The union cabinet cleared Surrogacy Regulations Bill, 2016 yesterday which seeks to completely ban commercial surrogacy in the country and put stringent restrictions even on non-commercial cases too.
If the parliament approves this bill in toto, it will bar non-resident Indians or PIO card holders, foreigners, live-in couples, single parents or homosexuals to surrogate a child in India.
A couple can only have a surrogate child after five years of legal marriage and must have a medical certificate with proof of infertility.
A surrogate mother must be married, be a close relative of the couple seeking a child, and must have given birth to a healthy child before becoming a surrogate mother. A woman can be a surrogate mother only once in her life.
Such draconian proposals have set the alarm bells ringing in the medical community. Many fear that this will end up creating an underground surrogacy network akin to the organ rackets.
Submarine Data Leak
The Australian newspaper reported yesterday that some 22,400 pages of data related to the six Scorpene-class submarines that the French company DCNS was building for the Indian Navy have been leaked.
According to the paper, the leak details the entire secret combat capability of the six Scorpene-class submarines. It contains information on their diving depths, range, and endurance, besides its magnetic, electromagnetic, and infrared data and the frequencies at which they gather intelligence and the levels of noise the subs make at various speeds.
The Indian Navy has informed that the source of the leak is from overseas and not in India. A former French naval officer who was a subcontractor for DCNS is suspected to have removed the data in 2011 which reached Australia after passing through firms in South-East Asia.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs yesterday approved nine projects worth Rs 24,374 crore in nine states for expansion of railway network and ramping up capacity and decongesting key routes for rail traffic.
The new projects will facilitate transportation of freight and passenger traffic in a big way and are expected to give a boost to capacity augmentation on the fully saturated golden quadrangle corridors. These will benefit 11 states across the country and provide a fillip to the coal, minerals and steel sector.
In the past one year alone, 53 projects aggregating a total length of 5,000 km and costing Rs 48,000 crore have been approved. Infrastructure expert opine that if the procurement for these projects is made within India, it will contribute 0.4 percent to the GDP and will also have a multiplier effect. This is equal to what the GST is expected to add to the GDP.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Nalini Chidambaram, wife of former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, in connection with its money laundering probe in the Saradha chit fund scam case.
She has been asked to appear before the investigating officer in Kolkatta early next month. Both the CBI and the ED have questioned her in the past but the latest summon is said to be a result of fresh evidence that has emerged in the case.
Mrs Chidambaram is a supreme court lawyer. The ED is looking into Rs 1.26 crore amount that she received as a legal fee from the Saradha group.
Rahul Gandhi’s lawyer Kapil Sibal clarified in the Supreme Court yesterday that his client didn’t blame the RSS as an institution for the assassination of M.K. Gandhi.
A bench, comprising justices Dipak Misra and Rohinton F. Nariman also noted that the accused never blamed RSS as the killer of Gandhi but a person associated with it. However, they did not quash the case against him.
Rajesh Kunte, an RSS activist, had filed a case last year against Rahul for making defamatory comments against the organisation. He has sought more time to seek instructions on the issue.
MUST READ OP-EDS
Govt Needs To Think Outside The Box On Skilling India: Voucher programmes that give individuals the freedom to join training programmes of their choice—with the latter receiving government funding by redeeming the vouchers—improve outcomes via market mechanisms and have been found to work in countries as diverse as Austria and Kenya.
New Engagement With An Old Neighbour: Myanmar’s transition to a civilian government has given India more strategic space to manoeuvre. But as in the past, the future of bilateral ties will not be determined by just democracy.
Health Security At Risk: In 1991, Chinese ingredients accounted for only 0.3 percent of the bulk drug imports, by 2012 their share had gone up to 47.61 percent. The latest figures show that this share stands at almost 66 percent.This is a matter of grave concern.
The New War On Piracy: The punitive rhetoric underlying the warning about accessing torrent websites addresses only one axis of the debate. It would be more accurate to see piracy as a global pricing problem.
How India Can Work With Post-Brexit UK To Make Mumbai The ‘London Of Asia’: There are three key action points:
- Develop India’s capital market – corporate governance and bond market in particular.
- Develop India’s insurance sector, products and expertise, benefiting from London’s years of experience in the sector.
- Co-opt English law into the Indian system; specifically, the rules that govern Indian financial markets. This will help Mumbai take a lead over other competing nations in Asia.
We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!
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