December 2018
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Bridging Multiple Gaps: Strengthening India’s Research Protocols for Assistive Aids

India is home to 2.68 crore persons with disabilities comprising 2.21 per cent of its population (2011 Census). However, less than 16 per cent of persons with disabilities have any assistive aids and appliances. In general, Indian innovators in assistive device technology lack crucial understanding of the market realities and possess a sketchy understanding of issues that have important implications for the disability sector. This has resulted in poor research and engineering of assistive devices, directly affecting the quality of support given to the disabled. Some of the issues that have not been fully understood by Indian innovators are: ‘freedom-to-operate’ and consequent infringement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), the necessity to comply with regulatory and industry standards, and the need for robustness, precision, accuracy, and reliability. As cost-effective environmental interventions have not been effectively implemented in India, and because distribution of aids and assistive devices are not effectively funded by the government, almost two thirds of those using assistive devices and rehabilitation technology have purchased the devices themselves from private sources. Those left without assistive devices, or with old-fashioned and inefficient devices are the target for those who enter the market with ‘low cost’ devices, of dubious scientific or medical value, and poor regulatory compliance. As an under-served and under-supported sector, the assistive devices sector only benefits from innovations by those innovators who have spotted the niche funding opportunity and lack of robust competition in the so-called low cost indigenous market. Three recent legal instruments have the potential to significantly improve the access of good quality assistive devices for the disabled India. The instruments, arriving nearly together, set up formidable barriers to poor research and engineering, and non-standard assistive devices being distributed to unwary persons with disability who are in want and discomfort. These are The Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016, The Medical Devices Rules, 2017 and The National Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical and Health Research Involving Human Participants, 2017. This Policy Report takes stock of the compliance and regulatory environment in India, critically examines the legal ecosystem relating to research and ethics of clinical trials for assistive devices. It also analyses the gaps in the ethical conduct of research and concludes by highlighting the need to streamline research protocols in order to serve the disability sector in an effective manner. [ The title of this Policy Report was corrected on December 26, 2018. ] [PDF 1.55 MB]

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Wooing Voters in 2019: Some Takeaways from December 2018

In December 2018, five Indian States went to the polls to elect representatives to their Legislative Assemblies. The results of these elections, some

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'There are many reasons behind lower growth rates in National Accounts back-series': T.C.A. Anant

The Union government’s rejection of the GDP back series prepared by a technical committee of the National Statistical Commission (NSC) earlier this ye

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Data: India in Figures - 2018

This publication, India in Figures, 2018 , by the Social Statistics Division of the Central Statistics Office (CSO), gives topline data on economic, social, and environmental issues on India. The 37-page publication contains 11 chapters, which include Demographic Profile, Economic Development, Infrastructure, Environment, Health and Work. It concludes with data on India's progress on meeting the MDG goals. India in Figures 2018 [PDF 1.61 MB] Source: Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India  

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Data: National Accounts Statistics - May 2018

This document, National Accounts Statistics 2018, by the National Accounts Division of the Central Statistics Office (CSO), provides the estimates of the macroeconomic aggregates along with detailed disaggregated statements and institutional sector accounts for the years 2011-12 to 2016-17 with 2011-12 as the base year. The publication also includes provisional estimates of National Income for the year 2017-18 and quarterly estimates of GDP for 2011-12 to 2017-18, released on May 31, 2018. National Accounts Statistics 2018 [PDF 4.50 MB] Source: Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India  

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Restoring Dignity to Farming

As farmers marched to Parliament House to demand a special session devoted to discussing their problems and to pass Bills related to legally guarantee

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"We believe in the philosophy that our work should speak": Sudha Murty

The Chairperson of the Infosys Foundation, Sudha Murty, is well-known for her work in the field of social welfare. She is a technocrat devoted