International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 

#GS2 #International #Justice 

The independent experts on the Human Rights Committee published a fresh interpretation of the right of peaceful assembly, offering comprehensive legal guidance about where and how it applies and also outlining government’s obligations. 

Mandate of the committee  

  • The committee is tasked with monitoring how the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which under Article 21 guarantees the right to peaceful assembly. 

What did the committee observe? 

  • The committee observed that it is a “fundamental human right” for people to gather to celebrate or to air grievances, “in public and in private spaces, outdoors, indoors and online.” 
  • Everyone, including children, foreign nationals, women, migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees, can exercise the right of peaceful assembly. 
  • Governments could not prohibit protests by making “generalised references to public order or public safety, or an unspecified risk of potential violence”. 
  • In addition, Governments “cannot block internet networks or close down any website because of their roles in organising or soliciting a peaceful assembly”. 
  • It also stressed the right of journalists and human rights observers to monitor and document any assembly, including violent and unlawful ones. 

About ICCPR  

  • The ICCPR is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The ICCPR is monitored by the United Nations Human Rights Committee. 
  • The covenant commits (not legally binding) its parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial. 
  • The ICCPR is part of the International Bill of Human Rights, along with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). 
  • The Covenant was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1966 and came into force in 1976. As of December 2018, 172 countries have ratified the Covenant.


NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), has launched AIM iCREST – an Incubator Capabilities enhancement program for a Robust Ecosystem focused on creating high performing Startups. 

What is AIM iCREST? 

  • It has been designed to enable the incubation ecosystem and act as a growth hack for AIM’s Atal and Established incubators across the country. 
  • Under the initiative, the AIM’s incubators are set to be upscaled and provided requisite support to foster the incubation enterprise economy, that will help them to significantly enhance their performance. 
  • This will be complemented by providing training to entrepreneurs, through technology driven processes and platforms. The program aims at going beyond incubator capacity building. 
  • AIM has joined hands with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation – organisations that can lend credible support and expertise in the entrepreneurship and innovation space.

About ‘Atal Innovation Mission’  

  • AIM will be an Innovation Promotion Platform involving academics, entrepreneurs, and researchers drawing upon national and international experiences to foster a culture of innovation, R&D in India. 
  • The platform will also promote a network of world-class innovation hubs and grand challenges for India. 
  • Under this mission two major schemes were rolled out such as – 
    • Atal Tinkering Labs 
    • Atal Incubation Centres 
    • Atal Tinkering Labs – ATLs are play workspaces fitted with state-of-the-art technologies like 3D printers, robotics, sensor technology kits, Internet of things (IoT), miniaturised electronics. The labs are designed to spur the spark of creativity, and go beyond regular curriculum and text book learning. AIM will enhance the coverage of ATLs to over 98 per cent smart cities and 93 per cent districts. 
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