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Tamil Nadu Organ Transplant Allocation

 

Relevancy

  • GS Mains Paper- 2, 4
  • Governance (health), Ethics

Why in news?

  • Irregularities in connection with organ transplantations have been found in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Organ transplantation in Tamil Nadu

  • Tamil Nadu is a pioneer in orderly and transparent allocation of deceased-donor organs.
  • It has worked consistently to eliminate commerce in kidneys procured from poor living donors.
  • The Transplant Authority of Tamil Nadu has served as a model for other States.
  • The state also offers a subsidy for poor patients for a liver transplant.
  • Every effort must be made to ensure that it retains this high reputation.

What is the recent finding?

  • The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has found some irregularities in organ transplantation in TN.
  • Preferential allotment of hearts and lungs has been made to foreign patients.
  • Hearts harvested from brain-dead patients were given to foreign nationals admitted to corporate hospitals.
  • International patients get priority in cadaver transplants, bypassing long list of Indians.
  • The Directorate General of Health Services convened a meeting and framed strict guidelines for allocation of organs to foreigners.

What is the provision?

  • The provisions are laid out in the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules.
  • State governments are expected to ensure that transplantations are done legally and ethically.
  • Citizens enrolled in the State and national waiting lists are prioritised over foreign nationals.
  • Organs go to the most suitable recipients on the rule-based parameters.
  • It is offered to domicile, citizenship, Indian origin and foreign nationality, in that order.

What is the way ahead?

  • There must be an inquiry into how allocations for organ transplants are made in Tamil Nadu.
  • Any inquiry should shed light on the factors that led to the decisions.
  • It should importantly include whether registered citizens were overlooked.
  • Hospitals and professionals engaging in commerce or unethical behaviour should be addressed.
  • It has to cover such issues as the capacity of district-level hospitals to perform transplants.
  • Arrangements to air-lift organs should also be addressed, since domestic patients are unable to afford flight facilities.
  • Enrolling all domestic patients through State registries should be the priority for the NOTTO.

What is NOTTO?

  • The National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) functions under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
  • It is an all-India apex body for coordination and networking for procurement and distribution of organs/tissues and transplantation.

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 The Historic Summit Between US & North Korea: Asserting The Power Of Diplomacy

Relevancy

  • GS Mains Paper- 2
  • International Relations

Why in news?

  • Recently U.S. president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim stunned the world by pulling off a summit at Singapore despite intense tensions a while ago.
  • Presently, there are clear indications that the looming detente might seal a permanent peace in the Korean peninsula.

 What were the recent outbursts?

  • Till recently, North Korea kept stepping up its weapons program through nuclear tests and also enhanced its missile capacity.
  • Notably, with Hwasong 14 missile (10,000 km range) in North Korea’s arsenal, Kim was said to have the capability to strike even mainland U.S.A.
  • In this backdrop, a missile attack by North Korea on Guam island of U.S.A in the Pacific Ocean was also rumoured.
  • In 2017, the heightened rhetoric on both sides had led to growing concerns about the possibility of a nuclear war between North Korea and U.S.
  • While the UN Security Council met repeatedly, and tightening economic sanctions on North Korea, Trump was also vociferous in his threats.

How the outburst did begin to melt?

  • Kim in his New Year’s address appealed reconciling with South Korea, while also stating that North Korea had sufficient nuclear deterrence capacity.
  • South Korea also hosted the Winter Olympics, which provided ample opportunities for building bonhomie between the two Koreas.
  • Things moved smoothly thereafter and officials of the two Koreas crossed borders for high-profile meetings, which proved fruitful.
  • Kim also indicated continued restraint on testing and willingness to discuss denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula if regime safety was guaranteed.
  • While the U.S. was kept in the loop throughout, there seemed to be considerable resistance from the Trump administration for any conciliation.
  • A summit was planned but it was then called off unilaterally by the U.S., but persistent efforts from North Korea finally led to restarting of the summit.
  • Notably, previous attempts by the U.S. to negotiate North Korea to give up its nuclear program and arms failed despite consistent negotiations.

How is the ongoing peace effort unique?

  • Since the previous negotiations, the capabilities of North Korea has grown multiple times, while has lead to increased anxieties in its neighbourhood.
  • While Kim’s administration seeks regime legitimacy and security, the other stakeholders seek safety and peace.
  • In this context, it is in everybody’s interest to help in the success of the proposed deal, thereby making things clear.
  • While the joint statement after Singapore summit was shy on detail, it carries immense potential for the future of the Korean Peninsula.
  • Notably, North Korea has announced stoppage of any kind of testing and has even promised a complete elimination of its nuclear arsenal permanently.
  • There is hence real promise of ending the Korean conflict between the North and South Korea – which is currently still held by the 1953 truce.
  • S. has also called off any joint military exercise in the Korean region and lifting of economic sanctions on North Korea is also under consideration.

India’s concern with RCEP

 

Relevancy

  • GS Mains Paper- 3, 4
  • International Relations, Economy, Effects of Globalisation

Why in News?

  • The U.S. President Trump recently caused the G-7 meet in Quebec to end with deep fissures within the Western alliance.
  • India, in this context must re-examine its position on global and regional trade architecture swiftly to leverage its growth potential.

Why RCEP is important?

  • In the evolving world trade dynamics, simply depending on WTO or on existing trade connections is clearly an ineffective approach.
  • Thus, deals like “Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership” (RCEP), could prove critical for countries.
  • Notably, RCEP is considered a major economic integration plan involving “ASEAN-10, China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India”.
  • Significantly, well trafficked trade routes pass through Southeast Asia, and the region’s economies are growing and vibrant.
  • The RCEP grouping is also diverse as it includes both commodity exporters such as Australia and Indonesia and services hubs such as Singapore.
  • Yet, despite these obvious advantages, Indian officials have expressed doubts on whether the RCEP will actually be in India’s interest.
  • But, India needs to recognize that, if the RCEP deal proceeds without India, then, being left out would hit India’s trade competitiveness in the region.

What are India’s concerns with RCEP?

  • The main concern for India about RCEP is the involvement of China, which already accounts for 60% of India’s burgeoning trade deficit.
  • While the fear of cheap Chinese imports is real, it shouldn’t be allowed to cripple the entire trade negotiations.
  • Rather, India must reserve its right to place emergency anti-dumping measures if excess influx tends to occur.
  • Additionally, studies show that Indian exporters aren’t taking full advantage of even the currently existing FTAs, which is a concern.
  • Hence, better educating exporters and aiding them to access new markets that open up to them would be a better alternative than chucking trade deals.
  • The rise of protectionism in U.S. (one of the few countries with which India has a trade surplus), implies that India needs to diversify its export markets.
  • As other markets must be found, RCEP is no longer an optional for India, and hence shouldn’t be overlooked.

What could be done?

  • India needs to recalibrate from its current short-sighted approach, if it has to reap the potential of further integrating into the global system.
  • India’s exports as a proportion of its GDP have stagnated, and for India to revive its exports and create jobs at home, it must reform structurally.
  • Transformation of the domestic productive base and rendering it more competitive and export-oriented is the only rational option.

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