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Current Affairs for 6 February 2016
February 6, 2016
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PM MODI TO INAUGURATE 12TH SOUTH ASIAN GAMES IN GUWAHATI TODAY

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1.Postponed several times due to a variety of reasons, the much-delayed but the biggest South Asian Games ever begin here today with hosts India expected to stamp their superiority in the regional spectacle.

2.The 12-day Games, featuring 2,500 athletes from eight SAARC countries, will be declared open by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a glittering inaugural ceremony at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium.

3.The multi-sporting event, being held under the aegis of South Asian Olympics Council, is happening after a delay of four years.

4.The 12th edition of the Games was to be held in 2012 in New Delhi but was postponed due to Assembly elections in the national capital.

5.After that, the Indian Olympic Association was suspended by the International Olympic Committee between December 2012 and February 2014, leading to further delay.


 

AS CUSTOMS DUTY EXEMPTION GOES, 76 LIFE-SAVING DRUGS TO GET COSTLIER

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1.In a move that could inflate the cost of essential life-saving imported drugs, the Finance Ministry has withdrawn exemption of 76 medicines from customs duties. The list includes 10 HIV drugs and at least four cancer drugs, but haemophilia patients are likely to be the most affected by the decision.

2.Haemophilia is a genetic disorder in which the patient tends to bleed excessively. Anti-haemophilic factor concentrates (VIII & IX) that are given to patients to control the bleeding are off the list.

3.These concentrates are proteins that help the blood clot. Indian patients depend on American pharmaceutical company Baxter International for the proteins. “The two drugs — one is blood-based and it is a bad product from an Indian company. The other Indian alternative is a company that makes only IX but does not make factor VIII. We will die.

4.We need between 1,500-1,700 units a year and we already spend over Rs. 30,000 out of pocket. Withdrawal of exemption from import duty means the per-unit cost will go up by Rs. 3-Rs. 4,” said Rupal Panchal, founder of the Mumbai-based Haemophilia Society. Meanwhile, the withdrawal of exemption for anti-cancer and anti-retroviral (HIV/AIDS) medicines will not affect patients or drug prices as generic versions of these drugs are made in India.


 

INDIAN BASMATI RICE ALL SET TO GET GI TAG

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1.Seven years after an application was made to get the ‘Geographical Indication’ tag for Indian basmati rice grown in certain States, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) on Friday cleared the decks for issuing the tag.

2.The application has been mired in litigation after farmers and exporters and Madhya Pradesh wanted to be included in the list of States approved by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), the statutory body responsible for export promotion and development of certain scheduled products.

3.Following the orders issued on Friday by Justice K.N. Basha, Chairman, IPAB, and Sanjeev Kumar Chaswal, technical member, Trademark, IPAB, basmati rice cultivated in the Indo-Gangetic Plains on the foothills of the Himalayas covering areas of the rice grown in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Western U.P. and two districts of Jammu and Kathua, will now be issued the GI tag.


 

ADANI POWER TO BUILD $2 BILLION POWER PLANT

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1.Adani Power Ltd will soon sign a deal to set up a $2.2 billion coal-based power plant in eastern Jharkhand state, two people with knowledge of the matter said, as its controlling shareholder aims to nearly double capacity this decade.

2.The utility, controlled by billionaire Gautam Adani, plans to build two power units with a total capacity of 1,600 megawatts (MW) and construction could begin by December, one of the people said, adding there is a meeting scheduled in Jharkhand next week and a deal would be sealed this month.

3.The other person, a Jharkhand government official, said most government approvals were in place already.

4.An Adani Power spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment


 

BINDRA BAGS TWO GOLDS

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1.Abhinav Bindra has put his preparations for the Rio Olympics on the rails by winning back-to-back gold medals in the 39th Inter-Shoot International shooting competition in the Hague, the Netherlands.

2.The 32-year-old shot 205.6 on Saturday, beating Peter Hellenbrand by 0.8 point, despite an uncharacteristic 9.4 and 9.5 on his last two shots.

3.Shriyanka Sadangi won the women’s air rifle bronze, after having topped the qualifiers with a score of 418.9. In junior air rifle, Pratik Borse also won back-to-back gold medals.