Know your ‘unparliamentary’

Context Two days of heated exchanges in Parliament have brought back recurring questions around “unparliamentary” speech and conduct. Article 105(2): While Article 105(2) of the Constitution lays down that “no Member of Parliament shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote Read More …

Kerala’s ban on CFL and filament bulbs

Context Kerala Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac Friday made a bold announcement that the state will impose a ban on the sale of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and incandescent (filament) bulbs starting November this year as part of sustainable energy policy. He also added that streetlights and bulbs in government offices across Read More …

Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG)

Context A series of new papers in the journal Nature has revealed the most comprehensive gene map ever of the genes whose departures from normal behaviour — mutations — trigger a cascade of genetic misbehaviours that eventually lead to cancer. Just a handful of “driver” mutations could explain the occurrence of Read More …

Why you should know about Idlib

Idlib is the last stronghold of the rebels and jihadist groups in Syria and has witnessed eight years of bloody fighting with the Syrian government. The province northwestern Syria has now become the epicentre of gross human rights violations, regular air bombardments and a space where profound superpower rivalries play Read More …

What is genome mapping?

Context The government has given clearance to an ambitious gene-mapping project, estimated to be worth Rs 238 crore. The Genome India Project, which has been described by those involved as the “first scratching of the surface of the vast genetic diversity of India”, involve over 20 scientists from institutions including the Read More …

The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation (PEMSR) Act

Context The Maharashtra government has directed all civic bodies in the state to set up Emergency Response Sanitation Units (ERSUs) to ensure safeguards for sanitation workers who clean manholes and sewers, after multiple cases were reported of workers dying from suffocation or inhalation of hazardous gases. Ajay Jadhav explains the Read More …

Could pangolins be the source of novel coronavirus?

Context Scientists investigating the animal origins of the novel coronavirus said pangolins could be responsible for the spread of the virus to humans in China. The scientists, whose findings are yet to be published, have found that the genome sequence of the coronavirus isolated from pangolins was 99 per cent identical Read More …

What you need to know about the spreading coronavirus?

Context A newly identified virus that emerged late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, causing an explosive outbreak of sometimes fatal pneumonia, has become a global health emergency. The culprit is a so-called coronavirus dubbed 2019-nCoV. It belongs to a family of viruses responsible for diseases that range in Read More …

What is mandamus?

Context The Supreme Court has ruled that reservation in the matter of promotions in public posts is not a fundamental right, and a state cannot be compelled to offer the quota if it chooses not to. “There is no fundamental right which inheres in an individual to claim reservation in promotions. Read More …

Mapping the ‘Indian’ genome

Context The government has cleared an ambitious gene-mapping project that is being described by those involved as the “first scratching of the surface of the vast genetic diversity of India”. A look at the objectives, scale and the diversity of the project, which will be significant not only in India Read More …