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Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018
- The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018 which was passed by the Lok Sabha on 6th August 2018, has been passed by the Rajya Sabha.
- Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot today moved the Amendment Bill, 2018 in Rajya Sabha.
- Section 18A has been inserted to nullify conduct of a preliminary enquiry before registration of an FIR, or to seek approval of any authority prior to arrest of an accused, and to restore the provisions of Section 18 of the Act.
- Section 18A, inserted in the Act, states that:-
- (1) For the purpose of the PoA Act,-
- (a) Preliminary enquiry shall not be required for registration of a First Information Report against any person; or
- (b) The investigating officer shall not require approval for arrest, if necessary, of any person, against whom an accusation of having committed an offence under the PoA Act has been made and no procedure other than provided under the PoA Act or the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, shall apply.
- (2) The provision of section 438 of the Code shall not apply to a case under the Act, notwithstanding any judgment or order or direction of any Court.
- The directions of Hon’ble Supreme Court in their judgment dated 20.03.2018 in Criminal Appeal No. 416 of 2018 (Dr. Subhash Kashinath Mahajan Vs the State of Maharashtra and Another) amount to amending the PoA Act and have diluted the provisions of the PoA Act.
- The directions of the Hon’ble Court to conduct a preliminary inquiry within seven days by the Dy. S.P. concerned to find out whether the allegations make out a case under the PoA Act and that arrest in appropriate cases may be made only after approval by the S.S.P., would delay registration of First Information Report (FIR) and will impede strict enforcement of the provision of the POA Act.
- It may also be difficult to get the preliminary inquiry conducted within seven days as sufficient number of Dy. S.P level officers are usually not in place.
- Typically, the Dy. S.P. are located at the district level and not at taluk/block level.
- Other repercussions of the said directions of the Hon’ble Court are that delay in registration of FIR would result in delay in payment of admissible relief amount to the victims of atrocities admissible only on registration of FIR.
- All this would adversely affect the very objective of the Act to prevent commission of atrocities against members of SC and ST and be severely detrimental especially in heinous offences like sexual exploitation of SC/ST women including rape, gang rape, acid attacks and murder etc.
- As such, a Review Petition dated 02.04.2018, was filed by the Union of India in the Hon’ble Court praying for recalling and reviewing their Order but no relief had so far been granted.
- Hence, it was considered expedient and meaningful to reaffirm the reliance and trust of members of SCs and STs on the provisions of the PoA Act.
National Disaster Response Force
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given the approval for raising of four (4) additional battalions of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to strengthen the India’s disaster response set up at an estimated cost of Rs 637 crore.
- The objective of raising four additional battalions is to reduce the response time keeping in view the vast geographic area of the country.
- These four battalions will initially be raised as two battalions in Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and one battalion each in Border Security Force (BSF) and Assam Rifles (ARs).
- Later these four battalions will be converted into NDRF battalions. Based on the vulnerability profile, these four battalions will be placed in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi National Capital Region.
- NDRF is a specialized force, which has been created in the year 2006 for the purpose of specialist response during the natural and man-made disaster or threatening situation. At present there are 12 battalions in NDRF which are deployed strategically across the country to provide immediate response.
MoU between India
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Indonesia on health cooperation.
- The MoU covers the following areas of cooperation:-
- Research and development, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and IT-based medical equipment;
- Human Resource Development;
- Health services; and
- Any other area as may be mutually agreed upon.
Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve
- The Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve has become the 11th Biosphere Reserve from India that has been included in the UNESCO designated World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR).
- Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve in Sikkim is one of the highest ecosystems in the world, reaching elevations of 1, 220 metres above sea-level. It includes a range of ecolines, varying from sub-tropic to Arctic, as well as natural forests in different biomes that support an immensely rich diversity of forest types and habitats.
Niryat Mitra App
- Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Aviation Suresh Prabhu launched Niryat Mitra – mobile App in New Delhi.
- The app developed by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) is available both on Android and on IOS platforms.
- It provides wide range of information required to undertake international trade right from the policy provisions for export and import, applicable GST rate, available export incentives, tariff, preferential tariff, market access requirements – SPS and TBT measures.
- The most interesting part is that all the information is available at tariff line.
- The app works internally to map the ITC HS code of other countries with that of India and provides all the required data without the users bothering about the HS code of any country.
- Presently the app comes with the data of 87 countries.
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|Biosphere Reserve In India||UNESCO|
|National Disaster Response Force||Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (prevention Of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015|