Child Marriage Free India Campaign

In News

  • Nobel Peace Laureate and child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi recently launched a nationwide campaign called ‘Child Marriage Free India’ to end the social evil of child marriage.


  • The campaign launched by the Nobel Peace Laureate aims to reduce the number of child marriages by 10 percent from 23.3 percent. 
  • The campaign is launched to:
    • ensure the strict implementation of the laws on the legal age of marriage and those protecting children against abuse.
    • enhance the social and economic participation of women and children and ensure their empowerment by giving them free education till the age of 18.
    • provide safety to children against sexual exploitation
Data/ StatisticsThe 2011 census reported over 12 million child marriages in the country.Out of 12 million child marriages, 5.2 million were girls.According to NFHS 23.3 percent of women between the ages of 20 to 24 are married before turning 18. Child marriage rates are lower in South-East India and higher in the North-West region of the countryBihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are the states with the highest rates of child marriage. 

Primary Reasons for Child Marriage

  • Poverty: If a family is struggling financially, marrying off one of their daughters can mean one less mouth to feed and one less child to educate.
  • Safety: For families living in dangerous environments, like a refugee camp or war zone, child marriage can actually seem like a safer option.
  • Tradition: Child marriage is deeply imbedded in some cultural traditions, where it is viewed as a normal and reasonable practice.
  •  Social Insecurity: Many people have this perception that a married woman is much safer from societal offences than an unmarried woman. Unmarried women are viewed with malafide intentions that lead to crimes against them.
  • Avoiding share in Ancestral Property: Generally in rural areas parents think that all their ancestral property belongs to their sons and if they marry their daughters at an early age then they will be out of the share. 
  •  Avoiding expenditure on Female Education: Usually families discriminate between boys and girls. Female children are considered a burden as they do not need to work and have to look after the household chores before and after marriage. 

Impacts of Child Marriage

  • Human rights violation: Child marriage is a violation of human rights and dignity, which unfortunately still has social acceptance.
  • Harmful impacts: It has a serious impact on the education, health, and safety of the childrens.
  • Reduces Education Rates For Girls: Child marriage typically marks the end of a girl’s education. Once she’s married, she’s expected to take care of her husband and start having children, leaving little time for school or a career.
  •  Traps families in a cycle of poverty: Child marriage might seem to make financial sense in the short term for struggling parents, but it can actually trap families in a cycle of poverty.
  • Contributes to higher fertility rates: Younger brides are more likely to have larger families because they have more child-bearing years during married life. They also usually face a greater inequality with their husbands, resulting in the wife having little to no say in when or how many children to have. 
  •  Inabilities to Plan or Manage Families: Young girls exercise less influence and control over their children and have less ability to make decisions about their nutrition, health care and household management. 
  •  Desire for Male Child: Due to desire for a male child, young girls and women are forced to conceive as many times as she can till she gives birth to a male child. 

Laws against the Child Marriage in India

  •  The Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929: It is also known as the Sarda Act. It was a law enacted to restrain the practices of Child Marriage.
    • Its main goal was to eliminate the evils placed on young girls who could not handle the stress of married life and to avoid early deaths.
    • This act defined a male child as 21 years or younger and a female child as 18 years or younger.
  • The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act of 2006: Under this act, the marriageable age for a male is prescribed as 21 years and that of a female is 18 years.
    • Child Marriage is prohibited in India as per the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.
  •  Hindu Marriage Act, 1956: Under Hindu Marriage Act, there are no certain provisions for punishing the parents or people who solemnized the marriage. 
    • A girl can get the marriage annulled only if she wants to get married before attaining the age of fifteen years and she challenges the marriage before turning eighteen.
  •  Muslim Personal Law: Under the Muslim Laws, there is no bar to child marriage. The couple after marriage has an “option of puberty” known as Khayar-ul-bulugh in which they can repudiate the marriage after attaining the age of puberty. 

Way Forward

  • Increasing the age: The Government of India’s proposal to increase the marriageable age of girls from 18 to 21 should be supported by all.
  • Role of religious leaders: They should take a stand against child marriages and ensure that the social evil is not continued.
  • SDG Goal: Elimination of child marriage has also been given priority in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Support system for girls: Develop strong support systems to keep girls in school. Provide scholarships where necessary and encourage teachers to support girls.
  • Community networks: Strengthen and establish community networks and partnerships involving girls clubs, teachers, elders, local government officials, women and youth groups, community and religious leaders, etc. that jointly work towards ending early marriage.
  •  Strengthen the role of the judicial system: Particularly the police, judges, and persecutors through training on enforcement of the law against early marriage. 

6th East Asia Summit Education Minister’s Meeting


  • India participated in the 6th East Asia Summit Education Minister’s Meeting held in Hanoi, Vietnam.


  • East Asia Summit:
    • The concept of East Asia Grouping was first promoted in 1991 by the then Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir bin Mohamad. 
    • Established in 2005, it is the Indo-Pacific’s premier forum for strategic dialogue, promoting peace, stability and economic prosperity in East Asia.
    • It is the only leader-led forum at which all key partners meet to discuss political, security and economic challenges facing the Indo-Pacific.
    • Apart from the 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states, the East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia.
    • There are six priority areas of regional cooperation within the framework of the EAS. These are:
      • Environment and Energy, 
      • Education, 
      • Finance, 
      • Global Health Issues and Pandemic Diseases, 
      • Natural Disaster Management, and 
      • ASEAN Connectivity.
  • India and EAS:
    • India is one of the founding members of the East Asia Summit.
    • India has been a part of EAS since its inception in 2005 in Kuala Lumpur and the fact that Indian Prime Ministers have participated in all the Summits, stands testimony to the importance India attaches to this process.
    • At the East Asia Summit in Bangkok in November 2019, India had unveiled India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI), which is aimed at forging partnerships to create a secure and stable maritime domain.
    • India greatly values educational cooperation with EAS countries. She also emphasised India’s commitment to working with EAS member countries. 

Challenges Education Sector facing in India

  • High- dropout rates: The major challenge in the education system is the high dropout rate in public schools or government schools. It is all due to several factors such as poverty, lack of toilets, long distance to school, child marriages, patriarchal mindset, and cultural factors.
  • Poor governance and lack of responsibility: Due to poor governance & insufficient funds, most educational institutions lack infrastructure, science equipment and libraries etc.
    • According to the UNESCO’s State of the Education report for India 2021, there are 11.16 lakh teaching positions that are vacant in schools.
  • Problem of Brain drain: When intelligent, talented and deserving candidates do not get suitable jobs in the country, they prefer to go abroad to seek jobs. So our country is deprived of good talent. This phenomenon is called ‘Brain drain’.
  • Mass Illiteracy: In spite of constitutional directives and efforts aimed at enhancing education, around 25% of Indians still remain illiterate, which also leaves them socially and digitally excluded.
  • Expensive Higher Education: According to a survey by Assocham, there has been a 169% rise in inflation in primary and secondary education from 2005 to 2011. Specialized institutions and colleges are expensive in India. 

India’s Collaborative efforts in education

  • National Education Policy 2020: It replaced the 34 years old National Policy on Education which was framed in 1986. It is based on foundational pillars of access, equality, quality, affordability and accountability and is aligned with SDG 2030 goals.
    • India has had three educational policies so far. The first was in the year 1968, the second was in the year 1986 and the third one is in the year 2020.
  • PM SHRI Scheme: Under this more than 14,500 schools will be developed across India with all components of NEP 2020 as exemplar schools. These schools will offer mentorship to other schools in their vicinity.
  • Other e-learning platforms: Also, an online, open and multi-modal learning has been promoted vigorously under our PM- eVidya and various e-learning platforms like DIKSHA, SWAYAM MOOCS platform, Virtual Labs, e-PG Pathshala and National Digital Library, and many others has been launched.

Solutions to Challenges: A way forward

  • More importance should be given to the primary and secondary education of a child.
  • The Government should spend more on building the infrastructure of schools and teachers’ training.
  • Appropriate measures need to be taken up by the Government for providing quality education that is affordable for all. Like ndeur National Education Policy 2020, the students are free to choose the language according to their own interests. In the education expenditure, from the year 1952 to 2014, the total GDP percentage increased from 0.64 to 4.13.
Provisions in the Indian Constitution on educationArticle 21A: 86th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2002 introduced Article 21A which made elementary education a Fundamental Right rather than a Directive Principle.Article 45: It was amended to provide early childhood care and education to children below the age of 6 years.Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009: This Act was passed to implement Article 21A. It also provided essential legal backing for the implementation of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has been in operation since 2000-2001.

China’s ‘Wolf Warrior’ Diplomacy


  • In recent years, Under President Xi Jinping, there is a shift in the way Chinese diplomacy is conducted.
    • During the Covid-19 pandemic, this behaviour came to be known as “wolf warrior diplomacy.”

What does ‘Wolf Warrior’ Diplomacy mean?

  • About:
    • Wolf warrior diplomacy describes an aggressive style of coercive diplomacy adopted by Chinese diplomats in the 21st century under Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s administration.
    • This unofficial phrase is derived from the title of the patriotic Chinese action film series ‘Wolf Warrior’. 
    • The films, with their nationalist themes and dialogues, focus on Chinese fighters who frequently face off against Western mercenaries.
  • Features:
    • The new ‘wolf warrior diplomacy’ confronts head-on any criticism of China in  the public sphere. 
    • Chinese government’s wolf warrior diplomacy of 21st century is characterized  by the 
      • use of confrontational rhetoric by Chinese diplomats,  
      • coercive behaviour, 
      • loudly denouncing any perceived criticism of the Chinese government and its policies, and 
      • court controversy in interviews and on social media.
    • Efforts aimed at incorporating the Chinese diaspora into China’s foreign policy have also intensified with an emphasis placed on ethnic loyalty over national loyalty.

Comparison with earlier approach

  • This approach is in contrast to prior Chinese diplomatic practices of Deng Xiaoping of 1970s-80s, which had emphasized on 
    • working behind the scenes, 
    • avoiding controversy and 
    • Favoring a rhetoric of international cooperation.

Major Country Diplomacy

  • The emergence of wolf warrior diplomacy is part of Xi Jinping’s broader “Major Country Diplomacy”.
  • In terms of China’s foreign policy, Xi Jinping’s “Major Country Diplomacy” calls for a more active role for China on the world stage, particularly with regards to 
    • reform of the international order, 
    • engaging in open ideological competition with the West, and 
    • assuming a greater responsibility for global affairs in accordance with China’s rising power and status.

Other Reasons for emergence of Wolf Warrior Diplomacy

  • Since 2010, when China’s GDP overtook Japan’s as the world’s second largest, the Chinese have become more confident and China’s foreign policy has become more assertive.
  • The change in strategy has been attributed to many reasons, such as Xi’s more authoritarian tendencies as compared to earlier leaders, deteriorating US-China relations under former US President Donald Trump, the coronavirus pandemic-related accusations on China, etc.
  • Many Chinese believe the Western media portrayal of China is highly biased, often with ideological and racist biases. Wolf-warrior diplomacy is part of the Chinese government’s endeavour to “tell the China story.”


  • Wolf warrior diplomacy has often garnered a strong response and in some  cases has provoked a backlash against China and specific diplomats such as Australia’s calls for an independent probe into the coronavirus’ origins.
  • It can have negative ramifications for bilateral relations with other countries.
  • In response, Taiwan has launched Cat warrior diplomacy which focusses on the soft power aspects of Taiwan’s advanced economy, democracy, and respect for human rights as well as using Chinese aggression to highlight the differences between their two political systems.

Digital Banking Units (DBU)

In News

  • The Prime Minister recently dedicated 75 Digital Banking Units (DBU) across 75 districts to the nation.

About Digital Banking Units (DBU)

  • Background:
    • It was part of the Union budget speech for 2022-23 where the Finance Minister announced setting up the 75 DBUs in 75 districts to commemorate our country’s 75 years of independence. 
  • Initiative:
    • This is a joint initiative of the Government, the RBI, the Indian Banks Association and the participating banks. 
      • 11 Public Sector Banks, 12 Private Sector Banks and one Small Finance Bank are participating in the endeavour. 
  • Meaning:
    • The DBUs will enable those who do not have ICT infrastructure to access banking services digitally. They will also assist those who are not tech savvy to adopt digital banking. 
  • Aim:
    • In such a banking setup, the government aims to provide maximum services with minimum infrastructure, and all of this happens digitally without involving any paperwork.
  • Services:
    • It includes banking facilities like opening of savings account, balance-check, print passbook, transfer of funds, investment in fixed deposits, loan applications, stop-payment instructions for cheques issued, application for credit / debit cards, view statement of account, pay taxes, pay bills, make nominations, etc. 
    • The DBUs will also facilitate on boarding to Government credit link schemes through the Jan Samarth portal and end-to-end digital processing of small ticket MSME/retail loans. 
  • The products and services will be offered to customers in 2 modes:
    • Self Service Mode
    • Digital Assistance Mode
  • DBUs will be different from traditional branch in following aspects:
    • They will provide banking services including cash deposit & withdrawal 24 x 7.
    • Services shall be provided digitally.
    • People not having connectivity or computing devices can do banking transactions from DBU in a paperless mode.
    • Bank staff will be available to help and guide users for banking transactions in assisted mode.
    • Will help in providing digital financial literacy and create awareness for adopting digital banking.

Significance of the move

  • Financial inclusion:
    • It will further financial inclusion and enhance banking experience for citizens.
  • Ease of Living:
    • It is a big step in the direction of Ease of Living for the common citizens.
  • Robust banking:
    • It will also simplify the banking procedure while also providing a robust and secure banking system.
  • Beneficial for rural India:
    • People living in small towns and villages will find benefits like transferring money to availing loans.
  • Cost effective services: 
    • DBUs will enable customers to have cost-effective, convenient access and enhanced digital experience of banking products and services throughout the year. 
  • Digital Financial Literacy: 
    • It will spread Digital Financial Literacy and special emphasis will be given to customer education on cyber security awareness and safeguards. 
  • Removing psychological distance:
    • It will not only remove the physical distance but will also remove the psychological distance as this step will reduce the distance between the poor and the banks.
  • Eliminating digital divide: 
    • This combination of technology and economy is enhancing the dignity and affordability for the poor and empowering the middle class, while at the same time it is also eliminating the digital divide of the country. 
  • Good Governance
    • This system has given rise to immense possibilities for growth for the private sector and small-scale industries as well. 
  • Transparency in the identification of NPAs: 
    • The resolution of NPA-related issues is expedited with the help of IBC while promoting the use of technology and analytics for loans, for the creation of a transparent and scientific system.

Steps taken by the Government towards Digital Banking

  • Extensive Post Office network
    • Harnessed via India Post Banks for providing the banking needs to the common citizens.
  • Jan Dhan Bank accounts:
    • These accounts enabled the government to provide insurance to the vulnerable at a very low premium. 
    • This opened the way for loans for the poor without collateral and provided Direct Benefit Transfer to the accounts of the target beneficiaries.
  • UPI: 
    • It is the first technology of its kind in the world. It is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood. 
  • Rupay cards: 
    • Today 70 crore indigenous Rupay cards are in operation, a vast change from the days of foreign players and the elite nature of such products.
  • DBT: 
    • It eliminated corruption. More than 25 lakh crore rupees have been transferred in various schemes via DBT.
  • Digital currency: 
    • It is based on blockchain technology. Elimination of the hassle of physical currency and environmental benefits are its key advantages.
  • GEM: 
    • Today the small industries or MSMEs are also participating in government tenders through a system like GEM. They are getting new business opportunities.

Way Forward

  • Empowering citizens: 
    • The aim of the government is to empower the common citizen and make them powerful and as a result policies are made keeping in mind the last person and the entire government moving in the direction of their welfare.
  • Coverage: 
    • Today more than 99 percent of villages in India have a bank branch, banking outlet or a ‘banking mitra’ within 5 km radius.
    • Today the number of branches per one lakh adult citizens in India is more than countries like Germany, China and South Africa. 
  • Global institutions
    • The IMF has praised India’s digital banking infrastructure. The credit for this goes to the poor farmers and labourers of India, who have adopted new technologies, made it a part of their lives. 
    • The World Bank has even gone so far as to say that India has become a leader in ensuring social security through digitization. 
  • Self-reliant India: 
    • Digital economy today is a great strength of our economy, of our startup world, of Make in India and of self-reliant India. 

Legal implications of the Draft Telecommunication Bill 2022

In News

  • Recently, the Department of Telecom has released the draft Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022 for public comment. 


  • Aim of the Bill:
    • Reforming existing telecom laws and regulations, and making them future ready.
  • Background: 
    • Since the 19th century, the central construct of these laws has been two-fold: 
    • Delivery of telecom service (a dynamic concept in itself) is the sovereign’s “exclusive privilege”; 
    • This sovereign privilege can be delegated to private companies. 
  • Sovereign Privilege:
    • The government delegates this privilege to private companies by granting them telecom licenses and imposing terms and conditions on them. 
  • Most regulated sector: 
    • At present, these terms and conditions range from entity and data localisation, revenue sharing in the form of license fees, security vetting of foreign executives, to restrictions on deployment of technologies and equipment. 
    • This makes telecom one of the most regulated sectors in India.

Key Provision of Bill

  • License for OTTs: 
    • Bringing OTTs under the ambit of telecom services means that OTT and internet-based communications would require a license to offer services.
    • OTT Platforms have to obtain a license from the government just like other telecom operators.
  • Dilution of TRAI’s Powers: 
    • Diluted some crucial powers and responsibilities of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on issuing new licenses to service providers.
  • Interception of Information:
    • Information transmitted and received over telecommunication services could be intercepted by an authorised official of the government in the interest of the:
      • Sovereignty, 
      • Integrity or security of India, 
      • Friendly relations with foreign states, 
      • Public order, or preventing incitement to an offence. 
  • Clarity on Spectrum Assignment: 
    • The Bill reaffirms the government’s authority to assign spectrum, with or without auction, and declares common good and access to telecom services as the objective for spectrum assignment. 
  • Easing criminal penalties: 
    • The Bill removes several redundant penalties:
      • Imposes a quantum of penalties based on severity; and 
      • Introduces settlement of offences by payment of fines, and voluntary undertaking. 
  • Licensing Internet-based apps: 
    • The Bill requires OTT communication services – which are essentially Internet-based apps/ software – to obtain telecom licenses and thereby bring them under the telecom framework. 
  • Wide expanse of shutdown and surveillance powers: 
    • The Bill allows the government to direct suspension of transmission of messages or provision of telecom networks or services. 
    • These powers are much wider than the currently existing framework on internet shutdowns and interception, and include directions for interception and disclosure of data, and suspension/ surveillance of messages “relating to any particular subject”.
  • Changes in TRAI Act:
    • At present, the TRAI Act requires the government to seek the regulator’s recommendations before issuing licences to service providers. 
    • It also allows the TRAI to request the government to furnish information or documents necessary to make recommendations. These powers have been proposed to be removed in the new draft Bill.
    • The TRAI may direct operators “to abstain from predatory pricing” that is harmful to overall health of telecom sector, competition, long term development and fair market mechanism. 
    • A current provision in the TRAI Act which prohibits the appointment of a government official as TRAI’s chairperson who has not served either as Secretary or Additional Secretary has also been proposed to be removed in the new draft Bill.
  • Telecommunication Development Fund (TDF):
    • It proposes to replace the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) with the Telecommunication Development Fund (TDF). 
    • USOF is the pool of funds generated through a 5 percent Universal Service Levy on the Adjusted Gross Revenue of telecom companies. 
    • It has been used largely to aid rural connectivity; with the TDF, the objective is also to boost connectivity in underserved urban areas, R&D, skill development, etc.
  • Control of Government:
    • In case a telecom entity in possession of spectrum goes through bankruptcy or insolvency, the spectrum assigned to it will revert to the control of the Central government.

Telecommunication Sector in India

  • Key policy interventions and technological advancements have made India the second-largest telecom market in the world. 
  • The sector is one of the highest contributors to India’s GDP. 
  • In the last few years, the government has allowed 100% FDI in the sector, 
  • Largely deregulated BPOs and call centres, 
  • Enabled in-flight Wi-Fi,
  • Allowed deferred payments from telecom operators due to their strained financial conditions. 

Regulation of OTT Platforms in India

  • No Law or Rules:
    • In India, there are no laws or rules regulating OTT platforms as it is a relatively new medium of entertainment.
    • Government as the first step towards regulation, amended the “allocation of Business Rules” in November 2022 bringing all online platforms under the mandate of the I&B Ministry and all platforms were told to register with the Ministry. 
  • Self-regulatory model:
    • The regulation of such platforms has been widely debated and discussed therefore the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), a representative body of the OTT platforms has developed a self-regulatory model.
  • Issues:
    • On examination, it was felt that the mechanism proposed by IAMAI did not give adequate cognizance to content prohibited under law and there were issues of conflict of interest, which were communicated to IAMAI in September 2020.
    • The Online Curated Content Providers or OCCPs had also proposed a Digital Curated Content Complaints Council along with the self-regulatory mechanism as a part of its proposed two-tier structure.
    • The proposal, however, was shot down by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, which will now oversee these platforms.


  • End-to-end encrypted: It is unclear how these provisions could potentially impact calls over WhatsApp which are typically end-to-end encrypted; meaning the company itself does not have access to the information being transmitted over such calls.
  • Content regulation: There is no law or autonomous body to monitor and manage the digital contents provided on these OTT platforms and it is made available to the public at large without any filter or screening.
  • More Power is Needed: The OTT platform handles high-resolution video data. As a result, operating these platforms will require additional power. The rising demand for storage capacity is due to increased electricity, energy, and fiber capacity use.
  • Piracy of videos: Since the beginning of regular television, piracy has been a concern. Video piracy affects a business a lot of money, as well as users and reputation. User data and content leaks are both at danger when OTT platforms are hacked. In the United States, about 21% of the population watches pirated television.

Way Ahead

  • The Bill would augment ease of doing business and considerably reduce the threat of criminal prosecution for operational issues faced by telecom operators. 
  • Given the dynamic and multifaceted nature of Internet-based services, subjecting them to a telecom licensing regime with criminal penalties could stifle innovation or even isolate the Indian market.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *