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PIB 30th April 2021

CONTENTS

  1. COMPETITION COMMISSION OF INDIA
  2. HEAT WAVE
  3. EMPLOYEE’S STATE INSURANCE CORPORATION
  4. ACTIVE PHARMACEUTICAL INGREDIENTS

COMPETITION COMMISSION OF INDIA

Focus: GS II- Polity and Governance (Government Interventions)

Why in news?

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently organised the Sixth National Conference on Economics of Competition Law through virtual mode.

About competition commission of India:

Nodal: Ministry of corporate affairs

Competition Commission of India (CCI) is a statutory body of the Government of India responsible for enforcing the Competition Act, 2002.

Competition Commission of India aims to establish a robust competitive environment.

  • Through proactive engagement with all stakeholders, including consumers, industry, government and international jurisdictions.
  • By being a knowledge intensive organization with high competence level.
  • Through professionalism, transparency, resolve and wisdom in enforcement.
Composition of CCI
  • The Commission consists of one Chairperson and six Members.
  • The commission is a quasi-judicial body .
  • Eligibility of members: The Chairperson and every other Member shall be a person of ability, integrity and standing and who, has been, or is qualified to be a judge of a High Court, or, has special knowledge of, and professional experience of not less than fifteen years in international trade, economics, business, commerce, law, finance, accountancy, management, industry, public affairs, administration or in any other matter which, in the opinion of the Central Government, may be useful to the Commission.

HEAT WAVE

Focus: GS I- Important Geophysical Phenomena

Why in news?

Heat Wave Conditions very likely in isolated pockets over Rajasthan, Vidarbha and interior Tamilnadu

Heat Wave

  • A heat wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the summer season in the North-Western and South Central parts of India.
  • Heat waves typically occur between March and June, and in some rare cases even extend till July.
  • Higher daily peak temperatures and longer, more intense heat waves are becoming increasingly frequent globally due to climate change.
Criteria for Heat Waves
  • The heat wave is considered when the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C for Plains and at least 30°C for Hilly regions.
  • If the normal maximum temperature of a station is less than or equal to 40°C, then an increase of 5°C to 6°C from the normal temperature is considered to be heat wave condition.
  • Further, an increase of 7°C or more from the normal temperature is considered as severe heat wave condition.
  • If the normal maximum temperature of a station is more than 40°C, then an increase of 4°C to 5°C from the normal temperature is considered to be heat wave condition. Further, an increase of 6°C or more is considered as severe heat wave condition.
  • Additionally, if the actual maximum temperature remains 45°C or more irrespective of normal maximum temperature, a heat wave is declared.
Health Impacts
  • The health impacts of Heat Waves typically involve dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke.
  • It also causes heat cramps, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps and sweating.
  • The extreme temperatures and resultant atmospheric conditions adversely affect people living in these regions as they cause physiological stress, sometimes resulting in death.
Reasons why India is experiencing more heat waves are:
  • Magnified effect of paved and concrete surfaces in urban areas and a lack of tree cover.
  • Urban heat island effects can make ambient temperatures feel 3 to 4 degrees more than what they are.
  • More heat waves were expected as globally temperatures had risen by an average 0.8 degrees in the past 100 years. Night-time temperatures are rising too.
  • Higher daily peak temperatures and longer, more intense heat waves are becomingly increasingly frequent globally due to climate change.
  • High intensity of UV rays in medium-high heat wave zone.
  • Combination of exceptional heat stress and a predominantly rural population makes India vulnerable to heat waves.

EMPLOYEE’S STATE INSURANCE CORPORATION

Focus: Government policies and interventions

Why in news?

ESIC reaches out to its Beneficiaries to provide medical care and relief during Covid-19 pandemic

Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme

  • The ESI scheme is a self-financed comprehensive social security scheme devised to protect the employees covered under the scheme against financial distress arising out of events of sickness, disablement or death due to employment injuries.
  • The ESI Scheme is financed by contributions from employers and employees.
  • The Employees’ State Insurance Scheme is an integrated measure of Social Insurance embodied in the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Act, 1948.
  • The ESI Scheme applies to factories and other establishment’s viz. Road Transport, Hotels, Restaurants, Cinemas, Newspaper, Shops, and Educational/Medical Institutions wherein 10 or more persons are employed. (However, in some States threshold limit for coverage of establishments is still 20.)
  • Employees of the aforesaid categories of factories and establishments, drawing wages upto Rs.15,000/- a month, are entitled to social security cover under the ESI Act.
  • ESI Corporation has also decided to enhance wage ceiling for coverage of employees under the ESI Act from Rs.15,000/- to Rs.21,000/-.
Features and Benefits of the ESI scheme

Broadly, the benefits under this scheme are categorized under two categories:

  • Cash benefits (which includes sickness, maternity, disablement (temporary and permanent), funeral expenses, rehabilitation allowance, vocational rehabilitation and medical bonus) and,
  • Non-cash benefits through medical care.

Complete medical care and attention are provided by the scheme to the employee registered under the ESI Act, 1948 at the time of his incapacity, restoration of his health and working capacity.

  • During absenteeism from work due to illness, maternity or factories accidents which result in loss of wages complete financial assistance is provided to the employees to compensate for the wage loss.
  • The scheme provides medical care to family members also.
Benefits under ESI Act
  • Medical benefit
  • Sickness benefit
  • Maternity benefit
  • Disablement benefit
  • Dependants benefit
  • Funeral expenses
  • Rehabilitation allowance

Employee’s State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)

  • Employee’s State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) is a Statutory Body set up under the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Act, 1948, which is responsible for the administration of ESI Scheme.
  • As it is a legal entity, the corporation can raise loans and take measures for discharging such loans with the prior sanction of the central government and it can acquire both movable and immovable property and all incomes from the property shall vest with the corporation.
  • The corporation can set up hospitals either independently or in collaboration with state government or other private entities, but most of the dispensaries and hospitals are run by concerned state governments.
Challenges with Implementation of the ESI Scheme
  • If ESI coverage has to be extended all over India, at least one ESI dispensary per district is required and several model ESIC hospitals in every state. In the entire Northeast India, there are only ten ESIC dispensaries and only one ESIC Model Hospital in Guwahati, Assam.
  • There is a need for ESIC to strengthen the tie-ups with private hospitals for super-speciality services by ensuring that the private hospital bills are settled promptly so that the ESI beneficiaries can continue to get hassle-free service.

ESIC has massive surplus in its reserve funds which can be used to:

  • Establish new medical infrastructure
  • Upgrade the current medical infrastructure
  • Improve the services provided to the increasing number of beneficiaries.

ACTIVE PHARMACEUTICAL INGREDIENTS

Focus: GS II- Health

Why in news?

Government of India has prohibited the exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the situation improves.

Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients:

  • Every medicine is made up of two main ingredients — the chemically active APIs and chemically inactive, excipients, which is a substance that delivers the effect of APIs to one’s system.
  • API is a chemical compound that is the most important raw material to produce a finished medicine.
  • In medicine, API produces the intended effects to cure the disease. For instance, Paracetamol is the API for Crocin and it is the API paracetamol that gives relief from body ache and fever.
  • Fixed-dose combination drugs use multiple APIs, while single-dose drugs like Crocin use just one API.

How an API is manufactured? 

  • API is not made by only one reaction from the raw materials but rather it becomes an API via several chemical compounds. The chemical compound which is in the process of becoming an API from raw material is called an intermediate.
  • There are some APIs that pass “through over ten kinds of intermediates in a process when it changes from being a raw material into an API”. The long manufacturing process is continued until it is purified and reaches a very high degree of purity.
Remdesivir
  • It is an experimental drug and has not yet been licensed or approved anywhere globally. It has not been demonstrated to be safe or effective for any use.
  • It is currently being developed for the treatment of Ebola virus infection.
  • Remdesivir and chloroquine effectively inhibit the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in vitro.
  • Chloroquine is a “widely used” anti-malarial and autoimmune disease medicine that has recently come to light as a potential antiviral drug.
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