Four Colonial structures re-dedicated to Kolkata

PM Modi is on a two-day official visit to Kolkata on January 11 and 12, 2020. During his visit, the Prime Minister will dedicate three colonial buildings to the country.

Highlights

During the visit, the Prime Minister will dedicate Old Currency Building, Metcalfe House, Belvedere House and Victoria Memorial Hall. The buildings were renovated by Ministry of Culture. The ministry is also working on developing other iconic buildings and cultural spaces in Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Varanasi.

Currency Building

The Currency Building was built in 1833. It was designed in Italian style with cast iron gates and Venetian windows. The RBI operated from the building till 1937 after which it was abandoned. The building was declared as a protected monument by the archaeological survey of India in 2002

Metacalfe Hall

The building was named after Lord Metacalfe. He was the Governor General of India between March 1835 and March 1836. It is famous for its 30 Corinthian pillars. It was built to honour his efforts towards free press. The building houses public library collection.

The Corinthian colums are slender and sleek structures of the Greek architecture. The column is fluted and are known for their decorative bell shapes and leaves.

Belvedere House

The Belvedere House was Mir Jafar’s palace. Later it housed several governors of Bengal and viceroys of India.

Supreme Court: Access to Internet-a fundamental right

On January 10, 2020, the Supreme Court of India said that Right of access to internet is a fundamental right. The Court had asked the administration of Jammu and Kashmir to review the curbs on internet in a week.

Lately the Indian Government had been using internet shut down as a tool to control protest in the country against the Citizenship Amendment Bill. It was predominant in the north eastern states.

Highlights

A three-member bench of the apex court heard on a batch of pleas against complete blockage of internet in Kashmir. Kashmir was shut out of internet for five months now, since abrogation of Article 370.

The bench pronounced that freedom of speech and expression and freedom to practice any business or trade over internet is constitutionally protected under Article 19 (1).

The judgement also read that Section 144 CrPC shall not be used to suppress freedom of speech and expression.

2016 UN Resolution

In 2016, the UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) released a resolution that condemned disruption of internet access by government. Before passing the resolution UN quoted that there were 15 internet shut downs in 2015 and 20 in 2017. The UN referred to internet ban in Turkey after terrorist attacks, internet shut down in India after local protests and internet blockage in Algeria.