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Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989

Paper: General Studies 2

Topic: mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Why in the news?

  • Correcting an error of judgment, the Supreme Court recalled its March 20, 2018 verdict, which bent the written law to protect persons accused of committing atrocities against the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
  • On March 20, a judgment by Justice (now retired) A.K. Goel diluted the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989, to grant anticipatory bail to accused persons and directed that the police should conduct a preliminary enquiry on whether complaint under the 1989 law is “frivolous or motivated” before registering a case. 
  • Both conditions were not part of the original legislation.
  • Justice Goel had reasoned that members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) use the 1989 law to lodge false complaints, leading to the arrest of innocent persons.
  • The March 20 judgment had triggered widespread protests and violence and compelled the government to amend the Act to negate the effect of the apex court ruling. The Centre also filed a review against the judgment.

What has the court observed in its corrected judgement?

  • In its judgment on the government’s review petition, a three-judge Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, M.R. Shah and B.R. Gavai reasoned that human failing and not caste is the reason behind the lodging of false criminal complaints.
  • The Supreme Court condemned its own earlier judgment, saying it was against “basic human dignity” to treat all SC/ST community members as “a liar or crook.”
  • Caste of a person cannot be a cause for lodging a false report, Justice Mishra, who wrote the verdict, observed. Members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, due to backwardness, cannot even muster the courage to lodge an FIR, much less, a false one, the judgment noted.

 

What is the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989?

  • The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to prevent atrocities against scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
  • It was enacted when the provisions of the existing laws (such as the Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955 and Indian Penal Code) were found to be inadequate to check these crimes (defined as ‘atrocities’ in the Act). Recognising the continuing gross indignities and offences against Scheduled Castes and Tribes, the Parliament passed the ‘Scheduled Castes and Schedule Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989.
  • It provides for criminal liability for a number of specifically defined atrocities, and extends the scope of certain categories of penalizations given in the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
  • It also contains provisions for relief and compensation for victims of atrocities and provisions that establish special authorities for the implementation and monitoring of the Act.

 

Khadi and Village Industries Commission

Paper: General Studies 3

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it

About the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC)

  • The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body formed by the Government of India, under the Act of Parliament, ‘Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956’. 
  • It is an apex organisation under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, with regard to khadi and village industries within India, which seeks to – “plan, promote, facilitate, organise and assist in the establishment and development of khadi and village industries in the rural areas in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary.”

The Commission has three main objectives which guide its functioning. These are –

  • The Social Objective – Providing employment in rural areas
  • The Economic Objective – Providing saleable articles
  • The Wider Objective – Creating self-reliance amongst people and building up a strong rural community spirit.

 

The Gandhian Challenge

Paper: General Studies 3

Topic: indigenization of technology and developing new technology

Why in the news?

  • On the 150th birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, AIM, NITI Aayog’s Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) and UNICEF India, including Generation Unlimited, have launched ‘The Gandhian Challenge’. This innovation challenge provides a platform for every child across India to ideate innovative solutions for a sustainable India of their dreams, using Gandhi’s principles.
  • Ideas and solutions to the Gandhian Challenge may be expressed through broad categories: Art & Innovation (Letters, poems, painting, videos and photos, among others) and Science, Technology & Innovation (Robotics, IoT, sensors and 3D printers, among others).

What is Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)?

AIM is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. AIM’s objective is to develop new programmes and policies for fostering innovation in different sectors of the economy, provide platform and collaboration opportunities for different stakeholders, create awareness and create an umbrella structure to oversee innovation ecosystem of the country.

Six major initiatives of AIM:

  • Atal Tinkering Labs-Creating problem-solving mindset across schools in India.
  • Atal Incubation Centers-Fostering world class start-ups and adding a new dimension to the incubator model.
  • Atal New India Challenges-Fostering product innovations and aligning them to the needs of various sectors/ministries.
  • Mentor India Campaign- A national Mentor network in collaboration with public sector, corporates and institutions, to support all the initiatives of the mission.
  • Atal Community Innovation Center- To stimulate community centric innovation and ideas in the unserved /underserved regions of the country including Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
  • ARISE-To stimulate innovation and research in the MSME industry.