Science and Technology Current Affairs – 2017

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Free generic drugs via public hospitals; Three fold increase in the allocation to health sector in the 12th Plan

The allotment for the health sector during the 12th Plan had been enhanced three times over the previous Plan allocation to handle complex challenges.

The outlay in the 12th Plan had been fixed at Rs. 3-lakh crore, which was 1.95 % of the GDP. During the last Plan period, the sector had got Rs. 89,265 crore.

Free generic drugs would be provided through public hospitals to help “reduce out-of-pocket expenditure of the poor” on health.

The plan will emphasize on nutrition, safe drinking water, sanitation, housing and education, particularly education of the girl child, as they were increasingly being underlined as social determinants of health.

What is a Generic Drug? read more..


Unique SMS service from NASA to help spot ISS

To celebrate 12th anniversary of crews living and working aboard International Space Station (ISS) NASA launched a new SMS service that will help people on earth to spot International Space Station (ISS) without a telescope.  “Spot the Station” service will send you a text message or an email as the ISS passes over your house, to help you see the object. It will tell people where to look to be able to see it easily — even without a telescope.

The International Space Station is the third brightest object in the sky after the Sun and the Moon, but people often get confused with other heavenly bodies in the sky.


“Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill”: To regulate infertility clinics

Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill which is aimed at regulating the functioning infertility clinics in the country is awaiting approval of the Union Cabinet and Parliament.

The Bill seeks to allow surrogate parenthood, which was not yet permitted in many Western countries. Around 15 % of the couples in the world were childless and the problem was similar in the country but underestimated.

What is Surrogate Parenthood?

Some terms related to Surrogate Parenthood:

Surrogacy: An imagearrangement in which a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or person. Thus, Surrogate parenting is an arrangement in which one or more persons, typically a married infertile couple (the intended rearing parents), contract with a woman to gestate a child for them and then to relinquish it to them after birth. Surrogate parenting is also sometimes referred to as “Contract Pregnancy”.

Surrogate Mother: The woman who carries and delivers a child for another couple or person.

Traditional Surrogacy: If the surrogate mother is the child’s genetic mother then it is called traditional surrogacy. In a traditional surrogacy, the child may be conceived via home artificial insemination using fresh or frozen sperm or impregnated via IUI (intrauterine insemination), or ICI (intracervical insemination) performed at a health clinic.

Gestational Surrogacy: If the surrogate mother is genetically unrelated to the child then this is called gestational surrogacy. A gestational surrogacy requires the transfer of a previously created embryo, and for this reason the process always takes place in a clinical setting.

Commercial Surrogacy: If the surrogate receives compensation beyond the reimbursement of medical and other reasonable expenses, the arrangement is called commercial surrogacy. Commercial surrogate parenting arrangements involve monetary payments both to the surrogate and to other third parties.

Noncommercial or Altruistic Surrogacy: Non-commercial surrogacy involves an arrangement where the intended rearing parents use the services of a family member or a friend. The surrogate’s compensation supposedly consists in the satisfaction she derives from giving the gift of a new human life to people for whom she personally cares.

Who is the real mother of the child?

The surrogate parent is not considered to be the child’s mother.  Rather, the other person or couple is intended to be the legal parents of the child born to the surrogate parent.

What is the difference between Surrogate Parenting and Adoption?

  • In a domestic adoption, the birth mother usually has an unexpected pregnancy and thus usually selects an unrelated family to adopt her child. 
  • In a surrogacy, however all things are planned in advance of the pregnancy, and the child usually has a biological relationship to the intended family.  Also, the financial and legal issues are also very different in surrogate parenthood.