Current Affairs 21st January, 2019


Topics Covered

1. Demography

2. Women Empowerment

3. Governmental initiative to protect the vulnerable sections of the society

Week-long Celebration of Girl child day

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What to read?

Prelims – About the day and BBBP scheme

Mains – Positive impact on the society

The Ministry of Women and Child Development will celebrate the National Girl Child Day (NGCD) on January 24, which also coincides with the fourth anniversary of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme.

  • Celebrations will be conducted at district, mandal and village levels in 405 districts selected for multi-sectoral action under BBBP Scheme from January 21 to 26, with the slogan ‘Empowering Girls for a Better Tomorrow’.

  • The seven-day programme includes awareness events on health and hygiene, door-to-door campaign by Anganwadi and Asha workers on girl child development, review of the achievements and targets of the BBBP Scheme, and discussions with stakeholders. 

  • Officials of the Women Development and Child Welfare Department of the State government are planning to celebrate the day by felicitating the girls who topped in education, sports and other activities.

Beti Batchao Beti Padhao

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Ministry/Department :  Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Human Resource Development 

Objective: Survival, protection & education of the girl child


  • It is also called “Save girl child, educate girl child”

  • It aims to address the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) through a mass campaign across the country targeted at changing societal mind sets & creating awareness about the criticality of the issue

  • It will cover all the 640 districts (as per census 2011) of the country to have a deeper positive impact on Child Sex Ratio (CSR).

  • Implemented under the overall guidance and supervision of concerned District Magistrate/Deputy Commissioners.

  • The Union ‎Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) is nodal ministry for programme at the central level.

  • The focus of BBBP is on awareness and advocacy campaign, multi-sectoral action enabling girls’ education and effective enforcement of Pre-Conception & Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC&PNDT) Act.

  • The specific objectives of the scheme are preventing gender biased sex selective elimination, ensuring survival and protection of the girl child and ensuring education and participation of the girl child.

 Factual Information:

  • Launched in 2015 from Panipat

  • Madhuri Dixit is the brand ambassador of this scheme.

  • Child sex Ratio (0–6 years) in India was 927 girls per 1,000 boys in 2001, which dropped drastically to 918 girls for every 1,000 boys in 2011


Topics Covered

1. Governance

2. Governmental intervention for the protection of weaker section

MGNREGA – Violation in Implementation

What to study?

Prelims – MGNREGA

Mains – Hindrance in its implementation

A study has been released that states that work or employment generated by MGNREGA is lower than the work demanded. It also reveals the delay in payment to the work done under the scheme


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  • Right based

  • Demand driven scheme.

  • Promises 100 days of employment every year to each rural household.

  • The Act stipulates that wage payment be made within 15 days of work completion.

  • Stipulates for one third participation of women


  • In terms of the average person-days of work provided to each household the country = more than 40 days

  • The Act stipulates that wage payment be made within 15 days of work completion, but huge delays have been a key concern across the country. The proportion of payments made within 15 days nearly 50 %

  • MGNREGA stipulates for one third participation of women however Participation of women is nearly 55%.

Cabinet gave approval to additional 50 days of work under MGNREGA to rural poor in drought or natural calamities affected areas.

MGNREGA as an example of MIS benefits:

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is not only a pioneering livelihood security programme but also a great example of proactive disclosure of information through its Management Information System (MIS).

It is the first transaction-based real-time system for any public works programme in the country that is available in the public domain.

There has been a digitisation of all the processes in MGNREGA — right from a worker registering demand for work, to work allotment, to finally getting wages for completed works.

Another notable feature of the MIS is the availability of information through online reports at various levels of disaggregation. This has enabled any citizen to monitor the implementation of the programme and has consequently charted a new paradigm of transparency since the enactment of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Individual worker details from around 2.5 lakh gram panchayats are available in the MGNREGA MIS.

Issue background

In recent years, there have been at least 74 reported starvation deaths, with 60 cases having occurred in the last two years across parts of India; a lot of them have been in Jharkhand.

The study says that  the employment generated was about 33% lower than the registered work demand, and last year, about 30% lower.

Areas of Concern - Violation of the Act

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  • Lack of fund

  • Failure in registration of demand in work

  • Failure in providing Unemployment allowance

  • No offline alternative to register the demand in work

  • Delay in payments

Supreme Court Case related to the issue – Swaraj Abhiyan vs. Union of India

Probable Mains Question

A recent study has found that the work being offered under the MGNREGS scheme is falling with each passing years. Critically analyse the reasons for this decline in demand for jobs under this scheme.

Paper – 3

Topics Covered

1. Defence

Operation Kabaddi

What to read?

Prelims and Mains – About the operation, its objective and impact

New book quotes former commanders on ‘Operation Kabaddi’ in the post-Kargil scenario, aimed at preventing cross-border infiltration.

Name of the book - Line on Fire: Ceasefire Violations and India-Pakistan Escalation Dynamics.

Author –Happymon  Jacob

  • The operation, dubbed ‘Operation Kabaddi’, would have been on a scale far larger than the “land-grab” attempted by Pakistan, which led to the Kargil war in 1999, as well as the surgical strikes launched by India in 2016, says the book

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  • The objective [of Operation Kabaddi] was to change the geography of the LoC with access to tactical points there, which would then help them [the Army] tackle the infiltration of militants by the Pakistani side

  • The plan involved capturing 25 to 30 Pakistani army posts from the Batalik sector in the Ladakh region of J&K right down to Chamb-Jaurian in the Jammu sector

  • The posts were to be overrun in a surprise operation in “multiple phases”, the book reveals, but the operation was to be completed in a limited time, so as not to lead to a full-scale war.

  • Eventually, the units were prepared for Op Kabaddi on September 1, 2001, but the order to proceed was never given due to  the changed geopolitical situation after the 9/11 attacks as it would have been considered “taking advantage of a tragedy” and “viewed unfavourably by the international community.

Operation Prakaram

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  • It is significant that in December 2001, after the Parliament attack, the Army mobilised for the more conventional Operation Parakram, and a standoff with the Pakistani army that lasted for months.

Paper – 1, 2

Topics Covered

1. Women Empowerment

2. Governance

More women in India – Out of Education, Employment and Training

What to read?

Prelims – About SDG India Index Baseline Report

Mains – Highlights of the report

The NITI Aayog has released the Baseline Report of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index 2018, documenting the progress made by India’s States and Union Territories (UTs) towards implementation of the 2030 SDG targets.


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The SDG India Index was developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI), Global Green Growth Institute and United Nations in India.

  • The index comprises a composite score for each State and Union Territory based on their aggregate performance across 13 of the 17 SDGs. The score, ranging between 0 and 100, denotes the average performance of the State/UT towards achieving the 13 SDGs and their respective targets.

  • The aim of the index is to instil competition among States to improve their performance across social indices as the States’ progress will determine India’s progress towards achieving the set goals by 2030. Using the index, States will be monitored on a real-time basis.

Highlights of the report in general

  • According to the SDG India Index, the nation as a whole has a score of 58, showing the country has reached a little beyond the halfway mark in meeting the sustainable development goals adopted by India and 192 other nations in 2015.

  • The SDG Index Score for Sustainable Development Goals 2030 ranges between 42 and 69 for States and between 57 and 68 for UTs.

  • Top 3 states in terms of being on track to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.

  • Among the UTs, Chandigarh is the front runner with a score of 68.

  • Tamil Nadu has a score 66, and is the top scorer on the goals to do with eradicating poverty and also providing clean and affordable energy.

  • Kerala’s top rank is attributed to its superior performance in providing good health, reducing hunger, achieving gender equality and providing quality education. Himachal Pradesh ranks high on providing clean water and sanitation, in reducing inequalities and preserving the mountain ecosystem.

  • Among the UTs, Chandigarh takes the lead because of its exemplary performance in providing clean water and sanitation to its people. It has further made good progress towards providing affordable and clean energy, generating decent work and economic growth, and providing quality education.

  • The toppers in gender equality, Sikkim and Union territories Andaman and Nicobar islands and Chandigarh have crossed the half way mark in reaching the goals.

 Highlights of the report vis-à-vis women employment and education

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  • According to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index Baseline Report by NITI Aayog, 64 per 1,000 persons appear to be unemployed in the working age group of 15-59. The problem of unemployment has become more acute for youth and women.

  • The narratives on the missing half of the female population vary.

  • One is that the majority of women work under the category of “housewives”. In India’s economy, neither their contribution nor their presence gets counted in the GDP.

  • Another is that women have a low enrolment rate in secondary and higher education. Those not in education, employment and training in the age groups 15-19, 20-24, and 25-29 comprise 13.48%, 31.80% and 35.33%, respectively.

Probable Mains Question

India has to go a long way in promoting gender equality to achieve the