Daily Current Affairs : 19th June

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

  1. Joint Monitoring Programme report 
  2. Data Localisation
  3. Clause (J) of Rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules
  4. Facts for Prelims : Grey Wolf

1 . Joint Monitoring Programme Report

Context : India has made great gains in providing basic sanitation facilities since the start of the millennium, accounting for almost two-thirds of the 650 million people globally who stopped practising open defecation between 2000 and 2017.

About the Report

  • Joint Monitoring Programme report is prepared by UNICEF and WHO

Key Findings

  • India has made great gains in providing basic sanitation facilities since the start of the millennium, accounting for almost two-thirds of the 650 million people globally who stopped practising open defecation between 2000 and 2017.
  • There has been absolutely no growth in the population with access to piped water facilities over that period, while large inequalities remain between rural and urban areas. In rural India, only 32% of the population have access to piped water, less than half of the 68% who have access in urban India.
  • India has increased the percentage of its population with access to a protected drinking water source less than 30 minutes away, from 79% in 2000 to 93% in 2017. However, the percentage of households getting piped water has remained stagnant at 44% over the 17-year period.
  • The millions of new toilets which mark the progress of the Swachh Bharat mission are, however, producing large amounts of solid and liquid waste that India simply does not have the ability to treat and dispose of safely. According to the report, only 30% of the country’s waste water is treated at plants providing at least secondary treatment, in comparison to an 80% global average.
  • The human right to sanitation implies that people not only have a right to a hygienic toilet but also have a right not to be negatively affected by unmanaged faecal waste. This is most relevant to poor and marginalised groups who tend to be disproportionately affected by other people’s unmanaged faecal sludge and sewage

2 . Data Localisation

Context : E-commerce companies on Monday voiced their concerns about the Reserve Bank of India’s data localisation norms with Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.

What is data localisation?

  • Data localisation laws refer to regulations that dictate how data on a nation’s citizens is collected, processed and stored inside the country.

Arguments in support of Data Localisation

  • Data localisation is critical for law enforcement : Access to data by Indian law agencies, in case of a breach or threat, cannot be dependent on the whims and fancies, nor on lengthy legal processes of another nation that hosts data generated in India.
  • If data generated in India is stored in the U.S., for example, it is dependent on technology and channels such as the undersea fibre optic cable network. Such reliance can be debilitating in the case of a tech or physical breakdown.
  • Technology playfields are not even : A developing country such as India may be playing catch-up with a developed nation, which may be willing to offer liberal laws. It may not be wise for India to have the liberal rules as other nations would. It is ideal to have the data stored only locally, without even having a copy abroad, in order to protect Indian data from foreign surveillance.

Arguments against Data Localisation

  • The disadvantage for a company compelled to localise data is — costs, in the form of servers, the UPS, generators, cooling costs, building and personnel.
  • Small companies providing services in India will find compliance tough : One of the objectives of data localisation is to give a fillip to the start-up sector in India, but stringent norms can make it costly for small firms to comply thereby defeating this objective.

Does India have rules in place for data protection?

  • Currently, the only mandatory rule on data localisation in India is by the Reserve Bank of India for payment systems. Other than this, there are only reports or drafts of bills that are yet to be signed into law.
  • Among material available in the public domain on data localisation is the white paper that preceded the Jusitce Srikrishna Committee report, inviting public comments.
  • The second piece is the Draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 itself which has specific requirements on cross-border data transfers. This is seen as being more restrictive than the recommendations of the Srikrishna Committee.
  • The draft e-commerce policy also has clauses on cross-border data transfer. For example, it suggests that if a global entity’s India subsidiary transfers Indian users’ data to its parent, the same cannot be transferred to a third party even with the user’s consent.

International Examples

  • Canada and Australia protect their health data very carefully.
  • Vietnam mandates one copy of data to be stored locally and for any company that collects user data to have a local office, unlike the EU’s GDPR;
  • China mandates strict data localisation in servers within its borders.
  • For the EU, it is clear that customer is ‘king’. Their GDPR is agnostic to technology and sector.
  • U.S. has no single data protection law at the Federal level. It does, however, have individual laws such as the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) for health care, another for payments
  • Brazil, Japan, Korea and New Zealand have put in place data protection laws.
  • Chile has recently announced the setting up of an independent data protection authority, while Argentina is currently reforming its privacy legislation.

3 . Clause (J) of Rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules

Context : In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (J) of Rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules, the President of India has retired 15 officers of Indian Revenue Service (C&CE) in public interest with immediate effect on completing 50 years of age

About the Rule

  • Clause (J) of Rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules says: “The Appropriate Authority shall, if it is of the opinion that it is in the public interest to do so, have the absolute right to retire any government servant by giving him notice of not less than three months in writing or three months’ pay and allowances in lieu of such notice.

4 . Facts for Prelims

About Grey Wolf

  • They are similar in structure to the European wolf, but is smaller, more slightly built, and has shorter fur with little to no underfur
  • It is under Schedule 1 of Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972. Schedule I and part II of Schedule II provide absolute protection
  • IUCN Red list Status – Least Concern

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