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Govt. working on tougher consumer protection law

 

In News:

  • A new consumer protection law is on the anvil to crack down on misleading advertisements and simplify the grievance redressal mechanism.
  • The new law will replace the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, and is in line with the revised UN guidelines on consumer protection.
  • It is currently with the Cabinet Secretariat and will be placed before the Cabinet for consideration soon, the Prime Minister said.
  • The proposed Act lays great emphasis on consumer empowerment.

Background:

Consumer Protection Act:

  • It  is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted in 1986 to protect the interests of consumers in India.
  • It makes provision for the establishment of consumer councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumers’ disputes and for matters connected therewith also.
  • Consumer Protection Councils are established at the national, state and district level to increase consumer awareness.

Significance:

  • This statue is regarded as the Magna Carta in the field of consumer protection for checking the unfair trade practices and ‘defect in goods’ and ‘deficiencies in services’ as far as India is concerned.
  • It led to the establishment of a widespread network of consumer forums and appellate courts all over India.
  • It has significantly impacted how businesses approach consumer complaints and empowered consumers to a great extent.

 

Defence Minister takes note of key shortfalls in Navy

 

In News:

  • Commending the Navy on maintaining continuous deployment of ships, submarines and aircraft in India’s areas of interest in the last one year, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday took note of the critical capability shortfalls that the service is facing in various platforms.
  • The Navy is facing shortfalls in ship-borne multi-role helicopters, conventional submarines and mine counter measure vessels, which need urgent redressal to maintain the combat edge of the Navy.
  • Ms. Sitharaman assured the Commanders’ that that these issues were being given due impetus and efforts were in hand to mitigate these shortcomings at the earliest.
  • The Navy has recently validated a new mission based deployment concept to maintain round-the-clock surveillance of critical choke points and sea lanes of communication in the Indian Ocean Region in the backdrop of increased Chinese presence in the region.

 

India for ‘constructive’ Rohingya policy

 

In News:

  • Seeking a ‘constructive’ approach to dealing with the exodus of the Rohingya, India said that the displaced members of the community will have to return to their place of origin in the Rakhine province of Myanmar.
  • We are talking to Bangladesh and separately engaged with Myanmar and we feel that this is a situation better addressed with practical measures and constructive conversation, rather than doing very strong condemnations and, having checked the condemnation box, moving to the next issue.”, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said.
  • He highlighted the need for “a sober, sensitive and locally sensitive approach” in dealing with the humanitarian emergency that the exodus had become.

Who are Rohingyas?

  • Rohingya are an ethnic group, largely comprising Muslims, who predominantly live in the Western Myanmar province of Rakhine.
  • Though they have been living in the South East Asian country for generations, Myanmar considers them as persons who migrated to their land during the Colonial rule. So, it has not granted Rohingyas full citizenship.
  • Since they are not citizens, they are not entitled to be part of civil service. Their movements are also restricted within the Rakhine state.
  • Myanmar state, which was ruled by the military junta until 2011, has been accused of ethnic cleansing in Rakhine by the United Nations.

What about Rohingya in India?

  • According to the Ministry of Home Affairs there are approximately 40,000 Rohingyas living in India.
  • They have reportedly reached India from Bangladesh through the land route over the years.
  • MoS Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, recently informed the parliament that all the Rohingyas in India were “illegal immigrants” and they will be deported soon, a decision that has surprised many given the record of India accepting refugees.
  • A case is pending in Supreme Court with the petitioner asking the Union government to stop with its deportation plans.

 

India, Sri Lanka ink housing project deal in Hambantota

 

In News:

  • Weeks after pro-Rajapaksa protesters clashed with the police outside the Indian consulate in Hambantota, Sri Lanka signed an agreement with India to build 1,200 houses in a public ceremony held in the southern port city.
  • The coastal city of Hambantota gained strategic significance after President Rajapaksa built a massive port and an airport with huge Chinese loans.
  • The signing of the MoU in Hambantota amid assumes significance not only in its timing, but also in taking India’s housing project to the Sinhala-majority Southern Province.
  • Of the 1,200 houses to be built following Thursday’s MoU, 600 will be constructed in the Southern Province.
  • The remaining would be built across Sri Lanka, through one model village in each of the country’s 25 districts, according to a press release from the Indian High Commission in Colombo.