Nirbhaya Fund Current Affairs - 2019
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According to recent media reports, not much progress has been made in making cities safer for women even one year after launch of Safe City programme. It highlights poor guidelines and improper utilization of funds and focus on general elections as main reasons for it.
About Safe City programme
- It was launched with objective of strengthening safety and security of women in public places.
- It is being implemented by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in consultation with Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoW&CD), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Information Technology (MeitY), respective Municipal & Police Commissioners of cities and civil society organizations.
- Initially it was launched in 8 cities, which include Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. Lucknow was first city in country to clear the project in In November 2018.
- It was approved with total cost of Rs.194.44 crore under Nirbhaya Fund Scheme (by empowered Committee of officers for Nirbhaya funds). It is implemented as Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) with Centre and State sharing fund in 60:40 ratio.
- It includes identifying crime hotspots and placing them under CCTV coverage, drone-based surveillance, deployment of automated number plate reading (ANPR) equipment through an integrated smart control room.
Major component of Safe City Project
- Setting an Integrated Smart Control Room.
- Setting Pink Out-posts (exclusively administered by Women police) for facilitating ease of filing complaint by women; Pink Patrols of Women police.
- Setting Women Help Desks in all Police Stations with Counsellors.
- Augmentation of existing Asha Jyoti Kendra.
- Implementing Safety measures in buses, including Cameras.
- Improving Street Lighting in identified crime Hotspot areas.
- Setting up Pink Toilets.
- Integratig Women power-help line with single Emergency number ‘112’
Safe City Project, Lucknow:
- Helpline 1090 was launched in Uttar Pradesh to prevent atrocities against women.
- Gender sensitization awareness campaigns etc.
It was set up by UPA government with an initial corpus of Rs. 1,000 crore after horrific gang rape of young woman in New Delhi in December 2012. Nirbhaya is the name she was referred to by media, and fund seeks to ensure safety of women across country. In past years, fund amount has increased to Rs. 3,600 crore, but according to reports money isnot being used.
The government launched Safe City Implementation Monitoring Portal with aim of monitoring safe city project, as aid in online tracking of deployment of assets and infrastructure.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has distributed over 3,100 special kits SAECKs for collecting blood and semen samples, besides other evidence, to carry out immediate investigations into sexual assault cases among states and Union Territories.
- Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits (SAECKs) or ‘rape investigation kits’ are specially designed kits to carry out the immediate medico-legal investigation.
- SAECKs also aid in furnishing evidence in sexual assault and rape cases.
- The Kit comprises of essential items that will aid in furnishing evidence such as blood and semen samples in sexual assault and rape cases, thus helping the prosecution to gather evidence against the accused.
- These kits are also expected to help law enforcement agencies in ensuring effective investigation in a timely manner for better prosecution and convictions in sexual assault cases.
- The kit comprises of a set of test tubes and bottles, which mention contents and specifications together with instructions on collection of evidence from the crime scene.
The SAECKs are being procured with financial support under the Central government’s Nirbhaya Fund and the Ministry of Home Affairs has procured 3,120 SAECKs and distributed these to the states and UTs.