Arctic Region and Arctic Council

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

8 Jul, 2020


About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 8th March 2022


    • News: Technological giant Microsoft will invest ₹15,000 crore over 15 years, making Hyderabad the destination for its largest data centre investment in India.
    • About Foreign Direct Investment (FDI):
      • A foreign direct investment (FDI) is a purchase of an interest in a company by a company or an investor located outside its borders.
      • Generally, the term is used to describe a business decision to acquire a substantial stake in a foreign business or to buy it outright in order to expand its operations to a new region. It is not usually used to describe a stock investment in a foreign company.
      • Foreign direct investment frequently goes beyond capital investment. It may include the provision of management, technology, and equipment as well.
      • Foreign direct investments can be made in a variety of ways, including opening a subsidiary or associate company in a foreign country, acquiring a controlling interest in an existing foreign company, or by means of a merger or joint venture with a foreign company.
      • Foreign direct investments may involve mergers, acquisitions, or partnerships in retail, services, logistics, or manufacturing. They indicate a multinational strategy for company growth.
      • About the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019:
      • The Bill seeks to provide for protection of personal data of individuals, and establishes a Data Protection Authority for the same.
      • Applicability:The Bill governs the processing of personal data by:
        • Government,
        • Companies incorporated in India, and
        • Foreign companies dealing with personal data of individuals in India.
        • Personal data is data which pertains to characteristics, traits or attributes of identity, which can be used to identify an individual.
        • The Bill categorises certain personal data as sensitive personal data.
        • This includes financial data, biometric data, caste, religious or political beliefs, or any other category of data specified by the government, in consultation with the Authority and the concerned sectoral regulator.
      • Obligations of data fiduciary: A data fiduciary is an entity or individual who decides the means and purpose of processing personal data. Such processing will be subject to certain purpose, collection and storage limitations.  For instance, personal data can be processed only for specific, clear and lawful purpose.  Additionally, all data fiduciaries must undertake certain transparency and accountability measures such as:
        • Implementing security safeguards (such as data encryption and preventing misuse of data), and
        • Instituting grievance redressal mechanisms to address complaints of individuals.
        • They must also institute mechanisms for age verification and parental consent when processing sensitive personal data of children.
      • Rights of the individual:The Bill sets out certain rights of the individual (or data principal). These include the right to:
        • Obtain confirmation from the fiduciary on whether their personal data has been processed,
        • Seek correction of inaccurate, incomplete, or out-of-date personal data,
        • Have personal data transferred to any other data fiduciary in certain circumstances, and
        • Restrict continuing disclosure of their personal data by a fiduciary, if it is no longer necessary or consent is withdrawn.
      • Grounds for processing personal data:The Bill allows processing of data by fiduciaries only if consent is provided by the individual. However, in certain circumstances, personal data can be processed without consent.  These include:
        • If required by the State for providing benefits to the individual,
        • Legal proceedings,
        • To respond to a medical emergency.
      • Social media intermediaries:The Bill defines these to include intermediaries which enable online interaction between users and allow for sharing of information.
        • All such intermediaries which have users above a notified threshold, and whose actions can impact electoral democracy or public order, have certain obligations, which include providing a voluntary user verification mechanism for users in India.
      • Data Protection Authority:The Bill sets up a Data Protection Authority which may:
        • Take steps to protect interests of individuals,
        • Prevent misuse of personal data, and
        • Ensure compliance with the Bill. It will consist of a chairperson and six members, with at least 10 years’ expertise in the field of data protection and information technology.
        • Orders of the Authority can be appealed to an Appellate Tribunal.  Appeals from the Tribunal will go to the Supreme Court.
      • Transfer of data outside India:Sensitive personal data may be transferred outside India for processing if explicitly consented to by the individual, and subject to certain additional conditions. However, such sensitive personal data should continue to be stored in India.  Certain personal data notified as critical personal data by the government can only be processed in India.
      • Exemptions:The central government can exempt any of its agencies from the provisions of the Act:
        • In interest of security of state, public order, sovereignty and integrity of India and friendly relations with foreign states, and
        • For preventing incitement to commission of any cognisable offence (i.e. arrest without warrant) relating to the above matters. Processing of personal data is also exempted from provisions of the Bill for certain other purposes such as:
        • Prevention, investigation, or prosecution of any offence, or
        • Personal, domestic, or
        • Journalistic purposes.  However, such processing must be for a specific, clear and lawful purpose, with certain security safeguards.
      • Offences: Offences under the Bill include:
        • Processing or transferring personal data in violation of the Bill, punishable with a fine of Rs 15 crore or 4% of the annual turnover of the fiduciary, whichever is higher, and
        • Failure to conduct a data audit, punishable with a fine of five crore rupees or 2% of the annual turnover of the fiduciary, whichever is higher.  Re-identification and processing of de-identified personal data without consent is punishable with imprisonment of up to three years, or fine, or both.
      • Sharing of non-personal data with government:The central government may direct data fiduciaries to provide it with any:
        • Non-personal data and
        • Anonymised personal data (where it is not possible to identify data principal) for better targeting of services.

    2.     DD INDIA

    • News: India’s public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has signed a memorandum of understanding with Yupp TV, an over-the-top (OTT) platform, in order to expand the reach of DD India channel, which puts forth the country’s perspective on various international developments on global platforms.
    • About DD India:
      • DD India is an India-based international state-owned English news and current affairs channel.
      • The service is also aimed at the overseas market, similar to BBC World News, DW, VOA, NHK World-Japan, RT, and broadcast through satellite and cable operators throughout the world as well as online and through its mobile apps.
      • It became a full-fledged English news and current affairs channel in January 2019 followed by a decision of the parent Prasar Bharati’s board.
      • DD India, an Indian pay television channel that was launched on 14 March 1995 as DD International, is available in 146 countries throughout the world.


    • News: Russia declined to attend a hearing at the UN’s top court on Monday at which Ukraine is asking for an immediate order to halt the conflict.
    • About International Court of Justice (ICJ):
      • The International Court of Justice (ICJ) sometimes known as the World Court, is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN).
      • It settles disputes between states in accordance with international law and gives advisory opinions on international legal issues.
      • The ICJ is the only international court that adjudicates general disputes between countries, with its rulings and opinions serving as primary sources of international law.
      • The ICJ is the successor of the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), which was established in 1920 by the League of Nations.
      • After the Second World War, both the League and the PCIJ were replaced by the United Nations and ICJ, respectively.
      • The Statute of the ICJ, which sets forth its purpose and structure, draws heavily from that of its predecessor, whose decisions remain valid. All member states of the UN are party to the ICJ Statute and may initiate contentious cases; however, advisory proceedings may only be submitted by certain UN organs and agencies.
      • The ICJ consists of a panel of 15 judges elected by the UN General Assembly and Security Council for nine-year terms.
      • No more than one judge of each nationality may be represented on court at the same time, and judges collectively must reflect the principal civilizations and legal systems of the world. Seated in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, the ICJ is the only principal UN organ not located in New York City.
      • Its official working languages are English and French.
      • Since the entry of its first case on 22 May 1947, the ICJ has entertained 179 cases through March 2021.
      • Elections are staggered, with five judges elected every three years to ensure continuity within the court.
      • Should a judge die in office, the practice has generally been to elect a judge in a special election to complete the term.
      • Judges of the International Court of Justice are entitled to the style of His/Her Excellency.

    4.     RED SEA

    • News: Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched at least one missile into the Red Sea over the weekend, a U.S. official said on Monday, raising the risk of the rebels striking commercial vessels using a waterway crucial to global shipping.
    • Map of Red Sea: