December 2

1)Fixed Dose Combinations (FDCs)

An FDC is one that contains two or more drugs combined in a fixed ratio of doses and available in a single dosage form.

Issue:

On march 10th, the notification passed by the govt banning several FDCs with the recommendations of Kokate expert committee.

An attempt by the govt to clamp down on irrational use of medicines.

Drug Companies had contended that the govt had not properly implemented the powers under section 26A of Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

Section 26A: Power to prohibit manufacture of drugs and cosmetics in public interest (only if it poses threat to human health)

The govt said that, banning these FDCs for not having a therapeutic and poses risk to humans and there are other safer alternatives (said without any clinical trails)

High court, Lift the ban and said proper clinical trails are necessary before banning any drug and the decision should be taken on recommendations of scientific technical reasons given by Drug Technical Advisory Body (DTAB) and Drug Consultative Committee (DCC) constituted under Drugs Act.

Critic on judgment: The decision was a great setback to public health interest. “The judgment reads too much into the powers of the DTAB, which are not mentioned in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. The court has missed a golden opportunity to reinforce the government’s effort to get rid of unsafe drugs.”

2)Jallikattu is a bull-taming sport played in Tamil Nadu as a part of the Pongal harvest festival.

The Supreme Court banned Jallikattu on 2014

Why Ban?

The Supreme Court declares that the “right to dignity and fair treatment is, therefore, not confined to human beings alone, but to animals as well.” 

Tamil tradition and culture are to worship the bull and the bull is always considered as the vehicle of Lord Shiva…Jallikattu or the bullock cart race, as practiced now, has never been the tradition or culture of Tamil Nadu.”

In the Isha Upanishad, “the universe along with its creatures belongs to the land. No creature is superior to any other. Human beings should not be above nature. Let no one species encroach over the rights and privileges of other species.”

The very act of “taming a bull” was counter to the concept of welfare of the animal under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960.

Article 19 (1) (f) was deleted from the Indian Constitution, this meant that the right to property, while still recognized as a right, is no longer a fundamental right. Animals are universally recognized as property; however, this “is now only a legal right, not a fundamental right.” This distinction means that animals do have intrinsic rights, and human property rights do not take precedence over the fundamental rights of animals. This allows Parliament to pass animal protection laws.

Article 51A (g) of the Indian Constitution states that it is a fundamental duty of every citizen “to have compassion for living creatures”

3)Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971:

The Act states that whoever intentionally prevents the singing of the national anthem or causes disturbances to any assembly engaged in such singing, shall be punished with imprisonment.

Organisations of differently abled people can seek exemptions from the order.

Closure of the doors, contradicting an earlier Supreme Court ruling ordering cinema theatres to keep their doors open, after a fire killed 59 people in Uphaar Theatre in 1997.

4)Demonetisation:

Argument against:

The restrictions on withdrawals is a violation of the fundamental rights under the Constitution

Argument in support:

The regulation cannot be held to be illegal or unreasonable restriction as there is no infringement of the fundamental rights of citizens,”

Demonetisation notifications were “reasonable restraints imposed in the interests of the general public for the greater good of the public at large.”

Benefits:

  • NPA(non performing assests) of the banks will be solved due to through flow of money to banks
  • Cashless economy increases, where can trace the money
  • Interest rates will come down
  • RBI’s currency liability shrinks

5)Pakistan is sending Mr. Aziz to Amritsar to attend the Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan on December 4

Nagrota Army base attack was “supported and sponsored by Pakistan” as part of ‘calculated strategy

India’s actions:

  • India and Afghanistan made it clear that they intend to corner Pakistan over the “common problem” of cross-border terrorism both countries face from Pakistan.
  • “Isolating” Pakistan in the SAARC region.

Suggestions:

  • Terrorism is a common challenge, and it is only through a cooperative approach that we can make a difference, not by targeting one country.”
  • The idea that the U.S. could mediate between India and Pakistan is not good. Any decision has to be taken by India and Pakistan rather than a third country

6)The National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) 2017 of USA scheduled to be passed seeks executive action to “recognise India’s status as a major defence partner of the United States.”

According to the bill, technology transfer to India and defence cooperation must be “consistent with United States conventional arms transfer policy.”

Designate India as a ‘major non-NATO ally’ and would be treated at a level similar to the closest allies and partners of the U.S.

Advantages:

  • It allows for better, higher quality, faster technology access on the defence side and also more liberal access to the dual technology side
  • ‘enhancing defence and security cooperation with India.’
  • “strengthening the effectiveness of the U.S.-India Defence Trade and Technology Initiative and the durability of the Department of Defence’s “India Rapid Reaction Cell,” a special unit that reviews ties with India.
  • It will tighten the screws on Pakistan to take more credible action against the Haqqani terror network.

7)The income tax law amendments to implement the latest voluntary income disclosure scheme has created ambiguity whether the penalty should be calculated on base rate of tax or else on the total tax, including surcharges and cess.

8)Google Lunar XPRIZE, a competition to encourage private companies to launch space missions.

TeamIndus, a Bengaluru-based private aerospace company, has said it will send a spacecraft to the moon on December 28, 2017, after completing a rotation around the earth, will ideally land in 21 days at Mare Imbrium (a region in the North-Western hemisphere of the Moon), aboard an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) rocket.

In 2008, Chandrayaan 1 became the first Indian space mission to send a spacecraft that circled the moon.

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