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14th May Current Affairs

Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, 2015

In News:

Social media posts appealing for adoption of children orphaned during COVID-19 are illegal, warn experts.

Details:

Activists warn that such posts are illegal under Section 80 and 81 of the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, 2015, which prohibit offering or receiving children outside the processes laid down under the Act as well as their sale and purchase.

Such acts are punishable with three to five years in jail or ₹1 lakh in fine.

What is the procedure to be followed with children who have been orphaned?

If someone has information about a child in need of care, then they must contact one of the four agencies: Childline 1098, or the district Child Welfare Committee (CWC), District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) or the helpline of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

Following this, the CWC will assess the child and place him or her in the immediate care of a Specialised Adoption Agency.

When there is a child without a family, the State becomes the guardian.

Other childcare options available:

Adoption is only one of the options, it is not the only option. Such children will have uncles or aunts who can look after them. Children may desire contact with their own family and to remain within the same heritage. In such circumstances it is very important to guard the rights of the children involved.

Need of the hour:

This is the time to focus on kinship care. The Ministry of Women and Child Development and all concerned State departments should immediately roll out a kinship care programme and make it part of foster care provisions under the JJ Act.

About JJ Act:

Aim: To Comprehensively address children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection.

It mandates setting up Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees in every district. Both must have at least one-woman member each.

Also, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) was granted the status of a statutory body to enable it to perform its function more effectively.

The Act included several new offences committed against children (like, illegal adoptions, use of child by militant groups, offences against disabled children, etc) which are not adequately covered under any other law.

All Child Care Institutions, whether run by State Government or by voluntary or non-governmental organisations are to be mandatorily registered under the Act within 6 months from the date of commencement of the Act.

Vaccine hesitancy

In News:

Authorities in rural and remote districts of Chhattisgarh are engaging tribal activists among others as a strategy to remove vaccine hesitancy among the villagers in the fight against Covid.

What’s the issue?

People believe fake news faster than genuine information in these times. They either believe the vaccine is going to kill them or make them impotent.

What is being done?

Through posters and folk songs, the administration is trying to attract the rural and tribal populace.

They are going to make it mandatory for the panch and other village representatives to get themselves and their families vaccinated.

Similarly, the employers will be mandated to get their employees vaccinated.

Vaccine Hesitancy: A generation at risk:

Vaccine hesitancy is defined by WHO as a “delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccination services”.

It was one of 10 threats to global health this year.

What’s the Concern?

A vaccine is one of the essential weapons in the armamentarium in our war against the pandemic. Any hesitation in accepting the vaccine will have a negative consequence on our effort to control the pandemic.

Need of the hour:

Proactively address the reasons behind this hesitancy.

Give confidence to the public by discussing the robustness of various processes involved in drug/vaccine development — clinical trial designs, conduct, monitoring, analysis, reporting and the regulatory reviews that happen before it is approved.

This will make the public aware about the rigorous processes followed for clinical trials, and the approval, as followed by regulators.

National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell Battery Storage

In News:

The Cabinet has approved the proposal of Department of Heavy Industry for implementation of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme ‘National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery Storage’ for achieving manufacturing capacity of Fifty (50) GigaWatt Hour (GWh) of ACC and 5 GWh of “Niche” ACC.

About the scheme:

It is a ₹18,100 crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for building Tesla-style giga factories to manufacture batteries.

The plan is to set up 50 gigawatt hour (GWh) manufacturing capacity for advanced chemistry cell batteries by attracting investments totaling ₹45,000 crore.

As part of the scheme, each selected ACC battery storage manufacturer would have to commit to set up an ACC manufacturing facility of minimum 5GWh capacity and ensure a minimum 60% domestic value addition at the project level within five years.

What are Advanced Chemistry Cells (ACC)?

ACCs are the new generation of advanced storage technologies that can store electric energy either as electrochemical or as chemical energy and convert it back to electric energy as and when required.

Significance of the scheme:

All the demand of the ACCs is currently being met through imports in India.

The National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery Storage will reduce import dependence.

It will also support the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. ACC battery Storage manufacturers will be selected through a transparent competitive bidding process.