Google Current Affairs - 2019

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India Signs ‘Christchurch Call to Action’ Initiative

India has recently joined a major global initiative called ‘Christchurch call to action’ to combat extremism and terrorism online and make internet a safe and secure place. It was signed by a group of governments and major tech companies at a summit in Paris.

  • Background: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron recently launched an ambitious new initiative called “Christchurch Call”, which is aimed at curbing extremism online. The initiative was pushed by Ms Ardern in backdrop of extremist attacks on two mosques in New Zealand city on 15 March 2019, in which a white supremacist gunned down 51 people and broadcasted live footage on Facebook. This gave rise to growing realisation that current abuse of social media by extremists must be countered.
  • Participants: A total of 18 countries including European Union (EU) supported the initiative along representatives of online giants like Facebook, Google, YouTube, Microsoft, Amazon and Twitter.
  • Objective: To curb online extremism by stopping abuse of Internet by extremists. It also calls for an open, free and secure internet to foster economic growth, enhance social inclusiveness and promote connectivity.
  • Argument: The dissemination of such extremist content online has adverse impacts on the human rights of victims, on collective security of individuals involved as well as people all over the world.

About Christchurch Call Agreement

  • It is a non-binding set of agreements to combat spread of hate and violent content online. It was signed by a group of governments and major tech companies at a summit in Paris
  • Unique: It is believed to be first document of its type like one which is signed by both major governments and private companies.

Mandate:

  • All signatories pledge to eliminate violent, terrorist and extremist content on social media as well as other online platforms. But pledge does not contain any regulatory or enforcement measures, and it would be completely up to each individual country and company to decide on how it would honour its voluntary commitments.
  • The pledge also does not include the definition of ‘violent extremist content’, and it is up to individual companies to decide on what constituted objectionable material.
  • It asks member nations to adopt and enforce laws which ban objectionable material, and set guidelines on how each countries traditional media can report acts of terrorism without amplifying them.
  • It asks tech companies to comply with their terms of service, and re-evaluate their algorithms which direct online users towards extremist content and at the same time commit to redirecting people looking for extremist material online.

NOTE:

The United States declined to join the Christchurch call to action initiative. Following are the signatories Nations:

Month: Categories: International

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RailTel turns 1600 railway stations into RailWire Wi-Fi zone

RailWire Wi-Fi by RailTel is now live at 1600 railway stations across the country. The Santacruz railway station in Mumbai became the 1600th station to become a RailWire Wi-Fi zone.

RailWire

RailWire is a retail Broadband initiative of the RailTel. It envisages extending broadband and application services to the public. RailTel is working to establish bringing fast and free Wi-Fi at all stations (except the halt stations) within a year.

RailTel has provided high-speed Wi-Fi at 985 stations with its funding. The Wi-Fi at 415 A, A1 and C category stations has been provided in association with Google as the technology partner. Wi-Fi connections at 200 stations were provided with support from the Universal Service Obligatory Fund of the Government of India.

Universal Service Obligation Fund

Universal Service Obligation Fund was instituted  by the government of India to help fund projects to boost connectivity in rural areas. The money for this fund comes through a ‘Universal Access Levy,’ charged from the telecom operators as a percentage of various licenses fees being paid by them.

RailTel

RailTel Corporation of India Ltd. is a Miniratna public sector enterprise of Government of India. It is one of the largest neutral telecom infrastructure providers in the country owning a Pan-India optic fibre network on exclusive Right of Way (ROW) along Railway track.

Month: Categories: Government SchemesUPSC

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