What is it? Discounts to be given for 202 cancer drugs, 186 medicines to treat cardiovascular diseases and 148 types of cardiac implants at central government hospitals.
Why is it important? Cancer is already the biggest or the second biggest killer in India and affordability of drugs is a major concern. For instance, Imatinib, a generic drug used to treat certain types of blood cancers, retails for Rs 850-1,029 per 100 mg tablet strip.
Tell me more: The Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) scheme, launched by the government in partnership with government-owned HLL Lifecare, will set up and run a chain of pharmacies across the country to sell these drugs at lower costs. The first AMRIT outlet was inaugurated at AIIMS in New Delhi on Sunday.
What is it? Share of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in terrorist attacks perpetrated in 2014, according to the Global Terrorism Database.
Why is it important? The Jihadist group, which claimed responsibility for the multi-venue attacks in Paris on Friday night, is turning out to be the most significant terrorist threat globally. The attacks, which claimed the lives of 129 people, reflect an increase in the capabilities of the terrorist group (if investigations confirm their claims).
Tell me more: The attacks targeted six venues including a concert hall, a stadium, restaurants and bars. Three coordinated teams of eight attackers shot at people and blew themselves up, while one was shot dead by the police.
What is it? Penalty levied by the US on French multinational Alstom for bribing government officials in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Taiwan.
Why is it important? In the global context, this is the largest criminal fine ever levied under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the US anti-corruption regulation. In the Indian context, Alstom was recently awarded the letter of award for contracts worth $5.6 billion to supply 800 electric locomotives to the Indian Railways between 2018 and 2028. This could be worrisome for the Indian government, which is trying to improve its rankings in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index, where corruption is cited as a major impediment.
Tell me more: Alstom had pleaded guilty to charges of falsifying its books and records and not implementing adequate internal control, besides bribing government officials. A Connecticut district court judge on Friday formally sentenced the company to pay the fine.
What is it? Number of children in political life of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, one of whom is reportedly likely to be anointed deputy chief minister of Bihar.
Why is it important? Between Misa Bharati Devi, Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav, the choice might be a pointer of the second rung of leadership in the RJD. Also, it shows dynastic politics, which is seen as a threat to democracy, continues to thrive. Research by political scientist Kanchan Chandra of the New York University shows that 21% of the current Members of Parliament (MPs) come from political families, which though down from 29% in 2009, is still high.
Tell me more: RJD won 80 seats in the recently concluded Bihar elections, 9 more than JD (U). Nitish Kumar is set to take oath as chief minister, for the third consecutive time, on November 20.
What is it? Percentage by which the Indian government plans to reduce deaths due to road accidents in the next five years.
Why is it important? Deaths due to road accidents (140,000) accounted for 83.7% of all traffic accidents in India in 2014. An average of 51 cases of road accidents were reported per hour last year, resulting in 16 deaths per hour. Accidents involving two-wheelers accounted for over a fourth of the lives lost.
Tell me more: The national action plan being drawn by the government includes new two-wheeler safety norms, working on road designs, penalties on companies and engineers for bad road designs, a separate fund for road accident victims, and action against registered public and private hospitals who detain bystanders bringing in the injured or demand payment from them (unless they are family members of the injured).