Welfare of Vulnerable Sections | UPSC Notes

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Article 46 of the Constitution says that the State must look out for the educational and economic interests of the weaker parts of society, especially the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.

Table of Contents

Welfare of Other Backward Classes

• Since Article 15 of the Constitution was changed in 2006 and the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admissions) Act was passed in 2007, the list of other backward classes is important for getting into central educational institutions.

The OBC list made by the National Commission for Backward Classes is dynamic, meaning that groups and communities can be added or taken away, and it can change from time to time based on social, educational, and economic factors. For example, the OBCs are eligible for 27% of the jobs in the state sector and in higher education that are set aside for them.

• Article 338B of the 102nd Constitution Amendment Act, 2018 makes the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) a constitutional body. It has the power to look into complaints and help for groups that are socially and academically behind.

NCBC used to be a legal body that was part of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

The Backward Classes Division in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is in charge of making policy, planning, and carrying out projects that help OBCs improve their social and economic lives.

o It is also in charge of the National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation (NBCFDC) and the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), which were both set up to help OBCs.

Care for Older People

Plan for Older People at the National Level

The current National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP) was announced in 1999 as a way to show that the government was still committed to making sure older people were taken care of. The Policy called for the government to help older people with their financial and food security, health care, housing, and other needs. It also said that older people should have an equal share in growth, be protected from abuse and exploitation, and have access to services that would make their lives better.

National Council for Older People

• The National Council for Older Persons (NCOP) has been brought back together by the government. Its job is to give advice and help the government make policies and projects for older people.

• It tells the government how the national policy on older people and the individual projects for older people are being carried out.

• Under the Integrated Programme for Older Persons, NGOs get financial help for up to 90% of the cost of a project to set up and run old age homes, day care centres, mobile medical units, and other services for older people that don’t take place in institutions.

• In 2012, the Council was put back together and given a new name: the National Council of Senior Citizens (NCSrC).


Protection of Minorities

In 2006, the Ministry of Minority Affairs was set up. Its job is to come up with policies, plans, and projects for the welfare and economic growth of six (six) notified minority communities: Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, and Jains. Since October 2016, the Ministry has also been in charge of running the Haj Pilgrimage.

15-point plan for minority groups

In 2006, the Prime Minister revealed a 15-point plan to improve the lives of minorities. These are the goals of the programme:

• (a) making educational chances better,

• (b) making sure that minorities get a fair share of economic activities and jobs, using current and new programmes, better credit support for self-employment, and hiring for state and central government jobs.

• (c) improving the living conditions of minorities by giving them a fair share of money for building infrastructure;

• (d) preventing and getting rid of violence and discord between groups.

Scholarships for students from certain groups

This Ministry is running three scholarship programmes to help students from the notified minority groups get a better education:

• (i) scholarship before high school;

• (ii) scholarship after high school; and

• (iii) Scholarships that are based on ability.

Free Coaching and Allied Scheme (Naya Savera)

• In 2007, the “Free Coaching and Allied Scheme” for people from minority groups was started.

Nai Udaan

• The goal of the Scheme is to give financial help to minority candidates who pass the preliminary exams given by the Union Public Service Commission, the Staff Selection Commission, and the State Public Service Commissions. This will give them the tools they need to compete for positions in the Civil Services in the Union and state governments. It will also increase the number of minority people in the Civil Services by giving direct financial help to candidates.

Padho Pardes

• The goal of the Scheme is to give interest subsidies to students from economically weaker parts of notified minority communities who have done well in school. This will give them better chances to go to college abroad and make them more employable.

Nai Roshni

• “Nai Roshni” is an exclusive programme for developing minority women’s leadership skills. The goal is to give them more power and confidence by giving them the information, tools, and techniques they need to work with government systems, banks, and intermediaries at all levels. It is carried out by non-governmental organisations that have been approved.

The National Commission for Minorities

• The first National Commission that had to follow the law was set up in 1993.

• In 1995, the NCM Act of 1992 was changed, and the Commission now has seven members, including a Chairperson and a Vice Chairperson.

• Section 3(2) of the Act says that at least five members, including the chairperson, must be from a minority community.

There is a National Commission for Religious and

Language Minorities Commissioner for Minorities

• In 1957, the Office of the Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities (CLM) opened. In accordance with Article 350-B of the Constitution, which says that the CLM should look into all issues related to how the Constitution protects the country’s linguistic minorities and report on these issues to the President at regular times.


Development of Women and Children

Women’s and children’s growth is the most important and sets the pace for development as a whole. Since 2006, there has been a separate Ministry of Women and Child Development. Its main goal is to fill in gaps in state action for women and children and to encourage cross-ministerial and cross-sectoral cooperation to build gender-equal and child-centered policies.

There are laws, policies, and projects. The Ministry’s main job is to fight for women’s and children’s rights and concerns and to support their survival, protection, development, and participation in a whole-person way.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao

• Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao is one of the most important government programmes. It was started in 2015 to deal with the falling Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and other problems linked to women not having enough power.

• The CSR is the number of girls for every 1,000 boys in the 0–6 age group.

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• It is a joint effort by the Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health and Family Welfare, and Human Resource Development. Their main goals are to:

a campaign to raise knowledge and support;

work in different fields in 161 districts (low on CSR);

letting girls go to school;

 effective execution of pre conception and pre natal diagnostic techniques (PC&PNDT) Act.

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana

• The government said that pregnant women and nursing moms who qualify will get maternity benefits all over India. Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) was the name of the project.

• It is a scheme run by the national government, and the PMMVY grants are sent to the states and union territories.

• PMMVY plans to put a cash incentive of Rs. 5,000/- straight into the bank or post office account of a pregnant woman or a woman who is breastfeeding if the person meets certain conditions.

One Stop Shop

Since April 2015, One Stop Centres (OSC) have been put into place all over the country.

• At these centres, a woman who has been abused can get help from doctors, cops, lawyers, and counsellors.

• Most people call the OSC by the name Sakhi.

Emergency Button on Cell Phones

• The MWCD began putting actual panic buttons on women’s cell phones so that they could get help in an emergency.

Mahila Police Volunteers

• The main job of Mahila Police Volunteers (MPVs) is to tell officials or the police about violence against women, such as domestic violence, child marriage, dowry harassment, and violence in public places.

Women should have a place in the police force.

• The Ministry of Women, Children, and Development (WCD) has been working with the Ministry of Home Affairs to improve how the police handle cases that are sensitive to gender, bring more women into the public eye, and make the police force more sensitive to gender issues.

Adding Acid Attack to the List of Disabilities

• MWCD asked the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to add damage or disfigurement caused by acid attacks to the list of disabilities. This is because acid attacks can cause damage or disfigurement that lasts a long time and requires constant medical care.

Gender Budgeting Initiatives

• Gender budgeting (GB) is a powerful way to achieve gender mainstreaming and make sure that women get the same benefits from growth as men.

• It’s not just a matter of doing the numbers; it’s also important to keep a gender viewpoint in mind at all stages of budget planning, allocation, implementation, impact/results evaluation, review, and audit.

Increasing the length of maternity leave

• The Ministry of Labour and Employment made changes to the Act. These changes are:

i) Increasing the length of maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks under the Maternity Benefit Act of 1961;

(ii) extending maternity benefits to women who adopt or who are commissioned to have a child;

(iii) The building of a creche on the office/factory grounds.

Women are sexually harassed at work

• The Ministry of Women and Child Development is trying to make sure that the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013 is put into place in a way that keeps women safe at work.

Rashtriya Mahila Kosh

• The main goal of Rastriya Mahila Kosh is to give microloans to poor women through intermediary organisations (IMO), such as Section 25 companies, NGOs, and others, to help them support their livelihoods and make money in a way that is easy for them to understand. This will help their social and economic development.

Mahila e-Haat

• In 2016, “Mahila e-Haat,” a unique direct online digital marketing platform for women entrepreneurs/SHOs/NGOs, was launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

• This project could be a game-changer because it could help women become more financially independent and start their own businesses.

• The best thing about Mahila e-haat is that it makes it easy for sellers and buyers to talk to each other directly. It is easy to get to because all of e-Haat’s work can be done on a mobile phone.


Welfare of Transgenders

Transgender refers to anyone whose gender identity or behaviour doesn’t fit with what people usually think of as gender standards.

Constitutional Rights of People Who Change Sex

• The Constitution’s Preamble says that Justice means that everyone has the same social, economic, and political standing.

• Because of this, Article 14’s right to equality is the first and most important right they deserve. Article 15 says that it is against the law to treat people differently because of their religion, race, caste, sex, or where they were born.

• Article 21 says that all people have the right to privacy and to be treated with respect.

• Under Article 23, it is illegal to use people as beggars or for other types of forced labour. Anyone who breaks this law will be punished according to the law.

• The main problems that the transgender community faces are discrimination, unemployment, lack of educational facilities, homelessness, lack of medical facilities like HIV care and hygiene, depression, hormone pill abuse, tobacco and alcohol abuse, penectomy, and problems with marriage and adoption.

Steps taken for Welfare of Transgenders

• The government of Odisha made a plan called “Sweekruti” to protect the rights of transgender people and make sure that justice is fair for everyone.

• The first Indian state to make a policy for transgender people is Kerala. Also, Kerala has the first court in India for transgender people.

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act of 2019

Who are transgender people?

• The Act says that a person is transgender if their gender does not match the gender they were given at birth.

• It includes transgender people with different kinds of intersex, gender-queer people, and people with names like kinnar, hijra, aaravani, and jogta.

• The 2011 Indian Census was the first one in the country’s history to count the number of “trans” people. According to the study, 4.8 million Indians said that they were transgender.

What problems do transgender people have to deal with?

• They don’t have legal protection. They have to deal with violence in jail, the state not doing its job, and general indifference to their problems, such as schooling, housing, health care, and jobs.

• Poverty: Because transgender people don’t have formal protection, they can’t find work. They are turned away from services and have high rates of unemployment, unstable housing, and being left out.

• Harassment and stigma: People laugh at them and think they are mentally sick, socially deviant, and sexual predators.

• Violence against transgender people: Their own families drive them into prostitution, gender conformism, fake psychotherapies based on aversion, forced marriages, stripping, physical and verbal abuse, and forced marriages to people of the opposite gender.

• Obstacles to Health Care: They don’t get much basic health care because doctors and nurses don’t care about them and don’t know how to care for transgender people.

When will reforms for transgender people happen?

• In 2009, the Election Commission gave all provinces the right instructions on how to change the format of the registration forms to add a “others” choice. This made it possible for transgender people to tick the box if they didn’t want to be labelled as either male or female.

• The Supreme Court called them the “Third Gender” in the 2014 case National Legal Services Authority vs. Union of India.

Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan said in the landmark decision that “recognising transgenders as a third gender is not a social or medical issue, but a human rights issue.”

• In 2014, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Tiruchi Siva put forward the Rights of Transgender Persons Bill as a private member’s bill. In April 2015, the Rajya Sabha passed the bill.

• The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 was signed into law not too long ago.

What are the Bill’s most important parts?

• No discrimination: The Bill says that transgender people can’t be treated differently when it comes to schooling, jobs, health care services, access to services, and other things.

• Right to be Recognised as Transgender: Everyone has the right to be recognised as transgender.

You must get a proof of identity from the District Magistrate. The District Screening Committee will decide whether or not to give you the certificate.

The Act says that a National Council for Transgender People (NCT) must be set up.

• Right to Live: A transgender person should not be split from their parents or close relatives because they are transgender.

• Health Care: The Act also aims to give transgender people the right to use health facilities, such as separate HIV monitoring centres and sex reassignment treatments.

It also says that the government must change the way medical education is taught to address the health problems of transgender people and give them full medical insurance.

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• It makes illegal: (i) begging, forced or bonded labour, (ii) not letting someone use a public place, (iii) not letting someone live in a household, town, etc., and (iv) physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and financial abuse.

What are some of the problems with the Act?

• Transgender people are not properly described in the Act, and there is no way for them to choose their own gender.

• The Act doesn’t say anything about giving reservations to transgender people. This goes against the NALSA judgement from 2014, which says that transgender people should get reservations because they are from socially and educationally backward groups.

• Transgender people often dance or sing to get money while begging. But the act makes begging illegal by making it a crime for people who don’t do anything else for their social security.

• It makes it easier to discriminate against and attack transgender people than it is to do those things to cisgender people. For example, a cisgender person who sexually assaults a woman can go to jail for 7 years.

• The Act sees transgender people as victims, not as powerful people with rights.

• The Standing Committee’s worries about giving transgender people the same rights as other people in marriage, divorce, and adoption have not been answered.

• The Act goes against Article 19 of the Constitution, which says that transgender people have the right to choose where they live. Instead, they must stay with their parents or go to court.

Care for People with Different Abilities

“Person with disability” refers to someone who has a long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairment that, when combined with hurdles, keeps them from fully and effectively taking part in society in the same way as everyone else. Based on the 2011 Census, there are 26.8 million people in India who have some kind of disability. This is at 2.21 percent.

The available India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) was created by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) as a nation-wide effort to make all places available to people with disabilities. For universal accessibility, the effort is aimed at three different areas: the built environment, the transportation eco-system, and the information and communication eco-system.

The Department is working with the Ministry of Home, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the Ministry of Tourism to make police stations, hospitals, and tourism more available all over the country. DEPwD is also in the process of making a mobile app and a website where people can submit requests about places that are hard to get to.

The National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) is a top-level financial company that helps people with disabilities improve their finances by giving them credit.

Steps taken to help people with disabilities

On May 12, 2012, a separate Department of Disability Affairs was made out of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. This was done so that policy issues could get more attention and actions for the welfare and empowerment of people with disabilities could get more of a push.

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act of 2016

• This law replaces the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights, and Full Participation) Act of 1995.

• It meets the requirements of India’s signing of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

• The Act says that there will be punishments for crimes against people with disabilities and for breaking the rules of the new law.

• The National Mental Health Policy, which was revealed in October 2014, is based on values and principles like fairness, justice, quality, participation, and a whole-person approach to mental health.

The following plans have been put in place by the National Trust.

Early Intervention and School Readiness Scheme (DISHA):

• Day Care (VIKAAS)

• SAMARTH (Respite Care)

• GHARAUNDA (Adult Group Home)

• NIRAMAYA (Scheme for Health Insurance)

• SAHYOGI is a programme for training carers.

• PRERNA (Help with Marketing)

• Aids and Assisted Devices (SAMBHAV)

Awareness and Community Interaction (BADHTE KADAM)

• Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS Scheme) to encourage people with disabilities to take part in voluntary activities. The goal of this scheme is to help nonprofit organisations get the money they need to offer all the services that disabled people need to get back on their feet. These services include early intervention, learning how to do things like cook and clean, getting an education, learning skills that will help them get a job, training, and spreading awareness. The focus would be on education and training courses so that people with disabilities could join the rest of society and reach their full potential.

• NHFDC Loan Programme for Vocational Education and Training for People with Disabilities.


Care for a vulnerable tribal group in particular

Some tribal groups depend on hunting and gathering for food, have technology from before agriculture, have no or negative population growth, and have a very low level of learning, among other things. Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups is the name for these groups. The tribal groups are more likely to have PVTGs.

Plan for the development of primitive tribal groups that are weak and at risk.

• On April 1, 2008, the Scheme for Development of Primitive and Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) went into action.

• The Scheme says that PVTGs are the most susceptible of the Scheduled Tribes. This means that protecting and developing them is a top priority for the Scheme. It gives the names of 75 PVTGs.

• The Scheme tries to look at the social and economic development of PVTGs as a whole, and it gives state governments the freedom to plan projects that meet the particular social and cultural needs of the groups in question.

Important Indian Tribes


“De-notified Tribe (DNT) and Nomadic Tribe”

The History of Words

• The Criminal Tribes Act (CTA) of 1871 is to blame for this. Under the act, the Government of India listed all ethnic or social groups that were “addicted to the systematic commission of non-bailable offences” like theft.

• The colonial government told almost 200 tribes that they were born and raised thieves.

• In fact, they were made to feel like outsiders.

• Because of the British Act, the Administration was always bothering them.

• These tribes were taken off the list of Criminal Tribes after India got its independence.

What’s going on now

• After India got its independence, the CTA 1871 was thrown out, and the Centre later suggested the Habitual Offenders Act (HOA).

• It was passed in ten states across the country. This makes each person take on more of the community’s problems.

• Law enforcement agencies continued to harass nomads and semi-nomadic people and groups.

• Denotified Tribes (DNTs) are still looked down upon by society as a whole.

Repercussions of Being Shunned

• They don’t know who they are. Most of the time, they don’t have proof that they live there, so they can’t take part in the government’s plans for growth.

• People who were qualified for these programmes were put into SC, ST, and OBC categories at random.

• Because of this, most members of the DNTs are still not included in efforts to end discrimination.

• India’s Denotified Tribes (DNT) are still thought of as “criminals by birth.” Just getting rid of the CTA wouldn’t change the way people in government or society think.

Since 2000, what has the government done?

• The first National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic, and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) was set up in 2003.

• Balkrishna Renke put it back together after two years. It turned in its report in 2008, which suggested getting rid of several HOAs.

• After that, the Idate Commission was set up with a similar goal.

• In July 2014, the government set up the National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic, and Semi-nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) for a three-year term to make a list of DNT groups by state.

• In February 2019, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will set up a Development and Welfare Board under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.

Plans for DNT

For the benefit of the DNTs, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is running the following programmes.

• Dr. Ambedkar Pre-Matric and Post-Matric Scholarship for DNTs: This Centrally Sponsored Scheme started in 2014-15 to help DNT kids who don’t belong to SC, ST, or OBC. The most you can make and still be eligible is Rs. 2.00 lakh per year. The State Governments/UT Administrations are in charge of carrying out the plan. The costs are split 75:25 between the central government and the states.

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• Nanaji Deshmukh Plan for Building Hostels for Boys and Girls in DNT. This Centrally Sponsored Scheme, which started in 2014-15 and is run by State Governments, UT Administrations, and Central Universities, is paid for by the Central Government. The goal of the plan is to give DNT students who don’t belong to SC, ST, or OBC the chance to live in a hostel so they can go to college. The most you can make and still be eligible is Rs. 2.00 lakh per year. The Central Government gives out no more than 500 seats across the land each year. The standard cost is Rs. 3 lakh per seat plus Rs. 5,000 per seat for furniture. The costs are split 75:25 between the central government and the states.

• Starting in 2017-18, the scheme “Assistance to Voluntary Organisation Working for the Welfare of Other Backward Classes (OBCs)” has been changed to “Central Sector Scheme of Assistance for Skill Development of Backward Classes (OBCs)/ De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (DNTs)/ Economic Backward Classes (EBCs)”.

What’s Needed Now

• The HOAs should be thrown out.

• The policies for development should meet wants that have been there for a long time but have been ignored.

• The government needs to talk to the DNTs.

• By default, the DNTs don’t ask the State for help.

• The mistreatment of India’s nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes needs to stop.


Children’s Issues

Children Who Are Lost, Stolen, or Have Run Away

• Khoya-Paya Portal: In 2015, a new citizen-based portal called KhoyaPaya was created so that people could help protect children. This site lets people post information about missing and found children.


• Children who have been sexually abused often can’t tell anyone about it. To give them a safe and anonymous way to do so, e-Box, a website, has been set up. Here, a child or someone else can make a complaint on his or her behalf with only a few details. As soon as a complaint is made, a skilled counsellor gets in touch with the child right away and helps.

Juvenile Justice

• The Juvenile Justice Model Rules, 2016, explain in detail how the cops, the Juvenile Justice Board, and the children’s court should act in a way that is friendly to children. Some of these processes are that no child should be locked up or sent to jail, that no child should be handcuffed, that a child should get the right medical care, that a parent or guardian should be told about legal aid, etc. The Juvenile Justice Board and the Children’s Court must put the child at ease and encourage him or her to talk about what happened without being afraid, after the questions have been asked in a language that the child can understand.

Mission for National Nutrition

• The goal of the National Nutrition Mission (NNM) is to improve the nutritional state of children (0–6 years old), adolescent girls, pregnant women, and mothers who are breastfeeding in a time-bound way over three years. With the goals of avoiding and reducing undernutrition in children (0–3 years old), reducing the number of young children with anaemia (6–59 months), reducing the number of women and teenage girls with anaemia (15–49 years old), and reducing low birth weight.

Anganwadi Services

• The goal of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme, which is now called the Anganwadi Services Scheme, is to improve the health and nutrition of children between the ages of 0 and 6; lay the groundwork for the child’s proper psychological, physical, and social development; reduce the number of deaths, illnesses, malnutrition, and children who drop out of school; make sure that policy and implementation are well-coordinated among the different departments in order to promote child development.

Improving Anganwadi Infrastructure

• The Government is committed to repositioning the Anganwadi Centre (AWC) as a thriving early childhood development centre to become the first village outpost for health, nutrition, and early learning.

A Plan for Teenage Girls

• As part of the nutrition component, out-of-school girls ages 11–14 who attend AWCs and all girls ages 14–18 get extra food in the form of a take-home share or a hot cooked meal. In the non-nutrition part, girls ages 11 to 18 who are not in school are given IFA supplements, health checks, referrals, and information about nutrition and health. Adolescent Reproductive Sexual Health (ARSH) counselling and guidance on family welfare, life skills education, help with getting public services, and vocational training (only for 16–18-year-old girls). The Scheme also wants to get girls who aren’t in school back into school.

Amendment to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2019

Where Sexual Crimes Against Children Stand Now

• From January to June of this year, 24,212 FIRs were made all over the country.

• According to NCRB figures from 2016, the rate of conviction in POCSO cases is 29.6%, and as many as 89% of cases are still being worked on.

• In most of these cases, the hearing doesn’t happen within the two months that the law says it should.

The Court noticed that trials were taking too long and told the Central Government to set up special courts in each district with more than 100 open cases under the Act within 60 days of the order. The new changes are a step in the right direction towards stopping child abuse.

Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act, 2019 has the following parts:

1. Terminology

• Aggravated Sexual Assault:

When the person who hurt the child is a family member.

If the child’s sexual parts are hurt during the attack.

Assault that was done during a natural disaster.

Giving a child any kind of drug in order to get them to reach sexual maturity early.

• Child pornography is any image that shows a child doing something sexually explicit. This can be a picture, video, digital or computer-generated image that looks just like a real child, or an image that was made, changed, or adapted to look like a child.

2. Imprisonments/Penalties

• Penetrative Sexual Assault: Anyone who does this to a child younger than 16 will go to jail for at least 20 years and maybe even for life.

• Aggravated sexual assault with penetration:

At the moment, people who commit aggravated penetrative sexual assault are sent to jail for 10 years to life and have to pay a fine.

The bill raises the minimum sentence from ten years to twenty years and makes the highest sentence the death penalty.

• Pornography:

Using a child for pornographic reasons gets you at least 5 years in prison.

Use of a child for pornographic purposes that leads to a penetrative sexual attack is punishable by at least 10 years (or 20 years if the child is under 16) and up to life in prison.

Pornography with sexual abuse that is more serious.

Use of a child for pornographic purposes that leads to severe, penetrating sexual attack is punishable by at least 20 years in prison and up to life in prison or death.

How experts feel about the death penalty

• The Justice J.S. Verma Committee, which was set up in 2013, said that rape cases shouldn’t get the death sentence.

• The 262nd Report of the Law Commission of India, which came out in 2015, also said that the death sentence should be done away with, except in cases of terrorism.

But in the cases of Machhi Singh (1983) and Devender Pal Singh (2002), the Supreme Court said that the death sentence can only be given in the rarest of rare situations.

For serious, penetrating sexual assaults on children, the death penalty is set.

• Yes, it has to be done.

It will be a strong disincentive, and people should be afraid of breaking the law.

The goal of law is to make sure that people trust the law and that potential criminals and lawbreakers are afraid of the law.

There aren’t many cases that are known about. But if people know for sure that the law will help the victim, there will be less secrecy about the problem and more people will report it.

People should think of sexual attacks on children as some of the worst crimes. They should get the death penalty for what they did. Even violent gangsters who had been convicted of multiple killings hated people who raped children.

• No, the death penalty can’t stop people from doing wrong.

The death sentence has become a popular way for laws to send a message. But the bigger problem is the lack of care for infrastructure, mistakes in procedures, and delays in trials.

It could put the child’s life in danger, since the highest sentence for murder is also death.

In his book Confronting the Death sentence, Robin Conley says that the death sentence may seem fair and right as an idea, but it doesn’t work as well as a deterrent in real life.

Globally, study backs up the idea that the number of crimes doesn’t go down, no matter how harsh the punishments are.

• The death sentence will make it harder for the child to tell anyone about the crime. The ‘Crime in India: 2015’ study says that 95% of the accused are people the child knows.

• Using the death sentence too much takes attention away from other problems in the justice system.

What’s Needed Now

• Setting up structures or putting people in charge under the POCSO Act.

• Guarantee that the children who were hurt will get better.

• Crime will go down if punishments are clear and always the same.

• It’s important to make changes to the cops and speed up the courts.

• We should do science research and teach young people about gender roles.