Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 22 March 2018

SSC CGL Current Affairs

Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 22 March 2018

::NATIONAL::

Right to dignified life outweighs Privacy: Govt.

  • The government has assured the Supreme Court that Aadhaar is not a “fly-by-night effort to score some brownie points” and personal data collected from millions of people is safe from breach in storage facilities barricaded behind five-feet thick walls.
  • Appearing before a Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal urged the court to spare some time for the UIDAI CEO to conduct a power-point presentation in open court to quell apprehensions.
  • Instead, Chief Justice Misra asked the government to quell apprehensions raised by petitioners as to why persons, who prefer anonymity and consider their identity as a treasure, should also be compelled to part with their personal data to access services.
  • Mr. Venugopal said Aadhaar provides “a right to physically exist without lying on the pavement without food.” Mr. Venugopal quoted former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi as saying how only Rs. 17 of Rs. 100 spent on anti-poverty projects actually reaches the poor.
  • The rest is eaten up by middlemen and public servants. Mr. Venugopal said the right to a dignified and meaningful life for the poor far outweighed the right to privacy.
  • To this, Justice Chandrachud asked whether the government considered privacy not a fundamental right for the poor.

Failure in reporting TB cases to result in fine, jail

  • Chemists and hospital staff treating tuberculosis (TB) patients, who don’t inform health authorities about them, could face up to two years in jail, says a notification by the Union Health Ministry.
  • The notification, made public on March 16, requires chemists and druggists to provide district officials with personal details and information on the medicines taken by TB patients.
  • India has the maximum number of TB patients and many of them seek treatment in private hospitals.
  • The notification, according to authorities, seeks to push private hospitals and establishments to do more for containing the spread of TB.
  • A 2014 study in The Lancet reported that there were 2.2 million TB patients treated in India’s private sector alone, or about 2-3 times higher than current estimates of the incidence of the disease.
  • This could be an underestimated number as the analysis did not account for cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis.
  • According to a WHO report released in January , India had about 2.79 million new cases of TB in 2016 and the disease killed about 4,35,000 persons.
  • Only about 1.3 million of them were known to be receiving treatment under the government’s TB control programme, and only about 3,30,000 of these patients emerged from the private sector.
  • “The aim is primarily to improve notification [of TB patients] from the private sector,” said Sunil Kharpade, an official involved in India’s TB control programme.

Data leaks: Cambridge Analytica and Facebook

  • With the ripple effects of the Cambridge Analytica controversy showing up on Indian shores, experts have called out the urgent need for data protection laws in India.
  • The company’s India website mentions political parties such as the BJP, the Congress and the JD(U) as its clients, besides corporates such as Airtel and ICICI Bank. The website, however, was taken down later.
  • “India needs to come up with more holistic laws... We are dealing with intermediaries and service providers. It is time India revisits its liability stand on intermediaries,” Mr Duggal said.
  • Right now, Indian law was not very well prepared to handle such issues.
  • Cambridge Analytica got access through another company that used an application that asked people to download the app and give access to their FB account. “By doing that, they got data from Facebook.
  • The problem is they got access to data of people’s friends as well.”

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::INTERNATIONAL::

CEO of Cambridge Analytica suspended after data breach scandal

  • Facebook expressed outrage over the misuse of its data as Cambridge Analytica, the British firm at the centre of a major scandal rocking the social media giant, suspended its Chief Executive.
  • The move to suspend CEO Alexander Nix came as recordings emerged in which he boasts that his data company played an expansive role in Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, doing all of its research, analytics as well as digital and television campaigns.
  • Lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic have demanded answers after it was revealed at the weekend that Cambridge Analytica improperly harvested information from 50 million Facebook users.
  • Cambridge Analytica has denied using Facebook data for the Trump campaign, but the scandal has ratcheted up the pressure on the social media giant — already under fire for allowing fake news to proliferate on its platform during the U.S. campaign.
  • U.S. media reported evening that the Federal Trade Commission is investigating Facebook over the data scandal.Facebook said its top executives were “working around the clock to get all the facts”.
  • Meanwhile, a movement to quit Facebook has gathered momentum, getting a boost from a high-profile co-founder of the WhatsApp messaging service. “It is time. #deletefacebook,” Brian Acton said in a tweet.
  • Several websites offered tips on how to quit Facebook, while noting that the process is more complicated than it appears.

::ECONOMY::

Energy storage industry in problem

  • The Indian government’s relatively slow progress in securing lithium reserves could be a big problem for the energy storage industry in the country, this would mean the country would have to rely on imports from China.
  • China securing its lithium ion reserves and India not doing as much in this area could be a big problem.
  • India had moved substantially away from the prevalent lead acid batteries towards those based on lithium ion technology, which was far more efficient.
  • creating large scale batteries was not a simple matter of scaling up the batteries found in phones or laptops.government can do a lot on the policy and taxation side to boost the domestic energy storage sector.
  • The Panasonic executive also said that there was scope for tax relief for the sector under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, saying that the current tax rate is leading to higher costs.

Husband and wife Not equal in tax exemptions claiming: Income Tax Tribunal

  • A husband and wife may well be equal partners, sharing the joys and sorrows equally, but they are certainly not equal in claiming tax exemptions.
  • Such exemptions, if any, are only based on relevant documents and not on anything else, according to income tax authorities.
  • This fact came to the fore recently when a Bengaluru-based couple came knocking at the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal after their joint claim for long-term capital gains (LTCG) exemption on gains arising from the sale of a property was rejected by a tax officer.
  • While the couple claimed that they jointly invested in the construction of the property and even declared the rent income and sale proceeds equally in their tax returns, the authorities said that since the earlier agreement and the subsequent sale deed were solely in the name of the husband, no such joint claim can be accepted.
  • The matter dates back to 1986, when the man purchased a land and then constructed a residential property in which he claimed that he and his wife contributed equally.
  • Thereafter, the property was let out and the rent was again shared equally between the husband and the wife, with both declaring the same in their annual returns as well.
  • Subsequently, when the property was sold, the gains were shared equally in their filings for tax purposes.
  • Tax authorities, however, denied the claim of the wife and taxed the entire gains in the hands of the husband. The tax officer’s contention was that the wife’s name was not on the earlier agreement of purchase and also the subsequent sale deed.
  • Further, while the wife was a Malaysian citizen when the property was purchased, she did not have any documents to prove that she sought permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) before purchasing the property.
  • While hearing the matter, the Bangalore Bench of the Tribunal upheld the tax officer’s stand while noting that the purchase deed and the subsequent sale deed did not mention the wife’s name as either owner or co-owner.

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