Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 17 June 2019
PM seeks opposition support for smooth functioning of
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called on leaders of all
political parties to work cohesively with the government in running
Parliament smoothly and collectively address issues related to the welfare
He said, government is always receptive to the issues raised by
Political Parties and is ready to discuss issues of national importance in
Mr Modi said this while addressing floor leaders of various
parties in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha in New Delhi today, ahead of the Budget
Session of Parliament beginning tomorrow. He welcomed newly elected MPs and
expressed hope that fresh zeal and energy will be infused in the functioning of
the Parliament. Mr Modi said, all parties must keep political differences aside
and commit themselves to tirelessly work in the direction of Nation's progress.
Prime Minister urged all leaders to introspect whether members
of Parliament are able tofulfill peoples’ aspirations as their representatives.
He exhorted all leaders to cooperate with the Government and strive in the
direction of making a New India by 2022 and achieve the true meaning of
SabkaSaath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas.
He said, the MPs are for the people, they cannot win hearts by
disrupting the functioning of Parliament. There was a consensus across party
lines on ensuring smooth functioning of Parliament without disruptions.
Briefing media after the meeting, the Parliamentary Affairs
Minister Prahlad Joshi said, the Prime Minister will hold meeting with all party
Presidents on the 19th of this month on the issue of One Nation, One Election.
He said, Mr Modi will also meet all the MPs on 20th. Mr Joshi hoped this session
of Parliament will be productive.
BPPI finds several for sale drugs of substandard quality
The Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI), which implements
the Centre’s flagship affordable medicine scheme PMBJP, has found 25 batches
of drugs of 18 pharmaceutical companies to be of substandard quality since
January 2018, according to an official document.
While 17 out of the 18 companies are private, one is a public
sector unit (PSU), the Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited (IDPL),
according to the document.
Both the BPPI and the IDPL work under the Department of
Pharmaceuticals of the Central government.
Once the affordable generic drugs are procured from the
pharmaceutical companies by the BPPI, they are supplied to various
JanaushadhiKendras that are managed under the Pradhan Mantri
There are 4,677 JanaushadhiKendras functional in the country, as
on December 31, 2018.
Sachin Singh, Chief Executive Officer, BPPI, said, “Stringent
action has been taken against the suppliers whose products were declared ‘Not of
Standard Quality’.” He gave a list of companies debarred or blacklisted for
selling “not of standard quality” products.
Seven companies — Overseas Health Care, Hanuchem Laboratories,
Legen Healthcare, AMR Pharma India Private Limited, Jackson Laboratories, Mascot
Health Series and Terrace Pharmaceuticals — have been blacklisted for two years.
GST council might extend tenure of national anti profiteering
The GST Council is likely to extend till November 30, 2020
the tenure of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA), which deals
with customer complaints regarding not receiving tax cut benefits, at its
next meeting on June 21, an official said.
The Council at its 35th meeting, the first under new Finance
Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is also likely to consider a proposal to set up one
appellate tribunal for north-eastern states, and another one for all Union
Besides, the Council would discuss a proposal to levy Goods and
Services Tax (GST) on extra-neutral alcohol (ENA), which is used for
manufacturing alcoholic liquor for human consumption, the official added.
The Finance Ministry is of the view that NAA should be given an
extension of one year till November 30, 2020 as the authority continues to
receive complaints of profiteering by companies, the official told.
The GST Council had earlier sought the opinion of the Attorney
General on legality of imposing GST on ENA. The AG had then opined that since
ENA is not consumed directly by people, GST can be imposed on it.
Currently, potable alcohol is out of the ambit of GST and states
are free to levy taxes on them.
Among other things, the GST Council will also consider issuance
of e-invoice by entities with turnover of over Rs 50 crore for
business-to-business (B2B) sales in a bid to curb GST evasion.
Union ministry denies bail out options for jet airways
India can’t be a nanny state offering bailouts to airlines
and real estate companies, said Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, who is in
charge of Civil Aviation as well as the Housing and Urban Affairs
On the challenge of restoring capacity on international routes
vacated by the troubled Jet Airways, he outlined a two-pronged strategy — giving
domestic airlines their due share and engaging with international carriers.
The biggest challenge before Mr Puri in his capacity as the
Minister of State for Civil Aviation is to see a resolution to the uncertainty
staring Jet Airways. An SBI-led consortium of lenders is currently in talks with
potential investors to revive the airline that owes more than ₹8,000 crore to
Regarding more flights on routes operated by Jet Airways, the
Minister said, “We are addressing that issue. We are very confident we can solve
that problem also, both in terms of domestic capacity and providing
opportunities to domestic carriers and other actions we can take.”
While the Minister did not elaborate on the “other actions”, his
statement is seen as an indication that he is likely to encourage international
airlines to deploy planes on some of Jet Airways routes, which include
destinations like Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, London
Bhutan seeks Chinese status quo in Doklam issue
Calling for China to maintain status quo in the Doklam
region, Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said “no side” should do
anything near the trijunction point between India, China and Bhutan
In an exclusive interview , and the first public comments by the
Bhutanese leader on the Doklam issue which had seen a near conflict between the
Indian and Chinese armies in 2017, he said that as long as status quo was
maintained, “there will be peace and tranquillity in the region.”
Mr. Tshering was reacting to a question about the recent reports
of an unprecedented build-up of military infrastructure on the Chinese side of
the Doklam plateau that has been part of a boundary dispute between Bhutan and
He said the boundary talks between the two sides had made good
progress, however, with 25 rounds completed. Asked whether the talks could lead
to diplomatic ties being established, he reiterated Bhutan’s policy of not
establishing ties with any permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Mr. Tshering also called on India and Pakistan to work together
for the growth of South Asia and said it was “too early” to call the SAARC
unviable. His comments follow calls by Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala
Sirisena and Nepal’s Prime Minister K. P. Sharma Oli to revive the SAARC, which
hasn’t held a summit since 2014.
FATF claims Pakistan failed to curb terror funding
Pakistan has failed to complete 25 of the 27 action points
given by the international terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task
Force (FATF) to check funding to terrorist groups such as the
Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Jaish-e-Mohammad and frontal groups like the
Jamat-ud-Dawah and the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation.
With this, multilateral lenders like the IMF, the World Bank and
the EU may continue downgrading Pakistan, making its financial situation more
The Paris-headquartered FATF has asked Pakistan to explain
whether it has launched any investigation into the $7 million allocated to
maintain schools, madrasas, clinics and ambulances originally operated by the
It is in deep trouble at the FATF meeting beginning Sunday in
Florida in the U.S., people aware of the development said. “It has been unable
to complete 25 action points. It has one last chance, till its 15-month deadline
ends in October, when the FATF Plenary will be held,” one of them added.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
AYUSH ministry to develop wellness centres to provide
traditional medicinal services
The Ayush Ministry is in the process of identifying 12,500
health and wellness centres across the country to deliver traditional
medicinal services at grass-root level with a special focus on preventive
health care, keeping in view the rising instances of chronic lifestyle
diseases, official sources have said.
The Central government aims at strengthening its flagship health
insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat by integrating traditional medicine therapy
with allopathy at the primary health centres to check rising non-communicable
diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
It is stressing on seamless integration of two pillars of
Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) and Pradhan Mantri Jan
Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) – to achieve the “health for all” target.
According to official sources, the need for appointing AYUSH
doctors has been increasingly felt at the Primary Health Centres level,
particularly following the success of a pilot project launched in 2016 in three
districts – Bhilwara (Rajasthan), Surendranagar (Gujarat) and Gaya (Bihar).
Ayurvedic medicines, dietary regimen and yoga classes are being used to treat
India beats South Africa in FIH series finals
In the FIH Men's Series Finals, India defeated South Africa
by five goals to one in a summit clash at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar
The goals were scored in the 2nd, 11th, 25th, 36th and 50th
minutes. Earlier today, a match was held between Japan and USA for the third and
fourth positions. Japan defeated USA by a margin of 4-2 goals.
In FIH Women's Series Finals, India comfortably beat Uruguay 4-1
in its first Pool-A match at Hiroshima in Japan this evening.
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