Government today said that strict action will be taken
against those who are involved in child pornography.
Intervening in the issue during zero hour in Rajya
Sabha, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said that special
penal provisions have been made in the Protection of Children from Sexual
Offences (POCSO) Act to take stringent action against the culprit.
She said, 50 cases were registered against the
offenders. She informed that child helpline no 1098 is available wherein
people can lodge the complaint.
The Minister said, any incidents must be brought to
the notice of the government and it will be assured that action must be
taken against the offenders.
Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu expressed concern over the
issue and said, adequate rules and guidelines exist but it is painful to see
that no action is being taken by the local administration.
Vijila Sathyananth of AIADMK has raised this issue
during the zero hour. Ms Irani expressed concern over the content available
on the internet related to child pornography and demanded to the government
to block such content.
Lok Sabha today passed the Special Protection Group
(Amendment) Bill, 2019. According to the proposed amendment, the SPG will
provide security to Prime Minister, and members of his immediate family
residing with him at his official residence.
It will also provide security to former prime
ministers, and his immediate family members residing with him at the
residence allotted to him for a period of five years.
The Bill says that when the proximate security is
withdrawn from a former Prime Minister, such proximate security shall also
stand withdrawn from members of his or her immediate family.
It says it is considered essential to amend the act to
focus on the core mandate, as the security of the prime minister, as head of
the government, is of paramount importance for the government, governance
and national security.
Replying to the debate on the bill, Home Minister Amit
Shah said that the bill should not be seen as a political vendetta as the
vindictive approach is not the ethos of BJP.
He clarified that the security cover has not been
removed from the Gandhi Family but it has been changed to Z Plus security
with CRPF and Ambulance.
He said, the decision to withdraw SPG cover from the
Gandhi family was taken after proper professional threat assessment and no
political vendetta is behind this.
Mr Shah said, it is the responsibility of the
government to not only provide security to the Prime Minister but also to
every citizen of the country.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said, the
country’s economy is not facing any recession and government is taking
concrete steps to further boost it.
Replying to a short duration discussion in the Rajya
Sabha on the economic situation of the country, the Finance Minister said,
several measures like recapitalization of banks, GST reforms and policy
decisions have been taken to augment economy.
She added that 32 steps have been initiated for MSMEs,
banks among others. She said, two lakh 50 thousand crore rupees have been
allocated to the public sector banks to ease the liquidity in the market.
She said, in comparison to the UPA regime, this
government has done well on several economic parameters. Presenting the
comparative data, she informed the House that India's real GDP growth was
recorded 7.5 per cent during the period of 2014-19 whereas the growth was
6.4 per cent during the UPA-2 regime in 2009-2014.
She further said, to address the twin balance sheet
problem, the government has implemented 4 R strategy which are recognition,
recapitalization, resolution and reform.
The Minister said, GST council has reduced the GST
rates of 400 goods which are benefitting the common people. She said, GST
rates of about 90 per cent items have been brought down from 28 per cent
slab to 18 to 12 per cent.
The Lok Sabha today passed the Prohibition of
Electronic Cigarettes Bill, 2019.The Bill seeks to prohibit the production,
trade, transport, storage and advertisement of electronic cigarettes.
It defines electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) as
electronic devices that heat a substance, which may contain nicotine and
other chemicals, to create vapour for inhalation.
Any person who contravenes this provision will be
punishable with imprisonment of up to one year, or a fine of up to one lakh
rupees, or both.
For any subsequent offence, the person will be
punishable with an imprisonment of up to three years, along with a fine of
up to five lakh rupees.
Under the Bill, no person is allowed to use any place
for the storage of any stock of e-cigarettes. If any person stores any stock
of e-cigarettes, he will be imprisoned for up to six months, or slapped with
a fine of up to fifty thousand rupees, or both.
In his reply, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said
banning e-cigarettes was a pre-emptive strike. He said India's large youth
population would have been targeted by e-cigarette companies. He said it is
difficult to ban a product once it gains a large consumer base and social
He pointed out that e-cigarettes do not have a large
consumer base in the country, therefore, the ban will be highly effective.
The Minister also said the lack of a ban on tobacco cannot be the
justification for not banning a new kind of addiction.
China has warned of countermeasures, yesterday,
after President Donald Trump signed a Bill supporting pro-democracy
protesters in Hong Kong. The Chinese Foreign Ministry's statements came
just hours after Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy
Act of 2019 into law.
China accused the US of harbouring sinister
intentions as the Bill would require the State Department to certify
once a year that Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous. This will make
Hong Kong retain its special US trading consideration - a status that
helps its economy.
The statement said, we are determined in
implementing the 'one country, two systems' principle and safeguarding
national sovereignty, security and development interests.
We urge the US not to continue going down the
wrong path, or China will take countermeasures, and the US must bear all
consequences," it added. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said, this is a
severe interference in Hong Kong's affairs, which are China's internal
The legislation came at a time when China and the
US reached an advanced stage of negotiations to sign phase one agreement
to end a trade war between the two world's largest economies.
The researchers of University of Gothenburg in
Sweden have developed a potential Diarrhea vaccine candidate, named as ‘ETVAX’.
This vaccine has been proved safe and effective in an early-stage
clinical trial in Bangladesh. The findings were published in Science
journal, The Lancet.
Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) bacteria are
primary cause of diarrhea. At present there is no ETEC vaccine available
on the market for use in children in the ETEC high-risk areas. But now,
an oral ETEC vaccine candidate, named ‘ETVAX’, was developed at
University of Gothenburg in collaboration with Scandinavian Biopharma,
The report stated that 80% to 100% of children
aged 2 to 5 years and 50% to 80% of infants aged 6 to 11 months,
selected for the study responded to all key immunity generating
components of vaccine. The vaccine has been proved safe and effective in
an early-stage clinical trial in Bangladesh against enterotoxigenic E.
coli diarrhea in children from half year (6 months) to 5 years of age.
Diarrhea leads to substantial illness and death in
children in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). As per the
researchers, there is no vaccine yet for use for children and vaccine
development for Diarrhea is a World Health Organization (WHO) priority.