14th August 2018 : Daily Current Affairs - UPSC CSE/IAS and State PSC

This page contains "14th August 2018" current affairs analysis from different newspapers and magazines like The Hindu, Indian express, PIB and Yojna.

Quality and relevance are two key features considered while writing the content, all the topics are based on the pattern of previously asked questions in exams like UPSC CSE, IAS, State PCS, SSC, Banks PO and likewise competitive exams.

Panel to tackle the issue of children living in prisons

Supreme Court directed the government to form a panel headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court to tackle the issue of children living in prisons, most of them are there because of their mothers are convicts.

The panned headed by apex court retired judge will also consists of two or three Central government officers, the aim is to study the problems of mothers and children living inside prisons.

The court also ordered to circulate manuals to Director General of Prisons and Secretaries of Prison Department in each State Government/UT and also to three training institutes.

Why such a move is needed ?
According a report India has 18 jails exclusively for women, while other jails have separate areas for women, yet these jails are not modelled to house women inmates with minor children staying with them.

The constitution guarantees fundamental right to life and dignity of the prisoners, therefore the importance of prison reforms should be highlighted and related concerns should be resolved.

More than 240 jails across the country are holding inmates 150 per cent above their normal capacity. Staff-prisoner ratio is also worse, in UP about 5000 prison staff monitor over 92,000 inmates.

Way ahead
Taking a note of the already overflowing prisons, the court advised the government to allocate social service duties to criminals having a sentence of six months to a year, rather them sending the to already occupied jails.

Additionally 60 per cent of under-trial prisoners behind the bars, need not actually be arrested. Again, half of those arrested, need not be remanded, but they are still remanded
Discuss: Panel to tackle the issue of children living in prisons

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA)

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA)

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts (AFSPA), are Acts of the Parliament of India that grant special powers to the Indian Armed Forces in "disturbed areas".

According to various acts under AFSPA, including The Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1976, an area once declared "disturbed", has to maintain status quo for a minimum of 3 months.

These kind of acts were originated in the time of British, The Armed Forces Special Powers Ordinance of 1942 was promulgated by the British on 15 August 1942 to suppress the Quit India Movement.

Human rights activists and organizations has continuously criticised AFSPA for concerns about human rights violations in the regions of its enforcement.

Deployment of AFSPA in India

One such act under AFSPA was passed in 1958 and was applicable to the Naga Hills, then part of Assam. Currently the act spread, one by one, to the other Seven Sister States in NE India.

In 1983 another act under AFSPA was applied to Punjab and Chandigarh which was withdrawn after 14 years in 1997. In 1990 the act was applied to Jammu and Kashmir and is still in force.

At present acts under AFSPA are applicable to Assam, Nagaland, manipur excluding Imphal municipal council area, Changlang, Longding and Tirap districts of Arunachal Pradesh.

Constitutional provisions
According to constitution a state of emergency can be declared by the "State governments" based on various situations. In such situation the central government is obliged to send in the BSF and the CRPF on the request of state government, these cases does not comes under the purview of AFSPA.

AFSPA is declared on extra ordinary situations like militancy and insurgency, and especially when borders are threatened or when a state, or part of it, is declared a 'disturbed area'.

Armed forces's powers under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)

1) Fire upon or use other kinds of force even if it causes death against the person who is acting against law, after giving such due warning.

2) Destroy any arms dump, hide-outs, prepared or fortified position or shelter or training camp from which armed attacks are made.

3) Arrest anyone who has committed cognizable offences or is suspected of having done so, without a warrant.

4) Search any premise or any vehicle to recover any person, arms, ammunition or explosive substances and seize it. Person so arrested shall be made present over to the officer in charge of the nearest police station with least possible delay.

5) Army officers have legal immunity for their actions. There can be no prosecution, suit or any other legal proceeding against anyone acting under that law.
Discuss: Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA)

What is Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Act-2016

Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry is all set to enforce Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Act - 2016 , passed in 2016 from Sep, 2018.

In past, adivasi rights activists and environmentalists opposed the bill on the ground of its impact on the ground related to diversion of forest land in the name of development.

According to the act 80 per cent of the funds must be used by states for plantation and afforestation activities while remaining 20 per cent will be used to strengthen forest and wildlife protection infrastructure.

Why such an act is needed ?
In absence of enabling rules, much of the funds collected under the legislation had been left unspent with an ad hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).

What is compensatory afforestation funds ?

According to the act national and state compensatory afforestation funds of worth Rs 66,000 crore are to be established under Public Account of India, the fund will be utilised on afforestation to compensate for loss of forest cover, regeneration of forest ecosystem, wildlife protection and infrastructure development.

An Annual Plan of Operation (APO), will be prepared in consultation with gram sabhas for the expenditure from the funds and to ensure the protection of tribal's rights.

State governments will receive around 52,000 crore rupees for compensatory afforestation, that is 90 per cent of their share in funds. To assure that the fund is being used only for compensatory afforestation, statutory bodies are to be established at the national and state levels.

13 activities including plantation, assisted natural regeneration of forests, forest fire prevention, pest and disease control in forests, soil and moisture conservation works and improvement of wildlife habitat are permitted for funding.
Discuss: What is Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Act-2016

Pune grabs first position in Ease of Living Index

The "Ease of Living Index", released by Housing and Urban Affairs is based on four parameters including governance, social institutions, economic and physical infrastructure, further divided into 78 indicators.

111 Indian cities were ranked under the index, where "Pune" grabs the first position followed by Navi Mumbai and Greater Mumbai, national capital Delhi got 65th position. The cities of Patna and Rampur were at the bottom.

While preparing the index various parameters were taken into account to determine quality of life in each city, these parameters includes governance, identity, education, health, security, economy, employment, waste water and solid waste management, pollution, housing, mixed land use, power and water supply, transport, public open spaces etc.

The index, which was started in 2017, is based on information from the 2011 Census.

Scarcity of data or performance ?
Some cities scored a zero on certain parameters because there was no data collected at that level, to begin with. This indicates that the index says more about the scarcity of data rather than the poor performance of cities.

A score of zero more likely implies that the respective authorities didn’t provide the data that was required like public authorities don't always have the data from private hospitals.
Discuss: Pune grabs first position in Ease of Living Index

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