Daily Current Affairs for 5th September 2020

  1. Home
  2. »
  3. Current Affairs September 2020
  4. »
  5. Daily Current Affairs for 5th September 2020

Railways may decriminalize begging


Mains: General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

Why in news?

As part of an exercise to decriminalise/rationalise penalties under the provisions of the Railway Act, 1989, the Ministry of Railways has proposed to decriminalise begging on trains or railway premises

Key details

  • According to Section 144(2) of the Railway Act, if any person begs in any railway carriage or at a railway station, he shall be liable for punishment as provided under subsection (1), which prescribes imprisonment for a term that may extend to one year, or with fine that may extend to ₹2,000, or with both.
  • The Railways now proposes to amend the section stating that “No person shall be permitted to beg in any railway carriage or upon any part of the Railway”.


A couple of years ago, the Delhi High Court, while quashing provisions in the law that made begging in the national capital a punishable offence, said: “Criminalising begging is a wrong approach to deal with the underlying causes of the problem.

Laws Governing Begging in India

  • In India, there is no central law which penalises begging. Although, 22 states (including few Union Territories) have their anti-begging laws.
  • The Act which functions as the derivative figure for all the state anti-begging law is Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959.
  • The act prescribes penalty of more than 3 years of jail in case of first conviction for begging and person can be ordered to be detained for 10 years in subsequent conviction.

Definition of Begging as per Anti- Begging Law

  • Soliciting or receiving money, clothes or other things ordinarily given to a beggar, in a public place whether or not by singing, dancing, fortune telling, performing or offering any article for sale.
  • Entering on any private premises for the purpose of soliciting or receiving money, clothes or other things ordinarily given to a beggar.
  • Exposing or exhibiting, with the object of obtaining or extorting money, clothes or other things ordinarily given to a beggar, any sore, wound injury, deformity of diseases whether of a human being or animal.
  • Having no visible means of subsistence and wandering, about or remaining in any public place in such condition or manner, as makes it likely that the person doing so exist soliciting or receiving money, clothes or other things ordinarily given to a beggar.
  • Allowing oneself to be used as an exhibit for the purpose of soliciting or receiving alms.


  • Provisions of the anti-begging laws are highly arbitrary, the implementation of the law is even more.
  • Anti-begging squads are to raid public places such as railway stations, temples, mosques, bus terminus and arrest anybody who looks poor and homeless.
  • There have been situations where, homeless or disabled people were perceived to be beggars, based simply on the fact of their homelessness or disability.

Legality of Bagging

  • According to the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959, which criminalize the begging, the provision not only criminalizes the begging in the Mumbai but also in various metropolitan cities such as Delhi.
  • the Delhi High Court in a landmark judgment has held the Act as unconstitutional in Delhi, on grounds that it violates Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution restoring the rights of persons who have no other means of sustenance but to seek alms.

Kaziranga set to be expanded by 3,053 hectares


Mains: General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

Why in news?

The Assam government has approved the addition of 30.53 sq. km ( 3,053 hectares) to the 884 sq. km Kaziranga National Park.

Key details

  • The additional areas straddling two districts — Nagaon and Sonitpur — would make the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR) grow to 1085.53 sq km. The core area of the KNPTR is 430 sq km.
  • The additions include encroachment evicted areas and suitable wildlife habitat on river islands (sandbars) that are vulnerable to encroachment.


  • It is a move to consolidate the wildlife areas anticipating better wildlife conservation and reduction in human-wildlife negative interactions in the future.
  • The three additions are habitat corridors and would help provide connectivity to Orang and Nameri National Parks across river Brahmaputra, besides the hills of Karbi Anglong to the south of the park, where the rhino, tiger, deer and other animals take refuge during the floods

Kaziranga National Park

Some Interesting facts and History of this Park:

  • The history of protection in Kaziranga dates back to the early twentieth century, when Baroness Mary Victoria Leiter Curzon, who was the wife of Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India, first visited the Kaziranga area in 1904.
  • Kaziranga had been renowned for its rhinoceros’ population, however, during her trips in the region, Baroness Curzon failed to see any rhinoceros, seeing only some hoof marks.
  • It is rumored that the noted Assamese animal tracker, Balaram Hazarika, showed Baroness Curzon around Kaziranga and impressed upon her the urgent need for conservation of the wildlife.
  • Thus, the Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest was created on 57,273.6 acres (232 km²) of land, on 1 June 1905 by notification of the Chief Commissioner of the area

Formal document regarding the 4 November 1904 proposal for the establishment of the Kaziranga Reserve Forest, dated September 1905

  • It is located in the State of Assam and covers 42,996 ha. It is the single largest undisturbed and representative area in the Brahmaputra Valley floodplain.
  • It was declared as a National Park in 1974.
  • It has been declared a tiger reserve since 2007. It has a total tiger reserve area of 1,030 sq km with a core area of 430 sq. km.
  • It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
  • It is the home of the world’s most one-horned rhinos.
  • Much of the focus of conservation efforts in Kaziranga are focused on the ‘big four’ species— rhino, elephant, Royal Bengal tiger and Asiatic water buffalo.

Kaziranga’s One-Horned Rhinoceros 

The greater one-horned rhinoceros is the largest of the three Asian rhinos and, together with African white rhinos, is the largest of all rhino species.

  • It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
  • With at least half of the total population of rhinos, India’s Kaziranga National Park remains a critical reserve for this species.
  • The greater one-horned rhino is identified by a single black horn about 8-25 inches long and a grey-brown hide with skin folds, which gives it an armour-plated appearance.
  • They primarily graze, with a diet consisting almost entirely of grasses as well as leaves, branches of shrubs and trees, fruit, and aquatic plants.

Venkaiah for two-year fixed tenure for House committees


Mains: General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

Why in news

The Rajya Sabha Secretariat is mulling over changing the rules governing the standing committees’ tenure to make it two years from the present one so that the panels have enough time to work on the subjects selected by them.

Key details

  • The tenure of all standing committees ends on September 11, and they can’t hold deliberations till new panels are formed.
  • Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, was keen on amending the rules to give a fixed two-year However, Lok Sabha Speaker has to agree to it.
  • Two options are being looked at: one, to extend term of the panels for a year, and second, to form new committees with a fixed tenure of two years.
  • Many chairpersons of the current panels have felt that a significant amount of the tenure of their committees was lost due to the pandemic.
  • The committees appointed last September were essentially unable to function normally from the third week of March and have not been able to do a meaningful year’s work.

Parliamentary committee

  • A committee can be called a Parliamentary committee if it is appointed or elected by the house or nominated by the Speaker or the Chairman; it has a secretariat provided by the Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha secretariat.
  • A Parliamentary Committee can either be a Standing Committees or an Ad hoc Committee.
  • Standing Committees are permanent committees and are constituted for a fixed tenure.
  • Ad hoc Committees are appointed for a specific purpose and they cease to exist when they finish the task assigned to them after submitting the report.

Significance of Parliamentary committees

  • They provide a specialised forum for deliberation on policy issues.
  • Ensures that the deliberations are not constrained by the limited number of sitting days as in the case of Parliament.
  • Debates in committees are more technical and so, the deliberations require time and stretch for a few months.
  • The main purpose is to ensure the accountability of Government to Parliament through more detailed consideration.
  • The purpose is to strengthen the administration by investing it with more meaningful parliamentary support.

RBI alters priority sector norms to help start-ups, farmers avail loans


Mains: General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

Why in News:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released revised priority sector lending guidelines.

Key Details:

  • The altered guidelines include funding to segments including start-ups and agriculture.
  • Bank finance of up to ₹50 crore to start-upsloans to farmersboth for installation of solar power plants for solarisation of grid-connected agriculture pumps, and for setting up compressed biogas (CBG) plants have been included as fresh categories eligible for finance under the priority sector.
  • Higher weightagehas been assigned to incremental priority sector credit in ‘identified districts’ where priority sector credit flow is comparatively low.
  • Loan limits for renewable energyhave been doubled.
  • A higher credit limit has been specified for Farmers Producers Organisations (FPOs)and Farmers Producers Companies (FPCs) undertaking farming with assured marketing of their produce at a pre-determined price.


The RBI’s revision in priority sector lending guidelines will incentivise credit flow to specific segments like clean energy, weaker sections, health infrastructure and credit deficient geographies.

What is Priority Sector Lending?

  • It includes those sectors which the Government of India and Reserve Bank of India consider as important for the development of the basic needs of the country and are to be given priority over other sectors.
  • The banks are mandated to encourage the growth of such sectors with adequate and timely credit.
  • This is essentially meant for all-round development of the economy.

UN experts voice concerns over Hong Kong security law


Mains: General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

Why in News:

UN human rights experts have told China, a new security law for Hong Kong infringes on certain fundamental rights and voiced concerns that it could be used to prosecute political activists in the former British colony.

Key Details:

  • The law allows for anything China views as subversive or secessionist or as terrorism or collusion with foreign forces to be punished with up to life in prison.
  • The law had already drawn UN criticism before its adoption.
  • The experts opine that the provisions of the new law appear to undermine the independence of Hong Kong’s judges and lawyers, and the right to freedom of expression.
  • Critics say the legislation further erodes the wide-ranging freedoms promised to Hong Kong on its return to Chinese rule in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” agreement.
    • At that time, China had agreed to uphold the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in Hong Kong.
    • It is a landmark treaty that it has signed but has not ratified for the mainland.

Hong Kong security law:

  • The legislation sets the stage for the most radical changes to Hong Kong’s (former British colony) way of life since it returned to Chinese rule 23 years ago.
  • The law comes in response to last year’s often-violent pro-democracy protests in the city and aims to tackle subversion, terrorism, separatism and collusion with foreign forces.

Current Affairs

Recent Posts