Women Safety 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.

Shops and Businesses in Gujarat can now remain Open 24X7

‘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.

Benefits

  • 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.