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4th December Current Affairs

Assistance to Disabled Persons Camp

In News:

Recently, the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment has virtually inaugurated an Assistance to Disabled Persons (ADIP) Camp for free distribution of assistive aids and devices to Divyangjan or Divyang.

Details:

These are Hindi word meaning the ‘one with a divine body’. The Prime Minister decided that persons with disabilities should no longer be referred to as disabled persons or viklang (someone with non-functional body parts).

Key Points:

The camp was organized by the Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO), Kanpur.

ALIMCO is a not-for-profit Central Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) established in 1972 amnd it works under the aegis of the Department of Empowerment of Person with Disability (DEPwD).

Assistance to Disabled Persons Scheme:

It is in operation since 1981.

Definition:

The scheme follows the definitions of various types of disabilities as given in the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) (PWD) Act 1995.

PWD Act was replaced by the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016.

Objective:

To assist the needy disabled persons in procuring durable, sophisticated and scientifically manufactured, modern, standard aids and appliances that can promote their physical, social and psychological rehabilitation by reducing the effects of disabilities and enhance their economic potential.

Grants:

Grants-in-aid are released to various implementing agencies (Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India, National Institutes, Composite Regional Centres, District Disability Rehabilitation Centres, State Handicapped Development Corporations, NGOs, etc.) for purchase and distribution of aids and assistive devices.

Assitence:

Aids/appliances which do not cost more than Rs. 10,000 are covered under the Scheme for single disability. However, in some cases the limit would be raised to Rs.12,000. In the case of multiple disabilities, the limit will apply to individual items separately in case more than one aid/appliance is required.

Full cost of aid/appliance is provided if the income is up to Rs. 15,000 per month and 50% of the cost of aid/appliance is provided if the income is between Rs. 15,001 to Rs. 20,000 per month.

Other Related Government Initiatives:

Right of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016:

“Person with disability” means a person with long term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which, in interaction with barriers, hinders his full and effective participation in society equally with others.

Accessible India Campaign: Creation of Accessible Environment for PwDs:

A nation-wide flagship campaign for achieving universal accessibility that will enable PwDs to gain access for equal opportunity and live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life in an inclusive society.

DeenDayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme:

Under the scheme, financial assistance is provided to NGOs for providing various services to PwDs, like special schools, vocational training centres, community-based rehabilitation, pre-school and early intervention etc.

National Fellowship for Students with Disabilities:

It aims to increase opportunities for students with disabilities for pursuing higher education and grants 200 fellowships per year to students with disability.

Unique Disability Identification Project:

It aims to create a national database for PwDs and issuing Unique Disability Identity (UDID) Card along with disability certificate.

Once the project covers all persons with disabilities, UDID Cards will be made mandatory for availing various government benefits.

Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/fitting of Aids and Appliances:

It aims at helping the disabled persons by bringing suitable, durable, scientifically-manufactured, modern, standard aids and appliances within their reach.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities:

It is celebrated worldwide on 3rd December and was proclaimed in 1992 by United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3.

It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

Initiatives for Mentral Health:

National Mental Health Programme, which was launched in 1982 to improve the status of mental health in India.

KIRAN: Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline for addressing mental health issues, coordinated by the National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities (NIEPMD), Tamil Nadu and National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR), Madhya Pradesh.

Hold polls where NOTA got most votes: petition

In News:

An advocate has moved the Supreme Court for a direction that fresh elections should be held in a constituency where NOTA (‘None of the above’ option) garnered the maximum number of votes.

Details:

Besides, none of the candidates who lost to NOTA should be allowed to contest the fresh polls.

Views of the advocate:

If the electorate has rejected the candidates by voting for NOTA, the parties should be barred from fielding them again in the fresh polls. The parties should accept that the voters have already made their discontent loud and clear.

Right to reject and elect new candidate will give power to the people to express their discontent.

Right to reject will check corruption, criminalisation, casteism, communalism. Parties would be forced to give tickets to honest and patriotic candidates.

Right to reject:

The ‘right to reject’ was first proposed by the Law Commission in 1999.

Similarly, the Election Commission endorsed ‘Right to Reject’, first in 2001, under James Lyngdoh [the then CEC], and then in 2004 under S. Krishnamurthy [the then CEC], in its Proposed Electoral Reforms.

Besides, the ‘Background Paper on Electoral Reforms’, prepared by the Ministry of Law in 2010, had proposed that if certain percentage of the vote was negative, then election result should be nullified and new election held.

The use of NOTA in elections:

The option of NOTA for Lok Sabha and assembly elections was prescribed by the SC in 2013.

The option of NOTA in RS polls was introduced by the EC in 2014.

Thus, India became the 14th country to institute negative voting.

How is a NOTA vote cast?

The EVMs have the NOTA option at the end of the candidates’ list. Earlier, in order to cast a negative ballot, a voter had to inform the presiding officer at the polling booth. A NOTA vote doesn’t require the involvement of the presiding officer.

Why have NOTA if there’s ‘no electoral value’?

NOTA gives people dissatisfied with contesting candidates an opportunity to express their disapproval.

This, in turn, increases the chances of more people turning up to cast their votes, even if they do not support any candidate, and decreases the count of bogus votes.

Also, the Supreme Court has observed that negative voting could bring about “a systemic change in polls and political parties will be forced to project clean candidates”.

Indian peacock soft-shell turtle

It is a riverine turtle endemic to India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

They are generally omnivorous (predominantly carnivorous) and nocturnal.

Conservation Status:

Vulnerable on IUCN Redlist.

The species is also listed under Appendix I of CITES.

Protected under the Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act.

Belongs to the family Trionychidae.