• Recently, the Lok Sabha has passed the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2021.
  • The bill has excluded live-in couples, single men and the LGBTQ community.

Important points:

  • The Government had been working on the bill to regulate the ART industry since 2008 when it was first drafted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
  • The bill was first introduced in Lok Sabha in 2020 but the House had referred it to a standing committee.
  • The bill proposes the establishment of a national registry and registration authority for all clinics and medical professionals serving in the field.
  • It will help in maintaining a database of all clinics and medical professionals serving in the field.
  • State governments will appoint registration authorities for facilitating the registration process. The registration will be valid for five years and can be renewed for a further five years.
  • It seeks to regulate and supervise Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) clinics and ART banks, prevent misuse, adopt safe and ethical practice and so on.
  • The bill proposes the constitution of a national board.
  • The board will set minimum standards of physical infrastructure, laboratory, diagnostic equipment and expert manpower to be employed by clinics and banks.
  • It further seeks stringent punishment for those practicing sex selection, sale of human embryos or gametes, or found running agencies, rackets and organisations for such practices in violation of the law.

Way Forward

  • Clinics must have ethics committees and mandated counselling services should be independent of them.
  • Prior versions of the Bill regulated research using embryos, which must be brought back and definitions of commissioning “couple”, “infertility”, “ART clinics” and “banks” need to be synchronised between the Bill and the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill.


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