On February 17, 2021, the Union Cabinet Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra has gave its approval to the following proposals:
Cabinet approves Amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015
The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD) to make amendments in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 or JJ Act by introducing measures for the strengthening of Child Protection. These mainly include empowerment of District Magistrate.
- The amendments were detailed by Union Minister Smriti Zubin Irani, MoWCD during a press conference.
–As per the Government data, in 2018, there were 629 adoption cases pending in various courts. In order to ensure speedy disposal of these cases, the amendment has authorized District Magistrate (DM) including Additional District Magistrate to issue adoption orders under Section 61 of the JJ Act.
- These include empowering the DMs and the additional DMs to monitor the functioning of agencies responsible for implementing the JJ Act.
- The District Child Protection Units will function under the DMs.
- Before someone sets up a shelter home for children and sends their proposal for registration under the JJ Act to the State, a DM will have to assess their capacity and conduct a background check.
- A DM could also independently evaluate the functioning of the Child Welfare Committee, Special Juvenile Protection Units and registered childcare institutes
–The amendments also included background and educational qualification checks of a person who wants to join as a member of child welfare committees (CWC). Currently there is no specific direction for the same.
— The definition of “child in need of care and protection” is expanded as child victims of trafficking, drug abuse and those abandoned by their guardians area also included in under the amended law
–The amendments also categorise certain previously undefined offences as ‘serious offences’.
- At present, the act has three categories of petty, serious and heinous crimes within the JJ Act.
- For offences where the maximum sentence is more than 7 years but no minimum sentence is prescribed or a minimum sentence of less than 7 years is provided are to be treated as serious offences.
Union Cabinet approves enhanced delegation of financial powers under Capital Procurement
The Union Cabinet also approved enhanced delegation of Financial Powers under Capital Procurement to levels below Vice-Chief of Armed Forces for items of Capital nature such as overhauls, refits, upgrades etc.
- Notably, this delegation of powers remains within Service Headquarters in New Delhi.
- This decision has been taken for faster processing and implementation of projects for modernization of Armed Forces.
–Under Other Capital Procurement Procedure (OCPP) of Defence Acquisition Procedure-2020, financial powers up to Rs.100 crore has been delegated to General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C), Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C), Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) at Services Command and Regional Commanders, Indian Coast Guard (ICG)
–Powers up to Rs. 200 crore has been delegated to Deputy Chief of Army Staff (CD & S)/ MGS (Master General Sustenance), COM (Chief of Material), AOM (Air Officer Maintenance), DCIDS (Deputy Chief Integrated Defence Staff) and ADG ICG (Additional Director General Indian Coast Guard).
Enhanced financial powers in the Make-I category
The Cabinet has also approved enhanced financial powers in the Make-I category under which Government funding up to 70% of the prototype development cost.
- Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC), Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS), Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS), Deputy Chief of Air Staff (DCAS), and Director General Coast Guard (DG(CG)) have now been given powers to sanction Government support up to 50 crore towards cost of prototype development.
About Ministry of Defence (MoD):
Union Minister– Rajnath Singh (Constituency- Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State (MoS)– Shripad Yesso Naik
Cabinet approval with foreign countries
Cabinet approves Comprehensive Economic cooperation and Partnership Agreement between India and Mauritius
The cabinet approved signing of India’s first Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) with a country in Africa i.e. Mauritius.
- This limited agreement will cover Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Trade in Services, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, Dispute Settlement, Movement of Natural Persons, Telecom, Financial services, Customs Procedures and Cooperation in other Areas
- It will come into force from March 1, 2021.
- Both sides also agreed to negotiate an Automatic Trigger Safeguard Mechanism (ATSM) within two years of the Signing of the Agreement.
How CECPA works?
CECPA encourage and improve trade between the two countries.
- The CECPA between India and Mauritius covers 310 export items for India, including food stuff and beverages (80 lines), agricultural products (25 lines), textile and textile articles (27 lines), base metals and articles thereof (32 lines), electricals and electronic item (13 lines), plastics and chemicals (20 lines), wood and articles thereof (15 lines), and others.
- On the other hand, Mauritius will benefit from preferential market access into India for its 615 products.
Under CECPA, Indian service providers will have access to around 115 sub-sectors from the 11 broad service sectors. While India has offered around 95 sub-sectors from the 11 broad services sectors, including professional services, R&D, other business services, telecommunication, financial, distribution, higher education, environmental, health, tourism and travel related services, recreational services and transport services.
Recent Related News:
i.The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has approved Rs.3,004.63 Crore project to turn Paradip Port in Odisha into a world-class port. The project is titled as “Deepening and Optimization of Inner Harbour Facilities including Development of Western Dock on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis under Public-Private Partnership (PPP)mode to handle cape size vessels at Paradip Port”.
ii.The Union Cabinet also approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Indian Government and Royal Government of Bhutan on Cooperation in the peaceful users of outer space which was signed on November 19, 2020 by both sides at Bangalore/Thimpu.
Capital: Port Louis
Currency: Mauritian rupee