HNExpress Staff Reporter : The Central Government has appointed Dr Nitiz Murdia as a Member of the National Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy Board for the purposes of the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act, 2021 and the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021. Dr Murdia has been nominated for the designation by the Department of Human Research (DHR) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and is the Director and Co-Founder of India’s leading chain of infertility hospitals, Indira IVF.
The Bills to regulate Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) and Surrogacy were passed in the Parliament in December last year. Constitution of a central National Board and branch-off State Boards have been mandated by the Acts in order to advise the Central Government on policy matters related to the topics, review and monitor implementation, suggest suitable changes, lay down the code of conduct and requirements, oversee and ensure effective performance by constitutive bodies of the Act, and supervise the National Registry.
Speaking on the occasion of his appointment, Dr Nitiz Murdia – Director & Co-Founder of Indira IVF said, “The mechanisms established by the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act, 2021 and Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021 would ensure that ART clinics and banks adhere to ethical boundaries, be it in terms of ART treatment availed by patients as well as protect the rights of a surrogate mother, as the case may be. It will demand that ART specialists and providers of services related to surrogacy are registered and comply with standardised and lawful practices. I am extremely honoured to be a part of the National Board, serving the cause of spreading awareness on the matter, and increasing accountability in the sector.”
ART treatment and the practice of surrogacy have existed in India for close to four and two decades, respectively. The topics of conceiving outside one’s body has long been stigmatised and the persons discriminated against, paving way for many myths. Moreover, due to the hushed nature of conversation on the same, quacks have found it convenient to influence patients in need of a solution and eventually, duping them.
The two Acts are an empowering foundation for patients seeking ART and surrogacy services in India as it brings transparency to the process, establishes registered professionals and centres while providing information on them. This would give patients the ability to choose service providers on the basis of success-based evidence, expertise, and feedback.
“These regulations will also increase the scope for medical tourism, and pave way for positioning India at the global map for ART treatment with best standards and outcome,” Dr Murdia added.
As an Expert Member of the National Board, Dr Nitiz Murdia will be an instrumental change-maker by devising policy and processes related to technology in ART and surrogacy services. Other members appointed as experts to the Board include Dr Shubha Phadke – Medical Geneticist, Dr Neeta Singh – Gynaecologist and Obstetrician, Dr RG Patel – Gynaecologist and Obstetrician, and Smt. N Lalitha – Social Scientist.