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Ban on porn sites, legitimate content, and limitations on social media: Indian Govt.

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ban on porn in india

ban on porn in india

The plan is to begin by creating a list of pornography sites, especially those hosting child porn, and provide that to Internet service providers (ISPs) to block. And then, to ensure that largescale blocking does not slow Internet access, service providers will be asked to upgrade their infrastructure. The Internet and Mobile Association of India has been asked to curate the list.

On September 5th 2014, 23 individuals, including Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, CERT-IN head Gulshan Rai, government officials from DoT, Deity, CBI, as well as representatives of industry bodies like IAMAI, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, CII met in the Conference Room No. 1007 at the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Deity) to discuss how such a filter might be implemented…Not whether there should be a filter at all, but how such a filter should be implemented.

In fact, when NASSCOM raised the issue of blocking legitimate content, the Telecom Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, who chaired the meeting, said that the “larger issue of respecting cultural values of the country and sentiments of the Indian society need to be considered and all possible ways and means may have to be devised in this context.”

In addition, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that, along with CERT-In , they are “working together to block websites containing objectionable contents having the potential to create communal violence and law and order problem as well as sensitive from the national security point of view. He further added that Ministry of I&B has set up National Media Centre to monitor contents of various websites on the Internet on 24 x 7 basis.”

The CRAC (Cyber Regulation Advisory Committee) meeting was looking to filteration of the web, following the filing of a writ petition by Kamlesh Vasvani in the Supreme Court of India, alleging that “easy access to porn websites results in illegal activities like rape, harassment, molestations of women.” The filter is likely to be created for censoring porn online, but as we pointed out earlier, this itself is tricky.

Why we’re worried

1. It’s not about porn alone: The problem with blocking pornography is the collateral damage that comes along with it. In the minutes of the meeting, Gulshan Rai, DG, CERT-IN, refers to a letter from Sharad Pawar, MP and leader of the NCP, to the Prime Minister, which raises the issue of incidents “of communal and related violence in Maharastra triggered by objectionable profiles posted on the social networking sites, hurting sentiments of certain sections of society.”

2. Once a filter is in place, it’s mandate will increase: The last line of the minutes of the meeting: “Regarding the misuse of social media for disturbing social harmony in the country, MCIT requested MHA to look into the matter and evolve steps to prevent misuse.”

If we set up a filter, and politicians want content blocked because it hurts certain sections of society, the government will start blocking everything. The mandate will expand to blocking other content as well.

3. We won’t know what is blocked: We’ve seen from the Department of Telecom in the past, there is lack of transparency on what all is being blocked, why it is being blocked. The Department is yet to even acknowledge an RTI filed by MediaNama, for copies of orders related to blocking content, that do not pertain national security concerns. We’ve filed an appeal with the appellate authority. But we never know what is blocked or why it has been blocked.

4. We won’t know how to get content unblocked: Today, if the government blocks a site, whether because of a court order or because a political party doesn’t like criticism, we don’t know how to get the blocks removed. There is no recourse.

5. Filters will make blocking easier: which means more blocks, implemented more quickly, and with lack of transparency, things can get crazy and whimsical.

The social media issue is concerned, the meeting doesn’t shed much light on how the content screening will take place. Will criticism of the government’s policies also come under this web-filtration? We have no details on the specifics. And let’s not forget India is the leader when it comes to blocking content on Facebook.

As the Medianama piece rightly points out the ambiguity of what could end up getting filtered is what makes this scary. Additionally the whole ‘pornography is against Indian culture’ idea is also worrying because it shows that the government is going along with a rigid definition of what is presumed as the “correct” Indian culture. More details about the meetings are available here

Credits: Medianama/Firstpost

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 9 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture the world around him in his DSLR lens.

Misc News/Press Release

HP Cabinet Decisions June 2019: Free Cylinder Refill, Rehabilitation Support Scheme For Minor Rape Victims, Filling Up Over 60 Posts

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HP Cabinet Decisions

A meeting of Himachal Pradesh Cabinet was held today on June 9, 2019.

The Cabinet gave its nod to start a scheme for rehabilitation support to minor victims of rape, child abuse. Under this scheme, intensive counselling up to six months would be provided to minor as well as to their family members through professional counsellors. In addition to it, financial assistance of Rs. 7500 per month would also be given to the minor victim till the age of 21 years as a livelihood support measure.

The beneficiaries of ‘Ujjawala Grihini Suvidha Yojna’ that was launched in the State by the merger of Himachal Grihini Suvidha Yojna and Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojna would be given one additional free refill cylinder.

Prathmik Sahyak Adhyapaks will be given Rs. 27,000 consolidated per month.

The marriage grant under the Mukhya Mantri Kanyadaan Yojna has been enhanced from existing Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 51,000 to the destitute girls/women or their parents/guardians for marriage including inmates of Nari Sewa Sadan/Nari Niketan.

The annual income limit of family through Mahila Vikas Nigam for availing loan facility up to Rs. 1,50,000 by women has been increased from existing Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1,00,000 for starting their self-employment ventures.

Further, the honorarium of office bearers of Panchayati Raj Institutions has been enhanced from 1 April 2019.

As per the decision, now Chairperson of Zila Parishad would get an honorarium of Rs. 12,000 per month instead of Rs. 11,000

  • Vice Chairperson Rs. 8,000 instead of 7500
  • Member, Zila Parishad Rs. 5,000 in place of Rs. 4500
  • Chairperson, Panchayat Samiti Rs. 7000 per month instead of Rs.6500
  • Vice Chairperson Rs. 5,000 instead of Rs. 4500
  • Member of Panchayat Samiti Rs. 4500 in place of Rs. 4000
  • Pradhan Gram Panchayat Rs. 4500 in place of Rs. 4000
  • Up-Pradhan Rs. 3000 in place of Rs. 2500
  • Members of the Gram Panchayat Rs. 250 instead of Rs. 240 per meeting with a maximum of two meetings in a month

The honorarium of part-time workers engaged in Patwar Circles of the State has been increased from Rs. 3000 to Rs. 3500 per month. This decision will benefit 1528 workers. The vacant posts of Part-time workers would also be filled.

The government would also distribute school bags to the students of classes 1st, 3rd, 6th and 9th in the State for the year 2018-19 under Atal School Vardi Yojna. Uniforms to the school students from 1st to 12th standard during the current session under Atal Vardi Yojna would also be provided.

The government would provide scholarships amounting to Rs. 10,000 each every year under Mukhya Mantri Bal Uddhar Yojana to 10 boys and 10 girls of child care institutions registered and funded under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. These scholarships would be given to those securing top two positions in the merit list (separate for boys and girls) of children of child care institutions in annual examinations of 8th,9th, 10th, 10+1 and 10+2 standards.

In order to encourage institutional delivery, the Cabinet decided to enhance the incentive amount to women belonging to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and BPL families to Rs. 1100.

The additional honorarium of ASHA workers has been increased from Rs. 1250 to Rs. 1500 per month. This would benefit 7964 ASHA workers of the State.

The government would continue the Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for procurement of mango fruit with an enhancement of 50 paise per kg on all varieties of mango during the year 2019 to ensure remunerative prices to the farmers.

The Cabinet agreed to start tele-medicine facility in civil hospital Bharmour in district Chamba through M/s Apollo hospitals so as to provide specialized health care facilities to the people of the area.

Posts and Recruitments in HP Govt

The Cabinet decided to:

  • Create and fill up three posts each of Professors and Lecturers in Rajiv Gandhi Government Post Graduate Ayurvedic College, Paprola in Kangra district for strengthening this college
  • Establish the Court of Additional District and Session Judge at Sarkaghat in Mandi district and Court of Civil Judge at Jhanduta in Bilaspur district along-with creation of 27 posts of different categories
  • Fill up seven posts of Assistant Professors of different departments in Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Shimla on a regular basis by direct recruitment through State Public Service Commission
  • Fill up 11 posts of Junior Office Assistant on contract basis in Ayurveda Department
  • Fill up five posts of Statistical Assistant in Scheduled Castes Sub Plan Wing of Social Justice and Empowerment Department through direct recruitment on contract basis
  • Fill up five posts of Assistant Controller, Weight and Measures wing in Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department on contract basis
  • Create and fill up four posts of different categories in newly upgraded Shaheed Tilak Raj Government High School, Dhewa in Kangra district for providing better educational facilities
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India to Surpass China as Most Populous Country by 2027, Debate Erupts Over Need of Population Control Law

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Population Control Law in India needed

The world’s population continues to grow, albeit at a slower pace than at any time since 1950, owing to reduced levels of fertility. From an estimated 7.7 billion people worldwide in 2019, the global population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and 10.9 billion in 2100, says a reported “World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights” released by the Department of Economics and Social Affairs, United Nations.

Current projections indicate that India will surpass China as the world’s most populous country around 2027, the report says.

India is expected to add nearly 273 million people between 2019 and 2050, while the population of Nigeria is projected to grow by 200 million. Together, these two countries could account for 23 per cent of the global population increase to 2050.

India's Population Growth Projections

The hashtag #Population Control Law was trending on Twitter as the findings of the reports were published by media. The people were of the view that India needs to take immediate measures to control population explosion, which would put huge pressure on already exhausting resources of the country. The one-child policy was being suggested by several people as one possible measure that could be introduced by forming a new law.

As per the findings published in the report, disparate population growth rates among the world’s largest countries will re-order their ranking by population size. China, with 1.43 billion people in 2019, and India, with 1.37 billion, have long been the two most populous countries of the world, comprising 19 and 18 per cent, respectively, of the global total in 2019. They are followed by the United States of America, with 329 million in 2019, and Indonesia, with 271 million.

After this re-ordering between 2019 and 2050, the ranking of the five largest countries is projected to be preserved through the end of the century, when India could remain the world’s most populous country with nearly 1.5 billion inhabitants, followed by China with just under 1.1 billion, Nigeria with 733 million, the United States with 434 million, and Pakistan with 403 million inhabitants.

In 2019, around 40 per cent of the world’s population lives in intermediate-fertility countries, where women have on average between 2.1 and four births over a lifetime. Average lifetime fertility of 2.1 live births per woman is roughly the level required for populations with low mortality to have a growth rate of zero in the long run. Intermediate-fertility countries are found in many regions, with the largest being India

Between 2019 and 2050, 55 countries or areas are expected to see their populations decrease by at least one per cent. In the largest of these, China, the population is projected to shrink by 31.4 million, or 2.2 per cent.

More than half of the projected increase in the global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in just nine countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the United States of America.

Another major finding of the report said that in 2018, for the first time in history, persons aged 65 years or over worldwide outnumbered children under age five. Projections indicate that by 2050 there will be more than twice as many persons above 65 as children under five. By 2050, the number of persons aged 65 years or over globally will also surpass the number of adolescents and youth aged 15 to 24 years.

This continued rapid population growth presents challenges for sustainable development. The 47 least developed countries are among the world’s fastest-growing – many are projected to double in population between 2019 and 2050 – putting pressure on already strained resources and challenging policies that aim to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and ensure that no one is left behind. For many countries or areas, including some Small Island Developing States, the challenges to achieving sustainable development are compounded by their vulnerability to climate change, climate variability and sea-level rise, the report said.

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Himachal Lost 408 Human Lives, 207 Animals in Winter Season Alongwith Extensive Horticultural, Agricultural Damages

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winter season loss in himachal pradesh 2019

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh suffered major loss and damage in the winter season due to heavy snowfall, avalanches, landslides, hailstorms, and heavy rains. Between January 1 to March 31, 2019. The state lost as many as 408 human lives and 207 animal lives. Similarly, 1346 houses, 9516 water supply schemes were damaged, 30,921 electricity lines were disrupted, 10,260 LT electrical poles were damaged. Besides, 13,733-kilometre roads length and 377-hectare horticulture crop area was affected during the period.

Chief Secretary B.K. Agarwal, who chaired a meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) on Friday, released this information. The Team was on the three-day visit to the State to assess the damages and losses occurred during winter season-2019 in the State.

Based on this assessment, the State has submitted a memorandum of loss and damages to the government of India amounting to Rs. 374.21 crore.

The State suffered damage to the horticulture and agriculture sector to the tune of 0.54 crore, animal husbandry Rs. 0.19 crore, fishery 0.015 crores, housing Rs. 10.46 crore, community assets Rs. 2.50 crore, forest Rs. 6.78 crore, Public works department Rs. 242.27 crore, IPH Rs. 43.97 crore and Power Rs. 51.17 crore. Besides Rs. 16.32 crore have been distributed as ex-gratia for human lives lost during the calamities in the winter season, informed Director-cum-Special Secretary, HP Disaster Management Authority D.C Rana.

The IMCT team headed by Joint Secretary, KB Singh from Freedom Fighters Rehabilitation department assessed the damages at various places in Shimla, Kinnaur, Chamba, Kullu and Mandi districts.

The other members if the IMCT were Director (Horticulture) Dr. M.N. Singh, Director (Expenditure) S.C. Meena, Deputy Director (Ministry of Rural Development), Deputy Director from Rural Development SS Modi, Director, Central Water Commission OP Gupta, Deputy Director, Power OP Suman, Regional Officer, Road Transport and Highways Vipnesh Sharma.

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