Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sent the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018, to the Union cabinet for approval, to replace the related Ordinance.
Highlights of the Bill:
- It provides for stringent punishment including death penalty for those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 years.
- The minimum punishment in case of rape of women has been increased from rigorous imprisonment of seven years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment.
- In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, the minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of life, which means jail term till the convicts’ “natural life”.
- The punishment for gang rape of a girl below 16 years will invariably be imprisonment for the rest of life of the convict, another official said.
- Stringent punishment for rape of a girl under 12 years has been provided with the minimum jail term being 20 years which may go up to life in prison or death sentence. Gang rape of a girl under 12 years of age will invite punishment of jail term for the rest of life or death.
- The measure also provides for speedy investigations and trial. The time limit for investigation of all cases of rape has been prescribed, which has to be mandatorily completed within two months.
- The deadline for the completion of trial in all rape cases will be two months. A six-month time limit for the disposal of appeals in rape cases has also been prescribed.
- There will also be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years. It has also been prescribed that a court has to give notice of 15 days to a public prosecutor and the representative of the victim before deciding bail applications in case of rape of a girl under 16 years of age.
Need for a stringent law:
The number of reported cases of rapes of children increased in India by 82% in 2016 compared to 2015. A climate of violence, social and economic insecurity, alienation, and a progressive undermining of the status of women and children seem to have given an impetus to carry out crimes against women and children.
Therefore, the legal system must give a clear signal that we as a nation consider the rape of children below the age of 12 as among the most heinous of offences. Making such crimes punishable by capital punishment certainly gives such a signal.
Is it sufficient?
Statistics have not been able to prove or disprove the efficacy of capital punishment as a deterrent. While the U.K. has seen an increase in murders since 1965 when capital punishment for murder was removed from the statute book, Canada has not seen any such impact since it abolished the death penalty in 1976. The underlying socio-economic conditions in a society that cause crimes seem to have as much of an impact on the increase or decrease of crimes as the law does.
It is not the severity of the punishment but the certainty and uniformity of it which will reduce crime. Even for capital punishment to work as a deterrent, the fairness of the investigation, the certainty of conviction, and the speed of the trial are vital. With the police and judicial independence being under a cloud, especially after the incidents in Kathua and Unnao, the deterrent value of capital punishment seems diminished unless police reforms and fast-track courts are a part of the package.
Eat Right Movement
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has unveiled ‘The Eat Right Movement’ with a view to get industry on board for implementation of draft food labelling regulation.
Eat Right Movement:
- The movement aims to cut down salt/sugar and oil consumption by 30% in three years.
- It is built on two broad pillars of ‘Eat Healthy’ and ‘Eat Safe’.
- It also aims to engage and enable citizens to improve their health and well-being by making the right food choices.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has been established under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which consolidates various acts & orders that have hitherto handled food related issues in various Ministries and Departments.
- It was created for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.
- Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the Administrative Ministry for the implementation of FSSAI.
- Composition: The Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) are appointed by Government of India. The Chairperson is in the rank of Secretary to Government of India.
Food Safety and Standards (Labeling and Display) Regulations 2018:
- The proposed regulations will prescribe the labeling requirements of pre-packaged foods and display of essential information on premises where food is manufactured, processed, served and stored.
- The draft Regulation also states that HFSS (high in fat, sugar or salt) food products shall not be advertised to children in any form.
- It also introduces labelling of genetically modified (GM) food.
India-Korea Technology Exchange Centre
The India-Korea Technology Exchange Centre was recently Inaugurated in New Delhi. It has been established at the National Small Industries Corporation premises in New Delhi.
India- Korea Technology Exchange Centre:
Purpose: To create a platform for micro, small and medium enterprises of India and Korea where they can be assisted to identify and exchange latest technologies, share management expertise, product development and technology applications for product development.
With this platform, SMEs of both the countries can learn from each other to enhance their comparative advantages and be competitive in the world.
Korea has strong industrial base withwell-developed small and medium enterprises (SME) sector, especially in advanced manufacturing technologies such as machinery & equipment, electronics, electrical machinery & equipment and robotics.
- National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) is a Mini Ratna PSU established by the Government of India in 1955.
- It falls under Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises of India.
- NSIC is the nodal office for several schemes of Ministry of MSME such as Performance & Credit Rating, Single Point Registration, MSME Databank, National SC ST Hub, etc.
Government Schemes implemented by NSIC:
- MSME DataBank.
- National Scheduled Caste And Scheduled Tribe Hub.
- Performance & Credit Rating Scheme.
- Marketing Assistance Scheme.
Ease of Doing Business Ranking of States
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has released the final rankings of States in Ease of Doing Business.
Performance of states:
- The top rankers are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Haryana. Jharkhand and Gujarat stood fourth and fifth respectively.
- Delhi is placed at 23rd among 34 states and Union territories. Its rank also worsened from 18th in 2016.
- Karnataka has occupied the eighth spot, against 13th in 2016.
- The rankings are based on the performance of states in implementing the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP).
- DIPP, Ministry of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the World Bank conducted an annual reform exercise for all States and UTs under the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP). The aim of this exercise is to improve delivery of various Central Government regulatory functions and services in an efficient, effective and transparent manner.
- The reform plan includes 372 recommendations for reforms on regulatory processes, policies, practices and procedures spread across 12 reform areas including labour regulation enablers; contract enforcement; registering property; inspection reform enablers; single window system; land availability and allotment; construction permit enablers etc.
- BRAP 2017 includes two new sectors i.e. Healthcare and Hospitality.
The Union Minister of State (MoS) for Human Resource Development Shri Upendra Kushwaha is on an Official Visit to the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI). This is the first ever Ministerial visit from India to Majuro, Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI).
- It is a country in the central Pacific Ocean.
- It consists of some of the easternmost islands of Micronesia.
- The Marshalls are composed of more than 1,200 islands and islets in two parallel chains of coral atolls—the Ratak, or Sunrise, to the east and the Ralik, or Sunset, to the west.
- Majuro atoll is the nominal capital of the republic.
First Chairman of Rajya Sabha to sign an MOU
- Rajya Sabha has, for the first time in 76 years since it came into being, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a foreign counterpart for promoting inter-parliamentary dialogue.
- Shri Venkaiah Naidu, has, in the process, become the first Chairman of Rajya Sabha to sign such an agreement when he inked an MOU with the visiting President of the Senate of the Republic of Rwanda, Mr. Bernard Makuza.
World’s largest mobile phone factory
Samsung Electronics has opened the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturing plant by production capacity.
Where? In the industrial city of Noida, India.
Lonely Planet’s top five “2018 Best in Asia” list
It is a collection of 10 of the best destinations to visit in the continent for the year. It is considered a Bible by travellers worldwide.
- Busan, South Korea.
- Ancient cities and jewelled architecture of Uzbekistan.
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
- Western Ghats, India.