Newspulse – Weekly News Digest (Part -2) (23/04 – 30/04)

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 13th, 2023

  • Generic Drugs:
    • A generic drug is a medication that has the same active ingredient as the brand-name drug and yields the same therapeutic effect.
    • generic drug can only be marketed after the brand-name drug’s patent has expired, which is generally 20 years.
    • Since the manufacture of these generic drug do not involve a repeat of the extensive clinical trials to prove their safety and efficacy, it costs less to develop them. Hence, they are cheaper.
    • Compound in the generic versions have the same molecular structure as the brand name version, their quality is essentially the same.
    • There are two types of ingredients in a drug: Active ingredients (that cures the patient) and inert ingredient (which gave the drug its colour, shape or taste). Active ingredients are same in both the generic drug and brand – name drug, while inert ingredients can vary between generic and brand name drug.
  • Drug Price Control Order (DPCO):
    • Drug Price Control Orders (DPCO) are issued by the Government, in exercise of the powers conferred under section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, for enabling the Government to declare a ceiling price for essential and lifesaving medicines (as per a prescribed formula) so as to ensure that these medicines are available at a reasonable price to the general public. The latest Drug Price Control Order (DPCO-2013) was issued on 15.05.2013.
    • Under the provisions of DPCO 2013, only the prices of drugs that figure in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) are monitored and controlled by the regulator, the National Pharma Pricing Authority.
    • Under the earlier avatar of the DPCO (1995), 74 drugs were subject to price control. In the 2013 version, the number of drugs under the price control was expanded five-fold to 348. The recent controversy over drug prices erupted after the NPPA decided to regulate the prices of drugs outside the NLEM; the Government has now said that it should stick to regulating essential medicines alone.
  • Project Tiger:
    • Project Tiger is a tiger conservation programme launched in 1973.
    • The project aims at:
      • ensuring a viable population of Bengal tigers in their natural habitats
      • to protect them from extinction, and
      • preserving areas of biological importance as a natural heritage forever represented as close as possible the diversity of ecosystems across the tiger’s distribution in the country.
    • The Forest Rights Act passed by the Indian government in 2006 recognizes the rights of some forest dwelling communities in forest areas. This has led to controversy over implications of such recognition for tiger conservation.


  • Service charge Vs Service tax:
    • Service tax: Service tax is the tax levied by the government for services rendered by the restaurant. The tax amount is the same in all states — 14%.
    • Service charge: This is charged by the restaurant for the services rendered to you. Since the money goes to the restaurant, the establishments are free to charge what they like, as there are no guidelines provided by the tax authority. The charges can vary from 5% to 20% — it depends upon the restaurant.
    • Recently government made it clear that service charge is voluntary and hotels should make public how much of the amount actually reaches to the staff.
    • Government has approved new guidelines giving consumer the right to decide whether they wish to pay service charge on hotel or restaurant bills.


  • National Pension scheme (NPS):
    • NPS is an attempt by the government to create a pensioned society in India.
    • NPS is a voluntary defined contribution pension system administered and regulated by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
    • It is created by an Act of the Parliament of India.
    • The NPS started with the decision of the Government of India to stop defined benefit pensions for all its employees who joined after 1 January 2004.
    • is a quasi-EET instrument in India where 40% of the corpus escapes tax at maturity, while 60% of the corpus is taxable.
    • While the scheme was initially designed for government employees only, it was opened up for all citizens of India in 2009.
    • Who can join NPS: A citizen of India, whether resident or non-resident can join NPS, subject to the following conditions:
      • The subscriber should be between 18 and 60 years old as of the date of submission of his/her application.
      • The subscribers should comply with the Know Your Customer (KYC) norms as detailed in the subscriber registration form.
      • Un-discharged insolvent and individuals of unsound mind cannot join NPS.


  • Election Commission proposals to deal with the problem of bribing voters:
    • To amend Representation of People Act (RPA) to disqualify legislators charge-sheeted for bribing voters. This recommendation has been drawn from a law commission proposal in 2014.
    • ECI has also sought to make bribery a cognisable offence under CrPC, which would allow the police authority to arrest an accused without a warrant.


  • Government to auction mines for coal to gas projects in FY 18.
    • Domestic coal gas can help lower the country’s import bill by $10 billion in 5 years and cut carbon emissions.
    • The process of identification of blocks is underway.
    • Coal Gas:
      • a mixture of gases (chiefly hydrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide) obtained by the destructive distillation of coal and formerly used for lighting and heating.
      • The production process is distinct, both physically and chemically, from that used to create a range of gaseous fuels known variously as manufactured gas, syngas, Dowson gas, and producer gas. These gases are made by partial combustion of a wide variety of feed stocks in some mixture of air, oxygen, or steam, to reduce the latter to hydrogen and carbon dioxide although some destructive distillation may also occur.
  • Energy Consumption in India:
    • World third biggest oil consumer.
    • Expected to grow as it targets growth rate of around 8-9%.
    • To cut carbon footprint, India want to increase the share of natural gas from 6.5% now to 15% in 3-4 years.
    • India is planning LNG bunker ports and plans to develop its electric vehicle fleet.
  • IDEAS scheme:
    • Centre is set to launch this scheme
    • for student from higher educational institution
    • to volunteer to offer innovative original and practical solutions to problems facing the country
    • offer a prize of Rs 1 crore to the best solution in each field.
    • MHRD has identified a handful of areas like:
      • Affordable healthcare, Computer science and ICT, energy, affordable housing, healthcare, agriculture, education etc.


  • Red Corridor:
    • The Red Corridor is a region in the east of India that experiences considerable Naxalite–Maoist insurgency. The Naxalite group mainly consists of the armed cadres of the Communist Party of India (Maoist).
    • These are also areas that suffer from the greatest illiteracy, poverty and overpopulation in modern India,
    • It spans parts of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal states.
    • All forms of Naxalite organisations have been declared as terrorist organizations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of India (1967).
    • According to the Government of India, as of July 2011, 83 districts across 10 states are affected by left-wing extremism down from 180 districts in 2009.

 Newspulse – Weekly News Digest (Part -2) (23/04 – 30/04)

  • China’s 2nd aircraft carrier:
    • Called Type 001-A, is a medium sized vessel.
    • Expected to enter into service in 2020.
    • Will have displacement of 50,000 tonnes.
    • This will be smaller than US air craft carriers which are of the size of 70,000 tonnes.
    • China’s third aircraft carrier are expected to be of similar size to that of USA’s.
    • China’s 1st aircraft carrier:
      • Purchased from Ukraine.
      • Named Liaoning.
      • Commissioned in 2012
  • World Economic Outlook (April 2017):
    • By IMF
    • Growth forecast:
      • World growth to increase from 3.1% (2016) to 3.5% (2017)
      • Advanced countries growth to increase from 1.7% (2016) to 2% (2017)
      • Emerging markets growth to increase from 4.1% (2016) to 4.5% (2017)
      • China’s growth to decrease from 6.7% (2016) to 6.6% (2017) to 6.2% (2018)
      • India’s growth to increase from 6.8% (2016) to 7.2% (2017) to 7.7% (2018)
    • Downside risk to the growth forecast:
      • Excessive debt problem of China, India and some European countries
      • Threat of protectionism and anti-global sentiments in USA and Europe.
      • Rising geopolitical tensions:
        • Rising US-Russia tension
        • Tension over North Korea issue.
        • US- China at Loggerheads over maritime rights in the South China Sea.
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