Modi launches missions for better cities
(GS-II: Population and associated issues, poverty, and developmental issues)
The government has launched the 2nd phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) to make cities free of garbage, ensuring safe water, and not allow any untreated water discharge into any of the rivers in the country.
Achievement till now:
100% Open Defecation Free (ODF)
70% of wastes in Indian Cities are being processed (from 20% back in 2014): India is processing about one lakh tonne of waste every day.
Behavioral Changes: Cleanliness has become a great campaign. PM cited that Children no longer throw Toffee wrappers around but keep them in the pocket to be disposed of in the dustbin later
National Respect and Pride: The successes of the two missions have given citizens respect, dignity, pride in collective ambition, and unmatched love for the motherland.
Enhanced finances: Allocation of the fund to the Urban Development Ministry increased from 25 lakh Crore (2007-2014) to 4 lakh Crore (2014-2021)
Key Points of the Mission:
Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 (SBM-U):
Blood pressure, cholesterol control key for Type 1 diabetes
(GS-II: Issues related to Health)
A study conducted recently observed that it is crucial to have a good control over blood pressure and cholesterol and not just good control over blood sugar level to combat Type 1 diabetes.
Other observations made in this study:
Patients who have T1D have reduced life-span even with insulin being administered to them
Subjects who were able to control all the three had better glycemic and blood pressure control, more favourable lipid profiles and lower prevalence of complications which helped them to increase their life-span compared to those who could not control all the three
T1D prevalence in India: India is home to more than 95,000 children with T1D, reported to be the highest in the world, according to the 9th International Diabetes Federation Atlas
What is Type 1 diabetes?
In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas (a small gland behind the stomach) progressively reduces the amount of insulin (the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels) it produces until it stops producing any at all. If the amount of glucose in the blood is too high, it can, over time, seriously damage the body’s organs.
Difference between Type 1 and type 2 diabetes:
CJI for special panels to probe ‘atrocities’
(GS-II: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)
Chief Justice of India has mooted to form a Panel headed by High Court Chief Justice to probe any complaint received from Common man of “atrocities” committed by the bureaucracy, especially police officers.
Need for Such a Panel:
Police have been in the spotlight for committing serious crimes:
Gorakhpur (UP): The police officers in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh have been accused of causing the death of a businessman during a raid in a hotel.
Thoothukudi (Tamil Nadu): Nine policemen were involved in the custodial deaths of the father-son duo P. Jayaraj and J. Benicks for violating Covid19 Curfew in June last year.
Agartala (Tripura): DM Shailesh Kumar Yadav was recorded on video physically manhandling citizens during the lockdown and was later suspended by the state government
The politicization of Bureaucracy: CJI made the oral observation that Bureaucrats act with impunity with one government but have to “payback with interest” when there is a regime change
‘Targets of political vendetta’: Bureaucrats and especially Police officers find themselves being targeted by the new government. This impacts their efficiency, trust, and impartiality in the system.
ADG of Police Gurjinder Pal Singh in Chhattisgarh had sought protection from arrest in Supreme Court in various criminal cases, including sedition, extortion, and criminal intimidation, arraigned against him by the current government.
Atrocities by Police have emerged as human rights concern as it:
Violates Fundamental Rights of citizen:
Article 21: Custodial violence is against the fundamental right to life and dignity.
Article 19: Use of Section 506 of IPC to get non-bailable remand for the accused is against the Fundamental Right to Freedom.
Article 20(3): Adopting third-degree tortures and methods to extract the information from the accused is in clear violation of Article 20 (3) of the Constitution of India.
Article 22: Right to counselis also a fundamental right under Article 22(1) of the Indian constitution, but custodial violence violates it.
Violates Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
Violates ‘Rule of Law’: 60% of all arrests made by police were “unnecessary” (National Police Commission (3rd Report))
Violates the maxim “Salus Populi Est Suprema Lex” i.e. the safety of the people is the supreme law
Challenges in curbing the misuse of power by Bureaucrats:
India has not criminalized custodial violence: India also does not have an anti-torture legislation
Non-implementation of SC Prakash Singh case (2006) order: Also, Recommendations of the 2nd ARC and the Supreme Court for constituting independent complaint authority to inquire into the cases of police misconduct have not been implemented by most of the States.
Police force lacks accountability and impunity: Only the executive can sue a police officer and any inquiry against the officer need prior government approval.
Perception of quick justice: 80% of police personal believe the use of violence by them is justified while 50% of citizens also believe so (“Status of Policing in India Report, 2019” by Common Cause)
Underfunded, under-trained and understaffed Police force: Even the money under the Modernization of Police Forces (MPF) Scheme have not been fully utilized (Bureau of Police Reforms and Development (BPR&D) data)
This leads to undue pressure on police to solve the case without having the requisite resources to do it.
Nearly 12% of police personnel never receive human rights training (Common Cause and CSDS-Lokniti, report).
Measures to curb misuse of power by Bureaucrats:
Law commission report implementation:
273rd report: those accused of committing custodial torture – be it policemen, paramilitary and military personnel – should be criminally prosecuted instead of facing mere administrative action.
Section 197 of CrPC should be amended: This will ensure that prosecutors do not need the permission of the government before pursuing charges against police in cases such as arbitrary detention, extrajudicial killings, torture, and other criminal acts.
DK Basu judgment (1987) guidelines of SC should be strictly implemented: E.g. notifying the next of kin of the arrested person, medical examination of the accused was made mandatory, preparing memo at the time of arrest in front of a witness, etc.
Judicial measures: Magistrate’s Role: magistrates must prevent overreach of police powers by inspecting arrest-related documents and ensuring the wellbeing of suspects by directly questioning them.
Monitoring and implementation of DK Basu by independent and balanced civil society individuals at each level, under court supervision, will help in minimizing it.
Adequate training to the police force: Training on modern, non-coercive techniques for suspect and witness interviewing and questioning as well as on respecting human rights aspects.
CCTVs inside police stations, use of Body cameras (as is done in the U.S. and the U.K.) can ensure police restraint.
Renunciation of Indian citizenship now simpler
(GS-II: Indian Constitution- Significant feature- Citizenship)
New guidelines introduced by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to simplify the process of renunciation of citizenship for Indians who wish to do so.
Some of the simplified provisions in the new guidelines include- Uploading of documents online and completion of the process of renunciation within 60 days
The new form also has a provision mandating the Indian citizen to indicate the reason for renouncing the citizenship
The uploaded documents have to be submitted to the District Magistrate in case of citizen living in India or an Indian Mission abroad. The applicant will be interviewed before issuing the final certificate
Also, the guidelines specify that as per the Citizenship act, 1955- “every minor child of that person shall thereupon ceases to be a citizen of India”.
Concern with the guidelines: The guidelines are not clear if minors would also lose citizenship if only one of the parents gives up her/his Indian citizenship.
How can citizenship be acquired in India?
The citizenship act, 1955 prescribes three ways of losing citizenship:
Any citizen of India of full age and capacity can make a declaration renouncing Indian citizenship
Such declaration may not be accepted during war.
Even the minor children of the person who renounces citizenship stands to lose their Indian citizenship. However, when their children attain the age of eighteen, he may resume Indian citizenship.
If a citizen of India voluntarily acquires the citizenship of another country, then he loses the citizenship of India
However, this provision does not apply during times of war
By deprivation: Compulsory termination of Indian citizenship by the Central government, in the following conditions: