Polity & Governance
- SC for uniform compensation scheme for differently abled rape victims
- Governor can’t take away speaker’s powers: SC
- India launches framework for malaria eradication by 2030
Environment & Ecology
- Wild pig declared as vermin by environment ministry
- Centre makes it mandatory for power firms to buy from solid waste plants
Science & Technology
- Ministry of Railways launches 3 IT enabled applications
Polity & Governance
SC for uniform compensation scheme for differently abled rape victims
The Supreme Court has directed all states and Union Territories to formulate a uniform scheme to provide compensation to the victims of sexual abuse and exploitation, especially those who are differently abled.
- The apex court said all states should consider and formulate programmes for such victims in the light of the scheme framed in Goa which provides compensation of up to Rs 10 lakh.
- The apex court has opined that the authorities should look into the Victim Compensation Scheme under Section 357-A of the Criminal Procedure Code for providing compensation to the victims or dependents who have suffered loss as a result of such crime.
Why need of uniform scheme?
- Currently, no uniform practice is being followed in providing compensation to the rape victim for the offence and for her rehabilitation.
- This practice of giving different amounts ranging from Rs 20,000 to Rs 10,00,000 as compensation for the offence of rape under section 357 A needs to be intro-spected by all the states and the union territories.
Governor can’t take away speaker’s powers: SC
The Supreme Court has questioned Arunachal Pradesh Governor J.P. Rajkhowa’s authority to concern himself with the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker’s powers to disqualify legislators under the anti-defection law.
What’s the issue?
The Arunachal Pradesh governor’s direction had come in the wake of speaker Nabam Rebia disqualifying 16 of the 21 rebel Congress MLAs, which the Opposition alleged was done to help the “minority” Congress government.
Supreme courts’ noting:
- The Governor can’t take away the constitutional powers of the Speaker to disqualify lawmakers on the grounds of defection.
- The governor may have some role in the functioning of the assembly, but he has no role to play in issues prescribed in the Tenth Schedule (anti-defection provision) of the Constitution.
- The governor may have the power to summon and advance the sitting of the House, but he cannot ask that a particular party-wise composition be maintained, as it would amount to interference in the working sphere of the speaker.
[Ref: Hindu, ToI]
India launches framework for malaria eradication by 2030
The Union Health Ministry has launched the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) 2016-2030, which outlines the country’s strategy for elimination of the disease by 2030.
Details of the new framework:
- Under the new framework, India will be divided into three categories as per malaria prevalence — low, moderate and endemic States.
- The objectives of the framework include eradication of malaria from all low- and moderately-endemic states and union territories by 2022 and reduction in malaria incidents to less than one case per 1,000 population in every part of India by 2024.
- Among other objectives are prevention of re-transmission of malaria in areas where it has been eliminated and maintaining malaria-free status of the country by 2030.
- India accounts for 70 percent of malaria cases and 69 percent malaria deaths in South East Asian region countries. In 2015, 1.13 million cases were reported in India.
- Presently, 80 percent of malaria cases occur among 20 percent people classified as high-risk category, although approximately 82 percent of the country’s population lives in malaria transmission risk areas.
- These high-risk populations are found, among other places, in 200 districts of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka and eight north-eastern states.
- Moreover, British medical journal The Lancetestimates that India reports at least 50,000 malaria-related deaths annually, making discrepancy in data the biggest challenge in elimination strategy.
[Ref: Hindu, BS]
Environment & Ecology
Wild pig declared as vermin by environment ministry
The ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has finally notified wild pig as ‘vermin’ for a year in Uttarakhand.
- The central government has used its powers conferred by Section 62 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- For this purpose, ministry has shifted protected wild pig to Schedule V of the Act for a period of one year from the date of issue of this notification.
- However, the ministry clarified that the inclusion of wild pigs in Schedule V of the Wildlife Protection Act shall not be applicable in the forest areas of Uttarakhand.
Currently, wild pigs are a protected species under Schedule III of the Wildlife (Protection) Act.
- The Uttarakhand state forest department has sent the proposal to the Environment Ministry to declare both wild pig and neel gai (blue bull) vermin. However, it is only wild pig, which has been permitted.
- Such a move will allow state authorities to carry out an extermination of wild pigs on a large scale without attracting penal provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Now wild pig can be shot dead by people outside the reserve forest. People would now no longer require permission from the forest or wildlife officials to do so.
Reasons for this decision:
- Due to overpopulation of wild pig in areas outside forests, the state of Uttarakhand has reported harm to life and property, including large-scale destruction of agriculture.
- The central government has considered it necessary to balance local population of this species to mitigate the damage to human life, crops and other properties of the state for ensuring conservation of wildlife in forests.
Provisions in the law:
- If any wild animal poses a danger to human life or property (including standing crops on any land), or is so disabled or diseased as to be beyond recovery, the law allows for it to be hunted.
- Using these provisions, any animal listed in Schedule I-IV can be put in Schedule V for a specific period, declaring it as vermin, allowing its killing.
- Schedule V include animals like the common crow, fruit bats, mice and rats.
What is vermin?
Vermin are pests or nuisance animals, especially those that threaten human society by spreading diseases or destroying crops and livestock.
[Ref: LM, ToI]
Centre makes it mandatory for power firms to buy from solid waste plants
The Central government has issued a circular to all power distribution companies stating it was mandatory for them to buy electricity from power plants fuelled by solid waste.
- If the instructions are not followed, the government would impose severe penalties on them, an entitlement that comes from the recent amendment of the Electricity Regulatory Act (2013).
Waste-to-energy is currently economically unviable due to high generation costs, which discourage private players from setting up such plants.
Background of penalty clause:
- A key component of Swachh Bharat, the government’s flagship programme to make India clean by 2019, is to provide solid waste management facilities in 4,041 cities and towns.
- To turn Swachh Bharat Mission a success, the urban development ministry recently convinced the power ministry to amend the Electricity Regulatory Act 2013 and include the “penalty” clause for companies that violate the new instructions.
Government’s efforts towards solid waste management:
- The Centre now aims at generating 700 megawatts of electricity from solid waste-run plants in the next five years.
- The Centre has already committed a 20% grant for solid waste management projects under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
- Of its budget allocation of Rs. 62,000 crore, Rs. 38,000 crore would be spent on building solid waste management infrastructure across the country.
Science & Technology
Ministry of Railways launches 3 IT enabled applications
The Union Ministry of Railways has launched 3 IT (Information Technology) enabled apps to bring transparency in Indian Railways on the sidelines of Digital India initiative.
Following are the 3 IT enabled apps:
- Handheld terminals: IT-enabled handheld terminals launched in Northern Railways will enable TTEs to update an entire train’s passenger list and highlight vacant berths.
- ‘UTSONMOBILE’: A paperless unreserved ticketing mobile application can be used for booking unreserved tickets on many suburban and some long distance routes.
- A facility for E-booking of disposable linen on trains: Allows passengers to avail bedroll kits through online booking and from IRCTC set up select outlets on the station.