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The Hindu Newspaper Analysis Today
- Social media platforms and other intermediaries are now required to take down articles deemed as “fake news” about the Union government by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) when alerted to such posts.
- These changes were made through the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2023, which amended the IT Rules, 2021.
- The fact-check unit will reach out to relevant government departments to determine whether a piece of news is fake or not.
- Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar defended the proposal, stating that Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, will not be a safe harbor to prevent disputes from being adjudicated in the courts if there is an aggrieved party and a party that is causing the aggrievement.
- The Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to keep the repo rate unchanged at 6.5%.
- This decision was made due to concerns about global financial stability.
- Five out of the six members of the MPC voted to keep policy focused on withdrawing accommodation to control inflation while supporting growth.
- The RBI has been raising interest rates since May to control inflation.
- The RBI remains watchful and may take further action if required.
- The RBI Governor stated that this decision was a pause and not a pivot.
- Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck’s recent visit to India aimed to enhance cooperation between the two countries.
- The joint statement outlined cooperation in many areas, including India supporting Bhutan’s next development plans and extending additional standby lines of credit.
- Hydropower, the “cornerstone” of India-Bhutan ties, received a boost with agreements to consider Bhutanese requests for expediting long-delayed projects and buying power from the Basochhu power project.
- New infrastructure projects include an integrated checkpoint for trucks, a checkpoint for third country nationals, and a cross-border rail link.
- Future partnerships could include space research, skilling, startups, STEM education, and a new Internet gateway for Bhutan.
- Bhutan’s government is concerned about the brain drain caused by Bhutanese migrating overseas due to high youth unemployment, and India needs to pay more attention to this to keep the talent within the region.
- The subtext of the visit is the recent comments by Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lotay Tshering indicating progress in China-Bhutan boundary talks.
- Bhutan and China hope to agree on demarcating their northern boundary dispute in the next “1-2 meetings,” which may cause concern due to its proximity to India’s Siliguri corridor.
- India needs to ensure full clarity on the issue and not allow hyper-nationalism and antagonism with China to pressure Bhutan, as their partnership has always been predicated on anticipating each other’s interests.
- The India-Bhutan relationship is considered exemplary and unique, with Bhutan being an important and strategic neighbor for India, acting as a buffer between China and India.
- India has created strong ties with Bhutan through institutional and economic frameworks, and by harnessing hydroelectricity, which has become one of the biggest revenue earners for Bhutan and the source of the highest per capita income in South Asia.
- Bhutan’s relationship with India dates back to the 17th century when Bhutan broke away from Tibet and looked to India for support. The relationship continued during British rule and independent India.
- The recent visit of the Bhutanese King to India was not related to the boundary talks with China, although the issue is of concern to India given China’s longstanding attempts to gain a foothold in Bhutan.
- The trijunction area where Bhutan, China, and India meet is of exceptional relevance to India’s strategic interests, and India and Bhutan consult regularly on their mutual strategic interests.
- Bhutan is fully aware of India’s security concerns, and India will not compromise on its national security interests.
- Despite China’s major concessions on the north, Bhutan has resisted signing any agreement that does not take into account India’s interests.
- Bhutan is aware of China’s growing presence and build-up in the disputed area, and India remains concerned about the situation in the area near its border with Bhutan.
- According to the India Justice Report 2022, released by Tata Trusts on April 4, it will take 24 more years to achieve 33% representation of women in police forces across states.
- The report notes that the gap between the sanctioned and actual strength in police forces, at a national level, remains “worryingly large”.
- Between January 2020 (second edition) and January 2022, the overall vacancies in police rose from 20.3% of the sanctioned strength to 22.1%.
- Karnataka was found to be the only state to meet its SC, ST, and Other backward classes quotas, with no other state/UT managing to meet all three of their reservation targets.
- Among large and mid-sized states, Andhra Pradesh which reserves 33% of overall police posts for women, performed the best with 21.8% being its share of women in police.
- Himachal Pradesh was at the top with 14% of police personnel being women, while Tripura came in last with just 5.3%.
- Ladakh had 28.3% women in police, while Jammu and Kashmir had just 3.3%.
Key points for UPSC:
- Japan has been purchasing oil from Russia at a price above the $60 per barrel price cap imposed by the West, which has led to speculation that Japan may be breaching an agreement reached last year to cap the price of Russian oil.
- The G-7 countries, the EU, and Australia imposed a $60 per barrel price cap on oil purchased from Russia starting in December as part of the wider economic sanctions imposed by the West to punish Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
- The West wants to restrict the amount of money that Russia can make by selling its oil, but without severely affecting global oil supply, as Russia contributes about 10% of global oil supply.
- Japan’s decision to purchase oil above the price cap once again brings to the fore the strong incentives facing countries to subvert the West’s $60 per barrel price cap.
- Other countries such as India are also believed to be paying more than $60 per barrel to purchase oil from Russia, and as oil prices rise, the chances of a rift developing even among signatories to the oil price cap arrangement grow higher.
- On Monday, OPEC and Russia decided to cut their oil output by 3.66 million barrels per day, sending oil prices soaring 6%, and Russian urals, the flagship crude oil sold by Russia, also soared above $60 per barrel, thus breaching the West’s price cap.
- The West would hope that its price cap would keep Russia’s oil revenues in check despite rising oil prices, while Russia will be hoping to turn the corner by bypassing Western sanctions and selling oil above the price cap. This will test the West’s ability to effectively implement its price cap.
Key points for UPSC:
- The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has released an amendment to the IT Rules, 2021, to regulate online real money games.
- The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has issued an advisory warning media entities against airing advertisements of betting and gambling platforms.
- The government may take appropriate legal action against any non-compliance by media entities.
- Real money gaming platforms will be required to register with a self-regulatory body (SRB) that will determine whether or not the game is “permissible”.
- Three SRBs will be recognized soon.
- Games that are not deemed “permissible” will not get the protection of the amendment, and states may be able to take action against them for being betting or gambling platforms.
- Video games where money is not involved need not approach an SRB.
- The real money gaming industry welcomed the amendment.
Key points for UPSC:
- The Indian Space Policy 2023 has been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security.
- The policy seeks to institutionalize private sector participation in the space sector.
- The policy also delineates the roles and responsibilities of ISRO, NSIL, and Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center.
- The private sector will now be able to participate in end-to-end space activities including building satellites, rockets, launch vehicles, and data collection.
- The focus of the policy will be to increase private sector participation in the sector.
- The policy is aimed at promoting the growth of the space sector in India.
Key points for UPSC:
- Iran and Saudi Arabia have agreed to pursue economic stability and reopen embassies and representative offices in each other’s countries.
- The announcement was made by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian after talks with his Saudi counterpart in Beijing.
- This move is significant as it lowers the risk of armed conflict between the two countries and represents a diplomatic victory for China.
- The meeting was the first formal one between senior diplomats from both nations since 2016, when the kingdom broke ties with Iran.
- India’s new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) allows for the import of second-hand goods for the purpose of repair, refurbishing, re-conditioning or re-engineering with the intent to re-export them.
- Such imports will be conditional upon importers ensuring that any waste generated during the repair or refurbishing process is treated as per domestic laws and environmental, safety and health norms.
- The FTP 2023 also permits the import of used electronics and IT goods with some restrictions.
- The Engineering goods exporters’ body EEPC India’s chief has said that this move will encourage reconditioning and refurbishment activities for re-exports, and promote the export of such goods.
Source: The Hindu Epaper
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