Everything about Surrogacy

What is surrogacy?

  • Surrogacy is where a woman becomes pregnant with the intention of handing over the child to someone else after giving birth.
  • Generally, she carries the baby for a couple or parent who cannot conceive a child themselves – they are known as “intended parents”.
  • There are two forms of surrogacy.
  • In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother’s egg is used, making her the genetic mother.
  • In gestational surrogacy, the egg is provided by the intended mother or a donor.
  • The egg is fertilised through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and then placed inside the surrogate mother.

Is surrogacy legal?

  • It varies from country to country.
  • Countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Bulgaria prohibit all forms of surrogacy.
  • In countries including the UK, Ireland, Denmark and Belgium, surrogacy is allowed where the surrogate mother is not paid, or only paid for reasonable expenses.
  • Paying the mother a fee (known as commercial surrogacy) is prohibited.
  • Commercial surrogacy is legal in some US states, and countries including, Russia and Ukraine.

Where do people go for surrogacy?

  • countries popular with parents for surrogacy arrangements are the US,  Thailand, Ukraine and Russia.
  • Mexico, Nepal, Poland and Georgia are also among the countries described as possibilities for surrogacy arrangements.
  • Costs vary significantly from country to country, and also depend on the number of IVF cycles needed, and whether health insurance is required.

Cambodia the new destinations:

  • While Cambodia has become popular among people — both Indians and from other parts of the world — countries such as Ukraine and Kenya are attracting doctors from India.
  • India is no longer on the surrogacy map and after Bangkok and Thailand stopped surrogacy, Cambodia opened up.
  • As in the early days of surrogacy in India, the lack of proper laws or guidelines in Cambodia has proved a big attraction.
  • There is growth in surrogacy in Cambodia since last year.
  • There is a huge pressure building and Cambodia is ill-prepared to handle it.
  • Besides, there are no laws in place in Cambodia.
  • Doctors who offered surrogacy service in India are aware of the new hubs.

Neutrino and Indian Neutrino Observatory

Neutrino

  • Very similar to electrons
  • Second most abundant particles after photon
  • Don’t carry any charge
  • Are not massless
  • Neutrinos are miniscule particles created in nuclear reactions, such as in the birth and death of sun and the stars, or in nuclear power plants.
  • Neutrinos interact with matter via the weak force. The weakness of this force gives neutrinos the property that matter is almost trans- parent to them.
  • Since they rarely interact, these neutrinos pass through the Sun, and even the Earth, unhindered. There are many other natural sources of neutrinos including exploding stars (supernovae), relic neutrinos, natural radioactivity, and cosmic ray interactions in the atmosphere of the Earth.

 

Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO) project 

INO, a proposed, underground observatory in Tamil Nadu to detect ephemeral particles called neutrinos — had been cleared by the Union government in 2015, after several years of deliberations, but has been stalled for over a year due to protests by activist groups, concerned over its environmental impact.

GM mosquitoes

  • To suppress wild female Aedes aegypti mosquito populations that cause dengue, chikungunya and Zika were launched in Maharashtra’s Jalna district.
  • The technology uses genetically modified male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry a dominant lethal gene. When male GM mosquitoes mate with wild female mosquitoes the lethal gene is passed on to offspring. The lethal gene in the offspring kills the larvae before they reach adulthood.
  • male mosquitoes do not bite humans, the release of GM males will not increase the risk of dengue, chikungunya and Zika.
  • Vector control using A. aegypti infected with the bacterium Wolbachia is achieved by using the life-shortening bacteria strain in both male and female mosquitoes
  • As Wolbachia is maternally inherited, the bacteria are anyway passed on to offspring. Dengue, Zika or chikunguya viruses cannot replicate when mosquitoes have Wolbachia . Unlike the RIDL technology, a feature of Wolbachia is that it is self-sustaining, making it a low-cost intervention.

Measles and Rubella

Measles 

  • Measles  is a deadly disease and one of the important causes of death in children.
  • It is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing of an infected person. Measles can make a child vulnerable to life threatening complications such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and brain infection.
  • Globally, in 2015, measles killed an estimated 1, 34,200 children—mostly under-5 years. In India, it killed an estimated 49,200 children.

Rubella

  • Rubella  is generally a mild infection, but has serious consequences if infection occurs in pregnant women, causing congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), which is a cause of public health concern.
  • CRS is characterized by congenital anomalies in the foetus and newborns affecting the eyes (glaucoma, cataract), ears (hearing loss), brain (microcephaly, mental retardation) and heart defects, causing a huge socio-economic burden on the families in particular and society in general.

What is Human embryo?

What is Human embryo?

  • An embryo is an early stage of development of a multicellular diploid eukaryotic organism.
  • In general, in organisms that reproduce sexually, an embryo develops from a zygote, the single cell resulting from the fertilization of the female egg cell by the male sperm cell.
  • The zygote possesses half the DNA of each of its two parents.
  • Human embryogenesis is the process of cell division and cellular differentiation of the embryo that occurs during the early stages of development.
  • In biological terms, human development entails growth from a one celled zygote to an adult human being.
  • Fertilisation occurs when the sperm cell successfully enters and fuses with an egg cell (ovum).
  • The genetic material of the sperm and egg then combine to form a single cell called a zygote and the germinal stage of prenatal development commences.
  • Embryogenesis covers the first eight weeks of development and at the beginning of the ninth week the embryo is termed a fetus.
  • Human embryology is the study of this development during the first eight weeks after fertilisation.
  • The normal period of gestation (pregnancy) is nine months or 38 weeks.

UPSC CSE Mains General Studies Paper – III

CSE Mains General Studies Paper – III
(Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

a. Economic Development

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
  • Government Budgeting.

b. Agriculture 

  • Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.
  • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
  • Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
  • Land reforms in India.

c. Infrastructure

  • Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.
  • Investment models.

Technology

  • Science and Technology – developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Bio diversity, Environment

  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

 Disaster Management

  • Disaster and disaster management.

Security

  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.