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  • Current Affairs 27th December 2018

    Updated : 27-Dec-2018
    Current Affairs 27th December 2018

    Current Affairs 27th December 2018 - Important Points

    • PIL in Supreme Court against govt’s order to snoop on  - Computers
    • MSME Ministry proposes to establish governing council to - Boost shipments
    • Japan announces taking-off from IWC to resume commercial whaling on - 26th January 2018
    • UIDAI asserted Aadhaar not mandatory for - Admission in schools 
    • Review petition in SC against the Aadhaar verdict  by - Imtiyaz Ali Palsaniya 
    • Mohammed Rafi Awards conferred by - NGO Spandan Arts 
    • Hindustan Unilever Ltd found guilty of Profiteering  - Rs 383 crore 
    • Prepaid and smart metering for electricity   by - Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy 

    Current Affairs 27th December 2018 - Details

    PIL in Supreme Court against govt’s order to snoop on  - Computers

    A PIL has been reported in the Supreme Court by advocate Manohar Lal Sharma challenging the government’s declaration authorising Ten central agencies to intercept, monitor &  decrypt any computer system.
    According the declaration of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, ten central probe & snoop firms are empowered under the Information Technology Act to carry out interception & investigation of
    information stored in any computer.
    The ten firms empowered were IB, NCB, ED, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (for Income Tax
    Department), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, CBI, National Investigation Agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, Directorate of Signal Intelligence (in service areas of J-K, North East and Assam) and
    Delhi Police commissioner.
    Reason behind challenge

    • The notification was unlawful, unconstitutional and ultra vires to the law.
    • The notification was being released to ban the political opponent, thinker & speaker to control the whole nation under dictatorship to win forthcoming general election under an undisclosed emergency and slavery which cannot be allowed within the Constitution of India.
    • The notification issues for blanket surveillance which must be verified against the fundamental right to privacy.
    • The notification allows the state to access every message, computer and mobile and to utilise it to
      safeguard the political interest & object of the current executive political party.
    • The notification tries to form a surveillance state. The government has defended the decision quoting national security and claiming that the order was a mere repetition of the rules passed during the UPA regime in 2009.

    MSME Ministry proposes to establish governing council to - Boost shipments

    The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has planned to establish a governing council to make sure well-organized delivery of all export-related interventions, as a part of its action plan to increase shipments from MSMEs.
    Important Highlights 

    • Under Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises’ action plan, the National Resource Centre for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Exporters will engage with numerous international firms including United Nations organisations to encourage procurement from Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and further enhance their capabilities.
    • The ministry has suggested a detailed analysis of various trade agreements, including FTAs and bilateral and multilateral trade contracts, to identify areas of concern for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the strategic action plan named ‘Unlocking the Potential of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Exports’.
    • It informed a study will be directed of special economic zones & export promotion zones in the nation to reassess their role & aims as these are vital component of Foreign Trade Policy, besides, it is significant to harness their potential.
    • Further, a tech-enabled online portal shall be established featuring nation-wise list of global products & services in demand and data on how to enter specific foreign markets.
    • It will also have details on loans & credit offered by various financial institutions.
    • A formal platform may also be formed by the ministry to ensure that it is tangled in all bilateral & multilateral trade negotiations which have an influence on the enterprises.
    • A guide/handbook shall also be produced to help the export community to understand the procedures involved in the export business &  access the potential markets.
    • The guide will consist practical information which will be beneficial for exporters.

    Japan announces taking-off from IWC to resume commercial whaling on - 26th January 2018

    Japan on December 26th, 2018 declared its decision to take-out its name from the International Whaling Commission and further informed that it will continue commercial whaling from July 2019. The removal will come into effect by June 30th, 2019.
    The declaration comes after Japan failed in a bid past this year to convince the International Whaling
    Commission to permit it to resume commercial whaling.
    Important Highlights

    • The taking-off from the IWC means that the Japanese whalers will be able to continue hunting of minke and other whales, which are presently protected by the International Whaling Commission, in the Japanese coastal waters.
    • Japan elucidated that commercial whaling will be partial to Japan's territorial waters &  exclusive economic zones and not in the Antarctic waters/the southern hemisphere.
    • The taking-off, however, means that Japan will not be enabled to resume the scientific research hunts in the Antarctic that it has been remarkably permitted as an International Whaling Commission member under the Antarctic Treaty. 
    • The taking-off also means that Japan will link Iceland & Norway in willingly defying the International Whaling Commission's restriction on commercial whale hunting.
    • Japan would formally inform the International Whaling Commission of its decision by the end of 2018, thus, the taking-off will come into effect by June 30.

    UIDAI asserted Aadhaar not mandatory for - Admission in schools 

    UIDAI has declared that schools cannot make Aadhaar, the 12 digits biometric identifier as a pre-condition for student’s admission. Unique Identification Authority of India warned that doing so will be against the recent order of the Supreme Court.
    The detail was given by Unique Identification Authority of India CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey in New Delhi on December 25th, 2018. The clarification comes at a time when admissions to the nursery and kindergarten classes have started in more than 1500 private schools in Delhi.

    Important Highlights

    • Unique Identification Authority of India cleared that demanding for Aadhaar cards for admissions is not according to the provisions of law and doing same will be against the recent order of the Supreme Court.
    • However, there have been information of certain schools claiming on Aadhaar as one of the documents needed for student admission.
    • The Aadhaar allotting body informed that it is aware of such reports and has questioned all the schools to ensure that no child is denied admission for not having the Aadhaar card.
    • Unique Identification Authority of India CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey informed that in fact, schools should take children without Aadhaar and make sure that children are given Aadhaar once they are in schools by planning special camps for them.
    • Unique Identification Authority of India cleared that despite this, should certain schools remain to insist on Aadhar card then, it would clearly be treated as a case of contempt of court.

    Review petition in SC against the Aadhaar verdict  by - Imtiyaz Ali Palsaniya 

    Imtiyaz Ali Palsaniya has filed a review appeal in Supreme Court against the Aadhaar verdict in which the Supreme Court had sustained the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar.
    SC Verdict on Aadhaar
    The significant features of the Aadhaar verdict are:

    • Supreme Court informed that sufficient security actions are taken to safeguard information and it is
      difficult to initiate surveillance on residents on the basis of Aadhaar.
    • Then Chief Justice of India Deepak Mishra had questioned the government to give more security
      measures as well as slash the period of storage of information.
    • Centre government was asked to have a robust law for information protection as soon as possible.
    • The Supreme Court had informed that Aadhaar cannot be compulsory for openings of a bank account and to get mobile connections.
    • The Supreme Court had sustained the compulsory linking of PAN with Aadhaar & Aadhaar card was made compulsory for filing income tax returns.
    • The government was informed to make sure that illegal immigrants are not delivered Aadhaar to get benefits of social welfare schemes.
    • Private organisations can’t ask for Aadhaar. The Supreme Court had crash down the provision in Aadhaar law permitting sharing of data on the ground of national security.
    • The Supreme Court had also sustained the passage of the Aadhaar Bill as a Money Bill by the Parliament.
    • The petitioner claims that he had filed 2 impalement applications on the problem and the Court had failed to consider the grounds mentioned in the same.

    Mohammed Rafi Awards conferred by - NGO Spandan Arts 

    Mohammed Rafi Award introduced by the NGO Spandan Arts was conferred upon late music composer
    Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar and playback singer Usha Timothy.
    The Mohammed Rafi Lifetime Achievement Award containing Rupees One lakh and a trophy was
    bestowed to Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar. The Mohammed Rafi Award including Rupees 51000 and a trophy was bestowed to Usha Timothy.
    Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar
    Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar had a positive & long partnership with Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma. As music composer duo they gave hit tracks like “Bindiya Chamkegi”, “Main Shayar Toh Nahin” “Hansta Hua Noorani Chehra” among others. The duo-composed music for around 635 Hindi films from 1963-1998. He decreased on 25th May 1998 at the of age 60.
    Usha Timothy
    Usha Timothy is a Bollywood playback singer, who has sung above 1000 songs in multiple Indian
    languages including Hindi, Malayalam, Punjabi, Bhojpuri & Marathi. She was often denoted to as ‘Singer with a difference’.

    Hindustan Unilever Ltd found guilty of Profiteering  - Rs 383 crore 

    National Anti-profiteering Authority assessment has exposed consumer goods maker Hindustan
    Unilever Ltd apparently racketeering to the extent of Rupees 383 crore after the large-scale Goods and
    Services Tax rate slashes last November.
    The National Anti-profiteering Authority has asked Hindustan Unilever Ltd to deposit Rupees 223 crore in Central and State consumer welfare funds since the corporation itself had proactively deposited Rs 160 crore with the central Consumer Welfare Fund.
    National Anti-profiteering Authority

    • National Anti-profiteering Authority was established by the Central Government to deliver an
      institutional process under the Goods and Services Tax law for inspecting the unfair profit-making
      activities by the trading community.
    • National Anti-profiteering Authority is led by a senior officer of the level of Secretary to the Government of India.
    • There will be 4 Technical Members from the Centre/States.
      GST consumer welfare funds
    • The Goods and Services Tax law also delivers for the creation of a Consumer Welfare Fund wherein
      undue advantages made by businesses under the Goods and Services Tax law have to be deposited, in case it cannot be passed on to the acknowledged recipient.
    •  The profits from the Goods and Services Tax Consumer Welfare Fund can be issued as grant to the Centre & State governments and regulatory authorities.
      Reason profiteering is rampant in India
    • According to the Anti-profiteering laws in India, businesses have to authorize on the advantages of tax cuts and tax refunds to consumers. But the industries often upsurge prices to proportionate with the slashed taxes due to the free nature of the market.

    Prepaid and smart metering for electricity   by - Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy 

    Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy R.K.Singh has informed that in the next 3 years electricity meters will be smart & pre-paid. He has also inquired the producers to scale-up production of smart pre-paid meters & to work towards decreasing their prices.
    Reason for Smart meters

    • Smart and prepaid metering will benefit in making state services more efficient & decreasing their losses in the past.
    • It will be acting as incentive in energy conservation along with maintaining the healthier financial health of DISCOMs.
    • It will enhance the comfort of bill payments as well as reducing AT& C losses.
    • The minister has guaranteed the smart meter producers of steady demand as the government is
      arrangement to make smart metering compulsory after a particular date.
    •  On a pilot basis, the pre-paid meters are being installed in UP as part of the Saubhagya scheme which goals to electrify more than 4 crore households till December this year.

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