Union Home Minister Current Affairs - 2019

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What is Private Security Agency Licensing Portal?

Emphasising the need to increase the number of licensed private security, Union Home Minister Amit Shah launched the ‘Private Security Agency Licensing Portal’ in New Delhi. It is a web portal to help private security agencies get licenses.

About Private Security Agency Licensing Portal

It is a single-window system for issuing licences to private security agencies. The move attempts to streamline licensing regime with Home ministry becoming the dashboard for regulating industry under The Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act, 2005.

The web portal will be available in all official languages of India (22) in next 90 days. Thus such facilitation would give a pan-India profile to online licensing process.

Also, with the online availability of credentials, it would become easier for an agency registered in one state to expand its operations in another state. Since most of the police stations across country are connected online, thus the online police verification of security guards would become easy by accessing pan-India criminal records online.

The online portal would ensure transparency in licensing the private security sector and would give a boost to its credibility.

Importance:

Increasing the number of agencies with licences would enhance trustworthiness of private security sector as they have vital importance for safe and secure business environment. The move is also in line with achieving Prime Minister’s vision of $5 trillion economy by providing employment as well as guarding vital corporations and financial hubs in the country.

Way Ahead

Private security industry could join the government and start awareness campaigns to make people aware in encouraging only licence holder agencies in sector.

To ensure basic discipline among the employees private agencies should try to recruit retired paramilitary and military personnel represent or people who have undergone at least National Cadet Corps (NCC) training. This assumes importance as private security personnel are 1st line of responders against criminals in society.

Also, there is a need to impart Indian Penal Code (IPC) related knowledge to private security guards during their training itself.

Census 2021: Digital Collection of Data and Multipurpose Card Proposed

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has mooted the idea of a multipurpose identity card for citizens with all utilities such as Aadhaar, bank accounts, passport and driving licence. He also announced that for first time in 140-year history of census in India, data is proposed to be collected through a mobile app and people who conduct door-to-door counting would be encouraged to use their own phone.

Home Minister Amit Shah also notified that National Population Register (NPR) is being prepared for the first time in 2021 census. NPR is a list of usual residents of the country which could be the basis for a pan-India version of Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC). The data for NPR will also be collected along with the census exercise.

Key Highlights about Census 2021

During Census 2021, the digital collection of data will be adopted through mobile app. The app is being developed indigenously for collecting the data and in Android phones.

The use of latest technological developments during upcoming Census  process is a revolutionary initiative as in this process, people will be able to upload the details of self and family on newly developed mobile app themselves.

The Census 2021 data will become base for country’s future planning, development initiatives and welfare schemes so that India’s total 130 crore population gets benefitted from it. Therefore, people’s wholehearted participation is key to success of exercise.

A total of 33 lakh enumerators would be mobilised for data collection. Enumerators are the persons who conduct door-to-door counting.

The exercise will be done in 16 languages to facilitate people in filling their details properly.

An amount of Rs. 12,000 crore will be spent on India’s first digital census.

Background

The census exercise first began in 1865 with a pen and paper. The upcoming 2021 census exercise is the sixteenth census in the country and eighth census after independence.

In March 2019, the government had announced that next census will be conducted in two phases with 1 March 2021 as the reference date. For Jammu and Kashmir and snow-bound areas of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh the reference date shall be the 1 October 2020. A pre-test of Census 2021, which began on 12 August 2019 will go on till the end of September 2019.