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Prelim Bits 23-01-2019

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January 23, 2019

Living Fossils

  • The term "living fossil" is meant to describe an organism that has remained relatively unchanged over millions of years, or one that has no, or very few, close surviving relatives.
  • It was originally used by Charles Darwin to describe ancient species, like the ginkgo tree or horseshoe crab that appeared little changed over millions of years.
  • If a species does not constantly have to adapt to survive, it will have little need to change.
  • The coelacanth (a fish) is the most famous and widely recognized species of "living fossil".

Deen Dayal Hastkala Sankul

  • PM inaugurated Centres of Excellence at Deen Dayal Hastkala Sankul in Varanasi recently.
  • It is a trade facilitation centre for handicrafts.
  • It aims to facilitate weavers, artisans and exporters in promoting handlooms and handicrafts.

Drug price control

  • The government has authorised think-tank NITI Aayog to recommend drugs that could be put under price control.
  • The decision will dilute the he National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority’s (NPPA) powers.
  • Earlier the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) was drawn by the Health Ministry and the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP).
  • The list would merely notify the list for prices to be fixed.
  • Now a Standing Committee on Affordable Medicines and Health Products (SCAMHP) has been constituted, with VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, as the Chairman.
  • It will act like a recommending body to NPPA on prices of drugs and health products.
  • NLEM is based on a list of essential medicines released by the World Health Organization.
  • It basically says that such medicines should be affordable and be available to the population of each country.

National Pharmaceutical and Pricing Authority (NPPA)

  • NPPA is an organization of the Government of India and is under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizer.
  • It was established to fix/ 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, 1995.
  • The organization is also entrusted with the task of recovering amounts overcharged by manufacturers for the controlled drugs from the consumers.
  • It also monitors the availability of drugs, identify shortages, if any, and to take remedial steps.
  • It collects/ maintains data on production, exports and imports, market share of individual companies, profitability of companies etc, for bulk drugs and formulations.

World Economic Forum (WEF)

  • The Annual Meeting of World Economic Forum was held in Davos, Switzerland.
  • The theme of WEF 2019 is “Globalization 4.0: Shaping a New Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
  • WEF was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland
  • Its objective is to improve the state of the world.
  • The key reports & indices by WEF are
  1. Global Competitiveness Report
  2. Global Enabling trade Report
  3. Global Gender Gap Index
  4. Human Capital Index
  5. Inclusive Development Index

Source: PIB,The Hindu,Business Line

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