Current Affairs Analysis

22nd February 2020 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

Khelo India University Games; Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) (JJ) Act, 2015; Juvenile Justice Boards; Central Adoption Resource Authority; KiLiki language; International Mother Language Day; Happiness curriculum; Khelo India programme; Global Health Security Index; Exoplanet G 9-40b; Habitable-zone Planet Finder; India-Maldives vow for strengthening partnership; ASKDISHA chatbot
By IASToppers
February 23, 2020


Government Schemes & Policies

  • Proposals to amend the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015
  • Khelo India University Games

Issues related to Health & Education

  • Happiness curriculum
  • Global Health Security Index

Bilateral & International Relations

  • India-Maldives vow for strengthening partnership

Art & Culture

  • KiLiki language

Science & Technology

  • Exoplanet G 9-40b

Also in News

ASKDISHA chatbot

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Government Schemes & Policies

Proposals to amend the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015

A Group of Ministers (GoM) chaired by Home Minister met recently to discuss the proposed amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) (JJ) Act, 2015, in a meeting steered by Ministry of Women and Child Development.

  • There are certain amendments that are being brought to the JJ Act and the GoM under Mr. Shah met to discuss the fine print and seeking views from all Union Ministers.

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) (JJ) Act, 2015:

  • The primary legislation in the country pertaining to children is The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
  • It replaces the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
  • The Act seeks to achieve the objectives of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children as ratified by India on December 11, 1992.


  • It addresses children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection.
  • It specifies procedural safeguards in cases of children in conflict with law.
  • The 2015 Act addressed the two key issues — apprehension, detention, prosecution, penalty or imprisonment, rehabilitation and social re-integration of children in conflict with law and procedures and decisions or orders relating to rehabilitation, adoption, re-integration and restoration of children in need of care and protection.

Key highlights:

  • Change in nomenclature from ‘juvenile’ to ‘child’ or ‘child in conflict with law’, across the Act to remove the negative connotation associated with the word “juvenile”.
  • The Act permitschild in conflict with law between the ages of 16-18 years to be tried as adults for heinous offences.
  • Also, any 16-18 years old, who commits a lesser, i.e., serious offence, may be tried as an adult only if he is apprehended after the age of 21 years.
  • Juvenile Justice Boards (JJB) and Child Welfare Committees (CWC) will be constituted in each district.
  • The JJB will conduct a preliminary inquiry to determine whether a juvenile offender is to be sent for rehabilitation or be tried as an adult.
  • The CWC will determine institutional care for children in need of care and protection.
  • Eligibility of adoptive parents and the procedure for adoption have been included in the act.
  • Penalties for cruelty against a child, offering a narcotic substance to a child, and abduction or selling a child have been prescribed.

Juvenile Justice Boards:

  • Juvenile Justice Board is given the option to transfer cases of heinous offences by such children to a Children’s Court (Court of Session) after conducting preliminary assessment.
  • The provisions provide for placing children in a ‘place of safety’ both during and after the trial till they attain the age of 21 years after which an evaluation of the child shall be conducted by the Children’s Court.
  • After the evaluation, the child is either released on probation and if the child is not reformed then the child will be sent to a jail for remaining term.
  • The law will act as a deterrent for child offenders committing heinous offences such as rape and murder and will protect the rights of victim.

Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA):

  • To streamline adoption procedures for orphan, abandoned and surrendered children, the existing Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is given the status of a statutory body to enable it to perform its function more effectively.
  • Separate chapter on Adoption provides for detailed provisions relating to adoption and punishments for not complying with the laid down procedure.
  • Processes have been streamlined with timelines for both in-country and inter-country adoption including declaring a child legally free for adoption.
  • As per the provisions, a single or divorced person can also adopt, but a single male cannot adopt a girl child.

Inclusion of new offences committed against children:

  • Several new offences committed against children, which are so far not adequately covered under any other law, are included in the Act.
  • These include: sale and procurement of children for any purpose including illegal adoption, corporal punishment in child care institutions, use of child by militant groups, offences against disabled children and, kidnapping and abduction of children.
  • Penalties for cruelty against a child, offering a narcotic substance to a child, and abduction or selling a child have been prescribed.
  • Any official, who does not report an abandoned or orphaned child within 24 hours, is liable to imprisonment up to six months or fine of Rs 10,000 or both.
  • The penalty for non-registration of child care institutions is imprisonment up to one year or fine of one lakh rupees, or both.
  • The penalty for giving a child intoxicating liquor, narcotic or psychotropic substances is imprisonment up to seven years or fine of one lakh rupees, or both.

Mandatory registration of Child Care Institutions:

  • All child care institutions, whether run by State Government or by voluntary or non-governmental organisations, meant either wholly or partially for housing children, regardless of whether they receive grants from the Government, are to be mandatorily registered under the Act within 6 months from the date of commencement of the Act.
  • Stringent penalty is provided in the law in case of non-compliance.

Child-friendly approach in the adjudication of matters:

  • The Act’s preamble says that a child-friendly approach in the adjudication and disposal of matters in the best interest of children must be adhered to.
  • It also requires that interviews of children be done by specialised units of police who are trained to sensitively deal with them.
  • The Act prescribes that a Special Juvenile Police Unit is to be constituted by the state government in each district and city, headed by a police officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, and including two social workers, at least one of whom must be a woman, and both of whom should be experienced in the field of child welfare.
  • Their work includes coordinating with the police towards sensitive treatment of children.
  • The Act also provides for a Child Welfare Committee in every district to take cognisance of any violations by the authorities in their handling of children.
[Ref: The Hindu]

Khelo India University Games

The first-ever Khelo India University Games will take off in Odisha with a mega launch event at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, Cuttack on February 22, 2020.


  • The attempt is to make the Khelo India University Games an aspirational competition for India’s youngsters with twin objectives of helping them find the balance between sports and education.

Major Highlights:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will declare open the multi-disciplinary sporting event through video conference.
  • The Khelo India University Games are being launched by the Government of India in association with the Government of the State of Odisha.
  • The Games will be held from 22 February to 1st March 2020 at Bhubaneswar.
  • This is the largest ever competition held at university level in India and will have about 3500 athletes from over 150 universities across the country taking part in it.
  • There will be a total of 17 sports namely archery, athletics, boxing, fencing, judo, swimming, weightlifting, wrestling, badminton, basketball, football, hockey, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, rugby and kabaddi.

Khelo India programme:

  • Khelo India Programmeis a brain child of the PM ModiKhelo and a national schemefor the development of sports in India.
  • It was launched in the year 2018 and is an initiative of Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports.
  • It was introduced to revive the sports culture in Indiaat the grass-root level by building a strong framework for all sports played in the country and establish India as a great sporting nation.
  • It is a Central Sector Scheme with 100% funding by the union government.
  • It is a Pan India Sports Scholarship scheme that annually covers 1000most deserving and talented athletes across the sports discipline.
  • The Talent Search and Development vertical of Khelo India scheme provides for grant of financial assistance of Rs. 5 lakhs per annum for a period of 8 consecutiveyears for selected sportspersons.
[Ref: PIB]

Issues related to Health & Education

Happiness curriculum

Happiness curriculum is one of the flagship schemes of the Delhi governmentin the education sector launched in July 2018 in all government schools.


  • The objectives of the happiness curriculum include developing self-awareness and mindfulness, inculcating skills of critical thinking and inquiry, enabling learners to communicate effectively and helping learners to apply life skills to deal with stressful and conflicting situations around them.

What is ‘happiness curriculum’?

  • Citing the World Happiness Report, 2018, in which India ranked 133 among 155 nations in the global rankings, the curriculum calls for schools in India to promote development in cognition, language, literacy, numeracy and the arts along with addressing the well-being and happiness of students.
  • It further says that future citizens need to be mindful, aware, awakened, empathetic, firmly rooted in their identity…” based on the premise that education has a larger purpose, which cannot be in isolation from the “dire needs” of today’s society.

How is the curriculum implemented?

  • The curriculum is designed for students of classes nursery through the eighth standard.
  • Group 1 consists of students in nursery and KG, who have bi-weekly classes (45 minutes each for one session, which is supervised by a teacher) involving mindfulness activities and exercise.
  • Children between classes 1-2 attend classes on weekdays, which involves mindfulness activities and exercises along with taking up reflective questions.
  • The second group comprises students from classes 3-5 and the third group is comprised of students from classes 6-8 who apart from the aforementioned activities, take part in self-expression and reflect on their behavioural changes.

Learning outcomes:

  • The learning outcomes of this curriculum are spread across four categories:
    • becoming mindful and attentive (developing increased levels of self-awareness, developing active listening, remaining in the present);
    • developing critical thinking and reflection (developing strong abilities to reflect on one’s own thoughts and behaviours, thinking beyond stereotypes and assumptions);
    • developing social-emotional skills (demonstrating empathy, coping with anxiety and stress, developing better communication skills) and
    • developing a confident and pleasant personality (developing a balanced outlook on daily life reflecting self-confidence, becoming responsible and reflecting awareness towards cleanliness, health and hygiene).


  • For the evaluation, no examinations are conducted, neither will marks be awarded.
  • The assessment under this curriculum is qualitative, focusing on the “process rather than the outcome” and noting that each student’s journey is unique and different.
[Ref: Indian Express]

Global Health Security Index

The GHS Index is a comprehensive assessment of global health security capabilities in 195 countries.

Developed by:

  • The GHS Index is a project of the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security and was developed with the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Major Highlights of the index:

  • The 2019 Global Health Security Index report examined the ability of 195 countries to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to public-health emergencies.
  • It was found that the national health security of various countries is fundamentally weak and that no country is fully prepared for epidemics or pandemics.
  • The average overall global health security (GHS) score, based on 140 parameters evaluated in all countries, was only 40.2 out of 100.
  • More importantly, 116 high- and middle-income countries scored 50 or below; India scored 46.5 – placing it 57th in the ranking.
  • In Southeast Asia, Thailand and Indonesia performed better than India with scores of 73.2 (6th) and 56.6 (30th), respectively.
  • Following are the top 10 countries in the GHS index, their rank and their scores: United States (1), 83.5; United Kingdom (2), 77.9; Netherlands (3), 75.6; Australia (4), 75.5; Canada (5), 75.3; Thailand (6), 73.2; Sweden (7), 72.1; Denmark (8), 70.4; South Korea (9), 70.2; and Finland (10), 68.7.
  • China, where the Wuhan coronavirus originated, is ranked 51st, with a score of 48.2.
  • Vietnam preceded it at 50th, with a score of 49.7.


  • Asit is the first comprehensive assessment of global health security capabilities in countries of varied incomes, the index quickly reflects the comparative capabilities across regions and countries in coping with the coronavirus outbreak.
  • With its wide-ranging criteria for evaluation, individual countries and their citizens can assess where they stand against the current threat and how prepared or capable is their public health system.
[Ref: MSN, The wire]

Bilateral & International Relations

India-Maldives vow for strengthening partnership

Union Home Minister Amit Shah met his Maldivian counterpart recently and discussed bilateral cooperation in the fields of counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation, among other things.

India-Maldives Partnership:

  • The two nations welcomed the strengthening of India-Maldives Partnership.
  • The bilateral cooperation between India and Maldives has expanded in diverse fields, including policing and law enforcement, counter-terrorism, counter-radicalisation, organised crime, drug trafficking and capacity building, etc.

Location of Maldives:

  • The Maldives is a small island nation in South Asia, located in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean.
  • It lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India, about 1,000 kilometres from the Asian continent.
  • The chain of 26 atolls stretches from Ihavandhippolhu Atoll in the north to Addu Atoll in the south.
  • Comprising a territory spanning roughly 298 square kilometres, the Maldives is one of the world’s most geographically dispersed sovereign states as well as the smallest Asian country by land area and population.
  • Capital:Male
  • Currency: Maldivian Rufiyaa
  • State Religion: Islam

Note: The Maldives has re-joined the Commonwealth on 1 February 2020 after showing evidence of functioning democratic processes and popular support.

[Ref: The Hindu]

Art & Culture

KiLiki language

About KiLiki language:

  • kiLiki is a language created in 2013 solely for the Indian blockbuster movie Baahubali.
  • Started as a fictional language, now kiLiki has evolved into a language with script grammar and more than 3000 words for everyday communication.
  • It is being touted as the world’s youngest and the easiest language.
  • Almost all languages in the world are associated with a race, community or caste but KiLiki is purely fictitious and aimed to connect the world without any barriers.
  • Madhan Karky, a filmmaker is the man behind the language.
  • The lyricist-dialogue writer created symbols for numerals and alphabets.
  • After two years of work, he had a system to learn the entire alphabet in an hour through 22 easy-to-recall symbols.

International Mother Language Day:

  • UNESCO celebrates International Mother Language Day on 21 February every year.
  • The theme of this year (2020) is “Languages ​​without Borders” which means languages ​​across/devoid of geographical boundaries.
  • International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
  • The day recognises the significance of mother tongue-based multilingual education and aims to preserve the languages of the globe.
  • It vows at popularising its importance, particularly in early schooling, and more commitment to its development in public life.
[Ref: The Hindu]

Science & Technology

Exoplanet G 9-40b

NASA’s Kepler mission recently confirmed a new exoplanet with an aid of an instrument called Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF).

  • A dip in the host star’s light was observed, suggesting that the planet was crossing in front of the star during its orbit.

Habitable-zone Planet Finder:

  • HPF is an astronomical spectrograph, built by Penn State University scientists, and recently installed on the 10m Hobby-Eberly Telescope at McDonald Observatory in Texas.
  • The instrument is designed to detect and characterise planets in the habitable-zone — the region around the star where a planet could sustain liquid water on its surface — around nearby low-mass stars.

Course of observation:

  • Kepler’s observations alone were not enough to confirm a planet. It was possible that a close stellar companion was responsible for the dip in the star’s light.
  • Precision spectroscopic observations from HPF ruled out this possibility. Shooting a high-power laser into the air, researchers generated a “laser guide star”, and subsequent observations found no evidence of blending of light or other stellar companions.
  • At Apache Point Observatory, researchers plotted a ground-based transit of the proposed planet using a process called diffusion-based photometry.
  • They found that the plotagrees with the transits observed by Kepler.
  • Finally, using HPF, an analysis of a set of radial velocities helped provide estimates for the planet’s mass.

What is a spectrograph?

  • A spectrograph is an instrument that splits light into its component wavelengths.
  • Scientists then measure the properties of light over a specific portion of the spectrum, and draw conclusions on what is responsible for the trends they observe.

Exoplanet G 9-40b:

  • The newly confirmed planet, called G 9-40b, is the first one validated by HPF.
  • It is about twice the size of Earth, and orbits its star once every six Earth-days.
[Ref: Indian Express]


Also in News

ASKDISHA chatbot

In order to resolve queries of railway passengers over the internet pertaining to various services offered, Indian Railways had introduced the services of Artificial Intelligence based ASKDISHA chatbot.


  • It was launched in October 2018 for the benefit of the users of the ticketing website and tourism website of its PSU, Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC).
  • The interactions with the chatbot are forseeking help on reservation of tickets, cancellation, enquiry of refund status, fare, PNR search, train running status, enquiry about retiring rooms and tourism products.


  • The ASKDISHA Chatbot was initially launched in English language but in order to further enhance the customer services rendered and to further strengthen the services of the chatbot, IRCTC has now powered voice enabled ASKDISHA to converse with customers in Hindi language also in the e-ticketing site
  • The customers can now ask queries to ASKDISHA in Hindi language by voice as well as text.
  • On an average, around three thousand enquiries are being handled by ASKDISHA in Hindi language on daily basis and the figure is increasing day by day which also shows the acceptability of the new feature by the customer.
  • IRCTC plans to launch ASKDISHA in more languages along with many other additional features in the near future.

What is a chatbot?

  • The chatbot is a special computer programmedesigned to simulate conversation with users, especially over the internet.
  • The first-of-its-kind initiative by IRCTC is aimed at facilitating accessibility by answering users’ queries pertaining to various services offered to railway passengers.
  • Since its initial launch, more than 150 million passengers have been benefited by ASKDISHA with 10 billion.
[Ref: PIB]

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