1 . EC backs one seat, one candidate policy
The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to respond to an affidavit filed by the Election Commission (EC) of India to amend the law to prevent candidates contesting from multiple constituencies.
A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra was hearing a petition filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay seeking a declaration striking down Section 33(7) of the Representation of the People Act of 1951, which allows candidates to contest from two constituencies at a time, as invalid and unconstitutional.
Mr. Upadhyay has asked the court to direct the Centre and the Election Commission to “discourage” independent candidates from contesting parliamentary and State Assembly elections.
Election Commission’s view
The EC informed the court that it had proposed the amendment of Section 33(7) way back in July 2004. It was one of the 22 “urgent electoral reforms” the EC had suggested to a Rajya Sabha Parliamentary Standing Committee.
Why Section 33(7) of the Representation of the People Act of 1951 should be removed?
There had been cases of a person contesting from two constituencies and winning from both. The consequence is that a by-election would be required from one constituency, involving avoidable labour and expenditure.
It is also an injustice to voters of the winning candidate who opts to vacate that constituency and retain another.
This stand has been supported also by the Law Commission in its 255th Report on Electoral Reforms, which has also found it inappropriate for a candidate to contest from two constituencies.
The other way
In case the top court thinks that such a restraint is not required, an express provision should be made in the RP Act to ensure that the candidate is made to pay for the re-poll for the constituency he opts to quit.
EC has suggested that a candidate should deposit Rs. 5 lakh for contesting in two constituencies in an Assembly election or Rs. 10 lakh in a general election. This would be used for the conduct of a by-election in the eventuality that he or she had to relinquish seat.
2 . India third most vulnerable country to cyber threats
India emerged as the third most vulnerable country in terms of risk of cyber threats, such as malware, spam and ransomware, in 2017, moving up one place over previous year, according to ‘Internet Security Threat Report’ by security solutions provider Symantec.
Most vulnerable nations
The U.S. (26.61%) was most vulnerable to such attacks, followed by China (10.95%) and India (5.09% ). In 2017, 5.09% of global threats detected were in India, slightly less than 5.11% in 2016.
Parameters used in the Report
The global threat ranking is based on eight metrics — malware, spam, phishing, bots, network attacks, web attacks, ransomware and cryptominers.
Findings of the report
1 . As per the report, India continues to be second most impacted by spam and bots, third most impacted by network attacks, and fourth most impacted by ransomware.
2 . The report also pointed out that with the threat landscape becoming more diverse, attackers are working harder to discover new avenues of attack and cover their tracks while doing so.
3 . Cyber criminals are rapidly adding “cryptojacking” to their arsenal as the ransomware market becomes overpriced and overcrowded.
4 . The massive profit incentive puts people, devices and organisations at risk of unauthorised coinminers siphoning resources from their systems, further motivating criminals to infiltrate everything from home PCs to giant data centers.
3 .India becomes second largest manufacturer of crude steel
In a major achievement, India has overtaken Japan to become the world’s second largest producer of crude steel in February, according to the Steel Users Federation of India (SUFI). At present, China is the largest producer of crude steel in the world, accounting for more than 50% of the production.
India’s crude steel production was up 4.4% and stood at 93.11 million tonnes (MT) for the period April 2017 to February 2018, compared with April 2016 to February 2017. This had helped India to overtake Japan and become the second largest producer of crude steel in the world.
India overtook the U.S. in 2015 to become the third largest producer of crude steel.
Reasons for growth in steel production
The government has taken a host of steps to curb imports, push local demand with initiatives like ‘Make in India’, and implement GST and infrastructure projects, to encourage the domestic market.
Steel Ministry was working pro-actively to prepare a road map to achieve 300 MT by 2030.
In addition, quick resolution of various big-ticket steel mills under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and the National Company Law Tribunal is expected to further hasten the process of achieving higher capacity utilisation.