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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

Monthly DNA

08 Sep, 2021

30 Min Read

New Heat wave Hotspots and Trends in India

GS-I : Physical Geography Heat waves

  • North-Western, Central, and further to south-central region of India are the new hotspot of intense Heatwave events over the past half-century, said a study which found an increase in deadly Indian heat waves in recent years.
  • The study also highlights the need for developing effective heat action plans in the three heatwave hotspot regions with a focus on different vulnerabilities among the inhabitants.
  • Heatwaves emerged as a deadly health hazard, claiming thousands of lives across the globe in recent decades, with episodes strengthening in frequency, intensity, and duration in the past half-century in India as well.
  • This has caused severe impacts on health, agriculture, economy, and infrastructure.
  • In such a scenario, it is extremely important to identify the most heatwave vulnerable regions of the country to prioritize immediate policy intervention and stringent mitigation and adaptation strategies.
  • A team of researchers studied the change in spatial and temporal trends in Heatwaves (HW) and Severe heatwaves (SHW) over the past seven decades in different meteorological subdivisions of India.
  • This work has been supported under the Climate Change Program of the Department of Science & Technology. The study published in the journal “International Journal of Climatology” links the association of HW and SHW with mortality over India.

  • The study showed a shift in the Spatio-temporal trend of HW events from the eastern region of Gangetic West Bengal and Bihar to North-Western, Central and further to south-central region of India.
  • The research also observed an alarming southward expansion and a spatial surge in SHW events in the last few decades that may put a greater population at additional risk of heat stress in a region already characterized by low Diurnal temperature range (DTR), or the difference between the maximum and minimum temperatures within one day and high humidity.
  • Importantly, the HW/SHW events were found to be positively correlated with mortality in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, highlighting that human health is highly susceptible to severe heatwave disasters.

Way Forward

  • With an ever-increasing extreme-temperature threshold, a heat resilient future is the need of the hour.
  • Dense population with an intensive outdoor work culture calls for an equitable heat resilient mitigation and adaptation strategies covering each section of the society depending on their vulnerability.
  • The study highlights the need for developing effective heat action plans in the three heatwave hotspot regions.

Source: PIB

Data Protection Bill, 2019

GS-II : Important Bills Important Bills

  • Private Companies and State agencies has vast amount of data. There is no legal framework for data protection. Even the individuals dont know that their data is being used. Thus, there was a need for legislation which was also said by K S Puttaswamy case, 2018 that held Right to Privacy (Art 21) to be a Fundamental Right.
  • Against this backdrop B N Srikrishna Committee (on Data Protection) prepared Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 to MEITy. It deals with the guidelines for collection, storage, and processing of personal data, consent of individuals, penalties & compensation and a code of conduct.

Terms

  • Data is the large collection of info about Data Principal (individuals) stored in a computer.
  • Data is collected and handled by Data Fiduciaries (like FB). Fiduciary controls how and why the data is processed.
  • Data Processing is analysis of data to collect patterns, turn raw data into useful. This is done by a 3rd party Data Processor (like Cambridge Analytica).
  • The physical attributes of data, where data is stored, where it is send and where it is turned into something useful are Data Flows. It determine who has the access to data, who profits off it, who taxes and who owns it.
  • Data Localisation is the act of storing data on any device physically present within the borders of the country.

Provisions of the Data Protection Bill, 2019

  • It requires all Fiduciaries to store copy of all personal data in India.
  • Bill trifurcates the data and mandates the storage in India depending on the type of data
  1. Personal Data: Identifies the individual like Name, address etc.
  2. Sensitive Personal Data:passwords, financial data, Health data, sex life, sexual orientation, biometric data, genetic data, transgender status, intersex status, caste or tribe, and Religious or political belief or affiliation. Such data can be processed only with explicit, informed, clear & specific consent of person. This is to be stored only in India. It can be processed abroad only in certain conditions including approval of Data Protection Agency (DPA).
  3. Critical Personal Data: Anything that Govt may deem critical. Like Military or National Security Data. Both stored and processed only in India.
  • Bill removes the requirement of data mirroring (personal data). Individual consent is required for data transfer.
  • Fiduciaries must provide Govt non personal data when demanded. It includes anonymised data like traffic patterns, demographic data.
  • It requires Social media companies to develop their own user verification mechanism.
  • Data Protection Authority of India (DPAI) to be set up (headed by a Chairperson and <= 6 whole time members) to monitor and enforce provisions of the Act.
  • Adjudicating Officers in the DPA. Adjudicating decisions can be appealed in the appellate tribunal. Appeals from the tribunal will go to Supreme Court.
  • Each Company will have a Data Protection Officer (DPO) for auditing, grievance redressal, maintenance etc.
  • It proposes Purpose Limitation and Collection Limitation clause which limit the collection of data to what is needed for clear, specific and lawful purposes.
  • It grants individuals right to data portability and ability to access and transfer one's own data.
  • It legislates on the Right to be Forgotten, right to restrict or prevent continuing disclosure of personal data. This has roots in EU law of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
  • Bill also states Penalties: Minor violations (5 crore or 2% of turnover) and Major (15 crore and 4% turnover).

Advantages of Data Protection Bill, 2019

  1. Data Localisation can help law Enforcement agencies. Much of cross border data transfer is governed by individual bilateral mutual legal assistance treaties.
  2. Instances of cyber attacks and surveillance will be checked. Recent Pegasus incident on Whatsapp.
  3. Fake news which leads to lynching, national security threats can be monitored now.
  4. Ability to tax Internet giants.
  5. It will help to enforce data sovereignty.

Disadvantages of Data Protection Bill, 2019

  1. The Bill focuses on consent of the person but it also gives powers to Government to dilute these provisions for Govt agencies.
  2. The powers given to Govt makes the gains from K S Puttaswamy case (Right to Privacy as a part of life and liberty) meaningless.
  3. Recent incidents of Israeli spyware Pegasus and Google alerting 500 Indian users regarding "government backed" phishing attempts, the Indian government has still not provided answer.
  4. Even the B N Srikrishna has used "Orwellian" and "Big brother" in response to removal of safeguards for Govt agencies.
  5. It said that the dangers to privacy is from state and non state actors both and hence the exemptions should be "narrow" and for use in "limited circumstances".
  6. DPAI is selected by a panel filled with Govt nominees disregards the fact that Govt agencies are also regulated under the Act; they are major collector and processor of data themselves.
  7. Even if data is stored in India, encryption keys may be out of the reach of national agencies. The terms National Security are open ended.
  8. FB, Google fear that this data localisation norms will have a domino effect in other countries.
  9. It may backfire India's own startups attempting for global presence

Source: TH

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