Governance & Politics Current Affairs - 2019
Latest India Current Affairs and Current Affairs related to Government policy, polity and administration in India. India’s National Current Affairs updates for 2019.
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With the Election Commission of India announcing the polling dates for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force.
Model Code of Conduct
- Model Code of Conduct refers to a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India to regulate political parties and candidates prior to elections.
- A version of Model code of conduct was first introduced in the assembly elections in Kerala in 1960. These guidelines were largely followed by the political parties during the 1962 Lok Sabha Elections. Further in 1979 the Election Commission of India added a section to regulate the ‘party in power’ and prevent it from gaining an unfair advantage at the time of elections.
- MCC comes into effect from the date the election schedule is announced and will be in force until the date that results are out.
- MCC contains eight provisions dealing with general conduct, meetings, processions, polling day, polling booths, observers, the party in power, and election manifestos.
- As soon as the MCC kicks in, the Central and State governments are bound to ensure that they doesn’t use their official position and status for campaigning.
- Those in power cannot combine their official visits with those related to campaigning for the purpose of elections.
The biggest drawback of the MCC is lack of statutory backing. This imposes limitations on Election Commission to procced againt those violating the norms of MCC. Hence Election Commission is bound to use moral sanction or censure for its enforcement.
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has reduced the MRP of 390 non-scheduled cancer medicines have been reduced by up to 87%. NPA has asked the manufacturers and hospitals to revise the prices based on the trade margin formula.
The release by the NPPA states that five brands will see a price reduction of about 70%, while 12 others will see a 50-70% price cut. MRPs of 45 cancer medicines will reduce by 25%.
Benefits from the Move
- This price reduction is expected to result in annual savings of around Rs 800 crore for patients.
- The price reduction is expected to benefit about 22 lakh cancer patients in India.
National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority
National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) constituted in 1997 is an independent Regulator for pricing of drugs and to ensure availability and accessibility of medicines at affordable prices under the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers.
The functions of NPPA include:
- To implement and enforce the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order.
- To monitor the availability of drugs, identify shortages, if any, and to take remedial steps.
- To collect and maintain data on production, exports and imports, the market share of individual companies, the profitability of companies etc, for bulk drugs and formulations.
- To undertake relevant studies with respect to the pricing of drugs and pharmaceuticals.
- To render advice to the Central Government on changes and revisions in the drug policy.
- To render assistance to the Central Government in the parliamentary matters relating to the drug pricing.
NPPA implements the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy 2012. NPPA provides ceiling price to all Drugs notified under Schedule-I of the DPCO, 2013 and monitors annual price increase for these and the non-scheduled drugs.