27th December – Prelims Booster

Study warns of growing cancer burden in India

A study tracing the growing burden of cancer in India states the most of the increase in cancer incidences are attributable to its epidemiological transition and improvement in the use of cancer diagnostics.

Study –

  • The paper was published in the Journal of Global Oncology which is promoted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
  • The study has stated that while cancer like diseases were documented since antiquity, recording of cancer in India began in the 19th century when the Western practices of biopsy and pathological examination came to India during the colonial British regime.

Cancer in History –

  • Evidence of cancer in early humans were found in a review of 154 paleopathological studies dating back to 1.8 million years in historic and Egyptian and German sites.
  • However, the study, “History of Growing Burden of Cancer in India from Antiquity to 21st century”, published recently in the Journal of Global Oncology states that no comprehensive historical review could be gathered scanning through the voluminous data on medical literature from pre-historic times.
  • There have been no records at the Indus Valley civilisation or Deccan Chalcolithic sites except for mention of some benign osteomas.
  • There are mentions to cancer-like symptoms in many ancient texts including the ‘Atharva Veda’ and two ancient medical systems, Ayurveda and Siddha, which have been more than 2,500 years. These texts mention the use of surgery and herbal medications for these diseases.
  • The ancient medieval classics of India have devoted little attention to cancer like illnesses, suggesting a low prevalence of cancer in those times.


Ban on surgeries on intersex minors

Intersex individuals and rights organisations have sought a national ban on unnecessary medical surgeries conducted on children with intersex traits and appealed to the Union Government to protect their human rights.

Why the demand?

The demand for a nationwide ban comes months after the Tamil Nadu government banned normative surgeries on infants and children except in life-threatening situations after a historic judgment of the Madras High Court on April 22, 2019.

Impact –

If adopted nationally, India could become only the third country after Malta and Taiwan to have a legal regime which protects the rights of intersex children.

How intersex is different from transgender?

Individuals who identify as transgender have a gender that is different from the one traditionally associated with the sex they were assigned at birth, while intersex refers to people born with biological or physical characteristics that are more diverse than stereotypical male or female bodies.

India eyes 60% share of global ship recycling business

With a new legislation in place, India aims to garner at least 60% of the global ship recycling business and emerge as a key destination for recycling warships and other ships.

About Ship Recycling Act, 2019 –

  • The Recycling of Ships Act, 2019 restricts and prohibits the use or installation of hazardous materials, which applies irrespective of whether a ship is meant for recycling or not. For new ships, such restriction or prohibition on use of hazardous materials will be immediate, that is, from the date the legislation comes into force, while existing ships shall have a period of five years for compliance. Restriction or prohibition on use of hazardous materials would not be applied to warships and non-commercial ships operated by Government.Ships shall be surveyed and certified on the inventory of hazardous materials used in ships.
  • Under this Act, ship recycling facilities are required to be authorised and ships shall be recycled only in such authorised ship recycling facilities.This Act also provides that ships shall be recycled in accordance with a ship-specific recycling plan. Ships to be recycled in India shall be required to obtain a Ready for Recycling Certificate in accordance with the HKC.
  • The Act imposes a statutory duty on ship recyclers to ensure safe and environmentally sound removal and management of hazardous wastes from ships. Appropriate penal provisions have been introduced in the Act to deter any violation of statutory provisions.

Significance –

  • The contributed from ship recycling activities to country’s GDP would reach $2.2 billion, almost double compared to the current level.
  • Currently, India recycles 300 of the 1,000 ships which are demolished per annum globally.
  • The Recycling of Ship Acts, 2019 ratifies the Hong Kong convention and would facilitate an environment friendly process of recycling ships and adequate safety for yard workers.

Good-Governance Index

Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has launched the ‘Good Governance Index’ at the occasion of ‘Good Governance Day’ which is celebrated on December 25 annually.

About GGI –

The GGI takes into consideration ten sectors – 1). Agriculture and Allied Sectors, 2). Commerce & Industries, 3). Human Resource Development, 4). Public Health, 5). Public Infrastructure & Utilities, 6). Economic Governance, 7). Social Welfare & Development, 8). Judicial & Public Security, 9). Environment and 10). Citizen-Centric Governance.

Need and objectives –

  • The Good Governance Index is a uniform tool across States to assess the Status of Governance and impact of various interventions taken up by the State Government and UTs.
  • The objectives of GGI are to provide quantifiable data to compare the state of governance in all states and UTs, enable states and UTs to formulate and implement suitable strategies for improving governance and shift to result oriented approaches and administration.

About ‘Good Governance Day’ –

The Good Governance Day is observed on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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