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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.


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