IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 23rd January, 2016

  • January 23, 2016
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 23rd January, 2016




General studies 2:

  • Indian Constitution- significant provisions (FR’s, DPSP)
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • 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.


From Child Slavery to Freedom

(At a glance format…)


We work from seven in the morning until 10 at night. I sleep on that mat over there. I miss my family. I want to go home but the owner will not let us leave.


Walk Free Foundation’s 2014 Global Slavery Index: Defines modern slavery as any practice that traps people in modern servitude, including human trafficking and forced labour

India’s total of 14.3 million modern slaves is nearly—

  • Five times larger than China’s (3.2 million) (second-largest number)
  • Seven times larger than Pakistan’s (2.1 million)

2001 National Census

  • More than 12 million children in the age group 5-14 are engaged in exploitative occupations that are detrimental to their rights and to the full development of their potentials
  • 168 million child labourers, 59 million out-of-school children and 15 million girls under 15 are forced to marry every year
  • Shows very little progress with evidence of the gravity thus, portraying the endemic nature of the problem in the


What has happened—

The Constitution of India

Through various articles enshrined in the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy, lays down that:

  • No child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment (Article 24);
  • The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age six to 14 years. (Article 21 (A));
  • The State shall direct its policy towards securing that the health and strength of workers, men and women and the tender age of children are not abused and that they are not forced by economic necessity to enter vocations unsuited to their age and strength (Article 39-e);
  • Children shall be given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth shall be protected against moral and material abandonment (Article 39-f);
  • The State shall endeavour to provide within a period of 10 years from the commencement of the Constitution for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of 14 years (Article 45).


Government child labour policy is “suitably rehabilitating the children withdrawn from employment thereby, reducing the incidence of child labour in areas of known concentration”

India is a signatory to the:

  • ILO Forced Labour Convention (No. 29)
  • ILO Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No. 105)
  • UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

Global March against Child Labour: Spearheaded a global movement to bring child labour and child slavery to the attention of global leaders leading to the adoption of the International Labour Organization’s Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention

SDG targets: Aims to “eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking, and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour”.

Children’s ‘right to be heard’

  • Validated by the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (India has ratified)
  • Bhima Sangha, a union of, by and for working children was formed to draw attention to working children’s concerns; strongly upheld that no policy or decision regarding children’s present or future should be taken without their consent
  • 1996:Bhima Sangha, with the support of the International Working Group on Child Labour (of which The Concerned for Working Children was a member), held the first International Meeting of Working Children in Kundapura, Karnataka.

“Do they want to eradicate us like pests using pesticide? Are we not human beings with rights that deserve respect?”

Gurupadswamy Committee:

  • In 1979; this committee was formed to study the issue of child labour and recommend measures to tackle the same
  • Pointed out that poverty remains the core issue behind the issue
  • Need to ban children from working in hazardous areas and a regulation needs to be well placed for the working conditions


  • Actions undertaken: 
  • 1986- Enactment of Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act (prohibits employment of children in certain specified hazardous occupations and processes and regulates the working conditions in others)
  • 1987: Formulation of National Policy on Child Labour
  • 1988:Launch of National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme (districts of high child labour existence)

To tackle the problem of child labour in India—

Ministry of Labour and Employment took a three prong approach

  1. Set up a legal framework for prohibition and regulation of child labour
  2. Use various development programmes to address the needs of working children
  3. Set up the National Child Labour Project (NCLP)

Under the aegis of the 10th plan the following activities were taken up under the purview of NCLP:

  • Ensuring enforcement of child labour laws
  • Child labour withdrawn from work and sent to special schools run by NGOs

Provision of:

  • Formal/non-formal education
  • Vocational training
  • Stipend of Rs.100 per month
  • Supplementary nutrition
  • Regular health check ups
  • Creating awareness of the harmful effects of child labour on the development of a child
  • Income and employment generation activities for families
  • Direct rehabilitation of child labour
  • Raising of public awareness
  • Survey and evaluation

UNICEF is supporting the Central Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India, in the development of a child tracking system to monitor the progress of children involved in the National Child Labour Projects—


  • Provide regular information on the enrolment and retention in schools of released children
  • Verify the impact of the Government’s child labour interventions throughout the country by measuring the sustainability and quality of impacts
  • Monitor child labour trends through the identification of variables and parameters affecting child vulnerability to economic exploitation and
  • Strengthen the link between child labour prevention and education strategies


Time to back that promise

Recent proposed amendments to the Child Labour Act of 1986:

  • Offers least resistance and relaxed the ban on children working in family-owned occupations (informal sector and very difficult to monitor)
  • Will encourage caste-based occupations; use ‘families’ for production
  • Relaxing the ban in the entertainment industry (one among the most exploitative industries) appears like a concession to the advertising sector, which is using children as a selling gimmick for all kinds of product
  • Extends criminalisation– Extend the ban from children below 14 years to include children below 18

Impending revisions—the National Education Policy and the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act

On the one hand, a new education policy has the potential to address child labour as a barrier to education and, more broadly, to improve the life prospects of millions of marginalized and deprived children and on the other hand, the proposed amendments to the Child Labour Act would erect new barriers to further progress on education.

Analysis of Bachpan Bachao Andolan

  • One-fifth of the children under 14 rescued were working in family enterprises
  • More than 40% of the rescued children were performing hazardous jobs—for example, working in roadside restaurants (dhabas) or manufacturing garments, leather goods, cosmetics or electronics—that would be allowed under the amended Act


IASbaba’s Views:

  • Safe and strongly protected occupations in the formal sector, which are part-time and can be easily monitored should be exempted and relaxed as well as much exploration needs to be done with respect to the Apprenticeship Act as provision of ‘earn as you learn’ avenues for children in this age group can be made an exception
  • There needs to be a worldwide movement for the protection of the fundamental human rights of every person, especially the most vulnerable and that is why governments must deepen their commitment to pursuing child-friendly policies and investing in the protection and education of their young people.





  • General studies 2:
    • Indian Constitution- significant provisions (FR’s, DPSP)
    • Issues and challenges pertaining to Local Government
    • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation; Governance Issues


Is Road to Election-‘Literacy’?

  • Candidates keen on contesting the forthcoming Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samiti and Zila Parishad elections in Haryana will now have to produce their Class X certificate while women and SCs will need a Class VIII certificate to be eligible to contest
  • Popular viewpoint behind the decision exists the same— to “improve quality of leadership and governance” at the grassroots level, and “this amendment would make elected representatives of Panchayat Raj Institutions more accountable”


Rajbala vs. State of Haryana case (2015) 

Supreme Court upheld the validity of the Haryana Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act,requiring that a matriculate alone can hold the post of Panchayat president or ward member

Section 175 of the Act: Disqualifications from contesting a Panchayat election—

  • Faces a criminal case for which 10-year imprisonment is prescribed and a charge has been framed
  • Has to pay arrears to a co-operative society or has not cleared electricity bills
  • Does not have a functional toilet

Supreme Court:A proclaimed object of such classification is to ensure that those who seek election to panchayats have some basic education which enables them to more effectively discharge various duties which befall the elected representatives of the panchayats. The object sought to be achieved cannot be said to be irrational or illegal or unconnected with the scheme and purpose of the Act or provisions of Part IX of the Constitution

Revised Statistics therefore:

  • Out of 96 lakh eligible voters, 42 lakh will be disqualified from contesting the elections
  • Scheduled Castes: 68 per cent women and 41 per cent men will be disqualified from contesting


Logic deemed misaligned


  • It is only recently that the 2002 constitutional amendment made imparting education compulsory for all children up to the age of 14 years.
  • Many people who are eligible to be elected never were benefitted with such a provision

Arrears to electricity boards and cooperative societies:

  • Non-payment of electricity charges normally should result in disconnection of supply or an issue regarding disputes over service deficiency but this particular issue becoming a reason to be disqualified has defied the logic of many
  • Case of refusing to factor in rural indebtedness properly as the main argument indicates the leaning towards the notion that all elections are expensive affairs and therefore, it is a sound presumption that one who is contesting for office should pay back her loans first or should not even think of public office

Functional Toilet:

There are many people who do not have their own shelter, town or village alike and thus, insisting upon a functional toilet is a clear case of excluding the poor from the management of Panchayats

Fundamental flaw:

Courts holding the right to get elected as a statutory right and not a constitutional empowerment exhibits a derailment- after having established electoral rights as constitutional rights and then treating them as statutory rights without giving weight to their constitutional status

Historical & Constitutional Perspective:

  • First President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, was strongly in favour of providing some minimum qualification for legislators
  • Prime Minister Nehru, had described the move as totally undemocratic
  • Thus, the framers of the Constitution did not think it fit to include educational qualification as a basic requirement for the Members of Legislative Assemblies and Parliament, and in the light of this argument the recent Act is being considered as anti-poor, anti-Dalit and pro-rich.
  • Article 171:
    • Provides for the composition of Legislative Councils in a State
    • Makes separate constituencies of graduates to elect members to the Legislative Council making it obligatory to be a graduate to elect a certain proportion of members of the Legislative Council, but it is immaterial if the person elected is a graduate.

       Examples of Qualifications prescribed in the Constitution:

  • Governor: Person must have completed 35 years of age
  • Added disqualification for the post of the President of India: He/She should not be of unsound mind and an insolvent
  • All constitutional posts except those pertaining to the higher judiciary do not have any educational qualification to hold the post


Supreme Court’s Wisdom(Quoted)

  • Narayanaswami vs. G. Panneerselvamcase in 1972: The concept of such representation does not carry with it, as a necessary consequence, the further notion that the representative must also possess the very qualifications of those he represents… it would be for the members of such a constituency themselves to decide whether a person who stands for election from their constituency possesses the right type of knowledge, experience, and wisdom which satisfy certain standards 
  • 2002:True democracy cannot exist unless all citizens have a right to participate in the affairs of the polity of the country
  • 2003:To think of illiterate candidates is based on a factually incorrect assumption. To say that well-educated persons such as those having graduated and postgraduate qualifications will be able to serve the people better and conduct themselves in a better way inside and outside the House is nothing but overlooking the stark realities. The experience and events in public life and the legislatures have demonstrated that the dividing line between the well-educated and less educated from the point of view of his/her calibre and culture is rather thin. Much depends on the character of the individual, the sense of devotion to duty and the sense of concern for the welfare of the people. These characteristics are not the monopoly of well-educated persons

IASbaba’s Views:

  • To have the best educated represent us is maybe the most ideal thought but at the same time, we should contemplate also upon the very nature of democracy and of it not being a pre-defined state of perfection but an endless fight for it
  • Governance cannot and should not be in the hands of elitist castes, rather it should be with the masses, the real masters in a democracy. There is thus a heightened need to achieve social justice as well as ensuring effective implementation of welfare schemes and interventions by the government (PURA + SSA + MDS + RTE)

Connecting the Dots:

  • Does the recent move by the Haryana government keeps with itself the power to change the landscape of the functioning of the Panchayati Raj institution in the country? Discuss
  • Is informal socialization more important than formal education? Critically comment




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