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PIB 22nd March 2021

CONTENTS

  1. NAVROZ
  2. NATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS PRICING AUTHORITY
  3. ACT EAST POLICY
  4. VANDE BHARAT MISSION

NAVROZ

Focus:  GS I- Festivals

Why in news?

Navroz is the new year celebrations for Parsis (Zoroastrians) and Muslims (both Shia and Sunni) celebrated on 21st March every year.

About Navroz:

  • In 1079 AD, a Persian (Iranian) king named Jalaluddin Malekshah introduced this festival to generate revenue and collect taxes from people.
  • The time of the festival is decided in Iran and then it is passed on to the entire Zoroastrian population in the world.
  • It was observed on March 21 to mark the beginning of spring and the day of equinox.
  • The equinoxes are the only time when both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere experience roughly equal amounts of daytime and night time.
  • It is inscribed in the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of India.
  • In India it is known as Jamshed Navroz.
  • Navroz is also known as Jamshed-i-Navroz after the Persian King, Jamshed, who is credited to have created the Persian Calendar known as the Shahenshahi Calendar.

NATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS PRICING AUTHORITY

Focus: GS II- Health

Why in news?

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) NPPA fixes the price of 81 medicines including off-patent anti-diabetic drugs allowing due benefits of patent expiry to the patients

About National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority

  • NPPA is an organization under Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers which was set up in 1997 to revise the prices of controlled bulk drugs and formulations and to enforce prices and availability of the medicines in the country, under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO), 1995.
  • The prices are now fixed/revised under Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO), 2013.
  • It also monitors the prices of decontrolled drugs in order to keep them at reasonable levels.
Functions:
  • To implement and enforce the provisions of the Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO), 1995/2013  in accordance with the powers delegated to it.
  • To undertake and/or sponsor relevant studies in respect of pricing of drugs/formulations.
  • To monitor the availability of drugs, identify shortages, if any, and to take remedial steps.
  • To collect/maintain data on production, exports and imports, market share of individual companies, profitability of companies etc. for bulk drugs and formulations.
  • To deal with all legal matters arising out of the decisions of the Authority.
  • To render advice to the Central Government on changes/revisions in the drug policy.
  • To render assistance to the Central Government in the parliamentary matters relating to the drug pricing.
Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO)
  • The Drugs Prices Control Order, 1995 is an order issued by the Government of India under Sec. 3 of Essential Commodities Act, 1955 to regulate the prices of drugs.
  • The Order inter alia provides the list of price controlled drugs, procedures for fixation of prices of drugs, method of implementation of prices fixed by Govt., penalties for contravention of provisions etc.
  • For the purpose of implementing provisions of DPCO, powers of Government have been vested in NPPA.

ACT EAST POLICY

Focus: GS II- India and its neighbourhood

Key points:

India Act East Policy was unveiled by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, at the 12th ASEAN-India Summit in 2014 held in Myanmar. Act East Policy is the successor of Look East Policy.

Look East Policy

  • In order to recover from the loss of the strategic partner -USSR (end of the Cold war 1991), India sought to build up a relationship with the USA and allies of the USA in Southeast Asia.
  • In this pursuit, former Prime minister of India P V Narasimha Rao launched Look East policy in 1992, to give a strategic push to India’s engagement with South-East Asia region.

Act East Policy’ of India – Objectives

The Objective of ‘Act East Policy’ is to promote economic cooperation, cultural ties and develop a strategic relationship with countries in the Asia-Pacific region through continuous engagement at bilateral, regional, and multilateral levels thereby providing enhanced connectivity to the States of North Eastern Region including Arunachal Pradesh with other countries in our neighbourhood.

How Act East is different from Look East policy?

  • Look East policy focused on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries + Economic Integration.
    • The time when India launched Look East Policy in 1992, India’s trade with ASEAN was $2 billion. After signing the Free Trade Agreement in 2010 with ASEAN, the trade has grown to $72 billion (2017-18).
    • India is also an active participant in several regional forums like the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) etc.
  • Act East Policy focused on ASEAN countries + Economic Integration + East Asian countries + Security cooperation.
    • Prime minister of India highlighted 4C’s of Act East Policy.
      • Culture
      • Commerce
      • Connectivity
      • Capacity building
    • Security is an important dimension of India’s Act East Policy.
    • In the context of growing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, securing freedom of navigation and India’s own role in the Indian Ocean is a key feature of Act East Policy.
    • In pursuance of this, India has been engaged under the narrative of Indo-pacific and informal grouping called Quad.

VANDE BHARAT MISSION

Focus: GS II- Government Policies and Interventions

Why in news?

India’s massive evacuation programme triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic has brought back over 67.5 million people from abroad.

About Vande Bharat Mission

  • The Indian nationals stranded overseas due to the global coronavirus lockdown are expected to return under the Vande Bharat Mission.
  • Vande Bharat Mission is the biggest evacuation exercise to bring back Indian citizens stranded abroad amidst the coronavirus-induced travel restrictions.
  • It is also considered as the largest exercise to bring back Indian citizens since the evacuation of 177,000 from the Gulf region in the early 1990s at the start of hostilities between Iraq and Kuwait during the first Gulf War.
  • Further, the Indian Navy has also launched Operation “Samudra Setu” (sea bridge) to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas.
  • India has dispatched four Naval ships as part of the first phase of Vande Bharat mission.
  • INS Jalashwa and INS Magar are being operated as part of efforts to repatriate Indian nationals from foreign shores.
MINISTRY OF 
CIVIL AVIATION 
vnN0E 
BHARAT 
Iss10N 
Bringing Indians 
London 
Chicago 
Dubai 
Jeddah 
DAY 
13TH MAY 
Home 
Amritsar 
.. Ahmedab?d 
. Hyderabad 
Manila 
Kozhikode 
Chenna

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