- Schemes, Bulk Drugs Parks & Medical Devices Parks
- BIS Mobile App ‘BIS-Care’
- India and Indonesia: Bilateral Defence Cooperation
- KRCNet and Mobile App “Mausam” launched
Focus: GS-III Industry and Infrastructure
Why in news?
Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers launched four schemes of Department of Pharmaceuticals for promotion of domestic manufacturing of bulk drugs and medical devices parks in the country.
- India is often referred to as ‘the pharmacy of the world’ and this has been proved true especially in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic when India continued to export critical lifesaving medicines to needy countries even during the countrywide lockdown.
- However, despite these achievements, it is a matter of concern that our country is critically dependent on imports for basic raw materials, viz. Bulk Drugs (Key Starting Materials (KSMs)/ Drug Intermediates (DIs) and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs)) that are used to produce some of the essential medicines.
- Similarly, in medical devices sector, our country is dependent on imports for more than 85% of its requirements of medical devices.
Details of what is being done:
- The Government of India has approved four schemes, two each for Bulk Drugs and Medical Devices parks.
- The list of products contained in the scheme guidelines will enable domestic production of more than 50 bulk drugs.
- Financial incentives will be given to manufacturers selected under the scheme as a fixed percentage of their domestic sales of the lister products manufactured locally with required level of domestic value addition.
Scheme for promotion of Bulk Drug Parks
- The scheme envisages creation of 3 bulk drug parks in the country.
- The grant-in-aid will be 90% of the project cost in case of North-East and hilly States and 70% in case of other States.
- The creation of a centre of excellence is also envisaged to enable an ecosystem for Research and Development.
Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for promoting domestic manufacturing of Medical Devices
The scheme intends to boost domestic manufacturing of medical devices in four target segments by giving financial incentives on sales.
Four target segments are:
- Cancer care / Radiotherapy medical devices
- Radiology & Imaging medical devices (both ionizing & non-ionizing radiation products) and Nuclear Imaging devices
- Anaesthetics & Cardio-Respiratory medical devices including catheters of Cardio Respiratory Category & Renal Care medical devices
- All Implants including implantable electronic devices
- It is expected that these schemes will make India not only self-reliant but also capable of catering to the global demand for the selected bulk drugs and medical devices.
- This is a golden opportunity for the investors since incentivisation to industry and world-class infrastructure support simultaneously will help in bringing down the cost of production significantly.
- These schemes along with the liberal FDI policy in these sectors and an effective corporate tax rate will give a competitive edge to India in the selected products vis-à-vis other economies.
Focus: GS-III Indian Economy
Why in news?
Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution launched the Bureau of Indian Standard’s Mobile App ‘BIS-Care’ and three portals – the Standardization, Conformity Assessment and Training Portals of e-BIS for consumers.
- Consumers can check the authenticity of the ISI-marked and hallmarked products and lodge complaints using the BIS-Care app.
- e-BIS is an integrated portal covering all of BIS’s functions, enlisting the services of outside agencies for factory and market surveillance and development of mobile app-based and AI-enabled surveillance methods.
- BIS is developing a portal on Consumer Engagement, which will facilitate the online registration of Consumer Groups, submission of proposals and approval thereof, and complaint management.
- BIS has formulated a scheme for the recognition of other Standard Development Organizations in the country with the objective of harmonization of standard formulation.
Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS)
- The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the national Standards Body of India working under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India.
- It is established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986 – Hence it is Statutory Body.
- The organisation was formerly the Indian Standards Institution (ISI). (The ISI was registered under the Societies Registration Act – Therefore ISI was NOT a Statutory Body.)
- As a corporate body, BIS has 25 members drawn from Central or State Governments, industry, scientific and research institutions, and consumer organisations.
- BIS also works as WTO-TBT (World Trade Organisation Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade) enquiry point for India.
Benefits of BIS
- Providing safe reliable quality goods.
- Minimizing health hazards to consumers.
- Promoting exports and imports substitute.
- Control over proliferation of varieties etc through standardization, certification and testing.
Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016
- BIS Act allows multiple types of simplified conformity assessment schemes including self-declaration of conformity.
- BIS act provides enabling provisions for making hallmarking of precious metal articles mandatory.
- The Act enables the Central Government to appoint any authority/agency, in addition to the BIS, to verify the conformity of products and services with the established standard and issue certificate of conformity.
- There is a provision for repair or recall, of the products (bearing Standard Mark) that do not conform to the relevant Indian Standard.
- BIS (Hallmarking) Regulations, 2018 under the BIS act calls for Hallmarking of Gold, Silver jewellery and Gold, Silver artefacts.
Focus: GS-II International Relations
Why in news?
Defence Ministers’ Dialogue between India and Republic of Indonesia was held recently.
- The long history of mutually beneficial interactions between India and Indonesia countries with a tradition of close political dialogue, economic and trade linkages as well as cultural and people to people interactions was highlighted.
- The defence cooperation between India and Indonesia has witnessed an upswing in the recent years, which is in consonance with the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two sides.
- Both sides agreed to further enhance the bilateral defence cooperation in mutually agreed areas.
- Potential areas of cooperation in the field of defence industries and defence technology were also identified by the two countries.
- Indian-Indonesian relations stretch back for almost two millennia – stemming from the fact that India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Indonesia along the Andaman Sea – making India and Indonesia neighbours.
- The two countries have significant bilateral trade.
- India regards Indonesia as a key member of ASEAN, and both are member states of the G-20, the E7 (countries), the Non-aligned Movement, and the United Nations.
- The name Indonesia derives from the Latin Indus, meaning “India”, and the Greek nesos, meaning “island” and the name predates the formation of independent Indonesia.
- The Indian Epics — the Ramayana and the Mahabharata — play an important role in Indonesian culture and history.
- Indians also relate closely to Indonesian culture, especially Hindu Balinese culture.
- India and Indonesia officially opened the diplomatic relations in 1950s.
Focus: GS-III Science and technology
Why in news?
Under the Digital India initiative of Government of India, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) aims to develop a World-Class Knowledge Resource Centre Network (KRCNet).
Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) launched the mobile App “Mausam” for India Meteorological Department.
- The traditional libraries of the MoES system will be upgraded into a top-notch Knowledge Resource Centres (KRC).
- KRCs will be connected with each other and integrated into the KRCNet portal.
- It will be a single point entry to the intellectual world of MoES and the resources and services of MoES system will be accessible 24X7 through a one-point dynamic, updated and integrated KRCNet portal.
Objectives of KCRNet are:
- To establish Total Quality Management (TQM) system by securing ISO certification for documenting MoES knowledge resources, its maintenance, easy retrieval and dissemination.
- To collect, collate, analyze, index, store and disseminate the intellectual resources, products and project outputs available in MoES headquarter and its institutes.
- To develop and maintain an up-to-date meta-data of the print & digital resources available in MoES headquarter and MoES institutes, including MoES services.
- To provide 24X7 access to the subscribed knowledge contents through the KRCNet portal.
Mobile App “Mausam”
- The mobile app ‘Mausam’ is dedicated to the general public and designed to communicate the weather information and forecasts in a lucid manner without technical jargons.
- Users can access observed weather, forecasts, radar images and be proactively warned of impending weather events.
- The Mausam mobile app will be an important tool for dissemination of weather information and warnings in an attractive and user friendly manner which will meet the requirements of public.
The App provides the following 5 services:
- Current Weather – Current temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction along with Sunrise/ sunset and moonrise/ moonset information.
- Nowcast – Warnings of localized weather phenomena and their intensity issued by State Meteorological Centres of IMD.
- City Forecast – Past 24 hours and 7 day forecast of weather conditions.
- Warnings – Alerts issued for the next five days in colour code (Red, Orange and Yellow) to warn citizens of approaching dangerous weather.
- Radar products – Latest Station wise radar products.