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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 27th February 2020

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  • February 27, 2020
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 27th February 2020

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


UKIERI-UGC Higher Education Leadership Development Programme for Administrators

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Governance

In news:

  • Objective: To train the senior and middle level academic administrators in Indian Universities to enable them to bring about systemic changes with renewed approaches, capacity, tools and skill in Universities in India.
  • Implemented by:  Joint initiative of UGC and British Council in India under the auspices of UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI)
  • UKIERI was started in April, 2006 with the aim of enhancing educational linkages between India and the UK.
  • UKIERI Phase 3 (2016-2021) aims to promote institutional and individual excellence in educational practices, research, and employability.
  • UGC came into existence on 28th December, 1953 and became a statutory body by an Act of Parliament in 1956, for the coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of teaching, examination and research in university education.

Exercise Indradhanush

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- International Affairs

In news:

  • The 5th edition of India-UK joint Air Force Exercise ‘Indradhanush’ began at Air Force Station, Hindan (Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh) on 24th February, 2020.
  • The theme of this edition of the exercise is ‘Base Defence and Force Protection
  • Other joint exercises between India and UK are Konkan (Navy) and Ajeya Warrior (Army)

International Conference on Standardisation of AYUSH Terminologies

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Governance

In news:

  • Two day International Conference on Standardisation of AYUSH Terminologies (ICoSDiTAUS-2020) was held in New Delhi. 
  • The conference was jointly organized by the Ministry of AYUSH and the WHO 
  • It adopted the “New Delhi Declaration on Collection and Classification of Traditional Medicine (TM) Diagnostic Data”.
  • The New Delhi declaration emphasised the commitment of the countries to Traditional Medicine (TM) as a significant area of health care.
  • It further sought the opportunity for including traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 
  • ICD published by WHO is the standard diagnostic tool for health management across the world. The ICD provides a method of classifying diseases, injuries, and causes of death.
  • More than 100 countries use the ICD system to report mortality data, a primary indicator of health status.

National Technical Textiles Mission

Part of: GS Prelims- Government Schemes and GS-II- Governance; GS-III-Economy

In news:

  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved to set up a National Technical Textiles Mission with a total outlay of Rs 1480 Crore with a view to position the country as a global leader in technical textiles
  • Mission Directorate will be operational in the Ministry of Textiles.
  •  The Mission aims at increasing the size of the technical textiles in the domestic market to $40 billion which would require an average growth of at least 10 % per annum.
  • Technical textiles are textiles materials and products manufactured primarily for technical performance and functional properties rather than aesthetic characteristics.
  • Technical Textiles products are divided into 12 broad categories (Agrotech, Buildtech, Clothtech, Geotech, Hometech, Indutech, Mobiltech, Meditech, Protech, Sportstech, Oekotech, Packtech) depending upon their application areas.
  • It will be implemented for four years starting from 2020-2021 and will have four components namely
    1. Research, development and innovation with an outlay of ₹1,000 crores
    2. Promotion and development of the market for technical textiles.
    3. Export promotion
    4. Promoting technical education at higher engineering and technology levels related to technical textiles. 

NASA’s InSight Mars Mission

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Science & technology

In news:

  • NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander touched down on Mars at the end of 2018.
  • InSight is the first mission dedicated to looking deep beneath the Martian surface.
  • Among its science tools are a seismometer for detecting quakes, sensors for gauging wind and air pressure, a magnetometer, and a heat flow probe designed to take the planet’s temperature.
  • It is part of NASA’s Discovery Program. 
  • InSight is a two year mission that will study the deep interior of Mars to learn how all celestial bodies with rocky surfaces, including Earth and the Moon, formed.

Rakhigarhi 

Part of: GS Prelims – Art & Culture and GS-I- Ancient History

In news:

  • Finance Minister had announced in Budget speech to fund five on-site museums, including the under-construction museum initiated by the Haryana government at Rakhigarhi
  • Rakhigarhi is a 5,000-year-old and biggest Indus Valley Civilization site located in Haryana
  • The site is located in the Sarasvati river plain, some 27 km from the seasonal Ghaggar river
  • In May 2012, the Global Heritage Fund, declared Rakhigarhi one of the 10 most endangered heritage sites in Asia.
  • Other four sites mentioned in Budget speech are Hastinapur in Uttar Pradesh, Shivsagar in Assam, Dholavira in Gujarat and Adichanallur in Tamil Nadu.

(MAINS FOCUS)


Governance

Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies. 


Surrogacy Regulation

Context

The Union Cabinet has approved the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020. The Cabinet incorporated the recommendations of the Rajya Sabha Select Committee before approving the Bill.

Surrogacy means the process of carrying and delivering a child for another person. Thus, a surrogate mother is a woman who bears a child on behalf of another woman, either from her own egg or from the implantation in her womb of a fertilized egg from another woman.

Commercial surrogacy involves an agreement, which includes monetary compensation to the surrogate mother along with medical expenses associated with the pregnancy. 

Altruistic surrogacy focuses on providing no monetary compensation to the surrogate mother

Advantages of Surrogacy

  • Surrogacy allows infertile couples, single people and members of the LGBT community to become parents when they may not be able to have children otherwise.
  • It allows one or both parents to be biologically related to their child
  • Surrogacy gives hopeful parents the opportunity to raise a child from birth.
  • Intended parents may face fewer restrictions with surrogacy than with adoption; those who cannot adopt due to agency restrictions on factors like age can still pursue surrogacy.

Reasons for Increase of Surrogacy in India

  • Low cost: Surrogacy cost in India is around 1/3rd of that in developed countries like the USA.
  • This had made India a favourable destination for foreign couples who look for cost-effective treatment for infertility through Surrogacy in India
  • Availability of women who could rent their womb at low cost, primarily due to their own poor income levels
  • Grey Area: Surrogacy was not regulated by a specific legislation which allowed private sector to grow rapidly
  • Availability of Technology at affordable cost also aided the growth of the sector

Issues with Surrogacy in India

  • There had been many cases of death related to surrogacy which neither commissioning parents nor the doctors were ready to take responsibility of.
  • Sometimes, Indian adoption laws or citizenship laws of some other countries also create problems. For example, Germany gives citizenship by mother; this creates issues in determining the nationality of child.
  • There were no strong laws for following issues such as rights of surrogate mother for fair compensation, maternal health care, right to abort etc.
  • Surrogacy leads to commoditization of the child. Renting of the womb breaks the bond between a mother and the child, interferes with nature

Recommendation of the Rajya Sabha Select Committee

  • Definition of “infertility” as the inability to conceive after five years of unprotected intercourse should be deleted. It is too long a period for a couple to wait for a child.
  • It was recommended that a surrogate mother need not be a “close relative
  • Single women (widow or a divorcee) should be allowed to avail of surrogacy.
  • The insurance cover for a surrogate mother should be increased to 36 months from 16 months.

Key Features of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020

  • It bans commercial surrogacy
  • It seeks to allow ethical altruistic surrogacy to the intending infertile Indian married couple between the age of 23-50 years for females and 26-55 years for males.
  • It provides for the constitution of surrogacy boards at the national as well as state levels to ensure effective regulation
  • Only Indian couples can opt for surrogacy in the country.
  • The Bill also seeks to regulate the functioning of surrogacy clinics. All surrogacy clinics in the country need to be registered by the appropriate authority in order to undertake surrogacy or its related procedures.
  • It also provides that intending couples should not abandon the child born out of surrogacy under any condition. The newborn child shall be entitled to all rights and privileges that are available to a natural child.
  • The Bill seeks to regulate functioning of surrogacy clinics. All surrogacy clinics in the country need to be registered by the appropriate authority in order to undertake surrogacy or its related procedures.
  • It also specifies that no sex selection can be done when it comes to surrogacy.

Concerns

  • The bill states intending couples should be married Indian couples. There is no mention of Non-Resident Indians working or studying abroad who may want to come back home to have a baby.
  • The Bill leaves out a lot of people who might want to have a baby through surrogacy, including unmarried couples, homosexual couples and single men and women.
  • Banning of Commercial Surrogacy: The livelihood of poor women who are engaged in this sector will get compromised and will further push them into illegal underground activities

Way forward

  • Rather than penalising surrogacy, the person providing a womb for surrogacy must be secured with a contract, ensuring proper, insurance and medical checks.
  • For surrogacy to happen, we need embryos, and embryos are cultured in various In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) laboratories. So regulation of surrogacy must be preceded by law on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).
  • Surrogacy should be made inclusive for all class of people irrespective of their sexuality

Connecting the dots!

  • Cloning
  • Genetic Engineering of Embryos – Designer babies

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note: 

  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers. 
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q 1. Exercise Indradhanush is a joint military exercise between India and ______? 

  1. USA
  2. Sri Lanka
  3. UK 
  4. None of the above

Q 2. Consider the following statements about International Conference on Standardisation of AYUSH Terminologies

  1. It was recently held in Nagpur, India
  2. The conference succeeded in taking forward the objective of expanding the International Classification of Diseases(ICD) into the realm of Traditional Medicine systems at a conceptual level with all the countries endorsing the same. 

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 Only
  2. 2 Only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q 3. Consider the following statements about InSights Mars Mission

  1. It is launched by NASA in collaboration with ISRO and JAXA
  2. It is the first mission dedicated to looking deep beneath the Martian surface.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 Only
  2. 2 Only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q 4. Rakhigarhi, an Indus Valley Civilizational Site is located which State of India ? 

  1. Uttar Pradesh
  2. Rajasthan
  3. Punjab 
  4. Haryana

ANSWERS FOR 26 FEB 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 A
2 D
3 B

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