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    CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR UPSC/CLAT ENTRANCE


    Current Affairs 07-12-2017

    Uniform Civil Code


    Context: Observing that the Uniform Civil Code cannot be violative of any provision of the constitution, the Law Commission has said that it is planning to recommend religion-wise “piece meal” amendments to family laws if it finds it difficult to come out with a composite uniform civil code. The commission is in the process of segregating the nearly 45,000 suggestions it has received on its questionnaire on the uniform civil code.

    Background:

    Amid a raging debate on uniform civil code, the law panel had in October last year sought public views on the subject to revise and reform family laws, saying the aim is to address social injustice rather than to do away with the plurality of laws. In an appeal issued then, the commission had said the objective behind the endeavor is to address discrimination against vulnerable groups and harmonize various cultural practices.



    What is uniform civil code?

    Uniform civil Code is a proposal to have a generic set of governing laws for every citizen without taking into consideration the religion.


    What the constitution says?

    Article 44 of the Constitution says that there should be a Uniform Civil Code. According to this article, “The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”. Since the Directive Principles are only guidelines, it is not mandatory to use them.


    India needs a Uniform Civil Code for the following reasons:

    § A secular republic needs a common law for all citizens rather than differentiated rules based on religious practices.

    § Another reason why a uniform civil code is needed is gender justice. The rights of women are usually limited under religious law, be it Hindu or Muslim. The practice of triple talaq is a classic example. Many practices governed by religious tradition are at odds with the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Indian Constitution.

    § Courts have also often said in their judgements that the government should move towards a uniform civil code including the judgement in the Shah Bano case.


    Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

    Minority tag for Hindus: NCM forms committee

    The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has formed a three-member committee to look into whether Hindus should get minority status in eight states where they are not the dominant religious group. The committee will submit a report on this in three months.



    Background:

    Hindus are in a minority in Lakshadweep (2.5%), Mizoram (2.75), Nagaland (8.75), Meghalaya (11.53), J&K (28.44), Arunachal Pradesh (29) Manipur (31.39) and Punjab (38.4). It is argued that in the absence of the “minority” tag, benefits meant for the minority communities were being given away to majority community in each state in an illegal and arbitrary manner.

    About NCM:

    The Union Government set up the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992. Six religious communities, viz; Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Zoroastrians (Parsis) and Jains have been notified in Gazette of India as minority communities by the Union Government all over India. Original notification of 1993 was for Five religious communities Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, Christians and Muslims.

    The NCM adheres to the United Nations Declaration of 18 December 1992 which states that “States shall protect the existence of the National or Ethnic, Cultural, Religious and Linguistic identity of minorities within their respective territories and encourage conditions for the promotion of that identity.”

    Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.


    Courts can turn down child repatriation, says Supreme Court



    A recent Supreme Court judgment has accorded courts in India unlimited discretion to determine which parent should have the custody of minor children involved in international parental child abduction. The verdict holds that Indian courts can decline the relief of repatriation of a child to the parent living abroad even if a foreign court, located in the country from where the child was removed, has already passed orders for the child’s repatriation.

    The judgment observed that welfare of the child came first over the repatriation order of the foreign court as India was not a signatory to the Hague Convention of “The Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction”.


    Background:

    The judgment came in a case where the father took the younger of the two sons from his wife’s custody in the United States and came to India. The mother’s version was that he had taken the boy on the pretext of visiting the neighbourhood mall. A U.S. Court upheld her lawful custody and ordered the man to return his son to his wife.


    What is Inter-country parental child abduction?

    Inter-country parental child abduction is a situation that is attained when one parent takes a child or children to a foreign country to prevent the other parent from seeking custody of the child.


    Indian scenario:

    India’s case-load (regarding IPCA) is second largest in the United States which is followed by Mexico. At least 90 children from 80 Indian-American families were affected by separating parents and the legal problems involved. As more and more Indians are studying and working in the U.S, such cases are growing in number and it is necessary to get a better mechanism to deal with this.


    About Hague Abduction Convention:

    The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or Hague Abduction Convention is a multilateral treaty developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) that provides an expeditious method to return a child internationally abducted by a parent from one member country to another. The Convention entered into force between the signatories on 1 December 1983.

    § The Convention was drafted to ensure the prompt return of children who have been abducted from their country of habitual residence or wrongfully retained in a contracting state not their country of habitual residence.

    § The primary intention of the Convention is to preserve whatever status quo child custody arrangement existed immediately before an alleged wrongful removal or retention thereby deterring a parent from crossing international boundaries in search of a more sympathetic court.

    § The Convention applies only to children under the age of 16.


    Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

    US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital




    In a major announcement, United States President Donald Trump has officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel night and has directed the State Department to initiate the process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which many Arab leaders warn can trigger an upheaval in the already volatile Middle East. Israel considers the “complete and united Jerusalem” its capital, but Palestinians claim East Jerusalem for the capital of their future state.


    What is the international status of Jerusalem?

    The walled Old City of Jerusalem, at just one square kilometer, is home to sites that are among the holiest in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Because of its unique cultural and religious significance, the UN General Assembly set aside Jerusalem to be a corpus separatum, or separated body, under UN trusteeship when it voted in 1947 to divide the British mandate of Palestine into two states, an Arab one and a Jewish one.

    That position remained the international consensus even after the partition plan itself was preempted by Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948 and the subsequent invasion by Arab powers. An armistice the following year divided the mandate along what has become known as the Green Line, which cuts through the middle of Jerusalem. Israel established its seat of government in the western half of the city, while, across a no man’s land lined with barbed wire, Jordan took control of the city’s eastern half, including the Old City.

    Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967 and subsequently annexed it, redrawing its municipal borders to include surrounding Arab villages. In 1980, Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, designated the united city as Israel’s capital. By contrast, the West Bank, also captured in 1967, was not annexed; it remains under military occupation and Palestinians have partial self-government there, through the Palestinian Authority (PA). While Israel controls the city, the Oslo Accords, signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1993, stipulated that Jerusalem’s disposition would only be decided on in permanent-status negotiations between the parties. Other major issues under negotiation concern refugees’ right of return, security arrangements, borders, and mutual recognition.


    Who lives in Jerusalem?

    Jerusalem is home to nearly one million residents. West Jerusalem’s population of some 330,000 is almost entirely Jewish. The eastern half of the city, which comprises the Old City, Palestinian neighborhoods, and refugee camps, along with some newer Jewish settlements, is home to about 320,000 Arabs and 212,000 Jews. Unlike Palestinians who live elsewhere in Israel, most Palestinian East Jerusalemites have permanent residency, but not citizenship, since they do not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the city.


    How have other countries reacted?

    The Islamic world is outraged. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has warned of “dangerous consequences”, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Saudi King Salman have cautioned the US, Turkey has threatened to cut ties with Israel, Iran has declared that “the Palestinian nation will achieve victory”, China has said it “could sharpen regional conflict”, Egypt, the Arab League and several European nations have expressed grave reservations, and the Pope has pleaded for status quo. Hamas has threatened an intifada, and Hezbollah could react aggressively. India, friends with both Palestine and Israel, could face a quandary.


    Way ahead:

    Trump’s announcement is likely to compound a broader crisis of confidence among Palestinians that President Mahmoud Abbas, who has been in office for many years beyond his electoral mandate, can deliver statehood. Fatah and Hamas have called for protest.


    Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

    Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership



    Context:

    Even as China continues to stall India’s Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership, Russia has come out strongly in support of India saying that India’s application cannot be “interlinked” with that of Pakistan and that Moscow is discussing the issue with Beijing at different levels.

    China has favoured a criteria-based approach for expansion of the 48-member group, which controls international nuclear commerce, instead of one based on merit, in what India sees an attempt to draw a false equivalence between India’s case and Pakistan’s.


    What is NSG?

    Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a multinational body concerned with reducing nuclear proliferation by controlling the export and re-transfer of materials that may be applicable to nuclear weapon development and by improving safeguards and protection on existing materials. Interestingly, the NSG was set up in 1974 as a reaction to India’s nuclear tests to stop what it called the misuse of nuclear material meant for peaceful purposes.


    Background:

    India sought membership of the NSG in 2008, but its application hasn’t been decided on, primarily because signing the NPT or other nuclear moratoriums on testing is a pre-requisite. However, India has received a special waiver to conduct nuclear trade with all nuclear exporters.

    India, Pakistan, Israel and South Sudan are among the four UN member states which have not signed the NPT, the international pact aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.


    Why India should be granted NSG membership?

    In this game of developing nuclear weapons India has not indulged in any dubious/clandestine activity and its programme has been developed solely by years of hard work indigenously. By this single act India has shown that developing a credible nuclear weapons programme through honest and civilian means is possible for any country having high-level scientific manpower and materials.

    Besides, by declaring a voluntary moratorium on further underground nuclear tests India has effectively acted in sense and spirit of NPT/CTBT provisions. By steering its programme only as a minimum deterrence and pledging NFU unless faced with an attack of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), India has established itself as a responsible nuclear state.



    Benefits associated with NSG membership- Once admitted, an NSG member state gets:

    § Timely information on nuclear matters.

    § Contributes by way of information.

    § Has confirmed credentials.

    § Can act as an instrument of harmonization and coordination.

    § Is part of a very transparent process.


    Pollution.

    UNICEF report on air pollution

    The UNICEF has released the report on air pollution titled- ‘Danger in the air: How air pollution can affect brain development in young children’. The report has once again set alarm bells ringing about high levels of air pollution and its likely impact on brain development among infants.



    Highlights of the report:

    § Nearly 17 million infants worldwide live in areas where outdoor air pollution is at least six times higher than international limits. These babies are at a risk of suffering brain damage. Air pollution-related ailments has led to the deaths of over 920,000 children under the age of five every year.

    § The threat is much higher in Asia. Nearly 16 million infants belong to Asia. Moreover, 75% of them live in the Indian subcontinent, which has three of the world’s 10 most populations countries in the world — India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In fact, India topped the list of countries with babies at risk, followed by China, the most populated country in the world.

    § Focusing on the adverse effect on the development of brain among infants, the UNICEF report has found a direct relationship between exposure to air pollution and cognitive outcomes. Affected infants faced problems of low verbal and nonverbal IQ and memory, reduced test scores, gradepoint averages among school children, along with neurological behavioral issues.

    § As per the report, Ultrafine pollution particles (particulate matter that is equal or less than 2.5 microns in diameter) pose an especially high risk because they can more easily enter the blood stream and travel through the body to the brain.

    § The report also notes that harmful particles from magnetite, a form of an ore, is a leading cause for pollution in urban areas. As its particles are small, they easily penetrate humans through olfactory nerves and the gut. Magnetite nano particles are highly toxic to the brain due to their magnetic charge and their ability to help create oxidative stress – which is often the cause of neurodegenerative diseases.

    § The report said that poly-cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a kind of pollutants formed from fossil fuel combustion is responsible for loss of or damage to white matter in infant brains. As PAHs are commonly found in areas of high automobile traffic, the UNICEF report believed that urbanisation without adequate protection and pollution reduction measures will put more children at risk.


    Solutions offered by the UNICEF:

    § The UNICEF report urged citizens, especially in the developing world — South Asia and China — to be aware of the quality of air they breathe, and protect children from exposure to unhealthy air through protective masks or air filtration systems.

    § Putting the onus of safety on the parents, the report urged them to provide their children with healthy and balanced diets to mitigate the threat from air pollution. But while parents can provide the first line of defence to vulnerable children, the UNICEF report also urged macro-level measures to tackle the menace of air pollution.

    § In an apparent signal to municipal and political authorities to take action against the issue, the report also said that reducing air pollution means replacing fossil fuel combustion with cleaner, renewable sources of energy, including appropriate use of solar, wind and thermal sources.

    § The report also urged modern-day town planners to focus on creating new models of urbanisation, which will take care of the rising pollution levels. Rapidly urbanising areas have an opportunity to bypass some of the older planning models and take advantage of sustainable, cleaner innovations. They can also lay the right foundations from the onset.



    Facts for Prelims:


    OP Sahayam:

    What is it? It is an Indian Navy exercise for undertaking Search and Rescue (SAR) and providing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster relief (HADR) material support, over Southeast Arabian Sea and L& M islands in the aftermath of Very Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘OCKHI’.


    Current Affairs

    · Union Health Ministry and Rotary India sign MoU for achieving immunization target on - 6th December 2017

    · MoU signed for enhanced cooperation in health sector between India and - Cuba

    · India successfully tests surface to air missile ‘AKASH’ on - 5th December 2017

    · Charges on debit card transactions rationalised by - RBI

    · Narendra Modi is most tweeted about world leader after Trump on - 5th December 2017

    · Indian, Italy sign new MoU for cooperation in Agriculture and Phytosanitary issues on - 6th December 2017

    ·

    Current Affairs

    Union Health Ministry and Rotary India sign MoU for achieving immunization target on - 6th December 2017.

    The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and Rotary India on 6th December 2017 signed a MoU for intensive practices towards attaining the immunization target.
    The MoU was signed by Vandana Gurnani, Joint Secretary and Deepak Kapur, Chairman of Rotary International India National Polio Plus.

    Highlights of the MoU

    · The MoU will supply support and speed-up the efforts under Polio Eradication Program, Routine Immunization including Mission Indradhanush and Intensified Mission Indradhanush.

    · Both the sides will associated for social mobilization of beneficiaries, mainly in urban slums and in underserved areas having no mobilizes.

    · The MoU will help aid the members of NCC, NYK and NSS in their efforts for community mobilization through incentives including refreshments and mementoes during the meetings.

    · It will require private practitioners and local leaders for Polio Eradication Program, Regular Immunization like Mission Indradhanush, Intensified Mission Indradhanush and Measles-Rubella.

    More about Rotary International India National PolioPlus Committee

    · In 1988, the Rotary International formed a committee known as the India National PolioPlus Society for polio eradication efforts in the Nation.

    · Located in Delhi, the Committee arranges large teams of committed Rotary volunteers who help in vaccine supply to infants and children and safeguard social mobilization around the cause.

    · It serves in close collaboration with the Indian government, the WHO, the UNICEF and other organizations including the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.


    MoU signed for enhanced cooperation in health sector between India and - Cuba

    The MoU is significant for interchanges in the health area and to develop institutional structure for cooperation in the health sector between the two Nations.
    One potential recognized area of cooperation is pharmaceutical and biotechnology, as Cuba has made remarkable steps in both the fields.


    Objective of the MoU

    · The main objective of the MoU is to establish a complete inter-ministerial and inter-institutional cooperation between the two nations in the health sector.

    · This is focused to be done by combining the technical, scientific, and financial and HR with the ultimate aim of upgrading the quality and reach of human, material and infrastructural schemes involved in health care, medical education and training and research in both Nations.

    · A combine Working Group will be formed for the implementation of the MoU.

    ·

    · India successfully tests surface to air missile ‘AKASH’ on -5thDecember 2017

    India carried out successful test launch of land to air missile ‘AKASH’ with indigenous radio frequency seeker on 5th December 2017. The missile was targeted from Launch Complex-III at ITR Chandipur.
    The radars, telemetry and electro-optical systems along with coast have tracked and monitored all the technical parameters of the missile. The missile would soon be initiated into the Indian army as Short Range Surface to Air Missile.


    Significance-
    This is the 1st Surface to Air Missile with indigenous seeker that has been tested.
    With the achievement, India has attained the capability of manufacturing any type of Surface to Air Missile.


    More about Akash Missile-

    · It is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defense system constructed by the Defense Research and Development Organization under Integrated Guided-Missile Development Program.

    · It is multi target, all directional and all weather air-defense missile system including surveillance and tracking radars for defending vulnerable sectors against medium range air targets piercing from low, medium and high altitudes.

    · The missile system can target aircraft up to 30 km away, at height up to 18,000 m.

    · It has the ability to neutralize flying targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles along with ballistic missiles.

    · The missile carries a 60 kg high-explosive, pre-fragmented warhead with a proximity fuse.

    · The Akash system is fully mobile and proficient of protecting a moving convoy of vehicles.

    · The launch platform has been integrated with both wheeled and tracked motor-vehicles.

    · The system gives air defense missile coverage for an area of 2,000 km.


    Narendra Modi is most tweeted about world leader after Trump on - 5th December 2017

    According to the figures published by Twitter on 5th December 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has came out as the most tweeted about world leader after US President Donald Trump present year.
    The social site explained that Modi with 37.5 million fans is the 2nd most tweeted about world leader, after Donald Trump who has 44.1 million fans.
    Other world leaders in the top-10 list are Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Argentina's President Mauricio Macri, British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macro, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo.
    Among the most-liked tweets of 2017, the one that got the much likes belonged to earlier US President Barack Obama. Obama’s twitter account has approximately 97.6 million fans; making him the 3rd most followed human being on Twitter, after Justin Bieber and Katy Perry.
    On the other side, not even a single tweet of Trump appeared as the top-10 of either most-retweeted posts or most-liked in 2017.



    Charges on debit card transactions rationalised by - RBI

    The RBI, In order to facilitate digital payments, came out with differentiated merchant discount rates for debit card spending, advising separate caps for small and big traders.
    The shift is focused at giving a support to the digital payments in the nation, as the government is not finding any expected result in spite of giving a major thrust to digital transactions.
    It is believed that introduction of differentiated MDR will aid increase the acceptance of debit card usage and it will also decrease the cost of transactions for small traders.



    Highlights of RBI decision-

    · As per the latest notification, MDR charges for small traders with a yearly turnover of up to Rs 20 lakh has been fixed at 0.40% with a cap of 200 rupees for each transaction by debit cards through Point of Sale machines or online payments.

    · However, the charge will be 0.30% subject to a cap of 200 rupees for each transaction for receiving payments via QR code based payments.

    · If the annual turnover of a merchant is more than Rs 20 lakh, 0.90% MDR charges would be applicable with a cap of Rs 1000 for each payment. And the charges will be 0.80 percent with a same cap if the transaction is through QR code.

    · These directions will come into effect from January 1st 2018 onwards, and it would be the management of the banks to make sure the MDR imposed on the merchant does not go above the recommended cap.

    ·

    Objectives of these guidelines-

    According to the RBI, rationalization of the charges is being undertaken with a view to achieving the small objectives of boosting debit card acceptance by a whole set of merchants, especially small traders, and ensuring maintenance of the business for the entities involved.



    Indian, Italy sign new MoU for cooperation in Agriculture and Phytosanitary issues on - 6th December 2018

    India and Italy signed a new MoU for collaboration in Agriculture and Phytosanitary matters on 6th December 2017. The agreement will replace the earlier signed MoU in 2017.
    MoU was signed by Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Radha Mohan Singh and the visiting Italian Minister for Agriculture Food and Forestry Policies, H E Maurizio Martina.


    Significance

    · India and Italy enjoy traditionally friendly and cordial relationships.

    · India connects great importance to the development of bilateral ties between the 2 Nations and focuses to further expand and strengthen ties between the 2 nations in various sectors including in the Agriculture area.

    ·
    Objective of the MoU

    · The agreement basically focuses to provide a good structure for cooperation in the area of agriculture and phytosanitary matters.

    · Few potential areas for cooperation are agriculture machinery, institutional linkages, precision farming, training, investment, cattle breeding and fisheries.


    Context:

    As the world encounters crime and criminality of a more and more complicated nature, as new kinds of crime surface and become the norm, record-keeping must be seen to keep pace with the changes. Adequate and up-to-date records on crime are necessary to tackle crime effectively.

    Low conviction rates and a lack of a lawful definition of crime mark criminal administration in India.

    The National Crime Records Bureau, which comes under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, has released its annual publication, “Crime in India 2016”. The NCRB is responsible for the collation of annual data on crime in the country





    ‘Crime in India’ report, 2016

    The latest report is the 64th edition of “Crime in India”, which has been published since 1953. The annual report provides information on all the FIRs registered under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as under Special and

    Local Laws (SLL) by the police in all of India’s states and Union territories. Information is also provided on the disposal of the FIRs registered.

    Latest report from NCRB has several additions – new entities, new accounting, new chapters, and new kinds of crime and/or new records on crimes hitherto undocumented in the report.

    Together, these new features appear to show that an effort has been made, under the current administration, to evolve, expand and prioritise effective and adequate record-keeping, which will only help to bring India closer to global best practices in maintaining criminal and crime records.


    What’s New in ‘Crime in India 2016’?

    City-Wise Data

    For the first time, city-wise incidence of crimes and disposal for 19 metropolitan cities having a population above 2 million) has been included under different chapters like Crime against Women, Cyber Crimes and Economic Crimes. The analysis itself shows that Delhi accounted for 38.8% of total IPC crimes reported in the cities, followed by Bengaluru (8.9%) and Mumbai (7.7%).


    Why is City-Wise Crime Data Necessary?

    India is in the middle of rapid and large-scale urbanisation. Even as more and more people tend to live in India’s cities – based on both past and present migration — semi-urban and rural areas are also undergoing urbanisation, often without movement of people. The net result is that more and more Indians are living, or beginning to live, in urban areas.

    Now, with rising populations and the increasing importance of metropolitan cities, it is necessary to collect crime data specific to a particular city.

    § Such data incentivises city administrations to make a sense of their law and order situation.

    § It also helps them strategize effectively for the maintenance of the same.

    § Nationally collating city-wise crime data would offer lessons to urban law-keeping authorities across the country that can also immediately learn from relevant examples elsewhere.

    § It further creates a healthy competition among metropolitan cities to fare better in future records. For instance, if Delhi has high crime statistics, it can take its cue from specific crimes, such as crime against women, where it fares poorly and frame its strategy accordingly.


    Seizure of Arms, Ammunitions, Drugs & Currency

    It is also for the first time that statistics on the seizure of arms, ammunition, drugs and currency by the CAPFs/CPOs (Assam Rifles, CISF, BSF, CRPF, NIA and SSB) have been included.

    § It is extremely important to collate data on arms and ammunitions to curb insurgency, gun violence, and other arms-related crimes.

    § The fact is that, gun-running and arms smuggling is a very big problem globally.

    § Added to that, the persistence of terror and terror-related treats make it imperative for security forces and law-keepers to have data on arms at their disposal.


    New Chapter on Missing Persons

    A new chapter on Missing Persons & Children has been included in the “Crime in India 2016”. A total of 5, 49,008 individuals (2, 34,334 male and 3, 14,674 female) were reported missing in 2016.

    § This data is available state-wise, which makes it easier for the administration to target specific states and counter problems like human trafficking, kidnapping, etc.

    § Also, there was a Supreme Court direction regarding data on “missing (and traced) persons and children”. This, too, has been met in the latest NCRB report.


    Analysis of “Crime in India 2016” report

    “Crime in India 2016” presents a dismal picture of the key performance statistic with only 47% convictions in Indian Penal Code (IPC) crimes at the national level.


    Reporting and recording

    § Delhi provides an interesting case study, where there is no political interference and the Police Commissioner reports to the Lieutenant Governor, and not the Chief Minister.

    § With a population smaller than Mumbai, it has two times the number of police stations. Yet, in Delhi, while 1, 90,876 persons were sent to trial last year, there were only 9,837 IPC convictions in the year. In Delhi only 58% of those arrested were charge sheeted, while in Mumbai, more persons were charge sheeted than were arrested for IPC crimes.

    § The key statistic of police performance is not merely correct reporting and recording but charge sheets and convictions, as this impact on criminal behaviour.


    DNA testing

    § DNA testing, which can secure higher conviction rates, is, inexplicably, a low priority.

    § Delays in this crucial evidence, which plays an important factor in acquittals, are a setback as samples deteriorate with time.


    No of Crimes reported

    § Delhi accounts for 38% of the total crime under the IPC.

    § Delhi accounts for five times the IPC crime when compared with Mumbai, and 33% of violent crime in metros when compared with 13% in Mumbai.

    § Crime prevention is affected by conviction rate, beat patrolling, and by the police and community working together.


    Unresolved issues

    There is a need to distinguish between accountability and operational responsibility with focus on clear performance measures. In addition to those related to roles and responsibilities, there are also systemic issues.

    § Despite the recommendations of Law Commissions and the Supreme Court, as well going by experience in the developed world, we do not have separate wings for investigation of crime and for law and order.

    § Related to this reform is the debate whether the police are a functional “service” based on skills of investigation or a “force” oriented towards “effect” which on command will operate regardless of the cost to itself or the social fabric.

    § Similarly, in most countries, the prosecutor, and not the police, has discretion on whether to press charges as they involve adjudication. Years ago, the Law Commission had suggested a directorate of prosecution independent of the police to guide investigation.

    § There is still controversy over which kinds of conduct are best controlled by the application of criminal law and which kinds by other means.

    § Cases related to liquor and motor vehicles account for more than a third of all cases.

    § The criminal justice system may be limited to crimes under the IPC, while enforcement of administrative law and social legislation requires a different approach involving summary trials, changing societal attitudes and modes of behaviour.

    § The effectiveness of prisons is now being questioned.

    § Nearly two-thirds of the prison population is awaiting trial and half the number of under trials is normally acquitted.

    § Over 80% of prisoners are sentenced to terms less than three months, 40% are under 30 years old, semi-literate and convicted under special and local acts.

    § Criminologists now feel that short-term sentences expose such prisoners to criminal indoctrination in jail and social condemnation on release, with a strong case for greater reliance on compounding, probation and parole.


    Conclusion

    Expanded crime records have been a necessity for India, with its vast population and size. It was also necessary as we inhabit a world witnessing increasingly complex kinds of crime.

    The expansion itself points at an evolving idea of crime and in record-keeping vis-à-vis crime. If law and order agencies as well as security forces are to keep apace crime and criminals and bring them to book, they must have the right intellectual and instrumental resources.

    A large part of that is fulfilled by improved record-keeping, which helps authorities – as well as ordinary citizens – understand better the crime scene and tackle the same, even as they adapt their behavioural patterns accordingly.

    To maintain law and order and defeat crime, first of all, crime must be known in its totality to the extent possible. It is encouraging to see steps being taken towards this as evidenced in “Crime in India 2016”.



    One liners

    Repo Rate _xed by RBI in its 5th Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Review (MPR) 2017-18 - 6.0 per cent

    • First state to endorse Triple Talaq Draft Bill - Uttar Pradesh

    • The International Children’s Peace Prize 2017 was conferred upon - Mohamad Al Jounde

    • Operation launched recently to rescue the people a􀃗ected by Ockhi Cyclone in India – Operation Synergy

    • This country was banned by IOC from Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang – Russia

    India signed MoU on cooperation in Health Sector recently with - Cuba

    • This country’s airline, Avior Airlines, has been banned from European Union skies - Venezuela

    • Russia has been banned from competing at next year’s Winter Olympic Games, which will be held in - Pyeongchang

    • China has temporarily halted funding of road projects in - Pakistan

    • This state government has signed a MoU with IT giant Hewlett Packard to provide tele-medicine

    facilities in the remote areas of the state – Uttarakhand





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