Prelims level : Governance – Policies Mains level : GS-II Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
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Why in News?

  • The Union Cabinet has recently approved the Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill 2020.

What is Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)?

  • Assisted reproductive technology includes medical procedures used primarily to Address Infertility.
  • This subject involves procedures such as in vitro fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, cryopreservation of gametes or embryos, and/or the use of fertility medication.

What does the Bill Says?

  • The bill makes provisions for safe and Ethical Practice of assisted reproductive Technology Services in the country.
  • Under it, the National Board shall lay down code of conduct to be observed by persons working at clinics, to set the minimum standards of physical infrastructure, laboratory and diagnostic equipment and expert manpower to be employed by clinics and banks.
  • The State Board shall have the responsibility to follow the policies and plans laid by the National Board for clinics and Banks in the State.
  • The Bill also provides for National Registry and Registration Authority to maintain a Central database and assist the National Board in its functioning.
  • The Bill also proposes for a stringent punishment for those practicing sex selections, sale of human embryos or gametes, running agencies/rackets/organisations for such unlawful practices.

What are the Possible Impacts?

  • Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has given hope to a multitude of persons suffering from infertility, but also introduced a plethora of legal, ethical and Social Issues.
  • Clinics in India offer nearly all the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) services—gamete donation, intrauterine insemination (IUI), In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), ICSI, PGD and gestational surrogacy.
  • ART Regulation Bill 2020 follows the introduction in Parliament of the Surrogacy Regulation Bill 2020, and the approval of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill 2020. These legislative measures are path breaking steps to protect women’s reproductive rights.
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