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Important Facts For Prelims

Important Facts For Prelims (13th April 2019)

  • 13 Apr 2019
  • 7 min read

Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation

  • The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has asked manufacturers to ensure that information be made available to the general public about the adverse reactions of some commonly-used antibiotics.
  • The CDSCO is the Central Drug Authority for discharging functions assigned to the Central Government under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
  • It is under Directorate General of Health Services,Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
  • It is headquartered in New Delhi and also has six zonal offices.
  • Major Functions:
    • Regulatory control over the import of drugs, approval of new drugs and clinical trials.
    • Approval of certain licences as Central Licence Approving Authority.
  • CDSCO along with state regulators, is jointly responsible for grant of licenses of certain specialized categories of critical Drugs.
  • In 2016, the government launched an online licensing portal of Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) named “SUGAM”.
    • SUGAM enables online submission of applications requesting for permissions related to drugs, clinical trials, ethics committee, medical devices, vaccines and cosmetics. The system also builds up the database of approved drugs, manufacturers & formulations, retailers & wholesalers in India.
    • It is the project of national importance that directly reflects the Government's DIGITAL INDIA initiatives and is a major influence in bringing reforms in the Indian Pharma Industry.

Foreign Exchange Reserves

  • India’s foreign exchange reserves rose by $1.876 billion to $413.781 billion, aided by a rise in foreign currency assets.
  • This surge in reserves was aided by the recent maiden dollar-rupee swap conducted by the RBI.
  • Foreign exchange reserves are assets held on reserve by a central bank in foreign currencies. These reserves are used to back liabilities and influence monetary policy.
  • These assets serve many purposes but are most significantly held to ensure that a central government agency has backup funds if their national currency rapidly devalues or becomes all together insolvent.
  • The Foreign exchange reserves of India consists of:

Reserve Position in the IMF

  • The reserve tranche is portion of the required quota of currency that each International Monetary Fund (IMF) member country must provide to the IMF that can be utilized for its own purposes without a service fee.
  • In other words, it is basically an emergency account that IMF members can access without agreeing to conditions or paying a service fee.
  • If the amount being sought by the member nation exceeds its reserve tranche position (RTP), then it becomes a credit tranche that must be repaid in three years.


  • The first Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO) commercial project in the world may start between Mumbai and Pune by 2025.
  • Hyperloop is a system where magnetically levitating capsules are sent at high speeds through low-pressure tubes, thereby potentially reducing transport time — of people and goods — by more than 80%.
  • The system consists of pods or capsules travelling at high speeds through low-pressure tubes erected on columns or tunneled underground.
  • The system is fully autonomous and sealed, so no driver-related error is anticipated. In a sealed environment with almost no air resistance, the pods are expected to reach very high speeds.
  • The vehicle uses magnetic levitation, and is propelled by a electric propulsion system. Motion will not involve contact, so the vehicle will be virtually noiseless.
  • It can draw power from multiple energy sources; can be even 100% carbon free if the source is wind or solar.
  • The Hyperloop technology can act as a beacon for the Mission 350 Plus initiative announced by Government of India in July 2016 which aims to gradually introduce levitation based technology that can reach speeds of more than 350 kmph, in order to accommodate India’s growing infrastructure demands.

Levitation Technology

  • Magnetic levitation, maglev, or magnetic suspension is a method by which an object is suspended with no support other than magnetic fields. Magnetic force is used to counteract the effects of the gravitational acceleration and any other accelerations.

Order of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First

  • The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi has been conferred with the “Order of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First,” the highest civilian award of Russia.
  • The order was presented to the Prime Minister of India for his distinguished contribution to the development of a privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India and friendly ties between the Russian and Indian people.
  • The Order of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First is awarded to prominent government and public figures, prominent representatives of science, culture, art and various sectors of the economy for “exceptional services that contribute to the prosperity, greatness, and glory of Russia”.
  • It was first awarded by former Russian Tsar ‘Peter the Great’ in 1698 and subsequently discontinued. In 1998, former President Boris Yeltsin reinstated the honor by a presidential decree.
  • Previous recipients include Chinese President Xi Jinping, and presidents of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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