National News-Daily Digest
1. Inter-country child abduction: Govt panel against Hague treaty
Drawing to a close the longstanding dispute on whether India should give in to pressure from the United States and accede to the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the Justice Rajesh Bindal committee, appointed by the Union government, has recommended against the move.
In cases of transnational marital discords involving child custody, the Hague treaty requires contracting states to send back the runway parent and child to the child’s ‘habitual residence’.
Subsequent Law Commission of India reports of 1980, 2009, and 2016 have ruled in favour of India signing the multilateral treaty, citing the ‘best interest of child’ principle.
However, following feedback received from several stakeholders on how most of these “runway parents” are women fleeing abusive marriages abroad, the panel headed by Punjab and Haryana High Court judge Rajesh Bindal has not recommended signing the treaty. In fact, the Law Commission report of 2016 had cited data that 68% of parents, who take away children globally are mothers, with 85% of these women being the primary caregivers of their children.
In 2016, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi had said that India will not ratify the treaty in the interest of women fleeing bad marriages, but later set up the Justice Bindal panel for a detailed report. The panel has not explicitly stated the nature of its reservation against signing the treaty-it has cited several stakeholders’ suggestions it received.
The panel has suggested setting up the ‘Inter Country Parental Child Removal Disputes Resolution Authority’ for dealing with cases where children are wrongfully retained by a parent. It has also drafted the Protection of Children (Inter-Country Removal and Retention) Bill, 2018, where it states that such an authority would be headed by a Supreme Court judge or a High Court Chief Justice or judge.
2. Committee to review conduct of business in RS
The Chairman of Rajya Sabha – Venkaiah Naidu has constituted a two-member committee to review rules of procedure & conduct of business in the House. The committee will be headed by former Secretary General of the Rajya Sabha, Dr V. K. Agnihotri. The formation of this committee comes with an aim to improve the day-to-day functioning of the two houses of the Parliament.
3. President clears Delhi govt’s amendment in Minimum Wages Act: fine, jail term for violators
President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Delhi government’s proposed Bill to amend the Minimum Wages Act under which employers violating labour rules in the city will now face fine ranging from Rs 20,000-50,000 and jail term between one to three years.
The amended law will act as a ‘strong deterrent’ against the employers who do not pay full minimum wages.
4. GravityRAT Malware that Spies on Computer, Updated
GravityRAT, a malware allegedly designed by Pakistani hackers, has recently been updated further and equipped with anti-malware evasion capabilities.
GravityRAT is designed to infiltrate computers and steal the data of users and relay the stolen data to Command and Control centres in other countries.
It was first detected by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, CERT-In in 2017. ‘RAT’ in its name stands for Remote Access Trojan, which is a program capable of being controlled remotely and is thus difficult to trace. It acts as an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT), which, once infiltrates a system, silently evolves and does long-term damage.
GravityRAT has now become self aware and is capable of evading several commonly used malware detection techniques. It infiltrates a system in the form of an innocuous looking email attachment, which can be in any format, including MS Word, MS Excel, MS Powerpoint, Adobe Acrobat or even audio and video files. The data is sent in an encrypted format, making it difficult to detect exactly what is leaked. The new version of GravityRAT can check system temperature by recording thermal readings for detecting the presence of VMs (virtual machines). It can also collect open ports on the targeted system and creates a list of all the active processes after which it starts stealing files stored on any connected USB drive.
5. India and Guatemala agree to support each other for Non-permanent membership of UNSC
Agreeing to push the ‘complementary’ and ‘not competitive’ nature of bilateral relations to a new level for mutual benefit from the emerging opportunities in both the countries, India and Guatemala agreed to support each other’s candidature for Non-Permanent Membership in the United Nations Security Council. Guatemala will support India’s candidature for UNSC membership for 2021-22 while New Delhi will do so for 2031-32 for Guatemala. Shri V.Naidu’s visit is highest level from either side since establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1972.