Bru refugees demand immediate implementation of settlement pact
Leaders of the Mizoram Bru refugees have demanded commencement of their permanent rehabilitation in Tripura in the light of the quadripartite agreement signed in New Delhi in January.
Why is it being delayed?
The government had selected 12 places including the Kanchanpur subdivision in north Tripura where the Brus have been housed in six makeshift camps since 1997. However, the decision to settle some of the refugees is facing protests from a local forum called Joint Movement.
About the Bru-Reang refugee agreement:
The agreement, signed in January this year, is between Union Government, Governments of Tripura and Mizoram and Bru-Reang representatives to end the 23-year old Bru-Reang refugee crisis.
Highlights of the agreement:
Under the agreement , the centre has announced a package of Rs. 600 crore under this agreement.
As per the agreement the Bru tribes would be given land to reside in Tripura.
A fixed deposit of Rs. 4 lakh will be given to each family as an amount of government aid. They will be able to withdraw this amount after two years.
Each of the displaced families will be given 40×30 sq ft residential plots.
Apart from them, each family will be given Rs. 5,000 cash per month for two years.
The agreement highlights that each displaced family will also be given free ration for two years and aid of Rs. 1.5 lakh to build their houses.
More than 30,000 Bru tribes who fled Mizoram, are residing in Tripura’s refugee camps.
This agreement will bring a permanent solution for the rehabilitation of thousands of Bru-Reang people in Tripura. They will be able to enjoy the benefits of all social-welfare schemes of governments.
Who are Brus?
The Brus, also referred to as the Reangs, are spread across the northeastern states of Tripura, Assam, Manipur, and Mizoram.
In Tripura, they are recognised as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group. In Mizoram, they have been targeted by groups that do not consider them indigenous to the state.
Hurricane Iota has made landfall in Nicaragua in Central America and has developed into a category five storm.
When do hurricanes occur?
The Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June to November and covers the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, while the Eastern Pacific Hurricane season runs from May 15 to November 30.
Hurricanes are categorised on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which rates them on a scale of 1 to 5 based on wind speed.
Hurricanes that reach category three or higher are called ‘major hurricanes’ because of their potential to cause devastating damage to life and property.
What are hurricanes and how do they form?
Tropical cyclones or hurricanes use warm, moist air as fuel, and therefore form over warm ocean waters near the equator.
As NASA describes it, when the warm, moist air rises upward from the surface of the ocean, it creates an area of low air pressure below.
Air from the surrounding areas rushes to fill this place, eventually rising when it becomes warm and moist too.
When the warm air rises and cools off, the moisture forms clouds. This system of clouds and winds continues to grow and spin, fuelled by the ocean’s heat and the water that evaporates from its surface.
As such storm systems rotate faster and faster, an eye forms in the centre.
Storms that form towards the north of the equator rotate counterclockwise, while those that form to the south spin clockwise because of the rotation of the Earth.
How has the Supreme Court interpreted Article 32 over the years?
A Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde has observed that it is “trying to discourage” individuals from filing petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution.
The observation came during the hearing of a petition seeking the release of journalist Siddique Kappan, who was arrested with three others while on their way to Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, to report on an alleged gangrape and murder.
What is Article 32?
Article 32 deals with the ‘Right to Constitutional Remedies’, or affirms the right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred in Part III of the Constitution.
It states that the Supreme Court “shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by this Part”.
The right guaranteed by this Article “shall not be suspended except as otherwise provided for by this Constitution”.
Only if any of these fundamental rights is violated can a person can approach the Supreme Court directly under Article 32.
Can High Courts be approached in cases of violation of fundamental rights?
In civil or criminal matters, the first remedy available to an aggrieved person is that of trial courts, followed by an appeal in the High Court and then the Supreme Court.
When it comes to violation of fundamental rights, an individual can approach the High Court under Article 226 or the Supreme Court directly under Article 32.
Article 226, however, is not a fundamental right like Article 32.
What have been the Supreme Court’s recent observations on Article 32?
In Romesh Thappar vs State of Madras (1950), the Supreme Court observed that Article 32 provides a “guaranteed” remedy for the enforcement of fundamental rights.
This Court is thus constituted the protector and guarantor of fundamental rights, and it cannot, consistently with the responsibility so laid upon it, refuse to entertain applications seeking protection against infringements of such rights,” the court observed.
During the Emergency, in Additional District Magistrate, Jabalpur vs S S Shukla (1976), the Supreme Court had said that the citizen loses his right to approach the court under Article 32.
Finally, Constitutional experts say that it is eventually at the discretion of the Supreme Court and each individual judge to decide whether an intervention is warranted in a case, which could also be heard by the High Court first.
Study highlights online education woes
A Study was conducted by the Azim Premji University on the efficacy and accessibility of e-learning.
The study examined the experience of children and teachers with online education.
The study, titled “Myths of Online Education”, was undertaken in five States across 26 districts and covered 1,522 schools.
What does the study reveal?
More than 60% of the respondents who are enrolled in government schools could not access online education.
Non-availability or inadequate number of smartphones for dedicated use or sharing, as well as difficulty in using apps for online learning, was the most important reasons why students were not able to access classes.
Children with disabilities found it more difficult to participate in online sessions.
90% of the teachers who work with children with disabilities found their students unable to participate online.
Almost 70% of the parents surveyed were of the opinion that online classes were not effective and did not help in their child’s learnings.
More than 80% surveyed said they were unable to maintain emotional connect with students during online classes, while 90% of teachers felt that no meaningful assessment of children’s learning was possible.