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NHRC MEMBERS FLAG LACK OF FORENSIC LABS

Focus: GS-III Science and Technology

Why in news?

Members of the National Human Rights Commission have raised concerns over the inadequate number of forensic science laboratories in the country that delays evidence gathering, leading to cases pending in courts and undertrial prisoners remaining behind bars.

Details

  • If forensic evidence was collected and preserved on time, particularly in sexual assault cases, the case could be resolved sooner.
  • The experts informed the officials that 70% of the weapons used in the country are “country-made” and do not comply with specifications that can be traced.
  • The Centre had allocated ₹200 crore out of the Nirbhaya Fund to States to ramp up forensic science infrastructure.
  • The NHRC would follow up on the matter, seeking action-taken reports as needed.

Nirbhaya fund

  • Nirbhaya fund was created in 2013 in the aftermath of December 2012 Delhi gangrape and murder case.
  • Giving in to popular sentiments, the government announced a separate fund for meeting expenditures to ensure the safety of women.
  • The government proposed an allocation of Rs 10,000 crore under the Nirbhaya Fund to ensure the safety of women.
  • Under the Nirbhaya Fund, the Centre gives money to the states, which in turn spend it on programmes meant for ensuring women’s safety.
  • The Women and Child Development Ministry is the nodal agency for expenditure from the Nirbhaya Fund.
  • The ministry it examines the programmes submitted to it by the states under the Nirbhaya scheme, approves them and recommends to the Department of Economic affairs for allocating funds.
  • The Nirbhaya Fund Framework provides for a non-lapsable corpus fund for the safety and security of women to be administered by the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) of the Government of India.
  • Further, it provides for an Empowered Committee (EC) of officers chaired by the Secretary, Ministry of Women & Child Development (MWCD) to appraise and recommend proposals to be funded under this framework.

The below standard funding pattern will be followed:

  1. 60:40 for all States normally
  2. 90:10 for States with difficult terrains
  3. 100% for UTs
  4. Few initiatives are 100% funded

-Source: The Hindu

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