Writing on the wall
Apropos of the news report “Urjit Patel in hot seat: Nirmala Sitharaman wants the whopping 2% RBI rate cut” (FE, Aug 25), the commerce minister’s wish-list could be the precisely indicative of what lies ahead for Urjit Patel, the would-be Governor of the RBI. Well seeking a cut in the benchmark lending rate by as much as 200 basis points by her could also be ‘indicative’ of the govt eventually laying down the future ‘road map’ for the new incumbent. It’s ironical that Sitharaman’s suggestion comes close on the heels of the government choosing Urjit Patel, who is considered an inflation hawk by analysts, as the next RBI governor. It may be recalled that while the RBI has trimmed the repo rate by 150 bps since January last year, base lending rates of banks have come down by only about 60 basis points. So, shouldn’t she had first asked his counterpart in the finance ministry to tame the real culprits viz the erring commercial banks instead of publicly ‘touching’ the wrong chord which is beyond any reasonable comprehension?
In the recent years, following the intervention of organisations like PETA and ministers like Maneka Gandhi, the government has banned the import of animal-tested cosmetics and the practice of animal testing by cosmetic, soap & detergent companies, apart from issuing guidelines to the UGC to academically replace dissection of frogs with virtual dissection software. Likewise, the Tiruchirapalli-based Mahatma Gandhi-Doerenkamp Center (MGDC) of Bharathidaasan University, in technical partnership with “SkinEthic Academy” belonging to the world’s leading tissue engineering company EPISKIN(a subsidiary of the eminent global cosmetics company L’Oreal), is conducting periodical training workshops across India on “in vitro” safety testing on reconstructed human epidermis(RHE) and the 3D variant of the same, to replace experimentation on animals. Indian companies in the practice of animal testing should seriously consider the RHE route. I would also like to draw the attention of the companies to another innovative alternative called “CytoSolve” which is an “in silico”(i.e.based on computers) drug discovery tool which can simulate diseases like cancer, diabetes, fibrosis, inflammation etc on computer. It can model complex cellular functions of human body, obviating need for animal testing.
CV Krishna Manoj