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How to Ace the UGC-NET

National Eligibility Test (NET) is a national level exam conducted by University Grants Commission (UGC) to determine eligibility for lectureship and for award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF). This exam also serves the purpose of ensuring minimum standards for entrants in teaching profession and research.

Depending on performance of candidates in the three papers of NET, UGC awards them JRF and eligibility for Assistant Professor. Here we will look at some tips to help you perform better in the UGC-NET exam.

It’s generally believed that the exam is tough and difficult to clear. However, the truth is that UGC-NET is not difficult to achieve target if you have the right strategy in place and good UGC Exam books.

Let’s have a look at some tips for preparing for UGC-NET-

  • Prepare well in time – Once you have decided to appear for UGC-NET exam, it is a must for you to devote time in your preparation. Begin your preparation well in time, at least three to six months in advance. Come up with a study plan or timetable that not only focus on completing the syllabus but also provides you time to revise it.
  • Understand the syllabus – UGC-NET exam covers a vast syllabus and if you are planning to clear it, you must run through the syllabus thoroughly. In-depth understanding of the syllabus is important so that you can prepare for each topic accordingly. Understanding the syllabus will also help you start your preparation well ahead in time and there will be no need to skip a topic.
  • Prioritise the subjects – It’s natural for anyone to be good at some topics and bad at the others. It’s up to you to figure out which subjects need more effort and prepare a priority order to study them. Remember that if you do not clear the first paper, you won’t be able to clear the NET as well. So give equal importance to all the three papers.
  • Solve past Question Papers – The previous years’ question papers can be your key to crack this exam. They tell you what to expect in the exam and set the bar for level of preparation and hard work you need to put in and also provide you the clarity of concepts.
  • Speed is vital – solving more questions makes you aware of the time required to solve these questions in the exams. You need to have a strategy in place to complete maximum questions within the allotted time.
  • Be accurate – You may be fast in solving questions but if you are not accurate, it’s all in vain. Write answers that are crisp and to the point and do not miss out on anything you know.

Remember, if you have decided to clear the UGC-NET, you need to pull up your socks and start preparing. Be confident because at the end of the day your answers will reflect the confidence that you have. Get some good UGC Exam books and start preparing today.

Connectivity has Catalytic Role in Stimulating Economic Growth in Relation to India & Nepal

Connectivity and Tradewas focus of Prime Ministerof IndiaNarendra Modi’s latest State Visit to Nepal from 11 to 12 May 2018 at the invitation of Prime Ministerof Nepal K P Sharma Oli. Joint inauguration of the 900-MW Arun-III hydroelectric power projectwas highlight of the visit attended by both the Prime Ministers expressing hope that operationalisation of the project would help enhance cooperation in the generation and trade of power between the two countries.

Prime Minister Modiduring his visit said, “As Nepal enters a new era of consolidating gains of democracy and achieving rapid economic growth and development, India will continue to remain a steadfast partner of Nepal to implement its vision of ‘‘अखंडए समृधऔरसशक्तनेपालष्”,” and quoted, “सर्वेभवन्तुसुखिनरू सर्वेसन्तुनिरामयारू।सर्वेभद्राणिपश्यन्तुमाकश्चत्दिुःखभाग्भवेत्”।

India-Nepal issued a Joint Statement during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Nepal:

  • The two Prime Ministers recalled their meeting in New Delhi during the State visit of Prime Minister Olifrom April 6-8, 2018and agreed to maintain the momentum generated by the visit by taking effective measures for the implementation of all the agreements and understandings reached in the past.
  • Agreed that effective implementation of the bilateral initiatives in Agriculture; Railway Linkages and Inland Waterways Developmentwould have transformational impact in these areas.
  • Underscored the importance of trade and economic ties between India and Nepal and to control unauthorised trade.
  • Agreed to address Nepal’s deficit and further facilitating Nepal’s access to the Indian market, enhancing overall bilateral trade, and facilitating Nepal’s transit trade
  • Underlined the catalytic role of connectivity in stimulating economic growth and agreed to intensify land, air and water connectivity and increase people-to-people contact.
  • Reiterated the importance of advancing cooperation in water resources for mutual benefit in areas such as river training works, inundation and flood management, irrigation, and to enhance pace of implementation of ongoing bilateral projects.
  • Expressed satisfactions over constitution of the joint team that will visit areas affected by inundation and floods and consider appropriate measures for sustainable solution.
  • The two Prime Ministers launched Nepal-India Ramayana Circuit connecting Janakpur, the birthplace of Sita, with Ayodhya, the birth place of Ram and other sites associated with the epic Ramayana, with a view to further strengthening the close religious and cultural ties between the two countries and peoples.
  • In Janakpur, the two Prime Ministers flagged off the inaugural direct bus service between Janakpur and Ayodhya.
  • The two Prime Ministers directed their respective officials to address outstanding matters by September 2018, with the objective of advancing cooperation in all areas.
  • Underscored importance of regional and sub-regional cooperation under BIMSTEC, SAARC, and BBIN frameworks for forging meaningful cooperation in identified sectors.

Prime Minister of India said Nepal must identify its needs and priorities to deliver results, “India will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Nepal in its development journey. Your success is our success and your joy is our joy,” and added that his party’s slogan सबकासाथसबकाविकास, was as much about global well-being as it was about India’s growth

 

Nordic Countries as Global Innovation Leaders to Deepen Cooperation with India

‘India – Nordic Council Summit: Shared Values, Mutual Prosperity’ co-hosted by India and Sweden in Stockholm on April 17, 2018 was attended by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Finland Juha Sipilä, Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg and Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven. Modi also had separate bilateral meetings with Prime Ministers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway on the side lines of the India-Nordic Summit. India has substantial economic ties with Nordic countries.  Annual India-Nordic trade is about $5.3 billion.  The cumulative Nordic FDI into India has been $2.5 billion. At the end of the Summit, India and the Nordic countries issued a Joint Statement:

  • The Prime Ministers pledged to deepen cooperation between India and the Nordic countries and focused their discussions on key issues related to global security, economic growth, innovation and climate change.
  • They reaffirmed importance of free trade as a catalyst for achieving inclusive growth and realising Sustainable Development Goals.
  • They acknowledged that innovation and digital transformation drive growth in an interconnected world, which underpin a growing engagement between India and the Nordic countries.
  • Role of the Nordic countries as global innovation leaders was underlined.
  • Nordic approach to innovation systems, characterised by a strong collaboration between public sector, private sector and academia, was discussed, and synergies were identified with India’s rich pool of talent and skills.
  • Summit emphasised India’s strong commitment to innovation and digital initiatives as key to prosperity and sustainable development, with national flagship programmes such as Make in India, Start-up India, Digital India and Clean India.
  • Nordic solutions in clean technologies, maritime solutions, port modernisation, food processing, health and life-sciences and agriculture were mentioned.
  • Summit welcomed the Nordic Sustainable Cities Project aimed at supporting the Smart Cities Programme of the Government of India.
  • The Prime Ministers noted that the unique strengths of India and Nordic countries offer immense opportunities for trade and investment diversification and mutually beneficial collaboration.
  • During the talks, importance of rules-based multilateral trading system as well as open and inclusive international trade for prosperity and growth was underlined.
  • Ease of Doing Business practices were emphasised as a priority for both the Nordic countries and India.
  • The Prime Ministers acknowledged that terrorism and violent extremism are major challenges for the international community.
  • They discussed global security, including cyber security, based on their shared values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and their commitment to uphold rules-based international system.
  • They also discussed export control and non-proliferation.
  • Nordic countries welcomed India’s application for membership of Nuclear Suppliers’ Group and reaffirmed their commitment to work constructively within the Group with the aim of reaching a positive outcome at the earliest opportunity.
  • The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their support for United Nations and Secretary-General’s reform efforts to ensure a UN fit to support Member States to deliver on Agenda 2030 and took note of his proposals to strengthen the UN, including areas of development, peace operations, peace building and conflict prevention.
  • Nordic countries and India reaffirmed the need for reform of UN Security Council, including its expansion in both permanent and non-permanent seats to make it more representative, accountable, effective and responsive to the realities of the 21st century.
  • Nordic countries agree that India is a strong candidate for a permanent seat in a reformed Security Council expanded with both permanent and non-permanent members.
  • The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their full commitment to implementing the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development as well as the ambitious implementation of Paris Agreement.
  • They agreed to continue efforts to develop cleaner energy systems, renewable energy and fuels, increased energy efficiency and technologies for cleaner energy production.
  • The Prime Ministers noted that women’s full and meaningful participation in political, social and economic life is the key to inclusive development and agreed to promote empowerment of women.
  • They agreed that a strong partnership can help spur innovations, economic growth, sustainable solutions and mutually beneficial trade and investments.
  • The Summit emphasized importance of strong people-to-people contacts through education, culture, labour mobility and tourism – all areas where Nordic countries and India see a continuous increase in both interests and numbers.

MOUs and Agreements signed and exchanged during of the visit of Prime Minister to Stockholm on April 16-17, 2018 are:

India-Sweden

  • Joint Declaration on India-Sweden Innovation Partnership for a Sustainable Future between Ministry of Science and Technology of India and the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation 

India and Denmark:

  • MOU on Cooperation in the field of Sustainable and Smart Urban Development between the Ministry for Housing and Urban Affairs of India and the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs of Denmark.
  • MOU on Cooperation in the fields of Animal Husbandry and Dairying between Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare of India and the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark
  • MOU on Food Safety Cooperation between the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration
  • MOU on Cooperation in Agricultural Research and Education between the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Denmark

India and Iceland:

  • MOU on the Establishment of the ICCR Chair for Hindi Language between Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the University of Iceland

World Class Missile Technology under Make in India Initiative

World Class Guided Weapon Systems Technology for Indian Armed Forces under Make in India initiative has been offered by L&T MBDA Missile Systems Limited (L&T MBDA) with a clear objective of indigenously developing, manufacturing and supplying highly advanced missiles and missile systems. L&T MBDA, exhibiting at the Defexpo 2018 at Chennai, has responded to a request for information from the Government of India to make fifth generation anti-tank guided missiles, short range surface-to-air missiles and medium range anti-ship missile systems for India’s Armed Forces.

L&T MBDA, a joint venture between engineering giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Europe’s MBDA which designs and produces missiles and missile systems, were amongst a gathering of defence industry representatives from private and public sector representing some 500 Indian companies and 150 international firms at the Defexpo 2018 from April 11 to 14, 2018 in Chennai at Tiruvidanthal, in Kancheepuram district; with tagline “India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub.

L&T MBDA, the joint venture incorporated on April 05, 2017 as an Indian Company fully complying with India’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy norms for a Defence Manufacturing Company in which L&T holds 51% and MBDA holds 49% equity, within one year of its incorporation is preparing to participate in various Make in India category projects and is offering the following missile systems to address Indian Armed Forces’ operational requirements:

  • 5th Generation Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM 5) with substantially advanced features vis-à-vis other 3rd and 4thgeneration ATGM missiles. The missile is offered under the Buy: Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured) procurement category for the Indian Armed Forces. ATGM 5 made its public debut at Defexpo 2018, where a model of the missile was displayed and its operational advantages demonstrated using a fully functional simulator.
  • Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) the latest in surface to air missile technologies under the Buy and Make (Indian) Category for the Naval Surface Platforms’ requirements of the Indian Navy
  • Medium Range Anti-Ship Missile System the latest generation anti-ship missile system under the Buy and Make (Indian) Category for the Naval Surface Platforms requirements of the Indian Navy.

MBDA is the only European group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three armed forces (land, sea and air). MBDA, with its Headquarters in Paris, France and parent organisations Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo, was formed by a merger of French Aérospatiale-Matra Missiles, Italian Alenia Marconi Systems and British Matra BAe Dynamics in December 2001. In total, the group offers a range of 45 missile systems and countermeasures products already in operational service and more than 15 others currently in development. With a significant presence in five European countries and within the USA, in 2017 MBDA achieved revenue of 3.1 billion euros with an order book of 16.8 billion euros. With more than 90 armed forces customers in the world, MBDA is a world leader in missiles and missile systems.

Loïc Piedevache, India Country Head, MBDA, said, “For over 50 successful years our strategy has been one of true partnership with the Indian Armed Forces and Indian industry. The JV offers the Indian Armed Forces the flexibility of choice regarding the timely acquisition of key operational capabilities, coupled with the optimized means of acquiring and mastering the very latest and most advanced guided weapon systems technology currently available anywhere in the world.”

Transformation of Aspirational Districts is a Giant Leap towards Transforming India for New India 2022 Vision

Bijapur the tribal district in Chhattisgarh is one of the most backward regions in the country but has started doing well on various development parameters. Prime Minister Narendra Modi the first Prime Minister to visit Bijapur, while inaugurating the first health centre under Ayushman Bharat Scheme to end social imbalance in the country at Bijapur on the 127th birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar on April 14, 2018 Modi said, “We are working with a new approach for 115 districts of the country under Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP), including Bijapur. If Bijapur can see development in 100 days then why can’t the other districts witness the same? I came here to assure you that with all the development projects now Bijapur district will no longer be known as a backward district.” Prime Minister’s visit to Bijapur gives wings to the aspirations of people in the remotest parts of India to become a rightful partner in India’s growth story. Jangala Development Hub, situated in a panchayat that has emerged as a model panchayat, and its people, ‘Champions of Change’, who despite all odds and being at the epicenter of Left Wing Extremism have performed very well, especially post the launch of Aspirational District programme on January 5, 2018.

Bijapur represents a microcosm of aspirations of a youthful nation as in short span of time; it has made spectacular progress in health, nutrition, education and creation of livelihood opportunities. This District, which has ranked among the top 5 performing districts on the basis of percent change in key indicators, has taken series of innovative measures.  This has been achieved on the back of best practices such as the creation of a well- functioning hospital with doctors recruited on competitive salaries from different parts of the country by utilizing the flexibility provided under the National Health Mission, running of schools for naxal-affected children in portable cabins and various measures to improve livelihood opportunities. These measures amply demonstrate the spirit of cooperative federalism wherein if the Centre, State and District administration work as a team, rapid transformation for creation of a New India by 2022 is an achievable.

 Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) is an innovation in governance that covers about 15% of India’s population and is reflective of the priority of the Government to provide for the poorest of the poor. It is a well-known fact that India is on a high growth trajectory. What was urgently needed however was the enhancement of the Human Development Index and the reduction in the significant inter-state and inter-district variations in development. For this to happen, the Prime Minister felt that the aspirational districts have to be transformed, and launched the ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ programme in January 2018.

  • ADP hinges on expeditiously transforming 115 districts that were identified from 28 states, in a transparent manner.
  • The intent is to leverage the resources of the several government programmes that already exist but are not always used efficiently.
  • Three core aspects frame the structure of ADP:
    • Convergence (of Central & State Schemes),
    • Collaboration (of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors),
    • Competition among districts.
  • Driven primarily by the States and instituted for the States, this initiative focuses on the strength of each district, and identifies the attainable outcomes for immediate improvement, while measuring progress, and ranking the selected districts.
  • An Empowered Committee under the convenorship of the CEO of NITI Aayog has been instituted to help in the convergence of various government schemes and streamlining of efforts.
  • To optimally utilize potential and ensure that the New India 2022 is a part of every individual’s vision especially in the rural areas, this initiative focuses closely on improving people’s ability to participate fully in the rapidly growing economy.
  • Baseline ranking for the 115 aspirational districts is based on 49 indicators across five sectors that include health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development, and basic infrastructure.
  • There will be a dynamic ranking of performance of districts. Since the progress will be captured on a real time basis, a dashboard has been formulated that features a real-time monitoring mechanism. The key tangible outcomes will be as follows:
    • What is measured, is expected to improve rapidly across states
    • A co-operative competition among districts as a vital strategy
    • Eventually, this is expected to help fine-tune Government programmes.
  • As of April 1, 2018 districts have started entering data. To help evaluate progress and the success of initiatives introduced by the Central Government in collaboration with the States, a delta ranking of these districts will be displayed every month from May 2018 on the dashboard based on the “incremental progress” to be monitored on a real-time basis.

With ADP, India would emerge as a hub for experiment as globally, governments have been increasingly incorporating data to inform policies on a large scale. No other developing country has undertaken a program that focuses on holistic development of a large share of its population. ADP is an all-India initiative meant to trigger uniform growth and development in every corner of the country.

ADP is essentially a competitive federalism and synergy-enhancing module that will eventually give every corner of India – rural or urban, a chance to exceed its own aspirations, and a platform to be heard and where required, helped.

ADP initiative is supported by prestigious partners in programme implementation which provide ground level support, like the Tata Trust, Piramal Foundation, ITC, and L&T, as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and IDInsight to conduct surveys.  The partners will ably support the programme through leadership development, change management, technology integration and implementing various innovative practices.

ADP is an immersive initiative that will change the landscape of how India progresses through the vision of the Government of India. NITI’s focus is to improve India in the Human Development Index ranking, raising the living standards of its citizens and ensuring inclusive growth for all.

‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ initiative envisioned by the Prime Minister is a giant leap towards transforming India for the New India 2022 vision.

World Class Missile Technology under Make in India Initiative

World Class Guided Weapon Systems Technology for Indian Armed Forces under Make in India initiative has been offered by L&T MBDA Missile Systems Limited (L&T MBDA) with a clear objective of indigenously developing, manufacturing and supplying highly advanced missiles and missile systems. L&T MBDA, exhibiting at the Defexpo 2018 at Chennai, has responded to a request for information from the Government of India to make fifth generation anti-tank guided missiles, short range surface-to-air missiles and medium range anti-ship missile systems for India’s Armed Forces.

L&T MBDA, a joint venture between engineering giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Europe’s MBDA which designs and produces missiles and missile systems, were amongst a gathering of defence industry representatives from private and public sector representing some 500 Indian companies and 150 international firms at the Defexpo 2018 from April 11 to 14, 2018 in Chennai at Tiruvidanthal, in Kancheepuram district; with tagline “India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub.

L&T MBDA, the joint venture incorporated on April 05, 2017 as an Indian Company fully complying with India’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy norms for a Defence Manufacturing Company in which L&T holds 51% and MBDA holds 49% equity, within one year of its incorporation is preparing to participate in various Make in India category projects and is offering the following missile systems to address Indian Armed Forces’ operational requirements:

  • 5th Generation Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM 5) with substantially advanced features vis-à-vis other 3rd and 4thgeneration ATGM missiles. The missile is offered under the Buy: Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured) procurement category for the Indian Armed Forces. ATGM 5 made its public debut at Defexpo 2018, where a model of the missile was displayed and its operational advantages demonstrated using a fully functional simulator.
  • Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) the latest in surface to air missile technologies under the Buy and Make (Indian) Category for the Naval Surface Platforms’ requirements of the Indian Navy
  • Medium Range Anti-Ship Missile System the latest generation anti-ship missile system under the Buy and Make (Indian) Category for the Naval Surface Platforms requirements of the Indian Navy.

MBDA is the only European group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three armed forces (land, sea and air). MBDA, with its Headquarters in Paris, France and parent organisations Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo, was formed by a merger of French Aérospatiale-Matra Missiles, Italian Alenia Marconi Systems and British Matra BAe Dynamics in December 2001. In total, the group offers a range of 45 missile systems and countermeasures products already in operational service and more than 15 others currently in development. With a significant presence in five European countries and within the USA, in 2017 MBDA achieved revenue of 3.1 billion euros with an order book of 16.8 billion euros. With more than 90 armed forces customers in the world, MBDA is a world leader in missiles and missile systems.

Loïc Piedevache, India Country Head, MBDA, said, “For over 50 successful years our strategy has been one of true partnership with the Indian Armed Forces and Indian industry. The JV offers the Indian Armed Forces the flexibility of choice regarding the timely acquisition of key operational capabilities, coupled with the optimized means of acquiring and mastering the very latest and most advanced guided weapon systems technology currently available anywhere in the world.”

Right to Privacy & Enforceable Data Protection Law

Aadhaar, India’s compulsory national biometric ID issued by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) – through which it gathers vast amounts of personal data, has been made all-encompassing with the Government having issued about 139 notifications calling for the linking of Aadhaar to various aspects of life. As such its wide pervasive use goes well beyond public entitlements or regulated services to sundry services. Aadhaar Act enacted in March 2016 and right to privacy being upheld unanimously by a nine-judge bench of Supreme Court in August 2017, are the two major legislative and legal turning points in the Aadhaar saga. Privacy is the major considerations with regards to the Aadhaar project, besides denial of rights due to Aadhaar. Privacy of Personal data that is any information related to a natural person that can be used to directly or indirectly identify the person and includes – a name, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer IP address or the biometrics of the person.

India did not actually have a fundamental right to privacy and does not have a comprehensive, enforceable data protection law despite digital technology remaining finely threaded with the fabric of our lives. Information Technology Act, 2000 did provide limited protections but its subordinate regulations remain substantially deficient and practically unenforceable.

Amid an outcry over Facebook’s privacy issues, a new legal framework is required to better identify what information is worthy of robust protection. There are challenges of protecting data in a hyper-digitised environment as the Cambridge Analytica episode has alerted people to the challenges of alleged data breach. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg admitted that company knew that Cambridge Analytica (CA) was mishandling user data two-and-a-half years ago, but when the company discovered the problem, execs relied on CA’s assurances that they had deleted the data. Sheryl Sandberg also revealed that Facebook would introduce in America similar privacy standards to those that will be enforced in Europe later this year under the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and ePrivacy laws. The two laws require companies get affirmative opt-in permission from every user for every piece of data any company keeps or processes. The permission process will come as a shock to Facebook users because it will force Facebook to tell them exactly what data it holds on them and who it shares that data with; and it will force users to examine whether they want that level of information sharing to continue.

India has the second highest number of Internet users in the world, and is an important market for many global companies that have staked dominance within distinct silos of digital services. The issues of legitimate uses of data by the governments, political parties or businesses can be settled by formulating a national data protection law for India.

India can craft its own legislation on Data Protection on the basis European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)  which comes into effect on May 25, 2018 is the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years that has been designed to protect the personal data of European Union (EU) residents. This had become necessary as rapid advances in technology and growth in digital economy meant individuals were sharing personal data, and companies and governments used this data on an unprecedented scale. GDPR has global implications and is expected to have a significant impact on Indian IT firms and other service providers with a European Union clientele:

  • GDPR is a stronger harmonious instrument of data protection laws across 28 EU member states
  • GDPR reflects a paradigm shift in the understanding of the relationship individuals have with their personal data, granting the citizen substantial rights in his/her interaction with data controllers and data processors.
  • Data controllers are those who determine why and how data is collected such as a government or private news website;
  • Data processors are those who process the data on behalf of controllers, such as an Indian IT firm to which an E.U. firm has outsourced its data analytics.
  • GDPR mandates that a data controller will have to provide consent terms that are clearly distinguishable, i.e., consent cannot be buried in the fine print that is incomprehensible to the layperson.
  • GDPR requires those collecting data to provide information on the ‘who’ and ‘how.’
  • Individuals will also have the right to have personal data deleted under certain conditions.
  • GDPR makes reporting obligations and enforcement stronger: data breaches will normally have to be reported within 72 hours and failure to comply with the new laws could result in a fine up to 4% of global turnover or €20 million — the maximum amount of the fine.

India-Sweden for Joint Innovation for a Sustainable Future

“Sweden has many sustainable modern solutions to offer India,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said in Stockholm in a joint press conference with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi during first visit by Indian Prime Minister to Sweden on 16-17 April 2018 after three decades. The two Prime Ministers spoke of strengthened cooperation between the two countries on defence and presented a new innovation partnership agreement, for which the Swedish government will assign 50 million kronor to research agency Vinnova to develop Smart Cities in India. The discussions between them were focused on strengthening bilateral ties with special emphasis on building closer economic relations as well as important global and regional issues. Modi also had an audience on April 17, 2018 with His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden who had visited India in 1993 and 2005.  Lofven had visited India in February 2016 and participated in the ‘Make in India’ Week in Mumbai with a strong business delegation. And in October 2017, Lofven had also participated in ‘Make in India: Sweden 2017’ event organized in Stockholm. Löfven commented, “They have huge planning and building work in front of them which they want to do in a climate smart way, and in that we have a very clear area of cooperation.”

Prime Ministers met the vibrant Indian community in Sweden that is home to more than 20000 members of Indian diaspora, including around 2000 Indian students studying in various institutions.

  • A Joint Declaration on India-Sweden Innovation Partnership for a Sustainable Future was signed and a Joint Action Plan adopted.
  • Both Prime Ministers expressed their commitment to support and strengthen global export control, non-proliferation and disarmament objectives and looked forward to close cooperation in these areas.
  • Both Prime Ministers called for greater unity and stronger international partnership to counter terrorism, disrupt terrorist networks and financing, and to prevent violent extremism.
  • Both sides agreed to continue security policy dialogue at the level of National Security Advisors.
  • Innovation, Investment, Start-ups, Manufacturing etc. were main dimensions of partnership.
  • Renewable energy, urban transport, waste management, which are topics related to the quality of life of the people of India had special focus.
  • Sweden has been India’s partner for a long time in the defence sector and many new opportunities will be created for our cooperation in defence production.
  • Decided to strengthen our security cooperation, especially cyber security cooperation.
  • Both Prime Ministers participated in a Round-table meeting with about 30 CEOs of leading Swedish enterprises and addressed the CEOs.
  • Encourage Trade and facilitate Investment in both directions, such as Sweden’s investment in India through ‘Invest India’ and Indian investment in Sweden through ‘Business Sweden’.
  • Encourage the work of the India-Sweden Business Leaders Round Table (ISBLRT) to further strengthen India-Sweden business cooperation within inter alia smart cities, digitization, skills development and defence, and to move its relations, ideas, partnerships and recommendations forward.
  • Encourage the space agencies and other space entities to enhance space cooperation
  • Over 170 Swedish companies have invested USD 1.4 billion since 2000.
  • Some of the Swedish companies have been present in India for over a century.
  • Around 70 Indian companies have established their presence in Sweden.
  • India-Sweden annual bilateral trade stands at around USD 1.8 billion.
  • Swedish business leaders also held a meeting with Modi, including representatives of Saab who are competing for a fighter jet contract from India worth an estimated 100 billion kronor.

Commonwealth one of the World’s Great Convening Powers

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 (CHOGM 2018) its 25th meeting- first full Heads of Government meeting in almost forty years was held in the United Kingdom from 19 to 20 April 2018 and discussed how the Commonwealth can contribute to a future which is fairer, more sustainable, more secure and more prosperous. A gathering of Heads of Government of its 53 member states that comprise 2.4 billion people of which 60%  are under the age of 30 affirmed that youth empowerment, as well as gender equality, are critical in realising the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the aspirations of the Commonwealth Charter. They recognised that the Commonwealth has always been a strong advocate for the causes of small states that constitute over 60% of its membership, and has consistently raised international awareness of their inherent vulnerabilities. Heads recognised that the strength of the Commonwealth lay in the collaboration among its member countries, people-to-people organisations and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

CHOGM 2015 its 24th meeting was held in Malta from 27 to 29 November 2015 with Commonwealth Chair-in-Office held by the government leader of the CHOGM host country Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat, was transferred at the summit from to the Prime Minister of United Kingdom Theresa May, who will hold the post until the 26th CHOGM expected in 2020.

Heads of Government welcomed and accepted the offer of the President of Rwanda to host their next meeting in 2020. They also welcomed the offer of Samoa to host the 2022 CHOGM.

On CHOGM 2018’s formal opening at Buckingham Palace by Queen Elizabeth II – the Queen of the United Kingdom, who in 1952 became Head of the Commonwealth said, “Here at Buckingham Palace in 1949, my father (George VI) met the Heads of Government when they ratified the London Declaration, which created the Commonwealth as we know it today – then comprising just eight nations.” “Put simply, we are one of the world’s great convening powers”. “The Commonwealth Canopy has emphasised our interdependence, while the Commonwealth Blue Charter promises to do the same in protecting our shared ocean resources”. 91-year-old Queen Elizabeth expressed her sincere wish that the Commonwealth would choose Charles, Prince of Wales as her successor to lead the 53-nation community.

Prime Minister Theresa May said, “It’s a meeting that takes place at a time of significant global challenges. The rules-based international system, which has consistently delivered both prosperity and peace, faces threats in many forms and on many fronts.” And spoke of incredible opportunity to member countries to take on some of the 21st century’s biggest questions of developing through trade, pushing back against protectionism, for a more prosperous Commonwealth; and of responding to threats to the rules based international order and from cyber-attacks, creating a more secure Commonwealth.

Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC said, “CHOGM is our springboard for action. It is the launch pad that propels us onward, upward, forward together.” He added that we now have the Commonwealth Innovation Hub and Commonwealth Office of Civil and Criminal Justice Reform for upholding democracy, the rule of law and human rights; and to hasten the processes to tackle climate change and plastic pollution, to eliminate child, early and forced marriage and modern slavery, to eradicate polio and malaria, and to reduce prevalence of non-communicable diseases. Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings are distinctive for being both receptive and responsive to the needs of all – especially the young, the marginalised and the vulnerable.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attending the event was seen as a significant moment for the group as it was after eight-year period that any Indian Prime Minister participated in a CHOGM, and it was hoped that renewed interest from India will give new impetus and relevance to the CHOGM. Modi at Westminster Central Hall on Wednesday on 18 April, 2018 at the ‘Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath’ event said, “I had not been able to visit the last summit and this time, it was an honour that Prince Charles came personally to India last year to invite me for it. The Queen herself wrote a personal letter to me, a matter of great pride for India.” Modi urged the Commonwealth to put sustainable development and climate change, particularly of small island states, at the heart of its agenda, as India announced an increased funding for various Commonwealth initiatives and sought to take a leadership role in a renewed group.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held several bilateral meetings alongside attending the executive sessions of the CHOGM, that include with Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh; Prime Minister of Mauritius Kumar Jugnauth; Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni; Gambian President Adama Barrow; President of the Seychelles Danny Faure; Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda Gaston Brown; President of Kiribati Taneti Maamau; Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama; Prime Minister of St Lucia Allen Chastanet, and Solomon Islands PM Rick Houenipwela. However, no meeting took place with the Pakistani Prime Minister.

Innovate, Patent, Produce & Prosper will Lead India towards Faster Development

Smart India Hackathon-2108, country’s biggest digital programming contest, promoted by Ministry of Human Resource Development and AICTE to tap the talent of engineering students and to provide solutions to problems of various Ministries and Departments of the Central and State Governments, was hosted by CVR College of Engineering in Ibrahimpatnam near Hyderabad in Telangana. Its Grand Finale was addressed on March 30, 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi by interacting with participants across various centres via video conferencing and while giving mantra of IPPP: Innovate, Patent, Produce and Prosper, he said, “These four steps will lead our country towards faster development, for that we will have to innovate and turn our innovations in patents, making our production smoother and taking products speedily to the people will make them prosper.” “Innovation has the power to overcome the challenges our world faces, we should think about how our innovation can transform the lives of our fellow citizens.” Prime Minister underlined the importance of Participative Governance to the participants and added that the biggest assets of any nation are Shram Shakti (labour) and Iccha Shakti (resolve), “Once the people decide to bring about change, everything is possible. But the biggest mistake governments make is to think that they alone can bring about change”. In the Grand Finale 1296 teams were selected out of more than 20000 teams in India.

Prime Minister highlighted various decisions by the Government to facilitate research and innovations which include:

  • Introducing Modern Techniques based on Educational and Learning concepts in Atal Tinkering Labs to benefit Students of class 6thto 12th.
  • Prime Minister Research Fellowship to around 1000 best students of BTech, MTech and MSc courses in institutes like IITs, IISc and NIT every year. These students will be given financial assistance of about 70-80 thousand rupees per month over a period of five years.
  • Focus on providing greater autonomy to Higher Educational Institutions.
  • Setting up of 20 World class Institute of Excellence.

Prime Minister cited an example to highlight how Make in India has become a brand and is now becoming popular across the world. He told that four years ago there were only two manufacturing units of mobile phones in India whereas today around 120 factories are operating in the country. There has been about threefold increase in Patent registrations as well as Trademarks registrations in comparison of the registration figures in 2013-14.

Smart India Hackathon, a unique initiative to identify new and disruptive digital technology innovations for solving the challenges faced by our country was organised for the first time in 2017 by MHRD, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Inter Institutional Inclusive Innovation Centre (i4C), and Persistent Systems in order to work towards vision of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi who envisages a Digital India to bridge the digital divide in our country and further promote digital literacy in order to make development a comprehensive mass movement and put governance within everyone’s reach in India. Prime Minister expressing satisfaction while tweeted, “I am happy that over half the projects selected during last year’s Hackathon have been completed and more are nearing completion”, and further tweeted, “What our young minds are doing today will benefit the nation in the coming years”.

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