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12 April 2023

Data Protection Bill


News: The data protection bill will be tabled in parliament in the July monsoon session.


About the bill:

  • A new law, namely the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022, to enforce individual privacy in online space is ready and will be tabled in parliament in the monsoon session.

  • This new Bill will replace the current Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rules, which was notified in 2011.

  • The purpose of the Bill is to “provide for the processing of digital personal data in a manner that recognises both the right of individuals to protect their personal data and the need to process personal data for lawful purposes”.

  • Definitions under New Bill:

    • Data’ under the new Bill is defined as a “representation of information, facts, concepts, opinions or instructions in a manner suitable for communication, interpretation or processing by humans or by automated means”

    • Data Fiduciary: Data fiduciaries as per the new bill are defined as persons who determined the purpose and means of processing personal data.

    • Data Principal: It defines data principal as the individual to whom the personal data is related.

    • Data processor: It is defined as any person who processes personal data on behalf of a data fiduciary.


Petition: This was informed in SC Constitution Bench during the hearing of petitions challenging WhatsApp’s policy to share users’ data with the Facebook group of companies.

The rationale behind Bill:  Privacy is a fundamental right, as recognised by SC in 2017 which highlighted the need to protect online personal data from prying eyes.


Youth-20 Summit, or Y-20 Summit


News: India will hold the next G-20 engagement group meeting in Leh this month (exactly three years since security forces first detected unusual numbers of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops amassing along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh) in a response to China aggression in Arunachal Pradesh.


About the News: 

  • The meeting of the Youth-20 Summit, or Y-20, will be held from April 26 to 28 in Leh.

  • It will include about 80 delegates from nearly every G-20 country.

  • Pakistan has objected to the holding of meetings in what it calls “illegally occupied” Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, it is not an invitee.

  • China, which boycotted the G-20 engagement meeting in Arunachal Pradesh in March, is expected to be staying out of the meeting in Leh and also a G-20 tourism meeting in Srinagar from May 22 to 24 as they are “disputed territory”.


Militarisation of space

News: The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Anil Chauhan while stating space is being used to enhance combat capabilities in land, sea and cyber domains said the world is witnessing militarisation of space and steady progress towards weaponisation.

Need to develop counter-space capabilities for India

  • CDS said the aim should be towards developing dual-use platforms with a special focus towards incorporating cutting-edge technology and we must expand our NAVIC constellation, provide agile space-based Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and ensure secure satellite-assisted communications.

  •  He stressed the need to build India’s own offensive and defensive means in this domain citing the development of new kinetic weapons resulting in the war in space.

  • The populating of the space domain and the emergence of a dynamic threat environment to our space assets also demands that we enhance our space situational awareness capability. 

  • There’s also a requirement to safeguard our assets with counter space capabilities.

  •  We must build resilience and redundancy in a space-based infrastructure.


Normal monsoon


News: IMD forecasted a 4% shortfall of rainfall in monsoon this year.


About the News:

  • IMD predicted rainfall at 96% of the long period average (LPA), though still categorised as “normal”. It is at the lowest end of what is categorised as normal rainfall.

  • Reason:

    • development of El Nino, a cyclical phenomenon of warming in the central Pacific that in six out of 10 years is linked to diminished rainfall in the country

  • Since 2019, India has been under the influence of the converse La Nina or cooling in those regions, and therefore, getting substantial rainfall.

  • The “normal” monsoon rainfall over India from June-September is 87 cm (considered 100% of the LPA).

  • From 1951 to 2022, there have been 15 El Nino years, with nine of those years witnessing “below normal” rainfall

    • El  Nino is defined as a rise above 0.5 degrees Celsius in temperatures in the central, equatorial Pacific Ocean. 

    • Strong El Nino: refers to >1.5 degrees Celsius rise in temperature over the waterbodies. The last strong El nino was in 2015 when the monsoon rainfall fell by 14%.

    •  Weaker” El Nino refers to a sub-one degree rise. The last weaker EL Nino was in 2018 saw a 7.4% dip.


Factors that can wash away the impact of El Nino:

  • Positive Indian Ocean Dipole: 

    • El Nino is only likely to begin to take root in the second half of the monsoon  August and September. During this time development of a “positive” phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD, or warmer temperatures in the Arabian Sea and hence more moisture and rainfall over India) is predicted and so, a somewhat reduced impact of the El Nino, 

  • Reduced snow cover in Eurasia.:

    • This February and March have seen below-normal snow cover in Eurasia, which is favourable for monsoon.


Recognised and National Party



The Election Commission (ECI) recognised the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as a national party. It also revoked the status of the All-India Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) as a national party.

The Commission also revoked the state party status granted to RLD in UP and granted recognised state political party status to the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) in Nagaland.


What is a National/State Political Party?

  • The ECI has laid down the criterion for a party to be recognised as a national/state party in the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order 1968, as amended from time to time.

  • A party may gain or lose national/state party status from time to time, depending on the fulfilment of the below-mentioned conditions.

Criteria for a Political Party to be Recognised as a National Party:

  • A political party would be considered (if it satisfies any of the below conditions) a national party if:

    • it is ‘recognised’ in four or more states as a state party; or

    • if its candidates polled at least 6% of total valid votes in any four or more states in the last Lok Sabha or Assembly elections and has at least four MPs in the last Lok Sabha polls; or

    • if it has won at least 2% of the total seats in the Lok Sabha from not less than three states.

  • The BJP, Congress, CPI(M), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), National People’s Party (NPP) and the AAP are the national parties now.

  • The AAP was given the status of a National Party as it satisfied the first criteria and is recognised as a state party in Delhi, Punjab, Goa and Gujarat.


Criteria for a Party to be Recognised as a State Party:

  • To be recognised as a state party, a party need –

    • At least 6% vote-share in the last Assembly election and have at least 2 MLAs; or

    • have 6% vote-share in the last Lok Sabha elections from that state and at least one MP from that state; or

    • At least 3% of the total number of seats or three seats, whichever is more, in the last Assembly elections; or

    • At least one MP for every 25 members or any fraction allotted to the state in the Lok Sabha; or

    • Have at least 8% of the total valid votes in the last Assembly election or Lok Sabha election from the state.

  • DMK in Tamil Nadu, BJD in Odisha, YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh, RJD in Bihar, and TRS in Telangana are the names of some of the state political parties.


Benefits enjoyed by recognised Party under the Representation of the People Act 1951?

  • If a party is recognised as a State Party, it is entitled to exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to the candidates in the State in which it is so recognised.

  • If a party is recognised as a National Party, it is entitled for exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to the candidates throughout India.

  • Recognised `State’ and `National’ parties need only one proposer for filing the nomination.

  • They have also entitled for two sets of electoral rolls free of cost at the time of revision of rolls and their candidates get one copy of the electoral roll free of cost during General Elections.

  • Further, they get broadcast/telecast facilities over Akashvani/Doordarshan during general elections.

  • A recognised National or State party can have a maximum of 40 “Star campaigners”and a registered unrecognised party can nominate a maximum of 20 “Star Campaigners”.

    • However, the travel expenses of star campaigners are not to be accounted for in the election expense accounts of candidates of their party.

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