Several states in the country are yet to set up the special courts mandated in every district by The Protection of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, figures presented by the government in Lok Sabha last week show. The alleged abuse of girls at a shelter in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, spotlights the increase in sexual crimes against children in India — National Crime Records Bureau data on cases of rape of children registered under IPC Section 376 and POCSO Act Sections 4 and 6 show an 82% jump from 10,854 cases in 2015 to 19,765 in 2016, the last year for which figures are available.
“National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is mandated to monitor the implementation of the POCSO Act, 2012. As per information received from NCPCR, as on date, there are 620 Special Courts designated under the POCSO Act in the country,” the government said in response to a starred question last Wednesday. A break-up of districts in states and UTs that was provided alongside — with the exception of Jammu and Kashmir where the POCSO Act is not applicable — added up to 681.
Section 28 of the POCSO Act says that “for the purposes of providing a speedy trial, the State Government shall in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court, by notification in the Official Gazette, designate for each district, a Court of Session to be a Special Court to try the offences under the Act”.
— Written by Raghavi Sharma
Scutoid- What, where is this new shape of geometry?
Scientists have reported the discovery of a new geometric shape, the scutoid. While new to maths, it exists in nature, formed by groups of cells in the body. What does it look like? Imagine a prism with a pentagon on the apex and base. Let the prism’s edges, connecting the vertices of the pentagons, be a closed zipper. Now imagine opening this zipper down from the upper vertex, say, to make a “Y”. The arms of the “Y” gives the upper pentagon an extra side, making it a hexagon. That is a scutoid. Born out of the cell’s need to conserve energy, the scutoid is formed when the epithelial cells that make up the outer layer of every organ pack themselves as efficiently as possible. Scientists arrived at the scutoid by combining theoretical with experimental data to create a 3D structure. The study appears in Nature Communications.
—Written by Harikrishnan Nair