Ladakh’s demand of Sixth Schedule

In News

  • Recently, India’s Union Home Ministry evaded a reply on Ladakh’s inclusion under Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

Background of the issue

  • Demand of UT:
    • Buddhist-dominated Leh district had long demanded UT status because it felt neglected by the erstwhile state government, which was dominated by politicians from Kashmir and Jammu.
  • Separation from J&K:
    • On August 5, 2019, the former State of Jammu & Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union Territories — Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh, the latter without a Legislative Assembly.

Ladakh’s demand of Sixth Schedule

  • About:
  • After its special status was removed, several political groups in Ladakh have been demanding that land, employment, and the cultural identity of Ladakh, should be protected under the Sixth Schedule.
  • Amending LAHDC Act:
    • Ladakh’s only member in the Lok Sabha also demanded constitutional safeguards by amending the Ladakh Autonomous Hill District Council (LAHDC) Act for the protection of land, employment, and the cultural identity of Ladakh under the Sixth Schedule.
  • Other issues faced by Ladakh:
    • No decentralisation of power:
      • There had been four MLAs from the region in the erstwhile J&K Assembly; the administration of the region is now completely in the hands of bureaucrats. 
      • To many in Ladakh, the government now looks even more distant than Srinagar. 
    • Changed domicile policy in Jammu and Kashmir: 
      • Also, the changed domicile policy in Jammu and Kashmir has raised fears in the region about its own land, employment, demography, and cultural identity.
    • Limited Finances:
      • The UT has two Hill councils in Leh and Kargil, but neither is under the Sixth Schedule. 
      • Their powers are limited to collection of some local taxes such as parking fees and allotment and use of land vested by the Centre.
  • Recommendation of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes:
    • In September 2019, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes recommended the inclusion of Ladakh under the Sixth Schedule. 
      • The Commission took note of the fact that the newly created Union Territory of Ladakh is predominantly a tribal region in the country.
  • Report highlights of the Parliamentary Standing Committee:
    • The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs recently tabled a report in the Rajya Sabha.
    • The report stated that, according to the 2011 Census, the tribal population in the Union Territory of Ladakh is 2,18,355, that is 79.61% of the total population of 2,74,289. 
    • Special Status:
      • The committee recommended that special status may be granted to the Union Territory of Ladakh considering the developmental requirements of the tribal population. 
    • Examining the possibility of fifth or sixth Schedule: 
      • The Committee further recommends that the possibility of including Ladakh in fifth or sixth Schedule may be examined.

Centre’s opinion

  • Ensuring overall development:
    • Union Home Ministry opines that the main objective of the inclusion of tribal populations under the said schedule is to ensure their overall socio-economic development, which the Union Territory’s administration “has already been taking care of since its creation”.
  • Direct recruitment:
    • It added that the Ladakh administration had recently increased the reservation for Scheduled Tribes in direct recruitment from 10% to 45%, which would help the tribal population significantly in its development.
More about the Sixth ScheduleWhat is the Sixth Schedule?The Sixth Schedule under Article 244 provides for the formation of autonomous administrative divisions — Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) — that have some legislative, judicial, and administrative autonomy within a state.Application:The Sixth Schedule applies to the Northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram (three Councils each), and Tripura (one Council).About ADCs:ADCs have up to 30 members with a term of five years.They can make laws, rules and regulations with regard to land, forest, water, agriculture, village councils, health, sanitation, village- and town-level policing, inheritance, marriage and divorce, social customs and mining, etc. Exception:The Bodoland Territorial Council in Assam is an exception with more than 40 members and the right to make laws on 39 issues.

Scope for Ladakh’s inclusion in Sixth Schedule

  • Notes from the other states:
    • Notably, no region outside the Northeast has been included in the Sixth Schedule. 
    • In fact, even in Manipur, which has predominantly tribal populations in some places, the autonomous councils are not included in the Sixth Schedule. 
    • Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, which are totally tribal, are also not in the Sixth Schedule.
  • Difficulty:
    • The Constitution is very clear, Sixth Schedule is for the Northeast. For tribal areas in the rest of the country, there is the Fifth Schedule.
    • So, Ladakh’s inclusion in the Sixth Schedule would be difficult.

Recusal by Judges

In News

  • Recently, the Supreme Court judge recused herself from hearing a writ petition filed by Bilkis Bano against a Gujarat government decision to prematurely release 11 men sentenced to life imprisonment for gang-raping her during the 2002 riots.

About Judge Recusal

  • When there is a conflict of interest, a judge can withdraw from hearing a case to prevent creating a perception that she carried a bias while deciding the case.
    • For example, if the case pertains to a company in which the judge holds stakes, the apprehension would seem reasonable.
  • Similarly, if the judge has, in the past, appeared for one of the parties involved in a case, the call for recusal may seem right.
  • Another instance for recusal is when an appeal is filed in the Supreme Court against a judgement of a High Court that may have been delivered by the Supreme Court judge when she was in the High Court.
  • This practice stems from the cardinal principle of due process of law that nobody can be a judge in her case.
    • Any interest or conflict of interest would be a ground to withdraw from a case since a judge must act fair.
  • There have also been several cases where judges have refused to withdraw from a case.
    • For instance, in 2019, Justice Arun Mishra had controversially refused to recuse himself from a Constitution Bench set up to re-examine a judgement he had delivered previously, despite several requests from the parties. 
    • In the Ayodhya-Ramjanmabhoomi case, Justice U U Lalit recused himself from the Constitution Bench after parties brought to his attention that he had appeared as a lawyer in a criminal case relating to the case.

 Process For Recusal

  • Once a request is made for recusal, the decision to recuse or not rests with the judge.
  • While there are some instances where judges have recused even if they do not see a conflict but only because such apprehension was cast.

Causes of Recusal

  • The decision to recuse generally comes from the judge themself as it rests on the conscience and discretion of the judge to disclose any potential conflict of interest. 
  • Conflict of interest could be:
    • Judge’s Interest in the subject matter, or relationship with someone who is interested in it;
    • Judge’s Background or experience, such as the judge’s prior work as a lawyer;
    • Judge’s Personal knowledge about the parties or the facts of the case;
    • Judge’s Ex parte communications with lawyers or non-lawyers;
    • Judge’s Rulings, comments or conduct;
  • In some circumstances, lawyers or parties in the case bring it up before the judge.
    • If a judge recuses, the case is listed before the Chief Justice for allotment to a fresh Bench.

Legal Provisions for Recusal

  • There are no formal rules governing recusals, although several Supreme Court judgments have dealt with the issue.
    • In Ranjit Thakur v Union of India (1987), the Supreme Court held that the tests of the likelihood of bias are the reasonableness of the apprehension in the mind of the party. 
    • A Judge shall not hear and decide a matter in a company in which he holds shares unless he has disclosed his interest and no objection to his hearing and deciding the matter is raised,”
      • States the 1999 charter ‘Restatement of Values in Judicial Life’, a code of ethics adopted by the Supreme Court.

Challenges with Recusal

  • Questions Judicial Independence: An investigation into the cause or reason for recusal by a judge, particularly by a litigant, would itself be an interference with the course of justice.
  • Shortage of officers: It allows litigants to cherry-pick a bench of their choice, which leaves a small pool of judges to be able to hear Litigant’s case. Also it becomes an unfair practice.
  • Slowing Down the Process: Obstructions like these slower the already slow process of justice delivery.
  • No defining law: There are no rules to determine when the judges could recuse themselves. There are only different interpretations of the same situation.

Way Ahead

  • Recusal is also regarded as the abdication of duty. Maintaining institutional civilities are distinct from the fiercely independent role of the judge as an adjudicator.
  • It is the constitutional duty, as reflected in one’s oath, to be transparent and accountable, and hence, a judge is required to indicate reasons for his recusal from a particular case.

National Policy of Rare Diseases (NPRD)

In News

  • Recently, an MP raised concern over rare diseases, stating no patient has benefited from the new policy.

Key Points

  • Policy: 
    • The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare notified the NPRD in March 2021. 
    • In May 2022, it increased the funding support to ?50 lakh per patient with diseases classified as rare for their treatment.
  • Current Issue: 
    • The benefits of the National Policy of Rare Diseases (NPRD) not reaching any patient with rare diseases even after several months since its introduction.
    • The unending delay and lack of urgency on the part of the Centres of Excellence (CoE) has claimed several young lives and endangered the survival prospects of 415 patients, largely children, diagnosed with rare diseases.
      • These diseases included:
        • Lysosomal storage disorders, 
        • Gaucher disease, 
        • Pompe disease, 
        • MPS 1 and 2 and 
        • Fabry disease. 
    • Many CoEs were yet to seek financial support as per the policy for treating the patients.

Rare Diseases

  • Rare diseases (also called “Orphan” diseases) are broadly defined as diseases that infrequently occur in a population and three markers are used (the total number of people with the disease, its prevalence, and the availability/non-availability of treatment options).
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines a rare disease as having a frequency of less than 6.5-10 per 10,000 people.
    • As per an estimate, there are 7,000 known rare diseases with an estimated 300 million patients in the world.

Challenges in Fighting Rare Diseases

  • These diseases have differing definitions in various countries and present fundamentally different challenges from those of more common diseases.
    • According to the Organization for Rare Diseases India, rare diseases include inherited cancers, autoimmune disorders, congenital malformations, Hirschsprung’s disease, Gaucher disease, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophies and Lysosomal Storage Disorders (LSDs)
  • Less than 5% have therapies available to treat them and about 95% have no approved treatment and less than 1 in 10 patients receive disease-specific treatment.
  • Where drugs are available, they are prohibitively expensive, placing immense strain on resources and also the government has not been able to provide these for free.
  • This is most apparent during the clinical development stage when rarity significantly complicates the task.
    • Problems include the small number of patients, the logistics involved in reaching widely dispersed patients, the lack of validated biomarkers and surrogate end-points, and limited clinical expertise and expert centres.
  • In India, there is a lack of epidemiological data on the prevalence here and hence has only classified certain diseases as ‘rare’.
    • There are an estimated 70 million patients in India.

National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021

  • It offers financial support for one-time treatment of up to Rs. 20 lakh, introduces a crowdfunding mechanism, creates a registry of rare diseases and provides for early detection.
  • It was first prepared by the Centre in 2017 but was put on hold due to questions on its formation, criterias, cost sharing, beneficiaries, etc.
  • An expert group was constituted in 2018 to review these questions, which submitted its report in January 2021 and after a further round of consultation, the policy has been made public.
  • It categories ‘rare disease’ into three groups.
    • Group 1: Disorders amenable to one-time curative treatment.
      • Eligible for a one-time treatment cost of up to Rs. 20 lakh provided the beneficiaries conformed to definition of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and were treated in government tertiary care hospital, under the umbrella scheme of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN).
        • RAN provides for financial assistance to patients, living below poverty line (BPL) and who are suffering from major life threatening diseases, to receive medical treatment at any of the super specialty Government hospitals/institutes.
    • Group 2: Diseases requiring long term/lifelong treatment having relatively lower cost of treatment and benefit has been documented in literature and annual or more frequent surveillance is required.
      • States could “consider” supporting patients of such rare diseases that could be managed with special diets or hormonal supplements.
    • Group 3: Diseases for which definitive treatment is available but challenges are to make optimal patient selection for benefit, very high cost and lifelong therapy.
  • The government would notify selected Centres of Excellence at premier government hospitals for comprehensive management of rare diseases.
    • The Centres of Excellence would be provided a one-time grant to a maximum of Rs. 5 crore each for infrastructure development for screening, tests, treatment.


  • It will increase focus on indigenous research and local production of medicines.
  • Under crowdfunding, corporates and individuals will be encouraged to extend financial support through a robust IT platform.
  • The national hospital-based registry will ensure adequate data and comprehensive definitions of such diseases.
  • Early screening and detection will help the prevention of rare diseases.

Concerns Related to the Policy

  • It offers no support to patients under the earlier National Policy for Treatment of Rare Diseases 2017.
  • Patients with Group 3 rare diseases are left to fend for themselves due to lack of proper selection criteria.
  • In the absence of a sustainable funding support for Group 3 patients, the lives of all patients, mostly children, are now at risk and at the mercy of crowdfunding.
  • Even Group 1 is only for a few and Group 2 has been openly left for the State government.
  • The policy fails to capture that these diseases last a lifetime and also does not realise that people might not be able to even make it to the prescribed tertiary hospitals for treatment.
  • Diseases such as LSD for which definitive treatment is available, but costs are prohibitive, have been categorised as Group 3. However, no funding has been allocated for the immediate and lifelong treatment needs, for therapies already approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI).

Sino-India clash at Yangtse

In News

  • Recently the Chinese troops unilaterally tried to alter the status quo on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh.

More about the news

  • Location of Clash:
    • Soldiers of the two sides clashed in an area called Yangtse, in the upper reaches of Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh. 
    • The entire state itself, and within it, Tawang, are areas of serious contestation between India and China.
  • About: 
    • India’s defence Minister stated that the move by the Chinese troops was contested by Indian soldiers in a firm and resolute manner.
    • He also stated that the ensuing face-off led to a physical scuffle in which the Indian Army bravely prevented the PLA [People’s Liberation Army] from transgressing into Indian territory and compelled Chinese troops to return to their posts. 
    • The scuffle also led to injuries to a few personnel on both sides.
    • Both sides immediately disengaged from the area after the scuffle.


  • India-USA Military exercise:
    • The Yangtse incident came days after China said that the joint India-US military exercise Operation Yudhabhyas had violated the terms of the 1993 and 1996 border agreements.
  • Significance of Tawang:
    • Historical:
      • Tawang is the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama and an important pilgrimage centre for Tibetan Buddhists. 
      • The 14th Dalai Lama took refuge in Tawang after he crossed over from Tibet to India in 1959, spending some days in the monastery there before proceeding further.
    • Agreed area:
      • Within Tawang, there are three “agreed areas” of differing Indian and Chinese perceptions of the LAC. 
      • Yangtse, which is about 25 km from Tawang town, north of the Lungroo grazing ground, is one of these areas. 
      • As a result, it has been the site of regular “physical contact” between the Indian Army and the PLA, especially as the high ground is on the Indian side, giving it a commanding view of the Chinese side.
  • Diversion from other issues:
    • It is also being claimed that the PLA’s motivation for creating a new crisis along the disputed border, this time in the east appears to be to extend the points of confrontation and keep the issue of India-China border alive at a time when the world is engaged in overcoming multiple crisis emanating from the War in Ukraine.

Areas of dispute between India & China

  • There are infirmities in India’s boundary with China, both in the east and the west.
  • In the Western sector: 
    • Here India shares a 2152 km long border with China, and territorial disputes over Aksai Chin region of Jammu and Kashmir, with both countries claiming the region as their own.
    • The recent dispute is around the region of the northern bank of Pangong Tso lake, Demchok and the Galwan Valley. 
  • In the middle sector: 
    • Here India roughly shares about a 625 km long boundary with China with a few minor disputes regarding Tibet. 
  • In the Eastern Sector: 
    • Here India shares a 1,140 km long boundary with China and this boundary line is called McMahon Line
    • The major dispute here is around the region of Tawang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh, Chumbi Valley (Dokalam Tri-Junction) which India shares with Bhutan.

Current Scenario of India-China Border engagement

  • Post Galwan Clash:
    • The clash in Tawang took place two and a half years after the deadly encounter between the two sides in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh in June 2020.
  • Disengagement at “friction points”:
    • After the Galwan Valley Enounter, the two sides held 16 rounds of talks for disengagement at the so-called “friction points”.
      • In other words, friction points are the areas where the incursions had taken place, and Indian patrolling parties were being prevented from accessing places that they had patrolled earlier.
  • Creation of “buffer areas”:
    • The disengagement has led to the withdrawal of both sides from eyeballing each other at such places, including Galwan, Pangong Lake, Gogra and Hot Springs, and the creation of “buffer areas” at these places.
      • While this has reduced the chances of hair-trigger situations, the status quo that existed before the incursions has not been restored.
  • Issues:
    • China’s Infrastructure development:
      • The de-escalation of tensions envisaged under this plan has proved elusive, infrastructure development on the Chinese side has continued apace, including the building of roads and even two bridges over Pangong Tso, giving the PLA easier access to the souther bank of the lake.
    • Deployment of troops:
      • Over the last two years, the deployment of troops in the forward areas of the LAC at Ladakh has become a permanent feature. 
      • The Chinese activation in the eastern sector is to be viewed against this backdrop of military tensions, and serves to divide the attention of India’s security planners as it deals with new situations.

Way ahead

  • As stated by India’s External Affairs Minister, India-China relations cannot be normalised without peace and tranquility on the border.
  • The best lesson that we can learn from our 1962 debacle is that India must never lower its guard and must deploy sufficient military and logistics capabilities to respond to any surprise from the Chinese side.
  • To ensure that the nation’s security interests are fully protected, the government should step up the development of border infrastructure, including the construction of roads, bridges, etc.

The objective of creating infrastructure along the border areas should not only be to meet India’s strategic and security requirements but also facilitate the economic development of these areas.

Fusion energy Breakthrough

In News

  • Recently, Scientists in the United States have achieved a net gain in energy for the first time from a nuclear fusion reaction which is considered as the most dependable source of energy in future.
    • The experiment was conducted at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. 

More about the news

  • Different Methods: 
    • Scientists use high-energy laser beams to achieve these temperatures which is also called inertial fusion
    • At the international collaborative project in southern France called ITER in which India is a partner used very strong magnetic fields for the same purpose which is the second method of producing this energy.
      • The ITER project is expected to demonstrate the viability of a commercially scalable nuclear fusion reactor between 2035 and 2040.
    • Some countries are trying laser-based inertial fusion as well.
  • It is relatively easier to attain break-even energy levels through inertial fusion compared to magnetic fusion.

What is fusion technology?

  • Meaning: It is a powerful way of harnessing the immense energy trapped in the nucleus of an atom.
  • Background: Attempts to master the fusion process have been going on at least since the 1950s, but it is incredibly difficult and is still at an experimental stage.
  • Difference in both the processes:
  • Fission Process: The nuclear energy currently in use across the world comes from the fission process in which the nucleus of a heavier element is split into those of lighter elements in a controlled manner. 
  • Fusion Process: Here, the nuclei of two lighter elements are made to fuse together to form the nucleus of a heavier atom.
    • The fusion of two nuclei of a heavier isotope of hydrogen, called tritium produces at least four times as much energy as the fission of a uranium atom which is the normal process of generating electricity in a nuclear reactor. 
    • Fusion is also a carbon-free source of energy and has negligible radiation risks.
  • A large amount of energy is released in both these processes, but the energy is more in fusion than fission.

Major Challenge

  • Requirement of huge energy: Fusion reactions happen only at very high temperatures which is 10 times the temperature that exists at the core of the Sun and creating such an extreme environment in a laboratory requires huge amounts of energy.
  • Lower energy in these experiments: The energy released in such experimental fusion reactions have been lower than what is consumed to create the enabling high temperatures.
  • Future potential: Use of the fusion process for generating electricity at a commercial scale is still two to three decades away.
  • Shorter time for the experiment: The fusion reactions currently being run in labs last for barely a few seconds. Those based on laser beams run for even shorter times. It is difficult to sustain such extreme high temperatures for prolonged periods. 

Way forward

  • Obtaining net energy gain is a very important step but we are still far away from reactor grade fusion reactions.
  • Several countries like: China, Japan, UK and South Korea, are working on this technology separately as well, apart from collaborating at ITER. 
  • Recently, UK-based JET laboratory: which uses magnetic fusion, has improved its own previous record for energy produced from a fusion reaction. 
ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor)It is an international nuclear fusion research and engineering megaproject aimed at creating energy by replicating on Earth the fusion processes of the Sun. When operational it would become the biggest machine anywhere in the world which would be more complex than the Large Hadron Collider at CERN or the LIGO project to detect gravitational waves.Currently, the ITER reactor is in the machine assembly phase.India joined the ITER project in 2005. The Institute for Plasma Research in Ahmedabad, a laboratory under the Department of Atomic Energy, is the lead institution from the Indian side participating in the project.

Solar Power Projects

In News

  • The Union government has so far sanctioned the development of solar projects with a capacity of nearly 39,000 MW but only a fourth have been commissioned so far. 

About Solar Energy 

  • Solar energy is any type of energy generated by the sun.
  • Solar energy is created by nuclear fusion that takes place in the sun.
    • Fusion occurs when protons of hydrogen atoms violently collide in the sun’s core and fuse to create a helium atom
Data/ FactsIndia had committed to installing 175,000 MW of renewable energy by 2022 of which 100,000 MW was to be solar power. As of October 2022, 61,000 MW of solar power had been installed so far.

Major Challenges

  • Cancellation: Some solar parks had been cancelled due to their slow progress.
  • Land Acquisition: The key challenge currently is hurdle in acquisition of land for the projects.
  • There is a mismatch in the time taken to set up a project and the infrastructure to route the power produced to the grid.
  • Environmental issues: The habitat of the Great Indian Bustard which is a critically endangered species in Rajasthan has been encroached upon by solar power projects particularly by transmission lines that endanger the bird.
  • Impact of Covid-19: The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown up tough challenges. The pace of renewable energy projects development and commissioning has been adversely impacted.
  • Cost: The Supreme Court has directed that power companies should lay underground cables in solar parks in Rajasthan which is an impractical step and would greatly raise the cost of solar power.

Major Programmes in Renewable Energy Sector 

  • National Solar Mission (NSM) 
    • The NSM was launched with the objective of establishing India as a global leader in solar energy, by creating the policy conditions for solar technology diffusion across the country.
    • The initial target of NSM was to install 20 GW solar power by 2022.
      • This was upscaled to 100 GW in early 2015. 
  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) 
    • It was launched in 2019 and it aims to help farmers access reliable day-time solar power for irrigation, reduce power subsidies, and decarbonise agriculture. 
    • PM-KUSUM provides farmers with incentives to install solar power pumps and plants in their fields. 
  • Atal Jyoti Yojana (AJAY) Phase-II
    • A Scheme for the installation of solar street lights with 25% fund contribution from MPLAD Funds. 
  • Solar Parks Scheme
    • Solar parks provide solar power developers with a plug and play model, by facilitating necessary infrastructure like land, power evacuation facilities, road connectivity, water facility etc. along with all statutory clearances.

Way forward

  • Creating an innovation and manufacturing eco-system in the country which will enable supply of firm and dispatchable power from renewables etc. are issues which need urgent attention.
  • Renewable energy technologies are still evolving in terms of technological maturity and cost competitiveness, and face numerous market related, economic and social barriers.
  • There is a need to strengthen the steps to promote domestic manufacturing in the Renewable Energy sector (Atma Nirbhar Bharat Policy). 

Stiff-Person Syndrome

In News

French-Canadian singer Celine Dion has opened up about being diagnosed with Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS),

About Stiff person syndrome

  • It is a rare autoimmune neurological condition that affects the central nervous system and can cause rigidity throughout the body and painful muscle spasms.
    •  It was first coined in the 1920s (as “stiff man syndrome”) after doctors described patients falling over like “a wooden man.”
  • It frequently affects women with a median onset of 35 to 40 years of age.
  • Causes: the cause behind SPS is not fully understood yet, “there have been reports that spasms occur at any random time and can be triggered by loud noises, touch, and emotional distress
  • Symptoms: Symptoms may include stiff muscles in the trunk (torso), arms, and legs; and greater sensitivity to noise, touch, and emotional distress, which can set off muscle spasms.
  • Treatment: Several symptoms improve with oral diazepam (an anti-anxiety and muscle relaxant drug) or with drugs that alleviate muscle spasms, such as baclofen or gabapentin.
    • Treatment involves the use of both symptomatic agents to enhance GABAergic influences and Immuno modulating treatment aimed at the autoimmune basis of the disease
    • Corticosteroids are rarely used as Immuno modulating agents in Stiff Person Syndrome because of a high incidence of concurrent diabetes mellitus,

Cervical cancer

In News

India will launch HPV vaccine CERVAVAC   for preventing cervical cancer in 2023,


  • Cervical cancer: It is cancer that starts in the cells of the cervix. The cervix is the lower, narrow end of the uterus (womb). The cervix connects the uterus to the vagina (birth canal). Cervical cancer usually develops slowly over time. 
  • It is the second most common cancer in females after breast cancer, is a major threat faced by women in India.
    • Over 15 percent of the total cervical cancer deaths in the world occur in India1 with one woman succumbing to cervical cancer every eight minutes.
      • These numbers reflect the grim reality, but a silver lining is that this statistic can be changed, as cervical cancer is a preventable and treatable disease.
  • Effective primary (HPV vaccination) and secondary prevention approaches (screening for, and treating precancerous lesions) will prevent most cervical cancer cases.
  • CERVAVAC: Developed by SII, was approved by the Drug Controller General of India in July 2022.
    • CERVAVAC is a quadrivalent vaccine, meaning it is effective against at least four variants of cancer-causing Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), and resulted from a partnership of DBT’s Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that supported Serum’s development efforts.


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