Daily Current Affairs for 17th January 2020

  1. Home
  2. »
  3. Daily Current Affairs January
  4. »
  5. Daily Current Affairs for 17th January 2020

Firms may extensively use AI to deal with cyber attacks

GS Paper III

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Mains: Artificial intelligence in protecting from cyber-attacks

What’s the News?

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will be powering the ‘cyber war rooms’ in organisations to help them protect from increasing cyberattacks, as well as detect, predict and respond to the same.

Artificial Intelligence (AI):

  • It is a branch of Science which deals with helping machines find solutions to complex problems in a more human-like fashion.
  • This generally involves borrowing characteristics from human intelligence, and applying them as algorithms in a computer friendly way.
  • A more or less flexible or efficient approach can be taken depending on the requirements established, which influences how artificial the intelligent behavior appears.


The study titled ‘Cyber Security India Market:

What lies beneath’ also notes that the regulatory landscape for privacy and data protection is expected to reach a tipping point in 2020, forcing Indian organisations to comply with not only global regulations but also with the proposed law on personal data protection, the Aadhaar Act.


  • The number of endpoints (including mobile devices) continues to rise and so does the business data being processed/stored in them.
  • While threats like mobile malware seem to have a low direct impact on businesses, “we do see an increase in the number of data breaches related to mobile device use and misuse”, it added.
  • Every device used to access company systems is yet another endpoint for the organisation to secure.
  • Organisations need to be careful and avoid deploying tools and solutions to solve an immediate problem or a single case.


Drop in death sentences awarded by trial courts

Paper: II

For Prelims: Project 39A.

For Mains: Structure, Organization and Functioning of the Judiciary.

Context of News:

  • According to ‘Death Penalty in India: Annual Statistics Report 2018’, prepared by Project 39A of the National Law University, Delhi. The number of death sentences awarded by trial courts in India saw a significant drop from 162 in 2018 to 102 in 2019.

Background of Capital Punishment in India:

  • In three milestone judgments – Bachan Singh vs State of Punjab of 1980 being the last of the series – the Supreme Court laid the principle of “rarest of rare” for awarding death penalty to convicts found guilty of murder.
  • Three years later, the Supreme Court struck down Section 303 of the Indian Penal Code that made it mandatory to award death penalty to a person already convicted of some offence if she commits murder.
  • This establishes that the Supreme Court considers death penalty an avoidable sentence to the maximum extent possible.
  • Yet, in 2018, India was among top seven countries to award death penalty. The lower courts awarded death penalty to 162 convicts, according to Project 39 of the National Law University, Delhi. This is the figure quoted by the Amnesty International in its annual report on death penalty.

India awards death sentences to persons convicted of:

  1. Waging war against the State
  2. Terrorism
  3. Aiding or abetting Sati
  4. Aiding or abetting suicide by minor
  5. Falsely implicating an SC/ST person in a capital case
  6. Murder
  7. Rape/gang rape and murder
  8. Rape/gang rape of minor below 12

About the Report:

  • According to the report, 52.94 per cent of the 102 death penalties last year (54 death sentences) were given in cases involving sexual offences.
  • No death sentence was awarded in 11 states — Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim — in 2019, while Rajasthan topped the list with 13 death sentences.
  • The death penalties awarded in 2018 were the highest in a calendar year since 2000, possibly as a result of amendments to the Prevention of Child Sexual Offences Act, extending the death sentence to non-homicidal crimes in cases of rape and gang rape of girls below the age of 12. Of the 54 death sentences involving sexual offences and murder, 70 per cent of the cases involved victims below the age of 12.

Project 39A

  • It is a research and litigation initiative focusing on the criminal justice system. It works on issues around legal aid, torture, mental health in prisons and death penalty.
  • Project 39A is inspired by Article 39-A of the Indian Constitution, a provision that furthers the intertwined values of equal justice and equal opportunity by removing economic and social barriers. These are constitutional values of immense importance given the manner in which multiple disparities intersect to exclude vast sections of our society from effectively accessing justice.
  • Project 39A is committed to ensuring that our engagement with the criminal justice system is based on rigorous empirical work. There is much to be gained from diligent documentation and analysis of the workings of the criminal justice system before heading down a prescriptive path.

Article 39A:

  • According to Article 39A of Indian constitution the State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice, on a basis of equal opportunity, and shall, in particular, provide free legal aid. Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State.
  • The State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice, on a basis of equal opportunity, and shall, in particular, provide free legal aid, by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way, to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities.


Current Affairs

Recent Posts