Narendra Modi

United Nations – International Day of Yoga

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The draft resolution establishing the International Day of Yoga was proposed by India and endorsed by a record 175 member states. The proposal was first introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address during the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly, in which he said: “Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action … a holistic approach [that] is valuable to our health and our well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.”

The resolution notes “the importance of individuals and populations making healthier choices and following lifestyle patterns that foster good health.” In this regard, the World Health Organization has also urged its member states to help their citizens reduce physical inactivity, which is among the top ten leading causes of death worldwide, and a key risk factor for non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes.

But yoga is more than a physical activity. In his statement before the vote on the resolution, the President of the 69th session of the General Assembly, Sam Kutesa emphasized this point: “For centuries, people from all walks of life have practiced yoga, recognizing its unique embodiment of unity between mind and body. Yoga brings thought and action together in harmony.”

In a statement UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also pointed out the global benefits of Yoga: “Yoga is a sport that can contribute to development and peace. Yoga can even help people in emergency situations to find relief from stress.”

In the words of one of its most famous practitioners, the late B. K. S. Iyengar, “Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Message on the 2016 International Day of Yoga

Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India and is now practiced in various forms around the world. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.

Yoga balances body and soul, physical health and mental well-being. It promotes harmony among people, and between ourselves and the natural world. Recognizing its universal appeal, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga.

This year’s observance of the International Day of Yoga highlights the important role healthy living plays in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted last year by all 193 United Nations Member States.

As exercise, yoga has multiple benefits. Physical inactivity is linked with a number of non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, which are among the leading causes of illness and death worldwide. By improving fitness, teaching us how to breathe correctly, and working to diminish stress, yoga can help to cultivate healthier lifestyles.

Practicing yoga can also help raise awareness of our role as consumers of the planet’s resources and as individuals with a duty to respect and live in peace with our neighbours. All these elements are essential to building a sustainable future of dignity and opportunity for all.

On this International Day of Yoga, I urge everyone to embrace healthier choices and lifestyles and to commit to unity with our fellow human beings, regardless of ethnicity, faith, age, gender identity or sexual orientation. Let us celebrate this Day – and every day – as members of one human family sharing one common, precious home.

Disclaimer: All information and images sourced from the official UN website page for Yoga Day (Link)

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International Day of Yoga!

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the second International Yoga Day celebrations in Chandigarh on Tuesday. PM Modi addressed thousands of people gathered for asanas at Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex. Over 30, 000 people, including 100 differently-abled children, participated in the event, which began at 6.30am. The theme of this year’s event is to ‘Connect the Youth’.

Here are the highlights from the PM’s address on Yoga Day:

  • Yoga talks about what you will get in this life. It is not a science of afterlife
  • This is a day linked with good health and now it has become a people’s mass movement
  • The way mobile phone has become a part of life, you can make yoga a part of your life too
  • The UN is celebrating International Yoga Day all over the world. It was started last year on India’s request. This day was picked as it is the longest day and the Earth is closest to the Sun
  • I really feel some people don’t fully understand the power and benefits of Yoga
  • The world supported the idea of International Day of Yoga. All sections of society came together in this endeavour
  • This is a day linked with good health and now it has become a people’s mass movement
  • Yoga is not about what one will get, it is about what one can give up
  • With zero budget, yoga provides health assurance. Yoga does not discriminate between rich and poor
  • Important to integrate yoga with our lives. Do not wait, make yoga a part of your life
  • Let’s make yoga more popular globally. Let India produce good yoga teachers
  • Let’s focus on one thing in the coming days, how to mitigate diabetes through yoga. Diabetes can surely be controlled through yoga
  • Today on the second International Yoga Day, on behalf of the Indian Govt, I am announcing 2 awards. Next year, on this day these awards will be given on behalf of India: (a) Best contribution to yoga internationally (b) Best contribution to yoga within India

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Source: 1, 2

Disclaimer: All photos of Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi ji participating in International Day of Yoga (21-Jun-16) has been sourced from the Official Twitter Account of Press Information Bureau (www.twitter.com/PIB_India)

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Drugs and Cosmetics Act to be revamped by CDSCO soon.

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Government-of-India

Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) is working towards drafting a new Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 2016 and a Medical Devices Act, 2016. The move follows after the ministry of health and family welfare initiated steps to revisit the D&C Act 1940 and Rules 1945. The effort is to match up with the current regulatory requirements related to safety, efficacy and quality of drugs and medical devices.
 
The government  has taken a decision to remain updated to newer technology and with the onset of several revised guidelines that have come in not just from global regulatory authorities but also India. Moreover, for the government, pharmaceuticals is a priority sector and therefore it has found it critical to ensure that its regulations are required to be strengthened.
 
Going by the new developments spanning from online pharmacy, fixed dose combinations to medical devices manufacture needs revision the existing D&C Act & Rules and the effort to draft the D&C Act, 2016 and rules are being updated. In fact, a notice has been issued by director (Admin) of CDSCO on June 6 to all state drugs controllers requesting to give feedback based on their experience within 15 days from the said notice. There have been several transformations like new brands, biologicals and biotech drugs besides the fixed dose combinations that need a set of dedicated rules.
 
The US FDA audits reported data integrity which has resulted in a slew of warning letters and suspension orders on production for poor documentation. The Drugs and Cosmetics Act & Rules 2016 will also ensure complete compliance by the Indian pharma industry.
 
There is also the introduction of Central Licensing Authority (CLA) along with State Licensing Authority (SLA) and Central Licensing Approval Authority (CLAA) for Schedule III drugs in the last year’s Amendment Bill.
 
The new regulations may also cover the Uniform Code for Pharma Marketing, Formation of Task Force to formulate bulk drug policy, medical devices policy, creation of price monitoring and resource units in the state drugs control department.
 
With active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) being the core of any drug formulation, the government has seen the need to come out with a bulk drug policy and therefore the new Drugs and Cosmetics Act 2016 may see appropriate related inclusions.
 
In an age of information technology and with the advent of e-commerce, online pharmacy is the way forward. With several companies already in this line of business, the government has called for fresh set of guidelines to be imposed for this business model to keep violations at bay by forming a committee under the chairmanship of Maharashtra FDA Commissioner and yet it has to submit its recommendations in this regard.
 
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slew of programmes like the Make in India and importance of indigenous manufacture of medical device is being promoted. This may call for dedicated chapter in the D&C Act, 2016 with rules for monitoring and manufacturing unless separate Act and rules are framed for regulation of medical devices.
 
For the pharmacy trade, penalty clauses are likely to be included. It would make certain that industry and trade will not be able to exploit and embark on unfair practices.

Source: 1

Centre allots Rs. 1750-cr to CDSCO to strengthen drug regulatory system across the country

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The Union finance ministry has approved a gross budgetary support of Rs. 1750 crore to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), under the 12th Five Year Plan, for strengthening the drug regulatory system across the country.

Under this budget that was sanctioned last month by the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) of the finance ministry, Rs. 900 crore will be ustilised for the strengthening of the CDSCO alone, whereas the rest of the Rs. 850 crore will be exclusively used to focus on the development and reinforcement of the state regulatory bodies across the country.

Interestingly, this is for the first time that such a sizable amount has been allotted for the purpose of boosting the infrastructural and manpower needs of the state drug departments.

The funds will be strategically used to help the centre and state drug regulatory departments in their capacity building measures, like construction of new drug and food testing laboratories, expansion of the existing facilities, hiring manpower, etc. A highly placed source from the CDSCO informed that considering the centre’s commitment to bring in better transparency and ensure efficient delivery of services, Rs. 184 crore will be specifically dedicated to focus on developing national e-governance programme in the drug regulatory body across the country. The programme will basically focus on developing and building a strong network that will link the CDSCO and state laboratories for efficient services.

According to the source, this is a unique scheme that the CDSCO has introduced under the five year plan to address the requirements of the state drug regulatory departments by extending them with financial support to bear the expenditure. It is understood that 75 per cent of the total expenditure of the projects undertaken by the state drug regulatory departments will be borne by the centre, whereas 25 will have to be borne by the state governments. However, considering the financial constraints of the state governments in addressing the demands of the drug regulatory departments in the North East (NE) region of the country, the CDSCO has decided to provide 90 per cent financial aid to them, with just 10 per cent investment to be chipped in by the state.

It is understood that the budget sanctioned under the National Health Mission (NHM) aims at integrating the demands and the requirements of the state drug regulatory body as well, so as to bring them also under the inclusive growth and development plan of the CDSCO.

Source: PharmaBiz

As Parliament begins on July 7, several Bills on health & pharma waiting for nod

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Even as the first Parliament session of the new central government led by Narendra Modi is scheduled to begin on July 7, several Bills belonging to the health and pharma sectors are waiting for the Parliament’s final nod. Several of these Bills have been pending for quite some time for introduction in Parliament.

The major Bills which have been waiting for the Parliament’s final nod included NBRA Bill, ART Bill, HIV/AIDS Bill, Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research on Human Subjects Bill, Central Drug Authority (CDA) Bill, Medical Devices Bill, etc.

But according to sources, the chances of any of these Bills getting the final nod from Parliament in this Budget session is very bleak as the law-makers will be busy in transacting the budget related businesses as it is the first budget of the new government. The Parliament session which begins on July 7 will be on session till August 14. The general budget is scheduled to be presented on July 10.

Among these bills, the NBRA Bill that seeks to establish Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India to regulate research, import, transport, use of organisms and product produced from modern biotechnology has repeatedly been finding a place in the tentative list for transaction of business for the last several sessions of Parliament. It may find a place in the next session also. The Bill also seeks to make NBRA as an independent, autonomous, statutory agency to safeguard the health and safety of the people of India and to protect the environment by identifying risks posed by, or as a result of, modern biotechnology, and managing those risks through regulating the safe development and deployment of biotechnology products and processes in the country.

Another bill, which was in fact almost through, was the CDA Bill which was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in August last year and then was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee. The panel, which submitted its report in December, has virtually turned down most of the main proposals, putting the government in a spot to redraft the bill.

The long pending HIV/AIDS Bill, which seeks to stop the discrimination against the people living with HIV, was introduced in Rajya Sabha in February this year, thus making it alive though the term of the Parliament ended without passing it.  As the Bill has been introduced in the Rajya Sabha, it would not lapse even though the term of the Lok Sabha came to an end and a new team has come to power. It is now expected to go to the parliamentary standing committee on health and family welfare for their recommendations.

Source: PharmaBiz