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Current Affairs 15 April 2024


  1. Concern about attempts to ‘undermine judiciary’
  2. Enforcement Agencies have made a record seizure before polls
  3. Drop in Fertility Levels
  4. ECI reduces the VVPAT based audit of EVMs
  5. Surge in organ transplants involving foreign nationals in India
  6. Viral Hepatitis – major infectious killer across the globe

Concern about attempts to ‘undermine judiciary’


Retired judges of the Supreme court and High Courts have written to Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud expressing their concern regarding the escalating attempts to undermine the judiciary.

  • They pointed out that certain elements, motivated by narrow political interests and personal gains, are striving to erode the public’s confidence in our judicial system.
  • A former Judge said-“Such actions not only disrespect the sanctity of our judiciary but also pose a direct challenge to the principles of fairness and impartiality that Judges, as guardians of the law, have sworn to uphold”.


GS Paper 2: Separation of Powers (between different organs, dispute redressal mechanisms, institutions); Judiciary (structure, organisation functioning)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is meant by independent of judiciary?
  2. What is the separation of power?
  3. Functional Overlapping amongst the organs of Government
  4. Issues in Overlap:
  5. Benefits of Overlap:
  6. What is check and balance?
  7. What are the issues related to judiciary?
  8. Measures to address the issues related to judiciary:

What is meant by independent of judiciary?

Judiciary is an important pillar of democracy which adjudicates the disputes and ensures that the government must run according to spirit of the Indian constitution. The Indian constitution protect independence of judiciary through following ways:-

  • The judges of higher judiciary are appointed by the president of India in consultation with the members of judiciary itself moreover the collegium gives recommendations regarding appointment of judges.
  • The salary and expenditure  of the Supreme Court and Judges are charged from consolidated fund of India.
  • Judges and their conduct cannot be discussed except during the removal.
  • Supreme Court judges are barred from practice after the retirement (High court Judges can practice)
  • Supreme Court can appoints it’s own staff .
  • Parliament cannot curtail jurisdiction of Supreme Court but can extend it.
  • Security of tenure for judges it means the President of India can remove the judges according the grounds mention in Indian constitution.

What is the separation of power?

  • The separation of power is part of governing of a state in which the components of state like legislative, executive and judiciary remain independent with each other so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict with those of the other branches. It is also a part of independent of judiciary.
  • Separation of powers, therefore, refers to the division of government responsibilities into distinct branches to limit any one branch from exercising the core functions of another.  The intent is to prevent the concentration of power and provide for checks and balances.

Although the Constitution of India does not provide strictly for the separation of powers, these articles provide a general guideline:

  1. Article 50: This states that the State or the Government concerned will take appropriate steps to ensure that the judicial branch is separated from the functioning and working of the executive branch.
  2. Article 121 & 211: It, in a way, provides for the separation of the legislature and the judiciary. This article states that the conduct of justice or the way a judge discharges his duties of any Court cannot be discussed in the legislature (state or union).
  3. Article 122 & 212: This article is aimed at keeping the judiciary (the law interpreting body) and the legislature (the law-making body) separated. It does so by stripping the judiciary of any power to review and question the validity of proceedings that take in a legislature or the Parliament.
  4. Article 361: This article separates the judiciary and the executive. It states that the President or any governor of any state is not answerable to any court in the country for actions and activities are taken in performance/exercise of the powers and duties of their office.

Functional Overlapping amongst the organs of Government

  • While separation of powers is key to the workings of Indian Government, no democratic system exists with an absolute separation of powers or an absolute lack of separation of powers.
  • Every organ is, in a way, overlapped in its practical functioning with the other two organs of the Government. This overlapping enables the organs to act as a check on each other without too much interference.

Overlapping Powers of Legislature

With Judiciary With Executive Impeachment and the removal of the judges. Power to amend laws declared ultra vires by the Court and revalidating it. In case of breach of its privilege and it can punish the person concerned. The heads of each governmental ministries are members of the legislature. Through a no-confidence vote, it can dissolve the Government. Power to assess the works of the executive. Impeachment of the President. The council of ministers on whose advice the President and the Governor acts are elected members of the legislature.  

Overlapping Powers of The Executive

With JudiciaryWith Legislative
Making appointments to the office of Chief Justice and other judges. Powers to grant pardons, reprieve, respite or remission of punishments or sentence of any person convicted of any offence. The tribunals and other quasi-judicial bodies which are a part of the executive also discharge judicial functions.Power to promulgate ordinance which has the same force of the Act made by the Parliament or the State legislature. Authority to make rules for regulating their respective procedure and conduct of business subject to the provisions of this Constitution. Powers under delegated legislation.

Overlapping Powers of The Judiciary

With ExecutiveWith Legislative
Under Article 142, the Supreme Court functions as an Executive in order to bring about the complete justice.Judicial review, i.e. the power to review executive action to determine if it violates the Constitution. Unamendability of Constitution under basic structure.

Hence, we can see that although the Constitution mentions a certain amount of separation of powers, it does not do so strictly to keep every organ in check and ensure that it is not entirely free in exercising powers vested in it without any restraint or ulterior motive that will not be in the public interest. In addition to functional overlapping, there is a lack of administrative distinction between the three divisions of the Indian system.

Issues in Overlap:

The problems in the overlapping of practical powers of the governmental organs are:

  • The biggest issue of overlap might be that a particular organ cannot be held accountable for its decision, for example, Judicial Decision in 2G case, Coal Block case. (Unaccountability)
  •  The faith of the public in the institutions of the Government plays a very crucial role in such a complex and vest democracy. The organs repeated interventions into others’ decisions leads to the diminishing of the faith of the people in the quality, efficiency and integrity of them. (Erosion of faith)
  • It undermines the spirit of democracy as too much accumulation of powers in organs of Government undermines the principle of check and balance. (Accumulation of power)
  • Excessive infringement on each other jurisdiction may impede the smooth functioning of Government and hinder public service and overall development (Adverse effect on development)

Benefits of Overlap:

The functional overlapping of the three institutions also provides benefits.

  • The accountability and equality in governance are enhanced by enabling power-sharing laws (Rule of Law).
  • The overlap prevents arbitrary actions by the other two organs of the Government; an example is the power of judicial review of the Apex Court of India. (Check and Balance)
  • Constitutional demarcations of overriding powers decrease the scope of conflict among the government organs. (Check arbitrariness)
  • The overlapping functions induce power-sharing and also provides power decentralisation, thus ensuring that the three organs can work hand-in-hand to solve problems faster. (Cooperation)

What is check and balance?

  • Checks and balances, principle of government under which separate branches are empowered to prevent actions by other branches and are induced to share power. Checks and balances are applied primarily in constitutional governments.

What are the issues related to judiciary?

  • Allegations against sitting and retired judges: for example, recently chief minister of Andhra Pradesh wrote a letter to chief justice of India and complaint against justice N.V. Ramana for allegedly influencing posting of state High Court.
  • Lack of transparency : The judges are nominated by collegium which work secretly moreover it does not give much space to executive in appointment of judges. It is against the principle of check and balance.
  • Pendency of cases: A Large number of cases that are pending in the Supreme Court as well as the other lower courts has defeated the purpose of the judicial system. Moreover it compromise the justice in India.

Measures to address the issues related to judiciary:

  • Addressing issues related to allegations:  The chief justice of India follow in house procedure. In which, The chief justice of India looks the matter and enquire the case and if the allegations are serious the it informs to the president of India. Later the parliament starts the impeachment process.
  • Appointment of judges: The supreme court should bring transparency in appointment of judges. It should give more space to executive in appointment of judges so that allegations like nepotism and favouritism can be avoided.
  • Pendency of cases:  Number of judges should be increased specially in lower court to address the pendency of cases in India which will ensure the speedy justice to people.

-Source: The Hindu, The Indian Express

Enforcement Agencies have made a record seizure before polls


The Enforcement agencies have made a record seizure of over ₹4,650 crores with general elections 2024 underway. Around 45% of the seizures are of drugs and narcotics.

This is the highest-ever seizures of inducements recorded in the 75-year history of Lok Sabha elections in the country by the Election Commission of India.


GS II- Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Election Commission of India
  2. Structure of the Election Commission
  3. Issues with ECI
  4. Some Powers

About Election Commission of India

  • The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India.
  • The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country.
  • It is the Commission that decides the election schedules for the conduct of elections, whether general elections or by-elections.
  • ECI decides on the location of polling stations, assignment of voters to the polling stations, location of counting centers, arrangements to be made in and around polling stations and counting centres and all allied matters.
  • In the performance of its functions, the Election Commission is insulated from executive interference.
  • Part XV of the Indian constitution deals with elections, and establishes a commission for these matters.
  • The Election Commission was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950, hence it is a constitutional body. Article 324 to 329 of the constitution deals with powers, function, tenure, eligibility, etc., of the commission and the member.

Litigations against EC

  • The decisions of the Commission can be challenged in the High Court and the Supreme Court of India by appropriate petitions.
  • By long-standing convention and several judicial pronouncements, once the actual process of elections has started, the judiciary does not intervene in the actual conduct of the polls.

Structure of the Election Commission

  • Originally the commission had only one election commissioner but after the Election Commissioner Amendment Act 1989, it has been made a multi-member body.
  • The commission consists of one Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
  • The secretariat of the commission is located in New Delhi.
  • At the state level election commission is helped by Chief Electoral Officer who is an IAS rank Officer.
  • The President appoints Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.
  • They have a fixed tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • They enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as available to Judges of the Supreme Court of India.
  • The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only through a process of removal similar to that of a Supreme Court judge for by Parliament.

Issues with ECI

  • Flaws in the composition: The Constitution doesn’t prescribe qualifications for members of the EC. They are not debarred from future appointments after retiring or resigning.
  • No security of tenure: Election commissioners aren’t constitutionally protected with security of tenure.
  • Partisan role: The EC has come under the scanner like never before, with increasing incidents of breach of the Model Code of Conduct in the 2019 general elections.
  • Political favor: The opposition alleged that the ECI was favoring the ruling party by giving clean chit to the model code of conduct violations made by the PM.
  • Non-competence: Increased violence and electoral malpractices under influence of money have resulted in political criminalization, which ECI is unable to arrest.

Some Powers:

  • The Election Commission of India is considered the guardian of free and reasonable elections.
  • It issues the Model Code of Conduct in every election for political parties and candidates so that the decorum of democracy is maintained.
  • It regulates political parties and registers them for being eligible to contest elections.
  • It publishes the allowed limits of campaign expenditure per candidate to all the political parties, and also monitors the same.
  • The political parties must submit their annual reports to the ECI for getting tax benefit on contributions.
  • It guarantees that all the political parties regularly submit their audited financial reports.

Other powers handled by the Election Commission of India are as follows:

  • The Commission can repress the results of opinion polls if it deems such an action fit for the cause of democracy.
  • The Commission can recommend for disqualification of members after the elections if it thinks they have violated certain guidelines.
  • In case, a candidate is found guilty of dishonest practices during the elections, the Supreme Court and High Courts consult the Commission.
  • The Commission can postpone candidates who fail to submit their election expense accounts timely.

-Source: The Hindu, Livemint

Drop in Fertility Levels


Many countries in the East and Southeast Asia are witnessing population crisis.


GS-I: Indian Society (Population and associated issues), GS-II: Social Justice and Governance (Issues Related to Women, Governance and Government Policies, Issues Arising Out of Design & Implementation of Policies)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Population crisis in Asian Nations
  2. Major reasons for decline in fertility rate
  3. Distribution and Density of Population in India
  4. Determinants of Population Change:

Population crisis in Asian Nations:

  • A number of countries in East and Southeast Asia are witnessing fewer births every year and record-low fertility rates.
  • Few examples:
    • At present, the fertility rate in countries like South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan is less than one.
    • South Korea has hit a record low fertility rate that forced the country to host mass blind dates hoping that the falling birth rates would reverse.
      • The TFR slid to a record low of 0.72 in 2023.
      • Currently, South Korea and Hong Kong have among the lowest fertility rates in the world.
    • On the other hand, hospitals in China stopped offering newborn delivery services due to declining demand.
      • Over a span of 50 years, China reduced its TFR from 6.51 (1968) to 1.16 (2021) through various policies.
  • Key data:
    • Between 1950 and 1970, fertility rates in East Asian and Southeast Asian countries ranged from 3.5 to 7.5.
    • A TFR of 2.1 (the ‘replacement level’) is required to ensure that the population size remains stable.
      • The total fertility rate (TFR) is the average number of children a woman is expected to have in her lifetime.

Major reasons for decline in fertility rate:

  • Choice of women:
    • Majority of women in these countries have only one child, many are also not choosing to have children.
  • Government Policies:
    • In countries like China, policies adopted by the government to control population growth led to the fall in fertility rates.
  • Other Reasons: The drastic drop in fertility rate can also be attributed to
    • Women now having more opportunities to build a career
    • Dropping marriage rates
    • Spiralling cost of raising a child
    • Income lost when a pregnant woman’s career is interrupted.
  • Impacts:
    • Poor fertility rates lead to an imbalance in the population, with older people forming a larger share.

Distribution and Density of Population in India

  • Patterns of population distribution and density help us to understand the demographic characteristics of any area.
  • The term ‘Population Distribution’ refers to the manner in which people are spaced over the earth’s surface and the term ’population density’ refers to the number of people living in each unit of area (such as a square mile).
  • India has a total population of 121 crores (or 1.21 billion) according to Census, 2011. Further, India’s population currently stands at 1.37 billion (2019, United Nations Population Division.), which accounts for approx. 17% of the world’s population.
  • These 1.37 billion people are unevenly distributed over our country’s vast area of 3.28 million square km, which accounts for 2.4 per cent of the world’s area. India’s population density therefore stands at 382 persons per square km.
    • The eastern region had the highest density of population of 625 persons per square km.
    • However, the North East had the lowest density at 176 persons per sq km. The eastern region was followed by the central Indian region in terms of density (417).
    • The southern Region had a population density of 397, while the western region, 344 and the Northern Region, 267. In terms of increase, the population densities of the regions of Central India, Northern India and Eastern India grew at a higher pace than the Western, North Eastern and Southern region.

Determinants of Population Change:

  • Fertility: The fertility rate refers to the number of live births per 1000 women in the child-bearing age group, usually taken to be 15 to 49 years.
  • Total Fertility Rate: It refers to the total number of live births that a woman would have if she lived through the reproductive age group and had the average number of babies in each segment of this age group as determined by the age-specific fertility rates for that area.
  • “Replacement level fertility” is the total fertility rate—the average number of children born per woman—at which a population exactly replaces itself from one generation to the next, without migration. This rate is roughly 2.1 children per woman for most countries, although it may modestly vary with mortality rates.
  • Determinants of High Fertility: As per data given by the Niti Aayog for the year 2016, the TFR for Indian women stood at 2.3. This is high and several factors contribute to the same:
    • Religious Ideologies
    • Universality of the institution of marriage.
    • Early marriage and early child-bearing.
    • Preference for sons ingrained in the Indian culture.
    • Lack of right of self-determination with reference to reproduction.
    • High infant and child mortality rates – (unsatisfactory health, low nutritional status and poverty) also contribute to a large family size.
    • Economic, social, cultural as well as religious value of children in the Indian society.
    • Absence of adoption of methods of conception control.

-Source: The Hindu

ECI reduces the VVPAT based audit of EVMs


Ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission of India has attracted criticism for reducing the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) based audit of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to an exercise in tokenism and for its lack of transparency in the matter.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) Machines:
  2. Challenges with VVPAT machines
  3. How has the Performance of EVMs been?

Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) Machines:

  • VVPAT is an independent verification printer that is attached to electronic voting machines (EVMs).
  • Its purpose is to allow voters to verify that their votes have been recorded accurately.
  • As soon as a voter presses the button on the EVM, the VVPAT machine prints a slip containing the name and symbol of the party they voted for, which is visible to the voter for around 7 seconds.
  • VVPAT Machines were first introduced in India during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections to increase transparency and eliminate doubts about the accuracy of EVMs.
  • Only polling officers have access to the VVPAT machines.
  • According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), EVMs and VVPATs are separate entities and are not connected to any network.

Challenges with VVPAT machines:

Technical malfunctions:

  • Possibility of technical malfunctions is a primary concern with VVPAT machines.
  • Malfunctions can result in inaccurate printing or no printing of the paper receipt of the vote cast by the voter.

Verification of paper trails:

  • Verification of paper trails generated by the VVPAT machines is another challenge.
  • It is not always clear how this record can be verified, especially in cases of discrepancies between electronic and paper records.

Public confidence:

  • Recent reports of defective VVPAT machines have eroded public confidence in the electoral process.
  • Lack of transparency and accountability on the part of the EC has raised questions about the fairness and accuracy of elections.

Legal mandate:

  • The Supreme Court in Dr. Subramanian Swamy v ECI (2013) held that VVPAT is an “indispensable requirement of free and fair elections”.

Arguments Raised:

  • Some argue that enhancing transparency could be achieved by maintaining a machine audit trail documenting all executed commands within the system, extending beyond the recorded votes in the EVM’s ballot unit and the printed slips in the VVPATs. This would enable an audit to eliminate any potential presence of malicious code.
  • Indeed, incorporating such measures could enhance the system’s resilience and be regarded as an improvement to the existing machines.
  • On the other hand, some argue that the introduction of VVPATs has introduced potential vulnerabilities that were absent in the standalone nature of EVMs, along with the technical and administrative safeguards that supported the previous system.
  • Addressing this concern would entail revising the safeguards to ensure that VVPAT-combined systems are as secure and dependable as standalone EVMs were.
  • However, many find the criticism from various quarters, including political parties such as the Congress, advocating for a 100% recount of all VVPATs instead of the current sampling method, incomprehensible.
  • They argue that only a comprehensive recount would ensure complete transparency. Consequently, the Supreme Court of India has scheduled a series of hearings regarding this demand.

How has the Performance of EVMs been?

  • Despite dire warnings regarding malpractices and EVM hacking, there has been no concrete evidence of any actual tampering with EVMs thus far.
  • While EVMs, like any machinery, have experienced glitches and have been promptly replaced in case of malfunctions, the assertion that they are susceptible to hacking or manipulation, despite the presence of existing technical and administrative safeguards, has been made without substantiated proof.
  • Sample counting of VVPATs, conducted during both the general election in 2019 and various Assembly elections, has indicated that the discrepancy between the VVPAT recount and the EVM count has been negligible.
  • Such discrepancies often stem from minor errors such as failure to delete mock polls from the machine before the voting process or inaccuracies in manually recording the final count from the machine.

-Source: The Hindu

Surge in organ transplants involving foreign nationals in India


Recently, the Centre has ordered an investigation into organ transplants involving foreign nationals in India.

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also insisted for close monitoring of such transplants by the concerned authorities of States and Union Territories and has called for strict action action on the hospitals found to be violating the rules.
  • Data from the National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) revealed the substantial increase in foreign nationals getting organs through private hospitals.
  • The Director-General of Health Services directed the appropriate authority appointed under the Transplantation of Human Organs & Tissues Act (THOTA), 1994, to investigate transplants in respect of foreign nationals.


GS II: Health;  Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Organ Donation Landscape in India: Key Points and Disparities
  2. Challenges in Organ Donation: Key Issues and Concerns
  3. Provisions of the THOT Act, 1994
  4. Provisions of the THOT Rules, 2014

Organ Donation Landscape in India: Key Points and Disparities

Demand and Supply Gap:

  • Over 300,000 patients await organ donations in India, but supply falls short.
  • Shortage leads to approximately 20 deaths daily among those awaiting transplants.

Slow Growth in Donors:

  • Donor numbers (living and deceased) have increased gradually over years.
  • From 6,916 donors in 2014, the count reached around 16,041 in 2022.

Low Deceased Organ Donation Rate:

  • India’s deceased organ donation rate remains consistently below one donor per million population.
  • Urgent efforts needed to raise this rate, unlike countries like Spain and the U.S. with higher rates.

Dominance of Living Donors:

  • Living donors make up 85% of all donors in India.
  • Deceased organ donations, especially for kidneys, liver, and heart, remain notably low.

State-Level Disparities:

  • Varied organ donation rates across Indian states.
  • States like Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Maharashtra have higher deceased organ donors.
  • Delhi-NCR, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, and West Bengal prominent for living donors.

Kidney Transplantation Disparity:

  • Demand for 200,000 kidney transplants annually greatly exceeds the supply of around 10,000 transplants.
  • A substantial gap exists in kidney transplantation in India.

Challenges in Organ Donation: Key Issues and Concerns

Awareness and Education:

  • Limited public awareness about organ donation and its significance.
  • Insufficient education among medical professionals in identifying potential donors and guiding families.

Family Reluctance:

  • Reluctance of families to give consent for organ donation, even if the deceased had expressed willingness.
  • Emotional and ethical dilemmas faced by families during organ donation decisions.

Illegal Organ Trafficking:

  • Existence of a black market for organs and illegal organ trafficking.
  • Criminal activities exploiting organ demand and undermining legitimate donation processes.

Matching Donors and Recipients:

  • Challenges in matching suitable donors and recipients based on medical compatibility.
  • Limited availability of compatible organs leading to extended waiting times for patients.

Ethical Considerations:

  • Debates on offering financial incentives to organ donors and the ethical implications.
  • Balancing the need for increased donations while maintaining ethical practices.

Infrastructure and Resources:

  • Inadequate infrastructure and resources for organ retrieval, preservation, and transplantation.
  • Challenges in timely transportation of organs across regions.

Provisions of the THOT Act, 1994

  • Regulation of Transplantation: The Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues (THOT) Act, 1994, oversees the transplantation of human organs and tissues in India, encompassing both living and deceased donor scenarios.
  • Regulations for Healthcare Providers: The law establishes stringent regulations for healthcare providers and hospitals, prescribing penalties for any violations in the organ transplantation process.
  • Living and Deceased Donations: The Act permits organ transplants from deceased donors, facilitated by their relatives. Additionally, it allows living donations, primarily from close relatives, with provisions for altruistic donations from distant relatives or friends.
  • Documentation for Living Donations: Living donations from close relatives, whether Indian or foreign, require thorough documentation, including identity proofs, family trees, and photographs establishing the donor-recipient relationship. Interviews of donors and recipients are also conducted.
  • Scrutiny for Altruistic Donations: Altruistic donations from distant relatives or friends undergo additional scrutiny to ensure the absence of any financial transactions.
  • Prevention of Illegal Dealings: To prevent illegal organ trade, donations from unrelated persons necessitate extensive documentation and photographic evidence, reviewed by an external committee.
  • Penalties for Violations: The Act imposes strict penalties, including imprisonment of up to 10 years and fines up to Rs 1 crore, for offenses such as paying for organs, advertising organ transactions, and involvement in fraudulent document preparation.

Formation of NOTTO

National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO):

  • NOTTO is a national-level organization established under the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family.
  • Mandated by the Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act 2011, NOTTO serves as the apex center for coordinating and networking nationwide activities related to organ and tissue procurement, distribution, and transplantation.
  • It also maintains a registry of organ and tissue donation and transplantation across the country.

Provisions of the THOT Rules, 2014

  • Constitution of Authorisation Committee: Rule 7 of the 2014 Rules outlines the formation of the Authorisation Committee and delineates the nature of the inquiry and evaluation conducted by it.
  • Prevention of Commercial Transactions: Rule 7(3) emphasizes that the Committee must ensure the absence of commercial transactions in cases where the donor and recipient are not near relatives.
  • Expedited Evaluation in Critical Conditions: Rule 7(5) permits an expedited evaluation process if the recipient is in a critical condition requiring transplantation within a week. Hospitals can be approached for accelerated assessment in such cases.
  • Application Process for Living Donor Transplantations: Rule 10 details the application process for living donor transplantations, requiring joint applications from both the donor and recipient.
  • Personal Interview and Eligibility Determination: Rule 21 mandates the Committee to conduct personal interviews with applicants to assess their eligibility for donation, ensuring compliance with ethical standards.

Role and Composition of the Authorisation Committee

  • Overview: The Authorisation Committee is responsible for overseeing and approving organ transplant procedures involving donors and recipients who are not near relatives, particularly in cases driven by reasons of affection, attachment, or special circumstances.
  • Composition: As per Section 9(4) of the Act,1994, the composition of the Authorisation Committee is prescribed by the Central Government. State governments and Union Territories are mandated to constitute one or more Authorisation Committees with nominated members.
  • Powers and Inquiry: Under Section 9(5), the Committee conducts a thorough inquiry during the review of transplant applications. The inquiry verifies the authenticity of the donor and recipient, ensuring that the donation is not motivated by commercial interests.
  • Role in Rule Formation: Section 24 of the Act grants the Centre the authority to make rules, subject to parliamentary approval, for various purposes of the Act. This includes rules related to donor authorization, certification of brain-stem death, preservation of removed organs, and other essential aspects of organ transplantation.

-Source: The Hindu

Viral Hepatitis – major infectious killer across the globe


As per the latest Global Hepatitis Report 2024, India has among the highest burdens of viral hepatitis along with Tuberculosis (TB) as the second largest infectious killer globally in the world.


GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Details of Global Hepatitis Report 2024
  2. Hepatitis: Types, Causes, and Symptoms

Details of Global Hepatitis Report 2024:

  • Globally, around 1.3 million people died of viral hepatitis in 2022 (as compared to 1.1 million in 2019).
  • The number of new cases in a year went down to 2.2 million in 2022 (as compared to 2.5 million in 2019).
  • What is more concerning is the extremely low figures of diagnosis and treatment for viral hepatitis.
  • About India:
    • India has the world’s second highest prevalence of viral hepatitis cases.
      • It accounts for 29 million cases, second only to China (79 million cases).
    • As per the report, the diagnosis of viral hepatitis also remained abysmally low.
      •  According to the report, only 2.4% hep B cases and about 28% hep C cases were diagnosed.

Hepatitis: Types, Causes, and Symptoms

Hepatitis refers to the inflammation of the liver, a vital organ responsible for detoxification, protein synthesis, and the production of biochemicals necessary for digestion. It can be caused by various factors, including viral infections, alcohol consumption, and autoimmune diseases. There are several types of hepatitis, each with different causes, symptoms, and treatments.

Types of Hepatitis

Hepatitis A (HAV)

  • Cause: Hepatitis A virus (HAV) transmitted through contaminated food, water, or direct contact with an infected person.
  • Symptoms: Fever, fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes), dark urine, and clay-colored stools. It does not lead to chronic illness.

Hepatitis B (HBV)

  • Cause: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmitted through contact with infected blood, semen, or other body fluids, as well as from mother to baby during childbirth.
  • Symptoms: Similar to HAV but can lead to chronic illness, liver cirrhosis, and liver cancer if left untreated.

Hepatitis C (HCV)

  • Cause: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmitted primarily through blood-to-blood contact, such as sharing needles or other drug-injection equipment.
  • Symptoms: Often asymptomatic in the early stages but can lead to chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, and liver cancer over time.

Hepatitis D (HDV)

  • Cause: Hepatitis D virus (HDV) is a defective virus that requires HBV for replication. It is transmitted through contact with infected blood or other body fluids.
  • Symptoms: Similar to HBV but often more severe. It can lead to a more rapid progression to liver cirrhosis and liver failure.

Hepatitis E (HEV)

  • Cause: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) transmitted mainly through contaminated water.
  • Symptoms: Similar to HAV, including jaundice, fatigue, nausea, and abdominal pain. It typically resolves on its own but can be severe in pregnant women.

Common Symptoms of Hepatitis

  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine and pale stools
  • Joint pain
  • Fever

-Source: The Hindu, The Indian Express


May 2024