Current Affairs 5th January, 2019



PAPER – 1 and PAPER - 2

Topics Covered

1. Social issues

2. Governmental Intervention to protect the vulnerable


What to read?

Prelims – National Commission for Protection of Child Rights

Mains – Details and Highlights of the study, Steps to be taken

Survey of 9,589 shelters across nation found more than a lakh inmates are from single parent homes.

The report, Mapping of Child Care Institutions under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, was conducted by Childline India Foundation and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), has now been made public by the Ministry Of Women and Child Development.

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights


NCPCR is a statutory body set up in 2007 under Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005.

Its objective is to protect, promote and defend child rights in India including rights adopted in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children, 1989, ratified by India in 1992. (This convention defines child as a human being below 18 years of age).

It falls under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women & Child Development

The Child is defined as a person in the 0 to 18 years age group.

Highlights of the study

• Study area - The study records a total of 9,589 shelters across the country. These include shelters for children who are in need of care and protection such as those who don’t have a home or parents as well as children in conflict with law or those who have been accused of or found to have committed a crime.

• The survey found more than 3.7 lakh children housed at these centres.

• Findings - Most children at childcare institutions are not orphans, but belong to family structures that are unable to look after them such as those that are headed by unwed mothers, abandoned wives, widows and in some cases single fathers.

• According to the report, children of single parents constituted a third of the total number of total children in homes, accounting for 1,20,118 children. This number is more than double that of children orphaned, abandoned and those surrendered by their parents at 41,730, 7,677 and 6,791 respectively.

• Single parents could be a wide gamut of caregivers including unwed mothers, abandoned wives and widows and even single fathers.

Probable Mains Question

Children in India are vulnerable in their homes as well as in children homes. How can they be ensured a safe environment to grow as good citizens? Enumerate the legislatives efforts. Suggest few measures


Topics Covered

1. Legislative

2. Governance – Transparency and Accountability


What to read?

Prelims – Lokpal , Lokayuktha

Mains – Significance of Lokpal and lacunae in current form to be rectified

The government informed the Supreme Court that an eight-member search committee has been constituted in September 2018 for zeroing in on eligible candidates for Lokpal and the anti-corruption authority will frame its own rules of functioning.

• The panel is led by former Supreme Court judge, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai.

Lokpal and Lokayukta

Both are statutory bodies – The Lokpal and Lokayuktha Act, 2013

The ‘Lokpal’ is the central governing body that has jurisdiction over all members of parliament and central government employees in case of corruption. Whereas, the ‘Lokayukta’ is similar to the Lokpal, but functions on a state level.

Function - The main function is to address complaints of corruption, to make inquiries, investigations, and to conduct trials for the case on respective state and central government with having responsibility to help in curbing the corruption in the central and state government.


Composition - Lokpal will consist of a chairperson and a maximum of eight members.

Term is 5 yrs or till age of 70. After ceasing to hold office, member and chairperson shall not be eligible to hold any post under any government in India.

Selection of chairperson and members of Lokpal through a selection committee consisting of PM, Speaker of Lok Sabha, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India or a sitting Supreme Court judge nominated by CJI. Eminent jurist to be nominated by

President of India on basis of recommendations of the first four members of the selection committee "through consensus"

Qualifications -Chairperson shall be either a sitting or retired Chief justice of India or sitting or retired SC Judge or person of eminence in public affairs.

Members: 50% will be judicial members i.e. sitting or retired judge of SC / sitting or retired chief justice of HC and 50% members of Lokpal shall be from SC/ST/OBCs, minorities and women.

Non judicial members should have knowledge and experience of 25 yrs in field of vigilance, finance, anti-corruption policy and public administration.

Power - Lokpal's jurisdiction will cover all categories of public servants.

All entities (NGOs) receiving donations from foreign source in the context of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) in excess of Rs 10 lakh per year are under the jurisdiction of Lokpal.

Centre will send Lokpal bill to states as a model bill. States have to set up Lokayuktas through a state law within 365 days.

Lokpal will have power of superintendence and direction over any central investigation agency including CBI for cases referred to them by the ombudsman.

A high-powered committee chaired by the PM will recommend selection of CBI director. The collegiums will comprise PM, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha and Chief Justice of India.

PM has been brought under purview of the Lokpal, so also central ministers and senior officials.

Delay in forming Lokpal since 2013

Since its passage the implementation of Lokpal act has marred with many difficulties like absence of leader of opposition in selection panel, various structural issues, controversy over search committee etc which are causing delays. In 2014, government has amended the act leading to its dilution.

The Lokpal act 2014:-

The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013 seeks to provide for the establishment of Lokpal for the Union and Lokayukta for States to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries and for related matters. The act extends to whole of India, including Jammu & Kashmir and is applicable to “public servants” within and outside India.

Probable Mains Question

With passage of five years of the bill , Formation of Lokpal and Lokayukthas have been delayed . How can it be resolved to curb the corruption in public affairs.

Paper – 2 Topics covered

1. Governance


What to read?

Prelims – Open Defecation Free programme under Swachch Bharat

Mains – The Study (Highlights), Change in approach to achieve ODF

New research on the impact of the Swachh Bharat Mission in the rural parts of four northern States shows that while open defecation has fallen and toilet ownership has increased, the percentage of people who owned toilets but continued to defecate in the open has remained unchanged between 2014 and 2018.

The Swachh Bharat Mission – the flagship sanitation programme of the Indian government – aims to make India open defecation free by 2019. However, this has only been achieved in 17 of 686 districts so far

Highlights of the study

• Approximately 44% of people over two years old in rural Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh still defecate in the open.

• According to the Mission, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are already open defecation free or ODF states. Bihar has achieved 98.97% coverage of toilets for every household, while Uttar Pradesh has achieved 100%, according to government data, although the state has yet to be declared ODF

• One major statistic, however, has remained unchanged since 2014: the fraction of people who own a toilet, but who nevertheless defecate in the open remains at about 23%.

Way forward

This indicates that the Mission has been more successful at toilet construction than at driving behaviour change which needs more focus by providing awareness to the public about the illness by Open defecation.


Topics Covered

1. Governance

7 cities certified ODF++

What to read?

Prelims and Mains – ODF++, The mechanism followed by 7 cities in faecal management and AMRUT

Seven cities – all in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh – have been certified ODF++, according to the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban.


The certification, an extension of the ODF or Open Defecation Free protocol, means that all the faecal sludge and sewage in these cities is treated scientifically before discharge.

7 Cities - The seven cities are Indore, Khargone, Sahaganj, Ujjain, Bhilai, Rajnandgaon and Ambikapur

• These cities have 100% of their faecal matter treated by sewage treatment plants or faecal sludge treatment plants. They are also free of open defecation and open urination, with at least 25% of the community and public toilets in excellent condition.

• These are the first cities to qualify under the government’s new extended protocol to sustain gains made under the basic ODF protocol.

• The Mission’s annual cleanliness survey (Swachch Survekshan) which will rank 4237 cities and towns on their sanitation efforts on the basis of third-party surveys as well as citizen feedback.

• The Urban Affairs Ministry is setting up a sub-mission on faecal sludge management under its AMRUT scheme for 500 cities and towns


JNNURM was replaced by the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) that focusses on infrastructural development for Class I cities (those with a population of one lakh and above)

Union Government provides an assistance of 50 per cent of project cost for cities with a population of up to 10 lakhs each and one third of project co st for cities with a population of above 10 lakhs each. Rest of the project cost has to be borne by the states and urban local bodies

Probable Mains Question

Economic growth has made the cities and towns crowded. Urban planning is the need of the hour for raising the standard of Living and for sustainable cities in India. In this context, Write in detail about AMRUT scheme


Topics covered

1. Space Science programmes

Chang ‘e- 4 mission on far side of the Moon

What to read?

Prelims and Mains– Chang ‘e – 4

China says it has successfully landed a robotic spacecraft on the far side of the Moon, the first ever such attempt and landing. The un-crewed Chang'e-4 probe touched down in the South Pole-Aitken Basin.


The Moon is tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate that it orbits our planet, so the far side is never visible from Earth. The probe, the Chang’e-4, is expected to make the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the Moon. Previous spacecraft have seen the far side of the Moon, but none has landed on it.

The far side of the moon known as ‘South Pole-Aitken Basin’ still remains a mystery among space scientists and by sending a probe there, China will outdo the historical achievements of the US and USSR.

About the mission:

Chang’e 4 is the fourth mission in the country’s lunar mission series which is being named after the Chinese moon goddess.

The tasks of the Chang’e-4 probe include low-frequency radio astronomical observation, surveying the terrain and landforms, detecting the mineral composition, and measuring the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment on the far side of the moon.

Significance of the mission:

According to experts, landing on the far side of the moon is undoubtedly one of the most challenging missions ever launched by any of the world’s superpowers.

History of China’s lunar exploration programmes:

China began their lunar exploration program in 2007 by launching a simple lunar orbiter named ‘Chang’e 1’. The second mission in the program named ‘Chang’e 2’ was launched in 2010, and it was later followed by the third mission ‘Chang’e 3’. ‘Chang’e 3’ made headlines all around the world as it marked the first soft moon landing since 1976.

Probable mains Question

Compare and contrast the Chandrayaan and Chang – e series lunar missions