A total of 195 Fast Track Special Courts have been set up
across the country for expeditious trial and disposal of pending cases
related to rape and Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences, POCSO Act
Giving this information in the LokSabha, Law and Justice
Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, maximum 56 Fast Track Special Courts are
functional in Madhya Pradesh, followed by Gujarat and Rajasthan. He said, 34
Fast Track Special Courts in Gujarat and 26 in Rajasthan are functional by the
end of January, 2020.
In reply to another question, the Minister said, 14th Finance
Commission has endorsed the proposal of government for setting up of 1,800 Fast
Track Courts during the period 2015-20 for dealing with specified nature of
cases related to women, children, senior citizen and other vulnerable sections
of the society. Mr Prasad said, there are 828 such Fast Track Courts functioning
in the country as on 31st December last year.
Almost half the government schools in the country do not
have electricity or playgrounds, according to a report submitted by the
parliamentary panel on education.
In its report on the 2020-2021 demand for grants for school
education submitted to the RajyaSabha last week, the Parliamentary Standing
Committee on Human Resource Development (HRD) expressed concern that budgetary
allocations saw a 27% cut from proposals made by the School Education
Department. Despite proposals for ₹82,570 crore, only ₹59,845 crore was
Noting similar 27% reductions for the central and centrally
sponsored schemes as well, the panel recommended that these core schemes get
additional funds at the revised estimates stage.
Less than 57% of schools have playgrounds, including less than
30% of schools in Odisha and Jammu and Kashmir, according to the Unified
District Information System for Education (UDISE) 2017-18 survey.
The panel recommended that the HRD Ministry collaborate with the
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to construct boundary
walls, and work with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to provide solar
and other energy sources so that schools have access to power.
In government higher secondary schools, not a single additional
classroom had been built by December 31, 2019, although 1,021 had been
sanctioned for the financial year 2019-20.
In the wake of the moratorium on private sector lender Yes
Bank, the RBI clarified on Sunday that deposits of customers were safe.
Allaying concerns over the banking sector health, Chief Economic
Adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian said Indian banks were well capitalised and
there was no reason to worry. He said it was a wrong method to assess a lender’s
health based on the ratio of deposit to m-cap (market capitalisation).
“What I want to emphatically state is that the m-cap ratio is a
totally incorrect metric for assessing the safety of the banks. No banking
sector expert or banking regulator uses this measure,” Mr. Subramanian told
mediapersons at his office here.
“What banking sector experts and regulators use is what is
called the CRAR. It is important to keep this in mind that the international
norms for CRAR is 8% and Indian banks on an average have a CRAR of 14.3%.
“So, 8% is the mandated minimum norm and our banks on the
average have 14.3% (CRAR). Now 14.3% versus 8% almost translates into 80%
greater capital than the international norms,” he said. He said the RBI mandated
the banks to keep CRAR at 9%. “Even compared to that, our banks have 60% more
capital. So this is something that is very important.”
The iconic and endangered Red Panda (ailurusfulgens) has
fewer hunters because the younger generations of people across its Himalayan
habitat are losing interest in animal products, a new study by wildlife
trade monitoring network TRAFFIC has found.
However, the reddish-brown arboreal mammal, not closely related
to the iconic black-and-white giant panda, is falling to traps laid for other
animals, such as the musk deer and wild pigs, the report said.
The only living member of the genus Ailurus, the Red Panda is
listed as ‘endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of threatened species. The animal
has been hunted for meat and fur, besides illegal capture for the pet trade. An
estimated 14,500 animals are left in the wild across Nepal, Bhutan, India, China
Red pandas have been reported from 11 districts of Arunachal
Pradesh, which is presumed to hold the largest red panda population in the
The researchers found that neither India nor Bhutan had reported
any incidences of poaching or illegal trade in Red Pandas in the study period.
“This may indicate that traditional demand for such products has reduced over
time and might be indicative of the success of awareness campaigns undertaken in
the areas,” the report said, indicating that younger people were not keen on
using the pelt or meat of the animal.
In contrast, experts from Nepal reported about 25 incidences of
Red Panda poaching, involving approximately 55 animals, and also claimed to have
witnessed and/or confirmed reports related to poaching on six occasions
involving 15 animals.