Daily GS Mains Notes or Mains Content Enrichment for Civil Services
India registers a steep decline in maternal mortality ratio
Why in news
The Maternal Mortality Ratio in India (2016-18) released by the Office of the Registrar General’s Sample Registration System (SRS), India has registered a steep decline in Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR).
Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR):
the number of maternal deaths per 1,00,000 live births. The target 3.1 of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set by the United Nations aims to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 1,00,000 live births.
- The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in India has declined to 113 in 2016-18 from 122 in 2015- 17 and 130 in 2014-2016. This is almost 100 deaths less than the 2007-09 period where MMR was at 212. Maternal mortality in a region is a measure of the reproductive health of women in the area.
- As per the World Health Organization, maternal death is the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management.
- The MMR of various States includes Assam (215), Bihar (149), Madhya Pradesh (173), Chhattisgarh (159), Odisha (150), Rajasthan (164), Uttar Pradesh (197) and Uttarakhand (99).
- The southern States registered a lower MMR — Andhra Pradesh (65), Telangana (63), Karnataka (92), Kerala (43) and Tamil Nadu (60).
Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Traders upbeat over resumption of business with Afghanistan
Why in news
Traders in Punjab’s Amritsar are upbeat about resuming their business after Pakistan recently allowing Afghanistan to send goods to India using the Attari -Wagah border under the Pakistan-Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement.
Pakistan-Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement:
- The Afghanistan–Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (also known as APTTA) is a bilateral trade agreement signed in 2010 by Pakistan and Afghanistan.
- The 2010 agreement supersedes the 1965 Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement, which granted Afghanistan the right to import duty-free goods through Pakistani seaports, most notably from Karachi.
- It calls for greater facilitation in the movement of goods amongst the two countries.
- It allows for both countries to use each other’s airports, railways, roads, and ports for transit trade along designated transit corridors.
- The agreement does not cover road transport vehicles from any third country, be it from India or any Central Asia country.
- However, the signed Agreement permits Afghanistan trucks access to the Wagah border with India, where Afghan goods will be offloaded onto Indian trucks.
- This agreement does not permit Indian goods to be loaded onto trucks for transit back to Afghanistan.
Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
SC to examine Kerala Act on animal, bird sacrifices
Why in news
The Supreme Court has asked the Kerala Government to respond to an appeal against the High Court decision upholding the constitutional validity of the state’s law which prohibits animal or bird sacrifice to please a deity.
- The Supreme Court has agreed to examine the constitutional validity of the Kerala Animals and Birds Sacrifices Prohibition Act of 1968 that prohibits the sacrifice of animals and birds in temples to ‘please’ the deity.
- Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad A. Bobde, heading a three-judge Bench, highlighted the “dichotomy” in animal protection law that allows the killing of animals for food but does not permit “killing of animals for offer to a deity and then consumption”.
- The killing of animals for consumption of their meat is allowed as per the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. However, the law which is under challenge in the present case, the Kerala Animals and Birds Sacrifices Prohibition Act, 1968 (Act), prohibits the killing of animals for the appeasement of deities in temples.
- The State law bans the killing of animals and birds for religious sacrifices but not for personal consumption.
- The High Court had observed that the Prevention of Cruelty Act does not have the word “sacrifice” for the purpose of religion.
- The petitioner in his appeal claimed that animal sacrifice was an integral part of his religious practice. The plea said that the high court order violates his fundamental right under Article 25(1) of the Constitution..
- The impugned Act criminalizes the intent behind the animal sacrifice and not animal sacrifice per se. If the sacrifice is not for propitiating any deity but for personal consumption even in the precincts of a temple, it is not forbidden. This arbitrary classification is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India, the plea said.
- Petitioner also argued that Section 28 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 1960 does not make the killing of animals for religious purposes an offence.