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Forest panel stalls clearance for three coal mines owned by PSUs

The ministry’s expert panel said that even this project involves chopping down a sizeable; 14,698 trees that will show significant impact on flora and fauna of the area. The panel has thus asked for re submission of the proposal with additional details such density of forest and details of compensatory afforestation.

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Juvenile Justice Bill: Here’s what Maneka Gandhi said in Rajya Sabha

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Discussing the bill in Rajya Sabha, Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi claimed that the bill is compassionate.

File Photo

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill was on Tuesday tabled in Rajya Sabha for consideration and passage. Following the Supreme Court’s dismissal of a plea against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang-rape case, Parliamentarians have cut across party lines to seek the passage of the amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act at the earliest.Discussing the bill in Rajya Sabha, Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi claimed that the bill is compassionate.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She said, “We may not be able to do anything about the Juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya case, but we can deter many other boys from doing the same.”Here is what she said.Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday assured the parents of Nirbhaya (December 16 gang rape victim), that he would be extending all his support to get the Juvenile Justice Bill passed in the Raya Sabha.”We are meeting every one because the Bill is to be tabled today. He (Rahul Gandhi) has said that he supports the Bill and would support it,” Nirbhaya’s mother told the media.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also assured disappointed Nirbhaya’s parents that the Juvenile Justice Bill would be today passed in the Parliament.

As juvenile in Nirbhaya case is released, debate rages over bill

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Women and Child development minister Maneka Gandhi blamed the delay of bill passage on the stalemate in Rajya Sabha

Delhi police officers escort a juvenile accused of rape, outside the Juvenile justice board in New Delhi.
Manit Balmiki
dna
In the British era, the India Jail Committee had recommended separate trials and institutions for children. Nearly 100 years later, a bill, proposing to open a window for juveniles in the 16-18 age group to be tried as adults in cases of heinous crimes, has sparked off a heated debate.As memories of the brutal 2012 Nirbhaya case returned with the release of the juvenile, the government and the BJP cashed in on protests against his release to blame the Opposition for delay in passage of the juvenile justice bill. The Opposition, apprehensive of the fallout of certain provisions of the bill pending in Rajya Sabha, wanted it referred to a Select Committee.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the two sides slug it out, the juvenile would have been released anyway by December 20, 2015, as criminal laws cannot be used with retrospective effect.Child’s rights lawyer Anant Asthana, one of the members of the drafting committee of the bill, heaved a sigh of relief that it was being referred to a select committee, amidst the sharp divide on it. “Seeing the conditions in jail, in 1919 the first India Jail Committee was of the view that children should not be lodged in jail. Now, this new bill, if passed as it is, will take us 100 years back,” he said.Calling the bill regressive, he said “it will be a recipe for more crime and more criminals in the long run. You cannot bring laws dictated purely by public sentiment.” Reports of the juvenile being the most brutal accused in the gang rape had raised the question that he should not be treated as a child.Asthana said it was not as simple as that. According to him, the bill follows the recommendations of the Justice Verma committee in retaining age of juvenile at 18, but created a window through which certain category of children can be pushed into adult criminal justice system. “This is called the judicial waiver, a concept being brought in for the first time in India,” he said.The bill also takes into purview issues like foster care, easier adoption guidelines, apart from criminalising juveniles committing heinous crimes. However, it must be noted that a standing committee headed by JP Nadda in February rejected several recommendations put forward by the WCD ministry, stating that the Bill violated article 14 and 21 of the Constitution. Activists have also argued that the Bill also violates the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child.As the release of the juvenile became imminent, Women and Child development minister Maneka Gandhi blamed it on the stalemate in Rajya Sabha. She has also said giving the juvenile Rs 10,000 and a sewing machine was incentivising the crime.BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi admitted that even if the bill, brought to Parliament in 2014, was passed, it would not have applied to the juvenile in the Nirbhaya case, but said because of the delay in the legislation, it has also let off others in such cases in the past three years. “In my reading, the sexual maturity age has come down and the law should be changed as per the changing times…. The Nirbhaya case is not just rape but a case of murder and immense brutality,” she said quoting statistics of juvenile crime.Till 1999 the juvenile age was 16 and it was raised to 18 in 2000 during the NDA regime. After the outcry over the juvenile getting away with a three-year sentence in the Nirbhaya gang rape in 2012, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2014, proposing that children in the 16-18 age group be tried as adults if they commit heinous crimes, was passed by Lok Sabha. However, in Rajya Sabha, where government is in a minority, several opposition parties were of the view that it required further scrutiny. Opposition members, including those from Congress, Samajwadi Party, JD (U) and TMC, wrote to Chairman Hamid Ansari that the bill be referred to a select committee as there were provisions that should be examined before taking it up in the House. Divided opinionCongress’ Ashwani Kumar, who was law minister during the Nirbhaya rape and murder, said opinion has been divided on decreasing the age of a “juvenile”. While he agreed that governments have to respond to public opinion, Kumar cautioned “there is evidence that harsher the laws, the more ineffective they are.”CPM politburo member Brinda Karat said “we are opposed to dealing with those below 18 as an adult. It goes against international convention. There should be proper monitoring and supervision of the juvenile once released.”

Maneka Gandhi puts onus on Rajya Sabha, asks it to clear Bill on Nirbhaya

Putting the onus on the Rajya Sabha to clear the bill on mandatory registration of offenders, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Monday said it is important to bring a juvenile within the ambit of law.

Putting the onus on the Rajya Sabha to clear the bill on mandatory registration of offenders, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Monday said it is important to bring a juvenile within the ambit of law.”I wish the Rajya Sabha would allow me to pass this Act, at least it would give relief. They should be kept under watch. At the moment, you are not even allowing me to pass a bill. We are all stuck,” Gandhi told the media here.”We have seen for the last two years and the act is stuck in the Rajya Sabha, saying that nowadays it is important to bring 16- year old also within the ambit of law, and to give them the belief that if they commit heinous crimes, they will be taken to task,” she added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She further pointed out that she would be meeting the Home Minister this evening to say that some safeguards should be put into place.Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy said that he was hopeful about the courts handing down an order to prevent the release of the juvenile involved in the December 2012 gang rape case in outer Delhi.The victim’s father also said that the juvenile convict must not be freed as he might be a ‘threat to society’.”It is not about being a juvenile or an adult, but about crime. The crime he has committed and after he is released it will definitely affect the youth in the country. He is a threat to the society. I believe that he should not be released anyhow. The person who can sit inside jail and learn to be a jihadi, what will he do outside,” asked the victim’s father.Earlier in the day, the Rajya Sabha witnessed repeated adjournments with the Congress Party insisting on the dismissal of the SAD-led government in Punjab for its inability in maintaining law and order.

December 16 gangrape: Maneka Gandhi to talk to Home Ministry on juvenile’s release

Gandhi, in a letter written to Law Minister Sadananda Gowda, had requested that police should keep a track of the movements of such convicts post-release for which a law should be enacted

Maneka Gandhi

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi on Monday said she will speak to the Home Minister over the release of the juvenile convicted in December 16 gang-rape case following reports that he may be put up with an NGO once set free later this month.”We have no information about it. We will speak to the Home Minister tomorrow (about) what they intend to do,” she said after releasing a Handbook on Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace. She said the ministry had requested the Law Ministry for enactment of a law to monitor sex offenders but has not yet received any reply.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gandhi, in a letter written to Law Minister Sadananda Gowda, had requested that police should keep a track of the movements of such convicts post-release for which a law should be enacted. In cases where the accused are convicted for committing heinous crimes, the orders of the court may also include mandatory requirement of registration of the accused in local police station so that police can monitor their activities and keep track of their movements, Gandhi had said.

Cases of online harassment against women not maintained by govt: Maneka Gandhi

The Union minister said the Information Technology Act, 2000 together with Indian Penal Code have adequate provisions to deal with prevailing cyber crimes.

Representational image

dna Research & Archives
The cases of online harassment against women are not maintained by the government, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said on Friday.Replying to a question in Lok Sabha, Gandhi, however, said as per the data of National Crime Records Bureau on cyber crimes, 589, 1203 and 758 cases of publication/transmission of obscene, sexually explicit content (Under section 67 A, 67 B and 67 C of the Information Technology Act) have been registered during 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”After consultation on cyber crimes in India held on July 23, National Commission for Women has submitted a report which inter-alia recommended for opening of more cyber cells, dedicated helpline numbers, setting up forensic labs and technical training law enforcement agencies like police and judiciary to combat cyber crime,” she said.The Union minister said the Information Technology Act, 2000 together with Indian Penal Code have adequate provisions to deal with prevailing cyber crimes.”It provides punishment in the form of imprisonment ranging from two years to life imprisonment and fine/penalty depending on the type of cyber crime,” she said.

Include wife’s name in husband’s death certificate: Women and Child Development Ministry

Inclusion of wife’s name in death certificate will help women claim life insurance and other policies, besides transferring of property on their name.

In a meeting with Registrar General recently, Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi asked him to pull up the states for not implementing the order.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Union Women and Child Development Ministry has raised concern about non-inclusion of wife’s name in husband’s death certificate’s and has asked Registrar General to issue strict directions to the state governments on the matter.In a meeting with Registrar General recently, Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi asked him to pull up the states for not implementing the order. The Registrar General had issued a circular in 2013 asking all states to mention wife’s name on the husband’s death certificate but some states were implementing it.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”A death certificate should ideally include wife or husband’s name on it but some states are not implementing it. The ministry has asked Registrar General to take necessary action in the matter,” a senior ministry official said.”We are looking it from the perspective of women. Sometimes she is ill-treated by her in-laws after husband’s death and property rights are also denied to her. But if she has her name on the death certificate, she can at least take legal recourse,” the official said.Inclusion of wife’s name in death certificate will help women claim life insurance and other policies, besides transferring of property on their name.

Mother Teresa’s charity blames gay people, divorcees for stopping adoptions

The Modi government’s WCD Ministry had recently decided to implement the revised guidelines of the Juvenile Justice Act.

Mother Teresa

Getty Images
Mother Teresa’s charity the Missionaries of Charity has stopped adoptions in India after new government guidelines which allowed single parents to adopt.However, in a bizarre claim, the charity has blamed ‘gays and lesbians’ for stopping adoptions.According to pinknews.co.uk and Gay Star News, has shut down all orphanages so that ‘the children will not have gay or divorced parents’.Speaking about the decision not to offer adoptions, Sister Amala told UK media: “The new guidelines hurt our conscience. They are certainly not for religious people like us. What if the single parent who we give our baby [to] turns out to be gay or lesbian? What security or moral upbringing will these children get? Our rules only allow married couples to adopt.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Modi government’s WCD Ministry had recently decided to implement the revised guidelines of the Juvenile Justice Act, which allow single parents to adopt, among other amendments.Related Read: Orphanages run by Mother Teresa foundation to close down?”Till now the Mother Teresa’s (Foundation) orphanages had their own agenda and now when they have to come under a unified secular agenda they are refusing it. They have decided not to follow the guidelines,” WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi had said. She said that the ministry will try to persuade them to put children up for adoption.”We will try and persuade them because they are valuable people and have experience. But if they do not listen then those children will have to be shifted to other places,” she said. 13 of the 16 orphanages running under Missionaries of Charity have applied for cancellation of registration.

Implement 33% reservation for women in police force: Maneka Gandhi

Appreciating Gujarat and Bihar government for implementing the reservation, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi urged other states to follow the suit.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi today appealed to States and Union Territories to implement 33 per cent reservation for women in police force to address the problem of crimes against women saying that all-women police station can not address the problem alone.”States need to push 33 per cent reservation for women in police forces. Women police station is not a complete solution,” Gandhi said while addressing a workshop on schemes related to women and child.Appreciating Gujarat and Bihar government for implementing the reservation, the minister urged other states to follow the suit. Gandhi said that Union Territories have been ordered to implement the reservation by Ministry of Home Affairs though none has done it so far. She, however, said that exceptions can be given to states with a problem of insurrection as it becomes difficult for women to deal in such situations.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There are Maoist areas in state like Chattisgarh where women cannot be sent. But all states do not have such problem. They should at least start implementing it,” she said.

Government mulling panic button in cell phones for women’s safety

All mobile phone manufacturers to work out the feasibility of such a feature, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said.

Representational image

For women’s safety, the government is considering introduction of a panic button in cell phones and has asked all mobile phone manufacturers to work out the feasibility of such a feature, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said on Friday.”When we asked for suggestions about what precautions can the girls take to keep themselves safe and escape out of emergency situations, we were flooded with ideas including wearing specialized necklaces, bracelets and rings which had certain SOS message sending features.”Why should we do that? Are women prisoners so they always have to move with these devices? How can we ensure availability, affordability and usage of these devices among rural women,” the minister said while addressing a ‘Student Parliament’ on issues faced by girl students.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She said considering the limitations of these devices, the government has come up with an idea of having inbuilt panic button in all cell phones.”The phones will have a panic button which will be GPS connected. We are in conversation with phone manufacturers and the proposal is likely to be executed in few months,” Maneka said.The administration is of the view that emergency response apps can take too long to access in a rush and configuring one of the existing buttons on a phone for the task would be much simpler and quicker, he said, noting that pressing the panic button will send an SMS to a set of numbers that will also provide location information.Talking about the various schemes rolled out by the NDA government, Maneka said the focus is on initiatives such as ‘beti bachao’, ‘beti padhao’ and reservation for women posts in police stations to ensure an effective interface between the complainants and the police.”The problem is not with schemes, we have enough of them. The task is implementation and we are focussing on the same,” she said.The three-day parliament, which kick-started on Thursday is being organised by the BJP’s student wing, Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and students representing universities across the country are taking part in the event to discuss issues faced by them and draw the government’s attention towards the need for safety and development plans for them.While first day was dedicated to tribal students at a seminar entitled, ‘Tribal Student-Youth Parliament’, the remaining two days are for ‘Women Student Parliament’ and ‘North East Student-Youth Leaders Parliament’.The report on issues resulting from the discussions of the three student parliaments will be handed over to the ministries concerned in the form of a memorandum.

All violence is male-generated, says Maneka Gandhi

New Delhi: Union Women and Child Development Ministry Maneka Gandhi on Monday stoked a potential controversy with her remark that all the violence is “male-generated” while underscoring the “critical” role of men in creating gender sensitivity.

Gandhi also said that her ministry is working on a concept of ‘Gender Champions’ in schools under which boys will be chosen for being “particularly respectful and helpful” to girls and given prizes.

Maneka Gandhi. AFP

Maneka Gandhi. AFP

Participating in a live chat with users on Facebook, Gandhi called for increased participation from men in creating gender sensitivity as they are male-generated.

“Men’s role is the most critical since all the violence is male-generated. One of the ways to tackle this is at the school stage. So, we have started something which will go into effect in a few months, called ‘Gender Champions’ under which boys will be chosen who have been particularly respectful and helpful to girls and deserve to be emulated and rewarded,” she said.

“Prizes will be given to a person in each class annually. It can also be given to a girl who has been outstanding in her bravery or attitude etc,” she added.

The interaction was part of the Ministry’s effort to enhance participation for its ‘100 Women Initiative’ to recognize women achievers.

On other issues, Gandhi said that India needed a new school every seven minutes in order to give quality education to slum children.

“Statistically, India needs a new school every seven minutes. Ours is the largest school system in the world. I agree we can do better,” she said.

She also said that media is more sensitive to women issues in India as compared to abroad.

“Personally, I find that the media is more sensitive to women’s issues in India as compared to abroad,” she said while answering a question during the live interaction.

“Sometimes this gets us all into trouble internationally because the media takes one aspect of violence against women and continues to push individual cases giving the impression abroad that our society insensitive to women. On the other hand the media response to violence has also led to many good laws being made and better public awareness,” she added.

PTI

All violence is ‘male-generated’: Maneka Gandhi

‘Gender Champions’ under which boys will be chosen who have been particularly respectful and helpful to girls and deserve to be emulated and rewarded,” she said.

Gandhi said that India needed a new school every seven minutes in order to give quality education to slum children.
Arijit Sen

Union Women and Child Development Ministry Maneka Gandhi on Monday stoked a potential controversy with her remark that all the violence is “male-generated” while underscoring the “critical” role of men in creating gender sensitivity. Gandhi also said that her ministry is working on a concept of ‘Gender Champions’ in schools under which boys will be chosen for being “particularly respectful and helpful” to girls and given prizes. Participating in a live chat with users on Facebook, Gandhi called for increased participation from men in creating gender sensitivity as they are male-generated. “Men’s role is the most critical since all the violence is male-generated. One of the ways to tackle this is at the school stage. So, we have started something which will go into effect in a few months, called ‘Gender Champions’ under which boys will be chosen who have been particularly respectful and helpful to girls and deserve to be emulated and rewarded,” she said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Prizes will be given to a person in each class annually. It can also be given to a girl who has been outstanding in her bravery or attitude etc,” she added.The interaction was part of the Ministry’s effort to enhance participation for its ‘100 Women Initiative’ to recognise women achievers.On other issues, Gandhi said that India needed a new school every seven minutes in order to give quality education to slum children. “Statistically, India needs a new school every seven minutes. Ours is the largest school system in the world. I agree we can do better,” she said.She also said that media is more sensitive to women issues in India as compared to abroad. “Personally, I find that the media is more sensitive to women’s issues in India as compared to abroad,” she said while answering a question during the live interaction. “Sometimes this gets us all into trouble internationally because the media takes one aspect of violence against women and continues to push individual cases giving the impression abroad that our society insensitive to women. On the other hand the media response to violence has also led to many good laws being made and better public awareness,” she added.

Maneka Gandhi wants working women to get 8 months maternity leave

The ministry has also asked the Labour ministry that the maternity benefit provisions to working women both in organised and unorganised sectors .

The ministry’s maternity leave proposal suggests one month leave before delivery and seven months post delivery.

File Photo
Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi wants to raise maternity leave to eight months from three months, reports a leading daily. The Ministry has sent the proposal to the Cabinet Secretariat for a discussion in the Committee of Secretaries.”This matter was taken up by our minister with the Prime Minister and he is also very interested, so we are sending a copy to him,” Nutan Guha Biswas, WCD additional secretary said to the daily. The ministry has also asked the Labour ministry that the maternity benefit provisions to working women both in organised and unorganised sectors .<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ministry’s maternity leave proposal suggests one month leave before delivery and seven months post delivery.

Maneka Gandhi urges states to achieve target of 20,000 adoptions by 2016

Women and Child Development Ministry on Tuesday came down heavily on state governments for going slow on adoption cases and urged them to achieve a target of 20,000 adoptions by next year.

Maneka Gandhi

Women and Child Development Ministry on Tuesday came down heavily on state governments for going slow on adoption cases and urged them to achieve a target of 20,000 adoptions by next year.There were 4694, 3924 and 3988 in-country adoptions during 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 respectively and 308, 422 and 374 inter-country adoptions in the same period.The Ministry has issued a strict deadline to the states to comply with the new guidelines, which draw support from JJ Act. The act also includes the provision of de-recognising illegal adoption centers.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing the National Familiarization Programme organised for states and union territories on the new adoption guidelines, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi said they will have to ensure that a proper system is put in place by September 15.”States will have to register all Child Care Institutions (CCI) under the JJ Act, recognise at least one State Adoption Agency in each district, ensure registering District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) on CARINGS (Central Adoption Resource Information Guidance System),” she said, adding, a check of all states will be conducted in December.Taking strong exception to illegal adoptions being carried out through hospitals and unauthorised CCIs across the country, Gandhi said states should take strict action against them as the JJ Act provides a provision for criminal action against such defaulters.”There should be board outside every hospital clearly stating that it is illegal to take children for adoption and please contact the nearest state adoption agency,” she said.

I want to write book on PM Narendra Modi: Uma Bharati

Congress holds its president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul in high esteem, but does have the same respect for (Union Minister) Maneka Gandhi and Varun of the same clan, Uma Bharti alleged.

File Photo
PTI
Union Minister Uma Bharati on Sunday said she wants to write a book on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as she is impressed by his personality and “in-depth knowledge of every Indian issue.””I want to write a book on Narendra Modiji. He has extraordinary knowledge and command over every Indian issue,” Bharati said.”I didn’t know Modiji much before becoming minister. Now, after frequent interactions with him as minister, his personality has impressed me as he has in-depth knowledge of every Indian issue,” she said. Modi has brought a new era of developmental politics in India which earlier revolved around secularism versus communalism, the Union Water Resources Minister said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Now development agenda has prevailed over politics of casteism which divided the society. Development mitigates poverty which does not have religion and caste,” she said.With Modi’s development agenda, the Congress is in trouble. Therefore, the Opposition party created ruckus in the just-concluded monsoon session of Parliament, she said. The modernisation of India evolved around westernisation. Modi has connected modernisation with Indianisation, Uma said.To a query that she was showering praises on Modi and took his name 23 times but did not mention BJP patriarch L K Advani even once, Bharati said the former Deputy Prime Minister was still a father figure to her. Slamming the Congress party, she said a foreigner A O Hume formed the Congress in 1885, but the party has not yet come out of foreign slavery mindset. Congress holds its president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul in high esteem, but does have the same respect for (Union Minister) Maneka Gandhi and Varun of the same clan, she alleged. “I appeal to Congress leaders…to come out of this mentality. I ask Congress to come out of the Hume’s effects,” she said. Bharati said there was a need for Indianisation of Congress.

24,771 dowry deaths reported in last 3 years, Maneka Gandhi tells Lok Sabha

A total of 24,771 dowry deaths have been reported in the country in past three years with maximum of them occurring in Uttar Pradesh with 7,048 deaths.

Maneka Gandhi

A total of 24,771 dowry deaths have been reported in the country in past three years with maximum of them occurring in Uttar Pradesh with 7,048 deaths.In a written reply in Lok Sabha, Women and Child Development Ministry Maneka Gandhi said that 8,233, 8,083, and 8,455 cases were registered under section 304B of the Indian Penal Code (Dowry Death) in the country in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively.Uttar Pradesh is followed by Bihar and Madhya Pradesh with 3,830 and 2,252 deaths during the same period.As per National Crime Records Bureau data, the country has recorded 3.48 lakh cases of cruelty by husband or his relative and West Bengal tops the chart with 61,259 such cases in past three years, followed by Rajasthan (44,311) and Andhra Pradesh (34,835).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Government conducts awareness generation programmes and publicity campaigns on various laws relating to women including Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 through workshops, fairs, cultural and training programmes, seminars etc,” the Minister said.

New adoption guidelines; centralised database of children

NRIs will be treated on par with domestic adoptive parents, and a child of below five years, will be given up for adoption 60 days after being cleared for adoption. A child of above five years will be given up for adoption 30 days after clearance.

A centralised databank of adoptive children, allowing single parents looking to adopt, and, treating non-resident Indians (NRIs) on par with Indian citizens are some of the revamped guidelines of the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) introduced by the union ministry of women and child development, on Monday. The guidelines will be effective from next month.Under the new guidelines, an e-governance measure that will hasten the adoption process, and make it transparent by putting up the data of the adoptive children online, has been brought up. The Central Adoption Resource Information Guidance System (CARINGS), a centralised system that collates the data, will be connected to the district child protection units.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>NRIs will be treated on par with domestic adoptive parents, and a child of below five years, will be given up for adoption 60 days after being cleared for adoption. A child of above five years will be given up for adoption 30 days after clearance.The new guidelines have also made it possible for single parents to adopt. While single mothers can adopt children of either gender, single men can only adopt male children. The minimum age difference between child and parent cannot exceed 25 years under the new guidelines.The revamped guidelines were originally mooted in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2014. But the Bill, introduced in the Rajya Sabha, has been pending for a year and a half. And WCD minister Maneka Gandhi wanted to a hassle-free adoption process, said a ministry official. In 2013-14, 3924 children were given up for adoption within the country, while 3988 children were given up in 2014-15. There were 422 inter-country adoptions in 2013-14, and 374 in 2014-15.

Provide reservation to women in police force: Maneka Gandhi

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi on Friday urged the members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Women and Child Development to persuade their state governments for providing 33 per cent reservation for women in police force as a measure towards controlling crime against women.

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi on Friday urged the members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Women and Child Development to persuade their state governments for providing 33 per cent reservation for women in police force as a measure towards controlling crime against women.The Union Women and Child Development minister requested the members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee including Pratima Mondal, Viplove Thakur, R Vanaroja, Kanak Lata Singh, Priyanka Singh Rawat and Bimla Kashyap Sood to ask their respective state governments to give 33% reservation to women in police force. The meeting was held to generate ideas on schemes, programmes and projects for women empowerment.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Gandhi briefed the members about schemes and new initiatives taken by the government for women’s welfare like the Health phone initiative, One Stop Centre for women affected by violence, appointing Special Police Officers(SPOs) in villages to curtail crime against women and various initiatives under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP),” an official statement from the Ministry said.The members of the Committee suggested that the Anganwadi workers should be trained fully in the subject of nutrition and proper accommodation should be made available to run the anganwadis, along with increasing their honorarium.Other suggestions included holding camps at grassroots level with participation of men in schemes and programmes for women welfare and empowerment and involving anganwadi and Asha workers in the BBBP Scheme as they have the data on pregnancies in their areas.A few members also expressed apprehension on the scaling down of the Central budget stating that the states are not likely to enhance their investment in social sector because they have their own priorities, it said.Appreciating the initiative of SPOs, the Committee members suggested that the candidates should be given good training to make the scheme fully beneficial. The Minister assured that under the National Nutrition Mission, anganwadis will be trained properly and given more facilities to discharge their duties.Secretary, V Somasundaran said that the Ministry proposes to build 50,000 anganwadis during the next year with the help of Ministry of Rural Development and the Panchayats.

Indian Army to move from World War 2 era canvas to sports shoes

A few years ago, the Army had asked sports shoe manufacturing companies to design sports shoes for the Army, but that failed to take place.

File Photo of soldiers patrolling near the LOC

The Indian Army is all set to provide new branded sports shoes to their soldiers to replace the World War II era thin brown canvas PT shoes. A few years ago, the Army had asked sports shoe manufacturing companies to design sports shoes for the Army, but that scheme never materialised. In 2008, during the UPAs regime, the Army was in the process of finalising a sports shoe. The final list had shoes made of cow leather. However Maneka Gandhi objected to the use of the shoes on the basis of animal cruelty. The Army responded saying , “cow leather was unanimously approved as the most appropriate material, being most versatile and tough to withstand anticipated usage by soldiers”. The then Defence Minister AK Anthony cancelled the procurement in 2011. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Prakash Javadekar has taken it up and hence the Army is expecting to overcome the usual issues related to pricing and specifications.The canvas PT shoe has not seen any upgradation in terms of quality since the time it was used in the service. “Today’s jawans don’t like to wear those shoes. They are paid good salaries and wear smart sneakers when they are in civil dress. In fact, we give our unit’s basketball and cross-country teams branded sports shoes from our own regimental funds,” a Colonel commanding an infantry battalion told The Indian Express.“We need to manage the perception of our jawans better, in tune with changing times”, a senior military official further said, adding, “Providing better quality uniform, proper shoes and functional equipment is our topmost priority. The present defence minister is equally committed to the cause,”The Army gets around 20 lakh canvas shoes annually from the Ordnance Factories Board (OFB). The OFB is not the manufacturer itself, but purchases them from civilian. A soldier gets a pair of shoes from the Army every siz months.The sports shoes also have a longer life span of at least 12-15 years. A study conducted by the Army a few years ago on drill boots, sports shoes and canvas shoes. It was found that canvas shoes were not well equipped for physical activities like running and playing sports. “Physical training-induced injuries are mainly overuse injuries, whereas injuries incurred during playing a field sport are acute in nature. The aim of a good running or PT shoe is to prevent and reduce stress-related injuries caused by overuse. Technical parameters — like vertical ground reaction force peak impact, ground reaction force loading rate and peak tibial acceleration — will need to be considered while selecting a good shoe,” according to a sports medicine qualified Army doctor, involved in the study.

Track missing child on government’s ‘khoyapaya’ web portal

Gaining steam: So far it has 590 registered users, and by Tuesday, 33 missing complaints, and 25 sighting alerts have been registered on the site

Maneka and Prasad at the website launch in New Delhi
B B Yadav
dna
The ministry of women and child development, on Tuesday, in partnership with the ministry of IT and communications launched a website to serve as a social media platform for missing and sighted children.The website, khoyapaya.gov.in, will enable anyone to register information about a lost child, or about a child who has been found or sighted. Currently, it has 590 registered users, and by Tuesday, 33 missing complaints, and 25 sighting alerts have been registered on the site.While introducing the website, WCD minister Maneka Gandhi said, “We had launched a website earlier, TrackChild, which is operated by the police. The PM suggested last year that we need to have a website to track missing children, and we went ahead to have one so that anyone can post any information on a child that has gone missing.” She said that they had modelled the website on other such websites around the world. Between 2010 and 2015, TrackChild had helped recover a little above 75,000 missing children, which was roughly a fourth of the children that went missing during that time.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ministry had, in March this year, announced a scheme under which children found on railway premises will be taken care of by the government railway police and the railway police force. Gandhi had said lakhs of children are on the move in the country, and the railways will be instrumental in bringing down the number. Launched in 20 stations, it was to be launched in 200 in two months. Apart from that ChildLine, a helpline for missing children, available at 1098, has helped recover 1 crore children, the minister informed.Communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the initiative was part of the Digital India campaign. “The crux of the digital India campaign is to bridge the digital gap between the poor and the rich. And Indians have a great appetite for technology and appropriating it,” said Prasad. When asked whether the initiative will be successful in remote villages, Prasad said that there will be an app too, which can be downloaded on mobiles. “Mobile phones in villages, too, can access the internet,” said Prasad. SC pulls up govtBetween 2010 and 2014, over 3.25 lakh children went missing. More than 45% of them remain untraceable, with over 55% of them being girls. In February, 2013, the Supreme Court lambasted the government’s inactivity in taking necessary action to recover these children. “Nobody seems to care about missing children. This is the irony,” remarked the court.

Maneka Gandhi opposes Army’s animal sacrifice practices

Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi, an avid animal rights activist, has declared the Indian army’s traditions of “animal sacrifice” and “airdropping live animals” as acts of animal cruelty.

Maneka Gandhi. AFPManeka Gandhi. AFP

Maneka Gandhi. AFP

According to the Indian Express, the Union Minister has written a letter to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and asked him to stop the practice of animal sacrifice in the Gorkha regiment and another of air-dropping living animals for regiments posted in inaccessible areas to provide them fresh meat.

Gandhi had written the similar letter to ex Defense Minister Arun Jaitley as well. According to her, “It may have had its use during that period when communication and roads were not available, but there is no reason why the animal should be subjected to such cruel practices in present times, especially when pre-packaged meat products are easily available.”

However, the Gorkha regiment’s customs of animal sacrifice has been around since the time of the British.

Goats, buffaloes and other animals are ritually sacrificed by the regiment. Tradition dictates that the buffalo’s head must be cut off cleanly with a single blow in order to secure the regiment good fortune for the coming year.

Indian media: Internet freedom

Excitement over internet freedom and cricket clash with Australia, but cow urine ‘disinfectant’ also makes headlines.

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