This week, the Reserve Bank of India raised the repo rate by 25 basis points (bps) to 6.25%. This was not an isolated move; many other countries have hiked their interest rates recently, primarily for two reasons. First, the rise in global commodity prices including that of crude has led to higher inflation, compelling central banks to hike interest rates to counter inflation by limiting consumption. A better-than-expected global growth rate, especially in the Western counties, too has forced several central banks to raise rates. Second, the US Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by 25 basis points in March, leading to capital outflow from emerging economies, as investors look to chase better returns in America. To arrest this outflow, central banks across the world hiked their interest rates.
Telling Numbers: 97% of parties are unrecognised, they rarely file donation reports
The majority of India’s political parties (2,044 out of 2,099) are unrecognised. An unrecognised party is either a newly registered one, or one that has not won enough votes in Assembly or general elections to be classified as a state party, or one that has never contested an election. It does not enjoy certain benefits that regional and national parties are entitled to, such as an exclusive election symbol. A report by the Association for Democratic Reforms, which analysed the contribution reports submitted by registered unrecognised parties between 2013-14 and 2015-16, found that only 5%-6% of them submitted these in the three years. As long as political parties file Income-Tax returns and submit details of donations received above Rs 20,000 to the EC, they are exempt from Income-Tax.
This Word Means: Bone bank
Delhi will get its first such bank in a government hospital. What kind of bones do they store, and how?
On Saturday, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital will become Delhi’s first government hospital to get a bone bank, a recognition of a growing demand in orthopaedic surgery. For bone replacement or grafting, surgeons look to source the bone from within the patient’s body. When this is not possible, they look to perform an allograft, or use bone from external sources, says Dr Ramesh Kumar Sen, a veteran orthopaedic surgeon formerly with PGIMER-Chandigarh and now with Max Super Specialty Hospital, Mohali. This is where bone banks come into the picture. Bone banks obtain bones either from cadavers or from living donors. In both cases, consent is mandatory — from the living donor, or from close relatives when the source is a cadaver. Live donors are generally patients undergoing total hip replacement surgery. As part of the surgery, the femur head is removed, and this is stored by the bone banks once consent is granted, Dr Sen says. Before storage, the donor is screened for various infections. If safe, the bones are stored using deep-freeze or freeze-dry techniques in which the bones are stored at a temperature between – 65°C and – 80°C. This can preserve a bone for two to five years. In rare cases, chemical methods of preservation are also used. In case of cadavers, the bones are removed in a sterile environment within 12 hours of death (38 hours if the body itself was frozen), and similar tests are carried out before accepting the bone as usable. Bone grafting is mainly used to repair fractures or bones that have become defective as a result of trauma, infection or tumors. Human bones are capable of regeneration; allogenic bone serves as a frame against which new bone is deposited, Dr Sen says. There are very few bone banks in India; bone donors too are rare. – Promit Chakroborty