UPSC 2017-18: PIB Summary and Analysis Oct 20

Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards

  • The Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards are the aviation industry’s most prestigious accolades.
  • The awards recognize the airports which have achieved the highest passenger satisfaction ratings in the ASQ Survey – the world’s benchmark measure of airport excellence.
  • It is the only worldwide programme to survey passengers at the airports on their day of travel. Every year, the programme delivers some 600,000 individual surveys in 41 languages in 84 countries.
  • It measures passengers’ views on 34 key performance indicators, including airport access, check-in, security screening, restrooms, stores and restaurants.
  • Each airport uses the exact same survey, creating an industry database that allows airports to compare themselves to other airports around the world. The ASQ programme also has a feature that facilitates sharing of best practices among airport operators.

Jaipur and Srinagar Airports rated Best Airports in the World in 2-5 million Passenger category

  • The Jaipur and Srinagar Airport got First and Second rank respectively in the category of 2-5 million passengers in ACI-ASQ Survey.
  • This is for the second consecutive time that Jaipur Airport has been rated the Best Airport in the World in the traffic volume of 2 to 5 million passengers per year.
  • Jaipur was ranked as the Best Airport in the World catering to a traffic volume of 2 to 5 million passengers per year in 2016 also.

 

Technical Intern Training Programme (TITP)

TITP is an ambitious program to send Three Lakh Indian technical interns to Japan for on the job training for a period of three to five years. It is a work training program providing employment opportunities for foreign nationals in Japan.

  • The MoC on TITP is expected to significantly expand the bilateral cooperation between India and Japan in the field of skill development.
  • The youth will sent for training in the next three years with Japanese financial assistance.
  • The selection of the youth will be done in a transparent manner according to Japanese requirements.
  • India is the third country with which Japan has signed the MoC as per the requirements of the Technical Intern Training Act scheduled to enter into force in November 2017.

Manufacturing Skill Transfer Promotion Programme

During the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan in November 2016, India and Japan had concluded an MoC on skill development under the “Manufacturing Skill Transfer Promotion Programme” through the establishment of Japan-India Institutes for Manufacturing (JIM) and the Japanese Endowed Courses (JEC) in engineering colleges designated by Japanese companies in India.

The Manufacturing Skill Transfer Promotion Programme aims to train 30,000 persons over next 10 years with Japanese style manufacturing skills and practices.

 

Drug Price Control Order (DPCO)

  • DPCO are issued by the Government, in exercise of the powers conferred under section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, for enabling the Government to declare a ceiling price for essential and lifesaving medicines (as per a prescribed formula) so as to ensure that these medicines are available at a reasonable price to the general public.
  • Price controls are applicable to what is generally known as “Scheduled drugs” or “Scheduled formulations” that is, those medicines which are listed out in the Schedule I of Drug Price Control Order (DPCO), issued by the Government of India from time to time
  • Under the earlier avatar of the DPCO (1995), 74 drugs were subject to price control. In the 2013 version, the number of drugs under the price control was expanded five-fold to 348.
  • Under the provisions of DPCO, the prices of only those medicines are fixed which are in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), numbering about 850 against more than 6,000 medicines available in the market of various strengths and dosages.  This constitutes approximately 17% of the total pharmaceuticals market, in value terms. 
  • They are monitored and controlled by the regulator, the National Pharma Pricing Authority.
  • Price controls are applicable irrespective of whether it is generic or branded
  • The Drug Price Control Orders are issued by Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, which is the main nodal administrative ministry for pharmaceutical companies

Schedule and non-schedule Drugs

  • Schedule drugs are substances that are controlled, in other words, have stricter guidelines for dispensing due to the potential for abuse.
    • Essentially, the lower the drug Schedule, the harsher the penalty if used or possessed improperly.
  • “non-Scheduled bulk drug” means a bulk drug not specified in the First Schedule;
    • In respect of non-scheduled medicines, manufacturers are allowed to increase maximum retail price (MRP) by 10% annually.
    • In that sense, while essential medicines are subject to absolute price controls in the form of ceiling prices, the non-essential or non-scheduled medicines are subject to a managed price increase or a ceiling on price changes.

 

Police Commemoration Day

  • The Police Commemoration Day is observed on October 21st every year.
  • The day commemorates the sacrifices of ten policemen while defending our borders with China in 1959.
  • Indian Police personnel were responsible for manning the 2,500-mile long border of India with Tibet until the autumn of 1959.