Near the town of Roorkee, the administration of Uttarakhand’s Haridwar district recently imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973.
This law allows the magistrate of any Indian state or union territory to issue an order prohibiting the gathering of four or more people in a specific area.
It is imposed in cases of immediate nuisance or suspected danger from an event that has the potential to cause trouble or damage to human life or property.
This order can be issued against a specific person or the general public.
It restricts the handling or transportation of any type of weapon within the jurisdiction.
The maximum penalty for such an act is three years in prison.
The order under this section states that there shall be no public movement and that all educational institutions shall remain closed.
Furthermore, there shall be a complete prohibition on holding any kind of public meeting or rally during the term of this order.
Obstructing law enforcement agencies from disbanding an unlawful assembly is a punishable offence.
It also gives the authorities the authority to block internet access in the region.
The ultimate goal of Section 144 is to keep peace and order in areas where trouble could erupt and disrupt daily life.
No order issued under this section may be in effect for more than two months.
The state government has the option of extending the validity for two more months, with a maximum validity of six months.
When the situation returns to normal, Section 144 can be lifted.
Section 144 forbids gatherings of four or more people in the affected area, while curfew requires people to stay indoors for a set period of time. The government also imposes strict traffic restrictions.
Under the curfew, markets, schools, colleges, and offices remain closed, and only essential services are permitted to operate with prior notice.
If a person’s fundamental rights are violated, he or she can file a writ petition with the High Court.
However, there are concerns that the rights may have already been violated by the time the High Court intervenes.
Imposing prohibitory orders over a very large area is not justifiable because the security situation varies from place to place and cannot be addressed in the same way.
During the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, prohibitive orders were issued across a large portion of Uttar Pradesh.
What was the Court’s decision on Section 144?
The case of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya in 1967: According to the Supreme Court, “no democracy can exist if ‘public order’ is freely allowed to be disrupted by a section of the citizens.”
A seven-judge Bench led by former Chief Justice of India M Hidayatullah stated that the power of a magistrate under Section 144 “is not an ordinary power flowing from administration, but a power used in a judicial manner and capable of further judicial scrutiny.”
The court, on the other hand, upheld the law’s constitutionality, ruling that the restrictions imposed by Section 144 are covered by the “reasonable restrictions” to fundamental rights outlined in Article 19(2) of the Constitution.
The Court ruled that the fact that the “law may be abused” is insufficient reason to overturn it.
The Supreme Court chastised the government in 2012 for using Section 144 against a sleeping crowd at Ramlila Maidan.
The court ruled that such a provision can only be used in extreme cases to maintain public order.
The provision’s efficacy is to immediately prevent some harmful occurrence. As a result, the emergency must be sudden and the consequences severe enough.
The Supreme Court also ruled that such a section cannot be used to restrict citizens’ fundamental right to assemble peacefully, and that it cannot be used as a “tool” to “prevent the legitimate expression of opinion or grievance or the exercise of any democratic rights.”
Section 144 is a helpful tool for dealing with emergencies. However, the lack of any narrow tailoring of broad executive powers with specific objectives, combined with very limited judicial oversight of the executive branch, makes it vulnerable to abuse and misuse.
Before proceeding under this section, the Magistrate should conduct an investigation and note the urgency of the situation.
There is a need to strike a balance between the legislature’s grant of plenary powers to deal with emergent situations and the need to protect citizens’ personal liberty and other freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution’s fundamental rights.
The Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology (IT) recently spoke about the need for a legislative overhaul of the 22-year-old Information Technology Act, 2000.
The first IT legislation was enacted by the government in 2000.
The IT (Amendment) Act went into effect in 2009, with the goal of facilitating e-governance, preventing cybercrime, and encouraging security practises throughout the country.
The government recently published the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021.
Why is a New IT Law (External Issues) Required?
India Enters the Digital Age: In a few years, India will have a trillion-dollar digital economy, and a large number of businesses will be on the Indian Internet.
As a result, an open and secure Internet becomes a critical economic component of our country.
Splinternet’s Ascension: Because of aggressive national policies, trade disputes, censorship, and dissatisfaction with big tech companies, the global internet as we know it is on the verge of splintering into smaller bubbles of national networks.
This will have far-reaching implications for international organisations, data enterprises, and individual consumers alike.
China’s Great Firewall is perhaps the most sophisticated example of a splintered internet today.
The majority of cybercrimes in India are petty offences: With the exception of a few cases, the IT (Amendment) Act of 2008 made almost all cybercrimes bailable offences.
The emphasis was more on increasing the quantum of civil liability and decreasing the quantum of punishment, which explains why the country’s number of cybercrime convictions is in the single digits.
Restricted Cyber Security Remedy: The IT Act is effective in metropolitan cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bhopal, and Bangalore, but it is ineffective in tier-two cities due to enforcement agencies’ lack of awareness of the law.
The government is considering a new legislative framework with new rulemaking capabilities to address various issues concerning digital space. This should include the following:
The vast majority of cybercrimes should be designated as non-bailable offences.
To improve its effectiveness, the law should include a comprehensive data protection regime.
The IT Act should include cyberwarfare as an offence.
Parts of Section 66A of the IT Act go beyond the Constitution of India’s reasonable restrictions on freedom of speech and expression. These must be removed in order for the provisions to be legally viable.
Bilateral or multilateral agreements between countries will have to evolve to the point where nothing can be done in isolation from other countries.
According to recent data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), India’s Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) has dropped to just 40% from an already low 47 percent in 2016.
This indicates that not only is more than half of India’s working-age population (15 years and older) opting out of the labour market, but that this proportion is growing.
The Unemployment Rate (UER), which is frequently quoted in the news, is simply the number of unemployed (category 2) as a percentage of the labour force.
The LFPR in India is not only lower than the rest of the world, but it is also falling.
In India, it has been declining over the last decade, falling from 47 percent in 2016 to 40 percent by December 2021.
The main reason for India’s low LFPR is the abysmally low female LFPR.
According to CMIE data, the male LFPR was 67.4 percent in December 2021, while the female LFPR was as low as 9.4 percent.
In other words, less than one out of every ten working-age women in India is engaged in demanding work.
Even according to World Bank data, India’s female labour force participation rate is around 25%, while the global average is 47%.
The reasons for low women LFPR are primarily related to working conditions — such as law and order, efficient public transportation, violence against women, societal norms, and so on — that are not conducive to women seeking work.
The unemployment rate only counts people who are out of work; it does not account for the total number of people who have given up looking for work.
Typically, this occurs when people of working age become discouraged due to a lack of employment opportunities.
As a result, it is preferable to monitor another variable: the unemployment rate (ER).
The total number of employed people as a percentage of the working-age population is referred to as the ER.
Cyclical unemployment is caused by the business cycle, in which unemployment rises during recessions and falls during expansions.
In India, cyclical unemployment is negligible. It is a phenomenon that is prevalent in capitalist economies.
Technological unemployment refers to job losses caused by technological advancements.
According to World Bank data from 2016, the proportion of jobs threatened by automation in India has increased by 69 percent year on year.
Frictional Unemployment: Frictional Unemployment, also known as Search Unemployment, refers to the time lag between jobs when a person is looking for a new job or switching jobs.
Vulnerable Employment: People who work informally, without proper job contracts, and thus without legal protection.
Because records of their work are never kept, these people are classified as ‘unemployed.’
It is one of the most common forms of unemployment in India.
Support for Marginalized People’s Livelihoods and Enterprise (SMILE)
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (Pradhan Mantri Dakshta Aur Kushalta Sampann Hitgrahi) (MGNREGA)
Start-Up India Scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).
Intensive Industries: Food processing, leather and footwear, wood manufacturers and furniture, textiles and apparel, and garments are all labor-intensive manufacturing sectors in India.
To create jobs, special packages, tailored to each industry, are required.
Decentralization of Industries: Decentralization of industrial activities is required so that people from all regions can find work.
Development of rural areas will help to reduce migration of rural people to urban areas, reducing the pressure on urban area jobs.
Drafting a National Employment Policy (NEP): A National Employment Policy (NEP) is required, which would include a set of multidimensional interventions covering a wide range of social and economic issues affecting many policy spheres, not just labour and employment.
Enhancing human capital through skill development could be one of the underlying principles of the National Employment Policy.
Creating enough decent-quality jobs in the formal and informal sectors for all citizens to absorb those who are available and willing to work.
Improving social cohesion and labour market equity.
Coherence and convergence in the government’s various initiatives
assisting the private sector in becoming the primary investor in productive enterprises
Helping self-employed people improve their earnings by strengthening their capabilities
India launches the Digital India RISC-V (DIR-V) programme for next-generation microprocessors, with the goal of commercialising silicon and winning design awards by December 2023.
The Digital India RISC-V Microprocessor (DIR-V) Program aims to enable the development of microprocessors for the future in India and around the world, with the goal of achieving industry-grade silicon and design wins by December 2023.
DIR-V will see collaborations between startups, academia, and multinationals to make India a RISC-V Talent Hub for the World, as well as a supplier of RISC-V SoC (System on Chips) for Servers, Mobile devices, Automotive, IoT, and Microcontrollers around the world.
Professor V Kamakoti of IIT Madras will be the Chief Architect of the DIRV-Program, with S Krishnakumar Rao of C-DAC serving as the Programme Manager.
The roadmap for the design and implementation of the DIR-V Programme was unveiled, using the SHAKTI Processor from IIT Madras and the VEGA Processor from C-DAC.
RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) is experiencing a quantum leap and unprecedented levels of processor innovation, challenging the status quo.
The Prime Minister’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the investment for the 540 Megawatt (MW) Kwar Hydro Electric Project, which is located on the Chenab River in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
M/s Chenab Valley Power Projects Private Limited will carry out the project (CVPPL).
[CVPPL is a joint venture between National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and Jammu & Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC), with 51 percent and 49 percent equity contributions, respectively.]
The power generated by the Kwar Hydroelectric Project will aid in grid balancing and improve power supply position.
The Chenab River is also known as the Chandrabhaga River in northwestern India and northeastern and eastern Pakistan.
It gets its name from the Baralacha Pass in Himachal Pradesh.
It is formed by the confluence of two streams, Chandra and Bhaga, in Himachal Pradesh’s western (Punjab) Himalayas.
It flows west through Jammu and Kashmir, between the steep cliffs of the Siwalik Range (to the south) and the Lesser Himalayas (to the north) (north).
It continues into Pakistan, turning southwest and descending from the uplands into the broad alluvial lowlands of Punjab province.
The Chenab River empties into the Sutlej River, a tributary of the Indus River, after receiving the Jhelum River near Trimmu.