Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 13 May 2021

In Today’s News:

  1. Ethics policy in Edtech – need of the hour.
  2. ASEAN and mediation of the coup.
  3. Rural and Urban divide.
  4. Overcrowding in Prisons.
  5. Sovereign Gold bond scheme.

1. Ethics policy in Edtech – need of the hour

News Summary

Edtech industries in India are collecting data from the users which sometimes infringes upon the privacy of individuals and there is no such regulation like that of the General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) of the European Union to maintain the ethics in the Edtech industry in India.

Prelims GS – Governance/World News

GDPR and objectives:
  • GDPR refers to the General Data Protection Regulation.
  • It was enacted by the European Union.
  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the toughest privacy and security law in the world.
  • Though it was drafted and passed by the European Union (EU), it imposes obligations onto organizations anywhere, so long as they target or collect data related to people in the EU.
  • The regulation was put into effect on May 25, 2018.
  • The GDPR will levy harsh fines against those who violate its privacy and security standards, with penalties reaching into the tens of millions of euros.
GDPR Objectives:
  • This Regulation lays down rules relating to the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and rules relating to the free movement of personal data.
  • This Regulation protects fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons and in particular their right to the protection of personal data.
  • The free movement of personal data within the Union shall be neither restricted nor prohibited for reasons connected with the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data.

Click here to view the full official document of GDPR.

2. ASEAN and the mediation of the coup

News Summary

ASEAN though aligned with non-interference in the internal affairs of the member states, ASEAN played an active role in assisting Myanmar to exit from the coup(seizure of power by the Military).

Prelims GS – International Relations

  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
  • Brunei Darussalam then joined on 7 January 1984, Viet Nam on 28 July 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999, making up the ten Member States of ASEAN.
  • India is not a member of ASEAN.
Member states of ASEAN:
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Brunei
  • Singapore
  • Phillippines
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Laos
  • Indonesia
  • Cambodia

Click here to view the ASEAN official website.

3. Rural and Urban divide

News Summary

Pandemic has severely affected the people as people need to deal with healthcare crisis and the daily issue of hunger and uncertainty about livelihoods.

Prelims GS – Governance

National Food Security Act:

Click here to know more about NFSA on our Daily current affairs released on 6th May 2021.

Mini Insights

Mains GS2 – Governance

Some statistics on Rural and Urban divide due to the pandemic:
  • As per the State of Working India report 2021 of Azim Premji University, nearly half of formal salaried workers moved into informal work between late 2019 and late 2020 and the poorest 20% of the households lost their entire incomes in April and May 2020.
  • 23 crore individuals have been pushed even below the national minimum wage threshold of ₹375 per day (the Anoop Satpathy Committee).
  • Poverty rates in rural areas have increased by 15 percentage points (pp) and by 20 pp in urban areas.
  • Urban area people also faced a reduction in income due to the loss of jobs.
  • Urban people also had a reduction in the consumption of grains and pulses than the rural people surveyed.

4. Overcrowding in Prisons

News Summary

Prisons are overcrowded and that is a serious issue amidst the pandemic as many prisoners are getting affected by COVID. Unnecessary arrests need to be controlled so that overcrowding of prisons is reduced to an extent.

Mini Insights

Mains GS2 – Governance

Overcrowding of prisons and the Supreme Court orders:
  • Hon’ble Supreme Court in its latest order directed the interim release of eligible prisoners.
  • This step acquires prominence amidst the COVID 2nd wave.
  • In its order, the Supreme Court has rightly emphasized the need to adhere to the norms it had laid down in Arnesh Kumar vs State of Bihar (2014) under which the police were asked not to effect unnecessary arrests, especially in cases that involve jail terms less than seven years.
  • These are some steps to protect the Right to Life and Health of Prisoners.
  • In the past, the Court has also asked authorities in all districts in the country to give effect to Section 436A of the Cr.P.C., under which undertrials who have completed half of the maximum prison term prescribed for the offense may be released on personal bond.
Strategies to reduce overcrowding in prisons as suggested by UNODC are:
  • Developing comprehensive, evidence-based strategies and gaining public support
  • Reducing the scope of imprisonment and developing Fair Sentencing policies
  • Improving the efficiency of the Criminal Justice System
  • Access to Legal Assistance and Legal Aid
  • Reducing Pre-Trial Detention
  • Assisting with Social Reintegration and Reoffending

Click here to view the official document on the Strategies to reduce overcrowding in prisons of UNODC.

5. Sovereign Gold Bond scheme

News Summary

The Government of India, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds. The Sovereign Gold Bonds will be issued in six tranches from May 2021 to September 2021.

Prelims GS – Economic Development

Features of Sovereign Gold Bond:
  • Sovereign Gold Bond 2021-22 will be issued by the Reserve Bank of India on behalf of the Government of India.
  • The Bonds will be restricted for sale to resident individuals, HUFs, Trusts, Universities, and Charitable Institutions.
  • The tenor of the Bond will be for a period of 8 years with an exit option after the 5th year to be exercised on the next interest payment dates.
  • The Bonds will be denominated in multiples of gram(s) of gold with a basic unit of 1 gram.
  • The Gold Bonds will be issued as Government of India Stock under GS Act, 2006.
  • The investors will be issued a Holding Certificate for the same. The Bonds are eligible for conversion into Demat form.
  • Bonds will be sold through Commercial banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices (as may be notified), and recognized stock exchanges viz., National Stock Exchange of India Limited and Bombay Stock Exchange, either directly or through agents.

Click here to view more about the Sovereign Gold Bond scheme on the PIB release.



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