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Here are the topics covered for 14th October 2023: OTT Regulation in India, Need for a Reliable Code of Police Investigation in India, Indian Government’s AI and Robotics Initiatives, Import Dip Offers Hope for Trade Rebound, Consumer Food Price Inflation (CFPI) , Phonotaxis Phenomenon
Table of Content
GS-2: OTT Regulation in India, Need for a Reliable Code of Police Investigation in India
GS- 3: Indian Government’s AI and Robotics Initiatives, Import Dip Offers Hope for Trade Rebound
Facts for Prelims: Consumer Food Price Inflation (CFPI) , Phonotaxis Phenomenon
OTT Regulation in India
- In recent news, the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has ruled that Over The Top (OTT) platforms, such as Hotstar, fall outside the jurisdiction of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
- OTT (Over-The-Top) platforms are audio and video streaming services that deliver content over the Internet without the involvement of a traditional cable or satellite TV provider.
- OTT platforms have become increasingly popular in India in recent years, with millions of users subscribing to services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+.
- There is currently no specific regulatory framework for OTT platforms in India. This has led to a number of controversies, including concerns about the content that is being streamed on these platforms.
- There have been concerns about the portrayal of violence, sex, and nudity in some OTT shows and movies.
- There has been a lot of opposition to the regulation of OTT platforms from various stakeholders, including OTT platforms themselves, filmmakers, and freedom of speech activists.
- The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) are currently at odds over who should regulate OTT platforms. TRAI believes that OTT platforms should be regulated under the TRAI Act, 1997, while MeitY believes that OTT platforms should be regulated under the Information Technology Act, of 2000.
- In October 2023, the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) ruled that OTT platforms are not under the jurisdiction of TRAI. This ruling is likely to further delay the development of a comprehensive regulatory framework for OTT platforms in India.
Steps taken by Govt:
- In February 2021, the Indian government notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
- These rules establish a soft-touch self-regulatory architecture for OTT platforms.
- Under these rules, OTT platforms are required to appoint grievance officers and establish a three-tier grievance redressal mechanism.
- However, the rules do not provide for any specific restrictions on the type of content that can be streamed on OTT platforms.
- Regulating OTT platforms in India is complex due to multiple stakeholders and a lack of consensus. The TDSAT ruling may delay a comprehensive regulatory framework.
- One option is to create a self-regulatory body for OTT platforms. This body would be responsible for developing and enforcing a code of conduct for OTT platforms. The code of conduct would set out standards for the content that can be streamed on OTT platforms.
- Another option is to require OTT platforms to obtain a license from the government. This would allow the government to have some control over the content that is streamed on OTT platforms. However, it is important to ensure that any licensing regime is not so onerous that it stifles innovation.
Need for a Reliable Code of Police Investigation in India
- The Supreme Court of India has emphasized the urgent need for a “consistent and reliable code of investigation” in the country to prevent legal loopholes leading to the acquittal of guilty individuals, particularly in cases with flawed police investigations.
Key points :
- The court’s observations came following the acquittal of three individuals in a 2013 kidnap and murder case due to deficiencies in the police investigation.
- These observations align with the recommendations of the 2003 report by Justice V.S. Malimath Committee, which focused on reforming the Criminal Justice System in India. The report emphasized that successful prosecution relies on a meticulous search for the truth and the collection of admissible and probative evidence.
- The court also referred to a 2012 report by the Law Commission of India, which highlighted that low conviction rates were partly attributable to inadequate and unscientific police investigations and the lack of coordination between the police and prosecution machinery.
- A dependable code of police investigation is needed for various reasons:
- To rectify investigative lapses that result in the acquittal of the guilty on technical grounds, as identified by the Supreme Court.
- To raise the standards of investigation and evidence collection, often marked by inefficiency and lack of scientific rigor.
- To bolster the credibility and legitimacy of the criminal justice system, addressing issues such as corruption, political interference, and human rights violations.
- To ensure the successful prosecution of offenders, especially in cases involving serious crimes like murder, rape, terrorism, etc.
- To protect the rights and interests of victims, witnesses, and accused individuals, who may face harassment, intimidation, and coercion during the investigative process.
- The Supreme Court’s call for a reliable code of police investigation underscores the need for robust practices in India’s criminal justice system. The Malimath Committee’s recommendations, focusing on improving police investigations, provide a constructive roadmap for addressing these concerns.
- Implementing a dependable code rectifies investigative lapses, enhances evidence standards, ensures justice, and protects all stakeholders’ rights. This is a vital stride in bolstering the credibility and legitimacy of India’s criminal justice system, upholding principles of fairness and accountability.
Indian Government’s AI and Robotics Initiatives
- The Indian government has established six working groups to formulate an artificial intelligence (AI) roadmap, and they have recently submitted their initial report.
- Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, has revealed that the report recommends the use of public-private partnerships to manufacture semiconductor chips for AI applications.
- These partnerships will be utilized to create “GPU clusters,” which are powerful graphics processors essential for AI applications. These GPU clusters will be made accessible to Indian startups and researchers.
- The report emphasizes the broad range of AI applications in India, including agriculture, healthcare, education, fintech, security, and governance.
- Furthermore, Minister of state foe electronics and IT highlighted the India Dataset Platform, which aims to provide one of the largest and most diverse collections of anonymized datasets for Indian researchers and startups to train their AI models.
- The draft National Strategy on Robotics, which was opened for public input in September.
- This strategy emphasizes the importance of robotics in various sectors and proposes fiscal measures to support local robotics hardware manufacturing, establish demonstration facilities, and build expertise in the robotics industry.
- Minister of State for Electronics and IT also argued that robotics should not be seen solely as a cause of job losses but as a technology that enhances quality assessment through computer vision and increases efficiency in various sectors.
Import Dip Offers Hope for Trade Rebound
- While September marked the seventh decline in goods exports over the past eight months, there is a glimmer of hope for India’s overall foreign trade performance in the data released by the Commerce Ministry on Friday. This data includes revisions, amounting to over $5 billion, to August’s trade figures.
- India’s goods exports dropped by 2.6% in September, marking the seventh decline in eight months.
- In contrast, imports fell more sharply by 15%, primarily due to lower commodity prices.
- Revised data for August showed a substantial increase of $4 billion in goods exports, signifying a 3.88% growth over the previous year. This was the first uptick after six months of contraction.
- The revised goods trade deficit in August was significantly lower than initially reported, at $21.65 billion, and eased further to $19.37 billion in September.
- On a year-on-year basis, September’s goods trade deficit was 31% lower, narrowing the tally for the first half of the year to $115.9 billion, 17.7% lower than the previous year.
- Exports of services in September showed a slight 0.5% uptick, compared to a 0.4% decline in August.
- While oil exports have declined by 17.5% in 2023, non-oil exports held up better with a 6.3% drop. However, non-oil and non-gold imports, indicating domestic demand, declined by 10% over the last year.
- The significant upward revision of August’s trade data, showing growth in goods exports for the first time in six months, is a positive sign.
- India’s trade deficit has improved, raising expectations for sustained growth in goods exports during the second half of the fiscal year. While some sectors, like gems and jewellery, chemicals, and textiles, continue to face challenges, gold imports have risen, and this trend may continue during the festive season.
- Overall, the data suggests a potential turnaround in India’s foreign trade performance, driven by shifts in both exports and imports.
Facts for Prelims:
Consumer Food Price Inflation (CFPI)
- CFPI is a measure of how much the prices of food items in a consumer’s basket of goods and services are increasing over time.
- It is a sub-component of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is a broader measure of inflation.
- CFPI tracks the price changes of a specific basket of food items that are commonly consumed by households, such as cereals, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, meat, and other food staples.
- CFPI is calculated by the Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) using CPI-Combined (CPI-C).
- CFPI is used by policymakers and economists to understand the impact of inflation on consumers and to make informed decisions about economic policy.
Here is an example of how to use CFPI:
- Let’s say that the CFPI is 5%. This means that the prices of food items in a consumer’s basket of goods and services have increased by 5% over the past year. If a household spent ₹100 on food in 2022, they would need to spend ₹105 on food in 2023 to buy the same amount of food.
- This means that the household’s purchasing power has decreased by 5%. In other words, they can now buy 5% less food with the same amount of money.
- Phonotaxis is a phenomenon observed in various animals, particularly insects and some small aquatic organisms, where they exhibit a directional movement or orientation in response to sound or specific auditory stimuli. In simple terms, it refers to an organism’s ability to move or change its direction based on sound cues.
- It is a common behaviour among many animals, including insects, amphibians, birds, and mammals. Phonotaxis is used by animals for a variety of purposes, such as finding mates, avoiding predators, and locating food.
- some examples of phonotaxis in different animals:
- Insects: Moths use phonotaxis to avoid bats. Male crickets use phonotaxis to find females.
- Amphibians: Male frogs use phonotaxis to find females.
- Birds: Male birds use phonotaxis to defend their territories and attract mates.
- Mammals: Bats use phonotaxis to find food.