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On March 28, 2017, Indian Parliament passed the much awaited Mental Healthcare Bill. The bill provides services and healthcare to the mentally ill people and aims to decriminalise the suicide. Though the bill was passed in August 2016 by Rajya Sabha, on Monday, the bill secured a complete approval in Lok Sabha too. Highlights of Mental Healthcare Bill The bill ensures every citizen to have the right to the mental health treatment access from the service institutes funded by the government. The bill will provide free treatment for homeless, poor people who are suffering from mental sickness even in case they don’t have Below Poverty Line proof. The bill also compels all the states to have mental health events and program to empower the individuals and should be patient-centric. The bi...
Due to the hit and run case in which was involved last year, corporate lawyer, Jhanvi Gadkar’s driving license has been terminated for life. The Regional Transport Office (RTO) of Mumbai has recently taken this decision. In the alleged hit and run case, Gadkar was caught drunken-driving, when the accident killed two people and injured four others, in July, 2015. Her license was suspended in the month of September, but she appealed to Deputy Commission of Regional Transport office for regaining her license. Even though after hearing her lawyers, the RTO officers did not give any personal hearing to Gadkar, and terminated her right to drive for good.
Sushma Swaraj has once again played the role of a guardian angel to Indian women, and women in general. This time, she chose to help a woman of Indian origin living in the US, who recently gave birth to a baby girl, after she lost her husband due to a heart attack. Swaraj directed the Indian Embassy in Washington DC to extend all kinds of help to Deepika, who is now staying in New Jersey. Her husband was a software engineer, died on October 19, 2016, in Boston. After that, her husband’s friends took her with them for a better care. Deepika is also a mother of four year old boy. According to Swaraj’s instructions, the Embassy was directed to provide all help to Deepika in passport and visa clarifications so that she, and her children, could return to India speedily and begin a new life.
Ranchi’s regional passport office has recently simplified the application procedure for students. For that, they have introduced online appointments in a simple manner for encouraging more youngsters who require mandatory documentation for traveling abroad. The documents can double up as a passport and work as identify proof. The students just need to log in online and fill up application form. After that, they need to visit the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) at Ratu Road, at their convenient time for submitting relevant documents. This will be followed by biometric scan. Students can visit the PSK at any time even without prior appointment. The news was circulated among students of the Ranchi University. Many schools were also taken into the fold as part of this initiative.
In the global rankings, India ranks third for issuing maximum passports, as per a survey in the year 2015. An official from the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed this, by stating that India has issued nearly 12 million passports to its citizens. The Joint Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi, further informs that China is in the top position, after which, the second position has been taken by the US. Nearly 12 million passports have already been issued in India, and millions are ready to be issued within a few more days. India plans to increase its passport issuance by 20% in the next fiscal. It has earned Rs. 2400 crore in the present fiscal as compared to Rs. 2100 crore from the previous fiscal year.
The Katni district, in Madhya Pradesh, has issued a directive asking passport applicants to ensure that they have toilets at home if they want their names to be cleared under police verification, for traveling papers. This has been defined to be a mandatory rule for all passport applicants. The directive is said to be a part of campaign, which is used for implementing the Pradhan Mantri Swachh Bharat Mission. The police will further ensure that passport applicants compulsorily attach a certified copy that they have toilets at home. Only after that, any police verification can happen and a no objection certificate may be to the applicants.
Two major changes have been mentioned by the Ministry of External Affairs, which helps in fast tracking the procedure for the first timer passport applicants. These are in relation to the issuing of passports and what documents need to be submitted. The Ministry is making it more convenient for securing appointment at local Passport Seva Kendras. Citizens are said to be granted with a fresh passport under normal category in one week, if they have three major documents: A elector’s photo-identity card (EPIC), copies of Aadhar card and PAN card. Apart from these documents, the applicants might also need to present affidavit in form of Annexure I.
Thanks to the recent ruling in the Delhi High Court, now single mothers have the liberty to procure passport for their child, without requiring the father’s signature. This change seems to be an acknowledgment of the struggles of many single women for their identity and place in society. In the present world, many women might like or be compelled to raise their child alone. The Deli HC realised that there was no justification to impose the rule of getting the child’s father’s signature for the issuing of a passport. The ruling hopes to ensure that the mother’s identity is enough for a child to receive his or her first passport.
Tamil Nadu’s passport officials have seized 500 passports, which were mostly obtained using fake documents from Passport Seva Kendras in Tirunelveli and Madurai. Various cases under Passport act have already been registered, against 500 passport holders. These were under Emigration Check Not Required (ECNR) category. It has been further stated by officials that the concerned police stations, where the applicant holders are residing, have been informed as to further steps. An official release stated that the passports were obtained in improper manner with applicants, offering fake documents, which include PAN cards and boosting income rate for obtaining ECNR status.
Citizens, wanting to apply passport under “normal” category can now get their travel documents on ‘tatkal’ basis, as well. And that too automatically! The above can only take place if their applications have the necessary conditions. The Ministry of External Affairs has given this news. However, the important police verification for such tatkal applicants is said to be done after the passport has been issued. This is a revised rule, used for not just saving time and effort, but also for saving money, as spent while procuring the passport.
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) is for providing financial security to girl child, as launched by the Narendra Modi government. More than 76 lakh accounts have been opened under this scheme, and their amounts count up to 3000 crores rupees. However, recently some changes have been made, which addresses some of the ambiguities in the original rules of the scheme. Opening an Account : A maximum of 2 accounts can be opened in a family for two girls. Each girl will have one account of her own. Parent or any legal guardian can open this account for girl child, anytime from her birth till the age of 10. Now, this provision has been given to adopted daughters as well. Eligibility : The girl needs to be an Indian citizen throughout the scheme’s tenure. In case, the residency status changes, she wil...
In the 2016 national budget, the NDA-led Central Government raised the previous allocation for MGNREGA schemes by a whopping Rs. 3800 crore. This led to a total of Rs. 38,500, which will be the highest budget spent on MGNREGA so far. The previous fiscal year had a budget of Rs 34,699 crore for the scheme with the promise of another Rs. 5000 crore depending upon justifiable needs by the states and the union territories. The new budgetisation for MGNREGA came as a celebration of rural emancipation and dignity of labor for all. The boost was more significant as it came in 2016 which also happens to be the tenth anniversary of the MGNREGA scheme.