Preparing for your civil services exam? There are multiple developments from today which you need to keep in mind, when you’re reading up on your UPSC news and current affairs materials. These includes moves to strengthen sexual harassment at the workplace laws, a tentative decision around the three capital move for Andhra Pradesh and another state resolution against the CAA.
Aspirants should also keep an eye out for a possible health situation from China and the first-ever drone census for India.
The Group of Ministers (GOM) led by Home Minister Amit Shah have finalised their recommendations for a stronger legal framework to prevent sexual harassment at the workplace. These include addition of new provisions to the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The recommendations will now be put up for comments by the public.
The GoM had been created in October 2018, following the #MeToo movement. It was reconstituted in July 2019 by Home Minister Amit Shah. It includes Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Human Resource Development (HRD)Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal and Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani.
These changes would make the existing Sexual Harassment of Women and Workplace (Prevention, Prohibtion and Redressal) Act of 2013 stronger. The act currently applies to government offices, private sector , NGOs and the unorganised sector. It makes the employer responsible to prevent harassment at the workplace and redress complaints.
The 2013 Act was criticised for not being strong enough - it gave the powers of a civil court to an organisation’s internal complaints committee but did not specify whether the members here needed to have legal expertise. It also only imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on employers for non-compliance.
From 11 AM, the Andhra Pradesh Legislative assembly will gather to work on a decision on the state government’s proposal to set up three capital cities for the state. The proposed plan aims to set Amravati, Vishakhapatnam and Kurnool as the respective centres for the legislature, executive and judiciary.
A report from the High Power Committee, headed by former civil servant GN Rao, will be tabled before the assembly.
The move for three separate capitals is an ambitious project from the current JaganMohan Reddy government. It is still unclear whether the government will present it as Bills or make a statement in the house.
Rajasthan government is all set to bring in assembly resolution against the much controversial CAA and its implementation in the state. The Congress ruled Rajasthan has decided to bring in a resolution against the implementation of CAA in the state in the forthcoming budget session beginning from January 24.
The resolution against the implementation of CAA in the state is likely to be passed on the very first day of the budget session. This will add fuel to the nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in multiple regions, including non-BJP ruled states.
Currently Kerala and Punjab have passed a resolution against the CAA and National Register of Citizens (NRC). West Bengal has refused to accept a notice for CAA implementation in the state. Kerala, Punjab and Rajasthan are run by Congress-led alliances.
Protesters against CAA hold the law against the very fabric of a secular, democratic India, citing the visible exclusion of Muslim minorities from its ambit. They’re also worried that these moves could be used to deny citizenship to people who may oppose the government.
According to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, the act is not at all practical and neither NRC nor CAA will be implemented in the state. He cited how protests in the state had been peaceful so far - there was only a peaceful rally last month against the CAA in Jaipur.
The BJP has also been very strong in opposing those going against the act and said that no one is above law, be it any chief minister or any party.
After, a 45-year Indian teacher who was working in an international school in China’s Shenzen district was diagnosed with streptococcal infection, India has issued a health advisory to nationals visiting the country.
Preeti Maheshwari, the teacher in question, is being treated for the infection. She is currently in the ICU on ventilator and other life support systems.
Currently, there are more than 500 medical students studying in China’s Wuhan city.
The case had been initially diagnosed as that of mysterious SARS like corona virus prevalent in the country. SARS (a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is one of the family of corona virus that reportedly took 650 lives in China in 2002-2003.
Wuhan city in China is currently under the grip of new mysterious viral pneumonia and it has caused fear and alarm among the people because of its connection with corona virus.
A total of 62 cases have surfaced till so far. The patients are being treated in isolation for the same.
Most of the Indian medical students studying in the Chinese universities have left for their home ahead of Chinese New year holidays.
The signs of the corona virus include mild fever with few of the patients complaining of difficulty in breathing.
India's first drone census has seen over 2,500 ownership acknowledgement numbers issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The ministry has issued a notice providing one time opportunity for the voluntary disclosure of all drones and its operators.
The government has decided to undertake a done survey for the country to get a clear picture of who is operating drones in India, what types of drones and in which part of the country.
This will help government in making policies that would become the base of scale for understanding the operations of these drones.
The ministry has issued a notice for one-time opportunity for volunteers to disclose their drones and their areas of operations.
DGCA issued CAR (Civil Aviation requirements), section 3 which regulates the use of drones and provides unique identification number, unnamed Aircraft operator permit and other operational requirements as there are many drones that do not comply with CAR.
If a drone is not enlisted by January 31, then it will be confiscated along with other consequences of law.
After January 31, only authorized retailers would be allowed to sell them after uploading buyers KYC and sale invoice similar to the mobile phones and cars.