UIDAI : Laminated Aadhaar smart cards could render the QR code dysfunctional
- On 6th February the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India)cautioned the public against going for plastic or laminated Aadhaar smart cards saying their unauthorised printing could render the QR code dysfunctional or even expose personal data without an individual's informed consent.
- The UIDAI asserted that the Aadhaar letter, its cutaway portion, downloaded versions of Aadhaar on ordinary paper or mAadhaar are perfectly valid.
- According to the UIDAIthe plastic or PVC Aadhaar smart cards are often not usable as the QR code (Quick Response Code) commonly becomes dysfunctional during such unauthorised printing at some vendor or shop.
- The UIDAIalso cautioned unauthorised agencies not to collect Aadhaar information from public for printing of Aadhaar cards saying collecting such information or unauthorised printing of Aadhaar card is a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment under law.
The World Government Summit
- The world government summit will be held in Dubai from February 11 to 13. It will be the sixth edition of the world government summit.
- The World Government Summit is a global platform. This summit is dedicated to shaping the future of government worldwide.The Summit sets the agenda for the next generation of governments with a focus on how they can harness innovation and technology to solve universal challenges facing humanity.
- This Summit is a knowledge exchange center at the intersection between government, futurism, technology, and innovation. This summit is function like a leadership platform and networking hub for policymakers, experts, and pioneers in human development.
- The World Government Summit is a gateway to the future as it functions as a stage for analysis of the future trends, issues, and opportunities facing humanity. It is also an arena to showcase innovations, best practice, and smart solutions to inspire creativity to tackle these future challenges.
India approved the proposal for ratification of Minamata Convention
About Minamata Convention - Minamata Convention- convention was formally adopted in October 2013, at a conference in Kumamoto, Japan. The major highlights of the convention include a ban on new mercury mines, the phase-out of existing ones, the phase-out and phase-down of mercury use in a number of products and processes. It also addresses intermediate storage of mercury and its disposal once it gets wasted, and sites contaminated by mercury as well as health issues. The first Conference of the Parties (CoP) under the Minamata Convention took place in Geneva, Switzerland last year.
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for ratification of Minamata Convention on Mercury and depositing the instrument of ratification enabling India to become a party of the Convention.
- The approval entails Ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury-based products and processes involving mercury compound up to 2025.
- The Minamata Convention on Mercury will be implemented in the sustainable development of the human health and environment from the anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.
- The Convention protects the most vulnerable from the harmful effects of mercury and also protects the developmental space of developing countries. Therefore, the interest of the poor and vulnerable groups will remain protected.
- The Minamata Convention on Mercury will further enter entities to move to mercury-free alternatives in products and non-mercury technologies in manufacturing processes. This will drive research & develop, and promote innovation.
- The convention has 88 ratifications and 144 signatories including India, which signed it on 30 September 2014. India has been actively participated in the negotiating process, making significant contributions in finalizing the treaty text but has not ratified it till now. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan - are also signatories to the convention. But only Sri Lanka has ratified it.
- Mercury is considered by experts to be the most toxic metals. Once released in the environment, mercury bio-accumulates and bio-magnifies in the food chain, and easily enters the human body and effects the nervous system.
India - China :Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Financial Evasion
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given his permission for signing and ratification of protocol amending the agreement between India and China for Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Financial Evasion.
- Apart from other changes, the Protocol updates the current provisions for the latest international standards. Further the Protocol will incorporate changes required to implement treaty related minimum standards under the Action reports of Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, in which India has participated in a similar footing.
- Apart minimum standards, the protocol will also bring in changes as per BEPS Action reports as agreed upon by two sides.
India-Australia Cooperation Program Memorandum of Understanding
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given three months of Memoranda of Understanding for Secondment Program for Economic Affairs of the Department (The Indian Economic Service Cadre) and The Treasury, Government of Australia.
- Under the program, one officer from the Australian Treasury will be seconded to the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and one officer from the IES (at the Deputy Secretary / Director level) to be nominated by the IES Cadre Department of Economic Affairs, will be seconded to the Australian Treasury, Government of Australia, for a period of three months, beginning 15.1.2018 or later.
- The validity of both the MoUs will terminate at the end of the three months' period of assignment and the same will not extendable. The program may be repeated in later years with mutual consultation and after agreement on both sides.
- Australia is one of the important bilateral partners of India. The proposed program will help to deepen the understanding of current economic policy issues in both countries and also for further opportunities for future collaborations and engagement. The program will also provide the second-aid officers with valuable and unique development opportunities.