Home Current AffairsDaily Current Affairs Daily Current Affairs – 02nd March 2021

Daily Current Affairs – 02nd March 2021

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Daily Current Affairs

Given below are the daily current affairs for 02nd March 2021. You can take the daily current affairs quiz here for free.

POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

WhatsApp’s new policy being examined: govt

Context:

The Central government has informed the Delhi High Court that it was examining WhatsApp’s controversial new privacy policy, which is scheduled to come into effect from May 15, at the highest level.

What’s the issue?

The court was hearing a petition claiming that WhatsApp’s new privacy policy violates the right to privacy guaranteed under the Constitution.

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  • The plea said the new policy “virtually gives a 360-degree profile into a person’s online activity” without there being any supervision of the government.
  • The plea sought direction to issue guidelines to ensure such change in privacy policy by WhatsApp are carried out.

Key Features of the Policy:

  1. Information Sharing with Third Party Services: When users rely on third-party services or other Facebook Company Products that are integrated with our Services, those third-party services may receive information about what you or others share with them.
  2. Hardware Information: WhatsApp collects information from devices such as battery level, signal strength, app version, browser information, mobile network, connection information (including phone number, mobile operator or ISP) among others.
  3. Deleting the Account: If someone only deletes the WhatsApp app from their device without using the in-app delete my account feature, then that user’s information will remain stored with the platform.
  4. Data Storage: WhatsApp mentions that it uses Facebook’s global infrastructure and data centers including those in the United States to store user data. It also states that the data in some cases will be transferred to the United States or other parts where Facebook’s affiliate companies are based.
  5. Location: Even if a user does not use their location-relation features, Whatsapp collects IP addresses and other information like phone number area codes to estimate your general location (city, country).
  6. Payment Services: WhatsApp says that if anyone uses their payments services they will process additional information about you, including payment account and transaction information.

Issues and concerns:

  1. The new Whatsapp policy contradicts the recommendations of the Srikrishna Committee report, which forms the basis of the Data Protection Bill 2019.
  2. The principle of Data Localization, which aims to put curbs on the transfer of personal data outside the country, may come in conflict with WhatsApp’s new privacy policy.
  3. With the updated privacy policy, WhatsApp can now share one’s metadata, essentially everything beyond the conversation’s actual text.
  4. If users disagree with the messaging platform’s updated privacy policy, they will have to quit WhatsApp when the new terms of service are set to come into effect.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

U.S. to keep hard line on China trade

Context:

2021 President’s Trade Agenda and 2020 Annual Report were submitted by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to Congress.

Details:

  • According to the report, the Biden administration’s trade agenda will make pandemic recovery a top priority and focus on the American workers.
  • The administration will:
    • Push for labour standards in its trade agreements.
    • Negotiate environmental standards.
    • Address China’s coercive and unfair trade practices.
  • The new administration is also likely to follow an aggressive agricultural trade policy.

Take on China:

  • The ongoing comprehensive review of U.S. trade policy towards China is integral to the development of the Administration’s overall China strategy.
  • It committed to using all tools available to counter practices it calls unfair and harmful to the U.S.
  • It will also collaborate with allies to address the market distortions created by the industrial overcapacity issue.
  • Addressing human rights abuses against the Uighurs and others will be a top priority for the administration, as per the report.

Reforms at WTO:

  • It will work with allies to implement necessary reforms to the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) substantive rules and procedures to address the challenges facing the global trading system, including growing inequality, digital transformation, and impediments to small business trade.

Issues from ‘Make in India’ policy:

  • The report states that the country tried to resolve long-standing market access impediments affecting U.S. exporters during 2020 with India.
  • Also, it called India’s policies trade-restrictive.
  • It stated that the Indian emphasis on import substitution through “Make in India” epitomizes the challenges to the trade relationship.

Suu Kyi hit with two new criminal charges

Context:

Ousted Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi was hit with two new criminal charges in a court appearance, a month after a military coup triggered mass protests.

Background:

  • Suu Kyi was already facing obscure criminal charges for possessing unlicensed walkie-talkies, as well as violating coronavirus restrictions by staging a campaign event during the 2020 election.
  • She is now also accused of breaching communications laws as well as intent to incite public unrest.

Chinese cyber-attack foiled: Power Ministry

Context:

The Union Power Ministry said that the State-sponsored Chinese hacker groups targeted various Indian power centres.

Details:

  • It was stated that the Chinese state-sponsored threat actor group known as Red Echo is targeting the Indian Power sector’s Regional Load Dispatch Centres (RLDCs) along with State Load Dispatch Centres (SLDCs).
  • These groups have been blocked after government cyber agencies warned them about their activities.
  • It also confirmed that no data breach/data loss has been detected due to these incidents.
  • Officials said they had been warned by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s (MeitY’s) Cyber Emergency Response Team (India) (CERT-in) about the threat from a malware called “ShadowPad” in November 2020, and by the NTRO’s National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) in February 2021, of the threats, weeks before the Recorded Future report was released.

Note:

  • The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) is an office within the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
  • It is the nodal agency to deal with cybersecurity threats like hacking and phishing.
  • It strengthens the security-related defence of the Indian Internet domain.

MISCELLANEOUS

‘Factory activity extends growth, input costs soar’

What’s in News?

India’s factory activity expanded for the seventh straight month in February 2021.

  • According to a private-sector survey, the expansion is driven by strong demand and increased output.
  • The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, compiled by IHS Markit was well above the 50-level separating growth from contraction.
  • Sub-indexes showed output and new orders rose sharply in February, indicating strong demand.

Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI):

  • The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is an index of the prevailing direction of economic trends in the manufacturing sector, compiled by IHS Markit.
  • It consists of a diffusion index that summarizes whether market conditions, as viewed by purchasing managers, are expanding, staying the same, or contracting.
  • The headline PMI is a number from 0 to 100.
  • A PMI above 50 represents an expansion when compared with the previous month.
  • A PMI reading under 50 represents a contraction, and a reading at 50 indicates no change.

IIT-Delhi researchers develop technology to recycle e-waste

What’s in News?

The researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi have developed a zero-emission technology to manage and recycle e-waste to wealth.

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  • The team adopted a methodology that uses e-waste as an “Urban Mine” for metal recovery and energy production.
    • The e-waste is shredded and pyrolyzed to yield liquid and gaseous fuels, leaving behind a metal-rich solid fraction.
    • On further separation using a novel technique, the leftover solid residue yields a 90-95% pure metal mixture and some carbonaceous materials.
    • The carbonaceous material is further converted to aerogel for oil spillage cleaning, dye removal, carbon dioxide capture, and use in supercapacitors.
  • The technology is an outcome of a Department of Science and Technology-funded project and developed technology.
  • The project will cater to the need of “Smart Cities,” “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan,” and “Atmanirbhar Bharat” initiatives of the government.

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