CAO Daily Editorial analysis for UPSC IAS
Current Affairs Only Daily Editorial Analysis for Competitive Exams
1.Is Kerala really the No.1 state in India?
Why in news?
Recently Kerala has advertised in many newspapers stating its rank and presenting all its achievements.
What are the achievements of Kerala Government?
- Its literacy rate is as high as 95%. Average schooling in Kerala is eight to nine years, against four in the rest of India, he says, and in the realm of demographic transition, it will take the rest of India at least 30 years to catch up with its average demographic statistics.
- Government estimates say only six out of 1,000 children in Kerala die before they reach the age of one compared to 41 across India, and its average number of children per family is below two which is seen as a direct consequence of female literacy.
- A health care facility is available within every 2-5km, many of them run and subsidised by the state, and average life expectancy is 75 years, 11 years ahead of the rest of India.
- The state has also one of the highest per-capita incomes among Indian states (if you are an unskilled rural labourer, it has the highest), aided by over Rs1 trillion that emigrant Keralites send in every year.
- There are several, nearly universal welfare measures such as highly subsidized, if not free, food grains, medical insurance, meals and uniforms in schools, and so on.
- Kerala’s sanitation drive began much before Swacch Bharat became fashionable. Close to 95% of its households have toilets, as per 2011 census, while close to half of India doesn’t have them. In 2016, Kerala also claimed it had turned “Open Defecation Free” (ODF), the third Indian state to do so after Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh.
Are all above achievement enough to declare a state No 1?
No self-respecting social scientist would write a paper saying a state is broadly No.1,” says Ashok R. Chandran
Any ranking depends on what criteria are selected in the ranking exercise, which in turn depends on the ranker’s motivations. No academic will be motivated to write that a particular state is No.1.
This article deals with surrogacy (regulation bill)
Surrogacy or “Womb for Rent”.
Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016
- The Union Government on 31st August cleared the draft Surrogacy Bill, 2016, with an effort to safeguard the rights of the surrogate mothers and also to regulate the commissioning of Surrogacy.
- The 2016 bill restricted surrogacy to close relatives of the commissioning parents. A woman could act as a surrogate only once, between 25 and 35 years of age.
Ban on Commercial Surrogacy
The main reason, the health ministry has proposed amendment of the Surrogacy laws in India, because of the increased number of cases of commercial surrogacy in India. The health minister said “India has emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples from various countries”, which has drastically increased into unethical practices, putting the surrogacy mother and the baby at risk. However, instead of checking and putting things in place for this growing industry, the government proposed on banning it.
Ban on Foreigners opting for Indian Surrogate mothers
The bills also bans foreigners opting for Indian Surrogate mothers, the Non Residential Indian’s are also not allowed to opt for Indian Surrogate mothers. The Indian Surrogacy Industry is at around $1 billion a year and is growing- according to CTV News
Legalizing Surrogacy For Infertile Couple, but with a twist!
The law allows heterosexual married Indian couples with proven infertility to opt for Surrogacy route, but the couple has to be married for at least 5 years. Adding further, the age of the woman should be between 23-50 years and the age of the man should be between 26-55 years. The law does not allow any homosexual couple, live-in partners, and single men and women to have a surrogate child.
You are not allowed to pay a surrogate mother
If you are a heterosexual couple with proven infertility, and you find the one who agrees to be a surrogate mother, you cannot pay her. You are allowed only to pay for her medical bills, that’s it!
Who can be a Surrogate Mother?
You are only allowed to approach a close relative to surrogacy, someone who agrees to be the surrogate mother to your child without any payment.
Surrogacy will be allowed only once under Surrogacy Bill 2016
If you already have a surrogate child, you cannot opt for surrogacy for another child. As the infertile couple is allowed to have a surrogate child once in their lifetime. Similarly, if someone has been a surrogate mother in the past, she is not allowed to do it again.
The Surrogacy clinic must be registered with the government. If one is found operating the clinic illegally or those flouting norms will be punished with not less than 10 years of imprisonment and/or Rs 10 lakh fine. The clinics are also required to maintain record of each case for 25 years.
3. Gorakhpur tragedy: Most children’s deaths not due to encephalitis, hospital records show
Why in news?
Recently more than 60 children died in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College Hospital.
The state government believes encephalitis—a long-time scourge in this part of the state—is the reason for the mounting death toll of children.
Encephalitis is an acute inflammation of the brain. The majority of cases are caused by either a viral infection or the immune system mistakenly attacking brain tissue
Cause of the death
Children died because oxygen supply was disrupted at the hospital on Thursday last, when 23 children died. Supply of liquid oxygen for children critically ill with encephalitis and premature newborns in the neo-natal ward ran out on because a vendor’s bills had not been paid.