Stagnation of MSMEs

In News

  • Recently a survey was conducted by the Consortium of Indian Associations (CIA) on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

More about the survey

  • About: The survey was led by the industry body Consortium of Indian Associations (CIA) comprising 1,08,500 entrepreneurs.
    • The objective of the survey was to know
      • The predicament of MSMEs in India, 
      • Their opinion on Budget 2023 -24 and 
      • Their unfulfilled requirements.
  • Highlights:
    • Stagnation of MSMEs:
      • According to the survey, over three-fourths of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are of the view that their business remained either stagnant or decreased or wound up during the last five years.
      • It also stated that 76 per cent of the respondents are not making a profit and access to bank finance remains a big issue.
      • Only 28% of the respondents have confirmed that they are growing
    • Government support:
      • 45 per cent of the respondents were of the view that there was no “ease of doing” that exists in starting or running or closing or in their living style.
      • Only 21 per cent of the respondents stated that the government has supported MSMEs adequately during the Covid-19 pandemic. 
    • Dissatisfaction with Union Budget:
      • 87 per cent of the respondents felt the Union Budget was disappointing or a big let-down or had no comments.
MSME Sector In India About:Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), are small-sized business enterprises defined in terms of their investment.Significance of the sector:Contribution to GDP:In India, the sector has gained significant importance due to its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country and exports.Contribution in Development: The Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector is a major contributor to the socioeconomic development of the country. The sector has also contributed immensely with respect to entrepreneurship development, especially in semi-urban and rural areas of India.Resilience in disruptions:Despite concerns of a looming global recession, supply disruptions and the Russia-Ukraine war, India has stood out as a bright spot, growing faster than most major emerging markets.The 6.3 crore micro, small and medium enterprises which account for 30 per cent of GDP and employ nearly 11 crore people have demonstrated this spirit of resilience. With sales in several industries across the MSME sector reaching 90 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, India’s small businesses are scripting a turnaround.

Report suggestions

  • Revisiting regulations:
    • As concluded by the survey, though the government has been talking about the ‘ease of doing business’, micro-entrepreneurs continue to be governed by complicated and outdated laws and dispensable compliance burdens. 
    • Given this, the Association feels that the government should revisit, scrap or re-draft these laws. 
  • Amend MSME statute:
    • It has also proposed that the government should amend the MSME Development Act, 2006 to strengthen state facilitation councils and also make changes to the GST Act to make it more friendly to small businesses.
  • Need for separate ministry:
    • CIA has also called for a separate Micro Enterprises Ministry could help address specific issues facing this sector.

Government initiatives for MSMEs in India:

  • Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY):
    • Under PMMY loans are provided up to Rs. 10 Lakh through Member Lending Institutions (MLIs) viz; Banks, Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), Micro Financial Institutions (MFIs), other financial intermediaries, in three categories namely, ‘Shishu’, ‘Kishore’ and ‘Tarun’ which signifies the stage of growth or development and funding needs of the borrowers.
      • Shishu: covering loans up to  Rs. 50,000/-
      • Kishore: covering loans above  Rs. 50,000/- and up to Rs. 5 lakh
      • Tarun: covering loans above  Rs. 5 lakh and up to Rs. 10 lakh
    • Objectives: 
      • To signify the stage of growth/development and funding needs of the beneficiary micro unit/entrepreneur and also provide a reference point for the next phase of graduation/growth.
  • Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE): 
    • This scheme provides collateral-free credit to micro and small enterprises through a credit guarantee mechanism.
  • Stand Up India: 
    • The scheme provides financial assistance to scheduled caste (SC), scheduled tribe (ST) and women entrepreneurs for setting up new enterprises.
  • Harmonizing value chain: 
    • Government to focus on integrating India’s value chains with the rest of the world and creating logistics that are easier and faster is crucial to make it easier for international companies to include India in their value chains.
  • Quality assurance: 
    • Government to focus on creating Quality as the most important factor in the success story of India through steps including- setting global benchmarks, harmonizing Indian standards with global standards, and consumers becoming more demanding of quality.
  • Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA): 
    • It will help MSMEs of both India and UAE to leverage the benefits of the District as an export hub initiative of the government.
    • Under this initiative, every district for their unique products and identify the speciality of districts by knowing which district exports which products. 
    • This initiative is expected to help in promoting local products and in turn, boost the local economy.

Way ahead

  • Three key parameters that are vital for the success of MSMEs include: 
    • Financial stability, 
    • Availability of skilled labour in MSME clusters, and 
    • Market competitiveness of their products to achieve import substitution as well as exports.
  • The MSME (micro, small and medium enterprise) sector in India can play a significant role in achieving the vision of a self-reliant India
  • To remain relevant in the market, MSMEs need to be adaptable with changing markets and variable demand scenarios.

Source: TH

India’s Mental Healthcare Act


  • The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) flagged the inhuman conditions of government-run mental healthcare institutions.


  • The report flagged the inhuman and deplorable condition of healthcare institutions that are keeping patients illegally long after their recovery which  is an infringement of the human rights of mentally ill patients.
  • The shortage of doctors, lack of infrastructure, and inhuman handling of mental patients were also highlighted.
  • Long-term institutionalisation thus not only violates Article 21 of the Constitution which protects personal liberty, but also indicates a “failure of the State Government(s) to discharge the obligation under various international Covenants [such as the United Nations Convention]relating to rights of persons with disabilities which have been ratified by India.

Mental Healthcare

  • Mental health care refers to the range of services and treatments provided to individuals who are experiencing mental health challenges or disorders. 
  • Mental health care can take many different forms, including therapy, medication, support groups, hospitalization, and other interventions.

Current Mental Healthcare Status

  • India:
    • It is estimated that 6-7 % of the population suffers from mental disorders in India.
    • WHO estimates that the burden of mental health problems in India is 2443 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) per 100 00 population.
    • The age-adjusted suicide rate per 100 000 population is 21.1. The economic loss due to mental health conditions, between 2012-2030, is estimated at USD 1.03 trillion.
  • Global:
  • As per World Bank, nearly 1 billion people live with a mental disorder and in low-income countries, more than 75% of people with the disorder do not receive treatment. Every 40 seconds, a person dies by suicide. About 50% of mental health disorders start by the age of 14.
  • As per WHO Depression is one of the leading causes of disability and suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.
  • People with mental illness may be subject to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
  • In 2022, WHO launched the World Mental Health Report: Transforming Mental Health for All.
  • Mental Health is included in Sustainable Development Goals

What Mental Healthcare Act (NHA), 2017 Says?

  • The act provides for the rights of persons with mental illness, including the right to access mental healthcare and treatment, the right to make decisions about their treatment, the right to confidentiality, and the right to legal aid.
  • It establishes mental health services at the district level to provide access to mental healthcare and Mental Health Review Boards (MHRBs) to oversee the treatment of persons with mental illness and to protect their rights.
  • It decriminalizes attempted suicide, recognizing that suicide is often a symptom of mental illness, and provides care and treatment for persons who attempt suicide.
  • It establishes a Central Mental Health Authority and State Mental Health Authorities to regulate mental healthcare and services and to promote mental health.
  • The act prohibits the use of Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) without anesthesia and the use of seclusion and restraint in mental health establishments, except in exceptional circumstances.
  • The act provides for advance directives, which allow individuals to express their preferences for treatment and care in the event that they are unable to make decisions for themselves.

Challenges implementing the NHA, 2017

  • Awareness: Many people, including mental health professionals, are unaware of the legal rights and protections for persons with mental illness.
  • Human resources: There is a severe shortage of mental health professionals including psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers in rural India.
  • Defunct Bodies: The State Mental Health Authority and MHRBs are yet to be formed in many states or remain defunct. The defunct MHRBs render people unable to exercise rights or seek redressal in case of rights violation.
  • Funding: The implementation of the act requires funds to establish mental health services at the district level, train mental health professionals, and regulate mental healthcare and services.
  • Residential service users: Around 36.25% of residential users were found living for one year or more at state Psychiatric facilities as per the 2018 report by Hans Foundation.
  • Stigma: Refusal of families to take away patients back to their homes due to the stigma attached to incarceration and the non-functionality of individuals.
  • Infrastructure: There is a lack of infrastructure, including buildings and equipment, to establish mental health services at the district level.
  • Lack of Community-based services to provide rehabilitation to people who don’t wish to return to their families, have no memory of their families, have mental disabilities, and are unable to work.  

Government of India Initiatives

  • National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) in 1982: To ensure the availability and accessibility of minimum mental healthcare for all in the foreseeable future.
  • Mental Healthcare Act, 2017: It provides mental healthcare and services for persons with mental illness in India.
  • National Suicide Prevention Strategy
  • Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2017: The Act acknowledges mental illness as a disability and seeks to enhance the Rights and Entitlements of the Disabled.
  • National Tele-Mental Health Programme: To improve access to quality mental health counselling and care services in the country.
  • Kiran Helpline: It provides for suicide prevention and can help with support and crisis management.
  • World Mental Health DayTo raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.

Way Ahead

  • Increase funding for mental health: This includes allocating a larger portion of the healthcare budget to mental healthcare services and providing funding for community-based mental health programs.
  • Use technology: 
    • Telemedicine and digital health platforms can be used to increase the accessibility of mental health care services.
    • Online mental health services can make it easier for individuals to access medical care from home at less cost.
  • Increase Awareness  Governments can launch public awareness campaigns to increase understanding of mental illness and reduce discrimination about mental illness.
  • Implement insurance coverage for mental health: Governments can mandate insurance providers to cover mental health care services and treatments.
  • Reduce the cost of medication: Governments can regulate the cost of mental health medications, or provide subsidies for these medications.
  • Increase the number of mental health professionals
    • Governments can invest in mental health education and training to increase the number of mental health professionals for Mental Health.
    • They can also provide incentives for mental health professionals to work in areas where there is a shortage of mental health services.
  • Integrate mental health care into primary care
    • Primary care providers can be trained to provide basic mental health care services and to recognize symptoms of mental illness.
    • Integrating mental health care facilities can increase the accessibility of mental health care services.

Strengthening Cooperative Movement

In News

  • The Union Cabinet has approved strengthening cooperative movement in the country by  formulating a plan to establish viable grass roots societies in each uncovered Panchayat.


  • The Union Cabinet has approved a plan to establish
    • viable Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) in each uncovered Panchayat
    • viable dairy cooperatives in each uncovered Panchayat/village
    • viable fishery cooperatives in each coastal Panchayat/village as well as Panchayat/village having large water bodies.
  • The plan aims to strengthen the existing PACS/dairy/fishery cooperatives through convergence of various schemes of Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying by leveraging the ‘whole-of-Government’ approach.
  • It also aims to set up 2 lakh PACS/ Dairy/ Fishery cooperatives in next five years with the help of action plan prepared by NABARD, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and National Fishery Development Board (NFDB).
  • A national cooperative database is also being prepared by Ministry of Cooperation for real time monitoring of the new cooperative societies.
  • Significance :
    • provides the farmers with forward and backward linkages to market their produce, enhance their income, obtain credit facilities and other services at village level itself.
    • establishing new cooperative societies would generate employment opportunities in rural areas, which would have multiplier effect for the rural economy.
    • enable farmers to realize better prices for their products, expand the size of their markets and integrate them into the supply chain.

Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS)

  • Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) serve as the last link in a three-tier cooperative credit structure headed by the State Cooperative Banks (SCB) at the state level.
  • They provide short and medium-term credit and other input services to member farmers. 
  • There are  98,995 PACS in the country with a member base of 13 crore,
  • These are refinanced by NABARD through 352 District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) and 34 State Cooperative Banks (StCBs).
  • Significance of PACS :
    • provide multi-functional services such as providing input supplies, marketing and trading .
    • Provide backward linkages like warehousing services for better price realisation by farmers.
    • Forms the core of credit system for farmers.
      • PACS account for 41% (3.01 crore farmers) of the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) loans given by all entities in the country, and 95% of these KCC loans (2.95 crore farmers) through PACS are to small and marginal farmers.
  • Issues with PACS:
    • PACS cover only around half of rural households.
    • Their funds are inadequate to process the short-and medium-term credit needs of the rural economy.
    • Credit given by PACS is limited in both scale and function.
    • Inefficient management structure.
  • Way forward:
    • Digitisation of PACS for better management
    • Streamlining of governance structures for better control of resources.
    • Introduction of professional management with an aim to develop them as One Stop Shop for meeting all the needs of its members.


  • It is a voluntary association of individuals having common needs who join hands for the achievement of common economic interest. 
  • Its aim is to serve the interest of the poorer sections of society through the principle of self-help and mutual help
  • Evolution Post Independence :
    • After independence,  the framers of the Constitution placed cooperatives in the State list. They came to be considered instruments of socio-economic development and became an essential focus of the initial Five-Year Plans
    • In 1958, the National Development Council (NDC) had recommended a national policy on cooperatives and setting up of Co-operative Marketing Societies.
    • National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), a statutory corporation, was set up under National Cooperative Development Corporation Act, 1962.
    • States made their own laws to regulate cooperatives within their jurisdiction, but in 1984, the Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act was enacted by Parliament to consolidate different laws at the central level.
    • In 2002, Government  of India enacted the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act 2002 to replace the 1984 act.
    • Government of India also announced a National Policy on Co-operatives in 2002.
    • To consolidate the gains made in co-operative sector ,Government amended the constitution via 97th Constitutional Amendment Act 2011. The act produced following changes
      • Addition of a new Part IX-B to the Constitution titled “The Co-operative Societies” (Articles 243-ZH to 243-ZT). 
      • The right to form cooperative societies was included as Right to Freedom (Article 19 (1)).
      • Promotion of Cooperation societies was inserted as one of the DPSPs (Article 43-B).
    • Formation of a separate ‘Ministry of Co-operation’ in 2021 for realizing the vision of ‘Sahkar se Samriddhi’ (Prosperity through Cooperation) and to give a new push to the cooperative movement.
    • To plug the “loopholes” in the MSCS Act , to improve transparency and ease of doing business the government  introduced a Bill seeking to amend the 2002 act.
      • The Lok Sabha has recently referred the Multi-State Co-operative Societies (Amendment) Bill-2022 to a joint committee of Parliament in December 2022.
  • Significance of Cooperatives
    • Cooperatives are rooted in democracy and are flexible which makes them well suited for economic development.
    • It Instills in  people a sense of equality, mutuality, and co-operation.
    • They facilitate a more equitable distribution of the benefits of economy.
    • Cooperatives provide agricultural credit in places where state and private sector are unable to reach.
  • Issues
    • Indefinite Postponement of elections: There have been instances where elections have been postponed indefinitely and nominated office bearers or administrators remaining in charge of these institutions for a long time. 
    • Reduced accountability:Trends like politicisation of boards,irregular elections have  reduced the accountability of the management of co-operative societies to their members. 
    • Unprofessional behavior: Inadequate professionalism in management in many of the co-operative institutions has led to poor services and low productivity. 
  • Reforms
    • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): Allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the cooperative sector, particularly in Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) for augmentation of resources and infrastructure.
    • Technology upgradation: Creation of a technology upgradation fund for the sector to update and improve infrastructure.
    • Making use of Land available with PACS: PACS have more land than the Railways.It can be leveraged for expanding the resource base of cooperative societies.
  • Way Forward: Co-operatives need to run on well-established democratic principles. Therefore, there is a need to initiate fundamental reforms to revitalize these institutions in order to ensure their contribution in the economic development of the country and also to ensure their autonomy, democratic functioning and professional management.

Delimitation in Jammu & Kashmir

In News

  • Recently, the honourable Supreme Court junked pleas challenging the recommendations of Jammu & Kashmir delimitation commission.


  • The Supreme Court of India has recently dismissed a petition challenging the Delimitation Commission that has redrawn constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The petition was filed by two residents of Kashmir, Haji Abdul Gani Khan and Muhammad Ayub Matto.
  • The government had constituted the Delimitation Commission after the bifurcation and downgrading of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories in 2019.
  • The petitioners argued that the constituencies across the country should remain unchanged until the first census after 2026, which was based on the 1971 Census.
  • However, the government stated that the Delimitation Commission was part of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act passed in 2019 after the abrogation of Article 370.
  • Previously, the President had formed a three-member Delimitation Commission chaired by Justice (retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai and members including Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and J&K State Election Commissioner K.K. Sharma as ex-officio members.
  • The Commission has faced unique challenges in carrying out the delimitation process, including a wide range of population densitygeographical barriers, and inadequate conveniences along the International Border.

What is the Delimitation Commission?

  • Delimitation is the process of redrawing electoral boundaries to ensure that each constituency has a roughly equal number of voters in order to prevent any one community from having an unfair advantage in elections.
  • The provision for Delimitation Commission in India is enshrined in Article 82 of the Constitution of India.
  • The first Delimitation Commission was set up in 1952 after the first general elections were held in India.
  • Previously, the 2002 and 2008 delimitation exercises were carried out for all states and Union Territories except Jammu and Kashmir, which was covered by a separate Delimitation Commission in 1995.
  • The most recent reconstitution of the Delimitation Commission took place in 2020 when a three-member Delimitation Commission was constituted for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Composition of Delimitation Commission

  • The Delimitation Commission is a high-level body that is set up by the President of India.
  • The Commission is composed of a chairperson and four other members, all of whom are either retired or serving judges of the Supreme Court or High Courts.
  • The members are appointed by the President after consulting the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
  • The Delimitation Commission is supported by a secretariat that is headed by a Director.

Important features

  • The Delimitation Commission is responsible for redrawing the boundaries of Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha constituencies.
  • The Commission takes into account factors such as geography, topography, and the boundaries of administrative units such as districts and tehsils.
  • The Commission also takes into account the number of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in each constituency and ensures that their interests are protected.
  • It has the power to increase or decrease the number of seats in a state or Union Territory.
  • The delimitation exercise is carried out after each census to ensure that the electoral boundaries reflect the changing demographic profile of the country.
Key Recommendations of the Delimitation Commission on J&KThe new Assembly would have 90 seats, with 47 in Kashmir and 43 in Jammu which is an increase from the earlier 83, with six additional seats in Jammu and one in Kashmir.For the first time in J&K, nine seats have been reserved for Scheduled Tribes, with six in Jammu and three in the Kashmir Valley while seven seats have been reserved for Scheduled Castes.The Centre should nominate at least two “Kashmiri migrants” to the Legislature who would have the same powers as nominated members of the Puducherry Assembly.Centre should consider giving “some representation” to persons displaced from Pakistan-occupied J&K. However, this is a proposal that the Centre will decide on.The Commission has merged two areas, Anantnag region in the Valley and Rajouri and Poonch of Jammu region, into one Lok Sabha constituency. This move has been criticized by regional parties as the two areas remain cut off in winter and have no direct access.The Commission has restored old names and reworked a few Assembly segments in the Kashmir division that had been renamed in the previous draft and had evoked criticism from local parties.The Delimitation Commission has seen Jammu & Kashmir as a single entity for the purposes of the delimitation, and each Parliamentary constituency will now have an equal number of 18 Assembly constituencies.

Way ahead

  • Delimitation Commission is an important body that plays a key role in ensuring that the electoral boundaries in India are fair and equitable. 
  • With recommendations being notified, it has paved the way for the first-ever Assembly elections in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. 
  • While some of the Commission’s decisions have faced criticism from regional parties, the delimitation process aims to ensure equal representation of the population in elections, a key aspect of democracy.

Source: TH

Custodial Deaths

In News

  • Recently, the Union government briefed Rajya Sabha on Custodial deaths in India


  • The Ministry of Home Affairs has recently informed the Rajya Sabha the details of the custodial deaths reported between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2022, across all states and Union Territories in India.
  • Police brutality and violence have exponentially grown over the last four-five years in India.
  • Inadequate legal provisions in the judicial system to reprimand law enforcing authorities for carrying out brutal practices and resorting to torture have also contributed to this problem.
  • Previously, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) reported 2,150 deaths in judicial custody and 155 deaths in police custody in 2021-2022 which show a constant increase in custodial deaths.
  • Human rights activists have flagged it as every individual has the fundamental right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Key Findings:

  • Highest number of custodial deaths in the last five years have been reported in Gujarat at 80 followed by Maharashtra(76), Uttar Pradesh(41), Tamil Nadu(40) and Bihar(38) respectively.
  • Among the nine Union Territories, the highest incidents of custodial deaths were reported from Delhi at 29 in the last five years, followed by Jammu and Kashmir at four.
  • total of 146 cases of death in police custody were reported during 2017-2018, 136 in 2018-2019, 112 in 2019-2021, 100 in 2020-2021, and 175 in 2021-2022.
  • States like Sikkim and Goa reported no incidents from 2017 to 2020 but recorded one incident of custodial death each in 2021-2022.
  • Altrhough the total tally of custodial deaths in the past five years was 9,112, the disciplinary actions were taken in only 21 cases, accounting for just 0.23% of the total cases
  • Nearly 69% of deaths in police custody from 2010-2020 occurred due to illness (40%) or suicide (29%) while physical assault by police has been observed in only 6% of cases.

What is Custodial Death?

  • Custodial death refers to the death of an accused during pre-trial or after conviction, caused by the direct or indirect act of police during their custody. 

Types of Custody:

  • About: Arrest and custody are not synonymous, and custody means keeping an individual in protective care based on the apprehension that he or she may cause harm to society.
    • Police custody: When a police officer arrests an individual accused of committing a crime and brings him to the police station, it is called police custody.
    • Judicial Custody: The accused is kept in the custody of the magistrate of the concerned area.
    • Custody and judicial remand under CrPC in India: According to Section 57 of the CrPC, a police officer cannot detain a person in custody for more than 24 hours and the officer needs to seek special permission from the magistrate to hold further.

Major issues with Custodial Deaths in India

Disregard to human dignity:

  • 2018 prison report of NCRB lists 149 custodial deaths due to unnatural causes and due to unknown causes with no recorded details.
  • Many deaths were caused by suicide, but it is unclear whether inmates committed suicide or were forced to avoid further violence and torture.
  • Psychological aspects of prisoners are neglected, and there is no psychiatric help available.

Miserable Prison Conditions:

  • The prison conditions are miserable, and medical facilities offered to inmates are inadequate.
  • Fighting among inmates is frequent and fatal.
  • Physical agony adds to the mental trauma, severely impacting an inmate’s mindset.

Excessive Power of Police:

  • Excessive power vested by the State in police authorities is one of the most important reasons behind the rise of custodial death.
  • Police authorities often resort to an excessive amount of force.
  • Many cases of custodial death are covered up in administrative cover-ups.
  • No stringent actions were taken against the individuals in the past, and no precedent has been set so far.

Custodial Torture:

  • It refers to the torture of a suspect while under the custody of a law enforcement agency.
  • The Supreme Court has rejected the notion of custodial torture, citing it as a naked violation of human dignity and degradation.
  • It is an offense punishable by law, but the offender often does not get punished.
  • Doctors conducting post-mortems are pressured by police authorities, making it difficult to perform their medical duties diligently.

Violation of Rule of Law:

  • About: Custodial death due to torture and violence by police goes against the fundamental structure of the Constitution of India and violates various fundamental laws that are guaranteed by the Constitution.
    • Article 20(1) prohibits punishment above what is mentioned in the law that deals with the offence.
    • Article 20(3) prohibits a person to be compelled to be a witness against himself.
    • Forced testimony is violative of Article 20(3).

What are the Legal Provisions to Penalise Custodial Death?

  • Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC): Charges police officer with murder for the death of a suspect in custody
  • Section 304 of IPC: Punishes police officer for ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’, while Section 304A can be applied for custodial death by negligence
  • Section 176(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC): Empowers magistrate to hold inquiry into cause of death during custody
  • Section 7 and 29 of Indian Police Act: Empowers senior police officers to dismiss or suspend negligent police officers, and penalises police personnel for carrying out their duty negligently

International laws dealing with human rights

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 (UDHR): Every person should be treated as innocent until proven guilty and No person should be tortured or treated cruelly
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966: Every individual has the inherent right to life and prevention of cruel, degrading, and inhuman treatment of prisoners
  • United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, 2015: It discourages any discrimination against prisoners based on race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or another opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or another status.
  • United Nations Charter (1945): It sets out the purposes and principles of the UN, including the promotion of human rights.
  • European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms(1950): It is an international treaty that seeks to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals in Europe. 
7 directives laid down in Prakash Singh v. Union of IndiaFormation of a State Security CommissionMerit-based system for the appointment of the Director-General of the PoliceTwo-year minimum tenure for SP and station house officersSeparation of the investigation and law and order functions of the policeEstablishment of a Police Establishment BoardFormation of a Police Complaint AuthorityFormation of the National Security Commission

Way Ahead

  • The need for a change in the alarming statistics of custodial deaths and for this the government must take steps to put checks and balances against Protection of police by the states which undermines the Constitution of India
  • In this direction, implementation of guidelines and directives recommended in Prakash singh case will be a welcome state to help prevent custodial deaths.

Source: IE

Lavani Dance

In News

  • Recently, the State of Maharashtra witnessed a controversy surrounding Lavani dance, where the younger generation of women dancers was accused of vulgarising the traditional folk art form.


  • Derived from ‘lavanya’ or beauty, Lavani is a traditional folk art form in which women dancers wearing nine-yard-long sarees in bright colours, make-up, and ghunghroos(ankle bells) perform on dholak beats on a stage before a live audience.
  • It attained popularity in the Peshwa era in the 18th century with performances being held in front of kings and for the entertainment of tired soldiers resting during breaks in fighting.
  • Several sub-genres of Lavani exist, of which the most popular is the Shringarik (erotic) kind. With passage of time the art became sanitised with later performers choosing indirect references to erotic meanings over direct gestures and overt lyrics.
  • Lavani dance was generally performed by Dhangars or Shepherds living in the Solapur, inspired by nature, the dance form contains tales of the birth of Biruba, their deity. Live performances continue to get huge responses from the public in rural Maharashtra.
  • A Lavani performance can be broadly categorized into two parts. The Nirguni Lavani, which deals with philosophy and Shringari Lavani which deals with sensuality.
  • Shrinagri Lavani is more popular than Nirguni Lavani and is performed in theatres as well as in Bollywood movies. Shringari Lavani deals with a multitude of genres, with the love between a man and a woman being the most prominent.


In News

  • Recently, the Fourth meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) Emergency Committee on the Multi-Country Outbreak of monkeypox was held.
    • The International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005 are a legally binding agreement of 196 countries to build the capability to detect and report potential public health emergencies worldwide.

Current Global Statistics by WHO

  • As many as 85,765 confirmed and 1,382 probable cases of mpox (monkeypox) have been reported from 110 countries since January 1, 2022.
  • The United States was the most affected, recording 29,948 confirmed cases during the period. It was followed by Brazil, Spain, France, and Colombia.


  • About:
    • It is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions. It is endemic to Nigeria.
    • It is caused by the monkeypox virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae.
    • The clinical presentation of monkeypox resembles that of smallpox, a related orthopoxvirus infection which was declared eradicated worldwide in 1980.
  • Historical Outbreaks:
    • The first case of monkeypox was reported in 1958 in monkeys and in humans in 1970 in western Africa.
    • Nigeria witnessed the biggest outbreak of the disease in 2017.
    • Thereafter, the disease has been reported in many countries including the USA, Singapore, UK.
  • Symptoms:
    • Fever
    • Rash and swollen lymph nodes
    • Headaches and nausea
  • Transmission:
    • Monkeypox virus is mostly transmitted to people from wild animals such as rodents and primates, but human-to-human transmission also occurs (close physical contact).
    • Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.
  • How is it different from smallpox?
    • The main difference between the symptoms of smallpox and monkeypox is that the latter causes lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy) while smallpox does not.
  • Treatment:
    • There is no specific treatment or vaccine available for Monkeypox infection. 
    • People exposed to the virus are often given one of several smallpox vaccines.
    • Antiviral drugs like brincidofovir and tecovirimat.

Way Ahead for India

  • Raising awareness and improved surveillance
  • Preparedness of Health facilities after the drop in cases of long Covid-19.


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