Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2018

Cabinet approves ordinance for death penalty for child rapists

The Union Cabinet has approved promulgation of Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance to provide death penalty for rapists of girls below 12 years. The ordinance amends Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedure Code, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Indian Evidence Act.

Key Provisions of Ordinance

It provides for stringent punishment of jail term of minimum 20 years or life imprisonment or death for rape of girl less than 12 years. It provides punishment with imprisonment for rest of life or death sentence in case of gang rape of girl below 12 years.

It increases minimum punishment from 10 years to 20 years for crime of rape of girl under 16 years, which can be extended to imprisonment for rest of life. It increases minimum punishment for rape of women from rigorous imprisonment of 7 years to 10 years, which can be extended to life imprisonment.

It provides for speedy investigation and trial, which must be completed in two months. It proposes 6 months’ time limit for disposal of appeals in rape cases. It provides dedicated manpower for investigation of rape cases in time bound manner.

It provides no provision for anticipatory bail for person accused of rape or gang rape of girl under 16 years. It has also been provided that court has to give notice of 15 days to Public Prosecutor and representative of victim before deciding bail applications in case of rape of a girl under 16 years of age.

It has provision for maintaining national database and profile of sexual offenders by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). This data will be regularly shared with States/UTs for monitoring, tracking and investigation including verification of antecedents by police.

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Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan: CCEA approves restructured Centrally Sponsored Scheme

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved restructured Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA). The restructured scheme will focus on training, building infrastructure, stepping up initiatives for e-governance under e-Panchayat Mission Mode Project (MMP) to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It will be implemented during period from April 2018 to March 2022 with total proposed cost of the scheme is Rs. 7255 crore.

Key Facts

The scheme will extend to all states/UTs of country and will also include institutions of rural local government in non-Part IX areas, where Panchayats do not exist. The fund sharing ratio for scheme for state components will be 60:40 barring Northeast and hilly states where it will be 90:10. For UTs, central share will be 100%.

The scheme will have both central component- National Level activities including National Plan of Technical Assistance, Mission Mode project on e-Panchayat, Incentivization of Panchayats and state component Capacity Building of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs),

The implementation and monitoring of activities of scheme will broadly be aligned for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with main thrust on Panchayats identified under Mission Antyodaya and 115 aspirational districts as identified by NITI Aayog. It will converge capacity building initiatives of other ministries.

Significance

The restructured scheme will help more than 2.55 lakh Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) to develop governance capabilities to deliver on SDGs through inclusive local governance with focus on optimum utilisation of available resources.

It will strive to achieve key principles of SDGs, i.e. leaving no one behind, reaching farthest first and universal coverage, along with gender equality. It will give priority to subjects of national importance that affects the excluded groups the most, e.g. poverty, nutrition, education, primary health services, immunization, sanitation, water conservation, digital transactions etc.

It is designed keeping in view programmatic convergence with Mission Antyodaya Gram Panchayats (GPs) and 115 Aspirational districts as identified by NITI Aayog. Strengthening of panchayats under it will help to promote equity and inclusiveness, along with Social Justice and economic development of the community.

Increased use of e-governance by PRIs will help achieve improved service delivery and transparency. It will strengthen Gram Sabhas to function as effective institutions with social inclusion of citizens particularly vulnerable groups.

The scheme will help to establish institutional structure for capacity building of PRIs at national, state and district level with adequate human resources and infrastructure. It will progressively strengthened PRIs through incentivisation on basis of nationally important criteria which will encourage competitive spirit among them.

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