The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the fourth week of March 2015 proposed three policy initiatives to enhance security of women in the country under the Nirbhaya Fund.
The initiatives are: Central Victim Compensation Fund (CVCF), Investigative Units on Crime Against Women (IUCAW) and an initiative to prevent and monitor obscene online content.
Central Victim Compensation Fund (CVCF)
• The fund will be set up with 200 crore rupees to provide for medical expenses for acid attack victims.
• For the treatment of a victim 5 lakh rupees will be provided to hospitals, both Government-run and private under the fund.
• The hospital must fully treat the victim before the compensation is released.
• The central aid will be over and above the compensation extended to such victims by the respective state governments.
• In India, around 300 acid attack cases are registered every year and the compensation under the fund is meant to enhance survival rate among victims.
Investigative Units on Crime Against Women (IUCAW)
• These are specialised district-level units to investigate crimes against women with an estimated cost of 350 crore rupees across the country.
• Each IUCAW will comprise a staff of 15 persons each, of which one-third will be women.
• The units will be established in partnership with states on 50:50 cost-sharing basis.
• The programme will be rolled out on a pilot basis in 20% of districts.
While the above two proposals were sent by the ministry to Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) for approval, the third proposal regarding allocation of 300 crore rupess for prevention, tracking and action against obscene online content is still pending with the ministry.
These initiatives are intended to utilise unspent money allocated for the Nirbhaya Fund. Out of 1000 crore rupees allocated to the fund in 2013 only 200 crore rupees were spent. In the 2015-16 Union Budget 1000 crore rupees were allotted to the fund.
About Nirbhaya Fund
The Nirbhaya Fund was set up by the Union Government in 2013 with 1000 crore rupees corpus for empowerment, safety and security of women and girl children. The Fund is administered by the DEA under the Union Ministry of Finance. Union departments and ministries are eligible to forward proposals intended for women safety to the DEA to avail funds under the scheme.
What: three policy initiatives