Year End Review 2017:Ministry of Home Affairs 

North India Kaleidoscope Bureau

New Delhi:

Following are the highlights of the activities of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) during the year 2017. These have been released by the Press Information Bureau (PIB).

Cabinet approves umbrella scheme of Modernisation of Police Forces

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 27th September gave its approval for implementation of umbrella scheme of “Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF)” for years 2017-18 to 2019-20.  The financial outlay for the scheme over the three-year period is Rs.25,060 crore, out of which the Central Government share will be Rs.18,636 crore and the States’ share will be Rs.6,424 crore. Special provision has been made under the Scheme for internal security, law and order, women security, availability of modern weapons, the mobility of police forces, logistics support, the hiring of helicopters, upgradation of police wireless, National Satellite Network, CCTNS project, E-prison project and so on.

Cabinet approves extension of implementation of Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems Project by one year

In April, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Mr.Narendra Modi approved the proposal of the MHA for extension of the implementation phase of the Crime and Criminals Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) Project for another year beyond 31st March 2017.The extension would help in achieving the remaining objectives of the project comprehensively. The maintenance phase of the Project will continue till 2022 as approved earlier. With a total outlay of Rs. 2,000 crore, a sum of Rs. 1,550 crore, which was the total allocation to the project so far, has been spent till 2016-17.

Minister of State (Home) Hansraj Gangaram Ahir reviewed the working of CCTNS, on April 6, 2017. 

Union Home Minister launches the Digital Police Portal under CCTNS project

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched the Digital Police Portal under the CCTNS project in New Delhi on August 21, 2017. The MHA will undertake steps to integrate the various organs of the Criminal Justice System such as the Police, Courts, Prisons, Prosecution, Forensic Laboratories, Finger Prints and Juvenile Homes with the CCTNS database. This Interoperable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) will be a useful resource for all stakeholders including the policy makers. The Digital Police Portal will enable citizens to register FIRs online and the portal will initially offer seven Public Delivery Services in 34 States & UTs. The CCTNS portal will provide investigator the complete record history of any criminal from anywhere across the country.

MHA gives a boost to “Make in India” in the field of manufacturing of arms

In October, the MHA liberalised the Arms Rules to boost “Make in India” manufacturing policy of the Government as also to promote employment generation in the field of manufacturing of arms and ammunition.

BSF Air Wing inducts own pilots and crew

 The Air Wing of Border Security Force (BSF) added a new chapter with the induction of its own pilots and crew on 9th February, 2017. Minister of State Kiren Rijiju became the first dignitary to be flown by “all BSF” aircrew, aboard the MI-17 V5 helicopter from Guwahati. Till now the BSF aircrafts were being operated by Aircrew from the Indian Air Force.

Union Home Minister chaired the review meeting of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected States

 On 8thMay, the Union Home Minister carried out a review of the situation in the ten LWE affected States. On specific directions of the Home Minister, Districts Magistrates and SPs of the 35 worst affected LWE districts were also present. Mr.Rajnath Singh  enunciated an operational strategy ‘SAMADHAN’ to fight Left Wing Extremism. The elements of this strategy are S for Smart Leadership, A for Aggressive Strategy, M for Motivation and Training, A for Actionable Intelligence, D for Dashboard-based Key Result Areas and Key Performance Indicators, H for Harnessing Technology,  A for Action Plan for Each Theatre and N for No access to Financing.

The Union Home Minister again convened a meeting in New Delhi on 4th August to review the status of development projects and security related issues in LWE affected states. During the meeting different development projects including Road Requirement Plan, air connectivity, power, education, health and banking sectors were reviewed.  Under RRP-1, 4,433 km roads have been constructed which include 1,504 km road constructed during the last three years in the most difficult areas.  The Home Minister asked to expedite the remaining roads at the earliest.

Mr.Rajnath Singh chaired a meeting of the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Home Affairs on “LWE related issues” in New Delhi on 29th August. He informed the members that the LWE scenario exhibits significant improvement over the years and the declining trend continued in the last three years. As compared to data of 2010, year 2016 reflected a decline of 53% in number of violent incidents and 72% in resultant deaths and the trend continued in 2017. Shri Rajnath Singh further informed the members that this year overall situation so far also indicates a declining trend and the number of violent incidents has declined by 25.6% as compared to corresponding period of 2016.

He also chaired High Level Meeting on the LWE situation in Chhattisgarh, on November 3, 2017. As part of efforts to enhance skill development, Chhattisgarh has been sanctioned nine ITIs and 14 Skill Development Centres. The initiatives taken to improve education infrastructure include approval of two Kendriya Vidyalayas at Bijapur and Sukma and three JNVs at Bijapur, Narayanpur and Kondagaon. Jagdalpur Medical College has been approved for up-gradation as Centre of Excellence at a cost of 200 crore under PMSSY. 

Liberalization of Visa regime

With effect from April 1, 2017, e-Visa has been sub-divided into three categories i.e. e-tourist visa, e-Business visa and e-Medical visa. Presently, e-visa facility has been extended to the nationals of 163 countries for entry through 25 airports (E-visa service was earlier granted through 16 airports) and five Indian Ports— Cochin, Goa Mangalore, Mumbai and Chennai to tap the potential of cruise tourism from different countries. The window for application under e-visa scheme has been increased from 30 days to 120 days and duration of stay on e-visa has been increased from 30 days to 60 days with double entry on e-Tourist and e-Business visa and triple entry on e-Medical visa. Separate immigration counters and facilitation desks to assist medical tourists have been provided at Indian airports namely, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. 

 Improvement of immigration service at Delhi International Airport

Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired a meeting in New Delhi on 1st November to discuss various measures including technology upgradation, provision of modern equipment, additional space, professional manpower and so on for improving immigration services at Delhi Airport. The measures substantially improved Immigration services at Delhi International Airport which will facilitate not only foreigners coming to India, but also Indian travelers visiting abroad.

Union Home Minister operationalised the New Intelligence Set-up of SSB

Mr. Rajnath Singh operationalised the New Intelligence Set-up of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) at a function in New Delhi on 18th September. This marked the culmination of a long pending aspiration of the Force. SSB has been declared as the Lead Intelligence Agency (LIA) for both the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders. MHA has accordingly sanctioned 650 posts in various ranks from Battalion to Frontier Headquarters.

Centre appoints Shri Dineshwar Sharma as its Representative in J&K

The Government has appointed Dineshwar Sharma, former Director of Intelligence Bureau, to initiate and carry forward a dialogue with elected representatives, various organizations and concerned individuals in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Considering the positive initial response from different sections of people in J&K, it is expected that all stakeholders in the state who believe in peace would support the Government initiative and join the dialogue process.

Union Home Minister pays 4-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir

The Union Home Minister paid a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir from September 9. Addressing a press conference in Jammu, he said that the Centre is trying to ensure equitable development in all the three regions of J&K. Several projects are under implementation under PMDP. The Centre has decided to give 3,000 jobs to migrants from Kashmir valley and Rs 1,080 crores have been sanctioned to the state under this head. The Government has increased the compensation for those who get killed in ceasefire violations from Rs.one lakh to Rs.five lakh. The Government has also decided to construct 6,000 Transit Accommodation in the Kashmir valley. He said that the Government has also allocated a package of Rs 2,000 crores for the rehabilitation of POJK migrants.

CRPF’s Helpline in J&K

The CRPF Helpline was launched in J&K on June 16, 2017. The Helpline has been started to build bridge of trust and confidence with citizens.

Cabinet approves extension of time period of the Scheme “Special Industry Initiative for J&K” (Sll J&K) – Udaan 

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister on September 20, 2017 approved the proposal of the MHA for extension of time period of the Scheme “Special Industry Initiative for J&K” (Sll J&K) – Udaan till 31st December, 2018 without any modification and cost escalation. Initially the time period of Udaan was upto 2016-17.

Mr.Rajnath Singh chairs Standing Committee meetings of Inter-State Council

The Union Home Minister chaired the 11th Standing Committee meeting of the Inter-State Council in New Delhi on 9th April. The Standing Committee examined in detail various recommendations of the Punchhi Commission contained in Volume II & III.

He chaired the 12th meeting of the Standing Committee of Inter-State Council in New Delhi on 25th November. He said that the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Punchhi Commission’s report will then be placed before the Inter-State Council, headed by the Prime Minister.

 Meetings of Islands Development Agency (IDA)

The Union Home Minister chaired the first meeting of the newly constituted Islands Development Agency (IDA), in New Delhi on July 24, 2017. The IDA was set up on June 01, 2017 following the Prime Minister’s review meeting for the development of islands.

Mr.Rajnath Singh chaired the second meeting of IDA in New Delhi on 8th November. The IDA reviewed the concept development plans and detailed master plans for holistic development of nine islands (four in Andaman & Nicobar  Islands i.e. Smith, Ross, Long, Avis) and (five in Lakshadweep i.e. Minicoy, Bangaram, Thinnakara, Cheriyam, Suheli). It was decided that the Naval air station at Shibpur near Diglipur in northern Andaman & Nicobar Islands would be co-used as Joint User Airport.  It was also decided to develop a PPP package including an airport (Joint User Airport) at Minicoy Island, to unlock the tourism potential.

Show Cause Notice issued to Associations for cancellation of FCRA registration

As a one-time measure, all associations were given an opportunity by way of a Public Notice uploaded on fcraonline.nic.in on May 12, 2017 requiring them to file their missing Annual Returns pertaining to FY 2010-11 to 2014-15 within a period of one month. 5,922 associations were issued show cause notice in July, 2017 as to why their registration under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, (FCRA) may not be cancelled. Besides, over 2,000 NGOS were asked to validate their existing FCRA designated bank accounts and the list of these NGOs is available on website: www.fcraonline.nic.in. Over 1,000 NGOs which have been found to be misutilizing foreign funds and violating various provisions of FCRA, 2010 and Rules made thereunder, have been barred from operating their foreign contribution accounts.

Finally to ensure compliance of the provisions of FCRA, 2010 and rules made thereunder, the Government through public notice dated 19th September, 2017, gave one more opportunity to the 4,842 associations who didn’t comply to the public notice dated 12th May, 2017, which resulted in cancellation of their registration, to file their annual returns with penalty for the missing years for the period 2010-11 to 2015-16.

Meeting of National Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction

Mr. Rajnath Singh inaugurated the two-day second meeting of National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR) in New Delhi on 15th May. The theme was “Disaster Risk Reduction for Sustainable Development: Making India resilient by 2030”.

NIA Hqrs new Office Complex inaugurated

The Union Home Minister inaugurated the new Headquarters Office Complex of the NIA in New Delhi on October 10, 2017. He said the NIA recently launched a crackdown on terrorism funding in the Kashmir Valley sponsored from a hostile neighbouring country and their accomplices in third countries abroad. He said the Government initiated steps to grant full autonomy to the NIA in investigations.

India-Russia Agreement on Cooperation signed in Moscow

The Union Home Minister paid a three day visit to Moscow, Russia from 27th-29th November. An updated and more comprehensive agreement on Cooperation on Security between Ministry of Home Affairs of India and the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation was signed by the two Ministers. This agreement provides a comprehensive approach for cooperation in security related issues. A Joint Action Plan between India’s NCB and the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation for the period 2018-20 was also signed.

Union Home Minister addresses 9th meeting of Heads of Government authorities of SCO Member States dealing with the prevention and elimination of emergency situation in Kyrgyz Republic

 A high level Indian delegation headed by Mr.Rajnath Singh participated in the ninth meeting of Heads of Government authorities of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Member States dealing with the prevention and elimination of emergency situation in Ata city of the Kyrgyz Republic. While making the opening statement at the SCO meeting, he expressed gratitude to all Member states of the SCO for their support for India’s membership. He also moved a proposal to organise a Joint Urban Earthquake Search and Rescue exercise to improve collective preparedness.

Memorandum of Cooperation on Home Land Security between India and USA

The Union Cabinet approved the Memorandum of Cooperation on Home Land Security between India and USA on 28th June, 2017. It will further strengthen bilateral security relations between India and the USA and will also help in coordination and interactions among the six Sub-Groups that are proposed to be formed under Homeland Security Dialogue between the two countries. 

Home Affairs Dialogue (HAD) between India and UK held

The First Home Affairs Dialogue between India and UK was held in New Delhi on 4th May. The Indian side was led by the then Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and the UK delegation was led by  Patsy Wilkinson, Second Permanent Secretary, Home Office, Government of UK. Both India and UK laid emphasis on cooperation on anti- terrorism mechanism and to strengthen mutual support to check cyber crimes. Both sides agreed to formalise these arrangements. The second HAD was held in London on 17th July. The Indian delegation was led by Mr.Rajiv Mehrishi and Mr Philip Rutnam, Permanent Secretary, UK Home office led the UK delegation.

First Meeting of India-Australia Joint Steering Committee held

 The First Meeting of India-Australia Joint Steering Committee was held in New Delhi October 6, 2017.  TVSN Prasad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and  Stephen Bouwhuis, First Assistant Secretary, International and Auscheck Division, Criminal Justice Group, Attorney-General’s Department led the respective delegations. The two sides discussed scope for cooperation in counter-terrorism and checking extremism and radicalization besides steps to check illegal financial transactions and counterfeiting and cybercrimes. 

India and Thailand sign MoU on Cooperation in Controlling Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances, their Precursors and Chemicals and Drug Abuse

An MoU between India and Thailand was signed in the presence of MoS Hansraj Gangaram Ahir and Minister of Justice of Thailand Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana, in New Delhi on June 30, 2017.  The MoU will enhance the mutual cooperation between India and Thailand in regulation of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and combating drug trafficking.

Union Home Minister reviews measures to check cyber crimes in financial sector

Mr.Rajnath Singh chaired a meeting of all agencies concerned and representatives of relevant states in New Delhi on 13th November to review the progress of the decisions taken during the meeting taken by him on September 19, 2017 for curbing the financial sector frauds emanating from the usage of cards and e-wallets in particular.

An Inter-Ministerial Committee on Phone Frauds (IMCPF) has been constituted in the MHA on September 28, 2017. The Committee under the chairmanship of Additional Secretary, MHA held its first meeting on October 24, 2017 and discussed various nature of phone frauds taking place in India and the steps to be taken by the various stakeholder organisations in order to curb such instances.

Women’s Police Stations set up in Kohima and Dimapur for empowering women

Speaking at the Hornbill Festival 2017 as Chief Guest on December 8, 2017, Mr. Rajnath Singh, commended the role of the State Government in raising Nagaland’s 15 India Reserve (Mahila ) Battalion and setting up of Women’s Police Stations in Kohima and Dimapur for empowering women.

Union Home Secretary chairs review meeting on Women Safety

 Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired a meeting on November 22, 2017 to kick start the process of formulating comprehensive Safe City plans for women in eight metropolitan cities of the country – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Lucknow and Hyderabad.

 

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Year End Review 2017:Ministry of Home Affairs  - NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE

Rajesh Ahuja

I am a veteran journalist based in Chandigarh India.I joined the profession in June 1982 and worked as a Staff Reporter with the National Herald at Delhi till June 1986. I joined The Hindu at Delhi in 1986 as a Staff Reporter and was promoted as Special Correspondent in 1993 and transferred to Chandigarh. I left The Hindu in September 2012 and launched my own newspaper ventures including this news portal and a weekly newspaper NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE (currently temporarily suspended).