M.I.C.S. CURRENT AFFAIRS , 5th JUNE 2018

1 . Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act (IRWA), 1986 

Reasons for being in news

WCD has proposed amendments in IRWA keeping in mind the recent technological advancement in the field of communications such as social media platforms, over the top services etc.

Background

The Government of India has enacted the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act (IRWA), 1986 to prohibit indecent representation of women through advertisements, publications, writings, paintings, figures or in any other manner. Since the enactment of the Act, technological revolution has resulted in the development of new forms of communication, such as internet, multi-media messaging, cable television, over-the-top (OTT) services and applications e.g. Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, Chat On, Snapchat, Instagram etc.

Keeping in mind these technological advancements, it has been decided to widen the scope of the law so as to cover such forms of media on one hand and to strengthen the existing safeguards to prevent indecent representation of women through any media form on the other. Hence, the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2012 was introduced in Rajya Sabha December, 2012 which referred the Bill to Department related Parliament Standing Committee for consideration.

Based on the observations made by Parliamentary Standing Committee and recommendation made by the National Commission for Women on the basis of consultation with civil society groups and likeminded individuals, WCD has proposed amendments in IRWA.

The reformulated Bill proposes following amendments in the parent Act:

1 . Amendment in definition of term advertisement to include digital form or electronic form or hoardings, or through SMS, MMS etc.

IRWA, 1986 defines advertisement as –
“Advertisement” includes any notice, circular, label, wrapper or other document and also includes any visible representation made by means of any light, sound, smoke or gas.

2 . Amendment in definition of distribution to include publication, license or uploading using computer resource, or communication device .

IRWA, 1986 defines distribution as –
“Distribution’ includes distribution by way of samples whether free or otherwise.

3 . Insertion of a new definition to define the term publish.

4 . Amendment in section 4 to include that No person shall publish or distribute or cause to be published or cause to be distributed by any means any material which contains indecent representation of women in any form.

Section 4 of IRWA, 1986 reads as-
No person shall produce or cause to be produced, sell, let to hire, distribute, circulate or send by post any book, pamphlet, paper, slide, film, writing, drawing, painting, photograph, representation or figure which contains indecent representation of women in any form

5 . Penalty similar to that provided under the Information Technology Act, 2000.

Penalty under IRWA, 1986
Any person who contravenes the provisions of Section 3 or Section 4 shall be punishable on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, and with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, and in the event of a second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment for a term of not less than six months but which may extend to five years and also with a fine not less than ten thousand rupees but which may extend to one Lakh rupees.

6 . Creation of a Centralised Authority under the aegis of National Commission of Women (NCW). This Authority will be headed by Member Secretary, NCW, having representatives from Advertising Standards Council of India, Press Council of India, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and one member having experience of working on women issues.
7 . This Centralised Authority will be authorized to receive complaints or grievances regarding any programme or advertisement broadcasted or publication and investigate/ examine all matters relating to the indecent representation of women.

 

2 . Ganga Praharis 

Reasons for being in news

A group of 427 trained volunteers are reaching to each and every house in areas along river Ganga to educate them about the importance of protecting river’s bio-diversity.

Who are Ganga Praharis?

It is a new grassroot-level volunteer workforce to protect the bio-diversity of river Ganga.They are spread over Ganga basin states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.

These Ganga Praharis are well trained in ecological monitoring of Ganga aqua life, plantation techniques, awareness creation and community mobilization.

This workforce is roped-in by Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun as part of the “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” project being sponsored by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under the aegis of the Namami Gange programme.

Linkages with other agencies

The Ganga Praharis will be linked to various local environmental authorities, non-governmental stakeholders in their respective states and various other national, academic and research institutions for their capacity development.

Training of Ganga Praharis

Three livelihood centres have been established in villages around Varanasi (Rampur, Tantepur and Dhakka). Ganga Praharis particularly women are being imparted trainings in these centres.

Based on model of ‘Each One Make Ten’

The Ganga Praharis will be the role models in inspiring other members of the community to join hands in the efforts for conservation of the biodiversity of river Ganga. Thus, each Prahari shall work on the model of ‘Each One Make Ten’.

Regular activities of Ganga Praharis

Some of the activities that Ganga Praharis are regularly involved in are Shram Daan, Ghat Cleaning, Awareness Campaigns, Plantation Drives and coordination with local administration. Ganga Praharis are playing a crucial role in reporting and rescuing of aquatic wildlife in distress, reporting of illegal activities like poaching etc.

 

3 . Conference of Governors 

Reasons for being in news

A two-day  (June 4 & 5) Conference of Governors and Lt. Governors is being held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

This is the 49th such Conference to be held in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

About Conference of Governors

The first Conference of Governors was held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in 1949. It was presided over by C. Rajagopalachari, the then Governor General of India.

Conference of Governors is an extra constitutional device for securing cooperation and coordination between the centre and states .It is presided  by the President of India.

 

4 . ‘JANAUSHADHI SUVIDHA’

Reasons for being in news

Government has launched the ‘JANAUSHADHI SUVIDHA’, the Oxo-biodegradable Sanitary Napkin, under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP).

The affordable sanitary napkins will now become available at over 3600 Janaushadhi Kendras functional in 33 States/UTs across India.

Background

According to the National Family Health Survey 2015-16, about 58 percent of women aged between 15 to 24 years use locally prepared napkins, sanitary napkins and tampons. Further, about 78 percent women in urban areas use hygienic methods of protection during menstrual period; only 48 percent women in rural areas have access to clean sanitary napkins.

Economical as well as eco friendly

It would ensure affordability, hygiene as well as ease of use and disposal . Jan Aushadhi Suvidha comes with a special additive, which makes it biodegradable when it comes in contact with oxygen after being discarded. This would ensure ‘Swachhta, Swasthya and Suvidha’ for the underprivileged Women of India.

Moreover, the average price of sanitary napkins available in the market today is around Rs. 8 per pad, whereas SUVIDHA napkins are priced at Rs. 2.50 per pad . This will go a long way in making the basic hygiene requirement aid for Women affordable for the underprivileged sections.

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP)

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) is a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses. PMBJP stores have been set up to provide generic drugs, which are available at lesser prices but are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs.

Launched

It was launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals in November 2008 under the name Jan Aushadi Campaign.

Background

The branded (Generic) medicines are sold at significantly higher prices than their unbranded generic equivalents, though are identical in the therapeutic value. Given the widespread poverty across the country, making available reasonably priced quality generic medicines in the market would benefit everyone.

Implementing agency

Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the implementation agency for PMBJP.

 

5 . Krishi Kalyan Abhiyan

Reasons for being in news

The Ministry of Agriculture and farmers’ welfare  has launched the Krishi kalyan Abhiyaan from 1st June, 2018 till 31st July, 2018 so as to aid, assist and advice farmers on how to improve their farming techniques and raise their incomes.

Coverage

The Krishi kalyan Abhiyaan will be undertaken in 25 Villages with more than 1000 population each in Aspirational Districts identified in consultation with Ministry of Rural Development as per directions of NITI Ayog. In districts where number of villages (with more than 1000 population) is less than 25, all villages will be covered.

Coordination and implementation

The overall coordination and implementation in the 25 villages of a district is being done by Krishi Vigyan Kendra of that district.

Activities under this plan

Various activities to promote best practices and enhance agriculture income are being undertaken under this plan such as:-

1 . Distribution of Soil Health Cards to all farmers
2 . 100% coverage of bovine vaccination for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in each village
3 . 100% coverage of Sheep and Goat for eradication of Peste des Petits ruminants (PPR )
4 . Distribution of Mini Kits of pulses and oilseeds to all
5 . Distribution of Horticulture/Agro Forestry/ Bamboo plant @ 5 per family(location appropriate)
6 . Making 100 NADAP Pits in each village
7 . Artificial insemination saturation
8 . Demonstration programmes on Micro- irrigation
9 . Demonstrations of integrated cropping practice

In addition, demonstration programmes on Micro Irrigation and Integrated Cropping Practice will also take place so as to familiarize farmers with the latest techniques and how they can be incorporated at the grass root level.

Training programmes are being conducted in each of the villages by ICAR/KVSs for Bee Keeping, Mushroom cultivation and Kitchen garden.