‘India Pharma 2017’ & ‘India Medical Device 2017’: for responsible Healthcare
(Topic: Issues related to health)
Aim: To Project India as an attractive investment destination and global hub for pharma and medical devices sector
Vision: ‘For Responsible Healthcare’
About: The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, along with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), is organised ‘India Pharma & India Medical Device 2017’.
Themes: Medical Devices– ‘Shaping the Future-Making the Right Choices’ and Pharma -‘Shaping the future of India Pharma’.
- The International event would not only provide a platform to tap global potential for the Indian Pharmaceutical and Medical Device sector, but also provide an opportunity to project India as an attractive investment destination for this sector.
- Brings foreign investment to new areas such as Research & Developments, Clinical Trials by promoting Joint Ventures with the Indian Manufacturers and bringing in best practices in the sector from around the world.
- It would play the role of a meeting point for International Drug Regulators, International Buyers, Investors and CEOs from the Global Pharma & Medical Devices sector that will provide ample opportunities to the participating stakeholders to network and learn amongst themselves.
- The Conference will be a Pharma Kumbh and the highlight would be the International Drug Regulators meet.
- Government is constantly working in setting up National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPERs).
Steps to be taken
- Need for India to have a lion’s share in manufacturing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) and bulk drug formulations with special emphasis on indigenous manufacturing of Medical devices.
- Need to increase collaboration with the Industry in the field of Pharma & Medical Devices Innovation. In this direction, the Department of Pharmaceuticals is working on a scheme to establish Pharma parks & clusters in various States that will help bringing down the production costs significantly.
- Need to encourage the Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) sector to increase exports in the Pharmaceuticals & Medical Device sector.
“SWAYAM” Platform will be launched to leverage Information Technology
About—In Budget 2017-18, FM said that Government proposes to leverage information technology and launch SWAYAM Platform with at least 350 online courses. Access to SWAYAM would be widened by linkage with DTH channels, dedicated to education.
This will enable students to–
- Virtually attend the courses taught by the best faculty
- Access high quality reading resources
- Participate in discussion forums
- Take tests and earn academic grades
Action plan to eliminate Kala-Azar and Filariasis by 2017, Leprosy by 2018 and Measles by 2020
(Topic: Issued related to health)
Objective: Government has prepared an action plan to eliminate Kala-Azar and Filariasis by 2017, Leprosy by 2018 and Measles by 2020. Elimination of tuberculosis by 2025 is also targeted. Similarly, action plan has been prepared to reduce IMR from 39 in 2014 to 28 by 2019 and MMR from 167 in 2011-13 to 100 by 2018-2020. 1.5 lakh Health Sub Centres will be transformed into Health and Wellness Centres.
Kala Azar(Visceral leishmaniasis)
- Also called as black fever or dumdum fever
- Disease caused by the protozoan parasites
- This disease is second largest parasitic killer in the world (after Malaria)
- The parasite migrates to internal organs such as liver, spleen (hence “visceral”) and bone marrow, and, if left untreated, will almost always result in the death of the host. Signs and symptoms include fever, weight loss, fatigue, anemia, and substantial swelling of the liver and spleen.
- This is a parasitic disease caused by an infection with roundworms of the Filarioidea type.
- These are spread by blood-feeding black flies and mosquitoes.
- This disease belongs to the group of diseases called helminthiases.
- It is a long-term infection by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae or Mycobacterium lepromatosis.
- Leprosy is spread between people.
- This is thought to occur through a cough or contact with fluid from the nose of an infected person.
- Leprosy occurs more commonly among those living in poverty.
- Leprosy is curable with a treatment known as multidrug therapy.
- Measles is a highly contagious infection caused by the measles virus.
- Measles is an airborne disease which spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of those infected.
- It may also be spread through contact with saliva or nasal secretions.
First combined Budget of Independent India, that includes Railways, presented
About: Total capital and development expenditure of railways pegged at Rs. 1,31,000 crores
Railways will focus on four major areas
- A ‘Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh’ will be created with a corpus of Rs.1 lakh crores over a period of 5 years, to be funded by seed capital from the Government, Railways’ own revenues and other sources.
- Government will lay down clear cut guidelines and timeline for implementing various safety works to be funded from this ‘Kosh’.
- Unmanned level crossings on Broad Gauge lines will be eliminated by 2020.
- Expert international assistance will be harnessed to improve safety preparedness and maintenance practices.
Capital and developmental works
- Railway lines of 3,500 kms will be commissioned in 2017-18, as against 2,800 kms in 2016-17 and steps will be taken to launch dedicated trains for tourism and pilgrimage.
- In the next 3 years, the throughput is proposed to be enhanced by 10%.
- Railways have set-up joint ventures with 9 State Governments and 70 projects have been identified for construction and development.
- SMS based ‘Clean My Coach Service’ has already been started. It is now proposed to introduce the ‘Coach Mitra’ facility, a single window interface to register all coach related complaints and requirements.
- By 2019, all coaches of Indian Railways will be fitted with bio toilets.
Finance and accounting reforms
- As part of accounting reforms, accrual based financial statements will be rolled-out by March 2019.
- The tariffs of Railways would be fixed, taking into consideration costs, quality of service, social obligations and competition from other forms of transport.
India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) launched
Motto: “No customer is too small, no transaction too insignificant, and no deposit too little”.
About: Financial Inclusion is critical for the socio-economic development of the country, but there are significant gaps in this area and a large proportion of country’s population remain unbanked or underbanked. IPPB will effectively leverage the ubiquitous post office network with its pan-India physical presence, long experience in cash handling and savings mobilization, backed by the ongoing project of IT-enablement, to bridge this gap in Financial Inclusion.
- The objective of IPPB will be public service rather than promoting commercial interests.
- (IPPB) would focus on providing basic financial services such as all kinds of payments; including social security payments, utility bill payments, person to person remittances (both domestic and cross-border), current and savings accounts up to a balance of Rs 1 lac, distribution of insurance, mutual funds, pension products and acting as business correspondent to other banks for credit products especially in rural areas and among the underserved segments of the society.
- IPPB will usher in state of the art internet and mobile banking platforms, digital wallets and use innovative and emerging technologies to catalyse the shift from a cash dominant to a less cash economy.
(Topic: Various security forces and agencies and their mandate)
Aim: The exercise is aimed at testing combat readiness of the combined fleets of the Indian Navy, and the assets of the Indian Air Force, Indian Army and the Indian Coast Guard. It will also strengthen inter-operability and joint operations in a complex environment.
About: Exercise will have ships and aircraft of both the Western and Eastern Naval Commands, as also assets from the Indian Air Force, Indian Army and the Indian Coast Guard exercising together. The exercise is being conducted off the Western Seaboard. The last edition of the exercise was conducted in January 2015.
- TROPEX has grown in scale and complexity over the years and will see participation of major surface combatants and air assets of the Indian Navy including the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, nuclear submarine Chakra, Landing Platform Dock (LPD) Jalashwa, the recently commissioned destroyer Chennai, the P-8I long range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft operating alongside SU-30 MKI, Jaguars, AWACS, IL-78 Flight Refuelling Aircraft of the Indian Air Force and Infantry units of the Indian Army.
- The exercise will be conducted in various phases, both in harbour and at sea encompassing the various facets of war-fighting and combat operations.
- TROPEX 17 assumes special significance in the backdrop of the current security scenario.
Income Tax Department (ITD) launches Operation Clean Money
About— Income Tax Department (ITD) has initiated Operation Clean Money, initial phase of the operation involves e-verification of large cash deposits made during 9th November to 30th December 2016. Data analytics has been used for comparing the demonetisation data with information in ITD databases. In the first batch, around 18 lakh persons have been identified in whose case, cash transactions do not appear to be in line with the tax payer’s profile.
- Data analytics will be used to select cases for verification, based on approved risk criteria.
- If the case is selected for verification, request for additional information and its response will also be communicated electronically.
- The information on the online portal will be dynamic getting updated on receipt of new information, response and data analytics.
- The response of taxpayer will be assessed against available information. In case explanation of source of cash is found justified, the verification will be closed without any need to visit Income Tax Office.
- The verification will also be closed if the cash deposit is declared under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY).
Help to Farmers by Indian Meteorological Department (IMD)
About— The Agro-meteorological Advisory Services (AAS) under the Gramin Krishi Mausam Seva (GKMS) is operated to prepare biweekly weather based AAS bulletins for wider dissemination to the farmers at district scale through multimedia channels and also through SMS so as to plan farm operations accordingly.
As per the recent National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) report, farming community of the country is using the GKMS service products for critical farm operations viz.
- Management of sowing (Delayed onset of rains)
- Changing crop variety (Delay in rainfall)
- Spraying Pesticides for disease control (occurrence of rainfall)
- Managing Irrigation (Heavy rainfall Forecast)
According to a survey, the weather forecast based AAS of IMD is found to be reliable by more than 93% of surveyed farmers and 95% of the farmers say that forecasts of IMD have improved during last 2-4 years.
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