The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has taken a series of proactive steps to make the country safe and secure. Overall security scenario in the country continues to remain peaceful barring stray incidents. Security situation in the North Eastern States is being monitored regularly at various levels, with sustained Counter-Insurgency operations against militant outfits. There is significant drop in the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) violence.
Security Forces neutralized 132 terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir during 2014 and the current year. Peaceful conduct of Assembly Elections in J&K, with record 66% voter turnout during November-December 2014 has proved to the world that given a conducive environment, the peace loving people of J&K have faith in the democratic process. Borders are being managed effectively to counter the threat of cross-border terrorism.
1) Nationwide Emergency Response System
Women's Safety has been my prime concern. On the 1st of January this year Delhi Police launched an application called ‘Himmat' which receives distress signals from registered women users of mobile phones and facilitates physical presence of police in 5-7 minutes. MHA has initiated steps to set up a Nationwide Emergency Response System to respond to the needs of women in distress across the country. Department of Telecommunications has already allocated Emergency Number “112” for this system.
Victims in need or their relatives may contact the “112” system using any mode of communication viz. landline telephone, mobile phone, SMS, e-mail, chat services, voice over internet and mobile apps etc. “112 System” is being designed to handle 10 lakh calls per day which will require approximately 3,500 personnel to handle these calls in all the States/UTs once fully implemented. This project would cost Rs.321 crores which includes the cost of technical infrastructure and also the operation and maintenance cost for five years.
2) e-Tourist Visa scheme
Our country has vast potential to generate millions of jobs and earn precious foreign exchange through tourism, but this has not been adequately tapped. With a view to promote short duration tourism and expedite grant of Visa, Government of India has launched e-Tourist Visa scheme (old name: Tourist Visa on Arrival) on 27th November 2014 for foreign tourists. So far, the scheme has been extended to 77 countries at nine designated airports. The Ministry plans to extend this facility to 36 more countries and seven airports from August 15, 2015. The scheme also facilitates international business seekers to avail visa on short notice. The scheme also has a positive impact on medical tourism of the country. This initiative of Government of India has received an overwhelming response. Since the launch of the Scheme on 27th November 2014, about 2 lakh e-tourist visas have been issued so far.
3) Rehabilitation of the Kashmiri migrants.
Due to onset of militancy in 1990, most of the Kashmiri Pandit families along with some families of Sikhs and Muslims migrated from Kashmir Valley to Jammu, Delhi and other places of the country. At present, there are about 62,000 registered Kashmiri migrant families in the country ⎴,668 families in Jammu, about 19,338 families in Delhi/NCR and about 1995 families in other states]. Cash relief to the Kashmiri migrants in Jammu and Delhi/ NCR was enhanced w.e.f. 1st May 2015 from Rs.1,650/- per head per month to Rs.2,500/- per head per month, subject to a maximum of Rs.10,000 per family. Earlier, it was Rs.6,600 per family.During the current financial year, an amount of Rs.320 crore has been earmarked for rehabilitation of the Kashmiri migrants.
4) Cash relief to the migrants of the hilly areas of Jammu division
During militancy in early 1990s, some families started migrating from the hilly areas of Jammu region due to perceived security threats. It started from hills to Doda district in the beginning but subsequently spread to other districts of the state. The Government of J&K started the registration of Jammu migrants in the year 2006. A total of 1,054 families comprising 5,698 persons have been registered in five districts of Doda/Kishtwar, Reasi, Rajouri, Ramban & Poonch.
The migrated families of Jammu migrants have been rehabilitated by the State Government of J&K in the districts of Jammu, Reasi, Udhampur & Ramban. The Ministry of Home Affairs has approved the cash relief to the migrants of the hilly areas of Jammu division at par with the Kashmiri migrants. The estimated expenditure per year will be Rs. 13.45 crore.
My Ministry, vide its letter dated 16.12.2014, has conveyed to the concerned State Governments/UTs to pay additional Rs.5.00 lakh per deceased person to the next of kin of those who died during 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The Government of India is reimbursing this amount to the States/UTs. Besides, Justice Mathur Committee has been constituted to re-investigate deserving riot cases.
5) Concessions for the West Pakistan Refugees
In January, 2015, I approved certain concessions for the West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs) settled in the State of Jammu and Kashmir after considering the problems being faced by them. I have directed the Heads of all Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) that such WPRs from J&K, who are Indian citizens and have valid Voter IDs, be considered for recruitment in the forces, including the special recruitment drives conducted in the State.
Besides, I have written to the Defence Minister that similar concessions, like waiving off the condition of producing DC (Domicile Certificate) and other Identity Certificate, may be permitted in the recruitment to the Armed Forces. I have also written a letter to the State Government of J&K to resume issuing the DC to WPRs settled in the State so as to enable such people avail equal employment opportunities.
Instructions have also been issued to the Department of School Education in the Ministry of Human Resource Development to accommodate the children of such WPRs of J&K for admission to the Kendriya Vidyalayas in the State. Similar instructions have also been issued to the Department of Higher Education in the Ministry of Human Resource Development to extend those concessions available to the wards of Kashmiri migrants to the wards of WPRs of J&K for admission to technical/professional institutes outside J&K.
6) Employment to the unemployed youth of Jammu & Kashmir
Under the ‘UDAAN' scheme aiming to provide employment to the unemployed youth of Jammu & Kashmir, 3,361 candidates have been trained, 3,133 have been offered jobs and about 2,500 are working in various companies in the country.
7) Successfully concluded the dialogue on Naga political issue
The Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) successfully concluded the dialogue on Naga political issue, which has existed for six decades, and signed an agreement on Aug 03, 2015 in the presence of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. This agreement will restore peace and pave the way for prosperity in the North East.
It will advance a life of dignity, opportunity and equity for the Naga people, based on their genius and consistent with the uniqueness of the Naga people and their culture and traditions. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has on a number of occasions including during visits to the Northeast region, articulated his vision for transforming the region and has attached the highest priority to peace, security, connectivity and economic development in the region. This has also been at the heart of the Government's foreign policy, especially ‘Act East' Policy.
8) Enhanced financial powers
The Ministry of Home Affairs enhanced financial powers in respect of items such as “Major and Minor Works, Special Repairs, Land Acquisition and Hiring of Buildings/Accommodation” to the Directors General of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Directors of Intelligence Agencies in December, 2014. The financial powers have been doubled from Rupees Five Crores to Rs. Ten Crores in respect of Major Works that are to be executed by CPWD and Public Works Organisations. Similarly, limits for Major and Minor Departmental Works and Land Acquisition were also substantially raised.
The delegation of financial powers to the DGs of CAPFs for the procurement of Machinery & Equipment and Arms & Ammunition have been doubled to Rs. 20 crores with a view to streamline and expedite the processes for the Modernization Plan. The Modernization Plan II of CAPFs has a total projected cost of Rs.11,009 crores till March 2017.
9) Crimes and Criminals Tracking Network and Systems
Presently, all information related to crimes and criminal justice is generally maintained in physical form. This has its own limitations in sharing of data among police stations, districts and states. Digitization of this data and development of a national data base of crimes and criminals would help enhance the operational efficiency of the crime investigation agencies. With this objective in mind, the Ministry launched the Crimes and Criminals Tracking
10) Network and Systems Project
Network and Systems (CCTNS) Project in 2009 with an outlay of Rs.2,000 crores. Approximately 71% (more than 10,000) police stations in the country have started using the software developed under the CCTNS for the registration of FIRs. Internet connections using Virtual Private Network (VPN) over broadband have also been provided to more than 80% police stations and higher police offices.
Steps are afoot to extend this project by another two years so that the remaining components viz, a Central Citizen Portal and a central database are developed which will provide useful services to the citizens speedily.
The intended services include: (i) Reporting a crime, (ii) Passport verification, (iii) Other kind of Police Verification (iv) Accessing Victim Compensation Fund, (v) Accessing Legal Services, (vi) Human trafficking and missing persons, (vii) List of wanted/ most wanted criminals (viii) Publication of a list of Proclaimed Offenders (ix) Publication of a list of charge-sheeted offenders in cases pertaining to crime against women. The extended project also proposes to integrate with e-courts and e-prison applications to improve the efficiency of the criminal justice system in the country. The CCTNS project after extension is expected to be fully operational by March, 2017.
11) Compensation under the NDRF and SDRF has been more than doubled
Quantum of compensation under the NDRF and SDRF has been more than doubled and now the farmers with crop loss between 33% and 49% have been made eligible to seek the financial assistance.
The author is the Union Home Minister, Government of India.