Centre reiterates commitment to protection of fundamental
rights of citizens
The Centre has said that it is committed to protect the
fundamental rights of citizens including right to privacy. It said, stern
action will be taken against any intermediary responsible for breach of
In a tweet, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, the government
is concerned at the breach of privacy on the messaging platform WhatsApp.
He said the government has asked WhatsApp to explain the kind of
breach and what it is doing to safeguard the privacy of millions of Indians. IT
Ministry yesterday wrote to WhatsApp seeking a detailed response by November 4.
The move comes after WhatsApp said that Indian journalists and
Human Rights Activists were among those globally spied upon by named entities
using an Israeli spyware Pegasus.
WhatsApp has said that it is suing NSO Group, an Israeli
surveillance firm that is reportedly behind the technology that helped unnamed
entities' spies hack into phones of roughly 1,400 users including diplomats,
politicians, journalists and government officials.
Naga peace talks reach deadline,more consultations on board
Talks between Centre’s interlocutor RN Ravi and National
Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) concluded on Thursday amid
indications that the two sides have broadly resolved all issues, including
demand for a separate flag and constitution.
A formal announcement is awaited as the Centre is keen on taking
governments of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh on board. The three states
have expressed apprehension over the talks and sought to protect their
Working Committee of Naga National Political Groups said “GoI
endorsed the usage of Naga emblem and flag, specifically for cultural identity
within Naga homeland”
The Centre had earlier ruled out separate flag and constitution
for Nagas. Talks between the Centre and NSCN-IM were caught in a stalemate over
the two issues.
The Centre had set October 31 as the deadline to wrap up talks
which started in 1997 after a formal ceasefire agreement between the Centre and
NSCN-IM was signed.
Nagaland CM Neiphu Rio, however, tweeted: “It is a historic
moment and an occasion of great joy for all Nagas and the nation as a whole.” In
another tweet he said: “Congratulations to Shri RN Ravi, NSCN-IM and NNPGs for
the efforts and sacrifices.”
RBI asks banks to probe data card leakage and ensure security
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked banks to secure
their customer card data after a website reported that nearly 1.3 million
debit and credit card data of Indian banks are on sale on the dark web
potentially causing losses of millions of dollars.
On Tuesday, technology news website ZDNet reported that more
than 1.3 million payment card details have been put up for sale on Joker's
Stash, in what it described was the internet's largest carding shop. The data
included uploads contains data primarily from Indian cardholders, the website
said citing security researchers at Group-IB.
RBI said that banks must take proactive measures to identify and
guard against such misuse of customer credentials. The central bank also has to
be informed of the steps that banks have taken.
The leaked data includes Track 2 data, usually found on a
payment card's magnetic stripe that could have been obtained via skimming
devices, installed either on ATMs or PoS systems. The cards are from multiple
banks though it could not be ascertained which banks have been hit.
“99% of the cards are now based on chip and pin based system
which are difficult to clone. There may be still some magnetic strip based cards
in use but that number is very small. I don’t think this should be such a big
issue,” said another banker involved in cyber security.
India assures signing of fair and transparent RCEP
As Prime Minister NarendraModi is set to visit Bangkok for
the ASEAN summit from November 2-4, Indian negotiators are discussing
critical aspects of the RCEP mega trade deal to ensure it is "fair and
transparent", before committing to sign it.
Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East), Ministry of External
Affairs, said: "India will wait for the outcome of the negotiations on the
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Some critical issues are
"We will only participate in a fair and transparent trading
environment," she said at a media briefing here.
Indian officials have concluded negotiations on most of the 25
chapters, and the rest would be concluded before November 4, when Prime Minister
Modi will join leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations
bloc and five other countries for the summit.
Indian officials are "narrowing the gaps" during their
negotiations, including putting in adequate protection against cheap Chinese
imports which are feared could flood the Indian market, once RCEP is concluded.
Differences over some areas, like rules of origin, e-commerce,
auto trigger mechanism and trade remedies, are being discussed by Indian
officials ahead of the summit meeting.
Two new countries Eritrea and Saint Kittis and Nevis have
signed the International Solar Alliance's (ISA) Framework Agreement at its
second Assembly held in New Delhi. With this 83 countries have so far signed
the ISA framework agreement.
Speaking at the Assembly of ISA, Minister of Power, New and
Renewable Energy R K Singh who is also the President of ISA, emphasized the
increasing importance of solar energy.
He said, this is very important in view of the climate change
issues faced globally. He also elaborated the number of steps that India has
taken to support the International Solar Alliance which India along France
At the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019, Prime Minister
NarendraModi pledged to increase renewable energy capacity to 175 Giga Watt by
2022 and committed for further increasing it to 450 GigaWatt.
ICJ says Pak violated Vienna convention in Jadhav case
International Court of Justice (ICJ) President Judge
Abduylqawi Yusuf told the United Nations General Assembly that Pakistan
violated its obligations under the Vienna Convention in the case of Indian
Presenting the report of the International Court of Justice to
the 193-member General Assembly yesterday, he said, in its judgement of July 17,
the principal judicial organ of the United Nations found that Pakistan had
violated its obligations under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention and that
appropriate remedies were due in this case.
In a major victory for India, the ICJ had ruled that Pakistan
must review the death sentence awarded to Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer
who was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of
espionage and terrorism after a closed trial in April 2017.
India had argued that consular access was being denied to its
national in violation of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
The Court was also called upon to interpret the meaning of the
expression without delay in the notification requirements of Article 36 of the
Vienna Convention. The Court considered the reparation and remedies to be
granted, after it had found that the rights to consular access had been
Judge Yusuf said that following its ruling, the Court received a
communication dated 1st of August this year from Pakistan confirming its
commitment to implementing the July 17 judgment in full.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Researchers develop new method to remove CO2 from air
Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT), United States (US) have developed a new technology to capture carbon
dioxide (CO2) from a stream of air, virtually at any concentration level.
This is a new advance that may pave the way for new strategies
to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) levels. The study by researchers was
published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.
While in most of the prevalent methods, removing carbon dioxide
(CO2) from a stream of gas required higher concentrations like those found in
flue emissions from fossil fuel-based power plants, but the new method could
take out gas even when it was present in very low concentrations.
Researchers described the device as a large, specialized battery
with a stack of electrodes that absorbs CO2 from air passing over its surface as
it was being charged up, and then released gas as it was being discharged. A
chemical reaction then takes place at surface of each of a stack of electrodes
as battery charges.
The biggest advantage of this technology over most other carbon
absorbing/carbon capture technologies is- ‘binary nature of the adsorbent’s
affinity to carbon dioxide’. Moreover, the new system is energy efficient
compared to existing methods- consistently using about one gigajoule (GJ) of
energy per ton of CO2 captured.
Shiva Thapa wins gold in Olympic test boxing event
Indian pugilists Shiva Thapa and Pooja Rani today clinched
gold medals, while Ashish settled for a silver, as India ended with a decent
haul of seven medals at the Olympic Test Event for Boxing in Tokyo, Japan.
The other four medals, all bronze were bagged by NikhatZareen,
SimranjeetKaur, SumitSangwan and Vahlimpuia in their respective weight
Four-time Asian medallist Thapa outpunched Kazakhstan's national
champion and Asian bronze-winner SanataliToltayev 5-0 to claim the top honours
in 63 kilogram category.