Ravi Shankar Prasad Current Affairs - 2020

Govt launches National Broadband Mission

Centre Government launched the National Broadband Mission (NBM) to provide broadband access to all villages by 2022. It was launched by Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in New Delhi. NBM is part of government’s National Digital Communications Policy, 2018.

About National Broadband Mission

Objective of NBM:

  • To fast track growth of digital communications infrastructure, bridge digital divide and to provide affordable and universal access of broadband for all
  • To provide broadband access to all villages by 2022

Salient Features of NBM:

Ambitious project will involve laying down around 30 Lakhs kilometre route Optical Fiber Cable (OFC) as well as increase tower density from 0.42 to 1.0 tower per thousand of population by 2024.

Facilitate universal and equitable access to broadband services and significantly improve quality of services for mobile and internet for across country and especially in rural and remote areas.

Develop innovative implementation models for Right of Way (RoW) and to work with States and Union Territories for having consistent policies pertaining to expansion of digital infrastructure including for RoW approvals required for laying of OFC

Develop a Broadband Readiness Index (BRI) for measuring the availability of digital communications infrastructure and conducive policy ecosystem within a States and Union Territory

Creating a digital fiber map of Digital Communications network and infrastructure, including OFC and Towers, across the country

Addressing policy and regulatory changes required for accelerating expansion and creation of digital infrastructure and services

Working with all stakeholders including concerned Ministries, Departments, government agencies, and Ministry of Finance, for enabling investments for Mission.

Fund: The NAM envisages an investment of Rs.7 lakh crore in next 4 years from both government and industry to connect the country digitally at a faster pace. 10% of funds will come from Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) and the balance to come from industry in form of towers and other assets.

Benefit: Besides securing universal broadband access for implementation of broadband initiatives, the mission will also fast-track digital connectivity across the country. Providing internet connectivity to 1 lakh villages will also push Indian economy to 5 trillion-dollar milestone.

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Odisha to set up 45 fast track courts

Odisha Government has decided to set up 45 fast track courts in the State, to expedite the trial of cases relating to women and children. The State government’s action comes after Centre has decided to formulate a scheme for setting up 1,023 fast track special courts for expeditious trial and disposal of rape cases. For this purpose, the Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has asked States and Chief Justices of High Courts to expedite investigation in cases of rape and those registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Key Highlights

The fast track courts will function under Additional District Judges as per provisions of Orissa Civil Courts Act, 1984. Out of these 45 fast track courts being set up in Odisha, 21 courts would be dedicated for cases of rape and sexual harassment of women and the remaining 24 fast track courts will specifically deal with Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) cases.

Once set up, the courts that deal with only rape incidents will expeditiously dispose of long pending cases in the Sessions Courts. At present, Odisha has over 15.65 lakh pending cases, including crimes against women.

NOTE: As per the annual crime data released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) recently, 94.7% cases related to crime against women are pending at hearing stage.

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