Polity & Governance
- Government launches POCSO e-Button for children to file complaints of sexual abuse
- Indians spend 8 times more on private hospitals than on govt. ones
- Centre sets up panel to suggest steps to promote card payments
Environment & Ecology
- Karnataka state elephants will get unique ID numbers
Key Facts for Prelims
- Mumbai-Nagpur Super Communication Expressway project
- World’s largest marine protected area
- S wave Microseism
- Committee to probe the shooters’ Rio Games debacle
- 19th SAARC Summit
Polity & Governance
Government launches POCSO e-Button for children to file complaints of sexual abuse
The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development has recently launched Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) e-box.
What is POCSO e-box?
Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO), e-Box, is an online complaint management system for easy and direct reporting of sexual offences against children and timely action against the offenders under the POCSO Act, 2012.
- It is an initiative of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), for direct online reporting of Child Sexual Abuse.
Key features of the POCSO e-box:
- E-Box is very simple to operate and will help to maintain the confidentiality of the complaint.
- It is incorporated on the home page of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) website- www.ncpcr.gov.in.
How to register a complaint?
- To register complain, a complainant will have to push a button named POSCO e-Box, which will navigate him/her to a page where he/she will have to select at least one picture option (describing the category of harassment).
- Later, he/she will also have to fill a form with details such as mobile number, e-mail and description of the harassment followed by the ‘submit’ button, after which a unique auto-generated complaint number will be flashed.
Sexual offences against children in India:
- Sexual offences against children are rampant but only a small percentage gets reported.
- According to a study, about 53% of children surveyed, reported having faced one or the other form of sexual abuse in their lifetime.
- In most cases, the offender is a family member/near relative or an acquaintance. The child victim in such cases generally does not report these offences.
Effects of sexual abuse on children:
- Sexual abuse scars the psyche of the affected child for entire life.
- A child who is sexually abused has to face very serious consequences such as cognitive impairment, violent and risk behaviour including depression and anxiety.
- Feeling shame and guilt with poor interpersonal relationship & self-esteem are other consequences of sexually abused children.
About POSCO Act:
- Being concerned about such offences against children, the Government enacted POCSO Act, 20012 to protect them from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography, while safeguarding the interest of the child at every stage of the judicial process.
- This is achieved by incorporating child friendly mechanisms for reporting, recording of evidence, investigation and speedy trial of offences through designated Special Courts.
- It is important to note that any human being up to the age of 18 years is recognised as a child under the POCSO Act.
Indians spend 8 times more on private hospitals than on govt. ones
After almost a decade, Union Health Ministry has recently released the National Health Accounts (NHA) Estimates for the financial year 2013-14.
- The NHA monitors the flow of resources in the country’s health system and provides details of health finances.
Highlights of the data:
Spending on healthcare:
- Indians spent eight times more on private hospitals and twice as much on transporting patients compared to costs in government hospitals.
- Considering all revenue sources, including government funding, expenditure on private hospitals was double that on government hospitals.
- India spent a total of Rs. 4.5 lakh crore on healthcare in 2013-14 at 4% of the GDP, of which Rs. 3.06 lakh crore came from households.
- Public spending is abysmally low, constituting around 29% of the total health expenditure — 1% of GDP. There has been a marginal improvement from 2004-05, when the share of government spending was just 22%.
- Half of all the household money that is spent on healthcare goes to pharmacies. This includes chemists, community and independent pharmacies.
- Preventive care gets just 9.6 per cent of the total money that flows in India’s healthcare system.
- All the government-funded national health programmes such as the National Disease Control Programmes are covered under this category.
Out-of-pocket (OOP) costs:
- Indians’ out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditure on healthcare, which is the money individuals pay on their own rather than being covered by insurance or health benefits, has been estimated to be around 69% of total health expenditure (THE) in the country.
- This is alarmingly high and India stands among the highest in this metric worldwide.
- The share of OOP as a percentage of Current Health Expenditure (CHE) has however, decreased from 69.4% in 2004-05 to 64.2% in 2013-14. The CHE comprises 93%, the rest 7% going to Capital Expenditure.
Centre sets up panel to suggest steps to promote card payments
The Finance Ministry has set up a high-level committee to suggest steps to promote card payments through incentives like tax rebates and cash back schemes.
- The move is aimed to discourage cash transactions.
Who is headed the committee?
- The 11-member committee is headed by former Finance Secretary Ratan P Watal.
What will be the mandate of the committee?
- The committee will recommend various measures to incentivise transactions through cards and digital means, e.g., through tax rebates/incentives, introduction of cash back/lottery.
- It will also study feasibility of creating a payments history of all card/digital payments and ensure that merchants/consumers can leverage the data to access “instant, low cost micro-credit” through digital means and create necessary linkage between the payment history and credit information.
- The panel will also study and recommend need for changes, if any, in the regulatory mechanism under various laws, relevant for the purpose of promotion of payments by digital modes.
- It will study and recommend ways for leveraging Unique Identification Number or any other proof of identity for authentication of card/digital transactions and setting up of a centralised KYC Registry.
- The panel will study introduction of single window system of payment gateway to accept all types of cards/digital payments of government receipts and enable settlements via NPCI or other agencies.
- The panel, which will review the payments system in the country and recommend measures for encouraging digital payments, has been set up following a decision taken by the Cabinet in February.
Environment & Ecology
Karnataka state elephants will get unique ID numbers
Elephants that are in possession of the Karnataka Forest Department, private organisations and individuals will be implanted with a microchip, which are equipped with unique numbers.
Objective of the move:
- The initiative is being undertaken by the forest department to check false information private owners and, even forest authorities furnish during investigation processes.
How does it benefit?
- The unique identification numbers will ease the process of inspection, apart from also aiding officials in monitoring the animals when they move in herds.
- The move comes a year after the Supreme Court issued a directive on the issue.
Key Facts for Prelims
Mumbai-Nagpur Super Communication Expressway project
Maharashtra Government has unveiled a detailed plan for Mumbai-Nagpur Super Communication Expressway project.
It will be implemented by Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC). It will be a six-lane super communication highway covering a distance of 750 km through 10 districts. It will connect entire breadth of Maharashtra
World’s largest marine protected area
US President Barack Obama have decided to expand a national monument off the coast of Hawaii, creating the largest marine protected area in the world.
After the expansion, the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, originally established by former President George W. Bush in 2006 to preserve the marine area of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, will contain about 582,578 square miles and become the world’s largest marine protected area.
Any new energy development activities and commercial fishing will be banned within the monument expansion, while Native Hawaiian cultural practices and research and scientific exploration will be allowed through a permit. Non-commercial fishing will also be allowed through a permit.
In 2010, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) had designated the area a world heritage site.
S wave Microseism
Japanese scientists have detected a rare deep-Earth tremor, known as an S (secondary) wave microseism. Microseism S waves are so faint that they occur in the 0.05 to 0.5 Hz frequency range.
They successfully detected not only P wave microseisms triggered by a severe and distant North Atlantic storm, known as a weather bomb, but also S wave microseisms, too. P waves, or primary wave microseisms, can be detected during major hurricanes.
S waves refer to secondary waves, which are slow and move only through rock, not liquid. Humans feel them during earthquakes. While P waves, or primary wave are fast-moving, and animals can often sense them just before an earthquake hits.
Committee to probe the shooters’ Rio Games debacle
National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) constituted a five-member review committee to probe the shooters’ Rio Games debacle.
The committee will be headed by India’s first and only individual Olympic gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra.
The mandate of the committee is to “examine and identify in a cold and ruthless manner” the causes behind shooting not securing any medals at the Rio Olympics.
19th SAARC Summit
Pakistan recently announced that 19th SAARC Summit will be held in Islamabad in November 2016.
It will be the meeting of the head of states or head of government of the eight SAARC countries. Besides, nine observers of SAARC have also been invited to attend the Summit.
The 18th SAARC Summit was held in Kathmandu, Nepal in November 2014 with the theme Deeper Integration for Peace and Prosperity.