‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Important aspects of e-governance & accountability – As July 1 nears, GST interface not ready

Third party GST Suvidha Providers say only piecemeal implementation possible by deadline

    What you need to know:

  • While the government remains committed to rolling out the GST regime from July 1, GST Suvidha Providers (GSPs), who are expected to help taxpayers cope with the transition to the new regime and its compliance paperwork, may only be operationally ready a few months down the line, say industry players.
  • The GSP model is not the only solution for the GSTN to meet its obligation to the citizens of the country — which is to get a system ready on which they can file their returns. It need not be that the GSP model will be out by July 1.”

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   Convenient methods:

  • Under the GST regime, the GSPs are expected to provide convenient methods to taxpayers to access and upload their documents and returns onto the GST Network (GSTN), the information technology backbone of the new indirect tax regime.
  • On July 10, July 15, July 17 and July 20, (the dates on which the monthly I-T returns are to be filed by companies) let people file using the government portal, the offline solution.’ They’ll do something like that to get people to comply and then they will start pushing the GSP/ASP model over time.

    Source: Economic Times

‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Development of services relating to Health – Child-friendly HIV drug gets govt. nod

CDSCO has registered the oral pellet form for easy use

    What is important to know:

  • The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has registered the child-friendly HIV drug in oral pellet form, ending months of uncertainty for the HIV community.
  • This has opened up crucial supplies from Cipla Pharmaceuticals, a market leader in the HIV segment, to the National AIDS Control Programme (NACO), which had been struggling to source quality assured paediatric formulations of the drug.
  • India ran out of Lopinavir syrup, a child-friendly HIV drug, in March after Cipla — the sole manufacturer of the drug — stopped production consequent to non-payment by the Health Ministry.
  • The drug’s adult version has to be swallowed whole and thus cannot be administered to infants and young children.
  • In March, over 600 children had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking for a quick resolution to the matter.
  • On May 25, an expert committee of the CDSCO had permitted the child-friendly and heat-stable pellet formulation of the HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) to be registered.
  • The pellets, which come in capsules and are dosed by weight, can be sprinkled (but not stirred or crushed) over a small amount of soft food.
  • For infants — who must be able to swallow them — the pellets can be added to a spoonful of breast milk or put on the infant’s tongue.
  • The lack of child-friendly HIV formulations is one of the major reasons why there is such a large treatment gap between adults and children, and is also why we consider paediatric HIV to be a ‘neglected disease’,” said Dr. Suman Rijal, Head, Drugs for Neglected Diseases (DNDi) India.
  • The registration of the pellets is a positive sign as the needs of children are being addressed. Children are some of the most vulnerable HIV patients, and we cannot forget their special R&D needs,” Dr. Rijal added.
  • Globally, 3.2 million children were living with HIV in 2013 and 240,000 children were newly infected with HIV, according to UNAIDS-The Gap Report 2014.
  • Although anti-retroviral therapy can be life-saving for these children, only 24% of them are currently on treatment.
  • One-third of the children born with HIV die without treatment before they turn a year old and 50% die before they turn two.

    Source: Live Mint

 

‘’Paper 2-GS-I, Topic: Important updates on Geophysical phenomena – El Nino is weaker than anticipated, says IMD

Private forecaster Skymet sticks to ‘below normal’ forecast

    Brief:

  • The India Meteorological Department’s optimism about more rainfall is largely premised on hopes that a strong El Nino, which, as per its earlier forecast, was expected to surface in the later half of the monsoon, would now be much weaker than anticipated.
  • A weakened El Nino is largely why we expect better rains,” said Madhavan Rajeevan, Secretary, Earth Sciences Ministry.
  • In April, the IMD had said there was a 38% chance of near normal rains (96% of the LPA). Now the models showed a 50% chance. The El Nino — characterised by surface waters of the equatorial Pacific warming up by more than half a degree — is known to dry up monsoon rain every six out of 10 years.
  • A positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is said to buffer the impact of El Nino and contribute to better rains. (The IOD is a swing in surface temperatures that turns the western Indian Ocean alternately warmer and then colder than the eastern part of the ocean.)

   New model:

  • In April, the IMD shifted to using a new monsoon forecast system, called a dynamical model that works by supercomputers simulating the weather and extrapolating it.
  • It plans to make this as the base for all future forecasts, ranging from shortterm weekly forecasts to the trajectory of the four-monthlong monsoon. However, for its June update, the IMD chose to rely on its workhorse statistical model that forecasts the monsoon based on six meteorological parameters.

  The dynamical model:

  • According to the IMD statement, showed monsoon rains to be 89 cm or 100% of the LPA. “In April, both models showed the same.
  • It’s good for computing the all-India figure but not yet good at capturing the regional spread,” said Mr. Rajeevan.
  • In the next few years, we hope to move entirely into the dynamical mode.” Private weather forecaster Skymet said it was sticking to its “below normal” forecast at 95% (with an error margin of +/-5%) of the LPA.
  • Rainfall for July stood at 94%, while for August it was 93% of the historical average.

    Source: Hindustan Times