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9 PM Brief by ForumIAS

GS 2

Set procedure to vet NRC claims: SC

News:

1. Recently, the Supreme Court has directed authorities not to take any action
against persons left out of the draft Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC)
published on July 30.
Important facts:

2. The published draft has put question mark on the legal status of so many
individuals.
3. The Bench ordered the government to frame a ‘fair’ standard operating
procedure (SOP) to deal with the claims and objections of those who did not find
their names in the draft NRC.
4. Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, pointed out that the government is
developing biometrics so that even if a declared foreigner escapes to another
State, he or she would be caught there.
5. Second and final draft of the NRC shows 2.9 crore names out of the total 3.29
crore who applied in Assam.
6. From Aug 8, those excluded from the list can approach the Local Registrar or the
NRC Sewa Kendras to find out the reasons for their exclusion. Their claims and
objections would be heard by Aug 30 to Sep 28.

Friends or Seoul-mates?

Article:

1. Rajiv Kumar, Research Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in
Seoul, analyse India-South Korea relations in the era of U.S. and China power
politics.
Important facts:

2. South Korean President Moon Jae-in’ recently visited to India to upgrade India-
South Korea relations.

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3. Mr Moon launched a foreign initiative called New-Southern Policy last year to
step up Seoul’s engagement with India and the ASEAN countries.
4. He also sent a special envoy to India immediately after assuming office.
5. This year, South Korea set up a state-run research centre on India and ASEAN
under the Korea National Diplomacy Academy to diversify strategic partnership
across the Asian region.
6. Reasons for Seoul’s reshaping diplomatic relations towards India:
• Recently, South Korea has been heavily impacted by power politics
between the U.S and China.
• The clash between the two countries over the deployment of the U.S.
Thaad missile defence system in the Korean Peninsula set off an economic
retaliation by China against South Korea, whose economy is highly
depended on the Chinese market.
• The ongoing U.S-China trade war has heightened uncertainty
surrounding South Korea’s core economic interests.
• This has led to Seoul reassessing risks associated with economic
turbulence stemming from Chinese policies, which is a threat to the
national security of South Korea in some cases.
• To escape the power politics in Northeast Asia, South Korean
policymakers believe that Seoul should diversify its relations with major
powers in the region including India.
• Mr Moon recently said that his government wants to elevate relations
with India to the same level as with other major powers in the world-
namely, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia.
7. Way ahead:
• Both India and South Korea have multiple dimensions to boost up their strategic
ties such as:
a) Ensuring freedom of navigation
b) Overflight and unimpeded lawful commerce in the Indo-Pacific region.
c) South Korea backing India’s bid for Nuclear Suppliers Group membership
especially when New Delhi has faced sustained opposition from China.
d) Exemplified by plans for capacity building programmes in Afghanistan.

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9 PM Brief by ForumIAS

GS 3

Rajasthan first State to implement biofuel policy

News:

1.Rajasthan has become the first State in the country to implement the national
policy on biofuels.
Important facts:

2. The policy was unveiled the government recently.
3. Rajasthan will lay emphasis on increasing production of oilseeds and establish a
Centre for Excellence in Udaipur to promote research in the fields of alternative
fuels and energy resources.
4. For further boost up the State Rural Livelihood Development Council would also
encourage women’s self help groups to explore the scope of additional income
through the supply of biodiesel.
5. The State government would also promote marketing of biofuels and generate
awareness about the same.
6. The Policy on biofuels will be beneficial in the following way:
• The Policy on biofuels seeks to help farmers dispose of their surplus stock in an
economic manner.
• Reduce the country’s oil imports.
• It has expanded the scope of raw material for ethanol production.

A fundamental error

Article:

1. Apar Gupta and Ujwala Uppaluri, practicing advocates, highlighted that the
Srikrishna report on data protection misinterprets the Supreme Court’s right to
privacy judgment.
Important facts:

2. Last year the Supreme Court judgment on the right to privacy imposed upon the
government an obligation to make a law safeguarding a person’s informational
privacy, commonly referred to as data protection.

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3. Consequently, the Union government had tasked a committee headed by Justice
B.N. Srikrishna to formulate such a law in July last year.
4. The committee provides set of recommendations and also produced a draft law
titled the “The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018.
5. The author highlighted that the Srikrishna report on data protection
misinterprets the Supreme Court’s right to privacy judgment .
6. The recommendations do not only undermine the legal principles within it but
also reinterpret them. The committee stay away from the below two points:
• It expressly stated the primacy of the individual as the beneficiary of
fundamental rights.
• It rejected the argument that the right to privacy dissolves in the face of
amorphous collective notions of economic development.
7. Its report, titled “A Free and Fair Digital Economy: Protecting Privacy,
Empowering Indians”, runs into tremendous difficulties as it attempts to put
together a regulatory agenda that reconciles the expansion of the digital economy
and state control with the principles of the right to privacy judgment.
8. These difficulties reveal themselves in a misunderstanding of the fundamentals
of constitutional law.
9. The state’s purpose under the Constitution, says the report, is “based on two
planks”.
• The state is a facilitator of human progress and is “commanded” by the
Directive Principles of State Policy “to serve the common good”.
• Fundamental Rights, which help protect against a state “prone to excess”.
10. The report attempts to open the right to privacy to allow the state the most
convenient means by which to realize its regulatory agenda.
11. According to the author, it is not often that the Supreme Court assembles and
pronounces a unanimous judgment without dissent. The promise of such a
holding becomes more critical when it concerns the liberty of individuals and an
attempt to correct an imbalance of power which exists against them.
12. By re-framing and re-interpreting the right to privacy, the report entrenches the
positions of the two entities which already wield the most power over ordinary
Indians: corporations and the government.

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Centre imposes 25% safeguard duty on import of solar cells

News:

1. Recently, the Centre has issued a notification to impose a safeguard duty of 25%
on import of solar cells.
Important facts:

2. The decision by the government follows a long deliberation by the Director
General of Trade Remedies, which recommended the safeguard duty structure.
3. The duty will be impose on imports of solar cells from China and Malaysia
between July 30, 2018 and July 29, 2019.
4. The duty reduces to 20% for six months from July 30, 2019, and further to 15% in
the subsequent half year.
5. The subsequent 20% duty on “solar cells whether or not assembled in modules or
panels” will apply on imports from China and Malaysia during the period July
30, 2019, to January 29, 2020.
6. The 15% duty will kick in during the period from January 30, 2020, to July 29,
2020.
7. Reasons to impose duty on solar cells:
• The move aimed at helping the domestic solar cell manufacturing sector.
• The move is likely to increase the bid tariffs to 2.9-3.1 per unit for the upcoming
bids.
8. However, the decision could affect existing projects dependent on cheap imports.

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