The Prime Minister had inaugurated the national Animal Disease Control Program at Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura. It aims to eradicate 2 major diseases affecting the Indian livestock- Foot and Mouth Disease/ FMD and the Brucellosis. Both these diseases are of major concern, especially to the dairy industry.
Anti-conversion laws enacted in various states are under scrutiny for their ambiguity and the lack of valid justifications for their existence. Vague terms used in them pose significant challenges to the fundamental rights provided by the Indian constitution. In this backdrop, the Supreme Court has recently agreed to examine the constitutional validity of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand anti-conversion laws. However, it refused to stay these controversial legislations.
On February 2020, a Lok Sabha MP stated that the government should immediately put all issues pertaining to reservations for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution so that they are not challenged in the court. This statement comes days after the Supreme Court ruled that the reservation in the matter of promotions of the public post was not a fundamental right and that a state cannot be compelled to offer quota if it chooses not to. The Ninth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, since its enactment, remains a contentious issue as its constitutionality is questioned.
External Affairs Minister S.Jaishankar, on December 9, 2019, introduced Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha. The introduction of the Bill comes days after 18 Indians aboard a crude oil carrier were kidnapped off the coast of Nigeria. This Bill provides for stringent punishment, including the death penalty to those who are involved in acts of maritime piracy. It was criticised by the opposition for the inclusion of the death penalty. It was referred to the parliamentary standing committee on external affairs chaired by former Union Minister P.P.Choudhary.