Daily Current Affairs for 14th Oct 2023

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Foetal Viability and MTP Act, 1971

Why in the news?

Recently, the Supreme Court of India is currently deliberating on a case that involves a 27-year-old married woman seeking permission to terminate her 26-week pregnancy.

  • The case has raised crucial questions concerning a woman’s autonomy to make decisions about her pregnancy, rights of unborn child after foetal viability criteria and the existing legislative framework.

What is the Concept of Foetal Viability?

  • India’s law is considered progressive, but it introduces a new concept: the “foetal viability” criterion. This principle, reminiscent of the 1973 US Supreme Court verdict in Roe v Wade, allows abortion until the point of foetal viability, now typically around 23-24 weeks due to medical advancements.

Understanding the Legal Framework – MTP Act, 1971

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTP Act) governs abortion in India. It was amended in 2021.

The Act permits abortion in three stages:

  • Termination of up to 20 weeks is allowed based on one doctor’s advice.
  • Pregnancies between 20 and 24 weeks can be terminated with the agreement of two registered medical practitioners but under specific circumstances.
  • After 24 weeks, a medical board at approved facilities can allow or deny termination, primarily in cases of substantial foetal abnormalities.

In recent years, Indian courts have allowed termination beyond 26 weeks in exceptional cases.



Australians Vote on Indigenous Consultation in Laws

Why in the news?

Australians will soon participate in a significant referendum to determine whether the nation’s indigenous peoples should be formally consulted in the process of lawmaking.

Significance of the referendum:

  • This historic event raises questions about the recognition of the country’s First Peoples and the establishment of an “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.”
  • The referendum essentially asks whether a new body, termed the “Indigenous Voice to Parliament,” should be created to provide advice to lawmakers on matters that significantly affect the lives of the First Peoples. Notably, the Australian Constitution, which is 122 years old, makes no mention of Aboriginal people.

The First Peoples

  • Australia’s First Peoples often referred to as “Aboriginal,” have inhabited the continent and its surrounding islands for millennia, dating back tens of thousands of years before the arrival of the first European settlers in the early 17th century.
  • Their unique heritage and cultural significance underscore the importance of their role in the nation’s governance.
  • Aboriginal people currently constitute approximately 3.2% of Australia’s population, yet they continue to face significant disparities in various socio-economic measures.

How referendum work in Australia?

  • In Australia, any constitutional changes necessitate a national referendum, and voting is mandatory for all adults.
  • For the referendum to be successful, more than 50% of voters must support it nationally, with a majority of voters in the majority of Australian states.

It is a landmark moment that may pave the way for stronger representation and collaboration in the country’s governance.



What is Phonotaxis?

Why in the news?

Recently, positive and negative phenomena of Phonotaxis in response to the environmental and anatomical conditions has been discovered.

What is Phonotaxis?

  • Phonotaxis is the movement of an organism in response to a sound. It is a common behavior among insects, bats, and other animals, and it is used for a variety of purposes, such as finding mates, avoiding predators, and navigating the environment.

Positive and Negative Phonotaxis

  • There are two types of phonotaxis: positive and negative. Positive phonotaxis is when an animal is attracted to a sound, while negative phonotaxis is when an animal is repelled by a sound.

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