10.1 . INDIA’S FIRST EVER HIGHW AY CAPACITY MANUAL (INDO- HCM)
Why in news?
Recently India’s first ever Highway capacity Manual (Indo-HCM) has been released by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
More about the news
• Indo-HCM project was approved in 2012 and has been developed by CSIR-CRRI on the basis of an extensive, country-wide study of the traffic characteristics on different categories of roads.
• The manual lays down guidelines for capacity augmentation and management of different types of roads and their intersections and the level of services to be put in place.
• The manual will guide Road Engineers and Policy Makers in the scientific planning and expansion of road infrastructure in the country and help supplement the efforts such as Bharatmala programme and also help in reducing road accidents by promoting safer road designs.
• It has also underscored the need to popularise the use of new material like fly-ash, plastic, oil slag and municipal waste in road construction.
10.2 . SWITZERLAND TOPS FINANCIAL SECRECY INDEX
Why in news?
Recently, Financial Secrecy Index 2018 was unveiled by the Tax Justice Network (an independent international network).
About the Index
• The Financial Secrecy Index is a ranking of countries which ranks them on their secrecy score and scale of their offshore financial activities.
• The index is based on twenty secrecy indicators which can be grouped into four broad dimensions –
o Ownership registration – includes banking secrecy, trusts and foundations register etc.
o Legal entity transparency – includes public company ownership, public company accounts etc.
o Integrity of tax and financial regulation – includes tax administration, consistent personal income tax etc.
o International standards and cooperation – Anti-money Laundering, bilateral treaties etc.
What is Financial Secrecy?
• It occurs when there is a refusal to share financial information with legitimate authorities e.g. tax authority, police etc.
Findings of FSI 2018
• According to the latest index Switzerland has topped the list, followed by USA and Cayman Islands, Hong Kong and Singapore.
• India had scored a low score of 52 and is ranked 32. It’s ranking and score is important for countries where India invests.
10.3 . NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION RETAINS STATUS A
Why in news?
NHRC has retained the status A of accreditation of United Nations mandated Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) for fourth consecutive term.
More from news
• The accreditation confers international recognition and protection on National Human Rights Institutions and also grants participation in work and decision-making of GANHRI as well as the work of Human Rights Council and other UN mechanisms.
• NHRIs are accredited if they are found fully compliant with the UN mandated Paris Principles after a review process by GANHRI through sub-committee on Accreditation every five years.
• India was awarded ‘Status A’ accreditation in 1999 for the first time which it retained in 2006 and 2011.
• In 2017 the accreditation of NHRC of India was deferred till November 2017 which barred it from representing India in the UN’s Human Rights Commission stating reasons such as – inadequate representation of women in NHRC, the selection of retired CJI as the chairman restricts the potential pool of candidates etc.
National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRCI)
• It is a statutory body which was established in 1993 under the Protection of Human rights Act, 1993 which was amended in 2006.
Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institution (GANHRI)
• Formerly known as International Coordinating Committee (ICC) of National Human Rights Institutions, it was established in 1993.
• The main function of GANHRI are –
o Facilitating and supporting engagement of NHRIs with United Nations Rights Councils and Treaty and Treaty bodies.
o Undertakes accreditation of NHRIs in accordance with Paris Principles and promotes role of NHRIs within UN, with States and other international agencies.
o Encourages cooperation and information sharing among NHRIs.
o Helps in capacity building in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCR).
• Levels of Accreditations of GANHRIs are:
o “A” Voting members – They comply fully with Paris Principle and can participate as voting member in international and regional work and meetings of national institutions.
o “B” Observer member: They do not comply with the Paris Principles and hasn’t submitted the required documents
o “C” Non-member: They do not comply with Paris Principles and have no rights or privileges with ICC.
10.4. RULE OF LAW INDEX
Why in news?
• India is ranked 62nd in the Rule of Law Index 2017-18 brought out by the World Justice Project (an independent, multi-disciplinary organization).
About the Index
• It ranks 113 countries on 44 indicators. Scores are accorded ranging from 0 to 1, with 1 indicating strong adherence to rule of law.
• It measures countries’ rule of law performance across eight factors: Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice, and Criminal Justice.
• Denmark topped the Index this year followed by Norway, Finland, Sweden and Netherlands.