SHANMUGAM IAS ACADEMY - SEPTEMBER 29, 2018 UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS

 
SHANMUGAM IAS ACADEMY - SEPTEMBER 29, 2018 UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS
SHANMUGAM IAS ACADEMY

  SEPTEMBER 29, 2018
  UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS
SEPTEMBER 29 – CURRENT AFFAIRS 2018

AADHAAR – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

WHEN AND HOW WAS AADHAAR CONCEIVED?

In 1999 after the Kargil war, the Kargil Review Committee, headed by security
analyst K. Subrahmanyam, was formed to study the state of national security.

It submitted its report to the then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, on
7 January 2000.

Among its various recommendations was the proposal that citizens in villages
in border regions be issued identity cards on a priority basis, with such ID
cards issued later to all people living in border states.

A Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by L. K. Advani, was formed to study the
recommendations and examine possible implementation.

The GoM submitted its report in May 2001 in which it accepted the
recommendation for an ID card and stated that a "multi-purpose National Identity
Card" project would be started soon, with the card to be issued first in border
villages and then elsewhere.

In late September 2001 the Ministry of External Affairs proposed that a mandatory
national identity card be issued. This announcement followed reports that some
people had obtained multiple Indian passports with different details. This was
attributed to the lack of computerisation between the passport centres.

In December 2003 the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2003 was introduced in
the Lok Sabha by L. K. Advani. It primarily aimed to provide various rights
to persons of Indian origin, but the bill also introduced Clause 14 (a) that said:
"The Central Government may compulsorily register every citizen of India
and issue national identity card to him."

The UIDAI was established on 28 January 2009 after the Planning
Commission issued a notification.

         1 SHANMUGAM IAS ACADEMY: 46/1, Gokhale St, Opp Senthil Kumaran
             Theatre, Ram Nagar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641009 WEBSITE: iasipstnpsc.in
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NOTE: The National ID card project was first conceived by Prime Minister Atal
Bihari Vajpayee which UPA then named Aadhaar

In 2010, the National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010, was introduced.

The Bill, however, was passed only in 2016, under the present BJP-led
government. Since the passage of the Bill, several petitions have been filed
challenging the validity of the Aadhaar Act, 2016.

On January 17, 2018, a five-judge Bench began hearing the Aadhaar case. It
reserved its verdict on May 10, 2018.

AADHAAR:

Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identity number that can be obtained by residents of
India, based on their biometric and demographic data.

The data is collected by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a
statutory authority established in January 2009 by the government of India, under
the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology,
following the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other
Subsidies, benefits and services) Act, 2016.

Aadhaar is the world's largest biometric ID system.

Considered a proof of residence and not a proof of citizenship, Aadhaar does
not itself grant any rights to domicile in India.

On 3 March 2016 a money bill was introduced in the Parliament to give
legislative backing to Aadhaar. On 11 March 2016 the Aadhaar (Targeted
Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits and services) Act, 2016, was
passed in the Lok Sabha.

The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits
and services) Act, 2016 is a money bill of the Parliament of India.

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             Theatre, Ram Nagar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641009 WEBSITE: iasipstnpsc.in
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It aims to provide legal backing to the Aadhaar unique identification number
project.

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS OF THE ACT:

      Use of Aadhaar number: To verify the identity of a person receiving a
       subsidy or a service, the government may require them to have an Aadhaar
       number. If a person does not have an Aadhaar number, government will
       require them to apply for it, and in the meanwhile, provide an alternative
       means of identification. Any public or private entity can accept the
       Aadhaar number as a proof of identity of the Aadhaar number holder,
       for any purpose. Aadhaar number cannot be a proof of citizenship or
       domicile.

      Authentication: The UID authority will authenticate the Aadhar number of
       an individual, if an entity makes such a request. A requesting entity (an
       agency or person that wants to authenticate information of a person) has to
       obtain the consent of an individual before collecting his information.
       The agency can use the disclosed information only for purposes for which
       the individual has given consent.

      Protection of information: Biometric information such as an individual’s
       finger print, iris scan and other biological attributes (specified by
       regulations) will be used only for Aadhaar enrolment and authentication, and
       for no other purpose. Such information will not be shared with anyone,
       nor will it be displayed publicly, except for purposes specified by
       regulations.

      Cases when information may be revealed: In two cases, information may
       be revealed:

       1. In the interest of national security, a Joint Secretary in the central
          government may issue a direction for revealing, (i) Aadhaar number, (ii)
          biometric information (iris scan, finger print and other biological

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             Theatre, Ram Nagar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641009 WEBSITE: iasipstnpsc.in
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          attributes specified by regulations), (iii) demographic information, and
          (iv) photograph.

   Such a decision will be reviewed by an Oversight Committee (comprising
   Cabinet Secretary, Secretaries of Legal Affairs and Electronics and Information
   Technology) and will be valid for six months.

       2. On the order of a court, (i) an individual’s Aadhaar number, (ii)
          photograph, and (iii) demographic information, may be revealed.

      Offences and penalties: A person may be punished with imprisonment
       upto three years and minimum fine of Rs 10 lakh for unauthorised
       access to the centralized data-base, including revealing any information
       stored in it. If a requesting entity and an enrolling agency fail to comply
       with rules, they shall be punished with imprisonment upto one year or a fine
       upto Rs 10,000 or Rs one lakh (in case of a company), or with both.

      Cognizance of offence: No court shall take cognizance of any offence
       except on a complaint made by the UID authority or a person authorised by
       it.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) introduces Face
Authentication to further strengthen Aadhar security. It decided to enable 'Face
Authentication' in fusion mode on registered devices by 1 July 2018, so that
people facing difficulties in other existing mode of verification such as iris,
fingerprints and One Time Password (OTP) could easily authenticate.

On 11 March 2016 the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other
Subsidies, benefits and services) Act, 2016, was passed in the Lok Sabha.

During the Rajya Sabha debate on 16 March, Sitaram Yechury of the CPI-M said
that bill should not have been passed when the issue of the right to privacy was still
in the Supreme Court.

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             Theatre, Ram Nagar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641009 WEBSITE: iasipstnpsc.in
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On 16 March 2016 the bill was returned to the Lok Sabha by the Rajya Sabha with
some suggested amendments, which the Lok Sabha promptly rejected.

LACK OF LEGISLATION AND PRIVACY CONCERNS

On 2 February 2015 the Supreme Court asked the new government to clarify its
stance on the project. This was in response to a new PIL filed by Mathew
Thomas, a former army officer.

Thomas had claimed that the government was ignoring previous orders while
pushing ahead with the project and that the project was unconstitutional as it
allowed profiling of citizens.

In a reply on 12 February the government said that it would continue the
project. On 16 July 2015 the government requested the Supreme Court to revoke
its order, saying that it intended to use Aadhaar for various services. On 21 July
2015 the Court noted that some states were insisting on Aadhaar for benefits
despite its order.

On 11 August 2015 the Supreme Court directed the government to widely
publicise in print and electronic media that Aadhaar was not mandatory for
any welfare scheme. The Court also referred the petitions claiming Aadhaar was
unconstitutional to a Constitutional Bench.

On 19 July 2017 a nine judge bench of the Supreme Court began hearing the
arguments on whether there is a fundamental right to privacy. On 24 August
2017 the nine judge bench unanimously upheld the right to privacy as a
fundamental right under the Constitution.

THE SUPREME COURT’S RIGHT TO PRIVACY VERDICT

On August 24, 2017, a nine-judge Bench ruled that the right to privacy is a
fundamental right, a shot in the arm for the petitioners.

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             Theatre, Ram Nagar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641009 WEBSITE: iasipstnpsc.in
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However, the court had also ruled that “besides national security, the State may
have justifiable reasons for the collection and storage of data. In a social welfare
state, the government embarks upon programmes which provide benefits to
impoverished and marginalised sections of society. There is a vital State interest in
ensuring that scarce public resources are not dissipated by the diversion of
resources to persons who do not qualify as recipients.”

A five-judge constitutional bench of the Supreme Court is heard various cases
relating to the validity of Aadhaar on various grounds including privacy,
surveillance, and exclusion from welfare benefits.

What was the contention against Aadhaar before the Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court, in a marathon 38-day hearing earlier this year, heard a clutch
of petitions against the Aadhaar programme.

The main questions raised during the hearing on Aadhaar were:

* Is the Aadhaar Act, 2016, constitutionally valid given that it was passed in
Parliament as a Money Bill?

* Why does every citizen need one identity proof — a unique identification
number — to acquire government benefits? Can’t this be done using other
documents, like ration card or passport?

* Does Aadhaar take away our right to privacy — upheld as a fundamental
right by a nine-judge Constitution bench of the court in August last year

* What happens if Aadhaar data becomes a tool for mass surveillance by the
state, as the movement and activities of users can be tracked by collecting
metadata?

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             Theatre, Ram Nagar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641009 WEBSITE: iasipstnpsc.in
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What did the government argue in favour of Aadhaar?

During the hearing, the government argued that Aadhaar would help weed out
ghost beneficiaries of welfare schemes.

In court, Attorney General K K Venugopal had said it was a serious effort to end
corruption and not a “fly-by-night effort to get some brownie points”.

He further said, “… the state is using Aadhaar as an enabler of various facets of the
right to life of teeming millions of Indian residents including their right to food, the
right to livelihood, the right to receive pensions and other social assistance benefits
like scholarships etc. by the genuine beneficiaries.”

Who delivered the Aadhaar verdict?

A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak
Misra, delivered the verdict. The bench also comprised Justices A K Sikri, A M
Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan.

Justices Sikri delivered the majority verdict, which was concurred by CJI and
Justice Khanwilkar, finding the Aadhaar Act constitutionally valid. Justice
Bhushan was in favour of Aadhaar as well.

Justice Chandrachud dissented, and found it unconstitutional.

Justice Chandrachud, in his judgment, said the Aadhaar Act was liable to be
struck down as it violated Article 110.

“Rajya Sabha should not have been bypassed,” he said, referring to the
government passing the Aadhaar bill as a Money Bill in the Lok Sabha, where it
has an absolute majority.

The five-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra ruled that the
Aadhaar programme served the “larger public interest” in ensuring that the
poor have access to resources.

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             Theatre, Ram Nagar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641009 WEBSITE: iasipstnpsc.in
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It found that the programme eliminated any chance of duplication and that
enrolment was foolproof. Justice

What do we need Aadhaar for now?

Aadhaar is mandatory to avail benefits of welfare schemes, to file Income Tax
returns and it is mandatory to link Aadhaar with PAN cards.

Is it not mandatory to provide Aadhaar details to open bank accounts, get SIM
cards, or for services from private companies. Aadhaar is also not necessary for
school admissions or NEET, UGC and CBSE examinations.

In a 4:1 verdict, the Supreme Court found that the Aadhaar Act, 2016, was
constitutionally valid. However, the court struck down some Sections of the Act,
including Section 33(2), 47 and 57.

What is Section 33(2) of Aadhaar Act?

Section 33 of the Aadhaar Act refers to disclosure of information in certain cases.
The Supreme Court has read down Section 33(1) while striking down 33(2).
Section 33(1) allows disclosure of information, including identity and
authentication records, if ordered by a court not inferior to that of District Judge.
Reading down this sub-section, the SC has said individuals should be given the
opportunity of hearing.

Section 33(2) allows identity and authentication data to be disclosed in the
interest of national security on direction of an officer not below the rank of Joint
Secretary to the Government of India.

Section 33(2) reads: “Section 33 (1) Nothing contained in sub-section (2) or sub-
section (5) of section 28 or sub-section (2) of section 29 shall apply in respect of
any disclosure of information, including identity information or authentication
records, made pursuant to an order of a court not inferior to that of a District Judge:

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This sub-section reads, “… shall apply in respect of any disclosure of information,
including identity information or authentication of records, made in the interest of
national security in pursuance of a direction of an officer not below the rank of
Joint Secretary to the Government of India specially authorised in this behalf by an
order of the Central Government:

Provided that every direction issued under this sub-section, shall be reviewed
by an Oversight Committee consisting of the Cabinet Secretary and the
Secretaries to the Government of India in the Department of Legal Affairs and the
Department of Electronics and Information Technology, before it takes effect:

Provided further that any direction issued under this sub-section shall be valid for
a period of three months from the date of its issue, which may be extended for a
further period of three months after the review by the Oversight Committee.”

What is Section 47 of the Aadhaar Act?

Section 47 of the Aadhaar Act refers to cognizance of offences. Under this Section,
no court is allowed to take cognizance of any offence punishable under this Act,
except on a complaint made by the authority of officer or person authorised by it.
The Section also disallows courts below that of a Chief Metropolitan Magistrate or
a Chief Judicial Magistrate to try any offence punishable under this Act.

What is Section 57 of Aadhaar Act?

Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act refers to the use of Aadhaar data by any “body
corporate or person” to establish the identity of an individual. Justice Sikri, in his
judgment, found this section to be unconstitutional. It was under this provision
that private companies like Paytm and Airtel Payments Bank sought Aadhaar
details from customers.

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             Theatre, Ram Nagar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641009 WEBSITE: iasipstnpsc.in
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Section 57 reads: “Nothing contained in this Act shall prevent the use of Aadhaar
number for establishing the identity of an individual for any purpose, whether by
the State or anybody corporate or person, pursuant to any law, for the time being in
force, or any contract to this effect: Provided that the use of Aadhaar number under
this section shall be subject to the procedure and obligations under section 8 and
Chapter VI.”

So what does today’s Aadhaar verdict mean for you?

Justice Sikri began by saying:

                   “It is better to be unique than the best. Because,
                    being the best makes you the number one, but
                        being unique makes you the only one..”

He added that the Aadhaar number, given to a particular individual, is treated as
unique and cannot be assigned to any other person.

Justice Sikri said the attack of the petitioners is founded on the argument that it is a
great risk to the liberties of citizens of this country and has potential to enable
surveillance state.

To this, Justice Sikri said proportionality is to be adjudged on the basis of the
norms such as expectation of privacy, compelling state interest and larger public
interest.

“We have accepted larger public interest,” Justice Sikri said.

On proportionality, certain aspects are needed to be satisfied. There is valid
legitimate aim: Prevention of leakage and pilferage is a valid goal. Justice Sikri
said it was satisfied that Aadhaar was a suitable means to achieve these goals.

“Data collection by Aadhaar is minimal and it is serving a much larger public
interest,” Justice Sikri said, adding that Aadhaar is giving dignity to marginalised
sections of the society and hence the interests outweigh the concerns.

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             Theatre, Ram Nagar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641009 WEBSITE: iasipstnpsc.in
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The court also held that the passage of the bill as a money bill was valid, another
aspect that was challenged by the petitioners.

NOTE:

JUSTICE B N SRIKRISHNA REPORT ON DATA PROTECTION:

The Justice B N Srikrishna panel was appointed to recommend a data
protection framework to the government. It submitted its recommendations in
July this year.

The Srikrishna data protection report highlighted individuals’ constitutional rights
over their data and said efforts need to be made to protect data at any cost. It
recommended steps for protection of personal information, defining obligations of
data processors as also rights of individuals, and mooting penalties for violation.

EMBRYO TRANSFER TECHNOLOGY (ETT)

      Embryo transfer is a technique by which embryos are collected from a donor
       female and are transferred to recipient females, which serve as surrogate
       mothers for the remainder of pregnancy.

      Embryo transfer techniques have been applied to nearly every species of
       domestic animal and to many species of wildlife and exotic animals,
       including humans and non-human primates.

      Embryo transfer technology has revolutionized the breeding strategies in
       Bovines as a tool to optimize the genetic improvement in cattle.

Benefits of ETT:

1. A farmer can get a 5-6 fold increase in number of offsprings
2. The calves so born will be of high genetic merit
3. The offsprings born will be free from diseases

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             Theatre, Ram Nagar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641009 WEBSITE: iasipstnpsc.in
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GOVERNMENT’S INITIATIVES

      Rashtriya Gokul Mission: Rashtriya Gokul Mission has been launched
       December 2014 for the development and conservation of indigenous bovine
       breeds thereby enhancing milk production and productivity.

♦ The framework of the scheme is to enhance milk production & productivity
through induction of high genetic merit bulls for semen production; field
performance recording; strengthening of bulls mother farms; setting up of Gokul
Grams etc.

      National Mission on Bovine Productivity: It has been launched in
       November 2016 with the aim of enhancing milk production and productivity
       and thereby making dairying more remunerative to the farmers. The scheme
       is being implemented with following components

a) Pashu Sanjivni- It includes identification of animals in milk using UID, issuing
health cards to all animals in milk and uploading data on INAPH data base;

b) Creation of E Pashuhaat Portal- The e-pashuhaat portal has been launched in
November 2016 for linking farmers and breeders of indigenous breeds.

c) Establishment of National Bovine Genomic Centre for Indigenous Breeds
(NBGC-IB): The NBGC-IB is being established for enhancing milk production
and productivity through genomic selection among indigenous breeds.

d) INDUSCHIP: INDUSCHIP has been developed for genomic selection of
indigenous breeds and 6000 dairy animals have been genetically evaluated using
INDUSCHIP.

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             Theatre, Ram Nagar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641009 WEBSITE: iasipstnpsc.in
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MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT FOR ELECTIONS:

Election Commission (EC) has announced that Model Code of Conduct comes
into force immediately in states where legislative assemblies have been
dissolved prematurely.

It also held that after dissolution caretaker government as well as the central
government is barred from announcing new schemes in particular state from
date of dissolution of legislative assembly till new House is elected.

MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT

MCC is set of guidelines issued by Election Commission to regulate conduct of
political parties and their candidates in run up to elections.

It is aimed at ensuring free and fair elections.

The Code doesn’t have any statutory basis and not enforceable by law. But it has
indisputable legitimacy and parties across the political spectrum have generally
adhered to its letter and spirit.

It was issued for first time in 1971 before 5th Lok Sabha elections.

Since then, it has been issued before every central and state election and revised
from time to time.

The main objective of MCC is to ensure level playing field for all political
parties, prevent conflicts between parties, and ensure law and order in heat of
election season.

Its primary purpose is to ensure that ruling party does not misuse or use
government machinery to its advantage for its election campaign purpose.

It is applicable to political parties, their candidates and polling agents, government
in power and all government employees.

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             Theatre, Ram Nagar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641009 WEBSITE: iasipstnpsc.in
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DATE OF ENFORCEMENT OF MCC

It has evolved over years of tussle between EC and government.

It kicks in day EC announces the poll dates. This is based on agreement
between EC and Central government reached on April 16, 2001.

However, agreement imposes condition on EC that announcement cannot be more
than three weeks before date of notification of polls.

It was agreed that inauguration of any project will be done by civil servants so that
MCC does not stand in the way of public interest.

SC STIKES DOWN SECTION 497 OF THE IPC:

A five-judge Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, have
removed provisions related to adultery in the Indian Penal Code and the Code of
Criminal Procedure.

According to Section 497 of the IPC, a man had the right to initiate criminal
proceedings against his wife’s lover.

`In treating women as their husband’s property, the law was blatantly gender-
discriminatory; aptly, the Court also struck down Section 198(2) of the CrPC
under which the husband alone could complain against adultery.

Till now, only an adulterous woman’s husband could prosecute her lover,
though she could not be punished; an adulterous man’s wife had no such right.

In a further comment on her lack of sexual freedom and her commodification
under the 158-year-old law, her affair with another would not amount to adultery if
it had the consent of her husband.

        14 SHANMUGAM IAS ACADEMY: 46/1, Gokhale St, Opp Senthil Kumaran
             Theatre, Ram Nagar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641009 WEBSITE: iasipstnpsc.in
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 “The history of Section 497 reveals that the law on adultery was for the benefit of
the husband, for him to secure ownership over the sexuality of his wife,” Justice
D.Y. Chandrachud wrote. “It was aimed at preventing the woman from
exercising her sexual agency.”

The court didn’t try to equalise the right (of wife) to file a criminal complaint, by
allowing a woman to act against her husband’s lover instead it striked down the
Section 497 as invalid rid.

Laws are the reflection of the society. Laws governing a society act as a mirror
to the principles and morals of a particular society.

Recent S.C. verdicts of decriminalising Section 377 and invalidation of section 497
of IPC indicate we as a nation are moving forward towards the progressive state by
breaking the shakles of Victorian laws.

It is only in a progressive legal landscape that individual rights flourish — and
with the decriminalisation of adultery India has taken another step towards rights-
based social relations, instead of a state-imposed moral order.

    That the decriminalisation of adultery comes soon after the Supreme Court
     judgment that read down Section 377 of the IPC to decriminalise
     homosexuality, thereby enabling diverse gender identities to be unafraid of
     the law.

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             Theatre, Ram Nagar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641009 WEBSITE: iasipstnpsc.in
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