Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | 27 May, 2021

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What is “Traceability Provision” of IT rules 2021?

What is the News?

WhatsApp has approached the Delhi High Court. It is challenging the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules,2021 traceability provision of IT rules.

What has WhatsApp challenged in the Delhi High Court?

  • WhatsApp has challenged the traceability provision in the Information Technology Rules,2021.
  • The traceability provision requires the social media platforms to compulsorily identify the first originator of the information in India upon government or court order.

WhatsApp’s arguments against this traceability provision of IT rules:

  • Firstly, the traceability provision forces WhatsApp to break the end-to-end encryption on its messaging service.
    • End-to-end encryption ensures that no one can read the message, except for the sender and the receiver. This includes WhatsApp itself.
  • Secondly, the clause also infringes upon the fundamental rights to privacy and free speech of hundreds of millions of citizens. As users will not be able to communicate privately and securely.

Government’s clarification on WhatsApp’s traceability provisions of IT rules

  • Firstly, the requirement of tracing the origin of flagged messages under the new IT rules is for prevention and investigation of very serious offenses. Which are threats to the sovereignty of India or public order.
  • Secondly, countries such as the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada also have a similar provision. Which requires social media firms to allow for the legal interception.
  • Therefore, WhatsApp’s attempt to portray the IT rules of India as contrary to the right to privacy is misguided.

Source: The Hindu

First “WHO BioHub Facility” Launched

What is the News?

The World Health Organization(WHO) and the Swiss Confederation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch the first WHO BioHub Facility.

About WHO BioHub Facility:

  • BioHub Facility has been launched to enhance the rapid sharing of viruses and other pathogens between laboratories and partners globally.
  • Based in: Spiez, Switzerland.

Key Features of the WHO BioHub Facility:

  • Firstly, the facility will help in the safe reception, storage, and preparation of biological materials for distribution to other laboratories. It will help in global preparedness against these pathogens.
  • Secondly, the facility will enable member states to share biological materials with and via the BioHub. However, its sharing will take place under pre-agreed conditions, including biosafety, biosecurity, and other applicable regulations.
    • Currently, most pathogen sharing is done bilaterally between countries and on an ad hoc basis. It can be slow and leave some countries without access to the benefits and tools.
  • Lastly, WHO will broaden the use of biological materials by qualified entities – such as manufacturers – for the development of medical by-products for fair allocation to countries.

What are Pathogens?

  • A Pathogen is usually defined as a microorganism that causes or can cause disease.

Types of Pathogens:

  • Viruses: Viruses are made up of a piece of genetic code such as DNA or RNA, and protected by a coating of protein. Once you’re infected, viruses invade host cells within your body. They then use the components of the host cell to replicate, producing more viruses.
  • Bacteria: Bacteria are microorganisms made of a single cell. They have the ability to live in just about any environment including in and on your body. Not all bacteria cause infections. Those that can are called pathogenic bacteria. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections.
  • Fungi: Fungi can be found just about everywhere in the environment, including indoors, outdoors, and on human skin. They cause infection when they overgrow.
  • Parasites: Parasites are organisms that behave like tiny animals, living in or on a host and feeding from or at the expense of the host. Though parasitic infections are more common in tropical and subtropical regions, they can occur anywhere.

Source: Down To Earth

Govt launches the first phase of “MCA21 version 3.0” online portal

What is the News?

The government of India has launched the first phase of the MCA21 version 3.0 to its digital corporate compliance portal.

About MCA21:

  • MCA21 is the online portal of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs(MCA). It was initially launched in 2006.
  • Purpose: It has made all company-related information accessible to various stakeholders and the public.
  • Significance: It is India’s first mission mode e-governance project.

About MCA21 version 3.0:

  • This MCA21 version 3.0 (V3.0) is being implemented in two phases. The first phase has been launched now. The second and final phase is likely to be launched in October 2021.
  • This version leverages the use of the latest technologies to further streamline the Corporate Compliance and stakeholders’ experiences.

First Phase: The first phase consists of the following features:

  • Revamped website of MCA: This will refresh the user experience with an enhanced look and feel.
  • E-Book: It will provide easy access to the updated legislation along with a tracking mechanism for historical changes in the law.
  • E-consultation module: It will facilitate virtual public consultation of proposed amendments and new legislation introduced by MCA from time to time.


  • The MCA21 V3.0 will give new meaning to a corporate compliance culture. It will further enhance the trust and confidence in the Corporate regulatory and governance system.
  • This new version will also reduce the requirements of attachments, make the forms web-based and strengthen the pre-fill mechanism.

Source: Hindu Businessline

“Total lunar Eclipse and Super Moon” – 2 Celestial Events Coincided

What is the News?

The two celestial events – Total Lunar Eclipse and Supermoon coincided on may 26.

What is a supermoon?

  • The Moon travels around our planet in an elliptical orbit or an elongated circle.
  • Each month, the Moon passes through perigee (the point closest to Earth) and apogee (the point farthest from Earth).
  • When the Moon is at or near its closest point to Earth at the same time as it is full, it is called a “supermoon.”
  • During this event, because the full moon is a little closer to us than usual, it appears especially large and bright in the sky.

Note:  According to NASA, the term supermoon was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979. In a typical year, there may be two to four full supermoons and two to four new supermoons in a row.

What is Lunar Eclipse?

  • The lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon thereby obstructing the sunlight falling on the Moon. Lunar eclipses only happen at Full Moon.

Types of Lunar Eclipse: There are three kinds of lunar eclipses:

  • Total Lunar Eclipse: During this, the Earth comes in between the Sun and the Moon. It stops the light of the Sun from reaching the Moon and casting a complete shadow over it.
  • Partial Lunar Eclipse: During this, the moon will travel through the Earth’s outer penumbra before and after partially sweeping through the Earth’s inner dark umbral shadow.
  • Penumbral Lunar Eclipse: During this, the Moon moves through the outer part of the Earth’s shadow, thus becoming very faint.

Note: The Earth’s shadow is composed of two cone-shaped components.

  • Penumbra or outer shadow is a zone where the Earth blocks part of the Sun’s rays from reaching the Moon.
  • Umbra or inner shadow is a zone where the Earth blocks all direct sunlight from reaching the Moon.

What has happened on May 26, 2021?

  • On this day, two celestial events took place at the same time. One is the supermoon and the other is a total lunar eclipse. Because of the total lunar eclipse, the moon will also appear to be red.
  • The moon will appear red because the Earth will block some of the light from the Sun from reaching the moon. Now as the Earth’s atmosphere filters the light, it will soften “the edge of our planet’s shadow” “giving the Moon a deep, rosy glow.

Source: Indian Express

“Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome”

What is the News?

According to a study by Lancet, the symptoms of a rare paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome(PIMS-TS) associated with SARS-CoV2 are resolved after six months.

About Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome(PIMS-TS):

  • PIMS-TS is also known as a multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). It is a rare condition associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection that was first defined in April 2020.
  • Caused by: It is not known what triggers the condition. But it is thought to be a rare immune overreaction that occurs in children approximately four to six weeks after mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  • Symptoms: It includes fever, rash, eye infection, and gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. diarrhoea, stomach ache, nausea). In some rare cases, the condition can lead to multi-organ failure.
  • Diagnosis: Currently, MIS-C is diagnosed based on symptoms together with laboratory tests that look for signs of inflammation in the body.
  • Treatment: Treatments currently include anti-coagulation to curb blood clotting, IV immunoglobulin and anti-inflammatory drugs.

About the Lancet Study:

  • The Lancet study has been conducted on a small group of children affected with PIMS-TS.
  • The study has found that most gastrointestinal, heart and neurological symptoms in children are resolved within six months of the COVID-19 infection.
  • Moreover, the long-term damage to the organs is thought to be a rare occurrence.

Source: Indian Express

Centre Plans “One-Stop Centres” in Foreign Countries to Help Women

What is the News?

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has decided to set up One Stop Centres (OSCs) in foreign countries. These centers will provide assistance to Indian women who are survivors of gender-based violence.

About One Stop Centres(OSCs) in Foreign Countries:

  • One-Stop Centres(OSCs) will be set up at the ten foreign missions of India.
  • Purpose: They are aimed at helping women overseas who are victims of violence in public and private spaces.
    • They can approach the centres for immediate as well as non-immediate support including legal aid, medical support, and counseling.
  • The 10 countries where the OSCs will be set up are Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Jeddah, and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, Australia, Canada, and Singapore.
  • Ministry: These centres will be supported by the Women and Child Development Ministry and operated by the External Affairs Ministry.

About One Stop Centre(OSC) Scheme:

  • One-Stop Centre Scheme was launched in 2015 by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
  • Objective:
    • The scheme provides integrated support and assistance to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces under one roof.
    • To facilitate a range of services including medical, legal, psychological, and counseling support under one roof to fight against any forms of violence against women.
  • Target Group: The OSC will support all women including girls below 18 years of age affected by violence, irrespective of caste, class, religion, region, sexual orientation, or marital status.
  • Nodal Scheme: OSC is a subscheme of Umbrella Scheme for National Mission for Empowerment of women including Indira Gandhi Mattritav Sahyaog Yojana.

Source: Indian Express

“Mekedatu Project” – A Panel to investigate charges of illegal construction

What is the News?

The National Green Tribunal(NGT) has formed a committee to investigate the alleged violation of norms in the construction of the Mekedatu project across the Cauvery river. The NGT has also directed the panel to submit a report on or before July 5.

About Mekedatu Project:

  • Mekedatu project is a balancing reservoir and drinking water project. It is to be built at the confluence of the Cauvery and Arkavathi rivers by the Karnataka Government.
  • Purpose: The project is aimed at solving the drinking water problems of the Bengaluru and Ramanagara district. It would also generate 400 MW of hydroelectric power.
  • Dispute: The Tamil Nadu Government has objected to the project saying Karnataka had not sought prior permission for the project.
    • Tamil Nadu has also filed a petition in the Supreme Court in 2018 seeking a stay on the project.

 Objections by Tamil Nadu Government:

  • Firstly, the Mekedatu project would affect the flow of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.
  • Secondly, Karnataka has no right to construct any reservoir on an inter-state river without the consent of the lower riparian state i.e. Tamil Nadu in this case.
    • The project is also against the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT). During that, the SC held that no state can claim exclusive ownership or assert rights to deprive other states of the waters of inter-state rivers.
  • Thirdly, The CWDT and the SC have found that the existing storage facilities available in the Cauvery basin were adequate for storing and distributing water. So, the Tamil Nadu Government is demanding outright rejection of the project.

Other concerns with the project:

  • Almost 63% of the forest area of the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary will be submerged in the project.

Source: The Hindu


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