‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Important international agencies & their mandate – WHO revises antibiotics protocol

This is the biggest revision of the antibiotics section in the 40-year history of the essential medicines list (EML)

    What you need to know:

  • In an effort to curb antibiotic resistance, the World Health Organization (WHO) has divided the drugs into three categories — access, watch and reserve — specifying which are to be used for common ailments and which are to be kept for complicated diseases.
  • Commonly used antibiotics will be under the ‘access’ category; the second line of antibiotics, slightly more potent, have been categorised under “watch” and potent drugs to be used only as a “last resort” fall under the ‘reserve’ category.

   The new WHO list:

  • It should help health system planners and prescribers ensure that people who need antibiotics have access to them, and ensure they get the right one, so that the problem of resistance doesn’t get worse.
  • The WHO has now recommended that antibiotics in the ‘access’ group be available at all times as treatment for a wide range of common infections.
  • This includes amoxicillin, a widely-used antibiotic to treat infections such as pneumonia. The ‘watch’ group covers antibiotics that are recommended as first or second choice treatment for a small number of infections.
  • The WHO has recommended that prescription of these drugs should be dramatically reduced to avoid further development of resistance. The third group, ‘reserve’, includes antibiotics such as colistin and some cephalosporins that should be considered last-resort options, and used only in the most severe circumstances when all other alternatives have failed, such as for lifethreatening infections due to multidrug-resistant bacteria.

   Model list:

  • The Model List of Essential Medicines necessarily has a sharp focus on preserving antimicrobials. This list serves as a guide for the medicine supply system and is responsible for promoting health equity,” said Dr. Gandra, who was a part of the WHO expert committee that helped shape the revised list and recommended these three categories.

   Source: Hindu

‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: India & its neighborhood relations – India to join SCO in Astana

As PM goes to Kazakh city, plan to work with China, Pakistan to combat terror

    What is important to know:

  • India says it is willing to join hands with Pakistan and China to combat terrorism. Announcing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Astana, Kazakhstan, where India will be admitted as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the External Affairs Ministry said the fight against terrorism was “incumbent” on all.
  • We are going to Astana to become full member [of SCO], and we know the obligations and functions of the member states,” said Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay explaining that counter-terror collaboration with members of the SCO, such as China and Pakistan, was also a possibility.
  • We participate with many countries, including Pakistan, in the U.N. peacekeeping operations, and terrorism is a fight which is incumbent on all countries,” Mr. Baglay said.

   Trade and terrorism:

  • The comment is significant as full membership will require India to coordinate with member countries both on the trade front in the SCO headquarters in Beijing and at the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) based in Tashkent.
  • Pakistan, which has been an observer of the SCO like India, will join as full member in this summit meeting. “All aspects of the SCO will be available for participation of all member countries.
  • So if there is a partnership on counter-terror exercise, then it is unlikely that India will stay out of it. The official said this cooperation was part of the obligation of membership.
  • The spokesperson highlighted that the SCO would be an institutional forum where India would cooperate with the neighbours of Afghanistan to establish peace and stability and hold consultation on counter-terror. Under the framework of the SCO, an annual counterterror exercise is hosted by a member country. Mr. Srinivas said that as a member country, India could consider participating in it.

   Major point:

  • Cooperation on counter-terrorism is expected to emerge as a major point of India’s exchange with SCO. One is trade, banking, connectivity, energy and the second is the fight against terrorism under RATS. The Joint Secretary said India’s engagement with SCO would be determined by the 38 documents that it had signed with the multilateral organisation on a whole range of issues.

   Source: Deccan Herald

‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Indian Economy & Development – ‘India will remain among top 3 investment destinations till ’2019

Business heads confident of Asia’s performance: UN report


  • India will remain among the top three investment destinations globally till 2019, according to a survey by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
  • UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2017 also said India ranked 10th in terms of FDI inflows in 2016, with $44 billion coming in, as in 2015.
  • Over the next two years, India will be behind only the U.S. and China in terms of investment attractiveness, the report added.
  • In terms of projections for the future, the United States of America, China and India are the top prospective destinations for FDI,” the report said.
  • Business executives surveyed by UNCTAD say that they maintain their confidence in developing Asia’s economic performance.
  • Global foreign direct investment (FDI) is expected to rise by 5%, to almost $1.8 trillion in 2017.

    Higher growth:

  • After FDI flows retreated marginally in 2016 – by 2%, to $1.75 trillion – the new, more optimistic projections for 2017 are attributed to higher economic growth expectations across major regions, a resumption of growth in trade and a recovery in corporate profits,” the report added.
  • Regarding India, the report noted that although FDI flows had remained the same in 2016 as they were in 2015, there was global interest in mergers and acquisitions in the Indian market.
  • “Flows to India were stagnant at $44 billion. Crossborder mergers and acquisitions deals have become increasingly important for foreign multinational enterprises to enter the rapidlygrowing Indian market,” the report said.
  • In 2016, there were a number of significant deals, including the $13 billion acquisition of Essar Oil by Rosneft.
  • India permitted 100 per cent FDI in the capital of asset reconstruction companies under the automatic route.
  • It further liberalised the pension and insurance sectors. India raised the foreign ownership ceiling in Indian stock exchanges, depositories, banking and insurance companies and commodity derivative exchanges from 5 to 15 per cent.

    Source: World United