TABLE OF CONTENT
A. GS1 Related B. GS2 Related Polity 1. SC allows abortion of ailing foetus International Relations 1. Israel backs India's fight on terror 2. Not Jerusalem, Tel Aviv to remain Indian Embassy’s location C. GS3 Related Economics 1. ADB, Centre ink pact for road revamp 2. India in 88th place in money hoarded in Swiss banks 3. Integration of oil & gas majors is best avoided 4. Two commodity exchanges merge D. GS4 Related E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn F. Bills/Acts/Schemes/Orgs in News G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
UPSC Current Affairs 2017: News Analysis
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- Kolkata woman has moved court after she discovered that the foetus suffered from severe cardiac impairment
Supreme Court decision:
- The Supreme Court allowed a woman to abort her over 20-week-old foetus with severe abnormalities.
- Supreme Court:
- Confirmed her right to choose.
- The right of a woman to have a reproductive choice was part of personal liberty. .
- The court said every woman had a sacrosanct right to bodily integrity
Key fact higlighed by the petitioner:
- Of the 26 million births that occur in India every year, approximately 2-3 per cent of the foetuses had severe congenital or chromosomal abnormality. Many suffered Intrauterine Foetal Death (IUFD).
- It was possible to detect certain abnormalities before 20 weeks, but some could be detected only after that period.
What is MTP Act, 1971?
- Abortion in India is legal only up to twenty weeks of pregnancy under specific conditions and situations.
- One, the continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury of physical or mental health, or
- Two, there is a substantial risk that if the child were born, it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.
What the draft MTP bill 2014 provides?
- The draft MTP increased the legal limit for abortion from 20 weeks to 24 weeks.
- It provides for abortion beyond 24 weeks under defined conditions.
- The Bill amends Section 3 of the 1971 Act to provide that “the length of pregnancy shall not apply” in a decision to abort a foetus diagnosed with “substantial foetal abnormalities” or if it is “alleged by the pregnant woman to have been caused by rape”.
- Under the 1971 Act, even pregnant rape victims cannot abort after 20 weeks, compelling them to move court.
- It allows a woman to take an independent decision in consultation with a registered health-care provider.
- It also takes into account the reality of a massive shortage of both doctors and trained midwives, and seeks to allow Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha practitioners to carry out abortions.
Why is it essential to change the MTP law?
- Foetal abnormalities show up only by 18 weeks, so just a two-week window after that is too small for the would-be parents to take the difficult call on whether to keep their baby.
- Even for the medical practitioner, this window is too small to exhaust all possible options before advising the patient.
- There is an urgent need to empower women with sexual rights, legal protection against sex crimes and sex choices both in their own interest and for the sake of reducing the fertility rate as a whole.
- The lack of legal approval moves abortion to underground and they are done in unhygienic conditions by untrained, thus, putting thousands of women at risk.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel— the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister — which they described as “historic” with “huge symbolic significance”.
- 25th anniversary of Israel-India setting up full diplomatic ties
- Israeli government has unequivocally supported India on the issue of terrorism.
- Israel believes there is no difference between Pakistan-based “Lashkar-e-Taiba” and the Hamas group operating in Israel and Palestine.
- Israel to help ensure food security in India which will bring maximum benefits to people of both sides
Close cooperation: India and Israel could cooperate even more closely and complement each other’s efforts to fight with the menace of terrorism.
Strategic Partnership on non-security issues:
- India and Israel will sign a unique Strategic Partnership on non-security issues including Agriculture, Water, Science, technology and Space.
Prime Minister to receive protocol reserved for U.S. President and the Pope:
On his arrival on Tuesday in Tel Aviv, Mr. Modi will receive protocol reserved only for the U.S. President and the Pope.
India’s stand on the Jerusalem question:
- India support for the “two-state” solution in which both Israel and a future Palestinian state coexist peacefully.
- India supports all efforts for a resolution, including on the contentious issue of Jerusalem, which Israel has claimed in its entirety since 1967.
- Indian Embassy in Tel Aviv will remain there at least until a “final-status” agreement between the two parties.
- Modi is the first Indian PM to visit Israel.
- In October 2015, Pranab Mukherjee became the first Indian President to visit Israel since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1992
- Visit of Israeli President Reuvin Rivlin to India in November 2016.
- Earlier, then Israeli President, Exer Weizman, visited India in January 1997 and this was followed by a visit by the then Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, in September 2003
C. GS3 Related
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $220 million loan agreement meant to improve connectivity, transport efficiency, and safety on the State highways of Rajasthan.
- The loan is the first tranche of the $500 million Rajasthan State Highways Investment Program, approved by ADB Board in May this year that will upgrade about 2,000 km of State highways and major district roads to two-lane or intermediate-lane standards to meet road safety requirements.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB):
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank established on 19 December 1966, which is headquartered in the Ortigas Center located in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila,
- Purpose: social and economic development in Asia.
- Motto: Fighting poverty in Asia and Pacific.
- ADB is an official United Nations Observer.
- The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, formerly the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East or ECAFE) and non-regional developed countries.
- ADB now has 67 members, of which 48 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside.
- Voting System and shares: The ADB was modeled closely on the World Bank, and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions. At the end of 2014, Japan holds the largest proportion of shares at 15.7%. The United States holds 15.6%, China holds 6.5%, India holds 6.4%, and Australia holds 5.8%.
- Aim: The ADB defines itself as a social development organization that is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. This is carried out through investments – in the form of loans, grants and information sharing – in infrastructure, health care services, financial and public administration systems, helping nations prepare for the impact of climate change or better manage their natural resources, as well as other areas.
- Environment, Climate change and Disaster risk management
- Finance sector development.
- Regional co-operation and integration
- Private sector lending
- Infrastructure, including transport and communications, energy, water supply and sanitation, and urban development
- India has slipped to the 88th place in terms of money parked by its citizens with Swiss banks, while the U.K. remains on the top
- Money officially held by Indians now accounts for a meagre 0.04 percent of total funds
- India was placed at 75th position in 2015 and at 61st in the year before that and till 2007 it used to be among top-50 countries in terms of holdings in Swiss banks.
- Automatic exchange of information between Switzerland and India helped to check the black money menace.
- The funds are the official figures and do not indicate the quantum of black money.
- Recently in his Budget speech, Finance minister Arun Jaitley revisited the idea of an integrated oil and gas sector
Historical View of the idea
- The idea first made its appearance during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government in 1998
- The proposal was then rejected for encouraging a monopolistic scenario in distribution of essential goods like LPG, petrol, kerosene etc.
Krishnamurthy committee :
- The Krishnamurthy committee formed by the UPA government, in 2005, debunked the idea
- As it would reduce competition and manpower in the oil and gas sector
Why did the idea of an integrated oil major surface again in 2017?(by Arun Jaitely) Mr. Jaitley stated five major reasons for the same:
(1) better capacity to bear higher risks, (2) avail economies of scale, (3) create more shareholder value, (4) make better investment decisions and (5) be more competent globally.
Issues with this proposal
(a) Adversely affect Employment
- The Krishnamurthy Committee had earlier deduced that such integration will result in manpower reduction
- At a time when the government is struggling with job creation, it will be difficult to justify job losses due to restructuring
(b) Will restrict competition
- The Indian oil market today has hardly any competition
- Inidan Oil Market is dominated by IOCL, HPCL and BPCL
- Curbing competition in the past has already adversely affected the aviation and banking sectors
- So, any decision that creates a monopoly in the oil and gas sector must be carefully thought through
- National Multi Commodity Exchange (NMCE), India’s first de-mutualised online national multi-commodities exchange, will merge with the Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX).
- The merger will help ICEX to further strengthen its position in the commodity derivatives market in India
- The large base of warehousing facilities of CWC (Central Warehousing Corporations) with storage capacity of 9.89 million tonnes will become available to the combined entity pan India, which will help generate more liquidity due to wider participation of the larger base of active members of the combined entity.
Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX):
- ICEX is a deemed recognised stock exchange providing a nationwide online trading platform in commodity derivatives. It has put in place assaying and warehousing facilities in order to facilitate deliveries. Reliance Capital is its largest investor.
D. GS4 Related
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E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
Nothing here for Today!!!
F. Bills/Acts/Schemes/Orgs in News
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G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
Question 1: The draft Medical Termination of Pregnancy bill 2014, has enhanced the legal limit for abortion
- From 20weeks to 24 weeks
- From 24 weeks to 26 weeks
- From 18weeks to 20 weeks.
- None of the above
Question 2: Measles is a disease caused by
Question 3: India’s biggest Global Skill Park will be set up in which city?
Question 4: The concept of fundamental duties of Indian constitution was borrowed from which among the following?
- Constitution of Australia
- U N Charter
- Constitution of Socialist Countries such as Russia
- Constitution of UK
Question 5: Consider the following statement with reference to Asian Development Bank:
- Votes are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions.
- Japan holds the largest proportion of shares in ADB
Choose the incorrect statement.
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
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