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Insights Daily Current Events, 24 March 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 24 March 2015

Dadasaheb Phalke award for Shashi Kapoor

Veteran actor Shashi Kapoor, who has reigned and contributed to the Hindi film industry for almost five decades, has been honoured with Dada Saheb Phalke award, India’s highest honour in cinema.

  • The veteran actor-producer is the 46th winner of the honour.
  • The Dadasaheb Phalke Award entitles him to a Swarn Kamal (Golden Lotus), a cash prize of Rs.10 lakh and a shawl.

About the Award:

The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India’s highest award in cinema. It is presented annually at the National Film Awards ceremony by the Directorate of Film Festivals, an organisation set up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

  • The recipient is honoured for their outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema and is selected by a committee consisting of eminent personalities from the Indian film industry.
  • First presented in 1969, the award was introduced by the Government of India to commemorate Dadasaheb Phalke’s contribution to Indian cinema. Phalke (1870–1944), who is popularly known as and often regarded as “the father of Indian cinema”, was an Indian film-maker who directed India’s first full-length feature film, Raja Harishchandra (1913).
  • The first recipient of the award was actress Devika Rani. Among 46 awardees, actor Prithviraj Kapoor is the sole posthumous recipient.


Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.



Madhav Gadgil wins Tyler Prize

Ecologist Madhav Gadgil has been chosen for the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement for 2015.

  • Gadgil will share the $200,000 cash prize with American marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco for their work in changing policy and especially for their leadership and engagement in the development of conservation and sustainability policies in the United States, India and internationally.
  • Gadgil was chairman of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP). Dr. Gadgil’s report on the preservation of the unique ecosystem of the Western Ghats was specially cited as the reason for the honour, besides his contributions to the crafting of the National Biodiversity Act, 2002.

About the Prize:

  • The Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement is an award for environmental science, environmental health, and energy.
  • Tyler Laureates receive a $200,000 annual prize and a gold medallion. The prize is administered by the University of Southern California and was established by John and Alice Tyler in 1973.

Sources: The Hindu.


Centre to re-brand ‘Jan Aushadhi’ scheme

The Union government’s ‘Jan Aushadhi’ scheme, which was set up with the intention of providing access to affordable medicines for all, is set to receive an impetus with a new name and the opening of 1,000 stores on a single day.

  • The scheme has under-performed since its inception in 2008 with only 98 of the 178 stores opened being functional. The new initiative is in line with a business plan approved in August 2013 to open 3,000 stores during the 12th Plan period — from 2013-14 to 2016-17.

What is Jan Aushadhi Scheme?

It is a scheme which seeks to make available quality medicines at affordable prices for all, especially the poor and the disadvantaged.

  • Under this, less priced quality unbranded generic medicines will be made available through Jan Aushadhi stores which inherently are less priced but are of same and equivalent quality, efficacy and safety as compared to branded generic medicines.
  • Under this Scheme, the State Government has to provide space in Government Hospital premises for the running of the outlets (JAS). Government hospitals, NGOs, Charitable Organisations and public societies like Red Cross Society, Rogi Kalyan Samiti typically constituted for the purpose can be operating agencies for the JAS.
  • The operating agency for JAS is nominated on the basis of the recommendations of the State government. Operational expenditure is met from trade margins admissible for the medicines.
  • The State Government has to ensure prescription of unbranded generic medicines by the Government doctors.
  • The Jan Aushadhi Programme is accordingly a self sustaining business model not dependent on government subsidies or assistance. It is run on the principle of “Not for Profits but with Minimal Profits”.

Benefits of the Scheme:

The Jan Aushadhi Campaign will help:

  • Improve access to healthcare in as much as cost of treatment would come down substantially. This would enable the Public Health System to increase the coverage.
  • Secure a socio-economically viable mechanism/institutional arrangement for efficacious sales of Pharma CPSU products, thereby improving their viability.
  • Promote & encourage private industry to sell their quality unbranded generic products through these retail outlets.
  • Educate doctors that unbranded generic medicines provide a better option that branded products since quality of generic medicines can be equally efficacious and safe at much lower prices.
  • Create consumer awareness by involving private, charitable bodies and NGOs by making them part of the campaign.
  • Reduce promotional cost and profits for the benefit of patients.

Ensuring successful implementation of the Jan Aushadhi campaign would dispel the myth that quality of medicines is linked to price and demonstrate that quality medicines can be sold at substantially lower prices.

Sources: The Hindu, PIB.

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