- Foreign envoys in J&K on a fact-finding visit
- Declare Goa sanctuaries as ‘tiger reserve’
- U.P. tops in crimes against women
- Panel approves scheme to ‘trade’ in forests
- Only a marginal decline in Farmer Suicide rates
- Police seek to tap emerging tech to transform into a hi-tech force
Why in news?
- A 15 member foreign envoys’ delegation arrived in Srinagar on a two day visit to J&K and met over 100 people, including senior Valley based politicians, top newspaper editors and grassroots representatives.
Why did they come?
- They were seeking feedback on the ground situation post the revocation of the State’s special status, Pakistan’s attempts at interference and immediate demands of the people
Related foreign visits in the past
- A 28-member delegation from the European Union met PM Modi on October 28, 2019. The delegation visited Kashmir on October 29, 1019.
- The delegation was to check on the reality of the situation in Kashmir.
- This was the first trip to the region by a foreign delegation after India revoked Article 370 and integrated Kashmir with the rest of the country.
- India rejected the US ‘s plea to visit the region earlier in October 2019.
Why in news?
- Activists and politicians from Goa have demanded that certain areas in wildlife sanctuaries of the State be notified as ‘tiger reserve’.
- The demand has come following the death of four tigers in Mahadayi Wildlife Sanctuary.
Name of WLS
- The State government had sent a proposal to the Centre according to which, about 500 sq km area of Mahadayi, Netravali, Cotigao sanctuaries and some part of Mahaveer National Park was to be selected and marked as ‘tiger reserve’, considering the presence of the striped animals in those places.
Why in news?
- The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) published the annual Crime in India Report 2018
Details of the report
- According to the report, 3,78,277 cases of crime against women were reported, up from 3,59,849 in 2017. Uttar Pradesh topped the list with 59,445 cases, followed by Maharashtra and West Bengal.
- The conviction rate in rape related cases stood at 27.2% even though the rate of filing charge sheets was 85.3% in such case
- The NCRB also released the Accidental Death and Suicides in India 2018 report, which said that 10,349 people working in the farm sector ended their lives in 2018, accounting for 7.7 % of the total number of suicides in the country
- NCRB was set-up in 1986 to function as a repository of information on crime and criminals so as to assist the investigators in linking crime to the perpetrators based on the recommendations of the Tandon Committee to the National Police Commission (1977-1981) and the MHA’s Taskforce (1985).
- Subsequently, NCRB was entrusted with the responsibility for monitoring, coordinating and implementing the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) project in the year 2009. The project connects 15000+ police stations and 6000 higher offices of police in the country.
- NCRB launched the National Digital Police Portal. It allows search for a criminal/suspect on the CCTNS database apart from providing various services to citizens like filing of complaints online and seeking antecedent verification of tenants, domestic help, drivers, etc.
- The Bureau has also been entrusted to maintain National Database of Sexual Offenders (NDSO) and has also been designated as the Central Nodal Agency to manage technical and operational functions of the ‘Online Cyber-Crime Reporting Portal’ through which any citizen can lodge a complaint as an evidence of crime related to child pornography, rape/gang rape.
- NCRB also compiles and publishes National Crime Statistics i.e. Crime in India, Accidental Deaths & Suicides and also Prison Statistics
Why in news?
- The Forest Advisory Committee, an apex body tasked with adjudicating requests by the industry to raze forest land for commercial ends, has approved a scheme that could allow “forests” to be traded as a commodity
- It allows the Forest Department to outsource one of its responsibilities of reforesting to nongovernment agencies.
- In the current system, the industry needs to make good the loss of forest by finding appropriate non- forest land equal to that which would be razed.
- It also must pay the State Forest Department the current economic equivalent called Net Present Value of the forest land .
- The proposed ‘Green Credit Scheme’ allows agencies they could be private companies, village forest communities — to identify land and begin growing plantations.
Forest advisory committee works under the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).
Why in news?
- National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) records on accidental deaths and suicides show that the suicide rate in the deeply stressed agrarian sector accounted for 7.7% of total (134,516) suicides in India.
- 10,349 farmers and agricultural laborers committed suicide in 2018.
- The year before – 10,655 cases were noted, so only a marginal 306 reduction.
Details and Concerns
- The fact that over 10,000 farmers and agricultural laborers committed suicide is a bigger concern than a marginal increase on a decrease in the various numbers.
- The problem in data, such as efforts by states to downplay suicides and tinkering with the definition of farmers. This would present a watered-down version of the real picture.
- For example, 66 suicides were rejected by authorities in Karnataka on the grounds that the suicides were for reasons other than the agrarian crisis in the state.
- 2018 also saw a sharp increase in farmer protests across the country and triggered a wave of loan waivers.
- Maharashtra had the highest share in farm-related suicides (34.7%) and Karnataka had the second highest (23.2%).
- West Bengal, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Goa, and Union territories reported zero farmer suicides.
- Farmer sector has been under presser due to:
- Recurring droughts and floods
- Declining income from agriculture
- The plummeting price of produce
- Lack of minimum support price mechanism
- Shrinking land holdings
- Other factors such as Falling Consumer Expenditure and Rural wages also have an impact on the agrarian distress.
- Use of AI, face recognition tools may grow as tech-driven solutions replace manual processes used by the police force.
- Policing India’s millions has usually meant stick-wielding men relying on arcane techniques.
- However, a new generation is beginning to embrace technologies such as artificial learning (AL), and collaborating with digital leaders to fight crime.
Possible solutions and Current uses
- Recording the first information reports (FIRs) electronically will reduce human involvement by filing them through apps, websites or even an Internet of Things (IoT) device, thus overcoming the sheer reluctance of officials manning the registration of the complaint. – This is important as – If an offense is not registered in the first place, a criminal is exonerated at the beginning. If there is no documentation, there is no question of prosecution and conviction.
- Other plans include
- Identifying and capturing digital and non-digital evidence using AI and machine learning (ML)
- Face recognition
- Virtually predicting crimes
- Identifying and rehabilitating people dependent on crime for a livelihood.
- Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajsthan use an AI-enabled criminal database using AI-based human face detection (ABHED), which was developed by Gurugram-based Staqu Technologies. So, whenever they spot suspicious characters, policemen can whip out their smartphones, take a picture and tap into the database to determine whether he/she is a criminal.
- Tamil Nadu has upped its game by building an online base of vehicles and installing an AI-based system called Tollscope, which has been linked to 30 toll plazas. If a vehicle used in a crime crosses any of the plazas, the authorities will be immediately alerted.