Juvenile in case of heinous crimes: NCPCR issues new guidelines
Tags: GS1, GS 2, Government Policies & Interventions
- The National Commission for the Protection of Children (NCPCR) has issued guidelines for the Juvenile Justice Board’s (JJB) preliminary assessment under Section 15 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 (JJ Act, 2015).
What is Preliminary Assessment?
- The purpose of the preliminary evaluation is to determine whether a juvenile may be prosecuted as an adult. The Juvenile Justice Act of 2000 was replaced by the Juvenile Justice Act of 2015, which for the first time allowed 16 to 18-year-olds to be tried as adults for egregious offenses.
Procedure of Preliminary Assessment:
- The Act classifies offenses committed by minors into three categories: minor offenses, severe offenses, and heinous offenses.Section 15 of the Juvenile Justice Act mandates that the Board conduct a preliminary assessment of a child’s mental and physical capacity to commit a heinous offense, ability to comprehend the consequences of the offense, and the circumstances surrounding the alleged commission of the offense, when a heinous offense is alleged to have been committed by a child who has completed or exceeded the age of sixteen.
- In accordance with subsection (3) of section 18 of the Act, the Board may order the transfer of the case to the Children’s Court with jurisdiction to try such offenses if, following a preliminary assessment under section 15, it determines that the child must be tried as an adult.
- Therefore, the sole purpose of this preliminary evaluation is to determine whether a minor between the ages of 16 and 18 should be tried as an adult for heinous offenses.
- Who will execute the preliminary evaluation? JJB shall be responsible for the preliminary assessment and shall provide a copy of the order to the child, the child’s family, and their counsel.
- Assistance of experts: In case the JJB does not have at least one member who is a practising professional with a degree in child psychology or child psychiatry, the Board shall take the assistance of psychologists or experts who have the experience of working with children in difficult times.
- Legal aid: During the initial evaluation, the child should also be provided with a legal assistance attorney through the District Legal Services Authority.
- Training to experts: It mandates experts, who have the requisite qualification to assist the JJB, to undergo training concerning Section 15 of the JJ Act, 2015.
- Social Investigation Report: During the preliminary assessment, the Board and experts shall also analyze and consider the Social Investigation Report (SIR), which shall be prepared by the Probation officer or Child Welfare Officer or any social worker, or the Social Background Report (SBR), which shall be compiled after interaction with the child or child’s family.
- Significance of the guidelines
- Section 109 of the Juvenile Justice Act of 2015 requires the NCPCR to monitor the correct implementation of the Act’s provisions.
- The purpose of the guidelines is to eliminate ambiguity and clarify the steps that must be taken when conducting the preliminary assessment.
· It was established in March 2007 in accordance with the Commission for the Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, which was enacted in December 2005 by a parliamentary act.
· The mandate of the commission is to ensure that all laws, policies, programs, and administrative systems adhere to the rights of the child as outlined in the Indian Constitution and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. A juvenile is an individual between the ages of 0 and 18 years old.
Voter education that is systematic and electoral participation (SVEEP)
Tags: GS 2, Government Policies & Interventions
- The Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) committee has taken steps to establish approximately 2500 polling stations in Karnataka based on themes.
- Mysuru Mallige
- Yakshagana is a theatrical form that presents mythological, historical stories and narratives derived from the great Indian epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, and performances include music, dance, and dialogues.
- Performances of Yakshagana include music, dance, and dialogues.It has origins in the coastal districts of Karnataka and the Sanskrit literary tradition.
- The Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka celebrates Kambala annually.T
- he festival features the traditional buffalo race, a popular and distinctive activity among the state’s farming population.
- Mysore Mallige refers to the Jasmine flower cultivated in the region of Mysore and also in a portion of Srirangapatna in the Mandya district. It is known as the ‘queen of flowers’ due to its more potent fragrance than any other jasmine flower.
- This flower was cherished by the Wadeyar of the Mysore Kingdom and used to embellish the Mysore Palace during the Dasara celebration.
Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP)
- It is the flagship program of the Election Commission of India (ECI).
- It is a program of multi-interventions through different modes and media designed to educate citizens, electors, and voters about the electoral process to increase their awareness and participation in the electoral processes.
|Other Initiatives by ECI
• Use the e-VIGIL application to file complaints regarding violations of election conduct.
• SUVIDHA Portal for Nomination and Permission Filings, etc.
• Radio series titled “Matdata Junction” produced in collaboration with All India Radio to increase voter knowledge.
Groundwater Sensor Network
Tags: GS 2, Government Policies & Interventions, GS 3, Conservation Environmental Pollution & Degradation
- The Jal Shakti Ministry is developing an ambitious plan for the deployment of a vast network of groundwater sensors.
More about News
- It will perpetually transmit information regarding groundwater levels and contamination to the taluk level.
- Currently, such data is only measured a handful of times annually and shared through Central Groundwater Board publications.
67,000 recordable units in the future
- Under the new initiative, approximately 16,000-17,000 digital water level recorders will be connected to piezometers in wells (Piezometers measure groundwater levels, and the recorders will transmit the data digitally).
- Within the next three years, India will have approximately 67,000 digitally recordable units to monitor groundwater dynamics.
Benefits of Network
- It will provide farmers with helpful groundwater forecasts for planting
- Advisory updates that may have an effect on the groundwater extraction policies of states.
- With the exception of information on water flow governed by international treaties, the majority of this data will be accessible to the public.
|National Aquifer Mapping Program (NAQUIM)
· The Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) is in charge of its implementation.
· The nation’s aquifers have been mapped at a resolution of 1:500,000
· During the second phase of the program, the country’s resolution is expected to improve by a factor of five. The NAQUIM investigations have covered a total area of 25,15 million square kilometers to date.
What is an Aquifer?
· An aquifer is a subterranean stratum of water-bearing, permeable rock, rock fractures, or unconsolidated materials (sand, gravel, and silt). Using a water well, groundwater can be extracted from aquifers.
· About Central groundwater Water-Board
· It is a subordinate office of the Ministry of Jal Shakti and the National Apex Agency tasked with providing scientific inputs for the management, exploration, monitoring, assessment, augmentation, and regulation of the country’s ground water resources.
· Major activities undertaken by CGWB include macro/micro-level ground water management studies, exploratory drilling programme, monitoring of groundwater levels and water quality through a network of groundwater monitoring stations, and augmentation and regulation of ground water resources.
Do you Know?
· India has approximately 18% of the world’s population but only 4% of its freshwater resources.
· Ninety percent of India’s groundwater depletion is caused by the agricultural sector. The residential sector utilizes 8-9% of groundwater, followed by the industrial sector (2%).
· India was declared the world’s largest consumer of groundwater in 2018.
· Approximately 85 percent of rural water needs and 50 percent of urban water needs are met by groundwater.
Tags: GS 3, Indian Economy & Related Issues
- Gold smuggling has increased recently as a result of the surging price of gold over the past year.
How much Gold is Smuggled into India?
- According to the Department of Revenue Intelligence and customs, nearly 4,000 kilograms of contraband gold were discovered in the first eleven months of the fiscal year 2022-23, the highest amount in four years.
- Over 63 percent of this contraband gold was discovered at airports.
- The Department of Revenue Intelligence recently seized 101.7 kg of undocumented gold worth?51 crore in India as part of the Golden Dawn Operation.
- Although India imports between 800 and 1,000 tonnes of gold legally each year, the scale of the grey market is estimated to be around 4,000 tonnes per year.
- According to data from the Union Ministry of Finance, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Kerala accounted for the majority of gold smuggling cases in the country over the past decade.
How much Gold India imports?
- In fiscal year 2022, India is projected to import more than 3,400 trillion rupees’ value of gold.
- More than 90 percent of India’s gold demand is met by imports. In terms of value, India was the second largest gold importer in the globe in 2021.
- According to a recent report by the World Gold Council, India was the largest consumer of gold until China surpassed it in 2009. India purchased 611t of gold jewelry in 2021, second only to China (673t) but comfortably ahead of all other markets.
India’s Growing Logistics Sector
Tags: GS 3, Indian Economy & Related Issues
- According to the World Bank’s Logistic Performance Index (LPI) 2023, India has climbed six positions and is now ranked 38th out of 139 countries due to substantial investments in both soft and physical infrastructure as well as technology.
- India’s performance since 2014, when it was ranked 54th on the LPI, has vastly improved.
|About Logistics Performance Index (LPI)
· It is an interactive benchmarking tool designed to assist nations in identifying the challenges and opportunities they encounter in their performance on trade logistics and the steps they can take to improve their performance.
· It analyzes countries based on six factors:
· The effectiveness of customs and frontier clearance procedures.
· The quality of infrastructure relating to commerce and transportation.
· The simplicity of arranging international shipments at competitive prices.
· The expertise and quality of logistics services.
· The capability of tracking and tracing shipments.
· The frequency with which shipments arrive within the scheduled or anticipated delivery time.
· The International LPI 2023 permits comparisons between 139 nations.
· Singapore and Finland are the top performers this year
- The logistics industry encompasses all supply chain operations, including primarily transportation, inventory management, information transfer, and customer service.
- Logistics is essential to a nation’s commerce. It refers to the general method of controlling how resources are obtained, stored, and transported to their final destination.
- It is a differentiating sector that can significantly affect a country’s exports, thereby adding a significant competitive advantage, assuming a robust logistics sector.It not only determines the success of the country’s supply chain, but also influences the global supply chain.
- Infrastructure, technology, and the emergence of new types of service providers are reshaping the logistics industry in India by reducing logistics costs and providing effective services. Government policies on taxation and regulation also play a significant role in the improvement of the sector.
- According to the Economic Survey 2022-23, logistics costs in India have been between 14 and 18 percent of GDP, compared to the global average of 8 percent.
- In developing countries such as India, inadequate infrastructure and weak fiscal policies result in high transport costs. During the most rigid phases of the lockdown, road transportation for big goods movements was fraught with obstacles and difficult to manage.
- In October 2021, the government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the PM Gati Shakti initiative, a National Master Plan for multimodal connectivity, to reduce logistics costs and stimulate the economy by 2024-2025.
- The Prime Minister launched the National Logistics Policy (NLP) in 2022 in order to ensure rapid last-mile delivery, eliminate transport-related obstacles, save time and money for the manufacturing sector, and ensure the logistics sector’s desired speed.
- Logistics Master Plan: This initiative employs a geographical rather than an industry-specific strategy. Multiple projects and activities will be incorporated into the strategy in an effort to increase the proportion of intermodal and/or multimodal transportation. Planned consequently is the coordinated construction of pertinent infrastructure (gas and utility pipelines, optical fiber cable networks).
- National Logistics Law: A national logistics law has been drafted and is under consultation. Through a unified legal framework for the paradigm of One Nation, One Contract, it would support the One Nation, One Market objective and provide a flexible regulatory environment (single bill of lading across modes).
- The law’s provisions will make it possible to assign a distinct logistics account number in place of cumbersome registration processes.
- National Multimodal Facilities and Warehousing: The National Grid of Logistics Parks and Terminals is being planned to promote intermodal and Multimodal Logistics Parks (MMLPs) as a distinct category of infrastructure.
- National Logistics Workforce Strategy: For the integrated skill development of professionals in the logistics sector, the government is developing a national logistics workforce strategy.
Suggestions and Way Forward
- The government’s initiatives will contribute to the development of the logistics industry.
- The integration of a multi-modal network of transportation and warehousing will increase the efficiency of transporting and storing products across the nation.
- Better warehousing, cold storage infrastructure, and enhanced first- and last-mile connectivity are required to reduce waste and expedite the transport of products from port to port, city to city, and state to state.
- There is also an opportunity to promote sustainability in this industry by incentivizing players to adopt electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure for commercial purposes in order to enhance last-mile delivery services and reduce the carbon footprint of the industry.
Markets in Crypto Assets in the EU (MiCA)
Tags: GS 3, Indian Economy & Related Issues
- The European Parliament recently authorized the regulation “Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA)” for cryptocurrencies.
More about the new rules
- MiCA will require compliance from crypto asset issuers, who are designated as “any legal entity that offers crypto assets to the public.”
- It will apply to crypto-asset service providers (CASPs) that offer one or more of the aforementioned services.
- The operation of a trading platform similar to CoinBase, custody, and management of crypto assets on behalf of third parties (customers),
- The exchange of crypto assets for funds or other crypto assets; o The execution of orders for crypto assets; o The placement of crypto assets; o The provision of transfer services for crypto assets to third parties; o The provision of advice on cryptoassets and crypto-portfolio management.
- Authorisation & CASPs:
- The base regime will require every CASP to incorporate as a legal entity in the EU.
- CASPs will be able to obtain authorization in any of the 27 member states and will be permitted to offer their services in all of them.
- Supervision of CASPs:
- They will then be supervised by regulators like the European Banking Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority, who will ensure that the companies have the required risk management and corporate governance practices in place.
- Responsibility of CASPs:
- CASPs will be required to demonstrate their stability and soundness, capacity to protect fund users, implementation of controls to ensure they do not engage in proprietary trading, avoidance of conflicts of interest, and capacity to defend against market abuse and manipulation.
- The MiCA legislation will apply to ‘cryptoassets’, which are broadly defined as follows in the text:
- “A digital representation of a value or a right that uses cryptography for security and is in the form of a coin or a token or any other digital medium that may be transferred and stored electronically, using distributed ledger technology or similar technology.”
- This definition implies that it applies not only to traditional cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, but also to more recent cryptocurrencies such as stablecoins.
- Stablecoins are digital tokens designed to maintain parity with a more steady asset, such as the U.S. dollar or other stable cryptocurrencies.
- MiCA will establish new rules for three types of stablecoins: asset-referenced tokens, which are linked to numerous currencies, commodities, or cryptocurrencies; e-money stablecoins; and e-currency stablecoins. Tokens that are tied to a single currency and utility tokens that are designed to provide access to a product or service provided by the token’s issuer.
- Transferable securities:
- MiCA will not regulate digital assets that qualify as transferable securities and function similarly to shares or their equivalents, as well as other crypto assets that already qualify as financial instruments under existing regulation.
- Non Fungible tokens (NFTs):
- It will also exclude non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for the most part.
- Central bank digital currencies & digital assets:
- MiCA will not regulate central bank digital currencies issued by the European Central Bank and digital assets issued by national central banks of EU member countries when acting in their capacity as monetary authorities, as well as the services they provide pertaining to cryptoassets.
Significance of MiCA
- Harmonising crypto industry:
- According to Chainalysis, approximately 22 percent of the global crypto industry was concentrated in central, northern, and western Europe, which received $1.3 trillion in crypto assets.
- Having a comprehensive framework like MiCA for 27 European countries not only harmonizes the crypto industry but also gives the EU a competitive advantage in its growth compared to the United States and the United Kingdom, which lack regulatory clarity.
- Protection against deception and fraud:
- The liquidity shortage caused by these shocks prompted other crypto-lending platforms to halt customer transfers and withdrawals before declaring bankruptcy in 2022.As investments and the scale of the crypto industry increase, European and other regulators have felt the need to implement governance practices in crypto firms to ensure financial sector-like stability and contagion.
- According to some specialists, the crypto industry’s regulation is already lagging behind in its coverage of emerging vulnerabilities.
- Not covered are practices such as crypto staking and lending, which lead to some of the industry’s largest failures in the past year.
- According to a Bloomberg analysis, MiCA also excludes NFTs and decentralized finance, which are vulnerable to hacking and fraud because they are managed by code rather than humans.
Indian Government’s stand on Cryptocurrency & way ahead
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has long advocated a moratorium on all cryptocurrencies, citing their potential to destabilize India’s monetary and fiscal stability.
- Despite not having a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, the Indian government introduced a new tax regime last year, taxing crypto income at 30% and crypto transactions at 1% tax deducted at source (TDS).
- Recently, the government subjected all transactions involving virtual digital assets to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
- India is currently seeking consensus within the G20, where it holds the presidency, for a globally coordinated policy response to crypto assets that takes into account the complete spectrum of risks, including those specific to emerging markets and developing economies.
The ransomware LockBit
Tags: GS 3
- Cybercriminals have devised new ransomware encryptors for macOS devices, making this the first significant ransomware operation to specifically target Apple computers.
What is LockBit ransomware?
- Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts files on a device, rendering them and the systems that rely on them inoperable. The malicious actors then demand ransom for decryption.
- Lockbit ransomware was initially identified as the “abcd” virus in 2019. The virus is classified as a “crypto virus” because it demands payment in cryptocurrency to decrypt the victim’s files.
- PSLV-C55/TeLEOS-2 was successfully launched from Sriharikota’s SDSC-SHAR.
About the Mission
- The PSLV-C55 mission is a dedicated commercial mission through NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), with TeLEOS-2 as the primary satellite and Lumelite-4 as a co-passenger satellite.
- The PSLV-C55 mission will conduct scientific investigations in orbit utilizing the PS4 stage as an orbital platform.
- The TeLEOS-2 satellite is a collaboration between DSTA (representing the Singaporean government) and ST Engineering.
- It will be used to support the satellite imagery needs of various Government of Singapore agencies.
- It carries a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload.
- It will be able to provide day and night coverage in all weather conditions.