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Data Protection Bill in Monsoon Session: Page 1
- The Union government has informed the Supreme Court that the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022, to enforce individual privacy in the online space is “ready”.
- The new Bill will be tabled in the Monsoon Session of Parliament in July.
- The Bill aims to replace the current Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rules, which were notified in 2011.
- The Supreme Court recognized privacy as a fundamental right in 2017 and emphasized the need to protect online personal data from unauthorized access.
- The government had initiated stakeholder consultation on the draft Bill and invited public comments in January.
Unfazed India to hold G20 event in Leh: Page 1
- The Indian government plans to hold the next G-20 engagement group meeting, specifically the Youth-20 Summit (Y-20), in Leh, Ladakh this month.
- The Y-20 Summit will take place from April 26 to 28 and will bring together about 80 delegates from nearly every G-20 country.
- Pakistan has objected to the meeting being held in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, but it is not invited to the meeting.
- China is understood to be staying out of the meeting in Leh and a G-20 tourism meeting in Srinagar as they consider it disputed territory.
- Attendance of three G-20 nations, namely Turkey, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia, who are also members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), will be closely watched.
India set to grow by 5.9% this fiscal: IMF: Page 1
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that India’s economy will grow by 5.9% for the current fiscal year of April 2023-March 2024, which is a downward revision of 0.2 percentage points from the January forecast.
- The IMF has also revised down its growth projection for India for the next fiscal year to 6.3%, a decrease of 0.5 percentage points from the previous forecast.
- The IMF maintained an optimistic outlook on India, attributing the downward revision to adjustments for historical numbers that were better than expected, indicating that the economy performed well in the past year.
- The growth numbers were released as part of the World Economic Outlook (WEO) report during the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings in Washington.
- The IMF highlighted that India has a strong economy necessary for convergence towards higher living standards and job creation, but also mentioned downside risks related to financial stability, inflation, and recent financial sector turmoil.
- The IMF suggested that central banks should maintain their anti-inflation stance while using their policy instruments and providing targeted support for those impacted by the cost of living crisis.
Building safeguards: Page 6
- The Supreme Court has observed that preventive detention laws are a colonial legacy and confer arbitrary powers on the state, posing a perennial threat to personal liberty.
- The apex court and High Courts have been denouncing the executive’s failure to adhere to procedural safeguards while dealing with the rights of detainees, leading to routine quashing of detention orders on technical grounds.
- Procedural safeguards must be followed in their entirety by the government in cases of preventive detention, and every lapse in procedure must benefit the case of the detenu, as highlighted by the Court.
- Most detentions are ultimately set aside due to unexplained delays in the disposal of representations, failure to provide proper grounds for detention, or giving illegible copies of documents, among other reasons.
- Preventive detention laws have been misused for trivial reasons, and there is a tendency to detain suspects for a year to prevent them from obtaining bail, leading to widespread misuse across the country.
- Tamil Nadu has topped the country in preventive detentions, with its ‘Goondas Act’ covering a wide range of offenders, and the law’s ambit is rarely restricted to habitual offenders.
- Preventive detention is allowed by the Constitution, but it does not relieve the government of the norm that curbing crime needs efficient policing and speedy trials, and not unfettered power and discretion.
Saudi Arabia’s quest for strategic autonomy: Page 8
- Shift from aggression to diplomacy: Saudi Arabia, which previously pursued an aggressive foreign policy aimed at countering Iran, is now shifting towards diplomacy and de-escalation in its approach to regional conflicts.
- Reaching out to rivals and enemies: Saudi Arabia has initiated talks with old rivals such as Iran and Syria, and has engaged in negotiations with the Houthi rebels in Yemen, indicating a willingness to engage with adversaries for regional stability.
- Balancing between great powers: Saudi Arabia is trying to balance its relations between the United States, its largest arms supplier, Russia, its OPEC-Plus partner, and China, the emerging superpower in the region, to establish its own autonomy and leverage geopolitical shifts.
- Response to failed regional bets: Saudi Arabia’s regional interventions in conflicts like Syria and Yemen have not yielded desired outcomes, and the kingdom is reassessing its approach to avoid further setbacks and security threats.
- U.S. deprioritization of West Asia: Saudi Arabia recognizes the shifting priorities of the United States away from West Asia, and is seeking to autonomize its foreign policy in response to the changing dynamics in the region.
- Building alliances with Russia and China: Saudi Arabia has strengthened trade and defense ties with China, and has cooperated with Russia in oil production cuts, signaling an attempt to diversify its partnerships beyond the U.S. and establish a more independent foreign policy.
- Implications for the region: Saudi Arabia’s changing foreign policy could have serious implications for West Asia, including potential reconciliation with Iran, regional realignments, and shifts in power dynamics among major players in the region.
Zelensky will be happy to speak at G20 summit in September: Minister: Page 10
Key points regarding the statement by Ukraine’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova about India inviting representatives from Ukraine during the G-20 summit:
- Ukraine seeks India’s support: Ukraine’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova has urged India to invite Ukrainian officials, including President Zelensky, to the G-20 summit in India in September, as a means of seeking support against Russia’s “unprovoked” war against Ukraine.
- Criticism of Russia’s actions: Dzhaparova described Russia’s war against Ukraine as unprovoked and accused Russian soldiers of carrying out systematic rape and massacre of civilian population in Ukraine, presenting a tragic picture of the ongoing conflict.
- United Nations’ failure and Russia’s veto power: Dzhaparova highlighted the failure of the United Nations in delivering peace due to Russia’s veto power in the UN Security Council, and emphasized the need for other platforms like the G-20 summit to address the conflict.
- Efforts to bring an end to the war: Dzhaparova welcomed any effort to bring the war to an end, but emphasized that Ukraine will not surrender areas that are under Russia’s control.
- Western countries’ support: The matter of the war in Ukraine has been discussed at various levels in the preparatory meetings for the G-20 summit, and Western countries have taken up the issue forcefully.
- Ukraine’s outreach to India: Dzhaparova’s visit to India is the first such outreach by the Government of Ukraine since the launch of Russia’s “special military operation” in February 2022, indicating Ukraine’s efforts to seek support from India on the international stage.
- Balancing energy supplies: Dzhaparova acknowledged India’s sovereign right to choose its energy supplies, but also highlighted Ukraine’s concerns about India purchasing Russian oil, while emphasizing the need for a pragmatic approach and not siding with Russia in light of the ongoing conflict.
- Ukraine’s right to self-defense: Dzhaparova emphasized Ukraine’s right to self-defense and argued that Russia has failed to conquer Ukraine despite the prolonged nature of the war, presenting Ukraine as a victim of Russian aggression.
- Importance of India’s G-20 presidency: Dzhaparova emphasized that India’s presidency of the G-20 brings additional responsibility, and Ukraine seeks India’s support in raising the issue of the war in Ukraine and advocating for the Ukrainian people at the summit.
We are seeing militarisation of space, steady progress towards weaponisation: CDS: Page 10
- The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Anil Chauhan stated that the nature of warfare is undergoing a major transformation with the militarization of space and progress towards weaponization.
- Space is being used to enhance combat capabilities in land, sea, and cyber domains, and there is a need to develop dual-use platforms with cutting-edge technology.
- Gen. Chauhan highlighted the recent tests of kinetic weapons by Russia and China, emphasizing the need for India to develop its own offensive and defensive capabilities in space.
- The Indian DefSpace Symposium organized by the Indian Space Association (ISpA) in association with the Defence Research and Development Organisation is part of the deliberations under ‘Mission Def-Space’, which has identified 75 challenges for development by the industry.
- The challenges include enhancing space situational awareness, safeguarding space assets with counter space capabilities, and building resilience and redundancy in space-based infrastructure.
- The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has increased its focus on the space domain, including space-based surveillance, space situational awareness, and protection of space-based assets.
- The challenges identified under ‘Mission Def-Space’ have been vetted by ISRO and DRDO, and the implementation process is ongoing in batches.
FM urges G20 to unite on debt distress of middle-income countries: Page 14
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman expressed hope that the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting would address the debt distress of middle-income countries (MICs).
- India’s presidency of the G20 provides an opportunity for India to work towards bringing countries together on substantive issues, although there may be some issues on which consensus is not possible.
- Ms. Sitharaman highlighted the debt distress of middle-income countries, particularly in India’s neighborhood, including Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, which have sought help from the IMF.
- India is keen on addressing the debt distress affecting middle-income countries through the G20, as the group’s debt restructuring process, the 2020 Common Framework, has been slow to act and largely catered to poor countries.
- Only four countries, namely Chad, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Ghana, have applied for debt restructuring through the 2020 Common Framework to date.
- China, a major creditor country for low-income countries, has been criticized for not cooperating on the issue of debt restructuring.
Source: The Hindu Epaper
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