11th January – Prelims Booster

Suicide data

Maharashtra has ranked first in the number of suicides reported in 2018. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics revealed that a large number of people took the extreme step owing to illness and family problems.

Details –

  • Tamil Nadu also contributed to 10.3% of the total suicides reported in the country. 
  • The NCRB crime data for 2018 revealed that Maharashtra topped the country with 17,992 cases of suicides followed by Tamil Nadu (13,896), West Bengal (13,255) and Madhya Pradesh (11,775).
  • Maharashtra reported the maximum of 231 cases of government servants committing suicides followed by Tamil Nadu with 173 cases.
  • The data showed that 1,146 people working in private firms and 953 students were among those who committed suicide.
  • Gujarat has topped in the highest number of deaths in police custody with 13 deaths; Tamil Nadu being the second highest with 12 deaths in police custody.

UP tops list in crimes against women

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) published the annual Crime in India Report 2018.

Details –

  • According to the report, 3,78,277 cases of crime against women were reported, up from 3,59,849 in 2017.
  • Uttar Pradesh topped the list with 59,445 cases, followed by Maharashtra (35,497) and West Bengal (30,394).

Other key statistics –

  • The NCRB also released the Accidental Death and Suicides in India 2018 report, which said that 10,349 people working in the farm sector ended their lives in 2018, accounting for 7.7 % of the total number of suicides in the country. The total number of people who committed suicide in 2018 was 1,34,516, an increase of 3.6% from 2017 when 1,29,887 cases were reported. The highest number of suicide victims were daily wagers — 26,589, comprising 22.4% of such deaths.
  • The majority of the suicides were reported in Maharashtra (17,972) followed by Tamil Nadu (13,896), West Bengal (13,255), Madhya Pradesh (11,775) and Karnataka (11,561). “West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Goa, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry reported zero suicides by farmers/cultivators as well as agricultural labourers,” the NCRB report said.
  • The incidents registered under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes related Acts saw a decline from 6729 incidents reported in 2017 to 4816 in 2018. A total of 29,017 cases of murder were registered in 2018, showing an increase of 1.3% over 2017 (28,653 cases).

Panel approves scheme to ‘trade’ in forests

The Forest Advisory Committee, an apex body tasked with adjudicating requests by the industry to raze forest land for commercial ends, has approved a scheme that could allow “forests” to be traded as a commodity.

Impact –

If implemented, it allows the Forest Department to outsource one of its responsibilities of reforesting to non-government agencies.

Current situation –

  • At present, the industry needs to make good the loss of forest by finding appropriate non-forest land — equal to that which would be razed.
  • It also must pay the State Forest Department the current economic equivalent — called Net Present Value — of the forest land.
  • It is then the department’s responsibility to grow appropriate vegetation that, over time, would grow into forests.

Need –

  • Industries have often complained that they find it hard to acquire appropriate non-forest land, which has to be contiguous to existing forest.
  • Nearly ₹50,000 crore had been collected by the Centre over decades, but the funds were lying unspent because States were not spending the money on regrowing forests.
  • The Supreme Court intervened, a new law came about with rules for how this fund was to be administered. About ₹47,000 crore had been disbursed to States until August, but it has barely led to any rejuvenation of forests.

The way –

The proposed ‘Green Credit Scheme’ allows agencies — they could be private companies, village forest communities — to identify land and begin growing plantations. After three years, they would be eligible to be considered as compensatory forest land if they met the Department’s criteria.

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