Guidelines Current Affairs - 2020

WHO suspended Hydroxycloroquine trials

The World Health Organization recently suspended its trials on the efficacy of the drug Hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19. The HCQ trial is one of the four mega trials initiated by the organization.

Mega Trials

The four mega trials include HCQ, Lopinavir and Ritonavir, Lopinavir and Ritonavir along with Interferon and Remdesivir.

India’s Current Status

After WHO stopped its trials on HCQ, the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) announced that the drug will continue to be used as preventive treatment of COVID-19. Recently, ICMR revised its guidelines in the usage of HCQ.

In India the drug is mainly recommended for asymptomatic health care workers. It is not used to treat COVID-19 patients.

Reasons of Suspension

The clinical trials of HCQ on COVID-19 patients were suspended considering safety of the patients. WHO raised concerns over the fact that people in different parts of the world taking the drug without any proper medical guidance. While, the drug was recommended by the organization as a treatment and not as preventive measure.

Draft Guidelines issued for Satellite TV channels

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued draft guidelines for satellite TV channels.

Highlights

The Ministry has listed 11 violation under the guidelines. It includes delay in intimating the ministry about the change in shareholding pattern of the company, appointing a director without the permission of the ministry, not removing a director who has been denied with security clearance, showing logo that is not permitted by the ministry, etc.

If any of the 11 clauses are violated the ministry would warn, impose penalty or even prohibit broadcast up to 10 days.

Key Features

According to the guidelines, the channels need not get clearance ever year. Also, the permits will be provided to the Indian teleports for up linking foreign channels to increase their business. For now, the channels registered under ‘news’ category are allowed to make live telecasts. The rest of the channels have to get permission from the ministry to telecast live events. However, under the guidelines, these non-news channels are allowed to live telecast after registering themselves under “Broadcast seva”.

Since 1997, the giving preference to Indian satellite was always an integral part of the policies of GoI. However, this time the guidelines say that the only criteria to use a satellite channel is that it should be uplinked on C band or Ku band.

C band and Ku band

The Ku band uses frequencies between 12 GHz and 19 GHz. The C band uses radio frequency between 4 GHz and 8 GHz.