Daily Current Affairs/ 15th January 2019


Devadasi System

Devadasi system is a religious practice in parts of southern India, whereby parents marry a daughter to a deity or a temple. The marriage usually occurs before the girl reaches puberty and requires the girl to become a prostitute for upper-caste community members. They are forbidden to enter into a real marriage.

Why in news:

More than thirty-six years after the Karnataka Devadasis (Prohibition of Dedication) Act of 1982 was passed, the State government is yet to issue the rules for administering the law.


  • Two new studies on the devadasi practice by the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru, and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai, have revealed that special children, with physical or mental disabilities, are more vulnerable to be dedicated as devadasis {nearly one in five (or 19%) of the devadasis}.
  • Girls from socio-economically marginalised communities continued to be victims of the custom and thereafter were forced into the commercial sex racket.
  • Despite sufficient evidence of the prevalence of the practice and its link to sexual exploitation, recent legislation such as the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012, and Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act of 2015 have not made any reference to it.
  • Reasons cited for forcing girls to Devdasi system are poverty, having no male member in the family, mother was a Devdasi, or being blind or deaf, etc.


Chakma and Hajong Communities

The Chakmas and Hajongs are ethnic people who lived in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, most of which are located in Bangladesh. Chakmas are predominantly Buddhists, while Hajongs are Hindus. They are found in northeast India, West Bengal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.


  • The Chakmas and Hajongs had to flee when their land was submerged by the Kaptai dam project in the 1960s. Buddhists by faith, the Chakmas faced religious persecution in East Pakistan along with the Hajongs, who are Hindus.


  • The Chakma and Hajong refugees did not have citizenship in India and land rights. They were provided basic amenities by the state government.
  • In 2015, the Supreme Court directed the Centre to grant citizenship to Chakma and Hajongs who had migrated from Bangladesh in 1964-69. The order was passed while hearing a plea by the Committee for Citizenship Rights of the Chakmas.
  • The Union Home Ministry on Wednesday cleared the citizenship for over one lakh Chakma-Hajongs. However, they will not have any land ownership rights in Arunachal Pradesh and will have to apply for Inner Line Permits to reside in the State.
  • Apart from the Mizo National Front, the Mizoram unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has opposed the Bill primarily with the Chakmas in mind.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/who-is/who-are-chakma-and-hajong-refugees-in-arunachal-pradesh-4841615/

10% Quota for Economically Weaker Sections in General Category

Following the 124th constitutional amendment, THE MINISTRY of Social Justice and Empowerment issued the notification states that 10% reservation quota for economically-weaker sections (EWS) of the general category will be implemented in all educational institutions from the new academic sessions.


  • The quota can be availed by people whose families have a gross annual income of up to Rs 8 lakh, from all sources.
  • Families which own over five acres agricultural land, over 1,000 square feet house, over 100 yard plot in notified municipal area, or over 200 yard plot in non-notified municipal area cannot avail the benefit of this reservation.

Previous SC judgements on the reservation issue:

  • In the landmark verdict of Supreme Court in the Mandal case, the SC held that the proposal to provide 10% reservation for other EWS of people who are not covered by any of the existing schemes of reservation as constitutionally invalid.
  • The SC held that mere economic backwardness or educational backwardness which is not the result of social backwardness cannot be the criterion of backwardness in Art 16(4).
  • The SC has even ruled in the Indra Sawhney case, that the share of the jobs, educational,legislative seats reserved for different communities cannot together exceed 50%.
  • Source: Source:https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/10-ews-quota-from-new-academic-session-javadekar/714223.html

Survey on sanitation across Cities on the Bank of River Ganga

The quality Council of India undertook a survey on the status of sanitation throughout towns and towns on the banks of River Ganga for the Ministry of Housing and City Affairs.

Overview of the Survey

  • Four out of five towns along the River Ganga have squandered dumps on the banks and almost 55 % of the cities have drainage emptying into the river devoid of any cleaning.
  • Only 19 towns had Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) vegetation and only 7 cities in the plains can declare installation of a trash cleaner in their territory.
  • 72 % of cities have nullahs (drains) discharging into the river and 77 % of cities drains do not have useful screens that filter out filth.
  • 12 cities have scored A, 44 B-grade and the relaxation scored an inadequate C grade in overall performance.
  • Weak-doing towns were in states of West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Unique Grades

Grade A – Cities experienced very good cleanliness and waste administration service.

Grade B – Cities managed only a partial cleanliness all around the ghats.

Grade C- Cities have a lot to do to reach above enhancement in cleanliness, reliable waste management and in setting up infrastructure at treating sewage flowing into the river. Q


Maha Agritech

  • An initiative of the Maharashtra government to double the farmer’s income by 2022.
  • The area under cultivation from sowing to harvesting, climate, and diseases on crops will be monitored digitally using satellite and drone technology.
  • It will cover 1.5 crore farmers in Maharashtra.