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JULY 28, 2017


Privacy built into Aadhaar Act, says UIDAI

  • “Privacy is non-negotiable, confidentiality is non-negotiable under the Aadhaar Act,” the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the nodal agency implementing the Aadhaar scheme, has said in the Supreme Court.
  • The court said that citizens could not claim informational privacy when the state asks for data for a legitimate purpose such as Aadhaar.

Fundamental right

  • Justice S.A. Bobde wondered whether the Aadhaar Act of 2016 itself had any provisions to protect privacy. Mr. Venugopal then pointed to Section 28 of the statute dealing with “security and confidentiality of information”. It was in the State’s legitimate interest to keep personal data secure as this would make Aadhaar acceptable to one and all, he submitted.
  • Venugopal said “A law [Aadhaar Act] may specifically provide for the protection of privacy because privacy is not recognised as a fundamental right”, in response to the judges question on whether the centre agree that privacy is a fundamental right as per the section 28 of the Act.
  • Venugopal said informational privacy can never be a part of fundamental rights. There was no informational privacy against compelling state interests and public utility, for which the state can ask for fingerprints. But again, individuals can refuse if the information sought was totally irrelevant,” he said.

‘Assert the right to criticise, but do it with courtesy’

  • The Opposition nominee Gopalkrishna Gandhi tells that freedom to criticise the government is crucial, but courtesy in doing so is also important. The dominant spirit in the last three years is of extreme intolerance to criticism

Since it has been much discussed recently, what do you think nationalism should mean in our times?

  • In the decolonised world, nationalism and patriotism have historical roots and they are great phenomena of which we should be proud. But hyper-nationalism and cultural nationalism tend to be weapons in the hands of the dominant community. In the last two years, even in the last 15 years or so, hyper-nationalism has been advanced as a great virtue, and has either co-opted or persuaded simple people, who are not jingoists, to forget the appeal of democracy and the appeal of harmony to become super-nationalists.

In the context of alleged slogans in JNU and a Kashmir petition in the university where you teach, to what extent do you think freedom of expression should be upheld?

  • The question of limits is also very important since when a person wants the freedom of thought and expression, that person must regard that freedom as a priceless possession which if misused and squandered is going to lose its credibility.

82-year-old Sri Lankan teacher wins Ramon Magsaysay award

  • A Japanese historian who helped Cambodians preserve the Angkor temples and a Sri Lankan teacher who counselled war widows and orphans to overcome their nightmares are among the six winners of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Awards, regarded as Asia’s version of the Nobel Prize.
  • The other recipients named Thursday are an Indonesian working for the return of large tracts of forest land to indigenous communities, a Singaporean who leads the cooking of 6,000 meals a day for the destitute, a Philippine theatre group which stood up to a dictatorship and a Filipino who oversaw the opening of job-generating export processing zones.
  • The awards, named after a Philippine president who died in a 1957 plane crash, are to be presented in Manila on August 31.

SC for panels to examine dowry cases

  • No suspect shall be arrested in a dowry case immediately after a complaint is registered.
  • Police and the courts will have to wait for the committee’s inquiry report. The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the setting up of ‘family welfare committees’ in all districts under the aegis of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA).

Much abuse

  • A Bench of Justices A.K. Goel and U.U. Lalit said Section 498A (dowry harassment) of the IPC had come under much abuse. Dowry complaints were being filed in the heat of the moment over trivial issues.
  • The three-member family welfare committees will be set up by the district legal services authorities. Members can be appointed from para legal volunteers, social workers, retired persons, “wives of working officers” and other citizens.
  • Every complaint received by the police and the Magistrate will be passed on to the local committee, which will enquire into the genuineness of the complaint and file a report with the police official or Magistrate concerned within a month. The committee can directly get in touch with the parties involved, but the members will not be called as witnesses in case there is a trial.
  • Till the report of the committee is received, no arrest should normally be effected, the court said.
  • Trial judges should close Section 498A cases based on matrimonial disputes once parties reached a settlement. In fact, bail should be given the same day, the court directed.

The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA)

  • The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) has been constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 to provide free Legal Services to the weaker sections of the society and to organize Lok Adalats for amicable settlement of disputes.
  • In every State, State Legal Services Authority has been constituted to give effect to the policies and directions of the NALSA and to give free legal services to the people and conduct Lok Adalats in the State. The State Legal Services Authority is headed by Hon’ble the Chief Justice of the respective High Court who is the Patron-in-Chief of the State Legal Services Authority.
  • In every District, District Legal Services Authority has been constituted to implement Legal Services Programmes in the District. The District Legal Services Authority is situated in the District Courts Complex in every District and chaired by the District Judge of the respective district.
  • Article 39A of the Constitution of India provides that State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice on a basis of equal opportunity, and shall in particular, provide free legal aid, by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way, to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disability.
  • Articles 14 and 22(1) also make it obligatory for the State to ensure equality before law and a legal system which promotes justice on a basis of equal opportunity to all. Legal aid strives to ensure that constitutional pledge is fulfilled in its letter and spirit and equal justice is made available to the poor, downtrodden and weaker sections of the society.

Developed India best tribute to Kalam: PM

  • The Centre has come out with the ‘Start up India’ and ‘Stand up India’ programmes for the younger generation, not to help them seek employment but make them become entrepreneurs and provide employment to others, the Prime Minister said.
  • After introducing the entrepreneurship skill development training programme, the Centre has launched the Pradan Mantri Mudra Yojana to provide financial assistance without collateral securities, the Prime Minister said. Under the scheme, eight crore youth have been given Mudra loans, amounting to Rs. 4,00,000 crore, Mr. Modi said adding he was happy to note that there were more than one crore beneficiaries from Tamil Nadu.
  • The Odisha government has named the Outer Wheeler Island under Chandabali tehsil in Bhadrak district as A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Island as a tribute to the former President.

Stand-Up India Scheme

  • Stand-Up India Scheme Facilitates bank loans between 10 lakh and  1 Crore to at least one Scheduled Caste (SC) or Scheduled Tribe (ST) borrower and at least one woman borrower per bank branch for setting up a greenfield enterprise. This enterprise may be in manufacturing, services or the trading sector. In case of non-individual enterprises at least 51% of the shareholding and controlling stake should be held by either an SC/ST or woman entrepreneur.

Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana

  • The objective of this scheme to launch a Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) Bank to support the entrepreneurs are not able to get loans for their business needs and are forced to land with money-lenders.


  • MUDRA stands for Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency. The MUDRA Bank will be set up through as statutory enactment. The lending priority will be given to SC/ST enterprises. The bank has been allotted a Refinance Fund of Rs. 20,000 Crores from the shortfalls of Priority Sector Lending. It will regulate and refinance all MFI who lend to MSME engaged in small manufacturing, trade or services. It will partner all state/regional level coordinators to provide easy finance to even the remote investors. The primary functions of MUDRA Bank are:
    • Frame policy guidelines for micro/small enterprise MFIs
    • Registration of MFIs
    • Regulation of MFIs
    • Promoting and regulating responsible finance in favour of client welfare, remove indebtedness and provide proper protection principles and recovery methods
    • Accreditation and rating of MFIs
    • Promoting right technology solutions for problems faced by MFIs and borrowers.
    • Framing a robust architecture for Last Mile Credit Delivery to MSMEs under the umbrella of Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana.

Startup Definition (As defined by DIPP)

  • Startup means an entity, incorporated or registered in India :
    • Not prior to seven years, however for Biotechnology Startups not prior to ten years,
    • With annual turnover not exceeding INR 25 crore in any preceding financial year, and
    • Working towards innovation, development or improvement of products or processes or services, or if it is a scalable business model with a high potential of employment generation or wealth creation
  • Provided that such entity is not formed by splitting up, or reconstruction, of a business already in existence. Provided also that an entity shall cease to be a Startup if its turnover for the previous financial years has exceeded INR 25 crore or it has completed 7 years and for biotechnology startups 10 years from the date of incorporation/ registration. Provided further that a Startup shall be eligible for tax benefits only after it has obtained certification from the Inter-Ministerial Board, setup for such purpose.