Cabient Decisions Current Affairs - 2020

Cabinet Approves to form Empowered Group of Secretaries

On June 3, 2020, the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi approved to set up “Empowered Group of Secretaries”. The group will also have Project Development Cells to attract investments in India.

Highlights

The Empowered Group will provide investment support to global investors. It will also ensure timely clearances from the Government side in different departments and ministries. The group consists of members from NITI Aayog, revenue department secretary, secretary of economic affairs, etc.

The Project Development Cell is also a part of the group.

Project Development Cell

The Project Development Cell will take care of the investible projects. It will also coordinate between State Government and Central Government. This will help in growth of pipeline of investible projects in the country and also increase FDI inflows.

An officer not below the rank of Joint Secretary is to be placed in charge of the Project Development Cell. The cell will conceptualize, implement and disseminate the details that are related to the projects.

Cabinet approves amendments in Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016

The Union Cabinet has approved proposal for moving official amendments in Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016. Once the Bill is enacted by Parliament, National Surrogacy Board (NSB) will be constituted at central level. The States/UTs will constitute State Surrogacy Boards (SSBs) and State Appropriate Authorities within 3 months of notification by Central Government.

Background

India has emerged as surrogacy hub for couples from different countries and there have been reported incidents concerning unethical practices, abandonment of children born out of surrogacy, exploitation of surrogate mothers and rackets of intermediaries importing human embryos and gametes. The 228th report of Law Commission of India has recommended for prohibiting commercial surrogacy and allowing ethical altruistic surrogacy by enacting suitable legislation.

Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016

The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha in November 2016 which was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare in January 2017. The committee had held various meetings with various stakeholders for holding discussions and to receive their suggestions.

The proposed legislation proposes to regulate surrogacy in India by establishing NSB at central level and, SSBs and Appropriate Authorities in States/UTs. It also seeks to ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow altruistic surrogacy to needy Indian infertile couples. The Bill will apply to whole of India, except Jammu and Kashmir.

Significane of Bill

The proposed law will regulate surrogacy services in country and rein unethical practices in surrogacy. It will prevent commercialization of surrogacy and prohibit potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy. It will prohibit commercial surrogacy including sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes. It will allow ethical surrogacy to needy infertile couples on fulfillment of certain conditions and for specific purposes. It will protect rights of surrogate mother and children born out of surrogacy will be protected.