Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 16 September 2023

India can now issue OIML certificates

GS Paper - 3 (Economy)

India has become the 13th internationally accepted authority for issuing International Organisation of Legal Metrology (OIML) certificates. Domestic manufacturers of weighing and measuring equipment, like BP metersoximeters and cloth scales, can now get the instruments tested in India itself before selling them in the international market.

What is the OIML?

  • The OIML established in 1955 and headquartered in Paris, the OIML is an international standard-setting body.
  • It develops model regulationsstandards and related documents for use by legal metrology authorities and industry.
  • It plays a crucial role in harmonising national laws and regulations on the performance of measuring instruments like clinical thermometersalcohol breath analysersradar speed measuring instruments, ship tanks found at ports, and petrol dispensing units.
  • India became a member of the OIML in 1956. In the same year, India signed the metric convention.
  • An OIML Pattern Approval certificate is mandatory to sell a weight or measure in the international market, which the Department of Consumer Affairs can now issue.
  • Twelve other countries, including Australia, Switzerland, China, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, France and the United Kingdom, are authorised to issue these certificates.

What is the OIML certificate?

  • The OIML-CS is a system for issuingregistering and using OIML certificates, and their associated OIML type evaluation/test reports, for instruments like digital balanceclinical thermometers, etc.
  • With the addition of India, the number of countries authorised to issue OIML certificates has increased to 13.
  • It is a single certificate accepted worldwide. For example, suppose there is an equipment-manufacturer making digital balances in Noida, and he wants to export to America or to any other country.
  • Earlier, he would be required to go to one of the 12 other countries for certification.
  • Now, the certificates can be issued in India and the equipment will be exportableacceptable to the entire world.”

How will this help the Indian economy?

  • The move is expected to help the Indian economy in several ways, including an increase in exportsearning of foreign exchange, and generation of employment.
  • Since only 13 countries are authorised, neighboring countries and manufacturers can come to India to get their certification done.
  • So it will be a revenue earner for us in terms of foreign exchange. And it will also generate employment.
  • Besides, it will help in reducing redundancy and saving resources.

Fake news and misinformation

GS Paper - 2 (Polity)

Over the past few years, police in various states have opened investigations against a large number of people for allegedly spreading misinformation and fake news, the most recent example being that of a TV anchor who was booked by Karnataka Police this week.

More about the News

  • Fake news is a serious problem around the world, and spreading misinformation or disinformation is a crime under both the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act, 2000.
  • Disinformation is understood as false information that is created or spread with the deliberate intent of causing harm; in the case of misinformation, the element of intent is thought to be absent.

IPC sections

  • Section 153A: This section pertains to “promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religionraceplace of birthresidencelanguage, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony”.
  • Section 292: This deals with sale of obscene books, etc. It criminalises the saledistribution, or public exhibition of obscene books, pamphlets, or other materials.
  • Section 295A: This section relates to “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings”. It penalises actions that insult or offend religious beliefs with deliberate and malicious intent.
  • Section 499: This section pertains to the offence of defamation. It defines defamation as making a false statement to harm a person’s reputation.
  • Section 500: While Section 499 defines defamation, section 500 prescribes the punishment for criminal defamation. In India, defamation can be both a civil and a criminal offence.
  • Section 503: This relates to the offence of “criminal intimidation”. It criminalises the act of threatening another person with injury to their person, property, or reputation with the intention to cause fear or compel them to do something against their will.
  • Section 504: This section deals with “intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace”. The punishment includes imprisonment for up to two years, a fine, or both.
  • Section 505: This pertains to the offence of making “statements conducing to public mischief”. It criminalises spreading statements, rumours, or reports with the intent to incite fear, alarm, or provoke a breach of peace.
  • Section 505 (1): This section deals with the offence of “making, publishing, or circulating statements, rumours, or reports with intent to incite a class or community to commit an offence against any other class or community”.

Sections under IT Act, 2000

  • Section 67: This section pertains to “publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form”. It carries a three-year prison term, a fine, or both.
  • Section 69: This section empowers the government to interceptmonitoror decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received, or stored in any computer resource in the interest of national security.
  • Section 79: This provides “safe harbour” provisions for intermediaries, shielding them from liability for user-generated content if they follow certain due diligence requirements.

Other sections

  • Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 says: “If any person circulates any fake news or warning as to disaster, or regarding its severity or magnitude, which leads to panic among the public, then such person shall be punished with one year of imprisonment or with fine.”
  • The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2023 (which has not been implemented yet) has provisions to curb the misuse of individuals’ data on online platforms.

Samudrayaan mission: MATSYA 6000

GS Paper - 3 (Technology)

India, in a span of mere weeks, has conquered not only the skies but also set its sights on the depths of the ocean. Following the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon's South Pole, the nation is now prepping for a groundbreaking journey to explore 6-kilometre deep ocean waters with its 'Samudrayaan' mission.

More about MATSYA 6000

  • Kiren Rijiju, the Ministry of Earth Sciences, recently revealed that 'MATSYA 6000', a cutting-edge submersible, would be the vehicle for this underwater endeavour.
  • Developed at Chennai's National Institute of Ocean Technology, the machine is designed to carry a trio of humans.
  • The expedition's primary focus will be on conducting a comprehensive study of deep-sea resources and the assessment of marine biodiversity.
  • While the lunar landing focused on geographical exploration, 'Samudrayaan' has an additional economic aspect.
  • The mission aims to support the 'Blue Economy', an initiative endorsed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The mission envisages the sustainable extraction of ocean resources to bolster India’s economic growth, and job creation. It will also ensure the health of marine ecosystems.
  • India’s first manned Deep Ocean Mission ‘Samudrayaan’ plans to send 3 humans in 6-km ocean depth in a submersible, to study the deep sea resources and biodiversity assessment. The project will not disturb the ocean ecosystem.