- 17th ASEAN-India Economic Ministers’ Consultations
- National Sports and Adventure Awards, 2020
- National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA)
Focus: GS-II International Relations
Why in news?
Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways co-chaired the 17th ASEAN-India Economic Ministers Consultations held virtually on 2020.
- The meeting was attended by the Trade Ministers of all the 10 ASEAN countries.
- The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to take collective actions in mitigating the economic impact of the pandemic and resolved to ensure macroeconomic and financial stability and resilient supply chain connectivity, particularly the unimpeded flow of essential goods and medicines in the region, in compliance with the WTO rules.
- The Ministers’ discussion centred on the review of the ASEAN India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA).
- The report of the ASEAN India Business Council (AIBC) was placed before the Ministers and the report has recommended that the AITIGA be reviewed for mutual benefit.
- The Ministers from India and ASEAN countries instructed the senior officials to start the discussions to determine the scope of the review at the earliest to, inter-alia, make the Free Trade Agreement more user-friendly, simple, and trade facilitative for businesses.
ASEAN India-Business Council (AIBC) was set up in 2003 as a forum to bring key private sector players from India and the ASEAN countries on a single platform for business networking and sharing of ideas.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising Ten Countries in Southeast Asia.
Members of ASEAN
- To promote intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration among its members and other countries in Asia.
- To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organisations.
- To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.
- To accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations.
A major partner of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, ASEAN maintains a global network of alliances and dialogue partners and is considered by many as the central union for cooperation in Asia-Pacific.
- The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
- ASEAN is headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia.
- 8th August is observed as ASEAN Day.
- In 1967 ASEAN was established with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by its founding fathers: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
- Chairmanship of ASEAN rotates annually, based on the alphabetical order of the English names of Member States.
- ASEAN is the 3rd largest market in the world – larger than EU and North American markets.
ASEAN Plus Three
ASEAN Plus Three is a forum that functions as a coordinator of co-operation between the ASEAN and the three East Asian nations of China, South Korea, and Japan.
ASEAN Plus Six
- further integration to improve existing ties of Southeast Asia was done by the larger East Asia Summit (EAS), which included ASEAN Plus Three as well as India, Australia, and New Zealand.
- The group became ASEAN Plus Six with Australia, New Zealand, and India, and stands as the linchpin of Asia Pacific’s economic, political, security, socio-cultural architecture, as well as the global economy.
- This group acted as a prerequisite for the planned East Asia Community which was supposedly patterned after the European Community (now transformed into the European Union).
ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA)
- The ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement was signed and entered into force in 2010.
- Under the Agreement, ASEAN Member States and India have agreed to open their respective markets by progressively reducing and eliminating duties on more than 75% coverage of goods.
ASEAN-India Trade in Services Agreement (AITISA)
- The ASEAN-India Trade in Services Agreement was signed in 2014.
- It contains provisions on transparency, domestic regulations, recognition, market access, national treatment and dispute settlement.
ASEAN-India Investment Agreement (AIIA)
- The ASEAN-India Investment Agreement was signed in 2014.
- The Investment Agreement stipulates protection of investment to ensure fair and equitable treatment for investors, non-discriminatory treatment in expropriation or nationalisation as well as fair compensation.
ASEAN-India Free Trade Area (AIFTA)
- The ASEAN–India Free Trade Area (AIFTA) is a free trade area among the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India.
- The free trade area came into effect in 2010.
- The ASEAN–India Free Area emerged from a mutual interest of both parties to expand their economic ties in the Asia-Pacific region.
- India’s Look East policy was reciprocated by similar interests of many ASEAN countries to expand their interactions westward.
- The signing of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement paves the way for the creation of one of the world’s largest FTAs – a market of almost 1.8 billion people with a combined GDP of US $ 2.8 trillion.
- The AIFTA will see tariff liberalisation of over 90% of products traded between the two dynamic regions, including the so-called “special products,” such as palm oil (crude and refined), coffee, black tea and pepper.
Focus: GS-II Governance
Why in news?
- In a first ever virtual presentation of awards, the President of India gave away the National Sports and Adventure Awards, 2020.
- The Sports Minister announced the enhancement of the prize money in four of the seven categories of the National Sports and Adventure Awards.
- A twelve-member committee evaluates the performances of a sportsperson at various levels and submits their recommendations to the Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports for further approval.
- The main objectives of the award are motivation and social recognition of a sports person.
National Sports and Adventure Awards
National Sports Awards are given every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports.
It comprises the following awards:
- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna: It is the Highest Sporting Honour of India. It was instituted in 1991–92. The recipient(s) is/are honoured for their outstanding performance in the field of sports over a period of four years at international level.
- Dronacharya Awards: It was instituted in 1985 to honour eminent Coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious International sports events.
- Arjuna awards: It was instituted in 1961. To be eligible for the Award, a sportsperson should have had not only good performance over the previous four years at the International level but also should have shown qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline.
- Dhyan Chand Award: It was instituted in 2002. It is an award for life-time achievements in sports.
- Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award: It is the highest national recognition for outstanding achievements in the field of adventure on land, sea and air.
- Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy: It was instituted in 1956-57 to honour the top overall performing university in the Inter-University Tournaments.
- Rashtriya Khel Protsahana Purushkar: It was instituted from 2009 to recognize the corporate entities (both in private and public sector) and individuals who have played a visible role in the area of sports promotion and development.
Focus: GS-III Industry and Infrastructure
Why in news?
On the foundation day of National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers congratulated NPPA for working tirelessly to ensure availability of life-saving drugs at reasonable prices consistently.
National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)
- The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) is a government regulatory agency that controls the prices of pharmaceutical drugs in India.
- National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) was constituted by Government of India Resolution dated 29th August, 1997.
- NPPA is Neither a Statutory nor a Constitutional Body.
- NPPA acts as an attached office of the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers as an independent Regulator for pricing of drugs and to ensure availability and accessibility of medicines at affordable prices.
- The NPPA regularly publishes lists of medicines and their maximum ceiling prices (Drug Price Control Orders DPCO).
NPPA is propelling Digital India mission by:
- Pharma Sahi Daam– App to check prices of medicines
- Pharma Jan Samadhan– Public grievance system to help people resolve their problems.
- Pharma Data Bank– Online information collection from Pharma manufacturers.”
Functions of NPPA
- To implement and enforce the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order in accordance with the powers delegated to it.
- To deal with all legal matters arising out of the decisions of the Authority.
- 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 undertake and/ or sponsor relevant studies in respect of pricing of drugs/ pharmaceuticals.
- To recruit/ appoint the officers and other staff members of the Authority, as per rules and procedures laid down by the Government.
- 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.