Nirbhaya fund for improving the security of women in India

Nirbhaya fund for improving the security of women in India

Question - Recently, the International Women’s Day was celebrated. Discuss the steps taken through the Nirbhaya fund for improving the security of women in India.

• Union Government has issued guidelines for utilising the Nirbhaya Fund with a corpus of INR 3000 crore. This fund has was approved by the Union Finance Ministry.

• Nirbhaya Fund was established by the central government under which numerous departments can obtain financial aid from the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development for schemes to provide safety and security of women in the nation.

Guidelines for operationalisation of the fund are as follows:

• Ministry of Women and Child Development is the nodal, central authority to be approached by numerous departments and ministries with the proposals/schemes to strengthen the safety of women and girls in the nation.

• The ministry will appraise the schemes to adjudge suitability for qualifying to get funds from the Nirbhaya Fund.

• Minister of Women and Child development will also submit proposals to the Department of Economic Affairs for required budgetary allocations regarding the respective demands.

• The proposal is to be appraised by the Department of Economic Affairs and other aspects are to be considered to prevent duplicity of schemes/government efforts for strengthening safety of women in the nation.

• Budget division of the Department of Economic Affairs will provide approval for the funding of schemes and it will be the modal ministry for accretion and withdrawal from the Nirbhaya fund

• The establishment of the Nirbhaya Fund was announced by the Union FM in the Union Budget 2013-2014 with contribution from the government of around INR 1000 crore for empowerment as well as safety and security of women and girls

• In the Union Budget 2014-2015, 2 schemes were announced by the Finance Minister for funding through the Nirbhaya Fund namely INR 150 crore allocated to scheme on backend integration of distress signal from victims with mobile vans and control rooms administered by Union Ministry of Home Affair

• INR 50 crore allocated to scheme on Women Safety on Public Road Transport administered by Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways

• For the latter initiative, the proposal was approved by the Union Cabinet in January 2014

• Proposal includes establishment of a unified system at the national and state level. At the national level, this involves the National Vehicle Security and Tracking System

• At the state level, this involves the City Command and Control Centre

• Both will work for GPS tracking of location for women and girls besides providing emergency signals for those in distress

• Video recording in public transport automobiles with huge seating capacity will also be used as evidence to act as a preventive measure for potential offenders

• During the first phase,32 cities in 13 states with a population of 1 million or more will be covered

• Cost of this project is INR 1404.68 crore funded by the Ministry of Finance from the Nirbhaya Fund

• Project will be implemented in a period of 2 years and the scheme will also ensure safe and reliable passenger public bus services for women and girls

• Apart from this, the scheme will also work towards mapping of routes of public vehicles and tracking of vehicles on the route

• It will also send visual and text signals for alerts and there will also be a panic button let in transport systems where women and girls can contact the police through text and voice

• Registration and license cancellation for enforcement and safety for women and girls is the major focus of this scheme.

Facts and Stats

• Latest statistics of the NCRB/National Crime Records Bureau indicates that 93 women are raped in India every day

• There has been an increase in the number of rapes reported from 24923 in 2012 to 33707 in 2013

• Despite the brutal Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder, awareness about security and safety of women and girls is still low and crimes against women and girls are on the rise. The number of rapes in Delhi has doubled from 2012 to 2013 according to NCRB
• Delhi is followed by Mumbai, Jaipur and Pune as the most unsafe cities in the nation

• MP has the highest number of rapes as against other states followed by Rajasthan, Maharashtra and UP

• Number of rape cases in TN are 923 in 2013 which indicates 3 women were raped per day

• Statistics also reveal that majority of offenders are known to victims

• Victims are mostly between 18 to 30 years and 14 to 18 years, according to NCRB
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