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24th June Current Affairs

Contents

  1. Cheap steroid first life-saving drug in Covid fight
  2. China warns risk of naval conflict with U.S.
  3. SC gives nod to woman to abort foetus
  4. SEBI makes raising funds easier for stressed companies
  5. Malabar Rebellion fights for screen space

CHEAP STEROID FIRST LIFE-SAVING DRUG IN COVID FIGHT

Focus: GS-III Science and Technology

Why in news?

The cheap and widely available steroid drug dexamethasone can save one in three critically ill coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients says a study.

Details

  • Dexamethasone, a low-dose steroid that is manufactured in India and costs a few rupees, has been used for 60 years to treat inflammatory diseases and sceptic shock.
  • India has approved the use glucocorticoid, which is another steroid with similar action, to treat critically ill Covid-19 patients.
  • Remdesivir has been shown to shorten the time to recovery in hospitalised patients.
  • Both remdesivir and dexamethasone are manufactured in India.

-Source: Hindustan Times


CHINA WARNS RISK OF NAVAL CONFLICT WITH U.S.

Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

The U.S. military is deploying “unprecedented” numbers to the Asia-Pacific region, raising the risk of an incident with China’s Navy.

Freedom of navigation

  • The United States’ regular “freedom of navigation” operations in the South China Sea — where China and neighbouring countries have competing claims — angers Beijing, and China’s Navy usually warns off the U.S. ships.
  • For its part, Beijing has infuriated other nations by building artificial islands with military installations in parts of the sea.

What the report says?

  • The report said the U.S. has deployed 3,75,000 soldiers and 60% of its warships in the Indo-Pacific region. Three US aircraft carriers have also been sent to the region.
  • The report says China does not regard the United States are a potential rival or “envisage a new cold or hot war with the U.S.”

Freedom of navigation

  • Freedom of navigation (FON) is a principle of customary international law that ships flying the flag of any sovereign state shall not suffer interference from other states, apart from the exceptions provided for in international law.
  • In the realm of international law, it has been defined as freedom of movement for vessels, freedom to enter ports and to make use of plant and docks, to load and unload goods and to transport goods and passengers. This right is now also codified in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • Not all UN member states have ratified the convention, notably, the United States has signed, but not ratified the convention – However, United states enforces the practice.

US and Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS)

  • The US Department of Defense defines FONOPs as “operational challenges against excessive maritime claims” through which “the United States demonstrates its resistance to excessive maritime claims.”
  • The United States has an institutionalized FONOPs program called the Freedom of Navigation Program, which undertakes many FONOPs around the world every year.
  • U.S. armed forces have conducted FONOPs in areas claimed by other countries but considered by the U.S. to be international waters.

-Source: The Hindu


SC GIVES NOD TO WOMAN TO ABORT FOETUS

Focus: GS-II Governance

Why in news?

  • The Supreme Court has allowed a woman in her 25th week of pregnancy bearing twins to medically terminate one of the foetuses detected with substantial abnormalities.
  • The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971 bars abortion if the foetus has crossed the 20-week mark.
  • An exception to the law is made if a registered medical practitioner certifies to a court that the continued pregnancy is life-threatening for the mother.

Right to health

  • The argument for decriminalization of abortion is that – The right to exercise reproductive choice is the right to choose whether to conceive and carry pregnancy to its full term or to terminate it.
  • Abortion is argued as the core of one’s privacy, dignity, personal autonomy, bodily integrity, self-determination and right to health recognised by Article 21 of the Constitution.

Recently in News: Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which has proposed new clauses to increase the upper gestation limit for termination of pregnancy.

Background on Abortion in India

  • Abortion in India is legal in certain circumstances. It can be performed on various grounds until 24 weeks of pregnancy. In exceptional cases, a court may allow a termination after 24 weeks.
  • When a woman gets a pregnancy terminated voluntarily from a service provider, it is called induced abortion. Spontaneous abortion is when the process of abortion starts on its own without any intervention. In common language, this is also known as miscarriage.
  • Before 1971, abortion was criminalized under Section 312 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, describing it as intentionally ‘causing miscarriage’.
  • It was in the 1960s, when abortion was legal in 15 countries, that deliberations on a legal framework for induced abortion in India was initiated.
  • The alarmingly increased number of abortions taking place put the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on alert.
  • To address this, the Government of India instated a Committee in 1964 led by Shantilal Shah to come up with suggestions to draft the abortion law for India.
  • The recommendations of this Committee were accepted in 1970 and introduced in the Parliament as the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill.

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971

  • The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971 provides the legal framework for making CAC services available in India.
  • Termination of pregnancy is permitted for a broad range of conditions up to 20 weeks of gestation as detailed below:
  • When continuation of pregnancy is a risk to the life of a pregnant woman or could cause grave injury to her physical or mental health;
  • When there is substantial risk that the child, if born, would be seriously handicapped due to physical or mental abnormalities;
  • When pregnancy is caused due to rape (presumed to cause grave injury to the mental health of the woman);
  • When pregnancy is caused due to failure of contraceptives used by a married woman or her husband (presumed to constitute grave injury to mental health of the woman).

The MTP Act specifies –

  1. who can terminate a pregnancy;
  2. till when a pregnancy can be terminated; and
  3. where can a pregnancy be terminated.

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020

It is an Amendment to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971.

Proposals of the Bill:

  • The requirement of the opinion of one registered medical practitioner (instead of two or more) for termination of pregnancy up to 20 weeks of gestation (foetal development period from the time of conception until birth).
  • Introduce the requirement of the opinion of two registered medical practitioners for termination of pregnancy of 20-24 weeks of gestation.
  • Increase the gestation limit for ‘special categories’ of women which includes survivors of rape, victims of incest and other vulnerable women like differently-abled women and minors.
  • The “name and other particulars of a woman whose pregnancy has been terminated shall not be revealed”, except to a person authorised in any law that is currently in force.

-Source: The Hindu


SEBI MAKES RAISING FUNDS EASIER FOR STRESSED COMPANIES

Focus: GS-III Indian Economy

Why in news?

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has relaxed the norms for preferential allotment for companies that have stressed assets, thereby making it easier for such entities to raise funds.

Details

  • SEBI has decided to relax the pricing methodology for preferential issues by listed companies having stressed assets and exempt allottees of preferential issues from open offer obligations in such cases, with immediate effect.
  • The capital markets regulator said listed entities with stressed assets can make preferential allotment.
  • A company would be eligible to be called stressed if it has defaulted on its payment obligations for more than 90 days or if the credit rating agencies have downgraded its securities to ‘D’.

Click Here to read more about SEBI (3rd Article)

-Source: The Hindu


MALABAR REBELLION FIGHTS FOR SCREEN SPACE

Focus: GS-I History

Why in news?

The 1921 Malabar Rebellion turning 100 in 2021, has movies being made on the historical event and, now those movies are opposed due to the portrayal of Variyamkunnath Kunhahamed Haji as a Muslim hero against the British rule.

Malabar rebellion

  • The Malabar Rebellion in 1921 started as resistance against the British colonial rule and the feudal system in southern Malabar but ended in communal violence between Hindus and Muslims.
  • There were a series of clashes between Mappila peasantry and their landlords, supported by the British, throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • The Malabar Rebellion began as a reaction against a heavy-handed crackdown on the Khilafat Movement.
  • In the initial stages, the movement had the support of Mohandas Gandhi and other Indian nationalist leaders, and a number of clashes took place between Khilafat volunteers and other religious communities, but the violence soon spread across the region.
  • The British Government put down the rebellion with an iron fist.
  • Chakkiparamban Variyankunnathu Kunjahammed Haji (1877- 20 January 1922) was an activist of Indian independence movement who led the Malabar Rebellion against the British, and subsequently he was executed by British.

Wagon Tragedy

One of the most noteworthy events during the suppression later came to be known as the “Wagon Tragedy”, in which 67 out of a total of 90 Mappila prisoners destined for the Central Prison in Podanur suffocated to death in a closed railway goods wagon.

-Source: The Hindu

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