Home Ministry Current Affairs - 2019
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Union Home Ministry has issued new Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for cash refilling of automated teller machines (ATMs) after certain time period. It comes in view of rising incidents of attacks on cash vans, cash vaults, ATM frauds and other internal frauds leading to increased sense of insecurity. It will come into effect from 8 February 2019. There are over 8,000 privately owned cash vans operating across country, operated by non-bank private agencies, and they handle over Rs. 15,000 crore daily on behalf of banks.
Features of new SoPs
It sets deadline of replenishing cash in ATMs before 9pm in cities and 6pm in rural areas. In case of Naxal-hit districts notified by central government, e deadline will be 4pm. It makes mandatory on private agencies handling these operations to collect money from banks in first half of the day and transport them in armoured vehicles.
The agencies should provide private security for cash transportation with requisite number of trained staff. Every cash van must have one driver, two armed security guards, two ATM officers or custodians. One armed guard must sit in front along with driver and another in rear portion of van during transit. The cash van should not carry cash of more than Rs. 5 crore per trip. Each of cash boxes shall be secured to floor with separate chains and locks that can be opened only by using separate keys kept with different custodians.
During loading or unloading of cash, nature’s call, tea or lunch break, at least one armed security guard should remain present with cash van at all times. The eligible ex-serviceman must be preferably appointed for providing security for cash transportation.
No private security agency should appoint anyone for cash transportation with verification of person including police, Aadhaar and residence verifications, previous employer check, credit history check and fidelity insurance. Every cash transportation operation should be carried out only in secured cash vans fitted with GPS tracking device.
The cash van shall be provided with small CCTV system with at least five days recording facility and three cameras installed in front, rear and inside of cabin. The cash van shall be equipped with hooter, fire extinguishers and emergency lights to ensure quick reaction in case of attack. It should also be equipped with security alarm with GSM based auto-dialer along with motorised siren.
Private security agency should carry out cash handling, including counting, sorting, and bundling activities shall in secured premises in accordance with specific guidelines. These premises should be designed to include two physically independent areas, one for general office purpose and other for secured cash processing and handling activities. It should also accommodate space for cash deposit, collection, sorting, counting and delivery and dispatch on secured cash vans.
Union Home Ministry has agreed to relax conditions laid down in ‘four-corner agreement’ signed with Bru migrants for their repatriation from Tripura to Mizoram. The agreement was signed between Government of India, Governments of Mizoram and Tripura and Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) in July 2018.
Provisions of agreement
The agreement covers 5,407 Bru families (32876 persons) presently staying in temporary camps in Tripura to repatriate them to Mizoram before September 30, 2018. Central Government will provide financial assistance for their rehabilitation in Mizoram and address their issues of security, education, livelihood etc. in consultation with Governments of Mizoram and Tripura. These families who moved to Mizoram from Tripura will be given one-time financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh to be kept as fixed deposit in name of head of family. This cash assistance will be to be provided only after three years of uninterrupted stay in Mizoram. Moreover, house building assistance of Rs 1.5 lakh will be also disbursed to these families in three instalments. Besides, these families will be also provided with free ration for two years and monthly assistance of Rs 5,000 for each family. Identity documents such as ration cards and Aadhaar will be issued by Tripura government. Mizoram government will ensure security for all repatriated refugees who were identified and verified as per 1997 electoral rolls of Mizoram.
The relaxation in few terms of agreement comes after leaders of MBDPF who had signed agreement were forced to pull out of deal after signing it due to strong protests by Bru community in Tripura against certain terms of the deal. The period of stay for cash assistance of Rs 4 lakh for Bru refugees will be relaxed from three years to two (or even one and half years). They can withdraw 90% of the Rs 4 lakh assistance as bank loan immediately after their return. Moreover, conditions in place for financial assistance may be also relaxed. The building assistance will be in single or two instalments. On relocation, at least 50 refugees will be settled in each village.
Bru (or Reang) are tribals inhabit to some parts of Northeastern states. In Mizoram, they are largely restricted to Mamit and Kolasib districts. In 1997, following bout of ethnic violence between Mizos and Brus, thousands of people from Bru tribe were forced to leave their homes in Mizoram and settle down in Tripura. Mizo Students’ Association (MZA) was demanding to remove Brus from the state’s electoral rolls, contending that Bru tribe was not indigenous to Mizoram. This ethnic violence had led to retaliatory armed movement (Bru militancy) led by militant outfit Bru National Liberation Front (BNLF) and political one by Bru National Union (BNU) demanding an autonomous tribal district. The first phase of repatriation of Brus from Tripura to Mizoram was started in November 2010, when 1,622 Bru families with 8,573 members were resettled in Mizoram. But repatriation process was stalled in 2011, 2012 and 2015 amid protests by Mizo NGOs.