1) US Debt Ceiling Crisis – If the House of Representatives and the President’s White House are unable to come to an agreement to increase or suspend the debt ceiling, the US will default on its obligations by June 1 according to the Treasury Secretary of the US.
- The debt ceiling is the maximum amount of money that the U.S. government is legally allowed to borrow to fund its expenses and obligations. It was established in 1917 during World War I.
- As of now, the current debt limit is set at USD 31.4 trillion. This means that the government cannot exceed borrowing beyond this amount without congressional approval.
2) G20 Countries and Disaster Risk Reduction: India recently hosted the first G20 Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group (DRR WG) conference, during which India emphasised the need of disaster risk reduction (DRR).
- The G20 catastrophe Risk Resilience Working Group has urged states to create a social protection system with a reliable and preferable method of paying catastrophe risk.
- In the most recent World Risk Index, four of the top ten most susceptible nations are G20 countries.
- The anticipated total yearly average loss in the G20 countries alone is USD 218 billion, or 9% of their average annual infrastructure spending.
3) Narco Analysis Test: Protesting wrestlers at Jantar Mantar, Delhi have expressed their willingness to undergo narco analysis tests with the condition that it is monitored by the Supreme Court and broadcasted live for the entire country to witness.
- In a narco analysis test, a drug called sodium pentothal is injected into the body of the accused, which transports them to a hypnotic or sedated state in which their imagination is neutralised.
- Sodium pentothal, or sodium thiopental, is a fast-acting, short-duration anaesthetic used in larger doses to sedate patients during surgery.
- It belongs to the barbiturate class of drugs that act on the central nervous system as depressants.
- Selvi vs State of Karnataka & Anr Case 2010: The apex court held that narco tests violate the fundamental right against self-incrimination under Article 20(3) of the Constitution, which states that no person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.
- D.K. Basu vs. State of West Bengal case, 1997: The SC ruled that involuntary administration of the polygraph and narcos test will amount to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment in the context of Article 21 or the Right to Life and Liberty.