16th December 2019 : Prelims Sure Shot: UPSC IAS Current Affairs

1.Ease of Doing Business and other Indices

Why in News

  • India among top 10 improvers in EODB; India ranks 63rd among 190 countries.

World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report 2020:

  • India ranks 63rd among 190 countries improving by 14 ranks from its rank of 77 in 2019.
  • India has improved its rank in 7 out of 10 indicators and has moved closer to international best practices.
  • India is one of the top 10 improvers, the third time in a row, with an improvement of 67 ranks in 3 years. It is also the highest jump by any large country since 2011.

Startup India:

  • A total of 21,778 startups are now recognised under the Startup India Initiative, of which 2,912 startups have been recognised since 1st June 2019.

Global Innovation Index (GII):

  • In the past 4 years, India’s rank in the GII has improved from 81st rank in 2015 to the present 52nd rank in the GII 2019 report.
  • India became the first developing country to launch the Global Innovation Index (GII) in association with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

In order to promote innovation the following measures have been taken:

  • Final Patent (Amendment) Rules, 2019: This amendment to the Patents Rules, 2003 has led to significant simplification of rules, especially for startups and MSMEs.
  • The Patent (Second Amendment) Rules, 2019: This reduced the fees for small entities/MSMEs for the processing of patent applications under various sections of the Patents Act, 1970. This is expected to incentivise MSMEs to file for more patents.

In order to promote export, the Department of Commerce has undertaken various measures such as:

  • NIRVIK: A new export credit insurance scheme ‘NIRVIK’ has been introduced. 
  • An online portal for filing applications under ‘Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA)’ scheme for Specified Agriculture Products has been launched.
  • A database has been prepared by the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) for all pending claims, and online access on status of claims has been provided. This will be a critical tool for providing information access to exporters.
  • The online “Origin Management System” gives single access point for all exporters, for all Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) and for all agencies.
  • In order to provide extra support to exports to emerging and challenging markets like Africa, CIS, Latin America and Asian countries, fresh capital has been infused into the ECGC.

Source- https://pib.gov.in/Pressreleaseshare.aspx?PRID=1596654



2.Android vulnerable to cyberattack: MHA

Why in News

  • Alert issued by the Union Home Ministry.


  • The Union Home Ministry has sent an alert to all States warning them about the vulnerability of the Android operating system to a bug called ‘StrandHogg’ that allows real-time malware applications to pose as genuine applications and access user data of all kinds.
  • This malware can then potentially listen to their conversations, access photo albums, read/send messages, make calls, record conversations and get login credentials to various accounts.
  • This apart, things that such malware can access include private images, files, contact details, call logs, and location information.
  • The information was shared by the Threat Analytical Unit, Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs.

Warning signs:

  • While all versions of Android, including Android 10, are vulnerable to this bug, it may not be apparent to the affected users that malware applications are already onboard their devices.
  • Pop-ups asking for permission to send notifications, messages, etc., are one of the main entry points for ‘StrandHogg’ to launch the attack.
  • An app in which the user is already logged in asking him/her to log in again is another anomaly pointing to the possibilities of a cyberattack. Once users approve such requests, the malware would instantly access the mobile phone or tablet for specific purposes.
  • Links and buttons that become non-functional, apps asking for permissions that are not required are among the other warning signs.


  • An alert has been sent to all senior police officials to sensitize them to the threat. Steps should be taken to create awareness among the public on the vulnerability of Android to ‘StrandHogg’.


Source- https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/android-vulnerable-to-cyberattack-union-home-ministry/article30314842.ece


3.RTI case: Centre files affidavit in sealed cover

  • The Information Commissions are the courts of appeal under the RTI Act, and continuing vacancies lead to long delays in settling cases.
  • The SC had issued a show-cause notice to the Centre and some state governments on their progress in making timely and transparent appointments to the Commissions asking them to file a status report.
  • The Department of Personnel and Training is the nodal Central Ministry for RTI.
  • The government agencies and departments have been using sealed covers to submit information to the judiciary.
  • Retired judges have said sealed covers are typically used in matters of national security or with regard to ongoing investigations.

Source- https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-files-transparency-case-affidavit-in-sealed-cover/article30314126.ece

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