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PIB Summaries 12 June 2023


  1. Dimethyl Ether (DME)
  2. National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority

Dimethyl Ether (DME)

Focus: GS III: Science and Technology

Why in News?

Recently, researchers at IIT Kanpur developed a 100% DME-fuelled engine with a mechanical fuel injection system.

Dimethyl Ether (DME)

  • Dimethyl Ether (DME) is a synthetic fuel that serves as an alternative to diesel fuel in specially designed compression ignition diesel engines.
  • It has gained attention as a viable option for reducing emissions and promoting cleaner energy sources.
Benefits and Usage:
  • DME can be produced domestically and has been adopted by several countries, including Japan, USA, China, Sweden, Denmark, and Korea, for powering vehicles.
  • When used as a fuel, DME emits significantly lower levels of particulate matter, soot, and smoke compared to conventional diesel, even without the need for expensive exhaust gas treatment systems or advanced engine technologies.
  • Its properties make it a promising alternative for India’s agricultural and transportation sectors, where conventional diesel engines are widely used.
Properties of Dimethyl Ether:
  • DME possesses a high cetane number, which indicates its ability to ignite easily in compression ignition engines.
  • Under normal atmospheric conditions, DME exists as a colorless gas.
Applications of Dimethyl Ether:
  • In addition to its use as a fuel, DME finds extensive applications in the chemical industry and as an aerosol propellant.
  • It is utilized in various chemical processes and the production of dyes and plastics.

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority

Focus: GS II- Government Policies and Intervention, Health

Why in News?

Recently, the drug price regulator, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), fixed the ceiling price of 18 formulations, and the retail price of 23 new drugs by bringing them under price control.

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 of NPPA:
  • 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.

May 2024