Crime Against Children and Cyber Crime on rise, while Riots decreased by 5 per cent: NCRB Statistics

With 13.6 per cent rise from 2015, crimes against children have mounted to 1,06,958 cases in 2016, according to the statistical report by National Crime Records Bureau. Released by Union Minister Rajnath Singh on November 30, 2017, Crimes in India 2016 Report points out that Juveniles in conflict with the law, cybercrime, crimes against women, and crimes against SC/STs have witnessed a rise in comparison to previous year, while Rioting is the only crime that has been decreased in 2016.

Under Crime against women, Uttar Pradesh has maintained top positions with the maximum number of cases in all crime heads including cruelty by husband, assault on women with intent to outrage modesty, rape and abduction. The national capital has been on a rise with the highest crime rate of 160.4 in comparison to a national average of 55.2. Under human trafficking, West Bengal has been the hub of the crime with 44 per cent of total cases recorded here.

It is the first time that NCRB has crime heads like Missing Persons and children, Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN), Seizures of Arms and Ammunitions, and cases recorded by Railway Police Force its report. Under seizures of arms by CPOs and CAPFs, a total of 1,06,900 ammunition and 56,516 arms have been seized.

Sources: NCRB Website

Centre decides to retract order on the ban of sale of cattle for slaughter

The central government has decided to retract its plan on banning the sale of cattle for slaughter in all animal markets. A government official remarked that a file was sent to the Ministry of Law notifying them of the decision taken to withdraw the notification on the ban due to several issues. They have decided to revisit and revise the notification in due course, the time-frame of which is still under discussion.

 When the notification initially came out earlier this year it was met with widespread criticism and backlash. The government was condemned for attempting to impose a ban based on ideology. In the aftermath of this, there were several reports of violence and assault by cow-protection groups across the country which made matters worse for the move taken. Farmers vehemently opposed the decision stating that they did not have direct access to slaughterhouses.

 After this outcry, the Ministry took the decision to take the opinion of various states on the subject. According to Indian Express, they sent out letters with a copy of the notification, informing states that amendments would be made based on their feedback. Animal rights activists and traders were also consulted. Towards the end of May the Madras High court passed an interim stay on the notification and the Supreme Court extended this stay to the entire country in the month of July.

Sources: Indian Express, Financial Express

Remove ‘University’ from name or lose deemed status, says UGC to institutes

Prominent Indian educational institutes could lose their ‘deemed-to-be’ status if they fail to drop the word ‘university’ from their titles, subsequent to a University Grants Commission (UGC) directive.

This warning follows a UGC notice on November 10, 2017, over the use of the university title to nearly 123 deemed-to-be universities across the country. The notice, citing a Supreme Court order dated November 3, 2017, stated that the use of word ‘University’ by deemed-to-be universities is in violation of the Section 23 of the UGC Act. Prominent names such as Symbiosis International University, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Teri University, Jain University, among others, feature in the list.

The apex education regulator, had given the institutes time till 4 pm on Thursday, November 30, 2017 to drop the ‘university’ title against their names.

Representatives of these institutions argue that the order will affect their brand cognizance. This may lead to uncertainty among students and guardians regarding their status as autonomous or affiliated institutions or degree-awarding institutions.

Bengaluru’s Christ University has become the first institute to conform to the UGC directive followed by Punjab University of Technology which has switched to its former name Punjab Engineering College.

Sources: Economic Times, Hindustan Times

Kanpur journalist shot dead by unidentified assailants

In a shocking incidence at a market near Billhaur Nagar Palika in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh; a Hindi newspaper journalist was shot dead in broad daylight. The victim, identified as Naveen Gupta, worked for a Hindi daily in the area.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was quick to pay his condolences and order an immediate probe to investigate the murder. The Police have filed a case of murder and already questioned six to seven suspects for an early lead.

The incident occurred at 5:30 pm when three people riding a two-wheeler arrived at the family shop where Naveen was sitting. As soon as Naveen got up from the shop, the trio rushed on the motorbike and sprayed five bullets on Gupta. They immediately fled the spot.

Family members and local shopkeepers rushed Gupta to the hospital, but he was declared brought dead by the doctors. Police said that motive behind the murder is yet to be ascertained, but suspect some kind of enmity as the prime motive.

Naveen Gupta is now the second journalist to be killed in the past month. Sudip Datta Bhaumick, reporter of a Bengali daily ‘Syandan Patrika’, was shot dead on November 22. Another journalist, Santanu Bhowmick, was also killed he went to cover an agitation by the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT).

The most high profile murder came when senior journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead in front of her house in Bengaluru on September 5, a crime that created massive outrage in public.

Chhattisgarh government passes order to ban firecrackers in 6 cities

The government of Chhattisgarh has passed an order to ban the use of firecrackers across 6 cities in the state from December 1st to January 31st. The decision was made keeping in mind the upcoming wedding season. The Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board has stated that this ban would recur every year during the same time period to keep a check on the rising pollution in the state.

According to the Business Standard, the 6 cities that fall under the ban include Raipur, Bilaspur, Bhilai, Durg, Raigarh and Korba. The decision to implement the ban was taken under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1981 by the state government. Aman Singh, the Principal Secretary of the Environment Board, stated that the decision to ban firecrackers was taken because the pollution levels in the winters rise due to the direction of the winds. He also mentioned that there would be a “zero tolerance policy” against pollution and that all the citizens must work towards it.

This main catalyst for the implementation of this ban was the orders of the Chief Minister Raman Singh and the PWD minister Rajesh Munat to keep the pollution level under control in the state.

 Sources: Business Standard, Zee News India

World Malaria Report: Indian malaria surveillance mechanism detects only 8% cases

Alarmingly, in accordance with the findings in a new World Malaria report, Indian malaria surveillance mechanisms detect meager 8 per cent of cases, featuring among the lowest in the world. Yet, India accounts for 6 per cent of all malaria cases reported globally.

The World Malaria Report 2017 says: “Countries with weak malaria surveillance systems include India and Nigeria, two major contributors to the global burden of malaria, with 8 per cent and 16 per cent of cases, respectively, detected by the surveillance system.”

Beyond the sub-Saharan Africa, India shoulders the greatest malaria burden globally. Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burkina Faso and India account 58 per cent of all malaria related deaths.

Until September 2017, 6,73,474 cases of malaria were reported in the country, based on estimates by the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme. In totality, 84 people died in eight states; West Bengal and Odisha reporting highest casualties at 26 and 25 respectively. Odisha acquires special mention in the Malaria report on account of the burst of cases in 2016 – 449697 from 436850 in 2015. As the report reveals, if these numbers comprise 8 per cent of reported cases, then India is seated on a volcano of about 80 lakh cases happening annually.

The report prepared by the World Health Organisation also noted, that India is on track for about 20–40 per cent reduction by 2020.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director general highlighted that an overall decline in the global malaria burden has “unquestionably leveled off” and some countries are actually showing reversals in trends. 91 countries, in 2016, reported 216 million malaria cases, a surge of 5 million cases since 2015. The global tally of malaria deaths touched 445 000 deaths, similar to the situation in 2015.

Sources: Indian Express, Financial Express

TRAI backs Net Neutrality

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued a paper on November 28th in support of net neutrality, as per reports from Times of India. Internet Service Providers have been urged to remain nondiscriminatory by doing away with unwarranted practices such as blocking, lowering the speed of specific websites, providing ‘fast lanes’ and prioritization of certain web portals. The TRAI calls for the free delivery of information via the internet, unhampered from preferential treatment.

As stated by Indian Express, the TRAI suggests the exclusion of content delivery networks (CDN’s) and “specialized services” such as video-conferencing facilities internally managed by businesses from rules of net neutrality. However, telecom companies are permitted to engage in measures to ensure moderate web traffic management. This would provide them with the scope to offer qualitative service to their consumers. To uphold greater transparency, the service providers are recommended to declare their traffic management system to TRAI.

To check the violation of net neutrality norms and monitor internet providers, the TRAI recommends the creation of a regulatory body. These comprehensive recommendations listed by the regulator will be analysed and considered by the Department of Telecommunication while forming norms on net neutrality, according to Indian Express.

Sources – Times of India, Indian Express