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26th February, 2024 Current Affairs

26th February, 2024 Current Affairs

Surrogacy (Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2024

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) introduced the Surrogacy (Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2024 on 21-2-2024, altering the Surrogacy (Regulation) Rules, 2022. These amendments, effective immediately, address significant changes regarding the use of donor gametes and consent agreements in surrogacy arrangements.
  • Previously, surrogacy required both gametes to be from the intending couple, prohibiting the use of donor gametes.
  • The recent amendment introduces flexibility, allowing one donor gamete under specific circumstances.
  • Unchanged provisions maintain that single women eligible for surrogacy are limited to widows or divorcees.

Philippines becomes first Asian Country to Ratify ILO Convention to End Workplace Violence and Harassment

  • The Philippines has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first Asian country to ratify the Violence and Harassment Convention 2019 (No. 190) as announced by the International Labor Organization (ILO). The convention addresses workplace violence and harassment comprehensively, marking a crucial step towards ensuring safe and respectful work environments globally.
  • The Philippines deposited the instrument of ratification with ILO Deputy Director-General Celeste Drake, signifying its commitment to combating workplace violence and harassment.
  • By ratifying Convention No. 190, the Philippines joins 37 other nations in the world that have taken a stance against workplace violence and harassment.
  • Notably, it becomes the pioneer in Asia to ratify this convention, underscoring its dedication to upholding international labor standards.

Shehbaz Sharif to be Pakistan PM and Asif Ali Zardari President

  • In Pakistan, two big-time political groups, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), have decided to share power.
  •  This means Shehbaz Sharif is set to be the Prime Minister again, and Asif Ali Zardari will be the President. It’s like when two captains from different teams decide to work together to win the game.

UAE Removed from FATF Gray List

  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been swiftly removed, signaling significant progress in the country’s efforts to combat illicit financial activities.
  • The Paris-based watchdog acknowledged the UAE’s strengthened anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures, leading to the country’s exit from increased monitoring.
  • Namibia and Kenya have been placed on the gray list following the latest FATF review.
  • UAE’s addition to the increased monitoring list in March 2022 marked a swift transformation.

Vietnam’s National Hydrogen Strategy: Targets 500,000T of clean H2 by 2030

  • Vietnam has set forth an ambitious national hydrogen strategy, aiming to become a significant player in the global hydrogen market. With targets ranging from 100,000 to 500,000 tons of clean hydrogen production annually by 2030, escalating to 10-20 million tons by 2050, the strategy seeks to leverage both green and blue hydrogen production methods.
  • Produce 100,000-500,000 tons of clean hydrogen annually by 2030.
  • Scale up production to 10-20 million tons by 2050.

Also Read: Awards: Weekly Current Affairs Bitbank (January 29 to February 4, 2024): In the 2023 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) assessment, where did India rank among 180 nations?

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Geeta Batra’s Historic Appointment to the World Bank’s GEF

  • Geeta Batra, a distinguished Indian economist, has been appointed as the Director of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the World Bank’s Global Environment Facility (GEF). This appointment marks a significant milestone, as Batra becomes the first woman from a developing country to assume this prestigious role.
  • As the Director of the IEO at the GEF, Batra will play a crucial role in shaping the direction of global environmental policies and projects. Her responsibilities will include overseeing the evaluation of the GEF’s projects and programs, ensuring that they meet the highest standards of effectiveness and sustainability. With her at the helm, the IEO is expected to further its mission of promoting environmental health and sustainability through rigorous evaluation and strategic guidance.

India-specific model developed to determine the age of a foetus

  • BRIC-THSTI Faridabad and IIT Madras researchers have developed an India-specific model to determine the age of a foetus in a pregnant woman in the second and third trimesters precisely.
  • Currently, the age of a foetus (gestational age, GA) is determined using a formula developed for Western populations and are likely to be erroneous when applied in the later part of pregnancy due to variations in the growth of the foetus in Indian population.
  • The newly developed second and third-trimester GA formula, Garbhini-GA2, accurately estimates the age of a foetus for the Indian population, reducing error by almost three times. Accurate GA is necessary for the appropriate care of pregnant women and for determining precise delivery date.
  • Ultrasound dating in early pregnancy is the standard of care for determining GA. However, a major proportion of women in India have their first ultrasound done in their second and third trimester of pregnancy. In these women, the application of Indian population-specific GA formulae, with better accuracy, can potentially improve pregnancy care leading to better outcomes.
  • This accurate dating will also enhance the precision of epidemiological estimates for pregnancy outcomes in the country.
  • Once validated in prospective pan-India cohorts, this Garbhini-GA2 can be deployed in clinics across India, improving the care delivered by obstetricians and neonatologists, thus reducing maternal and infant mortality rates in India.

International collaboration of physicists achieves first successful laser cooled Positronium

  • For the first time, an international collaboration of researchers has successfully demonstrated the laser cooling of Positronium, a short-lived hydrogen-like atom that provides an ideal testing ground for bound-state quantum electrodynamics.
  • The Antihydrogen Experiment: Gravity, Interferometry, Spectroscopy (AEgIS) collaboration has performed complex experiments at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in order to obtain this breakthrough.
  • The results could pave the way for taking up advanced studies leading to improved understanding of the physical nature, comprising matter and antimatter facilitated through the interactions between light and charged matter.
  • Positronium is a fundamental atom that comprises an electron (e-) and a positron (e+). Electrons and positrons are leptons, and they interact through electromagnetic and weak forces. A usual atom is made up of a mixture of baryons and leptons. Since Positronium is only made up of electrons and positrons, and no usual nuclear matter, it has the unique distinction of being a purely leptonic atom.
Published date : 26 Feb 2024 03:55PM

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