Contents:

  1. Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill proposes national registry of clinics
  2. Appointment of CVC
  3. Lithium reserve found in Mandya near Bengaluru
  4. SEBI redefines ‘pledge’ to protect client securities
  5. What is Dark Web?
  6. STF set up to study minimum age of girls entering motherhood: Centre

ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY REGULATION BILL PROPOSES NATIONAL REGISTRY OF CLINICS

Why in news?

The Union Cabinet on 19th February 2020, approved the Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill, 2020 to monitor medical procedures used to assist people to achieve pregnancy.

Background

  • India has become one of the major centres of this global fertility industry, with reproductive medical tourism becoming a significant activity.
  • This has also introduced a plethora of legal, ethical and social issues; yet, there is no standardisation of protocols and reporting is still very inadequate

Provisions and aims of the Bill

  • The Bill provides for a national Board which will lay down a code of conduct to be observed by those operating clinics
  • It will also formulate minimum standards for laboratory and diagnostic equipment and practices to be followed by human resources employed by clinics and banks.
  • The States and Union Territories will also have to form State Boards and State authorities within three months of the notification of the proposed legislation.
  • The Bill also proposes stringent punishment for those who practise sex selection, indulge in sale of human embryos or gametes and those who operate rackets.
  • The Bill will also ensure confidentiality of intending couples and protect the rights of the child.
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Background

  • Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is used to treat infertility.
  • It includes fertility treatments that handle both a woman’s egg and a man’s sperm.
  • It works by removing eggs from a woman’s body. The eggs are then mixed with sperm to make embryos.The embryos are then put back in the woman’s body.
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common and effective type of ART.

APPOINTMENT OF CVC

Why in news?

  • Sanjay Kothari, the Secretary to the President, has been selected as the new Central Vigilance Commissioner by a high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The committee has also chosen former Information and Broadcasting Secretary Bimal Julka as the new Chief Information Commissioner in the Central Information Commission.
  • The orders relating to the appointments are awaiting a formal approval from President Ram Nath Kovind.

Background

  • Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is an apex Indian governmental body created in 1964 to address governmental corruption.
  • In 2003, the Parliament enacted a law conferring statutory status on the CVC.
  • It has the status of an autonomous body, free of control from any executive authority, charged with monitoring all vigilance activity under the Central Government of India, advising various authorities in central Government organizations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance work.
  • The Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Vigilance Commissioners shall be appointed by the President on recommendation of a Committee consisting of the Prime Minister (Chairperson), the Minister of home affairs (Member) and the Leader of the Opposition in the House of the People.

LITHIUM RESERVE FOUND IN MANDYA NEAR BENGALURU

Why in news?

  • Reserves of lithium, a rare metal critical to build batteries for electric vehicles, have been discovered in Mandya, 100 km from Bengaluru – a find that should boost local manufacturing of EV batteries.

Details

  • Researchers at the Atomic Minerals Directorate, a unit of India’s Atomic Energy Commission, have estimated lithium reserves of 14,100 tonnes in a small patch of land surveyed in the Southern Karnataka district
  • 14,100 tonnes is still very little compared to many major producers.
  • So far, in the absence of local mines for lithium, India has set up Khanij Bidesh India to source and acquire mines in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.
  • India currently imports all its lithium needs.

Background

Top producers

  Rank         Country/Region Lithium production (tonnes)
1 Australia 51,000
2 Chile         16,000
3 China 8,000
4  Argentina 6,200
Mandya District Karnataka Map Legacy IAS Academy Best IAS Academy in Bangalore
Mandya District, Karnataka

SEBI REDEFINES ‘PLEDGE’ TO PROTECT CLIENT SECURITIES

Why in news?

The decision by SEBI to Tweak the manner in which ‘pledge’ is defined in regulatory laws, was approved by the board of the capital markets regulator on 17th February 2020.

Significance

  • A minor tweak in the manner ‘pledge’ is defined in the regulatory laws is expected to go a long way in minimising instances where stock brokers misuse client securities by pledging such shares for their own benefit in terms of meeting their margin requirements.
  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has amended the SEBI (Depositories and Participants) Regulations by including an additional explanation that states that ‘pledge’ would also refer to ‘re-pledge of securities for margin or settlement obligations.’
  • This assumes significance as the recent past has seen few instances of brokers pledging client securities to raise funds from banks and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs).

WHAT IS DARK WEB?

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  • The dark web is the World Wide Web content that exists on darknets, overlay networks that use the Internet but require specific software, configurations, or authorization to access
  • The darknets which constitute the dark web include small, friend-to-friend peer-to-peer networks, as well as large, popular networks like Tor, Freenet, I2P, and Riffle operated by public organizations and individuals.
  • Users of the dark web refer to the regular web as Clearnet due to its unencrypted nature
  • Commercial darknet markets, which mediate transactions for illegal drugs and other goods, attracted significant media coverage starting with the popularity of Silk Road and Diabolus Market and its subsequent seizure by legal authorities. Other markets sell software exploits and weapons

STF SET UP TO STUDY MINIMUM AGE OF GIRLS ENTERING MOTHERHOOD: CENTRE

Why in news?

  • The Centre has informed the Delhi High Court on Wednesday that a Special Task Force has been formed to study the issue of minimum age of girls entering motherhood

Significance

  • Women’s age of marriage was increased from fifteen years to eighteen years in 1978, by amending erstwhile Sharda Act of 1929.
  • As India progresses further, opportunities open up for women to pursue higher education and careers
  • There are imperatives of lowering maternal mortality rate [MMR] as well as improvement of nutrition levels. Entire issue about age of a girl entering motherhood needs to be seen in this light
  • More than 125 countries in the world have a uniform age of marriage for men and women.
  • The National Human Rights Commission, pursuant to the National Conference on Child Marriage held in New Delhi in August 2018, recommended that India follow suit and bring uniformity in the minimum age limits.
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