Current Affairs in Short: 21 November 2018
Patients across the country have saved around Rs 15,000 crore under government’s initiative of ensuring ‘Affordable, Quality Medicines for All’. It is a big step in ensuring that no citizen suffers due to lack of affordable and good quality medicines.
Patients save around Rs 15,000 cr under govt’s initiative of ensuring ‘Affordable, Quality Medicines for All’
• Patients across the country have saved around Rs 15,000 crore under government’s initiative of ensuring ‘Affordable, Quality Medicines for All’.
• The Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Ministry has taken the step of fixation of ceiling prices and Maximum Retail Prices of essential and lifesaving drugs. This has resulted in patients saving over Rs 5,000 crore since then.
• This is in addition to approximately 10 lakh heart patients saving around Rs 8,000 crore since fixation of ceiling prices of coronary stents.
• Around 1.5 lakh knee patients saved around Rs 2,000 crore since price fixation of knee implants.
• The minister said that it is a big step in ensuring that no citizen suffers due to lack of affordable and good quality medicines.
US suspends USD 1.66 bn security assistance to Pakistan
• The United States has suspended its 1.66 billion dollar security assistance to Pakistan. The decision has been taken on the directions of President Donald Trump.
• Deputy Assistant Secretary Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia under the previous Obama administration, David Sedney said that the blocking of military assistance, which began in January this year, is a strong signal of American frustration.
• He said that so far Pakistan has taken no serious steps to address the core US concern that Pakistan often encourages groups which use violence against its neighbours.
• Sedney was a part of the Pentagon when Osama bin Laden was killed in a raid by US commandoes in Abbottabad in Pakistan.
Saudi, UAE announce USD 500 million in aid to war-torn Yemen
• Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which lead a military coalition against the Huthi rebels in Yemen, on November 20, 2018 announced USD 500 million in aid to the country on the brink of famine.
• Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will each give USD 250 million in response to the food crisis to support more than 10 million people.
• The donations will go through the United Nations as well as other international and local aid groups.
• Saudi Arabia and the UAE intervened in the Yemen war in 2015 to bolster Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi after the Huthis took over the capital Sanaa.
Indian gymnasts win two bronze medals in Acrobatic Gymnastics World Cup
• Indian gymnasts won two bronze medals in the men's and women's group events of the FIG Acrobatic World Cup in Baku.
• Prins Aris and Rejilesh Suribabu finished third after scoring 20.560 in the two-day event to bag the bronze medal at the National Gymnastics Arena.
• The Indian women's trio of Ayushi Ghodeswar, Prachi Parkhi and Mrunmayi Walde also bagged a bronze in the group event after scoring 18.200.
ICC rejects Pakistan compensation claim against India
• The International Cricket Council (ICC) on November 20, 2018 dismissed a compensation claim by Pakistan over India’s refusal to honour an agreement to play bilateral series.
• The ICC said in a statement that following a three-day hearing, the Dispute Panel has dismissed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)'s claim against the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
• The dispute centred on a Memorandum of Understanding according to which India and Pakistan had agreed to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023. The PCB had filed a compensation claim of 70 million dollars.
• The BCCI has welcomed the decision and said it will now approach the Dispute Panel to recover the legal cost from the PCB.
Anti-Sikh riots: Delhi HC pronounces death sentence for convict Yashpal, Naresh gets life imprisonment
• The Delhi High Court on November 20, 2018 pronounced death sentence for convict Yashpal Singh and announced life imprisonment for another convict Naresh Sherawat in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
• The two were convicted on November 15 for killing two young Sikhs in Delhi's Mahipalpur area after the assassination of erstwhile Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
• This is the first sentencing in the case after the Special Investigation Team (SIT) took over the probe in 2015.
• The quantum of sentence in the double murder case was announced amid tight security outside the court.
• The two convicts, Naresh Sherawat, and Yashpal Singh were held guilty of killing Hardev Singh and Avtar Singh. The complaint against the two was filed by Hardev Singh's brother, Santokh Singh.
• The Delhi Police had closed the case in 1994 for lack of evidence. However, it was further investigated by a Special Investigation Team (SIT).
Sikkim increases forest cover by over 4 per cent since 1993: CM
• A plethora of initiatives for preserving biodiversity in Sikkim such as spreading mass awareness and adopting an eco-friendly policy has led to an increase of its forest cover by over four percent since 1993, as per the state’s Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling.
• The green cover in the tiny north-eastern state has risen to 47.62 per cent in 2017 from 43.95 per cent in 1993.
• The state is "very committed" about conserving biodiversity by spreading mass awareness and necessary legislation.
• Sikkim, covering just 0.2 per cent of the geographical area of the country, has tremendous biodiversity and is a part of the global biodiversity hotspot.