Daily Current Affairs IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 23rd January 2019

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  • January 24, 2019
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 IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 23rd January 2019



ILO urges universal labour guarantee

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate


International Labour Organisation (ILO) is an UN agency that sets international labour standards

ILO urged heads of State and business leaders (who gathered in Davos for the World Economic Forum) to commit to –

  • a universal labour guarantee,
  • a universal social protection from birth to old age,
  • an international governance system for the gig economy, and
  • a human-in-command approach to artificial intelligence.

Do you know?

  • ‘Future of Work’ report is released by International Labour Organisation (ILO)
  • ILO warned that “without decisive action we will be sleepwalking into a world that widens inequality, increases uncertainty and reinforces exclusion, with destructive political, social and economic repercussions.”

According to the ‘Future of Work’ report

  • 190 million people are unemployed around the world.
  • Around the world, 300 million workers live in extreme poverty.
  • Wage gaps are growing at a time of declining wage growth.
  • Two-thirds of jobs in the developing world are susceptible to automation.
  • Only 15% of households in emerging countries have Internet access.
  • Implementing the Paris Climate Agenda could create 24 million new jobs. But around 6 million workers are expected to lose their jobs in the transition to a greener economy.

ILO asked all countries to “place people at the centre of economic and social policy”, ensuring that final decisions are taken by human beings.

Important Value Additions:

Reports published by ILO –

  • ‘Future of Work’ report
  • World Social Protection Report
  • World Employment and Social Outlook
  • World of Work Report
  • Global Wage Report

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2019

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Indian Diaspora; India and the World;

About Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD)

  • PBD is celebrated once in every two years.
  • Aims to strengthen the engagement of the overseas Indian community with the Government of India and reconnect them with their roots.
  • The 15th PBD Convention was held on 21-23 January 2019 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Observed by: Ministry of External Affairs
  • Significance: To remember the favors and contributions made by Non Resident Indians to the welfare and development of the nation.
  • It provides a forum to discuss issues and concerns of people of the diaspora.

Do you know?

  • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (or Non-Resident Indian Day) is a celebratory day observed (starting in 2015) on 9 January to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community towards the development of India.
  • The day commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to Mumbai on 9 January 1915.

In news:

  • At the 15th PBD event held in Varanasi, PM Modi highlighted India’s potential to lead the world in sustainable development.
  • In many respects, India can provide leadership in the world. The International Solar Alliance, or ISA, is one such platform. (One world, one sun and one grid)
  • Pilgrimage scheme for NRIs being planned (people living abroad need to connect culturally with the homeland)

Swine flu cases spike across the country

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Health issue

In news:

As per data released by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP)

  • 1694 Swine Flu cases and 49 deaths have been reported in first 2 weeks of January.
  • Situation alarming in Rajasthan where 200 people died in 13 months.
  • Several States are on alert.
  • The high H1N1 flu toll points to a failure to put necessary systems and precautions in place.

About H1N1 influenza (or swine flu)

  • H1N1 virus is the subtype of influenza A virus that was the most common cause of human influenza in 2009. H1N1 flu is also known as swine flu caused by swine influenza virus that is endemic in pigs.
  • The ‘H’ stands for hemagglutinin and ‘N’ for neuraminidase – both proteins on the outer layer of the virus.
  • It is a pandemic outbreak – Means Disease outbreak occurs over a wide geographic area and affects a very high proportion of the population.
  • Swine influenza is a respiratory disease that occurs in pigs that is caused by the Influenza A virus.
  • It’s a highly contagious disease that can easily spread from person to person.

About Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP)

  • IDSP was launched with World Bank assistance in November 2004 to detect and respond to disease outbreaks quickly, for a period up to March 2010.
  • The project was restructured and extended up to March 2012.
  • The project continues in the 12th Plan with domestic budget as Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme under NHM for all States with Budgetary allocation of 640 Cr.
  • Under IDSP data is collected on epidemic prone diseases on weekly basis.

Mekedatu project

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Centre State Relations; Inter-State Relations; Inter-state river dispute

In news:

  • Tamil Nadu has expressed its concern over the proposed construction of the Mekedatu reservoir on Cauvery river by Karnataka.
  • TN claimed that the unilateral approval granted by the Central Water Commission (CWC) to Karnataka to proceed with the preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the Mekedatu project violates Supreme Court verdict.
  • TN alleges that the approval is in violation of the decisions of the tribunal and apex court for equitable apportionment of Cauvery water. (therefore, contempt of court)
  • According to TN, the proposed construction of any new dam by Karnataka would result in impounding the flows in the intermediate catchment below KRS and Kabini reservoirs and Billigundulu, which is located in the common border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.


‘Total Cleanliness Survey’ by Railways

  • Pune-Secunderabad Shatabdi is India’s cleanest train
  • North Western Railway (NWR) topped the zonal rankings in the ‘Premium’ category trains
  • Southern Railway topped in the ‘Other than Premium’ category’ trains
  • Survey part of ‘Swachh Rail-Swachh Bharat’ mission
  • ‘Premium’ trains include – Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto, Tejas and Gatiman
  • ‘Other than Premium’ category – Sampark Kranti, Intercity, Jan Shatabdi and other Mail and Express trains



TOPIC:General studies 2

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. 

General Studies 3:

  • Conservation, Environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
  • Water Pollution, Wastewater management

India stares at water scarcity

According to a report ‘Composite Water Management Index’ by NITI Aayog

  • India is suffering from ‘the worst water crisis’ in its history with about 60 crore people facing high to extreme water stress and about two lakh people dying every year due to inadequate access to safe water.
  • The crisis is only going to get worse.
  • About three-fourth of the households in the country do not have drinking water at their premise.
  • With nearly 70% of water being contaminated, India is placed at 120th amongst 122 countries in the water quality index.
  • 75% of households do not have drinking water on premise.
  • 84% rural households do not have piped water access.

The situation of droughts has reached alarming levels in the country.

The central water commission has been serious over this issue and has formed numerous committees to look for various short, medium and long term solutions. The article deals with the issues associated with water, drought scarcity and its impact on livelihood & migration.

Rain deficit facts

  • The actual deficit last monsoon was modest — barely 10%.
  • But the post-monsoon rainfall (October to December, 2018) or PMR as it is called by meteorologists has registered a 44% national average deficit.
  • In Marathwada, according to the IMD, the deficit is 84%, in Vidarbha, 88%.

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data –

  • There is no guarantee that June will see the onset of a normal monsoon.
  • Low-rain and no-rain situation is going to aggravate the water crisis.


  • Years of policy-driven, corporate-driven water transfers from rural to urban, agriculture to industry, poor to rich and so on have made our country-side chronically water-scarce. Urban India does not realise this fast enough or well enough.
  • The failure of rains this time is so serious that ‘drought’ now means not just a farm crisis but a national crisis that will affect towns and cities no less than villages.


  • Tackling drought must be the immediate priority for administrators across the country
  • Absolute priority – Policies should focus on drought relief, water-use, food security and massive earth-related programmes.
  • A dedicated Commission like the Farmers’ Commission to advise Prime Minister on how water scarce India needs to face drought.
  • Addressing the deepening drought, agrarian distress and water-management are critical not just for our governments to survive but for us to survive our governments.

Connecting the dots:

  • Many parts of the country are facing severe water crisis and drought conditions. There are many traditional water harvesting and conservation practices in various parts of India which can be employed locally to fight the ongoing crisis. Can you identify few such practices? Also mention the states where they are more prevalant.
  • Why has water become a stressed resource in many parts of the world? Analyse.


TOPIC:General studies 2

  • 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.
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Flaws in Early childhood education and Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan scheme

Key pointers:

  • Early childhood education, or ECE, is included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • SDG Target 4.2 states that by 2030 countries should “ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education”.
  • ECE involves educating children of 0-8 years age group (It is a critical period)
  • During this time, the foundations of life-long learning are built, with 90 per cent of all brain development taking place by age six.

National Policy on Early Childhood Care and Education (2013)

  • Importance of early care and stimulation has been recognised in the National Policy on Early Childhood Care and Education (2013).
  • The Policy aims to provide “developmentally appropriate preschool education for three to six-year-olds with a more structured and planned school readiness component for five to six-year-olds.”

Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan scheme

  • Samagra Shiksha – It is an Integrated Scheme to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels of school education.
  • The recently created scheme has also brought renewed focus and attention on ECE through the Integrated Scheme on School Education that aims to treat school education “holistically without segmentation from pre-nursery to Class 12”.

There are currently two main avenues for accessing early childhood education in India.

  1. Widely spread 1.3 million anganwadi centres – run by the Ministry of Women and Child Development across the country under the Integrated Child Development (ICDS) Scheme.
  2. Burgeoning private sector – more than 40 per cent of privately managed primary schools offer pre-primary LKG and UKG classes as well.

*Some states in India offer a third possibility as well, in the form of preschool classes integrated within government primary schools, for example in Assam and Jammu & Kashmir.


  • According to the RTE Act, enrolment in formal schools should begin at age six, with ECE exposure recommended for children between age three and six.
  • However, 26 of India’s 35 states and union territories allow children to enter Class 1 at age five.
  • Annual Status of Education Report (ASER 2018) indicate that enrolment patterns broadly meet these policy prescriptions. There are major variations, both across the country as well as at different ages. (Some states follow national policy norms which recommends age 3 children be in an ECE programme, while in some states children of age 3 are not enrolled anywhere. There are children who are entering class 1 directly at age 5 or 7)
  • These varied pathways in the early years have major consequences for what children experience and learn along the way. (Children in Class 1 are far from homogenous in terms of age.)
  • These age-grade distributions have obvious implications for teaching and learning.


ASER report has demonstrated that getting all children into school, while undoubtedly a major achievement, does not by itself ensure that children are able to learn at the expected level.

ASER data shows that gaps between what children can do and what is expected of them emerge very early in children’s school trajectories and widen as they move through the system.

As implementation of the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan rolls out across the country, ASER data on young children suggests that a “one size fits all” solution is unlikely to be successful.

While helping children get a head start in the early years is important, it is critical to ensure that all stakeholders — parents, teachers, policymakers and textbook developers — understand that the key words are “quality” and “developmentally appropriate”.

Connecting the dots:


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)


  • Featured Comments and comments Up-voted by IASbaba are the “correct answers”.
  • IASbaba App users – Team IASbaba will provide correct answers in comment section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.

Q.1) Consider the following statements with regard to International Labour Organization

  1. It is the only ‘tripartite’ UN agency.
  2. Its headquarters is in Geneva.
  3. It has received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 1 and 3
  3. 2 and 3
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Q.2) ‘Future of Work’ report is released by

  1. International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  2. International Labour Organisation (ILO)
  3. World Trade Organisation (WTO)
  4. Amnesty International

Q.3) Mekedatu dispute is concerned with

  1. Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh
  2. Karnataka and Tamil Nadu
  3. Karnataka and Goa
  4. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

Q.4) Which of the following statements regarding H1N1 is/are correct?

  1. It is transmitted by an Influenza A virus subtype H1N1
  2. The ‘H’ stands for hemagglutinin and ‘N’ for neuraminidase – both proteins on the outer layer of the virus
  3. Swine influenza is a respiratory disease that occurs in pigs that is caused by the Influenza A virus.
  4. It is a Non-contagious disease

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 , 2 and 3 only
  2. 2 and 4 only
  3. 1, 2 and 4 only
  4. All the above


Buried in the sands

The Hindu

The Bank’s Balance

Indian Express

Diving into a revolution: Swachh Bharat Mission

Indian Express

India now faces its own version of Soviet Union’s scissors crisis


Ridding the judicial system of human subjectivity


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