Women Safety Current Affairs - 2019
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‘Gujarat Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 2019’ came into force from May 1. It allows that shops, commercial establishments and businesses running in state can now remain open round the clock (24X7). The act was passed by state Assembly in February 2019, but was notified on occasion of Gujarat’s foundation day, 1 May 1960.
Key Highlights: Gujarat Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act 2019
- It replaces ‘Gujarat Shops and Establishments Act of 1948’ which prohibited shops and other businesses from remaining open between 12 am to 6 am.
- Now shops and commercial establishments employing less than ten persons will need no registration and those employing more than 10 workers will require one-time registration with no need for annual renewal
- Working hours for women employees can be only between 6 am and 9 pm. It could be relaxed if after considering safety issues authorities make a written request.
- Increase Employment: In Gujarat about seven lakh shops and businesses employ less than ten persons and generate direct employment of about 10-12 lakh persons. As per new law they do not require registration.
- Overtime Perks: Employees working overtime will get paid twice their pay, against one and half time under previous law.
- Biggest beneficiaries of amendments to existing law would be markets, malls, food outlets and retailers, especially during festive season.
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.