Is Indian Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016 Sustainable?

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The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill cleared by the Union Cabinet recently, has taken the medical fraternity by storm as the bill gives right to only married Indian couples to have a surrogate child, that too with numerous restrictions. The bill, praised and criticised throughout the country, has life changing implications on not only the people of this country, but also people from across the world who turn to India in search of a surrogate child.

The bill propagates complete ban on commercial surrogacy in India, making it purely altruistic, banning men, women and gay couples. Moreover, Indian nationals living abroad also can’t make use of the technology. Priya Selvaraj, a fertility specialist associated with GG Hospital, Chennai, says, “We need to bring in laws formulated by an efficient committee and not come down upon it in an irrational manner but in a manner where there is a sustainability and a win-win situation for all parties involved-namely commissioning parents, surrogates and the specialist dealing with them.” In respect to other countries, where the practices are either banned, highly regulated or purely altruistic, India has not taken a clear stand on how the industry should be run.

India is represented as the surrogacy capital of the world, although it is not the only one. “Whether to be proud or ashamed is a moral and or ethical debate. But, the fact that it’s true is because it is largely unregulated, cheaper and also the awareness levels of the women selected for the process is far less than their western counterparts. Monetary supplements may be easily manipulated by middlemen and families or practitioners etc,” she explained.

The bill also restricts surrogacy to married Indian couples . A couple should be proven infertile or incapable of having a child naturally before choosing the option of surrogacy. The couple can only opt for altruistic surrogacy. On this clause, Priya points out that it is worthwhile to let it run for those really needy couples who will benefit having their biological or part biological baby being carried by a surrogate but then again one has to completely protect the rights of the surrogate too. Also monetary transactions have to be standardised so that there is no exploitation of both parties. We need to pay attention to the couple who also face an emotional and financial burden of undergoing the whole process.

The regulation is a step towards curtailing illegal practises by setting legal ages for the men (26-55) and women(23-50) who can undergo IVF procedures and related techniques. The bill also says that a woman can be a surrogate just once, “which is good for her well being and at the same time banning commercial surrogacy with an iron fist by not allowing gay couples and single parents for the same is going to open up illegal channels.”

Priya describes that It costs about three lakhs to completely go through an IVF cycle. Moreover, food and medical expenses-boarding and lodging may be approx another Rs. 3 to 5 lakhs. lawyers fee roughly around Rs.25,000, surrogate’s fee can range anywhere from Rs. 3 to 5 lakhs which is not standardised as the educated surrogates demand more and the others get exploited at much lower amount. ” In all a couple may have to shell out anywhere from Rs 10 to15 lakhs,” she added.

Why A Valentine’s Day Kiss Could Land You Into Deep Trouble?

Is it really necessary to refrain from kissing someone who you love more than anything else on Valentine’s Day? In fact, the day is all about expressing your love and feeling for one-another. Everybody wishes to kiss his or her partner on this day. With Valentine’s Day just a few months away from us let us first analyze the possible reasons why kissing is strict no-no without doctor’s confirmation.

Following the Valentine’s Day celebration, there is almost sudden splurge in serious diseases. These not just include big ones like STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases), AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) and Syphilis, but several other diseases too.

Kissing your loved one without adequate protection can even land you at ICU (Intensive Care Unit) at hospital. Well, the writer doesn’t have any intention to scare you about your love life but just to put things in perspective and how to avoid catching kiss-related diseases.

Top 5 Serious Diseases That Spread Via Kiss

1) Gingivitis: This disease is mainly caused due to spit, but when you are kissing somebody you won’t have any control over yourself. Suppose you are kissing your partner and he is already having gingivitis bacteria, then there is every possibility that you may also get infected.

In French kiss, some more oral organs are involved – through which such bacteria may invade your body. A red and painful gum is the first symptom of gingivitis but again don’t panic without doctor’s confirmation.

 2) Herpes: It is another serious disease that can infect you after having some cozy romantic sessions with your partner. So what? Around fifty per cent of the world populace is affected due to herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1) in one form or another. If you kiss somebody having cut or infected lesion in their mouth, then it’s quite natural that you may also catch the disease. If either you or your partner have a lesion – it’s better to stop kissing and get yourself medically examined.

3) Syphilis: The virus of Syphilis could easily transmit to another person’s body when you kiss each other. Though sexual contacts are viewed as the common reason to catch Syphilis – that doesn’t mean you take kissing easy. If you have developed such types of sore then you must get it medically examined without any delay. A certain dosage of doctor-recommended Antibiotics could be really helpful in such cases.

 4) Meningitis: There is no guarantee that mere kissing can cause you meningitis. But it’s true that if your partner is suffering from it and you come in direct contact with him, then it might invade your body too. No kissing or physical contact is recommended under such a scenario.

5) Mononucleosis Infection: It is the nagging disease that any person can catch after kissing his or her partner. This virus is easily transmissible by way of kissing. Sore throat, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes are the symptoms of this disease. With adequate bed rest, plenty of fluids and nutritious food you can easily cure this disease.

This Valentine’s Day, don’t take any risk. First get yourself and your partner checked from a qualified doctor and be confirmed that you two are carrying no virus or bacteria inside your bodies.  Then definitely, both of you can plunge into kissing and even spending a night together.

Bursting Crackers Increases the Level of Pollution on Diwali: Says Report

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Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, is known for its rich tradition of bursting colourful crackers on that day. But over the past few years, people have become somewhat cautious about bursting crackers. The reasons can by many, but primarily, health risk is on top. We need to bring it down further.

Last year, Pune University has categorically pointed out the direct link between crackers and pollution. A report published in the Indian express, one of India’s leading dailies, cited an observation jointly conducted by the researchers at the Pune University (PU) and Chest Research Foundation (CRF). It disclosed that a simple fire cracker like a snake tablet emits as high as PM2.5 (Particulate matter), which isn’t good for humans and environment. Now imagine how much the other big crackers emit?

A snake table release around 65, 000 mcg /m3. It’s extremely harmful for the people standing near it and also it directly affects our environment. Crackers can harm our vital organs like eyes, nose, heart and lung.

Why You Should Stop Bursting Crackers: Reasons at A Glance

  • Prevent Fire Hazards: Fire accidents and tragedies are quite frequent in India. Kollam tragedy in Kerala, which took dozens of lives, a few months back, happened because of firecrackers. We can’t overlook it.
  • Be kind to Animals/ Pets: You can’t enjoy at the cost of harming other beings. Common!! Bursting crackers is no enjoyment at all. It shows your selfishness and lackadaisical attitude towards others. By bursting firecrackers you are endangering the lives of mute pet animals living within us.
  • Garbage All Over: There is no doubt, the wastage by firecrackers increases the waste – be it the sheet or the unused crackers – they lie scattered here and there. Is the clean India that we dreamt of?
  • Stop Promoting Child Labour: Spare a thought for those helpless kids who endanger their lives to let you burst crackers on Diwali. They work at hazardous factories and often risk their lives. Stop it!! Their apt place is school not hazardous factories. By purchasing firecrackers you are also somewhere promoting the child labor. Raise your voice against it.
  • Avoiding Harmful Gases: Every firecracker has some toxic chemicals and elements in it like; Cadmium, Aluminum, Sulfur and Barium among others. They do no good to us but invade our bodies by way of breathing. Then they attack our immune system and increase the risk of other serious diseases too.

Why Boycott Chinese Fire-Crackers?

There are many reasons to avoid purchasing Chinese Firecrackers. It doesn’t relate to any political ideology but some simple common senses.

  • The presence of high level of Potassium Chlorate in Chinese fire-crackers. Indian government has banned the chemical in 1992.
  • Possession and sale of foreign firecrackers (including Chinese) is punishable under the Indian law.
  • The noise limit for firecrackers as per the Indian rule is 145. But Chinese crackers frequently exceed that level. Also, the manufacturers hardly disclose chemical composition inside these crackers.
  • Often the chemical compounds which help making firecrackers are smuggled into India from abroad flouting all rules and regulations – causing huge damage to Indian treasury and Tax department.

Bursting crackers is in itself a bad omen. You spend a huge chunk of money just to fire crackers. Especially, in an over polluted and populated nation like India bursting firecrackers during diwali and marriage season is like endangering the entire nation, people and ecology as a whole.

Don’t Follow The Crowd…. Follow what is Right. Let’s pledge to stop lighting firecrackers on Diwali and other ceremonies, starting this Year!!

Gender Inequality – Everyone Is A Culprit!

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India of today is relentlessly aspiring to make a solidified place for itself in world politics, economy, defense, science and space. On one hand, more than two decades of liberalization and globalization has redefined the concept of capital economy around the world at large and particularly in India; whereas, UN General Assembly still in 2015 lists ending poverty and hunger as their primary Sustainable Development Goals.

The paradox is nowhere more evident in its entirety than in India. Despite the grave income inequality, so much so, that one is forced to vividly notice the existence of two juxtaposed national entities surviving within the geographical boundaries of one India; there is something that unifies these contrasting national identities and it is not Hindutva! Whether one is rich or a pauper, educated or uneducated, urban or a rural resident, we are all bitten by the bug of a cultural male bias! It would be easier to shrug one’s shoulder on yet another feminist sermon. But, the declining Child Sex Ratio ever since the recorded data on population has been maintained is a horrifying and disturbing indicator for the country. Modernity, education and growth were supposed to end gender inequality but what we are witnessing is starkly opposite!

Society is the reflection of material development. The nation which is obsessed with consumerism, translating it as growth needs introspection on this disheartening trend that encompasses religious, ethnic, educational, economic, caste-based and geographical diversity. A society in which a woman is discriminated against from her mother’s womb and her modesty outraged either physically or psychologically has no right to call itself civilized or developed.

I had a long held prejudice against marriage in its arranged, moral, societal and family oriented format as the root cause for all social woes. It will be a different debate altogether and inconsequential too as anyway in our time while we walk the earth, there seems no plausible hope of this rouged institution of marriage waning. Weddings will continue to be negotiated between families and women will continue to be treated as objects in this widely accepted, sacred and lawful trade.

However, there is something which all of us can do to curb the persistent adverse sex ratio without much rigor at individual levels. It is by fighting against the menace of dowry and understanding its detrimental backlash on the country. We can play a crucial part towards a gender equitable world. Dowry is often downplayed but is one of the most vital empirical reasons for the tendency of not wanting a girl child. The practice of dowry continues unabated and in the present epoch of commercialization has become uglier than ever. Ironically, we have made women their own foes in this vicious arrangement of family affairs! Every one of us is a culprit in this abhorrent crime against women as either a directly involved party or a witness who preferred shutting their eyes, mouth and ears like Gandhi’s pseudo mystic apes!

I am aware of some obnoxious arguments in favour of dowry too. I suppose anybody who respects individuality, believes in liberty and values the dignity of human life could only laugh at such sugar-coated pretexts being offered, as I did! To rise against dowry will be our first formidable step towards empowering women and moving forward into a desired land where people irrespective of any biases and prejudice have freedom of choices and outcomes!

 

Comparing iPhone 7 V/S iPhone 6

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Finally, after a long wait, iPhone 7 has been released and shall soon be visible in hands of iPhone lovers across countries. But the real question is, whether the new iPhone 7 is worth the upgrade from iPhone 6 and if spending money will get you what you require from your latest iPhone apart from the brand value, which as we all know, Android users never really understand.

So Apple launched its new iPhone 7 on September 7, 2016 in San Fransisco and started selling from 16th September and the latest buzz is the unavailability of iPhone 7 jet black for the first batch is sold out and other batches of silver, black, rose and rose gold are limited in number. So the rush is huge and everybody is going berserk, should you wait or not, let’s try to understand.

Software

The new iOS 10 in iPhone 7 features various new features, out of which the following three are the hottest.

  1.  Hyperinteractive – The iOS 10 will get voicemail transcription and will automatically detect if the callers are spammers.
  2.  Apple Music – The Apple music interface has completely been revamped with a better interface than before, which had received numerous complaints from its users.
  3.  3D Touch – The iOS 10 will enable you to get widgets by pressing down on the app icon for a quicker access.

Design and Display

IPhone 7 has a 4.70-inch touchscreen display which is similar to iPhone 6. Both 6 and 7 have a resolution of 750 pixels by 1334 pixels. While the iPhone 7 is powered by quad-core Apple A10 fusion processor, iPhone 6 was powered with Apple’s A8 processor. The current version comes with 2GB RAM while the previous one came with 1GB RAM.

Camera Features

iPhone 7 has  a 12 megapixel primary camera with an aperture of f/18. The primary camera also has a six element lens. Other new features in iPhone 7 camera include optical image stabilization, Quad-LED true tone flash and body detection.

The Front camera has improved its resolution to 7 megapixels and also offers image stabilization. The front camera will record in 1080 pixels, thanks to Retina Flash.  On the other hand, iPhone 6 has 12 megapixel rear camera, but only 5 megapixel front camera. It does not feature front flash and is incapable of live photos and 4k video recording. Also, iPhone 6 has dual –LED True Tone Flash rather Quad LED in 7, which offers much better image quality.

Hardware

iPhone 6 features A9 processor, which 7 is loaded with A1 fusion which has M10 motion coprocessor, which Apple claims is 40 percent faster than A9. The new iPhone will be available in 256GB, 128GB and 32 GB, and will have a battery life 2 hours more than its previous version.

Upgrade or not?

Although there aren’t many huge enhancements as such in the new iPhone 7, but for all iPhone lovers, they are huge enough and AirPods definitely steal the deal because it’s a new concept and worth a try. Moreover, if you don’t like it, you have the option to use your earphones.

Team Indus of India Is Ready For Its Debut Cruise To Moon

Technology major Google has shortlisted Team Indus, only Indian space technology startup, to send a robot to the moon under the company’s Lunar XPRIZE competition for $25 million plus project. If the startup succeeds it would be the first time that a cent percent privately owned entity making a lunar exploration.

According to sources, Team Indus has already crossed the first hurdle by winning $1 million prize money earlier this year. The team’s R&D (Research and Development) division has a squad of capable scientists and future astronauts. Team Indus is expected to undertake its lunar mission by December next year.

The entire Indian media is now going gaga over Team Indus’s stupendous success; even its members are highly excited too. Literally, it’s the first time that any Indian rover or spacecraft is expected to land on the surface of the moon under the aegis of private entrepreneurs. In 1976, Indian astronaut Rakesh Sharma created a record by becoming the first Indian to land on the moon.

Why Team Indus Has An Edge Over Other Nations?

Until now, only ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) has exclusive right over space exploration. But now, Team Indus, a private company, is standing on the verge of creating history amidst several competitors. Initially, Indus team faced a tough contest from other 10 who were also in the fray including the likes of Italy, Peru, Mexico, Singapore, Germany and others.

Gladly enough, India had successfully reached the top 3 club of the contest. All these three nations will compete to send their spacecraft to the moon by 2017. GLPX (Google Lunar XPrize) will announce the ultimate winner of the contest which will fly to the moon through its spacecraft.

With Team Indus already in top 3, India’s prospect of winning this prestigious contest is indeed glittering.

Exactly nine years back, Google launched its unique lunar exploration campaign, GLPX (Google Lunar XPrize), in 2007, that aimed at motivating budding entrepreneurs to undertake in-depth research on space exploration. Several countries opted out of the contest due to one reason or another. But India’s Indus team stayed alive in the contest despite being a small private-funded entity.

Team Indus has a small yet capable staff. According to Team Indus’s official Ravishankar, “Humans have conquered sea, land and air. Space is the final frontier.” This couplet gave the much-needed impetus to the team that brought it to global spotlight.

Bes Wishes Team Indus

India is taking a great pride in team Indus and there is every reason to feel so. After the painstaking effort by the Indus team, finally, we are in the top 3. There is every possibility that the first ever premier spacecraft by Team Indus will land on the moon, India’s nearest satellite body.

The team is currently managed by Axiom Research Labs Pvt. Ltd headquartered in Bengaluru. The team is getting overwhelming wishes from the Indian crowd and citizens who feel this is the right time to show the world that India is a great nation with the right level of scientific temper, skill and attitude.

In recent past, Chandrayaan-1, India’s first unmanned mission to the moon didn’t land there as per planned. In fact, it did rough landing leading to the termination of its functioning. It is hoped that Team Indus will make a successful soft landing on the moon. Keeping fingers crossed!!

Will India and Pakistan Fight in New Year 2017

Ever since India carried out its surgical strikes across POK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) in the late September this year, the speculation over a possible India-Pakistan War in the upcoming New Year 2017 is gaining momentum. Those advocating for war must realize that it’s not a cricket match – one game and it’s all over – war rages on. It destroys the lives of several men-in-uniform, their families and even innocent citizens as well when the situation goes out of control.

Defense Experts are of the view that a war should only be the last option. Considering the upcoming assembly elections in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP), Modi-led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government at the centre, with BJP as its ruling coalition partner, can wage a war against Pakistan to strengthen its position in the forthcoming poll. It’s going to be a fatal four-way contest at the UP poll with all major political parties; Congress, BJP, SP and BSP are in the fray.

Possible Reasons Why India-Pakistan War Should Be Avoided

1) Massive loss of human lives on both sides of the border.

2) GDP of both nations will tumbledown due to war. After effects of the war will haunt both nations’ economies for a long time.

3) Possible ill effects of any war would be felt in massive unemployment, inflation, loan burden of international financial institutions and retardation in developmental process.  

4) China’s possible involvement in the war will escalate further tension in the region leaving the fate of the massive chunk of the people into jeopardy.

5) Historically, India and Pakistan have fought against each other for record four times; 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999, but none of them yielded any viable and concrete solution as yet. War mongering Pakistan had already lost four battles against India; fighting one more war could further impact its already decrepit economy.

Why India-Pakistan Will Fight a War in the New Year

With the year almost coming to an end, there is a growing possibility of war between these two erstwhile nations. Pakistan as a neighbor has always hurt India badly using ‘terrorists’ as its non-state actors. What’s more shocking is the fact that each time India asks Pakistan to act tough on terror; latter invokes Kashmir issue – though these two subjects are asymmetrically different.

Obviously, if Pakistan continues to harm India with deadly terrorism as an element to its foreign policy, how long will India bear the brunt? Most terrorist attacks in India had directly or indirectly Pakistani hands involved in the same. It’s high time our neighbor should divert its attention towards checking in the growing frustration of the Baloch people and other discontented citizens of the country.

Pakistan must fight growing corruption, illiteracy, unemployment, terrorism and communal violence first before it aims to take on India militarily. As of now, the possibility of India-Pakistan war in 2017 is wide open unless Pakistan really undertakes to fight terrorism in reality. But from hindsight, a war between India and Pakistan is almost imminent. However, India and Pakistan should try to solve their disputes first by using dialogues and mutual consultation before taking such a drastic decision as war.

Is War and Hatred an Intelligent Solution to India Pakistan Crisis?

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The creators of Indian Constitution and the founding fathers of the Independent India knew that partition was not going to solve the problems of conflict that arose due to Hindu Muslim divide. Yet, they thought that it is the best step towards peace in the country. People will forever blame Gandhi for his decision of allowing this to happen, but can we really look beyond what has happened and see if war is the only intelligent solution to conflict between India and Pakistan and if not, then what else can bring peace to this ever growing problem of Kashmir and terrorism.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra during his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on September 25th, retaliated to Pakistan’s rhetoric of war for 1000 years with India by saying, “I accept this challenge. I want to tell you that India wants to fight with Pakistan. If you have the courage then why not fight to end poverty, unemployment, illiteracy. Let us see which country wins, India or Pakistan.” To be frank, people in the country have much stronger sentiment than these. There are many who feel India should go to war with Pakistan and take revenge for the loss our nation has borne. To those who actually feel so, might not really understand what a family goes through when a son, father, brother or any other member is fighting at the forefront of the war.
What happened in Uri (Jammu and Kashmir) has shocked the entire nation. Such acts should not be tolerated by any country, but who is to be blamed is a question that we all must ask. Is the entire country of Pakistan to be blamed? Are there people equally responsible for what’s happening across the border that they too should be hated equally as their army and politicians?
Banning Artists from Pakistan
Recently, Times Now news channel, under its editor Arnab Goswami was discussing the nonsensical remarks of MNS (Maharashtra Navanirman Sena) on Pakistani artists. MNS politicians asked for a ban on Bollywood artists from Pakistan and said that they would throw the ones who will not leave. Is this really logical to think of the people from across the border like this? Are we so dumb that we would actually believe in these words and start hating the people whose problems are similar to ours if not like ours.
In India, there educational institutions where students from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan come to study and only they know how much it means to them to get a good education to live a prosperous life. These are the students who will go on to share their experiences from India and tell their own people how different we are as compared to how we are portrayed. So its’ not about taking a stand for big Bollywood stars, but for the ones who are not so powerful and need immunity from political issues. It’s the only way forward when most of the so called ‘progressive world’ is under the impact of direct or indirect war/ terrorism.
People of India and Pakistan should be left alone. They should not be forced to take part in this business of enmity. They already have enough problems to deal with, being an imaginary enemy can wait for sometime.

India’s Uniform Civil Code – Decoding Triple Talaq

Recently the Law Commission of India gave out a questionnaire on the Uniform Civil Code provided in the Constitution of India under Article 44. The questionnaire consisted of 16 questions asking the public’s opinion on the necessity of uniform laws, especially in a country that sees the amalgamation of different religions and cultures.

The triple talaq system in Islam has been the most criticized in this matter, wherein the husband can divorce his wife by repeating the word ‘talaq’ thrice. This is a matter of concern as far as women’s rights go. The government has taken a stand against this ritual, stating that it is against women’s right to equality and cannot be substantiated to a legit religious practice.

In a country that has seen years of patriarchal norms in the society and has only recently come to terms with women’s rights and a new wave of feminism, a practice such as this is regressive and against its development.

Triple talaq, polygamy and other such traditional practices that are legitimate under the religion are not in par with women’s rights. The woman, who has left her maternal house to live with her husband and his family, and who possibly is unemployed, is left vulnerable in the society. Where must she go?

On the one hand in urban cities we see women are educated and working, juggling both household (if they are married) and work. These women can stand on their own but the real vulnerable group comes from the smaller strata of society, the lower middle class and the poor from the two tier cities and rural areas. With no stringent laws to protect them and a heavily patriarchal society dictating their every move, they are the ones who will benefit the most with a uniform civil code.

India is a secular country and the need for similar laws, irrespective of religion and culture, is the need of the hour. Everyone should be treated equal under the law.

Recently a judgement stating that men can divorce their wives if they tried to separate them from their families was met with backlash around the country. The question was repeatedly asked that these laws favor men and why a pressing matter such as marital rape has not been questioned under the law. Why has it not been legally recognized yet? Is it because the law does not care enough about the women who face this every day?

Culture and laws are not in sync because while the former remains static, laws need to change according to the society they are made to help and function. And society is changing everyday as globalization hits us from all corners and there is a fervour in the air to change the regressive laws that are against the marginalized section of the society.

Muslim women must speak out against the triple talaq system and the government should provide them a judicial backbone to exert their rights as citizens of a secular and democratic nation.