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Table of Contents:


GS Paper 2:

1. National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019 (NCIM).

2. Ranking of Aspirational districts.

3. Karnataka anti-superstition law.

4. Neglected diseases.

5. West Asia Peace Plan.


GS Paper 3:



Facts for Prelims:

1. Nagoba Jatara.


GS Paper  : 2


Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019 (NCIM)

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: NCIM- objectives, composition and functions.

Context: The Union Cabinet has given its approval for proposal of Official Amendments in the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019 (NCIM).

About NCIM and it’s objectives:

The main objective of establishing NCIM is to promote equity by ensuring adequate supply of quality medical professionals and enforce high ethical standards in all aspects of medical services in Indian System of Medicine.

  • The Commission will promote availability of affordable healthcare services in all parts of the country.
  • The Commission has been structured to streamline the functions related to academic standards, evaluation, assessment and accreditation of educational institutions pertaining to Indian System of Medicine.

Composition of NCIM:

  1. The NCISM will consist of 29 members, appointed by the central government.
  2. A Search Committee will recommend names to the central government for the post of Chairperson, part time members, and presidents of the four autonomous boards set up under the NCISM.
  3. These posts will have a maximum term of four years.
  4. The Search Committee will consist of five members including the Cabinet Secretary and three experts nominated by the central government (of which two should have experience in any of the fields of Indian System of Medicine).

Functions of the NCISM include:

  1. Framing policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals of Indian System of Medicine.
  2. Assessing the requirements of healthcare related human resources and infrastructure.
  3. Ensuring compliance by the State Medical Councils of Indian System of Medicine of the regulations made under the Bill.
  4. Ensuring coordination among the autonomous boards set up under the Bill.

Sources: pib.


Topics Covered: Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders

Ranking of Aspirational districts

What to study?

For Prelims: About Aspirational Districts Programme, key performers.

For Mains: Significance and the need for such programmes.

Context: NITI Aayog recently released the ranking of Aspirational Districts of the country for the month of December 2019.

Performance of various states:

  1. The Chandauli district of UP topped the list followed by Bolangir of Odisha, YSR (AP) in second and third positions respectively.

How are districts ranked?

The districts have been ranked in a transparent basis on parameters across various performance indicators like Health and Nutrition, Education, Skill Development and Basic Infrastructure among others.

The rankings are based on the data that is publicly available through the Champions of Change Dashboard, which includes data entered on a real-time basis at the district level.

About Aspirational Districts Programme:

  1. The programme aims to quickly and effectively transform some of the most underdeveloped districts of the country.
  2. The broad contours of the programme are Convergence (of Central & State Schemes), Collaboration (of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors), and Competition among districts driven by a Mass Movement or a Jan Andolan.
  3. With States as the main drivers, this program will focus on the strength of each district, identify low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement, measure progress, and rank districts.

Focus of the programme:

To enable optimum utilization of their potential, this program focuses closely on improving people’s ability to participate fully in the burgeoning economy. Health & Nutrition, Education, Agriculture & Water Resources, Financial Inclusion & Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure are this programme’s core areas of focus.

Significance of the scheme:

If these districts are transformed, there would be tremendous improvement in the internal security environment of the country. If Prabhari officers can bring convergence in the development efforts of different Ministries and state Governments and the schemes specially launched by Home Ministry in these districts, it would serve as a great opportunity to ensure rapid development in the country.

Sources: the hindu.


Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Karnataka anti-superstition law

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview of the law.

For Mains: Need for and significance of the law.

Context: A controversial anti-superstition law in Karnataka has formally been notified by the current government.

It is called the Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Act, 2017.

The bill bans the following:

  1. Performing any inhumane act, evil practices and black magic in search of treasure, bounty.
  2. Tantric acts including physical and sexual assault.
  3. Parading anyone naked.
  4. Ostracising anyone in the name of ritual and encouraging inhumane acts.
  5. Creating impression of ‘possession’ and exorcism.
  6. Assaulting people under the garb of exorcism.
  7. Spreading misinformation and creating panic in the garb of ghosts, black magic.
  8. Making claims of healing power.
  9. Propagating practices that involve self-mutilation.
  10. Coercing people to perform fire-walking.

What is not banned?

  1. The form of the worship such as Pradakshina, Yatra, Parikrama performed at religious places.
  2. Harikata, Keerthana, Pravachana, Bhajana, teaching of ancient and traditional learning and arts, practice, propagation and circulation.
  3. Miracles of the deceased saints propagation, publicity and circulation of the same and the propagation, publicity and distribution of literature about miracles of the religious preachers which do not cause physical injury.
  4. Performance of prayers, upasana and religious rituals at home, temple, darghas, gurdwara, pagoda, church, and other religious places which do not cause physical injury.
  5. All religious celebrations, festivals, prayers, procession and other act relating other rituals.
  6. Piercing of ears and nose of children in accordance with rituals and performance of religious ritual such as Kesh Lochan by the Jains.
  7. Advice in regard to vaastu shasthra, and advice by jyothishya and other astrologers.

Need for a law:

Inhuman practices in the name of religion in the country are a cause of worry. In Maharashtra, there were several cases where people murdered or brutally injured others and held them responsible for some deaths in their families, merely on suspicion.

So, a law to prevent exploitation in the name of religion is necessary.

 Sources: the hindu.


Topics Covered: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.

Neglected diseases

What to study?

For Prelims: What are neglected tropical diseases?

For Mains: Neglected diseases- spread, vulnerable sections, concerns, measures and the need for international cooperation.

Context: January 30, 2020 is the first-ever World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day(World NTD Day), a day when we celebrate the achievements made towards control of the world’s NTDs, yet recognize the daunting challenges we face in the control and elimination of these conditions.

Policies on neglected diseases research in India:

  1. The National Health Policy (2017)sets an ambition to stimulate innovation to meet health needs and ensure that new drugs are affordable for those who need them most, but it does not specifically tackle neglected diseases.
  2. The National Policy on Treatment of Rare Diseases (2018)includes infectious tropical diseases and identifies a need to support research on treatments for rare diseases. It has not yet prioritised diseases and areas for research funding or how innovation would be supported.

What’s missing?

  1. A comprehensive policy to foster research and innovation in drug discovery, diagnostics, and vaccine development in neglected tropical diseases is lacking.
  2. While political intent and will are expressed in a few, clear operational plans and funding mechanisms are not specified. Consequently, follow-up action is patchy or absent.
  3. No institutional mechanism exists at a national level to identify gaps in neglected diseases research, set priorities, liaise with research institutions, or monitor research output.
  4. There is often no coordination between the various funding and research bodies to prioritise the research agenda and minimise duplication.

Why are some tropical diseases called “neglected”?

The people who are most affected by these diseases are often the poorest populations, living in remote, rural areas, urban slums or conflict zones. Neglected tropical diseases persist under conditions of poverty and are concentrated almost exclusively in impoverished populations in the developing world.

Challenges and concerns:

  1. Lacking a strong political voice, people affected by these tropical diseases have a low profile and status in public health priorities.
  2. Lack of reliable statistics and unpronounceable names of diseases have all hampered efforts to bring them out of the shadows.
  3. Neglected tropical diseases affect more than 1 billion people, primarily poor populations living in tropical and subtropical climates.
  4. They are frequently clustered together geographically and individuals are often afflicted with more than one parasite or infection.
  5. More than 70% of countries and territories that report the presence of neglected tropical diseases are low-income or lower middle-income economies.


  1. Infections are caused by unsafe water, poor housing conditions and poor sanitation.
  2. Children are the most vulnerable to these diseases, which kill, impair or permanently disable millions of people every year, often resulting in life-long physical pain and social stigmatization.


Many neglected tropical diseases can be prevented, eliminated or even eradicated with improved access to existing safe and cost-effective tools. Control relies on simple interventions that can be carried out by non-specialists — for example schoolteachers, village heads and local volunteers — in community-based preventive action.

Need of hour:

  1. A unified programme on neglected diseases encompassing research and elimination measures is likely to have a greater impact in prioritising the matter in the health agenda and streamlining efforts towards disease elimination.
  2. Creating an enabling environment for research and innovation will be crucial if India is to achieve the target set in sustainable development goal 3.3 to end epidemics of neglected tropical diseases by 2030.

Sources: the hindu.


Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

West Asia Peace Plan

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview of the plan.

For Mains: Need for, significance and the issues involved.

Context: The West Asia peace plan was recently unveiled by U.S. President Trump.

What is it all about?

It plans to revive the stalled two-state talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians. 

It seeks to give the Israelis an expansive state with Jerusalem as its “undivided capital” and tight security control over a future Palestinian state.

Key highlights of the plan:

  1. It proposes an independent Palestinian state and the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over West Bank settlements.
  2. As per the plan, Israel would be allowed to annex the Jewish settlements on the West Bank as well as the Jordan Valley.
  3. The Palestinian refugees, who were forced out from their homes during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that followed the declaration of the state of Israel in the historic Palestine, would not be allowed to return. They could move to the future Palestinian state, be integrated into the host countries or settled in other regional countries.
  4. Land swap: The plan proposes some land swap for the Israeli annexation of the West Bank Jewish settlements. It seeks to enlarge Gaza and connect the strip with the West Bank through a tunnel.
  5. US has also proposed $50 billion in investment over 10 years should Palestine accept the proposals. In the final settlement, Palestine would get control over more land than what it currently controls.


Both Israel and the Palestinians hold competing claims to the holy city. The Palestinians insist that East Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in the 1967 Middle East war, be the capital of their future state.

How has the Palestine reacted?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the plans as a “conspiracy”. Thousands are protesting against this.

The Palestinians want an independent state of their own, comprising the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

India’s response:

  • India urged both Israel and Palestine to “engage with each other, including on the recent proposals put forward by the United States, and find an acceptable two-state solution for peaceful coexistence”.
  • India has since long been maintaining that Israel-Palestine conflict should be resolved through negotiation “resulting in sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living within secure and recognized borders, side by side at peace with Israel as endorsed in the Quartet Roadmap and relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions”.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  : 3


Topics covered: Cyber security related issues.

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)

What to study?

For Prelims: CCTNS, NCRB.

For Mains: CCTNS- need and benefits, smart policing, police reforms.

 Context: NCRB has launched two online national-level services related to Search of Missing Persons and to Generate Vehicle NOC.

  • These police-related citizen-centric services have been launched on Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS).
  • The services can be accessed through ‘’ portal or through a link in the existing ‘Digital Police Portal’.

What is CCTNS project?

Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) is a project initiated in June 2009 which aims at creating a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of policing at the Police Station level. This will be done through adoption of principles of e-Governance, and creation of a nationwide networked infrastructure for evolution of IT-enabled state-of-the-art tracking system around “investigation of crime and detection of criminals”. CCTNS is a Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the National e-Governance Plan of Govt. of India.

What it does?

  1. The Project will interconnect about 15000 Police Stations and additional 5000 offices of supervisory police officers across the country and digitize data related to FIR registration, investigation and charge sheets in all Police Stations.
  2. It will not only automate Police functions at Police station and higher levels but will also create facilities and mechanism to provide public services like registration of online complaints, ascertaining the status of case registered at the police station, verification of persons etc.
  3. In 2015, an additional objective of establishing a basic platform for an Inter-operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS)was added to the Project.


  1. The Full implementation of the Project with all the new components would lead to a Central citizen portal having linkages with State level citizen portals that will provide a number of citizen friendly services like Police Verification for various purposes including passport verification, reporting a crime including cyber-crime and online tracking of the case progress etc.
  2. The project will enable National level crime analytics to be published at increased frequency, which will help the policy makers as well as lawmakers in taking appropriate and timely action, it will also enable Pan-India criminal/accused name search in the regional language for improved inter-state tracking of criminal movement. This would lead to development of a national database of crimes and criminals.

Sources: pib.


Facts for Prelims


Nagoba Jatara:

Context: A month-long Nagoba Jatra festival has come to an end in Telangana.

What is it?

  • It is a tribal festival held in Telangana.
  • Also known as Keslapur jatara.
  • It is a huge religious and cultural event of the Boigutta branch of Mesram clan of the aboriginal Raj Gond and Pardhan tribes.
  • During the festival, the maha puja of serpent god Nagoba is held.
  • The Gusadi Dance performance by dancers from the Gond tribe is a major special attraction of the event.