[op-ed snap] Data deprivation makes cyber crime difficult to tackle

Mains Paper 3 : Social Media Networks & Internal Security |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Data localisation

Mains level : Cyber crime - data issues


CONTEXT

In recent times, there have been many instances of the hard-earned money of Indians being taken out of bank accounts and charges loaded onto credit cards through online frauds.

How does it affect India

  1. We are making a huge transition to a cashless economy. So, public faith in the digital system needs to be consistently reinforced.
  2. Cybercrimes affect the emerging “startup” ecosystem. Customers of genuine startups and Indian businesses have been subjected to online fraud.
  3. The skepticism on online transactions also hurts the potential of emerging companies that could take India to the $5 trillion economies that the country aspires to.
  4. The Srikrishna Commission recommended that data be stored in the country either directly or through mirror servers to serve law enforcement needs. 

How online money frauds work:

  1. Fraudsters start by creating various websites or accounts on social media platforms that host some content to make them look similar to the authentic companies’ websites or social media interfaces.
  2. Such websites and social media accounts list fake customer care numbers for relevant brands.
  3. When a customer tries to search for a company name by using a search engine, the customer care numbers or email IDs that pop up as results are often these fraudulent ones.
  4. The customer may end up calling such a fake number, and get entrapped by fraudsters into sharing his or her bank information, which enables the anonymous con artists to siphon off money from the customer’s account.
  5. These fraudsters send online links, asking customers to share their UPI details or other such information.
  6. Unsuspecting customers are also asked to download screen mirroring apps, through which they gain access to information on mobile phones.

Challenges in tackling cyber crimes

  1. All the players involved, including banks, telecom companies, financial service providers, technology platforms, social media platforms, e-commerce companies, and the government, need to play a responsible role.
  2. The customer also has a responsibility to maintain basic cyber hygiene by following practices and taking precautions to keep one’s sensitive information organized, safe and secure.
  3. Law enforcement agencies in different states are not fully equipped to understand and act upon complaints of such frauds.
  4. Victims of fraud are too ashamed to admit that they have been conned, and often do not even tell their families. If the losses are large, the results can be devastating for fraud victims.
  5. While many cases aren’t even reported, in cases that are, the investigations make little or no progress due to lack of access to data.
  6. Despite multiple requests for data from Indian startups, search engines, and social media platforms have generally been unresponsive, taking cover under the privacy principles or laws of the countries they are based in.
  7. The US Electronic Communications Privacy Act bars US-based service providers from disclosing electronic communications to law enforcement agencies of any country unless US legal requirements are met.
  8. The bilateral mechanism of the India-US Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty is a bit outdated and does not seem to work.
  9. Since most search engines and social media platforms have no “permanent establishment” in India, law enforcement agencies have hit a wall on data access.
  10. The US Cloud (Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data) Act, however, enables law enforcement authorities in India to request electronic content directly from US service providers under an executive agreement with the US government.

Conclusion

India needs to work out a way to crack cyber frauds and crimes. The country urgently needs a legally-backed framework that would bind all parties and enable law enforcers to act quickly and safeguard Indian citizens and businesses from a fast-growing menace.

Back2Basics

[Burning Issue ] Data localization

Cyber Security – CERTs, Policy, etc

[op-ed snap] An end to arms control consensus

Mains Paper 2 : Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and agreements involving India |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : CTBT, NPT

Mains level : Implications of INF treaty withdrawal


CONTEXT

The U.S. formally quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) pact. The agreement obliged the two countries to eliminate all ground-based missiles of ranges between 500 and 5,500 km.

Background of US-Russia nuclear relations

  1. In 1985, the two countries entered into arms control negotiations on three tracks.
    1. The first dealt with strategic weapons with ranges of over 5,500 km, leading to the START agreement in 1991. It limited both sides to 1,600 strategic delivery vehicles and 6,000 warheads. 
    2. A second track dealt with intermediate-range missiles and this led to the INF Treaty in 1987. 
    3. A third track, Nuclear, and Space Talks was intended to address Soviet concerns regarding the U.S.’s Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI) but this did not yield any outcome.

Success of INF

  1. The INF Treaty was hailed as a great disarmament pact even though no nuclear warheads were dismantled.
  2. As it is a bilateral agreement, it did not restrict other countries.
  3. By 1991, the INF was implemented. USSR destroyed 1,846 missiles and the U.S. destroyed 846 Pershing and cruise missiles. 
  4. Associated production facilities were also closed down. 
  5. INF Treaty was the first pact to include intensive verification measures, including on-site inspections.

US history of nuclear behavior

  1. With the end of the Cold War and the break-up of the USSR in end-1991, former Soviet allies were joining NATO and becoming EU members. 
  2. The U.S. was investing in missile defense and conventional global precision strike capabilities to expand its technological lead. 
  3. In 2001, the U.S. announced its unilateral withdrawal from the 1972 Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty).
  4. The US also blamed Russia for not complying with the ‘zero-yield’ standard imposed by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). This may indicate the beginning of a new nuclear arms race.

Working of INF treaty

  1. The INF Treaty had been under threat for some time. 
  2. The U.S. started voicing concerns about Novator 9M729 missile tests. Russia began production of the missiles. 
  3. Russia blamed the U.S. for deploying missile defense interceptors in Poland and Romania, using dual-purpose launchers that could also launch Tomahawk missiles.
  4. The U.S. used its technological lead to gain an advantage. Russia began modernisation and diversification of its nuclear arsenal.
  5. The U.S.’s 2017 National Security Strategy and the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) sought a more expansive role for nuclear weapons
  6. With the geopolitical shift to the Indo-Pacific, U.S. believes that the INF Treaty was putting it at a disadvantage compared to China which is rapidly modernising and currently has 95% of its ballistic and cruise missile inventory in the INF range. 

Implications

  1. The 2011 New START lapses in 2021 unless extended for a five-year period. It may meet the fate of the INF Treaty. 
  2. The 2018 NPR envisaged the development of new nuclear weapons, including low-yield weapons. 
  3. China is preparing to operate its test site year-round with its goals for its nuclear force. 
  4. CTBT requires ratification by U.S., China, Iran, Israel and Egypt and adherence by India, Pakistan and North Korea. It is unlikely to ever enter into force. 
  5. A new nuclear arms race could just be the beginning. It may be more complicated because of multiple countries being involved. 
  6. Technological changes are bringing cyber and space domains into contention. It raises the risks of escalation.

Back2Basics

[Prelims Spotlight] NPT, CTBT

Nuclear Diplomacy and Disarmament

[op-ed snap] Belt and roadblocks

Mains Paper 2 : Effect Of Policies & Politics Of World On India'S Interests |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Belt and Road Initiative

Mains level : BRI analysis. Challenges


Background of BRI

  1. The BRI was conceived as a response to the vast overcapacity in infrastructure-related industries due to credit-fuelled growth in China in 2008 following the global economic recession when its exports started dwindling.
  2. In 2009, former Deputy Director of China’s State Administration of Taxation came up with a proposal called the Chinese Marshall Plan.
  3. He suggested that China should utilise its vast foreign exchange reserves, expertise in building infrastructure, overcapacity in iron, cement, aluminum, glass, coal and shipbuilding industries and unemployed labor to meet the infrastructure demand in Southeast, Central Asia, and Africa.

BRI

  1. Announced in 2013, the BRI consists of a belt of rail routes, highways, oil and gas pipelines and other infrastructure projects extending from Xian in Central China through Central Asia, Russia, West Asia, and Europe.
  2. There is also a branch extending from Kashgar in Xinjiang to Gwadar in Baluchistan via Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
  3. The ‘road’ segment comprises a network of ports and coastal infrastructure stretching from eastern China across Southeast Asia and South Asia, the Gulf, East Africa through the Mediterranean up to Rotterdam in Europe.

Progress so far

  1. According to China, more than 120 countries have signed and joined the BRI.
  2. China’s trade with these countries since 2013 has grossed more than $5 trillion and investment has totaled about $200 billion for 2,600 projects.
  3. In the first seven months of 2019, China’s trade with BRI countries was 6% higher than the growth of its global trade.

Roadblocks

  1. BRI has not succeeded in the full utilization of overcapacity in infrastructure industries. China has been forced to close many companies. About one-third of its projects are failing due to several anomalies.
  2. There is no open tendering, competitive bidding or practice of an independent pre-feasibility or environmental impact studies, as per global norms.
  3. Many projects suffer from a lack of local inputs, protests on land procurement, pollution, performance delays, corruption, financial viability, unsustainable debt, and low investment returns. 
  4. The interest rates charged by China are high, upward of 3% on government loans and 17%-18% on commercial loans with a sovereign guarantee of the local government.
  5. As many loans turn non-performing assets, China is becoming selective in giving new loans.
  6. Some BRI projects do not make economic sense.
    1. The cost of transportation by the 12,000 km-long Yiwu-London rail line will be twice more expensive than shipping.
    2. The cost of supplying crude oil and gas from Gwadar port to Tianjin in northeastern China via the 7,000 km-long pipelines proposed by China will be $10 per barrel costlier than the ocean freight. 
  7. Many countries such as the Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Malaysia have asked China to restructure or downsize the BRI projects.
  8. India has decided not to participate in BRI over concerns relating to sovereignty, lack of transparency, openness, financial sustainability, high interest and the ‘tied’ nature of these loans.
  9. The growth of BRI is down as China’s investment in these projects in the first quarter of 2019 grew only by 4% compared to 22% in 2018.

CONCLUSION

President Xi promised at the second Belt and Road forum that China would ‘fine-tune’ the BRI with open consultation, clean governance, and green projects.

Back2Basics

1. The Belt and Road Initiative is a global development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving infrastructure development and investments in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas.
2. “Belt” refers to the overland routes for road and rail transportation, called “the Silk Road Economic Belt”; whereas “road” refers to the sea routes, or the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Foreign Policy Watch: India-China

Explained: Indian Indentured Labourers

Mains Paper 1 : Modern Indian History |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Indentured labour, Girmitiya

Mains level : Slave trade from India in colonial era



News

Indentured labourers during colonial period

  • The migration of indentured labour—bonded labour—is a lesser known part of the history of slavery and that of Indian migration.
  • Indentured servitude from India started in 1834 and lasted up till 1922, despite having been officially banned in 1917 by British India’s Imperial Legislative Council after pressure from freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi.

UNESCO recognition

  • In 1998, UNESCO designated August 23 as the International Day for Remembrance of the Slave Trade & Abolition to commemorate “the tragedy of the slave trade in the memory of all peoples”.
  • UNESCO also established an international, intercultural project called ‘The Slave Route’ to document and conduct an analysis of the interactions to which it has given rise between Africa, Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean.

What was indentured migrant labour from India?

  • From 1830 to 1860 the British, French and the Portuguese during the colonization of India prohibited slavery that was implemented by several acts under their individual domains.
  • In Europe in the 1820s, there was a new kind of liberal humanism where slavery was considered inhuman.
  • It was following this ideology that the colonizers stopped slavery in India, only to replace it with another form of bonded servitude and euphemistically term it ‘indentured labour’.
  • This practice of indentured labour resulted in the growth of a large diaspora with Indo-Carribean, Indo-African and Indo-Malaysian heritage that continue to live in the Carribean, Fiji, Réunion, Natal, Mauritius, Malaysia, Sri Lanka etc.

The new contract labourers

  • This migration started post the abolition of slavery to run sugar and rubber plantations that the British had set up in the West Indies.
  • The British Empire was expanding to South America, Africa and Asia and they needed new labour, but slavery was considered inhuman. So they developed the concept of contract labour.
  • The British turned to India and China that had a large population and found the surplus labour they needed to run these plantations in the new colonies.

No change in colonial attitude

  • The abolition of slavery failed to change the mindset of the planters which remained that of ‘slave owners’.
  • They were ‘accustomed to a mentality of coerced labour’ and desired ‘an alternative and competitive labour force which would give them same type of labour control that they were accustomed to under slavery.
  • After ruining the agriculture business in India, they exploited the mass unemployment that had hit small farmers the hardest.
  • The worst affected regions were the modern-day states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
  • They were poor farmers and the indenture lasted for 10 years. They were paid monthly wages and were living on the plantations in these colonies.

Family migration

  • Initially, single men were selected for indenture but the British Parliament decided to encourage family migration to provide “stability”.
  • Encouraging family migration hardly arose out of concern for the welfare of these bonded migrants.
  • According to the terms of indentured labour, the migrants had the right to return after finishing their 10 year terms of indenture.
  • The British were not interested in having them return to their homeland because it wouldn’t be a good return on their investment.
  • For every 100 males who were put on board the ships that transported the migrants, 40 were women, in an attempt to maintain the sex ratio.
  • Due to the skewed sex ratios, many men went on to settle permanently in these colonies and have families.

Why indentured labour was called slavery?

  • Indentured labour was definitely a new kind of slavery.
  • The British attempted to disassociate indentured labour from slavery by calling it an “agreement” when recruiting Indians who would be willing to migrate, to try and hide the true nature of the practice.
  • The British recruited young, single men from regions that had witnessed a collapse of the local agriculture business and were facing shortages and severe famine.
  • Widows who faced socio-cultural stigma wanted to migrate to these new lands to live life on their own terms.
  • According to Mishra, many urban women who were single and employed in various professions also chose to travel to get a fresh start.
  • Most aspiring migrants were misled about the work they would have to engage in, the wages they would receive, the living conditions and the places they were travelling to.

Why was sea voyage perilous for indentured Indian migrants?

  • The journey by sea was long and traumatic, with travel taking approximately 160 days to reach the Caribbean colonies.
  • The comfort of the migrants was not even a consideration for the British and the travellers were loaded onto cargo cargo ships that were not meant to carry passengers.
  • Many of these migrants had never even left their small villages, let alone engaged in travel to such distant lands.
  • On board the ships, there were cramped quarters and little space.
  • Many migrants were forced to sit on open decks that left them vulnerable to direct, harsh weather at sea. Sanitation was poor and there was little access to food and medication.
  • These conditions were particularly difficult for small children and there was high mortality. Those who died on board were simply thrown off the ships into the sea.
  • The migrants also faced physical and sexual abuse at the hands of the European ship captains and there was no means of escape except jumping off the ship into the water.
  • The migrants called it ‘crossing the kala pani ’.
  • Indians were not familiar with the sea and the (cultural) association with sea journeys was that crossing the sea would mean breaking free from attachments in the homeland.

What happened once indentured migrants reached far-flung colonies?

  • The migrants took their culture with them through their language, food and music and the meagre belongings that they were permitted to carry.
  • Once they reached these colonies, they created their unique socio-cultural ecosystems while they were limited to living in the confines of these large plantations.
  • Locals in the Mauritius, Suriname and Fiji opposed the presence of these migrants.
  • After their terms of indenture were over, some migrants returned to India while many stayed back.
  • Those who did stay back did so because they had rebuilt their lives and families in these colonies and were poor and had not been able to maintain contact or connections with their families and country.
  • Their families had forgotten them and there was a cultural gap that had resulted due to the years the migrants had spent overseas.
  • For some others, however, the cultural stigma of having a significant amount of time overseas and untouchability associated with the journey, resulted in a denial of acceptance once they returned to India.

How is indentured labour of Indian migrants commemorated around the world?

  • Along with UNESCO designating August 23 as the International Day for Remembrance of the Slave Trade & Abolition, several memorials exist around the world in commemoration of Indian indentured labour.
  • In Mauritius, the Immigration Depot or the Aapravasi Ghat in Port Louis was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2006 to mark its importance in world history.
  • Mauritius was the first British colony to receive indentured migrants and records indicate that approximately half a million indentured Indians arrived at the Immigration Depot between 1849 to 1923.
  • On the banks of the Hooghly near the Port of Kolkata, the Suriname Ghat is named after one of the colonies to where ships would depart from Kolkata.
  • At the Suriname Ghat, the Mai-Baap Memorial is an unassuming metal structure that was unveiled by India’s former Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj in 2015.
  • The statue is a replica of the Baba and Mai monument in Paramaribo , Suriname, that marks the first Indian migrants in Suriname.
History- Important places, persons in news

Amazon Fires

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Amazon Forest

Mains level : Forest fires and their global impact



News

  • Over the last several days, the ‘lungs of the Earth’ Amazon rainforest has been burning at a rate that has alarmed environmentalists and governments worldwide.
  • The fires are so large that they are visible from space.

Amazon Fires

  • Started in the Amazonian rainforests, the fires have impacted populated areas in the north, such as the states of Rondônia and Acre, blocking sunlight and enveloping the region in smoke.
  • The smoke has wafted thousands of miles to the Atlantic coast and São Paulo, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
  • Brazil has reported that forest fires in the region have doubled since 2013, and increased by 84% compared to the same period last year.

How did the fire start?

  • Mostly caused by farmers clearing land, the fires have thrown the spotlight on Brazilian policies and anti-environment stance.
  • The farmers had organised a “fire day” along a highway that runs through the heart of the rainforest.
  • Local farmers set ablaze to sections of the rainforest a few days ago to get the government’s attention.
  • And dry weather has further fuelled the fire.
  • The dry season creates the favourable conditions for the use and spread of fire, but starting a fire is the work of humans, either deliberately or by accident.

A cause for concern

  • The Amazon rainforest is a repository of rich biodiversity and produces approximately 20 per cent of oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • It is also home to indigenous communities whose lives and homelands are under threat due to encroachment.
  • The Amazon basin matches the emissions released by nations in the basin. The burning of forests, therefore, implies additional carbon emissions.
  • Deforestation could lead to the Amazon’s transformation from the world’s largest rainforest to a savanna, which would reverse the region’s ecology.

Importance of Amazons

  • A National Geographic report said the Amazon rainforest influences the water cycle not only on a regional scale, but also on a global scale.
  • The rain produced by the Amazon travels through the region and even reaches the Andes mountain range.
  • Moisture from the Atlantic falls on the rainforest, and eventually evaporates back into the atmosphere.
  • The Amazon rainforest has the ability to produce at least half of the rain it receives. This cycle is a delicate balance.

Flawed environmental policies

  • Since the 1960s, the Amazon has witnessed large-scale deforestation because of cattle-ranching, logging, power projects, mining and farming.
  • Under Brazil’s Forest Code of 1965, farmers could purchase Amazon land but could farm only 20% of it.
  • Agribusiness products in 2016 represented 46% of Brazil’s exports.

Back2basics

Amazon Rainforests

  • The Amazon rainforest is a moist broadleaf tropical rainforest in the Amazon biome that covers most of the Amazon basin of South America.
  • This region includes territory belonging to nine nations.
  • The majority of the forest is contained within Brazil, with 60% of the rainforest, followed by Peru with 13%, Colombia with 10%, and with minor amounts in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.
  • The Amazon represents over half of the planet’s remaining rainforests and comprises the largest and most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the world.
Forest Fires

Centre responds with steps to boost economic growth

Mains Paper 3 : Indian Economy |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Various terms mentioned in the news

Mains level : Measures to stabilise economic slowdown



News

  • The Finance Minister has announced a series of measures to boost economic growth.
  • It decided to reduce the burden on the private sector, including withdrawing the controversial surcharge on Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) and reiterating the PM’s statement that the government “respects all wealth creators”.
  • FM clubbed the 33 measures into five buckets: taxation, banks/ NBFCs/ SMEs, financial markets, infrastructure, and the automotive sector, which has visibly been one of the worst hit leading to many direct and indirect job losses.

Major announcements

  • Announcing that the global GDP growth may be revised downwards from the current estimate of 3.2%, India’s GDP continues to grow at a faster pace than the global economy and any other major economy.

FPI

  • Rollback of enhanced surcharge on foreign portfolio investors levied in the Budget, to encourage investment in the capital market.
  • Angel tax provisions to be withdrawn for startups and their investors.
  • A dedicated cell under a member of CBDT will be set up for addressing the problems of startups.

GST refunds of MSME

  • All pending all GST refunds of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will be paid within 30 days. Also, in future, all GST refunds of MSMEs will be paid within 60 days from the date of application.

Loans, repo rate

  • Loans for home, vehicles and consumption goods to become cheaper and widely available through banking and non-banking finance companies.
  • Banks will launch repo rate and external benchmark-linked loan products that will lead to reduced easy monthly installments for housing, vehicle and other retail loans.
  • Working capital loans for industry to become cheaper.
  • Public sector banks (PSBs) will ensure mandated return of loan documents within 15 days of loan closure.
  • NBFCs will be permitted to use the Aadhaar authenticated bank ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) to avoid repeated processes.

Auto sector

  • BS-IV vehicles purchased up to March 2020 will remain operational for the entire period of registration, FM said.
  • Both electric vehicles (EVs) and Internal Combustion Vehicles (ICV) will continue to be registered.
  • Centre to lift ban on purchase of new vehicles for replacing all old vehicles by government departments.
  • Additional 15 per cent depreciation on vehicles acquired from now till March 2020.
  • Focus will be on setting up of infrastructure for development of ancillaries/components, including batteries for exports.

Infrastructure

  • Proposal to establish an organisation to provide credit enhancement for infrastructure and housing projects with an aim to enhance fund flows towards such projects.

Easing surcharges

  • The surcharge of 3 per cent and 7 per cent on those earning between Rs 2 crore and Rs 5 crore, and over Rs 5 crore respectively had been announced by Sitharaman as part of her Budget proposals.
  • This had led to different taxation outcomes for FPIs registered as Association of Persons or trusts and companies, even as those registered as companies were spared of this surcharge.
  • Ever since the budget announcement, markets have been seeing a selloff on most trading days, largely in light of the FPI impact.
  • These announcement reverses the levy imposed in the budget.

Easing CSR rules

  • The amendment to the Companies Act, passed earlier this month, introduced harsh penalties including jail term for non-compliance on CSR (corporate social responsibility) by listed companies.
  • This had been slammed by industry as a regressive move, especially given the fact that in the last five years, the total CSR spend of companies has progressively jumped from 70% to over 90% now, according to data sourced from Prime Database.

Capital infusion in PSBs

  • The government also decided to front-load the ₹70,000 crore of capital infusion in public sector banks that was announced in the Budget.
  • It was aimed at increasing private investment by facilitating greater credit disbursal by the banks.
  • According to the government, this ₹70,000 crore will lead to about ₹5 lakh crore of fresh liquidity that can be loaned out.

Taxmen reined in

  • The government has also significantly curbed in the discretionary powers of the tax authorities.
  • From October 1 onwards, all notices and summons by the Income Tax Department would be generated by a centralised computer and would carry a unique code.

Housing finance

  • The Centre has announced an additional ₹20,000 crore of liquidity to the housing finance companies, over and above the ₹10,000 crore earlier announced.
Economic Indicators-GDP, FD,etc

Oxytocin and issues over its commercial use

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Oxytocin

Mains level : Issues with use of Oxytocin


News

  • The final decision on whether the government can block private pharmaceutical companies from manufacturing and selling vital pregnancy drug oxytocin in India handed to the Supreme Court.

Oxytocin

  • Oxytocin, also known as the ‘love hormone’, is a hormone secreted by the pituitary glands of mammals during sex, childbirth, lactation or social bonding.
  • It is secreted by pitutary glands in human body.
  • However, it can also be chemically manufactured and is sold by pharma companies for use during childbirth.
  • It is administered either as an injection or a nasal solution.

Why is it vital?

  • Oxytocin is a uterine stimulant hormone, prescribed for the initiation of uterine contractions and induction of labour in women, as well as stimulation of contractions during labour.
  • Oxytocin helps promote the release of breast milk.
  • It is also used to help abort the foetus in cases of incomplete abortion or miscarriage, and to control bleeding after childbirth.
  • It is also used widely in the dairy industry, agriculture and horticulture to boost production.

What is the case?

  • The health ministry in April 2018 notified a ban on private firms from manufacturing and selling oxytocin.
  • It wanted to restrict the responsibility of supplying the drug to a Karnataka-based public sector manufacturer to avoid its misuse in the veterinary field.
  • Following a case by drug makers like some private players the Delhi High Court in December 18 quashed the ban on various grounds, including that it lacked scientific basis.
  • The government has appealed the decision at the Supreme Court, arguing that the Karnataka PSUhas built up the capacity to manufacture and supply the required quantity of the drug here.
Pharma Sector – Drug Pricing, NPPA, FDC, Generics, etc.

[pib] Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) 2.0  

Mains Paper 1 : Urbanization, Their Problems & Remedies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : CWMI 2.0

Mains level : Utility of CWMI


News

  • NITI Aayog is set to release the second Round of Composite Water Management Index (CWMI 2.0).

About CWMI2.0

  • This has been done through a first of its kind water data collection exercise in partnership with Ministry of Jal Shakti, Ministry of Rural Development and all the States/ Union Territories.
  • The index would provide useful information for the States and also for the concerned Central Ministries/Departments enabling them to formulate and implement suitable strategies for better management of water resources.
  • CWMI 2.0 ranks various states for the reference year 2017-18 as against the base year 2016-17.

States Ranking

  • In the report released today, Gujarat hold on to its rank one in the reference year (2017-18), followed byAndhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • In North Eastern and Himalayan States, Himachal Pradesh has been adjudged number 1 in 2017-18 followed by Uttarakhand, Tripura and Assam.
  • The Union Territories have first time submitted their data and Puducherry has been declared as the top ranker.
  • In terms of incremental change in index (over 2016-17 level), Haryana holds number one position in general States and Uttarakhand ranks at first position amongst North Eastern and Himalayan States.
  • On an average, 80% of the states assessed on the Index over the last three years have improved their water management scores, with an average improvement of +5.2 points.

Back2Basics

Composite Water Management Index

  • NITI Aayog has come up with the Composite Water Management Index as a useful tool to assess and improve the performance in efficient management of water resources.
  • This index is an attempt to inspire States and UTs towards efficient and optimal utilization of water, and recycling thereof with a sense of urgency.
  • The index would provide useful information for the States and also for the concerned Central Ministries/Departments enabling them to formulate and implement suitable strategies for better management of water resources.

Sectors Prioritized for Water Management Index

  • Restoration of Water Bodies– Source Augmentation
  • Groundwater– Source Augmentation
  • Major and Medium Irrigation – Supply Side Management
  • Watershed Development – Supply Side Management
  • Participatory Irrigation Practices – Demand Side Management
  • Sustainable on-farm Water Use Practices – Demand Side Management
  • Rural Drinking Water
  • Urban Water Supply and Sanitation
  • Policy and Governance

Managing Water Resources

  • In view of limitations on availability of water resources and rising demand for water, sustainable management of water resources has acquired critical importance.
  • The index can be utilized to formulate and implement suitable strategies for better management of water resources.
Water Management – Institutional Reforms, Conservation Efforts, etc.