- Unique Land Parcel Identification Number (UPLIN) Scheme
- Climate Data Service Portal
- POCSO Act against minors
- S. report flags curbs on Indian media
- No need to carry old passports by OCI card holder
Unique Land Parcel Identification Number (UPLIN) Scheme
Context:The Centre plans to roll out the Unique Land Parcel Identification Number (ULPIN) Scheme.
- The ULPIN scheme has been launched in ten States this year and will be rolled out across the country by March 2022, the Department of Land Resources told the Standing Committee on Rural Development.
- It would allot a 14-digit identification number to every plot of land in the country within a year.
- It will subsequently integrate its land records database with revenue court records and bank records, as well as Aadhaar numbers voluntarily.
- The scheme will enhance the service deliveries to the citizen of the country and will also function as inputs to the schemes of the other sectors like Agriculture, Finance Disaster Management, etc.
Need for this scheme
- Officials described it as “the Aadhaar for land”, a number that would uniquely identify every surveyed parcel of land and prevent land fraud, especially in the hinterlands of rural India, where land records are outdated and often disputed.
- The identification will be based on the longitude and latitude coordinates of the land parcel
- The scheme is dependent on detailed surveys and geo-referenced cadastral maps
- This is the next step in the Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme (DILRMP), which began in 2008 and has been extended several times as its scope grew.
Climate Data Service Portal
Context:The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has launched a Climate Data Service Portal having data of over 100 years.
- The portal was launched by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) on the occasion of World Meteorological Day (WMO).
- The portal has been developed by the National Data Centre (NDC).
- The portal is a user-friendly platform for climate data management.
- It will complement the fully automated climate data management processes.
- It will help in data dissemination expeditiously.
- The portal will provide the real-time monitoring of weather observations of IMD
POCSO Act against minors
Context:The Supreme Court has decided to examine whether the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act can be employed to punish teenagers for “consensual” physical relationships which later turn “sour.”
- A Bench led by Justice Indira Banerjee admitted the case of a man accused of rape while he was 18 years old by a girl who was 17.
- The duo was in a “relationship” in school. The man, however, refused to marry her, following which a complaint was filed against him in 2015. The case is based in Tamil Nadu.
- The trial court found the man guilty and sentenced him to 10 years’ imprisonment under the POCSO Act in 2019.
- This was despite the fact that the girl had changed her stance during the trial and stated in court that they were in a consensual relationship.
- The man approached the Supreme Court after the Madras High Court too refused to accept the girl’s stand that they were in a consensual relationship.
- The man and the girl were both “less than 18 years of age at the time of relationship”.
- The boy was a juvenile at the time. Now, the girl and the boy want to settle in life.
Salient provisions of the Act
- The Act defines Child as any person below eighteen. The Act also defines different forms of sexual abuses.
- The Act provides for relief and rehabilitation as soon as the complaint is made to the Special Juvenile Police Unit or the local police.
- The Act prescribes a maximum punishment of life imprisonment or the death penalty
- The Act provides a mandatory minimum punishment of three years.
- The Act provides for the establishment of Special Courts for the trial of offences under the Act.
U.S. report flags curbs on Indian media
Context:In its 2020 Human Rights Report, the U.S. State Department said the harassment and detention of journalists critical of the Indian government in their reporting and on social media, has continued, although the government generally respected the freedom of expression.
- It also said government’s requests for user data from Internet companies had increased “dramatically.”
- The report, which is submitted each year to the U.S. Congress, is retrospective and contains a country-wise discussion of the state of human rights.
- The government generally respected this right, although there were several instances in which the government, or actors considered close to the government, allegedly pressured or harassed media outlets critical of the government, including through online trolling.
- It also details cases against individual journalists and NGO activists.
- The government made 49,382 user data requests in 2019 from Facebook, a 32% increase from 2018.
- Over the same period, Google requests increased by 69%, while Twitter requests saw a 68% increase.
- In a section on the arbitrary deprivation of life, the report highlights the case of the Sattankulam (Tamil Nadu) custodial deaths of P. Jayaraj and his son J. Benicks, who were arrested for allegedly keeping their shop’s shutters open past permitted hours during the pandemic.
- The report takes note of the April 2020 detention of pregnant Jamia Millia student Safoora Zargar, who was protesting the citizenship laws.
- It also mentions the arrest of JNU student Umar Khalid, who like Zargar, was detained under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
- On the protracted detention of politicians in J&K, the report notes that former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, arrested under the Public Safety Act, was released after a three-month extension of her detention.
No need to carry old passports by OCI card holder
Context:People of Indian origin and the Indian diaspora having Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards will not have to carry their old, expired passports for travel to India, as was required earlier, according to a government notification.
- The OCI card issued to people of Indian origin globally gives them almost all the privileges available to an Indian national, except for the right to vote, employment in government service and buying agricultural land.
- The OCI card gives them a visa free travel to India.
- In a March 26 press release, the Indian missions in the U.S. said the “timeline for re-issuance of OCI cards has been extended until 31 December, 2021.”