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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

NATGRID

13th September 2019

Why in News?  The ambitious National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) project wants to link social media accounts to the huge database of records related to immigration entry and exit, banking and telephone details among others.

About NATGRID:

  • It is an ambitious counter terrorism programme.
  • It will utilise technologies like Big Data and analytics to study and analyse the huge amounts of data from various intelligence and enforcement agencies to help track suspected terrorists and prevent terrorist attacks.
  • It will connect, in different phases, data providing organisations and users besides developing a legal structure through which information can be accessed by the law enforcement agencies.
  • NATGRID is a post Mumbai 26/11 attack

 

Who can access the data?

  • The database would be accessible to authorised persons from 11 agencies on a case-to-case basis, and only for professional investigations into suspected cases of terrorism.

Criticisms:

  • NATGRID is facing opposition on charges of possible violations of privacy and leakage of confidential personal information.
  • Its efficacy in preventing terror has also been questioned given that no state agency or police force has access to its database thus reducing chances of immediate, effective action.
  • According to few experts, digital databases such as NATGRID can be misused. Over the last two decades, the very digital tools that terrorists use have also become great weapons to fight the ideologies of violence.
  • Intelligence agencies have also opposed amid fears that it would impinge on their territory and possibly result in leaks on the leads they were working on to other agencies.

 Why do we need NATGRID?

  • The danger from not having a sophisticated tool like the NATGRID is that it forces the police to rely on harsh and coercive means to extract information in a crude and degrading fashion.
  • After every terrorist incident, it goes about rounding up suspects—many of who are innocent. If, instead, a pattern search and recognition system were in place, these violations of human rights would be much fewer.
  • Natgrid would also help the Intelligence Bureau keep a tab on persons with suspicious backgrounds.
  • The police would have access to all his data and any movement by this person would also be tracked with the help of this data base.

 

Facts for Prelims:

‘Rudrashila’:

  • It is the white water Rafting Expedition being undertaken by Kalidhar Battalion under the aegis of Battle Axe Division.
  • It has been organised to commemorate the 75th Raising day of the Kalidhar Battalion.
  • ‘Rudrashila’ takes its name from the famed Rudraprayag tributary of the Ganges River in the Mountains of Uttarakhand.

 

World University Rankings 2020:

  • Released by TIMES Higher Education (THE). This is 16th edition.
  • Included over 1,300 universities from 92 countries.

Key facts:

  • 56 Indian institutions (up from 49 last year) made entry into the table this year, making India the fifth most-represented country in the list and the third in Asia (behind Japan and China).
  • The University of Oxford retained the top position for the consecutive fourth year.
  • The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore topped the Indian universities on the list (although its ranking fell from the 251-300 group in 2019 to the 301-350 bracket in 2020). It now shares this position with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar- which made a debut entry into the list.
  • It is the first time since 2012, that an Indian university has not featured in the top 300 of the ranking.

 

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