18Th July 2018 : Daily Current Affairs - UPSC CSE/IAS and State PSC

This page contains "18th July 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.

The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2018

What is The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2018 ?

The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2018 seeks to amend "Right to Information Act, 2005", the proposed amendment will give the Centre Government the power to set the tenure and salaries of State and Central Information Commissioner.

Political parties and RTI activists has opposed the amendment and warned that the amendment will compromise the independence of the Information Commissioner and dilute the RTI laws.

Currently an "Information Commissioner" serves a fixed tenure of 5 years and gets salary matching to those of Election Commissioners.

The statement of objects and reasons attached to the amendment bill says that "Election Commission is a constitutional body while the Information Commissions are statutory bodies, hence their status and service conditions need to be rationalise accordingly".

If the amendment bill passed, it will be a huge blow against transparency and accountability of government to its citizens. The spirit of the RTI law lies in not just the filing of an RTI application and getting an answer. It actually mandates the replacement of a prevailing culture of secrecy with a culture of transparency.

What is Right to Information Act, 2005 ?

Right to Information (RTI), passed in 2005 is an act of Indian parliament that replaces the erstwhile "Freedom of information Act, 2002" to enable Indian citizens to request information from a "public authority".

Here "public authority" includes both "government body" and "instrumentality of State" moreover the concerned authority is required to reply expeditiously or within thirty days.

RTI Act helped in relaxing norms of "Information disclosure" that is restricted by the "Official Secrets Act 1923" and various other special laws in India. Right to Information codifies a fundamental right of the citizens of India.
Discuss: The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2018

The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill of 2018

According to a report of "National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)", there is an increase in human trafficking by almost 20 per cent in 2016 against the previous year.

What is Anti-trafficking Bill - 2018 ?

Anti-trafficking Bill 2018, addresses concerns related to the most vulnerable part of society i.e. women and children. There has been no specific law to deal with human trafficking before, which is considered the third largest organised crime violating basic human rights.

The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill of 2018 addresses following concerns:

1) Trafficking for forced labour or begging.
2) Trafficking by administering chemical substances or hormones to a person for the purpose of early sexual maturity.
3) Trafficking of a woman or child for the purpose of marriage or under the pretext of marriage or after marriage.
4) Promotion or facilitation of human trafficking.

The bill seeks to provide rehabilitation as a right of the survivor, speedy trials, stricter punishment for traffickers and compensation for victims, apart from this the bill ensures following things:

1) Confidentiality of victims and witnesses
2) Time-bound trial
3) Repatriation of victims
4) Rehabilitation of victims

A Rehabilitation fund is also proposed to be created for the physical, psychological and social well-being of the victim, including education, skill development, health care and psychological support, legal aid, and safe accommodation.

Special courts are also suggested to be setup under the bill, while requires to creates dedicated institutional mechanisms at the district, State and Central levels.

The bill mandates the "National Investigation Agency (NIA)" to perform as "Anti-Trafficking Bureau" at the national level under the Ministry of Home Affairs. A rigorous minimum of 10 years to life and a fine not less than 1 lakh rupees is suggested as punishment under the proposed law.

Bill is drawn in conformity with the International Conventions and Protocols on Trafficking (UNTOC).
Discuss: The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill of 2018

Bru Refugees repatriation from Tripura to their villages in Mizoram

The Central government has recently signed an agreement with the Mizoram Bru Refugees Displaced Forum (MBRDF) to accommodate Bru Refugees repatriation from camps in Tripura to their villages in Mizoram.

As per the agreement signed between Mizoram Bru Refugees Displaced Forum (MBRDF), Union home minister, CM of Tripura and CM of Mizoram, 32,876 Bru refugees would head home before September 30 to Mizoram from camps in North Tripura.

According to agreement each of the 5,407 families will get 5,000 rupees per month along with free ration for two years, a 1.5 lakh rupees assistance is also promised for house-building.

The agreement also promised a sum of four lakh to be kept in a fixed deposit in the name of the head of each of the 5,407 families for two years and it can be withdrawn only on the condition that they would have to remain in Mizoram for at least three years in a row.

The move including the first phase of repatriation which took place in 2010, will make the closure of these camps. The camps are being run by central government since the refugees fled home after ethnic clashes with the majority Mizo community in 1996.

MBRDF, a signatory to the agreement is pulling out of the agreement due to strong agitation by the Bru refugees. They want three more points inserted into it:

1) Cluster villages with at least 500 families in each one.
2) A development council.
3) An amount of Rs four lakh promised in the agreement to be given at one go in their savings accounts before they move to Mizoram.

As per the first demand giving the money at one go is not an issues for central government but the other two demands seem impossible. For the second demand the Mizoram government needs to provide land in the two districts to have cluster villages and it has already expressed its inability to do so. The formation of the development council is a political demand which the state government will have to agree but it's not happening soon.
Discuss: Bru Refugees repatriation from Tripura to their villages in Mizoram

Make lynching a separate offence : SC

Amid growing rumblings of people against lynchings, the Supreme Court has ordered the central government to stop the dissemination of fake news or stories on social media, responsible for mob violence or lynching.

State governments are also ordered by the top court to constitute a special task force to collect intelligence on people likely to spread hate speeches, provocative statements and fake news.

An FIR should be filed against the suspects under Section 153A (promoting enmity) of the IPC, if found guilty the person will face up to five years of imprisonment. Trials for such cases should be held in a fast-track court on a day-to-day basis to be completed in six months.

Referring the recent spate of lynchings as "horrendous acts of mobocracy", the Supreme Court has asked the government to make lynching a separate offence.

Several preventive remedial and punitive measures available in law should be used to deal with lynching and mob violence, lynchings should not become the order of the day.

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