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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs 9th May, 2017

  • May 10, 2017
  • 1
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis, IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs May 2017, IASbaba's Daily News Analysis, National, social issues
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 9th May 2017

Archives

SOCIAL/ISSUE

TOPIC:

General Studies 1

  • Effects of globalization on Indian society Social empowerment

General Studies 2

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

General Studies 4

  • Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.

Law against torture

Introduction

In the age of global push for rights to all sections of the society laws against torture and inhuman treatment is a seminal necessity. India as a global voice against extreme violence should lead the way by bringing globally acceptable laws against torture.

UN Convention against Torture:

  • The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (commonly known as the United Nations Convention against Torture) is an international human rights treaty, under the review of the United Nations, that aims to prevent torture and other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment around the world.
  • The Convention requires states to take effective measures to prevent torture in any territory under their jurisdiction, and forbids states to transport people to any country where there is reason to believe they will be tortured.
  • The text of the Convention was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1984 and, following ratification by the 20th state party, it came into force on 26 June 1987.
  • 26 June is now recognized as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, in honor of the Convention. Since the convention’s entry into force, the absolute prohibition against torture and other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment has become accepted as a principle of customary international law. As of February 2017, the Convention has 161 state parties.

Issue:

  • Two decades after signing the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, India is yet to ratify it.
  • In recent times there is a fresh note of urgency attached to the need for early ratification, as the country has pending requests for the extradition of its nationals from other countries.
  • For, as pointed out by the Supreme Court, the absence of a stand-alone law prohibiting torture may prevent many countries from agreeing to India’s extradition requests.
  • Such a law may be in the national interest, the Chief Justice of India observed during the course of a hearing on a public interest petition seeking the enactment of an anti-torture law in accordance with the country’s commitment.
  • The court also noted that India was subjected to close questioning during the Universal Periodic Review of its human rights obligations at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
  • It cannot be forgotten that an extradition request relating to Purulia arms drop case suspect Kim Davy failed owing to the apprehension that he may be ill-treated in India.
  • In an era of increasing international cooperation on criminal matters, India will be better served if it is seen as adhering to international treaties, especially its obligations under the Convention Against Torture, which it signed in 1997.

Does India needs an Anti torture law?

  • There may be some doubt whether India needs a fresh law to prevent and punish torture. Provisions relating to causing hurt or grievous hurt, especially with a view to extracting a confession, criminal intimidation and wrongful confinement already exist in the Indian Penal Code.
  • However, the idea of a stand-alone law ought to be ultimately seen as a more tangible way of expressing commitment to eliminating torture.
  • A concrete step towards enacting a law was made when the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010, was passed by the Lok Sabha in 2010, but it was referred to a Select Committee in the Rajya Sabha.
  • In its report submitted in the same year, the committee recommended exhaustive amendments to the Bill to make it consistent with the language and intent of the Convention. Thereafter the Bill lapsed.
  • Given the pervasive nature of custodial violence and its complex policing requirements, the present legislative and administrative framework is obviously inadequate to prevent torture in a country of India’s size.

Conclusion:

It is imperative that a strong law that criminalises torture, imposes stringent punishment for it and contains liberal provisions for those suffering torture to complain against their perpetrators, prosecute them and be compensated and rehabilitated, is passed at the earliest.

Connecting the dots:

  • Analyse the need for an exclusive anti torture law of global standards in India. Elaborate.

 

NATIONAL/ECONOMY

TOPIC:

General Studies 2

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

General Studies 3

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it
  • Government Budgeting

New Financial Year

Introduction

In replacement of the present financial year we are following i.e. April-March which is a colonial legacy government is planning normal calendar year to be coinciding the same. The measure can have a number of benefits and concerns.

Issue:

  • In a recent Niti Aayog meeting, Prime Minister asked members to get to the task of aligning the country’s financial year with the calendar year.
  • The PM, wants destroy a vestige of the colonial era — the period considered for the country’s financial year.
  • Taking cue, BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh was the first off the block announcing its decision to go for the change last week.

What is it?

  • To ensure uniformity and enable comparison, countries tend to have a fixed 12-month period as their accounting year. This period is called fiscal or financial year.
  • Companies, States and other entities also generally toe the line.
  • In some countries however, the fiscal years followed by the Government and companies are different.
    • India’s fiscal year is from April 1 to March 31. This came about because the British preferred to begin their financial year on Lady’s Day, on March 25, since this was one of the days in the year when rents were paid in the UK; eons ago.
    • When the Gregorian calendar was adopted by the British, the fiscal year for Britain moved to April 6, and there it stays, till date.
    • When the British Raj spread across the world, its financial year was imposed in all colonies including India, Hong Kong and Canada.

Why is it important?

  • The Centre says that changing the financial year will help in aligning it with the farmers’ income flows.
  • While that argument is a little weak given the falling share of agriculture in the country’s economy, the change will help Indian companies that have associated entities in overseas jurisdictions.
  • Since most countries use the Gregorian calendar year (January to December) as their financial year, consolidating financial statements will be easier.
  • Comparing the macro data with other countries will also be much simpler as many multi-lateral agencies such as the IMF and the World Bank give projections for the calendar year.
  • But implementation needs to be well planned to prevent disruptions of the kind witnessed during the recent demonetisation.
  • Also, the changeover can be put off until companies have settled down with the GST laws and new accounting standards.

How does it affect a citizen?

  • It will make life simpler for those who find it confusing to figure out what happened to the country and companies in a period that straddles two calendar years.
  • Financial year 2017 for instance, begins in April 2016 and ends in March 2017.
  • It would have been easier if FY 2017 started in January and ended in December 2017.

Shankar Acharya Committe:

  • A high-level committee formed to study the feasibility of shifting financial year to January 1 from the current practice of starting from April 1 has submitted its report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
  • The government had in July set up a committee headed by former Chief Economic Adviser Shankar Acharya, to examine “desirability and feasibility” of having a new financial year.
  • The Committee has given reasoning for the change and its effect on the different agricultural crop periods and its impact on businesses, taxation systems and procedures, statistics and data collection.

Conclusion:

It is important for any policy measure to be well thought out and not for the sake of a change. The change in the financial year can be beneficial if done taking all stakeholders into consideration. The decision should be after taking public and all into confidence.

Connecting the dots:

  • India’s financial architecture is undergoing a host of changes. Elaborate the need of the same and the effect of the same on the economy.

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