National Organ and Tissue Transplant Programme (NOTP)

National Organ and Tissue Transplant Programme (NOTP) is being implemented by the Directorate General of Health Services under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The programme aims to improve access to life-transforming transplantation for needy citizens by promoting deceased organ donation. 

The central government has implemented the NOTP to promote organ donation in the country by bridging the gap between demand and supply of organs from transplantation. 

This article provides information regarding an important initiative of the Indian Government – National Organ and Tissue Transplant Programme (NOTP) in the context of the IAS Exam. 

This article can be helpful for the essay and GS 2 segment of the UPSC Syllabus. 

The candidates can prepare relevant information for their upcoming government exams from the links provided below:

Facts related to National Organ and Tissue Transplant Programme (NOTP) for UPSC

Brief facts of NOTP – UPSC Prelims
Which ministry is associated with organ transplantation in India? Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
What is the full form of NOTTO? National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation
Where is NOTTO located? New Delhi
When is Indian Organ donation day celebrated by NOTTO? 27th November 

Objectives of NOTP

  • To organise a system of deceased organ and tissue procurement & distribution for transplantation. 
  • To promote deceased organ and tissue donation following the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissue Rules, 2014.
  • To protect vulnerable poor from organ trafficking. 

Acts related to Organ/Tissue Donation

  • Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994 
    • The government of India enacted it to provide for the regulation of removal, storage and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes and for the prevention of commercial dealings in human organs.
  • The High Court of Delhi constituted a committee to review the provisions of the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994 and the Transplantation of Human Organ Rules, 1995. 
  • Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act, 2011
    • The 1994 act was amended by the Government of India in order to streamline the process of organ transplantation and curb instances of illegal dealings. 
    • The THOA Act encourages deceased donation, permits donation from living persons who are near relatives and swap donations.
Who are the “near relatives” according to THOA Act?

The ‘near relative’ can include grandparents and grandchildren in addition to parents, children, brother, sister and spouse.  

  • Similarly, Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014 was notified by the government of India to supersede the Transplantation of Human Organ Rules, 1995. 

What are some important amendments included in THOA Act, 2011?

  • The act has included matters related to tissue donation in addition to organs.
  • The provision of swap donation was included.
  • The definition of “near relatives” have been expanded to include grandparents and grandchildren. 
  • The act prohibits organ donations from mentally challenged persons.
  • The Act enhances the penalty for unauthorised removal of human organs and for receiving or making payment for human organs. 
  • Also, higher penalties for trading in organs have been mandated under the act. 

UPSC 2021

Implementing bodies

At Apex level – National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) 

  • It is located in New Delhi.
  • NOTTO is set up under the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • It has two divisions:
    • National Human Organ and Tissue Removal and Storage Network
    • National Biomaterial Centre
National Human Organ and Tissue Removal and Storage Network

  • The network will be established initially for Delhi and gradually expanded to include other States and Regions of the country. 
  • Thus, this division of the NOTTO is the nodal networking agency for Delhi and shall network for Procurement Allocation and Distribution of Organs and Tissues in Delhi.

National Biomaterial Centre

  • It is also known as National Level Tissue Bank.
  • THOA Act, 2011 included tissue donation and registration of tissue banks. 
  • It has been established in NOTTO for storing tissues
  • It is established to fulfil the demands of tissue transplantation including activities for procurement, storage and fulfil distribution of biomaterials.
  • The centre will take care of the following Tissue allografts:
    • Bone and bone products
    • Skin graft
    • Cornea
    • Heart valves and vessels
  • Other tissues shall be gradually included.
  • The States will be provided financial support for setting up Bio-material centres under NOTP. 
  • A Regional Bio-material centre has been established at Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (ROTTO), Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

At Regional level – Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisations (ROTTOs)

  • Five ROTTOs have been set up at the following locations:
    • Chandigarh, 
    • Mumbai, 
    • Chennai, 
    • Kolkata,
    • Guwahati

At State level – State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisations (SOTTOs)

  • SOTTOs has been established in twelve States. 

Status of Organ/Tissue Donation in India

  • The organ donation rate in India is currently less than 1 per million, compared to Spain having 35 donations per million.
  • The deceased donation is almost insignificant in a country of 1.2 billion population in India. 
  • India is the 3rd country in the world, after the USA and China, in terms of the total number of transplants done in a year. 
  • Capacity for undertaking rare transplants e.g. Pancreas, Intestine, hand, limbs, Lung, Uterus have developed within the country, besides a significant enhancement in capacities for undertaking relatively common transplants of Kidney, Liver, and Heart.
  • According to the standing committee report, the total number of transplants done in the country has increased from 4990 in 2013 to 12666 in 2019 indicating a marked improvement in infrastructure for undertaking transplants in the country. 
  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee, on Health and Family Welfare, has recommended the continuation of the National Organ Transplant program (NOTP) during the period 2021-26.

Way Forward

  • The standing committee has recommended the continuation of the NOTP. 
  • Also, stressed the need to strengthen the program in terms of infrastructure, administrative powers, human resources, training, and budget, etc. 

National Organ and Tissue Transplant Programme (NOTP)- UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

FAQ about National Organ and Tissue Transplant Programme (NOTP)

What is swap donation?

A pair of donors and recipients who are near relatives but whose organs do not medically match for transplantation are permitted to swap organs with another pair of such person.

Who is a deceased person?

A deceased person means a person in whom permanent disappearance of all evidence of life occurs, by reason of brain-stem death or in a cardio-pulmonary sense, at any time after live birth has taken place.

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