Operation Clean Money | PIB Summary

Operation Clean Money Will enable citizen engagement for creating a tax compliant society and transparent tax administration.

  • Operation Clean Money Phase I: 18 lakh persons identified; More than 9.72 lakh taxpayers submitted online responses for 13.33 lakh accounts involving cash deposits of around Rs 2.89 lakh crore.
  • 68 lakh new cases identified for the e-verification process.

Introduction

The Union Minister of Finance, Shri ArunJaitley, officially launched the Portal of Operation Clean Money (Click Here to read more) in New Delhi today.

About Operation Clean Money

  • The Operation Clean Money was initiated by the Income Tax Department (ITD) on the 31st January 2017 with the launch of e-verification of large cash deposits made during 9th November to 30th December 2016.
  • In the first phase, around 18 lakh persons were identified in whose case, cash transactions did not appear in line with the tax payer’s profile. There has been an encouraging response to the online verification process and more than 9.72 lakh taxpayers submitted their response without visiting Income tax office up to 12th May 2017.  These taxpayers have provided a response for 13.33 lakh accounts involving cash deposits of around Rs. 2.89 lakh crore.
  • The online responses have been assessed and no further action will be taken in cases of satisfactory explanation.

Salient features

  • Providing comprehensive information at one place consisting of Step by Step Guides, Frequently Asked Questions, User Guides, Quick Reference Guides and Training Toolkits related to the verification process and other issues.
  • Enabling Citizen Engagement for creating a tax compliant society where every Indian takes pride in paying taxes.  Citizens would be able to support the Operation Clean Money by taking the pledge, contribute by engaging and educating fellow citizens, and share their experiences and provide feedback.
  • Enabling Transparent Tax Administration by sharing status reports (including sanitized cases and explanation of verification issues) and thematic analysis reports (e.g. taxpayer segment analysis of cash deposit data).
  • The ITD on-boarded two specialized data analytics agencies and a business process management agency to augment departmental capability in analyzing large volumes of cash deposit data, track the compliance status of taxpayers and reporting entities.

Phase II of Operation Clean Money

In Phase II of Operation Clean Money, the high-risk cases will be handled by selecting appropriate enforcement action (verification, search, survey, scrutiny). A targeted campaign will be initiated in cases with identified risk issues.

The key components of the targeted campaign are

  • Communication of specific issue through digital channels (Email, SMS etc.)
  • Providing detailed explanation to create environment of transparency
  • Sharing investigation findings for specific segments (e.g. Jewellers, petrol pump, traders, property purchasers etc.)
  • Centralized monitoring and gradual escalation of inadequate response cases for enforcement action.

Draft CAR on handling of unruly and disruptive passengers | PIB Summary

The Minister for Civil Aviation Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju and MoS Shri Jayant Singh briefed media with regard to the handling of unruly passengers.  They informed that the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) on “Handling of unruly/disruptive passengers” is being revised to enhance the safety and security of passengers, crew as well as airlines.

Main features of the Draft CAR

  • Three levels of unruly behaviours defined viz.
    • Level 1disruptive behaviour,
    • Level 2physically abusive behaviour and
    • Level 3Life- threatening behaviour.
  • The Airlines will maintain a database of such passengers which will form a National No-fly List of unruly/disruptive passengers.  Individuals identified by MHA as national security threats will also form part of the National No-Fly List.  Such names will be forwarded to the individuals by the airlines indicating the reasons for inclusion of their names in the National NO-Fly List.
  • For passengers indicated in the National No-Fly List, airlines will have the option to bar the unruly passenger from taking flights to / form / within India for a period ranging from 03 months to a maximum of two years depending upon the level of unruly behaviour.  For every subsequent offence, the person will be banned for twice the period of the previous ban.
  • Provides for two tiers of complaint handling mechanism in such cases, viz. initial inquiry at airlines level by an internal committee headed by a retired District & Sessions Judge and an appeal at Govt. headed by Retired Judge of a High Court of India.
  • Other Airlines, as well as International Airlines, were free to take cognizance of No Fly List and extend the ban to the concerned individual or group of individuals.  However, individuals in No Fly List identified by security agencies would have no right to appeal.

Ban on Beacon – Lal Batti | LSTV

Recently, the NDA Government has done away with the beacon lights – Lal Batti for VIPs (from May 1st,2017). The Cabinet decision is in sync with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s view of abolishing the VIP culture of red beacon lights and sirens. Supreme Court in many occasions in the last 7 years has actively directed several governments to check this unnecessary practice.

Lal Batti | What does the order say?

Five categories of officials including the President, the Vice President, the Chief Justice of India, the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Prime Minister will also not be allowed to use red beacons after the decision is implemented along with other Union Ministers, Chief Ministers and their respective Cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and judges of the High Court and other subordinate courts. However, the blue beacons will be allowed to operated albeit on emergency vehicles.

Lal Batti | Background

  • In 2013, the Hon’ble Supreme Court termed the use of beacons by government officials and ministers as ridiculous and labelled it as synonymous of power while clarifying that only Constitutional authorities should be allowed to use it.
  • The first debate on the flashing and non-flashing variety of red and blue beacon lights was started by the Supreme Court in 2010. It continued to direct the concerned authorities regarding the use and misuse of beacon lights by the constitutional and non-constitutional authorities, respectively.
  • In 2013, the Supreme Court prepared a restricted list for the use of red beacons for those who hold a Constitutional Similarly, blue lights were allowed for emergency and ambulance services. Henceforth, the State governments were asked to frame guidelines to implement the court order. But the implementation as we know, remained incomplete and merely on the paper.

Lal Batti | Impact on VIP Culture

The usage of red beacon (both flashing and non-flashing variety) was a baggage of colonial past. In India, the beacon turned into a symbol of VIP racism and public servants used it to signal their aristocratic status in the society to which they serve. It was the legacy of a feudal mentality of those serving the colonial Government who treated the native people as slaves.

In modern democratic era, vehicles with beacon lights have turned irrelevant, rather offensive to the society. We have often seen that even junior politicians and officials misuse the beacons to show off their political strength, especially in smaller towns and rural areas. Therefore, this recent decision could be regarded as a welcome step by the Government in order to terminate the VIP culture by reducing the gap between the ruler and the subjects.

Lal Batti Ban | Advantages

  • In continuance of the feudal mentality, the abuse of beacons made ourroads less convenient and more dangerous for the common people. There have been multiple cases of road mishaps due to the speed of these VIP cars. But now, every person will be on the same page, or every person will be a VIP (as per the Prime Minister) J
  • In India, one of the biggest cause of traffic jams were these beacon-fitted vehicles where the occupants of these vehicles forced the common people on road to wait for them while they pass the road. Fortunately, this matter will come to an end.
  • As the real people who need protection from beacon lights are those who need emergency services or perform emergency services like fire brigade, ambulance and police. The rest of the VIP racism costs direct and indirect costs to the public exchequer and it is often seen that this patronage is extended to many politicians with criminal background.

Lal Batti Ban |Principle of equality

Rule 108 of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 deals with use of red, white and blue lights on vehicles. Rule 108-1 (III) says that the Centre and the states can specify dignitaries who can use such beacons on their (official) vehicles. It is a central rule that is being abolished from the rule book by this recent cabinet decision.

By removing this provision, the Government has moved forward towards equality. It will discomfort a minority of people with feudal leverages but it will surely delight the majority of people who will find a sense of relief out of the abolishment of this VIP racism.

Lal Batti | Conclusion

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been attributing himself as the ‘Pradhan Sevak’ of India. This move portrays the sentiment that every Indian is a VIP. The strong political shown by the government through this step will surely bring a change in our society and hopefully in our feudal mindset of colonial era.

To see the full debate on LSTV Click Below :

 

Security Features – ECI-EVMs | PIB Summary

VERY IMPORTANT for Prelims + GS 2 Governance, Polity + GS 4 Ethics

In the recent past, there have been some queries in the minds of common people about the security features of Electronic Voting Machines – EVMs  of Election Commission of India (ECI). The Election Commission has, time and again, stated that ECI – EVMs and its systems are robust, secure and tamper-proof.

What is meant by Tampering of EVM?

Tampering means alteration in the software program written either on existing microchips of Control Unit (CU) or introducing malicious software program by inserting new microchips in CU and also making keys – pressed in Ballot Unit (BU) not record faithfully in the Control Unit.

Are the ECI- EVMs hackable?

NO

M1 (model one) of EVM machines were manufactured till 2006 and had all necessary technical features making M1 non-hackable contrary to claims made by some activists.

On the recommendations of the Technical Evaluation Committee in 2006, M2 model of EVMs produced after 2006 and up to 2012 incorporated dynamic coding of key codes thereby enabling transfer of the key – press message from  Ballot Unit (BUs) to  Control Unit (CUs), in an encrypted form as an additional security feature. It also contains Real time setting of each key press so that sequencing of key presses including so called malicious sequenced key presses can be detected and wrapped.

Further, the ECI- EVMs are not computer controlled, are stand alone machines and not connected to the internet and /or any other network at any point of time. Hence, there is no chance of hacking by remote devices.

The ECI-EVMs do not have any frequency receiver or decoder for data for wireless or any external hardware port for connection to any other non-EVM accessory or device. Hence no tampering is possible either through hardware port or through Wireless, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth device because CU accepts only encrypted and dynamically coded data from BU. No other kind of data can be accepted by CU.

Can ECI – EVMs be manipulated by Manufacturers?

Not Possible

There is very stringent security protocol at manufacturer level regarding security of software. The Machines have been manufactured in different years starting from 2006. After manufacturing, EVMs are sent to State and district to district within a State. The manufacturers are in no position to know several years ahead which candidate will be contesting from a particular constituency and what will be the sequence of the candidates on the BU. Also, each ECI-EVM has a serial number and the Election Commission by use of EVM – tracking software can find out from its database which machine is located where. So, any manipulation at manufacturing stage is ruled out. 

Can Trojan Horse be incorporated into the chip in CU?

Sequence of voting in EVM eliminates the possibility of injection of Trojan Horse as mentioned below. The stringent security measures by ECI make it impossible to introduce Trojan Horse in the field.

Once a ballot key is pressed in CU, the CU enables BU for registering the vote and waits for the key pressing in the BU.  During this period, all keys in the CU become Inactive till the entire sequence of casting of that vote is complete.  Once any of the keys (candidates vote button) is pressed by a voter in BU, the BU transmits the key information to CU.  The CU gets the data and acknowledges it by glowing the corresponding LED lamps in BU.  After the enabling of ballot in CU, only the ‘first key press’ is sensed and accepted by CU.  After this, even if a voter keeps on pressing the other buttons that is of no use as there will not be any communication between CU and BU as the result of those subsequent key presses, nor will BU register any key press.  To put it in other words, there can be only one valid key press (the first key press) for every ballot enabled using CU.  Once a valid key press (voting process) is complete, until another ballot enabling key press is made there will not be any activity between the CU and the BU.  Hence, sending of any malicious signal, by way of so called ‘sequenced key presses’, is impossible in the Electronic Voting Machines being used in the country.

Are Old model ECI-  EVMs still in use?

M1 model of EVM machines were produced up to 2006 and were last used in 2014 General Elections. In 2014, EVM machines which completed 15 years of economic life and also because M1 were not compatible with VVPAT (voter-verified paper audit trail), ECI decided to discontinue use of all M1 EVMs manufactured upto 2006. There is a Standard Operating Procedure laid down by ECI to discard EVMs. The process of destruction of EVM & its chip is carried out in the presence of Chief Electoral Officer of the state or his representatives inside the factory of manufacturers. 

Can ECI – EVMs be Physically Tampered with/ their components be changed without anyone noticing?

In addition to the existing security features in earlier models M1 & M2 of ECI-EVMs, the new M3 EVM produced after 2013 have additional features like Tamper Detection and Self Diagnostics. The tamper detection feature makes an EVM inoperative the moment anyone tries to open the machine. The Self diagnostic feature checks the EVM fully every time it is switched on. Any change in its hardware or software will be detected.  

A prototype of a new model M3 with above features is going to be ready shortly. A Technical Experts Committee will examine it and then production will commence. About Rs. 2,000 crores have been released by the Government to procure M3 EVMs with above additional features and new technological advancements.

What are the latest technological features to make ECI – EVMs tamper proof?

The ECI-EVMs use some of the most sophisticated technological features like one time programmable (OTP) microcontrollers, dynamic coding of key codes, date and time stamping of each and every key press, advanced encryption technology and EVM-tracking software to handle EVM logistics, among others to make the machine 100% tamper proof. In addition to these, new model M3 EVMs also have tamper detection and self-diagnostics as added features. Since, software is based on OTP the program cannot be altered, re-written or Re-read. Thus, making EVM tamper proof. If anyone make, attempt, the machine will become in operative.

Do the ECI-EVMs use foreign technology?

Contrary to misinformation and as alleged by some, India do not use any EVMs produced abroad.  EVMs are produced indigenously by 2 PSUs viz. Bharat Electronics Ltd., Bengaluru and Electronics Corporation of India Ltd., Hyderabad. The Software Programme Code is written in-house, by these two companies, not outsourced, and subjected to security procedures at factory level to maintain the highest levels of integrity. The programme is converted into machine code and only then given to the chip manufacturer abroad because we don’t have the capability of producing semi-conductor microchips within the country.

Every microchip has an identification number embedded into memory and the producers have their digital signatures on them. So, the question of their replacement does not arise at all because microchips are subjected to functional tests with regard to the software. Any attempt to replace microchip is detectable and can make EVM in-operative. Thus, both changing existing programme or introducing new one are detectable making EVM in-operative.

What are the possibilities of manipulation at the place of storage?

At the district headquarters, EVMs are kept in a double-lock system under appropriate securityTheir safety is periodically checked. The officers do not open the strong room, but they check whether it’s fully protected and whether the lock is in proper condition or not. No Unauthorized person can get access to the EVMs at any point of timeDuring non-election period, Annual Physical Verification of all EVMs is done by DEOs and report sent to ECI. Inspection & checking have recently been completed.

To what extent are allegations of EVM tampering in local body polls true?

There is a misunderstanding in this regard due to lack of knowledge about jurisdiction. In case of elections to Municipal bodies or Rural bodies like Panchayat Elections, the EVMs used do not belong to the Election Commission of India. Above local bodies elections come under the jurisdiction of State Election Commission/s (SECs), which procure their own machines and have their own handling system. ECI is not responsible for functioning of EVMs used by SECs in above elections.

What are the different levels of checks and balances ensuring tamper proofing of ECI-EVMs?

First Level Checking: BEL/ECIL engineers certify originality of components after technical and physical examination of each EVM, undertaken in front of representatives of political parties. Defective EVMs are sent back to factory. The FLC Hall is sanitized, entry is restricted and no camera, mobile phone or spy pen is allowed inside. Mock poll of at least 1000 votes is conducted on 5% EVMs selected randomly by reps of political parties and the result shown to them. The entire process is video graphed.

Randomization: EVMs are randomized twice while being allocated to an Assembly and then to a polling booth ruling out any fixed allocation. Mock Poll at polling station is conducted in front of polling agents of candidates on the poll day, before polls begin.

After Poll, EVMs are sealed and polling agents put their signature on the seal. Polling agents can travel upto strong room during transportations.

Strong Rooms: Candidates or their representatives can put their own seals on the strong rooms where polled EVMs are stored after the poll and also camp in front of strong room.  These strong rooms are guarded 24×7 in multilayers.

Counting Centres: The polled EVMs are brought to the Counting Centres and Unique IDs of the seals and CU are shown to reps of candidates before start of counting.

Can a manipulated ECI- EVMs be re-inducted in the polling process without anyone coming to know?

Question does not arise.

Looking at the above series of fool-proof checks and balances that are undertaken by the ECI to make EVMs tamper proof, it is evident that neither the machines can be tampered-with nor defective machines can get re-inducted into the polling process at any point of time because Non ECI -EVMs will get detected by the above process and mismatch of BU & CU. Due to different level of stringent checks and balances neither ECI-EVMs can leave the ECI system nor any outside machine (Non-ECI –EVM) can be inducted into the system.

Why have Developed Nations like the US and European Union not adopted EVMs and some have discontinued?

Some countries have experimented with electronic voting in the past. The problem faced with the machines in these countries was that they were computer controlled and connected to the network, which in turn, made them prone to hacking and hence totally defeating the purpose.  Moreover, there were not adequate security measures and safeguards in their corresponding laws regulations for security, safety and protection. In some countries, Courts struck down the use of EVMs on these legal grounds only.

Indian EVM is stand-alone whereas, USA, The Netherlands, Ireland & Germany had direct recording machines.  India has introduced paper audit trail, though partly.  Others did not have audit trail. Source code is closed during polling in all of the above countries. India also has closed source burnt into memory and is OTP.

ECI-EVMs, on the other hand, are stand-alone devices not connected to any network, thus making it impossible for anyone to tamper with over 1.4 million machines in India individually. EVMs are most suited for India, looking at the country’s past poll violence and other electoral malpractices like rigging, booth capturing etc. during the polls.

It is worth mentioning that in contrast with countries like Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands. Indian Laws & ECI regulations have in-built adequate safeguards for security & safety of EVMs.  Besides Indian EVMs are far superior on account of secured technological features. Indian EVMs also stand apart because VVPATs going to be used with EVMs in phases to make entire process transparent for voters.

In case of The Netherlands, rules regarding storage, transport and security of machine were lacking. Machines produced in The Netherlands were also used in Ireland & Germany. In a judgment in 2005, German Court found voting device ordnance unconstitutional on the ground of violation of the privilege of the public nature of election& the basic law. So, these countries discontinued the use of machines produced in The Netherlands.  Even, today many countries including USA are using machines for voting

ECI – EVMs are fundamentally different from the voting machines and processes adopted in foreign countries. Any comparison based on computer controlled, operating system based machines elsewhere will be erroneous and ECI – EVM cannot be compared with.

What is the status of VVPAT enabled machines?

The ECI has conducted elections in 255 assembly constituencies and nine Lok Sabha constituencies using Voters Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). The use of M2 and new-generation M3 EVMs along with VVPAT is the way forward for further confidence and transparency of the voters.

E-Cinepramaan | PIB Summary

E-Cinepramaan | VERY IMPORTANT

Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu has said that E-Cinepramaan – the Online Film Certification System of CBFC would facilitate the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of Ease of Doing Business and Digital India. The complete automation of the Film Certification Process would enable Good Governance making the entire process transparent and efficient.

E-Cinepramaan | Objectives

The objective is to eliminate the need for human interface to the extent possible. The new online certification system would be an important step in making the CBFC Office paper less and would enable effective monitoring & real time progress tracking for both CBFC Officials and the applicant (Producers). More online initiatives would be introduced in the Ministry as part of the roadmap for transparent Governance. The Minister stated this at the launch function of the Online Film Certification System of CBFC here today.

E-Cinepramaan | Salient features

  • In the e-cinepramaan, the status of each application would be visible online in the dashboard of the producer/concerned CBFC official.
  • In case of short films/promos/trailers less than 10 minutes, even for Examination purposes also, the producer need not visit the Office/Theatre. They can merely submit their creations online.
  • For films longer than 10 minutes, the applicant will only have to show the film at the Examining theatre and will not have to visit the CBFC Offices at all except to collect their certificates.
  • The producer/applicant would be informed by SMS/e-mail of the status of their application and any action needed, beginning from the receipt of application to the certificate collection.
  • The transparency in the system and elimination of middle men would mitigate chances of any corruption and would also avoid allegations of jumping the queue or rigging up of Examination committees.
  • The implementation of QR code on the certificates would eliminate chances of fraudulent certificates.
  • The system envisages a robust MIS system for performance tracking and efficient reporting.
  • The system has inbuilt alerts depending on the pendency of the application to ensure that time limits prescribed by the Rules are not violated.
  • Simultaneously, a new CBFC Website has also been developed bringing in new user friendly features and important information at the click of a button.

Buddha – Perspective on Good Governance

Buddha has been considered to be mostly a philosopher and an ethical teacher and not preoccupied with political or state-related issues. But in contrast to that, many recent scholars have analysed (from the historical context of Buddha’s life) that he was both a ‘social reformer’ and political philosopher.

Ancient Indian society had begun to change when Buddha attained Enlightenment. Historically, that period was known as Vedanta (end of Vedas). During that time as the commerce with other states began, there came a new merchant class in the territory who expressed interest in Buddha’s teachings. Buddha challenged the divine origin concept from a very simple and acceptable viewpoint: i.e., that the Brahmins like the other varnas had a common human birth. This would make the Brahmins essentially equal to the others. It should be mentioned here that even in the Buddhist literature, there was scant mention of political attitudes.

The word “Dhammappasasana” in Pali means Good governance. (Dharamprasasana in Sanskrit)

  • Dhamma: – virtue/law/Righteous
  • Pasasana: – governance

Buddha as a Social Reformer and a Political Thinker

  1. The Buddhist expression of the concepts of rule of law and good governance are manifested in “Dasa Raja Dharma”
  2. Basic structure of governance in Buddhism
    Dhamma+ Vinaya =Nirvana
    a) Dhamma- truth
    b) Vinaya- rules ideals and standards of behavior.
    c) Nirvana- freedom from exploitative relationships. Free from personal ill motives and desires harmful for himself + others.
  3. Middle path approach continues to inspire us towards new paradigm of sustainable development and peaceful societies.
  4. Uplift the spirit of humanity.
  5. In Buddhist philosophy it is emphasized that evil and the good of a people depends on the behavior of their rulers.
  6. The king can be overthrown from kingship if he is later known to be immoral or incapable.
  7. Buddh denied biased nature. (Biased because of – like, dislike, delusion, stupidity and fear)

Buddha’s thoughts about the King can be summarized as :-

  1. Never regarded as incarnation of one and supreme creator.
  2. God only in public opinion.
  3. To be selected on account of their righteousness and ability.
  4. People have full freedom to choose the most virtuous and able man.

The 10 royal Virtues (Dasa Raja Dharma) of the king were :

  1. Dana:- Charity
  2. Sila :- (Morality) Being good example for others
  3. Parriccaga: – (Altruism) Being generous and avoiding selfishness.
  4. Ajjavan: – (Honesty) Absolutely straight forward.
  5. Majjavan/Maddava:- Gentleness
  6. Tapan:- (Composure) follow the middle path , Rulers must keep the five senses under control
  7. Akkodha:- Non-anger, Non-Hatred
  8. Avihimsa:- Non-violence
  9. Kanti:-Forgiveness
    1. denied barbarity towards prisoners.
    2. socio-political attitude based on non- violence and compassion.
  10. Avirodhna: – Uprightness. Respecting others opinions also.

If we look deeply we find many similarities between today’s and Buddhist governance concept. Some of these being:

  1. Participation
  2. Rule of law –Sila (Morality) refers to the law or constitution as well as other rules and regulation.
  3. Honesty – Ajjava(transparency)
  4. Responsiveness – must see the suffering of poor peoples.
  5. A consensus oriented approach (Buddh denied absolute power to monarch.)
  6. Equity and Inclusiveness – fair and impartial decision for every person (gender, caste, religion).
  7. Effectiveness and efficiency – corresponds to self-sacrifice.
  8. Accountability.

When we look at Buddha’s life we find that there were many reasons for considering Buddha as a Political thinker. This was because of the need for good governance due to :

  1. Complexities- advent of market economy, globalization, revolution
  2. Incapability- lack of knowledge
  3. Corruption

Buddha had approached the problem by applying scientific method. Finding the root cause of suffering as craving and misconception, the result being the emergence of training, meditation and wisdom

– –  Guest Post by Student of RMISG

Ms. Dinshaw