GS II Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

Union Government unveils steps to boost cyber security

Central Government is taking measure to strengthen Cert-IN (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team), the governments’ cyber security arm.

  • All organisations having a significant IT infrastructure will need to appoint cyber security officers.
  • State Certs are being planned by Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala and Jharkhand. Also, three sectoral Certs in power sector — generation, transmission and distribution, have been set up, in addition to the banking one.
  • National cyber coordination centre (NCCC) is being set up to provide near real time situational awareness and rapid response.

 About CERT-In

  • It is nodal department under the aegis of the Indian Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Electronics and IT.
  • According to the provisions of the IT Amendment Act, 2008, CERT-In is responsible for overseeing administration of the Act.
  • Purpose of CERT-In:
    • Protect Indian cyberspace and software infrastructure against destructive and hacking activities.
    • Respond to computer security incidents, report on vulnerabilities and promote effective IT security practices throughout the country.
    • Issue guidelines, vulnerability notes, advisories, and whitepapers regarding to information security practices, prevention, procedures, response and reporting of cyber security incidents.

GS II Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Indo-British collaboration for Joint Research in Skills Sector

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


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

  • 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
  • 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.

GS II Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

GoM recommends heavy fine and ban on celebrities endorsing products in misleading ads

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. They have deliberated on the issue and agreed to do away with the provision for imprisonment of celebrities, arguing that such provisions do not exist in any country.


  • The Consumer Protection Bill, 2015, which seeks to replace the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, by inserting tough measures for the protection of consumer rights and providing strict punishment to violators, was presented in Parliament in 2015.
  • It was referred to a Standing Committee, which gave a report suggesting measures like making celebrities accountable for the brands they endorse, and called for severe penalties such as jail term for celebrities endorsing the brands, publishers and broadcasters of misleading advertisements and manufacturers of such products.
  • The panel had recommended that for first-time offence, the offender celebrities may be penalised with either a fine of Rs 10 lakh or imprisonment up to two years or both. For second-time offences, it had suggested a fine of Rs 50 lakh and imprisonment of five years.

What is the issue related to celebrity endorsement?

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.

Few Facts for Mains

Some of the indicators about the overall healthcare situation in India are of concern;

  • Notable gap exists between the demand for healthcare workforce and the actual supply ― India has only 0.7 doctors per 1,000 patients in comparison to WHO stipulated minimum doctor-to-patient ratio of 1:1,000;
  • About 15,000 doctor positions at primary health centres are lying vacant;
  • Hospital bed density in India is 0.9 per 1,000 persons, which is significantly short of World Health Organisation (WHO) – guidelines of 3.5 per 1,000;
  • 682 out of every 100,000 people die from non-communicable diseases, as against the global figure of 539;
  • According to the WHO, India still accounts for the highest maternal deaths and still births in the world;
  • 4,000 out of 5,000 community health centres do not have even a single obstetrician;
  • India’s per capita spending on healthcare is the lowest among BRICS countries;
  • Low spend on healthcare as a percentage of GDP is insufficient to meet the demands of a growing population and disease burden. Moreover, there is a significant need to implement a robust plan for effective utilisation of existing budgets so that public expenditure is fully utilised;
  • Absence of universal health coverage and limited social health coverage has led to a high burden of Out- Of-Pocket expenditure (OOP) in India. OOP contributes approximately 86% of private expenditure and 60% of overall healthcare expenditure in our country.


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