#RajyaSabha #Questions Session 251
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Question NO: 276 Answered ON 19.03.2020Will the Minister of HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT be pleased to state :-
- (a) whether Deprivation Points in JNU for M.Phil/Ph.D, M.Tech admissions have been removed;
- (b) whether based on regional/gender deprivation, points were awarded to aspirants in JNU which ensured significant representation from income groups lower than that specified by EWS reservation;
- (c) whether withdrawal of Deprivation Points in 2017-18 admissions to research degrees meant that students from households having less than ? 6000 p.m. dropped from 25.7 per cent to 9.8 per cent and those from rural background reduced from 48.4 per cent to 28.2 per cent from 2016-17 to 2017-18 in research programmes; and
- (d) whether the system was discarded on the recommendation of the Ministry?
- (a) & (b) Jawaharlal Nehru University has informed that it is providing the benefit of Deprivation Points in all other courses of the university except M. Phil, Ph. D., MBA & Dual Degree (B. Tech. & MS/M. Tech.). The university has adopted UGC regulations 2016 (M. Phil, Ph.D. Regulation 2016) with the approval of statutory bodies of the university. Further, Hon’ble High Court of Delhi has directed JNU to follow UGC Regulations in toto. The benefit of deprivation points is extended to the students of deprived/backward areas irrespective of their income groups.
- (c) The number of students from rural areas in Research Degrees in 2016 was 48.3% which increased to 51.42% in 2019. The deprivation points are not based on household income.
- (d) No Sir. Does not arise in view of the position stated above.
Question NO: 2777 Answered ON 18.03.2020Will the Minister of CIVIL AVIATION be pleased to state :-
- (a) whether on 5th January, 2020, the Delhi Police was deployed at JNU campus to control violent situation inside campus, whether any assailants with weapons were arrested/detained/questioned by Delhi Police, if not, reasons therefor;
- (b) whether it is a fact that on the above date, Delhi Police had closed the JNU North Gate and a group of people assembled outside the gate and they chanted slogans inciting violence and assaulted and manhandled many other individuals including eminent citizens who were present there; and
- (c) why Delhi Police did not take action against this group and whether these miscreants have been identified?
- (a) Delhi Police has reported that on receipt of request from Vice Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on 05.01.2020, police personnel were deployed inside the JNU Campus to control the violent situation. Professors, injured students and Security Guards have been examined and CCTV footages have been obtained for analysis to identify the rioters.
- (b) and (c): As per Delhi Police, the JNU North Gate was closed and there was proper deployment of police personnel to ensure that there is no unauthorized entry of any outsider inside the University. The gathering of general public outside North Gate was dispersed. No chanting of inciting slogans, violence and assault was noticed there.
Question NO: 2740 Answered ON 18.03.2020Will the Minister of CIVIL AVIATION be pleased to state :-
- (a) whether any airline can suspend any passenger from flying without that person being placed in the 'No-Fly List' maintained by DGCA and that too when there was no complaint of unruly/disruptive behaviour while flying on the said airline; and
- (b) if not, then in such case can the airlines be held accountable for the non-compliance of the Civil Aviation Requirements, Section 3 - Air Transport Series M Part VI issue II dated 8th September, 2017?
- (a) & (b) To handle the unlawful/disruptive behavior by passengers on-board the aircraft, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) Section 3 - Air Transport, Series M, Part VI, Issue II dated 08.09.2017 regarding 'Handling of unruly passengers'. The provisions contained in this CAR are applicable to all Indian operators engaged in scheduled and non scheduled air transport services, both domestic and international, for carriage of passengers. It is also applicable on all airports operating within Indian territory and all passengers during the period of air travel in/or over India. Para 6.3 of the CAR inter alia provides that, "Pending decision of the Internal Committee, the concerned airline may ban such unruly passenger from flying, but such period may not exceed a period of 30 days."
Question NO: 2113 Answered ON 12.03.2020Will the Minister of ELECTRONICS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY be pleased to state :-
- (a) whether the Minister of Information Technology or Minister of Home Affairs has ordered investigation against the social media sites which are spreading fake news or posting provocative statements through their social media account and whether Government had accessed a study conducted by the London School of Economics on the subject; and
- (b) whether Government has taken any action against all those who have been spreading fake news?
- (a) Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has not ordered any investigation against the social media sites which are spreading fake news or posting provocative statements through their social media account. Also no such study by London School of Economics on the said subject has been forwarded to MeitY.
- (b) Cyber space is a complex environment of people, software, hardware and services on the Internet. With a borderless cyberspace coupled with the possibility of instant communication and anonymity, the potential for misuse of cyberspace and social media platforms for criminal activities including spreading fake news is a global issue.
The Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 has provisions for removal of objectionable online content. Section 79 of the Act provides that intermediaries are required to disable/remove unlawful content on being notified by appropriate government or its agency or through a court order. Further, the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011 notified under this section require that the intermediaries, which includes social media platforms, shall observe due diligence while discharging their duties and shall inform the users of computer resources not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, update or share any information that is harmful, objectionable, and unlawful in any way. Also,.
Also, section 69A of the IT Act, 2000 empowers Government to block any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above.
“Police” and “Public Order” are State subjects as per the Constitution of India; and prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of crimes; and capacity building of police personnel are primarily responsibility of States. The Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) take legal action as per provisions of law against the cyber crime offenders.
Government has taken several steps to address the challenges of misinformation and rumors spreading via social media platforms. These, inter alia, include:
- Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as well as Police are in regular touch with various social media platforms to effectively address the issue of removal of objectionable content.
- Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has set up a dedicated cell (Counter Misinformation Unit) under Press Information Bureau (PIB) as a measure to counter fake news on policies, schemes, programs etc. by Government of India. The Unit has a presence on prominent social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and lnstagram. The Unit takes suo moto cognizance of fake news going viral on social media and also on basis of outside complaints.
- Ministry of Home affairs (MHA) has issued a number of advisories which includes advisory on untoward incidents in the name of protection of cows dated 09.08.2016, advisory on cyber-crime prevention and control dated 13.01.2018 and also an advisory on incidents of lynching by mobs in some States fueled by rumors of lifting/kidnapping of children dated 04.07.2018.
- MeitY through a program, namely, Information Security Education & Awareness (ISEA), has been creating awareness among users highlighting the importance of following the ethics while using Internet and advising them not to share rumors/fake news. A dedicated website for information security awareness (https://www.infosecawareness.in) provides relevant awareness material.
- MHA has created a Twitter Handle “Cyber Dost” to spread awareness on cyber safety and cyber security. MHA has also published a Handbook for Adolescents/Students on Cyber Safety.
Question NO: 2032 Answered ON 11.03.2020Will the Minister of LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT be pleased to state :-
- the Government's statutory contribution to the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in the financial years, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 and how much total money does it owe to the EPFO?
The details of funds released to the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) towards Government of India’s statutory contribution of 1.16 per cent under Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995 are as follows:
|Year||Funds Released ( in crores )|
|2019-20||3,600.00 (As on date)|
There is a cumulative arrear of Rs.10,663.66 crores (Provisional) as on date.
Question NO: 1642 Answered ON 05.03.2020Will the Minister of ELECTRONICS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY be pleased to state :-
- (a) whether the Minister had stated that the Facebook had sent a list of WhatsApp users in India whose phones, mails and social media accounts had been hacked by Pegasus spyware owned by NSO, an Israeli company; and
- (b) whether Minister would inform all those WhatsApp users so that they can also file cases against either Facebook or NSO?
- (a)Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) on 31.10.2019 sought a report from the WhatsApp regarding breach of privacy of citizens of India on its messaging platform. WhatsApp replied on 2.11.2019 communicating the aspects relating to exploitation of a vulnerability in their platform by a spyware called Pegasus, developed by Israeli company NSO Group.
- (b)WhatsApp has informed that it is believed that around 1400 users’s devices were attempted to be attacked globally including 121 users in India. It further stated that personal data of approx. 20 users in India might have been breached. No details of the affected Indian users were shared by WhatsApp.
Question NO: 1469 Answered ON 04.03.2020Will the Minister of HOME AFFAIRS be pleased to state :-
- (a) whether Government had promised in 2014 that they would ensure return of Kashmiri Pandits to the land of their ancestors with security and dignity and assured employment; and
- (b) how many such families have returned since 2014?
- (a) & (b): It has been the endeavour of the Government of India to ensure the safe return of Kashmiri migrants by providing various rehabilitation facilities and to create an environment conducive for their return to the Valley.
Accordingly, the Government has approved the following rehabilitation schemes for Kashmiri migrants. under the Prime Minister’s Development Package, 2015 (PMDP- 2015):
- Creation of 3,000 State Government jobs for the Kashmiri migrants at an outlay of Rs. 1,080 crores. As per the information provided by the Government of Jammu & Kashmir, selection process has been concluded in respect of 1781 posts and 604 candidates have joined in different departments as on 22nd February, 2020. These jobs are in addition to the 3000 State Government jobs approved under the Prime Minister’s Package-2008, against which 2,905 jobs have been filled.
- Construction of 6,000 transit accommodations at an outlay of Rs. 920 crores for accommodating 3000 Kashmiri migrants employed under PMRP- 2008 and for 3000 additional migrants under PMDP-2015. 849 flats are available for accommodation and 560 flats are under construction.
In addition to the above, the Government of India reimburses monthly cash relief to the eligible Kashmiri migrants settled in Jammu. Since the year 2014, the monthly cash relief has been enhanced twice i.e. from Rs. 6600/- per family to Rs. 10,000/- per family in 2015 and to Rs. 13,000/- per family in 2018. In addition, dry ration is also provided to these Kashmiri migrants.
In case of Kashmiri migrants settled in Delhi, the Government of India reimburses the expenditure incurred by the Government of NCT of Delhi (GNCTD) on the monthly cash relief of Rs.3250/- per person out of which the share of GNCTD is Rs. 1000/- per person.
#RajyaSabha #Questions Session 250
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Question NO: 2950 Answered ON 13.12.2019Will the Minister of CONSUMER AFFAIRS, FOOD AND PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION be pleased to state :-
- (a) whether any procurement limit could be set for the procurement of fair average quality (FAQ) wheat from farmers at Minimum Support Price as per procurement policy of wheat;
- (b) if so, the rule under which maximum limit for wheat procurement has been decided for Rabi marketing season 2019-20 in Madhya Pradesh;
- (c) whether the said policy is contrary to the interest of farmers;
- (d) whether action is being taken to remove the condition of maximum procurement limit in order to provide maximum benefits to the farmers; and
- (e) by when this system is likely to be changed?
(a) to (e): Under the procurement policy of Government of India (GOI), Minimum Support Price (MSP), period of procurement and quality specifications are declared before start of each marketing season (Kharif/ Rabi). Further, procurement policy of Government of India is open ended, under which whatever paddy/wheat is offered by farmers within the stipulated period and conforming to the specifications prescribed in advance by GOI are purchased at MSP by the Government Agencies including Food Corporation of India (FCI) for Central Pool to avoid any distress sale by farmers. However, producers/farmers are free to sell their produce in open market.
Before the start of every Marketing/procuring Season, GOI convenes meeting of Food Secretaries of procuring States & FCI officers to formulate state wise procurement plan which includes procurement estimates, number of purchase centres and the time period for procurement. Accordingly, the estimated quantity for procurement and period of procurement is fixed for that marketing season in consultation with the State Governments.
However, the actual procurement may be revised or the period of procurement may be changed on the recommendation of the concerned State Government.
Question NO: 227 Answered ON 10.12.2019Will the Minister of HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE be pleased to state :-
- (a) the number of people who have been benefited under Ayushman Bharat Scheme in each of the States of the country since inception of the scheme; and
- (b) how much per capita relief has been given?
(a) & (b) A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.
(a) & (b) Ayushman Bharat Yojana comprises two components namely (i) Provision of Comprehensive Primary Healthcare through Ayushman Bharat - Health and Wellness Centers (AB- HWC), and (ii) Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB- PMJAY).
Services at Ayushman Bharat- Health & Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) are free and universal to all. Details of state-wise operational HWCs, as on 06.12.2019, are at Annexure I.
Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) provides health cover of Rs. 5.00 lakh per family per year to around 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families identified from Socio Economic Caste Census database on the basis of select deprivation and occupational criteria in rural and urban areas respectively. In addition to these 10.74 crore families, many States have identified more groups of beneficiaries for their similar health cover schemes, which are implemented in alliance with AB-PMJAY. State/UT-wise details of beneficiaries covered are at Annexure II.
As on 05.12.2019, total number of hospitals admissions under AB-PMJAY are 65,45,733 amounting to cost of treatment of Rs. 9,549 crore. The average cost per admission is Rs.14,588/- (approximately).
Question NO: 2329 Answered ON 09.12.2019Will the Minister of JAL SHAKTI be pleased to state :-
- (a) whether Government has done underground aquifer mapping in those areas which have recorded a high depletion of groundwater levels; and
- (b) if so, steps taken by Government to recharge the groundwater for identified aquifers?
By The Minister of State for Jal Shakti & Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Rattan Lala Khattar
(a) Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) is implementing ‘National Aquifer Mapping and Management Programme’ (NAQUIM) for aquifer mapping in the country including in areas which have recorded a high depletion of ground water, in phases. Out of the total mappable area of nearly 25 lakh sq km, so far aquifer maps and management plans have been prepared for an area of nearly 11.24 lakh sq km spread over various parts of the country. As per the ground water resource assessment carried out jointly by CGWB and State ground water departments, 1186 assessment units in the country have been categorized as over-exploited, of which aquifer mapping has been completed in nearly 75% Units.
(b) Government of India launched Jal Shakti Abhiyan which is a time bound campaign with a mission mode approach intended to improve water availability including ground water conditions in the water stressed blocks of 256 districts in India. In this regard, teams of officers from Central Government along-with technical officers from Ministry of Jal Shakti were deputed to visit water stressed districts and to work in close collaboration with district level officials to undertake suitable interventions for sustainable water management.
Water being a State subject, initiatives on water management including conservation and artificial recharge to ground water in the Country is primarily States’ responsibility. The important measures taken by the Central Government for conservation, management of ground water and effective implementation of rain water harvesting in the country are at the following URL:
Question NO: 2329 Answered ON 09.12.2019Will the Minister of HEAVY INDUSTRIES AND PUBLIC ENTERPRISES be pleased to state :-
- whether Government is considering privatisation of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL)?
By The Minister of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises Shri Prakash Javadekar
No, Sir. Government has not approved strategic disinvestment of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).
Question NO: 1954 Answered ON 05.12.2019Will the Minister of ELECTRONICS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY be pleased to state :-
- (a) whether it is a fact that the Minister has stated that Government is concerned at the breach of privacy of citizens of India on the messaging platform WhatsApp and Government has asked WhatsApp to explain the kind of breach and what it is doing to safeguard it; and
- (b) if so, what has been the response of the WhatsApp?
(a) and (b): Yes, Sir. Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) sought a report from the WhatsApp regarding breach of privacy of citizens of India on its messaging platform through an email sent to them on 31st October 2019 and seeking WhatsApp response by 4th November 2019.
WhatsApp replied on 2nd November 2019 communicating the aspects relating to exploitation of a vulnerability in their platform by a spyware called Pegasus, developed by Israeli agency named NSO Group. WhatsApp stated that it is likely that Spyware Pegasus used the vulnerability in the video calling feature in the WhatsApp and that the WhatsApp user’s device could be compromised even by giving a missed call. WhatsApp has informed that it is believed that around 1400 users’s devices were attempted to be attacked globally including 121 users in India. It further stated that personal data of approx. 20 users in India might have been breached.
Question NO: 1636 Answered ON 03.12.2019Will the Minister of FINANCE be pleased to state :-
- the quantum of tax being collected from Facebook, Google and other social media companies?
By Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance Shri Anurag Singh Thakur
Sector-wise or industry-wise data of tax collection is not maintained as the Returns of taxes do not show sector-wise/industry-wise taxes. Further, the general disclosure of tax information of specific taxpayers is prohibited under section 138 of the Income-Tax Act and Section 158 of CGST Act.
Question NO: 1635 Answered ON 03.12.2019Will the Minister of FINANCE be pleased to state :-
- (a) how much loans have been written-off by Public Sector Banks (PSBs) since April, 2014; and
- (b) the beneficiaries of the loans written-off; and
- (c) whether any PSB or the Cooperative Bank has written-off loans of farmers and on which date?
By Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance Shri Anurag Singh Thakur
(a) to (c): As per data of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), aggregate gross advances of PSBs in their domestic operations increased from Rs. 16,98,109 crore as on 31.3.2008 to Rs. 45,90,570 crore as on 31.3.2014. As per RBI inputs, the primary reasons for the spurt in stressed assets have been observed to be, inter-alia, aggressive lending practices, wilful default / loan frauds /corruption in some cases, and economic slowdown. Asset Quality Review (AQR) initiated in 2015 for clean and fully provisioned bank balance-sheets revealed high incidence of Non Performing Assets (NPAs). As a result of AQR and subsequent transparent recognition by banks, stressed accounts were reclassified as NPAs and expected losses on stressed loans, not provided for earlier under flexibility given to restructured loans, were provided for. Further, all such schemes for restructuring stressed loans were withdrawn. Primarily as a result of transparent recognition of stressed assets as NPAs, gross NPAs of PSBs, as per RBI data on domestic operations, rose from Rs. 2,67,065 crore as on 31.3.2015, to Rs. 8,45,475 crore as on 31.3.2018, and as a result of Government’s 4R’s strategy of recognition, resolution, recapitalisation and reforms, have since declined by Rs. 92,103 crore to Rs. 7,53,372 crore as on 30.6.2019.
As per RBI guidelines and policy approved by bank Boards, non-performing loans, including, inter-alia, those in respect of which full provisioning has been made on completion of four years, are removed from the balance-sheet of the bank concerned by way of write-off. Banks evaluate/consider the impact of write-offs as part of their regular exercise to clean up their balance-sheet, avail of tax benefit and optimise capital, in accordance with RBI guidelines and policy approved by their Boards. As borrowers of written-off loans continue to be liable for repayment and the process of recovery of dues from the borrower in written-off loan accounts continues, write-off does not benefit the borrower. As per RBI data on domestic operations, PSBs wrote-off Rs. 47,658 crore, Rs. 56,847 crore, Rs. 79,048 crore, Rs. 1,24,275 crore and Rs. 1,86,632 crore during financial years (FYs) 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively. Of these, write-off in loans pertaining to “Agriculture and allied activities” was Rs. 2,833 crore, Rs. 6,361 crore, Rs. 7,091 crore, Rs. 10,345 crore and Rs. 12,556 crore respectively. RBI has also apprised that the data in respect of loans of farmers written-off by PSBs is not maintained separately.
RBI has informed that data in respect of loans written-off by Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs), including in respect of loans of farmers written-off by these banks is not maintained by it. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), which supervises Rural Co-operative Banks, has informed that, State Co-operative Banks and District Central Co-operative Banks wrote-off Rs. 415.78 crore, Rs. 696.33 crore, Rs. 120.14 crore, Rs. 70.39 crore and Rs. 78.33 crore during FYs 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively, and that details of loans of farmers written-off by these banks are not maintained by it.
Note: Figures cited above for PSBs include those for IDBI Bank Limited, which was re-categorised as a private sector bank by RBI with effect from 21.1.2019.
Question NO: 80 Answered ON 25.11.2019Will the Minister of COAL be pleased to state :-
- (a) the number of coal mines operationalised out of the coal mines auctioned;
- (b) the amount of coal mined in each of these mines after their auction; and
- (c) the amount of revenue Government and each of the States have earned from these auctions?
By Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance Shri Anurag Singh Thakur
1. Under Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015, total 31 coal mines had been allocated through auction so far. Of these 31 mines, allocations of 9 mines have been terminated for various reasons. Of the remaining 22 mines, 13 coal mines have got Mine Opening Permission. Of these 13 coal mines, 11 mines are producing coal.
Question NO: 398 Answered ON 20.11.2019Will the Minister of HOME AFFAIRS be pleased to state :-
- (a) whether recently the Central Government and the State Government of Assam under the guidance of Hon. Supreme Court prepared the National Register of Citizens in Assam to identify illegal migrants in Assam; and
- (b) how many illegal migrants have been identified and how many of them were deported and if they have not been deported, what is the reason behind it?
By Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Afaairs Shri Nityanand Rai
(a) & (b): The National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) is being updated in the State of Assam under the provisions of The Citizenship Act, 1955 and the provisions contained in the Schedule framed under Rule 4A of The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
Complete Draft NRIC in Assam was published on 30th July 2018. The final NRIC has been published on 31st August 2019 after the disposal of claims and objections.
Any person, not satisfied with the outcome of the decisions of the claims and objections may prefer appeal, before a designated Foreigners Tribunal constituted under The Foreigners (Tribunal) Order, 1964, within a period of 120 days from the date of such order, and after the disposal of appeal by the Tribunals, the names shall be included or deleted, as the case may be, in the NRIC of the State of Assam.
Matter of deportation may arise only after the disposal of appeals by the Foreigners Tribunal. Powers vested in the Central Government to deport an illegal migrant under section 3(2)(c) of the Foreigners Act, 1946 have been entrusted to Government of Assam under article 258(1) of the Constitution of India. Therefore, the Government of Assam is competent to deport an illegal migrant after his nationality is verified, if so required.
Question NO: 397 Answered ON 20.11.2019Will the Minister of HOME AFFAIRS be pleased to state :-
- (a) whether there has been unprecedented flood in Madhya Pradesh and because of which there is huge loss of crops, roads and other infrastructure in the State of Madhya Pradesh;
- (b) whether Government has received a memorandum from the State Government of Madhya Pradesh; and
- (c) if so, what action Government has taken and how much funds have been allocated as relief for the State of Madhya Pradesh?
By Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Afaairs Shri Nityanand Rai
(a) to (c): During South-west Monsoon, 2019, various areas of Madhya Pradesh are reported to have been affected by floods. The Ministry of Home Affairs, before the receipt of Memorandum from the State Government, has constituted an Inter Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) for on-the-spot assessment of damages, which have visited the State on 19-20 September, 2019. Memorandum from the Government of Madhya Pradesh, seeking an assistance of Rs.6621.28 crore from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), was received on 1st October, 2019. Upon receipt of memorandum, IMCT visited the State again on 14-16 October, 2019. Upon receipt of the IMCT report, the additional financial assistance from NDRF may be provided to the State as per extant procedure and guidelines and norms.