GS 2 Dancing around the Supreme Court On January 17, the Supreme Court struck down several statutory provisions and rules governing Maharashtra’s dance bars. This decision forms part of an iterative game that has evolved over 14 years between the Maharashtra government and the courts. Seven northeastern States lag behind in toilets for schoolgirls An average of 34.96% schools in the eight northeastern states had usable toilets for girls in 2018 compared to 36.66% in 2016, data analysed from the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2018 report revealed. GS 3 Removing the roots of farmers’ distress Steps like limited procurement, boosting productivity and consolidating land holdings can help reduce agrarian distress Model for malaria control India is the only country among the 11 highest-burden countries that saw substantial progress in reducing disease burden: it saw a 24% decrease in 2017 compared to 2016. Cabinet nod likely for relief package for farmers The Union Cabinet is expected to soon approve a relief package for farmers grappling with falling prices and to tackle distress in the farm sector, according to sources. Microplastic fibres found in groundwater system: study Microplastics are already known to contaminate the world’s surface waters, yet scientists have only just begun to explore their presence in groundwater systems. Fractured limestone aquifers are a groundwater source that accounts for 25% of the global drinking water supply. New hope for sickle-cell patients Scientists have long known what causes sickle-cell disease and its devastating effects: a single mutation in one errant gene. But for decades, there has been only modest progress against an inherited condition that mainly afflicts people of African descent. Odisha govt. transfers funds to sharecroppers under new scheme The KALIA scheme, launched on December 31, is named after Lord Jagannath, who is called Kalia by devotees. The scheme covers more than 50 lakh families, including sharecroppers and landless families. The beneficiaries will get Rs. 5,000 rupees under the scheme for purchase of seeds, fertilizers and insecticides twice a year, once on Akshaya Tritiya for kharif season and on Nuakhai day for rabi season.