Argutes

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 02 December 2021

1. The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill

The Lok Sabha passed the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill,, 2020 that proposes the establishment of a national registry and registration authority for all clinics and medical professionals serving in the field.

While moving the Bill for passage several suggestions of the Standing Committee have been considered by the Government to improve the legislation.

Insights

  1. The Bill seeks to regulate and supervise Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) clinics and ART banks, prevent misuse, adopt safe and ethical practices,s and so on.
  2. The Bill sets minimum standards and codes of conduct for fertility clinics and egg or sperm banks and about 80% of ART clinics are not registered.
  3. “The Bill also has a provision that those involved in trafficking and sale of embryos will be fined 10 lakh at first instance and in the second instance, the person can be imprisoned for up to 12 years.
  4. The experts should be involved at every level to monitor Bill’s provisions and  “ART banks” should not be there unless it has a proper laboratory.
  5. ART procedures can only be carried out with the written informed consent of both the party seeking ART services as well as the donor.
  6. The party seeking ART services will be required to provide insurance coverage in the favour of the oocyte donor
  7. A bank can obtain semen from males between 21 and 55 years of age, and oocytes from females between 23 and 35 years of age.
  8. An oocyte donor should be an ever-married woman having at least one alive child of her own(minimum three years of age).
  9. The woman can donate oocytes only once in her life and not more than seven oocytes can be retrieved from her.
  10. No court will take cognizance of offenses under the Bill, except on a complaint made by the National or State Board or any officer authorized by the Boards.
  11. The Bill provides that the National and State Boards for Surrogacy constituted under the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 will act as the National and State Board respectively for the regulation of ART services.
  12. A child born through ART will be deemed to be a biological child of the commissioning couple and will be entitled to the rights and privileges available to a natural child

Click here to know more

2. All India Quarterly Establishment based Employment Survey

About 7.5 per cent job losses were seen during the lockdown for Covid pandemic last year, with the manufacturing, construction, education and trade sectors bearing the brunt more than white-collared employment in IT/BPOs, financial services and health sectors, government data presented in Parliament.

Among the nine key sectors covered for the All India Quarterly Establishment based Employment Survey (AQEES), the manufacturing sector recorded job losses of 14.2 lakh between the pre-lockdown (March 25, 2020) and post-lockdown (July 1, 2020) period.

Insights

  1. Construction sector recorded a loss of 1 lakh, while trade and education sectors registered job losses of 1.8 lakh and 2.8 lakh, respectively.
  2. Job losses in the financial services sector, on the other hand, were recorded at 0.4 lakh and at 1 lakh for the IT/BPOs sector during the same period.
  3. Female workers registered a job loss of 7.44 per cent among the nine key sectors, while the job loss figure for male workers between the pre-lockdown and post-lockdown period stood at 7.48 per cent, data showed.
  4. The female employment in the manufacturing sector reduced to 23.3 lakh (as on July 1, 2020) from 26.7 lakh (as on March 25, 2020).
  5. Male workers in manufacturing during the same period reduced to 87.9 lakh from 98.7 lakh.
  6. Female workers in the construction sector were reduced to 1.5 lakh from 1.8 lakh, and male workers reduced to 5.1 lakh from 5.8 lakh during the lockdown.
  7. Female employment in the trade sector reduced to 4 lakh (as on July 1, 2020) from 4.5 lakh (as on March 25, 2020), while male employment reduced to 14.8 lakh (as on July 1, 2020) from 16.1 lakh (as on March 25, 2020).
  8. The new quarterly employment survey released in September had shown employment in key nine sectors rising to 3.08 crore in April-June this year from 2.37 crore in 2013-14, the base year chosen based on the sixth economic census.
  9. The earlier version of QES was suspended in 2018, citing a gap in numbers with the payroll data.
  10. There are two components under AQEES, QES and Area Frame Establishment Survey (AFES), which covers the unorganised segment (with less than 10 workers).

3. World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is observed on 1st December every year all over the world to spread awareness about the disease and remember all those who lost their lives to it.

Insights

  1. It was founded in 1988 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and was the first-ever global health day with a motto of raising public awareness about Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
  2. AIDS is a pandemic disease caused by the infection of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which damages the human immune system.
  3. There were an estimated 37.7 million people living with HIV at the end of 2020, over two-thirds of whom (25.4 million) are in the African Region.
  4. The theme for 2021: ‘End inequalities. End AIDS’.
  5. With a special focus on reaching people left behind, WHO and its partners are highlighting the growing inequalities in access to essential HIV services.
  6. The very day reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away and there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice, and improve education.
  7. It is an opportunity to show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

  1. HIV attacks CD4, a type of White Blood Cell (T cells) in the body’s immune system. T cells are those cells that move around the body detecting anomalies and infections in cells.
  2. After entering the body, HIV multiplies itself and destroys CD4 cells, thus severely damaging the human immune system. Once this virus enters the body, it can never be removed.
  3. The CD4 count of a person infected with HIV reduces significantly. In a healthy body, the CD4 count is between 500- 1600, but in an infected body, it can go as low as 200.

4. Global Gateway

The European Commission has announced a plan, called Global Gateway, to mobilize EURO 300 billion by 2027 in public and private infrastructure investment around the world. Although the plan doesn’t mention China, it is seen as a response to China’s Belt and Road strategy.

Insights

  1. With Global Gateway, the EU, in a Team Europe approach, will offer its partners a respond to the urgent needs to develop sustainable and high-quality digital, climate and energy, and transport infrastructures.
  2. It aims to Strengthen health, education, and research systems across the world.
  3. To finance the project, the EU will use its European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus.
  4. Under this, 40 billion euros are made available in guarantee capacity and will offer grants of up to 18 billion euros from external assistance programs.
  5. The plan will need funding from international institutions and from the private sector if it is to get anywhere near its target.
  6. The financing will be done under fair and favorable terms in order to limit the risk of debt distress.
  7. An offshoot of the B3W Project: The EU strategy is an offshoot of the Build Back Better World (B3W) Initiative.

China’s Belt And Road Initiative:

  1. The BRI project was launched in 2013, it broadly aims to facilitate cross-border transportation of goods, access to energy, creating demand for existing excess capacity in Chinese industries.
  2. It aims to develop land and sea infrastructure to better connect China to Asia, Europe, and Africa for trade and development, and it has found many partners around the world.
  3. China had an overall exposure of investment of around USD 750 billion between 2013 to mid-2020.
  4. China argues that it respects its partners’ sovereignty while providing loans that benefit joint projects, while critics say Beijing’s contractual terms ignore abuses of human, labor, and environmental rights.
  5. BRI project has been heavily criticized by the western world for China’s Debt Trap Policy, They have attacked the initiative as a new colonialism, or the Marshall Plan for the 21st century.
  6. Dual Nature of Product: Also, projects like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the building of the Colombo Port City Project in Sri Lanka are not only commercial in nature but have strategic implications too.

Click here to know about B3W

5. G20 Troika

  1. India recently joined the G20 Troika. The G20 Troika is made of Indonesia, India and Italy. That is Troika is made of the current presidency, Indonesia; the previous presidency Italy and the incoming presidency which is India.
  2. Troika means a group of three people working together. It is an English word.
  3. The Troika of G20 is made of the current, next and immediate past host countries. The Troika ensures continuity and provides presidency support.
  4. The current presidency of G20 was assumed by Indonesia recently. It is to hold the chair till October 2022 under the theme “Recover Together Recover Stronger”. Then India will take over for the first time.
  5. In 2019, the G20 was hosted by Japan. In 2020, Italy hosted G20. In 2021, it is Indonesia. In 2022, 2023 and 2024, it will be hosted by Indonesia, India and Brazil. Thus, the following countries formed the Troika in G20
    • 2020: Japan, Italy and Indonesia
    • 2021: Italy, Indonesia and India
    • 2022: Indonesia, India and Brazil

Significance of Troika in G20

  1. The G20 operates without a permanent staff or secretariat.
  2. The chair of the group rotates annually among its members.
  3. The current chair establishes secretariat temporarily.
  4. This secretariat organises meetings and coordinates the working of the group.
  5. Thus, there is need for Troika to help with the secretariat so that there is continuity in the works of G20.