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March 4, 2020
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March 6, 2020
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05 March Current Affairs

Dholavira

In news:

Government of India has submitted nomination dossier of ‘Dholavira: A Harappan City’ for inclusion in the World Heritage List for the year 2020.

Details:

Dholavira is an archaeological site at Khadirbet in Bhachau Taluka of Kutch District, in the state of Gujarat. Dholavira’s location is on the Tropic of Cancer.

Also known locally as Kotada timba, the site contains ruins of an ancient Indus Valley Civilization/Harappan city.

It is one of the five largest Harappan sites and most prominent archaeological sites in India belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization.

World Wildlife Day

In News:

World Wildlife Day is celebrated every year on the 3rd of March since 2013. The date chosen coincides with the day the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which was signed in 1973.

Details:

The UNGA resolution also designated the CITES Secretariat as the facilitator for the global observance of this special day for wildlife on the UN calendar.

Theme: ‘Sustaining all Life on Earth’, highlights the unique place of wild fauna and flora as essential components of the world’s biodiversity.

The year 2020, known as “biodiversity super year,” will host several major global events that place biodiversity at the forefront.

This aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goals 1, 12, 14 and 15, and their wide-ranging commitments on alleviating poverty, ensuring sustainable use of resources, and on conserving life both on land and below water to halt biodiversity loss.

Goal 1: No Poverty

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption And Production

Goal 14: Life Below Water

Goal 15: Life On Land

Our planet is currently facing the urgent challenge that is the loss of biodiversity and up to a million species could disappear in the coming decades if unsustainable human activity, climate change and habitat degradation are left unchecked.

There might come a time when these species remain only in videos for future generations to see.

Red Crowned Roofed Turtle

In News:

Red Crowned Roofed Turtle is one of the 24 species endemic to India, is characterised by the bright colours such as red, yellow, white and blue on the faces and necks of the males.

Details:

Common Names: Bengal roof turtle, Red-crowned roofed turtle.

  1. A) Distribution:

It is a freshwater turtle species found in deep flowing rivers with terrestrial nesting sites.

The Red-crowned roofed turtle is native to India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Historically, the species was widespread in the Ganga River, both in India and Bangladesh. It also occurs in the Brahmaputra basin.

Currently in India, the National Chambal River Gharial Sanctuary is the only area with substantial population of the species, but even this Protected Area and habitat are under threat.

  1. B) Major Threats:

Loss or degradation of habitat due to pollution and large scale development activities like water extraction for human consumption and irrigation and irregular flow from the upstream dams and reservoirs.

Sand mining and growing of seasonal crops along Ganga River are majorly affecting the sandbars along the river that are used by the species for nesting.

Drowning by illegal fishing nets.

Poaching and illegal trade.

  1. C) Conservation Status:

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) : Critically Endangered

Wildlife Protection Act (IWPA) : Schedule I

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) : Appendix II

Naval Exercise – MILAN 2020

In News:

The Indian Navy has postponed its multi-nation mega naval exercise ‘MILAN’ due to continuing spread of the coronavirus.

MILAN (11th edition) was scheduled to be held in Visakhapatnam from 18th – 28th March 2020.

Exercise MILAN:

It is a biennial, multilateral naval exercise which started in 1995.

The Navy has held 10 editions of the Milan exercise, with the theme of “synergy across the seas” to enhance professional interactions between friendly foreign navies and learn best practices from each other, since 1995.

It was conducted at the Andaman and Nicobar Command until 2018.

It is held under the aegis of Eastern Naval Command.

Over 40 countries were expected to participate in the exercise in 2020.

Sukhna Lake

In News:

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has declared Sukhna lake (Chandigarh) as a living entity recently.

Details:

The court invoked its parens patriae jurisdiction to declare the lake as a legal entity for its survival, preservation and conservation having a distinct persona with corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person.

All the citizens of Union Territory, Chandigarh, are hereby declared as loco parentis (in the place of a parent) to save the lake from extinction.

About Sukhna Lake:

Sukhna Lake is a rain-fed lake, located within Chandigarh and its catchment area falls both in Punjab and Haryana.

The lake was constructed in 1958 and is spread over 3 sq km.

An area of 2 km to 2.75 km around the lake has been declared as an eco-sensitive zone by the Chandigarh Administration.

All activities in this area fall under provisions of the Environment Protection Act.

The court has completely banned new construction in the catchment areas falling in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory Chandigarh as well as in the Sukhna Wetland and Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary.

Earlier, Uttarakhand High Court declared the rivers Yamuna and Ganga as legal or juridical persons, enjoying all the rights, duties and liabilities of a living person.

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP)

In News:

Janaushadhi week is being celebrated across the country from 1st March to 7th March 2020.

About PMBJP:

‘Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana’ is a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. Of India, to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses through special kendra’s known as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra.

Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the implementing agency of PMBJP. BPPI (Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India) has been established under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. of India, with the support of all the CPSUs.

SALIENT FEATURES OF THE SCHEME:

Ensure access to quality medicines.

Extend coverage of quality generic medicines so as to reduce the out of pocket expenditure on medicines and thereby redefine the unit cost of treatment per person.

Create awareness about generic medicines through education and publicity so that quality is not synonymous with only high price.

A public programme involving Government, PSUs, Private Sector, NGO, Societies, Co-operative Bodies and other Institutions.

Create demand for generic medicines by improving access to better healthcare through low treatment cost and easy availability wherever needed in all therapeutic categories.

What is a generic medicine?

There is no definition of generic or branded medicines under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945 made thereunder. However, generic medicines are generally those which contain same amount of same active ingredient(s) in same dosage form and are intended to be administered by the same route of administration as that of branded medicine.

The price of an unbranded generic version of a medicine is generally lower than the price of a corresponding branded medicine because in case of generic version, the pharmaceutical company does not have to spend money on promotion of its brand.

How are they regulated in India?

Drugs manufactured in the country, irrespective of whether they are generic or branded, are required to comply with the same standards as prescribed in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945 made thereunder for their quality.

Govt. imposes curbs on drug exports

In News:

India has restricted the export of common medicines such as paracetamol and 25 other pharmaceutical ingredients and drugs made from them, as it looked to prevent shortages amid concerns of the COVID-19 outbreak turning into a pandemic.

Drugs whose exports is restricted:

Besides over-the-counter painkiller and fever reducer paracetamol, drugs restricted for exports included common antibiotics metronidazole, those used to treat bacterial and other infections, as well as vitamin B1 and B12 ingredients.

Background:

In February, the Department of Pharmaceuticals asked the DGFT to issue orders restricting the export of 12 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and formulations in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

What’s the concern now?

Although India is source of about 20% of the world’s generic drug supply, pharmaceutical companies in the country are dependent on China for two-thirds of the chemical components needed to make them. The outbreak of COVID-19 has shut factories in China and impacted supplies, leading to fears of a shortage.

Implications:

This restriction has not gone down well with the exporters. For exporters, it is going to be a problem and will have an impact on reputation too.

What are APIs?

API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) means the active ingredient which is contained in medicine. For example, an active ingredient to relieve pain is included in a painkiller. This is called API. A small amount of the active ingredient has an effect, so only a tiny part of the active ingredient is contained in medicine.

Components of Medications:

All drugs are made up of two core components: the API, which is the central ingredient, and the excipient, the substances other than the drug that helps deliver the medication to your system. Excipients are chemically inactive substances, such as lactose or mineral oil in the pill.