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Commerce Minister emphasizes the need to focus on Research, Standards and Aggregation to enhance Farmers income
Feb 22,2017

Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has emphasized the need to focus on Research, Standards and Aggregation to enhance farmers income. Interacting with the members of the ICFA(Indian Council of Food and Agriculture) on the issue of Doubling of Farmers Income through Agro and Food Trade she said Inter -Ministerial discussions are necessary for coordination. The Minister said the government is willing to hear suggestions and respond to all issues pertaining to exports and domestic trade.

Smt. Sitharaman said agricultural research is of paramount importance ,citing example of Tobacco she said till date there has been no research done to find alternative crop for tobacco farmers. Further she highlighted the issue of Onion production where again research is needed to prevent the shortage and glut of production .

The Minister said the issues pertaining to international standards will be taken up appropriately. She said preserving the interests of the farmers has to be the core of all discussions in which both the central and state governments have to come together.

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Health Ministry undertakes largest ever drug survey in the world for determining the quality of drugs
Feb 22,2017

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India had entrusted the work relating to carrying out a Survey of the extent of Problems of Spurious and Not of Standard Quality Drugs to the National Institute of Biologicals (NIB), Noida. The NIB has since submitted the report to the Government.

The statistical design of the Drug Survey included as many as 224 Drug molecules belonging to 15 different therapeutic categories of the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) 2011. As part of this survey, 47,954 drug samples relating to 23 dosage forms were drawn from 654 districts of 36 States and Union Territories from the supply chains including retail outlets, Government sources and from eight airports and sea ports.

A nationwide training in drugs survey methodology was imparted at 28 centres across the country to over 1800 Sample Drawing Officers (SDOs) and representatives of the Civil Society / Pharmacy Council of India (PCI). The role of the Civil Society / Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) representatives was to observe that the drugs samples are drawn in accordance with the sampling methodology and the highest degree of transparency and objectivity is maintained in the process to eliminate any bias.

All the samples were subjected to test / analysis as per pharmacopoeial requirements in the Central and State Drug Testing Laboratories that have been accredited by NABL. Overall, out of the 47,012 samples tested, 13 samples were found to be Spurious and 1,850 samples were found to be Not of Standard Quality (NSQ). As such, the percentage of NSQ Drugs in India has been found to be 3.16% and that of Spurious drugs 0.0245%.

This is the largest ever scientifically designed and professionally executed drug survey undertaken in the world for determining the quality of drugs.

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NDMA starts advance preparations for tackling heat wave this year
Feb 22,2017

The National Workshop on Preparation of Heat Wave Action Plan began in Hyderabad. The two-day workshop is being organized by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with the Government of Telangana in a bid to effectively tackle the onslaught of heat wave this year.

The workshop is aimed at sensitising States to the need of preparing and implementing their Heat Wave Action Plans in line with NDMAs Guidelines for Preparation of Action Plan - Prevention and Management of Heat-Wave formulated and circulated last year.

This timely workshop will help heat wave-prone States in drawing up their plans for 2017 as heat wave onslaught in various parts of the country typically starts by the latter half of March. Last year, the effective implementation of Heat Action Plans by some of worst affected States brought down the number of heat wave-induced deaths in the country by about 50 per cent.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri R.K. Jain, Member, NDMA, said, n++In 2015, the number of deaths recorded due to heat wave was higher than deaths caused by any other disaster. In this background, NDMA came up with a set of guidelines for managing heat waves in 2016. We closely reviewed and monitored the preparedness and actions taken by heat wave prone States and with the combined efforts of all stakeholders, especially the State Governments, were able to bring down the number of deaths drastically.n++

Dr. D.N. Sharma, Member, NDMA, said that with advance planning and preparedness, and active participation of all stakeholders, not only deaths but also illnesses induced by heat waves could be brought down.

Giving a presentation on prevention and management of heat waves, Dr. V. Thiruppugazh, Joint Secretary, NDMA, emphasised on the importance of Heat Action Plans and a robust database. He added that awareness campaigns were needed to sensitise communities to take measures to reduce the impact of heat waves.

Dr. K. Tirupataiah, ADG, Dr. MCR-HRD Institute, Hyderabad, spoke about the importance of reviving indigenous traditions and knowledge to mitigate the impact of heat waves. He also talked about the need to involve children and Panchayati Raj Institutions in spreading the message of awareness.

The first technical session on Heat Wave Action Plan and Risk Reduction focused on the development of Heat Action Plans for prevention and management of heat waves. It discussed the nuances of fine-tuning Action Plans to cater to localized needs and solutions.

During the second session, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Odisha and Maharashtra shared their experiences and best practices to help other States prepare their Heat Wave Action Plans. These States, which are among the most vulnerable, have been able to largely mitigate the impact of heat waves with better preparedness and timely intervention.

The session on Early Warning and Forecasting of Heat Wave was chaired by Dr. D.N. Sharma, Member, NDMA. It focused on the importance of area-specific short-range forecasting along with extended forecasting to help authorities to understand the immediate requirements of a region as well the most suited mitigation measures for the entire heat wave season.

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Indias fuel product consumption declines 4.5% in January 2017
Feb 22,2017

Indias fuel product consumption or sales dipped 4.5% to 15.51 mt in January 2017 over a year ago. Diesel sales declined 7.8% to 5.79 mt, while petcoke sales fell 9.9% to 1.95 mt and kerosene 34.6% to 0.37 mt. Consumption of naphtha also dipped 5.8% to 1.10 mt, fuel oil 10.6% to 0.56 mt, and bitumen 10.8% to 0.49 mt. Further, the consumption of lubricants slipped 14.4% to 0.27 mt, petrol 0.6% to 1.80 mt, and light diesel oil (LDO) 0.6% to 0.03 mt. However, the consumption of other fuel products improved 10.3% to 0.55 mt, Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) 17.8% to 0.63 mt, and LPG 16.4% to 1.98 mt in January 2017.

Consumption or sales of fuel product increased 7.0% to 161.42 mt in April-January FY2017 over April-January FY2016. Sales of petcoke increased 30.4%, LPG 11.5%, petrol 10.0%, and diesel 2.6%. Consumption of fuel oil also moved up 15.0%, ATF 11.9%, others 3.7% and naphtha 0.9%. Further, the consumption of bitumen inched up 2.1% and LDO 15.4%, but declined for lubricants 1.9% and kerosene 19.1% in April-January FY2017.

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Indias natural gas production jumps 11.9% in January 2017
Feb 22,2017

Indias natural gas production increased 11.9% to 2.74 billion cubic meters (bcm) in January 2017 over a year ago. Natural gas output of ONGC jumped 25.6% to 1.92 bcm, but that of private and JV companies dipped 15.4% to 0.57 bcm. The natural gas production of Oil India moved up 1.3% to 0.25 bcm in January 2017.

Natural gas output declined 1.9% to 26.62 bcm in April-January FY2017 over April-January FY2016.

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Indias crude oil refinery output declines 0.4% in January 2017
Feb 22,2017

Indias crude oil refinery output declined 0.4% to 20.27 mt in January 2017 over January 2016. The output of public sector refineries fell 1.0% to 10.92 mt, while the output of private refineries dipped 0.7% to 7.99 mt. Further, the refinery output of public-private JV refiners moved up 7.5% to 1.36 mt in January 2017.

Among public refineries, the output of Chennai Petroleum Corporation dipped 17.4% to 0.72 mt, while the output of Mangalore Refineries plunged 10.0% to 1.32 mt, and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation 3.6% to 1.45 mt in January 2017 over January 2016. The output of Bharat Petroleum Corporation moved up 2.4% to 2.03 mt, Indian Oil Corporation 3.0% to 5.11 mt and Numaligarh Refineries 17.3% to 0.28 mt in January 2017.

Among private refiners, the output of Reliance Petroleum rose 0.7% to 6.41 mt, while that of Essar Oil declined 6.1% to 1.58 mt in January 2017 over January 2016. Among JV refineries, the output of Bharat Oman fell 4.7% to 0.55 mt, while the output of HPCL Mittal moved up 17.7% to 0.82 mt in January 2016.

The cumulative refinery output increased 6.0% to 198.86 mt in April-January FY2017. The output of public refineries increased 9.6% to 107.37 mt, while that of private refineries moved up 2.5% to 78.31 mt. The refinery output of JV refineries declined 0.8% to 13.18 mt in April-January FY2017. Among public refineries, the output of Indian Oil Corporation improved 11.8%, Bharat Petroleum Corporation 7.8%, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation 4.3%, Chennai Petroleum Corporation 16.5%, Numaligarh Refineries 7.8% and Mangalore Refineries 5.4%.

The overall capacity utilization was lower at 108.0% in January 2017 compared with 117.7% in January 2016, while it was also lower at 106.3% in April-January FY2017 compared with 106.8% in April-January FY2016.

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Cabinet approves enhancement of capacity from 20,000 MW to 40,000 MW of the Scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects
Feb 22,2017

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today approved the enhancement of capacity from 20,000 MW to 40,000 MW of the Scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects. The enhanced capacity would ensure setting up of at least 50 solar parks each with a capacity of 500 MW and above in various parts of the country. Smaller parks in Himalayan and other hilly States where contiguous land may be difficult to acquire in view of the difficult terrain, will also be considered under the scheme. The capacity of the solar park scheme has been enhanced after considering the demand for additional solar parks from the States.

The Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects will be set up by 2019-20 with Central Government financial support of Rs.8100 crore. The total capacity when operational will generate 64 billion units of electricity per year which will lead to abatement of around 55 million tonnes of CO2 per year over its life cycle.

It would also contribute to long term energy security of the country and promote ecologically sustainable growth by reduction in carbon emissions and carbon footprint, as well as generate large direct & indirect employment opportunities in solar and allied industries like glass, metals, heavy industrial equipment etc. The solar parks will also provide productive use of abundant uncultivable lands which in turn facilitate development of the surrounding areas.

All the States and UTs are eligible for benefits under the scheme. The State Government will first nominate the Solar Power Park Developer (SPPD) and also identify the land for the proposed solar park. It will then send a proposal to MNRE for approval along with the name of the SPPD. The SPPD will then be sanctioned a grant of upto Rs.25 Lakh for preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Solar Park. Thereafter, Central Financial Assistance (CFA) of up to Rs. 20 lakhs/MW or 30 percent of the project cost including Grid-connectivity cost, whichever is lower, will be released as per the milestones prescribed in the scheme. Solar Energy Corporation India (SECI) will administer the scheme under the direction of MNRE. The approved grant will be released by SECI.

The solar parks will be developed in collaboration with State Governments/UTs. The State Governments/UTs are required to select the SPPD for developing and maintaining the solar parks.

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is already implementing a scheme for development of at least 25 solar parks with an aggregate capacity of 20,000 MW, which was launched in December 2014. As on date, 34 solar parks of aggregate capacity 20,000 MW have been approved which are at various stages of development.

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Indias crude oil production up 1.3% in January 2017
Feb 22,2017

Indias crude oil production rose 1.3% to 3.08 million tonnes (mt) in January 2017 over January 2016, while snapping consistent decline for last 10 straight months. Crude oil output of ONGC rose 4.6% to 1.92 mt, while that of Oil India also improved 5.3% to 0.27 mt. However, the crude oil production of private and joint venture (JV) companies dipped 6.3% to 0.89 mt in January 2017. ONGCs offshore output rose 5.0% to 1.41 mt, while onshore production moved up 3.7% to 0.51 mt.

Crude oil output declined 2.8% to 30.12 mt in April-January period of the fiscal year ending March 2017 (April-January FY2017), in addition to 1.2% fall recorded in the corresponding period of last year. Output of ONGC eased 0.9% to 18.55 mt, while that of Oil India declined 0.2% to 2.70 mt and private companies dipped 7.2% to 8.87 mt in April-January FY2017 over April-January FY2016.

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Cabinet approves the investment proposal for generation component of Arun-3 Hydro Electric Project in Nepal by SJVN
Feb 22,2017

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved:

(i) Investment for generation component of Arun-3 HEP (900 MW) for an estimated cost of Rs. 5723.72 crore at May 2015 Price Level.

(ii) Completion period of the project shall be 60 months from the date of financial closure which is planned for September this year.

(iii) Ex-post facto approval for the existing implementing agency, already incorporated in the name of SJVN Arun-3 Power Development Company (P) Limited (SAPDC) registered in Nepal as a 100% subsidiary of SJVN for implementing the project.

(iv) Any component of work already or being made by the Nepalese authorities shall be so certified by Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and shall be accordingly deducted from the project cost requirements,

The project is located on Arun River in Sankhuwasabha District of Eastern Nepal. The Run-of-River scheme envisages about 70 mtr. high concrete gravity dam and Head Race Tunnel (HRT) of 11.74 Km. with underground Power House containing four generating units of 225 MW each on Left Bank.

SJVN bagged the project through International Competitive Bidding. An MoU was signed between Government of Nepal and SJVN Limited for the project in March, 2008 for execution on Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis for a period of 30 years including five years of construction period. The Project Development Agreement (PDA) signed on 25 November 2014, which provides 21.9% free power to Nepal for the entire concession period of 25 years. Employment generation of around 3000 persons is envisaged in construction of the project from both India and Nepal.

The project will provide surplus power to India strengthening power availability in the country and will also strengthening economic linkages with Nepal. The power from the project shall be exported from Dhalkebar in Nepal to Muzaffarpur in India.

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Cabinet approves doubling of solar power capacity addition target
Feb 22,2017

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has approved the enhancement of capacity from 20,000 MW to 40,000 MW of the Scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects. The enhanced capacity would ensure setting up of at least 50 solar parks each with a capacity of 500 MW and above in various parts of the country. Smaller parks in Himalayan and other hilly States where contiguous land may be difficult to acquire in view of the difficult terrain, will also be considered under the scheme. The capacity of the solar park scheme has been enhanced after considering the demand for additional solar parks from the States.

The Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects will be set up by 2019-20 with Central Government financial support of Rs 8100 crore. The total capacity when operational will generate 64 billion units of electricity per year which will lead to abatement of around 55 million tonnes of CO2 per year over its life cycle.

It would also contribute to long term energy security of the country and promote ecologically sustainable growth by reduction in carbon emissions and carbon footprint, as well as generate large direct & indirect employment opportunities in solar and allied industries like glass, metals, heavy industrial equipment etc. The solar parks will also provide productive use of abundant uncultivable lands which in turn facilitate development of the surrounding areas.

All the States and UTs are eligible for benefits under the scheme. The State Government will first nominate the Solar Power Park Developer (SPPD) and also identify the land for the proposed solar park. It will then send a proposal to MNRE for approval along with the name of the SPPD. The SPPD will then be sanctioned a grant of upto Rs 25 Lakh for preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Solar Park. Thereafter, Central Financial Assistance (CFA) of up to Rs 20 lakhs/MW or 30 percent of the project cost including Grid-connectivity cost, whichever is lower, will be released as per the milestones prescribed in the scheme. Solar Energy Corporation India (SECI) will administer the scheme under the direction of MNRE. The approved grant will be released by SECI.

The solar parks will be developed in collaboration with State Governments/UTs. The State Governments/UTs are required to select the SPPD for developing and maintaining the solar parks.

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is already implementing a scheme for development of at least 25 solar parks with an aggregate capacity of 20,000 MW, which was launched in December 2014. As on date, 34 solar parks of aggregate capacity 20,000 MW have been approved which are at various stages of development.

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Cabinet approves signing of an Agreement between India and Poland on cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors
Feb 22,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of an Agreement between India and Poland on cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.

The agreement covers various activities in the field of agriculture and allied sector including exchange of information on the current situation in agriculture, the phytosanitary conditions of crops, threats posed by harmful organisms and the threats posed by animal infectious diseases. It also covers the participation in fairs, exhibitions, seminars and conferences related to agriculture and agri-food processing; undertaking and developing joint economic initiatives including the support or agrifood trade between the states of the Contracting Parties.

The Agreement provides for constitution of a Joint Wording Group (JWG) comprising of representatives from both countries. The JWG will prepare plans of cooperation and to provide solutions to the problems arising during the implementation of the Agreement.

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Cabinet approves signing of Air Services Agreement between India and Greece
Feb 22,2017

Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Greece.

The Agreement has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange between the two countries bringing it in tune with the developments in the civil aviation sector. It will provide enabling environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity while providing commercial opportunities to the carriers of both the sides ensuring greater safety and security.

The essential features of the ASA are as follows:

i. Both countries shall be entitled to designate one or more airline.

ii. The designated airlines of either country shall have the right to establish offices in the territory of the other country for the promotion end sale of air services.

iii. The designated airlines of the two countries shall have fair and equal opportunity to operate the agreed services on specified routes.

iv. The designated Airline of each party can enter into cooperative marketing arrangements with the designated carriers of same party, other party and third country,

v. As per the Route Schedule, the Indian carriers can operate to Athens, Thessaloniki, HerakIion and any 3 points to be specified later in Greece from points in India, whereas the carriers of Hellenic Republic can establish direct operation to 6 metros viz. New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennal. Any points shall be available as intermediate and beyond point for the designated carriers of India as well as the designated carriers of Greece.

At present there is no ASA between India and Greece. The delegations of two sides met in New Delhi on 6-7th September, 2016 and finalized the text of ASA. The agreement is as per latest International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) template keeping in view the latest developments in civil aviation sector and with an objective to improve the air connectivity between the two countries.

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Cabinet approves MoU between India and Australia for promotion and development of cooperation in civil aviation security
Feb 22,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Australia for promotion and development of cooperation in civil aviation security.

The MoU will provide an opportunity to Indian aviation security authorities to share the expertise of their Australian counterparts and enhance the overall aviation security environment in India.

The MoU will provide compliance of international obligation as well as enhance promotion in the area of security cooperation between the two countries.

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Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) launches Cyber Swachhta Kendra - Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre
Feb 22,2017

Extending the Swachh Bharat campaign to the cyber world, the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, Shri. Ravi Shankar Prasad, launched the Cyber Swachhta Kendra-Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre for analysis of malware and botnets that affect networks and systems. This is a part of MeitYs Digital India initiative aimed at creating a secure cyber space by detecting botnet infections in India and to notify, enable cleaning and securing systems of end-users to prevent further infections. The centre is operated by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In).The Centre aims to enhance coordination between the Government and industry in order to encourage cyber hygiene among all end-users and to create a secure and safe internet ecosystem in India.

Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Honble Minister of Electronics and Information Technology said, n++India is going to take a lead in the digitization process of the world. India today joined the distinguished club of countries that have malware cleaning systems for the use of its citizens. As of now, we have 13 Banks & internet service providers using this facility. With the expanding digital footprint in the country, I see a surge in start-ups in the area of cyber security by the end of the yearn++

n++With the expanding role of Information and Communication technology across sectors and growth in volume of transactions and data exchange via internet, Cyber Security as reiterated by Honble Prime Minister, has emerged as the most critical factor when we move towards Digital India. Combating cyber threats is not something that can be done just by the government or an organisation or an individual alone. It requires a partnership approach. This centre being launched today will work in coordination with the Internet Service Providers and Industry. This Kendra will also enhance awareness among citizens regarding botnet and malware infection along with measures to be taken to secure their devicesn++, added Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The Honble Minister made the following announcement at the launch of Cyber Swachhta Kendra:

n++ The National Cyber Coordination Centre to be operational by June 2017

n++ Sectoral CERTs to be created, that would operate under CERT-In

n++ CERTs are to be set up in the state level as well

n++ 10 more STQC (Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification) Testing Facilities to be set up

n++ Testing fee for any star-up that comes up with a digital technology in the quest of cyber security, to be reduced by 50%

n++ Empower designated Forensic Labs to work as the certified authority to establish cyber crime

The Centre will operate in close co-ordination and collaboration with Internet Service Providers (ISP) and Anti-Virus companies. Whenever an infection is detected, the Centre will send alerts on the infected IP addresses to the Internet Service Providers, who in turn will inform the end-user about the malware and botnet infections on their system. The Centre will also work in close collaboration with the Banks to detect malware infections in their banking network and enable remedial actions. The launch of the Centre will help the Internet service providers and the banks to keep their networks clean and prevent cases of cyber fraud and theft.

Ms. Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said, n++With the increased penetration of ICT infrastructure in our country, the threat of cyber security has become more serious and visible. Today, the common man is confronted with hacking, spamming, malware and loss of data, yet public awareness about these issues and how to protect themselves is extremely low. There is a need to collaborate and come forth with solutions like the Cyber Swachhta Kendra in order to ensure a safe and secure cyber world for the citizens of India.n++

With the growth in digitalization and proliferation of broadband and mobile internet, security of end users systems is vital for enhancing their trust in ICT and online transactions. User information from the computer and the mobile devices can be compromised if systems get affected with Bots. Users therefore need to practice a rigid cyber hygiene regimen to prevent malware infections on their systems and to ensure security of their systems through suitable anti-malware tools. The Cyber Swachhta Kendra will provide free tools for detection and removal of malicious programmes. More than 3500 users have currently downloaded and tried the free bot removal tools till date. The end-user can log on to the Cyber Swachhta Kendra Portal (www.cyberswachhtakendra.gov.in) and clean their systems using the free cleaning tools. Users can also educate themselves about the various cyber threats and get information on the security tips in order to secure their computers, mobiles and prevent infections in their systems.

Given below are details of some of the tools released for citizens:

n++ USB Pratirodh -A desktop security solution, which protects from USB mass storage device threats.

n++ AppSamvid - A desktop solution which protects systems by allowing installation of genuine applications through white listing. This helps in preventing threats from malicious applications.

n++ M-Kavach - An indigenously developed solution to address the security threats in mobiles.

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AYUSH Minister to inaugurate the World Integrated Medicine Forum on Regulation of Homeopathic Medicine
Feb 22,2017

Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik will inaugurate the World Integrated Medicine Forum on Regulation of Homeopathic Medicinal Products: National and Global strategies. This is the first-of-its-kind forum considering the increased perception of the international world towards India as a key player in the progress of the homoeopathy drug industry,. Drug lawmakers, regulators, manufacturers and pharmacopeial experts from various regulatory authorities, eminent scientific organisations and pharmaceutical industries from 25 countries, are participating in the two days forum to strategize the actionable aspects in the homoeopathic drug industry, which, in turn, will promote global harmonisation in the sector.

The event is organised by Ministry of AYUSH and Central Council for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH) and supported by Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIMH) & Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).

Major points of discussion will include current regulatory status in different countries; practices and possible trade opportunities in key countries worldwide; possible solutions to regulatory challenges; building knowledge and network to deal more efficiently with challenges at national and global level and a strategic perspective on the possibilities and limitations of what can be achieved at a national level via further international collaboration and harmonization. One of the highlights of the forum will be exchange of Memorandum of Understanding among Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States (HPCUS) and Indian bodies - Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) and Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) on cooperation in the field of Homoeopathic Medicine. It is hoped that this agreement will be a benchmark for many more agreements to follow with the aim to develop and harmonise homoeopathic pharmacopoeias and to strengthen regulatory provisions for homoeopathy in the whole world.

In India, homoeopathic medicines are regulated by Drugs & Cosmetics Act & Rules. All pharmaceutical industries are legally bound to comply with these rules, which, in turn, assures safety and quality of homoeopathic medicines. Further, these industries adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) that further assure accredited production, packaging and distribution. In that sense, India has a relatively well-established regulatory framework for Homoeopathy. However, the implementation of these Acts and Rules are sometimes challenging at the end of the pharmaceutical industries, and despite their best efforts to comply, some practical challenges remain that come in their way.

On the other hand, the international scenario of regulations of homoeopathic medicinal products is also varied and in many countries, the regulatory provisions are either non-existent or minimalist, thereby advocating reforms in policies for wider accessibility of quality homoeopathic products.

Homoeopathy is one of the most followed medical systems in India and its strength lies in the fact that its medicines are gentle, safe as well as cost-effective. In the era of growing adverse drug reactions and auto-immune and lifestyle-related illnesses, Homeopathy has a crucial role to play in the well-being of mankind. The use of homoeopathy is steadily growing in India and as per an analysis by Ministry of AYUSH, this sector exhibited an annual growth rate of 26.3% in the past year, the highest among the other AYUSH modalities.

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