Current Affairs, 11 April 2018

NITI Forum for Northeast
GS 2 mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
The first meeting of the NITI Forum for North East was recently held in Agartala, Tripura.

Areas of discussion:
Strategies for improving Road, Rail and Air Connectivity in the North East Region, improvements in agriculture and allied sectors, water conservation and management.

About NITI Forum for Northeast:

  • The Union Government set up the ‘NITI Forum for North-East’ in 2018.
  • The forum will have its Secretariat in the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region.
  • The NITI Forum for Northeast is tasked to identify various hindrances in the way of inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the North East Region of the country.
  • To recommend suitable interventions for addressing the constraints.
  • It will monitor the development status in the North eastern region.
  • The NITI Forum includes representation from all NE States, Secretaries of relevant Departments, experts are included as members
Drugs Technical Advisory Board

GS 2 Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

The Union Government has banned over-the-counter sale of 14 creams containing steroids and antibiotics under the Schedule H category.
It was done by amending the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.
The ban was made based on the recommendation of the Drugs Technical Advisory Board so that the sale of such creams without prescription is banned.
The recommendations were given to the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation also complaints that pharmaceutical companies were selling steroid-based creams and ointments without medical guidance prompted this ban.


  • The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation(CDSCO) under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) of India.
  • CDSCO is responsible for approval of New Drugs, Conduct of Clinical Trials, laying down the standards for Drugs, control over the quality of imported Drugs in the country
  • It coordinates the activities of State Drug Control Organizations by providing expert advice with a view of bring about the uniformity in the enforcement of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
  • CDSCO along with state regulators, is jointly responsible for grant of licenses of certain specialized categories of critical Drugs such as blood and blood products, I. V. Fluids, Vaccine and Serum.
Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) is the highest decision-making body under the Union health ministry on technical matters.
Director General of Health Services (DGHS) is the ex-officio chairman of this statutory body which is constituted by the ministry of health and family welfare.

 Schedule H drugs:
Schedule H is a class of prescription drugs listed under Drugs and Cosmetics Rules which governs manufacture and sale of all drugs in India.
These drugs cannot be purchased OTC over the counter without the prescription of a doctor.
Kaleswaram Project

GS 3 Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

Central Water Commission (CWC) recently appreciated the Telangana government for the speedy execution of work on the Kaleswaram irrigation project.
This project is aimed at creation of over 18 lakh acres of new irrigation potential and stabilising existing command area.

Details of the project:
The Kaleswaram project is an off-shoot of the original Pranahitha-Chevella Lift Irrigation Scheme of undivided Andhra Pradesh.

The Kaleswaram project has provision for the storage of about 148 tmc ft. with plans of utilising 180 tmc ft by lifting at least 2 tmc ft. water every day for 90 flood days. The project is designed to irrigate 7,38,851 hectares in the uplands of the districts of Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Warangal, Medak, Nalgonda.

Kaleswaram project  has many unique features, including the longest tunnel to carry water in Asia, running up to 81 km, between the Yellampally barrage and the Mallannasagar reservoir.

Delhi’s IGI airport among the top 20 busiest airports

According to ACI’s World Airport Traffic Forecasts  the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, operated by the Delhi International Airport Ltd, has emerged as one of the busiest airports in the world ,the top 20.

About Airports Council International (ACI):
 Founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation,
 Airports Council International is the trade association of the world’s airports,

As per the latest statistics of Airports Council International, IGI Airport jumped six notches to be in the top 20 busiest airports in the world for 2017 in terms of traffic volume.
Delhi has also been ranked first in airport service quality for airports above 40 million passengers per annum along with the Mumbai airport.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was ranked the busiest airport in the world.

Mega Food Park at Udham Singh Nagar

GS 3 Transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints.

It is Uttarakhand’s second mega food park.
The park will benefit many farmers in this region and neighbouring districts.
            The first Mega Food Park in the state located at Haridwar is operational.

Mega Food Parks:
  • Ministry of Food Processing Industries is implementing Mega Food Park Scheme in the country.
  • The Scheme of Mega Food Park aims at providing a mechanism to link agricultural production to the market by bringing together farmers, processors and retailers so as to ensure maximizing value addition, minimizing wastages, increasing farmers’ income and creating employment opportunities for rural youth.
  • These food parks give a major boost to the food processing sector by value addition.
  • It also reduces food wastage at each stage of the supply chain.
  • Perishables which has the potential to fetch high price will be marketed with minimum wastage.
  • A maximum grant of  50 crore is given for setting up a Mega Food Park.
  • The Scheme has a cluster based approach based on a hub and spokes model.
  • It includes creation of infrastructure for primary processing and storage near the farm in the form of Primary Processing Centres and Collection Centres.
  • The Primary Processing Centres are meant for functioning as a link between the producers and processors for supply of raw material. The scheme is demand-driven.