Current Affairs 09 April 2019 Digest 1: NIRF 2019 Rankings released; Online Harms White Paper by UK govt

President Ram Nath Kovind, released National Institutional Ranking Framework -2019 (NIRF) and presented the India Rankings awards to the top eight institutions.

Created On: Apr 9, 2019 10:45 ISTModified On: Apr 9, 2019 10:52 IST
President Kovind released NIRF-2019 rankings

Story 1: President Kovind releases NIRF and ARIIA-2019

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, released National Institutional Ranking Framework -2019 (NIRF) and presented the India Rankings awards to the top eight institutions in different categories at a function held in New Delhi on April 8, 2019. He also released the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) and presented the ARIIA awards to the top two institutions. IIT Madras ranked on top in overall category in NIRF-2019 while Miranda House College of Delhi University ranked number one in ARIIA.

NIRF Rankings-2019

Top 10 Engineering Institutions in India-2019

  1. Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
  2. Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
  3. Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
  4. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
  5. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
  6. Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
  7. Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati
  8. Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad
  9. Anna University, Chennai
  10. National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli

Top 10 Universities in India-2019

  1. Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru
  2. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  3. Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
  4. University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad
  5. Calcutta University, Kolkata
  6. Jadavpur University, Kolkata
  7. Anna University, Chennai
  8. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore
  9. Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal
  10. Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune

Top 10 Colleges in India

1. Miranda House, Delhi

2. Hindu College, Delhi

3. Presidency College, Chennai

4. St.Stephen's College, Delhi

5. Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi

6. Loyola College, Chennai

7. Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi

8. Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Centenary College, Rahara

9. Hansraj College, Delhi

10. St. Xavier College, Kolkata


The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) was approved by the MHRD and launched by Honourable Minister of Human Resource Development on 29th September 2015. First, NIRF Ranking was issued on 4th April 2016. This framework outlines a methodology to rank institutions across the country. The methodology draws from the overall recommendations broad understanding arrived at by a Core Committee set up by MHRD, to identify the broad parameters for ranking various universities and institutions. The parameters broadly cover “Teaching, Learning and Resources,” “Research and Professional Practices,” “Graduation Outcomes,” “Outreach and Inclusivity,” and “Perception”.

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Story 2: UK govt released ‘Online Harms White Paper’ to regulate online content

UK government has released a white paper on ‘online harms’ on April 8, 2019 and claimed that these new rules would be world’s most aggressive actions to limit harmful online content. In this white paper, the UK government called for an internet regulator with the power to issue fine, to block access to websites if necessary, and to make individual executives legally liable for harmful content spread on their platforms.

UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have proposed an independent authority that will write a "code of practice" for tech companies. ‘The Online Harms White Paper’ is a joint proposal from the DCMS and the Home Office. A 12 week public consultation will run about the papers.

A new regulatory framework

  • The government will establish a new statutory duty of care to make companies take more responsibility for the safety of their users and tackle harm caused by content or activity on their services. Compliance with this duty of care will be overseen and enforced by an independent regulator.
  • Companies must fulfil their new legal duties. The regulator will set out how to do this in codes of practice. If companies want to fulfil these duties in a manner not set out in the codes, they will have to explain and justify to the regulator how their alternative approach will effectively deliver the same or greater level of impact.
  • Developing a culture of transparency, trust and accountability will be a critical element of the new regulatory framework. The regulator will have the power to require annual transparency reports from companies in scope, outlining the prevalence of harmful content on their platforms and what measures they are taking to address this. These reports will be published online by the regulator, so that users and parents can make informed decisions about online use.


Why it was required?

  • UK govt said that illegal and unacceptable content and activity is widespread online, and UK users are frequently concerned about what they have seen or experienced.
  • The impact of harmful content and activity can be particularly damaging for children and young people, and there are growing concerns about the potential impact on their mental health and wellbeing.
  • According to the white paper, in 2018 there were over 18.4 million referrals of child sexual abuse material by US tech companies to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Of those, there were 113, 948 UK-related referrals in 2018, up from 82,109 in 2017.
  • As per Online Harms White Paper, Tackling illegal and harmful content and activity online is one part of the UK’s wider mission to develop rules and norms for the internet, including protecting personal data, supporting competition in digital markets and promoting responsible digital design.

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