Women Safety Issues – Marital Rape, Domestic Violence, Swadhar, Nirbhaya Fund, etc.

Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), 2023 on False Promise of Marriage


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: False Promise of Marriage

Central Idea

  • The proposed Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), 2023, seeks to address a specific issue concerning sexual relationships based on false promises of marriage.
  • Section 69 of this Bill introduces significant changes in this regard.

Section 69 of BNS – Sexual Intercourse on False Promise of Marriage

  • Creation of Two Offenses: Section 69 within Chapter 5 of the BNS, titled “Offences against Women and Children,” defines ‘sexual intercourse by employing deceitful means etc.’ and includes two violations: one by deceitful means and one by a ‘false promise to marry.’
  • Deceitful Means: The first violation involves employing deceitful means, such as a false promise of employment, promotion, or marriage, with the intent to induce sexual relations. If a person uses such means, they could face penalties of up to ten years of imprisonment.
  • False Promise to Marry: The second violation pertains to making a false promise to marry a woman with the intention of breaking that promise, solely to obtain her consent and exploit her sexually. This offense is also subject to a penalty of up to ten years of imprisonment.

Why Section 69 Is Introduced?

  • Historical Context: In the absence of a specific provision, cases of sexual intercourse based on false promises of marriage were previously addressed using other sections of criminal law, causing ambiguity.
  • Prevalence of Cases: Cases of sex under the “false promise of marriage” had been reported frequently, with victims often unable to seek legal remedy effectively.
  • Legal Ambiguity: The existing legal framework did not clearly distinguish between a ‘false promise’ and a ‘breach’ of promise to marry, creating complications in determining consent and intention.

Courts’ Handling of ‘False Promise of Marriage’ Cases

  • Judicial Interpretation: Courts had traditionally relied on existing laws like Sections 375 and 90 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to address such cases.
  • Consent Examination: Section 375 defines consent as an unequivocal voluntary agreement, and Section 90 considers consent given under “misconception of fact.” Courts examined cases based on these provisions.
  • Distinguishing Factors: Courts differentiated between a ‘false promise’ made with the intent to deceive and a ‘breach’ of promise made in good faith but not fulfilled.
  • Crucial Judgments: The Supreme Court’s judgment in ‘Pramod Suryabhan Pawar vs. State of Maharashtra’ (2019) highlighted the importance of the promise-maker’s intent to deceive. Another significant case, ‘Dileep Singh vs. State of Bihar,’ underscored the need for establishing a lack of intention to marry for the offense to be considered rape.

Implications and Critiques of Section 69

  • Endogamy Promotion: Critics argue that Section 69 may promote endogamy by shifting the focus from real harm and abuse to whether the man intended to marry, disregarding the complex social context in which such relationships occur.
  • Ambiguity and Discretion: The Bill’s vagueness and discretionary nature could perpetuate uncertainty and reliance on gender norms, potentially re-victimizing women.
  • Cycle of Consequences: While the Bill specifies the consequences of the crime, it may overlook the harm suffered by women, contributing to a cycle where justice remains elusive.


  • Section 69 of the proposed BNS, 2023, addresses a crucial issue related to sexual relationships based on false promises of marriage.
  • However, the Bill’s implementation and interpretation will require careful scrutiny to ensure justice is served without perpetuating harmful gender norms or social biases, as indicated by crucial judgments in relevant cases.

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e-Commerce: The New Boom

India’s Draft Guidelines on Dark Patterns


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Dark patterns advertising

Mains level: Read the attached story

dark patterns

Central Idea

  • The Indian government has invited public feedback on draft guidelines aimed at preventing and regulating “dark patterns” on the internet, particularly within e-commerce platforms.
  • These guidelines target deceptive tactics such as false urgency, basket sneaking, confirm shaming, forced action, subscription traps, and other manipulative practices.

Understanding Dark Patterns

  • The draft guidelines define dark patterns as deceptive design practices that utilize user interface and user experience interactions on any platform.
  • These practices are designed to mislead or trick users into actions they did not initially intend or want to take.
  • Dark patterns undermine consumer autonomy, decision-making, and choice, potentially constituting misleading advertising, unfair trade practices, or violations of consumer rights.

Types of Dark Patterns

  • False urgency” involves falsely conveying or implying a sense of urgency to users.
  • Basket sneaking” entails adding additional items to a user’s cart during the checkout process without their consent.
  • Confirm shaming” uses phrases, videos, audio, or other means to evoke fear, shame, ridicule, or guilt in users.
  • Forced action” compels users to take actions that necessitate purchasing additional goods.
  • Subscription trap” makes it nearly impossible or overly complex for users to cancel paid subscriptions.
  • Interface interference” manipulates the user interface for deceptive purposes.
  • Bait and switch” advertises a specific outcome based on user actions.
  • Drip pricing” conceals elements of prices until later in the transaction.
  • Disguised advertisement” and “nagging” are also defined in the guidelines.

Scope of Application

  • The Ministry states that these guidelines will apply to all individuals and online platforms, including sellers and advertisers.

Challenges in Enforcement

  • Legal experts appreciate the introduction of the draft guidelines but raises concerns about enforcement.
  • They highlight the challenge of conclusively proving whether certain practices qualify as dark patterns.
  • Famous is the example of the “false category” and the difficulty regulators may face in determining if claims like “only 2 rooms remaining – book now!” are genuinely accurate or misleading due to a lack of context.
  • Some categories of dark patterns, such as e-retail sites adding items to users’ carts without their consent, are seen as easier to regulate, while others like “disguised advertisements” may require further clarification.

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Historical and Archaeological Findings in News

National Manuscripts Bill and Cultural Legacy


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Bakhshali Manuscript

Mains level: National Manuscripts Bill


Central Idea

  • India’s rich heritage of ancient manuscripts, ranging from mathematical texts to religious scriptures, holds invaluable historical and cultural significance.
  • The proposed National Manuscripts Bill, 2023, aims to safeguard and document this wealth, ensuring accurate records, accessibility, and conservation.

Unveiling the National Manuscripts Bill

  • Bill Objectives: The forthcoming National Manuscripts Bill, 2023, plans to document, catalog, and preserve Indian heritage texts. It is set to be introduced in the Winter Session of Parliament.
  • NMA Composition: The bill proposes the formation of a 10-member National Manuscripts Authority (NMA) with representatives from Culture, Finance, and Education ministries, Central Sanskrit University, State representatives, and private agencies.
  • Apex Policy Making Body: NMA will oversee digitization, conservation, preservation, editing, and publication of manuscripts. It will function as the apex policy-making body in these areas.

India’s Manuscript Treasure

  • Historic Significance: The Bakhshali manuscript, with its early use of zero, symbolizes the intellectual and mathematical achievements of ancient India. Numerous such manuscripts in various scripts exist in libraries worldwide.
  • Vast Manuscript Collection: India boasts around 10 million manuscripts in 80 ancient scripts, encompassing themes like history, religion, literature, and more.
  • Cultural Diversity: Manuscripts are written on diverse materials and span themes in Sanskrit as well as regional languages.
  • Preservation Challenge: The National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM) is tasked with preserving this treasure, an essential endeavor to safeguard cultural and historical identity.

Empowering the National Manuscripts Authority

  • Regulation and Investigation: NMA will possess the powers of a civil court to manage manuscript access. It will also have an investigative arm to probe theft and desecration incidents.
  • Collaboration: NMA can partner with educational institutions for scholarships and fellowships related to manuscript studies.
  • Digital Portal: The NMA will establish a dedicated digital portal for indexing, cataloguing, and sharing manuscript copies.
  • Private Ownership: The authority can acquire manuscripts from private owners if their uniqueness and content’s significance warrants it. Compensation would be determined by experts.

Revitalizing Manuscript Studies

  • Linking Manuscripts with Livelihood: There is a need to intertwine manuscript studies with livelihood, fostering renewed cultural engagement.
  • Global Interest: The proposed survey and documentation of Indian manuscripts abroad are expected to elevate global interest in these texts.

Digital Endeavors by NMM

  • Digitization Efforts: The National Mission for Manuscripts has digitized a substantial number of manuscripts, totaling around 3.3 lakh manuscripts and 3.1 crore folios.
  • Online Access: While over 1.18 lakh manuscripts have been uploaded, approximately 70,000 are accessible to the public online.
  • Other Cultural Institutions: Manuscripts are housed in esteemed institutions like the Sarasvati Mahal Library in Thanjavur, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune, Sampurnanand Sanskrit University in Varanasi, and the Oriental Research Institute in Jammu and Kashmir.


  • The proposed National Manuscripts Bill seeks to bridge the past with the present, ensuring the preservation and accessibility of India’s diverse manuscript legacy.
  • By establishing the National Manuscripts Authority and promoting digital initiatives, India aims to share its invaluable cultural wealth with the world, fostering a deeper understanding of its historical and intellectual heritage.

Back2Basics: Bakhshali Manuscript

bakshali manuscript

  • The Bakhshali Manuscript is an ancient mathematical document. It was discovered in 1881, buried in a field in Bakhshali village near Peshawar (Pakistan).
  • It is written in Sharda Script.
  • It predates the work of Brahmagupta, a 7th-century mathematician, and an inscription in the 9th-century Gwalior’s Chaturbhuj Temple.
  • The manuscript is composed of 70 fragile leaves made of birch bark.
  • It contains hundreds of mathematical notations, including the use of zero as a placeholder.
  • Zeros in the manuscript are represented by dots that serve as placeholders for different place values.
  • In 1902, the manuscript was presented to the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, where it has been preserved since.
  • The manuscript is a compilation of mathematical material from multiple periods. Some pages date as far back as the 3rd to 4th century, while others are from the 8th and 10th centuries.

Influence on Modern Mathematics

  • The manuscript is a compendium of rules and illustrative examples.
  • Each example is stated as a problem, the solution is described, and it is verified that the problem has been solved.
  • The sample problems are in verse and the commentary is in prose associated with calculations.
  • The topics covered include fractions, square roots, arithmetic and geometric progressions, solutions of simple equations, simultaneous linear equations, quadratic equations and indeterminate equations of the second degree.

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Parliament – Sessions, Procedures, Motions, Committees etc

What is President’s Assent?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: President’s Assent

Mains level: Not Much

Central Idea

  • The President of India granted approval to four significant legislations, encompassing the Digital Personal Data Protection Act and a law related to controlling services in Delhi.
  • These Bills, recently endorsed during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, signify the nation’s resolve to adapt its legal framework to contemporary challenges.

Legislations receiving President’s Assent

  • The Digital Personal Data Protection Act: This law aims to establish a framework to prevent the misuse of individuals’ data by online platforms. It addresses issues related to data privacy and protection in the digital realm. Tap here to read more.
  • The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act: This act provides for the establishment of a three-member authority responsible for handling the transfer and postings of Group A officers under the Delhi government. It pertains to the administration of services in the National Capital Territory of Delhi. Tap here to read more.
  • The Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Act: This act designates digital birth certificates as the exclusive conclusive proof of age, which can be used for various purposes. It introduces the concept of digital certificates for births and deaths. Tap here to read more.
  • The Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Act: This act focuses on promoting ease of business by decriminalizing minor offenses. It introduces amendments to 183 provisions of 42 Acts to reduce legal complexities and facilitate business operations. Tap here to read more.

What is President’s Assent?

  • Article 111 of the Indian Constitution governs the President’s assent to bills, which marks the final step in the legislative process.
  • The President possesses the power of veto, giving them three options under Article 111 when presented with a bill passed by Parliament:
    1. Assent: The President can give their approval to the bill, leading to its enactment as a law.
    2. Withhold Assent: The President can refuse to sign the bill, preventing it from becoming a law.
    3. Return for Reconsideration: If the bill is not a Money Bill, the President can send it back to Parliament for reconsideration. If Parliament passes the bill again, with or without amendments, the President must give their assent.

Types of Veto

  • Absolute Veto: The President exercises this veto when refusing to sign a bill, causing it to be rejected and not turned into law. It is typically used when a Private Member’s Bill is used to pass a law or in the event of a change in the cabinet before the President’s signature, where the incoming government advises against signing the legislation.
  • Suspensive Veto: This allows the President to send a bill back to Parliament for further examination or deliberation. If Parliament reapproves the bill with or without amendments, it is adopted as law without the President’s veto.
  • Pocket Veto: In this form of veto, the President neither signs the bill nor sends it back to the legislature. The bill remains pending, and its outcome is uncertain. Unlike the U.S. President, the Indian President is not required to return the bill within a specific timeframe.
  • Qualified Veto: Unlike other types, this veto can be overridden by the legislature with a higher majority. However, this type of veto is not vested with the Indian President.

[A] Assent to Ordinary Bill:

For an ordinary bill, the President has three options:

  1. Assent: The President can sign the bill, transforming it into an act.
  2. Withhold Assent: The President can withhold their approval, resulting in the bill not becoming law.
  3. Return for Reconsideration: The President can send the bill back to the Houses for reconsideration. The Houses may amend the bill or not before returning it to the President for assent.

[B] Assent to Money Bill:

  • The President can give or withhold assent to a Money Bill. However, a Money Bill cannot be returned by the President to the House for reconsideration under the Indian Constitution.

[C] Assent to Constitutional Amendment Bill:

  • In the case of Constitutional Amendment Bills, the President’s assent is mandatory.
  • The President cannot withhold or return such bills; they become Constitutional Amendment Acts, modifying the Constitution in accordance with their provisions.

Making a Law Operational

  • After receiving the President’s assent, a law becomes effective.
  • The government drafts guidelines and standards to operationalize the law.
  • Implementation requires the issuance of these guidelines.
  • Rules should be issued within 6 months of law passage, as recommended by the parliament.

Try this PYQ from CSP 2022:

Q. Consider the following statements:

  1. A bill amending the Constitution requires a prior recommendation of the President of India.
  2. When a Constitution Amendment Bill is presented to the President of India, it is obligatory for the President of India to give his/her assent.
  3. A Constitution Amendment Bill must be passed by both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha by a special majority and there is no provision for joint sitting.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Post your answers here.

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Coal and Mining Sector

Mines and Minerals Bill 2023


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Mines and Minerals Bill 2023

Mains level: Read the attached story


Central Idea

  • India’s Parliament recently passed the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023.
  • This bill aims to encourage private sector participation in mineral exploration and mining, thus addressing import dependencies and supply chain vulnerabilities.

Provisions of the Mines and Minerals Bill 2023

  • Expanding Exploration Rights: The Bill allows private sector engagement in the exploration of critical and strategic minerals previously reserved for government entities.
  • Exploration Licenses (EL): The Bill introduces a new type of license, EL, for private exploration activities. Exploration licenses will be granted through competitive bidding and will be issued for specified critical, strategic, and deep-seated minerals.
  • Revenue Model: ELs aim to generate revenue through a share of the premium paid by the miner after successfully auctioning a mined deposit.

Critical Minerals and their Importance

Critical minerals are elements that are crucial to modern-day technologies and are at risk of supply chain disruptions.

  • Recent categorization: Minerals such as antimony, cobalt, gallium, graphite, lithium, nickel, niobium, and strontium are among the 22 assessed to be critical for India.
  • Global Supply Chain Vulnerabilities: The global supply chains for various commodities, including critical minerals like lithium, cobalt, graphite, and rare earth elements, have been shown to be susceptible to shocks, leading to shortages and rising prices.
  • Impact on Various Sectors: Critical minerals are essential for manufacturing, infrastructure development, and clean energy transitions. They are crucial for electric vehicle batteries, semiconductors, wind turbines, and other technological advancements.

Import Dependency and Vulnerabilities

  • Import Dependency: India heavily relies on imports for critical and deep-seated minerals, such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and rare earth elements.
  • Supply Chain Disruption: The concentration of extraction and processing in a few geographical locations, like China’s dominance in cobalt and rare earth elements, can lead to supply chain vulnerabilities.
  • Projected Demand: A World Bank study anticipates a nearly 500% increase in demand for critical metals like lithium and cobalt by 2050.

Global Initiatives for Supply Chain Resilience

  • Mineral Security Partnership (MSP): Major economies like the U.S., UK, Japan, and the EU have established the MSP to ensure supply chain resilience for critical minerals. India joined this partnership to secure access to these resources.
  • Strategic Lists: Countries are compiling lists of critical minerals based on their economic needs and supply risks, aligning with their industrial strategies. This aims to secure stable access to these resources.

Private Sector Participation

  • Exploration and Mining: Mineral exploration is a multi-stage process, from reconnaissance to detailed exploration, before actual mining. India’s exploration efforts have been led by government agencies with limited private-sector involvement.
  • Resource Potential: India’s geological setting holds potential for mineral resources similar to mining-rich regions. However, only a fraction of its obvious geological potential has been explored.

Challenges and Concerns

  • Incentives and Risks: Private sector involvement in exploration requires substantial investments and carries inherent risks, making it necessary to create favourable conditions and incentives.
  • Revenue Generation Delays: Private explorers’ primary revenue source is a share of auction premiums, contingent on successful mine auctioning, which can take considerable time due to government clearances.
  • Auction Process Challenges: Auctioning ELs before exploration begins raises uncertainty regarding future revenue and value estimation.
  • Supreme Court Ruling: The Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling emphasized the significance of secure utilization of explored resources, which the new policy does not guarantee.


  • The recent legislation signals India’s commitment to attracting private sector investment in mineral exploration.
  • However, challenges such as revenue uncertainty, the auction method’s suitability, and the need for efficient mechanisms to incentivize private participation need careful consideration.
  • Balancing the interests of the private sector, resource availability, and the nation’s strategic goals will be pivotal for the successful implementation of these policy amendments.

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Digital India Initiatives

Centre publishes Draft National Deep Tech Startup Policy


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Information Technology Agreement-I

Mains level: Deep Tech

deep tech

Central Idea

  • The office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government released a draft National Deep Tech Startup Policy (NDTSP) for public feedback.

What is Deep Technology?

  • Deep Tech refers to advanced and sophisticated technologies that have a significant impact on various industries.
  • These technologies are complex, innovation-driven, and often require interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Examples include AI, robotics, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, and renewable energy solutions.
  • Deep Tech has the potential to revolutionize existing processes and address global challenges.

About National Deep Tech Startup Policy (NDTSP)

  • The policy aims to secure India’s position in the global deep tech value chain, with a focus on areas such as semiconductors, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and space tech.
  • It aims to bolster research and development in deep tech startups, streamline intellectual property regimes, provide financing support, and promote the growth of these startups through various measures.

Key objectives:

  • Focus on Fundamental and Technical Problems: The NDTSP emphasizes support for deep tech startups focusing on fundamental and technical challenges rather than just commercializing existing technologies.
  • Financing Support: The policy addresses the critical financing needs of deep tech startups, especially during the pre-market phase when they introduce their products or ideas.
  • Streamlined Intellectual Property Regime: The policy aims to simplify the intellectual property landscape for deep tech startups to encourage innovation without undue complexities.
  • Ease of Regulatory Compliance: The NDTSP proposes measures to ease regulatory requirements for deep tech startups, creating a conducive environment for their growth.
  • Commercialization Support: The policy suggests providing assistance and resources to effectively manage and commercialize technologies developed by deep tech startups.

Measures to Promote Deep Tech Startups

  • Export Promotion Board: The NDTSP recommends creating an Export Promotion Board to facilitate Indian deep tech startups’ entry into foreign markets.
  • Coordinated Oversight: To streamline the deep tech ecosystem, the policy recommends establishing an “Inter-Ministerial Deep Tech Committee” to review and coordinate requirements effectively.
  • International Collaboration and Market Access: The policy promotes strategic international collaborations and partnerships to enhance market access for Indian deep tech startups globally.
  • Defense and Space Sector Focus: The NDTSP specifically targets deep tech startups in defense and space sectors, aiming to enhance their contributions to national security and space exploration.

Attracting Global Talent and Expertise

  • Networking Opportunities: The policy advocates providing networking opportunities to international deep-tech startups and experts interested in contributing to India’s local ecosystem.
  • Resource-Intensive Approaches: The NDTSP emphasizes resource-intensive measures to attract global talent, strengthening India’s deep tech capabilities.
  • Visa and Immigration Facilitation: The policy proposes simplifying visa and immigration processes to attract foreign experts and investors to support the growth of deep tech startups.

Need for such policy

  • 1997 Information Technology Agreement-I: The policy restates the government’s disappointment with international agreements, particularly the Information Technology Agreement-I. As an ITA participant, India made commitments to eliminate tariffs on a wide range of IT products.
  • Multi-pronged Approach: The NDTSP advocates a coordinated, comprehensive strategy to engage with international partners and multilateral institutions to foster a supportive global environment for India’s deep tech ecosystem.
  • Global Advocacy and Trade Policy Alignment: The policy emphasizes global advocacy to align trade policies with the interests of India’s deep tech startups, fostering a supportive international trade environment.


  • The NDTSP aims to position India as a leader in the global deep tech value chain.
  • Public feedback on the draft policy will further refine and strengthen India’s approach to deep tech entrepreneurship.

Back2Basics: Information Technology Agreement-I

  • ITA-I is a multilateral trade agreement that aims to eliminate tariffs and trade barriers on a wide range of information technology (IT) products.
  • It was negotiated under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and came into effect on July 1, 1997.

Key Points about ITA:

  1. Objective: By removing tariffs and trade barriers, the agreement aims to encourage the development and adoption of IT products and services worldwide.
  2. Product Coverage: The ITA covers a broad range of IT products, including computers, computer peripherals, telecommunications equipment, semiconductors, software, and other IT-related goods.
  3. Participants: Over time, the number of participants has expanded, and as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, it included more than 80 WTO member countries.
  4. Binding Commitments: Once a country joins the ITA, its tariff removal commitments become legally binding under the WTO framework.
  5. Non-Tariff Barriers: While the ITA focuses on eliminating tariffs, it does not directly address non-tariff barriers to trade, such as regulatory barriers or technical requirements.

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Child Rights – POSCO, Child Labour Laws, NAPC, etc.

Digital Birth Certificates to streamline Official Documentation


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969

Mains level: Read the attached story


Central Idea

  • India has tabled Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) Amendment Bill, 2023 to introduce digital birth certificates that will serve as comprehensive documents for various essential purposes.

About RBD Bill, 2023

  • It amends the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969.
  • The Act provides for the regulation of registration of births and deaths.

Key Points from the Bill

  • National Database: The Bill mandates the appointment of a Registrar General of India to maintain a national database of registered births and deaths. State-level databases will also be maintained by Chief Registrars, connected to the national database.
  • Aadhaar Integration: Specified persons reporting births must provide Aadhaar details of parents and informants, expanding to include adoptive parents, biological parents in surrogacy cases, and single parents or unwed mothers.
  • Digital Registration: The proposed Bill aims to introduce digital registration and electronic delivery of birth and death certificates, streamlining services for the public.
  • Mandatory Death Certificates: Medical institutions must provide certificates regarding the cause of death for deaths occurring within their premises.
  • Quick disbursal of Certificates: The Registrar must provide birth and death certificates to the person who registered the event within 7 days of registration.
  • Appeal Process: Individuals dissatisfied with the actions or orders of the Registrar or District Registrar may appeal to the District Registrar or Chief Registrar, respectively, within 30 days of receipt. The decision on the appeal must be given within 90 days.
  • Child adoption ease: The Bill seeks to collect Aadhaar details to facilitate registration for adopted, orphaned, abandoned, surrendered, surrogate, and children of single parents or unwed mothers.
  • Integration with National Population Register (NPR): The database generated through the CRS will also be used to update the NPR, ration cards, and property registration records, enhancing the effectiveness of the NPR and laying the groundwork for the National Register of Citizens (NRC).


  • India’s move towards digital birth certificates marks a significant milestone in streamlining administrative processes and public services.
  • By adopting a centralized system for registration and digital delivery of certificates, the country aims to improve efficiency and transparency in accessing various essential services.

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Right To Privacy

Centre withdraws DNA Bill


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: DNA

Mains level: Genetic Profiling, Issues


Central Idea

  • The Union government recently withdrew the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019, from the Lok Sabha.

DNA Bill, 2019: Highlights

  • The Bill, first proposed in 2003, aims to establish a regulatory framework for obtaining, storing, and testing DNA samples of individuals, primarily for criminal investigations and establishing identity.
  • Over the years, the Bill has undergone changes and was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee in 2019.
  • The committee raised concerns about potential misuse based on religion, caste, or political views.

Key Features

  • Objective: The Bill sought to create a regulatory framework for DNA sample collection, testing, and storage, primarily for criminal investigations and establishing a person’s identity.
  • Existing Uses of DNA Technology: DNA testing is already employed for criminal investigations, parentage establishment, and locating missing individuals.
  • Proposed Institutional Structures: The Bill aimed to establish a DNA regulatory board and a DNA data bank at the national level, with the possibility of regional centers at the state level.
  • Role of the DNA Regulatory Board: The board would frame guidelines and rules for DNA collection, testing, and storage.
  • DNA Data Bank: The data bank would store all DNA samples collected under specified rules.
  • Restricted Testing: DNA sample testing would be allowed only at laboratories authorized by the regulatory board.
  • Handling of DNA Samples: The Bill specified the circumstances under which individuals could be asked to submit DNA samples, the purposes for such requests, and the exact procedures for handling, storing, and accessing these samples.

Controversies and Objections against the Bill:

  • Reliability of DNA Technology: Critics raised concerns about the foolproof nature of DNA technology and its potential for error.
  • Risk of Misuse: The main debate centered on the possibility of abuse of DNA information. Detractors feared that intrusive DNA data collection and storage could lead to misuse and violations of individual privacy.
  • Privacy Concerns: DNA information reveals not only a person’s identity but also physical and biological attributes such as eye, hair, or skin color, susceptibility to diseases, and possible medical history. Critics argued that storing such personal information could compromise privacy rights.

Standing Committee’s Concerns

  • Technical and Sensitive Nature: The Standing Committee’s report acknowledged that the Bill was technical, complex, and sensitive.
  • Addressing Fears: The report recognized and addressed concerns expressed by several members about the potential misuse of DNA technology based on factors like religion, caste, or political views.

Government’s Defense of the Bill

  • International Precedents: The government argued that nearly 60 countries have enacted similar legislation, justifying the need for such a law in India.
  • Limited Information Storage: The government contended that only a limited set of numbers, just 17 out of the billions that DNA samples can reveal, would be stored in the indices. This information would act as a unique identifier and not reveal any personal details.


  • The withdrawal of the Bill marks a pause in the government’s efforts to create a regulatory framework for DNA technology usage.
  • The controversies and objections raised highlight the need for a balanced approach.
  • The Centre must address concerns over misuse and privacy while harnessing the potential benefits of DNA technology for criminal investigations and other purposes.

Back2Basics: DNA

  • DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is a molecule that carries the genetic instructions necessary for the growth, development, functioning, and reproduction of all known living organisms and many viruses.
  • It is often referred to as the “building blocks of life.”

Key features of DNA include:

  1. Molecular Structure: DNA is a double-stranded molecule, consisting of two long chains of nucleotides that form a double helix. Each nucleotide consists of a sugar molecule (deoxyribose), a phosphate group, and one of four nitrogenous bases: adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), and guanine (G).
  2. Base Pairing: The two DNA strands are held together by hydrogen bonds between complementary base pairs. Adenine (A) always pairs with thymine (T), and cytosine (C) always pairs with guanine (G).
  3. Genetic Code: The sequence of nucleotide bases along the DNA strand constitutes the genetic code, which determines the specific traits and characteristics of an organism.
  4. Genes: DNA is organized into specific segments called genes, which are responsible for encoding proteins or functional RNA molecules. Proteins play a crucial role in various biological processes, while RNA molecules contribute to gene expression and protein synthesis.
  5. Replication: DNA has the unique ability to replicate itself through a process called DNA replication. During cell division, the DNA unwinds, and each strand serves as a template for the synthesis of a new complementary strand, resulting in two identical DNA molecules.
  6. Inheritance: DNA is passed from one generation to the next through reproduction, ensuring the transmission of genetic information from parents to offspring.
  7. Role in Protein Synthesis: DNA provides the instructions for protein synthesis through a two-step process. First, the information in a gene is transcribed into a messenger RNA (mRNA) molecule. Then, the mRNA is translated by ribosomes in the cell to produce specific proteins.
  8. Genetic Variation: Mutations, or changes in the DNA sequence, can lead to genetic variation within a species. These variations are essential for evolution and adaptation to changing environments.

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Censorship Issues – Censor Board, Banning films, etc

Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Cinematograph Act, 1952

Mains level: Read the attached story


Central Idea

  • Union Information and Broadcasting Minister has introduced the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023, in the Rajya Sabha, with the goal of addressing piracy concerns in the film industry.
  • It seeks to amend the Cinematograph Act, 1952.

What is the Cinematograph Act, 1952?

  • The Cinematograph Act of 1952, was enacted by the Parliament to ensure that films are shown in accordance with the limits of tolerance of society.
  • The Act establishes the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC, or the censor board) to certify films.
  • Under the Act, the Board scrutinizes the films following the procedure laid down in the Act and can either reject or grant a certificate, valid for ten years.
  • The Act authorizes the police to perform search and seizure actions if the film is being exhibited in contravention of any of the provisions of the Act.

Cinematograph Amendment Bill, 2023

Amendment The bill proposes to amend the Cinematograph Act, 1952
Harsher Penalty The act has provisions for harsher penal provisions for film piracy
New Age Categories It introduces new sub-age categories for films to bring about uniformity in categorisation across platforms
Perpetual Certification The certification once given will be perpetual
New Sub-age based Certification UA-7+’, ‘UA-13+’, and ‘UA-16+’ in place for 12 years
Alignment The act will be aligned with Supreme Court judgments
Recertification Recertification of the edited film for television broadcast
Public Exhibition Only Unrestricted Public Exhibition category films can be shown on television
Uniformity It will make the act provisions in line with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 to maintain uniformity

Stringent Laws against Piracy

Imprisonment and Penalty It includes imprisonment for three years and a Rs 10 lakh penalty for those found involved in piracy
Legal Offence The act of piracy will be a legal offense, and even transmitting pirated content will be punishable

Indian Cinema: A Backgrounder

  • The history of Indian cinema dates back to the late 19th century, with the screening of the Lumiere Brothers’ short films in Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1896.
  • Dadasaheb Phalke is considered to be the father of Indian cinema.
  • The first Indian-made film, Raja Harishchandra, was released by him in 1913 and marked the beginning of Indian cinema.
  • The first Indian talkie, Alam Ara, was released in 1931, marking a new era in Indian cinema.

Contribution of Indian Cinema

(1) Economic contribution

  • Revenue Source: The film industry contributes significantly to the country’s economy, generating substantial revenue through production, distribution, and exhibition.
  • Employment Generation: The film sector offers employment opportunities to millions of people in various related fields.
  • Allied Sectors: The film industry provides a boost to other industries like advertising, hospitality, tourism, and fashion.
  • Entertainment Economy: Cinema houses and multiplexes generate revenue through ticket sales, concessions, and merchandise sales.

(2) Societal Contribution

  • Social Cause: Movies have addressed crucial social issues, raising awareness and encouraging discussions.
  • Breaking Gender Stereotypes: Strong female characters in films challenge traditional gender roles, positively impacting women’s status.
  • Accessible Entertainment: Cinema breaks social barriers by providing affordable and accessible entertainment.
  • Inspirational Aspects: Movies inspire the youth, leading them to look up to their favorite stars as role models.

(3) Nation Building

  • Promotion of Social Harmony: Indian cinema showcases diversity and cultural richness, promoting social harmony and unity.
  • Inculcation of Moral Values: Films play a crucial role in imparting moral values and social responsibilities.
  • Creating Awareness about Social Issues: Movies raise awareness about various social issues, breaking taboos and addressing important topics.

Issues with Indian Cinema

  • Portrayal of Violence and Sexuality: Some films depict violence and sexual content, impacting younger viewers negatively.
  • Reinforcement of Stereotypes: Certain films reinforce gender, caste, and religious stereotypes, perpetuating prejudice.
  • Promotion of Materialism: Movies that promote materialism can lead to unrealistic expectations and values.
  • Lack of Diversity: The lack of diversity in mainstream films needs to be addressed to ensure equal representation.
  • Undue Commercialization: Excessive commercialization may overshadow the importance of quality content.
  • Nepotism: The practice of nepotism can hinder deserving talent from entering the industry.

Way Forward

  • Revising the Certification Process: Ensure transparency and accountability in the certification process.
  • Protecting Artistic Freedom: Safeguard artistic freedom and creativity in filmmaking.
  • Encouraging Regional Cinema: Promote and support regional cinema through incentives and subsidies.
  • Promoting Cultural Diversity: Encourage filmmakers to explore diverse cultures and promote intercultural dialogue.
  • Combating Piracy: Take effective measures to combat film piracy and protect revenues.
  • Developing Film Infrastructure: Invest in developing film infrastructure and educational facilities.

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Right To Privacy

Age of Consent for Data Protection


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Age of Consent

Mains level: Read the attached story


Central Idea

  • Empowering the Central Government: The upcoming data protection Bill in India could grant the Centre the authority to lower the age of consent from 18 for accessing Internet services without parental oversight.
  • Exemptions for Certain Companies: The Bill may exempt specific companies from additional obligations in protecting children’s privacy if they can process data in a “verifiably safe” manner.

Must read:

Data Protection Bill approved by Cabinet: Content, concerns

Why in news?

  • Departure from Previous Bill: This marks a departure from the previous data protection Bill, where the age threshold was hard-coded at 18 years.
  • Aligning with global laws: The change aligns with data protection regulations in the Western world, such as the EU and US.

Journey of a Clause: Changing Definition of a Child

  • Justice BN Srikrishna Committee Report: The committee’s 2018 report recommended seeking parental consent for individuals under 18 years but suggested that the age of consent could be reduced if amendments were made.
  • Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019: The PDP Bill, 2019 retained the recommendation and defined a child as an individual under the age of 18.
  • Joint Committee of Parliament Recommendations: The Joint Committee proposed reducing the age of consent to 13/14/16 years in its final recommendations in late 2021.
  • Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022: The draft Bill defined children as those under 18 years of age, leading to dissatisfaction among social media companies.
  • Final Change: The data protection Bill headed to Parliament’s Monsoon session reportedly changed the definition of a child to an individual who has not completed the age of eighteen years or a lower age notified by the Central Government.

Global Definitions of Children for Data Regulations

  • EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): The age of consent is set at 16 but allows member states to lower it to as low as 13. Specific protections for children’s personal data exist.
  • USA’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA): Children are defined as under 13 years, and parental consent is required for processing their personal data.
  • Australia’s Privacy Act, 1988: The Act protects personal information regardless of age but requires organizations to assess an individual’s capacity to consent on a case-by-case basis.
  • China’s Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL): Entities handling personal data of individuals under 14 years must obtain parental consent, and children’s data is categorized as sensitive.


  • Lowering the age of consent in India’s data protection Bill reflects global trends seen in data protection regulations.
  • Countries have different age thresholds for defining children and varying requirements for obtaining parental consent.
  • The final change in the Bill represents a series of discussions and deliberations on determining the age of children in India’s data protection law, addressing concerns of industry stakeholders and aligning with international standards.

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Forest Conservation Efforts – NFP, Western Ghats, etc.

Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023

Mains level: Read the attached story

Central Idea

  • A parliamentary committee has given its endorsement to the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, which seeks to amend the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
  • The proposed amendments have attracted objections and controversies, raising concerns about dilution of forest protection and potential impacts on biodiversity, forest rights, and national security.

Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023: An overview

  • The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, safeguards India’s forest land from unauthorized non-forestry use and allows for compensation in case of diversion.
  • Previous amendments aimed to expand protection, but the current amendments focus on removing ambiguities and clarifying the Act’s applicability on various types of land.
  • The amendments emphasize promoting tree cover, carbon sinks, national security infrastructure, and livelihood opportunities for forest-dwelling communities.


Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980

  • It is the principal legislation that regulates deforestation in the country.
  • It prohibits the felling of forests for any “non-forestry” use without prior clearance by the central government.
  • The clearance process includes seeking consent from local forest rights holders and from wildlife authorities.
  • The Centre is empowered to reject such requests or allow them with legally binding conditions.
  • Process of approval for the diversion of forest land culminates after issuance of final diversion order by the State Government or UT concerned which authorises use of forest land for intended purpose and hands over the land to the user agency.

Key features

  • Inclusion and Exclusion of Land: The Bill amends the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 to make it applicable to land notified as a forest under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 or in government records after the 1980 Act came into effect. Land converted to non-forest use before December 12, 1996, will not fall under the Act’s purview.
  • Exemptions: Certain types of land are exempted from the Act, including land within 100 km of India’s border required for national security projects, small roadside amenities, and public roads leading to habitation.
  • Assignment of Forest Land: The state government requires prior approval from the central government to assign forest land to any private or government entity. The Bill extends this requirement to all entities and allows assignment on terms and conditions specified by the central government.
  • Permitted Activities: The Bill expands the list of permitted activities in forests, including establishing check posts, fencing, bridges, running zoos, safaris, and eco-tourism facilities.

Controversial parts of the Amendment

  • Dilution Concerns: Some critics argue that the amendments dilute the Supreme Court’s 1996 Godavarman case judgment, which extended protection to forests not officially classified as such.
  • Geographically Sensitive Areas: Projects within 100 km of international borders or the Line of Control would no longer require forest clearance, which raises concerns about the environment and security.
  • Deemed Forests and Tourism: Central protection for deemed forests and restrictions on activities like tourism could be compromised, affecting biodiversity conservation and forest integrity.
  • Impact on Forest Cover: Exempting land near border areas for national security projects may adversely affect forest cover and wildlife in northeastern states, which have high forest cover and are biodiversity hotspots.
  • Potential Adverse Effects: Blanket exemptions for projects like zoos, eco-tourism facilities, and reconnaissance surveys may have negative consequences for forest land and wildlife.

Opposition and Criticism

  • Northeast States’ Opposition: Some northeastern states objected to forest land being used for defense purposes without their consent.
  • Environmental Groups’ Concerns: Environmental organizations criticized the removal of Central protection for deemed forests and allowing tourism in these areas, risking biodiversity and forest conservation.
  • Name Change Controversy: The proposal to change the name of the Act to Van (Sanrakshan Evam Samvardhan) Adhiniyam faced objections for being non-inclusive and excluding certain regions’ populations.


  • The Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, despite attracting objections and controversies, has received the endorsement of the parliamentary committee.
  • The proposed amendments aim to bring clarity to the Act’s applicability and promote tree cover, national security infrastructure, and livelihood opportunities.

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Right To Privacy

Cabinet clears Data Protection Bill


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: DPDP Bill


Central Idea

  • The Union Cabinet has granted clearance for the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Bill, which is set to be introduced in the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament.
  • This legislation aims to regulate the management of personal data of Indian residents, emphasizing explicit consent for data collection and usage.

DPDP, Bill: Key Features and Concerns

(A) Data Protection Norms and Consent

  • Data Protection Law: The DPDP Bill establishes norms for the management of personal data and mandates explicit consent from individuals whose data is collected and used.
  • Limited Transparency: More than 20,000 comments were received during the public consultation on the draft Bill, but these comments have not been made publicly available.
  • Minimal Changes: The final Bill, to be presented in Parliament, reportedly shows little deviation from the initial draft circulated for public consultation.

(B) Data Protection Board and Grievance Redressal

  • Role of the Data Protection Board: The DPDP Bill enables individuals to lodge complaints with the Data Protection Board of India, consisting of government-appointed technical experts, in case of unauthorized data usage.
  • Investigation of Breaches: The Board will initiate an investigation into reported breaches of personal data.

(C) Provisions and Penalties

  • EU Influence: The DPDP Bill draws inspiration from the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, outlining practices for entities collecting personal data, storage, processing, and the rights of data subjects.
  • Voluntary Undertaking: Entities can admit a breach and pay a penalty as a mitigation measure to avoid court litigation.
  • Penalties and Fines: Penalties for breaches can reach up to ₹250 crore, with a possibility of upward revision to ₹500 crore. Individual offenses may attract fines starting from ₹10,000.
  • Data Protection Board’s Role: The Board will levy fines and penalties for breaches, with a maximum penalty of ₹500 crore for data breaches.

(D) Exemptions and Concerns

  • Exemptions for Courts and Law Enforcement: The Bill exempts courts and law enforcement agencies from certain requirements when processing personal data for the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of offenses.
  • Concerns over RTI Amendment: An amendment in the DPDP Bill raises concerns among Right to Information activists, as it may restrict the sharing of “personal information” by government departments, potentially impeding transparency and accountability.

Potential Changes in the Final Draft

  • Cross-Border Data Flows: The approach to cross-border data transfers may shift from a ‘whitelisting’ approach to a ‘blacklisting’ mechanism.
  • Stricter Deemed Consent: The provision on “deemed consent” for private entities could be reworded to be more stringent, while government departments may assume consent for processing personal data in the interest of national security and public interest.

International Comparisons


  • Global Data Protection Laws: A significant number of countries have enacted data protection and privacy legislation, with the GDPR serving as a template for many jurisdictions.
  • EU, US, and China Models: The EU focuses on comprehensive data protection, the US emphasizes privacy as “liberty protection,” and China has introduced new laws on data privacy and security.

Why discuss this yet again?

  • Previous Withdrawal: An earlier version of the data protection Bill was withdrawn from Parliament in 2021 due to pushback from various stakeholders.
  • International Relevance: The DPDP Bill’s implementation is crucial for India’s trade negotiations, particularly with regions like the European Union, which has comprehensive privacy laws under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).


  • The Bill marks a significant step toward safeguarding personal data in India.
  • The legislation introduces stricter norms for data collection and usage, emphasizing explicit consent and establishing penalties for breaches.
  • However, concerns have been raised regarding the limited transparency of the consultation process and potential exemptions that may impact transparency and accountability.


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Higher Education – RUSA, NIRF, HEFA, etc.

Cabinet approves Bill for National Research Foundation (NRF)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: National Research Foundation (NRF)

Mains level: NA


Central Idea

  • The Union Cabinet’s approval of the National Research Foundation (NRF) Bill, 2023 marks a significant milestone in the field of scientific research in India.
  • With an estimated budget of ₹50,000 crore from 2023-28, the NRF will reshape the research landscape in the country.

What is NRF?

  • Apex Body: The NRF will be established as the highest governing body for scientific research, in accordance with the recommendations of the National Education Policy (NEP).
  • Department of Science and Technology’s Role: The DST will serve as the administrative department of the NRF, with a Governing Board consisting of eminent researchers and professionals from various disciplines.
  • Leadership Structure: PM will be the ex-officio President of the Board, while the Union Minister of Science & Technology and the Union Minister of Education will be the ex-officio Vice-Presidents.
  • Functioning: The Principal Scientific Adviser will chair the Executive Council responsible for NRF’s functioning.

Consolidation and Funding

  • Integration of Science and Engineering Research Board: The proposed Bill repeals the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) established in 2008 and subsumes it into the NRF.
  • Equitable Funding: The NRF aims to ensure equitable distribution of research funding, addressing the current disparity between eminent institutions like IITs and IISc and state universities. It seeks to allocate research funds more fairly, with an expected private sector investment of ₹36,000 crore.
  • Government Contribution: The government will contribute ₹10,000 crore over five years, while the DST will continue to receive its annual budget for funding autonomous research bodies, scholarships, and capacity-building programs.

Collaboration and Policy Framework

  • Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration: The NRF will foster collaborations among industries, academia, government departments, and research institutions. It will establish an interface mechanism to facilitate participation and contributions from industries, state governments, scientific ministries, and line ministries.
  • Policy Framework and Regulatory Processes: NRF’s focus will include creating a policy framework and regulatory processes that encourage collaboration and increased industry spending on research and development (R&D).
  • Research in Social Sciences and Humanities: The NRF aims to promote research not only in natural sciences but also in humanities, social sciences, and arts. It recognizes the importance of integrating these disciplines in decision-making processes.

Addressing National Priorities

  • Priority Areas: The NRF intends to identify priority areas aligned with national objectives, such as clean energy, climate change, sustainable infrastructure, improved transportation, and accessible healthcare.
  • Multidisciplinary Projects and Centers of Excellence: To address national priorities, the NRF will support large-scale, long-term, multidisciplinary, and multi-institutional projects. It also plans to establish Centers of Excellence focusing on crucial research areas for the country.
  • International Collaborations: The NRF will coordinate and support research in mega international projects, including LIGO and ITER, in which India is actively involved.

Funding and Impact

  • Increased Funding: The NRF aims to significantly increase the funding available for scientific research in India from both government and private sources. Currently, India’s spending on research and development remains below 0.7% of its GDP.
  • Potential Impact: The NRF’s establishment has the potential to address the pressing issues in Indian science and enhance the country’s research output. Experts view it as a major landmark for science in India, with the allocated ₹50,000 crore as a starting point for future growth and impact.

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Digital India Initiatives

Highlights of the proposed Digital India Act, 2023


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Digital India Bill

Mains level: Read the attached story

Central Idea

  • The Digital India Bill, a comprehensive overhaul of Internet laws, will be unveiled in June 2023. This bill represents a significant update since the Information Technology Act of 2000.

What is the Digital India Bill?

  • DIA will consist of 4 parts:
  1. Digital Personal Data Protection Bill,
  2. DIA rules,
  3. National Data Governance Policy, and
  4. Indian Penal Code amendments

Need for such legislation

  • India has 850 million internet users, making it the world’s largest “digitally connected democracy.”
  • The IT Act, created for the pre-digital era, lacks provisions for user rights, trust, safety, and modern cyber threats.
  • Growing cyber crimes, disinformation, and privacy concerns necessitate an updated legislation.

Goals of the Digital India Bill 

  • Evolvable digital law: Flexible rules adaptable to changing technological trends.
  • Adjudicatory mechanism: Accessible mechanism for resolving online civil and criminal offenses.
  • Principles and rules-based approach: A legislative framework based on overarching governing principles.

Key components of the DIA

  • Open Internet: Promotes choice, competition, diversity, fair market access, and ease of doing business, preventing the concentration of power.
  • Online Safety and Trust: Safeguards users against cyber threats, revenge porn, defamation, cyberbullying, and moderates fake news. Advocates for digital rights and protects minors.
  • KYC Requirements: Mandates Know Your Customer (KYC) for privacy-invading devices like spy camera glasses.
  • Monetization Rules: Overhauls rules for platform and user-generated content to align with the DIA.

Key feature: Reconsideration of Safe Harbour

  • The government is reconsidering a key aspect of cyberspace — ‘safe harbour’.
  • Safe harbour is the principle that so-called ‘intermediaries’ on the internet are not responsible for what third parties post on their website.
  • This is the principle that allows social media platforms to avoid liability for posts made by users.
  • Safe harbour has been reined in in recent years by regulations like the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, which require platforms to take down posts when ordered to do so by the government, or when required by law.

Way Forward

  • The detailed timeline is undisclosed, but the government aims to conduct a comparative study of global laws and consult with experts, industry, the public, and relevant forums.
  • The draft Bill will undergo consultation, followed by a draft Cabinet note before the final version is released.


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Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

[pib] Cabinet approves the Policy for the Medical Devices Sector


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: National Medical Devices Policy, 2023

medical device

Central idea: The Union Cabinet, chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister, approved the National Medical Devices Policy, 2023.

National Medical Devices Policy, 2023

  • The Policy, 2023 aims to facilitate an orderly growth of the medical device sector to meet the public health objectives of access, affordability, quality, and innovation.
  • The policy lays down a roadmap for accelerated growth of the medical devices sector to achieve various missions.


  • The policy aims to make the industry competitive, self-reliant, resilient, and innovative.
  • It focuses on meeting the healthcare needs of not only India but also the world.
  • It aims to accelerate the growth of the medical devices sector.
  • It takes a patient-centric approach to meet the evolving healthcare needs of patients.
  • It provides support and directions to the medical devices industry to achieve these goals.

Strategies to Promote Medical Device Sector

The medical devices sector will be facilitated and guided through a set of strategies that cover six broad areas of policy interventions:

Key measures and actions

1. Regulatory Streamlining Enhance ease of doing research and business, balance patient safety with product innovation, create a Single Window Clearance System for licensing of medical devices, enhance the role of Indian Standards like BIS, and design a coherent pricing regulation.
2. Enabling Infrastructure Establish and strengthen large medical device parks and clusters equipped with world-class common infrastructure facilities in proximity to economic zones with requisite logistics connectivity.
3. Facilitating R&D and Innovation Promote research and development in India, establish centres of excellence in academic and research institutions, innovation hubs, and support for startups.
4. Attracting Investments in the Sector Encourage private investments, funding from venture capitalists, and public-private partnerships, in addition to existing schemes and interventions like Make in India, Ayushman Bharat program, Heal-in-India, and Start-up mission.
5. Human Resources Development Ensure a steady supply of skilled workforce across the value chain by leveraging available resources in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, supporting dedicated multidisciplinary courses for medical devices in existing institutions, and developing partnerships with foreign academic/industry organizations to develop medical technologies.
6. Brand Positioning and Awareness Creation Create a dedicated Export Promotion Council for the sector under the Department, initiate studies and projects for learning from best global practices of manufacturing and skilling system, promote more forums to bring together various stakeholders for sharing knowledge, and build strong networks across the sector.


Medical devices sector in India: A quick recap

  • The medical devices sector in India is an essential and integral part of the Indian healthcare sector.
  • The sector has contributed significantly to the domestic and global battle against the COVID-19 pandemic through the large-scale production of medical devices & diagnostic kits.

Growth potential in India

  • The market size of the medical devices sector in India is estimated to be $11 billion (approximately, ₹ 90,000 Cr) in 2020, and its share in the global medical device market is estimated to be 1.5%.
  • The Indian medical devices sector has enormous potential to become self-reliant and contribute towards the goal of universal health care.

Current initiatives in this sector

  • The Government of India has initiated the implementation of the PLI Scheme for medical devices.
  • It supports for setting up of four Medical devices Parks in the States of Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.



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Right To Privacy

Data Protection Bill in Monsoon Session


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Read the attached story

Mains level: Data Privacy and Protection




The Union government informed the Supreme Court that a new law, namely the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022, to enforce individual privacy in online space was “ready”.

Legislation on ‘Data’: A Backgrounder

  • The personal data protection bill has been in the works for about five years.
  • The first draft of the Bill was presented by an expert panel headed by Justice B.N. Srikrishna in July 2018, after a year-long consultation process.

Timeline of key events




  • July 2018: After a year of consultations and deliberations, the PDP Bill, 2018, drafted by an expert committee headed by Justice BN Srikrishna, is presented to MeitY. Subsequently, MeitY begins drafting the next iteration of the Bill.
  • December 2019: The PDP Bill, 2019, prepared by MeitY, is referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) for review.
  • December 2021: After multiple extensions, and a leadership change, JPC Chairperson tabled the report of the JPC on the PDP Bill, 2019, as well as the draft Data Protection Bill 2021, in the parliament.
  • August 2022: On August 3 this year, MeitY withdrew the 2021 Bill, stating that a more “comprehensive legal framework” will be presented soon.

DPDP Bill, 2022 is based on seven principles

According to an explanatory note for the bill, it is based on seven principles-

  • Lawful use: The first is that “usage of personal data by organisations must be done in a manner that is lawful, fair to the individuals concerned and transparent to individuals.”
  • Purposeful dissemination: The second principle states that personal data must only be used for the purposes for which it was collected.
  • Data minimisation: Bare minimum and only necessary data should be collected to fulfill a purpose.
  • Data accuracy: At the point of collection. There should not be any duplication.
  • Duration of storage: The fifth principle talks of how personal data that is collected cannot be “stored perpetually by default,” and storage should be limited to a fixed duration.
  • Authorized collection and processing: There should be reasonable safeguards to ensure there is “no unauthorised collection or processing of personal data.”
  • Accountability of users: The person who decides the purpose and means of the processing of personal data should be accountable for such processing.

Key features of the bill

(1) Data Principal and Data Fiduciary

  • The bill uses the term “Data Principal” to denote the individual whose data is being collected.
  • The term “Data Fiduciary” the entity (can be an individual, company, firm, state etc.), which decides the “purpose and means of the processing of an individual’s personal data.”
  • The law also makes a recognition that in the case of children –defined as all users under the age of 18— their parents or lawful guardians will be considered their ‘Data Principals.’

(2) Defining personal data and its processing

  • Under the law, personal data is “any data by which or in relation to which an individual can be identified.”
  • Processing means “the entire cycle of operations that can be carried out in respect of personal data.”
  • So right from collection to storage of data would come under processing of data as per the bill.

(3) Individual’s informed consent

  • The bill also makes it clear that individual needs to give consent before their data is processed.
  • Every individual should know what items of personal data a Data Fiduciary wants to collect and the purpose of such collection and further processing.
  • Individuals also have the right to withdraw consent from a Data Fiduciary.
  • The bill also gives consumers the right to file a complaint against a ‘Data Fiduciary’ with the Data Protection Board in case they do not get a satisfactory response from the company.

(4) Language of information

  • The bill also ensures that individuals should be able to “access basic information” in languages specified in the eighth schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  • Further, the notice of data collection needs to be in clear and easy-to-understand language.

(5) Significant Data Fiduciaries

  • The bill also talks of ‘Significant Data Fiduciaries, who deal with a high volume of personal data.
  • The Central government will define who is designated under this category based on a number of factors ranging from the volume of personal data processed to the risk of harm to the potential impact on the sovereignty and integrity of India.

(6) Data protection officer & Data auditor

  • Such entities will have to appoint a ‘Data protection officer’ who will represent them.
  • They will be the point of contact for grievance redressal.
  • They will also have to appoint an independent Data auditor who shall evaluate their compliance with the act.

(7) Right to erase data, right to nominate

  • Data principals will have the right to demand the erasure and correction of data collected by the data fiduciary.
  • They will also have the right to nominate an individual who will exercise these rights in the event of death or incapacity of the data principal.

(8) Cross-border data transfer

  • The bill also allows for cross-border storage and transfer of data to “certain notified countries and territories.”
  • However an assessment of relevant factors by the Central Government would precede such a notification.

(9) Financial penalties

  • The draft also proposes to impose significant penalties on businesses that undergo data breaches or fail to notify users when breaches happen.
  • Entities that fail to take “reasonable security safeguards” to prevent personal data breaches will be fined as high as Rs 250 crore.
  • As per the draft, the Data Protection Board — a new regulatory body to be set up by the government — can impose a penalty of up to ₹500 crore if non-compliance by a person is found to be significant.

What distinguishes this bill from its earlier versions?

  • Gender neutrality:  Significantly, and for the first time in the country’s legislative history, the terms ‘her’ and ‘she’ have been used irrespective of an individual’s gender. This, as per the draft, is in line with the government’s philosophy of empowering women.
  • Imbibes best global practices: To prepare it, best global practices were considered, including review of data protection legislations of Australia, European Union (EU), Singapore, and a prospective one of the USA.
  • Comprehensiveness: The draft has outlined six ‘Chapters’ and a total of twenty-five points. The ‘Chapters’ are: ‘Preliminary,’ ‘Obligations of Data Fiduciary,’ ‘Rights and Duties of Data Principal,’ ‘Special Provisions,’ ‘Compliance Framework,’ and ‘Miscellaneous.’
  • Special emphasis for child protection: If personal data is likely to cause harm to a child, its processing will not be allowed.

Hits of the bills

  • Widening the scope of data: Narrowing the scope of the data protection regime to personal data protection is a welcome move, as it resonates with the concerns of various stakeholders.
  • Harnessing economic potential: Now non-personal data could be used to unlock social and economic value to benefit citizens, businesses, and communities in India with appropriate safeguards in place.
  • Doing away with aggressive push for Data localisation:  Relaxing data localisation provisions to notify countries to which data can flow, could aid India in unlocking the comparative advantage of accessing innovative technological solutions from across the globe, which in turn helps domestic companies.
  • Free flow of data: In addition, the free flow of data will help startups access cost-effective technology and storage solutions, as our research shows.
  • Allowing data transfers: This will also ensure that India is not isolated from the global value chain, helping businesses stay resilient in production and supply chain management and fostering overseas collaboration.

Some criticisms of the bill

  • Wordplay: There had been use of open-ended language such as “as necessary” or “as may be prescribed”.
  • Govt monopoly: The Bill did not seem to work towards protecting people, but ensures that the government retains all power without any checks or balances.
  • Exemption provisions: The government has been given the power to exempt not only government agencies but any entity that is collecting user data, from having to comply with the provisions of this bill when it is signed into law.
  • No protection against data breach: The Executive in India has a track record of exploiting to expand its powers. There is no right for compensation to individuals in case of a data breach. They have no right to data portability.


  • Crafting such crucial legislation is no mean task. It may require some more trial and error to succeed.
  • Definitely, it will involve some time and deliberation to arrive at a comprehensive legal framework.



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Historical and Archaeological Findings in News

Geo-heritage Sites and Geo-relics Bill, 2022


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Geo-heritage conservation in India

The draft Geo-heritage Sites and Geo-relics (Preservation and Maintenance) Bill, 2022, aimed at protecting India’s geological heritage that includes fossils, sedimentary rocks, natural structures, has raised alarm in India’s geo-sciences and palaeontology community.

Geo-heritage Sites and Geo-relics Bill, 2022


  • Protect and preserve the geo-heritage sites and geo-relics of national importance in India.
  • Empower the central government to identify, declare, acquire, preserve, and maintain geo-heritage sites and geo-relics.
  • Ensure that the valuable geological specimens and formations are not damaged or destroyed by human activity or natural disasters.
  • Promote research, education, and awareness about the significance and value of geo-heritage sites and geo-relics.
  • Provide a legal framework for the protection and management of geo-heritage sites and geo-relics, to ensure their long-term preservation and maintenance.

Key Features

  • Declaration of geoheritage sites: The central government may declare a site as a geoheritage site of national importance. Geoheritage sites must contain features of geological significance, such as geo-relics or natural rock sculptures. Geo-relics are movable relics such as fossils or meteorites.
  • Protection of geoheritage sites: The draft Bill empowers the central government to acquire, preserve, and maintain geoheritage sites. The Director General of the Geological Survey of India will be given powers for this purpose, such as surveying and excavation. Construction on these sites will be prohibited. However, it may be authorised by the Director General to preserve the site or to repair a structure that predates the declaration of the site.
  • Protection of geo-relics: The central government may declare that a geo-relic cannot be moved from its site, by notification, unless permitted by the Director General. The Director General may direct the acquisition of a geo-relic to protect it.
  • Offences and penalties: Offences under the Bill include (i) destruction or misuse of a geoheritage site, (ii) illegal construction, and (iii) damaging or illegally moving a geo-relic. These offences are punishable with a fine of up to five lakh rupees or imprisonment of up to six months, or both.

Issues raised with this legislation

  • Narrow definition of “geo-relics”: The bill defines “geo-relics” as movable geological specimens, but does not include other important geological features, such as geological formations or landscapes.
  • No academic participation: The bill gives exclusive powers to the Geological Survey of India (GSI) for identifying, declaring, acquiring, preserving, and maintaining geo-heritage sites and geo-relics, without any role for state geological departments or universities.
  • Excessive powers vested to GSI: Experts have criticized the draft bill for vesting exclusive powers in the GSI, without any role for state geological departments or universities. The GSI will be responsible for identifying, declaring, acquiring, preserving, and maintaining geo-heritage sites and geo-relics.
  • Lack of public participation: The bill has been criticized for lacking any legal framework for the involvement of local communities or civil society organizations in the protection and management of geo-heritage sites.
  • Lacks transparency: The bill has been criticized for lacking transparency and public consultation, with some experts suggesting that it should be redrafted to ensure a more participatory and inclusive approach to the protection and management of geo-heritage sites.

Way forward

  • Inclusion of state geological departments and universities: The bill should include the participation of state geological departments and universities in the identification, declaration, acquisition, preservation, and maintenance of geo-heritage sites and geo-relics.
  • Public participation: The bill should be amended to include a legal framework for the participation of local communities and civil society organizations in the protection and management of geo-heritage sites.
  • Accountability and oversight: The bill should be revised to include provisions for greater accountability and oversight of the GSI, to ensure that its powers are not misused or abused.
  • Expanded definition of “geo-relics”: The bill should be amended to include a broader definition of “geo-relics” that encompasses a wider range of important geological features.
  • Wider consultation: The drafting and implementation of the bill should be made more transparent and inclusive, with greater consultation with all stakeholders to ensure that their interests are adequately represented.


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Wildlife Conservation Efforts

RS clears Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2022


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: CITES, WPA Act

Mains level: Read the attached story


The Rajya Sabha has passed the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2022.

Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2022

  • The Bill amends the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 by increasing the species protected under the law.
  • There are 50 amendments to the Act proposed in the Bill.
  • Substituting the definition of ‘Tiger and other Endangered Species’ to ‘Wild Life’, this Bill includes flora, fauna and aqua under its protection.
  • The Bill also regulates wild life trade as per the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Key propositions

(1) Implementing CITES

  • The Bill aims to implement CITES — which was signed in Washington D.C. on March 3, 1973, and later amended in 1979 — to trade plant and animal specimens with other governments.
  • Regulating the possession of specimens, the Bill defines ‘specimen’ as any animal or plant (dead or alive).
  • It also constitutes a Management authority which will issue permits for the trade of scheduled specimens in accordance with CITES.
  • The Centre can designate a management authority to grant export or import permits for the trade of specimens and a scientific authority to give advice on the trade impact on the survival of the specimens, as per the Bill.

(2) Classification of specimens

  • Classifying animals into two specially protected schedules, the Bill prohibits their trade by anyone, barring certain exceptions.
  • The Bill removes the present schedule for vermin species and inserts a new schedule for specimens listed for extinction under CITES.
  • The Bill also lists 131 mammals, 112 birds, 43 birds, 26 fishes, 63 insects, 388 corals under schedule I and 41 mammals, 864 birds, 12 reptiles, 58 insects, molluscs, and sponges under schedule II.
  • A separate schedule for plants is also listed.

(3) Prohibitions

  • The Bill seeks to empower the Centre to regulate or prohibit the import, trade, possession or proliferation of plant or animal species not native to India – invasive alien species.
  • Apart from states, the Centre too can notify a conservation reserve — an area adjacent to national parks and sanctuaries.
  • Any person can voluntarily surrender any captive animals or animal products to the Chief Wild Life Warden (an appointee of state governments).
  • However, no compensation will be paid to the person for it and the surrendered items become the property of the state government.
  • Under the Bill, the fine for General violation is up to Rs 1,00,000 and for specially protected animals is at least Rs 25,000.

Concerns raised

(1) Elephants transportation

  • The amendment has given huge discretion for the transportation of live elephants and expressed concern on protecting the animal.
  • The elephant is a national heritage animal for India.
  • The Standing Committee accepted the religious significance of the elephant, but the Minister has also included the words ‘any other purpose’

(2) Vermins

  • The damage to the national economy due to crop depredation by wild animals has never been computed.
  • Since 1972, the WLPA has identified a few species — fruit bats, common crows and rats — as vermin.
  • Killing animals outside this list was allowed under two circumstances:
  1. Under Section 62 of WLPA, given sufficient reasons, any species other than those accorded the highest legal protection (such as tigers and elephants but not wild boars or nilgais) can be declared vermin at a certain place for a certain time.
  2. Under Section 11 of WLPA, the chief wildlife warden of a state can allow the killing of an animal, irrespective of its status in the Schedules, if it becomes “dangerous to human life”.
  • The issue of the declaration of Vermins has since entered the realm of centre-state politics.

Back2Basics:  Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

  • WPA provides for the protection of the country’s wild animals, birds and plant species, in order to ensure environmental and ecological security.
  • It provides for the protection of a listed species of animals, birds and plants, and also for the establishment of a network of ecologically-important protected areas in the country.
  • It provides for various types of protected areas such as Wildlife Sanctuaries, National Parks etc.

There are six schedules provided in the WPA for the protection of wildlife species which can be concisely summarized as under:

Schedule I: These species need rigorous protection and therefore, the harshest penalties for violation of the law are for species under this Schedule.
Schedule II: Animals under this list are accorded high protection. They cannot be hunted except under threat to human life.
Schedule III & IV: This list is for species that are not endangered. This includes protected species but the penalty for any violation is less compared to the first two schedules.
Schedule V: This schedule contains animals which can be hunted.
Schedule VI: This list contains plants that are forbidden from cultivation.


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UDAY Scheme for Discoms

Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 introduced in RS


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Read the attached story

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has introduced the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill in Rajya Sabha.

Highlights of the Bill

  • The Bill amends the Energy Conservation Act, 2001 to empower the central government to specify a carbon credit trading scheme.
  • Designated consumers may be required to meet a proportion of their energy needs from non-fossil sources.

Why was this Bill introduced?

  • During the COP-26 summit in 2021, India made commitments relevant for energy efficiency efforts.
  • Against this backdrop, the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was introduced in Lok Sabha in August 2022.

Key features of the bill

  • Carbon credit trading:The Bill empowers the central government to specify a carbon credit trading scheme.   Carbon credit implies a tradable permit to produce a specified amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse emissions.
  • Obligation to use non-fossil sources of energy:The Act empowers the central government to specify energy consumption standards for designated consumers to meet a minimum share of energy consumption from non-fossil sources.  Designated consumers include: (i) industries such as mining, steel, cement, textile, chemicals, and petrochemicals, (ii) transport sector including Railways, and (iii) commercial buildings, as specified in the schedule.
  • Energy conservation code for buildings: The bill empowers the central government to specify norms for energy efficiency and conservation, use of renewable energy, and other requirements for green buildings.   Under the Act, the energy conservation code applies to commercial buildings: (i) erected after the notification of the Code, and (ii) having a minimum connected load of 100 kilowatt (kW) or contract load of 120 kilo volt ampere (kVA).
  • Standards for vehicles and vessels: Under the bill, the energy consumption standards may be specified for equipment and appliances which consume, generate, transmit, or supply energy.  The Bill expands the scope to include vehicles (as defined under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988), and vessels (includes ships and boats).
  • Composition of the governing council of BEE: The Act provides for the setting up of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).  The Bureau has a governing council with members between 20 and 26 in number.

Concerns raised

  • Carbon credit trading aims to reduce carbon emissions, and hence, address climate change.  The question is whether the Ministry of Power is the appropriate Ministry to regulate this scheme.
  • A further question is whether the market regulator for carbon credit trading should be specified in the Act.
  • Same activity may be eligible for renewable energy, energy savings, and carbon credit certificates.
  • The Bill does not specify whether these certificates will be interchangeable.
  • Designated consumers must meet certain non-fossil energy use obligation.  Given the limited competition among discoms in any area, consumers may not have a choice in the energy mix.


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Police Reforms – SC directives, NPC, other committees reports

What is the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022

Mains level: Read the attached story

While the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022 was enacted earlier this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs notified it to come into effect from August 4, 2022. It also repeals the existing Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920.

What is the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022?

  • This act provides legal sanction to law enforcement agencies for “taking measurements of convicts and other persons for the purposes of identification and investigation of criminal matters”.
  • The Minister of Home Affairs has observed that with advancements in forensics, there was a need to recognise more kinds of “measurements” that can be used by law enforcement agencies for investigation.

What is the use of identification details in criminal trials?

  • Measurements and photographs for identification have three main purposes:
  1. To establish the identity of the culprit against the person being arrested
  2. To identify suspected repetition of similar offences by the same person and third
  3. To establish a previous conviction

What was the previous Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920?

  • Even though the police has powers of arrest, mere arrest does not give Police the right to search a person.
  • The police requires legal sanction to search the person and collect evidence.
  • These legal sanctions are designed so as to maintain a balance between the rights of an individual and the interests of society in prosecution and prevention of offences.
  • The Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920 became a necessity when the recording of newer forms of evidence such as fingerprints, footprints and measurements started becoming more accurate and reliable.

What was the need to replace this Act?

  • Over the years, the need to amend/update the Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920 has been voiced several times.
  • In 1980, the 87th Report of the Law Commission of India undertook a review of this legislation and recommended several amendments.
  • This was done in the backdrop of the State of UP vs Ram Babu Misra case, where the Supreme Court had highlighted the need for amending this law.
  • The first set of recommendations laid out the need to amend the Act to expand the scope of measurements to include “palm impressions”, “specimen of signature or writing” and “specimen of voice”.
  • The second set of recommendations raised the need of allowing measurements to be taken for proceedings other than those under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

What are the main highlights and differences in both the legislations?

  • Like the Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920, the new Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022 provides for legal sanction to law enforcement agencies for the collection of measurements.
  • The purpose is to create a useable database of these measurements.
  • At the State level, each State is required to notify an appropriate agency to collect and preserve this database of measurements.
  • At the national level, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is the designated agency to manage, process, share and disseminate the records collected at the State level.

What are some of the concerns with the present legislation?

  • The new legislation has raised some concerns related to the protection of fundamental rights.
  • The legislation comes in the backdrop of the right to privacy being recognised as a fundamental right.
  • A fundamental facet of the right to privacy is protection from the invasion of one’s physical privacy.
  • As per the Puttaswamy judgment, there is a need for the measure to be taken in pursuance of a legitimate aim of the state, be backed by the law and be “necessary and proportionate” to the aim being sought to be achieved.

(1) Various tests behind

  • In this case, while the first two tests are satisfied, as:
  1. prevention and investigation of crime” is a legitimate aim of the state
  2. measurements” are being taken under a valid legislation,
  • Satisfaction of the third test of “necessity and proportionality” has been challenged on multiple counts.

(2) A probable police state in making

  • Analysis and measurement of behavioural attributes have raised concerns that data processing may go beyond recording of core “measurements”.
  • That is some of these measurements could be processed for predictive policing.

(3) Includes petty offences

  • The current law allows for “measurements” to be taken if a person has been convicted/arrested for any offence, including petty offences.
  • The necessity of taking measurements of such persons for investigation of offences is unclear, and such discretion is likely to result in abuse of the law at lower levels.
  • This would definitely overburden the systems used for collection and storage of these measurements.

(4) Period of storage of data

  • Given that these records will be stored for 75 years from the time of collection, the law has been criticised as being disproportionate.

(5) Surveillance state

  • Such collection can also result in mass surveillance, with the database under this law being combined with other databases such as those of the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS).

(6) Promotes self-incrimination

  • Concerns are being raised that the present law violates the right against self-incrimination enshrined in Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India.
  • However, this argument is nebulous since the Supreme Court has already settled this point.
  • In the State of Bombay vs Kathi Kalu Oghad, the Supreme Court had conclusively held that “non-communicative” evidence i.e. evidence which does not convey information within the personal knowledge of the accused cannot be understood to be leading to self-incrimination.
  • Therefore, no challenge lies to the law on this ground.

Way forward

  • Extensive pre-legislative consultation is must for any sensitive law as such.
  • Privacy and data protection-related concerns must be addressed in the Rules formulated under the legislation and through model Prison Manuals that States can refer to.


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