President signs ordinance to provide death penalty to rapists of girls below 12 years
President Ram Nath Kovind on April 22, 2018 promulgated an ordinance that provides for stringent punishment, including death penalty, for those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 years.
The ordinance- Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 stipulates stringent punishment for those guilty of rape, particularly of girls below the age of 16 and 12 years. The ordinance also orders death sentence to those guilty of raping girls below the age of 12 years.
CCEA approves restructured Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan Scheme
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on April 21, 2018 approved the restructured centrally sponsored scheme of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA).
The scheme will be implemented during the period from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2022 at the total cost of Rs 7255.50 crore. Of the total cost, the Central share will be Rs 4500 crore and the State share will be Rs 2755.50 crore.
The Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan scheme will be now extended to all the states, union territories (UTs) and in all the institutions of rural local government in non-Part IX areas, where Panchayats do not exist.
President promulgates Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance
President Ram Nath Kovind on April 22, 2018 promulgated the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, which will allow the government to confiscate properties and assets of loan defaulters who flee the nation.
The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on March 12, but it could not be taken up for discussion due to disruptions in the house over various issues.
The ordinance seeks to confiscate properties of economic offenders who have left the country to avoid facing criminal prosecution.
World Book and Copyright Day 2018 observed globally
The World Book and Copyright Day was observed across the world on April 23, 2017 to highlight the power of books and to promote UNESCO’s vision of knowledge societies that are inclusive, pluralistic, equitable, open and participatory for all citizens.
The World Book and Copyright Day pays tribute to books and authors by encouraging everyone to discover the pleasure of reading.
This year, UNESCO designated Athens, Greece as the World Book Capital for 2018. The city of Athens was chosen for its efforts in making books available to the city’s entire population including migrants and refugees.
French National Assembly passes controversial immigration law
The National Assembly of France on April 22, 2018 passed a controversial immigration law, after 61 hours of debate.
The controversial law, which was approved with 228 votes in favour, 139 against and 24 abstentions, exposed unprecedented divisions in President Emmanuel Macron's young centrist party.
Though the law passed largely with the support of Macron's Republic on the Move (LREM) party, one of the party’s key members, Jean-Michel Clement, rebelled and announced his exit from the party after casting a no vote.