Current Affairs Current Affairs - 14 July 2017 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 14 July 2017

General Affairs 

India to develop missiles that can hit all of China even from southern bases
  • India continues to modernise its atomic arsenal with an eye on China and the country's nuclear strategy which traditionally focused on Pakistan now appears to place increased emphasis on the Communist giant, two top American nuclear experts have said.    
    An article published in the July-August issue of the digital journal--After Midnight--has also claimed that India is now developing a missile which can target all of China from its bases in South India.
    India is estimated to have produced enough plutonium for 150-200 nuclear warheads but has likely produced only 120-130, wrote Hans M Kristensen and Robert S Norris in the article- "Indian nuclear forces 2017".    
    India's nuclear strategy, which has traditionally focused on Pakistan, now appears to place increased emphasis on China, the two experts claimed.
    While India has traditionally been focused on deterring Pakistan, its nuclear modernisation indicates that it is putting increased emphasis on its future strategic relationship with China," they wrote.
    "That adjustment will result in significantly new capabilities being deployed over the next decade that may influence how India views nuclear weapons' role against Pakistan," they said.
    Noting that India continues to modernise its nuclear arsenal with development of several new nuclear weapon systems, the two experts estimate that New Delhi currently operates seven nuclear-capable systems: two aircraft, four land-based ballistic missiles, and one sea-based ballistic missile.    
    "At least four more systems are in development. The development program is in a dynamic phase, with long-range land- and sea-based missiles emerging for possible deployment within the next decade," it said.
    India is estimated to have produced approximately 600 kilograms of weapon-grade plutonium, sufficient for 150-200 nuclear warheads; however, not all the material has been converted into nuclear warheads, it said.
    Based on available information about its nuclear-capable delivery force structure and strategy, we estimate that India has produced 120-130 nuclear warheads, the article said adding that the country will need more warheads to arm the new missiles it is currently developing.
    Kristensen and Norris said that the two-stage, solid-fuel, rail-mobile Agni-2, an improvement on the Agni-1, which can deliver a nuclear or conventional warhead more than 2,000 km is probably targeted on western, central, and southern China.
    Although the Agni-4 will be capable of striking targets in nearly all of China from northeastern India (including Beijing and Shanghai), India is also developing the longer-range Agni-5, a three-stage, solid-fuel, rail-mobile, near-intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of delivering a warhead more than 5,000 kilometres (3,100-plus miles), it said.
    "The extra range will allow the Indian military to establish Agni-5 bases in central and southern India, further away from China," the research article said.

This IIM graduate may shield Election Commission from Arvind Kejriwal's allegations
  • The Assembly elections in five states during February and March saw the BJP emerge stronger as a political force and the Election Commission vulnerable in the face of allegations leveled by BSP chief Mayawati and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
    Mayawati made the first move but Arvind Kejriwal launched a belligerent offensive against the electronic voting machine (EVM). Both alleged that the EVMs were manipulated in Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in a way to favour a particular party.
    The Election Commission was forced to issue several clarifications and hold open challenge 'to prove hackability of the EVM.' The poll panel, in the aftermath of the allegations, is in the process to speed up integration of the voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) with the EVM.
    The Election Commission may be able to conduct the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections - scheduled for later this year - with VVPATs in order to remove doubts in the minds of people in the backdrop of serious allegations levelled by Opposition parties.
    The Centre has approved over Rs 3,000 crore to buy enough VVPATs for the EVMs for holding elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
    But, there is another solution - offered by an IIM graduate and entrepreneur - to the question of reliability or unreliability of the EVMs.
    Speaking to India Today, Neeraj Gutgutia, co-founder and CEO of the Right2Vote Infotech Pvt Ltd, claimed that "100 per cent free and fair voting is possible" beyond any amount of reasonable doubt.
    Neeraj Gutgutia has come up with a mobile app to enable the Election Commission to make voting a hassle-free, accessible to all and cost-effective affair.
    "The Right2Vote has built the world's first Mobile Verified Voting platform. The platform uses Aadhaar for real time verification just like JIO does for mobile connection. It is a two-minute and very secure process," Neeraj Gutgutia said.
    "The platform can substantially increase voting percentage in the country besides saving minimum 90 per cent cost, minimum 90 per cent time and minimum 90 per cent effort in election management," Gutgutia claimed.
    Neeraj Gutgutia is in talks with two state election commissions as well as the Election Commission of India.
    "We are in talks with Maharashtra State Election Commission and Madhya Pradesh State Election Commission for a pilot run of the project in the two states. We are hopeful of running the pilot projects at the Zilla Parishad level in these states," Gutgutia told India Today.
    Gutgutia said that under the pilot project, the State Election Commission would decide on "a particular number of voters, who would cast their votes using the Right2Vote app. We may be running this pilot project in Madhya Pradesh by September." "Talks with the Election Commission of India are in initial stage. We have held a few meetings during which we suggested how new technology could be used to improve the efficiency of election process at a very less cost," Gutgutia said.
    A similar experiment is going on in Gujarat since 2010 when state became the first in India to use online voting in civic body polls. The results of the first attempt were not very encouraging but in 2011 online voting was used for the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation with reasonable success.
    Over 77.16 per cent of registered voters cast their votes either from home or from e-voting booths. The online voting platform was provided by a technology company Scytl in collaboration with the Tata Consultancy Services.
    According to Neeraj Gutgutia, a voter is required to download the app from Google play store. At present the app is available on Android and iOS platforms. Only those voters can vote through the Right2Vote app who have enrolled for Aadhaar, which the government has made mandatory for almost all purposes.
    "On the day of poll, the voter will open the app and click vote punching in Aadhaar number and submit his or her finger print. The app will automatically connect to the Aadhaar server to verify the biometric details of the individual voter. If the Aadhaar server returns 'Yes' as answer, the voter will be able to cast his or her vote," Gutgutia said, adding, "It is just a two-minute process and a huge number of people can vote simultaneously without waiting in the long queues."
    "A person can vote even without using biometrics. In that case, the voter would receive a One Time Password (OTP) if the details of the person using the mobile number match up with the data on the Aadhaar server. Using the OTP, an eligible and verified individual can vote from anywhere in the world," Gutgutia said.
    What about those, who don't have Aadhaar or a smart phone? "We are in discussion of the Election Commission to put up screens at, say, post-offices which will have Wi-Fi access. The screens would use the same technology as Aadhaar linked app. Here anyone can vote without any chance of fraudulent voting," he said.
    The YouTube link of the Right2Vote analyses some figures of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. According to the Right2Vote analysis, about USD 5 billion was spent in conducting the general elections in 2014.
    The government spent Rs 3,500 crore in holding elections excluding security and political party expenses. The elections were conducted over 35 days in nine phases involving about 1 crore officials including police and security personnel.
    About 9,30,000 polling booths were set up for voting and 989 centres created for counting of votes. 
    But, the most revealing figure was that about 27 crore people failed to exercise their right to vote. This is about 33 per cent of the total voters registered in the country. This means that the NDA, which got 31 per cent votes and formed the government with full majority after 30 years, received less votes than the number of people who did not vote.
    The Right2Vote claims that using their technology, the voting percentage could be achieved in excess of 90 per cent.
    "There is provision for postal ballot. But, the voting process is so cumbersome that soldiers and people on election duty - for whom this facility is available - don't usually vote. In the case of soldiers, less than three per cent of them voted in the last elections," Gutgutia said.
    Speaking to India Today, Gutgutia emphasised that talks with the Election Commission both at the central and state levels are focused on ensuring security of the electoral process while making the same more effective.
    More than 1.16 billion Indians have been enrolled in Aadhaar. There are about 81.5 crore voters in the country. The Narendra Modi government has been pushing for use of technology to improve governance and bring in reforms. This gives the idea of Right2Vote app a major boost.
    "The Right2Vote does not have access to Aadhaar data and it is not permitted to store data. The Aadhaar server only sends a 'Yes' or 'No' response when a person punches in the individual's Aadhaar number. The Aadhaar data of a voter never comes out and secrecy is maintained," he said.
    When asked if the voting app would lead to being pressurised by the dominant family member of a susceptible voter or by a local bully who may threaten asking a voter to vote in his presence and in accordance to his wishes, Gutgutia said, "No technology can be foolproof. But, we have suggested to the poll panel of having an option of changing the vote once during the window of eight hours of polling."
    There is another safety tool. Voting through this mobile app will have face recognition technology. The voters' biometric details would be captured by the camera and matched with the Aadhaar data. To vote successfully, the data on two sides have to match.
    The Right2Vote app may be greatly helpful for the Indian voters living abroad. "There are over 1 crore Indian voters living in different parts of the world. It is not practically possible for them to come home and vote every time. Even the Supreme Court has directed the Election Commission to come up with a solution. This app provides that solution," Neeraj Gutgutia claimed.
    Responding to question of security against hacking, Gutgutia said, "The voting app has encryption till individual vote level. If hacker wants to influence polling at a booth of 2,000 votes, he will have to hack the app 2,000 times during the eight hour window."
    "The biggest challenge will be to make people aware about the new voting platform," Gutgutia said while expressing hope that in case the Election Commission approved the Right2Vote app, Indian democracy "will have more power."

2 suspicious ships caught off Gujarat coast, terror link suspected
  • Two suspicious vessels have been caught by the Coast Guard off the Gujarat coast in the last 20 days. Their crew is being interrogated for any possible terror links as they were carrying high-end Thuraya satellite phones, which are mostly used by terrorists.
    Both these vessels had departed foreign ports and were not scheduled to enter any Indian port but claimed that they got drifted into Indian waters. This raised suspicion of the coastal security guards.
    The two vessels were apprehended by the Coast Guard after its aircraft carried out extensive surveillance missions along the sensitive Gujarat coast with Pakistan.
    On Jul 10, Indian Coast Guard's Dornier aircraft, on surveillance mission, sighted an unfamiliar boat adrift at sea. Leaving nothing to chance, the aircraft immediately informed the Coast Guard Ship Samudra Prahari in the area for investigation.
    The boat Al Bome Marize from Yemen was intercepted and boarded by Coast Guard Team at sea. Initial investigations revealed that the foreign boat with 3 crew from Yemen, 2 from Tanzania and 1 from Somalia, had developed engine problem on Jun 10 while operating off Yemen Coast and has been adrift since then.
    The boat was thoroughly searched for any illegal contraband or consignment. Thereafter, the boat was towed to Porbandar by Coast Guard ship for joint investigation by an interrogation team which is presently in progress to verify crew credentials. A Thuraya set along with two GPS sets was also recovered from the vessel.
    In a similar incident, a Dhow MSV AL Ariz was intercepted by Coast Guard ship on June 22 while maneuvering suspiciously off Gulf of Kutch and not replying on VHF.
    The Dhow loaded with sugar, cement, rice and five used cars had departed from Sharjah, UAE on May 21 for passage to Mukalla port in Yemen. The dhow with 11 Indian crew was investigated and then escorted by Coast Guard Ship to Mundra for joint investigation and rummaging.
    During initial interrogation, crew said they decided to head towards Indian Coast for shelter due to inclement weather. AIS and Thuraya sets were switched off during the passage. The crew along with 10 mobile phones and 2 GPS sets have been handed over to police and custom by Coast Guard.
    A thorough investigations and analysis by a joint team of Coast Guard, Police, IB and Customs is in progress.

Supreme Court rebukes Centre regarding preservation of wetlands, demands report of Rs 900 crore spent
  • The Supreme Court today pulled up Centre over non compliance with international conventions regarding preservation of wetland sites in India. 
    A bench headed by Justice Lokur told Centre, "India is supporting Paris Accord, Is this how you support it? How do you show your face to the international community. This is the respect you have for international conventions?".
    Despite repeated reminders and orders from the Supreme Court, neither the states nor the Centre has been able to explain how Rs 900 crore were used by the states and Centre. Under the international convention of Ramsar, 26 Ramsar sites or eco-sensitive areas were listed for conservation and maintenance.
    An angry bench even told the counsel for Ministry of Forest and Environment, "We will call the secretary and pack him to jail," said Justice Lokur when the Centre sought six months more time to file response.
    The Supreme Court in its order had identified over 2 lakh wetlands and asked for their conservation.

Doklam standoff with China: Sashastra Seema Bal to get intelligence wing
  • As the standoff with the Chinese army continues in Doklam near Sikkim, the Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), which gaurds Bhutan and Nepal borders, to set up its own full-fledged intelligence wing.
    The Centre has approved creation of 650 combatised posts for intelligence setup, a big boost to the operational efficiency of the border guarding force.
    "In the overall context of ramblings across the border and due to the heightened activity of anti-social and anti-national elements and subversive forces, comprehensive border management was the need of the hour as it has become a sensitive and difficult affair," an MHA statement said.
    China and India are locked in a standoff in the Doklam area in Sikkim sector near the Bhutan tri-junction for over three weeks after the Chinese army attempted to build a road in the disputed narrow stretch of land.
    Doklam is the Indian name for the region which China refers to as Donglong.
    Sashastra Seema Bal had sent a proposal to the ministry for installing an intelligence set-up to strengthen the efficiency and operational mandate of the force on borders and for internal security duties in J&K and anti-Naxal duties in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) areas.
    "MHA has accordingly sanctioned 650 posts in various ranks from BN to FHQ. This new setup will certainly improve the security structure on border and other deployments in internal security and in LWE areas," it said.
    Sashastra Seema Bal has been mandated the responsibility of guarding the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders where there are no restrictions on the movement of people on either side.
    The area under SSB jurisdiction comprises densely populated foothills and plains, thick jungles, under developed regions and inhospitable terrains. The border population on both sides has strong regional, cultural and economic ties.
    There is transborder movement of criminals and anti- national elements which pose a major challenge on the border in the context of the visa free regime. Most of the stretches of the border are infested with ISI activists, insurgents, fundamentalists, smugglers of arms, ammunition, narcotics, fake currency and human traffickers.
    In addition to that various other anti-India forces with the help of inimical groups are also trying to foment trouble on Indian side.
    SSB has also been declared as the Lead Intelligence Agency (LIA) for both the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders.
    "Thus, it was felt that a well-knit intelligence network of the highest capabilities that can function and deliver would be the prime requirement of comprehensive border management," the MHA statement said.
    It said that this was quite essential as the operations of SSB have to be intelligence based so as to prevent criminals and smugglers from taking advantage of the friendly borders with Nepal and Bhutan.

Business Affairs 

    No 3% GST when individuals sell gold jewellery to registered jewellers, says Arun Jaitley
    • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday clarified that sale of old jewellery by an individual to a jeweller will not attract the provisions of Section 9(4) of the CGST Act, 2017.
      Therefore, the jeweller will not be liable to pay any tax under reverse charge mechanism (RCM) on such purchases.
      However, if an unregistered supplier of gold ornaments sells it to registered supplier, the tax under RCM will apply, Jaitley said.
      Finance Minister's clarification comes a day after Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that selling of old jewellery or bullion will attract a 3 per cent GST on the value realised.
      "Supposing I am a jeweller. Somebody comes to me with old jewellery, it is as good as buying gold. You can later claim input tax credit," Adhia said at the GST Master Class.
      Explaining further Adhia had said a jeweller buying old jewellery from someone will charge 3 per cent GST under reverse charge. So, if old jewellery worth Rs 1 lakh is sold, a GST of Rs 3,000 will be deducted.
      If the proceeds from the old jewellery is used for buying new jewellery, the tax paid on sale will be adjusted against GST on the purchase, he said.
      However, if an old jewellery is given to the jeweller for some modification, then it would be considered as job works and 5 per cent GST would be levied.
      "But, if I am saying that take my old jewellery melt it and give me a new one, then it means that trader is a registered person and it is as good as buying gold in form of old jewellery," he said.
      Under the GST regime rolled out from July 1, tax is levied at 3 per cent on gold, while any form of job work attract 5 per cent levy..

    TCS Q1 profits goes down by 10% amid protectionist regulations in most markets
    • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) registered a 10 per cent decline in their net profits in June quarter, taking their profits to Rs 5,945 crore against Rs 6,608 crore they posted in the last quarter. This decline in profits comes when Indian IT sector is battling protectionist regulations in most of the markets it outsources work to.
      Analysts on average expected the company to post consolidated profit of Rs 6181 crore, according to Thomson Reuters data.
      TCS, the biggest IT firm in India, posted total income to the tune of Rs 29,584 crore in June quarter as opposed to Rs 29,642 crore in the March quarter, down 0.19%.
      In a challenging operating environment we have had a fairly steady performance, stated Rajesh Gopinathan, CEO and MD, TC while addressing the Earnings Conference on Thursday. From profitability perspective also we have had a fairly stable profitability except for two factors - one seasonal and one external, he added
      "We have seen steady growth across industries in Q1. Robust volumes from major markets driven by good client additions across revenue bands and accelerating Digital adoption from customers have given us the right start to the year," said TCS CEO and MD.
      Easing any doubts in the minds of his employees, Gopinathan refuted any sackings in coming days. "There will be no layoffs. We are committed to grow the business in UP, & are consolidating operations in Noida," the company said in a statement.
      Company's largest market in North America grew at a rate of 1.7 per cent and Europe became the standout market in this quarter.
      "We have experienced broad based growth across Europe, growing at about of 5.6%. Almost every large market segment inside Europe has delivered very good growth with Germany, Nordics, and even France registering decent QoQ growth," said Gopinathan.
      TCS also reported 11 large deals with them being almost evenly spread across all the verticals. Major verticals have contributed at least 2 deals each out these eleven.
      "In BFSI we're seeing a strong demand from the bottom of the pyramid, as new entrants are coming into the sector."
      The TCS board of directors of TCS declared an interim dividend of Rs 7 per share to its shareholder.
      "During the quarter high currency volatility including sharp rupee appreciation against the dollar resulted in Rs 650-crore loss in reported revenues. We remain disciplined in our financial management; stay focused on generating strong cash flows and invests in our digital business. Despite the impact of wage hike in Q1, we continue to drive profitability to our targeted range," said V Ramakrishnan, chief financial officer.
      The TCS stock closed 0.20 points or 4.95 percent higher at Rs 2444 level on the BSE.
      The TCS stock has so far gained 3.41 per cent this year compared with a 20.32 per cent surge in the Sensex.

    After Patanjali, Baba Ramdev eyes Rs 40,000 crore private security business
    • After making Patanjali a successful Ayurveda and FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) brand, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev has set his eyes on the Rs 40,000 crore private security market.
      According to a report in Times of India, Patanjali has roped in retired Army and police officers to train recruits who will work as private security guards with Ramdev's Parakram Suraksha Private Limited.
      "The company's aim is to instill patriotic fervour among youngsters and create an ambiance conducive for physical and mental development of the trainees," it said.
      Launching the with a slogan that says "parakram suraksha, aapki raksha", the report quoted Ramdev as saying, "Patanjali has sensitised people towards yoga, Ayurveda and Swadeshi products. Our aim is to now inspire a sense of security among individuals and resolve to work towards the protection of our country," he said.
      According to a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) report, the private security sector which is expected to cross revenues of Rs 80,000 crore by 2020.
      Baba Ramdev's agency is expected to provide services to corporate offices, institutions, shopping malls etc. The first batch of 100 recruits have been undergoing training at the Patanjali centre in Haridwar.

    Inflows into equity mutual funds surge to a whopping Rs 41,000 crore in first half of 2017
    • With Sensex at it all time peak, investors have poured in a record Rs 41,000 crore in the first six months of 2017 in equity mutual funds compared to Rs 8,813 crore over the same period last year. In the month of June alone investors put in a net Rs 7,453 crore in equity funds.
      Equity mutual funds have received strong inflows since April 2014. There has been a net inflow in every month barring just two months. Investors have poured in a massive Rs 2.22 lakh crore since April 2014 in equity funds.
      "The great thing about the equity inflows is  that it is coming a sustainable manner and at the right time in the right way. SIPs (systematic investment plan) in excess of Rs 4,500 crore per month is the biggest contributor to these inflows. While inflows through new fund offers (NFOs) account for only around 10 per cent of the inflows in equity funds," says Pradeep Kumar, CEO, Union Mutual Fund.
      "We are seeing a large interest from smaller cities where the penetration is low. Given the overall low penetration of the financial products, we have a long way to go," says Navneet Munot, Executive Director & Chief Investment Officer, SBI Mutual Fund.
      Market experts believe there is a change in the behaviour of the investors and they are investing for the long-term without worrying about corrections. In fact, they are investing more money during market corrections. Therefore the inflows are likely to continue even if there is any short-term correction in the market.
      "Maturity has been seen in investors over the past two-three years. During demonetisation, when markets corrected we saw more inflows coming in equity funds," says Munot.
      "While earlier investors used to buy during market rallies and sell during market correction but the behaviour is changing overtime as SIPs are being maintained as a long-term savings instruments. More than 50 per cent of the SIPs that are coming are for more than five years says," says Kumar.

    Sensex crosses 32K for the first time, Nifty eyes 10,000 mark
    • The Sensex on Thursday scaled the 32,000 mark for the first time ever in early trade tracking higher global market movement prompted by US Fed statement and low June retail inflation at home.
      On Wednesday, the government said retail inflation hit a "historically low" level of 1.54 per cent in June on dip in food items such as vegetables, pulses and milk products, which may prompt the Reserve Bank to go in for rate cut next month.
      Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen raised the possibility on Wednesday that the Fed would consider slowing the pace of its interest rate increases if inflation remained persistently below its target level.
      At 10:27 am, the Sensex was trading 226 points higher at 32,031 while the NSE Nifty climbed 65 points or 0.68 percent to 9882 level.
      The Sensex has gained 2,000 points in the last 69 sessions.
      On the 30 stock Sensex, ITC (1.83 percent), Axis Bank (1.47 percent) and ICICI  Bank (1.42 percent) were the top gainers, with only three stocks M&M, Tata Motors and ONGC trading in the red.
      On the BSE, Sintex (12.20 percent), KEC International (7.65 percent) and City Union Bank (5.94 percent) were the top gainers.
      Market heavyweight Reliance Industries was trading 0.52 percent or 7 points higher at 1517 level on the BSE.
      On Wednesday, the stock hit a fresh nine- year high after the conglomerate's telco arm Reliance Jio raised tariff on some of its plans, opening up avenues for more revenue.
      The TCS stock was trading 14 points or 0.58 percent higher at 2453 level ahead of its Q1 earnings scheduled to be announced later in the day.
      The Infosys stock was trading 0.71 percent or 7 points higher at 980 level a day before the Bengaluru based IT firm announces its Q1 earnings.
      Market breadth was positive with 1407 stocks rising against 789 falling on the BSE.

      Global markets
      Shares were mostly higher in Asia Thursday following a broad rally on Wall Street that nudged the Dow Jones industrial average to a new high after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told Congress the central bank may slow the pace of its interest rate increases if inflation remains below its target level.
      Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index was flat at 20,094.61 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index jumped 1.1 percent to 26,337.49. The Shanghai Composite index climbed 0.4 percent at 3,210.65 and the S&P ASX 200 surged 1.1 percent to 5,735.40. South Korea's Kospi gained 1.2 percent to 2,419.18. Shares in Southeast Asia and Taiwan were mostly higher.
      The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 0.7 percent to 2,443.25 and the Dow rose 0.6 percent to 21,532.14, a record high. The average last set a record high on June 19. The Nasdaq composite added 1.1 percent to 6,261.17, while the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks advanced 0.8 percent to 1,424.32.

    General Awareness

    Maharashtra first state to have law against social boycott

    • President of India has given assent to the Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016Maharashtra has thus become the first state in the country to bring a law making social boycott a crime.
      Background Information:
      In recent times, Maharashtra had witnessed an increased number of incidents of social boycott and violence at the orders of seniors in the caste panchayats, for not adhering to their rules.
      • A number of activists and academics have been demanding an act against the foul practices of caste panchayats for years.
      • The movement, initiated by late Narendra Dabholkar, gained momentum after he was shot dead and the Maharashtra legislature passed the law unanimously in 2016.
      Details and Key Provisions of Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016:
      After clearances from several central Ministries, President gave his assent to the Bill in June 2017 and thereafter Maharashtra State Government’s law and justice department published it in the gazette on July 3, 2017.
      • The new law proposes action against extra-judicial bodies like caste and community panchayats.
      • The act defines “Caste Panchayat”as a Committee or a body formed by a group of persons belonging to any community, whether registered or not, which functions within the community to regulate various practices in the same community, controls personal and social behaviour of any member and collectively resolves or decides any disputes amongst their members including their families, by issuing oral or written dictums.
      • There is a provision for punishment of up to three years in jail and/or a fine up to Rs. 1 lakh.
      • The abetment of the offence also attracts the same punishment and fine.
      • The case has to be fast tracked within six months from the date of filing the charge sheet.
      • The fine charged from accused will be partially or fully handed over to the victim.

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