Vardhan IAS Daily Current Affairs, 24th January 2019

National Girl Child Day (NGCD) 2019- 24th January

First initiated in 2008 by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. It aims to promote awareness on the issue of declining child sex ratio and a range of issues including education, health, and nutrition of girl child.

Theme- “Empowering Girls for a Brighter Tomorrow”


  • To increase awareness among the people and ensure that every girl gets equal importance as their counterpart.
  • To eliminate social stigma and discrimination faced by the girl.
  • To create better opportunities for education, health and job to tackle the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio and create a positive environment around valuing the girl child.

Government schemes to ensure every girl child enjoys a better life are as follows:

  • PCPNDT (Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics ACT- Banned the prenatal sex determination.
  • A ban on child marriages
  • ‘Save the Girl Child’ has been introduced by the government.
  • Introduction of Self-Help groups to ensure a better livelihood for girls in rural areas.
  • The schemes like ‘Dhanalakshmi‘ ensures that the basic needs of the girl child such as immunization, birth registration and school maintenance are taken care of till Class 8.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao

  • Started in 2015 in Panipat, Haryana
  • It is a tri-ministerial effort of Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare and Human Resource Development.
  • Coverage- It is a central sector scheme which covers all 640 districts.
  • Main objectives: Preventing gender biased sex-selective elimination; ensuring survival and protection of the girl child and ensuring education and participation of the girl child.

Source: The Economic Times

Currency Swap Arrangement for SAARC Member Countries

Cabinet approves amendment to ‘Framework on Currency Swap Arrangement for SAARC Member Countries’.

The incorporation of ‘Standby Swap’ would enable India to provide a prompt response to the current request from SAARC member countries for availing the swap amount exceeding the present limit prescribed under the SAARC Swap Framework.

Source: PIB

Future of work- ILO

International Labour organization asked world leaders to a commit to a universal labour guarantee, 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


  • Concerns grow over the impact of technology on workers’ jobs, pay and rights around the world, with automation rendering more traditionally human roles obsolete.
  • Two-thirds of jobs in the developing world are susceptible to automation, and only 15% of households in emerging countries have Internet access.

Key facts of the report

  • It calls for a universal labour guarantee that would enshrine the right to an adequate living wage, limits on working hours, and health and safety protections.
  • Freedom of association in trade unions and the right to collective bargaining, freedom from forced labour, child labour and discrimination.
  • Strengthen the social protection system,

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

Source: The Hindu

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

Government created a GST Appellate tribunal for dispute resolution.

  • It will be situated in Delhi, three member bodies comprised of President and one Technical Member from Centre and one Technical Member from state.
  • A quasi-judicial body that will mediate in indirect tax disputes between states and centre.
  • It is the forum of second appeal in GST laws and the first common forum of dispute resolution between Centre and States.

Source: The Economic Times

Sedition and its discontents


In recent times, Activists, cartoonists and intellectuals have been arrested under this section, drawing criticism from liberals that it is being used to suppress dissent and silence critics.

Section 124-A of IPC

It refers to a speech or writing, or any form of visible representation, which brings the government into hatred or contempt, or excites disaffection towards the government, or attempts to do so.
• It is punishable with three years in prison or a life term.
• It further states expressing disapproval of government measures or actions, with a view to getting them changed by lawful means, without promoting hatred or disaffection or contempt towards the government will not come under this section.

Origin of section 124-A:
• The concept of sedition was introduced in the penal code in 1870.
• It was a colonial law directed against strong criticism of the British administration.

Constitutionally validity of section 124-A

  1. Two high courts had found it unconstitutional after Independence, as it violated the freedom of speech and expression.
  2. The Constitution was amended to include ‘public order’ as one of the ‘reasonable restrictions’ on which free speech could be abridged by law.
  3. Thereafter, the Supreme Court, in Kedar Nath Singh v. State of Bihar (1962) upheld the validity of Section 124-A.

Source: The Hindu