Socio-Economic Current Affairs - 2020

President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurates ‘Songs and Dances of the North East’ festival

President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated first Songs and Dances of the North East, a cultural festival in New Delhi.

The day long festival was organized by Government of Meghalaya and sponsored by the North Eastern Council (NEC).

The purpose of festival is to showcase the culture of India’s northeast region and highlight the immense contribution made by the people of the region in nation building.

This festival will be held by rotation in different parts of the country as part of the series of events planned by NEC and Union Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER).  

All eight States of the northeast region will collaborate to host the festival in different parts of the country with an aim to attract investors and visitors to the region.

Union Government allows pharmaceutical companies to hike rates of 509 essential medicines

Union government has allowed pharmaceutical companies to hike rates of 509 essential medicines by 3.84 per cent. The new prices will be effective from 1 April 2015.

In this regard, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has issued a notification under Drug Price Control Order (DPCO), 2013 in line with the wholesale price index of 2014.

These essential medicines are used for treating various ailments like hepatitis B and C, diabetes, and cancer.

Presently, Union government regulates prices of a total of 348 essential medicines based on the simple average of all medicines in a particular therapeutic segment with sales of more than 1 per cent.

Union government also regulates prices of all other medicines and pharma companies are allowed to hike prices of such drugs by only up to 10 per cent in a year.

DPCO, 2013 was notified by the Union government with an effect from May 2014. It has replaced the 1995 order that regulated prices of only 74 bulk drugs and covers 680 formulations.