a new set of guidelines have been prescribed by the Indian Council of Medical Research ( icmr) on the issue of transfer of biological material into and outside India for biomedical research. The human material include organs, cells, tissues, embryos, foetal tissues and waste.
Earlier, all institutions undertaking such activities which involved transfer of human material had to seek clearance of the icmr . Now, a large number of them only have to keep the council informed. As per the guidelines, no collaborative research can be carried out with any foreign institute without signing a Memorandum of Understanding ( m o u ) on the material transfer to be made between the collaborating partners. This clause has been added to protect the rights of the Indian study subjects as well as the scientists. Ranjit Roy Choudhury, chairperson of the expert committee which drafted the guidelines, denied that the relaxing of standards would lead to any misuse. "The idea is to be liberal and trusting and at the same time keep a hold on the information that will be passed on," he said.
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