Posco Current Affairs - 2020

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Union Cabinet Approves amendments to POCSO Act

The Union Cabinet has approved amendments to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. The amendments are proposed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Amendments Proposed

POSCO is a gender-neutral law protects both boys and girls under the age of 18. The amendments proposed are:

  • The amendments provide for stringent punishment, including the death penalty, for committing aggravated penetrative sexual assault crime on a child, both boys and girls, below the age of 18.
  • The amendments extend the punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault from a minimum of 10 years to a minimum of 20 years, up to a maximum of life imprisonment and even the death penalty.
  • The amendments are proposed to protect children from sexual offences in times of natural calamities and disasters.
  • The amendment also proposes to alter the definition of sexual assault to include administering hormones to children expedite their sexual maturity for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

Why the amendments were proposed?

The Ministry of Women and Child Development cites the reports of rapes of young girls in the aftermath of Kedarnath floods. Data shows that children constitute 50-60% of victims of calamities. Hence there was a need to add rapes in course of natural calamities as the 21st category under aggravated penetrative sexual assault.

The cabinet has approved the death penalty for those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 under IPC. But IPC is not gender neutral. Since POSCO is a gender-neutral law the amendments widen the range of cases of sexual assault against boys and girls under 18 that are now punishable by death.

Is law a deterrent?

Government proposes that amendments will further enhance the deterrence against sexual assault on children. But the data shows that less than 3% of all POCSO cases end in convictions and experts further warn against the chilling effect the death penalty may have on reporting the crime. Hence it can be said that law by itself will not be a deterrent but systemic changes in law enforcement and prosecution hold the key to tackling child sexual abuse.

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Posco to set up steel plant in Maharashtra in Joint Venture with Uttam Steel

World’s sixth largest South Korean steelmaker Posco has signed an agreement to form a Joint venture with Uttam Steel and Power to set up a 3 million tonnes per year integrated steel plant in Maharashtra.

This will be the first integrated steel plant for Posco in India as it continues to battle regulatory hurdles for a 10 years to set up a mega $12 billion steel plant in the eastern Odisha state.

The Posco and Uttam Steel and Power, owned by the co-promoters of Uttam Galva Steels, which is jointly owned by ArcelorMittal has planned to set up the plant at Satarda in Sindhudurg district.

The plant will be set up in two phase that expect to yield 3 million tonnes of steel per year that requires total investment of 3 billion US dollars.

The reason for Posco to set up plant in Sindhudurg district is due to its available iron ore resource and easy land acquisition by the state government.

Posco could scrap the Odisha project on ground of new law that made the iron ore source costlier for that plant. It already has steel processing centres in the cities of Pune, Chennai and near New Delhi.

About Posco:

  • It is South Korean multinational steel-making company intiated in 1968 and is headquartered at Pohang, South Korea.
  • It currently operates two integrated steel mills in South Korea and a joint venture with U.S. Steel, USS-POSCO located in Pittsburg, California.
  • It had signed a memorandum of understanding in June 2005 with the state government of Odisha to construct a $12 billion steel plant.
  • But the project stalled due to various regulatory delays and controversies that prevented company to start its construction. The memorandum expired in June 2011 and still has not been renewed.

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