Minister of Home Affairs Current Affairs - 2020

Spitting an offence: Section 51 of Disaster Management Act

The Ministry of Home Affairs issued guidelines for Lock Down 2.0 that was extended till May 3, 2020. According to the new guidelines, spitting in the public was made offensive under National Disaster Management Act.


The guidelines also had made wearing masks in public places mandatory. Spitting has been made punishable under Section 51 of Disaster Management Act. Refusal to abide by the order shall lead to imprisonment till one year.

Section 51

Under the section, a person denying to obey orders passed under the act is punishable.

Why Disaster Management Act?

States such as Bihar, Telangana, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Maharashtra, Assam and Nagaland have banned the use of smokeless tobacco products. Other states have taken no action against spread of COVID-19 through spitting in public places. With COVID-19 made a “notified disaster”, order passed under the Disaster management act applies to whole of India

The feasibility and time constraints are bigger on the other way out. For instance, the GoI shall instruct state governments to pass laws or orders against spitting. In the current scenario, implementation of these order by state governments will bring upon political constraints and damage the efficacy of the order.

IPS V.S. Kaumudi appointed as Director General of BPR&D

The Centre government has appointed senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer V.S. Kaumudi as Director General of Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) by lowering the post to the rank of Additional Director General.

Key Highlights

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet comprising of Prime Minister of India (who is the Chairman) and Minister of Home Affairs, approved the proposal made by Union Ministry of Home Affairs for appointing V.S. Kaumudi as Director General (ADG level) BPR&D by temporarily downgrading the DG post to level of Additional Director General (Level-15 of Pay Matrix)
  • He will be succeeding IPS officer Sudeep Lakhtakia, a 1984 batch IPS officer.
  • Term: His appointment as DG of BPR&D will be for a period of two years or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

About IPS V.S. Kaumudi

  • He is a 1986 batch IPS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre.
  • At present she is serving as Additional Director General (ADG) in Central Reserve.

About Bureau of Police Research and Development

  • BPRD was established in 1970 under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  • It is a federal law enforcement agency with headquarters in New Delhi.
  • It is a national police organisation to study, research and develop (R&D) on subjects and issues related to policing for the purpose of modernisation of police forces.
  • In 2017, Union government merged Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) with National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for improving administrative efficiency and optimally utilising resources related to policing. This new merged entity is headed by Director General (DG) of BPRD, and NCRB Director, an Additional DG rank post will report to the former.