Current Affairs in English – August 6 , 2019

Lok Sabha passes bill to ban commercial surrogacy

Lok Sabha has passed the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 that prohibits commercial surrogacy, but allows altruistic surrogacy. It defines surrogacy as a practice where a woman gives birth to a child for an intending couple with the intention to hand over the child after the birth to the intending couple. There are 2000 to 3000 surrogacy clinics running illegally in the country.  The purpose of the Bill is to ensure effective regulation of surrogacy. 

Commercial surrogacy is banned and considered illegal in many countries including New Zealand, the United Kingdom, China, South Africa, Spain, and Switzerland.A child born out of a surrogacy procedure will be deemed to be the biological child of the intending couple.

Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Bill passed in Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019. Moving the Bill, Minister for State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Kishan Pal Gurjar, the Bill prohibits the discrimination against a transgender person, including denial of service or unfair treatment in relation to education, employment, healthcare, access to, or enjoyment of goods, facilities, opportunities available to the public. Cutting across party lines, members spoke in favour of the Bill.  The Bill provides every transgender person shall have a right to reside and be included in his household. 

UN calls for boycott of Myanmar companies with military links

UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission has urged foreign businesses and governments to sever ties with more than 140 companies owned or controlled by the Myanmar military Tatmadaw. These companies help the Myanmar army to avoid public scrutiny and carry out human rights violations with impunity.  It also called for the immediate imposition of targeted sanctions against companies run by the military.
The report accused the military of carrying out extensive human rights violations against civilians in Kachin, Shan and Rakhine provinces, including the forced deportation of more than 700,000 ethnic Rohingya to Bangladesh.

United States designates China a “currency manipulator”

The United States has designated China a “currency manipulator”, a move that could escalate the tense trade relations between the two nations. During the 2016 presidential elections, Donald Trump had promised to label China as a currency manipulator, but the Department of Treasury kept the country on its watchlist, declining to take the step.
Treasury Department announced that Secretary Steven Mnuchin, under the auspices of President Trump, has determined that China is a ‘Currency Manipulator’.

India test-fired SAR from Chandipur

India successfully test-fired its all weather tracked-chassis Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QR-SAM) at Chandipur in Odisha on 4 August 2019. It was the second developmental trial of the missile in this year from the same test range. QR-SAM system can engage multiple targets within a range of around 25 to 30 km with two vehicle configuration for area air defence.

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