Government Organisations Current Affairs
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) celebrated Silver Jubilee (25 years) on October 12, 2018. NHRC was set up on October 12, 1993. The silver Jubilee celebrations were held in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the function and appreciated role of NHRC. NHRC also released special silver jubilee logo and commissioned documentary titled ‘NHRC: 25 years, Billion Hopes’ capturing the 25 years of its journey. It also organized ‘Human Rights Mela’ and ‘Human Rights Street Theatre Festival’ in New Delhi.
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
NHRC is apex statutory watchdog of human rights in the country, i.e. the rights related to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by Constitution or embodied in the international convents. It was established on October 12, 1993 as per t statutory provisions of Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. It is multimember body consisting of Chairman and four members. President appoints Chairman and members of NHRC on recommendation of high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister. Its headquarters is located in New Delhi. NHRC can either take suo motu cognisance of cases through media reports or complaint filed by victim or any other person on his or her behalf or on basis of reports received from the police department.
Functions of NHRC
- Investigate violations of human rights committed by the government.
- Intervene in legal proceedings related to human rights.
- Recommend to provide relief to the victims and their families.
- Review protection provided by Constitution.
- Study international treaties related to human rights, etc. and recommend for effective implementation on its basis.·
- Promote research in the field of human rights.
- Spread human rights education in different sections of the society.
Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has reconstituted Supreme Court-empowered Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA). This comes after tenure of the last EPCA expired on October 3, 2018.
Former IAS officers Bhure Lal will continue to be Chairman of reconstituted EPCA. The other members of the 20-member re-constituted EPCA include Ajay Mathur, Director General of The Energy Research Institute (TERI); Arunabha Ghosh, Chief Executive Officer of Centre for Energy Environment and Water; Navroz K. Dubash, Senior Fellow for the Centre for Policy Research. Others members include Vishnu Mathur, Director General, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers; Krishna Dhawan, Chief Executive Officer, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, New Delhi and Arvind Kumar, former professor of surgery, AIIMS in New Delhi and among others.
Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA)
EPCA is Supreme Court mandated body tasked with taking various measures to tackle air pollution in the National Capital Region. It was notified in 1998 by Environment Ministry under Environment Protection Act, 1986. Its mandate is to protect and improve quality of environment and prevent and control environmental pollution in National Capital Region. It is also mandated to enforce Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in NCR as per the pollution levels. In November 2017, EPCA had enforced several measures, including ban on brick kilns, closure of Badarpur thermal power plant, hot mix plants and stone crushers, and construction activities in NCR.