20 July, 2019

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The unravelling of a kidney racket

GS-II: The unravelling of a kidney racket


Organ donation is the donation of biological tissue or an organ of the human body, from a living or dead person to a living recipient in need of a transplantation. Transplantable organs and tissues are removed in a surgical procedure following a determination, based on the donor’s medical and social history, of which are suitable for transplantation. Such procedures are termed allotransplantations, to distinguish them from xenotransplantation, the transfer of animal organs into human bodies.

Transplant organ Act 1994

The Transplantation of Human Organs Act serves as the primary legislation governing the processes of organ donation and organ transplantation in India. Passed in 1994, it is aimed at the regulation of storage, removal, and transplantation of different types of human organs that can be used for therapeutic purposes. The Act also focuses on the prevention of illegal commercial dealings in various human organs.

The provisions of the transplantation of Human Organs Act

  • The Act defines brain death as an accepted form of death. The Act also defines the process and the criteria meant to be used for the purpose of brain death certification.
  • It allows the transplantation of the human tissues and organs from the living donors as well as cadavers after brain death or cardiac death.
  • The Act defines the criteria for regulatory and the advisory bodies in order to monitor the transplantation activity as well as their constitution.
  • Living donors according to this Act are classified as either non-related donor or near relative.
  • The Act authorizes organ donation after the process of brain death.
  • All non-governmental organizations, trusts and registered societies working for organ and tissue removal, transplantation or storage needs to be registered to work in such industries.
  • The central government is going to maintain a complete registry of all donors as well as recipients of different types of human tissues and organs.

Why is illegal organ trade growing in india?

Illegal organ trade is common in India that is carried out in various hospitals and medical centers. There is always a high demand for various types of organs since a large number of patients are waiting for them who are in various stages of organ failure. India lacks a national registry for patients who are waiting for different types of cadaveric organs.

Some experts believe that over the years the illegal organ trade has flourished extensively in India since it is easier to technically get away with such an act in this country. India has a strong culture of corruption and bribery as well as the practice of profiteering over moral and ethical considerations. Along with it, there is the belief that poor men and women in India are expendable and that they can be desperate enough to sell their bodily organs to rich people in search of food for themselves and their loved ones.


The government should properly regulate the various healthcare centers in the country to make sure that there is no illegal organ trade going on under any circumstances. The government should see to it that such tendencies should be curbed and doctors supporting such acts should be arrested and penalized if necessary. Various public bodies and non-profit organizations should come together to work on developing the cadaver organ transplant program as it offers a stable and steady supply of organs for all those who need them. Finally, the whole process of organ trade should be heavily regulated by all the state governments of India.

Source: The Hindu

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Antibiotic Colistin banned in animal food industry

GS-III Paper: Antibiotic Colistin banned in animal food industry


The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued an order prohibiting the manufacture, sale and distribution of colistin and its formulations for food-producing animals, poultry, aqua farming and animal feed supplements.

What is Colistin?

  • According to the WHO, Colistin is a “reserve” antibiotic, which means it is supposed to be considered a “last-resort” option in treatment and used only in the most severe circumstances, when all other alternatives have failed.
  • However, this strong antibiotic has been “highly misused” in India’s livestock industry to prevent diseases and as promote growth of such animals.
  • Medical professionals have been alarmed by the number of patients who have exhibited resistance to the drug.
  • Most are not aware of the presence of colistin, since it comes mixed in the feed. A bulk of colistin (nearly 95%) is imported from China.

Alarm for India

  • A 2017 global study on antibiotic use in farm animals projected the consumption of antibiotics through animal sources to nearly double during 2013-2030.
  • This means India’s AMR problem is expected to worsen due to the consumption of antibiotics through animal sources.
  • The study ranked India the fourth largest consumer of antibiotics in food animals globally after China, the United States and Brazil.

Source: The Hindu

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GS-III : Economic Issues Others
Kisan Vikas Patra

GS-III: Kisan Vikas Patra


In view of falling interest rates, the government has increased the time period by 1 month for doubling the money invested in Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) to 9 years and 5 months.

Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP)

  • KVP is a saving certificate scheme which was first launched in 1988 by India Post wherein invested money doubled during the maturity period.
  • It was discontinued in 2011 and later reintroduced in 2014.It is considered a part of the National Small Savings Fund.
  • The amount (Principal) invested in KVP would get doubled in 112 months. The rate of interest is 7.6% from 29th June 2019
  • KVP certificates are available in the denominations of Rs 1000, Rs 5000, Rs 10000 and Rs 50000.
  • The minimum amount that can be invested is Rs 1000. However, there is no upper limit on the purchase of KVPs.

Refund conditions

  • KVP does not offer any income tax benefits to the investor.
  • The amount of KVP can be withdrawn after 118 months (9 years and 10 months).The maturity period of a KVP is 2 years 6 months (30 months).
  • Premature encashment of the KVP certificate is not permissible. The certificates can only be encashed in event of the death of the holder or forfeiture by a pledge or on the order of the courts.

Source: Economic Times

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GS-III : Economic Issues Financial Market
Sovereign Bonds

GS-III: What are sovereign bonds ,and what are their risks and rewards.


The government has announced its plans to raise a portion of its gross borrowing from overseas markets. With the help of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the government will finalise the plans for the overseas issue of sovereign bonds .

What exactly are sovereign bonds?

A bond is like an IOU. The issuer of a bond promises to pay back a fixed amount of money every year until the expiry of the term, at which point the issuer returns the principal amount to the buyer. When a government issues such a bond it is called a sovereign bond.

Why is India borrowing in external markets in external currency?

  1. Indian government’s domestic borrowing is crowding out private investment and preventing the interest rates from falling even when inflation has cooled off and the RBI is cutting policy rates.
  2. If the government was to borrow some of its loans from outside India, there will be investable money left for private companies to borrow; not to mention that interest rates could start coming down.
  3. A sovereign bond issue will provide a yield curve a benchmark for Indian corporates who wish to raise loans in foreign markets. This will help Indian businesses that have increasingly looked towards foreign economies to borrow money.
  4. Globally, and especially in the advanced economies where the government is likely to go to borrow, the interest rates are low and, thanks to the easy monetary policies of foreign central banks, there are a lot of surplus funds waiting for a product that pays more.
  5. In an ideal scenario, it could be win-win for all: Indian government raises loans at interest rates much cheaper than domestic interest rates, while foreign investors get a much higher return than is available in their own markets.

What is the controversial part?

  • The current controversy relates to India’s sovereign bonds that will be floated in foreign countries and will be denominated in foreign currencies.
  • This would differentiate these proposed bonds from either government securities (or G-secs, wherein the Indian government raises loans within India and in Indian rupee) or Masala bonds (wherein Indian entities — not the government — raise money overseas in rupee terms).
  • The difference between issuing a bond denominated in rupees and issuing it in a foreign currency (say US dollar) is the incidence of exchange rate risk.
  • If the loan is in terms of dollars, and the rupee weakens against the dollar during the bond’s tenure, the government would have to return more rupees to pay back the same amount of dollars. If, however, the initial loan is denominated in rupee terms, then the negative fallout would be on the foreign investor.

Why are so many cautioning against this move?

  1. The volatility in India’s exchange rate is far more than the volatility in the yields of India’s G-secs (the yields are the interest rate that the government pays when it borrows domestically). This means that although the government would be borrowing at “cheaper” rates than domestically, the eventual rates (after incorporating the possible weakening of rupee against the dollar) might make the deal costlier.
  2. Borrowing outside would not necessarily reduce the number of government bonds the domestic market will have to absorb. That’s because if fresh foreign currency comes into the economy, the RBI would have to “neutralise” it by sucking the exact amount out of the money supply. This, in turn, will require selling more bonds. If the RBI doesn’t do it then the excess money supply will create inflation and push up the interest rates, thus disincentivising private investments.
  3. Based on the unpleasant experience of other emerging economies, many argue that a small initial borrowing is the thin end of the wedge. It is quite likely that the government will be tempted to dip into the foreign markets for more loans every time it runs out of money. At some point, especially if India does not take care of its fiscal health, the foreign investors will pull the plug on fresh investments, creating dire consequences for india.

Source: Indian Express

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