23 February 2020: PIB Summary & Analysis

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February 23rd, 2020 PIB:- Download PDF Here

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF)
2. FASTag

1. Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF)

Context:

Vice President mentioned the umbrella scheme of Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF) in his address at an event in Secunderabad.

About Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF) Scheme:

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has been supplementing the efforts and resources of the States, from time to time, by implementing the Scheme for Modernisation of State Police Forces (MPF Scheme) since 1969-70.
  • Even though ‘police’ and ‘law and order’ come within the State List, the states have not been able to fully modernise and equip their police forces, hence, the Centre is implementing this scheme.
  • Objective: To gradually reduce the dependence of the State Governments on the Army and the Central Armed Police Forces to control internal security and law and order situations by equipping the State Police Forces adequately and strengthening their training infrastructure.
  • The focus of the scheme is to strengthen police infrastructure at cutting edge level by construction of secure police stations, training centres, police housing (residential), equipping the police stations with the required mobility, modern weaponry, communication equipment and forensic set-up, etc.
  • Under the Scheme, the States are grouped into two categories, namely Category ‘A’ and Category ‘B’ for the purpose of funding.
    • Himalayan and NE states will receive central assistance in the ratio of 90:10, centre-state sharing basis.
    • Other states will receive on 60:40 basis.
  • Funds from the MPF scheme are typically used for improving police infrastructure through construction of police stations and the provision of modern weaponry, surveillance and communication equipment. Upgradation of training infrastructure, police housing and computerisation are also important objectives funded through the scheme.
  • The scheme has many sub-schemes, the Crime and Criminal Tracking Networks and System (CCTNS) being one.

Issues related to police forces in India:

  • Overburdened police force: The 2nd ARC pointed out that the police carry out other tasks like traffic management, disaster rescue and removal of encroachments, apart from maintaining law and order. This increases the burden tremendously on the police force.
  • Poor quality of investigation: The police are not well-equipped or adequately trained to carry out investigations in the most efficient and scientific manner. They lack expertise and sufficient knowledge in terms of laws, and in forensic and cyber fields.
  • Police accountability: Since the police come under the political executive, there is frequent interference in their decision-making. Abuse of police personnel by the executive is also reported.
  • In order to improve the quality of investigation, the Supreme Court has recommended that investigating police must be separated from law and order police.

2. FASTag

Context:

NHAI safeguards the commuting of FASTag users: Charges double the defaulters.

About FASTag:

  • RFID based FASTag, an electronic toll collection system implemented by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), has proved to be instrumental in easing the lives of commuters on National Highways within two months of its nationwide implementation.
  • Over 1.55 crore FASTags have been issued through multiple Point of Sale (PoS).
  • In order to give prime importance to its existing FASTag users, dissuade defaulters and further encourage adoption of FASTags by NH commuters, vehicles without FASTags entering into FASTag lane are being charged double the toll fee.
  • As a measure, it has also resulted in a smooth and hassle-free movement of FASTag users on highways.

For more on FASTags, click here.

February 23rd, 2020 PIB:- Download PDF Here

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