PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE
- The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019
- Amendment in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012
- Inter-State River Water disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019
- Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019
- Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill, 2019
- Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana-lll (PMGSY-III)
- Witness Protection Scheme
- Facts for Prelims : Kharchi Pooja
1 . The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019
Context : Union Cabinet has approved the proposal to introduce The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019. The Bill will be introduced in the ensuing Session of Parliament. The Bill provides a mechanism for their social, economic and educational empowerment.
- The Bill will benefit a large number of transgender persons, mitigate the stigma, discrimination and abuse against this marginalized section and bring them into the mainstream of society. This will lead to inclusiveness and will make the transgender persons productive members of the society.
- Transgender community is among one of the most marginalized communities in the country because they don’t fit into the stereotypical categories of gender of ‘men’ or ‘women’. Consequently, they face problems ranging from social exclusion to discrimination, lack of education facilities, unemployment, lack of medical facilities and so on. The Bill shall empower the transgender community socially, educationally and economically.
2 . Amendment in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012
Context : In a historic decision to protect the children from Sexual offences, the Union Cabinet has approved the Amendments in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. It will make punishment more stringent for committing sexual crimes against children including death penalty. The amendments also provide for levy of fines and imprisonment to curb child pornography.
- The amendment is expected to discourage the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent due to strong penal provisions incorporated in the Act.
- It intends to protect the interest of vulnerable children in times of distress and ensures their safety and dignity.
- The amendment is aimed to establish clarity regarding the aspects of child abuse and punishment thereof.
- The POCSO Act, 2012 was enacted to Protect the Children from Offences of Sexual Assault, Sexual harassment and pornography with due regard for safeguarding the interest and well-being of children.
- The Act defines a child as any person below eighteen years of age, and regards the best interests and welfare of the child as matter of paramount importance at every stage, to ensure the healthy physical, emotional, intellectual and social development of the child. The act is gender neutral.
3 . Inter-State River Water disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019
Context : The Union Cabinet has approved the Inter-State River Water disputes(Amendment) Bill, 2019 for adjudication of disputes relating to waters of inter-State rivers and river valley thereof.
- Constitution of a single tribunal with different benches along with fixation of strict timelines for adjudication will result expeditious resolution of disputes relating to inter-state rivers.The amendments in the Bill will speed up the adjudication of water disputes referred to it.
- When any request under the Act is received from any State Government in respect of any water dispute on the inter-State rivers and the Central government is of the opinion that the water dispute cannot be settled by negotiations, the Central Government constitutes a Water Disputes Tribunal for the adjudication of the water dispute.
- It will further streamline the adjudication of inter-State river water disputes. The Bill seeks to amend the Inter State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 with a view to streamline the adjudication of inter-state river water disputes and make the present institutional architecture robust.
4 . Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019
Context : The Union Cabinet has approved the banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019. It will replace the banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance, 2019.
Salient Features of the Bill
- The Bill contains a substantive banning clause which bans Deposit Takers from promoting, operating, issuing advertisements or accepting deposits in any Unregulated Deposit Scheme. The principle is that the Bill would ban unregulated deposit taking activities altogether, by making them an offence ex-ante rather than the existing legislative-cum-regulatory framework which only comes into effect ex-post with considerable time lags;
- The Bill creates three different types of offences, namely, running of Unregulated Deposit Schemes, fraudulent default in Regulated Deposit Schemes, and wrongful inducement in relation to Unregulated Deposit Schemes.
- The Bill provides for severe punishment and heavy pecuniary fines to act as deterrent.
- The Bill has adequate provisions for disgorgement or repayment of deposits in cases where such schemes nonetheless manage to raise deposits illegally.
- The Bill provides for attachment of properties / assets by the Competent Authority, and subsequent realization of assets for repayment to depositors;
- Clear-cut time lines have been provided for attachment of property and restitution to depositors;
- The Bill enables creation of an online central database, for collection and sharing of information on deposit-taking activities in the country;
- The Bill defines “Deposit Taker” and “Deposit” comprehensively;
- “Deposit Takers” include all possible entities (including individuals) receiving or soliciting deposits, except specific entities such as those incorporated by legislation;
- “Deposit” is defined in such a manner that deposit-takers are restricted from camouflaging public deposits as receipts, and at the same time, not to curb or hinder acceptance of money by an establishment in the ordinary course of its business; and
- Being a comprehensive Union Law, the Bill adopts best practices from State laws, while entrusting the primary responsibility of implementing the provisions of the legislation to the State Governments.
- The Bill will help tackle the menace of illicit deposit taking activities in the country, which at present are exploiting regulatory gaps and lack of strict administrative measures to dupe poor and gullible people of their hard-earned savings.
5 . Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill, 2019
Context : Union Cabinet has approved for introduction of the Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill, 2019 in the Parliament. This proposal would enhance the coverage of the safety, health and working conditions provisions manifold as compared to the present scenario. The decision will enhance the coverage of the safety, health and working conditions provisions manifold as compared to the present scenario.
The New Code has been drafted after amalgamation, simplification and rationalisation of the relevant provisions of the 13 Central Labour Acts:
- The Factories Act, 1948;
- The Mines Act, 1952; The Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act, 1986;
- The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996;
- The Plantations Labour Act, 1951;
- The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970;
- The Inter-State Migrant workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979;
- The Working Journalist and other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service and Misc. Provision) Act, 1955;
- The Working Journalist (Fixation of rates of wages) Act, 1958;
- The Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961;
- Sales Promotion Employees (Condition of Service) Act, 1976;
- The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966; and
- The Cine Workers and Cinema Theatre Workers Act, 1981. After the enactment of the Code, all these Acts being subsumed in the Code will be repealed.
- Safety, Health, welfare and improved Working Conditions are pre-requisite for well-being of the worker and also for economic growth of the country as healthy workforce of the country would be more productive and occurrence of less accidents and unforeseen incidents would be economically beneficial to the employers also.
- With the ultimate aim of extending the safety and healthy working conditions to all workforce of the country, the Code enhances the ambit of provisions of safety, health, welfare and working conditions from existing about 9 major sectors to all establishments having 10 or more employees.
6 . Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana-lll (PMGSY-III)
Context : In a major boost to rural road connectivity across the country, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for the launch of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana-lll (PMGSY-III). It involves consolidation of Through Routes and Major Rural Links connecting habitations to Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), Higher Secondary Schools and Hospitals.
About the Scheme
- The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), was launched by the Govt. of India to provide connectivity to unconnected Habitations as part of a poverty reduction strategy.
- PMGSY was launched in December, 2000 with an objective to provide single all-weather road connectivity to eligible unconnected habitation of designated population size (500+ in plain areas and 250+ in North-East, hill, tribal and desert areas as per Census, 2001) for overall socio-economic development of the areas. 97% of the eligible and feasible habitations have already been connected by all-weather road.
- PMGSY–II envisages consolidation of the existing Rural Road Network to improve its overall efficiency as a provider of transportation services for people, goods and services. It aims to cover upgradation of existing selected rural roads based on their economic potential and their role in facilitating the growth of rural market centres and rural hubs .
- Under the PMGSY-III Scheme, it is proposed to consolidate 1,25,000 Km road length in the States.The Scheme will also include Through Routes and Major Rural Links that connect habitations to Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), Higher Secondary Schools and Hospitals.
- This would facilitate easy and faster movement to and from Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), Higher Secondary Schools and Hospitals.
- Roads constructed under PMGSY would also be maintained properly.
- It will entail an estimated cost of Rs 80,250 crore (Central Share-Rs. 53,800 crore, State Share- Rs 26,450 crore).
- The funds would be shared in the ratio of 60:40 between the Centre and State for all States except for 8 North Eastern and 3 Himalayan States (Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand) for which it is 90:10.
- Project period: 2019-20 to 2024-25.
- Selection of candidate roads based on the sum total of the marks obtained by particular road on the basis of parameters of population served, market, educational and medical facilities, etc.
- Construction of bridges upto 150 m in plain areas and 200 m in Himalayan and NE States proposed, as against the existing provisions of 75 m and 100 m in plain areas and Himalayan and NE States respectively.
- The States shall be asked to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) before launching of PMGSY-III in the concerned State for providing adequate funds for maintenance of roads constructed under PMGSY post 5-year construction maintenance period.
Progress under PMGSY
- A total of 5,99,090 Km road length has been constructed under the scheme since inception till April, 2019 (inclusive of PMGSY-I, PMGSY-II and RCPLWEA Scheme
Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Area (RCPLWEA)
- Government launched Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism affected Areas in the year 2016 as a separate vertical under PMGSY to provide all-weather road connectivity with necessary culverts and cross-drainage structures in 44 districts (35 are worst LWE affected districts and 09 are adjoining districts), which are critical from security and communication point of view. Under the Scheme, 5,066 Km road length has been sanctioned.
7 . Witness Protection Scheme
About Witness Protection Scheme
- Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 provides for protection of witnesses based on the threat assessment and protection measures inter alia include protection/change of identity of witnesses, their relocation, installation of security devices at the residence of witnesses, usage of specially designed Court rooms, etc.
- The Scheme provides for three categories of witness as per threat perception:
- Category ‘A’: Where the threat extends to life of witness or his family members, during investigation/trial or thereafter.
- Category ‘B’: Where the threat extends to safety, reputation or property of the witness or his family members, during the investigation/trial or thereafter.
- Category ‘C’: Where the threat is moderate and extends to harassment or intimidation of the witness or his family member’s, reputation or property, during the investigation/trial or thereafter.
- The Scheme provides for a State Witness Protection Fund for meeting the expenses of the scheme.
7 . Facts for Prelims
- Kharchi puja is a Hindu festival from Tripura.
- Festival involves the worship of the fourteen gods forming the dynasty deity of the Tripuri people.
- The annual “Kharchi Puja” and festival is meant to cleanse the sins of mortal souls. Originally a Hindu tribals’ festivity, it is now observed by all communities and religions.