UPSC Key—8 August, 2023: Cough Syrup, World Health Organization and Abrogation of Article 370 | UPSC Current Affairs News


Preliminary Examination: Indian Polity and Governance

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story- The contentious Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which replaces the ordinance on control of services in the Capital and gives sweeping powers to the Lt Governor and bureaucrats, got Parliament’s seal of approval Monday night when it cleared Rajya Sabha, four days after its passage in Lok Sabha.

• Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023-Know the Key Provisions

• Why Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023 is contentious?

• As per the statement made by the Union Home Minister, it is asserted that the bill does not contravene the ruling of the Supreme Court in any kind. What specific statements were made by the government in favour of the bill?

• Opposition accused the government of usurping the powers of the elected government in Delhi-what are the concerns raised by opposition?

• Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) ordinance, 2023 to Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023-Know the journey so far

• Quick Recap- The Centre on May 19 promulgated an Ordinance extending powers to the Delhi lieutenant governor over services in the administration of the national capital – basically, the power to transfer and appoint bureaucrats posted to Delhi. The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023, is seen as a bid to nullify last week’s ruling by a Constitution bench of the Supreme Court that handed over the reins of “services” to the Delhi Government. The court had then underlined the importance of the people’s mandate in a democracy expressed through an elected government.

• What exactly Supreme Court said in its judgement?

• Do you agree that the Lt. Governor of Delhi has more power? Attest your opinion with some recent incidence.

• What is the 69th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1991?

• Articles 239AA and 239AB of the Constitution-Know in Detail

• National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCTD) and Other Union territories-Compare and Contrast

• “NCTD, having a sui generis federal model, must be allowed to function in the domain charted for it by the Constitution”-What do you understand by this statement?

• “The Union and NCTD share a unique federal relationship. It does not mean that NCTD is subsumed in the unit of the Union merely because it is not a ‘State’,”-Comment

• What is the extent of Delhi’s powers now?

• Extent of Delhi’s powers now- Article 239AA specifically excludes land, police and public order from the purview of the legislative powers of the Delhi government. The court acknowledged that these three issues can also have some overlap with “services” “The legislative and executive power of Delhi over Entry 41 (services) shall not extend over to services related to public order, police and land. However, legislative and executive power over such services such as Indian administrative services, or joint card of services, which are relevant for the implementation of policies and vision of NCT of Delhi in terms of day to day administration of the region, shall live with Delhi,” the court said.

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍NCT Bill unconstitutional, anti-democratic, says Opp

📍RS MP Gogoi question’s basic structure, Justice Gogoi had quoted it

Previous year UPSC Prelims Question Covering similar theme:

📍 In the context of India, which one of the following is the characteristic appropriate for bureaucracy? (UPSC GS1, 2020)
a) An agency for widening the scope of parliamentary democracy
b) An agency for strengthening the structure of federalism
c) An agency for facilitating political stability and economic growth
d) An agency for the implementation of public policy

📍Which one of the following statements is correct? (UPSC GS1, 2013)
a) In India, the same person cannot be appointed as Governor for two or more States at the same time
b) The Judges of the High Court of the States in India are appointed by the Governor of the State just as the Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President
c) No procedure has been laid down in the Constitution of India for the removal of a Governor from his/her post
d) In the case of a Union Territory having a legislative setup, the Chief Minister is appointed by the Lt. Governor on the basis of majority support

Previous year UPSC Mains Question Covering similar theme:
📍Whether the Supreme Court Judgement (July 2018) can settle the political tussle between the Lt. Governor and elected government of Delhi? Examine. (UPSC GS2, 2018)


Registration of Births & Deaths (Amendment) Bill passed in RS


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story- Rajya Sabha on Monday passed a Bill that allows the use of a birth certificate as a single document for admission to an educational institution, issuance of a driving licence, preparation of voter list, Aadhaar number, registration of marriage or appointment to a government job. The Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Bill, 2023, piloted by Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, was cleared in the Rajya Sabha by voice vote. The Lok Sabha passed the Bill on August 1.

• What is the Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Bill, 2023?

• Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Bill, 2023-Know the key provisions

• Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Bill, 2023-What are the issues and challenges?

• For Your Information-According to PRSINDIA, the Bill requires the birth certificate of persons for certain purposes. This provision will be applicable to persons born after this Bill comes into effect. Certain purposes include—admission to an educational institution, preparation of voter lists, appointment to a government post, registration of marriage, and any other purpose determined by the central government. Some of these purposes are constitutional rights that citizens have, and making them conditional on a birth certificate may violate those rights. For instance, denying admission to school to a child without a birth certificate may violate the fundamental right to education under Article 21A. Under the Right to Education Act, 2009, for admission to elementary education, a child’s age is determined on the basis of their birth certificate or any other document that may be prescribed. The Act also provides that no child should be denied admission on the grounds of lack of age proof. The Bill does not provide any such exemptions. This implies that if a child’s birth has not been registered, they could be denied admission to educational institutions for their entire life. Also, article 326 guarantees that every citizen above the age of 18 years has the right to vote. This right may be curtailed if a person is subject to certain disqualifications due to non-residence, being of unsound mind, or crime, corrupt, or illegal practice. The absence of birth certificates (for age proof) does not fall within the mentioned disqualifications.

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍The Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Bill, 2023


‘Substandard, unsafe’: WHO now flags alert for India-made syrup sold in Iraq


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: 

• General Studies II: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

• General Studies II: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story-The World Health Organisation on Monday raised an alert against an India-manufactured contaminated syrup sold in Iraq, following an investigation by an international news organisation. The alert, which follows a series of WHO alerts against contaminated Indian syrups , said the contamination was “reported to WHO on 10 July 2023 by a third party.”

• What exactly World Health Organisation said?

• What are diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol?

• Is diethylene glycol the same as ethylene glycol?

• What do diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol do?

• Quick Recall-An alert for the first instance of contamination in India-manufactured syrups was raised by the World Health Organization (WHO) in October last year. The deaths of 70 children with acute kidney injury were linked to the consumption of four syrups manufactured by Indian pharmaceutical company Maiden. The second alert from WHO came in December, with the deaths of 18 children in Uzbekistan being linked to two syrups manufactured by Marion Biotech. In the third instance, the WHO raised an alert in April this year, with contaminated products being reported from the Western Pacific countries of Micronesia and Marshall Islands. The manufacturer, however, maintained that they did not sell their product to these countries. In all three instances, contaminants diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol were detected in the samples tested by other countries.

• Do You Know-Under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, CDSCO is responsible for approval of Drugs, Conduct of Clinical Trials, laying down the standards for Drugs, control over the quality of imported Drugs in the country and coordination of the activities of State Drug Control Organizations by providing expert advice with a view of bring about the uniformity in the enforcement of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

• How is cough syrup manufactured?

• Why is cough syrup restricted?

• What is the role of Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO)?

• What and who is Drugs Controller General of India?

• Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) and Drugs Controller General of India-Connect the dots

• Why are the syrups not sold in India?

• How this incident impacted India’s Pharma sector?

• What is the role of World Health Organization?

• How many countries are members of World Health Organization (WHO)?

• What is the mission and vision of the World Health Organization (WHO)?

• What are the three stages of health defined by World Health Organization (WHO)?

• What are the contributions of the World Health Organization (WHO)?

• What are the issues and challenges with the World Health Organization (WHO)?

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍India-made cough syrups and deaths in Gambia: what we know so far

📍India’s drug problem: Why WHO’s alert over Indian medicines in Gambia should not be ignored

Previous year UPSC Mains Question Covering similar theme:

📍Critically examine the role of WHO in providing global health security during the COVID-19 pandemic. (UPSC Main GS-2, 2020)


Normalcy without compassion


Preliminary Examination: Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story-Radha Kumar writes: Articles by Ram Madhav (‘J&K, like other states’, IE August 5) and Akhilesh Mishra, along with Jammu and Kashmir lieutenant-governor Manoj Sinha’s interview (IE, August 5), were published on the fourth anniversary of the reading down of Article 370 (August 5). All three mislead on fact as well as approach.

• Article 370 of the Indian Constitution-What you know about this article?

• How was Article 370 enacted?

• Was Article 370 a temporary provision?

• Why is removal of special status of J&K being challenged in the SC?

• What specific aspect of Article 370 has been contested before the Supreme Court?

• For Your Information-According to the author of this article, the facts, unfortunately, indicate that all three are wrong on the ground situation. What is normal about taking over 5,000 people into detention to prevent outcry against the actions of August 5 and 9, 2019? Is it normal to put journalists and human rights defenders behind bars for years on end because they publish information or opinion that the government seeks to suppress? Is it normal for Pandits and migrant workers to be targeted by militants, or for crimes against women and children to be rising or for unemployment to be as high as 23.1 per cent (three times the national average)? Is it normal for militancy to resurface in the Pir Panjal region from where it had virtually disappeared over the past 15 years? Is it normal for political leaders to be routinely denied permission to protest peacefully or their offices to be sealed, as happened with the PDP and NC on Friday, while the three articles were in press? Is it normal for land to be alienated, cross-border trade to cease, local hotels to be put out of business by the refusal to extend their leases and mining rights to go to non-local industry? Is it normal for 71 CRPF troops to be killed in the four years between 2019-2022, twice as many as in the previous four years, 2014-2018, when 35 died? Above all, is it normal to delay legislative elections for five years?

• The abrogation of Article 370 has sparked significant controversy-Discuss

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍 Abrogation as correction

Previous year UPSC Mains Question Covering similar theme:

📍“Parliament’s power to amend the constitution is limited power and it cannot be enlarged into absolute power”. In light of this statement, explain whether parliament under article 368 of the constitution can destroy the basic structure of the constitution by expanding its amending power? (UPSC GS2, 2019)
📍To what extent is Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, bearing marginal note “Temporary provision with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir”, temporary? Discuss the future prospects of this provision in the context of Indian polity. (UPSC GS2, 2016)


The hardening trade stance


Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.

Mains Examination: General Studies III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story-In 1981, a landmark report by a committee headed by Prof V Rajaraman of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) proposed concessions for the import of computers against software exports. The recommendation was to effectively reverse what was until then the stated policy of the Government of India — to impose physical controls on these imports with the sole objective of protecting the turf of the state-owned Electronics Corporation of India Ltd.

• Quick Recall-The Union government has restricted imports of personal computers, laptops, palmtops, automatic data processing machines, microcomputer/ processors and large/ mainframe computers with immediate effect.

• Why this move?

• What does the notification for the restriction on imports state?

• Why have the restrictions been imposed?

• Multiple justifications for the move have been offered by the government-know them

• How the shift in stance progressed?

• Do You Know-The move seems to be aimed at promoting domestic manufacturing, and probably targeted at China since more than 75 per cent of India’s total $ 5.33 billion imports of laptops and personal computers in 2022-23 was from the neighbouring country. In a notification issued Thursday, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said imports of computers and other items under the seven categories of HSN Code 8471 (HSN is the Harmonised System of Nomenclature, a globally accepted method of naming goods) were restricted. There will, however, be no restrictions on imports under the baggage rules. The move is being seen as a direct boost to the Centre’s recently renewed production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for IT hardware. A senior government official said the measure is to push companies to manufacture locally in India, as the country looks to strengthen its domestic production prowess in the electronics sector. The scheme was revised in May with an outlay of Rs 17,000 crore, more than doubling the budget for the scheme that was first cleared in 2021. The push is aimed at makers of laptops, servers and personal computers among others – since a majority of the imports in these segments are from China. India has seen an increase in imports of electronic goods and laptops/computers in the last few years. During April-June this year, the import of electronic goods increased to $6.96 billion from $4.73 billion in the year-ago period, with a share of 4-7 per cent in overall imports. Of the seven categories restricted for imports by India, the majority share of imports is from China. During April-May, the latest period for which country-wise data is available, India’s imports from China for these seven categories of restricted imports were valued at $743.56 million, down 5.6 per cent from $787.84 million. The highest share of imports is in the category of personal computers including laptops, and palmtops, under which imports from China stood at $558.36 million in April-May this year as against $618.26 million in the year-ago period. China accounts for roughly 70-80 per cent of the share of India’s imports of personal computers, laptops. On an annual basis, India’s imports of personal computers, and laptops from China had dropped 23.1 per cent in 2022-23 to $4.10 billion in 2022-23 from $5.34 billion in 2021-22. However, in the previous two financial years, 2021-22 and 2020-21, there was a sharp surge in imports of personal computers, laptops in 2021-22 and 2020-21 from China, with a year-on-year increase of 51.5 per cent to $5.34 billion in 2021-22 and 44.7 per cent to $3.52 billion in 2020-21.

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍The new restriction on Personal Computers/laptop imports: Why the move, and its potential impact

Previous year UPSC Prelims Question Covering similar theme:

📍With reference to the international trade of India at present, which of the following statements is/are correct? (GS1, 2020)
(1) India’s merchandise exports are less than its merchandise imports.
(2) India’s imports of iron and steel, chemicals, fertilisers and machinery have decreased in recent years.
(3) India’s exports of services are more than its imports of services.
(4) India suffers from an overall trade/current account deficit.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 4 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 3 and 4 only

📍Which of the following best describes the term ‘import cover’, sometimes seen in the news? (GS1, 2016)
(a) It is the ratio of value of imports to the Gross Domestic Product of a country
(b) It is the total value of imports of a country in a year
(c) It is the ratio between the value of exports and that of imports between two countries
(d) It is the number of months of imports that could be paid for by a country’s international reserves

Previous year UPSC Mains Question Covering similar theme:
📍How would the recent phenomena of protectionism and currency manipulations in world trade effect macroeconomic stability of India? (GS3, 2018)

What data protection Bill says on privacy, Centre’s powers, right to info


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: 

• General Studies II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

• General Studies II: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story-The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 was passed in Lok Sabha on Monday by a voice vote. The Bill has retained the contents of the original version of the legislation proposed last November, including those that were red-flagged by privacy experts, such as exemptions for the Centre. In its new avatar, the proposed law has also accorded virtual censorship powers to the Centre. This is India’s second attempt at framing a privacy legislation, and comes after at least three previous iterations of a data protection law have been considered, and shelved, by the government. Next, the Bill will have to be passed by the Rajya Sabha before it becomes law.

• The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023-Key features

• What are the concerns around the draft Bill?

• What changes are likely?

• How does India’s proposal compare with other countries?

• Supreme Court on Right to Privacy (Justice K.S. Puttaswamy vs. Union of India, 2017)-know the verdict

• Justice B N Srikrishna committee recommendation on Data Protection-Know key recommendations

• What is data localisation? Know the Case for Data Localisation in India.

• What Srikrishna Committee Report says on data localisation?

• Initiative/steps taken by Government of India for Data Protection and Data Privacy-Know in detail

• Justice Raveendran Committee Report-Know in detail

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍LS passes personal data protection Bill

Previous year UPSC Mains Question Covering similar theme:

📍Examine the scope of Fundamental Rights in the light of the latest judgement of the Supreme Court on Right to Privacy. (GS2, 2017)

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