International Day of the Girl Child – October 11

British Petroleum abandons Great Australian Bight drill plans

British oil giant BP Tuesday ditched plans to drill in the Great Australian Bight after reviewing its global exploration programme, a decision environmentalists hailed as a victory for the pristine wilderness.

The company had wanted to drill four deep exploration wells in waters off the South Australian coast to see whether commercial quantities of oil or natural gas are present.

But it was a controversial move with the huge bight a haven for whales, seals, dolphins and penguins and home to sea eagles and albatross.

BP was responsible for a massive oil spill in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico and conservation groups were concerned about the risk posed to the environment.

great australian bight

Janani Suraksha Yojana pays dividends: Study

A new study brings in first conclusive evidence of the role played by Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) in reducing ‘socio-economic disparities’ existing in maternal care.

The JSY was launched in 2005 as part of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to improve maternal and neonatal health by promotion of institutional deliveries (childbirth in hospitals).

According to a working paper by Ruchi Jain (NCAER), Sonalde Desai (NCAER, University of Maryland) and Reeve Vanneman (University of Maryland), “JSY has led to an enhancement in the utilisation of health services among all groups especially among the poorer and underserved sections in the rural areas, thereby reducing the prevalent disparities in maternal care.”

While previous studies had shown the impact of JSY in reducing maternal mortality, it was not known if it had reduced socioeconomic inequalities — differences in access to maternal care between individual people of higher or lower socioeconomic status.

The study was conducted using data from two rounds of the India Human Development Survey (IHDS) — conducted in 2004-05 and 2011-12.

Three key services of maternal care were used for the analysis: full antenatal care (full ANC), safe delivery, and postnatal care.

Secondly, the usage of all three maternal healthcare services by the OBC, Dalit, Adivasis and Muslim women increased between the surveys.

Note that inequality in access to maternal care persists. The study, however, notes that the gap in access to healthcare between the marginalised group of women and those who are financially better-off has declined since the advent of the JSY program.

High incidence of maternal mortality continue to plague India. As per the latest Lancet series on maternal health, India accounted for 15 per cent of the total maternal deaths in the world in 2015 — second only to Nigeria — with 45,000 women dying during pregnancy or childbirth.

Demystifying Science: What is a ‘hyperelastic bone’?

Hyperelastic Bone or HB is a breakthrough in reconstructive surgery. It is a new synthetic material that can be implanted under the skin as a scaffold for new bone to grow on, or used to replace lost bone matter altogether.

Surgeons currently replace shattered or missing bones with a number of things. The most common option is an autograft where a piece of bone is taken from a patient’s own body, usually from a hip or a rib, and implanted where it’s needed elsewhere in the same patient’s skeleton.

Surgeons prefer autografts because they’re real bone complete with stem cells that give rise to cartilage and bone cells to provide extra support for the new graft. Researchers at Northwestern University, U.S., say that the hyperelastic bone (made of hydroxyapatite, a naturally occurring mineral that exists in our bones and teeth) will provide strength to create bone.

The idea is that a patient would come in with a nasty broken bone — say, a shattered jaw — and instead of going through painful autograft surgeries or waiting for a custom scaffold to be manufactured, he or she could be X-rayed and a 3D-printed hyperelastic bone scaffold could be printed that same day.

SC widens ambit of Domestic Violence Act


The Supreme Court has widened the scope of the Domestic Violence Act.

The Changes:-

  • The court has ordered striking down of the two words from Section 2(q) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, which deals with respondents who can be sued and prosecuted under the Act for harassing a married woman in her matrimonial home.
  • The court has ordered the deletion of the words “adult male” from the act. Thus, the order has paved the way for prosecution of women and even non-adults for subjecting a woman relative to violence and harassment.
  • The order allows a woman to seek legal action against her daughter-in-law and even her minor grandchildren for domestic violence. Earlier, only daughter-in-law could sue her husband and his women relatives. But a domestic violence complaint couldn’t be filed against the daughter-in-law as the accused under the law could only be adult males.


Why order deletion of the words “adult male” from the statute book?

According to the court, these words violated right to equality under the Constitution and are discriminatory. Also, the court observed that the microscopic difference between male and female, adult and non adult, regard being had to the object sought to be achieved by the 2005 Act, is neither real or substantial, nor does it have any rational relation to the object of the legislation.

India’s first international arbitration centre

The Mumbai Centre for International Arbitration (MCIA), India’s first international arbitration centre, was recently inaugurated in Mumbai.This is being seen as a major step towards making Mumbai an International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and providing an arbitration platform for Indian business houses to negotiate commercial disputes.

At present, most of the global business disputes involving Indians land in the Singapore or the London arbitration centres. The total outflow of funds to resolve such cases, complete with logistics and other related exp

  • The MCIA will be an independent, not-for-profit organization governed by a council comprising eminent national and international legal luminaries
  • It can resolve disputes between different companies or individual.
  • It will have a 12-month timeline to complete arbitration seated in India and a prescribed fee structure as per the size of the disputed contract amount, which will enable both parties to know the cost of arbitration proceedings before they approach MCIA.



  1. HIMANSH :-India’s Remote, High-Altitude Station opened in Himalaya.
    1. Himalayan region has the largest concentration of glaciers outside the polar caps, as this region is aptly called the “Water Tower of Asia” is the source of the 10 major river systems that provide irrigation, power and drinking water for over 700 million people live in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh– nearly 10% of the world’s population. Understanding the behaviour of these glaciers and their contribution to the sustainable supply of water for mankind and agriculture is one of the grand challenges of Indian scientific community.

    2. As part of the Indian government’s initiatives to better study and quantify the Himalayan glacier responses towards the climate change, National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), Goa, under the Ministry of Earth Sciences has established a high altitude research station in Himalaya called HIMANSH (literally meaning, a slice of ice), situated above 13,500 ft (> 4000 m) at a remote region in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh.

  2. CORPAT :- India and Indonesia Coordinated Patrols (CORPAT) on respective sides of the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) twice a year.
  3. First Medipark will be set up in Chennai  


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