Rajya Sabha panel brings in dedicated system to prevent online child sexual
A dedicated mechanism to deal with online sexual crimes on children and
changes in the definition of ‘child pornography’ under the Protection of
Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act are some of the recommendations
that a panel of MPs looking into the impact of child pornography is likely
to have suggested.
The panel may want the POSCO Act to consider as an offence the act of
“advocating or counselling sexual activity” to a minor, and may want an
international cyber crime reporting portal to facilitate the reporting of
sexual crimes against children from all over the world. The panel, headed by
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, is learnt to have submitted its report to RS
The committee was set up by Naidu last month after the Parliament was
informed in the winter session that 377 websites hosting child pornography
had been taken down and 50 police cases have been filed involving online
sexual exploitation of children.
The committee has talked about ways to safeguard children against “cyber
grooming”, and protection of individuals who report child sexual abuse
material. Cyber grooming is the practice where someone builds an emotional
bond with children through social media or chat rooms to gain their trust to
sexually exploit them.
In July last year, the Modi government had strengthened the POCSO Act by
including death penalty for sexual assault on children, after which the WCD
ministry revised the penalty for possessing and distributing child
Civil aviation ministry begins registration of drones in the country
All drone operators in India will have to register their unmanned aerial
vehicles from Tuesday. A government order issued on Monday wants
registrations on digital sky platform by January-end to regulate drone
Any unregistered drone operated beyond January 31 will invite penal
action, said the order issued by the aviation ministry. It said the presence
of unregistered drones had come to the notice of the government and
operating them violates the norms prescribed by the Directorate General of
Civil Aviation (DGCA).
The DGCA had announced the rules to regulate drones in 2018 and had
categorised drones into five categories based on weight, starting from 250
grams to 150 kilograms and above. The government had also categorised
airspace where drones could operate.
Airspace has been partitioned into Red Zone (flying not permitted),
Yellow Zone (controlled airspace) and Green Zone (automatic permission). The
red zone areas are closer to airports, military areas and international
A senior government official said that allowing drones beyond line of
sight had its own complications in a congested country like India. “It is
easier to allow drones beyond line of sight in countries like the US with
large open areas, but in a congested country like ours there are a lot of
complications in allowing such operations,” said the official, who did not
want to be identified.
CCI orders probe against e-commerce giants for discount pricing
Fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India, CCI has ordered a
probe against Flipkart and Amazon for alleged malpractices, including deep
discounting and tie-ups with preferred sellers.
The order follows a complaint filed by Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh, whose
members comprise many traders dealing in smartphones and related
The traders' body accused the e-commerce firms of anti-competitive
practices like preferential listing, exclusive tie-ups and private labels.
In its order, the Commission said, it needs to be investigated whether
the alleged exclusive arrangements, deep discounting and preferential
listing by the opposite parties are being used as an exclusionary tactic to
The Competition Commission has asked the Director General to complete
the investigation and submit a report within 60 days.
Government set to make hallmarking of jewellery and artefacts mandatory
The hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts will now be mandatory.
Briefing media in New Delhi today, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram
Vilas Paswan said that the government will issue a notification tomorrow
regarding mandatory hallmarking.
He said, after the issuance the notification, the jewellers will get one
year time till 15th of January 2021 to implement the order. He said,now the
Hallmarked Gold Jewellery will be available in three grades of 14Carat, 18
Carat and 22 Carat.
Mr Paswan said, the new system will weed out anomalies and corruption in
the system of manufacturing of jewellery and hallmarking will protect the
interest of the consumers.
Mr Paswan said, there are 892 Assaying and Hallmarking Centres are
operational in 234 Districts of the country. He said, the focus will be to
open more such centres in the country in the next one year.
Under it, all the Jewellers will have to register with Bureau of Indian
Standards and over 28 thousand jewellers have already registered with it. He
said, there is also a provision of penal action in case of violation of the
order. Anybody found violating the provision, will have to pay a minimum
fine of Rs 1 lakh or 5 times the price of the article.
The United States on Monday removed the currency manipulator label it
imposed on China last summer, in a sign of easing tensions between the
economic powers after nearly two years of conflict.
Although Treasury refrained from slapping the label on China in its
report last May, Trump in August angrily accused Beijing of weakening its
currency "to steal our business and factories," re-stating a long-standing
Though the semi-annual currency report always gains attention as a key
sign of relations between the powers, the currency manipulator designation
was largely symbolic.
The label calls for the US Treasury committed to work with the IMF to
"eliminate the unfair competitive advantage" created by China's alleged
actions and to consult with Beijing about the matter.
The currency report had eight other countries on the "monitoring list"
due to concerns about their currency practices: Germany, Ireland, Italy,
Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland, and Vietnam.
Malaysia defends Indian criticism despite palm oil row
Malaysia is concerned about India's new curbs on imports of palm oil
after a diplomatic row, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday, but
indicated he would continue to speak out against "wrong things" even if it
costs his country financially.
India, the world's biggest buyer of edible oils, last week changed rules
that traders say effectively ban imports of refined palm oil from Malaysia,
the world's second-biggest producer and exporter of palm oil after
The move came after New Delhi objected to Mahathir's criticism of
India's new religion-based citizenship law. The 94-year-old premier, whose
outspoken nature has soured ties with both India and Saudi Arabia in recent
months, earlier accused India of invading the disputed Muslim-majority
region of Kashmir.
India was Malaysia's biggest buyer of palm oil in 2019, with 4.4 million
tonnes of purchases. In 2020, purchases could fall below 1 million tonnes if
relations don't improve, Indian traders say.
To make up for the potential loss, Malaysian officials say they are
trying to sell more to Pakistan, the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam,
Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria and Jordan.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
ISRO announces launch of GSAT-30 satellite
GSAT-30, a communication satellite of India, is scheduled for launch
onboard Ariane-5 launch vehicle (VA 251) from French Guiana on January 17,
2020, at 0235 hrs IST. Weighing 3357 kg, GSAT-30 is to serve as replacement
to INSAT-4A spacecraft services with enhanced coverage.
GSAT-30 will be extensively used for supporting VSAT networks,
Television uplinking and Teleport services, Digital Services News
Gathering(DSNG), DTH-Television services, cellular backhaul connectivity and
many such applications.
The communication payload of GSAT-30 is specifically designed and
optimised to maximise the number of transponders on the spacecraft bus.
The satellite provides Indian mainland and islands coverage in Ku-band.It
also provides extended coverage in C-band which helps Television
broadcasters to beam their programs over India, Gulf countries, a large
number of Asian countries and Australia.The mission life is more than 15
Australia beat India in first ODI at Mumbai
In Cricket, Australia won the 1st ODI against India by 10 wickets with
74 balls remaining at Mumbai today. Australia cruised in their 256 run chase
thanks to centuries from their openers David Warner and skipper Aaron Finch.
Warner scored 128 and Finch 110, helping Australia score 258 without loss in
Earlier, put into bat, India were all out for 255 in 49.1 overs. Shikhar
Dhawan top scored for India with 74. K.L. Rahul contributed 47 runs. For
Australia, Mitchell Starc claimed 3 Indian wickets. P.J.Cummins and
K.W.Richardson shared two wickets each. David Warner was declared Man of the