PIB – 29th Dec 2020

National Medicinal Plants Board Launches Consortia for Medicinal Plants

  • National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Ministry of AYUSH envisages the necessity of connectivity between stakeholders in the supply chain and value chain of Medicinal Plants.
  • NMPB Consortia will address/deliberate (not limited to) on Quality Planting Material, Research & Development, Cultivation, Trade of medicinal plants/market linkage etc.
  • To establish the linkage between the farmers and manufacturers, a ‘Seed to Shelf’ approach is being introduced, wherein, aspects related to Quality Planting Materials (QPM), Good Agriculture Practices (GAP’s), Good Post Harvest Practices (GPHP’s) would be addressed.
  • National Medicinal Plants Board
  • In order to promote the medicinal plants sector, Government of India set up the National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) on 24th November 2000. 
  • Currently the board is working under the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Homoeopathy), Government of India. 
  • The primary mandate of NMPB is to develop an appropriate mechanism for coordination between various ministries/ departments/ organization and implementation of support policies/programs for overall (conservation, cultivation, trade and export) growth of medicinal plants sector both at the Central /State and International level.
  • Aims & Objectives of the Board
  • To meet increasing demand for medicinal plants NMBP focusses on in-situ & ex-situ conservation and augmenting local medicinal plants and aromatic species of medical significance. 
  • The NMPB also promotes research & development, capacity building through training, raising awareness through promotional activities like creation of Home/School herbal gardens. 
  • NMPB also seek to support programs for quality assurance and standardization through development of Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACPs), development of monographs laying down standards of quality, safety and efficacy; development of agro-techniques and credible institution a mechanism for certification of quality of raw drugs, seeds and planting material. 
  • Overall, NMPB’s main objective is the development of the medicinal plants sector through developing a strong coordination between various ministries/ departments/ organization for implementation of policies / programs on medicinal plants.
  • Functions:
  • The primary functions of NMPB is to develop a proper mechanism for co-ordination between various ministries/ departments/ organization and implementation of support policies/programs for overall (conservation, cultivation, trade and export) growth of medicinal plants sector in the following areas:
  • Advise concerned Ministries/ Departments/ Organizations/ State/ UT Governments on policy matters relating to schemes and programs for development of medicinal plants.
  • Provide guidance in the formulation of proposals, schemes and programs etc. to be taken-up by agencies having access to land for cultivation and infrastructure for collection, storage and transportation of medicinal plants.
  • Assessment of demand / supply position relating to medicinal plants both within the country and abroad.
  • Identification, Inventorisation and Quantification of medicinal plants.
  • Promotion of in-situ / ex-situ conservation and cultivation of medicinal plants.
  • Promotion of co-operative efforts among collectors and growers and assisting them to store, transport and market their produce effectively.
  • Setting up of a data-base system for inventorisation, dissemination of information and facilitating the prevention of Patents being obtained for medicinal use of plants which is in the public domain.
  • Undertaking and awarding Scientific, Technological research and cost-effectiveness studies.
  • Development of protocols for cultivation and quality control.
  • Encouraging the protection of patent rights and IPR.

International Blue Flag hoisted at 8 beaches across the Country.

  • The Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change hoisted the international blue flags in 8 beaches across the country.
  • India secured the International Blue Flag Certification for these beaches on 6th October 2020, when an International Jury comprising member organizations UNEP, UNWTO, UNESCO, IUCN, ILS, FEE etc. announced the award at Copenhagen, Denmark. 
  • Blue Flag certification is a globally recognised eco-label accorded by “Foundation for Environment Education in Denmark” based on 33 stringent criteria.
  • The Blue Flag Certification is a global recognition of India’s conservation and sustainable development efforts.
  • The beaches where the International Blue Flags were hoisted are: Kappad (Kerala), Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha) and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands).
  • India started its journey of sustainable development of coastal regions on World Environment Day in June’ 2018 by launching its beach cleaning campaign – I-AM- SAVING-MY-BEACH simultaneously at 13 coastal states and thereafter implementing the ministry’s coveted program BEAMS(Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services).

Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurates Country’s First Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine

  • Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare today inaugurated India’s first pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV). The vaccine “Pneumosil” has been developed by the Serum Institute of India Private Limited (SIIPL) in collaboration with partners like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • “Serum Institute’s first Indigenous Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine will be available in the market under brand name “Pneumosil” at an affordable price in single dose (vial and pre-filled syringe) and Multidose (vial) presentations. Pneumosil has been extensively evaluated in 5 randomized controlled clinical trials and has demonstrated comparable safety and immunogenicity against licensed pneumococcal vaccines across diverse populations of India and Africa, where Pneumosil was administered to adults, toddlers and infants using different vaccination schedules.
  • During clinical trials, Pneumosil was found to be safe and effective in the prevention of Pneumonia disease and based on which Pneumosil has been licensed by Drugs Controller General (India) in July 2020 after approval from Subject Expert Committee (SEC).

A review meeting of “Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan” Project

  • The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India runs the “Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan” project which is a collaborative effort by the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, Archaeological Survey of India and State/ UTs Government for developing tourism amenities at heritage/ natural/ tourist sites spread across India for making them tourist friendly, in a planned and phased manner. 
  • The project aims to encourage companies from public sector, private sector, trusts, NGOs, individuals and other stakeholders to become ‘Monument Mitras’ and take up the responsibility of developing and upgrading the basic and advanced tourist amenities at these sites as per their interest and viability in terms of a sustainable investment model under CSR. They would also look after the Operation & Maintenance of the same.
  • Under the project, 27 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) have been awarded to 12 Monument Mitras for twenty-five (25) sites and two (2) Technological interventions across India.
  • Under the MoUs handed over for implementation of amenities includes basic facilities such as Dustbin; Public Conveniences; Clean drinking water facility; Illumination; Ease of Access; Aesthetics and cleanliness of site; Bench Installations, Waste Management; App based Multi lingual Audio Guide; Installation of Digi Kiosk and Ticketing Kiosk; Signage -Descriptive and directional; Wi-Fi.
  • Advance amenities under implementation include Visitor Facility Centre; Sound and Light Show -3D-Projection Mapping (Interior and Exterior); Snack Counter & Souvenir Shop; Augmented Reality Experience and Virtual Reality (360-degree Experience).