Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2021

Aug 18, 2021

Current Affair 1:
What High Court said about Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021?


In recent case, the Bombay high court stayed Rules 9(1) and 9(3) of the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 which mandate that digital news media and online publishers should adhere to the “Code of Ethics” prescribed by the Rules.

Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, which was announced to regulate the social media intermediaries, OTT platforms, and online news and current affairs websites.

The Rules prescribing a Code of Ethics and a three-tier content regulation mechanism have been framed under the Information Technology Act, 2000. The Code of Ethics applies to publishers of online curated content and intermediaries. It stipulates that an applicable entity shall exercise due caution and shall take into consideration the following factors when deciding to feature any content on its platform:

  1. Content that affects the sovereignty and integrity of India
  2. Content that threatens endangers, or jeopardizes the security of the State
  3. Content that is detrimental to India’s friendly relations with foreign countries
  4. India’s multi-racial and multi-religious context
  5. Activities, beliefs, practices, or views of any racial or religious group in India

The high court opined that dissent is vital for the functioning of any healthy democracy but with the Rules operating in their present form, a journalist or news organisation exposes themselves to punishment even without transgressing the boundaries of reasonable restriction under Article 19(2) of Indian Constitution.

The Court made a prima facie observation that the Rules relating to digital media are beyond the substantive powers of delegated legislation given to the Union Government by the Information Technology Act.

The judgement explains that Rule 9 also prima facie appears to be infringing the constitutional guarantee of Freedom of Speech and Expression as conferred by Article 19(1)(a) in subjecting the publishers of news/current affairs content and publishers of online curated content subject to action under the statutory regime of the Press Council Act and the Cable TV Network (Regulation) Act, which provides for an independent mechanism for any violation of the provisions of such legislation.

Therefore, the high court observed that the new 2021 IT Rules can have a chilling effect on freedom of speech, with a journalist or news publisher having to think twice before criticizing the State administration.

The bench however refused to stay Rules 14 and 16 of the IT Rules 2021, which deal with the constitution of an inter-departmental committee as an oversight mechanism over digital media and the power of the Centre to block access to content.

Current Affair 2:
Coral Transplantation


Coral transplantation can be defined as the physical relocation of coral from a site of inhospitable conditions to where the coral is more likely to thrive.

Therefore, coral transplantation may be implemented in order to move live coral in danger of destruction or poor conditions at one location to a transplantation site that may provide a more hospitable environment, or it may be implemented in order to assist in rebuilding a damaged or deteriorating site by moving coral from a healthy site to the less healthy one.

The primary objectives of coral transplantation are to improve reef `quality' in terms of live coral cover, biodiversity and topographic complexity. Stated reasons for transplanting corals have been to:

  1. accelerate reef recovery after ship groundings
  2. replace corals killed by sewage, thermal effluents or other pollutants
  3. save coral communities or locally rare species threatened by pollution, land reclamation or pier construction
  4. accelerate recovery of reefs after damage by Crown-of-thorns starfish or red tides
  5. aid recovery of reefs following dynamite fishing or coral quarrying
  6. mitigate damage caused by tourists engaged in water-based recreational activities, and
  7. enhance the attractiveness of underwater habitat in tourism areas.

Corals status in India.

Many nations have environmental laws protecting coral reefs. In India, corals are given a Schedule 1 status under the Wildlife Protection Act.

India has five main reef structures, the Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the coast of Malvan, Sindhudurg in Maharashtra and parts of Goa, and Lakshadweep. Out of these, all except Lakshadweep have fringing reefs. Lakshadweep has an atoll reef, which is a ring-like structure surrounding the island.

Coral transplantation is carried out in all five reef regions in India, in varying capacities. While some have received ample support from the government, others have received funding from corporates and non-profits. The Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu was the first state to experiment with coral transplantation in 2002.

Current Affair 3:
The cryogenic engine mechanism


The launch of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s much-anticipated geostationary earth observation satellite, EOS-03, resulted in an unsuccessful mission after the GSLV’s cryogenic upper stage failed to ignite in space and carry the payload to its designated orbit.

The cryogenic engine has been developed within the country in an effort to replace the upper stage — part of a rocket procured from Russia — used for the GSLV. The Cryogenic Upper Stage Project formally commenced in ISRO in 1994, with the first flight attempt in April 2010.

Cryogenic engines are typically very powerful and carry liquid propellant at extremely low temperatures. They are complex but highly efficient and provide better thrust for each kilogram of fuel burnt when compared to the traditional solid and liquid propellant rocket stages.

Cryogenic engines were a crucial part of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Apollo missions to the moon, and were also used by the GSLV for the Chandrayaan-2 mission. Only six countries have developed their own cryogenic engines: the US, France/European Space Agency, Russia, China, Japan, and India.


Cryogenic engine typically makes use of liquid oxygen (LOX), which liquifies at -183 deg C, and liquid hydrogen (LH2), which liquefies at -253 deg C. LH2 acts as the fuel while LOX acts as the oxidiser that explosively reacts with the hydrogen, producing thrust. When the engine ignites, the two liquids are pushed into a combustion chamber by booster pump continuously.

ISRO’s cryo stage, called the C25, came after the successful flights of the earlier versions developed for previous GSLV launchers. It was designed by the Liquid Propulsion Systems Center, in collaboration with Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, ISRO Propulsion Complex and Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

C25’s tanks carry over 27,000 kg of fuel and fire for approximately 720 seconds. During this time, the engine develops a thrust of 73.55kN in vacuum.


Current Affair 4:
Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP)


As you all know that Exports are zero-rated which means all the GST which is levied in the supply-chain of exported items are ultimately reimbursed by the Govt. upon submitting a proof that the items have been exported.

Then what is the purpose of RoDTEP??

There are certain products which are still outside GST and the taxes/duties/levies imposed on these products are still not refunded in case of exports even in the present GST regime. These taxes are VAT on fuel used in transportation, Mandi tax, taxes on electricity, petroleum products etc (which becomes embedded in the product price). Under the new RoDTEP scheme, even these taxes will be refunded to exporters.  This RoDTEP is WTO compliant.

No need to read anything extra in this scheme.

Current Affair 5:
What our FM recently said about oil bonds?


Oil Bonds:

During UPA (2004-14) period, when the prices of oil increased, Govt. gave subsidies to the people of India by reducing the prices of oil. So, let us say if the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) like IOCL/BPCL/HPCL were selling the Petrol at Rs. 90 (at that time), Govt. asked OMCs to sell the petrol at Rs. 80 and Govt would pay Rs. 10/liter to OMCs. But Govt. actually did not pay in cash, rather Govt. issued "Oil Bonds" to OMCs of the total value of subsidy, which meant Govt. would not pay at that time but at a later date (whatever maturity specified on the bond). These "Oil Bonds" are basically a kind of debt paper issued by GoI which are now maturing. So, the present Govt. (NDA) has to pay principal back and of course it  is already paying interest on these bonds since 2014 onwards. So, there is a burden on the present Govt. and hence the Govt.  is not reducing the excise duty on Petrol/diesel even if the prices are high as these excise duties are being used to pay for the interest/principal on oil bonds issued during UPA. (This is what our FM is saying).

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