HIV salvage therapy
- India has launched third-line drug therapy for people living with HIV/AIDS and extended free anti-retroviral therapy (ART) to more of them by revising the eligibility norm.
- The third-line therapy, sometimes called salvage or rescue therapy, is prescribed for people who have limited drug options left — after the failure of at least two drug regimens and with evidence of HIV resistance to at least one drug in each line or the latter cause alone. The highly expensive therapy will be provided free.
- Announcing these measures at the launch of the National AIDS Control Programme Phase IV (2012-2017) here, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the third-line therapy would enhance longevity and improve the quality of life of patients.
- For receiving free ART, the minimum CD4-count limit had been reduced from 500 to 350. The count is a measure of the viral load.
- The government has tabled the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014, in the Rajya Sabha. It seeks to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and protect the human rights of people living with it.
- At present, India is estimated to have 2.39 million people living with HIV/AIDS.
- The Bill seeks to prohibit any kind of discrimination against the infected person — for instance, denial or termination of employment or occupation, unfair treatment, denial of access to any sector and forcible HIV testing.
SIT probe into Nido Taniam's death
- The Supreme Court will hear a plea by a group of lawyers seeking direction to the central government to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the attack on Arunachal student Nido Taniam and the assault on two Manipuri women in the capital recently.
- The apex court bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Justice Ranjan Gogoi directed the listing of the matter as the petitioner advocates mentioned their plea for an early hearing.
- The petitioners have sought that the SIT should be headed by a retired apex court judge, have an officer from the northeast, carry out an investigation in a time-bound manner and submit the status report to the court.
- The plea said that the crime of racial discrimination is a menace to the society and violates human rights of every person irrespective of his caste, creed, religion, domicile and the right to live with human dignity,
- Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily, former Minister Murli Deora and former Director-General of Hydrocarbons V.K. Sibal have been named in an FIR registered by the Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi government over alleged collusion in fixing natural gas prices and hoarding in the KG-D6 basin.
- The top politicians and the corporate head have been charged under Section 13 (1) (C) and (D) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code.
- Mr. Kejriwal questioned the relevance of fixing gas prices in terms of U.S. dollars when the entire production was consumed internally. The complaint alleges that gas prices will be doubled from April 1 to $8.4 (Rs.524.20) per mbtu as against $4.2 (Rs.262.25) per mbtu because of collusion between RIL and UPA-II government servants.
- The hike would cost the country a minimum of Rs.54,500 crore a year and allow RIL to make a windfall of Rs.1.2 lakh crore.
World's worst for pirated goods
- The United States named Delhi’s Nehru Place and Mumbai’s Manish Market among the world’s most notorious markets for pirated goods.
- Nehru Place is an old favorite, having figured in earlier lists of markets world over that the US considers the worst for Intellectual Property Rights violations.
- Gaffar Market, also in Delhi, Manish Market and Lamington Road in Mumbai and Chenoy Trade Center and the Hong Kong Bazar in Hyderabad were the others from India.
- The report said vendors in these markets are good at evading raids — they “are successful at hiding illicit merchandise prior to police raids, and returning it to shelves shortly after”.
- Gaffar market, the report said was rife with counterfeit clothing, shoes, cosmetics, electronics, and other products, most of which are imported into India.
- Mumbai’s Manish Market and Lamington Road were known for pirated copies of Hindi and English language films, sold along side their authorized versions.
- And Chenoy Trade Center and Hong Kong Bazar in Hyderabad — close to India’s Silicon Valley — were known for pirated computer hardware and software.
- No Indian website figured among the online pirates named. Many websites based in Canada, China and some European Countries figured on the list.
- China, once again, Thailand and Indonesia figured prominently among physical markets named for piracy along with the six in India.
The burden of interest on the government’s borrowings
- The burden of interest on the government’s borrowings is estimated to grow at 17 per cent this fiscal. The Finance Ministry estimates that the Centre’s expenditure on interest payments will grow 17 per cent to Rs. 3,64,244 crore in 2013-14, according to the economic and functional classification of the Union Budget .
- This is even greater than the UPA government’s subsidy bill for the year, estimated at Rs. 2,42,255 crore. A rate of growth of interest payments that is faster than the rate of growth of the economy is not a good trend.
- Interest payments are growing five percentage points faster than GDP growth. The Central Statistical Office estimates the GDP growth rate for the year will be 12.3 per cent.
- Consumption expenditure, mainly salaries, will grow at 17 per cent in 2013-14 to Rs. 3,15,318 crore as against 12 per cent the previous year.
Hockey India League: semifinal berth
- A fine opportunistic goal by Akashdeep Singh couple of minutes before the close enabled Delhi Waveriders defeat defending champions Ranchi Rhinos 1-0 and book a semifinal berth in the Hockey India League at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.
- Delhi now have 34 points from nine matches and they have one more league match to play. Whereas, Ranchi have 24 points from seven matches and have three more matches to go.
Top bids in IPL 2014
- The Indian Premier League is to commence after an interesting beginning , that saw some of the biggest international and Indian stars who went head to head with uncapped players for the first time.
- Day one saw Yuvraj Singh raking in big by bagging Rs14 crore to be in Vijay Mallya's Royal Challengers Bangalore.
- 70 players were bought for a total of Rs 212.35 crores. The second highest bid was by Delhi Daredevils who bought Dinesh Karthik for Rs 12.5 crores. Mumbai Indians also steals a deal with Corey Anderson with a mere Rs4.5 crore signing.
- Kevin Pietersen was expected to be the highest-grossing overseas player and the franchises didn’t disappoint, with Pietersen going for 9 crore. Mitchell Johnson took home 6.5 crore and Glenn Maxwell rounded out the top five with a 6 crore pay packet.