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India-Vietnam Defence Partnership towards 2030

In News

The Defence Ministers signed the ‘Joint Vision Statement on India-Vietnam Defence Partnership towards 2030’, which will significantly enhance the scope and scale of existing defence cooperation.

Key Points

  • India and Vietnam share a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership since 2016 and defence cooperation is a key pillar of this partnership.
  • Vietnam is an important partner in India’s Act East policy and the Indo-Pacific vision.
  • Both countries share a rich history of civilisational and cultural linkages spanning over two thousand years.
  • The two countries also continue to have most trustworthy relations in contemporary times with broader convergence of interests and common concerns.

Environmental Performance Index (EPI), 2022

In News

India has objected to a report, called the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), 2022, that places the country last on a list of 180 countries on managing climate change, environmental health, and ecosystem vitality.

About the Report

  • The report is prepared by researchers at the Yale and Columbia universities.
  • High-scoring countries exhibit long-standing and continuing investments in policies that protect environmental health, preserve biodiversity and habitat, conserve natural resources, and decouple greenhouse gas emissions from economic growth.
  • India scored low across a range of issues with “deteriorating air quality and rapidly rising greenhouse gas emissions”.

India’s Objection

The use of “biased metrics and biased weights” caused India’s low rank as it didn’t account for the fact that India had one of the lowest emission trajectories.

National Health Authority (NHA)

In News

The National Health Authority (NHA) started a three-day orientation workshop for Joint Directors/Directors from different states & union territories across the country.

Key Points

  • The workshop is being held in partnership with the Koita Centre for Digital Health (KCDH), IIT Bombay from today till 10th June 2022.
  • The NHA team would be conducting in-depth training on the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) scheme, its core components and the way forward.
  • The workshop shall in turn help take the benefits of digital health ecosystem to the remotest areas of the country and make quality healthcare accessible for all.

About NHA

  • National Health Authority (NHA) is the apex body responsible for implementing India’s flagship public health insurance/assurance scheme called “Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana”.
  • It has been entrusted with the role of designing strategy, building technological infrastructure and implementation of “National Digital Health Mission” to create a National Digital Health Eco-system.
  • National Health Authority is the successor of the National Health Agency, which was functioning as a registered society since 23rd May 2018.
  • So, NHA has been set-up to implement PM-JAY, at the national level.
  • To implement the scheme at the State level, State Health Agencies (SHAs) in the form of a society/trust have been set up by respective States.


In News

To celebrate 10 years of Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC)’s enabling efforts towards progressing India’s Biotech Sector, an event is being organized on 9-10th June, 2022 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

Key Points

  • India’s biotech sector has drawn global recognition, especially during the recent pandemic period. This decade is important to define the growth trajectory of the biotech sector in India.
  • We are moving closer to the target of $ 150 billion by 2025 as evidenced by double-digit growth even in the COVID years.
  • There are evident limitations, and gaps in the ecosystem juxtaposed with large opportunities for growth and expansion.

Key Points About Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC)

  • BIRAC was set up by DBT on 20th March, 2012, is an Industry-Academia Interface Agency to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise, to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.
  • BIRAC’s mandate is to foster and promote innovation research and development of products/technologies in the biotech sector by industries, especially start-ups and SMEs to address unmet needs.
  • In a 10-year long journey, BIRAC has made impact in terms of bridging the existing gaps in the industry-academia innovation research and facilitated novel, high-quality affordable product development.
  • By aligning with the National Missions of Startup India and Make-in-India, BIRAC acts at the interface of Industry and Academia to inculcate the spirit of biotech entrepreneurship for knowledge translation.
  • DBT and BIRAC have been at the forefront of India’s battle against COVID-19 pandemic by intervening in the development of indigenous vaccines, novel point-of-care diagnostics and therapeutic formulations based on traditional knowledge, to establishment of research resources and offering services.
  • DBT, BIRAC and all the stakeholders have ensured that India is among the top 12 destinations for biotechnology in the world and 3rd in Asia-Pacific.
  • With Global Innovation Index improving to 46th rank, India’s bio-economy is growing in double digits Year on Year, from $51 Bn in 2018 to $81 Bn in 2021.

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