[Newsbits] 13.02.2024: Egg Freezing, Floor Test, SWATI POrtal & More

newsbits mindmap notes
/ Bangladesh
Maia-Sultanganj Port Trial mind map
Recent News
Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWT&T)
Enhancing trade and connectivity
Inland waterways focus
Agreement signed on 25th Oct 2018
SoP signed on 5th Oct 2019
To reduce logistics costs
Improve trade competitiveness
Alternate route to congested roadways
Indo-Bangladesh Protocol
'Ports of Call' in India and Bangladesh
Maia and Sultanganj included
Kolkata-Siliguri corridor alternative
Cargo Traffic
Types of cargo
Fly ash
Stone Chips
ODC/Project cargo
Steel products
Approx. 3,600 voyages in FY 2018-19
Indian context
Enhancing Northeast states' trade
Use of Chattogram/Mongla for cargo
Connectivity through Kosi River
Bangladesh context
Narayanganj and Khulna ports
Receiving most IBP traffic
India-Bangladesh waterways
Maia and Sultanganj ports
Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route
Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)
Bangladesh counterparts
Development of waterways
Agreements and protocols
Cargo movement facilitation
Efficient trade route
Reduced transportation costs
Decongestion of land routes
Navigational challenges
Maintenance of waterways
International coordination
Way Forward
Continued development
Enhancing capacity
Expanding routes

The Maia-Sultanganj Port Trial is a key component of the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWT&T) between India and Bangladesh, aimed at enhancing trade and connectivity through inland waterways. It involves the development of ‘Ports of Call’ in both countries, including Maia and Sultanganj, to provide an efficient alternative to congested road routes. This initiative is significant for reducing logistics costs and improving trade competitiveness, especially for India’s northeastern states. It represents a collaborative effort in developing waterways and facilitating cargo movement between the two nations.

/ Women
SWATI (Science for Women- A Technology & Innovation) Portal mind map
Recent News
Launched in New Delhi
Global launch in February 2024
February 2024
Recognize Women in Science
Mark 75 years of Indian Independence
Online resource
Gateway to expertise
Contributions of Indian Women in STEM
Database Development
Under Inter Academy Panel
Interactive Features
Indian Context
Developed by National Institute of Plant Genome Research
Part of Indian Independence celebration
New Delhi, India
Database Developers
Inter Academy Panel
Oversight Body
Women in Science
Target Audience
Joining Process
Scan QR code
Click online link
Empowerment of Women in STEM
National and Global Reach
Way Forward
Expand and reach out
Every Woman in Science in India

The SWATI Portal, short for Science for Women- A Technology & Innovation, is a significant initiative launched in New Delhi to acknowledge and promote the contributions of women in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine (STEMM). It was developed under the Inter Academy Panel and by the National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR) HRD cell, specifically to mark the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence. This interactive online resource serves as a comprehensive database and a gateway to the expertise and accomplishments of Indian women in STEM, aiming to empower them and increase their visibility in these fields. The portal, which will be globally launched in February 2024, is open for registration through a simple process involving a QR code or an online link.

/ Biodiversity
Global Biodiversity Framework Fund mind map
August 2023
7th Assembly of GEF
Vancouver, Canada
By 186 countries
Halt and Reverse Biodiversity Loss by 2030
Recovery Path by 2050
Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework
Foundation for GBFF
Public, Private, Philanthropic
Quick Disbursement
Enhanced Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Support
GBF Fund Council
16 Developing Countries
14 Developed Countries
2 Central and Eastern Europe, Former Soviet Union
Sunset Provisions
Until 2030 unless decided otherwise
Financial Goals
USD 200 billion per year by 2030
Double International Flows by 2025
At least USD 30 billion/yr by 2030
Initial Contributions
200 Million Canadian Dollars
United Kingdom
10 Million Pounds
GEF Agencies
Civil Society Organizations
Private Sector
Need for More Donors
Meeting Financing Targets
Diverse Needs of IPLCs
Agrifood Systems
Climate Action
Biodiversity Conservation
Indigenous-Led Initiatives
20% Resources Allocation

The Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF), launched in August 2023 at the 7th Assembly of the Global Environment Facility in Vancouver, Canada, represents a significant global initiative to combat biodiversity loss. Ratified by 186 countries, the GBFF aims to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and set nature on a recovery path by 2050. Grounded in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, it focuses on streamlined funding from public, private, and philanthropic sources, with special attention to Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Governed by a diverse council, it seeks to mobilize USD 200 billion annually by 2030. Despite its ambitious goals, the GBFF faces challenges like securing sufficient funding and addressing the diverse needs of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

/ Diseases, Indices/Reports
286th Law Commission Report mind map
Recent News
Released recently
Epidemic Plan and SOP
Formulate Epidemic Plan
Define roles
Central government
State government
Local authorities
Consultation required
With stakeholders
Including private hospitals
Involve experts
Plan Provisions
Quarantine measures
Privacy-friendly surveillance
Transportation of medical supplies
Public information dissemination
Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
Ensures coordinated response
Across different government levels
Empowerment of Authorities
State governments
Take preventive measures locally
Central government
Frame binding regulations
During escalated threats
Amendment of EDA
Implementation of Epidemic Plan
Purpose of the Report
Demarcate roles and powers
Quick and coordinated response
Protection of rights during public health emergencies
Robust legal frameworks for epidemic management
About Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 (EDA)
Historical context
Enacted by British Raj
Colonial-era law
Main provisions
Special measures for outbreaks
Regulations include
Use in modern times
Invoked during COVID-19 pandemic in 2020

The 286th Law Commission Report emphasizes the need for a comprehensive Epidemic Plan and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to effectively address future epidemics. It critiques the limitations of the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 (EDA), highlighting its outdatedness and lack of clarity on power division between the central and state governments, leading to uncoordinated epidemic responses. The report’s key recommendations include formulating a detailed Epidemic Plan delineating the roles of central, state, and local authorities, and consulting stakeholders in its drafting. The plan should encompass aspects like quarantine, surveillance, transport of medical supplies, and public information dissemination. An SOP is proposed for a coordinated government response at different levels, with states empowered to act during initial outbreaks and the central government taking over as threats escalate. The report suggests amending the EDA to mandate the preparation, revision, and implementation of the Epidemic Plan. These recommendations aim to establish clear roles and powers for authorities, ensuring quick, coordinated, and rights-protecting responses in future public health crises, highlighting the importance of robust legal frameworks in an interconnected world.

/ Conservation Areas
Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS) mind map
Unique ecosystems
Rich biodiversity
Wild species
Domesticated species
Intra-specific categories
High endemism
Rare and Threatened species
Keystone species
Evolutionary significance
Wild ancestors of domestic species
Fossil beds
Cultural and Aesthetic values
Biological Diversity Act 2002
Legal Framework
Protection and Conservation
Management Guidelines
Gupteswar Forest, Odisha
Recent News
Designation as BHS
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's announcement
Adjacent to Gupteswar cave shrine
Koraput district
350 hectares
608 faunal species
Floral Diversity
182 species of trees
76 species of shrubs
177 species of herbs
69 species of climbers
14 species of orchids
Threatened medicinal plants
Conservation Significance
Endangered and Endemic species protection
Long-term conservation strategy
Other BHS in Odisha
Mandasaru Hills, Kandhamal
Mahendragiri Hills, Gajapati
Gandhamardan Hills, Balangir and Bargarh

Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS) are unique ecosystems characterized by their rich biodiversity, including a variety of wild and domesticated species. Under the Biological Diversity Act 2002, these sites are legally protected and managed for conservation. Recently, the Gupteswar Forest in Odisha’s Koraput district was designated as a BHS, joining other significant sites in the state like the Mandasaru, Mahendragiri, and Gandhamardan Hills. Spread over 350 hectares, Gupteswar Forest is home to 608 faunal species and a wide range of flora, playing a crucial role in the conservation of endangered and endemic species.

Climate Tipping Points mind map
Recent News
Catastrophic Change Looms
Earth nears climate tipping points
Reports highlight urgency
June Extremes
Start of big climate system change
Global indicators show red warnings
IPCC Report AR6
Revised estimates on tipping points
Likelihood of reaching between 1°C and 2°C warming
New Research
Costs of climate tipping points explored
Focus on response options
June 2023
Notable for climate change indicators
Historical Context
First major assessment in 2008
Recent IPCC assessments update views
Global Warming
Exceeds 1.5°C threshold
Multiple tipping points triggered
Human Activities
Carbon emissions
Major Tipping Points
Melting of ice sheets
Greenland and West Antarctic
Die-offs of warm-water reefs
North Atlantic subpolar gyre circulation
Thawing of permafrost
El Niño-Southern Oscillation
Impact on global climate
Interaction Between Tipping Points
Melting ice sheets affecting ocean currents
Changes in one system affecting others
Global Impact
Affects diverse regions worldwide
Specific Areas
Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets
Tropical Pacific (ENSO)
Amazon rainforest
Scientists and Researchers
Study climate tipping points
International Organizations
Public Perception
Growing awareness and concern
Climate Modeling
Advanced tools for prediction
Observations and Records
Historical and current data analysis
Awareness and Action
Increased understanding of risks
Drives policy and behavioral changes
Technological Advancements
Potential solutions and mitigation
Irreversible Changes
Risk of permanent ecological damage
Social and Political Hurdles
Need for global cooperation and action
Way Forward
Immediate Emission Reductions
Essential to keep warming below 2°C
Positive Tipping Points
Focus on technology, economy, society
Social Change
Shifts in behavior and thinking
Technological Solutions
Emphasis on innovation and adaptation

Climate tipping points refer to critical thresholds in the Earth’s climate system, beyond which significant and potentially irreversible changes occur. Recent news highlights an increased likelihood of reaching these points due to global warming exceeding 1.5°C. Key tipping points include the melting of major ice sheets, changes in ocean currents, and the thawing of permafrost. The interaction between different tipping points, like the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and ice sheet melting, can lead to cascading effects. Awareness of these risks is growing among scientists, international organizations, and the public, leading to calls for immediate emission reductions and the exploration of technological solutions and positive social changes to mitigate these effects.

Floor Test in Legislature mind map
Recent News
Supreme Court Verdict
Maharashtra Political Crisis
Involving Uddhav Thackeray
Speaker's Decision Questioned
Governor's Floor Test Directive
Shiv Sena Crisis
Uddhav Faction vs Shinde Faction
Internal Party Disputes
Floor Test as a Resolution Mechanism
Triggered During Political Crises
Specifically in Maharashtra Case
Recent Judgments and Directives
To Ensure Majority Support
Prevent Horse Trading
Uphold Democratic Values
Floor Test Explained
Majority Confirmation
Conducted in Legislative Assembly
Constitutional Basis
Articles 175(2) and 163
Tenth Schedule Importance
Supreme Court Guidelines
Procedure for Speaker
Judicial Review Possibility
Role in Internal Party Conflicts
In Legislative Assemblies
Maharashtra Case Study
Involved Parties
Uddhav Thackeray
Eknath Shinde
Governor's Role
Supreme Court's Intervention
Speaker of Legislative Assembly
Discretionary Powers
Judicial Oversight
Voting Procedure
Immediate Implementation
Role of Whip and Party Leader
Upholds Majority Principle
Ensures Political Stability
Protects Democratic Process
Potential for Political Manipulation
Intra-Party Conflicts
Judicial Intervention Dilemmas
Way Forward
Clearer Legal Framework
Strengthening Democratic Institutions
Resolving Internal Party Issues

A floor test in a legislature is a procedure used to determine whether the executive (government) enjoys the support of the majority of legislators. It is typically conducted through a vote in the legislative assembly. This mechanism becomes crucial during political crises, such as the recent one in Maharashtra, India, involving factions within the Shiv Sena party. The floor test is intended to uphold democratic values by ensuring that the government has the majority support necessary to govern effectively. It helps prevent political instability and practices like horse trading. The role of the Speaker and the Governor, along with guidelines from the Supreme Court, play a significant role in the process and outcome of a floor test.

/ Australia
Australia's Closing Loopholes Bill mind map
Recent News
Passed through Senate
8 February 2024
Supported by
Greens, David Pocock, Jacqui Lambie
Address Employment Issues
Casual Employment Clarification
Wage Theft Criminalization
Domestic Violence Victim Protection
Industrial Manslaughter
Labour Hire Employee Rights
Compliance Costs Increase
Multi-Factor Tests
Casual Worker Definition
Employee vs Contractor
Employee-like Worker
FWC Orders
Wage Theft
Criminal Offense
Up to 10 years prison
Domestic Violence Protections
Against Discrimination
Employer Adverse Action Prevention
Casual Employment
Common Law Definition
NES Entitlements
Annual Leave
Loading Rates
Industrial Manslaughter
New Criminal Offense
Labour Hire Employees
Equal Pay Provision
Family and Domestic Violence Leave
Policy Construction
Redundancy Payments
Small Business Adjustments
During Insolvency
Fair Work Commission Powers
Minimum Standards Orders
Dispute Resolutions
Digital Labour Platforms
Road Transport Contractors
Anti-Discrimination Expansion
Family and Domestic Violence Coverage
Federal Legislation
Australian Government
Federal Labor Government
Supporting Parties
Independent Senators
David Pocock
Jacqui Lambie
Affected Parties
Casual Workers
Labour Hire Workers
Domestic Violence Victims
Road Transport Contractors
Industrial Entities
Legislation Process
Senate Approval
Business Compliance
Legal Consultation
Business Operations
Employee Rights
Legal Framework
Enhanced Worker Protections
Clarity in Employment Status
Addressing Wage Theft
Supporting Domestic Violence Victims
Strengthening Worker Rights
Increased Compliance Costs
Business Operation Complexity
Legal Consultation Need
Way Forward
Business Adaptation
Policy Implementation
Legal Compliance
Monitoring and Evaluation
Government and Business Sector

The Closing Loopholes Bill in Australia, passed in February 2024, represents a significant overhaul of the country’s industrial relations framework. The legislation aims to address key employment issues, including clarifying the definition of casual employment, criminalizing wage theft, protecting domestic violence victims, introducing industrial manslaughter as a criminal offense, and ensuring equal pay for labour hire employees. It also expands the jurisdiction of the Fair Work Commission and anti-discrimination provisions. The bill’s passage, supported by the Greens, David Pocock, and Jacqui Lambie, signifies a major shift in Australian employment law, emphasizing enhanced protections for workers and greater clarity in employment status, albeit with increased compliance costs and operational complexities for businesses.

/ Biotechnology
Egg Freezing mind map
Recent News
Surplus Eggs
Limited Donation
15% to Others
No Donation to Research
Need for New Strategies
Rapid Accumulation
Increasing Facility Demands
Source: Medical Xpress, 2023
Process Duration
2-3 Weeks
Fertility Preservation
Medical Reasons
Radiation Therapy
Elective Reasons
Personal Choices
Process Overview
Hormone Injections
Mature Eggs Quickly
IVF Round
Egg Harvesting
General Anesthetic
Protective Freezing Solution
Rapid Freezing
Avoids Ice Crystals
Legal and Cultural Context
High Cost
Up to $20,000 Initial
$800 Annual Storage
Age and Storage Limits
Law Update 2023
Age 21-35
Legal Marriage Required
Global Trends
High Costs
Fastest Growing Treatment
Key Figures
Dr. Johnston
Research on Egg Disposition
Dr. Kligman
Fertility Expert
Cryopreservation Pioneer
Success Rates by Age
Under 34: 74%
35 to 37: 55%
38 to 40: 18%
41 to 42: 2%
Financial Aspects
Insurance Coverage
20% of Large US Companies
Extended Reproductive Choice
Potential for Future Parenthood
Preservation of Egg Quality
High Costs
Inequality in Access
No Guarantee of Parenthood
Medical Risks
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome
Way Forward
Transparency and Openness
Egg Freezing Decision Tools
Research Advancements
MitoHOPE Project
Lab-Made Eggs and Sperm

Egg freezing, also known as cryopreservation, is a process where a woman’s eggs are extracted, rapidly frozen, and stored for future use. This fertility preservation technique, developed initially for patients undergoing treatments like chemotherapy, has become more widely available and is now an option for women who wish to delay childbearing for various reasons, including career or personal choices. The process involves hormone injections to mature eggs, followed by an IVF round and the harvesting of eggs under anesthesia. Despite its rising popularity and technological advancements, egg freezing presents challenges such as high costs, unequal access, and no guaranteed success. Recent data shows success rates decrease with age, highlighting the importance of informed decision-making in this personal and complex choice.

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