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12-January -2024

1. DoT Takes pro-active measures in preventing cyber frauds.

Topic: GS3 – Internal Security – Basics of cyber security
UPSC candidates must grasp the significance of DoT’s proactive measures to combat telecom fraud, emphasizing citizen awareness and cybersecurity vigilance. 
  • The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) warns citizens of a phone scam where fraudsters, posing as telecom service providers
  • The Department instruct users to dial *401# followed by a number, enabling unconditional call forwarding and facilitating potential fraud. Users are urged to be cautious and disable call forwarding when not needed. 
More about this news:
  • The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications, is actively working to prevent malicious incoming calls and safeguard against cybercrimes and frauds.
  • Citizens are advised to beware of receiving malicious incoming calls instructing them to dial *401# followed by an unknown mobile number.
  • This action activates unconditional call forwarding on the citizen’s mobile number to the unknown mobile number, allowing fraudsters to receive all incoming calls and potentially use them for fraudulent activities.
Frauds in India: A Snapshot
  • Rising Tide: India witnessed a 83% rise in cybercrime complaints in 2022 compared to 2021, with over 2.5 lakh cases registered.
  • Financial Target: Financial frauds dominate, accounting for 74% of cybercrime complaints. Phishing, online investment scams, and credit card frauds are common.
  • Vulnerable Groups: Young adults, senior citizens, and individuals in rural areas are particularly susceptible to cyberattacks.
  • Lack of Awareness: Limited digital literacy and awareness about cyber threats make individuals vulnerable.
  • Data Breaches: Weak data security practices by companies and organizations expose personal information, making it vulnerable to misuse.
  • Law Enforcement Gaps: The legal framework and enforcement mechanisms need strengthening to effectively combat cybercrime.
  • Technological Advancements: Cybercriminals constantly adapt and evolve their tactics, necessitating continuous upgrades in detection and prevention tools.
Way Forward:
  • Digital Literacy Campaigns: Widespread public awareness campaigns promoting safe online practices and recognizing cyber threats are crucial.
  • Data Security Regulations: Stringent data protection laws and regulations with effective enforcement are needed to hold companies accountable for data breaches.
  • Cybersecurity Infrastructure: Investing in robust cybersecurity infrastructure, including advanced detection and prevention tools, is essential.
  • Collaboration: Fostering collaboration between law enforcement agencies, private companies, and the public is key to effectively combat cybercrime.
  • Innovation: Encouraging research and development in cybersecurity technologies to stay ahead of evolving threats is vital.
PYQ: Discuss different types of cyber crimes and measures required to be taken to fight the menace. (150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2020)
Practice Question: India has witnessed an alarming rise in cyber frauds. Analyze the key factors contributing to this surge and suggest proactive measures to strengthen India’s cyber defense against these evolving threats. (250 words/15 m)

2. PM presents sacred Chadar to be placed during the Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer Sharif Dargah

Topic: GS1 – Indian History – Indian Heritage
UPSC candidates should understand engagement with diverse communities, promoting unity, cultural respect, and religious harmony in governance.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with a Muslim community delegation, including Union Minister Smriti Irani
  • He presented a sacred Chadar for the Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, symbolizing unity. Notable personalities attended the event at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg.
What is in the news?
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met with a Muslim community delegation at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg.
  • Union Minister of WCD and Minority Affairs, Smt Smriti Zubin Irani, was present during the meeting.
  • The Prime Minister presented a sacred Chadar to the delegation, intended for placement during the Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer Sharif Dargah.
  • The Chadar symbolizes unity, peace, and reverence for Sufi traditions.
More about Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti
  • Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (1142-1236) was a renowned Sufi saint and Islamic scholar in the Indian subcontinent.
  • Born in Persia, he played a pivotal role in spreading Sufism in India.
  • He is the founder of the Chishti order of Sufism, known for its emphasis on love, tolerance, and service to humanity.
  • Moinuddin Chishti settled in Ajmer, Rajasthan, where his dargah (shrine) became a significant pilgrimage site.
  • He is widely revered for promoting religious harmony and unity among people of different faiths.
  • Moinuddin Chishti’s teachings focus on the importance of love, compassion, and devotion to God.
  • His spiritual legacy continues to inspire millions across the world 
PYQ: Sufis and medieval mystic saints failed to modify either the religious ideas and practices or the outward structure of Hindu / Muslim societies to any appreciable extent. Comment. (UPSC CSE (M) GS-1 2014) (200 words/12.5 m)

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