Here is the digest of important newspaper articles and quiz!
SCâ€™s direction to centre on tackling drought
The Supreme Court has criticized the â€˜lack of willâ€™ shown by the Central and State government in combating drought and saving lives. It also pulled up Gujarat, Bihar and Haryana for adopting an â€œostrich-like attitudeâ€ towards declaring drought and driving their own people to suicide, starvation and mass migration.
The Supreme court has made some directions to the centre.
1) Establish a National Disaster Response Force(NDRF) with specialist cadre in six months
2) Set up a disaster mitigation fund within three months
3) Frame National Plan on risk assessment and crisis management in respect of disaster. Fix a time limit for declaration of drought on scientific grounds
4) Update Drought Management Manual keeping in mind migrations, suicides, distress and plight of women and children
The court has said that the adverse or negative impact of a delayed declaration of drought affects the common person, particularly women and children, and postpones the assistance that is needed. It also puts an undue strain on the resources of the State and the Union government.
What is Drought Management Manual? – The Manual for Drought Management has been developed by the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) through a consultative process involving the concerned Central Ministries, State Governments, scientific, technical and research organizations and the grass root level organizations working for mitigation and management of drought.
The manual reflects a comprehensive approach to drought management and recommends measures, which need to be implemented for effective drought relief and mitigation.
What is the National Disaster Response Force(NDRF)? – The Disaster Management Act has made the statutory provisions for constitution of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for the purpose of specialized response to natural and man-made disasters.
Accordingly, in 2006 NDRF was constituted with 8 Battalions Â (02 Bn each from BSF, CRPF, ITBP and CISF). As on date NDRF is having strength of 10 Bns. Each NDRF Bn consists of 1149 personnel. Union cabinet has also approved the conversion/up-gradation of 02 Bns from SSB.
But the problems is that NDRF is drawn from various para-military forces and does not have specialization according to the type or size of the disaster. It is therefore required that NDRF evolves into a better trained and managed force.
Source: TheHindu, NDRFACD
House Panel for Space Law
The Parliamentary Standing Committee dealing with the Department of Space has favoured early enactment of a national Space Law to promote commerce and regulate Space-related activities in the country.
The draft National Space Act of India which is in the making may take at least a year before it completes the mandatory processes and reaches the Cabinet or Parliament, says the department-related Standing Committee on Science & Technology and Environment & Forests of the Rajya Sabha.
The draft law, it notes, must first get the approval of the Prime Minister, who holds the Space portfolio, and go through parliamentary procedures, public comments and inter-ministerial consultations.
What is the need for a space law? – India is progressively looking forward to privatise and commercialise space assets, expand and develop capability in space exploration and scientific discovery, commercialise its competence to build satellites and offer launch service from its launch vehicles. The pace at which India is developing and expanding in the space and space related matters it can be argued that a national space law should be legislated with the principle of creating clear and transparent regulatory guidelines for domestic industry with the intention of accelerating investment and to make certain the growth and advancement in this capital intensive â€“ high return strategic sector.
What should the space law include? â€“ There should be national treatment for issues including (i) Funding of space activity; (ii) Safety of space activity; (iii) Insurance;(iv) Licensing;(v) Certification of space technology;(vi); Liability for damage (vi) Responsibility; (vii) Dispute resolution;(viii) Protection of IPR consequent to space activity;(ix) Promotion and financial support to development of space sciences; (x) Protection of environment and ecology and (xi) International cooperation.
Source: TheHindu, Kaushik Dhar(NALSAR)
Domestic Violence Act with low conviction
The Minister of State for Home Affairs told Rajya Sabha that only 13 persons were convicted out of the 639 charge sheeted in 2014 under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005.
As per data by National Crime Records Bureau 426 cases were registered under the Act in 2014, of which charge sheet was filed in 312 cases. Conviction happened in just nine cases. Trial was completed in 19.1 per cent cases. Of the 693 persons arrested in these cases, 639 were charge-sheeted. Only 13 were convicted.
What is the Domestic Violence Act? – The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to protect women from domestic violence. It was brought into force by the Indian government from 26 October 2006. The Act provides for the first time in Indian law a definition of “domestic violence”, with this definition being broad and including not only physical violence, but also other forms of violence such as emotional/verbal, sexual, and economic abuse.
Why is the conviction rate so low? – While there is no single theory for the low conviction rates there are many interpretations for the same. Some sections have been contending that the low rate of conviction is due to false cases being filed in the first place which do not have evidence to support it.
Other explanations are that husband-wife usually settle out-of-court as it is a domestic matter results in cases being dropped.
SC quashes TRAI call drop rules
The telecom companies got relief after Supreme Court (SC) quashed a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) order on compensating consumers for call drops. The apex court said that TRAI recommendation making it mandatory for telecom companies to compensate subscribers for call drop is arbitrary, unreasonable and non-transparent.
The telecom sector had told the SC that entire sector is under huge debt and they have to pay big price for spectrum, therefore zero tolerance on call drops should not be imposed on them. They had also contended that it is difficult to scientifically confirm that a call is a call drop and not a voluntary action by the user.
The court asked Parliament to frame a law on the lines of the U.S. Administrative Procedure Act.
What is the US Administrative Procedure Act? – The Administrative Procedure Act (APA), is the United States federal statute that governs the way in which administrative agencies of the federal government of the United States may propose and establish regulations. The APA also sets up a process for the United States federal courts to directly review agency decisions. It is one of the most important pieces of United States administrative law.
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