According to a new study
published in the Journal of Global Oncology, the cancer burden in India
will double to 20 lakh cases in 20 years.
The increase in cancer burden
has been attributed to demographic changes and improvement in and
increased use of cancer diagnostics.
According to GLOBOCAN, India registered
11.6 lakh cancer cases in 2018. GLOBOCAN is a project of the International
Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) under WHO. The project collects and
publishes surveillance data regarding the occurrence of cancer worldwide.
The study has highlighted the
need to focus on cancer diagnosis and treatment in India. It has called
for establishing and investing in more public cancer care centres.
The “Museum on Prime
Ministers of India” is likely to be constructed by the Central Public
Works Department (CPWD) by March 2020
The museum is being built in
the Teen Murti Estate in New Delhi. The Teen Murti Estate also hosts the
Nehru Memorial Museum and Library dedicated to Jawaharlal Nehru.
Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of independent India
The museum will have
interactive features for visitors to learn about the contribution of
former Prime Ministers of India.
The CPWD is the largest
construction agency of the government. It executes public works and is
entrusted with the maintenance of central government buildings.
Ministry of External Affairs
has asserted that Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 is an
internal matter of India.
This statement came after
China had objected to the creation of the Union Territory of Ladakh and
said it undermined its sovereignty.
The Central Government has
revoked provisions of Article 370 which granted special status to Jammu
and Kashmir. It has also bifurcated the state into two separate union
territories of Jammu and Kashmir (with legislature) and Ladakh (without
India and China have 3,488-km
long Line of Actual Control (LAC) between them. The two countries have
held 21 rounds of Special Representatives talks so far to resolve the
China has claims over Ladakh
due to the continuing dispute over Aksai China which began when Pakistan
ceded it to China in 1963.There have been several intrusions in Ladakh by
China to the non-demarcation of the Line of Actual Control.
The most serious stand-off
was in 2013 when Indian and Chinese troops camped in front of each other
at Daulat Beg Oldi for three weeks. In 2017, China had protested when
India was constructing a road near the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh.
The mayor of Hiroshima has urged Japan to sign the Treaty on
the prohibition of nuclear weapons(TPNW).This statement came as the city
marked the 74 years since being targeted in the world’s first atomic
Japan is the only country to have experienced atomic attack
against Hiroshima and Nagasaki days ahead of the country’s surrender in
1945 to end World War II.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
(TPNW) or the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty is the first legally
binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons.
The treaty was passed by in 2017.
The treaty will enter into force 90 days after it has been
ratified by at least 50 countries. Currently, 24 countries have ratified
The treaty prohibits a full range of nuclear-weapon related
activities, such as undertaking to develop, test, produce, manufacture,
acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive
Further, for nuclear armed states joining the treaty, it
provides for a time-bound framework for negotiations leading to the
verified and irreversible elimination of its nuclear weapons programme.
However, eight nuclear weapon states namely the US, Russia, Britain,
China, France, India, Pakistan and North Korea along with Israel had not
participated in the negotiations of the treaty.
China has warned the United States that it would take
countermeasures if the US goes ahead with its plans to deploy ground-based
missiles in the Asia Pacific region.
This statement came after US Defense Secretary has said that
the US was now free to deploy the weapons following its withdrawal from
the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia.
The rise of an assertive China in the region has worried traditional
US allies such as Australia and New Zealand. Further, China’s actions in
the South China Sea have also alarmed neighbours who are competing for
territorial claims to this strategic waterway.
However, experts have said that the most likely location for
deployment of missiles by the US will be the island of Guam which hosts
significant US military facilities.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty
came into force in 1988. It banned both the Soviet Union (Russia) and the
US from developing and deploying land-based cruise and ballistic missiles
with ranges between 500 and 5,500 km. However, treaty did not apply to
air-or sea-launched missiles.
The agreement was signed to de-escalate tensions as both
countries had dozens of such missiles deployed, posing a risk of an
accidental nuclear exchange.
Rajasthan government has launched a new higher education model
called as Resource Assistance for Colleges with Excellence (RACE).
This new higher education model will help in distribution of
faculties and movable assets among the government colleges at the district
level to rationalise the availability of resources.
The model will also create a pool for sharing of facilities.
The colleges in need will submit their requirements to the nodal college
in the district, which will send the teachers on deputation, if needed,
and provide the facilities such as projectors, digital libraries,
equipment and technicians.
The model will help the colleges situated in small towns facing
shortage of faculties and infrastructure. The model will also give
autonomy to small colleges and help them find solutions to their problems
at the local level.
Rajya Sabha has passed the Consumer Protection Bill, 2019.The
bill has already been passed by the Lok Sabha.
The bill replaces the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.The bill
seeks to strengthen the rights of consumers and provides a mechanism for
redressal of complaints regarding defects in goods and deficiency in
The bill defines a consumer as a person who buys any goods or
avails a service for a consideration. It does not include a person who
obtains a good for resale or a good or service for commercial purposes.
The bill covers transactions through all modes including
offline and online through electronic means, teleshopping, multi-level
marketing or direct selling.
The bill provides the central government to set up a Central
Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the
rights of consumers.
CCPA will regulate matters related to violation of consumer
rights, unfair trade practices, and misleading advertisements. The CCPA
will have an investigation wing headed by a Director-General which may
conduct an inquiry or investigation into such violations.
The bill provides for an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR)
mechanism. Mediation cells will be attached to Consumer Forum. The bill
also ensures ease of approaching Consumer Commission and Simplification of
The bill provides for Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions
(CDRCs) to be set up at the district, state and national levels.
The bill defines product liability as the liability of a
product manufacturer, service provider or seller to compensate a consumer
for any harm or injury caused by a defective good or deficient service.
The US Treasury Department has declared China as a currency manipulator.
This move comes after China allowed the yuan to suddenly depreciate or
lose value relative to the dollar.
In retaliation, the US has also announced that it would
approach the International Monetary Fund(IMF) to eliminate the unfair
competitive advantage created by China’s latest actions.
Foreign Exchange Rate is the amount of domestic currency that
must be paid in order to get a unit of foreign currency. According to
Purchasing Power Parity theory, the foreign exchange rate is determined by
the relative purchasing power of the two currencies.
In an ideal world, exchange rate for any currency would be
determined by the interplay of its demand and supply.
However, most governments and central banks are bothered about
generating more growth and employment at home. A weaker domestic currency
comes in very handy when governments are trying to attract foreign demand
and boost exports.
Further. China’s economic growth has been essentially fuelled
by exporting to the world.
The US Treasury department defines currency manipulation as
when countries deliberately influence the exchange rate between their
currency and the US dollar to gain unfair competitive advantage in
Further, this is the first time that the US has labeled a
country a manipulator since the 1990s when China was also the target. Officially,
the designation requires the US government to seek negotiations with the
government accused of manipulation.
China has warned India not to stop its Huawei Technologies from
doing business in the country otherwise Indian firms operating in China
may face trouble.
This statement came after India has planned to establish 5G
cellular network in the country but has not decided whether to open the
trials to Huawei.
The US administration has barred use or installation of Huawei
5G technology equipped devices in critical infrastructure and offices
related to security establishment.
The US has also been persuading other nations to boycott Huawei
5G rollout in those countries. Japan and Australia have already barred
Huawei from rolling out 5G technology there.
Recently, a high-level group of officials led by the Principal
Scientific Advisor to the Indian government has found no evidence to
suggest Huawei has used back-door programmes or malware to collect data in
its current operations in India.
Further, one of the options that the government’s National
Security Advisory Board(NSAB) official has suggested is to ensure the
hardware and software for the proposed fifth-generation network are not
both sourced from Huawei.
The U.S and Taliban officials has held productive negotiations
in Doha, Qatar aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan.
During talks, U.S and Taliban appear to be closing in on an
agreement under which U.S. forces would withdraw in exchange for
guarantees that Afghanistan would not become a haven for other terrorist
However, even if the US and the Taliban reached an agreement,
the Afghans will still need to sort out a number of key internal issues
such as (a) ceasefire (b) dialogue between the Taliban and the government
and (c) formation of a new government and political system.
The Taliban now control roughly half of Afghanistan and are at
their strongest since 2001 when the U.S.-led invasion had toppled their
government after it gave protection to al-Qaeda.
The U.S and NATO formally concluded their combat mission in
2014 but the US and allied troops continue to train and build the Afghan
military. However, US President has often expressed his wish to end the
war in Afghanistan and bring back US troops.
The Centre has revoked the provisions of Article 370 which
granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir. It has also proposed
bifurcation of the state into two Union territories Jammu and Kashmir and
However, due to the change in status of J&K statehood, the
Fifteenth Finance Commission will have to rework its calculations for
distribution of central resources among different states.
The 15th Finance Commission (FC) would have to decide
devolution for 28 states instead of 29 states now. The funds for Union
territories are decided by the Central government in the Union Budget and
voted by the Parliament.
The Finance Commission is constituted by the President under Article
280 of the Constitution.
The commission recommends how tax revenues collected by the
Central government should be shared between the Centre and the states. Further,
it also recommends inter se distribution of these resources among states.
The Commission is appointed every five years. It consists of a
Chairman and four other members. The 15th finance commission chairman is
N.K. Singh. Its recommendations will cover the five year period commencing
from 1st April, 2020.
A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the
Presidential order on Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir)
The order effectively abrogates the special status accorded to
Jammu and Kashmir under the provision of Article 370 whereby provisions of
the Constitution which were applicable to other states were not applicable
to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
The Presidential Order has also extended all provisions of the
Indian Constitution to Jammu and Kashmir. This order has also superseded
the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954.
The petitioner has claimed that the Presidential order was
illegal as it was passed without taking consent from the J&K state
The petitioner said that the amendments made to Article 367 are
illegal and unconstitutional. The government has amended Article 367 to
replace the reference to Constituent Assembly under Article 370(3) to mean
The amendment was necessary to enable the President to pass any
order on Article 370.Article 370(3) empowers the President to repeal or
amend any part of Article 370 but he needs to have the concurrence of the
But in this case, the concurrence was not possible as the
Constituent Assembly was dissolved in 1956.To overcome this legal challenge,
the government brought the amendment.
Since the state is under Governor’s rule, the President needed
to have governor’s concurrence to pass the order for revoking all the
special powers accorded to the Jammu and Kashmir.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 has paved the
way for the formation of the Union Territory of J&K. It will join two
other Union Territories with legislature namely Delhi and Puducherry.
Article 239 A of the Constitution provides for a Legislative
Assembly to enact laws on certain subjects and a Council of Ministers
headed by a Chief Minister to aid and advise the Lieutenant-Governor(LG)
on subjects related to such legislation.
For subjects outside the purview of the Assembly, the LG does
not need the aid and advice of the Chief Minister.
The J&K bill states that the provisions contained in
Article 239 A of the Constitution that are applicable to Union Territory
of Puducherry shall also apply to the Union Territory of Jammu and
The J&K Bill proposes that the Assembly can make laws on
any subject in the State and Concurrent lists except on state subjects
relating to public order and police. Therefore, all laws on these two
subjects will be directly under the Centre. This is the case in Delhi too.
However, in Delhi under Article 239AA and by the 69th
Constitutional Amendment, the Assembly cannot legislate on matters in
entry 18 of the State List which is land. In J&K, the Assembly can do
The Control of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) was a
contentious issue between Delhi government and the Centre. In 2019,
Supreme Court had held that the ACB will be under the control of the L-G
and the Delhi government has no police powers.
For the proposed UT of Jammu & Kashmir, the Bill is very clear.
It states that all appointments and other administrative matters related
to the ACB will be directly under the Lieutenant-Governor.
In Delhi, another bone of contention has been services. A
Supreme Court Bench has differed on the issue of transfer of officers
posted in Delhi, and referred the matter to a three-judge Bench.
For J&K, the Bill make it clear that the Lieutenant-Governor
will have discretionary powers relating to composition, strength and
allocation of officers.
Parliament has approved the Constitution (Application to Jammu
and Kashmir) Order, 2019. The order effectively abrogates the special
status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir under the provision of Article 370.
The Parliament has also passed the Jammu and Kashmir
(Reorganisation) Bill, 2019.The bill bifurcates the State into two
separate union territories of Jammu and Kashmir (with legislature) and
Ladakh (without legislature).
The Presidential Order has extended all provisions of the
Indian Constitution to Jammu and Kashmir. This order will also supersede
the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954.
Further, Article 35A also ceases to exist on effective
abrogation of special status. The reason being that this was inserted
through a presidential proclamation of 1954 drawing powers from Article
The Bill proposes wide powers to the Lieutenant Governor of the
Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and makes it the duty of the Chief
Minister of the Union Territory to communicate all administrative
decisions and proposals of legislation with the LG.
The bill states that the Legislative Assembly may make laws for
the whole or any part of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with
respect to any of the matters enumerated in the state list except on
subjects public order and police which will remain in the domain of the
Centre vis-a-vis the LG.