Over 1000 Fast Track Special Courts will be set up across
the country for speedy disposal of cases relating to rape and Protection of
Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Out of these, 389 courts have been proposed to be set up
exclusively for POCSO Act related cases in districts where the pendency of such
cases is more than 100. The Law Ministry has said, these courts will be set-up
as a part of the National Mission for Safety of Women.
It said, the scheme was circulated to the concerned State
Governments and Union Territory Administrations in September last year.
The Ministry said, 24 States and Union Territories have joined
this scheme for setting up 792 Fast Track Special Courts. These include 354
exclusive courts for trial of POCSO offences. The Ministry said, 216 POCSO
courts are already functional in 12 States.
Incidents of rape and gang rape of minor girls below twelve
years and similar heinous crimes against women have shaken the country. These
offences require effective deterrence through time- bound trial. For this
purpose, the Centre has enacted the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has emphasised the need to
evolve simultaneous system to hold elections from Parliament to down
Panchayat level and raise awareness among people to help reduce money power
He was speaking after addressing a two-day conference "Money
power in Politics" held at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad this
Expressing concerns over increasing money power in elections,
the Vice President said holding simultaneous elections at all levels, will help
reduce the influence of money power. Stressing the need for constructive and
practical suggestions from different stakeholders, the vice president opined
that electoral reforms should be speeded up.
He said Indian electoral system helped the Indian democracy
flourish into the world’s biggest democracy during the last seven decades.
Referring to the free schemes that the political parties assure before
elections, Mr Naidu said efforts should be made to enhance awareness among
people for taking accountability of the parties and candidates into
The Vice President has further said the state- sponsoring of
elections is not practical in the present day conditions. He however stressed
the need to speed up electoral reforms.
About hundred speakers from different walks of life including
Election Commission are taking part in the two day conference.
The RBI has amended the KYC norms allowing banks and other
lending institutions regulated by it to use Video based Customer
Identification Process (V-CIP), a move which will help them onboard
The V-CIP, which will be consent-based, will make it easier for
banks and other regulated entities to adhere to the RBI's Know Your Customer (KYC)
norms by leveraging the digital technology.
The Reserve Bank said it decided to permit video based Customer
Identification Process (V-CIP) as a consent based alternate method of
establishing the customer's identity, for customer onboarding with a view to
leveraging the digital channels for Customer Identification Process (CIP) by
regulated entities (REs).
The RBI further said that the regulated entities will have to
ensure that the video recording is stored in a safe and secure manner and bears
the date and time stamp.
Last year, the government had notified amendment to the
Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005. As per the
circular, the reporting entity should capture a clear image of PAN card to be
displayed by the customer during the process.
It further said that the official of the reporting entity should
ensure that the photograph and the identification details in Aadhaar/PAN should
match with the details provided by the customer.
It also said that live location of the customer (Geotagging)
shall be captured to ensure that customer is physically present in India.
The environment ministry has decided to waive green
clearance requirements for distilleries planning to produce up to 50% more
ethanol than their nameplate capacity without increasing pollution.
The decision will enable sugar mills to divert more raw material
towards producing ethanol this season, helping them fight sugar supply glut and
provide more ethanol for blending with petrol without having to wait for green
clearances, which could have taken six months to a year and, in many cases,
forced units to miss the opportunity of additional ethanol output this sugar
The country’s sugar industry is facing a glut this season,
prompting the government to enhance sugar export subsidy and permit mills to use
sugar, sugarcane juice and B-heavy molasses to produce ethanol, which oil
marketing companies can buy. Mills could earlier use only C-molasses, which
contain comparatively less sugar.
With the use of sugarcane juice and B-heavy molasses, the
distilleries are able to produce more ethanol with the same quantum of raw
material. But a production that’s higher than the nameplate capacity created a
new challenge for mills – the need for a new green clearance.
For capacity expansion, distilleries must obtain environment
clearances, which involve public hearing and environment impact assessment and
can take up to a year. By waiving off such requirements, the government is
aiming to make it easier for industry without hurting the environment.
Libya's United Nations-supported Government has welcomed
Russian and Turkish calls for a ceasefire in the country's ongoing civil
The Tripoli-based Government led by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj
released a statement late yesterday expressing its full support of any serious
calls for the resumption of the political process and the elimination of the
specter of war. The calls for a stop to the fighting came amid a flurry of
diplomatic activity by European powers yesterday.
Turkish President RecepTayepErdogan and his Russian counterpart
Vladimir Putin released a joint statement after a meeting in Istanbul calling
for a January 12th ceasefire to the battles between forces loyal to Sarraj's
Government and the eastern-based Libyan National Army, LNA.
In their joint statement, the Russian and Turkish Presidents did
not mention the conditions of their suggested ceasefire. Libyan National Army
forces have yet to officially respond to the Russian-Turkish ceasefire calls.
Libya is currently governed by duelling authorities in the east
and in the west. The east-based government, backed by LNA forces, is supported
by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, as well as France and Russia. The
western, Tripoli-based government receives aid from Turkey, Qatar and Italy.
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has
notified the new Wetland Conservation Rules which prohibit setting up or
expansion of industries and disposal of construction and demolition waste
within the wetlands.
A wetland is a land area that is saturated with water, either
permanently or seasonally, and it takes on the characteristics of a distinct
ecosystem. The Ministry has said that each state and Union Territory will have
to set up an authority that will define strategies for conservation and wise use
of wetlands within their jurisdiction.
The Authority will prepare a list of all wetlands of the State
or UT within three months from the date of publication of these rules. It will
develop a comprehensive list of activities to be regulated and permitted within
the notified wetlands and their zone of influence.
It will also recommend mechanisms for maintenance of ecological
character through promotional activities for land within the boundary of
The Ministry has also created a web portal for sharing
information regarding the implementation of Wetlands Rules where the central
government, state governments are required to upload all relevant information
and documents pertaining to wetlands in their jurisdiction.