News: The Supreme Court on Monday found it “distressing”, “shocking” and “terrible” that people were still booked and tried under Section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act even six years after it struck down the provision as unconstitutional and a violation of free speech.
Section 66A had prescribed three years’ imprisonment if a social media message caused “annoyance” or was found “grossly offensive”.
About Information Technology Act, 2000:
The Information Technology Act, 2000 (also known as ITA-2000, or the IT Act) is an Act of the Indian Parliament (No 21 of 2000) notified on 17 October 2000. It is the primary law in India dealing with cybercrime and electronic commerce.
The Act provides a legal framework for electronic governance by giving recognition to electronic records and digital signatures.
It also defines cyber crimes and prescribes penalties for them.
The Act directed the formation of a Controller of Certifying Authorities to regulate the issuance of digital signatures.
It also established a Cyber Appellate Tribunal to resolve disputes rising from this new law.
The Act also amended various sections of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the Banker’s Book Evidence Act, 1891, and the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 to make them compliant with new technologies.
2. FACIAL RECOGNITION SYSTEM
News: “However, MoHFW failed to specify any legislative or legal order that authorised the use of FRT nor could they provide copies of any relevant privacy impact assessment,” the IFF said, adding that the reply stated that use of FRT for verification of the beneficiaries’ data would be according to the terms furnished in the ‘Verifier & Vaccinator Module User Manual’ included in the CoWin portal.
About Facial Recognition System:
A facial recognition system is a technology capable of matching a human face from a digital image or a video frame against a database of faces, typically employed to authenticate users through ID verification services, works by pinpointing and measuring facial features from a given image.
While initially a form of computer application, facial recognition systems have seen wider uses in recent times on smartphones and in other forms of technology, such as robotics. Because computerized facial recognition involves the measurement of a human’s physiological characteristics facial recognition systems are categorised as biometrics.
Although the accuracy of facial recognition systems as a biometric technology is lower than iris recognition and fingerprint recognition, it is widely adopted due to its contactless process.
Facial recognition systems have been deployed in advanced human-computer interaction, video surveillance and automatic indexing of images.
They are also used widely by law enforcement agencies.
3. NATIONAL MISSION FOR CLEAN GANGA
News: Cities situated on river banks will have to incorporate river conservation plans when they prepare their Master Plans, says a policy document from the National Mission for Clean Ganga.
About National Mission for Clean Ganga:
National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is the implementation wing of National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA).
At national level NMCG is the coordinating body and is being supported by States Level Program Management Groups (SPMGs) of UP, Uttarakhand, Bihar and West Bengal which, are also registered as societies under Societies Registration Act, 1860 and a dedicated Nodal Cell in Jharkhand.
The area of operation of NMCG shall be the Ganga River Basin, including the states through which Ganga flows, as well as the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
The area of operation may be extended, varied or altered in future, by the Governing Council to such other states through which major tributaries of the river Ganga flow, and as the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) may decide for the purpose of effective abatement of pollution and conservation of the river Ganga.
The aims and objectives of NMCG:
To ensure effective abatement of pollution and rejuvenation of the river Ganga by adopting a river basin approach to promote inter-sectoral co-ordination for comprehensive planning and management and
To maintain minimum ecological flows in the river Ganga with the aim of ensuring water quality and environmentally sustainable development.
To achieve the objectives, NMCG shall carry out the following key functions namely:
Implement the work programme of National Ganga River Basin Authority(NGRBA).
Implement the World Bank supported National Ganga River Basin Project.
Coordinate and oversee the implementation of projects sanctioned by Government of India under NGRBA.
Undertake any additional work or functions as may be assigned by MoWR,RD &GJ in the area of conservation of river Ganga.
Make rules and regulations for the conduct of the affairs of the NMCG and add or amend, vary or rescind them from time to time.
Accept or to provide any grant of money, loan securities or property of any kind and to undertake and accept the management of any endowment trust, fund or donation not inconsistent with the objectives of NMCG.
Take all such action and to enter all such actions as may appear necessary or incidental for the achievements of the objectives of the NGRBA.