/12 July 2019 | Ias Exam Portal

12 July 2019 | Ias Exam Portal



Current Affairs for IAS Exams – 12 July 2019


::NATIONAL::

Centre says automated facial recognition system will not amount
to violation of privacy

  • The Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS) will not
    violate privacy of citizens and is only being developed to help the law
    enforcement agencies to identify criminals, missing children and
    unidentified bodies in a scientific and speedy manner, a senior government
    official said on Thursday.

  • The AFRS, being implemented by the National Crime Records Bureau
    (NCRB), is a component of the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS),
    a national database of crimes and criminals. An official said the database would
    be accessible only to law enforcement agencies.

  • The NCRB last week invited bids for the AFRS that would even
    “capture face images from CCTV feed and generate alerts if a blacklist match is
    found”, triggering privacy concerns.

  • At present, there are 7.71 lakh cases of missing persons in the
    CCTNS database that includes 98,000 children, the official said.

  • “This software will be used only in respect of such persons who
    figure on the CCTNS data base — accused persons, prisoners, missing persons,
    unidentified dead persons – and is not going to be used on any other database,”
    the official said.

  • The AFRS will add another information layer to investigation by
    allowing matching photograph of suspect or missing person with the database of
    CCTNS. “This is already done manually,” the official said.

Centre brings in stiffer penalties under POCSO act

  • The Cabinet has approved a new definition for child
    pornography in its amendments to the POCSO Act, which is likely to be
    introduced in Parliament next week.

  • The new definition reads, “Any visual depiction of sexually
    explicit conduct involving a child which include photographs, video, digital or
    computer generated image indistinguishable from an actual child and an image
    created, adapted or modified but appear to depict a child.”

  • Neither Section 67 of the IT Act nor Section 293 of the Indian
    Penal Code define child pornography. Its definition derived from what
    constitutes pornography, which is defined as “any material which is lascivious
    or appeals to the prurient interests or if its effect is such as to tend to
    deprave or corrupt the minds of those who are likely to see, read and hear the
    same.”

  • According to the spokesperson of the Women and Child Development
    Ministry, the amended law will also apply to pornographic content where adults
    or young adults pretend to be children.

  • The Cabinet has also enhanced the fine for possessing child porn
    but not deleting or reporting it to Rs. 5,000 from the earlier proposal of Rs.
    1,000. If a person stores such content for distributing it further, except for
    when presenting it in court as evidence, he could face a punishment of upto
    three years.

::ECONOMY::

Centre’s decision to raise gold duty might reduce demand by
2.4%

  • The government’s decision to increase duties on gold could
    result in 2.4% decline in the global demand for the precious metal in 2019,
    while the long-term demand in the Indian market could fall by around 1%
    every year if the duty becomes permanent, according to the World Gold
    Council (WGC).

  • While presenting the Budget on July 5, Finance Minister
    NirmalaSitharaman proposed increasing the customs duty on gold and other
    precious metals from 10% to 12.5%.

  • Incidentally, the All-India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council
    had sought a reduction in import duty on gold, in its pre-budget recommendations
    submitted to the Finance Ministry.

  • Meanwhile, WGC is of the view that broad structural economic
    reforms that are being implemented in both India and China are likely to support
    long-term demand for gold. The global body also expects central bank gold
    demand, led by emerging markets, to remain positive in the near future.

  • “For the rest of the year, we believe that consumer demand may
    be soft and speculative activity could amplify price movements but, overall, it
    is likely that investment demand will remain robust and central banks will
    continue their net purchasing trend,” added the report.

  • According to WGC, over the next 6-12 months, financial market
    uncertainty and accommodative monetary policy are likely to support gold
    investment demand.

Centre prepares road plan to reduce accident casualties in
Highways

  • Road Transport and Highways Minister NitinGadkarihas said
    that the government has prepared a 14 thousand crore rupees project to
    identify accident black spots and plug gaps on National Highways to reduce
    casualties.

  • In reply to a question in the LokSabha today, Mr Gadkari said,
    the Finance Ministry has given its in- principle approval to the project.

  • He said, it is a highly sensitive subject for Central government
    and for the last five years, the government is trying its level best to reduce
    road accidents but the success ratio is not satisfactory.

  • He appreciated the work being undertaken by the Tamil Nadu
    government to reduce road accidents. He said, due to efforts of the Tamil Nadu
    government, there has been a 15 per cent drop in accidents in the state while
    for the rest of the country , the reduction is just 1.5 per cent .

::INTERNATIONAL::

India – EU talks on migration and mobility held

  • The 5th India-EU High-Level Dialogue on Migration and
    Mobility was held in New Delhi yesterday.

  • External Affairs Ministry said in a release said the discussion
    was held in a highly friendly and constructive spirit.

  • It encompassed a wide range of issues of mutual interest in the
    context of migration and mobility along the India-EU corridor.

  • Both sides reaffirmed that migration and mobility are important
    dimensions of the strategic partnership between India and EU and exchanged views
    on further initiatives and steps aimed at realizing the full potential of
    further strengthening cooperation in this area.

Japanese crypto currency exchange faces huge loss

  • A Japanese cryptocurrency exchange has reported a hack
    causing the loss of 3.5 billion yen, or $32 million, worth of virtual money.

  • Tokyo-based Remixpoint, which runs the BITPoint exchange as well
    as travel, used car and energy businesses, apologised on Friday, saying the
    losses were confirmed starting Thursday.

  • The reason for the losses, which include bitcoins as well as
    Ethereum, Ripple and other kinds of cryptocurrencies, is under investigation.

  • About two-thirds of the losses affected customers while the rest
    of the missing assets belonged to Remixpoint, the company said in a statement.
    All transactions have been halted.

  • Japan has been relatively open to cryptocurrencies, which use a
    technology called blockchain, despite some high-profile heists.

  • It has set up a licensing system to oversee their use. Bitcoin
    has been a legal form of payment in Japan since April 2017.Remixpoint said the
    lost money was in what is called the “hot wallet.” Money in the “cold wallet,”
    which has tighter security, was safe.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Japan’s Hayabusa 2 reaches Ryugu asteroid

  • Japan’s Hayabusa2 probe made a “perfect” touchdown on
    Thursday on a distant asteroid, collecting samples from beneath the surface
    in an unprecedented mission that could shed light on the origins of the
    solar system.

  • Confirmation of the landing came only after Hayabusa2 lifted
    back up from the asteroid and resumed communications with the control room.
    Research director Takashi Kubota told reporters that the touchdown operation was
    “more than perfect.” And Mr.Tsuda, with a grin, said he rated it “1000 points
    out of 100.”

  • Thursday’s touchdown was intended to collect pristine materials
    from beneath the surface of the asteroid that could provide insights into what
    the solar system was like at its birth, some 4.6 billion years ago.

  • To get at those crucial materials, in April an “impactor” was
    fired from Hayabusa2 towards Ryugu in a risky process that created a crater on
    the asteroid’s surface and stirred up material that had not previously been
    exposed to the atmosphere.

  • Hayabusa2’s first touchdown was in February, when it landed
    briefly on Ryugu and fired a bullet into the surface to puff up dust for
    collection, before blasting back to its holding position.

::SPORTS::

Indian weightlifters win gold at commonwealth

  • In Weightlifting, Youth Olympics gold medallist Jeremy
    Lalrinnunga smashed three records in a power-packed performance but failed
    to register a clean and jerk lift on day three at the Commonwealth
    Championships in Apia, Samoa today.

  • In a remarkable performance, the 16-year-old Jeremy, competing
    in the 67 kg category, obliterated the Youth World, Asian and Commonwealth
    records in the snatch category with a lift of 136 kgs.

  • Other Indian lifters continued impressive show by winning four
    golds, two silvers and a bronze.AchintaSheuli lifted a total of 305 kgs to win
    the senior and junior men’s 73kg gold.

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