Daily Current Affairs November

Daily Current Affairs (08-11-19)

SOCIAL JUSTICE

INDIA JUSTICE REPORT 2019

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Social Justice [Paper-I]: Rights Issues (Human rights, Women rights, SC/ST rights, Child rights, etc.)

Judiciary [Paper-I]: Judiciary in India – Structure and functions

Governance [Paper-I]: Public Policy and Governance

News

Former Supreme Court judge Justice M. B. Lokur has released India Justice Report 2019.

About India Justice Report 2019

  • The report was prepared based on publicly available data of different government entities on the four pillars of justice delivery — Police, Judiciary, Prisons and Legal Aid.
  • It ranks 18 large and 7 small states according to their capacity to deliver justice to all.
  • Each of its four pillars was studied on the basis of seven parameters – budgets, human resources, personnel workload, diversity, infrastructure and trends (intention to improve over a five-year period).
  • The Report assesses how all the states and UTs have capacitated themselves and, out of them, ranks the 18 Large and Mid-sized and seven Small States introducing a spirit of competitiveness.
  • It showcases the strengths and deficits in each State and UT, helping each to pinpoint interventions.
  • This first of its kind initiative was supported and facilitated by Tata Trusts in partnership with Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Daksh, TISS-Prayas and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.

Key Highlights

Ranking

  • Maharashtra has topped the list of 18 large-medium States in the overall first-ever ranking of Indian States on justice delivery, followed by Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Haryana. In this category, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are at the bottom.
  • The list of seven small states (population less than one crore each) was topped by Goa, followed by Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh.
  • Even the best performing States scored less than 60% in their performance on capacity across the police, judiciary, prisons and legal aid.

Vacancy

  • The country has about 18,200 judges with about 23% sanctioned posts vacant.
  • Almost 22 per cent posts are vacant in the police (January, 2017) and 33-38.5 per cent in prisons (December, 2016).

Women

Women account for 7 per cent of the Police (2017), 10 per cent of Prison staff (2016) and about 26.5 per cent of all judges in high courts and subordinate courts (2017-18).

Prisons

  • Prisons are over-occupied at 114 per cent, where 68 per cent are undertrials awaiting investigation, inquiry or trial.
  • In 19 states/ UTs, prison occupancy exceeds 100 per cent.

Budgets

  • Most States were not able to fully utilise the funds given to them by the Centre.
  • The increase in spending on the police, prisons and judiciary does not keep pace with overall increase in the state expenditure.
  • India’s per capita spend on free legal aid, for which 80 per cent of the population is eligible, is 75 paise per annum.

Conclusion

  • The findings of the Report highlight very serious shortcomings in the justice delivery system.
  • The Report is an excellent effort to mainstream the issues concerning justice system of India, which in fact affect every aspect of society, governance and the economy.
  • Judiciary and the government should take note of the significant findings.
  • States should act urgently to plug the gaps in the management of the police, prisons, forensics, justice delivery, provision of legal aid, and the filling up of vacancies.
[Source: The Hindu, Business Today]

 

BRU REFUGEES

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Social Justice [Paper-I]: Rights Issues (Human rights, Women rights, SC/ST rights, Child rights, etc.)

News

  • Since October 1, 2019, six members of the Reang or Bru community have reportedly died in relief camps in Tripura, after the Centre decided to stop food supplies and cash dole.
  • They were among 32,000 Brus living in these camps since 1997, when they fled their homes in Mizoram.

Who are the Brus?

  • Bru or Reang is a community indigenous to Northeast India, living mostly in Tripura, Mizoram and Assam.
  • In Tripura, they are recognised as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group.
  • In Mizoram, they have been targeted by groups that do not consider them indigenous to the state.
  • In 1997, following ethnic clashes, nearly 37,000 Brus fled Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts of Mizoram and were accommodated in relief camps in Tripura.

Repatriation Agreement

  • In June 2018, community leaders from the Bru camps signed an agreement in Delhi with the Centre and the two state governments, providing for repatriation in Mizoram.
  • But most camp residents rejected the terms of the agreement.
  • Only 5,000 have gone back and the ongoing ninth phase has succeeded in sending back only about 700 of the remaining 32,000.

Present Issue

  • After a series of meetings over repatriation failed to make headway, the government suspended food supplies.
  • Rations were stopped twice in the past, including in October 2018.
  • Six persons including four infants reportedly died in the camps, which were claimed to be starvation casualties.
  • A huge group of Brus blockaded the streets in protest, which ended after Tripura state government has stepped in with its assurance.
  • Tripura government announced that it would restore food supplies until a deadline of November 30, 2019.
[Source: Indian Express]

 

ECONOMY

₹25,000 CRORE FUND FOR REVIVING REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Economy [Paper-II]: Infrastructure in Indian Economy

News

  • Union Cabinet has approved the creation of an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) of ₹25,000 crore to revive stalled housing projects across the country.
  • The focus on real estate is part of the government’s broader plan to kick-start economic growth, which slowed to a six-year low of 5% in the quarter ended 30 June.

Eligibility

  • As per original announcement, all affordable and middle-income housing projects that are net worth positive and are registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) and that have not been deemed liquidation-worthy will be eligible.
  • The Cabinet decision amended the original announcement by allowing housing projects that have been classified as non-performing assets (NPA) and that are under National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) proceedings also to be eligible for financing.

Alternative Investment Fund

  • The funds will be set up as Category-II Alternative Investment Fund registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India and will be managed by SBICAP Ventures Limited.
  • AIF is expected to pool investments from other government-related and private investors, including public financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds, public and private banks, domestic pension and provident funds, global pension funds and other institutional investors.

Who will contribute to the fund?

  • The fund size will initially be ₹25,000 crore with the government providing ₹10,000 crore and the State Bank of India and the Life Insurance Corporation providing the balance.
  • The fund is not capped at ₹25,000 crore and is likely grow as a lot of sovereign funds have shown interest.

Distribution of Funds

  • The fund would be professionally managed and the financing would not be provided in a lump sum.
  • The required amount for each stage of completion would be provided as required at that stage.

Significance

  • The announcement augurs well for real estate related sectors as demands for construction material will spike.
  • Positive impacts of the move include generation of employment, revival of demand for cement, iron and steel industries and relieving stress in other major sectors of the economy.
  • According to the government’s estimates, there are more than 1,600 housing projects in which 4.58 lakh crore units are stalled.
  • This fund has the potential to act as a force multiplier to impart the necessary push to revive economic activity in the nerve centers of Indian economy.

[Source: The Hindu, Livemint]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

REBOOT KERALA HACKATHON
  • Kerala Higher Education Minister has launched the logo of Reboot Kerala Hackathon 2020.
  • The Hackathon will be organized by Additional Skill Acquisition Programme (ASAP), functioning under the Kerala Higher Education Department.
  • It is a series of competitions aimed at solving problems in government departments, public and private institutions, and non-governmental organisations, including those pertaining to rebuilding the State in the aftermath of the floods.
  • The initiative will provide college students a platform to solve some of the pressing problems faced in daily lives.
  • The opportunity will further inculcate a culture of product innovation and a mindset of problem solving.
  • The initiative has been designed in a manner that enables students to experience practical issues that are associated with administration.
VARNAPAKITTU 2019
  • A transgender arts festival named ‘Varnapakiitu 2019’ is being organised by the Kerala Social Justice Department as part of the Transgender Policy, on November 8-9, 2019.
  • The State-level festival aims at providing persons from the transgender community a platform to express their artistic and creative skills.
  • The two-day festival will see 189 contestants from across the State compete in 20 events.
  • Ten people from the community who have excelled in their chosen fields will be honoured during the festival.
KERALA NEEM G
  • As a part of promoting e-vehicles, seven electric autorickshaws, ‘Neem-G’, made by Kerala Automobiles Limited (KAL) were flagged off by Kerala Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan in Thiruvananthapuram.
  • The autos carried legislators from the MLA Hostel to the assembly.
  • KAL is the first PSU in the country to foray into the e-mobility business.
  • Each e-auto from the KAL costs ₹2.80 lakh, for which a subsidy of ₹30,000 is offered.
  • With full charge, the auto will travel 100 km and the cost per km will be 50 paise only.
  • KAL’s initiative is part of the target of putting one million EVs on the road by 2022, with a ‘pilot fleet’ of 2 lakh two-wheelers, 50,000 three-wheelers, 1,000 goods carriers, 3,000 buses, and 100 ferry boats by 2020.
KAZHCHA PROJECT
  • Kerala Social justice department has allocated Rs 1.19 crore to provide 1,000 specially-designed smartphones for blind people under ‘Kazhcha’ project of Kerala State Handicapped Persons Welfare Corporation.
  • The smartphones will enable the visually challenged to face the maximum challenges.
  • They are equipped with eSpeak open source software speech synthesiser for Malayalam, English, Hindi, and Tamil.
  • Reading, news, recreation, online shopping, bill remittance, banking, studies, etc. are possible through special software on the phone.
  • Talking route maps will help them reach various destinations.
  • The phones will also be of huge help to those preparing for competitive examinations. Money reader will help them identify currency.
  • Training is being given to the beneficiaries in using the phone and understanding its possibilities.
  • Master trainers will train the beneficiaries as soon as the distribution of the phones in the districts is completed.

About the author

Talent KAS