National Current Affairs – UPSC/KAS Exams- 6th September 2018
SC bats for minor rape survivors
Why in news?
The Supreme Court ordered that minor survivors of rape or sexual assault will get compensation on par with women victims.
- The apex court extended to minor children the National Legal Services Authority’s (NALSA) compensation scheme for women rape and sexual assault survivors.
- A three-judge Bench led by Justice Madan B. Lokur directed that Special Judges under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act should disburse compensation to minor victims of sex abuse as per the NALSA’s ‘Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/Other Crimes-2018’.
- The NALSA scheme would be made applicable to minor victims from October 2 until the Centre frames compensation guidelines under the POCSO.
- The NALSA scheme provides a uniform payment of ₹5 lakh to a maximum ₹ 10 lakh for “loss of life” and to gang rape survivors in any part of the country.
- Similarly, in case of rape and unnatural sexual assault, the victim would get a minimum of ₹4 lakh and a maximum of ₹7 lakh as compensation.
- Among other categories, if a victim suffers the loss of foetus, that is, by miscarriage as a result of assault or loss fertility, the NALSA scheme offers a compensation of ₹2 lakh to ₹3 lakh.
- A victim of acid attacks, in case of disfigurement of face, would get a minimum compensation of ₹7 lakh, while the upper limit would be ₹8 lakh.
- The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) has been constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 to provide free Legal Services to the weaker sections of the society and to organize Lok Adalats for amicable settlement of disputes.
- In every State, State Legal Services Authority has been constituted to give effect to the policies and directions of the NALSA and to give free legal services to the people and conduct Lok Adalats in the State.
- The State Legal Services Authority is headed by Hon’ble the Chief Justice of the respective High Court who is the Patron-in-Chief of the State Legal Services Authority.
- In every District, District Legal Services Authority has been constituted to implement Legal Services Programmes in the District. The District Legal Services Authority is situated in the District Courts Complex in every District and chaired by the District Judge of the respective district.
- The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012 was formulated in order to effectively address sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children.
- The Act defines a child as any person below eighteen years of age. It defines different forms of sexual abuse, including penetrative and non-penetrative assault, as well as sexual harassment and pornography.
- It deems a sexual assault to be “aggravated” under certain circumstances, such as when the abused child is mentally ill or when the abuse is committed by a person in a position of trust or authority like a family member, police officer, teacher, or doctor.
- The Act also casts the police in the role of child protectors during the investigative process. Thus, the police personnel receiving a report of sexual abuse of a child are given the responsibility of making urgent arrangements for the care and protection of the child, such as obtaining emergency medical treatment for the child and placing the child in a shelter home, and bringing the matter in front of the CWC, should the need arise.
- The Act further makes provisions for avoiding the re-victimisation of the child at the hands of the judicial system. It provides for special courts that conduct the trial in-camera and without revealing the identity of the child, in a manner that is as child-friendly as possible.
- Hence, the child may have a parent or other trusted person present at the time of testifying and can call for assistance from an interpreter, special educator, or other professional while giving evidence. Above all, the Act stipulates that a case of child sexual abuse must be disposed of within one year from the date the offence is reported.
New Ganga clean-up law
Why in news?
With an aim to clean the river Ganga, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation has prepared a draft bill. The draft bill has provisions for several stringent measures.
About Draft Bill
- The draft seeks to constitute GPC whose personnel will have the authority to arrest those who pollute the river. The offenders may face a prison term of up to three years and a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh. GPC will follow Code of Criminal Procedure.
- Its personnel will be provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs and will be deployed by National Ganga Rejuvenation Authority.
- The draft bill lays down provision for a National Ganga Council and a National Ganga Rejuvenation Authority to enforce the law and protect the river which flows over 2500 km.
- Among the cognizable offences, there are “Construction activities causing obstruction in the river; withdrawal of ground water for industrial or commercial consumption from the land fronting the river and its tributaries; commercial fishing or aqua culture in the river and its tributaries; discharging untreated or treated sewage into the river”.
- In July 2016, a committee was constituted under retired judge of the Allahabad High Court Justice Girdhar Malviya who had submitted a draft Bill last year named The National River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Bill, 2017.
- Subsequently, a four-member committee was set up by the Ministry to examine that and the Ministry has circulated a Cabinet note which includes a revised version of that draft Bill.
National Mission on GeM
Why in news?
The government has launched the National Mission on Government eMarketplace (GeM) for increasing awareness and accelerating the use of (GeM).
- The National Mission will cover all central government departments, states and public sector undertakings in a mission mode.
- It is aimed at creating awareness about GeM, train the buyers and sellers, get them registered in GeM and increase the procurement through GeM.
- It also aims to promote inclusiveness by empowering various categories of sellers and service providers such as MSMEs, start-ups, domestic manufacturers, women entrepreneurs, and Self-Help Groups.
- The mission also aims to give a boost to cashless, contactless, paperless transactions in line with Digital India objectives.
- It is an online marketplace to facilitate procurement of goods and services by various Ministries and agencies of the Government.
- The platform offers online, end to end solution for procurement of commonly used goods and services for all central government departments and state governments, public sector units and affiliated bodies.
Why in news?
3rd ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Conference on ‘Global Ageing and Human Rights of Older Persons’ is being held in Seoul, Korea.
- The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an informal process of dialogue and cooperation bringing together the 28 European Union member states, 2 other European countries, and the European Union with 21 Asian countries and the ASEAN Secretariat.
- It was officially established on 1 March 1996 at the first summit in Bangkok, Thailand.
- The ASEM Summit is a biennial meeting between the Heads of State and Government, the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, and the Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
- The ASEM dialogue addresses political, economic and cultural issues, with the objective of strengthening the relationship between the two regions, in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership.
CJI Justice Gogoi will take over as the 46th Chief Justice of India
- The Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, due to retire in October, has named the senior-most judge of the Supreme court after him as his successor.
- Justice Gogoi will take over as the 46th Chief Justice of India on October3, a day after CJI Misra retires.
- Justice Ranjan Gagoi is a Judge of the Supreme Court of India since April, 2012. Prior to his present post, he was the Chief Justice ,Punjab and Haryana High Court.
- His father Keshab Chandra Gogoi was a Chief minister under the Indian National Congress regime in the state of Assam in the year in the year 1982.
Indian Air Force successfully carries first-ever mid-air refuelling of fighter aircraft Tejas
- A dry run of mid-air refuelling of Tejas fighter jet by an Indian Air Force aircraft was successfully conducted.
- The test conducted involved a dry linkup, meaning no fuel was actually transferred between Indian Air Force Il-78 tanker and Tejas fighter jet through its air-to-air refuelling probe.
- For this test, Russian-built IL-78 MKI tanker was launched from IAF’s base in Agra while LCA Tejas fighter was launched from Gwalior.