Women and Child Development Current Affairs - 2020

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Andhra Pradesh Cabinet clears Disha Bill

The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet on December 11, 2019 cleared the Disha Bill that proposed harsh punishment for crimes against women. Disha bill is also known as the Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) bill.

Key Features

The act provides harsh punishments to those who did heinous crimes against women. The decision was taken to protect women and children in the state.  The cabinet also approved establishment of special courts for offences against women and children under Women and Children Act, 2019. The courts will also deal with cases under POCSO (Protection of Children against Sexual Offence) act.

The act specifies that judgement for every case registered should be pronounced with in 21 days. Special attention should be given to cases such as rape, acid attacks.

Punishment

Under the act, those found guilty under the act will be tried under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code. However, the punishment has been increased. Accused with proven charges of sexual attack on children will be imprisoned for 10 to 14 years.

The act also includes strict actions against persons uploading degrading posts against women on social media. In this case, the first-time offenders will be punished with 2 years of jail term and the second term offenders will be punished with four years of jail term.

The act proposes death sentence for heinous crimes against women.

Background of the act

The act was drafted to hasten the trial process of crimes against women and children. Currently the time period to solve these cases in the state is 4 months. The act reduces it to 21 days. The act has also increased the punishment to 10 years of jail that was previously 3 to 5 years in case of sexual abuse against children.

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National Human Milk Bank and Lactation Counselling Centre Inaugurated

Health Secretary C K Mishra has inaugurated the ‘Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh’, a National Human Milk Bank and Lactation Counselling Centre at the Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) in New Delhi. This centre would be the largest public sector human milk bank and lactation counselling centre available in North India

Salient Highlights

“Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh” has been established in collaboration with the Norwegian government, Oslo University and Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI).

Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh will collect, pasteurize, test and safely store milk donated by lactating mothers and make it available for infants in need. With the establishment of this donor human milk bank, all newborns in and around Delhi will have access to life saving human milk irrespective of the circumstances of their birth.

The centre will protect, promote and support breastfeeding by providing lactation support to mothers with the help of  dedicated lactation counsellors. In this regard, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also launched Mothers Absolute Affection (MAA) programme to create awareness regarding breastfeeding among mothers for enhancing the child’s immunity.

The facility will act as a dedicated centre to support breastfeeding and improve infant survival. The centre will act as teaching, training and demonstration site for other milk banks that will be established under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

 

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