for that. 

What are the contradictions in this decision of SC? 

The following reasons suggests that the decision of SC to stay farm laws was a clear encroachment into the domain of executive. 

Firstly, the petition was filed on the argument that only states are eligible to enact farm laws under Seventh Schedule to the Constitution. SC should have analysed the validity of such basis.  

Secondly, the court is giving the example of the protests during Maratha reservation case in which it had issued a stay on the law in question. But in that case the stay was given on constitutional grounds 

Third, the reason given by the court for its decision was not a legal reason. It provided hat this step will ease the hurt feelings of farmers and it will become easier to bring them on the negotiation table.  

Fourth, In the recent years, SC has been hesitant to take up constitutional challenges to similarly politically controversial moves. This decision by SC also falls into the same category. For Example; the cases of Article 370, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, reservation quotas for economically weaker sections, electoral bonds, and the ‘love jihad’ laws. 

Fifth, Earlier SC Held protests as completely legal and part of the exercise of citizens’ rights under Article 19 of the Constitution.  But in a related case told that the question of whether the tractor protests should be allowed or not is a ‘law and order’ question and the decision will be taken by Police.  

SC is under question of the critics these days, but the positive roles played by it cannot be ignored due to that. In the Navtej Johar case (Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India) court acted in a counter-majoritarian manner and decriminalised Homosexuality.  

 Daily Factly Articles – 22 Jan. 2021

Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | Jan 22,2021


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