Nirbhaya Fund Scheme Current Affairs - 2020

Nirbhaya funds: IP based video surveillance in railways & Fast Track Courts

The Indian Railways has enhanced security in major railway hubs by installing IP based video surveillance system. The surveillance has been installed in parking areas, entrance and exit platforms, waiting hall and over bridges.

Highlights

The surveillance system is to be installed in 983 stations at a budget of Rs 250 crores. The budget is being allocated from Nirbhaya funds. The surveillance is to be extended to other stations and coaches soon. The project implementation is to begin with south Western Railways.

Nirbhaya Funds

Nirbhaya fund was announced in the Union Budget 2013 by the then Finance minister P Chidambaram. Rs 1,000 crore had been allocated. The Ministry of Women and child Development prepares the scope and application of the fund. Ministry of Finance is responsible for the application of the fund.

For a long time, several entities complained that the fund was kept unutilized. Recently, the accused of Nirbhaya case were sentenced with death by the Delhi High Court.

Nirbhaya Fund usage so far

The GoI sanctioned Rs 1000 crores from the fund to implement women help desks in police stations. Also, anti-trafficking units are to be set up in all districts with the funds. A “Safe City Programme” was implemented at a cost of Rs 194.44 crores. SAECK (Sexual Assault Evidence Collection kits) were distributed with Nirbhaya funds. Sakhi centres (One Stop Centres) were set up through Nirbhaya fund under National Mission for Empowerment of women.

1023 Fast track Courts

On January 9, 2020, GoI has begun fast track special courts under Nirbhaya funds. The aim of the courts is to dispose pending cases registered under POCSO act and rape faster. Around 389 courts have been planned where the pendency of cases is more than 100.

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Tracking Progress of ‘Safe City Programme’

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.

Nirbhaya Fund

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.

Recent Updates

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.

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