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Juvenile Justice System in India


Juvenile Justice System in India

The state guarantees special treatment to them through statutory law. However, in practice, they often get victimized by legal and procedural entanglements

The emergence of the concept of juvenile justice in India owes much to the developments that have taken place in western countries, especially in the perception of children and human rights jurisprudence in Europe and America. The Apprentices Act, 1850 was the first legislation that laid the foundation of juvenile justice system in the country. The concept consequently gained momentum with the enactment of the Indian Penal Code (1860), Reformatory Schools Act (1897), Code of Criminal Procedure (1898) and recommendations made by the Indian Jail Committee (1919-1920), which categorically mentioned that the child offender should be treated differently from an adult offender. It also held that imprisonment of child offenders should be prohibited and recommended for provision of reformatory schools and constitution of children’s courts with procedures ‘as informal and elastic as possible’. The Committee also drew attention to the desirability of making provisions and special enactment for children who had not committed crime so far, but could do so in the near future on account of living in criminal or inhuman surroundings or those without proper guardians or homes.
The Madras Children Act 1920 was the first Children Act to be enacted, closely followed by Bengal and Bombay in 1922 and 1924, respectively. Later, many more states enacted their own Children Acts, covering within their sphere two categories of children, viz., (i) delinquent children, and (ii) destitute and neglected children. Both these categories of children were to be handled by the juvenile courts. They were to be kept in remand homes and certified schools or released on probation, with a possibility of imprisonment when the nature of offence was serious and the character of the offender so depraved as to justify imprisonment (Ved Kumari: 2004). During this period, by and large, the “welfare” approach was adopted for children – whether delinquent, destitute or neglected.

Reducing GHG Emissions : The Kyoto Mechanisms


Reducing GHG Emissions : The Kyoto Mechanisms
The Kyoto Protocol has put in place three flexibility mechanisms to reduce emission of Green House Gases. Although the Protocol places maximum responsibility of reducing emissions on the developed countries by committing them to specific emission targets, the three mechanisms are based on the premise that reduction of emissions in any part of the globe will have the same desired effect on the atmosphere, and also that some developed countries might find it easier and more cost effective to support emissions reductions in other developed or developing countries rather than at home. These mechanisms thus provide flexibility to the Annexure I countries, helping them to meet their emission reduction obligations. Let us take a look at what these mechanisms are.

What are the three flexibility mechanisms put in place by the Kyoto Protocol for reducing GHG emissions ?

The three mechanisms are Joint Implementation, Emissions Trading and Clean Development Mechanism.

What is Joint Implementation?

Through the Joint Implementation, any Annex I country can invest in emission reduction projects (referred to as "Joint Implementation Projects") in any other Annex I country as an alternative to reducing emissions domestically. Two early examples are change from a wet to a dry process at a Ukraine cement works, reducing energy consumption by 53 percent by 2008-2012; and rehabilitation of a Bulgarian hydropower project, with a 267,000 ton reduction of CO2 equivalent during 2008- 012.

What is Clean Development Mechanism ?

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) allows a developed country with an emission reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol to implement an emission reduction project in developing countries as an alternative to more expensive emission reductions in their own countries. In exchange for the amount of reduction in emission thus achieved, the investing country
gets Carbon Credits which it can offset against its Kyoto targets. The developing country gains a step towards sustainable development.

Human Rights Protection



What was the first global expression of Human Rights ?
The first global expression of human rights came in 1948, just after the second world war, in the form of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN General Assembly. The declaration recognizes that human beings are inherently entitled to certain rights; justice and peace in the world can be established only if the human dignity of all people is respected, and disregard for the same outrages the conscience of mankind. The declaration recognizes freedom of speech, belief, freedom from fear and from want as the highest aspiration of people. The declaration consists of 30 articles which have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions and laws. The International Bill of Human Rights which consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Protocols, took on the force of international law in 1976. Subsequently, the Vienna Declaration and Plan of action were adopted in 1993. This declaration established the interdependence of democracy, economic development, and human rights; brought in the concept of rights being indivisible, interdependent, and inter-related and led to the creation of the post of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights . India is also a signatory to the Vienna declaration.

What is the main framework for protecting human rights in India ?
The main framework for protecting human rights in India is provided by the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. This has been enacted pursuant to the directive under Article 51 of the Constitution and also the commitments taken at the Vienna conference. It defines human right as the right relating to liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Indian constitution as embodied in the fundamental rights and the International covenants (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on the 16th December, 1966), and enforceable by courts in India.
The Act provides for the constitution of a National Human Rights Commission, State Human Rights Commission in States and Human Rights Courts for better protection of human rights and for matters connected therewith. 

Tribal Development Approach


Tribal Neglect and Limitations of Budget-centric Approach to Development

In addition to spending budgets, we need to give equal importance to non-monetary issues such as institutions, laws, and policies

It is well established that the central region of India, despite being resource rich, inhabits the poorest people who have not benefited from social and economic development to the same extent as people in other regions have, and in many cases have actually been harmed from displacement that growth entails. From the viewpoint of policy, it is important to understand that tribal communities are vulnerable not only because they are poor, assetless and illiterate compared to the general population; often their distinct vulnerability arises from their inability to negotiate and cope with the consequences of their forced integration with the mainstream economy, society, cultural and political system, from which they were historically protected as the result of their relative isolation. Post-independence, the requirements of planned development brought with them the spectre of dams, mines, industries and roads on tribal lands. With these came the concomitant processes of displacement, both literal and metaphorical — as tribal institutions and practices were forced into uneasy existence with or gave way to market or formal state institutions (most significantly, in the legal sphere), tribal peoples found themselves at a profound disadvantage with respect to the influx of better-equipped outsiders into tribal areas. The repercussions for the already fragile socio-economic livelihood base of the tribals were devastating — ranging from loss of livelihoods, land alienation on a vast scale, to hereditary bondage.  

As tribal people in India perilously, sometimes hopelessly, grapple with these tragic consequences, the small clutch of bureaucratic programmes have done little to assist the precipitous pauperisation, exploitation and disintegration of these communities. Tribal people respond occasionally with anger and assertion, but often also in anomie and despair, because the following persistent problems have by and large remained unattended to:  

-Land alienation
-Relation with forests, and government monopoly over MFPs, and non-implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006
-Ineffective implementation of Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act of 1996 (PESA, 1996) for Schedule V areas.
-Involuntary displacement due to development projects and lack of proper rehabilitation.
-Shifting Cultivation, such as podu
-Poor utilisation of government funds, and
-Poor delivery of government programmes

Human Rights in India


Providing an Improved Environment for Human Rights in The Country(India)

"While human rights institutions like the NHRC have a significant role in the promotion and protection of human rights, the contributions of civil society actors and the state are just as crucial"

An informed discussion on how to provide an improved environment for human rights in the country, and how to achieve social justice through human rights is very necessary. Social justice, as the American philosopher John Rawls pointed out, ‘is predicated on the idea that a society can be regarded as egalitarian only when it is based on principles of equality and solidarity, where human rights are valued and the dignity of every individual upheld.’ A just society is one which provides a degree of protection to its weaker, differently-abled and less gifted members. It is not one where the law of the jungle prevails, where might is right. In a civilized society, reasonable constraints are placed on the ambitions and acquisitiveness of its more aggressive members and special safeguards provided to its weaker and more vulnerable sections. These considerations are basic to any scheme of social justice and their neglect will brutalize society. In a limited sense, the right to social justice may be said to be the right of the weak, aged, destitute, poor, women, children and other underprivileged persons, to the protection of the State against the ruthless competition of life. It is a bundle of rights, in another sense it is a preserver of other rights. It is the balancing wheel between haves and have-nots. 

Our Constitution makers were fully alive to the need for providing safeguards to the weaker sections of society as is evident from the Preamble to the Constitution and Part IV of the Constitution, that is, the Directive Principles of State Policy. Social justice has become a pressing issue across the world, especially in the larger context of globalization, which is altering traditional roles and relationships between states and their citizens and throwing up multiple challenges to the realization of socio-economic justice, whether in the form of the devastating financial crisis, the rising cost of essential food commodities, or the growing influence of transnational bodies such as the WTO, IMF, World Bank and Multinational Corporations. 

National Knowledge Network


National Knowledge Network

What is the National Knowledge Network ?

The National Knowledge Network (NKN) is a major step towards building a knowledge society without boundary. It is a multi- gigabit, unified, high speed network that aims to connect over 1500 institutions like universities, research institutions, libraries, laboratories, healthcare and agricultural institutions, nuclear, space and defence research agencies in the country. Such a connectivity will allow free flow of data / information/ knowledge and allow researchers, students, scientists and other stakeholders from diverse fields to access and use the same with ease. This initiative is expected to help build quality institutions in the country and improve the level and quality of research by making it multidisciplinary and collaborative. It will also help create a pool of highly qualified and trained professionals. Besides these, the NKN is also expected to facilitate advanced distance education in specialized fields such as engineering, science, medicine etc, an ultra high speed backbone for e-Governance and integration of different sectoral networks in the field of research, education, health, commerce and governance.

The Government approved the establishment of the National Knowledge Network (NKN) in March 2010, at an outlay of Rs.5990 crore. A High Level Committee (HLC) has been set up for establishment of NKN, under the Chairmanship of the Principal Scientific Advisor to Govt of India. National Informatics Centre has been designated as the implementing agency and the action plan has been developed by the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) set up by the HLC. 

What are the main features of NKN ?
The NKN will consist of an ultra-high speed Core (multiples of 10Gbps and upwards), and over 1500 nodes. It is scalable to higher speed and more nodes also. The Core shall be complemented with a distribution layer at appropriate speeds. The participating institutions can directly or through distribution layer connect to the National Knowledge Network at speeds of 100 Mbps /1 Gbps. The architecture of the network aims to provide reliability, availability and scalability.

Agricultural Rejuvenation


Harnessing the Demographic Dividend

for Agricultural Rejuvenation

If educated youth choose to live in villages and launch the new agriculture movement based on the integrated application of science and social wisdom, our untapped demographic dividend will become our greatest strength. 

During his recent visit, President Barak Obama pointed out that India is fortunate to have a youthful population with over half of the total population of 1.2 billion being under the age of 30. Out of the 600 million young persons, over 60% live in villages. Most of them are educated. Gandhiji considered the migration of educated youth from villages to towns and cities as the most serious form of brain drain affecting adversely rural India’s development. He therefore stressed that we should take steps to end the divorce between intellect and labour in rural professions.  

The National Commission on Farmers stressed the need for attracting and retaining educated youth in farming. The National Policy for Farmers placed in Parliament in November 2007, includes the following goal– “to introduce measures which can help to attract and retain youth in farming and processing of farm products for higher value addition, by making farming intellectually stimulating and economically rewarding”. At present, we are deriving very little demographic dividend in agriculture. On the other hand, the pressure of population on land is increasing and the average size of a farm holding is going down to below 1 hectare. Farmers are getting indebted and the temptation to sell prime farm land for non-farm purposes is growing, in view of the steep rise in the price of land. Over 45% of farmers interviewed by the National Sample Survey Organisation want to quit farming. Under these conditions, how are we going to persuade educated youth, including farm graduates, to stay in villages and take to agriculture as a profession? How can youth earn a decent living in villages and help to shape the future of our agriculture? This will require a three-pronged strategy.
-Improve the productivity and profitability of small holdings through appropriate technologies and market linkages.  
-Enlarge the scope for the growth of agro-processing, agro-industries and agribusiness. 
-Promote opportunities for the services sector to expand in a manner that will trigger the technological and economic upgradation of farm operations.   

Financing Agriculture : Some Issues (India)


Financing Agriculture : Some Issues (India)

Small and marginal farmers should be helped to liberate themselves from the stranglehold of moneylender and should be given priority for accessing low cost credit.

Post 1990 India has emerged as one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Its GDP growth rate of about 9% in the last few years is historically unparalleled except by our neighbour China. With rapid economic and social growth, however, new challenges emerge as also new growth strategies. For sustainable economic development, the crucial agricultural sector has to grow at a consistent 4% growth rate to GDP. Given the fact that 60% of our farming is monsoon dependent, ensuring consistent growth in food production is a major challenge, especially in wake of global warming and consequent climatic changes.

Credit has a very important role to play in supporting agricultural production and investment activities. The total credit flow to agriculture during the 10th Five Year Plan was expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.38%, as against the CAGR of 18.63% achieved during the 9th Five Year Plan. However, although the total agricultural credit has increased during the last six years, there are serious quantitative as well as qualitative concerns. The poor outreach of the formal institutional credit structure is a serious issue that needs to be corrected expeditiously. The findings of the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) 59th Round (2003), reveal that only 27% of the total number of cultivator households received credit from formal sources while 22% received credit from informal sources. The remaining households, comprising mainly small and marginal farmers, had no credit outstanding. Comprehensive measures aimed at financial inclusion in terms of innovative products and services to increase access to financial services and institutional credit, are required. Other issues such as ensuring credit flow to tenant farmers, oral lessees and women cultivators, complex documentation processes, high transaction costs, lack of availability of quality inputs across all regions, inadequate and ineffective risk mitigation arrangements, poor extension services, weak marketing links and sectoral and regional issues in credit are also required to be addressed expeditiously. The lack of rural credit bureaus also delays the process of sanction of agricultural loans as there is need to reduce loan risk and documentation procedures.

Right to Education Act, India



The Parliament of India passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act on the4th of August 2009, making education a Fundamental Right for every child in the country. The historic legislation underlines the obligations of the central and state governments for providing free and compulsory education to every child between the age of six and fourteen. Let us look at the basic provisions of the Act :

What does the Act provide ?

The Act provides that every child between the age of six and fourteen shall have a right to free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school till the completion of elementary education, that is up to class eight. If a child is not admitted to school at the age of six he or she can seek admission even later on in a class appropriate to his/ her age, and will be entitled to free training to ensure that he is at par with his class. No child can be denied admission, expelled or held back before completing elementary education, and will continue to get free education even beyond the age of fourteen if he does not complete elementary education within that age.  

What are the respective obligations of the Centre, States, local governments, schools and parents under the Act ? 

The Central Government shall develop a framework of national curriculum , enforce standards for training of teachers and provide necessary technical support and resources to the State Government for promoting innovations, researches, planning and capacity building.

The State and local Governments shall ensure compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by every child of he age of six to fourteen years; ensure availability of a neighbourhood school , ensure that the children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged groups are not discriminated against , provide infrastructure including school building, teaching staff and learning equipment; ensure good quality elementary education, provide training for teachers, and monitor the working of schools.

Educational System Reform


One Good Example is Worth a Thousand Theories

This comment by Stanley Fischer, the former Managing Director of the IMF is quoted by Thomas Friedman in his book ‘The World is Flat’ and perhaps best summarises a general perception that while there is no dearth of expert opinion on what should be done in the primary education sector, it is now time to look at examples of what has actually worked to analyse the reasons for this and to suggest how best these can be replicated elsewhere. The schools run by the Government of Delhi for instance  have undergone a radical transformation in the past few years from a system which was once  considered one of the worst in the country to one which is now undoubtedly one of the best. Drab, dull, ray and dirty buildings are giving way to bright, cheerful, clean ones with functional toilets and  drinking water for all children. Teacher absenteeism, which used to be among the highest in India, has  been almost wiped out and all teachers now reach their school on time and remain there for the full  school day. All financial benefits such as that for school uniforms and all supplies such as text books  reach each and every child and there is no diversion. Classroom teaching has undergone an amazing  change with the introduction of joyful methods of teaching particularly for the primary classes, and all  Delhi Government school children are learning to speak English just like all “other” children. In fact,  short video clips showing the impact of the English language training imparted to school teachers  under an arrangement with the British Council can be viewed at the Education Department’s official website The smart children shown there creating stories in class from English words given to them by their teacher are all primary students in Standard V in Delhi Government Schools. The achievements are reflected in the fact that the overall enrolment in all classes increased by 20% in just  three year period till 2008. More significantly the Government took a major decision at the start of the  academic year in April 2009 to increase the number of seats available in all Delhi Government School (DGS) in primary classes by a huge 10 % in order to accommodate the increasing number of  applications received for admissions. A substantial number of the new students are coming from  private  schools within Delhi and adjoining areas in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, or are children who would otherwise have gone to a private school but for the visible improvements in DGS. In fact, the national  media, undoubtedly one of the hardest to please, have carried front page articles on how DGS are now a  viable alternative to private schools, a far cry indeed from just a few years ago when even the Planning  Commission suggested that we hand over all our schools to the private sector or NGOs as we just  could  not run them”.

Epicotyl Mango Grafting


Epicotyl Grafting :

Epicotyl grafting : It is same as the grafting in terms of methodology, only that in this case the of 15 to 20 days old seedlings are used as root stock for grafting.

Technique of mango epicotyl grafting:

1. Mango stones of any variety preferable bigger size are dibbled in the raised bed of 1.5 mt x 10 mt at a spacing of 3 inch x 3 inch.

2. Stones are dibbled vertically rather than traditional horizontally for convenience during uprooting and transplanting the mango grafts to the polythene.

3. When the mango seedlings are attained 15 to 20 days old, (still in reddish,Bronzy, coppery or greenish red colour and having stone kernel left with some food and nutrient supplement for getting quick joint in the grafts) these are uprooted carefully with stone and root undamaged. The roots and stones are dipped in 0.1 percent bavistin solution for five minutes after washing the soil.

4. These are cut at a ht of 5-6 inch and splited longitudinally to accommodate the mother scion(the twigs of desired verity)

5. Mother scions of about 8 inch as collected from the desired mother plant are then given two slanting cut opposite to each other at the base to give a wedge shape. The mother scion used for this purpose should be defoliated 7-10 days prior to the grafting (scion twigs still attached to mother plant) so as to get a plumpy/swelled terminal bud.

6. These cut scions are then inserted in the splitted root stock carefully and tied by the grafting polythene tape keeping about 6 inch of scion part above the joint.

7. To maintain the smoothness at the joints (mismatch due to the difference in the diameter of stock and scion) and greater success of grafts, one side of the joints is smoothened by matching the stock and scion surface before tying the tape.

8. These stock-scion grafts are then transplanted into the black polybags of size 7 x 9 sq inch and filled by the soil mixture (prepared earlier as in case of normal nursery) firmly.

9. These are then nurtured in controlled condition without exposing to direct sunlight and rain for about one month till the joints are successful. Then these are exposed to open area for vigour growth.

10. Most suitable time for grafting : June 15- July 15 (Under Indian Condition) giving more than 90% success.

11. Plantation in main field is done on the onset of next rainy season when the grafts have attained 3 feet ht and of 10-12 months old.

Human Development Index


The Human Development Concept

Human Development is a development paradigm that is about much more than the rise or fall of national incomes. It is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead productive, creative lives in accord with their needs and interests. People are the real wealth of nations. Development is thus about expanding the choices people have to lead lives that they value. And it is thus about much more than economic growth, which is only a means - if a very important one - of enlarging people’s choices.

Fundamental to enlarging these choices is building human capabilities —the range of things that people can do or be in life. The most basic capabilities for human development are to lead long and healthy lives, to be knowledgeable, to have access to the resources needed for a decent standard of living and to be able to participate in the life of the community. Without these, many choices are simply not available, and many opportunities in life remain inaccessible.


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