Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 21 March 2021

In Today’s News:

  1. NPPA and medicine price regulation.
  2. Helium and applications.

1. NPPA and medicine price regulation

News Summary

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) fixes the price of 81 medicines including off-patent anti-diabetic drugs allowing due benefits of patent expiry to the patients.

Prelims GS – Governance

  • National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) was constituted vide Government of India Resolution dated 29th August 1997 as an attached office of the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers.
  • NPPA is an independent Regulator for pricing drugs and ensuring the availability and accessibility of medicines at affordable prices.

Mini  Insights

Mains GS2 – Health/Governance

Functions of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority are:
  • To implement and enforce the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order in accordance with the powers delegated to it.
  • To deal with all legal matters arising out of the decisions of the Authority.
  • To monitor the availability of drugs, identify shortages, if any, and take remedial steps.
  • To collect/ maintain data on production, exports, and imports, market share of individual companies, the profitability of companies, etc., for bulk drugs and formulations.
  • To undertake and/ or sponsor relevant studies in respect of pricing of drugs/ pharmaceuticals.
  • To recruit/ appoint the officers and other staff members of the Authority, as per rules and procedures laid down by the Government.
  • To render advice to the Central Government on changes/ revisions in the drug policy.
  • To render assistance to the Central Government in parliamentary matters relating to drug pricing.

Click here to view the official website of NPPA and click here to view the functions of NPPA.

2. Helium and applications

News Summary

India imports around Rs.55000 crore Helium from the U.S. every year.

Prelims GS – Science&Technology

  • Helium is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, inert, and noble gas.
  • It’s less soluble in water than any other gas.
  • It’s the less reactive element and doesn’t essentially form chemical compounds.
  • The density and viscosity of helium vapor are very low.
  • The thermic conductivity and caloric content are exceptionally high.
  • Helium can be liquefied, but its condensation temperature is the lowest among all the known substances.
  • Helium is the second most abundant element in the known universe, after hydrogen.
Applications of Helium:
  • Helium finds its applications in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Helium was the first gas used for filling balloons and dirigibles. This application goes on in altitude research and for meteorological balloons.
  • The main use of helium is as an inert protection gas in autogenous welding
  • Other applications are its use as pressurizing gas in liquid propellants for rockets, in helium-oxygen mixtures for divers, as working fluid in nuclear reactors cooled down by gas, and as a gas carrier in the chemical analysis by gas chromatography.

Click here to view the Courtesy website: Lenntech on Helium and its applications.



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