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Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2022

Jun 28, 2022

Current Affair 1:
What Does Indian Law Say on Abortion?

 

News:

Intense debates are going on about the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States of America which held that there is no constitutional right to abortion by overruling the 50-year-old land mark decision Roe v. Wade.

Rights activists and prominent public figures including US President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, former US President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders and world leaders like Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron have harshly criticized the ruling given by the US Supreme Court.

The judgment came in the case Thomas E Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, in which the Court by 6:3 majority upheld a Mississippi law (Gestational Age Act) which prohibited the abortion of a foetus above the age of 15 weeks except in the case of a medical emergency.

What is the position of Indian law?

  1. Section 312 of the Indian Penal Code criminalizes intentional causing of miscarriage, if it was not done in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the woman.
  2. In 1971, a law was enacted by the Parliament called the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act which allowed registered medical practitioners to carry out abortion under certain specified circumstances. The law granted immunity to doctors performing abortion in accordance with its provisions from the prosecution under Section 312 IPC.
  3. The law does not give absolute right to women to abortion. Abortion is permitted on medical opinion under certain circumstances to a specified limit.

Upper-limit for abortion

When the law was initially made in 1971, the upper-limit for abortion was 20 weeks. Now, after the 2021 amendment, abortion is permissible up to 24 weeks in cases of women under specified conditions. Also, after the 2021 amendment, there is no upper-limit for abortion if "substantial foetal abnormalities" are diagnosed by a Medical Board.

After the 2021 amendment, the medical opinion of only one doctor is needed to terminate pregnancy up to twenty weeks. Before that, pregnancy up to only 12 weeks could have been terminated with the opinion of one doctor.

Following the 2021 amendment, opinion of two doctors is needed only for pregnancies between 20 and 24 weeks. But the opinion of a 4-member Medical Board is required to terminate pregnancy any time on the ground of "substantial foetal abnormalities".

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2021 came into force with effect from September 24, 2021.

Circumstances in which abortion is allowed

Abortion is allowed on medical opinion that :

  1. The continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury to her physical or mental health, or;
  2. There is a substantial risk that if the child were born, it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities to be seriously handicapped.

Pregnancy caused by rape can be terminated

Where any pregnancy is alleged by the pregnant woman to have been caused by rape, the anguish caused by such pregnancy shall be presumed to constitute a grave injury to the mental health of the pregnant woman.

Unwanted pregnancy caused by failure of birth control method of contraception can be terminated

The anguish caused by "unwanted pregnancy" caused by failure of contraception methods is presumed to cause grave injury to mental health of the woman and can be aborted.

Women eligible for termination of pregnancy up to twenty-four weeks

On October 12, 2021, the Union Government notified the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Rules 2021, in which the categories of women eligible for abortion of pregnancy up to 24 weeks were specified. They are :

(a) survivors of sexual assault or rape or incest;

(b) minors;

(c) change of marital status during the ongoing pregnancy (widowhood and divorce);

(d) women with physical disabilities [major disability as per criteria laid down under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (49 of 2016)];

(e) mentally ill women including mental retardation;

(f) the foetal malformation that has substantial risk of being incompatible with life or if the child is born it may suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities to be seriously handicapped; and

(g) women with pregnancy in humanitarian settings or disaster or emergency situations as may be declared by the Government

Protection of privacy of woman

The 2021 amendment inserted a specific clause in the Act (Section 5A) mandating that the doctor should not reveal the name and particulars of the woman whose pregnancy was terminated. Breach of confidentially by the doctor is punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

Current Affair 2:
Mediterranean Pollution Hot Spots Technical Assistance initiative

 

News:

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) today launched the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Mediterranean Pollution Hot Spots Technical Assistance initiative, which aims to reduce pollution in the Mediterranean marine and coastal environment.

The initiative aims to promote adequate and sound water, wastewater, solid waste and industrial emissions management in the Southern Mediterranean region, thereby reducing health risks and enhancing access to safe drinking water and sanitation services.

About Barcelona Convention

The Mediterranean Action Plan of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP/MAP) is a regional cooperation platform established in 1975 as the first regional action plan under the UNEP Regional Seas Programme.

The adoption of the Barcelona Convention in 1976 was one of the early achievements of UNEP/MAP. The UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention system constitutes a comprehensive institutional, legal and implementation framework that the Contracting Parties have adopted for concerted action to fulfil the vision of a healthy Mediterranean Sea and coast that underpin sustainable development in the region.

 

Current Affair 3:
Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII)

Source Link

 

G7 member states, formally launched a $600-billion global infrastructure investment partnership Sunday aimed at helping developing countries like India.

The Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) was first unveiled by the G7 leadership last June as a plan to aid lower and middle-income countries in building better infrastructure.

Since it was first announced, the PGII has been viewed as a counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which critics have termed a ‘debt trap’ not just for its allies but for Beijing itself.

Moreover, the PGII could benefit developing countries, and particularly India, by offering finance for decarbonisation efforts. Indian entrepreneurs and companies working to increase food security and improve the rural economy also stand to benefit from this global infrastructure investment partnership.

Areas of focus for PGII

  1. G7 member states plan to invest in industrial-scale vaccine manufacturing facilities in the developing world
  2. PGII intends to secure digital network equipment for Africa, Asia and Latin America. To that effect, the partnership envisions a global subsea communications cable that will stretch from Southeast Asia, through the Middle East and the Horn of Africa, to Europe.
  3. In the area of gender equality and equity, the partnership proposes to make childcare more accessible in the developing world
  4. The G7, as part of the PGII’s climate and energy security plank, further aims to help developing economies move away from coal.

 

G-7 in Detail

All important points related to G-7.

The first “World Economic Summit” – which later became the G7 – was initiated in 1975.

Why was G7 created?

The G7 was created more than four decades ago as an annual gathering of political leaders to discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including global economy, security and energy.

France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and West Germany formed the Group of Six in 1975 so that the non-communist powers could come together to discuss economic concerns, which at the time included inflation and recession following an OPEC oil embargo. Canada joined the following year. Russia eventually joined in 1998 — and its inclusion was meant as a signal of cooperation between East and West after the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991.

G7 used to be known as the G8 (Group of Eight) until 2014 when Russia was excluded because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

The Group of Seven (G7) is an informal forum of seven leading industrial nations and democracies, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and the European Union.

The G7 – like the G20 – is not an international organisation. It does not have its own administrative apparatus, nor are its members permanently represented in any way. Due to the G7’s informal structures, the country that holds the Presidency has a particularly important role to play.

The Presidency rotates between members on an annual basis. Germany takes over the Presidency in 2022 from the UK (2021) and will be succeeded by Japan (2023).

Although the decisions made by the G7 are not legally binding, they do have a tangible political impact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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