Vardhan IAS Daily Current Affairs, 19th January, 2019

Goa Opinion Poll day (Asmitai Dis)

Goa celebrated its 52nd ‘Asmitai Dis’ (Identity Day) or Opinion Poll Day on January 16.

Importance

On 16th January 1967, Goans voted against merging with Maharashtra and chose to remain a Union Territory. It was in fact a Plebiscite (not an opinion poll).

Relevant facts

  • Goa liberated from Colonial Portuguese rule in 1961.
  • Goans wanted to remain independent from Maharashtra on a linguistic basis (Konkani language).
  • In December 1966, Parliament passed the Goa, Daman and Diu (Opinion Poll Act), 1966 to take an opinion poll. Majority of Goans polled against the merger to Maharashtra.
  • In 1992, Konkani was included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution (71st Amendment).
  • In 1987, Goa became India’s 25th state. Daman and Diu continue to be UT’s.

Source: The Indian Express

Constitutional provisions empower Nagaland to reject Citizenship Bill 2016

The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) of Nagaland said that the State had the constitutional provision to reject the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Background

The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to grant Indian citizenship to the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan who entered India before December 31, 2014. It is passed in Lok Sabha.

Reasons

  • Different parties from the Northeast are against the citizenship amendment Bill 2016 and several protests took place in the states of Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, and Meghalaya, etc.
  • Article 371 A– Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, no Act of Parliament shall apply to the State of Nagaland unless the Legislative Assembly of Nagaland by a resolution in certain matters…
  • Nagaland is also protected by the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873, whereby an Inner Line Permit is issued to outsiders for safeguarding the citizenship, rights and privileges of the Nagas.

Different states in NorthEast are opposing the bill because

  • The bill seeks to facilitate the granting of Indian citizenship for non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • In Assam, the people want illegal migrants to be deported as per Assam Accord.
  • Indigenous people of Mizoram fears Buddhist Chakmas from Bangladesh may take advantage of the Act. Manipur wants the Inner-line Permit System to stop outsiders from entering the state.
  • Meghalaya and Nagaland are apprehensive of migrants of Bengali stock.
  • Indigenous people Arunachal Pradesh fear of Chakmas and Tibetans.

Source: The Hindu

Appointment of LOKPAL

No Lokpal has been appointed till now.

Background

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act was passed in 2013. The Supreme Court has asked the search committee to recommend potentials to the selection committee led by prime minister by February 28.

Important facts:

The appointments to Lokpal is made by a high-level selection committee consists of Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India, Lok Sabha Speaker, the leader of the largest opposition party and an eminent jurist chosen by them.

Source: The Hindu

Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY)

Why in news?

PMRPY has achieved one crore beneficiary milestone.

About the scheme

  • Aim: To promote employment generation.
  • Implemented by Ministry of Laour and Employment.
  • Functioning: Government pays the employers’ Employee Pension Scheme (EPS) contribution of 8.33%, for the new employees earning less than 15,000.

Benefits of the scheme:

  • It reduces the cost of hiring staff for the employer and improves labour productivity.
  • It provides social security benefit to workers working at minimum wages.

Source: The Hindu

Pakistan’s CONUNDRUM- Status of Gilgit-Baltistan RegioN

Issue in news

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has expanded its powers to Gilgit Baltistan region. It has passed an order that constitutional status of Gilgit Baltistan region will be determined by a referendum held within 14 days.

India’s response

India considers entire Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of its territory including Gilgit Baltistan region.

Map: 5 peaks of greater than 8000 m lies in this area.

Source: Indian defence review

Pakistan’s changing view:

Earlier, Pakistan saw Gilgit Baltistan region separate from Pakistan occupied Kashmir. But, the chinese concerns of dubious status of Gilgit Baltistan and huge chinese investment in CPEC passing through this region required pakistan to remove the ambiguity in the administration. So, Pakistan proposed Gilgit Baltistan region as the fifth province in 2017.

Challenges for Pakistan

  • Two UN resolutions passed in 1948 and 1949 clearly says that GB is part of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It would damage Pakistan’s cause for Kashmir and support base for separatist would also be diminished.
  • It is a violation of the Shimla Agreement which mentions that neither side unilaterally changes the border.

Source: The Tribune

Sustainable Catchment Forest Management (SCATFORM) project

Tripura has launched SCATFORM project is assistance of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency).

Importance

To address the issue of forest loss and forest degradation in upper catchment areas and prevent soil erosion in hill slops and improve livelihood opportunities.

Implementation

  • Sustainable forest management by promoting of bamboo plantation, soil and moisture conservation.
  • Creating better livelihood opportunities based on agroforestry, eco-tourism development, development of value addition for bamboo and other Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP).

Source: The Indian Express

Data localization demand by Indian companies

Data localization refers to storage of data on any device that is physically present within the borders of a specific country where the data was generated. i.e. The data of Indian people should be stored in data centres in India.

Indian companies such as Paytm, Jio raised the issue of keeping the data generated from the Indian people should be stored in India only.

Need for data localization:

  • To ensure data privacy, data sovereignty, national security, and economic development of the country.
  • RBI asked all Fintech companies to store their data in India.
  • Justice BN Srikrishna, the draft e-commerce policy and the draft report of the cloud policy panel also asked for data localization.
  • Monetization of data of Indian users by technology giants in an unregulated manner.
  • Creation of economic wealth using Artificial Intelligence, machine Learning and IoT and big tech giant from India.
  • Misuse of the data by Cambridge Analytica raise serious concern on Political stability, peace and progress of the nation.
  • More data centres in India will create new jobs and demand for more renewable energy which boost Economic growth.

Steps towards data localization

  • Justice SriKrishna Committee recommended the data localization to prevent foreign surveillance, prevent the attack on the critical infrastructure and easy access to law enforcement agencies.
  • RBI mandate mandated payment system providers to store data in India.
  • Telecom service providers are mandated to store user information and accounting information in India only.

Challenges in data localization

  • It may increase the cost of business for MSME’s.
  • No guarantee that it might help the growth of Indian private sector companies.
  • Data localization may trigger a new wave of trade war and may stifle the growth of Indian IT industry.

Way Forward

Long term policy support to make India a favourite destination for data centres establishment.

Improving ease of doing business ranking, cheaper electricity, easy availability of land and internet infrastructure to propel the growth of data centres.