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Union Cabinet approves amendments to the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973

Union Cabinet gave its approval for the amendment of the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973. Decision in this regard was taken by Union Cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The approved amendments in parent act aims at improving the quality of homeopathy education in the country to provide better healthcare through the homeopathy system of medicine.

The amendments will add provisions related to granting permission by Union Government to all homoeopathic medical colleges for continuing courses to impart quality education.

Amendments approved

  • Union Government’s permission is being made mandatory for all the homoeopathy colleges to undertake annual admissions.
  • Union Government can give permission for 5 years to homoeopathy colleges which conform to the prescribed standards as specified in the Act.

Background

The existing provisions of parent Act do not empower Union Government to stop admissions in existing homoeopathy colleges which are not conforming to standards specified in the Act. Thus, comprising the quality of homoeopathy education.

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Delhi Government bans all forms of chewable tobacco

Delhi Government on 30 March 2015 banned sale, purchase, storage and manufacturing of all forms of chewable tobacco including guktha and pan masala containing tobacco.

In this regard, Delhi Government led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has issued notification banning all products of chewable tobacco in all forms.

The ban on all such products will continue for next one year owing to public interest and thereafter, government will extend the ban all these products every year.

To implement the ban various citizen’s monitoring committees will be formed in every constituency in order to educate the masses.

Previously in September 2012, Delhi government had issued notification to ban gutkha. It was issued in pursuance of series of directions from the Supreme Court to ban gutkha.

However the banning of gutkha was not served as the notification only had mentioned gutkha products and not banned the tobacco products. The new proposal bans all the raw chewable tobacco products in Delhi and takes strict action against the violators. But no such ban has been enforced on cigarettes in Delhi.

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Rotavac- India’s first indigenously developed rotavirus vaccine launched by Government

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 9 March 2015 launched the first indigenously developed and manufactured Rotavirus vaccine- Rotavac.

The vaccine will boost India’s efforts to combat infant mortality due to diarrhoea. This is the third such vaccine available globally against Rotavirus.

Development of Rotavac

  • Rotavac vaccine was developed under the joint collaboration between India and the United States in the area of medical research.
  • It was developed under the public-private partnership (PPP) model that involved Union Ministry of Science and Technology, institutions of the US Government and NGOs in India supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Union Government had funded the basic research in educational and scientific along with US’s National Institute of Health. While the Bharat Biotech India Limited (BBIL) and the Gates Foundation had contributed towards vaccine development and testing.
  • BBIL was selected for vaccine development by the India-U.S. Vaccine Action Programme (VAP) in 1997-1998 by the standard government procedures.
  • BBIL, the manufacturer of vaccine has given undertaking to keep the cost of the vaccine at US$ 1 per dose, thus making it cheapest vaccine available globally.

About Rotavirus

  • It is a most common causative agent of moderate-to-severe diarrhoea (MSD) among infants below 11 months age group in India.
  • Spreads from person to person due to bacterial and parasiting agents that are primarily transmitted through contaminated food or water.
  • In India, diarrhoea caused by rotavirus, kills nearly 80 thousand children under the age of 5 years and up to 10 lakh hospitalizations each year.

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