1st November 2018, Current Affairs and News Analysis for UPSC Civil Service Examination, SSC CGL and State Civil Service Examinations.

1st November 2018 - Current Affairs for UPSC IAS and State Civil Service Exam

Data Protection/Privacy

Facebook leaks redux: Data protection


  • Barely six months after the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook data theft scandal, the world’s largest social network hit the headlines once again.
  • Facebook announced that it had discovered a security breach that had compromised nearly 50 million accounts. The figure was subsequently revised to 30 million.
  • It is also unclear how much personal data have been stolen, and how that data may end up being used in ways that could harm Facebook users.
  • This announcement came after implementation of European Union General Data Protection Rules in May 2018.

Do you know?

What is GDPR?

  • The law is a replacement for the 1995 Data Protection Directive, which has until now set the minimum standards for processing data in the EU.
  • GDPR will significantly strengthen a number of rights for individuals as well as regulators.
  • Individuals will find themselves with more power to demand companies reveal or delete the personal data they hold;
  • Regulators will be able to work in concert across the EU for the first time, rather than having to launch separate actions in each jurisdiction;
  • Enforcement actions will have real teeth, with the maximum fine now reaching the higher of €20m (£17.5m) or 4% of the company’s global turnover.
  • These rules aim to create more consistent protection of consumer and personal data across the European Union.
  • EU-GDPR mandates a baseline set of standards for companies that handle the EU citizens’ data to better safeguard the processing and movement of citizens’ personal data.
  • India’s draft bill on data protection, which has been created on the suggestions of B.N Srikrishna committee recommendations, also draws inspirations from EU-GDPR.

Some highlights of EU-GDPR

  • Requiring consent of the subject for data processing
  • Anonymising the data collected to protect the privacy
  • Providing data breach notifications
  • Safely handling the transfer of data across the border

Impact of the EU-GDPR

  • The European Union (EU)’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) forced Facebook to go public with the breach so promptly, even before the full extent of the damage could be assessed.
  • The GDPR’s stringent guidelines require companies to make such events known within three days of their discovery.
  • EU-GDPR has ensured not only awareness of such data breach, but also prompt corrective measures with respect to data security which institutions need to ensure.
  • Many Tech giants such as Google and facebook also changed their privacy terms and conditions, to be agreed by users.


The Statue of Unity

The tallest statue in the world (of Vallabhbhai Patel) was inaugurated today (on his 143rd birth anniversary) by Prime Minister Modi. Named Statue of Unity, it is located on the river island called Sadhu Bet near Rajpipla, Gujarat. A look at some interesting facts about the Statue of Unity.

  • The Statue of Unity, a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, is 177 feet higher than China’s Spring Temple Buddha, which was the tallest statue till now.
  • It is located on the river island called Sadhu Bet near Rajpipla, Gujarat.

India observed Rashtriya Ekta Diwas

India observed Rashtriya Ekta Diwas on October 31, 2018 to commemorate the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Iron Man of India.

Vigilance Awareness Week

The Central Vigilance Commission celebrates Vigilance Awareness Week each year of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's Birthday (October 31) every year.

  • Vigilance awareness week will be celebrated from 29th October to 03 November, 2018 this year.
  • This year the subject of Vigilance Awareness Week is 'Purge Corruption - Make New India'.
  • Central Vigilance Commission inspires stakeholders to collectively participate in the fight against corruption in Vigilance Awareness Week.
  • The objective of Vigilance Awareness Week is to create awareness among the people about corruption.
  • Awareness Village Sabha is organized to spread awareness among the village panchayats (rural and semi-urban areas) so that the villagers can be sensitized about the ill effects of corruption.
  • It was organized in 67,131 Gram Sabhas during the Vigilance Awareness Week in the year 2017.


Namami Gange programme


  • The Executive Committee (EC) of the National Mission for Clean Ganga has approved 12 projects worth Rs. 929 Crore under the Namami Gange programme in its 16th meeting held recently.

Namami Gange Programme

  • Namami Gange programme was launched as a mission to achieve the target of cleaning river Ganga in an effective manner with the unceasing involvement of all stakeholders, especially five major Ganga basin States – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.
  • The programme envisages: River Surface Cleaning, Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure, River Front Development, Bio-Diversity, Afforestation and Public Awareness.
  • The program would be implemented by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), and its state counterpart organizations i.e., State Program Management Groups (SPMGs).
  • In order to improve implementation, a three-tier mechanism has been proposed for project monitoring comprising of a) High level task force chaired by Cabinet Secretary assisted by NMCG at national level, b) State level committee chaired by Chief Secretary assisted by SPMG at state level and c) District level committee chaired by the District Magistrate.
  • The program emphasizes on improved coordination mechanisms between various Ministries/Agencies of Central and State governments.


Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas

  • The Atlas is prepared by World Wide Fund for Nature.
  • It indicates risk index which takes in to account, threats from loss of above-ground diversity, pollution and nutrient over-loading, over-grazing, intensive agriculture, fire, soil erosion, desertification and climate change.
  • The two key drivers of biodiversity loss were the over exploitation of natural resources and agriculture.
Global Soil Biodiversity
  • The risk index shows India among countries whose soil biodiversity faces the highest level of risk.
  • The report highlighted that, while India’s per capita ecological footprint was less than 1.75 hectares/person (which is in the lowest band, among countries surveyed) its high population made it vulnerable to an ecological crisis.
  • The other countries which are placed along with India - Pakistan, China, several countries in Africa and Europe, and most of North America.
  • The findings under this are part of the bi-annual Living Planet Report 2018.