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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

01 Jan, 2021

37 Min Read

Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2020

GS-I : Social issues Women

Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2020

What is the news?

  • The Delhi High Court has directed the Medical Superintendent of All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) to constitute a medical board to examine the condition of a 25-week pregnant woman, whose foetus is suffering from serious abnormalities.
  • The court’s direction came while hearing a petition by a woman seeking permission to undergo medical termination of her 25-week pregnancy on the ground that the foetus was suffering from Bilateral Agenesis and Anlyaramni.
  • In India, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act stipulates a ceiling of 20 weeks, for termination of pregnancy, beyond which abortion of a foetus is statutorily impermissible.
  • The plea said during an ultra sonography, conducted on the woman at the gestational age of 25 weeks, it was discovered that the foetus suffered from Bilateral Renal Agenesis (both kidneys absent) thereby making it incompatible with life.
  • Since pregnancy had crossed the 20 weeks mark and medical termination of pregnancy now prohibited, the woman approached the court.
  • The woman’s counsel said that the foetus would not survive till childbirth as both the kidneys have not developed as yet. The counsel said in the circumstances it would be futile to compel the woman to undergo the full terms of pregnancy.

Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2020 or Abortion Law

  • It is related to abortion, procedures and conditions of abortion.
  • India does not allow free abortions, only when there is a risk of life or substantial abnormalities of child. Hence certification of Medical practitioner.

Amendements to MTP Act, 1971

  1. It seeks to enhance the upper gestation period from 20 to 24 weeks for special categories of women that will be defined. Extension is important as in 1st 5 months of pregnancy, some women realise the need to abortion very late.
  2. Usually foetal anatomy scan is done during 20-21st week of pregnancy.
  3. It will include vulnerable women including survivor of rape, victims of incest.

Difference between 1971 Act and 2020 Bill

  1. 1971 Act allowed termination of pregnancy for 20 weeks. But 2020 Bill says 24 weeks.
  2. If substantial physical and mental injury to child, or if pregnancy risks or is a grave injury to life of mother, then she can abort.
  3. If the termination is for < 12 weeks then 1 Medical practitioner’s permission is required. If it is in between 12 to 24 weeks, 2 Medical practitioners. If > 24 weeks then Medical Board's permission is needed.
  4. According to Section 3(2); Abortion extended to only failure of married women or husband. This is replaced by "A woman and her partner".
  5. Her identity should not be disclose except to a person who is authorised by the law. If it is breached then penalty of 1 year or fine or both.
  6. MTP Act divides the regulatory framework for allowing abortions into categories, according to Gestational age of foetus.

Issues in 1971 Act:

  1. Reports show that > 10 women die everyday due to unsafe abortions in India and backward abortion laws only contribute to weomen seeking illegal and unsafe options.
  2. In 2008, a petition was filed by Haresh and Niketa.= Mehta to abort in 22 week.
  3. High Court does not provide women in final say unlike 67 countries where women can get an abortion on request with or without a specific gestation limit (usually 12 weeks).
  4. Prejudice against unmarried women - According to Section 3 (2) pregnancy because of failure of any birth control device
  5. Issue is that some child's abnormalities is found > 20 weeks.

Still there are issues in 2020 Bill

  1. It does not allow abortion on request at any point after pregnancy.
  2. It doenst take a step towards removing the prejudice against unmarried women.
  3. It enhances the gestation limit from 20 to only 24 weeks in certain cases of women like rape survivors, victims of incest and minors.

The question of abortion needs to be decided on the basis of human rights. In the landmark, US SC judgement Roe vs Wade, the judges held that US constitution protects a women's right to terminate her pregnancy. Ultimately nations will have to decide the outer limit also based on the capacity of their health systems to deliver based on the capacity of their health systems to deliver care without danger to life of mother, there is no uniform gestation viability for abortion.

Source: TH

Environment Minister inaugurates Atal Paryavaran Bhavan

GS-I : Indian Geography Indian Geography

Environment Minister inaugurates Atal Paryavaran Bhavan

The Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, inaugurated the Atal Paryavaran Bhavan at Lakshadweep on February 19, 2021.

Highlights

  • While inaugurating the Atal Paryavaran Bhavan, the minister said that, Lakshadweep will undergo a comprehensive development that too without compromising the UT’s commitment to nature.
  • He will also attend programmes at Suheli, Kadmat and Bangaram islands and evaluate major innovative initiatives of the Forest and Environment Department of the Union Territory.

Suheli Par

  • It is a coral atoll in Lakshadweep.
  • This atoll is an oval-shaped and 17 km long. It is surrounded by a zone of rich marine fauna.
  • The Nine Degree Channel runs between these islands. It has an area of 87.76 km2.

Nine Degree Channel

  • It is a channel in the Indian Ocean located between the Islands of Kalpeni and Suheli Par, and Maliku Atoll.

Kadmat Island

  • It is also known as Cardamom Island.
  • It is a coral island that belongs to Amindivi subgroup of islands.
  • Marine turtles which nestle are the marine features of this island.

Lakshadweep

  • It is administered as a union territory and a district of India.
  • This region comes under jurisdiction of Kerala High Court

Source: PIB

Brexit: Britain leaves Europe’s single market

GS-II : International Relations Britain

Britain leaves Europe’s single market

  • Brexit becomes a reality as Britain leaves Europe’s customs union and single market, ending nearly half a century of often turbulent ties with its closest neighbours.
  • Brexit has dominated British politics since the country’s narrow vote to leave the bloc in June 2016, opening deep political and social wounds which remain raw. But both sides are now keen to move on to a new future.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Brexit “a new beginning in our country’s history and a new relationship with the EU as their biggest ally”.
  • Legally, Britain left the EU on January 31, but it has been in a transition period during fractious talks to secure a free-trade agreement with Brussels, which was finally clinched on Christmas Eve.
  • Once the transition ends, EU rules will no longer apply, with the immediate consequence being an end to the free movement of more than 500 million people between Britain and the 27 EU states.
  • Customs border checks will be back for the first time in decades, and despite the free-trade deal, queues and disruption from additional paperwork are expected.
  • Britain — a financial and diplomatic big-hitter plus a major NATO power — is the first member state to leave the EU, which was set up to forge unity after the horrors of World War II.
  • The EU has lost 66 million people and an economy worth $2.85 trillion, but Brexit, with its appeal to nationalist populism, also triggered fears that other disgruntled members could follow suit.
  • The key financial services sector also faces an anxious wait to learn on what basis it can keep dealing with Europe, after being largely omitted from the Brexit trade deal.
  • Northern Ireland’s border with EU member state Ireland will be closely watched to ensure that movement is unrestricted — a key plank of a 1998 peace deal that ended 30 years of violence over British rule.

For complete news on Brexit: click here

Source: TH

Core Industries, IIP and Annual Survey of India

GS-III : Economic Issues Industry

Core Industries, IIP and Annual Survey of India

What is in the news?

  • Output from India’s eight core sectors hit a three-month low in November, contracting 2.6% in the festive month with coal, fertilizers and electricity the only sectors to record positive growth on a year-on-year basis, suggesting the economy is still not out of the woods.
  • The good news is that the Index of Eight Core Industries was revised upwards for both August and October, based on updated data inputs received by the Office of Economic Adviser in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade that compiles the data.
  • Core sector output shrank by just 0.9% in October compared to an earlier estimate of 2.5% contraction.
  • On a cumulative basis from April to November, the eight sectors’ index has declined 11.4% from the same period a year ago.

Index of Core Industries

  1. Index of Core Industries (ICI) is a production volume index.
  2. It’s aim is to provide an advanced indication on production performance of core industries before IIP releases.
  3. It is compiled by DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce.
  4. There are 8 Core industries: 4 Energy related = Coal production ( but not Coking Coal), Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Electricity ( includes imports from Bhutan) and 4 infrastructure related = Refinery Products, Fertilizers, Steel and Cement.
  5. Index of Core Industries covers 40.27% in IIP. The weight of Petroleum Refinery is maximum followed by Electricity, Steel, Coal, Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Cement and Fertilizers is minimum.
  6. It is released monthly like IIP. The ICI is calculated by using Laspeyre's formula.

Index of Industrial Production

  1. IIP measures the changes in the industrial production and captures the general level of industrial activity.
  2. Base year is 2011-12. It is compiled on the basis of data of 15 ministries.
  3. It is compiled by CSO, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, every month.
  4. There are 3 broad Component sectors in IIP – Manufacturing (77.6%), Mining (14.3%) and Electricity (7.9%).
  5. Use based classification: 4 components:
  1. Basic goods (45.68%)
  2. Consumer Goods (29.81%)
  3. Intermediate goods (15.68%) and
  4. Capital Goods (8.83%).
  1. It is a short term indicators of industrial growth till results from ASI and National Account Statistics

NIA (national income accounts) vs IIP

  1. The data of IIP is used to calculate NIA and GDP forecasts.
  2. NIA uses IIP data to proxy the growth in unorganised sector (otherwise it is estimated only with the gap of 5 years).

Annual Survey of Industries

  1. It is a most comprehensive and the principle source of industrial statistics which provides information on organized manufacturing sector only.
  2. ASI is calculated on an annual basis published every 2 years by CSO (while ICI & IIP on a monthly basis).
  3. It comes with a 2 year lag.
  4. Base year is 2013-14.
  5. ASI obtains comprehensive and detailed statistics of industrial sector.

Source: TH

Light House Projects

GS-III : Economic Issues Housing sector

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Light House projects (LHPs) at six sites across six States through video conference on 1st January 2021.
  • The LHPs will be implemented at Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Rajkot (Gujarat), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Agartala (Tripura) and Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
  • The project is being constructed under the Global Housing Technology Challenge (GHTC)-India. It has been conceptualised by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • Under the programme, over 1,000 houses would be built in each of the six cities in 12 months along with allied infrastructure facilities.

Source: Various

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