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20 Jan, 2021

27 Min Read

Donald Trump (USA President) Impeachment

GS-II : International Relations U.S.A

Donald Trump (USA President) Impeachment

  • Impeachment is a provision that allows Congress to remove the President of the United States.
  • The House of Representatives (Lower House) has “the sole power of impeachment” while the Senate (Upper House) has “the sole power to try all impeachments”.
  • The Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court has the duty of presiding over impeachment trials in the Senate.

What are the grounds for impeachment:

  • The President can be removed from office for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours”.
  • Essentially, it means an abuse of power by a high-level public official.
  • This does not necessarily have to be a violation of an ordinary criminal statute.
  • Historically, in the US, it has encompassed corruption and other abuses, including trying to obstruct judicial proceedings.

What is the process of USA Impeachment?

  • It begins with an investigation by a House committee.
  • If they find that there is enough evidence of wrongdoing, it will refer the matter to the full House.
  • When the full House votes, if one or more of the articles of impeachment gets a majority vote, the President is impeached.
  • Next, the proceedings move to the Senate.
  • The Senate holds a trial, overseen by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. A team of lawmakers from the House, known as managers, play the role of prosecutors.
  • The President has defence lawyers, and the Senate serves as the jury.
  • If at least two-thirds of the Senators present to find the President guilty, he is removed and the Vice President takes over as President.

Source: TH

Whatsapp New Privacy Policy

GS-III : Internal security Privacy Vs Security

Whatsapp New Privacy Policy

What is the news?

  • Center has asked WhatsApp to withdraw the proposed changes to its privacy policy, stating that it raised “grave concerns” over the implications of the choice and autonomy of Indian citizens.
  • The government pointed out that by not giving the option to opt-out of data-sharing with Facebook companies, Indian users were being treated differently from those in Europe.
  • Whether this [the new policy] will enable better provision of service to users or not is beside the point, the issue is the impact it has on informational privacy, data security and user choice.
  • The government also asked the Facebook-owned platform to reconsider its approach to respect the informational privacy, freedom of choice and data security of Indian citizens.
  • “The privacy policy offered by WhatsApp to its European users specifically prohibits the use of any information shared with a Facebook company for that company’s own purposes, while this clause is not present in the privacy policy offered to Indian users. This differential and discriminatory treatment of Indian and European users is attracting serious criticism and betrays a lack of respect for the rights and interests of Indian citizens, who form a substantial portion of WhatsApp’s user base,” it said.

What is the new Privacy Policy of Whatsapp?

  • WhatsApp has updated its terms of service and privacy policy for users in India. Users have till February 8, 2021 to accept these in order to continue using the platform.
  • The messages on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted which means nobody can see your messages or share it with anyone.
  • When users rely on third-party services or other Facebook Company Products that are integrated with our Services, those third-party services may receive information about what you or others share with them.
  • WhatsApp collects hardware information from devices such as battery level, signal strength, app version, browser information, mobile network, and connection information (including phone number, mobile operator or ISP) among others.
  • If someone only deletes the WhatsApp app from their device without using the in-app delete my account feature, then that user’s information will remain stored with the platform.
  • WhatsApp mentions that it uses Facebook’s global infrastructure and data centers including those in the United States to store user data. It also states that the data in some cases will be transferred to the United States or other parts where Facebook’s affiliate companies are based.
  • Even if a user does not use their location-relation features, Whatsapp collects IP addresses and other information like phone number area codes to estimate your general location (city, country).
  • WhatsApp says that any businesses that users interact with may provide the platform with information as well. The content shared with a business on WhatsApp will be visible to several people in that business.
  • WhatsApp says that if anyone uses their payments services they will process additional information about you, including payment account and transaction information.

Source: TH

eCommerce rules in India

GS-III : Economic Issues eCommerce

E-Commerce rules in India

What is the news?

  • India is considering revising its foreign investment rules for e-commerce. This move could compel players, including Amazon.com Inc., to restructure ties with some major sellers.
  • The government discussions coincide with a growing number of complaints from India’s bricks-and-mortar retailers, which have for years accused Amazon and Walmart Inc.-controlled Flipkart of creating complex structures to bypass federal rules, allegations the U.S. companies deny.
  • India only allows foreign e-commerce players to operate as a marketplace to connect buyers and sellers.
  • It prohibits them from holding inventories of goods and directly selling them on their platforms.
  • Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart were last hit in December 2018 by investment rule changes that barred foreign e-commerce players from offering products from sellers in which they have an equity stake.
  • Now, the government is considering adjusting some provisions to prevent those arrangements, even if the e-commerce firm holds an indirect stake in a seller through its parent, the sources said. The changes could hurt Amazon as it holds indirect equity stakes in two of its biggest online sellers in India.
  • Among other changes, the government is considering changes that would prohibit online sales by a seller who purchases goods from the e-commerce entity or its group firm,and then sells them on the entity’s websites.

e-Commerce rules in India

  • e-Commerce matters were transferred to DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce and Industries in 2018.
  • According to DPIIT e-Commerce means buying and selling goods and services over digital networks based on the internet.
  • India’s e-commerce retail market is seen growing to $200 billion a year by 2026, from $30 billion in 2019, investment promotion agency Invest India estimates.
  • They are governed by many Acts like the Shop and Establishment Act, Sales of Goods Act, Companies Act, Income Tax Laws, IT Act, Competition Act, Consumer Protection Act, etc.
  • In 2018, a Think Tank on the Framework for National Policy on E-commerce was established by the Dept of Commerce. It is carried out for both wholesale trades and for retail trade.
  • It can be either business to Business (B2B) trading or Business to Consumer (B2C) trading.
  • 100% FDI is allowed in B2B e-commerce since 2000.
  • And regarding B2C, a distinction is made between Single brand retail and multi-brand retail.
  • In B2C, if a trade is done in the 'marketplace' then 100% FDI is permitted.
  • 100% FDI is permitted in single brand retail since 2012 with 49% under automatic route.
  • FDI is not permitted in an inventory-based model (inventory is owned by the e-commerce entity).
  • DPIIT also provided FDI rules in e-commerce.
  • Vendors having a stake owned by an e-commerce firm cannot sell their products on its portal.
  • Vendors who buy >= 25% of their inventory from an e-commerce group firm will be considered to be controlled by that firm and cannot sell their products on its portal.
  • To reduce Predatory pricing.
  • E-commerce export is applicable to items of worth upto 25,000.
  • Audit for FDI norms must for e-commerce firms: FEMA, 1999 Amendments: E-commerce firms with Foreign Investments must obtain a statutory auditor report by end of September each year for the preceding fiscal and they must comply with FDI rules.

Draft e-Commerce policy, 2020

  • Data: The policy acknowledges the importance of data as a ‘national asset’ and seeks to establish a legal & technological framework to restrict the cross-border flow of data generated in India.
  • It calls for creating domestic standards for devices which are used to store, process and access data to increase interoperability, enhance data security and prevent violation of privacy.
  • Infrastructure Development: It recommends according to ‘infrastructure status’ to supporting digital infrastructure like data centres, server farms for data storage etc. Designated implementing agencies should establish requisite physical infrastructure (like power supply, internet connectivity etc.). Also, domestic alternatives to foreign-based clouds and email facilities should be promoted.
  • FDI Policy: The policy aims to clearly demarcate between a marketplace model & an inventory-based model and seeks to encourage FDI in the ‘marketplace’ model alone.
  • Other important provisions are related to anti-Counterfeiting & Anti-Piracy Measures, grievance redressal mechanism etc.

Source: TH

Budget Session to have Question Hour

GS-II : Indian Polity Parliament

Budget Session to have Question Hour

  • The Question Hour, which had been suspended by the government during the monsoon session, will resume when Parliament meets for the Budget session on January 29.
  • The government had claimed that the suspension of Question Hour, which gives the Opposition an opportunity to hold the government accountable, was an additional precautionary measure to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The suspension had been strongly criticised by the Opposition.
  • During the monsoon session, the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha will meet at alternate sessions to ensure that all the three chambers — Rajya Sabha hall, Lok Sabha hall and the Central Hall — were available for both Houses to seat members in keeping with the physical distancing norms.

Source: TH

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