Facts Corner-Part-11

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority

  1. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) is a government regulatory agency that controls the prices of pharmaceutical drugs in India
  2. It was formed on 29 August 1997
  3. The NPPA regularly publishes lists of medicines and their maximum ceiling prices
  4. The NPPA is mandated to fix/revise the prices of controlled bulk drugs and formulations and to enforce prices and availability of the medicines in the country
  5. It also monitors the prices of decontrolled drugs in order to keep them at reasonable levels
  6. The regulator implements and enforces the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order
  7. It is also entrusted with the task of recovering amounts overcharged by manufacturers for the controlled drugs from the consumers.

Global Adult Tobacco Survey:

  1. The WHO’s Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS 2016-17) highlights India’s distinct pattern of tobacco consumption in multiple forms such as cigarettes, bidis, chewing tobacco and khaini (smokeless tobacco)
  2. This is in contrast to the global trend of cigarettes being the primary source of consumption
  3. The average unit price of a bidi or smokeless tobacco is significantly lower than of a cigarette
  4. Therefore, the former is a cheaper source for consumers who are mostly from the low-income segment of society

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana:

  • The maternity benefits under Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) are available to all Pregnant Women & Lactating Mothers (PW&LM) except those in regular employment with the Central Government or State Government or Public Sector Undertaking
  • Or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being in force, for the first living child of the family
  • This is because normally the first pregnancy of a woman exposes her to new kind of challenges and stress factors.
  • Providing partial compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentives so that the woman can take adequate rest before and after delivery of the first living child; and
  • The cash incentives provided would lead to improved health seeking behaviour amongst the Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM)
  • To address the problem of malnutrition and morbidity among children, the Anganwadi Services Scheme, which is universal, is available to all PW&LM including the second pregnancy
  • Further, in order to address the malnutrition and morbidity during pregnancies a number of interventions are provided to the pregnant women viz. universal screening of pregnant women for Anaemia and Iron and Folic Acid (IFA) supplementation, Calcium supplementation in pregnancy, Deworming in pregnancy, Weight gain monitoring and Counselling on nutrition, family planning and prevention of diseases

Defence Acquisition Council:

  • To counter corruption and speed up decision- making in military procurement, the government of India in 2001 decided to set up an integrated DAC.
  • It is headed by the Defence Minister.
  • The objective of the DAC is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the Armed Forces, in terms of capabilities sought, and time frame prescribed, by optimally utilizing the allocated budgetary resources.
  • The DAC is responsible to give policy guidelines to acquisitions, based on long-term procurement plans. It also clears all acquisitions, which includes both imported and those produced indigenously or under a foreign license.

Tourette Syndrome:

  • Tourette’s syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder that causes people to make sudden repetitive movements or sounds which aren’t controlled (known as tics).
  • For example, an individual with Tourette’s syndrome may blink rapidly, clear their throat, shrug, turn heads and make controllable hand movements or blurt out words they don’t intend to.
  • Though these tics can be suppressed, it is often physically exhausting to do so.
  • One, in hundred children suffers from Tourette’s, which is the same as the number of children with autism.
  • Tourette’s syndrome causes sudden repetitive movements called the tics.
  • These can be so mild as to go unnoticed and can be severe enough to seek medical assistance as well.
  • These tics can be of two types, motor tics and vocal tics. Motor tics concentrate on the sudden, involuntary muscle movement in the body.
  • These include: Head jerking, Rapid blinking, Mouth, or face twitching, Shrugging and Arms jerking. Vocal tics concentrate on the involuntary vocal sounds made by an individual.
  • For example: Throat clearing, Coughing, Repeating what someone else says, Swearing, Shouting and Sniffing.

Global Initiative on Academic Network:

The First Global Initiative on Academic Network GIAN course on Sustainable Urban planning using remote sensing and Geographic Information System, GIS has been launched at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur’s outreach center in NOIDA.

  • This course aims to give participants state-of-the-art remote sensing and GIS skills which will allow them to rise to the challenge of managing the rapidly changing urban environment of Indian cities.
  • Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) in Higher Education was launched in 2015. GIAN aims at tapping the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs to engage with the institutes of higher education in India to augment the country’s existing academic resources, accelerate the pace of quality reforms, and further strengthen India’s scientific and technological capabilities.

The Raisina Dialogue 2018:

  • The 2018 edition of Raisina Dialogue is being held in New Delhi with a theme  ‘Managing Disruptive Transitions: Ideas, Institutions & Idioms’.
  • This is an annual geo-political event, organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation (ORF). It is designed to explore prospects and opportunities for Asian integration as well as Asia’s integration with the larger world. It is predicated on India’s vital role in the Indian Ocean Region and how India along with its partners can build a stable regional and world order.
  • The Raisina Dialogue was born two years ago, in 2016, in the belief that the Asian century that the world was talking about was not about any exclusive geographical region. It was rather about the engagement of global actors with Asia and of Asia with the world. 

World Energy and Environment Council:

  • WEEC is a world platform that address serious issues about environment and the challenges to turn to clean, renewable energy. The focus is into the development of energy policy, sustainable strategies, sustainable resource developments and sustainable economic development.
  • WEEC aim for commitment from governments, its leaders, for lawmakers to do intelligent thinking, get brilliant ideas in directing laws and regulations.  With the private sectors cooperation and participation, creating a roadmap toward sustainability for the benefit of all.
  • The World Energy and Environment Council is organising the 5th Series World Energy and Environment Conference and Exhibition 2018 at Bahrain with a theme “Shifting to Clean, Renewable Energy in Time of Transition”.

Purandara Dasa:

  • Regarded as the pitamaha of Carnatic music.
  • Now, an expert committee constituted by Kannada University, Hampi, has come to the conclusion that it was most likely a small village called Kshemapura (now called Keshavapura) at Araga hobli in Tirthahalli taluk of Shivamogga district in Karnataka.
  • Purandara Dasa (1484–1564) was a Haridasa, great devotee of Lord Krishna (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu) and a saint. He was a disciple of the celebrated Madhwa philosopher-saint Vyasatirtha, and a contemporary of yet another great Haridasa, Kanakadasa.

Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage:

  • INTACH is an autonomous non-governmental Indian non-profit society that seeks to preserve Indian culture and heritage.
  • It was founded in 1984.

Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement:

  • Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) had signed a framework MVA in June 2015 to enable movement of passenger and cargo vehicles across borders among the four countries.
  • Bhutan has not yet ratified the pact for its entry to come into force.
  • However, Bhutan has given its consent for the BBIN MVA to enter into force amongst the other 3 countries i.e. Bangladesh, India and Nepal, who have already ratified it.
  • The main objective of the agreement is to provide seamless people-to-people contact and enhance economic interaction by facilitating cross border movement of people and goods. 
  • The Asian Development Bank(ADB) has been providing technical, advisory, and financial support to the BBIN MVA initiative as part of its assistance to the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program, a projects-based economic cooperation initiative that brings together the BBIN countries, Maldives, Sri Lanka and more recently, Myanmar. ADB is the secretariat of SASEC.

National Knowledge Network:

  • A multi-gigabit pan-India network which facilitates the development of India’s communications infrastructure, stimulates research and creates next generation applications and services.
  • It aims to connect all universities, research institutions, libraries, laboratories, healthcare and agricultural institutions across the country to address such paradigm shift.


  • It is one of its kind Intellectual Property (IP) Competition for college and university students.
  • The Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), in collaboration with ASSOCHAM and ERICSSON India, has launched this competition.


  • It is world’s largest deep ocean volcanic eruption happened in New Zealand.
  • It was first discovered in 2002.


  • The 80-km-long river rises from the forests of the Western Ghats at Devgaon in northern Karnataka.
  • It enters Goa where it is a lifeline, both for the people and the rich flora and fauna of its forests.
  • Issue: Karnataka seeks to divert water from tributaries of the river through the Kalasa-Bhanduri Nala project towards the parched Malaprabha river basin (a tributary of River Krishna), which is being strongly opposed by Goa. 

Source: TH/Wiki/PIB/ET

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