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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Govt. not to allow knee implants cost rise beyond 10% in a year

Government has notified that ceiling price of orthopaedic knee implants will be monitored to ensure that their cost does not increase beyond 10% in a given year.

Background

Earlier on 16 August 2017, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) notified ceiling price of orthopaedic knee implants by invoking extraordinary powers, in public interest, under Para 19 of Drugs Prices Control Order (DPCO) 2013, for a period of 1 year. Subsequently a notification was issued dated 13 August 2018, the applicability of ceiling prices fixed for orthopaedic knee implants was extended for another 1 year period i.e. up to 15 August 2019.

This led to the reduction in cost of knee implants significantly, up to 69%, resulting in a notional saving of Rs.1500 crore per annum to consumers.

Recent Development

At a meeting held on 8 August 2019, NPPA reviewed the sales of knee implants matter and noted that there has been an increased access due to knee implants becoming affordable. As per data submitted by manufacturers and importers, during period of July 2018 to June 2019, an increase of 30% in sales of knee implants was reported.

Though the medical industry has requested for a 20% (10% for year 2018 and 10% for 2019) increase in price of knee implants, government decided to further monitor price increase of knee implants as per para 20 of Drugs Prices Control Order (DPCO) 2013 that restricts price increase beyond 10% in a given year which shall be subject to a review after 1 year period.

About Knee Implant:

It is a non-scheduled medical device or drug for which Drugs Prices Control Order (DPCO), 2013 allows an annual increase upto 10% of MRP (Maximum retail price). However this was not permitted in 2018.

What is National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority?

NPPA is independent body of experts that controls prices of pharmaceutical drugs in India. It is government regulatory agency formed on 29 August 1997.

It functions under Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers to implement and enforce provisions of Drugs Prices Control Order (DPCO) for regulating medicine prices in accordance with powers delegated to it.

DPCO is an order issued by government under ‘Essential Commodities Act’ which enables it to fix prices of some essential bulk drugs as well as their formulations.

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Shillong Declaration on e-Governance adopted at NCeG 2019

The 22nd National Conference on e-Governance (NCeG) 2019 successfully concluded at Shillong, capital of Meghalaya with the adoption of ‘Shillong Declaration’ on e-Governance.

About Conference

It was organized by Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DAPRG), Ministry of Personnel and Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), in collaboration with Government of Meghalaya organized from 8-9 August 2019. Its theme was “Digital India: Success to Excellence”.  On sidelines of this conference, an exhibition was also organized during the event to showcase India’s achievements in the field of e-Governance.

Shillong Declaration calls for

  • Improving citizen’s experience with Government services by promoting timely implementation of India Enterprise Architecture (IndEA) and implementing single sign-on for interoperability and
  • integration among e-Government applications throughout the country
  • Consolidating plethora of successful State level e-Governance projects and domain-based projects with focus to replicate them as common application software.
  • Taking steps to further improve connectivity in North Eastern (NE) States of India by addressing issues of telecommunications connectivity at grassroot level and formulating and implementing comprehensive telecom development plan.
  • Taking steps for enhancing activities of Electronics Sector Skill Council in NE States and explore possibility for opening an electronics skill center in Shillong.
  • Promoting use of e-Office and moving towards less paper state secretariats in NE States and in District level offices.
  • Improving quality of delivery of e-Services in North East to fulfil vision of improved citizen experience
  • Developing India as global cloud hub and facilitate development of Government applications and databases on Cloud by default
  • Adopting emerging technologies for finding e-Governance solutions
  • Promoting Digital India Projects with focus on Smart Villages and Smart Cities through Startups and Smart Entrepreneurship.

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