The Parliamentary panel on environment and forests has raised serious concerns regarding the Draft National Forest Policy for its excessive focus on commercialisation of forest and serving industry interests. Once finalized, this document will replace the current National Forest Policy, 1988.
The Supreme Court has recently directed the state governments to evict around 10 lakh forest dwelling communities whose claims have been rejected under the Forest Rights Act. This order may affect some of the country’s most vulnerable communities and their fundamental rights, therefore it needs a relook.
Recently, the Anti-Doping Appeal Panel of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has blacklisted 2 persons with respect to the illegal supply of meldonium. Another bone of contention is the proposed ‘National Anti-Doping Act of India 2018’ which would criminalise doping as an offence. These issues highlight the need to relook at the status of anti-doping mechanism in India.
While listing out the achievements of the government in social welfare measures, President Ram Nath Kovind recently mentioned that, under the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana, 6 crore women had become members of self-help groups and the government had provided loans worth over Rs 75,000 crore to such groups.
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The ambitious Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, better known as “Saubhagya” scheme, for universal household electrification is all set to achieve its goal soon with only about 28,000 households left to be electrified all over the country. On the other hand, criticisms have been pouring across the country regarding the scheme’s inability to solve some of the grey areas in the power sector.
Recently, the Delhi Police filed a charge sheet against 10 people, including student leaders in a sedition case for allegedly raising “anti-national slogans” during an event on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus in February 2016.
In addition to this, as many as 12 Aligarh Muslim University students, including the university's students' union chief, were recently booked under sedition charges after a complaint of alleged assault was filed by an ABVP member.
In another instance where an Assamese scholar and two others were slapped with sedition charges for remarks made against the proposed citizenship law.
These fit a disturbing trend of many incidents in recent times where “misguided” people have been termed “anti-national” and has filed charges of sedition.
Notably, the law commission is in the process of revisiting the section 124A of Indian Penal Code and calls for a thorough reconsideration and presents the different issues with respect to it before the public for a national debate.
Recently, The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 (Triple Talaq bill) was passed by the Lok Sabha. The bill is humanitarian consideration for Muslim Women suffering from triple talaq. Under the proposed law, giving instant triple talaq will be illegal and void, and will attract jail term 3 years and a fine for a man.
However, there is a standoff in the Rajya Sabha for its passage due to the contention from opposition parties and Muslim community leaders who are sticking to their stand against the bill mentioning that there is no need for the bill since the instant triple talaq has already been banned by the Supreme Court.