MHA Current Affairs
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has created Women Safety Division to address issues related to security of women comprehensively amid rising concerns over women safety. The division will deal with all aspects of women safety in coordination with relevant ministries, departments and state governments.
Women Safety Division
It will deal with subjects like crimes against women, crimes against children, elderly persons, SCs & STs, anti-trafficking cell, matters relating to prison legislation and prison reforms, all schemes under NIRBHAYA fund, National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and Crime and Criminal Tracking & Network System (CCTNS).
It will focus to enhance capacity of existing administrative, investigative, prosecution and judicial machinery, along with appropriate measures for rehabilitation of victims and bring attitudinal changes in society to address offences against women particularly rape in holistic and time-bound manner.
It will create national mission for safety of women, with participation of stakeholder ministries and departments, who will undertake specified actions in time-bound manner. The mission will give credible response to emerging situation of crimes against women, especially minor girls, focus on time-bound implementation of measures with tangible impact on women safety.
The specified actions under mission includes setting up of Special Fast Track Courts (FTCs), strengthening of forensic set up and building up of national registry of sexual offenders, appointing additional public prosecutors and providing appropriate medical and rehabilitation facilities to victims.
It will also address issues like sensitisation of children through appropriate changes in school curriculum, media campaign for raising awareness, checking proliferation of pornography materials and online contents etc. It will result in giving credible response to emerging situation of crimes against women, especially minor girls, focus on time-bound implementation of measures with tangible impact on women safety.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is planning to relax the protected area permit (PAP) regime to enable foreign tourists to access border areas. The move is being initiated to promote tourism, create job opportunities for the locals and generate revenue for the states.
The proposal of relaxation of permit regime is being taken into consideration following several requests by states falling under protected areas regime and Ministry of Tourism. MHA will coordinate with other agencies and state governments to identify possible locations for which protected area permit (PAP) regime provisions may be relaxed. However, citizens from Pakistan and China are unlikely to be given these relaxations.
Protected areas and Protected area permit
Under Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order, 1958, all areas falling between Inner line and International Border of some states have been declared as protected areas. The protected areas currently include whole of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Sikkim, besides parts of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir. Some parts of Sikkim fall under protected area regime while others under restricted area regime. As per MHA’s December 2010 circular, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland were excluded from protected area regime initially for a period of one year from January 2011, subject to some conditions.
Guidelines: Under it, foreign national is not normally allowed to visit protected or restricted area unless Government is satisfied that there are extra-ordinary reasons to justify his or her visit. Every foreigner, except citizen of Bhutan, who desires to enter and stay in protected or restricted area, is required to obtain a special permit from a competent authority having the power to issue such permits to a foreigner, seeking it. Citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistani origin are not allowed to enter such areas.
Authority issuing such Permits: Necessary powers have been delegated to various authorities to issue such special permits without prior approval of MHA to facilitate foreign tourists subject to certain exceptions. In cases of citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistani origin, no permit can be issued without prior approval of MHA. In cases of foreign diplomats, including members of United Nations and international organisations holding diplomatic or official passports, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issues special permits to visit such protected or restricted areas.