Violent crimes in country back to pre-COVID levels –
Delhi most unsafe metro for women –
- Violent crimes such as rape, kidnapping, atrocities against children, and robberies registered across India increased in 2021, after the pandemic-related restrictions led to a decline in these severe offences in 2020.
- Murders, which did not come down even in 2020, continued to increase in 2021 too, according to data from National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)’s 2021 report.
- For the third consecutive year, Delhi topped the list of crimes against women among all the metropolitan cities. In 2021, crimes against women rose by 40% over the previous year, with 1,226 incidents of rapes and 136 incidents of dowry deaths.
- National Crime Records Bureau
- NCRB, headquartered in New Delhi, was set-up in 1986 under the Ministry of Home Affairs to function as a repository of information on crime and criminals so as to assist the investigators in linking crime to the perpetrators.
- It was set up based on the recommendations of the National Police Commission (1977-1981) and the MHA’s Task Force (1985).
- NCRB brings out the annual comprehensive statistics of crime across the country (‘Crime in India’ report).
- Having been published since 1953, the report serves as a crucial tool in understanding the law and order situation across the country.
There are no easy answers to the freebies issue –
- The presumption that parties are oriented towards short-termism without any thought for the future may be incorrect.
- Bicycles for children may look like a cheap electoral bribe. But those familiar with rural areas would know that poor transport is a serious obstacle to attending school or college. Television sets may not be about recreation, they could be vehicles for imparting useful information or they could simply bring the family together, both of which have wider benefits for society.
- Economists make a distinction between ‘merit’ goods and ‘non-merit’ goods. Merit goods, such as education and health care, have positive externalities, that is, the public benefit exceeds the private benefit.
- Lastly, the issue is not expenditure on freebies per se but the choice of productive versus unproductive expenditure.
Curing the patriarchal mindset of the legal system –
- the offence under Section 354A of the Indian Penal Code (‘Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty’) is not prima facie attracted when the de facto complainant was dressed in ‘sexually provocative dresses’.
- The Supreme Court in Aparna Bhat vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh (2021) had held that “the use of reasoning/language which diminishes the offence and tends to trivialize the survivor [in gender violence cases] is especially to be avoided under all circumstances.
- The award-winning author, Githa Hariharan, in her introduction to Justice K. Chandru’s book, Listen to My Case: When Women Approach The Courts of Tamil Nadu (it tells the stories of 20 women and their fight for justice), has pointed out that the process of going to court is hard for women; it is even harder when women do not have financial or emotional support from their family, custom or the present reading of the law.
- The representation of women in the Indian judiciary too is poor. For example, in March this year, Justice Indira Banerjee, the senior-most woman judge in the Supreme Court, highlighted how the top court (since its inception in 1950) has seen only 11 women judges.
Challenges of sub-national fiscal correction
- The Centre and States need to prioritise expenditure and adhere to fiscal discipline.
- First are a set of issues related to Goods and Services Tax (GST) such as the rate structure, inclusion and exclusion of commodities, revenue sharing from GST and associated compensation.
- Second, State-level expenditure patterns especially related to the welfare schemes of States.
- Third, the conception and the implementation of central schemes.
- The debt-GSDP ratio of States increased from 22.6 in 2013 to 25.1 in 2018, and further to 31.2 in 2022 (budget estimates).
- FRBM Act
- The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, 2003 sets a bar for the government to lay a foundation of monetary limitations in the Indian Economy.
- It contributes to the improvement of the management of public funds and lowers the fiscal deficit rate as well.
- The FRBM Act also allows for the use of an escape clause in times of disaster or national security. In such cases, the government may deviate from its target annual fiscal deficit.
Pharma body’s new apps to ease business operations –
- The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) is working more as a facilitator and not just as a regulator, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said at its silver jubilee celebrations on Monday.
- At the inaugural session of the event, the Integrated Pharmaceutical Database Management System 2.0 (IPDMS 2.0) and Pharma Sahi Daam 2.0 mobile applications were launched.
- IPDMS 2.0 is an integrated, responsive, cloud-based application developed by the NPPA with technical support from the Centre for Advance Computing (C-DAC).
- NPPA was constituted by the Government of India in 1997 as an attached office of the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers as an independent Regulator for pricing of drugs and to ensure availability and accessibility of medicines at affordable prices.
- It was made to fix/revise prices of controlled bulk drugs and formulations and to enforce price and availability of the medicines in the country, under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 1995-2013 (DPCO).
- A bulk drug — also called Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) — is the chemical molecule in a medicine that lends the product the claimed therapeutic effect.
Tribe categorisation work delays benefits under SEED –
- Till 8 p.m. on Monday, the Union Social Justice Ministry received 402 applications online from across the country for benefits under the Scheme for Economic Empowerment of Denotified, Nomadic, Semi-nomadic (SEED) Tribes.
- The major component of the SEED scheme are:
- Educational empowerment- Free coaching to students from these communities for Civil Services, entry to professional courses like medicine, engineering, MBA, etc.
- Health Insurance through PMJAY of National Health Authority.
- Livelihoods to support income generation, and
- Housing (through PMAY/IAY)
- About De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes
- The term ‘De-notified Tribes’ stands for all those communities which were once notified under the Criminal Tribes Acts, enforced by the British Raj between l87l and I947.
- These Acts were repealed by the Independent Indian Government in l952.
- The Denotified and Nomadic communities have diverse ideological patterns, culture, political and social lifestyle, customs and traditions.
- The social and cultural characteristics of nomadic communities are closely related to their economic activities.
- They are engaged in various occupations such as transport, key-making, salt trading, entertaining — acrobats, dancers, snake charmers, jugglers — and pastoralists.
Snag postpones NASA moon rocket launch –
The countdown was halted about 40 minutes before launch time as the 32-story-tall, two-stage Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and its Orion crew capsule awaited liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
What is Artemis Mission?
- NASA’s Artemis mission is touted as the next generation of lunar exploration, and is named after the twin sister of Apollo from Greek mythology.
- Artemis is also the goddess of the moon.
- It is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars.
- With the Artemis programme, NASA aims to land humans on the moon by 2024, and it also plans to land the first woman and first person of colour on the moon.
- NASA will establish an Artemis Base Camp on the surface and a gateway (the lunar outpost around the Moon) in lunar orbit to aid exploration by robots and astronauts.
- The gateway is a critical component of NASA’s sustainable lunar operations and will serve as a multi-purpose outpost orbiting the moon.
- Orion spacecraft: Orion spacecraft is going to remain in space without docking to a space station, longer than any ship for astronauts has ever done before.
- Space Launch System (SLS) rocket: It is the most powerful rocket in the world — and travels 2,80,000 miles from the earth for over four to six weeks during the course of the mission.
Text and Context – The jurisprudence of bail
- The jurisprudence of bail in post-independent India, is anchored on the bedrock of Article 21 of the Constitution which states that liberty can be deprived only through the procedure established by law, which must be “just, fair and reasonable”.
- Prolonged detention of an accused pending trial may convert the process itself into a punishment rendering a finding of acquittal practically useless as the accused would have suffered much of the punishment by then.
- This is why grant of bail is fundamentally important.
- Grant of regular bail is usually guided by what is referred to as the triple test — the ascertainment of whether the accused is at flight risk; possibility of tampering with the evidence and influencing witnesses.
UPSC Mains Practice Question
Q.) Manual scavenging is against the human right to live with dignity. Discuss. (150 words)
Q.) हाथ से मैला ढोना सम्मान के साथ जीने के मानव अधिकार के खिलाफ है। विचार-विमर्श करना। (150 शब्द)
- All human lives are precious, but, in practice, some are seen as less precious than others.
- Despite the efforts of courts and governments, law and enforcement have been unable to keep a certain category of workers out of harm’s way: those who are engaged in sewage cleaning.
- According to the 2011 census, there were about 26 lakh dry latrines in India where human excreta is removed physically by a person.
- Even after the passage of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, there are still around 15 lakh manual scavengers in India, of whom over 70% are women, according to 2019 data from the Rehabilitation Research Initiative.
- The scavengers are exposed to gases such as hydrogen disulfide, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and methane.
- Long exposure to hydrogen disulfide can lead to death by asphyxia.
- Manual scavengers are exposed to two types of violence that are social violence and physical violence (associated with caste discrimination).
- Most of the manual scavengers are women and members of the marginal class. The caste is regarded as a lower class and is excluded from moving to a better occupation. As a result, the scavenging work is seen as part of their natural occupation.
- Many times local bodies outsource sewer cleaning tasks to private contractors. However, many of them fly-by-night operators, do not maintain proper rolls of sanitation workers.
- The practice is driven by caste, class and income divides. It is linked to India’s caste system where so-called lower castes are expected to perform this job.
- Proper implementation of the rules, and adequate monitoring are absolutely essential.
- Simultaneously, all efforts must be taken, within existing schemes, to provide compensation to the family members of those who have died, and to provide them a way out of the profession, if they so wish.