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Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 24 January 2019

Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 24 January 2019

Paper 1 and 2:

Topics Covered:

  1. Women related issues.
  2. Welfare schemes for the protection of vulnerable sections of the society.


National Girl Child Day (NGCD)


What to study?

  • For Prelims: About NGCD- objectives, theme and significance, BBBP-key features.
  • For Mains: BBBP significance, challenges to the development of girl child in the country, measures needed.


What? National Girl Child Day (NGCD) was observed on 24th January with objectives of generating awareness on the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and create a positive environment around valuing the girl child. The programme also observed anniversary of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme. National Girl Child Day was first initiated in 2008.

Theme: “Empowering Girls for a Brighter Tomorrow”.


  1. To increase the consciousness of the people and offer new opportunities to the girl child in the society.
  2. To remove all the inequalities faced by the girl child.
  3. To ensure that the girl child should get all their human rights, respect and value in the country.
  4. To work regarding gender discrimination, to educate people.


About BBBP:

Launch and expansion: Launched in January, 2015 at Panipat in Haryana. All India Expansion of BBBP covering all 640 districts (as per Census 2011) was launched at Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan on 8th March 2018.

It is a tri-ministerial effort of Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare and Human Resource Development.

It is a Central Sector Scheme with 100% financial assistance for District level component and the fund are directly released to the DC/DM’s account for smooth operation of the Scheme.

Main Objective of the scheme is to address the declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and related issues of empowerment of women over a life-cycle continuum. The specific objectives of the scheme include preventing gender biased sex selective elimination; ensuring survival and protection of the girl child and ensuring education and participation of the girl child.



  1. At the Central level, Ministry of Women and Child Development is the nodal ministry for the programme and National Task Force headed by Secretary, MWCD with the representation of Partner Ministry and other nominated members.
  2. At the State level, Chief Secretaries heads the State Task Force (STF) with representation of Department of WCD, Health and Education to monitor the implementation of the scheme.
  3. The District Collectors/Deputy Commissioners (DCs) lead and coordinate action of all departments for implementation of BBBP at the District level.


Sources: pib.

Mains Question: According to data from the 2011 Census, the number of children born every year is declining rapidly in India, but the slowdown is faster for baby girls as against baby boys. Examine the reasons and implications of this disturbing trend.

Paper 2:

Topics Covered:

  1. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
  2. Mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.


Cabinet decides to strengthen northeast autonomous councils


What to study?

  • For Prelims: Autonomous Councils- composition, objectives and functions.
  • For Mains: Their significance, challenges being faced and scope for reforms.


Context: The Union Cabinet has approved a constitutional amendment to increase the financial and executive powers of the 10 autonomous councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of the northeast.


What are Autonomous District Council?

As per the Sixth Schedule, the four states viz. Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram contain the Tribal Areas which are technically different from the Scheduled Areas.

Though these areas fall within the executive authority of the state, provision has been made for the creation of the District Councils and regional councils for the exercise of the certain legislative and judicial powers.

Each district is an autonomous district and Governor can modify / divide the boundaries of the said Tribal areas by notification.


What do the new amendments seek to modify?

  • The amendment would impact a population of about 1 crore tribals living in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram
  • The Finance Commission would be mandated to recommend devolution of financial resources to the councils. Till now, the autonomous councils have depended on grants from Central Ministries and the State governments for specific projects.
  • As per the proposed amendment, at least one third of the seats would be reserved for women in the village and municipal councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura.
  • The amendment also provides for transfer of additional 30 subjects, including the departments of Public Works, Forests, Public Health Engineering, Health and Family Welfare, Urban Development and Food and Civil Supply to Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council and Dima Hasao Autonomous Territorial Council in Assam.
  • The proposed amendments provide for elected village municipal councils, ensuring democracy at the grass-roots level.
  • The State Election Commissions would hold elections to the autonomous councils, village and municipal councils in the areas of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura.


Sources: the hindu.

Paper 2:

Topics Covered:

  1. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.


National Bench of the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT)


What to study?

  • For Prelims: About GSTAT- composition and provisions in this regard, about GST- key facts.
  • For Mains: Significance and the need for GSTAT.


Context: Cabinet has approved creation of National Bench of the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT).


Key facts:

  • It shall be situated at New Delhi.
  • Composition: Presided over by its President and shall consist of one Technical Member (Centre) and one Technical Member (State).
  • It is the forum of second appeal in GST laws and the first common forum of dispute resolution between Centre and States.
  • The appeals against the orders in first appeals issued by the Appellate Authorities under the Central and State GST Acts lie before the GST Appellate Tribunal, which is common under the Central as well as State GST Acts.


Legal provisions:

CGST Act provides for the Appeal and Review Mechanism for dispute resolution under the GST Regime. The Act empowers the Central Government to constitute, on the recommendation of Council, by notification, with effect from such date as may be specified therein, an Appellate Tribunal known as the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal for hearing appeals against the orders passed by the Appellate Authority or the Revisional Authority.



Being a common forum, GST Appellate Tribunal will ensure that there is uniformity in redressal of disputes arising under GST, and therefore, in implementation of GST across the country.


Sources: pib.

Paper 2:

Topics Covered:

  1. Issues related to health.
  2. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


WHO’s list of 10 Global health threats


What to study?

  • For Prelims: Overview of health threats identified by WHO.
  • For Mains: Concerns and challenges identified by WHO, need for coordinated efforts and measures proposed by WHO.


Context: The World Health Organisation (WHO) list of 10 global health threats which demand immediate attention from WHO and health partners in 2019 has been released. According to the WHO, unless steps are taken to address these threats millions of lives are at risk.


Here are the 10 health issues that demand urgent attention from WHO and partners in 2019.

  1. Air pollution and climate change.
  2. Non-communicable diseases.
  3. Global influenza pandemic.
  4. Fragile and vulnerable settings: More than 22% of the world population lives in places where protracted crisis (through a combination of challenges such as drought, famine, conflict and population displacement) and weak health services leave people without access to basic care.
  5. Antimicrobial resistance.
  6. Ebola and other high-threat pathogens.
  7. Weak primary health care.
  8. Vaccine hesitancy: Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease, however, the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines, threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases.
  9. Dengue
  10. HIV


Steps to address them:

WHO’s new 5-year strategic plan, the 13th General Programme of Work, aims to address these and other threats. Its plan focuses on a triple billion target that includes ensuring 1 billion more people benefit from access to universal health coverage, 1 billion more people being protected from health emergencies and 1 billion more people enjoy better health and well-being.


Sources: the hindu.

Paper 2:


  1. Govt policies and their performance.
  2. Issues related to Indian diaspora.


Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana


What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Key features and significance of Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana, who are Girmityas?


Context: Govt has launched the Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana.


Key Highlights:

  • Under the scheme, a group of Indian diaspora will be taken on a government-sponsored tour of religious places in India twice a year.
  • The group will be taken to the religious places of all major religions in India.
  • The tour would be completely government sponsored.
  • Under the eligibility criteria, all people of Indian-origin, aged between 45 and 65 can apply and a group will be selected out of them.
  • The first preference will be given to people from ‘Girmitiya countries’ such as Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.


Who are Girmityas?

Girmityas or Jahajis are descendants of indentured Indian labourers brought to Fiji, Mauritius, South Africa, East Africa, the Malay Peninsula, Caribbean and South America (Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname) to work on sugarcane plantations for the prosperity of the European settlers and save the Fijians from having to work on these plantations and thus to preserve their culture.

The term Girmitiya was coined by Mahatma Gandhi who referred to himself as first Girmitiya.

The countries where these indentured Indian labourers settled are known as Girmitiya countries.


Sources: the hindu.

Paper 2:

Topics Covered:

  1. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
  2. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
  3. Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty


What to study?

  • For Prelims: Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty- key features.
  • For Mains: Significance of the treaty, recent issues, implications of withdrawal by the US and Russia.


Context: The Russian military has released the specifications of its new missile- SSC-8 ground-fired cruise missile (also known as the Novator 9M729), seeking to dispel the U.S. claim that the weapons violates the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.


What’s the issue?

US in early December announced that it would suspend its obligations under the INF treaty by Feb. 2, citing Russian “cheating,” unless Moscow comes into compliance with the terms of the pact. The U.S. government says the new Russian missile violates provisions of the pact that ban production, testing and deployment of land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 310 to 3,400 miles.


What would happen in the absence of treaty?

It is unclear what INF-prohibited systems the United States could deploy to Europe or Asia in the near term. The U.S. military has not developed any land-based missiles within the prohibited ranges for decades and has only just started funding a new ground-launched cruise missile to match the 9M729.

Moscow is in a very different position and could rapidly expand deployment. The number of operational 9M729 missiles has been quite limited, but released from its official obligations under the treaty, Moscow could deploy more units rapidly.

Russia could also effectively reclassify the RS-26 Rubezh, an experimental system that has been tested just above the INF Treaty’s 5,500-kilometer limit. To avoid violating the INF, Russian officials previously described the RS-26 as an intercontinental ballistic missile. However, it could form the basis for a missile of a slightly shorter range if Moscow wished to boost its INF forces — without counting it under the U.S.-Russian New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START, governing longer-range systems.

This move is also likely to undermine the 2010 New START treaty governing U.S. and Russian long-range nuclear systems. The INF Treaty’s demise will undercut New START by reopening questions on the relationship between intermediate and strategic systems that have been resolved for 30 years by the elimination of ground-based, intermediate-range missiles.


Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty:

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty, formally Treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles) is a 1987 arms control agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union.

  • Under the INF Treaty, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. agreed to eliminate within three years all ground-launched-missiles of 500-5,500 km range and not to develop, produce or deploy these in future.
  • The U.S. destroyed 846 Pershing IIs and Ground Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCMs) and the U.S.S.R., 1,846 missiles (SS-4s, SS-5s and SS-20s), along with its support facilities.


Importance of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in U.S.-Russia relations:

  • Under the Treaty, the two parties agreed that a whole important class of nuclear weapons would be removed from Europe, and only tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) or short-range missiles mostly deployed on the territory of Germany would remain.
  • The INF Treaty for years served to mitigate fears of both parties in relation to possibility of military escalation, operational miscalculation, and helping to shift the logic of MAD [mutually assured destruction] to the higher “more sensitive” political level.


Sources: the hindu.

Paper 2 and 3:

Topics Covered:

  1. Govt policies and their performance.
  2. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


CRZ Regulations


What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: CRZ Regulations- key features and significance.


Context: The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified the 2019 Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms, replacing the existing CRZ norms of 2011.

  • The new CRZ norms have been issued under Section 3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
  • The new CRZ norms aim to promote sustainable development based on scientific principles.


Objective of CRZ Regulations 2019:

  • To promote sustainable development based on scientific principles taking into account the natural hazards such as increasing sea levels due to global warming.
  • To conserve and protect the environment of coastal stretches and marine areas, besides livelihood security to the fisher communities and other local communities in the coastal area.


Salient Features of CRZ Regulations 2019:

Two separate categories for CRZ-III (Rural) areas:

  1. CRZ-III A: The A category of CRZ-III areas are densely populated rural areas with a population density of 2161 per square kilometre as per 2011 Census. Such areas have a No Development Zone (NDZ) of 50 meters from the High Tide Line (HTL) as against 200 meters from the High Tide Line stipulated in the CRZ Notification, 2011.
  2. CRZ-III B – The B category of CRZ-III rural areas have population density of below 2161 per square kilometre as per 2011 Census. Such areas have a No Development Zone of 200 meters from the HTL.


Floor Space Index Norms eased: As per CRZ, 2011 Notification, the Floor Space Index (FSI) or the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) had been frozen. As per the latest notification, the government has decided to de-freeze the Floor Space Index and permit FSI for construction projects.

Tourism infrastructure permitted in coastal areas: The new norms permit temporary tourism facilities such as shacks, toilet blocks, change rooms, drinking water facilities, etc. in Beaches.

Streamlining of CRZ Clearances: The procedure for CRZ clearances has been streamlined. Now, the only such projects which are located in the CRZ-I (Ecologically Sensitive Areas) and CRZ IV (area covered between Low Tide Line and 12 Nautical Miles seaward) will be dealt with for CRZ clearance by the Ministry. The powers for clearances with respect to CRZ-II and III have been delegated at the State level.

No Development Zone of 20 meters for all Islands: For islands close to the main land coast and for all Backwater Islands in the main land, No Development Zone of 20 meters has been stipulated in wake of space limitations and unique geography of such regions.

Pollution abatement: To address pollution in Coastal areas, the treatment facilities have been made permissible in CRZ-I B area subject to necessary safeguards.

Critically Vulnerable Coastal Areas (CVCA): Sundarban region of West Bengal and other ecologically sensitive areas identified as under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 such as Gulf of Khambat and Gulf of Kutchh in Gujarat, Achra-Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, Karwar and Coondapur in Karnataka, Vembanad in Kerala, Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu, Bhaitarkanika in Odisha and Krishna in Andhra Pradesh are treated as Critical Vulnerable Coastal Areas. These Critical Vulnerable Coastal Areas will be managed with the involvement of coastal communities including fisher folk.


Sources: the hindu.

Facts for Prelims:


Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar:

What? Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar, an annual award, has been instituted by the government. The award is to be announced every year on 23rd January on the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

Eligibility: All Indian Citizens and organizations, who have excelled in areas of Disaster Management; like Prevention, Mitigation, Preparedness, Rescue, Response, Relief, Rehabilitation, Research/ Innovations or Early Warning are eligible for the Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar.

2019 awardee: For the year 2019, 8th Battalion of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) located at Ghaziabad has been selected for its commendable work in Disaster Management. The Award recipient will receive a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 51 lakh.


“Sea Vigil”:

What is it? It is the first coastal defence Exercise, conducted by the Navy and Coast Guard, in close coordination with State Governments and Union Territories. It was the largest such exercise the country had ever witnessed in recent times and saw participation by more than 100 ships, aircraft and patrol boats manned and operated by various security agencies.

Aim: To comprehensively and holistically validate the efficacy of the measures taken since ’26/11′.


International forum for advancing global collaboration in Homoeopathy:

Context: The World Integrated Medicine Forum on the regulation of Homoeopathic Medicinal Products is being held in India.

Theme: ‘Advancing Global Collaboration’.

Organised by Central Council for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH), with the support of Ministry of AYUSH and many others.

Significance: The Forum will be serving as the only truly global platform in which the public and private sector can meet and exchange ideas on how to ensure and increase the availability of safe and effective homeopathic medicines worldwide, now for the second time. The first forum on similar lines was organised by CCRH in 2017.

Facts From Pib:


About Aadi Mahotsav:

Organized by Ministry of Tribal affairs and TRIFED.

The Mahotsav will comprise of display and sale of items of tribal art and craft, tribal medicine & healers, tribal cuisine and display of tribal folk performance, in which tribal artisans, chefs, folk dancers/musicians from 23 States of the country shall participate and provide glimpse of their rich traditional culture.

The festival will feature exhibition-cum-sale of tribal handicrafts, art, paintings, fabric, jewellery and much more.

Significance of the event: As the name of this event Aadi Mahotsav suggests, it is it’s ‘Adi’ factor that is important about them. The Adivasi way of life is guided by primal truths, eternal values and a natural simplicity. The greatness of the tribes lies in this that they have managed to retain the primal skills and natural simplicity. This quality gives their arts and crafts a timeless appeal. The crudest tribal handicraft instantly touches a primal instinct in all of us. This is particularly true in tribal music and dance.


Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT):

As per the latest Lloyds Report, JNPT becomes the only Indian port to be listed amongst the world’s top 30 container ports. It is ranked at 28th position.


Keerian – Gandial bridge:

Context: Keerian – Gandial bridge, over river Ravi, was recently inaugurated.

  • The bridge over Ravi at Keerian – Gandial will benefit over 2,20,000 people living on the two sides – Kathua in Jammu, and Pathankot in Punjab.
  • It will reduce the distance between the two cities from 45 kms to 8.6 kms.
  • The Keerian – Gandial bridge will improve inter-state connectivity.


Rashtriya Bal Puraskar:

Context: Rashtriya Bal Puraskar was recently awarded to 26 awardees by the President.

About Rashtriya Bal Puraskar:

The earlier national awards for children have been revamped as Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar. An additional component of bravery has also been added.


  1. Bal Shakti Puraskar: The Bal Shakti Puraskar is given in the fields of Innovation, Social Service, Scholastic, Sports, Art & Culture, and Bravery. The award carries a medal, a cash prize of Rs 100000, book vouchers worth Rs. 10,000, a certificate and a citation.
  2. Bal Kalyan Puraskar: The Bal Kalyan Puraskar is given in the categories of Individual and Institution. The award for Individual category consists of a cash prize of Rs 100000, a medal, a citation and a certificate. The award for Institution category consists of a prize of Rs 500000 each, a medal, a citation and a certificate.


Edelman Trust Barometer report:

Context: The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer report has been released by the Edelman Intelligence.

The Edelman Trust Barometer report is an international study based on the opinions of elites that focuses on the principles of trust in business, government, media and NGOs. Based on the findings the report calculates the Global Trust Index.

The key findings from the report are:

  • The Global Trust Index witnessed a marginal increase of 3 points to 52.
  • The index has been topped by China in both the informed public and the general population segments, with scores of 79 and 88 respectively.


Trust in companies:

  • Companies headquartered in Switzerland, Germany and Canada were the most trusted ones.
  • Companies headquartered in India, Mexico and Brazil are the least trusted, followed by China and South Korea.


India’s performance:

  • India is among the most trusted nations globally when it comes to government, business, NGOs and media but the country’s brands are among the least-trusted.
  • India stood at the second place in the informed public category and third place in the general population category.