NEW DELHI: If you want a driving licence, be ready to donate your organs and tissues in case you die in a road accident. The Centre is likely to come out with a notification soon making it mandatory to sign up for organ and tissue donation while applying for a driving licence.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has prepared a notification for the purpose and the same is under consideration at the highest level. In fact, this was the long-pending assurance given by the Centre in Parliament during the 15th Lok Sabha.
In a written reply on December 7, 2012, to Dr P Venugopal and Madhu Yashki Goud, the then Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad assured that the matter of making it mandatory for driving licence applicants to donate organs in case of fatality is under the examination by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, which is looking to amend the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.
Now, the Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances, which scrutinizes promises given by ministers on the floor of the House, found fault with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for not keeping up with assurance even after three years.
The committee, headed by BJP MP Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank”, reminded the Ministry of Health that all the assurances are to be implemented within three months and if any assurance cannot be implemented within three months, the concerned Ministry has to seek extension of the time from the committee.
While deposing before the committee, secretary of the health ministry said that for transplantation of human organs, organs in adequate number are not available. To address the problem, he said, “When we issue driving licence then at that time we should an undertaking that if some accidents happen, his organs could be taken for use of others.”
The secretary of health ministry informed the committee that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has prepared a notification for the purpose. It was informed that the Ministry of Road Transport has also accepted the transfer of the said assurance.
“Notwithstanding the position explained above, the fact remains that the assurance in the matter is still pending for implementation. In case the Ministry of Road Transport have accepted the transfer said assurance, then it is obligatory on the part of the Ministry to impress upon them to implement the assurance without further delay,” the committee observed. “Since the assurance was originally in the name of Ministry of Health, it is, therefore, imperative for them to monitor,” the Committee felt.
While pulling up the Ministry of Health for as many as 18 long-pending assurances since the ninth session of the 15th Lok Sabha, the committee suggested streamlining of the existing mechanism to ensure timely implementation.