Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs – 9th August 2023



Today Topics List:

  1. Teenage pregnancies in Karnataka: Report

  2. Norms for Sex selective Surgeries on intersex infants

  3. No Jobs for Sex Crime Accused: Rajasthan [One view point]

  4. Kerala Assembly Resolution to scrap UCC plan [Views of Kerala Government}


  6. Defence Ministry and Locally built OS – MAYA

  7. Nutrition support prevents TB




Teenage pregnancies in Karnataka: Report

    • Karnataka has witnessed a rise in teenage pregnancies over the last three years, where the number went up from 10,101 during 2020 to 13,159 in 2021. It further rose to 19,561 in 2022.
      • This data was obtained from the Commissionerate of Health and family services of Karnataka through RTI query.
    • The total teenage pregnancies from Karnataka during 2020 and June 2023 is a staggering 45,557, reflects a doubling of teenage pregnancies in the last three years.
    • Pregnancy among underage girls will not only lead to discontinuation of their education, but also poses a threat of malnutrition among mothers and children.
      • Such issues were not raised and discussed in state legislature.
      • Karnataka State Legal services authority showed, compensation to 584 minor victims subjected to sexual violence during the last three years.



Norms for Sex selective Surgeries on intersex infants


  • Recently, a writ petition was filed by the parents of a child born with ambiguous genitalia seeking permission of the court to conduct a genital reconstruction surgery on the child. Kerala HC has disposed the writ petition.

What did the Court Say

  • Kerala High court has directed the State Government to issue an order regulating sex selective surgeries on intersex infants and children.
    • Until the regulation was put in place, sex selective surgeries shall be permitted only based on he opinion of a state- level multi-disciplinary committee that surgery was essential to save the life of such child/infant.
  • Court directed the Government to constitute a State – level multi-disciplinary committee consisting of a paediatrician/ paediatric endocrinologist, paediatric surgeon and child psychiatrist/child psychologist.
    • The committee decides whether the child was facing any life-threatening situation by reason of the ambiguous genitalia.

Legal protection to Intersex persons:

  • The definition of Transgender under Section 2 (k) of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) act took in persons with intersex variations too.
    • It makes protection available to such persons as well.
    • Section 4(2) of the act, guaranteed the Right to have a Self-Perceived gender identity.
    • Thus, it was beyond cavil that the right to choose gender was vested with the Individual concerned and no one else.

Outcomes of such permission

  • It also observed that granting of permission would impinge the rights guaranteed under the constitution and conduct of surgery without consent would violate the Child’s dignity and privacy.
  • It may also result in severe emotional and psychological issues if, on attaining adolescence, the child developed orientation towards the gender, other than the one to which child was converted through surgical intervention.


No Jobs for Sex Crime Accused: Rajasthan [One view point]

    • Rajasthan government decided to “ban” people accused of rape and other sex crimes from Government Jobs, amid outcry over the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Bilwara.
      • Records of such people will be maintained at Police station and it will also be mentioned on Character certificates needed for the government jobs.
      • Social boycott of such elements is necessary.


Kerala Assembly Resolution to scrap UCC plan [Views of Kerala Government}

    • Kerala State Assembly passed a resolution demanding the Central government to abandon drafting a Uniform Civil Code.
      • The Uniform civil code has an immediate bearing on preserving the personal laws that govern marriage, divorce, inheritance, and succession of minority community members.
      • UCC is an attempt to dictate and enslave citizens under viciously harsh caste system, that sough to retard the social progress.
      • UCC would render the statutory autonomous councils for the tribal development in the north east redundant.
      • It would end the special protection given to Dalits and that UCC was no panacea for the country’s ills.
      • It seeks to erase the fundamental rights of citizens to practice, profess and propagate the religion of their choice and live by the personal laws that their faith prescribes.






  • Niger in Africa, had been through a coup which established military general Abdourahmane Tchiani as head of the state. Apart from international players such as Russia and US, the regional bloc ECOWAS – Economic Community of West African States has been playing an active role in Niger crisis.

What is ECOWAS:

  • It is also known as CEDEAO in French, the regional group was established in 1975 through the Lagos Treaty.
    • It is mandated to promote economic integration among its members.
    • The head of the organisation is the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of state and Government
    • He was appointed for a period of 1 year
    • It has 15 members,
  1. Benin
  2. Burkina Faso
  3. Cape Berde
  4. Cote d’Ivoire
  5. The Gambia
  6. Ghana
  7. Guinea
  8. Guinea Bissau
  9. Liberia
  10. Mali
  11. Niger
  12. Nigeria
  13. Sierra Leone
  14. Senegal
  15. Togo
  • But due to coups in the countries such as Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso, they were suspended from the bloc.
  • ECOWAS’s larger aims are to have a single common currency and create a single, large trading bloc in areas of industry, transport, telecommunications, energy, financial issues, and social and cultural matters.

What was the role of ECOWAS in conflicts earlier:

  • It has attempted to quell military conflicts in the region.
    • ECOWAS’s regional peace keeping force was deployed in Liberia in 1990 during its deadly civil war.
    • It was also deployed in Sierra Leone in 1997 when a democratically elected government was overthrown.
    • In 2017, it intervened in The Gambia after long time president Yahya Jammeh refused to step down after losing elections.

ECOWAS in Niger:

  • While its response so far has indicated a military intervention, the grouping faces many challenges.
    • Mali and Burkina Faso announced support to the military Junta and any attack on Niger would be considered an attack on them.
    • There are also internal difficulties in launching an attack, While Nigeria’s president as head of the bloc has called for military intervention, Nigerian senate has pushed back on the request.




Defence Ministry and Locally built OS – MAYA

    • In the light of increasing cyber and malware attacks on critical infrastructure across country and in particular of defence systems has led to a decision to replace Microsoft Operating System (OS) with a new OS, Maya based on open-source Ubuntu developed Locally.
    • MAYA:
    • There has been a series of malware and ransom attacks in the country, including critical infrastructure in the recent past.
    • Maya was developed by the government agencies within 6 months, it would prevent malware attacks and other cyber-attacks.
    • Maya has the interface and all functionality like windows, where users will not feel much difference.
      • In addition to this, an ‘end point detection and protection system,’Chakravuyh is also being installed in these systems.
      • Maya is being installed only in defence Ministry systems and not on computers connected to the networks of the three services.
      • The three services had also vetted it and would adopt it on service networks as well soon.
    • The Navy had already cleared it and the Army and the Airforce were currently evaluating it.




Nutrition support prevents TB

    • Nutritional supplementation has been reported to sharply cutting down tuberculosis (TB) disease rate in the household contacts of an index patient and mortality reduction in people diagoned with active pulmonary TB.
    • In the Randomised Controlled trial involving household contacts of patients with Pulmonary TB, nutritional support led to 39 – 48 % reduction in TB disease in the intervention group compared with control arm.
      • The 39% reduction in TB disease included all forms of TB (pulmonary and Extra pulmonary) while the 48% reduction was in microbiologically confirmed pulmonary TB.

Nutritional Support : Trial

  • Each adult family member in the intervention arm received monthly nutritional support for six months- 5 kg of rice, 1.5 kg of split pigeon peas (tur dal) and a micro nutrient pill.
  • Each child below 10 years received 50% of the adult nutrition support.
  • Those in control arm did not receive any support.
  • The trial also provided nutritional supplementation to all 2,800 people with active pulmonary TB undergoing treatment.
    • Treatment was successful in 94% TB patients but only about 4% deaths during the six months.
  • Monthly nutritional support – 5 kg of rice, 1.5 kg of milk powder, 3 kg of roasted chickpea flour, 500 ml of oil and micronutrient pill. Was provided for six months for people with drug susceptible TB. And 12 months for people with MDR ( Multi Drug Resistant) TB.
  • The study documented high levels of severe under nutrition in patients as one of the contributory causes of deaths in TB patients. And Nutrition support provides protection against TB disease akin to vaccine.

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