Reading Time: 5 mins With the growing instances of attacks on healthcare workers and police officers, who are engaged in tracking and treating patients suffering from COVID-19, at least two states, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have booked offenders under the National Security Act. Though the invocation of the National Security Act is necessary under these circumstances, changes must be made so that this law is not exploited by the authorities due to the loopholes that exist within its provisions.
Reading Time: 8 mins On 24th March 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a nation-wide lockdown, from 25th March 2020 to 14th April 2020. The nationwide lockdown aims to combat the COVID-19 outbreak that is infecting thousands of people across the country and is intended to enable the concept of “social distancing” to contain the spread of the virus. The lockdown has legal backing based on Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and Disaster Management Act, 2005.
Reading Time: 16 mins The deadly new strain of coronavirus, COVID-19, has taken the lives of over thousands of people across the world. India is also currently facing a rapid spread of the infection, leading to the government putting the whole country under 21-day lockdown. This seems to do little to no impact as many people are either unwilling or cannot abide by the lockdown rules. Increasing the number of tests and rapid strengthening of the country’s healthcare system is a need of the hour.
Reading Time: 5 mins The news about the death of a man in China due to hantavirus on March 24th sent shockwaves in the countries already reeling under the coronavirus crisis.
Reading Time: 6 mins Updates *
On February 7th, 2020, with regards to Mukesh Kumar Vs the State of Uttarakhand case, the Supreme Court ruled that states are not legally bound to provide reservations to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in government jobs. The apex court had stated that individuals do not have the fundamental rights to claim reservations in the promotions. This is based on the provisions of the Indian constitution. This recent judgement is not new. The top court had pointed out the fact that reservations are not fundamental rights in several judgements in the past.
Reading Time: 6 mins On March 11, 2020, the Cabinet Secretary announced that all states and UTs should invoke provisions of Section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 so that Health Ministry advisories are enforceable. As the number of cases in India has crossed 120 and is already in Stage 2 (local transition) of COVID-19, it is vital to enforce necessary measures to prevent the country from moving to stage 3, which involves community transmission of the disease. The Epidemic Diseases Act, despite being more than 100 years old, is playing a crucial role in dealing with the current outbreak. However, this colonial-era law has numerous limitations that need to be reformed to prepare the country of future epidemic outbreaks.
Reading Time: 7 mins Since conducting its second nuclear tests in 1998, India had adhered to a self-imposed commitment to “No First Use” of nuclear weapons on another country. However, on August 16th, 2019, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had hinted that in future India’s “no first use” policy “depends on circumstances”. Following this episode, the Defence Minister had effectively reduced the already bleak chances of India becoming a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. However, in the current situation, it matters very little for India as it already has the necessary benefits it needs to expand and operate its nuclear programme.