bharat ias - Building a robust and resilient cyber system

Building a robust and resilient cyber system

Building a robust and resilient cyber system Context Article is in connection with the WannaCry malware attack Not a new thing There have already been such attacks and security breaches, going back to the 2007 intrusions in Estonia that shut down the national government The 2009 attack on US government websites The 2010 Stuxnet attack that crippled Iran’s nuclear programme The 2013 attack on banks and a TV station in South Korea amid tensions with North Korea The 2014 attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment The cyber heist last year at Bangladesh’s central bank Increasing danger More things are connected to the Internet than people now, according to Cisco A 2014 study by Hewlett Packard found that 70% of Internet of Things devices contain “serious vulnerabilities” FBI has issued a cautionary note on over-the-Internet attacks on self-driven vehicles Internet of Things The Internet of things (IoT) is the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices”), buildings, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to collect and exchange data Way forward A good starting point is the three-layered Israeli strategy that goes beyond security to build a cyber-system that is robust, resilient and has strong defence capabilities. Think of the country’s IT infrastructure as a human body 1st Level: At the first level, the body needs a robust immune system to protect it from everyday attacks without disrupting the flow of work. Here, individuals are responsible for their personal hygiene and vaccinations—which in cyber terms means updating security systems and changing passwords 2nd Level: Still, no matter how robust the immune system, individuals will fall sick at some point and will have to be taken to hospitals. This is the second level—that of building resilience. Think of the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team as the cyber equivalent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US 3rd Level: The third level is that of national defence, wherein there is a direct threat to the state and its citizens. The government takes the lead role here but, importantly, its success depends on the robustness and resilience of the system as a whole  ...

Publishes on : 04-Jul-2017 01:26 PM
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bharat ias - NGO evolves blueprint to end female genital mutilation

NGO evolves blueprint to end female genital mutilation

NGO evolves blueprint to end female genital mutilation Context A report on the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) released looks at the psychological trauma and physical scars faced by the victims, and the legal aspects that could be weaved in to stop the practice completely DawoodiBohras A Shiite branch of Islam based in Gujarat, India, with an estimated 1.2 million followers around the world What has happened? Speak Out on FGM, a group of DawoodiBohra women, who are victims of khatna themselves, have come out with a report on the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The report looks at the psychological trauma and physical scars faced by the victims, and the legal aspects that could be weaved in to stop the practice completely What is Khatna? Khatna involves cutting part of the clitoral hood or the prepuce of girls as young as seven years Report on FGM The 57-page report drafted over a span of six months takes a detailed look at the existing laws in India pertaining to gender and minors and international laws against FGM in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France and Africa Report explores aspects like protection for the informer, who to give the information to, and punitive action that can be initiated Report also looks in detail at the whole argument about freedom of religion and whether it holds for FGM Defining FGM Some anti-khatna activists are of the view that the practice should be termed as Female Genital Cutting as it involves cutting of the part of genital tissue and not mutilation as practised in some African communities However, Ms. Ranalvi said FGM is a universal term under which the World Health Organisation has explained various degrees of cutting Belittling DawoodiBohras? Some members of the Bohra community have alleged that Speak Out is deliberately trying to belittle the community by excessively and disproportionately highlighting the issue of female circumcision which is far less invasive than male circumcision  ...

Publishes on : 04-Jul-2017 01:24 PM
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bharat ias - Continental ties

Continental ties

Continental ties  Context India begins the heavy-lifting needed to transform economic partnerships in Africa What has happened? The 52nd Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors (the Bank’s highest decision-making body) of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the 43rd Meetings of the Board of Governors of the African Development Fund (ADF) officially opened in Ahmedabad, India, on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 with calls for greater cooperation between the Bank and India to help drive Africa’s transformation. What is AfDB? The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group is a regional multilateral development finance institution established to contribute to the economic development and social progress of African countries that are the institution’s Regional Member Countries (RMCs). Established on: The AfDB was founded following an agreement signed by member states on August 14, 1963, in Khartoum, Sudan, which became effective on September 10, 1964 HQ: The AfDB headquarters is officially in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire Three entities: The AfDB comprises three entities: The African Development Bank (ADB) The African Development Fund (ADF) The Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF) Mission of AfDB AfDB’s mission is to Help reduce poverty, improve living conditions for Africans and mobilize resources for the continent’s economic and social development Members The Bank Group has 80 member countries, comprising 54 regional member countries (RMC) and 26 non-regional member countries (NRMC). Future cooperation Maritime cooperation: India is working on a maritime outreach to extend its Sagarmala programme to the southern coastal African countries with ‘blue economies’ Solar connection: India is also building its International Solar Alliance, which Djibouti, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Somalia and Ghana signed on to on the sidelines of the AfDB project Involving other powers:In its efforts, India has tapped other development partners of Africa, including Japan, which sent a major delegation to the AfDB meeting It has also turned to the United States, with which it has developed dialogues in fields such as peacekeeping training and agricultural support, to work with African countries It is significant that during the recent inter-governmental consultations between India and Germany, both countries brought in their Africa experts to discuss possible cooperation in developmental programs in that continent Conclusion At a time when China is showcasing its Belt and Road Initiative as the “project of the century” and also bolstering its position as Africa’s largest donor, a coalition of like-minded countries such as the one India is putting together could provide an effective way to ensure more equitable and transparent development aid to Africa....

Publishes on : 04-Jul-2017 01:22 PM
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bharat ias - Forgotten cogs in the wheels of justice

Forgotten cogs in the wheels of justice

Forgotten cogs in the wheels of justice  Context The exploitation of judicial support staff continues to be widespread  Deplorable working conditions of the judicial support staff and the resultant discontent  Representation by CJAR The Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) made a representation to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, detailing cases where employees had alleged harassment by the misuse of rules that regulate their service and the various issues that needed to be addressed Repressive conditions Burdened by heavy volume: The support staff works in repressive conditions with long hours, have no leave, face penalties and fines and often unfair arrest warrants, and are overburdened by the sheer volume of file handling and working out of crowded courtrooms Overburdened by mounting pendency: Mounting pendency of court cases results in an increased volume of court files without an increase in judicial staff strength, leading to them being overburdened. Proper care has not been taken to ensure the appointment of qualified staff. Those who are recruited have little or no on-the-job training. What needs to be done? An effective grievance redress mechanism needs to be put in place Good news Acting on the CJAR representation, The Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has made the first move in directing that all judicial officers in the State appoint home peons by June 30. Further, the order directs that an employee’s post be changed every three years and file handling by ahlmads (a type of judicial support staff) be limited to 800 files. This will go a long way in ensuring a more fulfilling and just working environment ...

Publishes on : 04-Jul-2017 01:21 PM
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bharat ias - An opportunity being drained away

An opportunity being drained away

An opportunity being drained away Context International World Water Day (March 22) this year’s theme was “wastewater”, which is defined as any water that has been adversely affected in quality by anthropogenic influences and as a result of domestic, industrial, commercial and agricultural activities. Facts on wastewater Globally, over 80% of the wastewater generated goes back to the ecosystem without being treated or reused. 8 billion people use drinking water contaminated with faeces which increases their risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. Also, 663 million people still lack access to improved drinking water sources. What is the status in India? Safely managed wastewater is an affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials. In India, about 29,000 million l/day (mld) of waste water is generated from class-I cities and class-II towns, out of which about 45% (about 13,000 mld) is generated from metro cities alone. A collection system exists for only about 30% of the wastewater through sewer lines, while treatment capacity exists for about 7,000 mld. The industrial sector in India discharges around 30,730 million cubic metres of effluents, without proper treatment, into waterbodies. Run-off from agriculture fields is another major source of pollution. What should be done? At the national and regional levels, water pollution prevention policies should be integrated into non-water policies that have implications on water quality such as agriculture and land use management, trade, industry, energy, and urban development. Water pollution should be made a punishable offence. The effectiveness and power of the “polluter pay principle” should be considered. Various policies, plans and strategies to protect water resources should be participatory, allowing for consultation between government, industry and the public. At the local level, capacity building enables the community to make decisions and disseminate them to the appropriate authorities, thus influencing political processes. Market-based strategies such as environmental taxes, pollution levies and tradable permit systems should be implemented, and can be used to fight against or abate water pollution. Incentive mechanisms such as subsidies, soft loans, tax relaxation should be included in installing pollution management devices. In industrial pollution management, technological attempts should be made through cleaner production-technology. Sophisticated pollution management technology developed overseas should be introduced in India. The application of eco-friendly inputs such as biofertilizers and pesticides in agriculture and the use of natural dyes in textile industries can reduce the pollution load considerably. ...

Publishes on : 04-Jul-2017 01:20 PM
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