1. NTPC to supply 300 MW power to Bangladesh:
Context: State-run power giant NTPC’s arm NVVN has emerged as the lowest bidder for supply of 300 MW power to Bangladesh for 15 years at an estimated tariff of Rs 3.42 per unit. The company is expecting a revenue of Rs 900 crore every year for supplying 300 MW under a tender floated by Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB). At present, India exports approximately 600 MW electricity to Bangladesh.
India already has power grid links with Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh, and is building power projects in the three countries. It also plans to develop power transmission links with Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
2. Soyuz rocket launches cargo freighter to International Space Station:
Context: A Russian Soyuz rocket has launched the cargo ship Progress 69 toward the International Space Station. Progress 69 is packed with food, science gear and other vital supplies for the six-person Expedition 54 crew on the International Space Station.
3. Jogighopa to become India’s new gateway to South-East Asia
Jogighopa is a small town located on the banks of the Brahmaputra River in the Bongaigaon district in the state of Assam. Within the city are the remains of the five rock cut rock-cut caves, examples of Salasthambha period architecture.
4. Paper 2:
Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
Medical Council of India (MCI)
Medical Council of India (MCI) proposal to amend the Screening Test Regulations 2002 has been approved by Health Ministry. It is now mandatory to qualify NEET to pursue foreign medical course.
What’s the issue?
A common National Entrance Exam viz. National Eligibility cum Entrance Test has been made mandatory for admission to all medical courses in the country. Indian students can also pursue medical education abroad and have to qualify a Screening Test called Foreign Medical Graduates Exam (FMGE), for registration to practice in India after obtaining primary medical qualification (MBBS) overseas. However, few medical institutions / Universities of foreign countries admit Indian students without proper assessment or screening of the students’ academic ability to cope up with medical education with the result that many students fail to qualify the Screening Test. In this regard, Medical Council of India (MCI) had proposed to amend the Screening Test Regulations, 2002, making it mandatory to qualify NEET to pursue foreign medical course.
The Medical Council of India was first established in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933. This Act was repealed and replaced with a new Act in 1956. Under the 1956 Act, the objectives of MCI include:
- Maintenance of standards in medical education through curriculum guidelines, inspections and permissions to start colleges, courses or increasing number of seats.
- Recognition of medical qualifications.
- Registration of doctors and maintenance of the All India Medical Register.
- Regulation of the medical profession by prescribing a code of conduct and taking action against erring doctors.
Why reform the MCI?
Like a license-raj permit controller, MCI has for long focused too much on licensing of medical colleges and stipulating impractical conditions, while ignoring its other mandate of maintaining ethical conduct in the profession. It has failed to stop the sale of medical seats in private colleges for capitation fees going up to Rs.50 lakh.
Over the years, it has emerged as a single, all-powerful agency heavily influenced by corporate hospitals to provide accreditation to institutions and assess their quality, ignoring blatant conflicts of interest.