Scheme for modernization of police still a work in progress

  1. Union budget increased the budgetary allocation for modernization of the police from Rs1,685 crore in 2016-17 to Rs2,022 crore in 2017-18
  2. The allocation for police infrastructure went up even more sharply, from Rs3,265 crore to Rs4,447 crore
  3. Handed a 30% increase in its budget, the home ministry is scrambling to complete projects aimed at modernizing the country’s police force and improving police infrastructure
  4. MPF Scheme: In 2000, the ministry of home affairs rolled out the Modernization of Police Force (MPF) scheme that would give a makeover to the police and reduce dependence on paramilitary troops
  5. The scheme was designed to equip the police with the latest equipment and infrastructure. Seventeen years on, it remains a work in progress
  6. The scheme focuses on improving police mobility, weapons, equipment, training infrastructure, computerization and forensic science facilities
  7. The MPF scheme is a home ministry project alongside the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network Systems (CCTNS) scheme which, seven years after being cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), is also far from completion
  8. Digitisation: In states such as Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, where towns are far flung, digitization is proving to be difficult
  9. Women: In states such as Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha, which have a significant Maoist presence, state police bodies are working to ensure 33% representation of women, and also improve safety for officials

Note4students:

The news is important as in 2016, the Prakash Singh case on Police Reforms completed 10 years. Thus the issues of police reforms can be on UPSC agenda of questions.

[op-ed snap] Time to repeal the FCRA

  1. Context: Union Ministry of Home Affairs rejected the licence renewal applications, under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA), of 25 non-governmental organisations (NGO)
  2. That means these NGOs can no longer receive funds from foreign donors
  3. Many of the affected organisations were rights-based advocacy groups, with some involved in human rights work
  4. The government claims that these organisations had violated FCRA norms by engaging in activities detrimental to public interest
  5. Earlier this year, the government introduced a clause in the Finance Bill that amended the relevant section of the FCRA, 2010
  6. Hitherto a “foreign company” now became an Indian company
  7. This amendment was introduced with retrospective effect — a brazen attempt to legitimise the FCRA violations
  8. This amendment has opened the doors for all political parties to accept funding from foreign companies, so long as it is channeled through an Indian subsidiary
  9. 2010 version of FCRA: FCRA registration under the earlier law was permanent, but under the new one, it expired after five years, and had to be renewed afresh
  10. New law put a restriction of 50% on the proportion of foreign funds that could be used for administrative expenses
  11. It thereby allowed the government to control how a civil society organisation (CSO) spends its money
  12. The third distinction is that while the 1976 law was primarily aimed at political parties, the new law set the stage for shifting the focus to “organisations of a political nature”
  13. UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association undertook a legal analysis of the FCRA, 2010
  14. Access to resources, particularly foreign funding, is part of the right to freedom of association
  15. Restrictions in the name of “public interest” and “economic interest” as invoked under the FCRA rules fail the test of “legitimate restrictions”
  16. Right to freedom of association is part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 20), a violation of this right also constitutes a human rights violation
  17. Monitoring foreign funding: A 7 member task force was set up in 2009 to create a national-level self-regulatory agency- the National Accreditation Council of India (NACI)
  18. NACI would monitor and accredit CSOs
  19. It was to be an independent, statutory body along the lines of the Bar Council

Note4Students:

The op-ed gives an in-depth understanding of FCRA, helping you build a basic understanding of the foreign funding.

Back2Basics:

History of FCRA:

  1. Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act was enacted in 1976 by the Indira Gandhi-led government during the Emergency
  2. It prohibits electoral candidates, political parties, judges, MPs and even cartoonists from accepting foreign contributions
  3. As the inclusion of ‘cartoonists’ under its ambit suggests, the intent was to clamp down on political dissent
  4. It was to curb foreign interference in domestic politics
  5. This was the Cold War era, when both the Soviets and the Americans meddled in the internal affairs of post-colonial nations to secure their strategic interests
  6. FCRA was aimed at preventing political parties from accepting contributions from foreign sources
  7. In 1991, India embraced foreign funding by opening up the economy
  8. The Indian state would accept contributions from foreign donors such as the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund
  9. Indian businesses, too, helped themselves to foreign funds
  10. And so did our political parties, despite the FCRA, 1976, expressly prohibiting them from accepting money from ‘foreign sources’

[pib] Comprehensive approach for Border Area Development Programme

  1. The modified BADP guidelines given by MHA were put into motion in 2015. Let’s revisit them again
  2. Coverage of BADP has been extended to cover all the villages which are located within the 0-10 Km of the International Border
  3. The list of schemes permissible under BADP has been expanded to include schemes/ activities relating to Swatchhta Aabhiyan; Skill Development programmes etc.
  4. Provision for Third Party Inspection and Quality Control Mechanism under MHA for random inspections of the BADP schemes
  5. State Governments shall have the monitoring of the BADP schemes by the existing District Level Monitoring
  6. The funds under BADP are provided to the States as a 100% non-lapsable Special Central Assistance.
  7. BADP has been implemented through 17 States which constitute the International Land Borders

[pib] How has Nirbhaya fund been used?


  1. In 2013, a Nirbhaya Fund was set up by the then UPA government as a corpus in the Public Account in the Department of Economic Affairs
  2. Each fiscal year since then Rs. 1000 crore have been allocated to the fund every year
  3. The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) is now the nodal authority for appraisal of schemes to be financed from the fund
  4. Ina recent Q&A of Lok Sabha, we got to know that Rs. 190.68 crores have been given to the States/UTs, for compensation to the women victims as per CVCF guidelines
  5. CVCF: Central Victim Compensation Fund Scheme
  6. Other schemes which have been formed (for funds utilisation) are:
  7. Creation of Investigative Units for Crime against Women (IUCAW) in all police districts
  8. Universalisation of Women Helpline
  9. One Stop Centre: To support all women including girls below 18 years of age affected by violence, irrespective of caste, class, religion, region, sexual orientation or marital status.

[pib] PM released National Disaster Management Plan. Know more about it

  1. NDMP: This is the first ever national plan prepared in the country
  2. The plan is based on the 4 priority themes of the Sendai Framework
  3. 4 Themes (PMRR): Prevention, Mitigation, Response and Recovery
  4. Salient Features of the Plan: Provides for horizontal and vertical integration among all the agencies and departments of the Government
  5. Roles and responsibilities of all levels of Government right up to Panchayat and Urban Local Body level in a matrix format

MHA to oppose visa-free entry

  1. News: Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed Prime Minister’s Office that they were against a proposal to allow ‘visa-free’ entry to business visitors and tourists from 18 key countries, including China
    Context: The Prime Minister’s Office had recently considered dispensing with the visa requirement for business visitors and tourists from certain regions
  2. Regions included the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) countries
  3. MHA: Electronic tourist visa on arrival (eTV) and the normal tourist visas are granted within 2 or 3 days of an application in majority of the cases
  4. MHA questioned the need for visa waiver when MHA is issuing visas promptly
  5. Further, MHA warned that the security situation in India is not conducive for the proposed waiver

Police stations to be graded on performance

  1. The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) has developed parameters on which the police stations would be graded
  2. Also a new concept of ‘tourism police’ is being considered
  3. For this, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has prepared a concept paper, and it is being examined in the Ministry
  4. There are also plans to replicate the meeting of the Directors-General of Police (DGP) at the State level, involving senior police officers of the State

Parliamentary panel raps govt. on Pathankot

  1. Context: Report by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs
  2. Observations: Govt failed to prevent the Pathankot terror attack despite prior concrete and credible intelligence inputs
  3. Something is seriously wrong in the country’s counter-terror establishment and the airbase’s security was not robust
  4. It asked what prompted the Government of India to seek Pakistan’s help and invite a Joint Investigation Team from there
  5. The role of the Punjab Police was questionable and suspicious during the attack

Learn about BIMSTEC

  1. About: The sub-regional group of 7 countries in South Asia and South East Asia.
  2. Members: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, Thailand
  3. Established: 1997
  4. Headquarters: Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  5. Objectives: Technological and economical cooperation among South Asian and SouthEast Asian countries along the coast of the Bay of Bengal
  6. It covers cooperation in commerce, technology, investment, agriculture, tourism, human resource development, fisheries, transport and communication

Cabinet okays convention on mutual legal assistance for crimes

  1. News: Cabinet approved ratification of Bay of Bengal Initiative on Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) convention on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters
  2. Central Authority: Ministry of Home Affairs
  3. Context: To extend widest measures of assistance among 7 member countries through mutual cooperation
  4. Aim: To enhance capability and effectiveness of the member states in investigation and prosecution of crimes, including crimes related to transnational organized crime, terrorism
  5. Significance: Will pave way for establishment of regional arrangements for mutual assistance in criminal matters
  6. Will greatly contribute for the effective cooperation in the control of criminal activities among the member countries
PIB

India-UK explore pact on information exchange on criminals

  1. Contex: India will explore the possibility of signing an agreement with the UK on exchanging information about criminals
  2. Relevance: New Delhi will positively consider the draft and advance signing of the MoU on Information Exchange on Criminality and Criminals
  3. Issue: Shri Rijiju raised the issue of as many as 131 pending requests from New Delhi on extradition of wanted persons under the Extradition Treaty
  4. Hurdles: The provision of death penalty in India and the European Commission’s provisions on Human Rights proved to be hurdles in acceding to the requests
  5. India’s concerns: Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) set up by the UK that might impede those Indians travelling to the UK for travel and work
PIB

Home Ministry recalls Gujarat anti-terror Bill

  1. MHA has decided to recall the controversial anti-terror Bill of Gujarat amid fears that President might not give his assent to it, in its present form.
  2.  It has decided to rework it with additional inputs from the State govt.
  3. It had sent the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill 2015, for the President’s approval in September last year.
  4. Earlier, the bill was rejected by the UPA govt thrice.

IB eye on Dharavi redevelopment

Maharashtra has made it mandatory for city infrastructure project to obtain security clearance to keep out the underworld.

  1. This means that the redevelopment of 60,000 slum structures will be carried out under the eyes of central intelligence agencies: IB and R&AW.
  2. The clause is part of central govt’s policy on national security clearance for certain sensitive sectors of the economy.
  3. MHA will seek a self-declaration from private players seeking security clearance, that their promoters or board of directors are not facing any charges of serious crimes.

Let’s know about NATGRID?

  1. NATGRID is the integrated intelligence grid connecting databases of core security agencies of the GoI.
  2. To collect comprehensive patterns of intelligence that can be readily accessed by intelligence agencies.
  3. The grid was to provide an intelligence database that would have networked 21 sets of data sources.
  4. To provide quick and secure access of information to about 10 intelligence and law-enforcement agencies including the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and R&AW.

Centre pushing to revive NATGRID, looking for CEO

To rope in an intelligence official to head the federal counter-terror centre.

  1. The Union government is set to make an aggressive effort to accomplish one of the most ambitious intelligence projects in recent memory.
  2. National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) is a centralised agency which stores sensitive personal information on citizens from almost 2 dozen agencies to be made available for counter-terror investigations.
  3. Government will appoint a senior serving government official, in all likelihood one with an intelligence background, to head NATGRID.
  4. Raghu Raman, NATGRID’s first and only CEO, who had bagged the job while working for automobile major Mahindra.

MHA sends back anti-conversion Bills

  1. The MHA has sent the pending anti-conversion Bills of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh back to these States.
  2. Rajasthan bill has jail term of 5 years and fine of Rs. 50000 to anyone abetting religious conversion.
  3. The Chhattisgarh Bill says the return of a person to his ancestors’ religion shall not be construed as conversion.
  4. The Bill says any person who wants to convert will have to inform the district magistrate who will be the final authority.
  5. The ministry has asked the two States for further clarifications.

Tamil Nadu, West Bengal among worst-hit by natural disasters

West Bengal and Tamil Nadu together account for almost 30 per cent of all deaths and 75 per cent of houses destroyed in the country due to natural calamities, according to Home Ministry Data.

  1. Even before the latest spate of rains, Tamil Nadu saw a 125 per cent rise in loss of lives in 2015-16 as compared to last year.
  2. When compared to 2012-13, the current year gives a picture of fast declining climatic conditions in the peninsular state.
  3. The wrath of nature, however, has been more severe on the eastern coast, with West Bengal suffering the worst natural disasters.
  4. Over 12.30 lakh houses were destroyed as compared to 7.3 lakh in 2014-15.
  5. The fact that loss of cattle saw a decline and damage to crops a marginal increase indicates that urban areas saw more damage.

What is Beat Policing?

  1. The Beat policing is a concept where a law enforcement officer walks, rides, cycles, or drives in a specific area, which is called as his or her beat.
  2. The beat police apart from giving a sense of security to the citizens, was also an important source of information.
  3. The II ARC feels that this system needs to be restored and strengthened.

Focus now is on counter-radicalisation

  1. A 3-pronged approach being followed by Home Ministry to address the issue of radicalisation.
  2. Govt. has categorised the potential recruits of the IS in 3 categories:
    • Those who have come back
    • Those who are curious about the IS
    • The ones who want to go
  3. The govt. has asked all States to step up beat-policing for ground-level intelligence.
  4. Special emphasis is being laid on identifying and accounting for the missing youth in the locality.
  5. The agencies are acting behind the curtain to discourage young Muslim men and women from being attracted to the IS.

Let’s get know about CCTNS project ?

  1. CCTNS is initiated in 2009 which aims at creating a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of policing at Police Station level.
  2. Adoption of principles of e-Governance, and creation of nationwide networked infrastructure for evolution of IT-enabled state-of-the-art tracking system.
  3. CCTNS is a Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the National e-Governance Plan of Govt. of India.
  4. The Project interconnects about 15000 Police Stations and additional 5000 offices of supervisory police officers.
  5. It will digitize the data related to FIR registration, investigation and charge sheets in all Police Stations.
PIB

Extension of CCTNS Project

  1. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a proposal for major revamp of Crime and Criminals Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) Project.
  2. It has decided to implement Integrated Criminal Justice System (ICJS) by integrating CCTNS with E-Courts.
  3. This will ensure quick data transfer among different pillars of criminal justice system, which enhances transparency and reduce processing time.
  4. Police-Citizen interface will undergo a major shift with implementation, as number of services will be enabled through citizen portal.
  5. Government decided to fast track the implementation and completion of CCTNS project by March 2017 including implementation of ICJS.
PIB


:( We are working on most probable questions. Do check back this section.







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