iastoppers-misleading-ads
Current Affairs Analysis

12th November 2016 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

Misleading Ads; Consumer Protection Bill; National Skill Development Agency (NSDA); CERT-In; India’s First Banking Robot Lakshmi; 2016 Golden Peacock Award; Kalidas Samman; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
November 12, 2016

Contents

Polity & Governance

  • No jail term for celebrities endorsing products in misleading ads: GoM

Bilateral & International Relations

  • NSDA Signs MoU with British Council to Collaborate for Joint Research in Skills Sector

Defence & Security Issues

  • Centre unveils steps to boost cybersecurity

Key Facts for Prelims

  • India’s first banking robot Lakshmi
  • 2016 Golden Peacock Award for corporate governance
  • Kalidas Samman

 

Polity & Governance

No jail term for celebrities endorsing products in misleading ads: GoM

A high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) has approved imposing a heavy fine and ban on celebrities who endorse products making unrealistic and dodgy claims.

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  • The GoM headed by Union Finance Minister was tasked to look into the issue of Celebrity endorsement and recommendations of Standing Committee of the Parliament on the recently introduced The Consumer Protection Bill, 2015.

Background:

The Union Government had introduced The Consumer Protection Bill, 2015 in Parliament to replace the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 to deal with consumer protection and safety.

  • The bill proposes tough measures for the protection of consumer rights and providing strict punishment to violators.
  • After its introduction, it was referred to a Standing Committee, which gave a report suggesting measures like making celebrities accountable for the brands they endorse.
  • It also had called for severe penalties such as jail term for celebrities endorsing brands, publishers/broadcasters of misleading advertisements and manufacturers of such products.

Recommendations made by GoM:

  • First time offender celebrities should be fined Rs 10 lakh and banned for one year.
  • Second and subsequent offenders should be fined Rs 50 lakh and banned for up to 3 year.
  • Dropped Standing committee’s proposal of jail term to celebrities found guilty for misleading endorsement.

What’s the issue?

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The issue of accountability of celebrities as brand endorsers was in spotlight after the ban on Nestle India Ltd’s Maggi Noodles over inadequate safety standards and high levels of lead and Monosodium glutamate (MSG). The ban was subsequently lifted.

Besides this, some other celebrities, too had faced public ire for endorsing brands that did not meet expectations.

[Ref: Indian Express]

 

Bilateral & International Relations

NSDA Signs MoU with British Council to Collaborate for Joint Research in Skills Sector

National Skill Development Agency and The British Council signed a MoU to collaborate for undertaking joint research projects in the area of skill development.

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Aim of the partnership:

  • The partnership aims to promote knowledge exchange and research collaborations between UK and India in the skills space and to strengthen capacity of research organisations in both the countries so as to be able to work in collaborative research environments in the Sector.
  • This collaboration comes as a part of strengthening the overall research mechanism in skill development space and to encourage research collaborations with various national and international organizations.

Key facts:

  • Under this partnership, The British Council and the National Skill Research Division (NSRD), a research division under the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) will work closely with each other to build research collaborations between the UK and India over a period of three years in the skilling domain.
  • The topic for the joint research study in first year of collaboration is “Future Skills” that will focus on, understanding labour market trends and identifying future employment in India in selected manufacturing and service sectors in view of changing technology.
  • This kind of collaboration is in alignment with the overall mandate of the recently established National Skill Research Division that will serve as a think tank on research related to skill development and evolve as a credible research organization in skills space at the national level.

About NSDA:

The National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

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  • It coordinates and harmonizes the skill development efforts of the Indian government and the private sector to achieve the skilling targets of the 12th Plan document and beyond.
  • It plays a pivotal role in bridging the social, regional, gender and economic divide by ensuring that the skilling needs of the disadvantaged and marginalized groups like SCs, STs, OBCs, minorities, women and differently-abled persons are taken care of through the various skill development programmes and also by taking affirmative actions as part of advocacy.
  • The NSDA’s role is also to anchor the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) and facilitate the setting up of professional certifying bodies in addition to the existing ones.

Functions of NSDA:

The NSDA will discharge the following functions:

  • Take all possible steps to meet skilling targets as envisaged in the 12th Five Year Plan and beyond;
  • Coordinate and harmonize the approach to skill development among various Central Ministries/Departments, State Governments, the NSDC and the private sector;
  • Anchor and operationalize the NSQF to ensure that quality and standards meet sector specific requirements;
  • Be the nodal agency for State Skill Development Missions;
  • Raise extra-budgetary resources for skill development from various sources such as international agencies, including multi-lateral agencies, and the private sector;
  • Evaluate existing skill development schemes with a view to assessing their efficacy and suggest corrective action to make them more effective;
  • Create and maintain a national data base related to skill development including development of a dynamic Labour Market Information System (LMIS);
  • Take affirmative action for advocacy;
  • Ensure that the skilling needs of the disadvantaged and the marginalized groups like SCs, STs, OBCs, minorities, women and differently abled persons are taken care of;
  • Discharge any other function as may be assigned to it by the Government of India.
[Ref: PIB, Wiki]

 

Defence & Security Issues

Centre unveils steps to boost cybersecurity

Union Government has unveiled a slew of measures in an attempt to strengthen cyber security in India.

Steps undertaken to strengthen cyber security:

  • Central Government is taking measure to strengthen Cert-IN (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team), the governments’ cyber security arm.
  • Mandatory for all organisations having a significant IT infrastructure will need to appoint cyber security officers.
  • State Certs are being planned by Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Jharkhand.
  • Three sectoral Certs in power sector viz. generation, transmission and distribution also have been set up in addition to the existing banking sector one.
  • National cyber coordination centre (NCCC) is being set up to provide near real time situational awareness and rapid response.
  • The Phase 1 of NCCC is expected to be operational by March 2017. The Central Government will also launch Botnet Center shortly.

About the CERT-In:

CERT-In is nodal government agency that deals with cyber security threats like hacking and phishing in India.

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  • It is nodal department under the aegis of Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
  • According to the provisions of the Information Technology Amendment Act 2008, CERT-In is responsible for overseeing administration of the Act.

Objectives of the CERT-In:

Its objectives are to:

  • Protect Indian cyberspace and software infrastructure against destructive and hacking activities.
  • Strengthen security-related defence of the Indian Internet domain. Issue guidelines, vulnerability notes, advisories, and whitepapers regarding to information security practices, prevention, procedures, response and reporting of cyber security incidents.
[Ref: The Hindu, PIB]

 

Key Facts for Prelims

India’s first banking robot Lakshmi

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  • India’s first banking robot Lakshmi made her debut in Chennai.
  • Launched by the City Union Bank, the artificial intelligence powered robot will be the first on-site bank helper.
  • Lakshmi is artificial intelligence powered robot. It can speak English, gesture and engage in a life-like manner in conversations.
  • The robot can interact with customers on more than 125 subjects including account balance and interest rates on loans.
  • It will not voice the sensitive financial information like account details rather display it discreetly on its screen.

 

2016 Golden Peacock Award for corporate governance

iastoppers-2016-golden-peacock-award

  • The Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has won the prestigious 2016 Golden Peacock Award for Corporate Governance.
  • It was bestowed with this award on account of its exemplary performance in the field of corporate governance i.e. for balancing the interests of all the stakeholders of the company management, customers, shareholders, suppliers, financiers, government and the community.
  • The award was Instituted by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in 1991. They are presented annually under various categories. The awards comprise to sets Global Awards and National Awards.

 

Kalidas Samman

Prof Raj Bisaria
Prof Raj Bisaria
  • It is an annual award constituted by Madhya Pradesh in 1980.
  • It is bestowed upon personalities in the four fields of classical music, classical dance, theatre and arts.
  • The award winner for 2015-16 is renowned theatre personality Prof Raj Bisaria.

 

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