Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2017

हिंदी करंट अफेयर्स प्रश्नोत्तरी 2017 के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें.

Cabinet approves creation non-lapsable Madhyamik and Uchchtar Shiksha Kosh

The Union Cabinet has approved creation of a single corpus fund non-lapsable known as Madhyamik and Uchchtar Shiksha Kosh (MUSK).

Under it, all proceeds of secondary and higher education cess will be credited and utilised for the government’s schemes in education sector.

Madhyamik and Uchchtar Shiksha Kosh (MUSK)

The funds arising from MUSK will be utilised for schemes in education sector, which will be available for benefit of students of secondary and higher education all over the country. It will be administered and maintained by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.

The MUSK will be maintained as a Reserve Fund in the non-interest bearing section of the Public Accounts of India. It will be operationalised as per the present arrangements under Prarambhik Shiksha Kosh (PSK) wherein the proceeds of cess are used for Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Schemes.

The expenditure on ongoing schemes of the HRD Ministry will be initially incurred from the gross budgetary support (GBS) in any financial year and the expenditure will be financed from MUSK only after the GBS is exhausted.

Background

During the 10th Plan, an education cess of 2% was levied on all central taxes from 2004 to make available additional resources for basic education/elementary education to augment the existing budgetary resources. Later in 2007, additional cess of 1% on central taxes (called Secondary and Higher Education Cess) was levied through Finance Act, 2007 to give fillip for universalizing access to secondary education and expanding the reach of the higher education sector. In February 2016, HRD Ministry had sought the approval of the Department of Economic Affairs for creation of non-lapsable fund in the Public Account called MUSK.

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NPPA caps prices of orthopaedic knee implants

The drug price regulator National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) has capped the prices of orthopaedic knee implants upto 70% lower than current market rates.

It will be valid for all orthopaedic knee implants sold within India – whether domestic or imported. Earlier in February 2017, the NPPA had capped the prices of stents used in cardiac surgery.

Background

According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimation, osteoarthritis is going to be the fourth largest cause of immobility in globally by 2020. NPPA in its preliminary analysis had found that importers, distributors and hospitals are earning hefty trade margins ranging from 67% to as high as 449% orthopaedic knee implants.

Capped Prices

Now, the most widely used Cobalt chromium knee implant will cost around Rs. 55000 instead of current average price of over Rs. 1.58 lakh. Titanium Oxidized Zirconium surgery implant has been capped at Rs.76,600 against the current average prices of Rs.2.5 to 4.50 lakh. The High flexibility implant costing from Rs. 1.80 to 4.5 lakh has been capped at Rs. 56,490. The revision implants for second surgery has been capped at over Rs. 1.13 lakh. Besides, the Specialized implants for cancer and tumor will be charged at over Rs. 1.13 lakh.

Comment

This decision has been taken keeping people’s interest and health security of the nation into consideration. It is considered as a major relief to patients suffering from knee problems. It will help check unethical profiteering in the implant surgery. It will benefit around 1.5 to 2 crore knee patients and result in savings of Rs 1,500 crore annually to patients requiring surgery.

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)

NPPA is an independent body under Department of Pharmaceuticals under the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. Its functions are to fix/revise the controlled bulk drugs prices and formulations, enforce prices and availability of the medicines under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 1995/2013, recover amounts overcharged by manufacturers for the controlled drugs from the consumers and monitor the prices of decontrolled drugs in order to keep them at reasonable levels.

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