Bills and Acts Current Affairs

Union Cabinet approves introduction of Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for introduction of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 to banning commercial surrogacy in country.

The Bill will ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow ethical surrogacy to the needy infertile couples.

Salient Features of Bill

  • Regulate practices in ethical surrogacy in the country and prohibits commercial surrogacy including sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes.
  • Calls for establishment National Surrogacy Board (NSB) at the central level and State Surrogacy Boards (SSB) and Appropriate Authorities in States/Union Territories.
  • Allows ethical surrogacy for all infertile Indian married couple in the country.
  • Protects rights of surrogate mother and children born out of surrogacy.
  • The law will apply to whole of India, except the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • All Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) clinics will be registered.

Major benefits

  • Regulates the surrogacy services in the country.
  • Ban unethical commercial surrogacy and also sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes.
  • Allows ethical surrogacy (i.e. altruistic surrogacy) to needy infertile couples on fulfilment of certain conditions.
  • Control unethical practices in surrogacy, prevent commercialization of surrogacy.
  • Prohibit potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy.
  • It bars foreigners, homosexual couples, people in live in relationships and single individuals to have babies through surrogacy.

Background

  • India has emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples from different countries. However there have been reported incidents concerning unethical practices of surrogacy across country.
  • Incidents such as exploitation of surrogate mothers, abandonment of children born out of surrogacy and rackets of intermediaries importing human gametes and embryos were also reported.
  • The 228th report of the Law Commission of India (LCI) also had recommended for banning commercial surrogacy by enacting a suitable legislation. However, it had allowed ethical altruistic surrogacy to the needy Indian citizens.

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Maharashtra becomes first state to draft law for internal security

Maharashtra became the first state in the country to draft its own internal security legislation The Maharashtra Protection of Internal Security Act (MPISA), 2016.

The bill has been kept public responses for suggestions and objections. Later it will be presented to the legislature for approval.

Key Features of Bill

  • It gives special emphasis on maintaining law and order and combating terrorism, insurgency, caste-related violence and communalism in the state.
  • Definition of internal security: The situation posing threat to state within its borders, either caused or prompted, provoked or proxied by a hostile foreign power.
  • Special Security Zones (SSZ): Proposes setting up of SSZ where movement of arms, explosives and inflow of unaccounted funds will be prohibited.
  • SSZs will have separate police infrastructure. They will also have a command and control system, and separate Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) to be followed by SSZ police.
  • Critical Infrastructure Sectors (CIS): It includes nuclear reactors, dams, major projects, coastal areas under its ambit.
  • Powers of police chief: He can ban or regulate the production, storage, possession, sale, or entry of (i) any devices or equipment (ii) poisonous chemical, biological or radioactive substances (iii) electronic content of potentially explosive nature (iv) any inflow of funds.
  • Punishment: Jail term of up to three years and fine for those threatening the State’s security.

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