The Maharashtra state cabinet has approved two draft bills that propose death penalty for heinous cases of rape, acid attack and child abuse.
The bills also have provisions to increase the quantum of punishment, including life term, cover new categories of crimes, and propose a mechanism for speedy trials.
The two bills, which will be tabled in the winter session of the state legislature next week as part of the Shakti Act, are the Maharashtra Shakti Criminal Law (Maharashtra Amendment) Act 2020 and the Special Court and Machinery for Implementation of Maharashtra Shakti Criminal Law 2020.
Drafted on the lines of the Disha Act framed by Andhra Pradesh, they seek to amend relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedural Code (CrPC) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
The Union Cabinet has given its approval to set up Public Wi-fi Access Network Interface called ‘PM-WANI’ to boost broadband connectivity.
The proposal by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for setting up of public wi-fi networks by Public Data Office Aggregators (PDOAs) will be done by setting up Public Data Offices (PDOs).
PM-WANI (Wi-Fi Access Network Interface) will enable the development of a network of easily accessible public WiFi hotspots spread across the country.
PM-WANI seeks to bring public Wi-Fi hotspot revolution in India. Users will be able to conveniently access WiFi at public places and make payments through mobile apps.
PM-WANI eco-system will be operated by PDOs, PDOAs, app providers and central registries. A PDO will establish, maintain, and operate only WANI compliant Wi-Fi Access Points and deliver broadband services to subscribers.
The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on emergency use authorisation of Covid-19 vaccine has said the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech need to submit more data on their Covid-19 vaccine candidates before they can be granted emergency use authorisation in India.
The SEC recommended that Bharat Biotech should present the safety and efficacy data from the ongoing phase 3 clinical trial in the country for further consideration.
While the SEC does not have the authority to approve a vaccine, its views are important as it gives recommendations to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
In India, the Serum Institute of India is manufacturing Covishield, the Covid-19 vaccine that is being developed by Oxford University and drug manufacturer AstraZeneca. Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech is developing an indigenous Covid-19 vaccine named Covaxin
The controversial Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020, was passed in the Legislative Assembly amid protests by the Opposition.
The bill, known as Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill-2020' was passed unopposed as Congress members staged a walkout in protest of the bill. The bill seeks a complete ban on the slaughter of cows in the state and proposes stringent punishments to those held for smuggling, illegal transportation, atrocities on cows, and slaughtering them.
Some of the other important provisions of the bill include setting up of special courts for the speedy trial of the accused, setting up goshala or cattle sheds for the livestock, imparting more power to local police for conducting random checks, to name a few.