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UPSC 2017-18: PIB Summary and Analysis Aug 04

Formularies containing monographs of quality standards of AYUSH drugs are 
being published by the Government
  • Ayurvedic, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathic drugs are regulated in accordance with the exclusive provisions for them in the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules there under.
  • These drugs have to adhere to such standards and quality control parameters as given in the authoritative books, pharmacopoeias and formularies of Ayurvedic,  Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathic systems, which are different from that prescribed for allopathic medicines.


Rs. 41712 lakhs sanctioned during 2016-17 under NAM: AYUSH Minister 
  • Under National AYUSH Mission (NAM) grant-in-aid is being provided to State/UT Governments as per their proposed State Annual Action Plans (SAAPs).

Prelims Fact

National AYUSH Mission (NAM)

  • The Government of India approved and notified National AYUSH Mission (NAM) on 29th September 2014 which envisages better access to AYUSH services, strengthening of AYUSH educational institutions, facilitate the enforcement of quality control of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani & Homoeopathy (ASU &H) drugs and sustainable availability of ASU & H raw-materials in the States/UTs during 12th Plan.


  • Providing cost effective AYUSH Services, with a universal access through upgrading AYUSH Hospitals and Dispensaries, co-location of AYUSH facilities at Primary Health Centres (PHCs), Community Health Centres (CHCs) and District Hospitals (DHs), strengthening  institutional capacity at the state level through upgrading AYUSH educational institutions, State Govt.


2091 ‘Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) Kendras’ functional
across the country

Prelims Fact

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP)

  • Ministry : Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India.


  • Make quality medicines accessible to all citizens of the country at affordable prices.

Mission 3000

  • MoU was signed with the objective to setup 1000 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras in both urban and rural places of the country, as a part of “Mission 3000” kendras by March 2017.
  • The PMBJP is a step in this direction which would, on one hand, drastically reduce the out of pocket health expenditure for the common man and give an impetus to the Make in India mission in the pharma sector.
  • There is an active financial support extended by the government to the extent of Rs. 2.5 lakh in the form of financial assistance to the kendras setup in Government hospitals and incentives to individuals, with special and softer terms to SC, ST and differently-abled persons.


Defence Equipment 

Government is committed to the goal of achieving self reliance in meeting national security objectives.

The ‘Make in India’ initiative is the focal point of the current defence procurement policy and procedure and aims to promote indigenous design, development and manufacturing of defence equipment, platforms and systems, involving the public and private sector in the country.

Progress of Make in India Initiative

‘Make in India’ in defence manufacturing is primarily driven by capital acquisition of defence equipment and other policy measures taken to promote indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence equipment in the country by harnessing the capabilities of the public and private sector.

Measures of Make in India in defence sector

  • According priority and preference to procurement from Indian vendors under the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016
  • liberalization of the licensing regime and FDI policy by raising the cap on FDI in the defence sector
  • simplification of export procedure,
  • streamlining of defence offset guidelines etc.

Recently, the Government has notified the ‘Strategic Partnership (SP)’ Model which envisages establishment of long-term strategic partnerships with Indian Private entities through a transparent and competitive process, wherein they would tie up with global OEMs to seek technology transfers to set up domestic manufacturing infrastructure and supply chains.

Foreign companies are allowed to have tie-ups with Indian vendors for indigenous production involving Transfer of technology (ToT) under ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ and ‘Buy & Make’ categories of capital acquisition.

One of the objectives of ‘Make in India’ initiative is to build world class manufacturing infrastructure in the country so as to reduce dependence on imports and to reduce the cost in the long run. However, this being a long term activity, it is premature to assess its impact on reduction in manufacturing cost at this stage.


Government revises the base year of All-India Wholesale Price Index (WPI) 
from 2004-05 to 2011-12

Prelims Fact
  • The Government has revised the base year of All-India Wholesale Price Index (WPI) from 2004-05 to 2011-12.

Why the revision was necessary?

  • The revision of the base year of the macroeconomic indicators is a regular exercise to capture structural changes in the economy and to improve the quality, coverage and representativeness of the indices.
  • The base year revision of WPI has aligned the series with the base year of other macroeconomic indicators such as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

The new series of WPI has the following salient features and improvements over the old series:

  • The revised basket of WPI and its weighting structure conform to the structure of economy in 2011-12.
  • The number of items in the basket has increased from 676 to 697 and the number of price quotations has increased from 5482 to 8331.
  • New series of WPI does not include indirect taxes. This is in consonance with international practices and will make the new WPI conceptually closer to Producer Price Index.
  • A new “Food Index” is compiled to capture the inflation in food items.
  • Seasonality of fruits and vegetables has been updated to account for more months as they are now available for longer duration.
  • Item level aggregates for new WPI are compiled using Geometric Mean (GM) instead of Arithmetic Mean.

The Government has modernized the data collection methods by adopting international norms and global best practices such as submission of data online through web portals, use of computer assisted personal interviewing methods etc.


Government Scheme

Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana–National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM)

  • DAY-NRLM – Transforming lives through livelihood thrust
  • DAY-NRLM is making a difference to the lives and livelihoods of over 3.6 crore households from where women have joined Self Help Groups (SHGs).
  • The collectives of women under SHGs, Village Organisations (VOs) and Cluster Level Federations (CLFs) has evolved transformational social capital that is changing gender relations, access to services and participation in Gram Sabhas and Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).
  • The programme has given confidence to women to seek Bank loans for economic activity after developing skills and competencies through a sustained Community Resource Person (CRP) led handholding for livelihood diversification.
  • 50 lakh women Community Resource Persons (CRPs) who have themselves come out of poverty, are today the greatest agents of change in promoting sustainable agriculture, providing Banking services, developing a cadre of Para Vets for animal care, Book keepers and Accountants to women’s collectives, and most importantly an agent for social transformation of villages.
  • Under the DAY-NRLM, over 30 lakh women farmers have been supported under Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP) to promote sustainable agricultural practices.
  • Women SHG led Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) for agricultural implements, power tillers etc have come up in some States.
  • Vermi Compost/NADEP pits have also come up through the efforts of these women SHG farmers besides the promotion of pesticide free agriculture and multi-tier cropping in rain-fed regions for fodder, food, forest, fruits and fibre.


Government Bills in news

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016


  • With a view to putting a check and bring transparency in the use of surrogacy, the Government has recently introduced Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 in the Lok Sabha, which stands referred to the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare.
  • As per clause (iii) b (II) of Section 4 contained in chapter 3 of the proposed Bill, no person other than a close relative of the intending couple shall act as a surrogate mother for altruistic purpose.

Highlights of the Bill

  • Surrogacy is an arrangement whereby an intending couple commissions a surrogate mother to carry their child.
  • The intending couple must be Indian citizens and married for at least five years with at least one of them being infertile. The surrogate mother has to be a close relative who has been married and has had a child of her own.
  • No payment other than reasonable medical expenses can be made to the surrogate mother. The surrogate child will be deemed to be the biological child of the intending couple.
  • Central and state governments will appoint appropriate authorities to grant eligibility certificates to the intending couple and the surrogate mother. These authorities will also regulate surrogacy clinics.
  • Undertaking surrogacy for a fee, advertising it or exploiting the surrogate mother will be punishable with imprisonment for 10 years and a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh.

Key Issues and Analysis

  • The Bill permits surrogacy only for couples who cannot conceive a child. This procedure is not allowed in case of any other medical conditions which could prevent a woman from giving birth to a child.
  • The Bill specifies eligibility conditions that need to be fulfilled by the intending couple in order to commission surrogacy. Further, it allows additional conditions to be prescribed by regulations.  This may be excessive delegation of legislative powers.
  • The surrogate mother and the intending couple need eligibility certificates from the appropriate authority. The Bill does not specify a time limit within which such certificates will be granted.   It also does not specify an appeal process in case the application is rejected.
  • The surrogate mother must be a ‘close relative’ of the intending couple. The Bill does not define the term ‘close relative’.  Further, the surrogate mother (close relative) may donate her own egg for the pregnancy.  This may lead to negative health consequences for the surrogate baby.
  • For an abortion, in addition to complying with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, the approval of the appropriate authority and the consent of the surrogate mother is required. The Bill does not specify a time limit for granting such an approval.  Further, the intending couple has no say in the consent to abort.


Primary Healthcare Facilities 

The Government has approved National Health Policy, 2017 with goal of attainment of the highest possible level of health and well-being for all, through a preventive and promotive health care orientation in all developmental policies, and universal access to good quality health care services without anyone having to face financial hardship as a consequence.

Aligned to such policy goal, the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM),as a submission of National Health Mission (NHM), was approved in May 2013.

It aims to provide equitable and quality primary health care services to the population in urban areas with special focus on slum and vulnerable sections of the society.

National Health Policy 2017

The National Health Policy 2017 envisages that for achieving the objective of having fully functional primary healthcare facilities especially in urban areas to reach under-serviced populations, the Government would collaborate with the private sector for operationalizing such health and wellness centres to provide a larger package of comprehensive primary health care across the country.

Partnerships could be in areas of diagnostics services, ambulance services, safe blood services, rehabilitative services, palliative services, mental healthcare, telemedicine services etc.

Public Health and hospitals being a State subject, responsibility to provide healthcare facilities including in urban areas, falls under the jurisdictionof respective State/UT Governments. Under the NHM, technical and financial support is provided to States/UTs for strengthening the healthcare systems including support for private sector partnership, based on the requirements posed by the States/UTs in their Programme Implementation Plans (PIPs) within their overall resource envelope.

Surveillance activities for Hepatitis C  

  • Under the National Viral Hepatitis Surveillance Programme, the National Centre for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare undertakes surveillance activities for Viral Hepatitis in the country.

Prelims Fact

Hepatitis C

Key facts

  • Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus: the virus can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis, ranging in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness.
  • The hepatitis C virus is a bloodborne virus and the most common modes of infection are through exposure to small quantities of blood. This may happen through injection drug use, unsafe injection practices, unsafe health care, and the transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products.
  • Globally, an estimated 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection.
  • A significant number of those who are chronically infected will develop cirrhosis or liver cancer.
  • Approximately 399 000 people die each year from hepatitis C, mostly from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
  • Antiviral medicines can cure more than 95% of persons with hepatitis C infection, thereby reducing the risk of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis, but access to diagnosis and treatment is low.
  • There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C; however research in this area is ongoing.


The hepatitis C virus is a bloodborne virus. It is most commonly transmitted through:

  • injecting drug use through the sharing of injection equipment;
  • the reuse or inadequate sterilization of medical equipment, especially syringes and needles in healthcare settings; and
  • the transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products.

HCV can also be transmitted sexually and can be passed from an infected mother to her baby; however these modes of transmission are much less common.

Hepatitis C is not spread through breast milk, food, water or by casual contact such as hugging, kissing and sharing food or drinks with an infected person.


Infant Mortality Rate (IMR)

As per latest data, IMR has reduced by 58% in India during the period of 1990-2015 which is more than to Global decline of 49% during the same period.

The steps being taken by the government to further combat infant mortality and increase vaccine coverage under the National Health Mission are as under:

  1. Promotion of Institutional deliveries through cash incentive under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) which entitles all pregnant women delivering in public health institutions to absolutely free ante-natal check-ups, delivery including Caesarean section, post-natal care and treatment of sick infants till one year of age.
  2. Strengthening of delivery points for providing comprehensive and quality Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) Services, ensuring essential newborn care at all delivery points, establishment of Special Newborn Care Units (SNCU).
  3. Early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding for first six months and appropriate Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices are promoted in convergence with Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  4. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched MAA-Mothers’ Absolute Affection programme in August 2016 for improving breastfeeding practices (Initial Breastfeeding within one hour, Exclusive Breastfeeding up to six months and complementary Breastfeeding up to two years) through mass media and capacity building of health care providers in health facilities as well as in communities.
  5. Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) is being supported to provide vaccination to children against many life threatening diseases such as Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio, Tetanus, Hepatitis B and Measles. Pentavalent vaccine has been introduced all across the country and “Mission Indradhanush” has been launched to fully immunize children who are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
  6. Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) for health screening, early detection of birth defects, diseases, deficiencies, development delays including disability and early intervention services has been Operationalized to provide comprehensive care to all the children in the age group of 0-18 years in the community.
  7. Some other important interventions are Iron and folic acid (IFA) supplementation for the prevention of anaemia among the vulnerable age groups, home visits by ASHAs to promote exclusive breast feeding and promote use of ORS and Zinc for management of diarrhoea in children.


Union Home Minister reviews status of development projects in LWE affected States

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh chaired a meeting here today to review the status of development projects and security related issues in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected states. 

During the meeting, the Home Minister said that the multipronged strategy comprising of security, development, ensuring rights and entitlements of local communities should be vigorously pursued.

The concept of ‘SAMADHAN’

The elements of this strategy are S for Smart Leadership, A for Aggressive Strategy, M for Motivation and Training, A for Actionable Intelligence, D for Dashboard-based Key Result Areas and Key Performance Indicators, H for Harnessing Technology,  A for Action Plan for Each Theatre and N for No access to Financing.


UPSC Mains Practice Questions
  1. Discuss the importance and success of Make in India in defence sector.
  2. With a view to putting a check and bring transparency in the use of surrogacy, the Government has recently introduced Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 in the Lok Sabha. Critically discuss the issues involoved.
  3. Professor Amartya Sen has advocated important reforms in the realms of primary education and primary health care. What are your suggestions to improve their status and performance? (GS Paper 2, UPSC 2016)
  4. The persisting drives of the government for development of large industries in backward areas have resulted in isolating the tribal population and the farmers who face multiple displacements with Malkangiri and naxalbari foci, discuss the corrective strategies needed to win the left wing extremism (LWE) doctrine affected citizens back into the mainstream of social and economic growth. (GS Paper 3, UPSc 2015)

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