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Current Affairs 15 March 2024 for UPSC And State PSC Exam

Vocal For Local

News- NITI Aayog has recently initiated the ‘Vocal for Local’ campaign as part of its Aspirational Blocks Programme.

Vocal for Local Initiative Overview

  • Origin: A NITI Aayog initiative under the Aspirational Blocks Programme to promote self-reliance and sustainable development.
  • Aakanksha Brand: A consolidation of local products from 500 aspirational blocks, aiming to build an international market presence through various sub-brands.
  • Government e-Marketplace (GeM) Integration: Features a dedicated Aakanksha brand window for the Aspirational Blocks Programme, supporting the promotion of local products.
  • Support Measures: Includes e-commerce onboarding, financial/digital literacy, certification, and skill enhancement facilitated by partners.

Government e-Marketplace (GeM) Key Facts

  • Launch: Introduced in 2016 by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
  • Purpose: A comprehensive online procurement platform for Goods & Services used by Government departments, organizations, and PSUs.
  • Mandatory Use: Authorized by the Ministry of Finance under the General Financial Rules, 2017 for government procurements.
  • Ownership: Managed by GeM SPV, a 100% government-owned, non-profit entity under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Aspirational Blocks Programme Highlights

  • Inspiration: Modeled after the Aspirational District Programme launched in 2018, targeting 112 districts initially.
  • Objective: Focuses on enhancing the development of blocks lagging in various indicators for comprehensive growth.
  • Scope: Encompasses 500 blocks across 31 States and Union Territories with a significant concentration in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal.


News- The Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting inaugurated PB-SHABD, a news distribution service by Prasar Bharati.


  • Purpose: Designed to supply daily news feeds in various formats including video, audio, text, and photos to media subscribers.
  • Source: Utilizes Prasar Bharati’s extensive network of reporters, correspondents, and stringers for the latest news from across India.
  • Access: Acts as a unified source for news content for all organizations.
  • Offer: Introductory free access for the first year, covering news in all major Indian languages across fifty categories.
  • Usage: Enables customized storytelling across various platforms, particularly benefiting smaller newspapers, TV channels, and digital portals.

Prasar Bharti Details

  • Role: Serves as the country’s Public Service Broadcaster.
  • Establishment: Created in 1997 as a statutory autonomous body under the Prasar Bharati Act.
  • Objective: Aims to provide public broadcasting services to inform and entertain the public.
  • Components: Includes Doordarshan Television Network and All India Radio, formerly under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  • Headquarters: Located in New Delhi.

Electric Mobility Promotion Scheme 2024

News- Recently, the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries unveiled the Electric Mobility Promotion Scheme for 2024.


Objective of the Scheme: To boost Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption across India.

Financial Details: Allocated budget of Rs. 500 crore over 4 months.

Target Vehicles

  • Electric two-wheelers (e-2W).
  • Electric three-wheelers (e-3W), including registered e-rickshaws & e-carts and L5 category.


  • Primarily for e-2Ws and e-3Ws registered for commercial use.
  • Privately or corporately owned registered e-2Ws are also eligible.

Technology Focus: Incentives are exclusive to vehicles equipped with advanced battery technology.

Responsible Authority: Ministry of Heavy Industries.

Uniform Code for Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP) 2024

News- The Central Government recently introduced the Uniform Code for Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP) aimed at pharmaceutical companies.


Purpose: To curb unethical practices within the pharmaceutical industry.

Guideline Updates: Cover drug endorsements, promotional ethics, conduct for medical representatives, and interactions with healthcare professionals.

Key Provisions

  • Gifts and Travel Bans: Prohibits pharma companies from offering gifts or travel amenities to healthcare professionals and their families.
  • Medical Representative Conduct: Bars the use of inducements for interviews or paying for healthcare professional access.
  • Company Responsibility: Holds companies accountable for their medical representatives’ actions.
  • Free Sample Restrictions: Forbids the distribution of free samples to non-prescribing individuals and mandates detailed recording of such distributions. Limits the value of distributed samples to two percent of domestic sales annually.
  • Ethics Committee Requirement: Each pharmaceutical association must establish an Ethics Committee for Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (ECPMP), launch a dedicated UCPMP portal, and take steps for code implementation.
  • Promotional Guidelines: Details the ethical promotion of drugs, ensuring information is balanced, current, and non-misleading. Restrictions on claims, comparisons, and use of terms like “safe” and “new” are specified.
  • CEO Responsibility: The Chief Executive Officer of pharma companies is responsible for adhering to the code.
  • Penalties and Complaints: Describes penalties for code violations and complaint handling procedures. The ECPMP will address violations, ensuring accountability and oversight.

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