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Daily News Analysis 13.01.2020

by

Bright career maker IAS 

 

1.Internet access as a fundamental right

GS Paper-2
Relevant for: Prelims and Mains Exam

Topic: Indian Constitution – Features & Significant Provisions related to Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles and Fundamental Duties

 

 

 

The Supreme Court declared that access to the internet is protected under Article 19 of the Constitution. A three-member bench of the apex court heard on a batch of pleas against complete blockage of internet in Kashmir. Kashmir was shut out of internet for five months now, since abrogation of Article 370.

 

The bench pronounced that freedom of speech and expression and freedom to practice any business or trade over internet is constitutionally protected under Article 19 (1).

 

  • It is noteworthy that the Human Rights Council of the United Nationsalso regards the Right of access to the Internet as a fundamental freedom and a tool to ensure the right to education.
  • Article 19(1)(a): Freedom of speech and expression,provides every citizen with the right to express one’s views, opinions, beliefs, and convictions freely by word of mouth, writing, printing, picturing or in any other manner.
  • Article 19(2)confers the right on the State to impose reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the freedom of speech and expression on the grounds of,
  • Sovereignty and integrity of India,
  • Security of the state,
  • Friendly relations with foreign states,
  • Public order, decency or morality,
  • Contempt of court, defamation, and incitement to an offence.
  • Article 21declares that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. This right is available to both citizens and non-citizens.
  • Article 21-Astates that the State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State by law may determine.

 

 

 

 

2.’India’s under-5 girls face high mortality (the hindu)

Relevant for: Paper-1&2

Topic: Rights & Welfare of Children – Schemes & their Performance, Mechanisms, Laws Institutions and Bodies.

 

 

  • India is among the few countries in the world where, in 2018, the mortality for girls under 5 years of age exceeded that of boys, according to the ‘Levels and Trends in Child Mortality’ report by the United Nations (UN) inter-agency group for child mortality.
  • The report states that in 2018, fewer countries showed gender disparities in child mortality, and across the world, boys are expected to have a higher probability of dying before reaching age 5 than girls. But this trend was not reflected in India.
  • “In some countries, the risk of dying before age 5 for girls is significantly higher than what would be expected based on global patterns. These countries are primarily located in Southern Asia and Western Asia,” said the report.
  • According to India’s 2017 Sample Registration System, the States with the highest burden of neonatal mortality are Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, with 32, 33 and 30 neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births, respectively. India’s neonatal mortality rate is 23 per 1,000 live births.
  • Further, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttarakhand showed the largest gender gaps in under-5 mortality.
  • Half of all under-5 deaths in 2018 occurred in five countries: India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia. India and Nigeria alone account for about a third.
  • The major causes of neonatal mortality are pre-term birth, intrapartum related events, and neonatal infection.
  • The report adds that despite advancements made over the past two decades, one child or young adolescent died every five seconds in 2018.
  • Current trends predict that close to 10 million 5- to 14-year-olds, and 52 million children under 5 years of age, will die between 2019 and 2030,” said the report.

 

Solution to curb under-5 girls face high mortality:-

  • Achieving the ambitious child survival goals requires ensuring universal access to safe, effective, high-quality and affordable care for women, children and adolescents.
  • Education campaign should be taken up to aware the mother of the merits of antenatal care, institutional delivery, importance of exclusive breast feeding, immunization, home care for diarrhea
  • India continues to show impressive decline in child deaths. The investment on ensuring holistic nutritionunder the POSHAN campaign and national commitment to make India open defecation-free by 2019 are steps that will help in accelerating progress further.
  • Mortality rates among children and young adolescents are not only key indicators for child and young adolescent well-being, but, more broadly, for sustainable social and economic development.
  • SDG goal 3calls for an end to preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age and specifies that all countries should aim to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 deaths per 1,000 live births and under-five mortality to at least as low as 25 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2030.

 

 

3.‘Social media posting is a fundamental right’   (the hindu)

Relevant for: Indian Polity

 Topic: Indian Constitution – Features & Significant Provisions related to Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles and Fundamental Duties

 

The High Court of Tripura ordered the police to refrain from prosecuting a man who was earlier arrested over a social media post. Chief Justice Akil Kureshi also barred the police from making any further arrest in connection with the case.The court passed the order on Friday after lawyers moved the court against the arrest and harassment of a Congress youth activist Arindam Bhattacharjee over his post on a social media platform. Mr. Bhattacharjee had in his Facebook page criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party’s online campaign in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act.

 

Social media comprises primarily internet and mobile phone based tools for sharing and discussing information. It blends technology, telecommunications, and social interaction and provides a platform to communicate through words, pictures, films, and music. Social media includes web- based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialogue.

 

The Information Technology Act, 2000(Amended in 2008)
  • Under Chapter XI of the Act, Sections 65, 66, 66A, 6C, 66D, 66E, 66F, 67, 67A and 67B contain punishments for computer related offences which can also be committed through social media viz. tampering with computer source code, committing computer related offences given under Section 43, sending offensive messages through communication services, identity theft, cheating by personation using computer resource, violation of privacy, cyber terrorism, publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form, material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form, material depicting children in sexually explicit act in electronic form, respectively.(b) Section 69 of the Act grants power to the Central or a State Government to issue directions for interception or monitoring or decryption of any information through any computer resource in the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, for preventing incitement to commission of any cognizable offence, for investigation of any offence.Article 19 of the UDHR and Article 19(2) of the ICCPR also provides for freedom of speech and expression even in case of internet and social media. Thus, it is seen that freedom of speech and expression is recognized as a fundamental right in whatever medium it is exercised under the Constitution of India and other international documents. And in the light of the growing use of internet and social media as a medium of exercising this right, access to this medium has also been recognized as a fundamental human right.

 

 

4.Private property is a fundamental right, says SC

Relevant for: Prelims and Mains 

 Topic: Indian Constitution – Features & Significant Provisions related to Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles and Fundamental Duties

 

“A citizen’s right to own private property is a fundamental right. The State cannot take possession of it without following due procedure and authority of law, the Supreme Court held in a judgment” .the Supreme Court noted that in 1967, ‘right to private property was still a fundamental right’ under Article 31 of the Constitution.

 

Property ceased to be a fundamental right with the 44th Constitution Amendment in 1978. Nevertheless, Article 300A required the State to follow due procedure and authority of law to deprive a person of his or her private property, the Supreme Court reminded the government.

 

The State cannot trespass into the private property of a citizen and then claim ownership of the land in the name of ‘adverse possession’, the court said, adding that grabbing private land and then claiming it as its own makes the State an encroacher.In a welfare state, right to property is a human right, a Bench of Justices Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi said in the January 8 verdict.

 

“A welfare state cannot be permitted to take the plea of adverse possession, which allows a trespasser i.e. a person guilty of a tort, or even a crime, to gain legal title over such property for over 12 years. The State cannot be permitted to perfect its title over the land by invoking the doctrine of adverse possession to grab the property of its own citizens”.