India’s first large-scale trial for two new tuberculosis (TB) vaccines.

Context The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) launched India’s first large-scale trial for two new tuberculosis (TB) vaccines. 2018 annual report As per the 2018 annual report of the Central TB division of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the incidence of TB was nearly 2.8 million annually, and Read More …

US Federal Reserves rate cut and its impact on India

Context the United States Federal Reserve announced a quarter-percentage-point cut in interest rates — the first rate cut in 11 years. What makes this rate-cut action — the first since the global financial crisis broke in 2008 — more significant is that barely six months previously, the US Fed was on a Read More …

What are the UAPA amendments?

Context The Unlawful Activities Prevention Amendment (UAPA) Bill is an anti-terror legislation that seeks to designate an individual as a “terrorist”. On July 24, Lok Sabha cleared the changes to the existing law, but Opposition parties and civil liberties lawyers have criticised the Bill, arguing it could be used to Read More …

Hyperloop Explained

Context Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop One has signed an agreement with the Maharashtra government to build a Hyperloop that will cut the travel time between Mumbai and Pune to 25 minutes from the 3 hours it now takes by road. A 10-km pilot path will be built from Pune’s Hinjewadi, Read More …

National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill explained

Context Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan introduced the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill in Lok Sabha. An earlier version of this Bill was introduced in the 16th Lok Sabha, and had passed the scrutiny of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare. However, that Bill lapsed at the Read More …

The rise of unemployment rate, within various religious groups

Context Union Minister for Minority Affairs presented in Lok Sabha data on the rates of unemployment across major religious groups over the last three unemployment surveys conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) and the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS). The three sets of data correspond to the Employment and Read More …

Permanent Tribunal

Context Lok Sabha gave its approval to a proposal to set up a permanent tribunal to adjudicate on inter-state disputes over sharing of river waters. The Bill cleared by Lok Sabha seeks to make amendments to the Inter-State River Waters Disputes Act of 1956 that provides for setting up of Read More …

Census 2021 may skip caste count

Context Census 2021 is unlikely to collect “caste wise” data as a similar exercise conducted in 2011 by another ministry threw up about 40 lakh caste names that were difficult to tabulate, a senior government official said. The decennial exercise would involve 31 lakh trained enumerators, with data collected digitally Read More …

U.S. formally withdraws from INF arms treaty

Context The U.S. and Russia ripped up a Cold War-era missile pact in a move that raised the spectre of an arms race between the global superpowers. About INF Treaty The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty limited the use of medium-range missiles, both conventional and nuclear. Under the INF Read More …

Right to privacy is not absolute

Context In a significant judgment, the Supreme Court on Friday held that a judicial magistrate is empowered to order a person to give a sample of his voice for the purpose of investigation. SC Judegements; A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, said directing a person to Read More …