Quality of Free Legal Aid
The National Law University, Delhi (NLUD) in a report titled ‘Quality of Legal Representation: An Empirical Analysis of Free Legal Aid Services in India’ has revealed that people do not have faith over the services of legal aid counsel (LAC) under the free legal aid services.
Amajority of the people who are entitled to the free legal aid system see the service as an option only when they cannot afford a private lawyer.
Legal Services Authorities (LSA) Act, 1987
It was enacted to provide free and competent legal services to the poor and paved the way for the constitution of National Legal Service Authority (NALSA) and other legal service institutions at the State, district and taluka level.
Free legal services under LSA Act are available to a person belonging to Schedule Tribe and Schedule Caste, woman, child, victim of human trafficking, differently-abled person, industrial workman, and person in custody in a protective home and the poor.
According to NALSA, about 8.22 lakh people across India benefited through legal aid services
About75%of beneficiaries responded that they opted for free legal aid because they had no means and resources to hire a paid private practitioner.
22.6%ofthebeneficiariesrespondedthattheywon’t opt for free legal aid services for the second time. 60% of women, who were aware of the free legal aid services, chose to opt for the private legal practitioner because they could have better control over their lawyer and they lack faith and confidence over the quality of services offered under the legal aid system.
Majority of judicial officers (52%) rated the overall skill set of a private legal practitioner as of fairly good quality and that of LAC as of moderately low quality.
Article 39A of the Constitution of India directs the State to promote equal justice and provide free legal aid to the poor.
Articles 14 and 22 (1) make it obligatory for the State to ensure equality before the law and a legal system which promotes justice on a basis of equal opportunity to all.
Front offices at the district level are being upgraded to make them one-stop centres for legal aid seekers.
Updating the record of legal aided cases.
This way, the legal aid seekers are kept updated about the progress of their cases and better monitoring of cases takes place.
NALSA outreach programmes (like a door to door campaigns) have made people aware of the legal advice and other forms of legal services such as drafting of applications etc.
Full-time Empanelment: Currently, the engagement of LAC is usually on an ad-hoc basis.
Honorarium: Study recommended that making honorarium (a payment given for professional services that are rendered nominally without charge) for a legally aided case at par with private cases, will compel LAC to not withdraw or deny aided cases in middle.
Remuneration: Remuneration provided to the empanelled lawyers should be increased every year.
This is important for those who are serving in juvenile courts as they are not allowed to have their own private practice.
According to the Commonwealth Human Rights
Initiative’s (CHRI) report:
There are about 1.8 million lawyers in India which means there is one lawyer for every 736 people.
There are 61,593-panel lawyers in the country, which translates to just one legal aid lawyer per 18,609 population or five legal aid lawyers per 1,00,000 population.
The Central government has sent a team to Assam to review the situation after Japanese Encephalitis (JE) cases were reported from the state.
It is a disease caused by a flavivirus that affects the membranes around the brain. Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is also a major cause of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in India.
Transmission: The disease is transmitted to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes of the Culex species. These mosquitoes breed mainly in rice fields and large water bodies rich in aquatic vegetations. Migratory birds and pigs also play an important role in the transmission of JE from one area to other areas.
Treatment: There is no anti viral treatment for patients with JE. Treatment available is supportive to relieve symptoms and stabilize the patient.
Prevention: Safe and effective JE vaccines are available to prevent the disease. JE vaccination is also included under Universal Immunization Program.
Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland
Nagaland’s Home Commissioner has issued a notification for setting up of the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN).
The aim is to prepare a master list of all indigenous peoples and check the issuance of fake indigenous inhabitant certificates.
The exercise to prepare the RIIN will be completed within 60 days.
The RIIN will be prepared after an extensive survey with the help of a village-wise and ward-wise list of indigenous inhabitants based on official records. Also, It will be prepared under the supervision of district administration.
No fresh indigenous inhabitant certificate will be issued after the RIIN is completed except for children born to the State’s indigenous inhabitants, indigenous certificates will be issued to newborn along with birth certificates. The RIIN database will be updated accordingly.
The RIIN will also be integrated with the online system for Inner-Line Permit, a temporary document required for non-inhabitants for entry and travel in Nagaland.
RIIN has been called as a variant of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that the state of Assam is updating to identify the illegal immigrants in the state.
One Nation One Ration Card Scheme
Recently the government has announced One Nation One Ration Card Scheme, which all states need to implement by July 2020.
One Nation One Ration Card scheme seeks to provide portability of food security benefits all across the nation.
The migrant workers will be able to buy subsidised rice and wheat from any ration shop in the country. However, their ration cards must be linked to Aadhaar to avail the benefits of the scheme.
Migrants would only be eligible for the subsidies supported by the Centre, which include rice sold at Rs. 3/kg and wheat at Rs. 2/kg. It would not include subsidies given by their respective state government in some other state.
This scheme will ensure that no poor person is deprived of subsidised grains.
The scheme can be implemented as already 77% of the ration shops across the country have point of sale (PoS) machines and more than 85% of people covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) have their cards linked to Aadhaar.
For remaining beneficiaries,all the States have been given one more year to use PoS machines in the ration shops and implement the scheme.
National Food Security Act, 2013
The Act legally entitles up to 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population to receive subsidized foodgrains under the Targeted Public Distribution System.
The basic concept of food security globally is to ensure that all people, at all times, should get access to the basic food for living an active and healthy life and is characterized by availability, access, utilization and stability of food.
Food security can also be derived from the fundamental right to life enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution, as it may be interpreted to include right to live with human dignity, which may include the right to food and other basic necessities.
Implementation of nation-wide portability of ration cards to lift foodgrains from any fair price shops (FPS) across the country, moving towards ‘one nation one ration card’.
Creation of national-level data repository – for deduplication of beneficiary data (Aadhaar based). Use of advanced data analytics techniques to bring about continuous improvements.
It will bring more transparency and efficiency in the distribution of foodgrains.
It will improve the mechanism to identify fake/ duplicate ration cards and provide the option to PDS beneficiaries to demand their entitled foodgrains from the Fair Price Shops of their choice at the national level.
The scheme will ensure food security of migrant labourers who move to other states to seek better job opportunities.
Jal Shakti Abhiyan
The Jal Shakti Abhiyan has begun from 1st July 2019.
The Jal Shakti Abhiyan is a campaign for water
conservation and water security in the country.
The campaign will run through citizen participation in two phases, initially, during the monsoon season, from 1st July 2019 to 15th September 2019 and then from 1st October 2019 to 30th November 2019 for states receiving the North East retreating monsoon.
3It is a collaborative effort of various ministries of the Government of India and state governments, being coordinated by the Department of Drinking Water
and Sanitation (DDWS) that comes under the Jal Shakti Ministry.
The focus of the campaign is on water-stressed districts and blocks. The teams of officers from the central government will visit and work with district administration in 1592 water-stressed blocks of 256 districts, to ensure five important water conservation interventions.
The five important water conservation interventions are :
Water conservation and rainwater harvesting,
Renovation of traditional and other water bodies/tanks
Reuse of water and recharging of structures,
Watershed development and
Intensive afforestation.The water conservation interventions will also be supplemented with special interventions including the development of block and district water conservation plans, promotion of efficient water use for irrigation and a better choice of crops through Krishi Vigyan Kendras.
Adarsh Station Scheme
The Adarsh Station Scheme of Ministry of Railways aims to upgrade the suburban stations of India to Adarsh stations.
Selection of railway stations under Adarsh Station scheme is based on the identified need for up-gradation of amenities.
Adarsh stations will be beautified and upgraded with modern facilities like:
Improvement of the facade of the station building
Duly streamlining traffic flow
Improvement of the platform surface
Improvement of existing waiting halls and retiring rooms
Provision of foot overbridges
Provision of lifts and escalators etc.
The up-gradation process will be monitored by the Indian Government and Indian Railways.
National Mission on Libraries
The Union Ministry of Culture has declared financial assistance under National Mission on Libraries (NML) to develop libraries in each States/UT.
Asperthescheme,financialassistancewillbeprovided for upgradation of infrastructure of one State Central Library and one District Library in each State/UT as NML Model Library.
Public libraries as being a State Subject, function under the administrative control of the respective State/UT library authority.
TherearesixPublicLibrariesundertheadministrative control of Union Ministry of Culture namely National Library, Kolkata; Central Reference Library, Kolkata; Central Secretariat Library, New Delhi; Delhi Public Library, Delhi; Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library, Patna and Rampur Raza Library, Rampur.
National Mission on Libraries (NML)
The Union Ministry of Culture in 2012 formulated
the NML scheme in pursuance of National Knowledge Commission recommendations for sustained attention for development of Libraries and Information Science Sector.
The National Knowledge Commission was constituted in 2005 to prepare a blueprint for reform of knowledge related institutions and infrastructure which would enable India to meet the challenges of the future
Recently, a member of the Indian parliament has moved a privilege motion against a TV channel. The breach of privilege motion is moved against a private Hindi news channel and its Editor for reporting that members’ first speech in the Lok Sabha was plagiarised.
Parliamentary privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by members of Parliament
Lok Sabha: The Speaker nominates a committee
of privileges consisting of 15 members as per respective party strengths.
Rajya Sabha: The deputy chairperson heads the committee of privileges, that consists of 10 members.
National Youth Corp Scheme
National Youth Corps (NYC) is a scheme of the Department of Youth Affairs, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports implemented through Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS). National Youth Corps scheme was launched under the umbrella scheme Rashtriya Yuva Sashaktikaran Karyakram Scheme to tap the potential of the youth and channeling their energy towards nation-building.
It is an amalgamation of the existing two volunteer schemes namely National Service Volunteer (NSV) and Rashtriya Sadbhawana Yojana (RSY).
To set up a group of disciplined and dedicated youth who have the inclination and spirit to engage in the task of nation-building.
To facilitate the realization of inclusive growth (both social and economic).
To act as a point of dissemination of information, as well as basic knowledge to the community.
To act as group modulators and peer group educator.
To act as role models for the younger
The NYC Scheme enables young men and women in the age group of 18-29 years to serve up to two years (including the period of training which will be for 4 weeks) in the identified development activities on a full time basis for which they receive an honorarium of Rs 5000/-per month. Representation of the weaker sections of the society and gender balance is encouraged.
The selection o fNYC volunteers is done by a selection committee, headed by District Collector/Deputy Commissioner of the concerned District.
The scheme guidelines also stipulate that the NYC volunteers shall have no claim or right for any regular employment to any post under the deploying agency/ department.
The scheme is fully funded by the Government of India. cohort especially towards enhancement of public ethics, probity and Dignity of labour
Aadhaar and its Voluntary Use
Recently the Parliament has passed the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which allows voluntary use of Aadhaar as proof of identity.
The existing Aadhar Act provides for the use of Aadhaar number as proof of identity of a person, subject to authentication.
The Bill replaces this provision to state that an individual may voluntarily use his Aadhaar number to establish his identity, by authentication or offline verification.
The Bill states that authentication of an individual’s identity via Aadhaar, for the provision of any service, may be made mandatory only by an act of Parliament
Unique Identification Authority of India
TheUniqueIdentificationAuthorityofIndia(UIDAI) is a statutory authority established on 12 July 2016 by the Government of India under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, following the provisions of the Aadhaar Act 2016.
The UIDAI is mandated to assign a 12-digit unique identification (UID) number (Aadhaar) to all the residents of India.
The UIDAI was initially setup by theGovernment of India in January 2009, as an attached office under the aegis of the Planning Commission.