GS 2 Polity and Governance A sound foundation The draft National Policy on Education has an important reform on the first stage of education Aadhaar Bill introduced amid Opposition protests The Aadhar legislation to replace an ordinance issued in March seeks to impose strict penalties for violation of norms. Revolutionary Socialist Party leader N.K. Premachandran opposed the Bill on three grounds: it defies an earlier Supreme Court judgment, permits private agencies to store data and violates fundamental rights. India must strengthen the credibility of its national statistical system (Hindustan Times) With the goals of achieving rapid economic growth, equity and employment generation, it would be important that the people accept the information coming out of the National Statistical Organisation (NSO), a new institution proposed by the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MOSPI), through the merger of Central Statistics Office (CSO) and National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). International Relations It’s premature to count India out of RCEP: Centre Government officials said it would be “premature” to suggest that India could be cut out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) being negotiated by 16 countries led by the ASEAN bloc, if it doesn’t agree to join it by the year-end. A war of masks between Iran and the U.S. A closer look at tensions between the two countries would make it seem as if the Iranian authorities were the ones attempting to escalate a regional crisis while avoiding a full-blown war with the U.S. Why world is debating data flow (Indian Express) The IT Ministry’s Bill on data protection is scheduled to be introduced in Parliament during the current session. Worldwide, the data flow debate is playing out at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and G20. Pompeo at high table (Hindustan Times) Terrorism, Afghanistan, the Indo-Pacific, Iran, trade issues, and growing bilateral defence ties will be the focus of discussions between the Indian government and visiting US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Wednesday, with India in favour of de-escalation of the Persian Gulf crisis through dialogue, according to officials aware of the developments who asked not to be named. India, US should focus on strategic vision (The Tribune) While India must strive to have the best of relations with the US to realise PM Modi’s vision of transforming India into a developed nation, it should neither surrender its strategic autonomy nor put all its eggs in America’s basket. GS 3 Economy House panel shies from quantifying black money The Standing Committee on Finance has shied away from estimating the quantum of black money in and outside India, saying that different methods by various agencies are yielding vastly differing figures. Basic needs, basic rights India must recognise the right to a minimally decent life, so that no person falls below a certain level of existence Will follow all security norms: Huawei Will sign no-back-door-entry pact; will invest more in India if allowed to participate in 5G rollout Consumer bill draft removes healthcare from services "Healthcare" has been removed from the list of services specifically mentioned in the draft consumer protection bill, in what is seen as a bid to assuage the medical fraternity which has expressed apprehensions over the law being used adversely against it. Environment RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya resigns Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor Viral Acharya has resigned from his position six months before the end of his term, according to sources in the central bank. Everest turning into a pile of discarded tents, human waste After every party it is time to clean up and Mount Everest is no different. The record number of climbers crowding the world’s highest mountain this season has left a government cleanup crew grappling with how to clear away everything from abandoned tents to human waste that threatens drinking water. Why the govt is pushing EVs to fight climate change (Mint) NITI Aayog, the government think tank tasked with devising a mass electric energy-based transport system in India, has devised a plan to stop the registration of internal combustion engine (ICE)-driven three-wheelers by 2023 and two- wheelers under 150cc by 2025. Districts must identify mining-affected people to keep DMF funds targeted (Down To Earth) District Mineral Foundation (DMF) trusts are in the fifth year of their implementation and one key drawback that remains is none of them have identified and listed people affected by mining — a major reason for many of the worst-affected to have been left out of DMF benefits. Defence and Security Upgraded planes in tough skies The recent crash of an AN-32, which was on an air maintenance sortie to the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh, has raised questions on flight safety in the Indian Air Force despite accident rates having declined exponentially over the past few decades. Union Cabinet moves to strengthen anti-terrorism law, agency (Times of India) The Cabinet also approved a proposal to amend the NIA Act to empower the agency to register a case and investigate terror acts on foreign soil