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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 15 March 2017


Insights Daily Current Affairs, 15 March 2017


Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


WCD dept seeks CBI probe into duping in name of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ plan


The women and child development ministry has sought a CBI probe into complaints that over two lakh people in five states were allegedly duped in the name of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme, one of the PM’s pet programme to address the dipping child sex ratio and empowering the girl child.

  • The ministry has also taken up the matter with the state authorities in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Bihar.



According to the ministry, certain unauthorized elements are distributing illegal forms in the name of cash incentive under the scheme. The scheme has no provision for any cash incentives for individuals. BBBP scheme focuses on challenging mindsets and deep rooted patriarchy in the societal system in order to value girl child, strict enforcement of PC & PNDT Act, advancing education of the girl child: focus is on issues of women empowerment on a life cycle continuum.


About the Scheme:

  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme was launched in January, 2015 at Panipat in Haryana.
  • The scheme is aimed at promoting gender equality and the significance of educating girls.
  • The Scheme is targeted at improving the Child Sex Ratio through multi sectoral interventions including prevention of gender biased sex selection and promoting girls’ education and her holistic empowerment.
  • It is a tri-ministerial effort of Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare and Human Resource Development.
  • In the first phase, 100 districts with low Child Sex Ratio were selected for the Scheme implementation for creating awareness and advocacy about the issue.
  • During the last one year, the BBBP Scheme is being implemented under the overall guidance and supervision of concerned District Magistrate/Deputy Commissioners.

Sources: pib.


Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


Inter-state River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017 introduced in Lok Sabha


The government has introduced Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in Lok Sabha.


Highlights of the bill:

  • The Bill proposes a Single Standing Tribunal (with multiple benches) instead of existing multiple tribunals, which shall consist of one Chairperson, one Vice-Chairperson and not more than six other Members. While the term of office of the Chairperson is five year or till he attains the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier, the term of office of Vice Chairperson and other member of tribunal shall be co-terminus with the adjudication of the water dispute.
  • The Bill also provides for the appointment of Assessors to provide technical support to the tribunal. They shall be appointed from amongst experts serving in the Central Water engineering Service not below the rank of Chief Engineer.
  • The total time period for adjudication of dispute has been fixed at maximum of four and half years. The decision of the Tribunal shall be final and binding with no requirement of publication in the official Gazette.
  • The Bill also proposes to introduce mechanism to resolve the dispute amicably by negotiations, through a Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) to be established by the Central Government consisting of relevant experts, before such dispute is referred to the tribunal.
  • The Bill also provides for transparent data collection system at the national level for each river basin and for this purpose, an agency to maintain data-bank and information system shall be appointed or authorized by Central Government.



Inter-state river water disputes are on the rise on account of increase in water demands by the States. The Inter State Water Dispute Act, 1956 which provides the legal framework to address such disputes, suffers from many drawbacks. Under this Act, a separate Tribunal has to be established for each Inter State River Water Dispute. Only three out of eight Tribunals have given awards accepted by the States, while Tribunals like Cauvery and Ravi Beas have been in existence for over 26 and 30 years respectively without any award. Delays are on account of no time limit for adjudication by a Tribunal, no upper age limit for the Chairman or the Members, work getting stalled due to occurrence of any vacancy and no time limit for publishing the report of the Tribunal.

Sources: pib.


Paper 2 Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures. 


On computing ability, rural India is lost in the woods


An analysis of National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data reveals that the ability to use computers remains low in the country, in spite of campaigns for digitalisation.


What is computing ability?

Computing ability is defined as an user’s ability to operate a desktop, laptop, palmtop, notebook, smartphone and tablets. The study, supported by the Australian Research Council, claimed that ‘computing ability’ is not linked to digital infrastructure or internet penetration.


Highlights of the survey:

  • An estimated 8.8% of the rural population has computing ability. In urban areas, the figure is nearly four times higher, at 30.2%.
  • Among the major States, Kerala has the highest computing ability at 32.3% in rural areas, while Chhattisgarh has the lowest, 2.9%. In the urban areas, Kerala is in second position, after Delhi. Tamil Nadu and Punjab are in the middle of the table.
  • Computing ability, measured from NSS data on Social Consumption and Education, was found to be the lowest in the tribal population.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


India, Pak’s entry into SCO may boost regional stability: Chinese media


China has observed that the entry of India and Pakistan into China-led SCO may help boost anti-terrorism cooperation between the two countries and provide a platform to resolve their differences.

  • The entry of the two nations into the SCO may help boost cooperation between India and Pakistan in areas such as infrastructure and anti-terrorism efforts.
  • India and Pakistan are expected to be admitted into the six-member Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) during its next summit to be held at Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, in June this year.



Its 2015 summit in Ufa, Russia, the SCO formally adopted a resolution which started the procedures to admit India and Pakistan into the grouping.


About SCO:

The SCO, which is headquartered in Beijing, focuses mostly on security related issues like counter-terrorism cooperation in Central Asia. It is comprised of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as full members. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia have observer status. India and Pakistan also enjoyed observer status so far.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.


Labour Ministry’s new rule to ensure employer hiring contract labour files unified annual return


In yet another initiative towards improving the ease of doing business in the country, the labour ministry has notified draft rule that would allow principal employer or contractor hiring contract labour to file a unified annual return under the Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970.


Key facts:

  • Under the rules, to be called as the Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Central (Amendment) Rules, 2017, every contractor or principal employer shall upload a unified annual return in the Form XXIV specified in these rules on or before the February 1 following the close of the year to which it relates.
  • Besides, the employer or the principal contractor qalso have the option of filing the return manually or online.
  • The principal employer or contractor shall also file a Unified Annual Return to the concerned authorities manually.
  • In case, if, an employer maintains registers or records or reports in electronic form, such registers or records or reports shall also be taken into consideration.



Both the government and the corporate sector employ a large number of contract workers. Contract labour accounts for 55% of public sector jobs and 45% of those in the private sector. Only about 300,000 contract labourers out of an estimated 80 million are employed in the organised sector.

Sources: the hindu.


Facts for Prelims


KrishiUnnatiMela 2017: 

  • Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) every year has been organising Krishi Vigyan Mela(Agriculture Science Fair) to display and popularise the latest advancement in agricultural research and technology development among farmers and end users since 1972.
  • It continues to be a highly important annual event for receiving feedback from the farming community, which helps in deciding the Institute’s future research strategy. Thousands of farmers and visitors from across the country are participating in the mela every year.
  • This year KrishiUnnatiMela 2017 is being organised jointly by ICAR and Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.


World’s first fluorescent frog:   

  • The world’s first fluorescent frog, which glows bright green under UV light, has been found in Argentina. The tree-frog was discovered in the Amazon basin in Argentina. In daylight it appears to have brown-green skin with red's first fluorescent frog
  • The frog is a dull green/brown with red spots in normal light but the researchers were surprised to find that it gleamed with fluorescent light under their UV torches.
  • Fluorescent skin pigments absorb light at short wavelengths and re-emit it at longer wavelengths.
  • They are uncommon in animals that live on land, but can be found in some underwater creatures such as certain species jellyfish and anglerfish.
  • The glowing frog was found to fluoresce using both lymph and glandular secretions.
  • The chemical that gives the frog its greenish glow had never been found in vertebrates before.
  • They can project up to 18% as much visible light as a full moon. This depended on the level of ambient light in its environment.