It is the rescue operation conducted under which The Defence Crisis Management Group has nominated Indian Navy as the lead service for conduct of rescue and relief operations in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha affected by Cyclone Hudhud.
Strong Measures to be Introduced Against Female Foeticide
The Union Health Minister has decided to set up an expert group to examine the new methods being used for gender determination of foetuses to get around the existing regulation of ultra sound machines.
While misuse of ultra sound machines is still prevalent because it is cheap, newer medical technologies are increasingly being used in the name of ‘genetic testing’.
The use of simple blood tests that give away the sex of the foetus represents a new dimension to gender-specific foeticide. At IVF-ART clinics, couples are given the option of accepting or rejecting a foetus depending on the sex. While rules are in place to prevent misuse of ultra-sound machines, very little is known about recent innovations brought to bear on sex selection. Therefore, it is necessary to form an expert group to identify the approaches and formulate responses in the form of an Amendment to the Act.
About Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act:
It is an Act enacted in 1994 by the Parliament of India to stop female foeticides and arrest the declining sex ratio in India. The act banned prenatal sex determination. It is an Act to provide for the prohibition of sex selection, before or after conception, and for regulation of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for the purposes of detecting genetic abnormalities or metabolic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities or certain congenital malformations or sex-linked disorders and for the prevention of their misuse for sex determination leading to female foeticide; and, for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The main purpose of enacting the act is to ban the use of sex selection techniques before or after conception and prevent the misuse of prenatal diagnostic technique for sex selective abortion.
Sex selection is any act of identifying the sex of the foetus and elimination of the foetus if it is of the unwanted sex.
Offences under this act include conducting or helping in the conduct of prenatal diagnostic technique in the unregistered units, sex selection on a man or woman, conducting PND test for any purpose other than the one mentioned in the act, sale, distribution, supply, renting etc. of any ultra sound machine or any other equipment capable of detecting sex of the foetus. Main provisions in the act are
- The Act provides for the prohibition of sex selection, before or after conception.
- It regulates the use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques, like ultrasound and amniocentesis by allowing them their use only to detect :
- genetic abnormalities
- metabolic disorders
- chromosomal abnormalities
- certain congenital malformations
- sex linked disorders.
- No laboratory or centre or clinic will conduct any test including ultrasonography for the purpose of determining the sex of the foetus.
- No person, including the one who is conducting the procedure as per the law, will communicate the sex of the foetus to the pregnant woman or her relatives by words, signs or any other method.
- Any person who puts an advertisement for pre-natal and pre-conception sex determination facilities in the form of a notice, circular, label, wrapper or any document, or advertises through interior or other media in electronic or print form or engages in any visible representation made by means of hoarding, wall painting, signal, light, sound, smoke or gas, can be imprisoned for up to three years and fined Rs. 10,000.
- The Act mandates compulsory registration of all diagnostic laboratories, all genetic counselling centres, genetic laboratories, genetic clinics and ultrasound clinics.
Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994 (PNDT), was amended in 2003 to The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition Of Sex Selection) Act (PCPNDT Act) to improve the regulation of the technology used in sex selection.
The Act was amended to bring the technique of pre conception sex selection and ultrasound technique within the ambit of the act. The amendment also empowered the central supervisory board, state level supervisory board was constituted.
For further reference:
Sources: PIB, Wiki, http://www.rajswasthya.nic.in/.
Most Indian women engaged in unpaid housework
A recently released NSSO data shows that Close to two out of every three Indian women are, in their prime working years, primarily engaged in unpaid housework. This phenomenon, on the rise over the last decade, is least common in the southern and north-eastern States and most common in the northern States, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in particular.
Observations made by the Report:
Over 60 per cent of adult women are primarily engaged in housework — slightly more so among urban women. The data shows that women, in both rural and urban areas, are increasingly reporting domestic work as their main occupation.
Even though a majority of the women surveyed were engaged in productive activity — collecting firewood or rearing household poultry — they could not be classified as ‘workers’ as the value added by and the number of hours spent on these actions were not sufficient to constitute ‘economically productive activity’.
Among women who spend most of their time on domestic duties, over 60 per cent said they did so because there was no other family member to help out with household chores. A third of women doing domestic work said they would be willing to take up regular paid home-based work, particularly of tailoring.
p style=”text-align: right”>Sources: The Hindu.