AAP govt burns fingers with `two-finger test` circular on rape victims #Vaw


Delhi govt burns fingers with `two-finger test` circularDelhi govt burns fingers with `two-finger test` circular on rape victims


Too late for comfort: AAP government pulls two finger test for rape victims in face of political fire

by FP Staff  Jun 8, 2015

Sparking what is bound to be an unwelcome controversy for the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi, the state health department reportedly issued guidelines to city hospitals allowing the two finger test for sexual assault cases in select cases on the grounds that failure to do so could ‘result in injustice’. Those guidelines have now been hastily withdrawn by the AAP government which is promising action against the officials who issued them.

According to an Indian Express report, the guidelines on the test, which is also known as the ‘per vaginal test’ were issued by a three member committee of doctors on 31 May in which they recommended that physicians should not “be made to function under the constraint of a complete ban of these essential steps in the internal examination of a sexual assault victim.”

PTI image

The committee also reportedly said there was a misconception that the test was conducted to judge if a woman is habituated to sexual intercourse and that the test was purely to examine genital organs for forced penetration, document injuries, check for injuries and collect samples.

It also said that the test was to be conducted only in certain cases after taking the informed consent of the woman and in the cases of very young girls under anaesthesia.

“To do away with this pelvic examination would amount to incomplete assessment of the victim and result in injustice and low conviction rates,” the guidelines reportedly state.

A senior doctor was also quoted as saying in Hindustan Times report that the test was conducted only in cases where sexual assault victims are bleeding or have some discharge.

“It is to treat the patient and save her life and we have been doing it in specific rape cases,” the doctor said.

The guidelines issued by the Delhi government come after the Central Information Commission asked the Delhi government to suo moto make public whether the controversial two-finger test to determine rape has been banned in the national capital since the health department failed to spell out a clear policy on it.

Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu had noted at the time that no test could be conducted which violates a victim’s right to privacy.

But despite the committee’s justifications, its directive ran completely against the Union Health Ministry’s guidelines, which are specific on the fact that the test is ‘not scientific’ and shall not be performed.

It’s not just the Union Health Ministry, as even the Supreme Court had earlier noted that the two finger test violated the right to privacy of the victim.

“Undoubtedly, the two-finger test and its interpretation violates the right of rape survivors to privacy, physical and mental integrity and dignity. Thus, this test, even if the report is affirmative, cannot ipso facto, be given rise to presumption of consent,” a bench had noted.

“Medical procedures should not be carried out in a manner that constitutes cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and health should be of paramount consideration while dealing with gender-based violence,” the bench said.

The Delhi health ministry’s justification that doing away with the test would result in low conviction rates is also completely wrong.

In a detailed report on sexual assault cases in India, lawyers had told Human Rights Watch that “usually no acquittal or conviction rests completely on the findings of the finger test, but the defense uses these findings to break the morale of the survivor while she is testifying in court, to question her character and credibility, or to dispute her consent to the sexual act under consideration.”

If kept in place, Delhi would have been the only state to endorse a test that is clearly outdated, unnecessary and violates a woman’s rights. The collection of forensic evidence for proving sexual assault clearly doesn’t require the two-finger test to be performed . More appalling was the state’s health department willingness to approve the test for child victims, even under anaesthesia is incomprehensible.

The AAP government is now hastily backtracking in the face of political fire, a belated decision that is hardly comforting for citizens who would expect the party and its leader to have never made such a callous error to begin with. The state health department guideline clearly violated the spirit of the Hippocratic oath which is clear in its directive: First, do no harm. A directive that the AAP government, would do well to embrace.


#India- Why the Food Security Bill is neither populist nor unaffordable

Cultivatring Food Justice

Cultivatring Food Justice

The official poverty threshold is low. Many people above the threshold are also poor and look just like the people below the threshold. As a result, there is no reliable way in which subsidies can be targeted only to the people below the official threshold.
By Ashok Kotwal, HT
Criticism of the National Food Security Bill (NFSB) has led to the government dropping the idea of issuing an Ordinance and, instead, saying it would try to get the Bill passed in a special session of Parliament.
But doubts persist over the very concept of the Bill. Is it not extravagant to subsidise food for such a large part of the population when the poor constitute only 30 per cent of the population? Can a poor country afford such spending? Isn’t the Food Bill just corruption by another name? Wouldn’t the Bill lead to a virtual takeover of the grain trade by the central government? As a rising tide lifts all boats, should we not invest in growth rather than spend on consumption? These are all valid questions and we will attempt to answer them.
In a nutshell, we think the Bill is neither populist nor unaffordable. Some of the anxiety over the cost, corruption and the government’s ever-increasing role in the grain market stems from the assumption that PDS will remain forever the main vehicle of delivering the food subsidy. But if the government develops the necessary infrastructure — e.g., UID-linked bank accounts — states will be encouraged to switch to cash transfers. The extra costs of government storage and distribution will then be saved and the problems caused by the distortion of the grain trade will be mitigated. Many worries that arise from the identification of the food Bill with the PDS will disappear.
The Right to Food campaign is right to stress the need for a food subsidy with near-universal coverage but is wrong in its visceral opposition to cash transfers. The result is a food Bill written wholly in terms of an expansion of the PDS. Suggestions for reforms such as cash transfers and the use of biometric ID have been shunted to an obscure chapter despite the fact that the Delhi government has already opted for delivering the food subsidy through cash transfers.
Anyone who has had a cursory look at the food Bill tends to assume it is just expanding the present PDS and, thus, worsening existing problems of leakage, corruption and high costs of storage and distribution. This makes people antagonistic toward the idea of the food Bill. The opposition of the Right to Food campaign to even experiment with cash transfers has harmed the poor by making people sympathetic to the critics of the food Bill.
Cash transfers are often opposed on the grounds of paternalism. “If we give cash to the poor, they might blow it on frivolous things. If we give them food, they will be better nourished.” This can work as an argument for midday meals but not as a justification for PDS, which is nothing but an income transfer: the effect of the subsidy is that households save the money that would have otherwise been used to buy food at market prices.
Why do we need such an income transfer? Because about 90 per cent of India’s labour force makes a living in the informal sector. For inclusive growth, we need to invest in education and skills and remove constraints to the absorption of labour by the formal sector. But we also need to improve productivity in the informal sector, which depends on human capital and access to credit. Financial aid that gives the poor some flexibility in managing their affairs helps improve the productivity of their time. What looks like consumption also works as investment.
But if “the poor” are only the bottom third or so, why offer food subsidy to the bottom two-thirds of India? We often talk about the poor as if it is a well-defined group, but that is hardly the case. The official poverty threshold is low. Many people above the threshold are also poor and look just like the people below the threshold. As a result, there is no reliable way in which subsidies can be targeted only to the people below the official threshold.
Finally, there is the issue of costs. Official projections are that it would cost close to 1.5 per cent of GDP. But even in the most pessimistic scenario, our GDP is expected to grow at 5 per cent per annum in the near future. If we think of the fact that the Bill will cost less than one-third of the growth in the national income next year, it does not seem that unaffordable, especially given its value to the millions who will receive it.
(The writer is professor of economics, University of British Columbia. Co-authored with Milind Murugkar, a food policy analyst based in Nasik, and Bharat Ramaswami, professor of economics at the Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi)


Identity crisis on cards as crunch hits #Aadhaar #UID

Vaivasvat Venkat, TNN | Apr 12, 2013, 04.47 AM IST
LUDHIANA: Getting an Aadhar card made has become a problem for many residents in the city as most of them are not even aware of the centres where these Aadhar cards are being made. Absence of requisite staff and the enrolment kits used for making the cards is a major problem plaguing the project.”I have been hearing so much about the Aadhar card and how it is going to be a must in the coming times. However, the biggest problem for me is that I do not know where I should go to get this card made. It’s not only me facing this predicament as many of my friends too are encountering the same problem,” said TP Singh from GurdevNagar.
Advocate Yogesh Dewan, a resident of Model Town, also complained that he has not been able to get his card made as he does not know where it is made. “If at all the government is serious about making these cards, the work should be done in a proper manner. Area-wise centres should be opened at fixed places so that people know where to get the cards made without any hassle.”
When approached on the issue, District Food and Civil Supplies officer Lavkesh Sharma said, “Though we have many problems, work on the cards is being carried out. Wherever there are problems, we will definitely solve them.”


Plea against Aadhaar, Delhi HC asks govt to respond #UID

Apr 10, 2013

New Delhi: Delhi High Court today asked the city government to respond to a plea seeking quashing of its executive orders that made Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) or ‘Aadhaar’ compulsory for availing various public services here. Justice Rajiv Shakdher issued the notice to the Delhi government on a plea of Ashutosh Chandola that Aadhaar card, which was made optional by the Planning Commission, has now been made mandatory for availing benefits and public services in the national capital.

“Issue a writ in the nature of certiorari to quash executive orders…passed by the Delhi Government vide which Aadhaar has been mandatory for availing all public services from the Government of NCT of Delhi,” the petition said. It also said a direction be given to the government to accept other identity and address proofs such as voter I-Card, passport and other documents, prescribed by the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, for availing public services in Delhi.

The plea claimed that the Aadhar which is supposed to be optional has been made compulsory. AFP.

The plea claimed that the Aadhar which is supposed to be optional has been made compulsory. AFP.

“The entire (Aadhaar) project (of Planning Commission) is meant to be voluntary in nature and this is reflected in the Aadhaar enrolment form which clearly mentions that the Aadhaar enrolment is free and voluntary,” it said.

The project was launched to empower the poor, who lack ID proofs, in accessing various welfare and other services. The Government, however, issued executive orders and made Aadhaar mandatory for obtaining various certificates relating to “caste, domicile, income, death and birth.” Aadhaar has also been made necessary for registration of various documents relating to property, will and marriages, the petition said. It said the constitutional validity of UIDAI has been challenged in the Supreme Court and till the case is decided, “the burden of obtaining an Aadhaar should not be made mandatory on the public for availing public services.”



#India- Aadhaar For Birth, Marriage And Death #UID

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By S.G.Vombatkere
25 March, 2013
Extant law makes it mandatory for every citizen to formally register births, marriages and deaths in the family. A birth certificate is proof of age and a death certificate is proof that a person has died and, for example, his/her name is to be deleted from a Voter’s List. A marriage certificate shows that a man and a woman are legally married, their living together is socially acceptable and their progeny are legitimate. The civic body recording these events issues birth, marriage and death certificates, which are legal, primary civic documents concerning biological persons for identity, legal liability and inheritance, besides other legal, social and welfare purposes.
Government of Delhi (GoD) has very recently announced [http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/uid-number-aadhar-scheme-identification-crisis/1/259075.html “With 95 per cent registrations in order, Delhi to soon switch to UID numbers for utility services”] that “[f]rom paying bills to getting a driving licence, Delhiites will soon have to depend on a unique identification (UID) number to avail a host of utility services”. The Chandigarh UT administration had made the UID-Aadhaar number mandatory for registration of motor vehicles and for obtaining driving licences. The order was challenged in the Punjab & Haryana High Court, and was withdrawn. GoD now passing a similar order in ignorance of the Chandigarh case, will result in coercing citizens to enroll for the Aadhaar number or to engage in unnecessary litigation. Demanding an Aadhaar number for transactions (paying bills, driving licence, etc) where the citizen is paying for the service rendered with no loss to the state, is without logical or legal strength – it appears to be a crude ploy to force people into enrolling for UID-Aadhaar.
Administrations appear to be ignorant of the basis of civic documentation, because they are even making the UID-Aadhaar number mandatory for citizens to obtain basic civic documents like birth, marriage and death certificates, as GoD has done. How would a birth certificate be issued in respect of an infant whose parents do not have Aadhaar numbers? How would the death certificate be issued in respect of a person whose death is reported by his progeny if the deceased or his progeny do not have an Aadhaar number? There are other questions, but suffice it to say that birth, marriage and death are the most fundamental events for biological persons, and when responsibly reported to civic authorities as mandated by law, the civic authorities are duty bound to unconditionally register these events. Possession of certificates recording these events are the right of every citizen.
If issue of birth and death certificates are made subject to UID-Aadhaar, it is entirely possible that numbers of people may be demographically excluded because they were not able to obtain those certificates for want of the Aadhaar number. To carry the argument a bit further, if a man and a woman without Aadhaar numbers marry, they will not be able to get a marriage certificate, without which their children will be technically illegitimate. Also, their children will not be able to get birth certificates. Thus, the whole family will become non-persons. In fact, such a couple without a UID number would be well advised to use an IUD or other contraceptive device, and produce no children!
Civic authorities demanding a UID-Aadhaar number (which is not covered by any extant law) as a pre-condition for issue of a primary civic document which is mandated by law, puts bureaucratic ignorance and callousness on display. The political executive which is finally responsible cannot plead ignorance. The coercive mission of UIDAI is being pushed to ridiculous lengths by political-bureaucratic incompetence.
Major General S.G. Vombatkere retired as the Additional Director General, Discipline & Vigilance in Army HQ, New Delhi. The President of India awarded him the Visishta Seva Medal in 1993 for distinguished service rendered over 5 years in Ladakh. He holds a PhD degree in Structural Dynamics from IIT, Madras. He is Adjunct Associate Professor of the University of Iowa, USA, and is a member of NAPM and PUCL. He writes on strategic and development-related issues.
E-mail: sg9kere@live.com

Water privatisation is not for India

NEW DELHI, March 20, 2013, The Hindu

Smriti Kak Ramachandran

Apex court specifies that air, water, sea and forests cannot be with private sector

A social republic like India cannot have water in private ownership and deny the citizens their right to quality water at affordable prices, said Justice Rajinder Sachar here on Tuesday, criticising the Delhi Government’s move to undertake three public-private partnership projects in the city.

Speaking at a conference on “Water Privatisation: Learning from India and International Experiences”, Justice Sachar said: “There is nothing above the Constitution. The Preamble says India is a secular, socialist, Republic…and handing over ownership of water to private companies is cheating the Constitution.”

He said the Government is obliged to adhere to the Supreme Court guidelines that have specified several times that air, water, sea and forests cannot be under private ownership. He disapproved of the Delhi Government’s move to rope in private companies for doing work that is the State’s responsibility.

Rebutting the Government claims that PPP will usher in changes in the water sector, Jammu Anand, an employee of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation Employees Union, cited the example of Nagpur where privatisation and the promise of 24×7 water supply has not shown any positive results.

“Before the privatisation exercise the Government claimed there was 50 per cent non-revenue water and 45 per cent leakages. They said the Government is in a financial crisis, not capable of arresting these faults and the municipality does not have the political will to do so. Today the leakages are still 30 per cent and no one knows why,” he said.

Mr. Anand said the Government shrewdly chose a place for the pilot project in Nagpur that did not have a major water problem.

Also speaking at the conference organised by the Citizens’ Front for Water Democracy, Focus on the Global South, PEACE, Delhi Journalists’ Association, WS&SDEU and Water Workers’ Alliance, Himanshu Thakkar of the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People said the move to have a Water Resources Regulatory Authority that will among other things serve to decide the tariffs needs to be opposed as well. PPPs are being encouraged, he said, adding the only state in India which has a water regulatory authority is Maharashtra, where it has been a failure.

“Post-Independence the biggest water scam is in Maharashtra where Rs.75,000 crore has been shown spent on irrigation in the past 10 years but in reality not one hectare has been irrigated,” he said.

S. A. Naqvi of the Citizens’ Front for Water Democracy said despite evidence of privatisation not being a success globally, India is keen on moving ahead with privatisation in almost all sectors from energy to water. “Privatisation is a failed model, yet India is pushing forwards towards it. The Government, it seems, is distancing itself from its responsibility.”

  • “Nagpur model has not yielded encouraging results”
  • “Government is distancing itself from its responsibility”


#India – Amendments in slum policy of Delhi, will benefit lakhs of slumdwellers #goodnews


After a long & continued struggle, Delhi Government brought amendments in modified slum policy after getting pressurized from the slum dwellers of Delhi.


Delhi Government has accepted most of the demands of the Sangathan & amended policy has been notified on 25th ‘February’2013. The benefits of amended slum policy of Delhi will reach to the hundreds of slum clusters & lakhs of slum dwellers of Delhi.


Since last one decade thousands of poor families living in slum clusters of Delhi facing inhuman evictions by the Government agencies. The ongoing eviction was supported by the modified slum policy which was notified on 19.02.2010 by Delhi Government.


This modified policy had a number of conditions under its eligibility criteria for rehabilitation of slum dwellers. Most of the slum dwellers were unable to fulfill those conditions despite of living in slums since last twenty years. This could have resulted in mass evictions of slum dwellers, loss of shelter & livelihood, school drop outs of children, extreme poverty and malnutrition among women & children. As per previous policy/guidelines, around 80-85% slum dwellers were not eligible for rehabilitation. The settlement of slums has direct link with the livelihood of lakhs of construction & domestic workers, transport workers, vendors & contract workers living in slums.


Delhi Shramik Sangathan mobilized thousands of slum dwellers in hundreds of slums in Delhi against the threat of mass eviction due to such anti labor & anti poor policy. The slum dwellers across Delhi sent thousands of letters to CM office as well as office of the Urban Development Minister of Delhi Government and also marched to Parliament to lodge their protest demanding amendments in slum policy of Delhi on 27th Novenber’2012.


Delhi Shramik Sangathan also submitted memorandum to Union Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, UPA Chairperson, Smt. Sonia Gandhi, CM of Delhi, Smt. Sheila Dikshit and Minister of Urban Development, Government of Delhi, Sh Arvinder Singh Lovely demanding amendments in slum policy of Delhi.


These actions pressurized Delhi Government to change several conditions for eligibility for rehabilitation. The major amendments include:


  • The policy announced on 19.02.2010 had not only defined eligibility criteria for slum dwellers but it had also laid down eligibility conditions for slums; the slums which are situated near footpath, safety zone of railway, right of way, community areas were not eligible for rehabilitation; got removed from the policy.
  • The cut-off date for slum rehabilitation extended from 31st March’2007 to 4th June’2009.
  • As per the modified policy dated 19.02.2010; the slum dwellers had to present documents (Ration cards, Election identity card etc) of four periods that is of 1998, 2002,2007 and on the date of survey. The amendment has removed previous requirements of documents for eligibility condition; the name of the slum dwellers should be in electoral list on or before 04.06.2009 and in the year of survey.
  • The basis of income of slum dwellers as eligibility criteria for rehabilitation got removed from the policy.
  • With respect to ownership right; the flat to the eligible slum dweller will be allotted initially on lease hold basis for 15 years and converted to free hold thereafter.
  • Delhi government has shown intention in the court to withdraw their petition against the order of the honorable High Court of Delhi for rehabilitation of evicted families of New Sanjay Camp, Okhla through petition WP(C) 8904/2009.
  • This amendment will have impact on a number of cases pending in honorable High Court of Delhi for rehabilitation of slum dwellers.
  • The benefits of amended guidelines will also apply to those eight slums which were demolished as per previous modified policy dated 19.02.2010.
  • The procedures of Survey of slums have become more transparent than the earlier one. Now, the slum dwellers will be informed in advance about the survey and each family will be included in survey list whether it’s owner of the Jhuggi or tenant.


The amended policy is still silent on the issues of In-situ rehabilitation and actual cost of the flat under JNNURM.


In total, the amendments in the slum policy will bring relief to the lakhs of slum dwellers of Delhi who were under threat of inhuman eviction & fear of throwing away out of the city. The reality will be known after implementation of these policy guidelines.


Secretary General

Delhi Shramik Sangathan




Delhi govt cover for 29 facing criminal cases #wakeup #WTFnews

By, TNN | Mar 14, 2013,

Delhi govt cover for 29 facing criminal cases
Over 4,300 personnel drawn from Delhi Police (2,546), CRPF (686), Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (558), Meghalaya Police (171), ITBP (132), Nagaland Armed Police (98), Sikkim Police (86) and CISF (27) have been deployed to protect 436 individuals, none of them a constitutional functionary.
NEW DELHI: Every month, the Delhi government spends Rs 20 crore of taxpayers’ money to provide security to 436 persons, who do not hold any constitutional post and 29 of whom face criminal case, the Supreme Court was informed on Wednesday. The annual tab comes to Rs 240 crore.

As against this, the government spends just a little over Rs 3 crore a month to protect the President and Rashtrapati BhawanThe bill for providing security to holders of constitutional posts, including the President, Vice-President, PM, Lok Sabha Speaker and Chief Justice of India, comes to Rs 341 crore a year or over Rs 28 crore a month.

An affidavit filed by the Delhi government revealed that 44 personnel have been deployed to provide security to “children and other family members/relatives of public functionaries”.

Additional solicitor general Siddharth Luthra might find it a tad difficult, when he appears for the Delhi government, to explain to the court why “Delhi Police has provided security to 29 individuals (23 central protectees and 6 local protectees) who are facing criminal charges at state expenses”.

Over 4,300 personnel drawn from Delhi Police (2,546), Central Reserve Police Force (686), Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (558), Meghalaya Police (171), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (132), NagalandArmed Police (98), Sikkim Police (86) and Central Industrial Security Force (27) have been deployed to protect 436 individuals, none of them a constitutional functionary.

Though the Delhi government said it had not provided security to any private individuals in lieu of payments made by them, it added: “89 individuals, including those holding public office and who have demitted office, have been provided security at the cost of public exchequer.”

It also provided in sealed cover the security arrangements for the protection of home minister, former prime ministers, Sonia Gandhi and her immediate family members who have been provided Special Protection Group (SPG) cover as also former deputy Prime Minister L K Advani.


Old #Aadhaar applicants may have to reapply #UID #WTFnews




By Ambika Pandit, TNN | Feb 12, 2013,

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200 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW DELHI: Applied for an Aadhaar card before April 1, 2012, but haven’t got it yet? You may have to apply all over again. A lot of data related to applicants who enrolled for the Aadhaar unique identification number in the first phase has apparently been either lost or rendered unusable due to “encrypting errors”.
UID Authority of India on Monday told the Delhi government that applicants whose status on the e-aadhaar website reads “can’t be processed due to technical reasons” will need to re-enroll – unless they have given their biometrics for the National Population Registry card.
Delhi government data shows 1.36 crore citizens, out of a population of 1.67 crore, have enrolled for Aadhaar. Delhi has made Aadhaar card mandatory for more than 20 services, including property and marriage registrations.
Many enrolled in 2011 but no Aadhaar card yet
The government now says it has no readily available data on how many people had enrolled for the card before April 1, 2012.
UIDAI has clarified that applicants will have to re-enroll under three conditions. One, if their status on the e-aadhaar website says ‘rejected’. Two, if it shows ‘not found’ and, three, if enrolments were done prior to April 1, 2012 and the status shows ‘cannot be processed due to technical reasons’,” Dharampal, Delhi’s revenue secretary & divisional commissioner, told TOI. The revenue department is the coordinator for Aadhaar regis8trations in the city.
Dharampal had sought UIDAI’s clarification on the status of Aadhaar enrolments done six or more months ago. Sources said the Aadhaar website may also show an applicant’s status as ‘rejected’ if the person had made multiple registrations. The government is seeking a clarification on this.
As the state government prepares to put up helpdesks at the offices of the deputy commissioners in 11 districts now that the surge of crowds has overwhelmed the counters, TOI found many hassled Delhiites who had enrolled as early as 2011 but are yet to get their Aadhaar cards.
One such couple, Hemchand Jain and his wife Santosh, were seen doing the rounds of the east district deputy commissioner’s office. Jain, a resident of Kailash Nagar in East Delhi, said he had enrolled for the UID number way back in October 2011 but is yet to get the number.
Jain was frustrated and anxious because he would now have to apply for the card afresh. “I am 66 years old. They should have a system to give us information at the counters itself. Everyone does not have access to internet,” he said.
Similarly, Pooja Verma, a mother of two, had applied for the card in August 2011. While her husband has received his Aadhaar number, she still awaits it. She had come to an Aadhaar enrolment camp to inquire about her status but could get no information there.
Dilip Kumar Vaidya, a music teacher from Laxmi Nagar in east Delhi, said the entire Aadhaar enrolment process was marked by chaos. “I enrolled in 2011 and got my Aadhar card in early 2012. Suddenly, there was a buzz in our colony that all cards have been cancelled and everyone would have to enroll afresh. I enrolled a second time in June last year but am still awaiting my number. I don’t know if the old number stands,” he said.
Overwhelmed by the sheer number of the people landing up at Aadhar counters, the personnel there often have little information about the peoples’ queries.
The queues at Aadhaar counters have grown by the day, ever since the city government decided to make the UID number mandatory for 20 critical services from January 1 this year. These include property and marriage registrations and all certificates such as domicile, income and caste.
The revenue department has taken the lead in making Aadhaar necessary for availing 20 services rendered by it. Other departments will follow gradually. The state’s cash transfer schemes and cash for food scheme under Anshree Yojna have also been linked to Aadhaar ID.
Those enrolled under the ongoing National Population Register by the Union home ministry need not apply separately for Aadhaar.




#India- New guidelines for handling sexual assault cases in hospitals #Vaw #womenrights


A new set of guidelines have been recently issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare for “rapid response by hospitals in case of medico legal case (MLC) examination of sexual assault victims’’. These instructions have come in the wake of the December 16 gang-rape case in which the preparedness at a city hospital was found allegedly somewhat lacking while handling the victim.

As per these new guidelines, sent by the Department to all the directors and medical superintendents of Delhi Government hospitals on January 28, when the victims of sexual assault are brought to the hospitals by the police or otherwise for MLC and treatment then as per the provisions of Section 164 A (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code it should be done “promptly and without delay’’.

“As the victims of sexual assault are traumatised and their physical condition and state of mind are unstable, handling of their case required sensitivity, empathy and compassion,’’ the order noted adding that “therefore, the examining doctor must throughout remain re-assuring, empathetic and sensitive to the victim and should also provide due privacy.’’

Further, the order has noted that in consonance with the directions of the Delhi High Court on performing MLC, “in order to provide privacy to the victim, a separate room should be identified by the director/medical superintendent and marked in all hospitals where the victims can be examined by the attending doctor’’.

Stating that “the room number should be known to the doctors in emergency duty’’, the guidelines further state that “the room should have proper furniture required for medical examination’’ and “the basic equipments, adequate stock of sexual assault forensic evidence (SAFE) kit etc., should be kept available in the room for collection of the forensic evidence.’’

The guidelines also lay down that “the hospital should also provide clothing to the victim in case the victim’s clothes are taken as evidence or action otherwise required fresh clothes to be given’’.

“The hospital should also provide toiletries to the victim after the MLC examination has been concluded,’’ the guidelines note.

For better preparedness to deal with such cases, it has been stated that the director or medical superintendent will arrange periodic training sessions to the doctors on the protocols and guidelines on the MLC examinations/reporting in case of sexual assault victims.’’

These officials are now also required to “organise sensitisation workshop for hospital staff, and medical and paramedical staff in collaboration with the Delhi Commission for Women.’’

Further, it has been stated that “in case where counselling of the victim is required, the same should be provided by the hospital’s own pool of doctors and if that is not available, then the Crisis Intervention Centre, which provides counsellor should be informed’’.


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